Joseph Bowen wrote:
I'm not implying that Mr. Stevens or Abe Sensei have some personal agenda for misrepresenting O'Sensei's words, but that you need to be careful about how the translation reads.
Well, just to be clear, we're apparently reading someone else's (Jun's, perhaps) English translation of Abe's interpretation of what Ueshiba said. Stevens is translating directly from Ueshiba's written words, as best he can. I agree that there is no deliberate misrepresentation... I think everyone is doing their absolute best to convey as accurately as they can what O-Sensei said. The problem is that the allegorical writing of O-Sensei references some little-known subject matter, so therefore all the translations tend to be skewed and miss the point of the subject-matter to which Ueshiba was referring. Once a bit of skew is introduced into the interpretations of O-Sensei's words, it compounds further down the line. Much of the current belief about what O-Sensei was talking about is, in my opinion, wrong or at least distorted... because of that skew that happens when the translators misunderstand the heavy allusions involving ki and ki development as a "harmonious" and important artifact in the workings of the universe.