Now we're talking! Thanks for your lengthy and thoughtful reply. I have no cumpunctions about practicing aikido, studying Taoist or Buddhists scripture, or the like. I wondered how others, who share my faith, felt about aikido. I have read marvelous books about the spirituality of aikido and the nature of ki (see particularly Gleason Sensei's book on the spiritual roots of aikido). Without sounding too much like a dilittante, I have a deep interest in physics and mathematics so your take on ki as a Catholic physicist would be MOST welcome.
I would like this thread to elevate
the discussion among Christians practicing aikido and avoid some of the doctrinal squabbling (it is impossible to eliminate all of it; even the apostles did not always agree) that foolishly divides us. Surely our love of Christ and aikido unites us.
James Chye wrote:
Hi everyone, my name is James Chye, and I'm a Catholic. They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Well, my problem is that I'm a confirmed Catholic and a single male scientist. I guess it really isn't a problem that the right Catholic/Non-Catholic girl couldn't solve. Special thanks goes out to all those who have or are willing to try.
I've been aikidojin and physicist for 14 years now and wish it had been more somehow. I'm not an aikidoka or PhD, but maybe some day I'll take it seriously enough that people will be willing to pay to learn aikido or physics from me (I'm writing my thesis right now). All kidding aside, I can't say that any of these aspects of my life have treated me badly.
So there were questions about being both Catholic and Aikidoka. I'd like to think that I am a scholar. I've studied. In studying I've learned that man is mortal. More astonishingly, I've learned that man is fallible. It is interesting to note that I must assume that woman is no different from man, except of course where she is different.
I would love to discuss or take questions on interactions between Catholicism and aikido. My best advise is much like my wit, short. I suggest you skip to my sig.
If you don't understand it or are still concerned as to whether God/Jesus/The Pope/The Bible/Scripture/Your Priest/Your Mate/Yourself/I feel about you using your Ki/Soul/Breath/Hands/Feet/Head/Brain/Ego/Experience/Words/Holy Spirit in aikido, just remember who goes to bed with you at night and what parts of you can be hidden from scrutiny.
Some things to ponder when considering aikido and Catholicism:
Why are you asking the question?
What would you like the answer to be? Why?
If what you are doing is right/wrong, why aren't you sure it is right/wrong?
What is the expected effect of Confession (formal or informal) of your dealings in aikido? Why is that expected?
Can a pure/impure and/or good/evil thing be turned by the action of man? Why or why not?
If someone doesn't believe you have a soul or ki, how does that change your ability to use them?
If you don't have a soul or ki, how does that change your ability to act as if you do?
Is aikido more effective on Catholics? Catholicism on aikidoka? Why?
Is the danger, in trusting someone else to define the heretical for you, that they could be wrong?
Is the danger, in trusting oneself to define the heretical, that you could be wrong and be labeled a heretic (or be right and be a heretic, until perhaps many years later when not believing your authority is itself heresy)?
Why ask why?
Why ask anything?
What makes you think that there is an answer to a particular question?
August, if you would like to include me in a serious discussion with other Catholic aikidoka, here or offline, I would be honored (and promise to play nicer than I did here thus far, at least, as long as I am able). At the same time, I kind of hope that you stopped looking at this thread days ago. Not just for my own sake...