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Old 07-22-2005, 10:33 AM   #81
Drew Scott
Dojo: Chicago Aikikai
Location: Chicago
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 34
United_States
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
Here's a stab at returning this back to topic - which has already been requested (rightly so) a couple of times...
[snip]
When we buy into notions of "Ki as the Force" (and any such similar understandings of Ki) we are actually lusting after power and/or failing to reconcile our own will to power (i.e. to seek dominance over others). We thus come to be preoccupied with manners by which we can accumulate more power for ourselves and spend less time cultivating a self that can offer service (i.e. the practice of love and compassion) to others. This happens, in my opinion, because the lust for such power is ultimately an act of egocentricism, which is the exact opposite of what it takes to follow the Way of Christ: Acts toward the cultivation of selflessness.
While the behavior you describe would indeed be detrimental and contrary to most interpretations of the teachings of Christ, I think it's a bit of a leap to say "if you are attempting to cultivate this power, then you are engaging lustfully in an egocentric pursuit of power over others". This is akin to saying that since Aikido is training which allows you to thwart the goals of an attacker, it follows that all Aikido practice is an egocentric exercise of power over others. Power, and the development/pursuit of it, has no inherent morality. The application of developed power is where the morality of the WIELDER is expressed.
Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
As a Christian (i.e. a follower of Christ) we should ask, "What does it value my soul to be able to have my arm go unbendable?" "How will this make more capable of practicing Love and Compassion?"
If my practice of Love and Compassion includes protecting the helpless and thwarting the efforts of those who would inflict suffering on others, and my study of "Ki Power" furthers my ability to do so, then it values my soul by increasing my ability to fulfill the mandates of a good Christian life. The stronger I become, in any way, the more strength I have to extend to others in need. Why reject one form of strength and accept another?
Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
For me, such things are of no value to all. They are of no value at all because they do not partake of a spirituality that is social in nature (that possesses within it the intimacy necessary to relate to another - be that other God, Christ, or Man).
Again, I would argue that the proof of such spirituality is in the *application* of whatever power is gained from these exercises, not in the exercises themselves.
Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
Or, for me, such things remain of superstition because they are more of ego gratification than of anything else. The difference is this: Christ is the true center, a center in the name of anti-egocentricism. The lust for power over others, or the attraction or pull we feel toward acquiring more Ki (as a power that is only seen or tested via the manipulation of others), or Ki as The Force, is based upon a false center, a center constructed only in the delusion of egocentricism. In this way, the pursuit of Ki or the cultivation of Ki, and thus the supporting beliefs and actions of such an understanding of Ki, can indeed be anti-Christian.
CAN be, for sure. But if trained with a different purpose at heart, they can also simply be the acquisition of more tools with which to further one's efforts to help the world.

Given the motivations you've described, pursuit of Ki power, or physical strength, or financial gain, or yes, perfection of Aikido technique, can all be counter to most interpretations of the teachings of Christ. However, to assign selfish, egocentric motivations automatically to these pursuits, especially if selectively assigned to those you find to be "superstition" or "of no value" seems in itself to be an egocentric act.

Regards,
Drew
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