To Erick and Robert:
Gentlemen, thank you so much for your thoughts and opinions. I see now more clearly where you are coming from, Erick, and I would agree with you on most of your thoughts. The reason that I felt inclined to remark about O'Sensei's thoughts on Jesus is because I hear so many people of false religions always speak of Jesus with "admiration" and "great respect." Well, to be perfectly blunt, who cares? To admire and respect Christ but still not believe that He is God's Son is no more than the demons belief in God. I see what you mean though about the context of what O'Sensei was speaking.
I do believe that Aikido is a direct manifestation of the workings of God. I believe that is what seperates Aikido from all other martial arts, and how it can be treated with so many different views. It's like the parable of the 4 seeds. One seed fell on good soil and blossomed. One seed fell on good soil but was strangled by thorns. One seed fell to the ground and a bird came to devour it, and one seed fell on dry ground with no hope of ever growing. Some folk see aikido and think, "bah! I don't believe it!" Some see it and try but quickly leave. Others see it and stay for a while, but eventually get corrupted because of it's awesome power, and a seldom few ever reach the higher levels of what it was inteded to be.
To Robert I say this:
You are correct in your statements, except, in my opinion, about zen. The reason I think this way is because with The Spirit of Christ living and residing in your soul, you should always be perfect, just like Jesus is...because that's His domain now. But why aren't we (Christians)? Because of our flesh that our souls are still residing in. The concept of zen is not bound to Eastern philosphies, as the Isrealites practiced zazen meditaition. With the zen concept, you are allowing your true self (which is Christ- Galations 20: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.) to manifest itself through your body, your thoughts, your actions...instead of having "worldy thoughts." Your struggles with sin become less of a struggle, because your selfish natural mind is no longer selfish...because it is not you who is living at all. It's Jesus! This can be a very touchy and dangerous concept for those who do not know the Lord personally, as it can leave them wide open for demonic influences...but when Jesus lives in you, you are empty-ing what has already been crucified- the flesh!
Just my thoughts...anxious to hear yours