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Old 08-01-2005, 03:21 PM   #36
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 59
Re: Does Budo require a sense of shame?

David, I am still digesting. I have some notions of "duty" and "responsibility," and shame as something measured against "what could be" rather than "what should be", but I can't get a handle on it.
Let me just answer this for now: I agree that not everything should be "good enough" (at least that's what I understand you to say at this point). I have a child, and that is what keeps me wondering about and examining everything. I may indeed dabble in aikido, and that's good enough for my purposes; I do not dabble in parenting. This is a conscious choice I am making that is relevant for me and my situation. It is not a choice that everybody makes. Indeed, not everyone makes a choice.

As to the notion of "true self" and "sense of self" - the distinction confuses me: we all know the person who lacks situational awareness and who may well think they're God's gift to mankind while everybody avoids them, but where lies the "true self" in that? To compensate for the "bad things" that you don't understand and do not have the tools to change by glazing "good" over it makes for basic survival - I think - and is a fairly common strategy. Can you live with yourself if you're an asshole? I don't know how, but people do it all the time. Why people are unable to see it, or unable to affect change if they do, is not, I think, tied to a lack of concern or shame, but rather the lack of impetus and the tools to do so. This is not a problem of modernity, it's a matter of circumstance. How you as "the other" choose to deal with it is the other side of the coin, of course. I think that's why I've got "responsibility" on my mind - to yourself and others. Let me think some more...

How this relates to budo/training I am not sure. All I know is I would not be as happy with my dojo if there was an overt expectation that I use aikido to examine myself and my motives directly. For me, that is just not the setting. That we do pick up on things and discuss such issues periodically and generally - such as impatience - is a benefit, but it is subtle and not directly pursued in class. Training to me is energy and joy, it fuels my day. My child gives me energy and joy and anxiety and thoughts and wishes and ideals and lots of things to struggle with and discover.
Okay, that was longer than I intended. I've printed out your last post and will study it further. Great mind-mover, this one.
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