Re: quickness & accuracy
Perfect Larry! That is exactly what I was trying to say - you have summarized it better than I ever could. Thanks for doing that.
What makes forms problematic is not that we train in them slowly or quickly, softly or hard, but that they are part of a larger process (i.e. the transmission of material) that itself is very likely to capitalize upon our nature to self-delude. In other words, forms in their nature create a distance from reality that we may compound with our inherent "drive" to be distant from reality. If we practice rougher or softer, forms do not become any closer to reality since they regardless remain not of reality. If we practice rougher or softer, our tendency toward self-delusion remains equally inherent to our humanity. Where this IS effected, or where this can be effected in terms of our own time is not in the mechanics of these inner structures but rather in the context in which most of us are likely to have them function. That is to say, once everything is stripped down to the inherent nature of forms (to not be of reality) and to where we are dealing with our inherent nature (to self-delude), self-honesty is what is needed. However, we usually have a bunch of stuff on top before we even get to this final bastion. There is a bunch of social and/or cultural forces involved that today goes with forms training, and this context (because it is a context) is indeed a thing particular to our time.
What is this context that helps us to NOT reconcile both forms' and our own distance from reality? It is a context made up of many things -- all things that are prime for us to use as distractions to keep us from gaining clarity and to be satisfied as we are employing these distractions. When you combine this satisfaction with our tendency to self-delude (i.e. we are satisfied being distracted from gaining clarity at the same time that we see ourselves as not being distracted) -- ouch! The chances then of employing self-honesty in the way that it was meant to be employed do seem to become statistically smaller. What are these distractions we face today? Here are some possible ones: training that is geared toward the accumulation of forms, variations of forms, and a pedigree of form. This can, in my opinion, mean that things like seminars, tests, camps, rank requirements, federation loyalties, etc., can be part of the problem and not part of the solution. This may also mean that notions that place breadth over depth can also be problematic -- which in turn would mean that favoring to have many teachers over one may be problematic, etc. If we do look at our training today, it is true that our time is marked by such notions (i.e. tests, seminars, camps, federation loyalties, rank requirements, breadth over depth, many teachers over one, etc.). Every culture, every time, is spiritually faced with its own distractions -- these seem to be ours. Are they more in number or more potent in essence -- I honestly cannot say. In addition, I do not really feel that we have to be able to say. Why? Because the solution remains the same -- the solution is eternal: self-honesty. The person responsible for this self-honesty remains the same: each one of us.
Oh -- if we would all read Benedict's rules -- I think the world of Aikido would change greatly. Thanks for the inspiration, I must go and re-read my copy again.
Many thanks for sharing your mind with me,