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Old 09-13-2005, 08:12 AM   #37
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,616
Re: Omoto-kyo Theology

David Valadez wrote:

Like I said, you need the evidence to show intent not possibility.
Then again, there is a very good chance that you have put all of your eggs in a basket that is made up of a backwards argument: Today, Aikido is taught all over the world; being all over the world, it must contend with different cultural discourses in order to remain meaningful; Aikido was created by Osensei; Therefore, Osensei designed Aikido to be beyond all cultural discourses; Therefore, Osensei had to first move beyond his own cultural discourse; Therefore, Osensei had to demythologize Aikido/Omoto-kyo.

I get it. However, going backwards like this never makes for good history, as one is sure to miss all of the relevant discontinuities - which I feel you have - for the sake of recognizing the present in the past.
The problem you identify is known as "stacking inferences." Ordinarily, it is admissible to infer one fact from given evidence that will support it, but not admissible to make a further inference from the fact thus inferred. This is as impermissible in my field of law, as it is in academic arguments, where I suspect your chief efforts lie.

Respectfully, I have not done this. It is fair to say you remain unpersuaded. It is not correct to say that my argument is unsupported or fallacious.

My conclusion flows from two prongs of argument, independent and mutually corroborating. The first prong is the evidence of what O-Sensei did, and the further fact of what those student he directly taught did in turn. This is action with meaningful content, what we lawyers like to call res gestae. This is probative evidence of intent, precisely because usually one does what one intends to do. The desired consequence of an act may or not be achieved as contingency dictates, but the intent to do the thing immediately done speaks for itself.

O-Sensei taught many students Aikido. To my knowledge, I have never seen evidence that he failed to advance a student of aikido because the student was insuffciently founded in Omoto, or indeed had any knowledge of it at all. After some considerable time knocking around the aikido world, from ASU, Federation, Iwama
a little Yoshinkan and Ki society, I have yet to here of such a case.
O-Sensei selected the methods in which he instructed his students.
He could easily have made a grounding in Omoto a condition of his grant authority to teach. He did not.

If O-Sensei had cared care that his aikido students transmit an understanding of Omoto, he took no care to ensure they were trained in it before they were authorized to teach aikido. Thus the contrary inference of intent, that he wanted Omoto to follow aikdo is not supported by evidence from which it may be inferred, and is not admissible.

It is therfore permissible to conclude from this evidence and argument, at a single level of inference, his intent on this point: that he did not intend for Omoto theology to follow his aikido.

A different argument can be framed from his statements and about the desired conseuqences of his teaching. As with the res gestae argument where it is possible that the ultimate consequnces is not intended, while the immediate act is, similarly with stated intent. It is possible that his means were ill-fitted to his desired ends, and that his immediate intent in teaching was ill-conceived to effect the conditions necessary to achieve it.

The citations of the doka and other statements that I provided, indicate an O-sensei's desire that the aikido that he taught be able to function in and among the various cultures of the world. He taught his students with this thought in mind. I have shown with but one permissible inference, that he did not condition the teaching of aikido on the teaching or knowledge of Omoto.

I have shown by his stated intent that he desired the ultimate consequence of aikido's success throughout the world that has been to a degree achieved by those students.

O-Sensei's statement to Andre Nocquet about whether he should remain Christian is probative on this poitn, as he could told that man he could not practice aikido without believing in Omoto. He did not do this. Andre Nocquet recounts: in Aikido Journal #85 (1990)

"Ueshiba Sensei had a great deal of respect for Christ. I was living in a four-mat room in the dojo and he would knock on the door and enter. He would sit down beside me and there was a portrait of Jesus Christ. He would place his hands together in a gesture of respect. I asked him one day if there wasn't a similarity between his prophecies and those of Christ. He answered, "Yes, because Jesus said his technique was love and I, Morihei, also say that my technique is love. Jesus created a religion, but I didn't. Aikido is an art rather than a religion. But if you practice my Aikido a great deal you will be a better Christian"

And in this same article Nocquet recounts a spiritual crisis of his own, resolved neatly by O-Sensei himself:

Doka 8

Shin no bu wa True bu[dō]
fude ya kuchi niwa cannot be described
subekarazu by the brush or the mouth
kami wa yurusazu kami will not allow you
to rely upon words!

Doka 9

Aiki towa Aikido (its mysteries)
fude ya kuchi niwa can never be encompassed
tsukusarezu by the brush or by the mouth
kotobure sezuni Do not rely on words to grasp it
satori okonae Attain enlightenment through practice

And Doka 42

Bu to wa ie Bu[dō] --
koe mo sugata mo no voice, no form,
kage mo nashi no shadow
kami ni karete Question kami as you like
kotau subenashi but there is no reply.
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