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Old 09-20-2005, 11:21 PM   #68
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 498
Omoto-kyo Theology... Relevant?

David Valadez wrote:
Hi Shaun,

Thanks for writing.

On some historical points:

I think you are either overstating what folks have been saying about the historical significance of Omoto-kyo or understating the implication of your statements made thus for OR that you and I can agree on the position that all of this stuff has to be considered if one wants to do a history of the Founder (which may itself be irrelevant to one's actual practice). I'm going to opt to go with the latter position if you don't mind, so we can move forward.
Hi David,

I am in the middle of writing a long (okay, very long-winded) reply to Erick's last post, but I wanted to respond to yours as quickly as I could, so I am taking a break long enough to post this. I liked your point with regards to a history of O-Sensei and the possible irrelevance of such a history outside of ones training. That is an important point to delineate, if you meant it in the way that I read it.
David Valadez wrote:
I agree with much of what you say here, however, where I part is over the type of significance you give to the Founder and/or to his path when it comes to defining things, events, paths, etc. This is read by me in the phrases you use, like, "Osensei defined Aikido..." "In seeking Osensei...(outside of historical investigations)," "According to the Founder...," etc.
Of course, you are entitled to do just this, or even completely invalidate the Founder completely if you like. I have already seen that done in many dojos. All one needs to do is walk into any Aikido dojo and see whose picture is up on the wall, and whose is not. Personally, I have no problem with that (i.e. as Ueshiba O-Sensei's art is separate from Daito-Ryu) as long as the name is changed to indicate such a separation. However it is when both are simply called Aikido that I see a contemporary marketing issue - one for the scholars and academics to revel in and argue over - where the students think they are studying one thing (the art of the Founder), but in actuality are studying something else entirely.
David Valadez wrote:
Here's an exact example: "Well, as for the first, according to the Founder, winning and losing are not part of the Aikido praxis, either on the physical or spiritual plain. So once again, I would have to wonder as to the relevance of that path. Having said that, I certainly would agree that the techniques (the waza itself) must be martially viable - just not in terms of victory or defeat."
Well I will let that point stand, as you can not be dealing with O-Sensei's art and disqualify the point made without contemplating changing the name and putting your own picture on the wall. I am all for that, so no worries. Again, anyone is free to do what they will, but be honest with the students. That is all I ask.
David Valadez wrote:
Where I part is where you determine relevance by what the Founder said or did - where you look at one path and then look at what the Founder did, and if that first path is different from how you see the Founder (or even from how it is), you come to determine the former as irrelevant and/or suspect for relevance.
Yes, I would have to say that one needs to do this at every turn. However, one quickly realizes that as ones idea of what the Founder was doing changes based upon training or on some new information direct from someone close to the Founder, one has to look back on what one validated or invalidated. In short, be open to something being it, and not being it at any given moment.
David Valadez wrote:
That is where you and I part in our opinions. I have chosen not do that. I have my reasons for not doing that - just as you have your reasons for doing that. These reasons are different from each other.

thanks so much for the reply,
take care,
I am sure we would both agree that:
  • Opinions are like a$$holes, everybody has one.


  • Not everyone's reasons can be considered reasonable within the context of the stated goal.


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