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Old 09-26-2005, 12:39 AM   #75
Erick Mead
 
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
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Re: Omoto-kyo Theology

Thank you David for the quote of Abe Sensei. He sums up my enterprise : "Anyone who delves deeply into this budo, which we have inherited from O-Sensei, will eventually enter a religious realm."

I want to take on Shaun's invitation and flow from what David has provided.

"Story at the mythological time in Kojiki … is our back bone. … read it by way of ‘Kotodama'."

If we accept at face value Abe Sensei's interpretation of O-Sensei's project, a project that O-Sensei himself plainly intended to be carried on after him, we are left with a number of questions that need answering. None of them are simple.

Law is my chosen field, so I will try to do some yeoman work to frame the questions. I have my own ideas about some of the answers.

The first topic for questions is the organizing principle of O-Sensei's program:

In Abe Sensei's "broader sense" we are meant to find in the depths of aikido practice "A sort of Kojiki and a sort of Kotodama." in which "whether it is Christianity, Buddhism, or what have you, essentially they are seeking a single goal."

What is the nature of the single goal?

Is it the goal an effect or a cause?

Or is it more complex, like living things?

A single genotype produces nearly limitless phenotypes, each unique but also functionally equivalent. The phenotype is the necessary condition to transmit the genotype, which also is the necessary condition to produce the phenotype. Chickens, eggs, ... etc. Genotype defines, phenotype expresses.

Based on Abe Sensei's comments, my tentative conclusion is toward the more complex answer. His description of the relationship between Kojiki and kotodama fits this architecture. He seems to say that the elements of the kojiki/kotodama paradigm are available to most any culture. If he is correct, there would have to be to be many possible examples of ur-Kojiki and ur-Kotodama to be practiced. We seem very close in this instance to the archetypes and collective unconscious described by Carl Jung (and presaged by the Gnostics, I might add).

Some more questions on the operative aspects:

What are some examples of a "sort of Kotodama" in terms that are not Japanese?

What is "a sort of Kojiki" in terms that are not Japanese?

How do we identify them if we do not already know what they are?

What is the process by which kojiki and kotodama jointly operate ?

What does the process operate upon?

What is the intended result?

What are the common errors or diversions from the path of O-Sensei's project?

David's quote of Anbe Sensei again:

"If by chance, you are non-Japanese, it is enough that outside of the (physical) techniques there exists some spiritual direction in your mind. If you have incorporated this element (into your training) then you will develop a kind of Aikido."

So a few questions on the nature of these other traditions which have potential for kojiki/kotodama process.

In this light, what is the relationship of other (non-Japanese) traditions to Aikido?

[In other guise, this is the root question about Omoto as it relates to aikido in my view.]

Do they relate in a developmental sense? , i.e. -- are there connections in their history that explain the working correspondences?

[This has been my primary focus of inquiry.]

Do they relate in merely an analogous sense, as similar solutions ot the same essential set of problems?

Does this distinction matter for the future of aikido?

Does this distinction matter for an understanding of the historical and philosophical development of Aikido ?

Is physical practice of aikido enough?

Is the practice of misogi enough?

Is the practice of a particular ur-kojiki/kotodama system enough?

If any one alone is not adequate, in what manner are they best fitted togehert

The Abe Sensei's quote provided by David seems to suggest that the misogi of practice refine the initial trend of the mind/heart, leading it in O-Sensei's path. If he is correct, practice/misogi is essential in some sense.

However, the other portions of the quote suggest that a process of ur-Kojiki/kotodama is available to nearly any culture, and, in some sense, seems necessary to O-Sensei's project as well.

Note that we have not even touched on chinkon kishin, which also has some part to play given the emphasis upon it elsewhere. It played a seemingly larger part of O-Sensei's personal efforts in his latter years.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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