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Old 11-15-2005, 03:50 PM   #166
Erick Mead
 
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Re: Aikido and being Christian

Quote:
Matthew Materazzi wrote:
... in my Scriptural opinion [is] that it is impossible to do what Jesus told us to do.
While the text may be inspired, respectfully, I have no evidence that your opinion of it is. That is the reason for the apostolic tradition and the faithful lineage of teaching, yet another aspect of means that Aikido and traditional Christianity deeply share.
Quote:
Matthew Materazzi wrote:
.... He told them that not only would it be impossible for a rich man to enter into heaven, but also if they looked lustfully at a woman, they committed adultery.
This is a point that the late John Paul II dwelt upon, at tremendously detailed length, in his "Theology of the Body." The problem of intention is at the heart of sin as it is at the heart of Aikido. Violence, like lust, occurs. It our intentions that follow from our lustful nature, our violent natures that determine the value of our actions. Desire, an empty quality, desperately waiting to be filled, underlies all sin, and all violence. It also interferes with good Aikido. "Uke did the attack WRONG!! And now I can't do my spiffy iriminage RIGHT!!" [POUT!] Guess what. Uke gets to play too. Share. Iriminage was no longer the technique. Our desire for what is not blinds us to what is actually in front of us.
Quote:
Matthew Materazzi wrote:
thus Christ now lives in us by power of the Holy Spirit, and we do become just like Him, through faith...not our flesh, for that is dead and full of sin...
On this we part company. You describe a heresy known as Manicheism or Catharism which holds that flesh is irredeemably evil. The flesh is not inherently evil, and for which the first scripture suffices to show. (See Genesis:: "He saw that it was good.") Moreover, the flesh is necessary to God's purpose in ways that are mysterious and difficult to fully comprehend. Else the Incarnation ("enfleshing" "embodiment") would be irrelevant.
Quote:
Matthew Materazzi wrote:
Morihei Ueshiba believed that it was a matter of the flesh as well as the spirit, baptizing himself daily and performing the aikido ritual to perfect himself, while denying that Jesus was God, and He alone could save. This is actually blasphemy, my friend.
O-Sensei said no such thing. It betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the function of misogi to believe otherwise. Asceticism simply means adherence to discipline. Whether it be medieval hairshirts, Baptists refraining from strong drink and dancing, or Shinto winter waterfall misogi or chinkon kishin, these are disciplines. They are means, not ends in themselves. The Sabbath was made for Man, not Man for the Sabbath. These are tools by which the spirit is used to master and rein the flesh to good purpose, not to destroy or denigrate the flesh as evil. Flesh is innocent, spirit is also, unless we choose otherwise. The mind that directs is guilty as it chooses, not merely as the body does.
Aikido is such a discipline. So is the Rosary for God's sake. Or memorization of the quoted text of the Bible for that matter.
Quote:
Matthew Materazzi wrote:
"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." ... Matthew 10:34-36)
This is the precise paradox in which Christianity and Aikido have so much in common. they share a reverence for the means of a very militant pacifism, at the very least, and the proximate ends they have in mind, if not the ultimate ones.

Turning the other cheek -- wielding not peace but a sword. Christianity and Aikido both serve to deal with either one at need.

Jesus describes the pregnant tension of human existence, waiting expectantly to bear forth either a wonder or a horror.

Let it be a wonder. Your choice.

Cordially,
Erick Mead
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