David Valadez wrote:
The whole analogy is suspect to me actually. For example, the fact that you got two sensei using it, two sensei from totally different sides of the Aikido spectrum, etc. - my guess is that this analogy has some history to it. From the looks of it I would place my bet on it having some sort of Confucian origin with new spins given to it in Neo-Confucianism, the Nativistic movement, and then even inside of the WWII political propaganda. It smells of getting the masses to support the elite by telling them how important they are to the overall structure of something. For me, that goes contrary to a practice that is attempting to reconcile the world and to understand everyone and everything as One. That's why I start my own practice and the practice of my deshi from the position that we are all here to be roots. We do this in our own way, at our own pace, but we are all attempting to head in the same direction. It's all about orientation and movement for me.
Ah, but you have a school that is teaching only to be a root.
So, for you, there are no leaves and no branches. I'm not saying this is bad, just that you won't get any students who *want* to be a leaf or a branch.
As for the tree analogy, since I work in the computer field, I look at it this way. I can administer Windows servers. I am not a root level type of person for administration. There are thing in Windows administration that I can not do (example Microsoft Clustering) and I'm just perfectly happy with that realization. I'm probably a branch in the analogy. And happy with that. I have no desire to be a root. As was stated, my priorities are there and being a root-type administrator for Windows just isn't that high. I know it, I accept it, and I never lose sleep over it.
Now, I just overlap that analogy to aikido to help me understand other people's priorities and how they fit in the tree analogy. Me, I want to be a root in aikido and after seeing some of the amazing things, I don't know how others could not want to be a root. We should all strive to be a root. But then I remember Windows administration and it helps me to understand how other people can be perfectly happy with being a leaf or branch.