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Old 01-21-2006, 10:46 PM   #32
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Dojo: Houston Ki Aikido
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Join Date: Aug 2000
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Re: Senshin Center's Exchange "Arriving"

David Valadez wrote:
Independence understood as utilizing self-reliance for ascetic or ascetic-like reasons is hardly a Western and/or Modern notion. There is a long list of noteworthy and beloved personalities in Japanese cultural history for example - e.g. Ikkyu, Ryokan, etc. Japanese and Chinese history are filled with these type of folks. The independence that these kind of people demonstrated had hardly anything to do with Jeffersonian Independence and/or individualism, etc. Same word, different heart, different meaning, different means, different end.
I find these notions of independence just as romantic and fictional as the Jeffersonian idea of individualism. There is little virtue in asceticism except if you live in a culture wealthy enough to allow you the luxury of it. Self-reliance is a virtue itself that need not be utilized for anything else. A two year old may need to go through forms of denial to claim it's notion of independence, but a mature human being while expressing in action virtues such as self-reliance should be self-aware to really know and see through the illusion of independence in whatever form a culture has defined the notion in its stories.

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