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Old 01-23-2006, 10:25 AM   #66
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,616
Re: Religion and Aikido

To throw Mark a rope .. common heritage and resonance between faith traditions must be examined and promoted. Those who exploit the differences will prevail if we merely we do nothing.

O-Sensei had some hopes for aikido as a mediating vehicle on a host of such fronts. Certainly, it has affected me in this way. Aiki has taught me that belief is not opposed to belief, however it may appear that way, just as uke is not opposed to nage regardles how strong the attack.

In confilcts bweteen persons we must correct ill- considered conflict with good technique. In conflicts between traditions we must correct ill-considered conflict with good history.

Edwin Neal wrote:
I believe you may be incorrect in your statement that pure land buddhism was NOT influenced by christianity... My main point is that (I believe) there was MUCH more interaction between ancient cultures than most modern scholars believe... remember we are looking back a long time and have little evidence to go on so it is understandable that most scholars are "conservative" in their estimates and beliefs
the "dates" of pure land buddhism in china run from about the first century c.e. thru the 6th c.e. with reference to it originating in India...
Christian trinitarian thought had pagan antecedents in Hellenic Greek philosophy, which developed in Christianity contemporaneously with similar ideas in Pure Land Amidisim (Trikaya theory) that developed along the Silk Road and its side routes into India, also heavily Hellenized in the two centuries before Christ. Bamian, in Afghanistan, where the giant Buddha statues were tragically destroyed by Taliban barbarians was one of these Hellenic-Buddhist centers.

There is a good source for the later Silk Road interactions (ca. 650- 850 a.d.) puts Christians, Shingon and Tendai Buddhism as active contemporaries in Chang'an, the Chinese T'ang capital.
See : "The Jesus Sutras" by Martin Palmer, with good historiography and scholarly primary source translations of Chinese Christian works spanning that period.
The extent of interaction seen in these tyexts from the Christian side in using Buddhist concepts as evangelical material cannot be denied. The suggestion that the same occurred on the Buddhist side is thus bolstered in plausibility if not yet in direct proof.

Some suspect direct interaction between these religious scholars in translating Christian and Buddhist works late out of India, which was at that time simultaneously a Buddhist source region and a Christian source region for the Church of the East cutoff from the West, first by the Byzantine-Persian wars, and then the Arabization of the Islamic conquest.

This discussion is NOTtoo far afield. Shingon was one of O-Sensei's early major influences, and which was deeply involved in the development of Ryobu Shinto cosmology, that underlies the entire doka cycle and O-sensei's more esoteric discussions, which are directly relevant here.

Erick Mead

Last edited by Erick Mead : 01-23-2006 at 10:39 AM.
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