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Old 01-23-2006, 03:39 PM   #70
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

George S. Ledyard wrote:
So Buddhism simply addressed the Four Noble Truths:
1) the Existence of Suffering
2) the Origin of Suffering
3) the Cessation of Suffering
4) the Eightfold Path that leads to the Cessation of Suffering
An observation of which I am fond, and speaks to both Buddhist and Christian (particularly Catholic) traditions:

"Suffering is but the bite of chains binding us to this world."

George S. Ledyard wrote:
Buddhism accepted the entire pantheon contained in Hinduism. ... The reason Buddhism doesn't talk much about the Gods is not that they rejected them but rather that Enlightenment has nothing to do with them.
Hindu teaching shows Brahman identifying with Creation in a fundamental manner -- "Tat vam asi." This thou art.
Christian ideas of Incarnation are not so far removed.
Tantra, from that Hindu tradition, speaks of the nine billion names of God, which is essentially every possible name.
Jews scruple with even writing the Name of God, which is: "I AM."
The Way that can be named is not the eternal Way.

Definition on our part is an imposed limitaiton and accommodation to a reality profoundly beyond us. We should explore freely the spiritual traditions of the world, whatever our own tradition, without abandoning the special meaning our own tradition has to us and the crucial foundation that such familiarity allows. The unfamiliarity of many today in their own tradition, or any tradition, is unsettling and dangerous for them.

I for one am fascinated by the circumstantial evidence of connections between different systems of spiritual understanding historically. But, Christianity is an historically mediated faith. This is understandable from that context. Other traditions will approach from a different perspective and further enrich understanding.

Thus, it is important to restore relevant connections that help me and others to grasp more of of O-Sensei's own understanding of the often quite esoteric things he related. That these ideas they are difficult, recondite, even, is but a challenge, not an excuse. If we dismiss them, we dismiss him, and the power and durability of his physical Art, even after passing through many hands, demands otherwise.

Erick Mead
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