Ron Tisdale wrote:
So you may have these phrases passed down in items like the Kojiki, or other texts, and Ueshiba would have gotten this exposure there.
I believe even in shinto in general, you can see influences from mainland culture and cosmology...but that is really a discussion for the scholars, which I am not.
Curse the B.A. in East Asian studies (big breath now,) ::
Taoist Confucianism came to Japan in the fifth century, two or three hundred years before the components of the Kojiki were being sytematically written down. The wuji -taiji system (Tai Ji - Liang Yi- Si Xiang-Ba Gua) underlies the Ichirei Shikon Sangen Hachiriki system with the notable distinction of Sangen (three forms) versus Liang Yi (two powers). "Two becomes three" process theology has an exceedingly broad and deep lineage.
We do not have good evidence as to any precursor manuscripts of the Kojiki, almost all of which were likely lost in the wars of the landed nobility against the militant temples. The present text of the Kojiki dates from the eighth century. Needless to say, it had no footnotes or bibliography.
There is far less culturual isolation in the world from a very early period than some histories would have you believe. The Tao Te Ching lays out this same process philosophy (Tao begets One, the One begets Two, Two begets three, and Three begets the ten thousand things.) "Two becomes three" trinitarian process philosophy in Taoism is related to the development of Maitreyan trinitarian ideas (Trikaya = three bodies or forms) along the Silk road in the third century. Gandhara (Kandahar in Afghanaistan) and Bamian (the blown up buddhas) were primary Hellenic Buddhist centers. The extreme similarity of Trikaya doctrine to Christian trinitarian incarnationalism speaks for itself, and the Christian triniatrian ideas have Hellenic (and Semitic) precursors. Direct parallels lie between these and the Kojiki's creational trinity, Amenominakanushi no kami, Takamimusubi no kami, and Kamimusubi no kami.
Maitreya Buddha is expressly messianic, the first soteric (savior) image in Eastern religious thought, thought to have developed in the firts century, as is Amida (ca. 2d century). Maitreya is seen in China as early as the third century. Amida is seen in China somewhat later. Amida and the ever popular Guanyin/Kwannon are often depicted in a trinity with Seishi (Dai Shi ZhI (e.g. -- (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:C...e_bouddha.jpg)
The Amida's Pure Land paradiase is almost surely Persian in origin, as is the word "paradise."
The lineage of savior traditions has Non-Christian Hellenic and Semitic roots. These may have a direct common source in Persian Zoraoastrianism (or indirectly through Mithraism). Persian culture still maintains its distinctive attachment to savior theology even under Islam, as witness the Shi-ite belief in the Mahdi oir Mehdi, the mysteriously hidden Twelfth Imam whose reappearence will signal the final struggle and saving of all believers. Kojiki Shinto has Suwano as a strong parallel to this line of savior theology.
Lao-tse is dated to sometime in the fourth century. He legendarily passed out of all knowledge in China into the West on his blue ox. Hellenic and Christian thought influenced Taoist and Indian Buddist teaching going east, both of which were passing together over the Silk Road to China between the first and sixth centuries. Not well-enough known is the fact that the first written Mongolian is transcribed in a vertically oriented (Chinese style) Aramaic script (that's what Jesus spoke).
The most notable modern exponents of this long tradition in process thought in the West have been Alfred North Whitehead, Bertrand Russell and more recently, although few know it, Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul, II, John Paul was a well-regarded philosopher in phenomenology before he became Pope.
Later Japanese systemization of the Kojiki Shinto attempted to "purge" it of "foreign" elements and interpretations under the Kokugaku (National Studies) in the nineteenth century. Hirata Atsutane, and Motoori Norinaga, were leading figures in this process and have been recurrently criticized for supposed "Christian" influences (as were others for being too "buddhist".)
But as you see here, the connections are far deeper.