Mike Sigman wrote:
I think "blenderized" is a good term for what I notice in the religion-related maunderings of Ueshiba's writings. There is a very noticeable admixture of Shinto and Buddhism along with Chinese cosmology.
Speaking of "blenderized", I wonder how strong the translations of "peace and love" would have been if more of the translators had understood the "harmony with/of the universe" idea in the context of Chinese cosmology which stresses the importance of a Way of no conflict with the physical laws?
Don't get me wrong. Omoto was simply a less discriminating syncretic effort than that of Neo-Confuciuanism, Ryobu Shinto or others (even Kokugaku). Its emphasis was on heart not logic. That syncretic tendency underlies much of spiritual thinking in the East, and most strongly in Japan.
Our analytic preferences pervade our theology to a fault as the synthetic preferences of the Japanese pervade theirs.
As to "peace/love," try reading "A Terrible Love of War" by James Hillman (2004). I don't agree with everything he concludees at the end, but his observations of the relationship between love and ferocious martial spirit are profound -- as well as disturbing.
He does much to make O-Sensei's point (Budo = Love) much more comprehensible to typical Western sensibility, without ever even mentioning aikido.