Thread: Spirituality
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Old 06-23-2006, 11:38 PM   #33
Dojo: Messores Sensei (Largo, Fl.)
Location: Florida
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,267
Re: Spirituality

Erick Mead wrote:
While it is reported that O-Sensei had childhood training in Shingon in Tanabe, which is a form of tantric Buddhism, his emphasis on relating Kojiki and his own Kotodama sytem to his aikido do not support an explicit connection to tantrism. There are deep historical connections between Shingon and Kotodama, it is true, but they are distinct movements in Japan.

Tough criterion when dealing with Osensei, as has been widely acknowledged. In Osensei's thought, one thing is constantly taken to be something else, "I am the universe," e.g. Whether the mountain is the Lotus Sutra or aikido is Kojiki's gods, the pattern is the same. This is how I put it together, anyway.

All human action carries meaning, not just speech, sound or mental image. A converse proposition would be that all meaning may be embodied in human action.
Subject to interpretive training. That's why the first time a Jpn saw chiaroscuro and the handling of light & shadow in Western painting he asked why the subject's face was dirty. This interpretive training is largely absent from aikido. We train. That's body and maybe something of spirit. But the mind probably isn't all that unified with these. The framework for this is absent.

I am of the opinion that precisely this was O-Sensei's spiritual genius moment: to realize that the physical movements of aikido could perform the same metaphysical function ascribed to the physical sounds of kotodama.

I fundamentally disagree with the propostion that the sign does not partake of the signified, and thus all communication is utterly vain...
So...the map IS the territory?

Don't think so myself.

OSensei's form is the content.
Nice aspiration. We disagree as to whether he has actually accomplished this. I don't think so.

Don J. Modesto
St. Petersburg, Florida
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