Mark Uttech wrote:
I disagree again. The primary aim is not protecting yourself. Defending yourself by instinct is a primary natural indulgence. Chimpanzees do it. Other animals do it. Other martial artists do it.
But an aikidoka is a missionary. Everything becomes part of the practice. Takemusu Aiki, and so forth and so on. Aikido continually returns to the question: "Now what?"
I don't see the two paragraphs as representing mutually exclusive concepts. Protecting the self, for example, is what allows a mother to raise her offspring and for other protectors of life to continue protecting life. It's from this that I think self-preservation has become such a deeply engrained instinct. The basis of every group (whether it be species, phylum, culture, nuclear family, or whatever) is the individual. This doesn't mean the individual always takes precedence over the group, but I do think it means we can't imply self-preservation is inferior or otherwise less evolved.
You seem to be saying there is a significant distinction between protectig the self and protecting the other. I don't see a distinction between protecting the self and protecting others, when the goal is simply protecting. Using your "now what" example: after I sacrifice myself for the sake of some stranger, for example, and who may be a good or bad person (for lack of better words) who will continue to do good or bad things, the proverbial "now what" question would seem to get the response, "now you cannot protect anyone else, including those you 'know' are going to do good."
I'm not saying one ought never sacrifice, but I don't see it as the better situation to sacrifice the self for the sake of just anyone. If I say protecting the other (any other) is the primary goal (in a context which implies protecting the self is always secondary), it could be that I am in fact harming the greater good which I seek to serve.