George S. Ledyard wrote:
In my understanding of musubi, or aiki for that matter, these concepts describe aspects of the relationship between two conscious, alive, energetic systems.
.... The difference is that a human being is conscious and is
directly effected by these things. Aiki is the use of the partner's perceptual sensory system to move his mind and thereby get him to move his body. Musubi is the connection that is required to accomplish this.
I don't relly disagree about those higher-order descriptions of interaction between living systems. I would however contend that musubi covers a broad range from simple physical connection at one end to those more energetic connections at the other, all the way up to "spooky action at a distance."
But one of the things I find intriguing about aikido is that, depending on the inclinations and capacities of any given individual, where along that continuum the individual is capable of engaging with the practice of "musubi" or "connection" varies widely.
For some people it is rigidly mechanical at the beginning. For others it can be pretty vaprous.
Wherever along the continuum people start out, it seems to me that long-term serious practice and study naturally leads to a broadening of their understanding of "musubi."
Those inclined to the vaprous end up learning about mundane physical connection and vice versa.
The openness of the system in terms of a practitioner's starting point is, and the scalability of the core metaphors are, to my mind, two of its most unusual, if not magical, qualities.