I love the techniques
I love the subtlety of aiki
I love the art
I live by the philosophy
I just cannot get into the spiritual side of it. I don't believe in the kami and/or the gods of war. Dragons and spirits are things that I read in mythology and they all remain in the book after I read them. The universe to me consist of galaxies, interstellar dust clouds, planets, cosmic rays, space debris, comets, moons, etc. The universe to me does not have any consciousness.
I believe in ki as intention. I cannot measure ki as energy. Ironically I sort of believe in ki. Maybe I am just running on faith on this one.
As an aikidoka do we also have to embrace the almost religious aspect of our beloved art. Because like my teachers and my classmates I am a skeptic on the spiritual side of aikido. Because so far my aikido remained the same even though I haven't communucated with any Kami
Important distinction in my opinion, spiritual does not equal religious. You can be spiritual and not religious. Religion indicates membership or association with some type of group that has a certain set of beliefs. You can have individual spiritual beliefs and not be part of an organized group.
Again I will say "in my opinion" you don't have to subscribe to shinto beliefs to do aikido. I do think that in order to really understand the art with any depth you must at least know the roots of where it comes from. If you don't know something how can you hope to understand it? I also sense a bit of mockery when you describe aspects of shinto. I don't know if this is out of ignorance or fear? No one says you have to be shinto, but you should at least understand where they are coming from.
I just cannot get into the spiritual side of it
To me these two statements totally contradict each other. How can you live by a philosophy when you reject the very tenants it's based on?
Just some thoughts.......-Mindy-