David Orange wrote:
Regardless of how you technically translate "ai" in "aikido," there's no question that Morihei Ueshiba spent a lot of time promoting the idea that aikido is an art of love and harmony of the universe. I think that's how it gets translated as "Way of Harmony."
And not only Ueshiba, but apparently people like Sagawa were promoting this idea. I got this quote from a post on e-budo. Supposedly, Sagawa had a scroll in his dojo reading:[snip]
David, there is a whole "way of life" reflected in that writing that says a very common thing within Asian (particularly Chinese) culture. There is an Order to the universe and the ideal is to do things such that the laws of the universe are met with a harmony, not a conflict. I.e., the idea of "harmony with the universe" is not a behavioural admonition in itself, but part of a general idea of doing everything in accord with "Nature" and without conflict. If you have a martial art that specifically says you do things in "harmony", etc., you are setting yourself up as "doing the correct thing in our traditional philosophy"; i.e., you are justifying what you do as being only correct.
You should move in the "natural" way (which is where the kokyu/ki/jin idea comes in). This is where you'll see the justification for cultivating your ki and jin powers... you can spot it usually in the term "cultivation". Doing qi etc., exercises is considered to be a bona fide and important part of the whole "self cultivation" thing.
My point being that a universal cosmological concept that generally drives Asian philosophy, in important segments, should not be construed as being in congruence with the "peace, love, and harmony" in the PepsiCola Song. It's a specific idea and usually you'll find the ki/kokyu things in there and, voila', those same ki/kokyu things are the basis of Ueshiba's art, Sagawa's art, and so on. If you look in O-Sensei's douka, he repeatedly uses the ancient terms and admonitions and points to them as being the heart of Aikido, thus justifying his art as indeed a superior art, blessed by the gods, etc.