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Old 12-14-2006, 08:02 AM   #74
Erick Mead
 
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
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Re: For Ted Ehara - Boundary of your aikido?

Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
However, with philosophy and religion, you can change and warp words to mean anything you want to mean.
Actually, no you can't, not unless one is intentionally sloppy about defining one's terms, or departs from traditional meanings without saying so. Which is admittedly a problem with many modern philosophers and religious, but not with philosophy or religion themselves.
Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
Look at the church. 99% of all Christians I know pick parts of the bible that support their positions, and ignore the parts that do not.
Only those that do not have an authoritative understanding of the tradition that both created that text and that continues serves as its interpretive foundation. Orthodoxy and Catholicism (together, 1.3 billion people or so, ~20% of the population of the planet) do not have that particular problem.
Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
I think the same is true of aikido. They pick the part that supports their position, and ignore the things that make them uncomfortable. The problem is there is no way to really know what someone means when they same something spiritual or philosophical.
Yes, there is. And the solution is the same. There is a stream of tradition that lies behind everything that O Sensei taught. That tradition informs the meaning of all the terms he used. You can find ways to interpret them in modern terms and find direct connection to modern observations by understanding those traditions faithfully from their sources. It just takes time and honest attention to the subject matter.
Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
If I said "I am like the willow, dancing in the wind as the universe flows around me." you would be hard pressed to really know what i'm talking about.
Let me preface with a bit of Western tradition:
Quote:
Ecclesiastes:1:6,9. wrote:
"The wind blows to the south, and goes round to the north; round and round goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns. ... What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.
Actually, your quote is a paraphrase of Lieh-tzu from the Classic of Perfect Emptiness, in which he describes the experience of enlightenment.

A similar paraphrase of Lieh-Tzu was recently used by Wash Hoburn, the pilot in Joss Whedon's film "Serenity."

"I am a leaf on the wind. Watch me soar." He repeats it (far more ironically) when he comes to ground.

The translation of the original is
Quote:
Lieh-tzu wrote:
My mind was frozen, my body in dissolution, my flesh and bones all melted together. I was wholly unconscious of what my body was resting on, or what was under my feet. I was borne this way and that on the wind, like dry chaff or leaves falling from a tree. In fact, I knew not whether the wind was riding on me or I on the wind.
There is plenty to comprehend from these, together or in isolation.
Quote:
Don Magee wrote:
I find O Sensei's writings (The small amount I've been exposed too) to be just as cryptic and sometimes even express opposite viewpoints to his previous work.
Try spending some more time with the source material and you will see that, in fact, he meant and said a great deal of useful and specific stuff for the practice of aikido and its ultimate purpose. The paradoxes, too, have their purposes. It's just not a dance instruction manual with numbered footsteps.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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