Originally posted by Thalib
Now I see what you mean by differing between an Aikidoka and a martial artist.
I see most of the aikidokas leave the mat and forget all that they have learned. It is amazing to go into a changing room with other aikidokas. Some of the technically strongest, more radiant aikidokas almost shrink when they are off the mat. Their posture slumps, there ki becomes withdrawn, they become confrontational with others.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying go out into the world and strike someone down if they don't get out of your path like the samurai of old. I am saying be humble but strong.
I've lived on the mean streets of Brooklyn almost all my life. I'm not a big dog, not by a longshot. I don't go around stompin' on other people. I keep my head down and try to live my life in a peaceful and helpful way. But I carry my aikido on the street, and people sense it. The sense my Zanshin, my awareness. They sense my martial intent. They know I'm a lion not a sheep. I have nothing to prove I keep walking and they let me pass. Unfortunately most victims of violent crimes carry themselves like victims.
Most aikidokas off the mat don't carry themselves like martial artist.
Your analogy of the lion as a "martial animal" interests me. But it is still an animal nonetheless. We humans are blessed/cursed with strong emotions. It is our strongest yet it is our weakest.
Well, I personally think that 95% of the people in this world are no better than human animals (Myself included, although I'm raging against the dying of the light). A human being is a right you earn by years of constant struggle and dedication to becoming a human being. A child when it is born has infinite potential, but it is initially just an animal or should I say acting solely out of the animal (animus/anima) part of its spirit. It is by being in a healthy and safe societal structure that it learns to embrace its higher spiritual faculties (Intellect, Love, Mercy, Justice, Balance, etc…).
Animals have emotions (feelings); they care about their masters, the members of their packs. They feel sadness when someone close to them die, and anger at someone who hurts one of their own. Emotions are nothing but a combination of biochemical and psychic responses to a situation, an impulse a force.
A human being on the other hand has to option to exercise "free will". They can decide to act from their baser instincts (R-complex in the brain) or from the divine shard (soul). They can decide to do what's right. For the most part people don't exercise free will, what they do is rationalize desires/emotions.
Unfortunately in the "modern/civilized" world (and I use the term very loosely) we live in a society where the consumer is king. Were we are bombarded with an endless stream of mass media hype. We are taught to embrace/channel our wants into mass consumption, keeping up with Mr. Ms. Jones. Spiritual and personal development is almost nonexistent. What matter is producing better citizens (by that I mean better consumers), new cogs for the ever expansive machine (Coming to an "underdeveloped" country near you, to destroy your happy and yet "wrong" way of life.)
(Okay Mr. Lost lets step of the soapbox slowly and quietly and we can give you a nice new jacket and show you to your new padded room.)
Warriors and heroes? I know my heart cries out, but my body lays still.
Peace and blessings.