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Old 03-06-2002, 08:56 AM   #4
Ghost Fox
Dojo: Jikishinkan Dojo
Location: New York City (Brooklyn)
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 219
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IMHO

In a purely metaphysical sense nothing has a quality onto itself. There are certain quantifiable facts in the universe, such as the skeletal- muscular limitations that make Nikyo work or the laws behind transferring linear into circular momentum.

Things like beauty, joy, and spirituality are subjective, skewed by the experiences of the observer. They are relative, based upon the observer's interaction with the given experience.

Generally the people raised in a particular culture will share certain values and experiences due to societal and educational programming. The people in this group will tend to view similar events in a similar way.

From a Jungian perspective we are all tied to a collective, (A universal culture if you will.) unconsciousness and therefore share certain common experiences and memories. These collective experiences are extremely general, but they help human beings interact with one another. It acts as a general framework for a group of people to build beliefs, myths and values around. Where a particular culture will see the Virgin Mary as the Divine Mother most every culture has a similar metaphoriem. The specifics are different, but whether it's the Virgin Mary, Auset, etc…the general concept is shared by most every culture. In this case a female through immaculate conception giving birth to a divine being.

The less an idea or art is tied to a specific culture and draws from the collective unconsciousness the more likely that a larger group of people will see it in a similar way. Although Aikido is derived from Japanese fighting arts, there came a point when Aikido became a universal art, "a gift to humankind," as Stevens puts it.

Aikido has dragons and a host of Shinto gods in its cosmological system, but they are meaningless if isolated by themselves. They only have meaning with respect to the cultural mythology from which they were borrowed.
What is truly important, more universal, in Aikido's cosmological framework is the actual movements we learn in studying the art.

The waza disguise a clever metaphysical (psychological/spiritual) programming. A subconscious virus if you will. I believe Ueshiba intentionally or unintentionally hid the true meaning/spirituality of Aikido in these techniques. By constant practice we seed our subconscious's with the ideals of love and harmony, and by not relying on a religious paradigm Aikido becomes accessible to people outside of the culture it was created.

If you come to Aikido with at least a neutral stance, I believe that in time it will become spiritual for you. If you come with malice and the desire to do harm, I believe that one will either end up leaving the art or leaving the malice behind. I have personally seen people come to Aikido with a lot of anger issues (Pot calling kettle come in kettle. ), and leave the art after they are unable to receive the "satisfaction" that they are looking for.

(Man, I really have to lay of those Joseph Campbell Specials on PBS.)
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