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Old 03-16-2007, 12:03 PM   #73
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,618
Re: When you bow do you worship or just...

David Knowlton wrote: View Post
Our existence is inherently self contradictory.

Are we animals playing at being godly, or are we gods who forgot ourselves?

The symbols of the cross, yin/yang, one pyramid stacked on another at the points (infinity compressed and refocused) all do a nice job of nonverbally representing the contradictions.

If you don't perceive any contradictions - lucky you!

Fundamentally, I believe in a sign of contradiction. Those who so believe, may see more clearly what is actually contradicted, and thereby, not be so easily bound by the (very) real contradictions that they perceive, but to surpass each set of contradictions in turn, seeking a real truth that they only dimly reveal, and which is always beyond them.

This recurrent debate (and objection) is one that is a sign of loss of some basic knowledge about Western traditions.

Dulia is a Greek word in theology that is distinguished from latria. Latria is "worship" given only to God. Dulia, on the other hand, is appropriate to any human being, alive or dead (typically dead), or even worthy inanimate objects. In Classical Latin the term was "servitus." In Classical times that usage elided the distinction made by dulia/latria in Greek. Orthodox theology holds the two are differnet in kind and not in degree. distinction. As early as St. Augustine the two concepts were distinguished. Early Christians failing to render "servitus" to the emperor, for example, were the similarly the cause of much controversy, which may have been as much linguisitic as it was political. It is also partly the reason why the need to distnguish them was more than a matter of mere academic debate.

The most closely related words in English to dulia are veneration or homage.

Dulia or homage can properly be given, in various forms of observance to political superiors, objects of great beauty and reverence, or people of superiror quality, living or dead. All of these are typical of Japanese observances toward kami of various types (including, ironically enough, the Emperor.)

What is done in the dojo is homage paid and nothing more, and need cause no other concern.


Erick Mead
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