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Old 06-14-2007, 04:17 PM   #14
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Re: Analytic Anger and Frustration in Training

Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
Re: acceptance = sublimation. I don't necessarily agree. ... Many people automatically objectify these things that are difficult to live with, seeming to breathe their own separate life into them, so that (metaphorically) they seem to stand next to the person. This has the result of setting it up as a tangible something that can be opposed (I'm struggling against it...I'm trying to overcome it...). It also gives enormous power to that anger, fear, whatever.
The issue of objectification is key to the study's observation -- as well as Larry's point about training (which I will address below).

Analytic thinking works on objective entitiesconstrianed by externalities. Intuitive thinking deals in organic wholes as internally motivated subjective entities -- literally -- "to see in," "insight." Most of the time, we wander around with muddled mixes of objective and subjective thinking in our heads. We anthropomorphize animals or even objects that are not living, which is a sort of a tendency to subjectification, but only to a degree. They have two general tendenices, one of which is affirming and the other of which is negating, but neither is really apart from the other. (In-yo, go figure).

Intuition is seeing and affirming in one moment the actuality, the whole of the situation. Analysis is negating:: "Eliminate the impossible and whatever remains however improbable is true." The critical question is what is that very sharp tool is serving to negate. In other words: What am I choosing to directing my destructive anger towards? If it is not spent it will pile up on me. So it needs a proper target so as not to become unmanageable.

The objectification/subjectification process can be means to project our own trivial subjective feelings onto those entities, considered as objects. In the worst sense, this becomes a puerile deflection of our fears/desires onto external objects (trying to disown that part of ourselves), or conversely a manipulation of those entities as objective tools to serve my fears or desires (trying to own them), even the human ones. In that way we enlarge our own sense or image of self only by negating the self-hood of others or by negating the actuality of our own.

Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
... "acceptance"of, say, my anger does not mean "I like being angry and you'd better learn to live with my anger". It means that I understand it is an integral part of me right now, not some external thing for me to struggle against, and that because it is also only one part of who I am, I have a say in how I respond to this part of me.
When I was a teenager I realized that I was angry all the time and that I didn't know what to do with the anger. I was able to start figuring out how to accept living with anger as part of me, and suddenly I wasn't hardly angry anymore....I don't think of it as sublimation, I think of it as learning other responses, learning to be a different person.
Or maybe to conceive of myself as a larger person. Or of Self as larger than me, even if only dimly and intuitively.

But there is a different way of subjectifying the world -- the one illustrated by Christ, Buddha, O Sensei and any number of other people who have exemplified this to greater or lesser degree. "Love your neighbor as yourself." Not self-denying -- either objectively or subjectively -- but self-giving. This self-giving is the highest aspect of aikido training that I have experienced, and the purpose of our cooperative form of training. This path seems (fairly consistently, actually) to lead to the most generally acknowledged examples of transcendent humanity.

It is that mode of relation considered internally that comes to an acknowledgement, as Janet says, that I am not subjected to the external object of my own frustration -- I AM my frustration. My frustration is simply a bit of who I am (along with other contradictory parts).

This approach to frustration and practice, it seems to me, makes it easier to grasp the fact, in training, that I am as much a part of my training partner's conflicting movements as I am a a part of my own conflicted feelings, and that my own conflicted feeling are a signal that I am headed the wrong direction in that conflict relation.

Of course the trap of the other mode of subjectifying/objectifying relations is always there and always tempting fall back into. It means that I do not have to take responsibility for conflict that "I" did not start. Conversely, the other and better mode of subjectifying reality presupposes that I take responsibility for the fact of conflict; the "objective" cause of it is simply not very relevant from that perspective.

Larry Camejo wrote:
... find a way to overcome these frustrations by becoming better at manifesting core Aiki principles.
Nail -- on the head. These principles are at once physical and psychological, -- training of both both performance and perception -- and the more of one aspect I can grasp the more of the other also, etc. etc. ---

Larry Camejo wrote:
One however does not stay at the level of analytical thinking very long (though this is important to locate areas that need improvement) since it becomes necessary to be able to perform at a higher instinctive level to make any further progress in non-cooperative training. As a result, though non-cooperative type training may in fact increase the analytical approach towards ones training, ... likelihood of poor performance is quite high imho as the higher, slower brain functions bring the reflexive, intuitive systems to a grinding halt in the midst of conditions that require quick, intuitive, reflexive responses ...
Yes, with a quibble. The issue for me is what ( or how) does one affirm (holistic) and what (or how) does one negate (analytic) in the training interaction, considered in whole and in detail. If the affirming is in the joining together in participation, the situation tends toward a wholeness of purpose in a larger "I". If the negation is directed at objective flaws in that relation then it is a negation that serves the overall affirming effort of a more perfect whole.

In both directions also lie forms of error. If I affirm all sorts of erroneous things and movements I am adding conflict thereby negating (perhaps without being aware of it) the real and actual things that the false things have replaced. If I negate my partner's subjective reality, his selfhood, into an object to control -- I lose participation in the larger form of transcendent "I" that we may otherwise form.

Conversely, I objectify the smaller "me" also by doing that -- operating as though we were both two mindless billiards tethered with a rubber band and either repeatedly colliding or spinning impotently past and around one another without solid contact. This collectively describes the worst martial arts training I have witnessed, and the same error results equally in aiki-bunnies and aiki-bashers.

Somebody once said he who gives in first, wins. In this, "giving in" does not mean submission to defeat, but giving away sole ownership of the outcome (which is actually nonsensical, anyway, if you think about it ).

Thus, combining these aspects together if I find myself frustrated in my performance, my analytical scheme is to look for one of two things, either

1) I have not given in to what my partner wants in his movement, and so I must identify and negate my own specific intransigence, and/or

2) I have given in, but in the wrong way, and thus adding another conflict that I must identify and eliminate.

In dealing with analyzing my partner, my job is to be as honest with him as with myself and

1) Show him where he is not giving in, and therefore offering me conflict and opportunity for conflict (atemi opening), or

2) Where his choice in giving in still leads him to be yet more open to me or creates more conflict, without need.


Erick Mead
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