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Old 04-21-2008, 04:54 PM   #17
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,616
Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
... As a side note, I know of several Christians who practice Shinto (not unlike your own Zen Christian description I imagine) and find it profoundly complimentary. In the same way I imagine a dualist can appreciate a Natural philosophy.
I doubt it. Shinto thought is very non-dual, even apart from Buddhist influence. The Shinto understanding of kami is that they are all attached to particular mono "things," -- save only the Shinto creator "trinity" who are deemed to be "hidden." Those are: Ame no Minakanushi no Kami, Takamimusubi no Kami, and Kamimusubi no Kami. The first is the "Lord of the Center of Heaven," and the latter two of which respectively have charge of the visible and invisible aspects of creation. Not so far off actually, from God, the Father Lord of Heaven and Earth, the Incarnate Son (through whom all things were made), and the Holy Ghost ("the Lord, the giver of life", the "divine spark"). O Sensei, several times, made this quite explicit, referring to the kotodama ("word spirit") of Creation "Su" as denoting "the Lord" and as referring to "the Logos" -- the divine "Word" of creation in Christian theology. He even made refernce to to the spirit of "aiki" being identified with the Archangel (kami?) St. Michael's appearance in the Book of Daniel.

That basic debate about deep consonance between beliefs has been going on -- in Japan -- since before Norinaga wrote Kojiki-Den. Several native authors in the Nineteenth century Nativist revival (Kokugaku) believed Japan to have an independent source of ancient revelation -- long prior to that of St. Francis Xavier, even -- that is nonetheless consistent with substantial aspects of the Christian understanding of divine truth. There is nothing in the teaching of the Church that precludes this being a reality, and several dogmatic doctrines assume it to be universally true of all human cultures, to greater or lesser extent, in any given case. .


Erick Mead
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