View Single Post
Old 04-22-2008, 08:53 AM   #21
Erick Mead
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,618
Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Tony Sova wrote: View Post
The Nazorean perspective is that the two are irreconcilable and as such we seek to extirpate the darkness from the Light ... Many of his views are quite ‘Gnostic' in character. ...To clarify -- It is not organic matter that is evil, ... but, rather, it is ‘hyle' or psychic energy that is most vulnerable to dark influence. When I speak of Nature it is in the qualitative sense meaning whose nature.
This discussion is worthwhile because it makes explicit an implicit dualism that underlies many problems in thinking about aikido. And that is precisely the dualism of which I speak -- good versus evil spirit-- in Christian teaching there is no independent existence of evil -- darkness is defined only by the privation of light. And so it is for Ueshiba of Aikido:

"There is no discord in love. There is no enemy of love. A mind of discord, thinking of the existence of an enemy is no more consistent with the will of the kami."

"Good and evil beings are all one united family in the world. Aikido leaves out any attachment. Aikido does not call relative affairs good or evil. Aikido keeps all beings in constant growth and development and serves for the completion of the universe."
O Sensei's views are NOT gnostic. There is NO secret knowledge to be imparted -- you just have train honestly in the basics of the art -- and be mindful of WHAT you are DOING when you are doing it.
O Sensei wrote:
" "In these teachings listen most to the rhythm of the strike and thrust, to train in the basics (omote), is to practice the very secrets of the art." "Progress comes to those who train and train; reliance on secret techniques will get you nowhere." Progress? When you have trained and when you have the unseen things, look not for "Secret Teachings" for all is there, before your eyes.""This is not mere theory. You practice it. Then you will accept the great power of oneness with Nature."
Tony Sova wrote: View Post
Erick Mead said: "Or, the Source of Nature is profligate, abundant and given to revel in excess, and innumerable inventions --- some which might even work ..."

Indeed, the anatomical perfection of a carnivore works quite well for its intended purpose -- killing. A mind that could conceive of such an ‘invention' as you say must be malignant in nature.
No, merely that my individual understanding of death and suffering are not adequate to the task. Even Buddhism recognizes this. The problem is not malignant intent -- but creativity in the context of finitude. Were the wolf to leave the sheep unmolested, there would be sheep without limitation. They would consume their finite fodder. Then there would be no fodder, no sheep -- and no wolf.

Aikido lives in the heart of this problem -- engendering creativity in the narrowest and most significant circumstance of active attack. It is of necessity both dark and light. It is both sheep and wolf. Or if you prefer it as the Psalmist says -- "The night and the day are both alike."

Darkness has a purpose -- only in the context of light. We are unable to perceive the depth in reality without the shadows that bring it into relief. It brings things into relief -- from a perspective of limited two dimensional view we can perceive, if imperfectly, the further depth of form and reality that exists beyond our direct perception.

The shadows cast as the light moves on its subject place some things now in light -- and now in shadow. But the fault is neither in the light nor the shadow framed nor in the subject but in our limited perception. We can try to turn our backs to the source of the light, whether from disregard of it -- or in a misguided attempt to see in the same way as the source sees -- directly and therefore without shadow. But then we see only the shadow our own form casts in front of us. We cannot cast our own light.

Tony Sova wrote: View Post
Erick Mead said: "Unfortunately for you, you cannot make the spiritual judgment of it unless you have the physical experience of it."

That is incorrect. If the philosophy behind it is flawed there would be no need to go any further to make a ‘spiritual' judgment of it.
Really? I give witness and simply tell you, whether you choose to believe me or not, the philosophy of Aikido does not exist in words that you may adequately comprehend unless you first have a depth of experience in the action it refers to.

Aiki is a primary quality of perception -- even though a subtle one -- it is not a derivative or abstracted aspect amenable to purely philosophical appreciation -- at least not until you have perceived it. You may as well say that one can understand the taste of absinthe, philosophically, without ever tasting it, and without having had a less complex mere anisette to contrast it with.

Tony Sova wrote: View Post
Contrary to your belief it is not a pre-requisite for a dualist to believe ‘that all physicality is opposed to the Light'. Physicality (matter) in and of itself is neutral in my view.
Or they are of one substance and fundamentally good, though in need of serious repair and reconnection. On this, O Sensei and Christianity are clearly in one accord.

The understanding of Ki -- which in Aikido is a physical understanding -- I will emphasize -- there is light ki and heavy ki. In Chinese thought, one makes physical light and the other makes solid matter. And everything in between is in mixtures of them -- in-yo. In terms of physics it is wave-forms. Thus, visible or invisible, I have one thing that explains many things. You, on the other hand have two things to explain, supposedly independent of one another, good spirit and evil spirit, and actually, three things, since you maintain that matter is neutral between them.

Suffice it to say that in the physical world -- light and matter are fundamentally one in both Eastern and Western understandings, and that if the spiritual world is actually dual then it is you as an advocate of spiritual dualism that have the burden to show the reason for the disparity.

Tony Sova wrote: View Post
-- Chaldean Magussaeanism pre-dates Mani by several millennia.
Yes, but we know where the Magi went ...

Tony Sova wrote: View Post
You mistakenly presuppose "that something spiritual can only be understood through a physical instrumentality". Enlightenment is not attained through the body i.e. the senses, but, more correctly through the spirit that inhabits the body. Without the spirit the physical body is useless which actually confirms dualism my friend.
I don't presuppose. I know -- by actual experience -- that it cannot be understood any other way. And I tell you, my friend, as a matter of direct experience, that aikido is learned through the body instructing the mind, which instructs the body. There is only endless cyclic motion, there is not division. Without the form of the body to ground perception, spirituality is in vain.

I may believe my philosophy invincible, but the bokken about to strike my philosophically impregnable skull may have a different opinion on the matter. Sooner or later, everyone gets their philosophy whacked upside the head. There is more spiritual learning to be gained in that split second than in ten years of quiet sitting. The problem is getting to the point of honing perception to an edge that slices finely enough to gain from a nearly infinite benefit contained in that brief moment.

Tony Sova wrote: View Post
Erick[/url] Mead said: "Some days it is perilous to get out of bed, and ponder the theological implications of one's cup of coffee."

I'd switch to green tea if I were you. It's high in anti-oxidants.
Swing ... and a miss --

"Coffee is number one source of antioxidants"

Last edited by Erick Mead : 04-22-2008 at 08:59 AM.


Erick Mead
  Reply With Quote