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Old 04-05-2009, 08:38 PM   #14
Jonathan
Dojo: North Winnipeg Aikikai
Location: Winnipeg, Canada
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 242
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Re: words like god and ki

Matthew:

You wrote:

Quote:
I'd be curious about how you'd answer this question. Would you mind giving your opinion?
You're curious now, but perhaps by the time you finish reading my answer you'll just be disappointed. Then again, maybe not.

So, why do I think the words "god" and "ki" cause defensive and emotional responses from people? Hmmm...I don't think there is a single answer I could offer that would account for everyone, of course. Generally, though, I suspect, at least when people talk about God (or god, whatever), the idea of some Thing/One being superior to us and standing in judgment upon our deeds gets people's hackles up. So long as "god" remains some amorphous entity/idea that is malleable enough to be bent to reflect the individual's own ideas of the divine (which means, essentially, that the individual is god), then god remains fairly innocuous. I guess it isn't so much, then, the idea of a God that provokes people as it is the idea that God can be clearly defined and known - especially if that God renders any sort of negative opinion on our conduct or asserts Him/Her/Its will upon us.

The idea of ki being provocative is a little strange to me. Personally, defining ki is not provocative to me in the least. Why do others find it worth getting wound up over? I expect they don't so long as (like in the situation with the term "God"), no one says dogmatically, "This is ki." I suspect this is at least somewhat connected to postmodern philosophy which has so deeply infected Western culture.

Have I satisfied your curiosity?

Mary:

You wrote:

Quote:
If we could set that defensiveness aside and continue to communicate our thoughts while listening to others the real issues might be heard.
When I asked you what the "real issues" were you wrote:

Quote:
Issues like acceptance and compassion and understanding.
How are these things "real issues," exactly? I mean, how are they more "real" than issues concerned with god or ki?

Quote:
Being in the moment and accepting what every uke offers is sacred.
Quote:
Sacred=regarded with reverance.
So, you revere being in the moment and accepting what every uke offers? Interesting...Why have you chosen to frame these things with religious terms?

Quote:
When uke attacks me I do not look to overpower him or her. I receive the attack, blend with it and throw. In the now... being present not in the past or future...now is all that exists.
Okay. Let me ask, then: If your goal is not to overpower uke, why throw uke at all? Why do all that you must to throw uke (receive, blend, etc.) if you don't intend to overpower uke? Doing all this, it seems to me, is in an effort to exert control over uke. I suppose one could argue that controlling uke and overpowering uke are not the same thing, but I wonder if the distinction is more semantic than real. I should think that if someone attacked you on the street and you threw him/her to the ground with shihonage, he/she would feel overpowered whether or not it was your goal...

"Now is all that exists." You specifically mean in the context of dealing with uke, right? Or do you see all of life as existing only in "now"?

Quote:
I consider the world my dojo.
I pray, meditate, and work at changing ideas and behaviors that don't work for me. I receive help and hope from the god, nature and people. This makes life wonderful and mysterious.
I suppose it would make life wonderful. Mysterious, though? I don't know what you mean by "mysterious."

Jon.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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