Re: words like god and ki
In his private lecture to Saotome, Osensei talked of Saotome's sudden enlightenment in Aikido as spiritual and hence to keep it to himself because sadly enough most of his other students don't understand that and wouldn't want to understand it.
Osensei himself founded Aikido after achieving spiritual enlightenment and he specifically mentioned God's love. What he later term as the universal awareness and love that he knows ultimately originated from a single divine.
I've taken to reading back some of my older books and recently finished again reading Aikido and The New Warrior. A compilation of essays from various notables of the American aikido fraternity. Including people like George Ledyard, T. Dobson and etc. Without a doubt, this particular collection seems to revolve around aikidoist who are tremendously curious or focused on the learning of ki and harmony in aikido. Each essay will undoubtedly espouse the principal blending. I believe the collection of essays span the time of the 70s and probably coincides with the then wide movement of the flower power.
That these sort of people got 'into' Aikido because of their search for harmony with the world and their distaste for raw violence seems so at odds with what the newer generation of aikidoist is searching for; domination, control and power to defeat. Time and time again, questions of defeating a 'real attack', an MMA fighter and brand X martial arts becomes the prime mover.
Ostensibly, questions of Ki and Spirituality becomes persona non grata, to be quietly tolerated but given only so much leeway before the discussion is veered towards more earthly orientation. Suddenly I ask to myself, if this is what you seek, why do you learn aikido? Aren't there more arts that would fulfil those very earthly desires? Wing chun, systema, aikijutsu, silat are all very relevant arts. They have softness that can be applied to an attacker that would effectively stop a confrontation without harming the opponent just as much as what Aikido has promised to do. You can also vouch for their street effectiveness. They also have no qualms about trying it out for real? It struck me as funny. That the guys who continuously challenge Aikido's desire to be united in both mind, body and spiritual enlightenment are the guys who continue training in Aikido and hating it. They have every choice to leave and study the aforementioned arts or MMA or BJJ or name your CMA here. This I believe comes from the need to validate their theory or perhaps something even more insidious. That their spirit and mind are looking for change and enlightenment and that they wish someday Aikido would do it for them. Only their body doesn't believe it really.
I've no idea why I actually wrote this. But somehow the title of this post just seems right.
And btw, Elizabeth Browning's quote is so profound. Its even in the Quran.