Re: On Teaching
Thank you for your contributions to our national safety, and for the sacrifices all Americans make on foreign soil. Domoo Arigatoo!
Thank you also for your review and response to my musings.
I do not believe that I used the word "ultimate" when I referred to an outside influence on the student. That ultimate responsibility is, and should always remain with the student himself or herself. I do not believe that such accountability can be delegated, although many apparently still attempt to do so,
When we dare to teach or give guidance to another person, basing our effort on what we think we know, we will always fall short of success or of fulfillment, both for the student and the teacher.
Simply because the teacher needs to become the student himself to truly know and adequately understand the needs, awareness and understanding of that student.
Again, the best we can do is support and encourage the sincere and wholehearted effort of the student to become better, and to understand internally what more needs to be done. We must resolve to humbly attempt to guide the teacher within each student, allowing for each of our students to "get it" when they have put in enough time, and when the timing and confluence of all lessons received finally allows them to receive the gift of understanding and fulfillment. We cannot do it for them.
I apologize for any confusion over terminology, or over what a "primary" teacher is with any given circumstance. Perhaps a student, over his lifetime, may choose "primary" teachers in several disciplines, gathering all knowledge, experiences and epiphanies together for affirmative self confirmation of maintaining their Way towards the goals and horizons they have chosen to follow.
Is it not true that the Founder himself had a primary teacher for Daito-ryu, a primary teacher for Omoto-kyo, and who knows what other disciplines he chose to study over his lifetime. Yet, in the end, he took ultimate responsibility for all his lessons, the mistakes made in internalizing them, and the impact all of his actions on people in the environment he chose to live his life, and ultimately, on the entire course of the history of his art on all who chose, and continue to choose to study the marvelous art form he created.
I must disagree with your point that there is no need to make a "distinction" between teacher responsibiity and of student responsibility. It is the very fact that they must be kept separate, and respected as such, that can give any meaning to a productive and honest student-teacher relationship. The teacher provides "external" input, while the student provides the "internal" input.
I see no way to commingle the two, seeing them both to be necessarily separate sources of guidance, inspiration and value to both parties. After all, the teacher is simultaneously the student, even as the student is simultaneously the teacher, in such a wonderful exchange.This union of intent is what I call Aiki in action.