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Old 12-13-2009, 01:32 PM   #4
George S. Ledyard
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Dojo: Aikido Eastside
Location: Bellevue, WA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 2,670
Re: In Time and Out of It

One cannot say that the past or future do not "exist" or that they are "forgotten" when in the present. Yes, the present instant is the only time in which we can act, in which our intention has any meaning. But time is a flow of an infinite series of past instances which flow through the present to create a set of probabilities which shape the future instances.

Take musu aiki is being able to remove your own ego from this flow. If one is in tune with the flow, one can act in the present in such a way that the future seems to naturally flow from the past stream of instants, through the present in which we are acting, into a set of future probabilities which are shaped by our actions in the present.

The extent to which we ignore how the past has set up future probabilities and try to impose our will on future outcomes, difficulties arise. In training this is precisely when a technique is difficult or simply fails to work.

Aikido practice is supposed to be a form of misogi. By doing misogiu we make ourselves able to follow the Kannagara no Michi, or Path of the Kami. That's how O-Sensei would have looked at it. My own take on it is that this Path is the "flow" of time. Training (misogi) is about learning to be in the present instant, acting in accord with the "flow" rather than trying to control it. The flow cannot be stopped, but it can be guided. There are numerous possibilities flowing out of the present instant, some being more probable than others. When, through training, we can see these probabilities, we can choose our actions and "go with the flow" so to speak.

Misogi is how we refine our desires and perceptions to allow us to be in this flow rather than being out of harmony with it. This is the purpose of Aikido training, in my opinion.

George S. Ledyard
Aikido Eastside
Bellevue, WA
Aikido Eastside
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