Geometric models do not necessarily define reality, or effective real time response. We all can benefit from structure, but true purpose is defined by the independent ability of the mind and spirit to rise above and beyond the confines of any structures we choose to build.
Perhaps the Founder was an "aberration" of the norm, melding ordinary life circumstances of his time, with his uniquely extraordinary gifts of vision, insight, uncommon energy and his herculean persistence of effort. His was an example that the majority of mankind simply cannot hope to copy or to emulate. Also, his was definitely not the only genius mankind has produced in his time. Rather, his is an example we can simply choose to appreciate, enjoy and to individually attempt to apply those aspects of his discoveries and inspiration that fit our goals.
I do not believe that the Founder's gifts were ever meant to be "venerated", exalted or otherwise placed on pedestals too high for the majority to reasonably use to create their own version of Aikido.
From the words of his direct students and his writings, his intent was to invite anyone to do their utmost, with the gifts they have, to realize the dreams that motivate and define them personally.
There is no hierarchy in Aiki, and there should be none in the Aikido world.
I have the highest respect and regard for the role that religion and religious persons play in the lives of mankind. To attempt to use an apparently religious analogy in describing the Founder's opus and his identity, strikes me as rather inappropriate, and perhaps misintended. The Founder's religious beliefs and practices remained private for his entire life, and were never conditions that his direct or indirect students were required to adopt or to emulate. Any effort to presume such is, at the very least, a disservice to his memory and legacy to do so now.
Beautiful and meaning filled rhetoric, Ross, and I compliment your writing skills and sincere intentions. Therefore it pains me to disagree with what I perceive as an inaccurate and inappropriate attempt to color the Founder's purpose, his legacy and his lifelong opus, with references to a "second coming" of his Aikido. His was a "one of", and should be respected as such. There is plenty of room for current and future geniuses to make their own mark.
With all respect,
Dear Mr Takahashi,
Your statement that there should be no hierarchy within Aikido is very idealistic.I commend you for your sincere views on this subject.
Nevertheless like George Orwell stated in Animal Farm, all the animals are equal but some are more equal than others, I think this is the case within the Aikido community.Do we not have Teacher/students, Dan /Kyu grades, Shihan /Non Shihan etc?
Each of these categories determine where each person is within the Aikido dojo/organisation etc.Aikido is not a democracy.Leaders lead , followers follow.Is this not the same set of conditions we find in normal life?Do politicians really serve the electorate for example?Does the general in Afghanistan consult the Private in the regiment before deciding a course of action?No matter what area of life we are in [socially/working etc] a pecking order is always there.I see no difference between Aikido and the 'outside' world.
The best we can hope for is that in the practise of Aikido we can learn to value each person and consider his/ her welfare and the welfare of the whole rather than self interest.
As leaders of a dojo we must try and remember that we are servants not masters of our students.