Re: The Second Coming
Really wonderful feedback for this column. It's much appreciated.
Jeff: loved the Kazantzakis quote (yes, I'm a fan). But I think since we are as much a part of reality as anything else, when we change ourselves we do change the world. But yes, it begins with how we seen things. Also would really agree with what you report about Mary's path. If we can all find that source and make that our teacher, then we all become conduits for something wonderful.
Francis: First, let me say again how good it is to have you among us. You and I are connected through my own teachers (Rod Kobayashi and Bill Sosa, both connected to Isao Takahashi). Now let me see if I can ease your pain... We don't disagree that O Sensei was sui generis, or that that is a bad thing. He was, and will always remain, unique. Each of us walks a path which is personal, individual, yet which covers ground that is universal. As for the Second Coming, I think my article stated clearly where I think we should be looking for that. You'll have to let me know what color you believe I've put on on the Founder's opus. The only coloration I intended was that which we see when we look in the mirror.
Joe: I like the points you raise. My view is that we live in a multidimensional world, with the vertical as well as the horizontal. People who are attracted to hierarchies will often fail to look after the well being of others, or to remember that the best leaders are servants, as you so aptly concluded. People who are devoted to heterarchies seem to want to live in a completely flat world, and refuse to acknowledge or respect authentic authority. In balanced practice, I think it only makes sense to observe the natural order of sensei/deshi, sempai/kohai, leader/follower. But of course we are all equals as human beings, regardless of age, aptitude, or experience. I all cases, if we can simply look after one another, then all will be well. Ironically, I have often seen that it is those "at the top" whose needs are most often overlooked.
Dan: Yes. Again, yes. Systema, Contact Improv, many other domains. The world of aikido would do well to look beyond itself for inspiration. There are those who are doing better aikido than many (most?) who do aikido.
John: You are very much on topic.
Again, thank you all, including those I have not addressed directly.