Thread: The Hourglass
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:55 PM   #8
R.A. Robertson
Dojo: Still Point Aikido Center
Location: Austin, TX, USA
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 339
Re: The Hourglass

Piyush Kumar wrote: View Post
I have a question sensei which is one among the numerous points you made,

[\] Is it fair to say then that for peace to exist, violence must be present too? That everything just goes in circles. That if we live in peace now, there must be violence in future . If so, then why does aikido teach us to preserve peace which we know must eventually be broken?

Thank you,

I don't believe that balance requires that for every good, there must be a bad. This would be like saying that if I have ten ounces of gold on one side of the scale, there must be ten ounces of shit on the other. That's one approach to balance, and we do see it manifest, but it is not logically necessary. There could just as easily be ten ounces of gold on the other side, ten ounces of silver, of pearls, of feathers, or compassion.

That said, I have come to believe that violence is a universal condition (see some of my other writings for more on this). Aikido can help us live more constructively within destructive patterns. It can help us transform destruction into creativity. And it can help orient us to increasing alignments with the forces of synergy and coherence, which are also universal.

We place ourselves at risk when we wish to destroy violence and establish an everlasting peace. The paradox of living peacefully means that we must accommodate the inevitable passage of structures that no longer serve. We ourselves must be ruthless in doing away with things which do not promote life. But where we choose to do violence against institutions, against ideologies, against our own beliefs, we have the opportunity to do so with as much care and gentleness as can be possible.

Even these articles which I write sometimes cause a certain level of violence in my own processes to bring them into being. Sometimes they are meant to challenge existing structures inside of others, and occasionally break them. But I do so hoping that any changes are voluntary, and that the process might even be pleasurable in some degree, and rewarding.

The act of eating, of consuming, even breathing -- these things are destructive (say transformative if you prefer), but are the very basis for life. Every encounter changes us, so we are destroyed moment to moment, and born into the now, and the next.

Aikido can wake us up to this. Being awake, we can participate in the cycle more mindfully, with greater wisdom and sensitivity.

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