Charles David Henderson
How can you speak with confidence to what Ueshiba meant if you don't understand the meaning of his concepts within his own religious tradition or the cultural or linguist idioms involved? You allude to him (again), but you don't address Jon's point about the translation problem any more than you did my point about the religious transposition problem.
With due respect, it's my impression that the view you're presenting is maybe 75 to 80 percent your own. That certainly doesn't make your view right or wrong. But, in fairness, what Jon requested was support for your view, not elaboration of it.
I hope you look up the series of articles referenced in the "a bit of history" thread soon. It would be interesting to hear how your point of view survives its encounter with historical fact and context.
I know a shihan (in the sense that I've attended seminars he has taught) who was an uchideshi of O Sensei -- one of his last. He is always mindful not to be too close when he bows to the kamiza. He remarked one time it made it easier for him to remember O Sensei as a human being.
I do know the concepts of his own religious tradition thank you so I speak with confidence. If I go to study spiritual healing, the laying on of hands by some indian mystic and he shows me how he does it and tells me it's based on prana energy then I understand what he means, I don't need to know his cultural history and language variances thank you.
Most things O'Sensei said make sense to me so I tend to speak confidently on the subject.
There is no translation problem there is only an unacceptance of what he said being true.
When he said true budo is love it is the unacceptance of that which leads people to scurry around finding reasons for him meaning something else. When he says Aikido is absolute nonviolence, that you do not oppose the attacker, that he who attacks has already spiritually lost completely, he means just that.
The fact that many can't get their heads around it shows me that they need to improve their spiritual awareness for they won't find the understanding in linguistics.
There are many people with lots of data. Data, data data. To me they are walking libraries, computers, robots. Don't get me wrong I like robots and computers but I could give you all the data and history and meanings and variances according to traditions and climate to do with trying to get you to understand the taste of a strawberry but until you've eaten one you will never know.
I would even go so far as to say that many, including all those great intellectuals, do not know clearly the meanings of words in their own language, love being a prime example. An old zen saying about 'your cup is full' is precisely about this.
So let me offer my own piece of zen, modern day. Once I knew how to read and write, I had understood how the sounds were represented by letters and how it all came together and then resulted in an ability called reading and writing, I then threw all of that data away for I could now DO it. I now KNEW it. To me it was now SIMPLE. The same goes for tying up my shoelaces.
When you know, can demonstrate (do) and all in an easy manner then you know you know. You don't go around intellectualizing about it. Data is useful and needed on the way to understanding but does not show intelligence, only the apparency of intelligence.
Respectfully yours. G.