Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights
I once saw a hypnotist convince a college girl that her body was made of iron so he could stand on her mid section while her head and heels were each supported by a chair (I think this is a standard Ki society test). He also rotated her forearm 360 degrees when he convinced her it was made of rubber. This leads me to believe that even an untrained body can perform "impossible" feats with the right mindset. Also, almost anyone with minimal instructions on posture can perform the unbendable arm and unliftable body tricks to some degree if they have a little "faith" and a good visualization technique. As I try to work with IS exercises, it seems like there is as much change in the nervous system as there is physically which comes about largely due to visualization/mental processes/intent. Maybe those with more experience could comment on the role of the mind or visualization in manifesting IS.
Anyway, I think Ueshiba learned the essence of aiki (had his eyes opened) from Takeda, but he was also a truly religious man so the mental side of it would be infused with his beliefs. I think he truly believed he was possessed by kami which allowed him to do "impossible" things. Others, it seems, were also able to do these things without the religious beliefs, but must have had their own "faith" system. In other words, I think it was Ueshiba's belief that he was possessed that allowed him to actualize his aiki, but other's have shown that there are other ways to do it.
So I guess I don't think Ueshiba's body skills necessarily say anything about enlightenment. In fact, I am immediately skeptical about the enlightenment of anyone who claims to be enlightened (although in this case there may be translation issues). I don't think seeing golden lights is indicative of enlightenment. I think, if it is not metaphorical, it is physical. I do find it interesting that vastly different sources use the same descriptive terms and have always been interested in the parallels between the story about Ueshiba and Carlos Castenada's stories about Don Juan. Honestly, I don't know what to make of all that.
Eric (in MN)