The most common description I have read is that of saving life or preserving it. Again though it denotes violence.
Kill one (presumably evil) person to save many.
Draeger assigns it (I believe to Otake Sensei) to "Kill one, to save ten thousand."
Take take the drama and Sam-U-eye stuff out of it and the concept applies to your job or any cop walking the beat.
Hope that helps.
Even the idea of love that was bandied about in many earlier cultures people misunderstand. Ueshiba trained assassins. Many times when those guys talked about love it also entailed discipline, sacrifice, or killing to preserve family, village and clan. Aikido's history and it's birth was not through the type of peace some people in Aikido think it means.
This peacnic stuff was nonsensical to them, to most anyone who lives in the real world and nonsense to many in the art of aikido. It is typically offered by those who live, protected by those who will do violence on their behalf; Police, Judges, and the military, so they can live in a civil society. Mankind will always live under peace through strength. In the very few cases were non-violent protest succeeded, it was because those in power capitulated.
Mercy belongs to the victor. Anyone thinking they can stop real aggression- through aikido waza- without aggression is simply kidding themselves. Instead people "play" together nicely in a dojo with their budo get-ups, with attacks deviod of real agression, with defense that hardly needs to be of any real use.
And Aikido is not alone in that.
Thanks Dan. I knew the answer of course. I was hoping that the person that proposed this concept of the sword of healing would define it for me. I like you, understood the sword of life or the life giving sword to be a wielder that possessed the power, skill, and willingness to use it directly, but used it more skillfully to create space, room, and time in order to allow for more skillfull ways of reconciliation and healing to take place. Of course this comes with a risk. You might actually have to use it on occasion if you are really putting yourself out there.you know...in real situations that are authentic, risky, and real.
Can you cross interpret this to the corporate board room? I suppose you could as it certainly makes for a great allegory. Just like sun tzu was in the 80s. However I don,t think it is a good use of your time to spend hours learning physical techniques and training hard in something like Aikido only so you can understand a metaphor.
Heck with all the books, websites, and YouTube videos that are out there you simply can understand these concepts without having to go into the dojo.