Re: "stance of heaven (and earth)" and IS
Morihei Ueshiba's teachings and doka were not unique, the concepts were not even his. Using his own colorful words he was never the less, many times, quoting others. Quoting skills and mental/physical training models established for generations. No one who actually knows and understands these things could even enter into a conversion with many who are making this stuff up in their own heads. There is a right and wrong. Telling someone they can adopt well known terminology and just make up any ol' fantasy about it and then challenge you back essentially saying that "Everyone is right about the terms" will get them and others, nowhere.
You can see it in the recent blog on standing on the floating bridge. The poem uses phrases like; Heaven/earth/man, motion in stillness, and standing in the middle and how that releases you from the mountain echo. It is a totally screwed up adoption of Morihei's own writings based on a well known powerful Asian training model. That blog entry actually conveys the opposite of Ueshiba's model, and only serves to further muddy the waters and lead people astray from Osensei's use of concepts well known throughout Asia-if not to the greater body of Modern Aikido-ka.
This co-opting of terms is as bad as the misstranslations that helped a generation miss the appropriate training to attain his skills. As seen here in the Kamae thread a while back with Ueshiba discussing six direction awareness in several places before during and after a technique and Stevens mistranslating that into "hanmi"...which doesn't have a damn thing to do with what Ueshiba actually said, much less the expansive idea of what the proper term actually means and can do for you.
Then we had another widely known concept of spiraling, and that at any one time you spiral up one side and done the other and you had a couple of long time aikidoka and Japanese speakers....totally missing that boat and discussing whether the appropriate translation for that Kanji was to eddy and swirl the legs. The reason? They still have no idea of the foundational teaching of spiral energy and how it is used in the body, and what it does to neutralize force and control it, not the least of which it being the foundation of a tremendous amount of the waza within the entire art.
Steven's has recently demonstrated the good credibility to admit he didn't have a clue what many of these things were. Also, that he just skipped over entire paragraphs of material that he found "untranslatable." Now we are learning these untranslatable things are, in many cases a road map of concepts to train internal power/aiki to create Ueshiba's power and skill.
The internet is it's own unique space where everyone can feel "equal" in a debate. Yet, in the real world, all the debates end...in person. Every one, every... single... one, who has these co-opted, personal fantasies of what these terms meant continues to fail to deliver in person up against those who know what they actually mean, and why they had value in Asian cultures spanning a thousand years. They had value because the mental aspects also delivered on the physical level.
It is no coincidence that every one of these modern practitioners-mostly Westerners- fantasizing over concepts and terms they have no understanding of always end up feeling just like every other Tom, Dick, and Harry, out there. The reason is that you can't make up stuff in your head and have it magically equal generations of well known concepts that are tried and true. But, people who actually do understand Ueshiba's training concepts and goals feel...well....they start to feel more like how he was often described. Most will never go back to the way they were training before.
Ueshiba was right after all.