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Old 04-11-2012, 01:22 PM   #37
Allen Beebe
Location: Portland, OR
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 532
Re: Aikido and the Floating Bridge of Heaven

So my post might have prompted a splintering of Chris' intended focus for this post (BTW, in the Doka O-sensei gives specific examples of the usage of specific kiai for specific circumstances . . . and Chris is probably more aware of this fact than most.), so I'll see if I can pull things back on point a tad.

Cutting and pasting from Chris' post:

合気道は「天の浮橋に立たされて」ということである。天の浮橋は水火結んでめぐるということ。火は水を動かし、水は火によって動かさる。火も水も一つのものである。螺旋状 にめぐる。気をもって絡むのである。それは、息によるものであり、この息が合気であります。

It is said that Aikido is "Standing on the Floating Bridge of Heaven". The Floating Bridge of Heaven is the turning of fire and water bound together. Fire moves water, water is moved by fire. Fire and water are one thing. They turn in a spiral. They are entwined through Ki. That is something that is enacted through the breath ("iki"). This breath ("iki") is Aiki.

It is interesting to note, although I am certain that this is not lost on Chris, for the kanji 息 "iki," the "breath" from which Fire and water are entwined through Ki and begin to turn in a spiral, which is "Aiki" is comprised of two characters: one for "self" and the other for "heart." So (via a bit of creative thinking) it is through the "self's-heart" ("iki" 息) that Fire and Water (In/Yo) are entwined through Ki, and they, in turn, turn in a spiral . . . (identified in other writings as Aiki) without "iki" there is no Aiki. Iki is the origin of Aiki, therefore it can be said Aiki is essentially Aiki.

This understanding or treatment seems to be confirmed with the following:

左手は伊耶那岐、右手は伊耶那美、真中は天之御中主(あめのみなかぬし)、これは自分のことである。天の浮橋に立たされて、螺旋状にめぐることである。これを高天原(たか あまはら)という。天も地も一つのもの、水も火も一つのもの、みんな息から現れるのである。神の常動の現れである。合気の技は常動により出てくるのである。

The left hand is Izanagi, the right is Izanami, in the center is Ame-no-minakanushi, this is yourself. This is standing on the Floating Bridge of Heaven and turning in a spiral. This is called Taka-ama-hara. Heaven and earth are one unit, water and fire are also one unit, all appears through Iki (breath). This is the endless appearance of the Kami. Aiki technique comes forth endlessly.

"all appears through iki" 息 (the heart of the self).

Super cool! Physical reality (the process and result described above as embodied by Ueshiba and others) is in line with his (and other) Religious cosmology each seeming to reflectively affirm the other. In this way Aik isn't a religion . . . it makes the teaching of religion manifest. It "completes religions." I accord my heart with the great source (universe) and the great source (universe) accords with me. I am the Universe.

There is a accordance of the individual specific "Heart leads mind/intent, Intent leads Ki, Ki leads the body" model, and the mythic (commonly reoccurring) model described above . . . if one looks at iki 息 as a combination of its constituent parts.

One more thing . . . isn't the Floating Bridge of Heaven comprised of the 8 opposing forces? Maybe that is something to throw out there as well.

Well, that is my lunch 15 minutes!


~ Allen Beebe
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