Re: Does Modern Aikido Teach Enlightenment?
this question is like asking "does modern aikido teach self defense." <- haha.
a myriad of interpretations and semantic understandings will no doubt send this conversation into a silly number of directions.
that being said....
for me, 'it' can't 'teach,' because it is not a person, and i reserve the concept of 'teaching' for people who consciously make effort to impart knowledge or understanding etc. to others
instead, i would say that it can be a 'tool' for people to attain certain levels of enlightenment, and only if "enlightenment" is understood as: a frame of being and knowing in the world that recognizes the illusion of ego, the cycle of karma, and the true balance of postive & negative forces in nature. in this definition, one is not either enlightened or not, but instead, we all currently have a certain level of enlightenment which we can individually work to improve. one can work towards higher and higher levels of enlightenment through practices that dissolve ego and study the positive/negative dialectic...
in this definition, then, aikido can be a tool for achieving these aims because the unique partnership of nage and uke in the forms/katas provides a great forum for a moving meditation that includes these practices.
of course, it is up to the practitioner(s), not the art...