Re: Does Modern Aikido Teach Enlightenment?
What I keep seeing in this thread is that people have different ideas of what "enlightenment" is, or may be. In my Christian upbringing, I never heard the word "enlightenment" used, but I'm guessing that if a Christian were asked to define it with relevance to his/her spiritual tradition, it would be something about knowing (the nature of?) Jesus Christ. That's very different from a Buddhist definition, and different yet again from the various popular culture notions of "enlightenment". Ipso facto, enlightenment is not the goal of every spiritual practice or tradition; they'll tell you so themselves, as long as you let them use their own terminology and not force them to use yours. And if you do force them to use your word, they'll simply use it to mean whatever they want, which has nothing to do with the goal of your spiritual practice.
I think also, just as there's no singular goal of spiritual practice, there's no singular spiritual path. Thus, discussion of whether aikido leads you further on "the spiritual path" or takes you further away from it, is to my mind kind of like arguing about whether "the road" takes you toward Topeka or farther away from it. Which road are we talking about?