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Old 05-10-2012, 07:32 AM   #77
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,182
Re: Does Modern Aikido Teach Enlightenment?

Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Well maybe I'm not using the right word...
I meant to describe realizations which fundementally (and "positively," whatever that might mean) change how we view the world around us.
Well, "fundamentally change" sure sounds like it means a permanent and irreversible change...but I don't know that there's any such thing. People learn a lesson, but every lesson can be forgotten, no matter how fundamental or obvious it is. You can observe that people do this -- not always, in every individual instance, but you can't name a lesson so basic and so obvious and such a no-brainer, that you can't find an example of someone learning the lesson and then doing the same old dumb thing they did before they learned it. And you can't name a person who isn't capable of doing this. That's a human quality, it's innate in our human nature: not that we will forget every lesson, but that any lesson can be forgotten, and every human being is capable of doing this. There are no eternal realizations that we are guaranteed to never forget; ironically, one of the few eternal things is our capability to forget.

That's not a reason to despair, by the way. If anything, it's the opposite, I think. It's only by understanding that our human nature impels us to do certain dumb things, like water seeking the lowest level, that we can hope to catch these impulses, and act in other ways.

Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I agree most people probably think of enlightenment as an endstate where all the pain goes away instead of a pathway you have to keep working at. I tend to think it's the latter, but I hold out hope that it'll land in my lap. A fella can dream.
I think it does land in your lap. The potential is there in every moment, not just in special circumstances. But the conditions that make it possible can be cultivated, through various practices. Aikido is not one of these practices, I don't think. It's possible to have an enlightenment moment in the middle of aikido practice, sure, just as it is in the middle of anything -- but it's kind of like trying to fill a bucket with stones by lobbing them at the bucket from fifty feet away as it dangles from a rope, with someone yanking on the rope to make it swing about all the while. If the goal is to fill the bucket with stones, why not start first by putting the bucket down on a flat surface, standing close and dropping them in? Then, once you've got practice in the skill of doing that, you're more likely to have some success in progressively more difficult situations.
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