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Old 05-25-2012, 07:11 AM   #4
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,181
Re: Spiritual and i/p

Rich Hobbs wrote: View Post
Thus the next talking past each other debate threatens to begin.
Indeed, but (to make this at least somewhat on topic for the forum in which it was posted) as many great spiritual teachers in many traditions have taught us, in their various ways, We Have Other Choices.

I particularly like George Ledyard's contribution to this thread. I think he provides a clear, non-obfuscated definition of aiki that can be understood in practical terms, without rainbows and unicorns, but also without being exclusively bound to fascia or myofascial whatsis. He also provides a sensible comparison with how O-Sensei used the term, which I think is particularly useful not as some kind of aikido-fundamentalist proscriptive definition, but because I can see where the two views are talking about the same thing, just with a different focus or POV (sort of like looking at the same tree from slightly different angles).

It would do this forum a world of good if all those who so love to engage in the talking-past were to think about their need to declare, "You are NOT looking at MY tree, and your tree is not the One True Tree!" No doubt there are people in these debates who are myopically gazing at a streetlight thinking it's a tree, but this is where the analogy breaks down -- you don't have an objective view of whatever they're looking at that would enable you to say, "No, sorry, that's not what I'm looking at, and that is not a tree." You can only see it through their eyes.

And, finally, Ledyard Sensei grapples with the misappropriation of "aiki" to mean "whether an action or an attitude brings things together or pushes them apart" with realism and humor. If enough people start using the word "burrito" to refer to any kind of food wrapped up in any kind of flatbread, then your choice is to accept that that is the common usage (not necessarily to agree with it, but to accept that that is how others use the word "burrito"), or be perpetually disappointed and enraged when you order a "burrito" and get something that doesn't fit your definition. At the very least, accepting the reality of this other definition allows you to seek out those who are using your definition, and to get your burrito (or your aiki) served in the manner that you prefer.