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Old 08-20-2012, 10:27 AM   #100
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,184
Re: Aikiweb as a "Big Tent"

Christopher Li wrote: View Post
To a point, that's true, but it's not really a valid argument. Understanding a historic person (or anyone, for that matter) isn't a binary, yes-no, situation, it's a continuum.
I agree -- but I feel like that's most decidedly not what most people on Aikiweb try to do with O Sensei. Here, it's all about promoting and bringing forth the aspects and interpretations that support your worldview. Developing a nuanced, non-binary understanding of a complex human being who isn't around to speak for himself (which surely would include admitting to quite a few "we don't know"s) doesn't seem what most folks want to do.

Christopher Li wrote: View Post
And yes, I think that it is important to make the attempt, otherwise why study any history of any kind? Isn't it a forgone conclusion that studying what people thought in the past is useful to those of us living in the present and moving to the future?
It can be. But it's always worth asking the question, "Where are we going with this?" When you have a fuller understanding of O Sensei, what will you do with it? Maybe that's the question we really should be asking ourselves.

Christopher Li wrote: View Post
I've also found, oddly enough, that many Aikido students are actually interested in what the Founder of their art had to say.
Hmm, bit of Monday morning snark? Well, whatever. I've seen enough people go dangerously wrong through the fundamentalist approach for me to want to approach "scripture" with a good deal of caution. I don't see how caution does any harm here.

Do you ever wonder if maybe some of the things O Sensei said were just toss-off remarks? Do you think everything he said should be given equal (fundamentalist) weight?
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