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Old 11-09-2012, 03:22 PM   #36
Chris Li
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Dojo: Aikido Sangenkai
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,300
Re: The Fear of Power

Chris Hein wrote: View Post
I don't agree. Let's look at some extreme examples.

If everything always goes my way, I'm young, strong, rich, admired, I have every kind of "power" one could wish for (except, acceptance). Any slight to me would feel like an abuse. If someone flipped me off in traffic, I would feel like the whole world was upturned, and poor me.

The other end of this, is the kid who has no arms, no legs, and yet is happy as he can be to be alive. Even though he should be totally pissed that something took his arms and legs, he's happy, smiling and helping others deal with things like a "bad hair day".

It's not about getting what you want, it's about wanting what you got- some cheesy song lyric, but it fits. I think this is what the Buddha was getting at, the ability to accept life as it comes, joyfully. You don't need any "power" if you can do that. I think Ueshiba realized this. But even if he didn't it's still the path I'm trying to work towards.
Accepting life as it comes is great - but I don't think Ueshiba meant that you ought to let people put out cigarettes on your arms and be "OK" with it.

In the abstract, maybe, but in reality - Ueshiba was a pragmatist.

I'd note that Kisshomaru maintained that his father was not a pacifist, and neither was he.

I also have in mind a number of situations in which Ueshiba specifically told students to be proactive and not "allow those cigarettes to be put out on their arms".



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