Dojo: Oak Park Aikikai, IL
Location: Chicago, IL
Join Date: Apr 2012
Re: The Fear of Power
I gotta admit than when I first saw the title of David's post, "The Fear of Power", I thought it was (uncharitably) stupid. Now after seeing the various posts, I find myself agreeing, in most part, with David. Other posters, for whatever reason, seem to not want to understand what David means by "power". They keep skirting around the fact that whatever you do requires "power", even if it is picking up my latte, right now (I wouldn't recommend it!).
To get technical, in physics, power is the rate at which energy is transferred, used, or transformed. To get philosophical, power is frequently defined by political scientists as the ability to influence the behavior of others with or without resistance. These definitions come from Wikipedia. Power does not have to mean using force against others, be they human or not. Of course, it can be, but it can also mean to use influence to achieve something, sometimes very subtle influence, even if it is the power to just walk away.
Martial arts come in many forms, including the proper use of firearms. So, if it is power you want, a nice machine gun pointed, or fired, at you delivers a lot of power. But, that is not the issue here. We are actually not talking just about power, per se; but, of a particular type of power in aikido, whether you want to call it IP, or whatever. But really, if someone just wanted "power", they could just use the aforementioned weapons. I personally don't think IP could protect you from a full magazine, fired up close by someone who knows what he/she is doing.
So, for me, the driving force behind this struggle (yes, a sometimes decades, life time, long struggle!), is not a struggle to achieve power, but curiosity, with the added side-effect/benefit of personal power. A so-called normal life, for some of us, for some of us, is not good enough. We want to find out, and understand, if what O'Sensei had, and others, was real. This, if so, can open up whole new realms. So we go thru the personal struggle to achieve "power", without fear.