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Old 11-09-2012, 07:46 PM   #57
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,511
Re: The Fear of Power

James Sawers wrote: View Post
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!).
Yes, James, I'm pointing at that and specifically saying that aikido is an art of power. And then I'm saying that what's being taught these days produces people who are (knowingly or unknowingly, consciously or unconsciously) seeking power while also having to deny that they are seeking it. Yet they are constantly expressing a need for power by criticizing those who frankly, consciously and unashamedly admit that they are seeking to develop power in aikido.

To Moshe Feldenkrais, one of most important problems for a human being was "crossed motivation," or trying to fulfill multiple aims at once--especially when those aims are in conflict. To him, direct and single-minded action was pure in both mind and body. But when one is attempting to perform an action while also having a separate intention, the main action will be seriously weakened and will likely fail.

Another of his most important concerns was compulsion, or feeling a serious need to do a given thing that's not really necessary. Some people get this way about training, some about bowing or using Japanese words or phrases. A person acting from compulsion will become increasingly uncomfortable, to the point of sickness, the longer he/she refrains from enacting the compulsion.

In aikido, many people train and speak compulsively but also with crossed motivations of wanting power yet having to deny that they want it. And this may be the source of their fear of power. I think we all, and the art of aikido, will be better off when everyone acknowledges the natural function and need of power and connects it more to grace and harmony (as with the tail of the whale) than to political (organizational and intellectual) control of others.


"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"
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