Peter A Goldsbury
Though I have spent many hours discussing these issues with Ellis, I do not normally participate in these AikiWeb discussions, for they remind me too much of the fruitless (and endless) theological arguments I had before I began aikido.
Recently a friend I train with commented to me that I don't seem to pop up anymore in these discussions. As we talked the best analogy I could come up with was remembering back to a philosophy of religion class I took years ago where we read snippets (and snippets only, thankfully) of one of T. Aquinas' works. The man obsessed over every detail of the nature of resurrection doctrine, the nature of angels, and so forth. So there I sat dumbstruck as a few of my classmates argued about these details. It just struck me that they're just going to have to wait for the resurrection (if it comes) because for the life of me I don't see how they're going to have a coherent or useful conversation on most of that until then.
For those arguing details of the IP/IS stuff, well, it seems about as fruitful of a discussion. You are convinced or you're not. So you train or you don't. It was what Ueshiba was doing or it wasn't. So then the question becomes whether I want to do whatever it is. And it comes down to whether I want to devote my time to it because it strikes me that I am in no position to argue some of those points. Too many unknowns. So I'll let those with better understandings of anatomy and movement as well as those with proper translation skills and experience (yours truly, Chris Li, etc.) feed us more first (thank you!). If they can. If it is even possible. Till then that conversation still seems as useful as two 12-year-olds boys enthusiastically discussing the finer points of driving high performance race cars -- it is very possible that many statements made by those kids are objectively true, but, really, there is something critical missing in the supporting evidence... And I don't begrudge anyone else listening their skepticism.
But I keep training in the IS/IP stuff. And I keep training in Aikido hopefully faithful to what I was taught there. I see lots of what I think is good in the intersection, but I'm not worried about convincing anyone else anymore.
Or as some rather other snarky commentator of years ago asked, "How many angels can dance on the head of a needle?" Seems like that sometimes.