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Old 03-23-2013, 05:11 PM   #62
aiki-jujutsuka's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 192
Re: Aikido Predator Mindset

Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
I think you are mistaking a metaphor for reality and looking to impose your values, nice as they are, on others.

I actually do want to know what spirit is. That's why I keep asking for concrete, useful, reliable, and dependable definitions of the term, here and elsewhere in my life. I am continually frustrated by the ubiquitous response. "You cant have evidence that it exists until you already believe it exists and act as if it exists, and already know in your heart (never in the actual thinking organ) that it is real and true and the only way, and you'll know all this without any evidence anyway, so just believe what I tell you because I have the answer and I dont need any evidence." I think that is bullshit.

Wanting to know something is the best way to fall into fantasy, self-delusion. At some point, the religious believer will make the claim that they know the mind of their god. At some point, the spiritual aikidoka will claim they know what O-sensei meant. And always in opposition to a reasonable request for useable definitions and evidence. And always with the tone of "I know something you dont know....."

At this point, the best I see is that "spirit" and "mind" are metaphors for emotion, personality, cognitive patterns. Epiphenomena of the body's functioning. Why make more of it than that?

So, let's say I stipulate to the existence of a "human spirit" for this thread. Why not recognize that it is also violent, fear-driven, domineering, awful, murderous, angry, sadistic, and even predatory? If we're discussing our spirit in order to improve or change our spirit, we'd do well to acknowledge the parts of it we think are ugly. So, I think, discussing the predatory spirit is exactly appropriate in the spirituality section.

I know I have all that "badness" in me. I know my "spirit" can be quite evil. I'm not going to get any "better" by not discussing it, or calling it a different name. Best, I think, to pull it out, lay it on the table, and say "Yup, there I am. What of it is good, what is useful, what needs to be changed to get what I want, and what is it that I really want?"
I know this was directed at Graham but as you sound genuinely open to the discussion please permit me to jump in on this. My beliefs are different from those of Graham but I too believe the human spirit to be real and not just a product of epiphenomenon. I believe in a Judeo-Christian worldview. Fascinatingly, Judaism holds to a wholistic view of human nature, rather than the dualistic view of body and soul found in the Hellenistic world. Body, soul, spirit, heart, mind are all a part of human nature. The word for spirit in ancient Hebrew is "ruach" and comes from the root word for "breath". We cannot live without breathing and once we cease breathing we die. Thus spirit is intricately connected with body. Jesus is said in the Gospels to have "breathed" the Holy Spirit onto His disciples after His resurrection.

But while the Hebrew word to express spirit is rooted in a concrete form (breathing) that does not mean it is merely a metaphor. God is said to be Spirit but it does not mean God is breath because that implies the function of breathing using organs and orifices (not to mention that God would be corpereal in that His essence would be made up of atoms, which is self refuting). God is said to have spoken light into the darkness but God does not have a mouth. So as God is Spirit then spirit is a part of God's essence. As God has revealed Himself through the beauty and complexity of His creation, through the Holy Bible (that has been proven to be historically and prophetically reliable) and through the person, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, spirit must also therefore be real. The Holy Spirit is the third member of the trinity and as God is triune (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) He is therefore relational. Our ability to relate to God - the very fact that we are conscious, self aware beings, the reality of objective moral values, religious experience, expressions of worship, prayer etc. - proves that our spirit is that part of human nature that separates us from other sentient life forms such as animals. Interestingly the Hebrew word for soul "nephesh" is used for both animals and humans in the Bible but spirit is used only of humans and God.

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