What's our definition of love, though?
I've been interested in Marishiten lately. Marishiten - who as an uneducated English speaker I will refer to as she though i think there are issues with that - was a deity very important to bushi from the 10th century up into the Edo period.
We don't seem to have received much about Marishiten in the spirituality of Aikido but i believe understanding a bit about her and why she was worshipped is of paramount important in any discussion about what budo actually is.
Anyway - what her devotees sought from her was all about perception. You wanted your enemies to be blinded and unable to see you, while you wanted for yourself, the ability to not be tricked by illusion, and to see clearly what was actually happening.
I think there is a link between that and the concept of bu, and probably of "love" as well. It certainly speaks to the concern that professional warriors have of their jobs not only on the battlefield, where obviously there are issues such as the fog of war, the need to not fall into traps while making your own traps work, etc. There are the issues raised when one leader sits down with an opposing leader, and they try to come to terms, with various internal factions trying to push things one way or another. How do you see through the emotions and baggage and make a deal? There is also the issue of which side to join when battle lines are drawn, and when to decide to pull your guys out and switch sides. Its not just about making correct decisions in battle, its about making correct decisions before and after battle, and decisions about battle.
Two men who have fought against each other and have probably killed many of each other's close friends and family, sitting down and hammering out a peace agreement. Acting in accord with allies and enemies. That's a form of love, right? It is certainly stopping spears.
So an art that allows one to prevent violence from developing, or perhaps even starting in the first place, that would be a fine martial art. I would think warriors who answered only to other warriors would find such an art quite worthy of study.
this is very much on the lines of what I refer to. Until studying and seeing what love actually does for real one cannot then understand how or even why such martial masters or spiritual masters said what they said.
For instance I categorically say that without love then spiritually, or perception wise if you like, you are blind. You cannot see properly or through. Now it's a matter of seeing how all the qualities of love work and what they do. Yes they comfort, yes they support, yes they allow you to see clearly, yes they are all embrasive and yes on a few other qualities. The question is what do they support naturally.
Being an advocate of this and saying how real it is I will share how we approach Aikido or another as an 'opponent' in Aikido from this view.
When people say they are developing feeling what are they saying? They are saying they are developing perception. They are now learning to operate from a different position, a different part of themself. Heart. Love. Without even knowing it they are beginning to use qualities of love and thus their percption and awareness gets more all embracing, more seeing through to what they would never have noticed before etc. etc. So people can deny it all they want but I just smile for I know they are now working more with love, their Aikido is improving, they're adding all kinds special ancient methological reasons to it, but basically they are hitting upon part of what Ueshiba or others from the past were talking about.
I often explain to folk new to the reality that due to their own considerations about what love actually is and the lack of it generally genuinely expressed in life this is why when they fall in love it's so shocking and overwhelming. Then I also ask what they think a whirlwind romance is. A sudden abundance of what they're not used to, swept away in the spiral, and then when landing back on the ground wondering what all that was about.
When it comes to things like sen sen no sen or even beyond that if that's what Ueshiba said then once again it's to do with that clear see through perception which comes from love. The effect on the person receiving such is both amazing when you do it and amazing when listening to them as to what happened for them.
This of course applies to the example given of sitting down discussing with enemies a way forward as you rightly point out.
I'll finish by saying this aspect can thus ultimately lead to tranquility in action. In such the true tranquility in action would be a very powerful and inescapable thing.