Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 25
Hello Mr Gillies,
Many thanks for your comments. I think there are practical aspects to the matters you have raised. This essay is long as it is and in any case is the third of a series. Perhaps you might like to continue the discussion by focusing on some of these ‘glimmers of insight' and the other questions I have left undeveloped. I would be happy to respond if I am able to.
One of the more fundamental issues involved with examining Morihei Ueshiba's religious beliefs and practices is the best approach to take, given that there is a prima facie gulf between these and whatever beliefs we might have, and I think you could bring similar objections to other approaches and I have mentioned some of these objections in the essay. As part of my own background you mentioned religion and philosophy, but I see myself here as primarily involved in intellectual history. The choice of phenomenology as a vehicle is meant to be phenomenology without all the philosophical assumptions and is a tradition that goes back to Aristotle. My doctoral thesis was an analysis of Aristotle's methodology of intellectual progress, but before this I did some philosophy in France and my teachers were firmly in the phenomenological philosophical tradition. I voiced similar difficulties to the ones you raised. I think the gulf between Anglo-Saxon analysis and continental phenomenology is not so broad or deep as it once was, especially with respect to the philosophy of mind and mind-body relationships.
On the basis of the evidence we have, I think it is true to state that Morihei Ueshiba certainly saw himself as following in a general religious tradition that went back at least to Nao Deguchi. Kisshomaru was not so clearly a part of this religious tradition and so we can expect, at least initially, that his own attitude to his father's religious experiences will be somewhat different. And so it turns out from his biography and his later writings.
As for Morihei Ueshiba spinning or turning or spiraling in his proverbial grave, I hope this is tinged with some regret that he did not follow in the footsteps of Onisaburo Deguchi and Kawatsura Bonji and make his views a little clearer.
Happy New Year!