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Old 05-13-2004, 06:35 PM   #6
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Dojo: Senshin Center
Location: Dojo Address: 193 Turnpike Rd. Santa Barbara, CA.
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,426
Re: Article: True Self Defense by George S. Ledyard

Perhaps we can discuss the following from this wonderful article:

1. Exactly what elements in Aikido praxis address the following?

"So the only way that we can be sure that we engage only in "True Self Defense" is to get in touch with our True Selves, the unconditioned essential Identity that underlies all these "primary" and "disowned" selves. Only when we cease falsely identifying with our illusions of who we are can we be free of the need to "defend" the false self."

To the point: What is the technique, or what are the techniques, by which we determine false from true, illusion from accuracy, enslavement from freedom, etc.?


2. Exactly which practices are the ones by which we come to be rightly described by the following? And, if we assume we are dealing with a "most" here, we might also ask, "What institutional supports are working toward this "most?", as we might want to assume that no "most" can come to exist without the power-base of an institution.

"Students cannot, as most tend to do, seek out training that merely acts as a reinforcement of who they already think they are. Many dojo are nothing more than mutual admiration societies which allow like-minded individuals to not experience the discomfort that comes with the need to let go of the false self-images that we all carry. At the same time other dojo are merely places in which fearful people mutually develop an illusion of strength through tough martial practice but never confront the fundamental need to let go of these defenses in order to make fundamental change."

To the point: What are the things we do that mark an attachment to the false self, a resistance to dropping a habitual way of being, of remaining in delusion? Are there any elements of the Aikido institution(s) (e.g. elements belonging to federations, to dojo, to the larger culture and economy, etc.) which not only make room for such practices but support them therein? What actions, discourses, and institutions condemn us to a spectrum whose poles are self-admiration (i.e. a kind of false Love) and paranoia (i.e. a kind of false Fear)?

What do you all think?

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