Re: Aikido and being Christian
This is a most interesting thread. After I read all the entries I was quite pleased to note that there are many who seem who share my personal point of view: Aikido is what you make it! So is ki! Our intent, interpretation, use and experience of a thing define its quality of goodness or badness. For example there are those who feel handguns are bad and should be banned. Others believe (myself included) that guns are inanimate objects incapable of any such anthropomorphic qualities. In my view, it is the intent of the bearer that is either good or bad.
Just so, if one wishes to bring religion based spirituality to their Aikido practice, then Aikido will be a spiritual thing to them. So will ki. Others who do not assign a secular element to Aikido or ki will practice in religious neutrality. We all choose our path. We personally assign value and meaning as is congruous to our own perspectives on living, which includes our faith selections (and yes, not choosing is a choice).
However, I did strongly disagree with those who stated that meditation and emptying the mind could allow something evil to enter. My opinion? Impossible! First off I need to say that I do not anthropomorphize deities, evil, goodness etc. Evil is not some sort of mystical sneak-thief awaiting for the owner of the house to leave before robbing it. It is a personal quality that, like honesty, goodness or morality, must be intentionally developed within ones self. That being the case, I offer the following analogy. If you empty a glass of its water, the glass still remains. If you attempt to fill the glass with vapor, the glass will not hold it because it is the wrong type of substance for that container. In the same manner, evil can not take over a good person. They are simply the wrong kind of containers!
Also, this idea of ki being from the devil is actually anti-Christian. Consider: all things come from God. Even Lucifer, according to doctrine, was created by God. So Lucifer is unable to create anything new and must content himself with warping that which already exists, hence his reputation as the Father of Lies and The Great Deceiver. This turns the ki conundrum into the handgun example I gave earlier. The practitioner of ki development will decide for him or her self via intent, interpretation, use and experience, just what exactly the nature of ki is for themselves.