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Old 07-13-2004, 01:16 PM   #7
Ghost Fox
Dojo: Jikishinkan Dojo
Location: New York City (Brooklyn)
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 219
Re: Article: Lack of Spirituality by George S. Ledyard

Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
I don't think it is true. Understanding O sensei's ideas come only from physical practice, from pure aikido technique.These techniques are constructed this way, to teach us that stuff.

Nobody must and ever will duplicate spiritual experience of Founder, it is waste of time.
It is completly indyvidual thing.
I don't agree when you say that physical practice is the only way to understand O sensei's ideas. I do agree that there is a transcendental spiritual quality that comes from challenging rigorous practice. This is the same quality that can be found in an honest days work of physical labor. Maybe this is the reason that the Protestant movement strongly advocated hard work for the soul.

I also agree that "pure' Aikido techniques contain an innate quality that can lead to spiritual development. One just has to exam the teachings of Gozo Shioda to see that this is a viable concept. Whether this has to do with jikishin, memes, the holographic nature of the universe, or the Hermetic concept of "as above so below" is debatable. The fact is that through physical practice these concept slowly become hardwired into the psyche, but what is required for this a priori experience, what is the formula?

For one thing, the practice must be correct in execution and transmission. In addition, one has to push and be pushed passed ones own physical limits repeatedly. One also has to be allowed to fail, and be left a lone to figure things out why they failed. Lastly, one has to analyze the technique and try to figure out its occult (hidden) meaning.

But can this transcendental quality be enhanced by a spiritual belief system? O sensei had his belief in Omote-kyo, for Shioda it was probably the rigors of scientism, and for Tohei it was the teachings of Tempu Nakamura. Does learning and adhering to a cosmological structure aids one development in Aikido? Does it provide a reference for the physical teaching to adhere to like a riverbed carrying water? I will personally say yes, with the stipulation that such beliefs must be carried to the experiential world. One cannot be a simple theorist. They say the difference between a scientist and magician understanding a pool of water is that a scientist will only study, document and exam the water with cold detachment, while a magician during the course of his studies will throw himself into the pool to experience the water. And maybe this is where the study of nature comes in. Maybe by studying nature, we see patterns in the universe that translate to patterns in Aikido.

So while we don't have to duplicate the exact spiritual journey of the founder, a well thought out system of belief will probably aid us in our journey, and help us interpret what we are learning.

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