George S. Ledyard wrote:
O-Sensei felt that Aikido contained the "essence of religions" in that the principles were universal and fundamental. If this is true you should be able to discover your own interpretation based on the 5 Pillars and how you see them in your own belief system.
And I have! I see no conflict in what I practice on and off the mat. There is an interconnectedness in my personal mind-body practices, which have several components.
They each support the other. For example I find when I "ignore" uke my technique is not quite right. When I acknowlege uke's presence (making a genuine connection) my technique is much more fluid. This seems to happen with more consistency when I tend to my other practices such as Tai Chi, breathing, or making salaat (prayer). Those practices bring me to a place of "clarity". Ignoring uke would be to not acknowlege his presence or energy. My interpretation of the 1st Pillar is to acknowlege the presence of "God" as I know him, which to me means Universal Energy, which is endowed in all of us. How could I ignore THAT Energy (or Spirit or KI) and be a good Muslim?