Re: Aikido and being Christian
This is a really sucking thread, because I think that aikido has no problems with christian religion. If christians have problems with aikido they can search for personal solutions. Statements about aikido from christian perspective are problematic because the danger of categorial mistakes while judging. In the following I will outline some features of unsuficient argumentation-strategy and implicit values in argumentation.
Monotheistic religions don‘t have compatible concepts about what god is compared with politheistic religions. Incompatibuilities are seen as well to the nature of the goddes itself als well as to the nature of man.
Confronted with this incompatibilities Christians tend to two reactions: A1) Demonication. This is a typical reaction where uncompatible aspets are moved to the „bad" or „evil" side and so are made a taboo (of thinking, of dealing with). Historically this is typical process of changes in religion like matriachical to patriachical interpretation. Interestingly there are still relicts in stories and pictures (i.e. the picture of the devil in medivial church-painting resembles very much the picture ot the antique God Pan (very powerfull, giving panic to the people also by his unrestrained sexuality). A2) Overriding importance: The christian god is conceptualized as the highest beeing, overreaching other („minor" gods). This is accompanied by concepts like more powerfull, more loving or whatever. This kind of putting christian believe system over other systems can be seen in the way, the christian religion occupied formerly pagan places i.e. to build up their Churches, thus pushing away the former meaning of this place/pagan cult.
Both thinking mechanisms implicitly prefer christian interpretation schemes and devalue the polytheistic perspective. Normally christian argumentation has only little consciousness about this „We are the best, fuck the rest"-Ideology, as if their „loving-god-doctrine" was a permission to be intolerant or ignorant.
Wonders, supernatural ability and nonshared power concepts: Believe it or not, as it fits to your personal needs.
There is a good portion of „wonder", „supernatural ability" in all religious systems. In the bible we are told about an almighty god, jesus is said to be a great healer (even awaked a dead person), to have walked on the water, inscenated a selfsacrifice said to be of importance for the whole mankind etc. etc.. These stories and abilities are not doubted seriously by christian believers, which tend to a literal understanding of the bible. The stories and reported abilities mark the extraordinary importance of the historic happenings, they are part of the core of the religion.
Christians believers normally tend to get a bit shaky, when confronted with „wonders" and „subernatural abilities" from nonchristian backgrounds (i.e. reports about the abilities of M Ueshiba, yogi tradition, shamanic ability). This is very natural, because the reported christian wonders seem less exceptional when there is actual competition, that stems from nonchristian tradition.
So again, there is argumentation to get over this dissonance: A1) daemonization: ki, meditation, bowing, praying to is declared „bad", „unhealthy", „dangerous". Normally this is done without a deeper understanding of the banned concepts.
Citation: "If, however, you can stand perfectly still with your eyes closed and throw and pin twenty guys to the floor without touching any of them, you might want to visit your nearest exorcist - that or become your own one-man, pro-footbal team." Jonathan 10-12-04, 10:28)
Next attempt B1) is to declare unpleasant incidents/concepts als „lies" (normally not based on empirical data or proof). Interestingly the „It's a lie!-argument" could be used against christian stories too.
Third attempt B2) is the strategy of devaluation by refraiming. This means to remove the critical incidents/concepts from their genuin backgrounds/roots/explanations and to give alternativwe ones. This is a strategy to demystifie critical concepts to an acceptable grade.
Citation: "To any Christians out there who may have some concern about the "ki" thing in Aikido I would suggest that it is just the deep refining of one's intuition, sensory perception and physical movement expressed in relaxed, powerful, creative and effective responses to attack." Jonathan 10-12-04, 10:28
It's often puzzling to be confronted with unexpected things. One shouldn't try to escape by restricted reasoning or cheap answers.