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Old 11-19-2004, 12:49 PM   #2
Ghost Fox
Dojo: Jikishinkan Dojo
Location: New York City (Brooklyn)
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 219
Re: Article: Big Mind, Little Mind by George S. Ledyard

Hello George,

Love the article, especially towards the end when you begin discussing Aikido as an energy system. The article really stirred up some internal dialogues that I have been having as of late.

This is fundamentally an experiential reality; issues of intellectual understanding or not understanding miss the mark.
I agree about the experiential nature of Aikido, and life in general, but are issues of intellectual understanding part of the experiential framework? Does the forlorn attempt to intellectualize the process add mental pressure to foster further spiritual development? Also, does the intellectual understanding provide for an ability to further enhance our technical understanding of the techniques of Aikido?

In other words their very actions are important in maintaining the natural order and Man's place in it.
But rituals as well as technique are not just physical action. What part does mental focus and the psych-emotive response play, are they necessary for proper execution? Is just blind rote practice enough, our is intent necessary for changes to occur in our spirit?

From the standpoint of the mystic, this is ok. Just as many religions, even modern ones, have stated that it is not necessary for the practitioner to understand a ritual as long as he does the ritual properly; it will still have the same potency.
I don't think this is true. For the mystic it is necessary for the seeker to dive into the mysteries, to explore new avenues of thought and logic. Although, I can see how from a religious point of view this may be the case, since for the most part a religious institution seeks only to have as many followers as possible subscribe to it's worldview in order to gain a certain power within the society.

Isn't it necessary to have a fundamental understanding of the cosmology of a system to benefit from any spiritual/psychological change that it offers? If what your saying is true is it possible to impart the full teaching of Aikido without words, can a teacher merely demonstrate the techniques and provide hands-on instruction?

This is why, I believe, that the Founder didn't make more of an effort to inculcate his students with his spiritual beliefs.
Although the founder wasn't looking for converts to his religion didn't he instruct his students to apply their understanding of Aikido to their own spiritual systems? So does Aikido require a medium, a belief system, in order to flourish as an agent of spiritual transformation?

Real combat involves un-clarity, tricks, surprise, dishonest energy...
I agree with this, but the practice of Aikido allows us to learn the sensitivity necessary to deal with these types of subtle energy manipulation.

Many Aikido folks who try to artificially create some sort of spiritual practice end up eviscerating the art rather than developing a practice which follows the principles as outlined by the Founder.
Again in total agreement, in my relatively short experience I've notice that most injuries I have received and witnessed are either from these pseudo-spiritual Aikidoka either executing technique or receiving a technique. I always feel safer with the "hard core" budo practitioners as they tend to have superior control and execution.

Anyway, my apologize in advance for all the questions; just trying to glimmer some understanding from this beautiful art that is Aikido. Of course are also welcomed to respond.

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