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Old 01-15-2005, 06:54 PM   #13
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Dojo: Senshin Center
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,426
Re: "I am the Universe."

Hi Peter,

Ah yes, Bernard is a friend of Grapard's - I've met him many times in the past - a very nice man - extremely nice. I have always felt that his work on Ch'an in those two books was way ahead of its time. Perhaps even still today - in my humble opinion - since I do not see it being too much duplicated in other folks doing Ch'an studies. Those books, like Grapard's work, make ample use of folks like Braudel, Foucault, Bourdieu, etc. So context and theories on context are central to what we are referring to here - I definitely agree with you. That is the issue -- the central issue.

I also agree with your position that we are looking at some sort of shift - if not a break - maybe even a lapse in transmission and/or some kind of re-invention - when we are looking at Osensei's understanding of Aikido and Kisshomaru's. For me, one of the big clinchers that such a thing did take place, but by no means the only one, is something you said a while ago, about Kisshomaru suggesting that the word "Nature" is a sufficient replacement for Osensei's "all encompassing" terms (i.e. Dai-Uchuu, God, etc.) -- not hardly. If I may draw a parallel -- to me -- that would be like St. Paul saying, "We should think of "Heaven" as metaphor for social harmony and justice."

Of course, Osensei's Aikido, to me, is readily identifiable or can be identified in Osensei himself as a person. We can see what that is like and we are learning more all the time -- by sharing information like this on platforms like this. However, I am a little hesitant as to place all weight of the break in the single man of his son. That kind of agency is not part of how I was trained to understand history. There are many problems with those kinds of ideas of agency. Nevertheless, something did happen around that time, and undoubtedly Kisshomaru was part of it. He was definitely a player in whatever kind of paradigmatic shifts and/or epistemic shifts took place during his lifetime. Whatever happened, how it happened, why it happened, etc., has yet to be studied, as you said, and it might be some while before anyone would actually tackle that subject since such a work would indirectly be an attack on the claims of transmission for many folks training today.

Work and dojo life is so pressing (in a good way), maybe someday I can finish these ideas. I hope you can do the same -- selfishly. Anyway, you have been a great help and a great inspiration. Thank you.


David M. Valadez
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