Thread: Ki is Kindness.
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:18 AM   #135
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Ki is Kindness.

Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I guess what I think I'm seeing is a work in progress with regard to defining ki, basing it on something similar to my sense of ki as I learned it from Tsubaki America and thus Tsubaki Okami Yashiro in Japan...this idea of returning to the "source ki," which is pure (for lack of a better term perhaps) and, i presume, "good" (whatever that might be). If I'm not mistaken, Misogi has been explained to me in a similar light, in which over time, our otherwise good nature accumulates tsumi/impurity which we seek to return to its original, better state.
Hello Matthew,

I am sure you know the episode that is the source of misogi. It occurs in the Kojiki, when Izanagi-no-mikoto immerses himself in a river, after returning from Yomotsu-kuni (the underworld) and having some kind of encounter with his dead wife, Izanami-no-mikoto. For Japan, this is a crucial episode, for the two deities created when Izanagi was in the river were Amaterasu-o-mikami and Take-haya Susa-no-o, major deities in the Japanese pantheon.

Now this is not a case of Izanagi's pure nature accumulating tsumi over time, for nothing is stated about Izanagi's 'good'/'pure' nature. It was one, crucial, act, for which he had the very best of reasons for performing--rather like the original sin in Genesis. The woman took the fruit because she was told by the serpent that she would gain extra knowledge.

To put it very crudely, Izanagi and Izanami can be translated, respectively, as male sex/procreation deity and female sex/procreation deity; together they produced the Japanese islands--nothing at all like creation in Genesis. Izanagi went to Yomotsu-kuni because his wife had died in creating the deity of fire; the joint work of creation had not been finished. As far as I can see, KI is not mentioned at all in the early parts of the Kojiki, so there are no episodes where KI needs to be purified. Another, important, point is that Take-haya Susa-no-o did not perform misogi in a river after he was expelled from the land for ascending to Takama-no-hara and attacking Amaterasu's house and land.

Have you discussed Izanagi's misogi 禊, tsumi 罪 / kegare 穢 with Mr Barrish? Perhaps you should?

So, purely on the basis of the original myth, I am unconvinced that KI is like misogi and there is nothing in the Kojien definitions that suggests this.

Best wishes,


P A Goldsbury
Hiroshima, Japan
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