Re: Aikido minus mysticism: a step forward
Michael Neal has some good points I believe.
I am a buddhist basically which is really interesting, cause I don't know how you claim that as a religion since it is basically anti-dogmatic, and a philosophy..so how could you "be" it....but in the west we tend to like things in neat little boxes with labels.
I personally have a problem when you start becoming dogmatic with anything simply because it means you stop thinking for yourself and allow the group or authority to think for you. I have experienced this to a small degree in aikido with sensei worship and O'Sensei worship for sure.
As far as separation of religion from aikido. Well If I had to choose, i'd say that aikido tends to be a part of my personal spiritual practice...and if you had to use the western concept of religion, then I guess you could say it was a part of my religious rites. For me it is inseparatable. That said, does not make it a religion.
Really my problem with the world as a whole is dogmatic practices. Once you stop thinking and questioning things for yourself, or start stating ultimatiums, or judging others, well there will be something contrary to that view. That is when you have conflict!
This is why we study aikido I believe and what the founder wanted us to take away from it. We can never acheive his goals unless we "GET IT".
You can never GET IT unless you have the spiritual aspects integrated. As far as I am concerned, why waste your time studying the art if this is not your goal...there are much more fun martial arts out there that focus on techniques, dominating and winning.