Re: Finding our own way in and out of Aikido
Nicely put, Drew. Interestingly enough I would say participating in Shinto, which came about accidentally through an interest in Aikido, has brought me closer to Christianity. Suffice it to say I've been very very critical of Christianity in the past.
Obviously this is just my own belief, but my relationship with Christ exists entirely in my heart. I live my life as best I know how...which means I will undoubtedly make mistakes in how I treat myself and my fellow humans, not to mention my supposed savior. My intent is always for Good to manifest, all the while knowing I have no reasonable/logical way of determining what is "truly" good...because I'm human and I'm dependant on my family and my society to fill me in on the world I happened upon at birth...before i began to make my own conclusions. That said, when i bow to O Sensei's image, I am not worshipping him as the pinacle of divinity (God-head), I am honoring him as but one result of that divinity...an archetype which represents something virtuous. In the same way, when I see a particularly beautiful flower or the kind of kindness which leaves me humbled, I thank whatever divine thing might be the source of such beauty and often beg pardon in case God cares more about what name I call Him than what is in my heart. In other words, my belief is that the particulars of form are meaningless, and the particulars of intent are everything.
This has been my way in and out of Aikido as it relates to spirituality.