Re: Looking for Aiki (in all the wrong places)
Thanks for playing!
You say: "Yeah, we should be able to explain what we do and be able to demonstrate that it works. As to the why it works... that's something that doesn't really interest me. The why it works is open to too many interpretations. As long as I am able to show my students what I do and provide them a scaffold to begin to construct their own understanding of aiki, the whys of it aren't especially important. Why makes for an interesting point of departure for a discussion of aiki but isn't necessary for attaining understanding of aiki."
Here I must disagree. I like analogies, as has become evident, so here's another one: In biology and medicine, humans did their best with herbs and remedies, much of which work(ed) quite well. But it wasn't until we came to an understanding of the germ theory of disease that we began to make real meaningful progress. For a great deal of what afflicts us, we now understand the why, and knowing the why has enabled us to make quantum leaps in understanding and treatment.
We don't always want to know how to build a watch when all we want to know is what is the time of day. Often procedural knowledge is enough to get us by. Ultimately though our arts progress by having serious researchers willing to dig into the roots that underlie the manifest expressions of a given discipline.
When the man said "He who hath the how is heedless of the why," he was speaking truth, but I believe in a rather cautionary way.