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.
Hi Ross -
Why and how are often used interchangeably; indeed they're listed as synonyms in the Thesaurus. But why also is defined as: for what? for what reason, cause, or purpose?: Why did you behave so badly?
When I posted that why Aiki works doesn't interest me it was this usage of why that I had in mind. I'm very much interested in how Aiki works and how my training enables me to strengthen it.
In your analogy of germ theory you could easily substitute how for occurrences of why without altering the meaning. But if you're thinking of why as 'for what reason, cause, or purpose?', the same substitution doesn't work so well.
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.
I believe the truth of that statement depends entirely on in what context how and why are used.
Sorry for the confusion.