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Old 02-14-2005, 05:45 PM   #23
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Re: Has all the love gone?

I think we are starting to address multiple points here, or at least there are three big responses running through this thread. I would like to generally break them down. I am trying to do this because I still think the original post holds merit -- so it should be taken on its own. In addition, if we can see these other topics as separate, we can discuss them without being pressured to continue to address the original post (if so desired). Well, anyways, I'm trying to keep things clear in my head...

First, I think there is the point first raised by Mr. Modesto and myself -- that while we should grant the appropriate courtesies, etc., we should not negate or suggest that we can do without critical thinking for the sake of finding Love, etc. On this point, I think I am still standing with my original position -- though like the original poster I am very much against some of the attacking that goes on in these forums.

There seems to be a second point, raised by Mr. Goldsbury, which is focusing on the accuracy of the Osensei translations relevant to the common understanding of "Aikido is Love." On this point, I would indeed say that the push for accurate translations is always going to be a significant issue. This is especially true when one is dealing with such context-specific terms like "love." However, I am not so sure that Mr. Goldsbury is suggesting that the notion of "Aikido is Love," or the common tendency to wish to understand Aikido as the cultivation of Love, is itself inaccurate or flawed and/or something the Founder did not do. I have read his post only as a call for accuracy regarding context. Perhaps Mr. Goldsbury can elaborate his position a bit more if he is suggesting we should understand more than this. (I'm sorry to say, my browser is not showing the kanji.)

Personally, on this second point, I would like to suggest the following. While it may be difficult to find a quote where Osensei is saying the exact words "Aikido is Love," it is not too difficult to understand that Love holds a central place in the Founder's understanding of the universe, God, Creation, the nature of Man, and thus his martial art. This undoubtedly comes from his exposure to Omoto-kyo doctrine -- where Love also held a central place. This all can be readily heard in the Founder's radio interview that he did late in his life -- now produced on DVD by Aikido Journal. In that interview, interestingly, in the part where he is speaking of the "Divine Mission" (another Omoto-kyo term that in part pertains to the spreading of Love on Earth), Osensei does refer to Aikido with the phrase (something like), "…this martial art of Love." Hence, I do not think that the original post should lose any of its merit because some, most, or even all of us have never been personally exposed to such ideas and/or even because we have been led elsewhere by our teachers.

A third point pertains to the uniqueness of Aikido -- or lack thereof, as raised by Mr. Whiteland. There is much in this position that I agree with. However, I am more inclined to say that Aikido is not unique in the way that most are led to believe. This means that I do hold that there are some unique elements to Aikido and that indeed these unique elements do pertain to Aikido's relation to the concept of Love. Still, I am not sure why uniqueness or commonality (depending on your take) addresses the merit of the original post. Perhaps Mr. Whiteland can bring forth the connection a bit more. For example, is it being suggested that because no arts ever claim to be about hate, a question on how love should be manifested and/or cultivated in Aikido is irrelevant - ? Maybe I am missing something, but for me, that just does not follow -- even if commonality is granted.

Finally, for what it is worth -- off the top of my head -- I seem to remember that Musashi said something like, "The Martial Arts is about Victory." My Kenpo teacher always says, "Kenpo is about killing -- period." I have heard other folks talk about the arts being for the benefit of the state, about education, and even the benefit of the self, etc. Though none of these things are about "hate," all of these things, in my mind, are quite different from being about a Divine Mission where one can cultivate so much Love on Earth that Earth becomes a Heavenly Paradise.

For what it is worth, since we are talking about it, I have written on the uniqueness of Aikido, as I understand it, here:

David M. Valadez
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