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Old 08-09-2013, 12:08 PM   #54
Dojo: Kakushi Toride Aikido
Location: Los Angeles
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 109
Re: Ki energy defined

Benjamin Edelen wrote: View Post
Yes exactly. Each of those is only between the ears.

"So many times we try to find the right emotion. What emotion is going to help you? This is what helps you (raises his fists). Forward motion, getting your legs back, getting up off the bottom, working the whole time. Those are actions. Not one of those was an emotion. Anger, happiness, sad, fear, scared. Not one of those is going to get a judge to mark your name. (raises his fists) This is what marks your name." - Chael Sonnen
The emotionlessness M. Sonnen is actually describing is defensiveness coupled with a need to connect. Without an expressed need to connect from one person to another there is no point to martial arts. And if getting a judge to "mark your name" is the goal it might be an apt quote. But there is a big difference in purpose and hence in practice if the fundamental goal of the activity is not to overcome aggression but to heal conflict.

All action begins "between the ears, " whether arising from the limbic system or the neocortex but if it stayed between the ears then no action would take place. It is through intention that action occurs (even involuntary action).

If the implication is that Love, Success, Pride, Courage, and Loyalty don't exist because they are not measurable, think again. They are only immeasurable objectively in degree of comparison by instruments, but one can certainly see a difference in quantity of courage between a martial artist who learns sniper marksmanship to stave off an armed attacker from a great distance from one who engages the armed attacker within arms reach with nothing more than compassion and moral conviction. It took the largest army in the world many years to settle the insurgent fighting in Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. In comparison it took Mohandis Gandhi three weeks to end a civil war by refusing to eat while the fighting went on - and that is with only the relatively rudimentary methods of communication in then underdeveloped India in 1922 for the word of the fast to get out, mostly word of mouth (no texting, tweeting or world wide web).

Pain relievers, like many medicines, are tested using patient feedback because there is no definitive ways of measuring pain, as it is subjective. We can see certain brain activity, measure amounts of drug intake in the subject's body, but the real test of efficacy is if people feel better after taking the pain killer. So, is pain non-existant because it is "between the ears?"

As a simple empirical experiment, choose a person you love and for one hour throw out any negative thoughts you have about them and focus on what makes you love them. Choose a different hour, throw out any positive thoughts about the same person and keep reminding yourself of all the things that person does that you hate. Do it in the person's proximity (magnetic forces always work but the effects are more observable when the masses are within a particular field, same with ki), but do not say a word - just keep thinking either acceptance, forgiveness, compassion, respect, love, or disgust, resentment, anger and a feeling of superiority. Really do it, don't just go through an intellectual exercise. See if the person you focus on notices a difference. That would give you a gross measurement of flow of love at least on a gross level of yes or no.

I also have empirical support, affirmed by experienced aikidoka from outside my dojo, that the principles I've described are valid in action, and my entire expression of aikido is nothing more than embodying some form of beneficent intention, turning off the line of the attack and entering - and no set technique. Osensei meant it when he said budo is love.