View Single Post
Old 01-03-2009, 09:45 AM   #11
Erick Mead
Erick Mead's Avatar
Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,619
Arrow Re: Physical Theory of Aiki?

Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Aikido was first presented to me as the Way to Union with Ki. With that in mind I'm wondering if a purely physical model of Ki will ever be able to provide a complete picture of that process.
I am working at the moment purely on the physical aspect -- I never said it was purely physical. In fact from my physical perspective Ki is seen as the form in which all matter and energy is expressed. Form shapes the operation of substance, which one can view as touching the spiritual. Art has spiritual power for most people because and to the extent that it touches or expresses essential forms.

Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
... I was born into the world fully integrated with the rest of creation and ... I was essentially carved out of the whole to assume my role as a distinct person. ... One consequence of my individualization has been the loss of connection with the larger totality of existence that I came into the world with.
I think O Sensei was right that the realization of the correct form of action illuminates the nature of this problem.

O Sensei wrote:
"you should let the ki of your thoughts and feelings blend with the Universal."

"The secret of aikido is to make yourself become one with the universe and to go along with its natural movements. One who has attained this secret holds the universe in him/herself and can say, I am the universe.'"

"I am the universe."

"You should realize what the universe is and what you are yourself. To know yourself is to know the universe."
Essentially, most people individuate by opposition, opposing their parents, teachers and others who define external forms. This is a way to try to shape an individuated form by shaping it against or contrary to those externals. The thought is that this a way to develop as distinct from and not defined by those externals. This is an error. The negative of a form is the SAME form, just inverted. To develop only by negating or opposing external forms is to be bound to the forms that came before, and therefore to NOT become who you truly are, your own unique creation, but merely the mirror of what you react against.

(By "you," I don''t mean YOU, Ron) If, having followed this path you get too close to the external forms you have individuated from the similarity becomes too obvious for most people's comfort and so they expend great effort to maintain a distance, in an artificial way from things they are already fitted to. It often results in the situation of the "dead connection" between the individual and others.

Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
There is a barrier that isolates me, that endows me with individuality while shutting me off from communion with the larger totality that I can see and ponder but not partake of.

All this leads me to believe that Ki is a complex integrative process that I can partially understand in terms physical theory. But to unite with Ki I am required to experience it on a level that transcends intellectual understanding.
I think that is so. But we are conscious, rational creatures, and there are unconscious and unthinking ways of falling into error that are as bad as those of erroneous conscious choice. We must act correctly in both senses.

What O Sensei's teaching shows through a practical application is that this separation and negation is not necessary, and there is another more creative way, epitomized in the context of a direct physical conflict. Juuji (十字) in combination with the cycling of Ki teaches, to me, the nature of harmonics and resonance. Negative opposed to positive diminishes both, moreover, in a dull, linear and predictable way. It is destructive to the same extent that it is imitative.

Juuji, in terms of harmonics, means that at maximum positive the matching signal is at zero, and the same at maximum negative. NO resistance. Conversely, when you wish to maximize your own action, positive or negative, you choose to do it at the point that the matching signal is at zero phase. Neither signal diminishes the other at all -- each is fully and completely expressed, and maintains its independence and individuality without diminishment. Both have perfect freedom to act fully.

Moreover the combination is NOT linear, which is to say, joining them changes the resulting combination in way that are initially predictable, IF one is aware of what is happening (another reason why both unconscious, intuitive integration and conscious awareness are BOTH critical to human flourishing). But when repeated only a few times, the dynamic evolves in organic, lively and unpredictable ways, which while being entirely novel and creative forms they are intuitively recognizable and familiar.

Perfect freedom for yourself that also submits to the complete freedom of the other, and which results in the generation of novel dynamics. Secret of the universe ...


Erick Mead
  Reply With Quote