Persuading with the Sword of Love
There seem to be two true victories in Aikido, and they may go hand-in-hand. One aim is to achieve self-victory. Another is to heal an aggressor with love.
I believe the first victory I listed has to come first, and then it must be ever-maintained. Whether through keiko, meditation, or misogi through physical cleansing, self-victory cannot be achieved all of a sudden and stay with a person who has a passive attitude toward what he or she has "accomplished."
Due to increasing medicine side-effects, I was no longer capable of the cardiovascular and anaerobic endurance required to make it through an Aikido class, at least not with any enjoyment whatsoever. In fact, my many attempts were quite dysphoric. I could no longer return to the Source through meditation. Haircuts, shaving, showers, and reading books on spirituality seem the only forms of misogi I have left. These vehicles alone have not sufficed when it comes to maintenance of self-victory. I estimate that for about a year, I felt an inner peace that money, beyond its necessity to cover my moderate expenses, was green and white paper (with little blue and red threads). I have lost enough of that inner peace to certainly miss it, wondering if I'll feel it again someday. Money is still not a huge motivator for me, although I do have a taste for good things, especially good food, and as of late, high-quality art supplies.
Anyway, as to not turn this into a pure autobiography, I should further discuss my main points.
As the Faithless lyric goes, "Walking through the world with no pressure, in a peace beyond measure..." With such a mind state, I was able to think clearly, naturally avoiding dangers without the emotion of fear. When an aggressor senses the fearlessness and calm of a potential victim, he or she rethinks his or her plan. If a verbal aggression does ensue for multiple potential reasons, a person at peace can demonstrate love and empathy for the aggressor instead of matching egos shout for shout. A person without anything to prove to begin with will not get worked up, and will be able to sublty subdue the aggressor with the "sword of no-sword," or "the sword that gives life," or "the sword of love."
This has not happened to me in a life-or-death sense, but there may be instances when a physical attack just arrives all of a sudden. This is when the physical techniques, coupled with a clear, peaceful mind, might enter the scenario. Probably most Aikidoka will not have to deal with such a situation in their entire lives. However, with a superiority attitude (far from self-victory) that I have seen some Aikidoka develop, overconfidence follows suit. With no statistical data nor scientific study of any kind, I believe with my gut (conscious, preconscious, and unconscious minds) that overconfident people encounter more attack situations than those in a placid, down-to-earth mentality.