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Old 05-03-2011, 06:49 PM   #169
Demetrio Cereijo
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2,248
Re: Are we really doing O'Senseis Aikido?

Jason Casteel wrote: View Post
There's a lot of discussion recently as to just how much of the things he said were these quirky metaphysical/spiritual things or if they were actual physical references wrapped up in his spiritual parlance. Because I read some of those things and, to me, now, they are far more physical than spiritual.
But for him, imo, physical and spiritual was the same thing.

For the others, there is an interview on AJ where the person recalls asking O'sensei about his spirituality and if one needed to do that to do his aikido and he responded no, that is his aikido and one does not have to do exactly as he does.
I think you are talking about André Nocquet, a french student of Tadashi Abe who practised Aikido in Japan in the mid fifties.
"[One day] I said to Ueshiba Sensei, "You are always praying, Ueshiba Sensei. Then aikido is a religion." "No, that's not true. Aikido is never a religion, but if you are a Christian, you will be a better Christian because of aikido. If you are a Buddhist, you will be a better Buddhist." I thought it was an amazing response. I really liked his answer. Since he was a Japanese I was afraid he would say that Christianity was nothing. Ueshiba Sensei had a great deal of respect for Christ. I was living in a four-mat room in the dojo and he would knock on the door and enter. He would sit down beside me and there was a portrait of Jesus Christ. He would place his hands together in a gesture of respect. I asked him one day if there wasn't a similarity between his prophecies and those of Christ. He answered, "Yes, because Jesus said his technique was love and I, Morihei, also say that my technique is love. Jesus created a religion, but I didn't. Aikido is an art rather than a religion. But if you practice my aikido a great deal you will be a better Christian." Then I asked, "Sensei should I remain a Christian?" He replied, "Yes, absolutely. You were raised as a Christian in France. Remain a Christian." If he had told me to stop being a Christian and become a Buddhist, I would have been lost. My heart was full of Ueshiba Sensei because he had a vision of the entire world and that we were all his children. He called me his son."
I wonder how practising Aikido can make one a better christian/buddhist/muslim whatever. Anyway, founder's words as told by Nocquet resemble (to me, at least) Oomoto doctrine:
The teachings of Oomoto are not those of a single sect. We don't believe, as do many established religions, that in the words of our founder we have the one and only religious truth. At Oomoto, we don't bind up and destroy people's living souls by encircling them with the steel nets and bars of doctrine and scriptures and rituals and catechisms. As a result, Christians, Buddhists and believers of other faiths from all over the world come to Oomoto, and we all work together to cultivate our spirituality and to discover religious principles in harmony with our times.Onisaburo Deguchi, 1923

So how do we reconcile that? Is everything short of doing exactly what he did "aikido in name only"? Tohei did not involve himself with the spiritual, but Ueshiba seemed to approve of what Tohei was doing to the point of signing off on books and videos. So where's the real line? Do we need toseparate ai-ki-do and aiki-do?
Where is the real line? I don't know where is the line but, considering how many claim do be doing "the real thing" while doing very different aikidos, makes me thing the line has to be drawn by oneself, mostly because possibly none of them is to be trusted.
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