Thread: Ki is Kindness.
View Single Post
Old 12-11-2010, 10:16 AM   #23
C. David Henderson
Location: Santa Fe New Mexico
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 606
Re: Ki is Kindness.

This conversation reminds me of a dinner party I attended around 15 years ago in a little village south of here called La Cienega. A very friendly woman sincerely offered to read fortunes using "Native American Tarot" cards.

I certainly can suspend my skepticism and enjoy having my fortune read, but there simply is no such thing as "Native American Tarot cards" other than something invented to appeal to vague notions of Indian spirituality that percolates through a lot of the new ager venues around here.

I had no problem with that either.

I did feel it wasn't right to pass it off as a part of another people's traditions, though -- it should stand or fall on its own feet, not by a faux appeal to someone else's supposed beliefs.

(I think that showed, as I got a pretty unfortunate interpretation of my fortune that night.)

I'm certain your understanding of Ueshiba is a lot more accurate than this woman's understanding of Native American cultures.

But at one level, your lack of curiosity or interest in what O Sensei may have meant from his own cultural milieu strikes me as similar, if only in that it makes it difficult for me to accept your assertions that your own beliefs are based on what he "said," or that there is no "translation problem," followed by an English rendering of what he "said."

Again, that doesn't make you wrong in your beliefs about the world itself.

However, if you present it as based on another persons' ideas and thoughts, rather than your own beliefs, it invites discussion.

I don't think the correctness of someone's belief system can rationally be debated.

But appeals to authority that sometimes arise can, and, in my view, such debates do not reflect an easy division of the world into folks who are alienated by their own rationality versus those in touch with a deeper reality.

BTW, take a look at the "Kung fu for Philosophers" link in one of the current threads here. I think its suggestive of ways in which some of these concepts are often "mistranslated."

Meanwhile, I'm bowing out of this discussion. I need to go sit before class.

David Henderson
  Reply With Quote