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Old 06-07-2008, 01:00 AM   #26
Jonathan
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

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I'd say look harder at what the Scripture teaches, and then look harder at what the physical teaching of Aikido imparts.
I don't think its a matter of looking harder, Eric. I'm a very familiar with what the Bible teaches.

Quote:
Christianity is an emphatically incarnational spirituality, and salvation is yet through the body, though not of the body.
This sounds kinda' vague. The Bible makes it clear that salvation is through a person, Jesus Christ (1 Jn. 5:11-13). His incarnation and subsequent sacrificial death made my salvation possible and in this respect I would agree that there is an "incarnational" aspect to Christianity. However, my spiritual life, though manifested outwardly in the way I live my life, is fundamentally rooted in the intangible connection I have with God through faith in Christ. Perhaps I'm saying the same thing you are, just in different terms.

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"Be in the world but not of the world." There is this which is of great interest and should, standing alone, compel a committed Christian to greater study of the correspondences between the systems of understanding, their history and import, in my view:
Actually, as I understand it, the world has little, if any spiritual wisdom to offer the Christian, according to the Bible. Being in the world is unavoidable, but being of it, adopting its values, traditions, morals and philosophy is condemned in the Scriptures. (Col. 2:8; 1 Cor. 3:19; 2 Pe. 2:20; 1Jn. 2:15) Other faiths hold certain values and truths in common with Christianity, and noting this is interesting. If I am going to understand and recognize the truth, however, I am better served to study it than a counterfeit of it.

Peter Goldsbury's speculations on the connection between Christ as the Word of God and kotodama is unfortunate. He apparently doesn't understand the scriptural reference in John 1:1 as speaking of Christ, which is what it does. Your example here simply reinforces what the Bible says about trying to synthesize the spiritual truth of God's Word with the wisdom of this world - it cannot be done, at least not without resulting confusion and misunderstanding.

The scriptural references you gave apparently as biblical justification for violent or martial action are nothing of the sort. If this how you are using them, you are exposing your own lack of scriptural understanding in doing so. For example, the first reference you gave from Matthew 10:34 is actually speaking of the divisive nature of truth and allegiance to Christ. The sword that is brought is upon Christians by those antagonistic to the faith, not the other way 'round. Christ even hints at this in verse 39. Thus, in light of this and the many other verses in the Bible commanding gentleness and meekness, it is not scriptural grounds upon which a Christian may justify violent action.

I could go on, but this isn't really the place for discussions of the Scriptures. Suffice it to say, nothing you've written really challenges what I wrote.

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Old 06-07-2008, 02:15 AM   #27
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
Peter Goldsbury's speculations on the connection between Christ as the Word of God and kotodama is unfortunate. He apparently doesn't understand the scriptural reference in John 1:1 as speaking of Christ, which is what it does.
Mr Hay,

Before you pass judgment on my "speculations", I suggest you read the post in question more carefully. The reference to John 1. 1, quoted by Erick Mead (Post #24, I believe), was made by Morihei Ueshiba, not by me. It appears in his Takemusu Aiki discourses. I made the translation from Japanese to English.

Sincerely,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 06-07-2008, 02:42 PM   #28
Jonathan
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

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Before you pass judgment on my "speculations", I suggest you read the post in question more carefully. The reference to John 1. 1, quoted by Erick Mead (Post #24, I believe), was made by Morihei Ueshiba, not by me. It appears in his Takemusu Aiki discourses. I made the translation from Japanese to English.
Ah, I see. My apologies for treading on your toes. I see now, looking again at the quotation, that there is a "Tr." before your name. Actually, in light of your posts that I've read, it did seem strange to me that you would make such an error, which, it turns out, you didn't. Again, sorry about misunderstanding your connection with Eric's quotation.

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Old 06-07-2008, 03:03 PM   #29
Jonathan
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

Matthew:

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I think a person can have a spiritual experience at any given moment of their life, whether that person is buying groceries or kneeling in Church or training. Similarly, I believe we can enrich our spirit through purposeful action.
I'm sorry for being a bit thick about this, but what do you mean by "spiritual experience"? And can you give me an example of purposeful action that is spiritually enriching? (As a guess, do you mean something like prayer? Or some kind of misogi ritual?)

Quote:
Well, sure, but why wouldn't I feel good about myself for having a spiritual experience? Personally, washing the car hasn't proven to be the best approach so far.
So, are you saying that, for you, a spiritual experience may result in feeling good, but that good feeling isn't itself the spiritual experience?

Yeah, I don't find car washing terribly spiritually uplifting, either.

Quote:
If you mean to ask if i agree with the idea that just because something feels good it is good, then no, that's not what it means.
No, sorry, that's not what I meant. And I agree with you, by the way, that not all things that feel good are good.

Quote:
How does anything nurture your soul? Or do you disagree with that concept?
Well, you see, that's what I'm trying to get at. What do you mean by "nurturing the soul"? I've found that there is a fairly wide spectrum of thought on what this means. I'm curious to hear what your is - if you don't mind. I do believe that one can nourish their soul, but how I as a Christian might do this I expect is rather different than how one who is not might do so. As a Christian, my soul, I believe, is not particularly nourished by Aikido training. How about you? Have you encountered spiritual moments in your Aikido training?

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Old 06-07-2008, 06:04 PM   #30
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
-- the intangible connection I have with God through faith in Christ.
...which connection is also a Person, the Holy Spirit, -- if we are to keep our theology straight. The fire descends where He wills it -- so, who is to say it did not descend to a guy in Japan in the 20's and 40's? Who is to say that a Christian should NOT understand what he has to teach from the standpoint of semina verbi (regardless of how the Japanese may view their own spirituality, or that of Christianity), especially when the man invokes the divine Logos to help explain himself?
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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
The scriptural references you gave apparently as biblical justification for violent or martial action are nothing of the sort.
You could not have more widely missed my point, had you tried to do it. Katsujinken.
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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
For example, the first reference you gave from Matthew 10:34 is actually speaking of the divisive nature of truth and allegiance to Christ. The sword that is brought is upon Christians by those antagonistic to the faith, not the other way 'round. Christ even hints at this in verse 39.
Thus, in light of this and the many other verses in the Bible commanding gentleness and meekness, it is not scriptural grounds upon which a Christian may justify violent action.
If the "sword," metaphorical or otherwise, is turned upon Christians rather than also wielded by them (as katsujinken, in my view) then why do are we supposed to sell all we own and, among other things, go get one, (and only one), sword? That we are to die by the sword if we take it up is certain, but we are supposed to die to this life in any event, if we are to be reborn in Christ, so why is the vocation of the sword as the means to die to this life a bad thing, theologically speaking?

Dying itself is not of consequence to our salvation -- so properly, faced with attack, we arm ourselves and step under the falling sword. Meister Eckhart said that the Kingdom is only for those who are "thoroughly dead." While deemed kitschy in some quarters, how is this not comparable to what is said of budo in Hagakure? "By setting one's heart right every morning and evening, one is able to live as though his body were already dead, he gains freedom in the Way. His whole life will be without blame, and he will succeed in his calling."

Thomas a Kempis spoke no less forwardly:
Quote:
Imitation of Christ wrote:
... in this life you are never safe, and as long as you live the weapons of the spirit will ever be necessary to you. You dwell among enemies. You are subject to attack from the right and the left. If, therefore, you do not guard yourself from every quarter with the shield of patience, you will not remain long unscathed. ... You ought, therefore, to pass through all these things bravely and to oppose a strong hand to whatever stands in your way. For to him who triumphs heavenly bread is given, while for him who is too lazy to fight there remains much misery.… Let no man fear any terrors. Let us be prepared to meet death valiantly in battle.
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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
I could go on, but this isn't really the place for discussions of the Scriptures. Suffice it to say, nothing you've written really challenges what I wrote.
Well, you were saying that you couldn't relate them to the spiritual understanding of aikido, and I was showing a way (one at least) that it could be done, so I would say that yes, I really did challenge you. And the relation to aikido is proper discussion on this thread topic.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 06-08-2008, 12:44 AM   #31
Jonathan
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

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...which connection is also a Person, the Holy Spirit, -- if we are to keep our theology straight.
By all means, keep it straight!

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The fire descends where He wills it -- so, who is to say it did not descend to a guy in Japan in the 20's and 40's?
Off the top of my head I can't think of any instance in the Bible when the Holy Spirit rested upon anyone in an oracular or prophetic way who was not a servant of Jehovah God. You don't find the Holy Spirit at Pentecost descending willy-nilly upon people, either. No, He came as the Comforter to Christians. The Holy Spirit inspired followers of Christ to write what we know today as the N.T., not followers of some pagan god.

I strongly doubt that Morihei Ueshiba was inspired by the Holy Spirit in the things he said about the relationship between the human and the divine. Mainly this is so because of the point I just made above, but also because much of what he said is directly contradicted by Scripture. God is not the author of confusion the Bible tells us, which is precisely what you get when you have a person espousing contradictory religious beliefs.

Quote:
Who is to say that a Christian should NOT understand what he has to teach from the standpoint of semina verbi (regardless of how the Japanese may view their own spirituality, or that of Christianity), especially when the man invokes the divine Logos to help explain himself?
Many have invoked the name of Christ while teaching falsehood and behaving like the devil.

Not being Catholic, I don't myself hold to the idea of semina verbi. There are some universal truths that God has put in place prominently enough in the world that even those who aren't enlightened by God's Spirit can discern them. Thus, when a pagan religion or secular philosophy reveals an awareness of these truths, I don't assume that there has been some special divine dispensation of spiritual knowledge.

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You could not have more widely missed my point, had you tried to do it.
Well if I have, I don't believe the fault is entirely my own.

Quote:
If the "sword," metaphorical or otherwise, is turned upon Christians rather than also wielded by them (as katsujinken, in my view) then why do are we supposed to sell all we own and, among other things, go get one, (and only one), sword?
I believe Christians may take up arms to defend themselves and others (as your citation of Luke 22:35-38 indicates). However, some of the scriptural justification you appeared to be using in support of doing so was, as I briefly demonstrated, taken out of context. While there is talk of a sword in both the Luke and Matthew quotations the contexts are quite different and prevent a direct correlation. The example of Christ and the apostles was not to take up arms in matters directly associated with the spreading and defense of the gospel. If a Christian were to be attacked by highwaymen, however, in a situation not directly related to the Christian's faith, then, by all means, defense is perfectly appropriate.

Quote:
That we are to die by the sword if we take it up is certain, but we are supposed to die to this life in any event, if we are to be reborn in Christ, so why is the vocation of the sword as the means to die to this life a bad thing, theologically speaking
Living and dying by the sword is not, in context, meant to be taken as a good thing to do. Christ speaks of it in rebuke of Peter and goes on to explain that Peter's violent action is the result of his misunderstanding the situation. Christ was laying down his life willingly; it was not being taken from him by force, so he didn't need Peter's sword to defend him.

The commandments of Scripture to Christians to be "harmless" and "gentle" and "to not strive" would, if obeyed, preclude a life "lived by the sword."

I'm not sure what you mean when you say Christians are to be "dead to this life." We are made dead to sin and to Self (Ro. 6), but we are to live this life as an eternal investment. I don't, though, think either of these things touches upon what you mean.

Quote:
Dying itself is not of consequence to our salvation -- so properly, faced with attack, we arm ourselves and step under the falling sword.
There is more than just our own salvation to think of and by which we order our behavior.

Quote:
Meister Eckhart said that the Kingdom is only for those who are "thoroughly dead." While deemed kitschy in some quarters, how is this not comparable to what is said of budo in Hagakure? "By setting one's heart right every morning and evening, one is able to live as though his body were already dead, he gains freedom in the Way. His whole life will be without blame, and he will succeed in his calling."
Not being familiar with Meister Eckhart's writing, I cannot comment on what he meant and whether or not it is applicable in matters of budo.

The Bible, on the other hand, I do know something about and can tell you that what is meant in budo by being dead to the body is quite different from what is meant by the apostle Paul in his letters to the Romans, Galatians, or Corinthians.

Thomas a Kempis in the quotation you gave appears to be speaking of spiritual warfare, not physical. Paul wrote to the Ephesian Christians that they were constantly at war with "principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Eph. 6:12) He told them to put on spiritual armor with which to defend themselves because their battle was "not against flesh and blood."

Quote:
Well, you were saying that you couldn't relate them to the spiritual understanding of aikido, and I was showing a way (one at least) that it could be done, so I would say that yes, I really did challenge you.
You've shown me some of your thinking on the subject, but nothing that actually requires reversing or adjusting my own thinking. Thanks anyways.

Last edited by Jonathan : 06-08-2008 at 12:51 AM.

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Old 06-08-2008, 02:36 AM   #32
mathewjgano
 
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
I'm sorry for being a bit thick about this, but what do you mean by "spiritual experience"? And can you give me an example of purposeful action that is spiritually enriching? (As a guess, do you mean something like prayer? Or some kind of misogi ritual?)
No worries . I mean pretty much any experience that lends itself to one's sense of spirituality. Prayers and Misogi have both seemed spiritually enriching to me...sometimes more than others.

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So, are you saying that, for you, a spiritual experience may result in feeling good, but that good feeling isn't itself the spiritual experience?
I would say feeling good isn't necessarily the spiritual part of the experience, but certainly it's a part of a spiritual experience...so far as I can tell.

Quote:
Well, you see, that's what I'm trying to get at. What do you mean by "nurturing the soul"? I've found that there is a fairly wide spectrum of thought on what this means. I'm curious to hear what your is - if you don't mind. I do believe that one can nourish their soul, but how I as a Christian might do this I expect is rather different than how one who is not might do so. As a Christian, my soul, I believe, is not particularly nourished by Aikido training. How about you? Have you encountered spiritual moments in your Aikido training?
Yes I have. I've come away from training sessions with a heightened spiritual sense. Imagination or no, that was the sense I had. I'm an agnostic though: I don't ultimately know what I experienced, only that I experienced something.

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Old 06-08-2008, 03:34 PM   #33
Erick Mead
 
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I'm an agnostic though: I don't ultimately know what I experienced, only that I experienced something.
Nonsense. Of course you know what you experienced -- after all -- you experienced it.

As an agnostic, you just don't have a vocabulary to describe it adequately.

That can be easily remedied.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 06-08-2008, 03:36 PM   #34
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Nonsense. Of course you know what you experienced -- after all -- you experienced it.

As an agnostic, you just don't have a vocabulary to describe it adequately.

That can be easily remedied.
Same thing occured to me.

Jennifer Paige Smith
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Old 06-08-2008, 06:42 PM   #35
Jonathan
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

Matthew:

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I appreciate it.

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No worries . I mean pretty much any experience that lends itself to one's sense of spirituality. Prayers and Misogi have both seemed spiritually enriching to me...sometimes more than others.
"One's sense of spirituality"? Do you believe that the term "spirituality" is defined by the individual? Is that how it is for you? Do you say to yourself, "I think this is spiritual" and so it is?

How exactly were you "enriched spiritually" by the prayers and misogi? Did you feel an inner expansiveness and good will toward others and yourself? Or maybe you felt more at peace about life?

Quote:
I would say feeling good isn't necessarily the spiritual part of the experience, but certainly it's a part of a spiritual experience...so far as I can tell.
Hmmm...Okay. Have you had spiritual experiences that left you feeling bad? Have you had any of those during Aikido practice?

Quote:
Yes I have. I've come away from training sessions with a heightened spiritual sense. Imagination or no, that was the sense I had. I'm an agnostic though: I don't ultimately know what I experienced, only that I experienced something.
This sounds very interesting! What was this "heightened spiritual sense" like exactly? I've had moments in training where I felt like I was in "the zone." You know, that experience of being completely connected with my attacker on a level that seems to go beyond the physical. Its this comfortable, easy sensation where uke feels like a part of you. It always leaves me smiling - even chuckling - when it happens. Is this sort of what you mean? Or are you thinking of something more esoteric?

Its strange to me how little average Aikidoka actually talk about this stuff. Again, I appreciate your willingness to share your experiences with me.

If anyone else cares to share a spiritual Aikido training experience, by all means, feel free!

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Old 06-08-2008, 07:51 PM   #36
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
Matthew:
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I appreciate it.
My pleasure :-)

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"One's sense of spirituality"? Do you believe that the term "spirituality" is defined by the individual? Is that how it is for you? Do you say to yourself, "I think this is spiritual" and so it is?
More like, "I think this is spiritual," because it seems as such.
Quote:
Did you feel an inner expansiveness and good will toward others and yourself? Or maybe you felt more at peace about life?
That sounds about right.
Quote:
Hmmm...Okay. Have you had spiritual experiences that left you feeling bad?
Not overall. I've had humbling moments which were unpleasant to go through, but which left me feeling better than before.

Quote:
What was this "heightened spiritual sense" like exactly?
A peaceful sense of interconnectedness.

Quote:
I've had moments in training where I felt like I was in "the zone."
I would say that "in the zone" feeling lends itself to spiritual experiences, but it isn't necessarily a spiritual experience.

Quote:
Its strange to me how little average Aikidoka actually talk about this stuff. Again, I appreciate your willingness to share your experiences with me.
Well i think it's such a personal subject it's natural to shy away a bit.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 06-08-2008 at 07:56 PM.

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Old 06-08-2008, 08:22 PM   #37
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Nonsense. Of course you know what you experienced -- after all -- you experienced it.

As an agnostic, you just don't have a vocabulary to describe it adequately.

That can be easily remedied.
Made sense to me . ...and still does . Maybe if I rephrase it you'll see what I'm trying to say.
I don't know the ultimate nature of any of my experiences. As such i don't "ultimately know" them. People every day have experiences they'll understand better another day. They don't have ultimate/complete knowledge of those experiences even as they initially experience them.
As an agnostic I think it likely the ultimate nature of the universe is incomprehensible. If indeed it is incomprehensible I'm not sure how vocabulary could apply.

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Old 06-08-2008, 09:20 PM   #38
Erick Mead
 
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Made sense to me . ...and still does . Maybe if I rephrase it you'll see what I'm trying to say.
I sort of got what you weren't exactly saying. All I meant was that there are ways of addressing the ineffable -- they are not the experience itself, but they help to articulate it, not so much for transmitting it to others (that's actually much simpler) but for internalizing its meaning in your life (which then allows you its best expression -- by transmitting it to others) .
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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I don't know the ultimate nature of any of my experiences. As such i don't "ultimately know" them.
Funny thing. Neither do I. Difference is I have reason to hope and minor glimmers of joy (amidst much muck and grimness). A dim reflection. I suspect you have had a glimmer or two yourself. Keep a steady eye out, then.
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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
As an agnostic I think it likely the ultimate nature of the universe is incomprehensible. If indeed it is incomprehensible I'm not sure how vocabulary could apply.
If you are agnostic, then how do you know that it is incomprehensible? Or, more to the point, how do you know that understanding, in that sense, really even matters? Love well in hard times, do kindly in shortfall, and know that hope is never in vain. Surely this is among the lessons that the teaching of budo reaches in aikido.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:24 AM   #39
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

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I sort of got what you weren't exactly saying.
I've long had to depend upon the creative efforts of others

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All I meant was that there are ways of addressing the ineffable -- they are not the experience itself, but they help to articulate it,
I agree.

Quote:
not so much for transmitting it to others (that's actually much simpler)
How so?

Quote:
If you are agnostic, then how do you know that it is incomprehensible? Or, more to the point, how do you know that understanding, in that sense, really even matters?
I don't "know" anything, hence for all i know it could be comprehensible...and I hope it doesn't matter. So far it hasn't seemed to matter too much in my life.

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Love well in hard times, do kindly in shortfall, and know that hope is never in vain. Surely this is among the lessons that the teaching of budo reaches in aikido.
Fine words! I agree completely.

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Old 06-10-2008, 01:01 PM   #40
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
I'd say look harder at what the Scripture teaches, and then look harder at what the physical teaching of Aikido imparts.
Thanks for your post, Erick, I couldn't agree more. And I'm not even Catholic (big "c" anyway) .

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Old 06-10-2008, 03:32 PM   #41
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

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Off the top of my head I can't think of any instance in the Bible when the Holy Spirit rested upon anyone in an oracular or prophetic way who was not a servant of Jehovah God.
A common mark of the prophet is reluctance to serve -- Jeremiah, Isaiah, and most famously Jonah, even Moses, initially -- all were dragged protesting into service ... And does not the teaching of grace say that no one can become a servant of Jehovah unless the Spirit first so moves him, while he was yet a pagan -- and/or an inveterate sinner -- or even, perhaps, (gasp) an outright killer of the followers of Christ?

[St. Paul, call your service ...]

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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
The Holy Spirit inspired followers of Christ to write what we know today as the N.T., not followers of some pagan god.
Do you have some "follower" in mind that you would make this judgment of him?

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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
I strongly doubt that Morihei Ueshiba was inspired by the Holy Spirit in the things he said about the relationship between the human and the divine. Mainly this is so because of the point I just made above, but also because much of what he said is directly contradicted by Scripture. God is not the author of confusion the Bible tells us, which is precisely what you get when you have a person espousing contradictory religious beliefs.
Lessee, Ueshiba said that he desired "to assimilate myself to this Creator" (one, and only one). To "assimilate" means to "make like or similar." It sure is a silly thing to think than man can become "like God." Perish the thought:

"God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them." —Genesis 1:27

So, as far as Scripture contradicting that utterly, completely and obviously silly notion you must mean things like, say:

"Is it not written in your Law: I said, you are gods? So the Law uses the word gods of those to whom the word of God was addressed, and scripture cannot be rejected." John 10:34-35.

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, with our unveiled faces reflecting like mirrors the brightness of the Lord, all grow brighter and brighter as we are turned into the image that we reflect; this is the work of the Lord who is Spirit." —St. Paul, 2 Cor. 3:17-18.

"...if God has made you son, then he has made you heir. " —St. Paul, Gal. 4:7;

I guess that pretty much makes the idea of becoming one with kami a non-starter for us dyed-in-the-wool Christians, huh?

What did you think Kami is? Did you know that there is a Creator in Shinto, Lord of the Center Heaven? Did you know that the creator operated with two other personified creators (making a trinity)? Did you know that these two were responsible for the creation and right operation, respectively, of the visible (incarnate) world and in the invisible (spiritual) world of creation. Did you know that unlike all the other beings called "kami" the Creator Kami are not bound to "mono" -- loosely translated having a connection to a physical presence or locus. The three-fold Creator Kami, in contrast, are uniquely "hidden." There is much more you could profitably explore, if for no other reason than to properly evangelize.

Is it more or less charitable and humble to acknowledge that someone else may legitimately have a different -- but not inadmissible -- image of God that differs only because seen from a different angle through that same "dark glass." While there are images that are objectively erroneous, if one were to think that one's own image of God is the necessarily correct one -- to the exclusion of all others then, THAT is idolatry. If one were to instead carefully to understand the other view and the image that is seen -- then assimilating that view to your own may give you a more complete image of Truth. Paul preached the unknown God to the Athenians, and for good reason.

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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
... when a pagan religion or secular philosophy reveals an awareness of these truths, I don't assume that there has been some special divine dispensation of spiritual knowledge.
Why is that? You were a pagan once. So was I. Seems to me that without some "special divine dispensation of spiritual knowledge" we would remain one today, no? I think we even have a word for it ... "grace." And -- I think the mediator of that is commonly called -- the Holy Spirit. Theologically speaking, of course.

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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
Living and dying by the sword is not, in context, meant to be taken as a good thing to do. Christ speaks of it in rebuke of Peter and goes on to explain that Peter's violent action is the result of his misunderstanding the situation. Christ was laying down his life willingly; it was not being taken from him by force, so he didn't need Peter's sword to defend him.
"I come not to bring peace but a sword." Christ's life WAS a sword, a supreme act of budo, and thus did he die by the intrument he brought upon himself WILLINGLY. The difference is not in wielding the sword, but in wielding it as katsu-jinken "sword of life", whereas Peter wielded it in setsu-ninto "sword of death."

The True Way is narrow -- the width of the edge of the blade.

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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
The commandments of Scripture to Christians to be "harmless" and "gentle" and "to not strive" would, if obeyed, preclude a life "lived by the sword."
"Clever as serpents" -- you forgot that part.

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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
Not being familiar with Meister Eckhart's writing, I cannot comment on what he meant and whether or not it is applicable in matters of budo.
Well then, I commend him to you.

"Nothing hinders the soul so much in attaining to the knowledge of God as time and place. Therefore, if the soul is to know God, it must know Him outside time and place, since God is neither in this or that, but One and above them. If the soul is to see God, it must look at nothing in time; for while the soul is occupied with time or place or any image of the kind, it cannot recognize God." Eckhart's sermon on The Nearness of the Kingdom, tr. Claud Field.

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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
Thomas a Kempis in the quotation you gave appears to be speaking of spiritual warfare, not physical.
There is no difference. Wars are won in the will -- regardless of type.

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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
You've shown me some of your thinking on the subject, but nothing that actually requires reversing or adjusting my own thinking. Thanks anyways.
I have no desire to alter your thinking, it is simply plain that you have foreclosed a line of inquiry that is very rich and provocative for your own way of thinking. It is true that one should be wary of superfical similarity, but the reverse is also true, one should understand a topic well enough to not be misjudging from superficial differences where there may lie a more fundamental relationship in two bodies of thought. I simply suggest you should delve deeper into the similarities and consonant thoughts, rather than be seduced into avoidance by superficialities of difference.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 06-10-2008 at 03:36 PM.

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Erick Mead
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:55 PM   #42
Jonathan
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

Brace yourself, this is gonna be a long one!

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A common mark of the prophet is reluctance to serve -- Jeremiah, Isaiah, and most famously Jonah, even Moses, initially -- all were dragged protesting into service ... And does not the teaching of grace say that no one can become a servant of Jehovah unless the Spirit first so moves him, while he was yet a pagan -- and/or an inveterate sinner -- or even, perhaps, (gasp) an outright killer of the followers of Christ?

[St. Paul, call your service ...]
And your point is?

A reluctance initially to serve God is not the same as outright unbelief and/or devotion to a completely different deity. Paul was not a vessel to and through whom God shared His truth until after he was converted to faith in Christ.

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Lessee, Ueshiba said that he desired "to assimilate myself to this Creator" (one, and only one). To "assimilate" means to "make like or similar." It sure is a silly thing to think than man can become "like God." Perish the thought:

"God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them." —Genesis 1:27
That depends on what you mean by "like God." We have been bestowed with some of God's qualities and characteristics (the ability to reason, to appreciate beauty, to love, etc.), but we are far, far from being like God in the sense that we are His equal. See the story of King Nebuchanezzar (Dan. 4, 5) We are far more unlike God than like Him. The more you study the God of the Bible, the clearer this becomes (read the last few chapters of Job to get a good picture of what I mean).

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So, as far as Scripture contradicting that utterly, completely and obviously silly notion you must mean things like, say:
I'm afraid you've built something of a straw man, here. None of my comments to you spoke directly to the matter of being like God. The "utterly, completely and obviously silly notion" you've erected arises completely from your own thinking, not mine.

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"Is it not written in your Law: I said, you are gods? So the Law uses the word gods of those to whom the word of God was addressed, and scripture cannot be rejected." John 10:34-35.
I suppose you're thinking that Christ's use of the term "gods" here is some proof of the idea that we have an inherently divine nature? I hope this isn't what you're thinking because you'd be wrong if you are. Actually, the term "gods," in context, has more the meaning of "magistrate," or "official representative," than divinity. This is how it is used in Psalm 82:2, which Christ was referencing in verse 34 of John 10. More importantly, Christ, in the verses you quote, was drawing a contrast between himself, the Son of God, and the Pharisees, the earthly representatives of God. Christ wasn't highlighting a similarity, but a sharp difference, between them and himself.

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"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, with our unveiled faces reflecting like mirrors the brightness of the Lord, all grow brighter and brighter as we are turned into the image that we reflect; this is the work of the Lord who is Spirit." —St. Paul, 2 Cor. 3:17-18.
And what is it the Holy Spirit manifests in the life of a Christian? Galatians 5:22 & 23 tell us: "...love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance..." The Holy Spirit is not making us into gods, but into humans who better reflect Christ's holiness and righteousness - his "glory," in other words.

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"...if God has made you son, then he has made you heir. " —St. Paul, Gal. 4:7;
An heir of what? The glory and presence of God Himself. Our final "inheritance" is to be in full, unadulterated, unobstructed fellowship with God. We don't become gods, however, instead we are able simply to completely and joyfully rest in His glorious power and presence - just as the angels do this very moment.

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I guess that pretty much makes the idea of becoming one with kami a non-starter for us dyed-in-the-wool Christians, huh?
Well, I've got to thank you. You've managed to demonstrate for me how confused things become when one tries to meld together disparate belief systems. There is only one God and there will only ever be One. Not knowing the Scriptures well you have tried incorrectly, and somewhat sarcastically, to imply otherwise with biblical proof-texts. Given what you've written so far, I rather expected this.

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What did you think Kami is? Did you know that there is a Creator in Shinto, Lord of the Center Heaven? Did you know that the creator operated with two other personified creators (making a trinity)? Did you know that these two were responsible for the creation and right operation, respectively, of the visible (incarnate) world and in the invisible (spiritual) world of creation. Did you know that unlike all the other beings called "kami" the Creator Kami are not bound to "mono" -- loosely translated having a connection to a physical presence or locus. The three-fold Creator Kami, in contrast, are uniquely "hidden." There is much more you could profitably explore, if for no other reason than to properly evangelize.
How do you know what I have and haven't "explored"? Rather quick to assume more than you actually know, it seems.

The best way to recognize a counterfeit is to know the real thing. And one's capacity to share truth doesn't rest upon how conversant one is with falsehood.

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Is it more or less charitable and humble to acknowledge that someone else may legitimately have a different -- but not inadmissible -- image of God that differs only because seen from a different angle through that same "dark glass."
The "glass" I use, called the Bible, is "dark" insofar as it does not give a complete picture of God (we know "in part," as the apostle Paul explains). It does, however, inform me of all that I need to know of Him at this time. The Muslim, the Hindu, the Buddhist, none of them use the "dark glass" of Scripture to frame their understanding of God. They are not using the same "glass" from "a different angle," they are seeing and understanding a different god through another means altogether.

If Morihei Ueshiba wants to talk about kami as he does, so be it. He is, as far as I'm concerned, perfectly free to do so. However, since I believe the Bible to be true, and since O-sensei's teachings do not agree perfectly with that truth, I must conclude that his beliefs are in error. This is the nature of Truth; it is naturally exclusivistic. It is not uncharitable or arrogant to think this way, it is logical and reasonable - though from the postmodern way in which you've approached our discussion, I expect this may be hard for you to see. If I sincerely believe that I know the truth about God - as far as He's revealed it - then I must necessarily exclude as false what is contradictory to that truth.

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While there are images that are objectively erroneous, if one were to think that one's own image of God is the necessarily correct one -- to the exclusion of all others then, THAT is idolatry.
No, that is what happens when you believe something to be true. If you believe the world is a globe, you exclude all other shapes that the world could be. The Bible defines who and what God is. I believe the Bible to be true. Therefore, all other gods are false. This isn't idolatry; its basic logic.

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If one were to instead carefully to understand the other view and the image that is seen -- then assimilating that view to your own may give you a more complete image of Truth. Paul preached the unknown God to the Athenians, and for good reason.
The "unknown God" was unknown to the Athenians, not to Paul. His preaching was aimed at revealing the true nature of the God the Athenians did not know. If Paul followed your thinking, he'd of been inquiring of the Athenians about the nature of their gods in order to understand his own. Instead, Paul very clearly defines the "unknown God" as the God of the Israelites, and thereby excludes all the pagan gods the Athenians worshiped.

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Why is that? You were a pagan once. So was I. Seems to me that without some "special divine dispensation of spiritual knowledge" we would remain one today, no? I think we even have a word for it ... "grace." And -- I think the mediator of that is commonly called -- the Holy Spirit. Theologically speaking, of course.
Mark 16:15 (KJV)
15 And he said unto them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Romans 10:13-15 (KJV)
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Hebrews 1:1-3 (KJV)
1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2 Has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

The Holy Spirit convicts people of the truth of the gospel preserved in the Bible. This is where my "special divine dispensation of spiritual knowledge", if you want to call it that, came from. As the verses above indicate, pagans become believers now by way of the truth contained in the pages of Scripture, illuminated by the Holy Spirit.

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"I come not to bring peace but a sword." Christ's life WAS a sword, a supreme act of budo, and thus did he die by the intrument he brought upon himself WILLINGLY. The difference is not in wielding the sword, but in wielding it as katsu-jinken "sword of life", whereas Peter wielded it in setsu-ninto "sword of death."

The True Way is narrow -- the width of the edge of the blade
.

Well, this all sounds very dramatic, but none of it is supported by Scripture. The Bible refers to Christ as "the Lamb who takes away the sins of the World" - a characterization starkly in contrast to a sword. And the "narrow way" is described rather mundanely as a road.

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"Clever as serpents" -- you forgot that part.
Nope. I didn't.

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There is no difference. Wars are won in the will -- regardless of type.
Tell that to a UFC guy who's just finished a fight. You could say to him, "All my wars are won in my will!"

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I have no desire to alter your thinking, it is simply plain that you have foreclosed a line of inquiry that is very rich and provocative for your own way of thinking. It is true that one should be wary of superfical similarity, but the reverse is also true, one should understand a topic well enough to not be misjudging from superficial differences where there may lie a more fundamental relationship in two bodies of thought. I simply suggest you should delve deeper into the similarities and consonant thoughts, rather than be seduced into avoidance by superficialities of difference.
If you demonstrated a better grasp of the teaching and truth of the Scriptures, I might take these remarks more seriously. As it stands, you are yourself guilty of failing, in regards to the Scripture, to "understand a topic well enough to not be misjudging." What you see as "superficial differences" I see as the difference between true and false, black and white. Postmodernism, which is more or less what you're espousing, at its end holds only confusion and contradiction. I want none of that.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:02 AM   #43
Erick Mead
 
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
Brace yourself, this is gonna be a long one!
This will be shorter.
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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
I'm afraid you've built something of a straw man, here. None of my comments to you spoke directly to the matter of being like God.
Your reference was:
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I strongly doubt that Morihei Ueshiba was inspired by the Holy Spirit in the things he said about the relationship between the human and the divine.
If you did not mean in that respect his several references to assimilation to the divine, then you could be more clear in making the criticism.
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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
The "glass" I use, called the Bible, is "dark" insofar as it does not give a complete picture of God (we know "in part," as the apostle Paul explains). It does, however, inform me of all that I need to know of Him at this time. The Muslim, the Hindu, the Buddhist, none of them use the "dark glass" of Scripture to frame their understanding of God. They are not using the same "glass" from "a different angle," they are seeing and understanding a different god through another means altogether.
Hmmmm. Others have viewed the dark glass more broadly, especially since when Paul wrote that the canon of Scripture was not yet assembled.
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St Augustine on Psalm 36 wrote:
He promiseth us some great thing. He would speak it, and He speaketh it not. Can He not, or do not we receive it? I dare, my Brethren, to say, even of holy tongues and hearts, by which Truth is declared to us, that it can neither be spoken, which they declared, nor even thought of. For it is a great thing, and ineffable; and even they saw through a glass darkly, as saith the Apostle, "For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face."(2) Lo, they who saw through a glass darkly, thus burst forth. What then shall we be, when we shall see face to face?
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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
I suppose you're thinking that Christ's use of the term "gods" here is some proof of the idea that we have an inherently divine nature? ...The Bible defines who and what God is. I believe the Bible to be true. Therefore, all other gods are false. This isn't idolatry; its basic logic.
Based on a incomplete (not entirely wrong) but incautious assumption, however. God defines who God is, the rest of us just take dictation.

Reread more critically what you just wrote. The text is defining the divinity, you believe the text, therefore all other divinity is false. How is the text not thus eliding itself into the constituting authority of divinity and not the other way around -- and thus repeating the Pharisaical error. Hang out with a few more Samaritans ... really -- they're nice people, and with just a few queer ideas ... some of them quite informative.
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I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.
So whether YOU know "His own" is not the point, he does and you cannot be the judge of that if you are to abide in charity. Error is nothing, literally, so look also at what you can find of the ineffable Truth written in the hearts of men wherever they are found. The rest does not matter.
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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
If Morihei Ueshiba wants to talk about kami as he does, so be it.

He is, as far as I'm concerned, perfectly free to do so. However, since I believe the Bible to be true, and since O-sensei's teachings do not agree perfectly with that truth, I must conclude that his beliefs are in error. This is the nature of Truth; it is naturally exclusivistic.

If I sincerely believe that I know the truth about God - as far as He's revealed it - then I must necessarily exclude as false what is contradictory to that truth.
You cannot assume error from your belief, and then conclude that it is error in the belief of another without engaging it, which you have pointedly not done, and indeed you try to justify only your reasons for NOT doing it. Not proved, sir.
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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
Postmodernism, which is more or less what you're espousing, at its end holds only confusion and contradiction. I want none of that.
heh. Postmodern? THAT'S funny. I am seriously suggesting, from the standpoint of Christian authorities such as St. Ambrose (4th c.) and St. Augustine (4th c.) that you should listen carefully for the Voice of the Spirit in a man trying to expound, in the context of advocating love of enemies in conflict, the fundamental myth of the Japanese people, written down in the eighth century -- and that makes me a postmodernist?

Dogma in the tradition of the Church proper are narrow (but very deep) and the bounds of theological exploration very broad.
The problem with the exclusive reliance on the text, is that it becomes all and the only dogma. It tends to swallow all the legitimate liberty of exploration of the rest of our spiritual inheritance, buried in the loves and remembrances of mankind like gems in the earth. That's why Puritans ended up hating Christmas and all its baptized pagan symbolism. You would make yourself similarly impoverished -- when your spirituality should become ever more abundant with the goodness in unfamiliar pagan teaching that you should look for and redeem, not ignore or destroy.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 06-11-2008, 02:15 PM   #44
Jonathan
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

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Hmmmm. Others have viewed the dark glass more broadly, especially since when Paul wrote that the canon of Scripture was not yet assembled.
True, the canon of the New Testament was not yet assembled, but Paul, being a Pharisee, was very familiar with what we refer to today as the Old Testament. And he had contact with a number of the other apostles who contributed to the canon of the New Testament. The truths that I glean from the Bible today are essentially no more nor less than those which Paul understood and taught in his day. His "dark glass" while different in form 2000 years ago was no different in substance from the "dark glass" I use today.

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Based on a incomplete (not entirely wrong) but incautious assumption, however. God defines who God is, the rest of us just take dictation.
Yes, I agree. God does, indeed, define who He is. I believe He has done so, however, in the pages of the Bible.

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Reread more critically what you just wrote. The text is defining the divinity, you believe the text, therefore all other divinity is false. How is the text not thus eliding itself into the constituting authority of divinity and not the other way around -- and thus repeating the Pharisaical error. Hang out with a few more Samaritans ... really -- they're nice people, and with just a few queer ideas ... some of them quite informative.
Yes, one must be careful not to make the Bible one's God. It is the Word of God, but it is not God Himself. Certainly, God teaches me of Himself in an experiential way, as well as through study of His Word. But His Word and my experience go together. Where they do not, I recognize that my "experience," however spiritual and right it may seem, is not of God. The Bible, then, serves as an objective standard by which I test or evaluate my own experiences and understanding of things pertaining to God.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV)
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Inasmuch as the Word of God, the Bible, serves as this standard for me, it also serves as the standard by which I assess other truth claims made about God by other religions. Doing so, I think, is in keeping with Christ's exclusivistic claim that he was "the Way, the Truth, and the Life."

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So whether YOU know "His own" is not the point, he does and you cannot be the judge of that if you are to abide in charity.
I think the Bible is in disagreement with you on this. Paul and Peter, and even Christ himself, took pains to explain the difference between one who was truly born-again and one who was not. Inasmuch as one's eternal destiny hangs on getting this right, it seems very appropriate that they carefully clarified this matter. The first letter of John, for example is one long clarification of who and who is not genuinely saved. Paul writes,

Galatians 5:19-22 (KJV)
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

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Error is nothing, literally, so look also at what you can find of the ineffable Truth written in the hearts of men wherever they are found. The rest does not matter.
Matthew 25:31-46 explains what will happen when people are in error about their salvation. He writes further about this in chapter 7:

Matthew 7:16-23 (NKJV)
16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'
23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'

It would appear that not being in error is vitally and eternally important.

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You cannot assume error from your belief, and then conclude that it is error in the belief of another without engaging it, which you have pointedly not done, and indeed you try to justify only your reasons for NOT doing it. Not proved, sir.
Since this is not a Christian apologetics site, I don't think its a good idea to go into more detail than I have about why the Bible is true and Shintoism is not. I may be wrong, but I have studied carefully why I believe what I believe and do not think that I am.

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heh. Postmodern? THAT'S funny. I am seriously suggesting, from the standpoint of Christian authorities such as St. Ambrose (4th c.) and St. Augustine (4th c.) that you should listen carefully for the Voice of the Spirit in a man trying to expound, in the context of advocating love of enemies in conflict, the fundamental myth of the Japanese people, written down in the eighth century -- and that makes me a postmodernist?
Well, as I have already briefly explained, I don't think the Bible is in support of semina verbi. I can appreciate that O-sensei in some of his beliefs came close to what the Bible teaches. But close is not good enough in the realm of truth (as the above verses from Matthew reveal). Besides, why would I dig for a seed of half-truth in the ground of another religion when I believe within my own faith it is handed to me, undiluted and entire, on a silver platter?

In any case, some of your comments, intended or not, have a very distinct post-modern quality. The idea of taking a "truth" from this religion and one from that and subjectively patching together a "truth collage" is very much in the vein of post-modernism.

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Dogma in the tradition of the Church proper are narrow (but very deep) and the bounds of theological exploration very broad.
The problem with the exclusive reliance on the text, is that it becomes all and the only dogma.
Sola Scriptura is for many, many Christians not a problem at all. The Bible is quite capable of qualifying and explaining itself. And what better means of understanding the Word of God than by the Word of God itself? Makes very good sense to me.

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It tends to swallow all the legitimate liberty of exploration of the rest of our spiritual inheritance, buried in the loves and remembrances of mankind like gems in the earth.
Not at all. I've spent time and money looking into other faiths, seeing what they had to offer. It was quite fascinating, actually. I found, however, that what spiritual inheritance was mine was bound up in a relationship with a person, Jesus Christ, not "buried in the loves and remembrances of mankind." What "gems" the world might offer me shrink to insignificance next to the offer and experience of a relationship with the Creator of the Universe. Paul the apostle writes,

Philippians 3:7-8 (KJV)
7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.
8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,

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That's why Puritans ended up hating Christmas and all its baptized pagan symbolism. You would make yourself similarly impoverished -- when your spirituality should become ever more abundant with the goodness in unfamiliar pagan teaching that you should look for and redeem, not ignore or destroy.
I doubt the Puritans felt themselves impoverished. Actually, that is probably how they would have viewed you. I'll follow Paul's encouragement in regards to what I should and shouldn't "look for and redeem."

Colossians 2:8-10 (KJV)
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10 And you are complete in him, who is the head of all principality and power:

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Old 06-11-2008, 02:54 PM   #45
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

So what's the point of all these posts ?

Does it mean that one should seek approval from some restrictive interpretation of the christian religion to link aikido with spiritual experience ?

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Old 06-11-2008, 03:46 PM   #46
Erick Mead
 
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

Quote:
Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
Yes, I agree. God does, indeed, define who He is. I believe He has done so, however, in the pages of the Bible.
And elsewhere ...
Quote:
Psalm 19 wrote:
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
Yes, one must be careful not to make the Bible one's God. It is the Word of God, but it is not God Himself.
See there it is again. The Word is Christ himself. The text only testifies to the Word, which is EVERYWHERE, in EVERYTHING. By the Word, all things were made, and to which all things in creation therefore rightly testify. Pagans too, if you listen ...and if you listen hard enough WITH them -- they may actually hear it, too ... instead of hearing us go on about "errors."
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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
Matthew 7:16-23 (NKJV)
16 You will know them by their fruits. ... by their fruits you will know them.
...Since this is not a Christian apologetics site, I don't think its a good idea to go into more detail than I have about why the Bible is true and Shintoism is not. I may be wrong, but I have studied carefully why I believe what I believe and do not think that I am.
The only fruit that matters is love. I am interested in relating the two expressions of spirituality properly in the right order, nothing else, but that does not entail rejecting what Ueshiba rightly taught from his Shinto understanding. Ueshiba said that True Budo is Love. John 13: 34-35: ""A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

So do you reject this teaching, and hold instead that he who follows the new commandment is NOT a disciple ? If not, then you must not reject a teaching that is of love and moves toward love of whatever heritage it may derive, because to do so is to reject the commandment of Jesus Christ and to deny a true disciple.
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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
Well, as I have already briefly explained, I don't think the Bible is in support of semina verbi.
Coll. 1:23 : "...continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, ..." To every creature. I presume it must therefore be, to whatever degree, somewhere in Ueshiba's teaching, working its purposes -- to be found if we look for it. Since we are all in error, always, what purpose is there in focussing on error -- instead of looking assiduously for the Truth -- which is revealed in all creation as well as in specific scriptural revelation.
Quote:
Isaiah 55 wrote:
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
.
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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
The idea of taking a "truth" from this religion and one from that and subjectively patching together a "truth collage" is very much in the vein of post-modernism.
The Truth is One. It is everywhere. When I see it, I declare it. What do you do? Who is not in error? To declare error is to pass judgment, and we are called to declare Truth -- not judgment.
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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
Sola Scriptura is for many, many Christians not a problem at all.
A response to THAT would be apologetics, unrelated in anyway to Aikido and of no use to anyone here.
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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
... what spiritual inheritance was mine was bound up in a relationship with a person, Jesus Christ, not "buried in the loves and remembrances of mankind."
I believe the Scripture is the testimony of those who knew Christ in the flesh. Thus, in reading scripture, you are doing exactly what I said , looking for their "gems of love and remembrance." In failing to reach out to the rest of creation in the same spirit and love for the Truth is failing in a duty to make the Truth manifest where it already is -- to those in whose hearts you may uncover it.

This is the purpose of Aikido -- to awaken in us a love of our enemy and thus to uncover for them and in them the Truth by our own sacrifice, as He loved us -- that is True Budo, and thereby we may make them true disciples of the Law of Love. There is nothing apostate in that.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 06-11-2008, 04:40 PM   #47
Fred Little
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
The Muslim, the Hindu, the Buddhist, none of them use the "dark glass" of Scripture to frame their understanding of God. They are not using the same "glass" from "a different angle," they are seeing and understanding a different god through another means altogether.
It is astonishing how broadly thoughtless and offensive one can be by simply misusing a common article of speech, for example: "the."

Were such patterns of language merely matters of momentary thoughtlessness of no consequence whatsoever, then one could easily dismiss them, and those who use them, from one's attention.

But when one considers the uses to which similar phrases such as "The Jew," "The Communist," "The Armenian," "The Gypsy," "The Unionist," "The Hutu," "The Tutsi," "The Lake Arab," "The Eyeglass Wearers," (and a number of others that I'm sure others could supply) have been put in recent history, one is perhaps obliged to make cautionary note of both the current usage and some of the less salutary -- and historically documented -- tendencies that often seem to closely follow such usages.

Please be careful out there.

Best,

FL
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Old 06-11-2008, 08:04 PM   #48
Jonathan
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

Fred:

Quote:
It is astonishing how broadly thoughtless and offensive one can be by simply misusing a common article of speech, for example: "the."
I suppose its a possibility - but not in the quotation you are using to make your point. Thoughtlessness and offensiveness are what you have read into what I've written; they are not there as a matter of course.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 06-11-2008, 09:20 PM   #49
Jonathan
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

Eric:

I wrote:

Quote:
Yes, I agree. God does, indeed, define who He is. I believe He has done so, however, in the pages of the Bible.
You wrote:

Quote:
And elsewhere ...
Quote:
Psalm 19 wrote:
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
I'm not sure if you realize this or not, but in quoting from the Bible here you sort of make my point for me...

Quote:
See there it is again. The Word is Christ himself. The text only testifies to the Word, which is EVERYWHERE, in EVERYTHING. By the Word, all things were made, and to which all things in creation therefore rightly testify. Pagans too, if you listen ...and if you listen hard enough WITH them -- they may actually hear it, too ... instead of hearing us go on about "errors."
I don't argue this point, Eric. As I've already said, there are truths that are evident to all people regardless of their religious persuasion (or lack thereof). When I find such a truth presented within the framework of another religion I don't dismiss it as falsehood. At the same time, I don't go so far as to think that God has in some special way (ie via the Holy Spirit) imparted this truth to this other religion with the intent that I should go on some kind of pan-religion- truth-treasure-hunt to find it.

Quote:
The only fruit that matters is love. I am interested in relating the two expressions of spirituality properly in the right order, nothing else, but that does not entail rejecting what Ueshiba rightly taught from his Shinto understanding. Ueshiba said that True Budo is Love. John 13: 34-35: ""A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
While I don't care for the Shinto framework in which Ueshiba placed his value for love and his belief in its power to bring peace among people, I don't dismiss it as a falsehood. In fact, I agree with it insofar as it agrees with the Bible. My problem is with the idea that he is expressing some special truth imparted particularly and uniquely to him by God.

Quote:
Coll. 1:23 : "...continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which has been preached to every creature under heaven, ..." To every creature.
Yes, this is what I've just been writing about - those truths that may be perceived by all people. I have never denied that such truth existed universally.

Quote:
I presume it must therefore be, to whatever degree, somewhere in Ueshiba's teaching, working its purposes -- to be found if we look for it.
I may find it in Ueshiba's teaching, but I believe I'll find a better rendition in the teachings of Christ, the Creator of the World.

Quote:
Since we are all in error, always, what purpose is there in focussing on error -- instead of looking assiduously for the Truth -- which is revealed in all creation as well as in specific scriptural revelation
I believe I have said something of this kind already:

Quote:
The best way to recognize a counterfeit is to know the real thing. And one's capacity to share truth doesn't rest upon how conversant one is with falsehood.
See?

Quote:
This is the purpose of Aikido -- to awaken in us a love of our enemy and thus to uncover for them and in them the Truth by our own sacrifice, as He loved us -- that is True Budo, and thereby we may make them true disciples of the Law of Love. There is nothing apostate in that.
If by "we" you mean Christians, then I would say that it is a sad state of affairs when a Christian must seek the "awakening" you speak of through a martial art rather than in the way the Bible tells us God intended - through faith in His Son as Saviour and Lord. I would say more on this last quotation of yours, but it would be further wrangling over points of Christian doctrine which even I, at this point, am tiring of.

As Ludwig (aka aikilouis) has indicated, the point of this thread has wandered beyond what is directly pertinent to Aikido. Consequently, I am going to end my discussion of this matter here. If you'd like to continue in private, Eric, feel free to p.m. me.

Thanks for a vigorous and engaging discussion!

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 06-11-2008, 09:20 PM   #50
Fred Little
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Re: The poll on aikido spirituality

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Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
Fred:

I suppose its a possibility - but not in the quotation you are using to make your point. Thoughtlessness and offensiveness are what you have read into what I've written; they are not there as a matter of course.
ah...

Intention is one thing. Resonant effect is connected, but different.

hmmm....
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