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  #26  
Old 06-15-2009, 03:42 PM
Peter A Goldsbury AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
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Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 13

Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 13

INTERLUDE
VI: The Question of Kotodama:
Part 1: Preliminaries: Kukai (Kobo Daishi) and the Man'yoshu

The last two columns have discussed language and aikido. The...
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Last edited by akiy : 06-14-2009 at 10:50 PM.
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:49 AM   #25
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 13

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Raul,

I spent a few hours at the Hombu Dojo yesterday and this included a number of conversations with Doshu.

At one point we discussed aikido history and the present situation, especially the difference between Morihei Ueshiba's worldview and Doshu's own. I can tell you that Doshu laughed aloud at the prospect of a novel full of juicy murders at a summer training seminar. He also laughingly suggested that I should perhaps have it published posthumously, but he promised to read it very carefully and work out for himself who all the fictional characters really were/are.

So, my motivation has been 'renewed'.

PAG
Obviously, it has to be ghost-written --- by Mitsugu Saotome.


Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:50 AM   #26
raul rodrigo
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 13

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Raul,

I spent a few hours at the Hombu Dojo yesterday and this included a number of conversations with Doshu.

At one point we discussed aikido history and the present situation, especially the difference between Morihei Ueshiba's worldview and Doshu's own. I can tell you that Doshu laughed aloud at the prospect of a novel full of juicy murders at a summer training seminar. He also laughingly suggested that I should perhaps have it published posthumously, but he promised to read it very carefully and work out for himself who all the fictional characters really were/are.

So, my motivation has been 'renewed'.

PAG
Okay, am glad to hear that. It really sounds like a fun idea, even just to toss plot ideas back and forth over a few beers.

Here's the thing: will the kototama in the hidden scroll turn out to be truly powerful, or will they prove to be a mirage, a finger pointing at the moon? Does a German-speaking shihan, Asai shihan perhaps, (in keeping with the Name of the Rose theme) say at the end, as the dojo burns: "Er muoz gelichesame die leiter abewerfen, so er an ir ufgestigen." As William of B. says at the end of the novel: afterward you must throw the ladder away, because you discover that even if it was useful, it was meaningless.

best,

RAUL
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Old 07-16-2009, 05:52 AM   #27
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 13

Hello Raul,

Since this last post of yours I have been researching kototama gaku for the next two columns. This is truly amazing stuff and can easily stand comparison with Umberto Eco's semiology. The beauty is that The Name of the Rose was based on a text that was a complete fiction, but it is brilliant literary jiyu-waza, with very few 'holes'.

With kotodama, however, there will be those who will strongly dispute its fictional character, probably on the grounds that O Sensei believed in it and practiced it. So it must be 'really real'.

With kototama gaku, you go a huge step further and set up a parallel semiological kotodama universe. The Matrix, with Neo, Morpheus, the red pill and the blue pill, is mundane by comparison. If you have not already done so, I suggest you read the writings of M Nakazono, of the Kototama Institute in Santa Fe, and decide whether he is Neo, Morpheus, or Agent Smith.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
Okay, am glad to hear that. It really sounds like a fun idea, even just to toss plot ideas back and forth over a few beers.

Here's the thing: will the kototama in the hidden scroll turn out to be truly powerful, or will they prove to be a mirage, a finger pointing at the moon? Does a German-speaking shihan, Asai shihan perhaps, (in keeping with the Name of the Rose theme) say at the end, as the dojo burns: "Er muoz gelichesame die leiter abewerfen, so er an ir ufgestigen." As William of B. says at the end of the novel: afterward you must throw the ladder away, because you discover that even if it was useful, it was meaningless.

best,

RAUL

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Old 07-16-2009, 06:51 AM   #28
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 13

Okay, now that one threw me for a loop. No, I have no idea what kotodama gaku are. But thanks for the heads-up. Will take a look at whatever sources I can find about Nakazono and get back to you. Does that mean that your novel will become part Sam Spade/ part Wachowski brothers? Does the investigator (the unnamed Professor G.) open the scroll and fall into a parallel universe at the end? "To be continued..."

best,

R
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:10 AM   #29
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 13

Raul,

No, no, no. What kototama gaku IS. It is a subject of study.

Kototama gaku is the study (= scientific ) of kotodama. Mutsuru Nakazono was held in very high regard in Europe for his martial skills. However, I believe he is another of O Sensei's students who did not actually study with the Founder for very long. This is not a problem for Nakazono, of course, since he believed that O Sensei's views on kototama were not so good: O Sensei was contaminated too much with Omoto cosmology.

The Wachowski brothers were not so intellectually hygienic with the later Matrix films. Nor was Lucas/Spielburg for the 4th Indiana Jones film.

So my aikido juicy murder novel will be intellectually coherent to a very high degree, within the present boundaries of aikido--given all the problems surrounding the postwar development of the art.

Think of it as a fictional parallel to the columns I am writing.

Best,

PAG

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Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
Okay, now that one threw me for a loop. No, I have no idea what kotodama gaku are. But thanks for the heads-up. Will take a look at whatever sources I can find about Nakazono and get back to you. Does that mean that your novel will become part Sam Spade/ part Wachowski brothers? Does the investigator (the unnamed Professor G.) open the scroll and fall into a parallel universe at the end? "To be continued..."

best,

R

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 07-16-2009 at 08:25 AM.

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Old 07-16-2009, 08:15 AM   #30
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 13

Eagerly awaiting the serialized version!

Best,
Ron

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Old 07-16-2009, 09:39 AM   #31
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 13

Sorry, my mistake.
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:43 AM   #32
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 13

would the amount of people involved in the speaking of the kotodama (at once!) be a factor in all of this?

Alfonso Adriasola
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:29 AM   #33
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Alfonso Adriasola wrote: View Post
would the amount of people involved in the speaking of the kotodama (at once!) be a factor in all of this?
Only as a matter of confusion. As you hear the sonic boom of a jet that has gone by, so are the sounds of people speaking. The event, the kotodama, has already happened. I would guess in Peter's novel, the protagonist would use multiple people chanting to throw suspicion off of his/her trail such that the investigator is focused on those chanting while the real villain might not be chanting at all.

Throughout the novel, the hero discovers small tidbits of information, or discovers signs which he finds could be used to alter one's view of the world. Or is his view being deliberately altered as he learns this?

In the end, his learning of kotodama and signs helps him to become the avatar to the kami and using signs, he brings the kami to help him stop the villain.

Pure fiction, right?
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:39 AM   #34
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 13

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I went to one seminar that he taught in my area, and I'd like to try another. He comes here once a year I understand, so I will try again. Some of the waza I got...some I had no clue what was supposed to happen, or how to make it happen in any case! I had a very good time. I haven't read any of his books yet. One more thing to do...

Yes, I used to train with him everytime he came here to the East Coast. I still try to go see him when he comes, but haven't been able to train with him as much. I do get to pick up some wonderfull calligraphy and art work though!

And also a yes, there is a lot of the layman's comparative lit flavor to that treatment of kotodama. I did enjoy it though...he would often start class with it, and something about the vocalization "resonates" with me. But as time has gone on, I believe I understand better the depth involved in really persuing that portion of Ueshiba's legacy...and I guess I don't have as much "faith" that if there is power there, it will all work out somehow without my understanding it.

Best,
Ron
Hi Ron,
What I particularly like about Gleason Sensei is the fact that he can give you the flavor of how the Founder thought about what he did. O-Sensei's ideas about what he was doing when he was on the mat are so completely foreign to most nodern practitioners that what they are doing is almost a separate art.

For the Founder, physical technique was a direct manifestation of kototama. In each technique you essentially recreate the universe. Each technique embodies a different balance that still adds up to the whole. Like 10 can be looked at as 9+1 or 8+2 or 7+3, etc But each is an energetic whole.

Technique as physical expression of kototama principles ends up being sort of like Tibetan sand mandalas or Hopi / Navajo sand paintings. The are created, exist only for a short time and then are destroyed. A technique in Aikido is like that. You recreate the essential wholeness and balance of the universe (which is also the wholeness and balance within you) in time and then it's gone. It will never be created exactly the same way again. You can see why O-Sensei treated technique very reverently... each is a sort of sacred work of art.

Anyway, the question remains... if you do not have an understanding of the kototama practice, and your physical Aikido practice is necessarily a separate activity due to that fact, does the practice embody the same kind of energetic / spiritual properties which were present for the Founder in his practice?

My take on this would be yes. I think that on some level the "doing" of Aikido, at least if one endeavors to get past simply physical, muscle driven waza to something resembling "aiki", the waza contain the elements of balance of energetic forces the Founder believed were the manifestation of the kototama. Not knowing anything about the kototama, you are still embodying the principles in your practice. I think that O-Sensei saw this activity as transformative in itself.

In virtually all Asian spiritual systems there is the belief that the microcosm contains the macrocosm. "Thou art that" goes back to the Upanishads in India. I think that O-Sensei created the practice of Aikido to be a way to bring the inner and the outer into harmony. But it works in two directions... you are bringing yourself into harmony with some universal balance and at the same time, your practice is helping to maintain that balance. You don't actually need to know the kototama to have your practice do this. You simply need to do your waza with the proper attitude and manifesting proper aiki principles. By doing this you change yourself and you change the world around you.

So anyway, I like Gleason Sensei because he is one of the few people you can train with who can give you this flavor. It's not exactly precisely the same understanding of kototama that O-Sensei had... I don't think anyone can duplicate that (maybe Abe and Sunadomari would be closest). But I think that the Founder was aware of this and felt it didn't matter because the principles are inherent in the waza. If you train sincerely with the proper attitude, it's all in the waza. He called them the Divine Techniques for a reason.

I think that is why O-Sensei made no real attempt to incorporate kotiotama practice into the Aikido that was spread world wide after the war. For him, it was already in there and it wasn't necessary that you understand the details, just the larger sense of the practice as something sacred. The rest takes care of itself.

George S. Ledyard
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:09 AM   #35
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 13

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
You can see why O-Sensei treated technique very reverently... each is a sort of sacred work of art. ...
... In virtually all Asian spiritual systems there is the belief that the microcosm contains the macrocosm. ... If you train sincerely with the proper attitude, it's all in the waza. He called them the Divine Techniques for a reason.
Not merely in Asian spiritual systems is it true that the martial valor of the spirit of the word is manifest in conforming the material world to spiritual order. In this regard Aikido may be regarded as a form of sacramental -- even in purely Western spiritual understanding -- as O Sensei certainly intended by making biblical references to the Logos and the apocalyptic vision of St. Michael.

Quote:
1 Cor 15: 26-28 wrote:
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 07-17-2009, 09:47 AM   #36
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 13

Thanks George!

I think that is the spirit that Stevens Sensei imparts.

Best,
Ron

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Old 07-17-2009, 12:38 PM   #37
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 13

I've copied from Kukai by Yoshito S. Hakeda available here: http://books.google.com/books?id=FGt...esult&resnum=5

to demonstrate that O-sensei's early Shingon influence may have led him to recognize, or attribute, a similar view to his understanding and practice of both Aikido and Kotodama.

"In the proposition that Mahavairocana is in a state of eternal harmony, the word "harmony is a translation of yuga, which in turn is a transliteration of yoga. The word yuga in Kukai's writings is interchangeable with dhyana (zen), samadhi (jo), or dhyana-samadhi (zenjo). That the universe is in a state of eternal harmony is the fundamental premise of Kukai's Esoteric Buddhist thought and practice. To the degree he appreaciated this basic intuition far more than he did intellectual devices can be seen in the following:

What kind of intellectual determinations can be made of the eternal Order that is naturally so (honi no dori)? Such terms as creating and the created are symbolic expressions fo Exoteric Buddhism, and we should not indulge in senseless speculation while clinging to the ordinary and superficial meanings of these words. The Existence consisting of the Six Great Elements, the essence of the World of Dharma, is free without any obstacle and is in a state of eternal harmony.

Since the macrocosmos is in a state of eternal harmony, it follows that any microcosmos homogeneous in its elements with the macrocosmos -men as well as all beings- is not outside of the harmony of the macrocosmos. The problem on the part of the microcosmos is how to become aware of that eternal harmony and to attune itself to it. To practice samadhi is to imitate the macrocosmic samadhi. the principle of Kukai's Esoteric Buddhist meditation comes ultimately from this basic intuition that the universe is in a state of eternal harmony."

I'm lazy and so only copied a little. I suggest that on read pp. 90 - 92 to get a better idea. Better yet, buy the book and read it. Nonetheless, I think the parallel is obvious.

Since Shingon is often times classified as "Mantrayana," I can see where individuals might see a ideological relation between it and Kotodama. However, when one reads the following it appears that their relationship may go beyond mere apparent similarity:

"However, in Japan just as in China the Indian varnapatha had considerable influence on Japanese native language studies.

Above mention was already made of the fact that the Japanese used Chinese characters phonetically in order to express in writing the sounds of their own language. In the 9th century this system had been developed into a simplified form. One abbreviated Chinese character was selected for reproducing each of the syllables the Japanese language consists of. The syllables were arranged in a diagram called Gojuon-zu "diagram of the Fifty Sounds."

and

"If due allowance is made for the differences in the Sanskrit and Japanese sounds, the Indian origin of the phonetic principles underlying this diagram will be evident. Later Japanese nationalist scholars such as Hirata Atsutane (1776-1843 A.D. (139) ascribed this diagram to the Japanese Mythical Age. But the Japanese learned Sinaologue Arai Hakuseki (140) (1656 - 1725 A.D.) recognized its Indian origin. Some other sources attribute the diagram to Kibi-no-mabi (141) an envoy who visited China in 716 and 751 A.D. and who is said to have been taught the phonetic classification of the Japanese syllables during his stay in the T'ang capital. However, no matter whether the diagram was evolved under the influence of Chinese monks in China or through the Siddham studies of Japanese monks, its derivation from varnapatha is evident.

(SIDDHAM, An Essay on the History of Sanskrit Studies in China and Japan by R.H. van Gulik)

FWIW

Allen
(In the end I always find myself asking, "So what!?! Am I manifesting the qualities of an enlightened being now? Is my life a reflection of the principles of harmony, compassion, loving kindness and reconciliation that I so value?" And the answer invariably is, "Not so much." It seems there is always more work to do . . . Oh well, everyone needs a hobby! )

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 07-17-2009, 05:54 PM   #38
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 13

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" ... What kind of intellectual determinations can be made of the eternal Order that is naturally so (honi no dori)? Such terms as creating and the created are symbolic expressions fo Exoteric Buddhism, and we should not indulge in senseless speculation while clinging to the ordinary and superficial meanings of these words...."
...
"If due allowance is made for the differences in the Sanskrit and Japanese sounds, the Indian origin of the phonetic principles underlying this diagram will be evident. ... Some other sources attribute the diagram to Kibi-no-mabi (141) an envoy who visited China in 716 and 751 A.D. and who is said to have been taught the phonetic classification of the Japanese syllables during his stay in the T'ang capital.
FWIW
Allen, please see here. http://www.diocesi.torino.it/archivi...imo-chiesa.doc

The presence of non-buddhist concepts like "creating and created" in this line of Buddhist teaching -- stemming from that time and place --- is not an accident nor a "superficial expression." A lot less than mere "speculation" is needed to understand their presence in this context.

The indirect influence of Christian thought on Kukai and Tantric thought generally flowing from the 8th-9th c. T'ang capital cannot reasonably be ignored. The "Six Perfections Sutra" Sat-Paramita Sutra formed the basis for an explicit Christian-Buddhist collaboration at the time concerned -- by the monk Prajna --who according to Kukai, himself, gave Kukai the copy of the translated Sat-paramita sutra he brought to Japan. We know that the Sat-Paramita Sutra translation was a collaboration with the 'Nestorian' Christian monks in Chang'an.

The closeness of work on Indian Buddhist texts of mutual interest came to be of a degree that it the Emperor Tetsung bestirred himslef over a translated scripture and specifically forbade further collaboration between the Christian and Buddhist monks -- which were apparently fruitful for both. (Seven volumes of work on this one occasion)

From the above linked document:

Quote:
A Japanese scholar, Dr. Takakusa, while studying "The Catalogue (of the books of) teaching of Chakya (Buddha) in the period of Chanyuan" (785-804 A.D.), discovered a passage referring to the Christian presence in Hsian [[n.b.-- Chang'an] , and particularly to that of Adam Ching-ching. The passage referred to Prajna, the Indian Buddhist scholar who came to China in 782. It stated: "He translated together with Ching-ching, Adam, a Persian priest of the monastery of Ta-Ch'in, the Satparamita sutra from a Hu (Uigur) text, and finished translating seven volumes."50 The Catalogue writer went on to complain that Prajna knew neither Uigur nor Chinese and that Ching-ching knew no Sanskrit nor understood Buddhism, but both were seeking vainglory. He further mentioned that "They presented a memorial (to the Emperor) expecting to get it propagated" but that the Emperor (Tetsung, 780-804) was wise and after examining their work determined that it was poorly done, "the principles being obscure and the wording vague. The emperor then declared that the Ta-Ch'in religion and Buddhism were entirely opposed to each other; Ching-ching handed down the teaching of Mi-shih-ho (Messiah, using the same three Chinese characters as were used on the Nestorian Stone) while (Prajna) propagated the sutras of the Buddha. It is wished that the boundaries of the doctrine may be kept distinct."51 With that the emperor forbade the two from working together further.
One need not read too far to understand that a political concern was evident in squelching what was otherwise a seemingly productive religious/academic collaboration going for the better part of a hundred years. The massive and deadly An Lushan Rebellion which lasted almost eight years during the reigns of Taitsong and Tetsong (his son). Tibet was lost, and a brief Tibetan invasion occupied Chang'an (ca. 763 at the height of conflict, near its end).

An Lushan was a Sogdian general of the Chinese Army. The Sogdians were Persian speaking, and were increasingly Christianized from the 600's. This decree in the aftermath of that conflict was the beginning of progressively critical and xenophobic tendencies (that would remain with the Chinese Empire from that point forward), and culminating in the T'ang's official and brutal expulsion of both Christianity and Buddhism in the mid ninth century --. resulting in the essential extinction of Chinese Christianity and the near extinction of Chinese Buddhism.

The period for which the attribution to Kibi no Mabi is attested is smack in the middle of the period of T'ang Christian influence in Chang'an -- the first works in Chinese of which are recorded as early as 635-641 and already then using Buddhist imagery to communicate the Christian message, and from which rudimentary beginnings they increased in sophisticated use of such language and the Silk Road's syncretic spirit.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 07-17-2009, 10:47 PM   #39
Allen Beebe
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 13

Thanks for the further reading Erick.

BTW, did you know that there is a copy of the "Nestorian Stone" at Koyasan?

Allen
"and we should not indulge in senseless speculation while clinging to the ordinary and superficial meanings of these words. The Existence consisting of the Six Great Elements, the essence of the World of Dharma, is free without any obstacle and is in a state of eternal harmony."

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:08 PM   #40
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 13

The Nestorian stone is reportedly located at the "Holy of Holies," Okunoin. I didn't see it, but then there are so many wonderful things there, and I have so much to learn!* Did you know that O-sensei had a "portrait" of Jesus among his Shinto paraphernalia? I had a picture of it once, included it in my masters thesis!

Allen
". . . we should not indulge in senseless speculation while clinging to the ordinary and superficial meanings of these words. The Existence consisting of the Six Great Elements, the essence of the World of Dharma, is free without any obstacle and is in a state of eternal harmony."

*I did, however, surprise everyone by lifting the un-liftable stone! Bakajikara da!

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 07-18-2009, 07:11 AM   #41
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 13

Quote:
Allen Beebe wrote: View Post
"In the proposition that Mahavairocana is in a state of eternal harmony, the word "harmony is a translation of yuga, which in turn is a transliteration of yoga. The word yuga in Kukai's writings is interchangeable with dhyana (zen), samadhi (jo), or dhyana-samadhi (zenjo). That the universe is in a state of eternal harmony is the fundamental premise of Kukai's Esoteric Buddhist thought and practice. To the degree he appreciated this basic intuition far more than he did intellectual devices can be seen in the following:

What kind of intellectual determinations can be made of the eternal Order that is naturally so (honi no dori)? Such terms as creating and the created are symbolic expressions fo Exoteric Buddhism, and we should not indulge in senseless speculation while clinging to the ordinary and superficial meanings of these words. The Existence consisting of the Six Great Elements, the essence of the World of Dharma, is free without any obstacle and is in a state of eternal harmony.

Since the macrocosmos is in a state of eternal harmony, it follows that any microcosmos homogeneous in its elements with the macrocosmos -men as well as all beings- is not outside of the harmony of the macrocosmos. The problem on the part of the microcosmos is how to become aware of that eternal harmony and to attune itself to it. To practice samadhi is to imitate the macrocosmic samadhi. the principle of Kukai's Esoteric Buddhist meditation comes ultimately from this basic intuition that the universe is in a state of eternal harmony."

Allen
(In the end I always find myself asking, "So what!?! Am I manifesting the qualities of an enlightened being now? Is my life a reflection of the principles of harmony, compassion, loving kindness and reconciliation that I so value?" And the answer invariably is, "Not so much." It seems there is always more work to do . . . Oh well, everyone needs a hobby! )
Hello Allen,

Do you have the Japanese text of Hakeda's Kukai quote?

The problem that struck me, when I was reading Hakeda and Yamasaki in preparation for this column, was: Why, if we are in a state of eternal harmony anyway, we need to become aware of this and "attune" ourselves to it. Why is it not possible to accept our eternal harmonious state and get on with our lives? After all, it was a "basic intuition" of Kukai. It seems that Kukai is taking back with one hand what he is giving with the other. If we do not "attune" ourselves with our eternal harmonious state, then the state itself seems to have no value. As far as you are aware, did Kukai deal acknowledge this problem, or deal with it?

With Ignatius of Loyola (with whose teachings I have a very direct acquaintance), the issue does not arise, since he starts off from the basic premise that the harmony has been broken and has to be restored.

Finally, what was the title and theme of your masters thesis, that you able to include a picture of Christ in Morihei Ueshiba's dojo? Can we be sure that you are not secretly writing a major novel as a follow-up?

Best,

PAG

P A Goldsbury
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Old 07-18-2009, 09:52 AM   #42
Allen Beebe
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 13

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Allen,

Do you have the Japanese text of Hakeda's Kukai quote?
No. Or at least not that I'm aware of. Hey, as you saw, I was too lazy to even go to the book shelf and pull the book! I thought you were done with this and were no longer interested in sources in Japanese.

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
The problem that struck me, when I was reading Hakeda and Yamasaki in preparation for this column, was: Why, if we are in a state of eternal harmony anyway, we need to become aware of this and "attune" ourselves to it.
OK, first off, my wife is sick and I have to look after both of my kids and prepare for a wedding so please forgive me if my answer is less than satisfactory. We can come back to this. It is an important question.

Buddhism is all about paradox. The basic idea is: The absolute is absolute. It exists in eternal harmony due to this fact, always has always will. In fact it is timeless. We, however, do NOT exist in this "world." Or, more to the point, WE are not AWARE that WE are this. The very fact of our subjective existence seems to point to the opposite, a dualistic, rather than absolute worldly existence. It is this dualistic "world" which we so greedily cling to and will stop at nothing to defend, since our very "existence" *seems* to depend upon it.

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Why is it not possible to accept our eternal harmonious state and get on with our lives?
It is. Or at least that is what I believe Buddhas would have us do. It is just that we won't. In fact, there isn't much that we won't do prevent this from happening. People (many actually) have been crucified for suggesting as much!

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
After all, it was a "basic intuition" of Kukai. It seems that Kukai is taking back with one hand what he is giving with the other. If we do not "attune" ourselves with our eternal harmonious state, then the state itself seems to have no value.
Well, if I have made myself clear (which I doubt), you said it all when you said, "If we do not "attune" ourselves with our eternal harmonious state, then the state itself seems to have no value." I'm told that once one passes through this "narrow gate" the view is much different on the "other side."

The catch for us is, one must have faith enough (it requires faith because one doesn't "see it" from here.) to "go there" in thought, word, and action before before one can realize the salvation that was always one's to begin with. This idea is talked about in the famous parable of the "hidden jewel" from Chapter 8 of the Lotus Sutra. A quick Google pops up this link: http://www.ibc-rk.org/DharmaTalk/DT2....Dr.Reeves.htm The idea is that we all have the potential to become enlightened to the fact our true state of eternal harmony and all that that implies. Most of us just don't call in our inheritance due to a combination of fear/hatred, greed, and ignorance.

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
As far as you are aware, did Kukai deal acknowledge this problem, or deal with it?
I'm not trying to be cheeky when I say that it is my understanding that Kukai spent all of his adult life acknowledging this problem and trying to deal with it. His success rate, however, may be right up there with history's other "big hitters." Or to put it another way, with regards to transmission, here is another parallel with Aikido.

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
With Ignatius of Loyola (with whose teachings I have a very direct acquaintance), the issue does not arise, since he starts off from the basic premise that the harmony has been broken and has to be restored.
May I suggest that you try ingesting Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika? I like this translation and commentary: http://www.amazon.com/Fundamental-Wi...ref=pd_sim_b_1 but as always would suggest that, if one is serious, comparing it to other translations and other commentaries. It explains the logic behind bodhicitta.

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Finally, what was the title and theme of your masters thesis, that you able to include a picture of Christ in Morihei Ueshiba's dojo?
The Religious Influences on Aikido. I have an M.Ed. and proposed an appropriate theme but my advisor interrupted me during my proposal and asked, "Do you use Aikido in education?" When I answered in the affirmative she said, "Why don't you work on that." I was stunned to say the least!

Shirata sensei had just passed away along with my father and my beloved Shodo sensei. I took a year sabbatical from work to complete my Masters Degree and to sort of take a breath. I was wondering what to do next with my Aikido since my teacher was gone and I kind of took my advisor's advice as a "sign." Shirata sensei had taught a Haguro Yamabushi no Gyo in his final years and I wanted to learn more about that since I figured nobody else was (to my mind) on a par with his teaching of Aikido and the Shugendo Shugyo seemed significant to sensei. So, I used the opportunity presented by my advisor to learn more about my teachers teachings. In the process I became ordained in Shingon-shu . . . twice!

BTW, I used a lot of research I had done in the early to mid eighties (contacting Omoto Kyo, etc., reading the Kojiki and Nohongi, learning what I could of Kotodama via Nakazono sensei and various Shinko Shukyo, etc.). I tried sharing what I'd found at the time but, surprise, surprise, no body seemed to care . . . that stuff didn't have anything to do with their sensei or organization. I think the internet may have changed that to some extent.

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Can we be sure that you are not secretly writing a major novel as a follow-up?
Maybe . . . probably not. Maybe . . . after I retire!

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Best,

PAG
All the best to you. I'm looking forward to sitting down together in the near future!

Kindly,
Allen
(Once again, I apologize if this is a mess.)

~ Allen Beebe
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Old 07-18-2009, 11:48 AM   #43
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 13

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Thanks for the further reading Erick.

BTW, did you know that there is a copy of the "Nestorian Stone" at Koyasan?

Allen
"and we should not indulge in senseless speculation while clinging to the ordinary and superficial meanings of these words. The Existence consisting of the Six Great Elements, the essence of the World of Dharma, is free without any obstacle and is in a state of eternal harmony."
I was aware of the copy on Koyasan. That copy was reputedly donated by a Western benefactor in the early twentieth century. While it was accepted then and remains today, the late date of its placement is of uncertain validity in establishing the substantive influences that are suggested by other, more direct connections such as those cited, in the Sat-Paramita translation with a specific source text brought over by Kukai.

Saeki's work on the stone, is online: http://www.archive.org/stream/nestor...ge/n5/mode/2up At p. 71-75 he addresses the collaboration episode between the Christian priest Adam and the Indian Buddhist monk Prajna as related by Prof. Takakusu, a according to whom the same Adam as worked with Prajna was the named drafter of the text for the 'Nestorian' stele itself -- and also acknowledging the common identification in Japan of Prajna's tutelage of Kukai.

An early translation of the stone is also online: http://www.sacred-texts.com/journals/oc/inm.htm -- as is a high resolution image from which the characters are perfectly readable at a decent zoom: http://www.itsee.bham.ac.uk/online/stele/stele.jpg and a searchable Chinese text here: http://zh.wikisource.org/wiki/%E5%A4...%9 1%E9%A0%8C

A summary of sources on the Central Asian links to Chinese Christianity are here: http://www.oxuscom.com/Nestorian_Christianity_in_CA.pdf 'Nestorian' is an inaccurate name for the Church of the East, as they did not follow the teaching of Nestorius, though his teaching did initially find favor at their center of teaching in Edessa, it was not representative of the theology of the Church of the East proper. 'Non-Chalcedonian' is a more accurate theological description.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 07-18-2009, 12:54 PM   #44
Allen Beebe
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 13

Cool stuff.

Thanks,
Allen

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