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Old 09-09-2010, 10:28 PM   #26
Gorgeous George
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Re: Peace

'...nothing that exists by nature can form a habit contrary to its nature. For instance the stone which by nature moves downwards cannot be habituated to move upwards, not even if one tries to train it by throwing it up ten thousand times; nor can fire be habituated to move downwards, nor can anything else that by nature behaves in one way be trained to behave in another.

Neither by nature, then, nor contrary to nature do the virtues arise in us; rather we are adapted by nature to receive them, and are made perfect by habit.'

- Aristotle
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:28 PM   #27
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Re: Peace

Peace is a spiritual realization of seeing the underlying reality of non-duality. Once we come upon this depth of spiritual insight or revelation and you see without doubt the oneness and unity of all mankind; that you and I are one, then your actions will be informed by this awareness.
Aikido then takes on a different quality than it had previous. We'll still defend ourselves from attacks and aggression the best way we can (say we go to war to take down Hitler) but now our whole perspective have changed. It has been informed by greater insight into the nature of non-dual reality. As such your reactions will be different and you will see your Aikido advance and maybe you will begin to see what O Sensei meant when he said all those things of being one with the world. Those enlightening moments did change his expression of Aikido.
All I'm simply saying is this, there is a reality behind the concept of Peace that is mind-blowing and profound and it is possible to acquire such an understanding through sincere and relentless pursuit thereof. It is part of the spiritual seeking that will bring you home to your self. Hopefully O Sensei leads the way to inspire us to walk this path of non-violence.

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Old 09-10-2010, 03:06 AM   #28
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Re: Peace

Quote:
Bjorn Saw wrote: View Post
Peace is a spiritual realization of seeing the underlying reality of non-duality.
Hm, I see the underlying reality of the interexchange of yin and yang being not one and being not a duality. i.e. not being on but forming wholeness.
The dao isn't static, but it's a flow, a movement, up-and-down, come-and-go, yes-and-no.
Same with ki. Ki isn't static, but it's the movements of yin and yang, their intexchange.

Quote:
Once we come upon this depth of spiritual insight or revelation and you see without doubt the oneness and unity of all mankind;
Well I'm a christian and reading the story of the creation of heaven and earth; of the world in which and with which we live; and of me and you and every other human being (and every other life) shows me without doubt the oneness and unity of all mankind.
(And the oneness and unity of all our world.)
I meet with my buddhistic friends aswell as with my moslem friends at this point.

But:
How does this insight relat to the question whether struggle is needed or not? And to the question what peace may be?

Why does seing the wholeness of creation mean to not see the diversity, pluralism, richness of our world?

Quote:
that you and I are one, then your actions will be informed by this awareness.
We are one. But we are not one.
Don't know the right terms in english. But learning to say "I" (ego) , learning who am I, loving oneself, and being oneself seems to be a very important aim of ones life.
"I" and "you" must not be separeted, I think. But they are not the same.

Quote:
Aikido then takes on a different quality than it had previous.
aikido is just doing aiki. You can fill it like O Sensei with the thoughts of being the expression of yamato damashii (before WW II). Or you can fill it with the shinto of Oomoto kyo. Or some fill it wiht zen. Or Christian beliefs.

But what you are doing on the tatami is always the same:
Practicing aiki. Connecting with the ki of the universe. Connecting with the ki of an attacker. Connecting your ki within you.

Nothing miracolous. Just practicing aiki.

Quote:
It has been informed by greater insight into the nature of non-dual reality. As such your reactions will be different and you will see your Aikido advance and maybe you will begin to see what O Sensei meant when he said all those things of being one with the world.
Oh thank you.
Fortunatelly I experience my aikido advancing every day. Because it is part of me and my journey through life it isn't static and grows and develops. Like I do. Like everyone doese.
To understand the words of O Sensei it helps a lot to learn about shinto, about its cosmology and so on.

Again: Why do you think, "being one with the world" means not to struggle?
How do you achieve your aims? Don't you have some? Or do you try to practice wu wei by doin nothing? Do you avoid conflicts? ...

Quote:
Those enlightening moments did change his expression of Aikido.
Some of the "enlightening moments" of O Sensei often referred to, to place in 1925 and the time aroun this year. Look at how his technique was back then. Maybe read "budo" to get an impression how he understood his art back then.

Quote:
All I'm simply saying is this, there is a reality behind the concept of Peace that is mind-blowing and profound ...
Ok, don't know, how long you are walking your path ...?
Seems like a high flying idea. But I if that "reality" denies
human beings being different and denies conflicts as a creative action of life, it will lead to nothing.
I know that "Aiki Extencions" works with Israeli and Palestinians. Their conflict is real. And they have to live it and with it.

Quote:
It is part of the spiritual seeking that will bring you home to your self.
Are you aware that the spiritual seeking of different people is different?

Quote:
Hopefully O Sensei leads the way to inspire us to walk this path of non-violence.
Hm: Are you a "believer" of Ueshiba Morihei? Do you follow his thoughts (and if: Which of them? And from whom do you know of them?)
Or do you practice his art, i.e. the budo he derived from Daito ryu?

Carsten
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:33 AM   #29
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Re: Peace

Understanding Peace does not negate the yin and yang of this world but makes it come alive. Understanding Peace does not make you me but it reveals the underlying divine nature common to us all. Understanding Peace will not make you a pacifist but will inform your daily practice of aiki. Peace is a quality of being, where non-violence is understood and where love is allowed to rule.
Seeking God one seeks one thing only: Truth! Seeking Truth one seeks one thing only: God! Call it by many names, use many means, walk different paths, and the flavor is different, but seek the truth and you'll be able to meet another eye to eye. Don't stop, continue seeking till you have nothing more to surrender. Find that place where you can loose your self and trust life because you have found a Reality that stands by itself, everlasting and evolving at the same time.

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Old 09-10-2010, 10:45 AM   #30
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Re: Peace

Bjorn,

Having read your blog about your personal spiritual journey (http://naturalfreedom.weebly.com/index.html), are still a follower of Andrew Cohen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_...l_teacher%29)?

David

Last edited by dps : 09-10-2010 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:47 AM   #31
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Re: Peace

This is a great read.

In elaboration to my earlier post, I still struggle with some of what we now internalize as the oneness of aikido. Harmony is the state of the universe. Heck we live on a ball that would fling us into space if there was not an opposing force pulling us into the center of the ball. I am more in the camp that oneness with the universe is more of a "forest through the trees" perspective that we have in Western culture. I do believe that we are responsible for our actions and the consequences that stem from those actions. When we view our actions in a greater perspective we can more clearly see how our actions affect others, and the world around us. In that sense, we have the opportunity to become more sensitive to the world around us. I am not sure if this concept is peace, or simply the evolution of our personal responsibility to ourselves, our society, or culture, and our planet.

I also don't like the concept that peace is something that can be thrust upon me by another; I am not sure I buy the argument that peace is something that can be shared. I think we can express a state of peace but I am not sure under what authority I may enforce that state of peace upon another. My peace is mine, not yours (get your own). How does a widow share the peace he has made with his feelings for his dead spouse? How does a new mother share the peace she feels seeing her baby? How does a soldier share the peace he feels for killing another soldier? The kind of peace whereby some one tells you to be peaceful seems cheap and unearned. A good night's rest comes from a hard day's work.

Since I saw the buzzword I share my favorite description of pacifist that is one of those, "from the mouths of babes" quotes: "pacifism is what you call yourself when you can't stop someone from taking your toys.
Love it.
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Old 09-10-2010, 03:33 PM   #32
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Re: Peace

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Bjorn,

Having read your blog about your personal spiritual journey (http://naturalfreedom.weebly.com/index.html), are still a follower of Andrew Cohen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_...l_teacher%29)?

David
Hi David, no I'm not. I left the community in 2002.

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Old 09-11-2010, 05:29 PM   #33
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Re: Peace

Peace is great in theory, and clearly peace is not nearly as common in practice. Each generation seems to forget the horrors of wars past and remembers only the glory - which makes it possible for this generation to make the same mistakes and start the same wars.

The one thing we can change in the vast tapestry of time and history is ourselves, and by doing so we can create something new - a willingness not to fight, a willingness not to repeat the glorification of war and a willingness to remember the tragedy of it. Most importantly, we can create in ourselves a habit (and this is what Aikido training is so good at) of seeing "the other" as part of ourselves, so that in moments of crisis we do not see them as "enemy" and respond with fear, but see them as partners and respond with compassion.

Yes, sometimes that compassion is forceful - as anyone would be with a cleaver-wielding maniac heading towards their child - but it is not angry, and it always intends to move the crisis towards resolution, rather than aiming at "victory" . . .
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:46 AM   #34
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Re: Peace

I think that is great, but I'd like to add that we should have victory! The victory of peace! Sometimes we need to go to war to achieve that victory but like you say, we do it with a composed heart. There can be anger at the horrors seen but as long as our response is just and appropriate it does not negate the peace we strive for.
Bu in Budo is a laying down of arms. Peace is our natural state even though most people have no sense of it in their busy lives. It is a spiritual domain that is eternal and therefore is a quality of our timeless nature. It goes beyond death, strife and wars. It is what our soul seeks in earnest.
Investigate it in your self and learn about it outside of worldly conflicts. Grasp the meaning behind the word. Find the essence of peace within through dedicated interest. There is so much spiritual literature that is pointing towards this realization so it's not difficult to look. If we haven't solved the issue of peace within ourselves first how will we ever be able to understand or help others that are caught up in real struggles? Arm one and sanction the other?

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Old 09-12-2010, 06:04 AM   #35
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Re: Peace

Quote:
Bjorn Saw wrote: View Post
Bu in Budo is a laying down of arms.
That is misunderstood I think.
武 bu/take just means "military ~". If you want to dissect the kanji you may get "to stop/halt the spear", which means the spear of the attacker. And when learning a koryu you will learn concretely how to do this with a bo, katana, yari naginate, only the hands.
O Sensei was very interested in waza to halt a spear.

budo in no sense means laying down the arms in a way you try to implicat here. This is only wishfull thinking - or bluff.
Quote:
Peace is our natural state even though most people have no sense of it in their busy lives.
Well I think you sermonize in this thread.
And your assumptions may fit to you, but they cannot be seen as universal truth.

Quote:
It is a spiritual domain that is eternal and therefore is a quality of our timeless nature.
It is not eternal and not universal because it is not shared by every spiritual or religious movement/group/tradition.
The bible explicitly tries to explain in gen 3, why peace is not the underlying principle in our world.

If you believe in peace, that's fine. But it only can by sermanized, it can not be proved.
Just as little as I can proove my religious (christian) beliefs in a way everybody has to accept them as universal, eternal truth.

Quote:
It goes beyond death, strife and wars. It is what our soul seeks in earnest.
Different souls, different ways of seeking, different answers.

Quote:
If we haven't solved the issue of peace within ourselves first how will we ever be able to understand or help others that are caught up in real struggles?
Understanding the struggles within oneself, accepting them instead of splitting them off, helps a lot to help others to live with their struggles.

Well this is a religious debate. It's not about aikido.
And I don't like specific religious beliefs being displayed as "eternal" or "universal" truth.
O Sensei himself - and both the following doshu aswell - expressively stated aikido to be open for all person, from which religion or spiritual tradition ever they may come.
And living together without trying to proselytise people is an important part of aikido practice to me.

Carsten

Last edited by Carsten Möllering : 09-12-2010 at 06:10 AM.
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:40 AM   #36
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Re: Peace

Quote:
Bjorn Saw wrote: View Post
Peace is our natural state even though most people have no sense of it in their busy lives. It is a spiritual domain that is eternal and therefore is a quality of our timeless nature. It goes beyond death, strife and wars. It is what our soul seeks in earnest.
Ahem... if peace was really "our natural state", don´t you think that world history would have more peaceful periods? Instead, it is a story of continuous conflict everywhere. Up to the tiniest tribes in the Amazon, who spend their non-food gathering time in fighting their neighbour tribe.

I would rather think the goal is to manage conflict, rather than to dream of natural peace.
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:02 AM   #37
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Re: Peace

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
O Sensei himself - and both the following doshu aswell - expressively stated aikido to be open for all person, from which religion or spiritual tradition ever they may come.
I don't understand how this can be applied by a 'Christian': for the character of Christ is described as a pacifist - turn the other cheek, etc., whereas aikido is concerned with, as you say, 'stopping weapons'. So aikido is only open to you insofar as your pre-existing beliefs don't clash with those inherent in aikido.
I know that most Christians don't actually follow the teachings of 'Christ', so it's a bit stupid of me to bring it up....

Sorry for the off-topic-ish comment: it's just something that has been bugging me since I saw the 'Can Christians do Aikido?' thread. Carry on.
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:31 AM   #38
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Re: Peace

There is depth of peace that can be recognized as a spiritual experience that reveals a universal truth, regardless of creed or belief structure. If you have tasted this you will understand but if you haven't you can go on arguing forever. Aikido can be part of such an understanding even when you disarm someone of their spear.
Knowing your own ideas too well leaves no room to take something new in. Insisting on your way of thinking might make you feel good about yourself but hardly helps in breaking new ground together. Knowing who's host and who's guest is essential in keeping with the rules of conduct. If you'd like to proselytize your own beliefs start your own thread.
Wanting to understand, wanting to listen is a first requirement of a conversation. No point in joining a conversation just to advocate your own views thinking you know it all already. But it is also cool to notice how this is a very culturally conditioned response. Can you see it?
A big part of peace is to see the whole picture. To see diverging views, to understand differing strongholds. To be able to hold different perspectives. It's a study of life.

Good luck

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Old 09-12-2010, 10:12 AM   #39
Carsten Möllering
 
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Re: Peace

Quote:
Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
I don't understand how this can be applied by a 'Christian': for the character of Christ is described as a pacifist - turn the other cheek, etc., whereas aikido is concerned with, as you say, 'stopping weapons'.
Hm, I don't think that Jesus can be described as a pacifist in the sense we understand it today.

eg. one possible interpretation of "turn the other cheek" just means a simpel historical thing:
Don't accept to be seen as a slave, an unfree man (... Jew) who is hit with the back of the hand by a free man ( ... Roman). But turn your head, present your other cheek and make the aggressor hit you like a free man. ... Stand up for your rights.
Ever heard that?

(There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal 3, 28)

Quote:
So aikido is only open to you insofar as your pre-existing beliefs don't clash with those inherent in aikido.
The beliefs inherent in aikido don't clash with christian theology. They would, if it was necessary to believe in the world view of oomoto kyo. But that's not the case.
I worked a lot about the theories of aiki compared to the christian beliefs during my academical training. Very interesting! But no clashes.

What would you understand then as the pre-existing beliefs inherent in aikido?

Quote:
I know that most Christians don't actually follow the teachings of 'Christ', ...
Or what you understand as the teachings of Christ?
It's a pity that "christian beliefs" are often defined by fundamentalists.

Quote:
.. since I saw the 'Can Christians do Aikido?' thread. ...
Well there are some pastors like me doing aikido here in Germany. We have teachers of religious education here and so on.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:38 AM   #40
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Re: Peace

Quote:
Bjorn Saw wrote: View Post
... If you have tasted this you will understand but if you haven't you ...
Insisting on your way of thinking might make you feel good about yourself but hardly helps in breaking new ground together.
Isn't this what struggle means?
I found my way. I got my beliefs. I practice aikido. I live my life. And do it in a very spiritual way. Learnig often was very hard over all the years.
Why do you have to convince me, that your understanding of life is "better" than mine?

But I think if you believe to inherit "universal and eternal truth" and that your way is the only one, there's no reason for longer talking?

Quote:
Knowing who's host and who's guest is essential in keeping with the rules of conduct. If you'd like to proselytize your own beliefs start your own thread.
Do you really understand a thread in a forum in the words of "host" and "guest" instead of communication between humans?

Quote:
A big part of peace is to see the whole picture. To see diverging views, to understand differing strongholds. To be able to hold different perspectives. It's a study of life.
That's what I said. But you can't deal with a perspective wich to contradicts you?

Carsten
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:05 AM   #41
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Re: Peace

Inner peace meaning serenity shouldn't be confused with peace meaning absence of war.

Absence of war can be because superpowers have weapons of mutually assured destruction pointed at each other so that peace is in each's best interest (this is about Nash equilibrium: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nash_equilibrium). Yes, that's peace imposed with the threat of violence. Or we could have peace because it is the right - only - way to live. That day will probably come but I suspect we're still a few hundred years away. Aikidoka, for example, might have their own small parts to play in the unfolding of that future history as Robert Kent was maybe suggesting.

Let's try to keep religion out of it.

we can make our minds so like still water, and so live for a moment with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:06 AM   #42
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Re: Peace

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
Hm, I don't think that Jesus can be described as a pacifist in the sense we understand it today.

eg. one possible interpretation of "turn the other cheek" just means a simpel historical thing:
Don't accept to be seen as a slave, an unfree man (... Jew) who is hit with the back of the hand by a free man ( ... Roman). But turn your head, present your other cheek and make the aggressor hit you like a free man. ... Stand up for your rights.
Ever heard that?

(There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal 3, 28)

The beliefs inherent in aikido don't clash with christian theology. They would, if it was necessary to believe in the world view of oomoto kyo. But that's not the case.
I worked a lot about the theories of aiki compared to the christian beliefs during my academical training. Very interesting! But no clashes.

What would you understand then as the pre-existing beliefs inherent in aikido?

Or what you understand as the teachings of Christ?
It's a pity that "christian beliefs" are often defined by fundamentalists.

Well there are some pastors like me doing aikido here in Germany. We have teachers of religious education here and so on.
I understand your interpretation - but i'm not aware of anything the character ever does which vindicates violence - or even self-defence.

It's an interesting quote - saying that the differences between us, such as nationality, and gender, are illusory and inconsequential - but the history of Christianity is one in which such differences have been emphasised; and the fact that there's the part in the story where god shows up, sees that everyone's acting a fool and killing the non-human animals, tries to commit an act of genocide against the human race (a blanket judgment against 'sinner' and non-sinner, guilty and innocent alike), fails to get people to change, and then goes 'I am sorry I have created them'...i've forgotten what my point was. Apologies.

You misunderstand me: by 'beliefs inherent in aikido' I meant such a belief as that you should not tolerate someone hitting you, and should defend yourself.
For instance, one of the times when the Germans were attacking my country, there were these Christians over here who refused to be conscripted/fight; a tribunal was called, and they were questioned on their beliefs: they said that Christ would not fight under any circumstances; they were asked 'Well what if a German was killing your mother - would you not step in and protect her?' they said that Christ would not, and so neither were they; henceforth they were excused from fighting the Germans.
Obviously their Christian beliefs directly clash with those of aikido.

Well my understanding of the character is that he was a communist, and a pacifist: the story goes that he had no interest in wealth, and didn't run away or fight when they came to kill him. I also understand that as 'the church' grew in power, those true Christians - hermits, who lived in the wilderness with no possessions; monastic orders whose sole concern was 'the life hereafter' - were either declared heretics, and persecuted/murdered; or incorporated into 'the church'.
There's also the fact that people in the west have sold out their antiquated beliefs in certain respects - e.g., hating gays; hating women; hating themselves - but hold onto the vague notion of an afterlife, etc. - they're on easy street, and I have no respect for people who don't want to take the rough, but are perfectly happy to take the smooth.
If I had such an extreme belief that there was some dude with a beard, floating about on clouds and stuff, making people, midgets, and magnetic fields, I would devote so much time to investigating it...

My apologies for going off on a tangent.
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Old 09-12-2010, 03:53 PM   #43
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Re: Peace

Just putting your point of view across doesn't mean it's a conversation. Did you ever listen to begin with or did you opt to oppose anything but your own beliefs? Arguing points you may see as a valid way of interacting but I insist there is a different way of communicating that is free of conflict even to begin with. But since you chose not to go down that road you may open your own thread arguing as much as you like (Let's see if you find any one interested in taking you on?), but you won't find me there at all unless there's something genuine being offered. Genuine in the sense of a willingness to listen and an interest in finding out what the other is saying.
When I join a conversation I do that without having the need to hold on to my views as opposed to the other. But when I open a conversation with a view of mine with a desire to share that view I find no interest in combating my perspective against another. If you don't agree, fine. If you want to share your perspective open a dialogue to invite people to it instead of trying to hijack someones else. If you don't understand this there is not much we can do about it. Arguing on other peoples posts may seem interesting to you especially if you fancy yourself to be in the know, but it can also be seen as arrogant and proud. Now if you call yourself a Christian you should have the eyes to see this. If not, look again.

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Old 09-12-2010, 05:42 PM   #44
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Re: Peace

"I understand your interpretation - but i'm not aware of anything the character ever does which vindicates violence - or even self-defence."

--Try Matthew 10:34. Not saying I'm a religious man, but you asked.
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:10 PM   #45
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Re: Peace

Quote:
Brett Charvat wrote: View Post
"I understand your interpretation - but i'm not aware of anything the character ever does which vindicates violence - or even self-defence."

--Try Matthew 10:34. Not saying I'm a religious man, but you asked.
As with most of the Bible it seems, this part isn't without a difference of opinion. Many folks maintain this passage is a metaphor, not a literal prescription for violence.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 09-12-2010, 07:58 PM   #46
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Re: Peace

There just ain't no war like a religious war, is there? Especially when the bone of contention is peace. Them's the best wars of all!
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:53 PM   #47
Gorgeous George
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Re: Peace

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
As with most of the Bible it seems, this part isn't without a difference of opinion. Many folks maintain this passage is a metaphor, not a literal prescription for violence.
Indeed: it certainly seems that way to me -

"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it."

...although I think it would be a bit unfair to blame Jesus for women not getting along with their mothers-in-law.
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:57 PM   #48
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Re: Peace

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Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
There just ain't no war like a religious war, is there? Especially when the bone of contention is peace. Them's the best wars of all!
Haha. Verily. Koran burning/mosque building, anyone...?
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:46 PM   #49
WilliB
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Re: Peace

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Graham Jenkins wrote: View Post
Haha. Verily. Koran burning/mosque building, anyone...?
Well, since you bring up the "Religion of Peace", it is also worth reminding that when discussing this, people should agree on the definition of the word. Otherwise, you talk past each other.

As Bassam Tibi points out:
"Both sides should acknowledge candidly that although they might use identical terms, these mean different things to each of them. The word peace, for example, implies to a Muslim the extension of the Dar al-Islam -- or House of Islam -- to the entire world. This is completely different from the Enlightenment concept of eternal peace that dominates Western thought. Only when the entire world is a Dar al-Islam will it be a Dar a-Salam, or House of Peace."
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:13 PM   #50
akiy
 
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Re: Peace

Hi folks,

Just wanted to step in here and request that the discussion here in this thread to explicitly include the topic of aikido.

If you'd like to discuss religion and spirituality in a context outside of aikido, please do so in the Open Discussions forum.

Thank you,

-- Jun

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