Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > General

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-26-2010, 12:24 PM   #126
MM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,996
United_States
Offline
Re: aikido is...

Quote:
Russ Qureshi wrote: View Post
Hello Mark,

You seem to be in the know enough about what Ueshiba was saying/thinking that you are making very clear black and white statements about what he meant if and when he said "I am the universe".
Hello Russ,

If you'll reread my posts, I make it clear that defining what Ueshiba meant in his spiritual ideology is rather hard. I make no attempts at defining what he meant, spiritually, when he said things like I am the universe.

However, I do make a distinction between what he says, how he says it, and what he is doing as he says it. And he made it pretty clear in one example that when he stated he was joined with the universe, he was using a push test.

And we can all have "I am the universe" experiences. But, to say that our experience gives us the understanding of what Ueshiba meant when he said that is, IMO, wrong. Unless you can replicate what he could do martially (in this example, the push test), then you aren't even 1/2 way to understanding Ueshiba, let alone understanding Ueshiba's singularly unique spiritual ideology.

Which is where Modern Aikido diverges from Ueshiba's aikido. In some Modern Aikido, it's okay to take the "I am the universe" experience and define aikido. Who am I to say whether that's right or wrong? As I said, I'll bow out of those discussions. Modern Aikido is its own entity and there are thousands of people who are happy with how it is defined. In fact, there are enough versions of Modern Aikido out there that it appeals to a wide range of people. Certainly, no one can say that's a bad thing.

Nowhere in my posts did I state that I knew what Ueshiba meant. Even if I had the complement of martial skills that Ueshiba had, I still wouldn't venture down that maze of confusion that is Ueshiba's spiritual ideology.

Let better men than me do that.

Thanks,
Mark
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2010, 12:47 PM   #127
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,237
United_States
Offline
Re: aikido is...

Quote:
Keith Larman wrote: View Post
How is it valid? Because a smart fella holds the view?
Well, sure, but only insofaras his intelligence directly relates to the material...something which differs from your example of the schizophrenic (I'm guessing) mathematician.

Quote:
Would the universe exist without us? If you say no, well, I'm sorry, there's not much more to talk about then. I'm just going to have another martini and make the world a softer, gentler place...
I didn't get the sense he was saying the universe hinges upon your or my or any other part of "consciousness," simply that he supposed something determined/chose the order within the randomness. I only listened to a brief bit of it though....and what little science I've known has mostly left the building, so I won't pretend to have more than an ignorant interpretation of a few of the phrases he tossed out.

Quote:
"I refute it thus". Whack. Damn, stubbed my toe on my consciousness.
No worries! I already called no refute-sies with a double-stamp-no-take-backs, times infinity...so the Universe is safe...for now.

Quote:
I'm just glad that it isn't only philosophers who sometimes spout these things.
The human mind is pretty amazing, but, if I may wax poetic, it's a lot like any chunk of matter: the closer we look at it, the more vacuous it seems.

...So how might all this cerebellum stroking of mine fit with the topic...
peripherally, at best, but if Aikido is potentially about communing with the universe, I can see how it might be useful to consider different possiblilities for that.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 11-26-2010 at 12:51 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2010, 01:07 PM   #128
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,192
United_States
Offline
Re: aikido is...

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
It baffles me how many people in aikido, and especilly here on the forum, seem to find the idea that O-Sensei's physical practice can be replicated or reconstructed (based on the idea of the universality of the body) so much more persuasive than the idea that we can have similar experiences on the base of a universal human mind.
Well...when speaking of physical actions, we can make a distinction between an action and our experience of it. To use a simple example, two people lift their right arm over their head. One has a "normal", uninjured shoulder, the other has a sprained shoulder. The action is the same, but their experience of it is very different.

So, maybe when we talk about the physical practice, the criterion we're using is the action: yes, these two people can lift their right arm, they're doing the same thing. But their experience of doing it is very different -- and we don't tend to explore this, maybe because we know we can't really nail it down, or maybe because the physical action is right there as an easy handle that we can grasp. That's the basis on which people believe that they can practice aikido as O Sensei did it: they can perform the same actions.

Yes, people will claim that that that's not the whole package...logged and noted. My own belief, though, is that anything beyond that is not knowable. Two people move their arm the same way, and have a different experience of it, even on the purely physical level -- there is no universality in the experience. How, then, should we believe that there's universality in thought, or in the mental experience? The only way that we know that our mental experiences correspond at all is through external communication, most commonly language. That is exactly when we get into the case of the blind men and the elephant: we do our best to communicate, and what we say may resonate with others. But we may also find ourselves in situations where we're just using terms differently. I ran into this today in a totally different context with the word "relax" -- one person thinking it meant to mellow out and take it easy, and another person using it to mean the ability of certain muscle tissue to relax, more like elasticity I guess. Two people break their leg -- their experience of it is different, and their description of it is a level removed from the experience. That's enough to convince me that there is no "universal mind".
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2010, 01:10 PM   #129
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,192
United_States
Offline
Re: aikido is...

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
The human mind is pretty amazing, but, if I may wax poetic, it's a lot like any chunk of matter: the closer we look at it, the more vacuous it seems.
Kinda like how most matter is really empty space?
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 04:03 AM   #130
Nicholas Eschenbruch
Dojo: TV Denzlingen
Location: Freiburg
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 323
Germany
Offline
Re: aikido is...

Quote:
Mark Murray wrote: View Post
(...)

In one class, he called the instructor to the front and placed the teacher's hands on his hip, commanding the man to push him over. "My body is joined with the universe and nobody can move me," the founder said. The young instructor tried to push him but couldn't.

Notice the words attributed directly to Ueshiba. "My body is joined with the universe" and what is happening while this is going on? He is using a "push test".

(...)

The core body skill, aiki, builds a martial body such that these exemplary martial artists could exhibit an "unmovable" body in a demonstration. That is *not* to say that aiki is spiritual. In fact, just looking at Sagawa and Kodo, we find similar skills as Ueshiba. However the former two never approached the level of spirituality as Ueshiba.

We, then, have to look at what Ueshiba states, is recorded as saying, or by second hand recollections. As the example I noted, we have Ueshiba giving us, on a platter, the direct correlation between "joined with the universe" and the aiki body skills.

If anyone wants to discuss "I am the universe" in relation to Modern Aikido, I'll bow out and have no disagreements. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case here. The discussion turned to Ueshiba's aikido and spirituality. Ueshiba's aikido is very, very different from Modern Aikido. The two should be discussed separately as they are world's apart.

Back to the topic, Ueshiba's spirituality was so intertwined with his aiki, that I do not believe, in regards to Ueshiba, one can discuss his spirituality without discussing his aiki. Again, that is not to say that aiki (Daito ryu aiki) is spiritual in any way. (I should define that as I am not wanting to detail aiki in a spiritual way. I believe that it is -- just not in the same manner as Ueshiba's spiritual ideology. And that's a whole different thread.)

And so, I personally don't think one can begin to understand Ueshiba's definition/explanation of "I am the universe" or "joined with the universe" without at the very least having a body that is rebuilt by Daito ryu aiki. And even then, having that, leaves out a very hard task of understanding Oomoto kyo, kami, spirituality, and Ueshiba's vision of them all.

I think that if anyone uses their religious, spiritual, etc lifestyle/views/ideology and combines that with Daito ryu aiki, then they would be well within Ueshiba Morihei's views/vision of aikido. They would not be doing exactly Ueshiba Morihei's personal aikido, but who really could? It would be enough to accomplish the former and be within the boundaries. So, if one had Daito ryu aiki and then had an experience of "I am the universe", one would, by Ueshiba's own words, be doing his view of aikido. Noting again that one would not be doing exactly Ueshiba's personal aikido.

However, without the Daito ryu aiki, one will not be doing Ueshiba's view of aikido, not matter how many, how strong, or how expansive an experience of "I am the universe" one has. As Ueshiba said, "My body is joined with the universe and nobody can move me".

Of course, there are various places where Modern Aikido training is well within the "I am the universe" experiences but without the Daito ryu aiki, instead opting for the ai(love)ki. But it should be understood that the Japanese love using play on words. Ueshiba did not use the aiki where ai is love as his primary underlying usage. He used the aiki where ai is love as a play on his primary Daito ryu aiki body skill intertwined with his spiritual ideology. Hence, Modern Aikido lacks the martial "secret" of aiki to have that void replaced by the wordplay of spiritual aiki (love energy/harmony).

Does that help explain my views better? I'm horrible at writing/conveying my ideas.

Mark
Hi Mark,
thanks for the long reply, that makes it easier for me to see where you are coming from, and actually I really would not disagree with most of the individual points you make.

What I have problems with is the synthesis and the way to it... (and I really mean "problems" - not just using the word as a way of rhethoric). For a number of reasons, having to do with theory of mind, body and culture, with historical method, and general interpretative procedure, I do not think we know enough to prescribe how anybody has to interpret that famous phrase of O Sensei. And probably never will. An informed picture may emerge, and some things will be more likely than others, but the uncertainty will remain huge.

I may have been ruined for this discussion by my academic background, but when it starts I just see problems of historical evidence, cross-cultural hermeneutics and body-mind dualism join together in a happy dance of chaos and confusion... but then you did say it was a quagmire...

In one of your earlier posts, you came across as quite "black and white" on the matter, and I would caution us there. In that last post, you frame it as a matter of (informed) belief, and I am much more comfortable with that.

I would actually not argue my own suggestion with anybody for much the same reasons, but wanted to present a different way of looking at things.

Best for your day & training! I hope to be able to come over to the US again sometimes early next year.

Last edited by Nicholas Eschenbruch : 11-27-2010 at 04:04 AM. Reason: spelling
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-27-2010, 04:15 AM   #131
Nicholas Eschenbruch
Dojo: TV Denzlingen
Location: Freiburg
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 323
Germany
Offline
Re: aikido is...

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
Well...when speaking of physical actions, we can make a distinction between an action and our experience of it. To use a simple example, two people lift their right arm over their head. One has a "normal", uninjured shoulder, the other has a sprained shoulder. The action is the same, but their experience of it is very different.

So, maybe when we talk about the physical practice, the criterion we're using is the action: yes, these two people can lift their right arm, they're doing the same thing. But their experience of doing it is very different -- and we don't tend to explore this, maybe because we know we can't really nail it down, or maybe because the physical action is right there as an easy handle that we can grasp. That's the basis on which people believe that they can practice aikido as O Sensei did it: they can perform the same actions.

Yes, people will claim that that that's not the whole package...logged and noted. My own belief, though, is that anything beyond that is not knowable. Two people move their arm the same way, and have a different experience of it, even on the purely physical level -- there is no universality in the experience. How, then, should we believe that there's universality in thought, or in the mental experience? The only way that we know that our mental experiences correspond at all is through external communication, most commonly language. That is exactly when we get into the case of the blind men and the elephant: we do our best to communicate, and what we say may resonate with others. But we may also find ourselves in situations where we're just using terms differently. I ran into this today in a totally different context with the word "relax" -- one person thinking it meant to mellow out and take it easy, and another person using it to mean the ability of certain muscle tissue to relax, more like elasticity I guess. Two people break their leg -- their experience of it is different, and their description of it is a level removed from the experience. That's enough to convince me that there is no "universal mind".
Hi Mary,
in terms of reasoning, I actually agree with almost everythign you write. That is why I say I would not argue my point with anybody, it was more about pointing into an alternative direction and cautioning against supposed "certainties" about O-Sensei's experience, and the primacy of the physical in it.

Well then..... except for your last sentence. I do not see how that follows? We cannot rationally know, for sure, but we cannot know the contrary either, can we?

Also, maybe I should clarify that - adressing Mark who studies with Dan - the body skills I was referring to were not so much "techniques", but the internal workings of the body, I did not make that clear enough.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-28-2010, 03:42 PM   #132
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,192
United_States
Offline
Re: aikido is...

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Hi Mary,
in terms of reasoning, I actually agree with almost everythign you write. That is why I say I would not argue my point with anybody, it was more about pointing into an alternative direction and cautioning against supposed "certainties" about O-Sensei's experience, and the primacy of the physical in it.

Well then..... except for your last sentence. I do not see how that follows? We cannot rationally know, for sure, but we cannot know the contrary either, can we?
Again, that's what I'm getting at: some things are beyond the realm of the knowable, and one of these things is a definitive statement of what "aikido is". All we can do is describe our various experiences of it, which are not static things (they better not be!) -- that, or repeat what we've heard about it at second or third-hand. Our definitions are always less than our understanding, and our understanding is always less than complete.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2010, 12:37 PM   #133
David Board
Dojo: Aikido of Reno
Location: Reno/NV
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 74
United_States
Offline
Re: aikido is...

Aikido is a finger pointing at the moon.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2010, 12:39 PM   #134
David Board
Dojo: Aikido of Reno
Location: Reno/NV
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 74
United_States
Offline
Re: aikido is...

Quote:
David Board wrote: View Post
Aikido is a finger pointing at the moon.
...go ahead pull my finger.

[Could not resist.]
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2010, 02:59 PM   #135
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,237
United_States
Offline
Re: aikido is...

Quote:
David Board wrote: View Post
...go ahead pull my finger.

[Could not resist.]
Really, who couldn't!

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My Experiences in Cross Training MMA with Aikido Reuben General 126 02-17-2015 10:56 PM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 6 Peter Goldsbury Columns 35 03-13-2009 07:16 PM
The continued Evolution of Aikido salim General 716 12-27-2008 11:00 PM
Aikido in Amsterdam, Terry Lax style... tiyler_durden General 11 11-03-2008 09:31 AM
Women and Everybody Else in Aikido George S. Ledyard Teaching 113 03-16-2008 08:27 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:33 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2018 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2018 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate