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 > Non-Aikido Martial Traditions

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 01-08-2011, 09:30 AM   #1
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Metaphors

(Carried over from the thread on sport in order to not degrade the discussion topic there)

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
In what follows, the Japanese un reading of a word is contrasted with the Chinese ON reading in capitals.

The basic term used by Ueshiba is 魂 tamashi, which is always contrasted with 魄 HAKU. Both terms are also read as tama, and both mean 'soul' or 'spirit', but there is a major difference.

There are three basic Chinese characters read as tama. They are: 魂, 魄,and also 霊.

The core Japanese concept for ‘soul' appears to be 霊魂 REIKON.
Thank you, Peter.
Related to "Reiki"?
Quote:

The 魄 is the in (陰) part of the REIKON, that remains in this world, whereas the 魂 is the yo (陽) part that leaves it (after death).
Metaphorical use of "breath"?
Quote:

The Japanese for the phrase you actually quoted ["spirit and physical body are balanced in harmony"] is 魂魄調和 kon-paku-cho-wa, or, harmony (chowa 調和) of the tamashi 魂 and haku 魄.
OK. Many thanks. I've often wondered about "spirit" when I see it translated by English-speakers, so that helps with a long held question in my mind.
Quote:
I am sure you will appreciate the Chinese provenance of all this and if I am telling you something you know already, many apologies.
Well, it's always confusing and interesting how the gods and cosmologies seem to be capriciously interchanged with practical reality in both Japan and in China, particularly in the topics in and around so-called "internal strength". There is a worrisome aspect to this which I'll try to make a case for.

In terms of the intermingling of reality and relious metaphor, I always like this bit from the first interview of Koichi Tohei on Aikido Journal:

Quote:
Before the war Sensei taught at the Naval Staff College, where he had Prince Takamatsu (a younger brother of the Showa emperor) as one of his students. On one occasion the prince pointed at Ueshiba Sensei and said, “Try to lift up that old man.” Four strong sailors tried their best to lift him but they couldn’t do it.

Sensei said of that time, “All the many divine spirits of Heaven and Earth entered my body and I became as immovable as a heavy rock.” Everybody took him literally and believed it. I heard him say that kind of thing hundreds of times.

For my part, I have never had divine beings enter my body. I’ve never put much stock in that kind of illogical explanation.

Once when I was with Sensei in Hawaii, there was a demonstration in which two of the strong Hawaiian students were supposed to try to lift me up. They already knew they couldn’t do it, so they didn’t think much of it. But Sensei, who was off to the side watching, kept standing up and saying, “Stop, you can lift Tohei, you can lift him! Stop, make them stop! This demonstration’s no good!”

Tohei demonstrating in Hawaii
shortly after his arrivalYou see, I had been out drinking until three o’clock in the morning the previous evening, and Sensei knew what condition I had come home in. He said, “Of course the gods aren’t going to enter into a drunken sot like you! If they did they’d all get tipsy!” That’s why he thought they would be able to lift me.

In reality that sort of thing has nothing to do with any gods or spirits. It’s just a matter of having a low center of gravity. I know this and it’s what I teach all my students. It wouldn’t mean anything if only certain special people could do it. Things like that have to be accessible to everyone if they’re to have any meaning.

People with so-called “supernatural powers” are usually the only ones who can do whatever it is they claim. Others can’t do what they do and they can’t teach what they do, because what they do is not real; it’s fake. Anybody can do the things I teach. They’re alive in aikido techniques just as they are. All you have to know is how to do them correctly, and viewing them as supernatural powers requiring the presence of some god or what have you is a big mistake. I regard it as my responsibility to teach correctly.
My general point about the quote is that it's very difficult to tell when Ueshiba was honestly talking about the gods as opposed to when he was talking about physical aspects of "internal strength" using religious metaphor. If he was freely intermingling religious discussion with comments, say, on how to do things practically, then it's easy to see that many of the current translations are potentially wildly off-point.

In the Chinese views, from which much of the basic pattern is borrowed by the Japanese, it gets worse. The further I progress in these things, the more suspicious I am that the whole ki, acupuncture, TCM, qigong, etc., paradigm is essentially what the Chinese cosmology is based on. Previously I thought there were some unusual and telling cross-overs, but as the number of these has grown over the years I'm being forced to take a different perspective. Generally what I'm saying is that too many of these discussions, in both Japanese and Chinese, are not what they superficially seem(ed) to be.

FWIW

Mike Sigman

Last edited by Mike Sigman : 01-08-2011 at 09:32 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2011, 04:39 AM   #2
Nicholas Eschenbruch
Dojo: TV Denzlingen
Location: Freiburg
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 308
Germany
Offline
Re: Metaphors

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
(Carried over from the thread on sport in order to not degrade the discussion topic there)

Thank you, Peter.
Related to "Reiki"? Metaphorical use of "breath"? OK. Many thanks. I've often wondered about "spirit" when I see it translated by English-speakers, so that helps with a long held question in my mind. Well, it's always confusing and interesting how the gods and cosmologies seem to be capriciously interchanged with practical reality in both Japan and in China, particularly in the topics in and around so-called "internal strength". There is a worrisome aspect to this which I'll try to make a case for.

In terms of the intermingling of reality and relious metaphor, I always like this bit from the first interview of Koichi Tohei on Aikido Journal:

(...)

My general point about the quote is that it's very difficult to tell when Ueshiba was honestly talking about the gods as opposed to when he was talking about physical aspects of "internal strength" using religious metaphor. If he was freely intermingling religious discussion with comments, say, on how to do things practically, then it's easy to see that many of the current translations are potentially wildly off-point.

In the Chinese views, from which much of the basic pattern is borrowed by the Japanese, it gets worse. The further I progress in these things, the more suspicious I am that the whole ki, acupuncture, TCM, qigong, etc., paradigm is essentially what the Chinese cosmology is based on. Previously I thought there were some unusual and telling cross-overs, but as the number of these has grown over the years I'm being forced to take a different perspective. Generally what I'm saying is that too many of these discussions, in both Japanese and Chinese, are not what they superficially seem(ed) to be.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
Hi Mike,

intriguing subject, I hope I am not misunderstanding you.

In historical discussions here, it sometimes strikes me that there seems to be a notion that religious metaphor and practical advice are domains that can be separated for the historical topics discussed. Of course for us, that is the case, but I am not so sure it was for the historical figures. So when you say he was "honestly" talking about the gods, do you mean there was such separation in his own mind, or from our point of view in retrospect? If so, what makes you think that, in Ueshiba's world, there existed a division between practical IS training and religious metaphor? I am not asking this as a loaded or rhethorical question, btw.

One coudl argue that Tohei was just a later generation with a different (modernised) upbringing and cosmology.

In a similar vein, of course there is a philosophical position that metaphor (for some: should) be "reduced" to reality - there is also a strong argument, I find, that metaphor cannot always be reduced in such manner, that there are "absolute" metaphors (I take this from German philosopher Hans Blumenberg), and that philosophy and the history of science themeselves are full of important root metaphors (like "reading" nature, or the like).

Especially in relation to the experience of the body, I would tend to think myself that metaphor is irreducible. (Recently it was pointed out to me that a lot of body metaphors are apparently the result of synaesthesia, which again would be a facinating, different line of inquiry).

Just some points to start a discussion on a topic I find interesting - again, maybe based on a misunderstanding of the gist of your initial argument.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2011, 05:36 AM   #3
Demetrio Cereijo
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,925
Spain
Offline
Re: Metaphors

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
My general point about the quote is that it's very difficult to tell when Ueshiba was honestly talking about the gods as opposed to when he was talking about physical aspects of "internal strength" using religious metaphor. If he was freely intermingling religious discussion with comments, say, on how to do things practically, then it's easy to see that many of the current translations are potentially wildly off-point.
Hi Mike,

I think Ueshiba was talking about the gods, IS, social structure, ethics, everything you coud imagine, at the same time for there was not (in his views) a real difference.

He was not using analogies but identities.

  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2011, 08:27 AM   #4
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Metaphors

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Hi Mike,

intriguing subject, I hope I am not misunderstanding you.

In historical discussions here, it sometimes strikes me that there seems to be a notion that religious metaphor and practical advice are domains that can be separated for the historical topics discussed. Of course for us, that is the case, but I am not so sure it was for the historical figures. So when you say he was "honestly" talking about the gods, do you mean there was such separation in his own mind, or from our point of view in retrospect? If so, what makes you think that, in Ueshiba's world, there existed a division between practical IS training and religious metaphor? I am not asking this as a loaded or rhethorical question, btw.

One coudl argue that Tohei was just a later generation with a different (modernised) upbringing and cosmology.

In a similar vein, of course there is a philosophical position that metaphor (for some: should) be "reduced" to reality - there is also a strong argument, I find, that metaphor cannot always be reduced in such manner, that there are "absolute" metaphors (I take this from German philosopher Hans Blumenberg), and that philosophy and the history of science themeselves are full of important root metaphors (like "reading" nature, or the like).

Especially in relation to the experience of the body, I would tend to think myself that metaphor is irreducible. (Recently it was pointed out to me that a lot of body metaphors are apparently the result of synaesthesia, which again would be a facinating, different line of inquiry).

Just some points to start a discussion on a topic I find interesting - again, maybe based on a misunderstanding of the gist of your initial argument.
Well, in the 1990's I ran into the fact that hara/tanden/dantien is actually a functional thing that literally controls the body. So the dantien has a physical development. Did people find out about the physical development of the dantien before or after the dantien *after* the dantien had been postulated in theory and cosmology as something important? That would defy logic.

I found out that the body when trained correctly behaves along the lines of the "flow" diagrams in acupuncture/TCM.... coincidence? I think not. And there a more areas that accumulate and seem to solidify the idea that much of the things that appear to be the work of the vivid imagination of Taoist sages actually turn out to be totally in line with some real and demonstrable physical phenomena. The coincidence-after-the-fact idea crumbles under the weight.

What I think is that body-development along the practical physical qi/ki/prana/kokyu/shakti/jin lines could have long agao had a religious significance that was carried forward traditionally. So there would always have been an intermingling of religion and physical effect. It needs looking into because there's too much overlap for it all to just be coincidence.

FWIW

Mike Sigman
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2011, 08:41 AM   #5
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,817
United_States
Offline
Re: Metaphors

don't know a whole lot about japanese, but asian in general, tends to use lots of metaphor in their normal communication. reminded me of a star trek episode where capt picard and crew encountered an alien race whose language is pure metaphor. the translator couldn't translate.

if you look at the name of the taiji form sequence, then you have things like "Buddha's warrior pounds mortar", "Jade maiden working her loom", "white crane spread wings" and so on (why couldn't aikido techniques have names like that, since ikkyo, nikkyo,...etc are kinda boring). who would have thought those describe movements of a form? now if you put those sort of things into bad, non rhyme poems, then you got a bunch of doka that talked about god, kami and so on and so forth. bloody confusing! which got folks who really want to believe in things interpret as loving and harmony, when he could have discuss about how to pound you into the pavement and make you one with the earth.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2011, 08:48 AM   #6
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Metaphors

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
now if you put those sort of things into bad, non rhyme poems, then you got a bunch of doka that talked about god, kami and so on and so forth. bloody confusing! which got folks who really want to believe in things interpret as loving and harmony, when he could have discuss about how to pound you into the pavement and make you one with the earth.
There are now some real questions about "make a unity connection" and "become one with your opponent", etc., leading toward quasi-religious idea that this sort of "harmony" with an oponent could be extended to a "harmony" with the whole universe that allows you to not find any friction in life, attacking opponents are attacking themselves, and so on and on. I.e., what a lot of people have taken as a philosophical perspective could well have originated as a physical "self-development" that was considered superior to the normal physical development. Who knows? It's just that the coincidences are so improbably prevalent.

2 cents.

Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2011, 08:55 AM   #7
Nicholas Eschenbruch
Dojo: TV Denzlingen
Location: Freiburg
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 308
Germany
Offline
Re: Metaphors

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
Well, in the 1990's I ran into the fact that hara/tanden/dantien is actually a functional thing that literally controls the body. So the dantien has a physical development. Did people find out about the physical development of the dantien before or after the dantien *after* the dantien had been postulated in theory and cosmology as something important? That would defy logic.

I found out that the body when trained correctly behaves along the lines of the "flow" diagrams in acupuncture/TCM.... coincidence? I think not. And there a more areas that accumulate and seem to solidify the idea that much of the things that appear to be the work of the vivid imagination of Taoist sages actually turn out to be totally in line with some real and demonstrable physical phenomena. The coincidence-after-the-fact idea crumbles under the weight.
OK, I understand better what you meant. No objections....

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
What I think is that body-development along the practical physical qi/ki/prana/kokyu/shakti/jin lines could have long agao had a religious significance that was carried forward traditionally. So there would always have been an intermingling of religion and physical effect. It needs looking into because there's too much overlap for it all to just be coincidence.
Well, one approach would be that the body of course always reflects the totality a given civilisation's cosmology, or is even at the centre of it. My point was only, and I think Demetrio made it too, if more precisely, that there may not have been a distinction between the religious and the practical in the first place - for the "ancients", whoever they were, it was a seamless whole.

In such a view, it all got muddled with the cross-cultural translations into a new ("modern", "western", "scientific") paradigm, which introduced the distinctions we make between religion and physics in the first place. And dropped some things as "daoist phantasies" that were not. And we (or rather, people like you) are still clearing up the resulting mess and trying to get some order....

But maybe that's semantics for historians and social anthropologists

my 2 cent

Last edited by Nicholas Eschenbruch : 01-12-2011 at 08:57 AM. Reason: added sentence last full paragraph
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2011, 09:02 AM   #8
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Metaphors

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
My point was only, and I think Demetrio made it too, if more precisely, that there may not have been a distinction between the religious and the practical in the first place - for the "ancients", whoever they were, it was a seamless whole.
Oh, I agree. The anecdote about Ueshiba by Tohei is pretty telling along those lines

In the West we're used to their being some sort of disconnect between 'religious belief' and the day-to-day world. If this thesis about some practical inceptions to the Yin-Yang cosmology holds up, it might easily have gotten past westerners because they conceive of religious/metaphysical belief as divorced from day-to-day reality and their inclination, as Phi points out, would be to take "become one with your opponent" metaphorically instead of as a practical description.

FWIW

Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2011, 09:42 AM   #9
SeiserL
 
SeiserL's Avatar
Dojo: Roswell Budokan, Kyushinkan Dojo, Aikido World Alliance
Location: Roswell, GA USA
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 3,724
United_States
Offline
Re: Metaphors

Perhaps we are all just doing the best we can to express our thoughts in what they are to us, what they are like, and what they are not.

IMHO, just because they do or don't match someone elses expression doesn't mean they are right/wrong, good or bad.

That is one of the limits of language and communication. What I hear someone say gets translated into my langauge and the meanings may not match. Happens all the time.

Now add different cultures, language, religion, and time and the understanding and translation become harder. But many are trying to understand and get an accurate translation and understanding of what O'Sensei possibly meant.

Until then we will continue to miscomunicate and misunderstand, but continue the training and the journey.

Seldom are thing what they superficially seem, but sometimes they are. Wisdom/serenity is knowing the difference.

FWIW

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2011, 09:47 AM   #10
thisisnotreal
 
thisisnotreal's Avatar
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 693
Offline
Re: Metaphors

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
dreminded me of a star trek episode where capt picard and crew encountered an alien race whose language is pure metaphor. the translator couldn't translate.
>"Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra",
"Temba, his arms wide."
>"Shaka, when the walls fell."

phi, the walls won't fall.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2011, 09:49 AM   #11
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,508
United_States
Offline
Re: Metaphors

Quote:
Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Especially in relation to the experience of the body, I would tend to think myself that metaphor is irreducible. (Recently it was pointed out to me that a lot of body metaphors are apparently the result of synaesthesia, which again would be a facinating, different line of inquiry).
Nicholas,

I can accept synaestesia in this context. I was in a bit of a hot argument recently when someone attributed Ueshiba's performance to brain damage and his "visions" to synaesthesia.

But I was considering synaesthesia (which I believe we Yanks spell synesthesia) recently in the context of distinguishing ki from mind. I think what's happened in the West is that we believe that mind comprises all unseeable and unmeasurable qualities of the human body. You can't see the nerve impulses, but you can measure them. You can image what you can't open physically while the body lives. But anything you can't see or measure, such as thoughts or the movement of ki, is classified as "mental" activity. My "breakthrough" was in recognizing that mistake first. Just as all "mental" activity is not "calculation," all invisible human vitality is not necessarily "mental". It is because ki clings so closely to mind that we have never been able to distinguish it.

If I have a contribution to science greater than the filing of papers and the proper addressing of e-mails, it would be to stimulate a new context of consideration of ki so that neurologists and psychologists, psychiatrists and general practitioners would have a rational way of relating to it.

And I think that non-metaphorical context would be that "mind" has been over-identified to include non-mental functions of the body. In other words, take all the known functions of the body and re-classify which are the result of "mental" powers and which are the result of another kind of agent that works almost inseparably with the mind to operate some functions independently and other functions at the suggestion of the mind. In other words, convince science to conceive that the "eye" of the mind looks through a lens—and that this lens is what the Japanese call ki and the Chinese call qi.

As to synaesthesia, well, we're "looking" at an invisible idea through the "eye" of the mind, which has so far failed to recognize that it is "seeing" through a lens.

I made the comparison of trying to smell with the eyes or see with the nose. Of course, these things are actually the opposite of synaesthesia--confounding of one sense for another. And the activity and reality of ki has been overlooked by science because science has so far confounded the actions and effects of ki with those of the mind, so they have failed to see this fine distinction, that the ki is really more physical than mind....

So that's the big hike I'm now undertaking. I want science to recognize that this marginal transitional quality between mind and body does exist and that it bears tremendous import for every medical and social science.

Now, if we can understand all the factors involved and use the ki in the right relation to the mind and the body, I think we can experience a sort of blending of the senses of the mind and the ki into an awareness much broader than current "thinking" allows.

Best to you and all and again, especially to Mike Sigman for so much delineation of structure, function, intent and awareness over the years.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2011, 09:59 AM   #12
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,508
United_States
Offline
Re: Metaphors

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
don't know a whole lot about japanese, but asian in general, tends to use lots of metaphor in their normal communication. reminded me of a star trek episode where capt picard and crew encountered an alien race whose language is pure metaphor. the translator couldn't translate.

if you look at the name of the taiji form sequence, then you have things like "Buddha's warrior pounds mortar", "Jade maiden working her loom", "white crane spread wings" and so on (why couldn't aikido techniques have names like that, since ikkyo, nikkyo,...etc are kinda boring). who would have thought those describe movements of a form?
I've had the feeling lately that ki is like a Pikachu that lives inside us. I say Pikachu because I think that's the sort of "personality" that ki has. It's not anything we've seen on earth. It's sort of intelligent, but very simple. But very, very strong.

Lately, I'm working with the image of a cat that lives inside us.

And then I thought, maybe the ancient Chinese were really just describing a feeling you could recognize and would understand in the same way when you had felt it. "Parting the wild horse's mane."

"Grasping bird's tail" "Step back and repulse monkey".

Maybe these describe real feelings that arise in the human body when they move their qi as required for the movement....?

Well...that's probably taking it too far. But I think we're pretty safe with saying those names were related to the namers' feelings about their world and what they were doing.

Best to all.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2011, 10:05 AM   #13
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,508
United_States
Offline
Re: Metaphors

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Perhaps we are all just doing the best we can to express our thoughts in what they are to us, what they are like, and what they are not.

IMHO, just because they do or don't match someone elses expression doesn't mean they are right/wrong, good or bad.

That is one of the limits of language and communication. What I hear someone say gets translated into my langauge and the meanings may not match. Happens all the time.
Now I feel that one of the biggest functions of ki is to allow communication between people who have no common language. They can understand one another through the ki. And if you've ever been the only non-speaker of the language where you are, you know what I mean: you pay a lot of attention to the person you want to communicate with and they pay a lot of attention to you and you do all kinds of stuff to get the idea across, miming, mapping, so on. And life goes on, but if you made a friend that day by paying close attention, likely, you'll soon be speaking the new language!

I think really well-developed ki can manage even better than that. But it still may not work agete on that grip of yours!

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
Until then we will continue to miscomunicate and misunderstand, but continue the training and the journey.

Seldom are thing what they superficially seem, but sometimes they are. Wisdom/serenity is knowing the difference.
Best to you.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.davidorangejr.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2011, 10:43 AM   #14
Lorel Latorilla
Location: Osaka
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 311
Japan
Offline
Re: Metaphors

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
Now I feel that one of the biggest functions of ki is to allow communication between people who have no common language. They can understand one another through the ki. And if you've ever been the only non-speaker of the language where you are, you know what I mean: you pay a lot of attention to the person you want to communicate with and they pay a lot of attention to you and you do all kinds of stuff to get the idea across, miming, mapping, so on. And life goes on, but if you made a friend that day by paying close attention, likely, you'll soon be speaking the new language!

I think really well-developed ki can manage even better than that. But it still may not work agete on that grip of yours!

Best to you.

David
Dude all your ki talk has made me buy another book today by Ushiro Kenji lol. BTW, I have had many many moments where I've shared moments of extreme depths with Japanese people, even when I was barely conversational. Those times were priceless.

Unless stated otherwise, all wisdom, follies, harshness, malice that may spring up from my writing are attributable only to me.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2011, 11:31 AM   #15
Marc Abrams
Dojo: Aikido Arts of Shin Budo Kai/ Bedford Hills, New York
Location: New York
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 1,302
United_States
Offline
Re: Metaphors

Quote:
Lorel Latorilla wrote: View Post
Dude all your ki talk has made me buy another book today by Ushiro Kenji lol. BTW, I have had many many moments where I've shared moments of extreme depths with Japanese people, even when I was barely conversational. Those times were priceless.
Lorel:

It is funny you two mentioned that aspect of Ki and Ushiro Sensei. When I first met Ushiro Sensei back at the first Expo, we instantly bonded despite not speaking each other's language. Our families are still close to one another to this day and we talk to others frequently about how our ki created a connection that continues to grow today.

If you are interested in meeting Ushiro Sensei in Osaka, pm me and I will arrange for you to be able to attend one of the open seminars.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2011, 12:15 PM   #16
Pat Togher
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 88
United_States
Offline
Re: Metaphors

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
don't know a whole lot about japanese, but asian in general, tends to use lots of metaphor in their normal communication. reminded me of a star trek episode where capt picard and crew encountered an alien race whose language is pure metaphor. the translator couldn't translate.

if you look at the name of the taiji form sequence, then you have things like "Buddha's warrior pounds mortar", "Jade maiden working her loom", "white crane spread wings" and so on (why couldn't aikido techniques have names like that, since ikkyo, nikkyo,...etc are kinda boring). who would have thought those describe movements of a form?
...

Quote:
Josh Philipson wrote: View Post
>"Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra",
"Temba, his arms wide."
>"Shaka, when the walls fell."

phi, the walls won't fall.
Great episode!
Relavent to the discussion, too.
I had a long post typed, but lost it.

I believe westerners use methaphor in language alot more than we think, but it's masked by the common cultural context we share. I think almost any group with a common interest will develop a shorthand language to discuss their interest. Scientists are do this formally, but you see it in virtually any group with a common interest - from techies to trekies to Harry Potter fans to evangelical christians. In any of these situations, the specific meaning of terms is not transparent to those outside the group.

Former Governor Mike Huckabee's speeches may be a good parallel to the current discussion. I recall a poll where most people had only the most general understanding of what he was saying, but evangelicals heard a whole overlay of christian imagery in his speeches.

Pat

Last edited by Pat Togher : 01-12-2011 at 12:18 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2011, 01:52 PM   #17
Mike Sigman
Location: Durango, CO
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,123
United_States
Offline
Re: Metaphors

Quote:
Pat Togher wrote: View Post
Relavent to the discussion, too.
I haven't spotted such a post for a while. Gave it up.

Mike
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2011, 02:34 PM   #18
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,114
United_States
Offline
Re: Metaphors

Quote:
Josh Philipson wrote: View Post
>"Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra",
"Temba, his arms wide."
>"Shaka, when the walls fell."

phi, the walls won't fall.
My "rebuttle": Castles made of sand slips into the sea, eventually.

I remember watching that episode and thinking, "how the hell can he be so sure he's understanding the meaning? It's too damned vague!!!" I mean, what if the walls were the one's built by Pink Floyd? That would be good wouldn't it? Or if they're the ones that protected people from the Golden Horde? That'd be bad! ...But that's why I'm not Captain of the Enterprise.

I recall learning about one or two of the Catholic saints (Aquinas?) who essentially espoused a mystical view of spirituality, that one can commune with spirit (whatever that may be) directly. Ever since then, I've been drawn to the concept of mysticism because it seems to take root in a direct approach for application. After learning something about Natural Religion, I came to feel even more comfortable with mystical language.
Natural religions/philosophies tend to be "old" and based on a time when people seemed to look at the world around them, notice something, and then seek to describe it to the best of their knowledge. It might've been somewhat more intuition-based, but it wasn't exactly less intelligent than what people today express. In many regards you might say they had less distractions than most people have today.


Quote:
Mike wrote:
Previously I thought there were some unusual and telling cross-overs, but as the number of these has grown over the years I'm being forced to take a different perspective.
Would you be willing to give an example?

Last edited by mathewjgano : 01-12-2011 at 02:42 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2011, 07:34 PM   #19
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,817
United_States
Offline
Re: Metaphors

Quote:
David Orange wrote: View Post
I've had the feeling lately that ki is like a Pikachu that lives inside us. I say Pikachu because I think that's the sort of "personality" that ki has. It's not anything we've seen on earth. It's sort of intelligent, but very simple. But very, very strong.

David
dude, you are behind the time. pikachu is soooooo yesterday. it's transformer now, bumble bee.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2011, 08:54 PM   #20
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,114
United_States
Offline
Re: Metaphors

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
dude, you are behind the time. pikachu is soooooo yesterday. it's transformer now, bumble bee.
...but Transformers are older than Pokemon! Does this mean my baseball cards will be worth something at some point again? And what exactly is that a metaphor phor...er, for?

Last edited by mathewjgano : 01-12-2011 at 08:56 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2011, 10:36 AM   #21
Pat Togher
Location: Seattle
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 88
United_States
Offline
Re: Metaphors

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I haven't spotted such a post for a while. Gave it up.

Mike


Pat
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Cool Rain Productions - Since 1976, the exclusive source for "Aikido in Training" Book/DVD Series



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
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 12 Peter Goldsbury Columns 32 05-16-2009 07:05 PM
Article: Symbols, Metaphors, Change by "The Mirror" AikiWeb System AikiWeb System 9 10-03-2005 03:20 PM
doka of the day translator? wendyrowe Language 19 06-28-2005 12:42 PM
The Unbendable Arm: Dave Miller Techniques 72 06-01-2003 04:15 AM
3 Metaphors Jorx Spiritual 3 05-02-2002 07:58 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:17 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 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