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Old 11-21-2011, 11:25 AM   #26
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Eric DesMarais wrote: View Post
I wonder how safe or helpful it would be to distinguish "spiritual" (as in Shen and/or Qi) from "mystical" (as in practices geared for reaching enlightenment.)?
and from "high" on endogenous entheogens.

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Old 11-21-2011, 11:55 AM   #27
DH
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Eric DesMarais wrote: View Post
Hi Dan, thank you for the reply. I am particularly interested the statement I have quoted above. It seems that you are saying that his pursuits were not spiritual in the sense of mystical enlightenment. That they were solely related to a quest for, as you call it, "practical ways to move the body."

Are you comfortable with the dichotomy I proposed, that he may have pursued both practical body skills and enlightenment using training methods that were similar but in some cases distinguishable?
I think it is clear that he did. I just wouldn't consider it a dichotomy. There is precedent for this training to effect you spiritually/mentally and for the training to be part a spiritual practice. It is unfortunate that some people do not understand that you can separate out physical models that stand on their own.
A simple case in point: You don't have to chant prayers to effect breath resonance in the body. Vowel sounds divorced from a specific language will do the same thing. Both will help to identify connections in the body, but it is easy to see how someone could "use" or even "require" induction into a spiritual practice to get the same result. It isn't true that you needed to chant a prayer, but it is none the less their "requirement."

In the quote I offered -heretofore-not translated into English, we find Ueshiba as a teacher using the Kojiki to explain how someone should manifest in yo ho in the human anatomy. I could teach by using all anatomy or all spiritual metaphor to teach the same principles, or I could teach by kata in a system. It would all be the same to me....but it may leave the audience thinking I was daft...er...wait!!
Dan
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:58 AM   #28
Eric in Denver
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
and from "high" on endogenous entheogens.
That is a good point to bring up. I haven't read this article, but I have read others like it.

So, we have three options, spiritual as in "Shen", spiritual as in mystical enlightenment, and spiritual as in weird brain glitches.
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:40 PM   #29
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Eric DesMarais wrote: View Post
So, we have three options, spiritual as in "Shen", spiritual as in mystical enlightenment, and spiritual as in weird brain glitches.
What if all three are the same thing but explained differently?

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Old 11-21-2011, 12:53 PM   #30
Eric in Denver
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
What if all three are the same thing but explained differently?
I see evidence that they are not the same.

There are studies in which lights and other hallucinations have been induced with magnets. There are many historical claims to enlightenment by people that could not fight. Neither Takeda, Sagawa, or any of the other Japanese IS masters besides Ueshiba claimed to be enlightened as far as I know. I also have not heard of any modern Chinese IS masters claiming spiritual enlightenment.

What evidence supports the claim that they are all the same?
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:55 PM   #31
kewms
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
What if all three are the same thing but explained differently?
Yes. See my comment about cultural context above.

Short of high tech brain imaging, it's pretty nearly impossible to get an objective description of brain phenomena. Different people experience the exact same biological response in different ways.

Katherine
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:35 PM   #32
Eric in Denver
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
I think it is clear that he did. I just wouldn't consider it a dichotomy. There is precedent for this training to effect you spiritually/mentally and for the training to be part a spiritual practice. It is unfortunate that some people do not understand that you can separate out physical models that stand on their own.
I guess I worry about the lumping of all of Ueshiba's practices into "this training." It appears to me that he learned aiki (in the IS, body skill sense) from Takeda. However, Takeda never made claims of enlightenment, while Ueshiba did, which makes me think that he either had slightly different practices, or completely different practices, for his enlightenment training.

Quote:
A simple case in point: You don't have to chant prayers to effect breath resonance in the body. Vowel sounds divorced from a specific language will do the same thing. Both will help to identify connections in the body, but it is easy to see how someone could "use" or even "require" induction into a spiritual practice to get the same result. It isn't true that you needed to chant a prayer, but it is none the less their "requirement."

In the quote I offered -heretofore-not translated into English, we find Ueshiba as a teacher using the Kojiki to explain how someone should manifest in yo ho in the human anatomy. I could teach by using all anatomy or all spiritual metaphor to teach the same principles, or I could teach by kata in a system. It would all be the same to me....but it may leave the audience thinking I was daft...er...wait!!
Dan
So, it sounds like you are saying either Western physical anatomy or a spiritual framework can be used to as a vehicle to explain. . . Enlightenment? Internal strength/aiki skills? Or are the two are the same?

I am sorry if I seem overly hung up on this issue of enlightenment and martial ability. I just have a hard time seeing that they are the same.
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:40 PM   #33
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

There are accounts of Ueshiba doing things that none of his compatriots could do - these regarding spirit possession and spirit calling (I'm a deep agnostic on all of this - but Mariye Takahashi's account in Aikido Journal is quite striking). Just as Sagawa took pains to state that his aiki was not the same as Horikawa's or Matsuda's or Yoshida Kotaro's, it is possible that Ueshiba took Daito-ryu and augmented it with his spiritual practices in some unique and wonderful ways. (This is different from a denial that aikido, in substance, is derived directly from Daito-ryu and that aiki, in particular, is derived from Daito-ryu and is the same (although each may articulate nuances and details differently) of Chinese internal arts.

I'm not directing this or what follows as a criticism of anyone's commentary here, fwiw.

Simply this: The man was deeply religious. Terry Dobson described traveling with him and listening to him pray through most of the night. In trying to say that aikido is not a religious practice, one can easily denigrate the deep spiritual, deep religious path that Ueshiba was on.

On the other hand, I have no doubt that he melded his spiritual practices in such a way that they contributed to his development and training in aiki - so that, for him, the stronger he got, the closer to the gods, and the closer to the gods, the stronger he got.

It is very unfortunate that some practice reduction when it comes to Ueshiba. "Well, his spiritual practices were all just his odd language for internal training," or "internal training? No way. He was a 'spiritual' man!" Didn't someone say that the secret of aiki is in in-yo? So, when it comes to Ueshiba,
this is one more dichotomy that needs to be taken into account. Not either-or. Not even both-and. For Ueshiba, it was "both-either-and-or

It is also probably true that Ueshiba began to believe that without the spiritual practices, the physical skills could not be developed. I have two reasons for saying this:
1. His outrage when Tohei demonstrated ki tricks after a night of debauchery - per Tohei's account
2. My essay, Aikido is Three Peaches, goes into depth. Most people were, as he put it, generators of power for him, the avatar to use.

I have no doubt that he was disheartened, to some degree, that 'no one is following me' - but on another level, he showed both the physical and the spiritual. If people didn't follow both, that was on them, not him.

Ellis Amdur

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Old 11-21-2011, 01:54 PM   #34
kewms
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

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Eric DesMarais wrote: View Post
I am sorry if I seem overly hung up on this issue of enlightenment and martial ability. I just have a hard time seeing that they are the same.
In the general case, no, they are not. Plenty of counterexamples on both sides.

In the specific case of Ueshiba Sensei, though... I'm not sure it's possible to draw a clear line, and I'm not sure *he* drew a clear line in his own mind.

Katherine
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Old 11-21-2011, 02:20 PM   #35
Eric in Denver
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

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Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
In the general case, no, they are not. Plenty of counterexamples on both sides.

In the specific case of Ueshiba Sensei, though... I'm not sure it's possible to draw a clear line, and I'm not sure *he* drew a clear line in his own mind.

Katherine
That is a good point. We do not have, or I do not have, evidence that he drew a clear line of distinction between the two.
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Old 11-21-2011, 02:44 PM   #36
Eric in Denver
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Ellis, your post inspires a multiple questions and thoughts, but before you get me too far off track, I would like to comment on a couple of things

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Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post

It is very unfortunate that some practice reduction when it comes to Ueshiba. "Well, his spiritual practices were all just his odd language for internal training," or "internal training? No way. He was a 'spiritual' man!" Didn't someone say that the secret of aiki is in in-yo? So, when it comes to Ueshiba,
this is one more dichotomy that needs to be taken into account. Not either-or. Not even both-and. For Ueshiba, it was "both-either-and-or"
If it is the case that aikido is "both-either-and-or", then it is like saying "aiki = anything that Ueshiba did that was frigging awesome! Oh yeah, and some awesome stuff that other people did too. But not all of it. Or it might be." If that is the closest agreement AW can reach on what aiki is, it seems like it might be better to not use it. At least if we don't want train wrecks.

Quote:
It is also probably true that Ueshiba began to believe that without the spiritual practices, the physical skills could not be developed. I have two reasons for saying this:
1. His outrage when Tohei demonstrated ki tricks after a night of debauchery - per Tohei's account
What this says to me, if this is truly what happened, is that Ueshiba was wrong in his assessment of the mechanisms for ki tricks.

These are just some thoughts that quickly came to mind, however. I may regret posting this after I think about it some more.
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Old 11-21-2011, 03:46 PM   #37
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

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Eric DesMarais wrote: View Post
I see evidence that they are not the same.

There are studies in which lights and other hallucinations have been induced with magnets. There are many historical claims to enlightenment by people that could not fight. Neither Takeda, Sagawa, or any of the other Japanese IS masters besides Ueshiba claimed to be enlightened as far as I know. I also have not heard of any modern Chinese IS masters claiming spiritual enlightenment.
Let me see....

Takeda:

Quote:
After this incident Sokaku studied this esoteric Buddhism under the old ascetic on the top of Mt. Abira. About two weeks later, Sokaku woke up one morning only to realize that the old ascetic and his five companions in white had disappeared. Sokaku was supposed to be a martial artist. However, he slept until morning without even noticing the departure of the six men. He had never experienced such a thing before. He was careless for a martial artist and deeply ashamed of his negligence. Thinking that his experience of the past two weeks was but a dream, he was reminded of the scar on his right thigh where he had stabbed himself with a dagger to confirm that the supernatural power of the old ascetic who called forth the wind was real. This proved he had indeed spent time with the six ascetics.

Through this experience Sokaku learned a great deal about his own attitude toward martial arts training. Until them, he had devoted himself to his training only hoping to become strong and to be able to win in a match. However, he realized that he could not compare with the supernatural powers possessed by the ascetics who could call the clouds and wind. He was clearly defeated by them and deeply ashamed of himself. Sokaku also learned that he had been a man of little faith.

Sokaku continued his martial arts training and at the same time began visiting dojos of esoteric Buddhism in various towns intending also to engage in religious training. He moreover visited spiritual mountains in the country for training. Later, Sokaku studied under Chikanori Hoshina (aka Tanomo Saigo) who was an assistant priest of the Nikko Toshogu Shrine in Mt. Futara. He studied the secret mind reading technique of aiki and acquired various super-human powers such as an unyielding spirit, clairvoyant power, and prescience.

Although only about five feet tall, Sokaku became a very unusual martial artist and continued to travel around Japan teaching and spreading Daito-ryu until well into his 80s. Such a feat was made possible only by his superhuman power of aiki.

http://www.daitoryuonline.com/article?articleID=233
(bold mine)

Quote:
What evidence supports the claim that they are all the same?
Claim? Where?

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Old 11-21-2011, 04:11 PM   #38
ericbuchanan
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

I once saw a hypnotist convince a college girl that her body was made of iron so he could stand on her mid section while her head and heels were each supported by a chair (I think this is a standard Ki society test). He also rotated her forearm 360 degrees when he convinced her it was made of rubber. This leads me to believe that even an untrained body can perform "impossible" feats with the right mindset. Also, almost anyone with minimal instructions on posture can perform the unbendable arm and unliftable body tricks to some degree if they have a little "faith" and a good visualization technique. As I try to work with IS exercises, it seems like there is as much change in the nervous system as there is physically which comes about largely due to visualization/mental processes/intent. Maybe those with more experience could comment on the role of the mind or visualization in manifesting IS.

Anyway, I think Ueshiba learned the essence of aiki (had his eyes opened) from Takeda, but he was also a truly religious man so the mental side of it would be infused with his beliefs. I think he truly believed he was possessed by kami which allowed him to do "impossible" things. Others, it seems, were also able to do these things without the religious beliefs, but must have had their own "faith" system. In other words, I think it was Ueshiba's belief that he was possessed that allowed him to actualize his aiki, but other's have shown that there are other ways to do it.

So I guess I don't think Ueshiba's body skills necessarily say anything about enlightenment. In fact, I am immediately skeptical about the enlightenment of anyone who claims to be enlightened (although in this case there may be translation issues). I don't think seeing golden lights is indicative of enlightenment. I think, if it is not metaphorical, it is physical. I do find it interesting that vastly different sources use the same descriptive terms and have always been interested in the parallels between the story about Ueshiba and Carlos Castenada's stories about Don Juan. Honestly, I don't know what to make of all that.

Eric (in MN)
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:50 PM   #39
graham christian
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Hi Eric.
Spiritual and enlightenment. Two words that fit perfectly with Ueshiba as far as I am concerned.

Now golden lights and it's connection. It's a spiritual phenomenon, it's one of many, it's commonly written about by many in the world of spirituality.

Many people in the past reached different stages of enlightenment, the omoto religion it'self was started by an enlightened person. Buddha being the best known and so if you look into such things from yogis to zen buddhism and other ascetic practices you will find reference to such things, such phenomenon.

Funny thing is I find that the more aware spiritual people outside of Aikido, people who have never seen or heard of Aikido, on reading O'Senseis.words understand what he's saying whilst many of those within Aikido call them religious ramblings. Now there's a nice dichotomy for you to contemplate.

I read a martial arts historians account a while ago where he was talking about the spiritual side of martial arts and the names given to different levels of such and yet having no association with Aikido still used O'Sensei as an example of such things.

To understand ueshiba all one has to do is think and see him as 100% spiritual in his outlook, aims, philosophy and intentions. Only then can you see how Aikido came into being and what it is both spiritually, mentally and physically. As I said, I know plenty outside of Aikido who can see this, it's those inside who seem to have more trouble.

All these principles in Aikido are spiritual, it's so obvious I don't see where the confusion lies. One point, center, hara, koshi, kokyu, every one of them can be found in ascetic and spiritual practices. Ueshiba realized that the form and techniques of Aikido were a perfect vehicle for such ascetic practices.

On the other hand let's look at it backwards. People starting the martial art from a physical only perspective. Then they get interested in those seemingly impossible aspects of it. That's where internal comes into play, for they are still very physically aware and physically attatched so to me it's kind of a halfway house area. Whilst doing the internal arts a person then starts getting more in touch with their own spirituality, their own potential, the beginning of their spirituality.

Thus in my view Takeda opened Ueshibas eyes via his 'aiki' (a halfway house aiki) and then he was off and running, leaving the rest behind.

This is my view. This is my explanation. Some may find it controversial. Who cares. I have no vetsed interests to satisfy or organizations to please.

Only great spiritual people realize about the harmony of life, the power of love and compassion. Most of the rest can only twist it into fighting and wars alas and pretend they are spiritual.

Hope this sheds some golden light on the subject ha, ha.

Regards.G.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:10 PM   #40
Eric in Denver
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
Let me see....

Through this experience Sokaku learned a great deal about his own attitude toward martial arts training. Until them, he had devoted himself to his training only hoping to become strong and to be able to win in a match. However, he realized that he could not compare with the supernatural powers possessed by the ascetics who could call the clouds and wind. He was clearly defeated by them and deeply ashamed of himself. Sokaku also learned that he had been a man of little faith.

Sokaku continued his martial arts training and at the same time began visiting dojos of esoteric Buddhism in various towns intending also to engage in religious training. He moreover visited spiritual mountains in the country for training. Later, Sokaku studied under Chikanori Hoshina (aka Tanomo Saigo) who was an assistant priest of the Nikko Toshogu Shrine in Mt. Futara. He studied the secret mind reading technique of aiki and acquired various super-human powers such as an unyielding spirit, clairvoyant power, and prescience.
Thank you, Demetrio, I was not aware of this story. That changes my perspective a bit, not sure how at the moment.

Quote:

Claim? Where?
Okay, okay claim was too strong of a word, I apologize. What I meant was support for the possibilities put forth by this question:

Quote:

Demetrio Cereijo wrote:
What if all three are the same thing but explained differently?
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:13 PM   #41
Eric in Denver
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Eric Buchanan wrote: View Post

So I guess I don't think Ueshiba's body skills necessarily say anything about enlightenment. In fact, I am immediately skeptical about the enlightenment of anyone who claims to be enlightened (although in this case there may be translation issues). I don't think seeing golden lights is indicative of enlightenment. I think, if it is not metaphorical, it is physical. I do find it interesting that vastly different sources use the same descriptive terms and have always been interested in the parallels between the story about Ueshiba and Carlos Castenada's stories about Don Juan. Honestly, I don't know what to make of all that.

Eric (in MN)
I think for now I am pretty close to where you are coming from. Except for the Castaneda part, it is my understanding that most of what he wrote was pure invention, like another version of L Ron Hubbard.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:19 PM   #42
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Eric DesMarais wrote: View Post
Okay, okay claim was too strong of a word, I apologize. What I meant was support for the possibilities put forth by this question:
No need to.

What I'm trying to say is that before reaching conclusions about this issue we should consider a lot of possibilities.

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Old 11-21-2011, 06:27 PM   #43
Eric in Denver
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Graham,

A discussion of spirituality on aikiweb would not be complete without you!

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post

One point, center, hara, koshi, kokyu, every one of them can be found in ascetic and spiritual practices. Ueshiba realized that the form and techniques of Aikido were a perfect vehicle for such ascetic practices.
To my mind, this a clear explanation of the ecumenical nature of aikido as spiritual pursuit. Train the spirit first and the rest will follow kind of approach. I would be interested in reading any quotations you have found that highlight this perspective.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:29 PM   #44
Eric in Denver
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Demetrio Cereijo wrote: View Post
No need to.

What I'm trying to say is that before reaching conclusions about this issue we should consider a lot of possibilities.
I agree with you completely. It is important to move carefully on these topics. I hope we can continue to do so.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:37 PM   #45
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
If it is the case that aikido is "both-either-and-or", then it is like saying "aiki = anything that Ueshiba did that was frigging awesome! Oh yeah, and some awesome stuff that other people did too. But not all of it. Or it might be." If that is the closest agreement AW can reach on what aiki is, it seems like it might be better to not use it. At least if we don't want train wrecks.
That's not what I meant at all. That's another example of reductionism. I'm stating that Ueshiba himself viewed his aiki in a very complex way. Let us say that some of the modern researchers are physically able to replicate exactly what Ueshiba did. (although I've not heard any claims regarding spirit contact and possession from anyone yet, and some individuals first person accounts, in which they were literally put in paranormal states, seem also unique to Ueshiba - I'm making no statements about general, rather than individual veracity here - I'm just playing devil's advocate). Anyway, back to my point - let's say one can, like Tohei claimed (sorry for the parenthesis, I think falsely, because he didn't equal Ueshiba) - to replicate Ueshiba's aiki. Even if that was so on a physical level, as far as Ueshiba himself was concerned, that was not a replication - because, for him, the experience of kami was not metaphor. It was fact - a fact within which he encased aiki training. Or better put, they were like a braid - inextricably intertwined. Hence my suggestion of the impossibility of replicating Osensei's aiki, but the utter possibility of achieving something just as fine in one's own right -with enough time training.

The fact that Ueshiba called to Shioda for Tomiki's presence on his death bed does emphasize that Ueshiba had a big tent. But in terms of his personal aiki, one cannot separate out one component, either the physical skills or the spiritual ("the way of the aiki-bunny") and claim that one is following Ueshiba's path.

As I stated also in another thread, it is my belief that Ueshiba DID believe HIS post-war aikido was superior. Not because it was moral and nicer. He was trying projection and blending and all of that - clearly - in the 1935 film. He was outraged with Ohba in the Manchurian demo that he had to resort to pure, non-projecting Daito-ryu aiki, as his projection techniques/blending weren't working on him. My assertion is that post-war, he believed (I don't know if he did or not) that he'd melded Daito-ryu aiki, and his moral/projecting/blending/musubi in one complete entity (and you can add, his spiritual practices of chinkon-kishin, and all the rest). That's why, I believe, he asserted he'd completed aikido post-war, not that he'd turned into a bliss ninny). As I noted in Hidden in Plain Sight, his weapons postwar, at least as we can see on film, were far superior to what he was doing pre-war.

Ellis Amdur

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Old 11-21-2011, 06:53 PM   #46
Eric in Denver
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
That's not what I meant at all. That's another example of reductionism. I'm stating that Ueshiba himself viewed his aiki in a very complex way. Let us say that some of the modern researchers are physically able to replicate exactly what Ueshiba did. (although I've not heard any claims regarding spirit contact and possession from anyone yet, and some individuals first person accounts, in which they were literally put in paranormal states, seem also unique to Ueshiba - I'm making no statements about general, rather than individual veracity here - I'm just playing devil's advocate). Anyway, back to my point - let's say one can, like Tohei claimed (sorry for the parenthesis, I think falsely, because he didn't equal Ueshiba) - to replicate Ueshiba's aiki. Even if that was so on a physical level, as far as Ueshiba himself was concerned, that was not a replication - because, for him, the experience of kami was not metaphor. It was fact - a fact within which he encased aiki training. Or better put, they were like a braid - inextricably intertwined. Hence my suggestion of the impossibility of replicating Osensei's aiki, but the utter possibility of achieving something just as fine in one's own right -with enough time training.

The fact that Ueshiba called to Shioda for Tomiki's presence on his death bed does emphasize that Ueshiba had a big tent. But in terms of his personal aiki, one cannot separate out one component, either the physical skills or the spiritual ("the way of the aiki-bunny") and claim that one is following Ueshiba's path.

As I stated also in another thread, it is my belief that Ueshiba DID believe HIS post-war aikido was superior. Not because it was moral and nicer. He was trying projection and blending and all of that - clearly - in the 1935 film. He was outraged with Ohba in the Manchurian demo that he had to resort to pure, non-projecting Daito-ryu aiki, as his projection techniques/blending weren't working on him. My assertion is that post-war, he believed (I don't know if he did or not) that he'd melded Daito-ryu aiki, and his moral/projecting/blending/musubi in one complete entity (and you can add, his spiritual practices of chinkon-kishin, and all the rest). That's why, I believe, he asserted he'd completed aikido post-war, not that he'd turned into a bliss ninny). As I noted in Hidden in Plain Sight, his weapons postwar, at least as we can see on film, were far superior to what he was doing pre-war.

Ellis Amdur
Ellis, thanks for your reply, that is much clearer for me. So it sounds like from your perspective, Ueshiba's aiki is something special and particular to him, an original creation that can perhaps inspire us to do amazing things (if we put in the time and effort), but that it is very, very unlikely that any of us will be able to really travel the same road. Maybe a parallel one, but probably not the same one. Is this a better summation of the position you are outlining? I hope you will offer correction if it is not.
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:53 PM   #47
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
Eric DesMarais wrote: View Post
Graham,

A discussion of spirituality on aikiweb would not be complete without you!

To my mind, this a clear explanation of the ecumenical nature of aikido as spiritual pursuit. Train the spirit first and the rest will follow kind of approach. I would be interested in reading any quotations you have found that highlight this perspective.
hey, your welcome. You know me, not one for carrying about such who said what when data or clutter as I call it. But I'll scout about and give you anything I think may suit your interest. Plus I'll dig up the name of the historian I mentioned. An interesting guy.

You said you were reading a book on qi gong? Mmm, I have a good friend who teaches that I'll ask him what he has to say on the matter. Nowadays I find there are lots of reiki practitioners who have references to Ueshiba but they seem to be 'masters' after a few weekend courses if you see what I mean. Unfortunately it's the same old scene even in the spiritual healing world, there's also an official Kiatsu body now with qualifications and hierarchy and no idea. Alas, their not even connected to Ki Aikido as far as I can see. They are more into yoga. I love seeing these peoples faces when I do some Kiatsu on them. They actually didn't know it was real. Oh well I suppose it's human nature, everyone wants to start at the top.

Regards.G. .
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:05 PM   #48
Ellis Amdur
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Eric - getting closer

I honestly don't think that Ueshiba was the "greatest" martial artist of the 20th century. I know of one individual who defeated him soundly, when, allegedly, he was at the top of his game. (no, no, no, I'm not going in to this further, for reasons of confidences given).

But he was more than special. Let's say, for the sake of discussion, that Horikawa Kodo, was at least his equal in physical aiki and martial arts in general (don't know if that's true, in either direction, but bear with me). Horikawa was a fine gentleman - a school principal, and left a tidy legacy, so to speak, with one or two really excellent successors. But Ueshiba was a mover-and-shaker in Japanese society, and his manifestation of aiki/aikido transformed the lives of millions.

Ueshiba can do more than "inspire" us. I firmly believe that those who a) get good instruction b) put in the requisite 10,000's of hours can equal or surpass his physical abilities in aiki. It is a more complex question if we are actually following his path - I've outlined in HIPS how labyrinthine a path that might be. Further, can we achieve the level of greatness (with all the darkside that accompanies it, for he was not a pure soul, by any stretch), that he did? In other words, beyond aiki skills, what human being are we?

But without aiki skills, what kind of aikidoka are we?

Best
Ellis Amdur

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Old 11-21-2011, 07:09 PM   #49
Rob Watson
Location: CA
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Quote:
(if we put in the time and effort)
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/op...t-matters.html

Maybe not even then if the ability/aptitude is not there to begin with.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:21 PM   #50
graham christian
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Re: Ueshiba's Golden Lights

Eric. Here's a quote of O'Sensei.

Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your inner enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.[quote]

Most of his quotes, of which there are many, are of such ilk. Spiritually they make perfect sense. Non spiritually they seem like, well I don't know, ask someone else ha ha.

The only ones I see many martial arts people quoting are the ones to do with entering and striking down etc. Alas. But there again as I have said before you can strike with love or indeed kindness. But hey, we won't go there.

O.k. More hunting. G.
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