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Old 08-30-2012, 08:15 AM   #26
MM
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Re: Masakatsu Agatsu

Repost from another thread. Thought it belonged here, too.

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
Actually that is what Mary Heiny sensei has said many times. It is not just my personal view. She herself said to our dojo on her last visit, "Aikido is not a fighting art". And this she got directly from O'Sensei.

I am not saying that it is wrong to come out of the conflict on top. I am saying that having the mindset that "my goal must be to beat my enemy" is not in the spirit of aikido, as I understand it.
Which creates a dilemna. If aikido is not about victory over the enemy, then why did Ueshiba state that it was ... sort of.

Masa Katsu A Katsu Katsu Haya Bi

Generally translated as True Victory is victory over self which happens instantly. So, Ueshiba is saying that there is an enemy, just that it's you and that there must be a victory over yourself. Right?

If we look at it that way, then you do have an enemy. So, what's the difference between you as an enemy and someone else? There still needs to be a victory over self, right? Just that the "self" might be someone else.

===

Or just possibly, we could look at it this way which negates having any enemy at all. Wouldn't that be more congruent with Ueshiba's vision?

Masa Katsu A Katsu Katsu Haya Bi

The True and Correct Victory is found by ovecoming Self with the connecting of two things.

See here for latter part of translation:
http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showpo...7&postcount=23
Musubi can mean connecting of two things.

In Ueshiba's other works, those "two things" are contradictory forces. In/yo.

Mark
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Old 08-31-2012, 06:08 PM   #27
graham christian
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Re: Masakatsu Agatsu

Contradictory forces? Surely you mean complimentary.

I don't think masakatsu agatsu happens instantly either. Just like the buddhist eightfold path.

I would say that until you achieve it or when you achieve it you will actually see that there is no enemy.

From there you can see and reach the others' self whether they are enlightened or not ie: despite what they consider their self or indeed consider you to be.

Being true self and reminding other of their true self is win, win and thus a state of continuous winning.

Thus enters the spirit of joy.

My addition.

Peace.G.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:07 AM   #28
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: Masakatsu Agatsu

It all depends on what is considered the true self. In the West the self is a rational spirit. While in most eastern philosophy rationality is only considered a function of the true self. Western thinking is all too often too much involved with winning and conquering - the Roman approach to life. At times this makes it for westerners more difficult to understand disciplines like Yoga, Zen, Aikido, etc
The basic idea in Shinto and Aikido is that we already have an original, true self. But as we go through our daily lives things happen to us that prevent us to see our true self. We collect "dust". And as time goes by we mistake the dust for the true self. By performing misogi (and Aikido is misogi) we overcome this made-up self and find our real true self and we find it fully in tact.

Thinking about the meaning of Masakatsu Agatsu, to me it is also important not to over-emphasize the martial aspect (winning, fighting, testing, contests, war) as this feeds the Ara Mitama - which O Sensei considered as not the correct way to go as this holds back the development of the other mitama and prevents musubi..
Tom
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:38 AM   #29
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Re: Masakatsu Agatsu

I agree Tom. Non resistance, love, kindness, hara, kokyu etc. are all natural to true self hence the path back to.

Peace.G.
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:53 AM   #30
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Re: Masakatsu Agatsu

Masa Katsu A Katsu Katsu Haya Bi

I think for Ueshiba, this was a very important concept. If we look at IP/aiki training, we find that we have to let go of strength, let go of preconceived notions, let go of techniques, let go of wanting to impose our will upon another, let go of blending/harmony as it is seen in Modern Aikido. Ueshiba was proud of his physical strength and muscles until he met Takeda. I would think that Ueshiba had a very hard road to travel in his IP/aiki training to let go of all that. His victory was of the Self.

Ueshiba become stronger, not physically but in the way of aiki. To do that he found he had to focus completely on himself for the true/correct/right way to get better in aiki. IMO, he found that aiki training was the Correct Victory in overcoming his old Self.

The training itself comprised of a core set of principles, one of them being contradictory forces. But, the training was all focused on Self and in building an aiki body.

For us, we would say, the correct training is focusing on being the best you can be by using contradictory forces and spirals. If you train this way, you will develop capturing center on contact and your uke will automatically move where you move. Because of this, techniques will just happen spontaneously.

For Ueshiba, he talked in spiritual terms, so he said things like the stuff listed below because it held dual (or more) meanings. The Japanese love to find phrases with multiple meanings.

The True and Correct Victory is found by overcoming Self with the connecting of two things.
I am standing on the bridge.
I am the Universe.
Take musu aiki.
I am aiki.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:20 PM   #31
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: Masakatsu Agatsu

In and Yo are, at least here on AikiWeb, more and more seen as contradictory forces. I suspect that it is in effect the influence of Western thinking. Most texts that I know of speak of In and Yo as forces that join together (musubi) to create something new; a child, a new technique, a new art, Or experience something afresh, like a new day, a homecooked meal with fresh vegetables, the taste of this years first wine.
Experiencing something as new through misogi involves letting go of preconceived ideas, techniques, form, imposing your will onto someone or something else. That is basic Aikido-philosophy. You cannot force the ink to become a calligraphy or the clay to become a teacup.

However, it is not meant as a strategy. It is not that you leave behind physical strength (a raging Ara Mitama) in order to get a "inner strength". That will just as much feed your Ara Mitama, only now with a smarter way of using its powers.

O Sensei pointed out that we should move away from strengthening the Ara Mitama all together.

His spiritual words have no doubt several layers of meaning. Some of his explanations are indeed about the genuine way of keiko in Aiki no michi. But if we start to think that his sayings are just about hidden messages to improve our martial art in the sense of becoming stronger or faster or gaining an inner strength, then we risk loosing a lot of his original thoughts and goals.

I do not think his aim was with Aikido to create the strongest or best martial artists in comparison to other martial artists. I think that he pointed a way that would help us to become the best budoka we our selves could be. The obstacles that we find on that path are most of the time obstacles that we create. Hence the reason that we have to overcome our selves.

By no longer aiming for the development of Ara Mitama, O Sensei created a Budo for peace - and I love that seemingly contradiction!

Tom
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:36 PM   #32
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Re: Masakatsu Agatsu

Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
In and Yo are, at least here on AikiWeb, more and more seen as contradictory forces. I suspect that it is in effect the influence of Western thinking. Most texts that I know of speak of In and Yo as forces that join together (musubi) to create something new; a child, a new technique, a new art, Or experience something afresh, like a new day, a homecooked meal with fresh vegetables, the taste of this years first wine.
Of course they join together - the basic Yin/Yang theory of the unification of opposites goes way back across the ocean to China, but I'd note the what you're unifying are, in fact, opposites. I don't think that Marc is really trying to say anything different.

I will note, however, that the theory has them joining together - but not becoming the same thing.

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-01-2012, 04:53 PM   #33
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Re: Masakatsu Agatsu

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Christopher Li wrote: View Post
Of course they join together - the basic Yin/Yang theory of the unification of opposites goes way back across the ocean to China, but I'd note the what you're unifying are, in fact, opposites. I don't think that Marc is really trying to say anything different.

I will note, however, that the theory has them joining together - but not becoming the same thing.

Best,

Chris
Hi Chris,

IMO, It's a paradox, relative to how you want to view it. Yes, it's a union of two contradictory forces in that both forces are going at the same time and it's a theory from way back. But, I think that's as far as the union view holds up. There has to be a line between both contradictory forces. They can't "join". I think it's that fine line between the two that Ueshiba means when he says he's standing on the bridge. Working theory, at least.

As with my opinion on "Masa Katsu A Katsu Katsu Haya Bi", I personally think I'm going out on a limb. From what I know now, it sounds right. But, I'm sadly lacking in interpretation skills, the terminology Ueshiba uses, and a good bit of Japanese culture from that period. Maybe I'll give Allen a call and bend his ear as I think it's one of his favorite phrases.

Mark
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:55 PM   #34
graham christian
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Re: Masakatsu Agatsu

There are no opposites. Thus there are no contradictory forces. Thinking there are is what leads to such dilemmas and confusion.

The 'opposites' referred to is down to translation and mistranslation at that.

The 'opposites' are complimentary and thus not opposing or against or contradictory.

Only the 'dusty' mind sees it as such.

Peace.G.
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:05 PM   #35
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Re: Masakatsu Agatsu

Quote:
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The 'opposites' referred to is down to translation and mistranslation at that.
OK, cite the orginal text that has been mistranslated and explain why.

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-01-2012, 06:05 PM   #36
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Re: Masakatsu Agatsu

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There are no opposites. Thus there are no contradictory forces. Thinking there are is what leads to such dilemmas and confusion.

The 'opposites' referred to is down to translation and mistranslation at that.

The 'opposites' are complimentary and thus not opposing or against or contradictory.
I'm open to being proven wrong. Can you post the Japanese and your translation that supports your position? Or point to the Japanese and the translation that supports your position? We've all read and seen Peter Goldsbury, Josh Reyer, Allen Beebe, Doug Walker and Chris Li's (Sorry if I forgot a name) posts and translations. I'm going from them and openly stating that I'm going out on a limb tying those translations to known, old martial sayings.

If you can point to the Japanese and the translations that state your theory, I'm sure we would all like to see it. Especially if it can point to something specific.

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post

Only the 'dusty' mind sees it as such.

Peace.G.
I would ask that you please refrain from passive-tyep insults on my intellectual abilities, especially since I believe you've done it previously in your other thread on Ueshiba's aikido.

Thank you,
Mark

Last edited by MM : 09-01-2012 at 06:06 PM. Reason: added a name. :)
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:57 PM   #37
graham christian
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Re: Masakatsu Agatsu

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
I'm open to being proven wrong. Can you post the Japanese and your translation that supports your position? Or point to the Japanese and the translation that supports your position? We've all read and seen Peter Goldsbury, Josh Reyer, Allen Beebe, Doug Walker and Chris Li's (Sorry if I forgot a name) posts and translations. I'm going from them and openly stating that I'm going out on a limb tying those translations to known, old martial sayings.

If you can point to the Japanese and the translations that state your theory, I'm sure we would all like to see it. Especially if it can point to something specific.

I would ask that you please refrain from passive-tyep insults on my intellectual abilities, especially since I believe you've done it previously in your other thread on Ueshiba's aikido.

Thank you,
Mark
Ha, ha. I laugh because you take it as passive insult as you have done before and as have others. I do not speak as personal attack but from a viewpoint applying to us all.

When I say mistranslate I also do not refer to words being changed from one language to another but rather to the translation of their meaning ie: how a person then translates it into a meaning they see as true.

However, in this particular case there is one word which is usually dropped and that is the word complementary. In the translations and basics of yin and yang it is pointed out that they represent complementary opposites. This is nowhere near the concept of opposites and needs understanding in itself.

A man and a woman may be given as an example and usually is along with many others but if you start there you will find they are not opposite or contradictory but in truth are complementary.

Only the 'dusty' mind, the mind built from too much karma, the unenlightened mind, the negative mind through fear and mistrust and all kind of beliefs and emotions starts seeing the other as opposite and opposing and contradictory.

Expansion does not oppose contraction, centrifugal does not oppose centripetal and they are not opposite for they are one.

Peace.G.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:19 PM   #38
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: Masakatsu Agatsu

Actually, I was not so much interested in the semantics of opposing forces or contradictory forces. The idea of two paired entities that form each others opposites and/or partner has been known for a long time in cultures like that of China, India and ancient Greece. But there is in general a difference in looking at those two entities - in Western thinking we see it more as good versus bad, us versus them, human versus nature, man versus woman and only one can be a winner.
Several of the eastern ways of thinking are more about cooperation, coming together, joining of these entities or forces or elements or etc.This last way of looking at it is also more conform modern Biology then the Western way of thinking. And seems to fit more with Aikido and other budo.
But the In-Yo point I made was just an aside. I was reacting on Mark Murray's post nr 26. And especially the quote of Mary Heiny with Mark Murray's response on it I found interesting.. I feel Mary Heiny is right when she comments on O Sensei's quote; "Aikido is not a fighting art". I think O Sensei's thinking goes beyond that. That is why I mentioned the importance of the mitama, musubi and misogi in understanding masakatsu a katsu katsu hayabi.
Tom .

Last edited by Tom Verhoeven : 09-01-2012 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:23 PM   #39
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Re: Masakatsu Agatsu

Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
Actually, I was not so much interested in the semantics of opposing forces or contradictory forces. The idea of two paired entities that form each others opposites and/or partner has been known for a long time in cultures like that of China, India and ancient Greece. But there is in general a difference in looking at those two entities - in Western thinking we see it more as good versus bad, us versus them, human versus nature, man versus woman and only one can be a winner.
Several of the eastern ways of thinking are more about cooperation, coming together, joining of these entities or forces or elements or etc.This last way of looking at it is also more conform modern Biology then the Western way of thinking. And seems to fit more with Aikido and other budo.
But the In-Yo point I made was just an aside. I was reacting on Mark Murray's post nr 26. And especially the quote of Mary Heiny with Mark Murray's response on it I found interesting.. I feel Mary Heiny is right when she comments on O Sensei's quote; "Aikido is not a fighting art". I think O Sensei's thinking goes beyond that. That is why I mentioned the importance of the mitama, musubi and misogi in understanding masakatsu a katsu katsu hayabi.
Tom .
I'll leave the meat of Mark's comments on Mary to Mark, but wasn't his in-yo point exactly that - the connection of two (let's say "different") forces?

Where has he mentioned anything about one force winning?

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-02-2012, 05:34 AM   #40
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: Masakatsu Agatsu

What's your point?
Tom
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:31 AM   #41
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Re: Masakatsu Agatsu

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Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
In and Yo are, at least here on AikiWeb, more and more seen as contradictory forces. I suspect that it is in effect the influence of Western thinking. Most texts that I know of speak of In and Yo as forces that join together (musubi) to create something new; a child, a new technique, a new art, Or experience something afresh, like a new day, a homecooked meal with fresh vegetables, the taste of this years first wine.

Experiencing something as new through misogi involves letting go of preconceived ideas, techniques, form, imposing your will onto someone or something else. That is basic Aikido-philosophy. You cannot force the ink to become a calligraphy or the clay to become a teacup.
If you're looking at it through pure spirituality, I have only theories and opinions. But, looking at it through pure spirituality is, IMO, not the correct thing to do. For a wild example, if I wanted to study black bears and wanted to understand them better, would I just limit myself to studying them during the daytime hours only? I am missing half of their daily activities.

And most people underestimate what aiki is, does, and can do in *all* areas. I think to view Ueshiba's spirituality, you have to understand how aiki influenced it. The opposite is also true. How did his spirituality influence his aiki? We know he talked in spiritual terms to describe classic martial theories. We know he chanted/prayed quite often. Of the two, aiki is by far the easier (in comparison) piece to research, learn, and train. The spiritual can only be found in transcribed lectures, articles, interviews, etc, so that area is always going to be extremely difficult to research.

Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
However, it is not meant as a strategy. It is not that you leave behind physical strength (a raging Ara Mitama) in order to get a "inner strength". That will just as much feed your Ara Mitama, only now with a smarter way of using its powers.

O Sensei pointed out that we should move away from strengthening the Ara Mitama all together.
IMO, yes, it is exactly the point of letting go of the physical muscle strength in order to achieve aiki, which is budo strength. But, people look at the power and strength aspect and do not realize the completely spiritual aspect of aiki. As someone noted, aiki training was changing how they viewed the world. They felt like they were walking freer in the world because of the aiki training. I can attest to that. And I feel that it's the tip of the iceberg. You transform one strength into another, but it is a good transformation.

Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
His spiritual words have no doubt several layers of meaning. Some of his explanations are indeed about the genuine way of keiko in Aiki no michi. But if we start to think that his sayings are just about hidden messages to improve our martial art in the sense of becoming stronger or faster or gaining an inner strength, then we risk loosing a lot of his original thoughts and goals.
Why did Ueshiba talk over and over again about classic martial theories? Why did Ueshiba state vehemently that he was not religious, but a man of budo? That Kisshomaru strongly denied his father was a pacifist. Why did Ueshiba say that aiki would make any religion better?

Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
I was reacting on Mark Murray's post nr 26. And especially the quote of Mary Heiny with Mark Murray's response on it I found interesting.. I feel Mary Heiny is right when she comments on O Sensei's quote; "Aikido is not a fighting art".

Tom
I think she was right, too. In fact, I think very highly of her and agree with what she says, does, and trains. But, there are many different meanings to that phrase and many different ways to live it. I noted two different ways of looking at it, but that doesn't mean that's all there is. Or that I'm right.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:27 AM   #42
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Re: Masakatsu Agatsu

Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
What's your point?
Tom
Quote:
Tom Verhoeven wrote: View Post
Actually, I was not so much interested in the semantics of opposing forces or contradictory forces. The idea of two paired entities that form each others opposites and/or partner has been known for a long time in cultures like that of China, India and ancient Greece. But there is in general a difference in looking at those two entities - in Western thinking we see it more as good versus bad, us versus them, human versus nature, man versus woman and only one can be a winner.
That you and Mark were both referring to the opposing/contradictory forces in the same way, not as one versus the other.

Best,

Chris

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Old 09-02-2012, 04:06 PM   #43
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Re: Masakatsu Agatsu

How can it be said or even vaguely believed that Ueshiba was not a religious man?

How can it be thought that a man of budo cannot be also a religious man?

I think part of the path to understanding Ueshiba and his way of Aikido and masakatsu and agatsu is by first learning well sen no sen and sensen no sen.

Thereafter glimpsing and coming to terms with beyond even that and masakatsu and agatsu.

My thoughts.

Peace.G.
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Old 09-02-2012, 04:24 PM   #44
Tom Verhoeven
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Re: Masakatsu Agatsu

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Mark Murray wrote: View Post
If you're looking at it through pure spirituality, I have only theories and opinions. But, looking at it through pure spirituality is, IMO, not the correct thing to do. For a wild example, if I wanted to study black bears and wanted to understand them better, would I just limit myself to studying them during the daytime hours only? I am missing half of their daily activities.

And most people underestimate what aiki is, does, and can do in *all* areas. I think to view Ueshiba's spirituality, you have to understand how aiki influenced it. The opposite is also true. How did his spirituality influence his aiki? We know he talked in spiritual terms to describe classic martial theories. We know he chanted/prayed quite often. Of the two, aiki is by far the easier (in comparison) piece to research, learn, and train. The spiritual can only be found in transcribed lectures, articles, interviews, etc, so that area is always going to be extremely difficult to research.

IMO, yes, it is exactly the point of letting go of the physical muscle strength in order to achieve aiki, which is budo strength. But, people look at the power and strength aspect and do not realize the completely spiritual aspect of aiki. As someone noted, aiki training was changing how they viewed the world. They felt like they were walking freer in the world because of the aiki training. I can attest to that. And I feel that it's the tip of the iceberg. You transform one strength into another, but it is a good transformation.

Why did Ueshiba talk over and over again about classic martial theories? Why did Ueshiba state vehemently that he was not religious, but a man of budo? That Kisshomaru strongly denied his father was a pacifist. Why did Ueshiba say that aiki would make any religion better?

I think she was right, too. In fact, I think very highly of her and agree with what she says, does, and trains. But, there are many different meanings to that phrase and many different ways to live it. I noted two different ways of looking at it, but that doesn't mean that's all there is. Or that I'm right.
I was not really talking about spirituality or religion, but rather about a philosophical point. But I will try to go into some of the points that you made on this subject.

I do not follow the analogy of the black bear? It seems contradictory to Buddhist, Taoist, Shinto teaching where spirituality completes one's understanding of reality, But you are saying that it is in fact the opposite?

Personally I do not underestimate O Sensei's Aiki - to me it is an ongoing source of inspiration and has been for almost four decades. Over the years I have experienced Aiki in several martial arts, but just as much in nature and in the teachings of Shinto,Taoism and Buddhism.
It is common knowledge that O Sensei did not separate Kan nagara no michi from Aiki no michi. To him it was one michi, not two. In fact, the expression masakatsu akatsu katsu hayabi is not a Budo term, but is derived from his experience in kan nagare no michi.
So why is it so important to you to emphasize that, as you say, he was not religious?

I am sure that everyone at some point in his life has a spiritual or religious experience. And I would include as such the love for a person, being in awe for the beauty of art or the experience of a succesfull technique and so on.
By definition a spiritual experience is a personal one. But if someone has a spiritual experience, then it is easier to relate to the spiritual experience of someone else. In that sense it is possible to relate directly to O Sensei's spiritual experiences. Magazines, interviews, lectures may not even bring you any closer to that same experience. You need to experience it yourself.

Although I do not vision Aikido as a religion it is a spiritual path that has much in common with several of the Japanese religions and with these spiritual or religious experiences. With that I also consider Aikido an authentic art created by O Sensei. And then of course we also need to understand Aikido as a Budo.

But the function of Budo has changed; where before it was important for a warrior to create a strong ara mitama in order to survive a fight or war, O Sensei pointed out that we no longer should concentrate on the ara mitama,
If I am reading you right you seem to be pointing in the direction that that is a function of Aiki itself? In which case I think I would agree with you.

Tom
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