Following on from my last thread 'home of spirit' where I talked about non-resistance it leads me to share another understanding of mine...non-opposition.
When studying the words of O'Sensei I would say by taking them as given by him, being a spiritual man, then he is in fact giving principles to be learned and discovered.
When people talk about 'what does enlightened mean' I would say it is best to look at such things from the view of one definition which is awakened. So very simply a person with something good, some part of true self having been awakened. Which in itself shows there is much of us which is asleep.
So when O'Sensei states there is no opponent in Aikido then we can say therefor there is a principle of non-opposition to learn. A brother in arms with non-resistance.
It also brings in the principle of non-aggression and non-disturbance. Practicing these principles bypass the duellistic thinking process and awaken the heart and soul and Ki.
Masakatsu and agatsu, the enemy in you is your own opposition.
Nice post! And if we take it on a practical level in self defense, it seems to be the only way to actually control a stronger person.
There are people who think that aikido doesn't work for self defense, but in my experience it does. The reason that i think people are having a hard time making it work is that sometimes the abstract way of thinking or acting is the most difficult to achieve.
Non resistance and non opposition are deffinitely abstract concepts and actually are related to Japan's martial tradition for ages in kinds of state of mind such as mu shin and makoto which are abstract too.
In modern way of living we are used in trying too much, putting too much effort, we have to in order to feel that we will be effective. I believe that this is the reason why Steven Seagal sensei says "in aikido you have to unlearn first".
Although effectiveness of technique is for me of the utmost importance, self discovery and development are my goals too. But in order to get there you have first to make your waza work, and through it progress as a person.
So the concepts of non resistance and non opposition must be understood completely in the form of basic principles.
I hope that my post was in line with yours Graham, sorry for its length.