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Old 04-27-2013, 09:03 AM   #1
graham christian
Dojo: golden center aikido-highgate
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At One With The Universe

Being at one with the universe. What is it? What I can say is that Aikido can answer the question so I shall give an Aikido perspective on this statement from my personal experiences.

Many times I have trained in the past with those of other disciplines and probably no different from most always at the back of my mind was 'how would my art deal with what the other was doing?' On testing I came across many failures and many successes but was always interested in what the real difference was between the two.

Basically it all boils down to confidence. Confidence in your own art. Now true confidence isn't a matter of just how you feel at the time but actually is a hard earned condition, level of ability if you like.

At that point you are at one with the universe and that includes being at one with your own 'way' whilst being at one with the 'others' way and thus the other's way becomes of no consequence whilst at the same time being respected.

Now to put in into perspective let's take life. There is a condition in life called understanding. Real understanding. In that condition relating to something or someone you find yourself centred and calm and at ease no matter what the other may say or what others may say. This is also a harmonic of being at one with the universe. So what happens there? Well the main thing that happens and that you can then see would happen even in a martial 'contest' is that you are not drawn into an argument or the 'others' world.

I found this very interesting for it answered the solution to being drawn into and being led by others.

There is no attack in Aikido, there is no opponent. This now begins to make more sense.

When you look from the view of there is no attack then you realize the person attacking you be it with words or physically is actually defending something. So from that view there is only defence happening from that other. They are defending some idea and something about you has been seen as a threat. Thus they are merely their own enemy. Thus Aikido is not being drawn into their perceived opposition but merely to understand and bring them back to stability. To be drawn into their fight is to lose for you are then no longer at one with either your way or their way or thus the universe.

Ahhh, the path of peace.

Peace.G.
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Old 04-27-2013, 02:04 PM   #2
graham christian
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Re: At One With The Universe

Ah, glad this has been moved to spiritual, thanks. I wanted to put it here but thought it may be moved elsewhere.

Peace.G.
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Old 04-27-2013, 02:50 PM   #3
aiki-jujutsuka
 
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Re: At One With The Universe

Quote:
Graham Christian wrote: View Post
Being at one with the universe. What is it? What I can say is that Aikido can answer the question so I shall give an Aikido perspective on this statement from my personal experiences.

Many times I have trained in the past with those of other disciplines and probably no different from most always at the back of my mind was 'how would my art deal with what the other was doing?' On testing I came across many failures and many successes but was always interested in what the real difference was between the two.

Basically it all boils down to confidence. Confidence in your own art. Now true confidence isn't a matter of just how you feel at the time but actually is a hard earned condition, level of ability if you like.

At that point you are at one with the universe and that includes being at one with your own 'way' whilst being at one with the 'others' way and thus the other's way becomes of no consequence whilst at the same time being respected.
Graham, while I agree that we should be at one with our own martial way and not allow ourselves to be overcome by anxiety or develop some paralytical inferiority complex; how do other's way becoming of no consequence to us work out in a real conflict? How can we be one with the fact that others have a different way while they're attacking us and using a different set of techniques and skillsets, which we are unfamiliar with? How does Aikido answer this question?
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Old 04-27-2013, 05:23 PM   #4
graham christian
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Re: At One With The Universe

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Ewen Ebsworth wrote: View Post
Graham, while I agree that we should be at one with our own martial way and not allow ourselves to be overcome by anxiety or develop some paralytical inferiority complex; how do other's way becoming of no consequence to us work out in a real conflict? How can we be one with the fact that others have a different way while they're attacking us and using a different set of techniques and skillsets, which we are unfamiliar with? How does Aikido answer this question?
Good questions.
On our way to confidence we learn to see the principles at work and as such things get more and more simple. We learn to not only know and use the principles of our art but at the same time view and respect the principles of the opponent. This is after all Aikido and the the aim is harmony.

So you can see that is or can be quite a long path.

Then, if we stick to our path some strange things happen. It becomes more and more irrelevant as to what the other does. It's not a matter of disregarding what they do but actually seeing clearly what they are doing and so knowing what to do. Thus you are at one with what to do and what they are doing both.

I have numerous examples in reality of such. Plus numerous examples where it didn't matter what they were doing so that just meant confidence in my principles was enough.

I related a story here not long ago about a guy who wanted to 'box' me after class as that was his forte. I applied the principles of ma-ai and blending to the point that I was like a mirror or shadow. I moved and did as he was doing in the same rhythm. It was fun but he stopped and said that it wasn't fair because I wasn't trying to hit him.

For me I was having fun but I was not actually being drawn into his game. With this he concluded if I did I would lose. I agreed. This in turn left him also confused. He then said that if he full blast attacked me boxing wise then I would lose then. He asked me what I would do. I said 'I don't know but all I do know is I would do Aikido not boxing. He put it to the test and got his surprise.

In that situation what he did I respected 100% yet didn't enter that world, that fight, and merely welcomed him into mine.

I have said before unlike many that thinking you have to learn all kinds of other arts to improve your own is not the truth. In fact I say it's backwards. I would say you have to fully learn your own in order to understand and respect the others. Too many in my opinion move because they are having a rough time and think the grass is greener elsewhere. Thus they fail to overcome their next barrier which is right there where they are.

Even as a youngster I used to go follow someone I knew who did kung fu in competitions against various other styles. In the main I was disappointed because when the bell rang the two opponents seemed to me to lose the discipline of their own art and go at it like two fighters from some art I had never seen. Yes I would prefer to see a praying mantis person do praying mantis not some mixed martial something.

The principles of Aikido say no matter what if you apply them you can bring about harmony and peace. Thus to me Aikido answers the question. Thus Aikido merely waits for us to do it.

Peace.G.
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Old 04-28-2013, 04:45 AM   #5
aiki-jujutsuka
 
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Re: At One With The Universe

Thanks for the example.
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:07 AM   #6
bkedelen
 
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Re: At One With The Universe

I definitely agree with the correlation between overconfidence and martial arts mysticism. That is why I remain skeptical at all times, particularly of my own ability and knowledge. It is not hard to find examples of people believing too strongly in their own rhetoric.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:21 AM   #7
PhillyKiAikido
 
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Re: At One With The Universe

Graham,

Thanks for sharing. This is a good one, fun to read and think. Somehow it reminds me of the principle "Ki is extending", I guess it's because when our Ki is extending, we're at one with the Universe, then confidence, just as power, is just one of the perspectives of that state.

Ting
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:35 AM   #8
graham christian
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Re: At One With The Universe

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Ting Piao wrote: View Post
Graham,

Thanks for sharing. This is a good one, fun to read and think. Somehow it reminds me of the principle "Ki is extending", I guess it's because when our Ki is extending, we're at one with the Universe, then confidence, just as power, is just one of the perspectives of that state.

Ting
Thanks Ting. Yes I agree it is like when Ki is extending for the problem isn't just about extending Ki but also about what that leads to. Ki connects, reaches, has it's natural destination. So it's also about what it connects to and thus puts you in connection with. Our own interference with this and trying to make it go where we 'want it to' is self defeating. I sometimes call it the principle of allowance.

Thus it is us ourselves who prevent ourselves being at one with the universe. Just shows how dumb we are

Peace.G.
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