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Old 10-11-2002, 08:40 AM   #1
opherdonchin
Dojo: Baltimore Aikido
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Being a general

I came across this passage in War and Peace and it seemed to me to have a lot to do with AiKiDo (and, incidentally, with my understanding of Zen). I thought I'd share it with everyone. Prince Andrei Bulkonsky has been inspired by General Kutuzov, the commander-in-chief, and is thinking about what makes Kutuzov such a great general:

"'He will put forward nothing of his own. He will devise nothing, understake nothing,' thought Prince Andrei, 'but he will listen to everything, remember everything, put everything in its proper place, and will neither stand in the way of anything beneficial nor accede to anything detrimental. He understands that there is something stronger and more important than his own will -- the inevitable course of events; he can see them and grasp their significance, and perceiving that significance, can refrain from taking a hand in them or from pursuing a personal wish directed to something else."

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 10-11-2002, 10:46 AM   #2
Bruce Baker
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Thus the confusion of common men who are the bearers of such burden performing the menial tasks of drudgery, unable to see beyond their present task, the fate of all who hang in the balance of their support or nonsupport in accomplishing even the most menial of tasks.

The veil may be lifted as the general apprises his troops of what to do and where to go, but the poor slob who is bleeding and dieing knows no meaning to life.

Yes, there is a larger cognizant view to be appreciated and understood, but how to empower the lowly foot soldier to such heights of knowledge and inspiration is another matter entirely.

Oh, well, these too are lessons to be learned in the game of life.
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Old 10-11-2002, 02:12 PM   #3
Chuck.Gordon
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Re: Being a general

Quote:
Opher Donchin (opherdonchin) wrote:
I came across this passage in War and Peace and it seemed to me to have a lot to do with AiKiDo (and, incidentally, with my understanding of Zen).
Well, aside from Zen having nothing at all to do with aikido ...

I've never read War and Peace. Yes, I'm uneducated.

However, I DO know generals (no, really), and have worked for a few over the past 2 decades.

Most of them are simply politicians.

A FEW are excellent leaders.

Only the best of them would have an inkling about what 'aiki' can mean (in any of its myriad aspects).

Chuck

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Old 10-11-2002, 02:15 PM   #4
opherdonchin
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Quote:
Well, aside from Zen having nothing at all to do with aikido ...
Wow. That's a strong claim. I'm not sure I know very much about either Zen or AiKiDo, but it's rare to come across two things that have nothing at all to do with each other. Can you explain what you mean?

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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Old 10-17-2002, 10:38 PM   #5
Pretoriano
 
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General

I like it, his sense of balance resembles the old chinesse war school, pretty close indeed, not Aikido, but any martial Art knoledge is open to such people.

Praetorian
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Old 10-23-2002, 10:53 PM   #6
Pretoriano
 
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Triangle

Yes only a character, but I know people with superior inner skills than that on description.

Praetorian
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Old 10-24-2002, 08:35 AM   #7
mike lee
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resourceful

Chief Crazy Horse, in my opinion, mastered
the Art of War and the Art of Peace.
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Old 10-28-2002, 12:25 PM   #8
johnkeya
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The quote sounds very fatalistic to me.

If there is such a thing as "the inevitable course of events" then what would we need generals for?

I like this quote:

"If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice." Rush

I do whatever the Rice Krispies
tell me to do....
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Old 10-28-2002, 07:51 PM   #9
Pretoriano
 
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Faith

Probably Faith is not right how to be called

Im not sure if circunstances, causes, effects, consecuences. But I do there are so bigger interactuating forces, so the wise general can feel them on the show, something like "for all that is above my hands you take care". Do you know what an ofrend is? See is not fatalistic.

the inevitable course of events" then what would we need generals for? on this size you are talking, presidents, generals are just puppets of the something bigger above.

"If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice." Rush

Effects, all causes and effects.

Pratetorian
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Old 10-28-2002, 08:13 PM   #10
Frp
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Opher's general is very much a practitioner of zen.

You can be one and not even know it.

And you can be a slogging grunt and be one too.

I 'discovered' zen cutting open boxes in a warehouse. D.T. Suzuki came much later and put into words what I already knew without them.

To me Aikido is moving zen, the only type I can understand. Formlessness to form to formlessness, nothing is more zen or more Aikido.
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Old 10-29-2002, 02:51 AM   #11
ian
 
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Yeh David, reminds me of ueshiba when he said, "when I walk, that is aikido"

(though I'm sure he said it in Japanese, not English)

Ian

---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 11-08-2002, 03:51 PM   #12
opherdonchin
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It turns out, just for the record, that Tolstoy was interested in Buddhism and that this was not unusual for Russians of his generation. He has another character, a little later in the book, who is a real Buddha. It's interesting to sort of bump into.

Yours in Aiki
Opher
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