Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Spiritual

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-25-2018, 06:16 AM   #1
StefanHultberg
Dojo: Roskilde
Location: Roskilde
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 55
Denmark
Offline
Life and death

At 8' o clock this morning a friend of my family died peacefully after a long bout with cancer.

Life is death and death is life, this is the message of nature. Nature -- day & night, winter & summer, black & white show the polarities which are the extremes of the cyclicity, the spiral nature -of reality. When winter (Yin) is at its deepest, at its most still, at final death baby Yang is born. The earth starts tilting the other way and everything goes from deeper in death to beginning life and growth.
At birth (or conception perhaps) we empty the cup of deadly poison. Birth is the assumption of a physical (mortal) form. At death we ? -- assume an immortal form? Assume a new mortal form? Just disappear??
Just disappearing would assume a beginning and an end (or at least an end). Assuming a new mortal form would be consistent with spiral cyclicity (and general Yin/Yang theory). Assuming an eternal spiritual form at some stage, finally reaching heaven or the Tao (or the void), or becoming forever one with everything would be -- who knows? Yin and Yang are the top representatives of the dualistic universe that was brought forth from unity, leaving the dualistic universe for an existence beyond Yin and Yang would be what is described by Chinese Philosophy as becoming one with the Tao.
The natural law of reciprocity indicates that, since birth (or perhaps conception) is death then the moment (whatever that is) of death is life. When winter changes to spring -- the water element progresses to the wood element -- death becomes life in the eternal spiral cycles of the seasons. Life is death and death is life.
Origenes, the famous "church father" wrote extensively on the subject of cycles in nature in relation to human death and life. So did, of course, several of the Chinese "philosophers":

Master Lai said, "Parents' relation to their children is such that, whether north, south, east, or west, the child only follows their command. The relation of yin and yang [natural forces and processes] to people is even more important than that of our parents to us. They having brought me near death, were I to disobey, I would be impudent. What wrong have they done in this?! The Huge Clump burdens me with form, labours me with life, eases me with old age, and rests me with death. So what makes my life good is the very thing that makes my death good. "Now if a master smith were casting metal and the metal jumped up and said, ‘I must be made into a famous blade,' the smith would surely take it to be cursed metal. Now having once taken on human form, were I to say ‘Only a human, only a human,' the creator-and transformer would surely take me to be a cursed human. Now in this instance I take heaven and earth to be a great furnace and the process of creation and transformation to be a master smith. Where could I go that wouldn't be acceptable?!"

(Chuang Tzu)

"Perhaps, however, the 'gloom and darkness' should be taken to mean this coarse and earthly body, through which at the end of the world each man that must pass into another world will receive the beginnings of a fresh birth." '

(Origenes)

The study of Aikido is a path of Yin and Yang, the study of life and death. What a wonderful path 😊
Merrii Kurisumasu 😊
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2018, 08:05 PM   #2
akiy
 
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 6,016
Offline
Re: Life and death

Hi Stefan,

I'm sorry to hear of your (and your family's) loss.

Best,

-- Jun

Please help support AikiWeb -- become an AikiWeb Contributing Member!
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2018, 03:23 AM   #3
StefanHultberg
Dojo: Roskilde
Location: Roskilde
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 55
Denmark
Offline
Re: Life and death

Dear Jun

Thank you so much!!

At every turn in life I am so thankful for aikido, misogi no jo, misogi no ken, misogi no tomodachi....

All the best

Stefan
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2018, 08:12 PM   #4
Peter Goldsbury
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,249
Japan
Offline
Re: Life and death

Quote:
Stefan Hultberg wrote: View Post
At 8' o clock this morning a friend of my family died peacefully after a long bout with cancer.

The study of Aikido is a path of Yin and Yang, the study of life and death. What a wonderful path ��
Merrii Kurisumasu ��
Hello Stefan,

Well, it depends. Your friend died peacefully, and I assume you mean s/he lay still and showed no outward signs of any inner agitation. My mother died many years ago, but after a long bout with Alzheimer's Disease -- and the inner agitation was right there, but there was nothing we could do.

So, dying its the end of a process of shutting down and -- for all your quotes -- we do not know what happens afterwards, if there is an 'afterwards'.

I should add that this is something that I am facing now. I have cancer, heart disease, and -- now I understand after the latest diagnosis -- age-related epilepsy, plus all the side effects from the medication I am taking. Quite a handful. So, I suspect that, all other things being equal, I am closer than you are.

But the excellent doctors want to keep me alive for as long as possible and I am glad of this, for I still have aikido and I enjoy watching my students try to understand my 'mysterious' waza. Last class I slowly showed four types of kaiten-nage and my young yudansha could not understand any of them.


All good wishes for 2019.

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 12-27-2018 at 08:14 PM.

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Kokusai Dojo,
Hiroshima,
Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2019, 03:17 PM   #5
nikyu62
Dojo: Aikido Club of American Samoa
Location: American Samoa
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 179
American Samoa
Offline
Re: Life and death

My best wishes for your continued journey in life, Prof. Goldsbury.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2019, 04:04 AM   #6
StefanHultberg
Dojo: Roskilde
Location: Roskilde
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 55
Denmark
Offline
Re: Life and death

Dear Peter

Thank you very much for your reply.

I am so sorry to hear about your health-problems. Hopefully, though, it will be a very long time before you reach the days "when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them". Certainly, I have noticed that age brings with it some challenges, and my heart condition and rheumatoid arthritis certainly means that the physical aspects of my aikido training are associated with some little "troubles". Better technique helps a bit and certainly the mental and spiritual aspects provide avenues that did not interest me so much in my youth.

You are right, of course; I cannot know if a death that appears peaceful is truly peaceful or not and I most definitely know nothing about a potential "afterlife" or what the hell (or heaven) "nonexistence" may be. The experiences of the dying and dead, of course, are described in a myriad of ways, from the "Tibetan book of the dead" and the adventures of the Bardo to "new age style" descriptions of near-death experiences. Not all deaths appear peaceful, but it seems there is a possibility that the brain (or whatever), at some stage though, alters sensation and cognition from the external/physical to something else. I have observed -- in the dying -- some sort of "rapture" combined with serenity and I have heard statements that seem unreasonable unless there was some sort of "increased awareness" on behalf of the dying person. Do I know any of this is so? No, it's all observation together with speculation and fantasy I'm afraid. I am very sorry to hear about your mother's alzheimer's. Paradoxically my own wonderful mother (93) is in the late stages of alzheimer's - and she is having the best years of her life, but I suppose that is another story...

As to whether there is an afterlife or -- "something", my own spontaneous beliefs go mostly in the direction of some sort of "essence" which carries on as a part of everything -- individual or not, conscious or not. My hopes go more in the direction of epicurean nonexistence, which seems very restful 😊. Reincarnation seems exhausting and I am certainly not fit for any angelic or demonic duty in heaven or hell. I like to observe nature, was a total geek and originally studied geology/paleontology/biology and I have noticed that many have used nature as a model to speculate on death and the thereafter, death representing an integral part of nature and certainly being the dualistic necessity for life. A plant grows up from its root, later to return to it in true taoistic fashion, only to return to growing upwards and outwards from the root again in the spring. From this we come to the Yins and the Yangs and all the other fundamentals in the belief systems underlying the Asian martial arts, hereunder Aikido. Whether these observations/models of nature are truly applicable to what is beyond is an open question. Thinking about what it could be like, though, seems to me a worthwhile endeavor, indeed in terms of death as the perspective on life, death being the potential distiller and judge of the meaning of life and the moral standards of the living.

In Aikido there is so much yin/yang (life/death) symbolism. A wonderful example is irimi nage -- the involutionary spiral being replaced by the throw of the subsequent evolutionary spiral. The involutionary spiral may start high and move towards the earth, while the evolutionary spiral may end in a throw at a higher level. This, then, is an image of the self-perpetuating vortex, the classic and archetypical model of nature, of life and death -- at least if you want it to be 😊.

Life and death together truly is a miracle. If there is a God and a heaven that is a fantastic miracle. If there is nothing, "just" nonexistence after a moment of random life in a universe that just came out of nothing, then that is a miracle too. I try to ponder the miracle while struggling with the technique and my old body, laughing and joking and developing together with my dearest friends in the dojo. Thankfully there are so many depths in Aikido, sometimes it's about the (very enjoyable!!!) physical aspects of technique -- right and left -- and sometimes it's about life and death, both as meditation/reflection and sometimes, at least to me, it's about the deeper individual meaning of life -- and death.

I wish you all the best, thank you very much for your input!
Stefan
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2019, 01:21 AM   #7
Carl Thompson
 
Carl Thompson's Avatar
Location: Kasama
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 492
Japan
Offline
Re: Life and death

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post

I should add that this is something that I am facing now. I have cancer, heart disease, and -- now I understand after the latest diagnosis -- age-related epilepsy, plus all the side effects from the medication I am taking. Quite a handful. So, I suspect that, all other things being equal, I am closer than you are.

But the excellent doctors want to keep me alive for as long as possible and I am glad of this, for I still have aikido and I enjoy watching my students try to understand my 'mysterious' waza.
Dear Peter,

I'm very sorry to read of your health issues. I hope you and the doctors are successful in keeping you going with a decent quality of life for many more years to come. As you might have gathered from social media, this topic is close to the bone at the moment for those of us in Iwama. (NB: I can message you if you missed the memo).

Kind regards

Carl
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2019, 05:19 AM   #8
Peter Goldsbury
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,249
Japan
Offline
Re: Life and death

I do not want to sound worse than I really am. In fact, I do not really know how unhealthy I am, if this is measured as closeness to 'the end.' AlI that I really know is that I have the health problems listed previously, but also that they are being taken care of in Japan's excellent healthcare system. I should add that the heart specialist has signed me off, at least for the time being.

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Kokusai Dojo,
Hiroshima,
Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2019, 06:16 AM   #9
dps
 
dps's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,382
Offline
Re: Life and death

I don't know what death is or what after life is about.
I will know when they happen.
I will contact you when I am there.
But don't hold your breath waiting for a text or Instagram.
Houdini said he would and didn't.

dps

Go ahead, tread on me.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2019, 05:42 PM   #10
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,245
United_States
Offline
Re: Life and death

Love to you all.
Sincerely,
Matthew

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2019, 06:03 PM   #11
Peter Goldsbury
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,249
Japan
Offline
Re: Life and death

An interesting thing about death, evidenced by most of the previous posts, is the constant use of metaphors to describe what happens afterwards. The interesting thing about these metaphors is that, unlike other metaphors, with a ground and an argument -- so that you know why they are metaphors, this area of metaphor is different: we do not know whether the metaphors we use to describe what, if anything, happens after death, are really metaphors.

'Life is a journey' is an attractive metaphor, but it is not applied to death or history. We never call death a destination, or the end of a journey, or history the record of a journey, or journeys. I think a famous philosopher called history 'the unfolding of the absolute in space and time,' which is quite cumbersome as a metaphor.

I recently watched the film Kingdom of Heaven, which is about the crusades of the twelfth century and the Leper King. The king wears a mask to hide his disfigurement, but tells the hero Balian that what happens to him in Hell will be much worse that what is happening to him now; his disease is a punishment. The film was made by Ridley Scott, who believed that it had a good basis in actual fact, but the theatre edition was criticized when it was released because of all the cuts that had been made. The director's cut roadshow version is much better, but, of course, none of the film versions is a correct historical account of what actually happened.

Another interesting film that relates to death is The Name of the Rose, which deals with murders -- and thus the journeys towards death that are rather faster than the travellers intended -- in a mediaeval monastery. The film is based on a book of the same name by Umberto Eco, who, in my opinion, does a better job of handling his subject than Ridley Scott, but others may differ. Eco writes a novel that is doubly fiction: it is a fictional record of an account of events that is also turns out to be fictional.Eco was a professor of semiotics, which was also my professorial area of specialization at university.

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 05-22-2019 at 06:11 PM.

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Kokusai Dojo,
Hiroshima,
Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2019, 10:06 AM   #12
thisisnotreal
 
thisisnotreal's Avatar
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 695
Offline
Re: Life and death

Our life contains a thousand springs,

And dies if one be gone;

Strange, that a harp of thousand strings

Should keep in tune so long!
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2019, 12:59 PM   #13
sorokod
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 829
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: Life and death

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
An interesting thing about death, evidenced by most of the previous posts, is the constant use of metaphors to describe what happens afterwards. The interesting thing about these metaphors is that, unlike other metaphors, with a ground and an argument -- so that you know why they are metaphors, this area of metaphor is different: we do not know whether the metaphors we use to describe what, if anything, happens after death, are really metaphors.
...
I don't think that these are metaphors but rather euphemisms. The purpose of the euphemism in this case is to obscure and dull the fact of our inevitable mortality

  Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2019, 04:14 PM   #14
Peter Goldsbury
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,249
Japan
Offline
Re: Life and death

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
I don't think that these are metaphors but rather euphemisms. The purpose of the euphemism in this case is to obscure and dull the fact of our inevitable mortality
Yes, you are probably right. Both are figures of speech, but a euphemism seeks to dull the impact, whereas a metaphor seeks to disguise it. Calling a spade a spade is using a metaphor to focus on the opposite side of the general literal vs. metaphorical / euphemistic divide. But I still think we use metaphors to describe death and dying.

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Kokusai Dojo,
Hiroshima,
Japan
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Masakatsu Agatsu mathewjgano Spiritual 43 09-02-2012 04:24 PM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 20 Peter Goldsbury Columns 22 10-20-2011 10:28 PM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 17 Peter Goldsbury Columns 41 06-03-2010 09:46 PM
Aikido spirituality and life after death John Furgerson III Spiritual 24 06-02-2009 01:25 AM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 12 Peter Goldsbury Columns 32 05-16-2009 06:05 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:41 AM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2019 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2019 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate