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Old 09-21-2017, 06:52 AM   #26
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,938
United_States
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Re: Aikido and time

Quote:
David Soroko wrote: View Post
I think that in martial arts absolute (wall clock) time is pretty much irrelevant. The time that matters is determined by the rhythm of your interaction with your opponent.

If you can read you opponent in advance or force his move you will experience a plenty-of-time feeling, as if the opponent is moving slower than you. On the other side of such interaction you will have the sense of running-out-of-time with your opponent being faster and ahead of you.
i believed the term you want is "timing" not "time". Thinking of wave (as in sine and cosine waves and so on) in which one of my teachers is fond of using the terms: "in phase" and "out of phase". I rode motorcycle and had numerous accidents where the bike and i got in touch with the ground at relatively high speed.

reality: bike and i falling toward the ground
from my point of view: i got plenty of time. hey! i need to kick myself off the bike so it won't land on me. hey! there is the pavement coming up. hey! i need to tuck and roll. hey!......
reality: bike sliding and flipping along the street. me, rolling and rolling and rolling and sliding and flat out stopping
me: @#$@!@@!#
reality: damn! that hurts! that's going to leave a mark or two! damn! the bike will need fixing!
me: ukemi worked on the street! thank god! I got full protective gears on. slapping the street with your hands, even with leather gloves on, is stupid! got to stop doing that!
reality: those damn greek philosophers never rode a motorcycle in their whole life! I felt off the bike, therefore i hurt.

I agreed with Peter that translating from original language is fraud with dangers. time and changes to the cultures of the languages make translating quite challenging. there was a time that i didn't understand that point, but as time went on, it changed my view, and as such, time changed all things.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
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Old 09-22-2017, 06:30 PM   #27
sorokod
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 816
United Kingdom
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Re: Aikido and time

I am ok with time. Timing is a method for shaping time in your favour. Misdirection is another method. Psychologically dominating the opponent is another.

The military speak of trading space for time.

In a conflict time is shaped by the participants.

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Old 09-23-2017, 03:49 AM   #28
StefanHultberg
Dojo: Roskilde
Location: Roskilde
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 49
Denmark
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Re: Aikido and time

Dear Peter Sensei
Here are a few reactions to your very interesting points a few days ago. Your comments are in italics.

Perhaps keeping one's feet firmly on the ground is not the most appropriate metaphor for aikido, but it fits the type of training I have received from my own teachers, who were all Japanese and, with one exception, were direct students of Morihei Ueshiba. I learned from them especially the crucial importance of correct attacks. I also learned a little about Morihei Ueshiba. Ueshiba was a superbly gifted martial artist, with a formidable memory, who was also superb at reading the mind and intentions of the attacker. However, he was also strongly influenced by Onisaburo Deguchi and used Omoto as a vehicle for much of what he stated about aikido. I say, 'he stated', but you have to realize that his own disciples struggled to make sense of what Morihei Ueshiba said and almost all of what he stated about aikido was edited by these disciples. They probably did this with the best of intentions, but with the definite intention of placing him in a particular context, which is that of aikido as a new and emerging postwar Japanese ‘budo.' I have discussed these issues in some detail in my AikiWeb columns.

The point about keeping one's feet firmly on the ground is taken, but at the same time I live very much according to the "middle way". I believe earth and heaven both have contributions to make, so sometimes I stay in contact with the earth, sometimes I soar towards heaven. This is me, others may follow the path appropriate for them.

The point about the disciples struggling with the spirituality of O-Sensei is like a repeat of the story about Jesus and his disciples, even the editing and framing of a spiritual message into a particular setting. Presumably there may be spiritual gems in the original message that deserve investigation. Here I have had to rely on interpretations of O-Sensei's message -- provided by some of his followers.

Have you ever read anything by J M E McTaggart? He was a philosopher who believed in the unreality of time. I was introduced to his writings when I was a student. My major was modern philosophy, but I decided to begin at the beginning and go back to the Greeks, especially the threesome of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. One of my teachers also encouraged me to study empiricism, especially the other threesome of Locke, Berkeley and Hume. Since I had spent a few years in France studying existentialism, the study of Hume especially was a welcome return to the practice of keeping one's feet firmly on the ground when doing philosophy. In fact, the Greeks, especially Aristotle, were a good model.

I do wish I had your scholarly background. I am afraid my "scholarly" background is in the direction of geology/biology and (much later) strategy, especially the age-old strategy of conflict. Even later I turned to traditional Chinese medicine and shiatsu. My background, thus, has been in natural science, business, and some of the Chinese classics, not much philosophy. I am not familiar with the writings you mention, except the greek classics of course, but I will study them based on your kind recommendations.

I have looked at the questions you raise in your No 2 paragraph and one of the advantages of my own philosophical training was the focus my teachers placed on language and the importance of language in even stating philosophical problems. To take one question you ask: whether mind truly shapes reality. You emphasize "truly" with capitals and I wonder why you did this. This comes at the end of a whole string of questions and this makes me also wonder what you believe would count as an answer—either way. A revelation? Your question also assumes that mind is a general term, like time. Did you mean this, or did you mean something more specific, like your mind or my mind? I would be interested to see what aspects of aikido lead you to think that mind TRULY shapes reality.

The words "truly" and "mind" in the passage you refer to comes from my background within natural science combined with the style of writing I have adopted in my later years, when not having to write too many scientific articles or board/government reports anymore. I have written so many formal things in my life, writings where every word was weighed on gold-scales, but in internet discussions I have made the choice to formulate things a lot more "freely". I believe this can be a very good form of communication since it reveals more of the person behind the words and perhaps more of the actual thinking behind them. The questions that follow serve to clear up what lies behind the words while deepening the personal contact.

An elemental particle exists in an indeterminate state until observed by an "observer". This "observer" is supposed to have a consciousness (whatever that may be). I equated an observer's consciousness with the word "mind" in order to connect the physics to all the metaphors expressing the idea of "mind over matter". An observer, thus, can influence elemental particles -- instantaneously and over enormous distances. I used the word "truly" because I was considering the scale change from an elementary particle to, let's say, an attacker. It has been shown that an observer ("mind") can influence objects as big as "buckyballs", carbon molecules consisting of up to 5000 protons, neutrons, and electrons, collapsing the probability wave functions of these particles into a concrete manifestation, e.g. in connection with teleportation. This is a stunning example of "mind over matter", yes, but the scale of aikido involves rather more than 15.000 elementary particles.

Regarding my "string of questions" -- yes, revelation would be great, and many breakthroughs do come as sudden insights, manifestations, e.g. the discovery of the molecular structures of benzene and dna. Seriously, though, these questions are not really asked in order to receive answers. The questions are there to indicate possibilities and stimulate the mind (my mind at least). Sometimes there can be partial answers and sometimes the questions are enough as they are.

I should add that you are approaching Morihei Ueshiba in English translation. Are you sure that this is the best method for involving Ueshiba as a guide for answering the questions you ask? When I studied Greek philosophy, I began with the Greek originals and then looked at the translations in English French and German. Later, in Japan, I looked at the Japanese translations and found them very seriously wanting. One of the reasons for studying Morihei Ueshiba in Japanese, and also the Omoto background, was the unsatisfactory nature of the English translations that we have.

The simple answer to your questions is -- of course not. I do believe in reading things in the original language whenever possible. Philosophy, religious scripture, geological reviews, or "Fellowship of the ring". Something always changes in translation, not to mention taking writings from one cultural context to another. Whenever we're talking writings in English, the Nordic languages, German, Flemish/Dutch, Greek, and French I will read in original language. My Japanese, unfortunately, is still at dojo-level.

I could make a serious effort to seriously study Japanese -- and maybe I will, but in order to answer some of my questions Chinese could be quite important. Another contender for illumination is Sanskrit. The language of particle physics may be written down mostly in English, but it doesn't look like it. Thus, the questions regarding the nature of time also involve the mathematical language -- which is mostly far beyond my capacities.

On top of these considerations there are lawns that need mowing, grandchildren that need hugging, an elderly Mother to drink coffee with every now and then, places to visit, and good deeds that need doing. If my musings, inspired not least by the training in the dojo, lead me to try to approach O-Sensei's spiritual message it will, for the time being, have to be English. Thus, for the time being, I will have to live by the paradoxical and "tongue in cheek" words of Susan Jeffers: "Everything worth doing is worth doing badly".

Words may be in Japanese or English. I believe some of the deep questions can only be answered through training/revelation. The ineffable cannot easily be transmitted in any verbal language, but the words can support the process certainly.

En passant I may add that I am presently struggling with the words of Dogen regarding time and being -- "time is being". I would like to penetrate how he, in Japanese, constructs his message around "for the time being". Here availability of Japanese originals and understanding of the Japanese language would be most helpful.
In any case, I will make a serious effort to try to match your wisdom to my abilities and options as best I can. I will read what I can, listen to those that know much more than I, and practice diligently in the dojo.

Perhaps levitation is too soon for shodan and should be required for higher dan ranks, perhaps to match the larger size of the diploma and the increasingly smaller registration numbers?


I may not reach the levitation-stage in my present life, but I did feel quite lightheaded towards the end of my sandan grade test, so I believe I'm getting some of the hang of it.
Again, I am so grateful for your input. I look forward to future continued dialogue!!

Thank you so much, best regards

Stefan
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Old 10-16-2017, 04:34 AM   #29
StefanHultberg
Dojo: Roskilde
Location: Roskilde
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 49
Denmark
Offline
Re: Aikido and time

Quote:
Stefan Hultberg wrote: View Post
Dear Peter Sensei
Here are a few reactions to your very interesting points a few days ago. Your comments are in italics.

Perhaps keeping one's feet firmly on the ground is not the most appropriate metaphor for aikido, but it fits the type of training I have received from my own teachers, who were all Japanese and, with one exception, were direct students of Morihei Ueshiba. I learned from them especially the crucial importance of correct attacks. I also learned a little about Morihei Ueshiba. Ueshiba was a superbly gifted martial artist, with a formidable memory, who was also superb at reading the mind and intentions of the attacker. However, he was also strongly influenced by Onisaburo Deguchi and used Omoto as a vehicle for much of what he stated about aikido. I say, 'he stated', but you have to realize that his own disciples struggled to make sense of what Morihei Ueshiba said and almost all of what he stated about aikido was edited by these disciples. They probably did this with the best of intentions, but with the definite intention of placing him in a particular context, which is that of aikido as a new and emerging postwar Japanese ‘budo.' I have discussed these issues in some detail in my AikiWeb columns.

The point about keeping one's feet firmly on the ground is taken, but at the same time I live very much according to the "middle way". I believe earth and heaven both have contributions to make, so sometimes I stay in contact with the earth, sometimes I soar towards heaven. This is me, others may follow the path appropriate for them.

The point about the disciples struggling with the spirituality of O-Sensei is like a repeat of the story about Jesus and his disciples, even the editing and framing of a spiritual message into a particular setting. Presumably there may be spiritual gems in the original message that deserve investigation. Here I have had to rely on interpretations of O-Sensei's message -- provided by some of his followers.

Have you ever read anything by J M E McTaggart? He was a philosopher who believed in the unreality of time. I was introduced to his writings when I was a student. My major was modern philosophy, but I decided to begin at the beginning and go back to the Greeks, especially the threesome of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. One of my teachers also encouraged me to study empiricism, especially the other threesome of Locke, Berkeley and Hume. Since I had spent a few years in France studying existentialism, the study of Hume especially was a welcome return to the practice of keeping one's feet firmly on the ground when doing philosophy. In fact, the Greeks, especially Aristotle, were a good model.

I do wish I had your scholarly background. I am afraid my "scholarly" background is in the direction of geology/biology and (much later) strategy, especially the age-old strategy of conflict. Even later I turned to traditional Chinese medicine and shiatsu. My background, thus, has been in natural science, business, and some of the Chinese classics, not much philosophy. I am not familiar with the writings you mention, except the greek classics of course, but I will study them based on your kind recommendations.

I have looked at the questions you raise in your No 2 paragraph and one of the advantages of my own philosophical training was the focus my teachers placed on language and the importance of language in even stating philosophical problems. To take one question you ask: whether mind truly shapes reality. You emphasize "truly" with capitals and I wonder why you did this. This comes at the end of a whole string of questions and this makes me also wonder what you believe would count as an answer—either way. A revelation? Your question also assumes that mind is a general term, like time. Did you mean this, or did you mean something more specific, like your mind or my mind? I would be interested to see what aspects of aikido lead you to think that mind TRULY shapes reality.

The words "truly" and "mind" in the passage you refer to comes from my background within natural science combined with the style of writing I have adopted in my later years, when not having to write too many scientific articles or board/government reports anymore. I have written so many formal things in my life, writings where every word was weighed on gold-scales, but in internet discussions I have made the choice to formulate things a lot more "freely". I believe this can be a very good form of communication since it reveals more of the person behind the words and perhaps more of the actual thinking behind them. The questions that follow serve to clear up what lies behind the words while deepening the personal contact.

An elemental particle exists in an indeterminate state until observed by an "observer". This "observer" is supposed to have a consciousness (whatever that may be). I equated an observer's consciousness with the word "mind" in order to connect the physics to all the metaphors expressing the idea of "mind over matter". An observer, thus, can influence elemental particles -- instantaneously and over enormous distances. I used the word "truly" because I was considering the scale change from an elementary particle to, let's say, an attacker. It has been shown that an observer ("mind") can influence objects as big as "buckyballs", carbon molecules consisting of up to 5000 protons, neutrons, and electrons, collapsing the probability wave functions of these particles into a concrete manifestation, e.g. in connection with teleportation. This is a stunning example of "mind over matter", yes, but the scale of aikido involves rather more than 15.000 elementary particles.

Regarding my "string of questions" -- yes, revelation would be great, and many breakthroughs do come as sudden insights, manifestations, e.g. the discovery of the molecular structures of benzene and dna. Seriously, though, these questions are not really asked in order to receive answers. The questions are there to indicate possibilities and stimulate the mind (my mind at least). Sometimes there can be partial answers and sometimes the questions are enough as they are.

I should add that you are approaching Morihei Ueshiba in English translation. Are you sure that this is the best method for involving Ueshiba as a guide for answering the questions you ask? When I studied Greek philosophy, I began with the Greek originals and then looked at the translations in English French and German. Later, in Japan, I looked at the Japanese translations and found them very seriously wanting. One of the reasons for studying Morihei Ueshiba in Japanese, and also the Omoto background, was the unsatisfactory nature of the English translations that we have.

The simple answer to your questions is -- of course not. I do believe in reading things in the original language whenever possible. Philosophy, religious scripture, geological reviews, or "Fellowship of the ring". Something always changes in translation, not to mention taking writings from one cultural context to another. Whenever we're talking writings in English, the Nordic languages, German, Flemish/Dutch, Greek, and French I will read in original language. My Japanese, unfortunately, is still at dojo-level.

I could make a serious effort to seriously study Japanese -- and maybe I will, but in order to answer some of my questions Chinese could be quite important. Another contender for illumination is Sanskrit. The language of particle physics may be written down mostly in English, but it doesn't look like it. Thus, the questions regarding the nature of time also involve the mathematical language -- which is mostly far beyond my capacities.

On top of these considerations there are lawns that need mowing, grandchildren that need hugging, an elderly Mother to drink coffee with every now and then, places to visit, and good deeds that need doing. If my musings, inspired not least by the training in the dojo, lead me to try to approach O-Sensei's spiritual message it will, for the time being, have to be English. Thus, for the time being, I will have to live by the paradoxical and "tongue in cheek" words of Susan Jeffers: "Everything worth doing is worth doing badly".

Words may be in Japanese or English. I believe some of the deep questions can only be answered through training/revelation. The ineffable cannot easily be transmitted in any verbal language, but the words can support the process certainly.

En passant I may add that I am presently struggling with the words of Dogen regarding time and being -- "time is being". I would like to penetrate how he, in Japanese, constructs his message around "for the time being". Here availability of Japanese originals and understanding of the Japanese language would be most helpful.
In any case, I will make a serious effort to try to match your wisdom to my abilities and options as best I can. I will read what I can, listen to those that know much more than I, and practice diligently in the dojo.

Perhaps levitation is too soon for shodan and should be required for higher dan ranks, perhaps to match the larger size of the diploma and the increasingly smaller registration numbers?


I may not reach the levitation-stage in my present life, but I did feel quite lightheaded towards the end of my sandan grade test, so I believe I'm getting some of the hang of it.
Again, I am so grateful for your input. I look forward to future continued dialogue!!

Thank you so much, best regards

Stefan
Ps. And here, a few weeks after writing this, Peter Sensei, I find myself looking at MIT, Oxford, Open University etc. homepages looking for distance learning bachelor courses - there may be hope for the old swede yet
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Old 04-26-2018, 04:44 AM   #30
StefanHultberg
Dojo: Roskilde
Location: Roskilde
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 49
Denmark
Offline
Re: Aikido and time

Quote:
Katherine Derbyshire wrote: View Post
Don't confuse changes in your subjective perception of time with changes in actual physical reality.

Katherine
Dear Katherine, the short comment would be - I don't.

It will, I am afraid, be accompanied by this long piece of text . I do not expect many to have the time or energy to read it or, even less, comment. It would surely be presumptuous. This is an honest sharing of thoughts. They are expressed the only way I can express them. My apologies.

I have tried to form my basic reasoning leading to my conclusion that time could -- COULD -- be affected by the mind, not only as a mental/sensory experience, but as a physical reality -- whatever that may be. There may be repetitions of the original post and there may be (many) errors in fact and thinking. Thank you all for previous comments, especially the above quote from a comment by Katherine. Thank you! I have thought about this pretty constantly, mulled it over, considered, wondered, changed my mind, laughed, wrinkled my brow, meditated. I believe there is overwhelming evidence that you are right, Katherine, and I certainly do not consider my little "time-experience" all these years ago a breakthrough into Jedi-grade aikidoka rank, but the experience described made me think about this whole matter and your comment has been a great inspiration for me to share my thoughts, specifically about the phenomenon of timeand Aikido, more deeply. Thank you so much!

Here goes:

The foundation of traditional Chinese medicine, so ingrained in practically all Asian martial arts (including Aikido), is energy - "ki" (or "Qi"), its different forms and its circulation and change through the universe and through man. Everything is energy, both in the eastern tradition and western science. If we start with what some of us know best, western scientific thought, an oak table is actually not an oak table at all, it is a vast empty space which every here and there is filled by a "particle" - an atom. This atom is not really a particle at all, though, the atom itself is mostly empty space where there is an "electron", appearing here and there (as a probability cloud -- a "wave function"), and a nucleus consisting of "protons" and "neutrons". These particles (two of which consist of even smaller particles, quarks, which consist of …..) are actually not really particles at all, but energy patterns, perhaps based one one-dimensional strings (!) vibrating in a 10 or 11-dimensional space. This spattering of energy patterns, consisting mostly of empty space, over more empty space, is then assembled to look and feel and smell like an oak table because our senses are constructed to experience it thus. Our senses, therefore, construct the illusion that overlies true reality -- or at least one level closer to it. So, in western thinking we call these energy-patterns "electrons", "quarks", and "superstrings" and we try to understand them in places like the American TEVATRON accelerator and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN.

When quantum theory is introduced the world goes from just strange to absolutely bizarre, not only because the very small -- the quantum "world" - seems to be incompatible with the large, the relativity theory of cosmology, but to a large degree because it turns out that the quantum world can turn out differently depending on who is actually observing it, or rather "how" it is observed. An elementary particle is then a "probability wave", existing in an indeterminate state and an indeterminate location -- until it is observed. When observed -- as an expected particle that is - it manifests as a particle in the location where the probability function determines that it is most likely to appear. This certainly brings home the possible reality of the old question of a tree falling in the forest -- if no one is there to see or hear it fall, does it actually happen, does the tree exist, does the forest exist?? Do all thing "come and go" or "fade in and out" depending on degree of conscious observation??? Do the different observations connect to each-other, through the "collective subconscious" or a "quantum-field" in order to construct the collective sum of probabilities in order to create the outcome -- the presentation of the forest at that time (whatever THAT is)? These are all reasonable questions in the light of modern science, especially in the field of physics.

This mechanism of the observer(s) dictating the outcome (consciousness (mind) over matter) seems to work not only at the minute scale of the elementary particles, it has actually been proved on larger aggregations of matter, e.g. so-called "bucky-balls" which are assemblages of carbon atoms (60) -- indicating that the old ideas that our minds affect what happens, that faith can move mountains, and that intention and expectation determine future events -- may actually be literally true, may actually be a common mechanism in our daily lives.

The famous late physicist John Wheeler (1911-2008) formulated the so called "Participatory Anthropic Principle", arguing that a pre-life earth would have existed as a potential creation -- in an indeterminate stage, a state of probability -- until an observer (early life at some stage) existed, whereupon the pre-life earth would have manifested retroactively as a result of being observed by consciousness. Time is an illusion of consciousness, one dimension out of 10 or 11, nothing more, meaning that the expression "retroactively" should not be taken too literally as basically the past, present, and future all exist "at the same time" 😊 and are only separated by consciousness and convention. Actually, then, the universe may be created -- or at least manifested from its potential/indeterminate/un-manifested state -- by life, by consciousness.

A Japanese Aikido Sensei was asked if he could explain the intricacies of the kokyu ho -- techniques. These techniques are supposed to be based on kokyu ryoku - "breath power", a concept which is rarely explained, presumably because it, like so many other things, has to be experienced personally rather than transmitted by words. Sensei explained that one crucial part of all kokyu ho techniques was intention, the total intention not only to carry out a technique as a training movement, but to keep in your mind the feeling of being in a battle of life and death and maintaining this mind-set to the degree of actually feeling your sword cutting through skin, flesh, sinew, and bones. Through this, he said, one could develop the power of will and intention to secure the outcome of a confrontation. He thus indicated that the physical outcome of a technique was dependent on the state of the mind as well as the actual physical movement. He emphasized that in order to achieve perfect technique one must maintain total commitment -- faith -- before the technique, during the technique, and after the technique, recognizing the fact that past, present, and future are one and it is only our minds that create the division.

A quite esoteric view of energy and the universe was propagated by O-Sensei e.g. in his view that when someone attacked another human being he had already lost, just by attacking. Here the view of O Sensei's aikido and, at least, parts of modern physics come together as it is based on the idea that everything in the universe is tied together, can be said to be "one". Remember that attacks can be physical, someone trying to stab someone with a knife, or they can be mental, based on words that hurt. The situation can be anything from the street to the boardroom -- and thus be directly relevant in e.g. a leadership context. Attacking another, thus, is the same as attacking yourself, if you hurt even a part of the universe you are hurting yourself. If you then go against the natural order of the universe, by attacking another and by attacking yourself, the universe will resist you, you will be moving against what is natural and, therefore, you will lose. This, quite esoteric, principle can be brought down a little closer to the known world of strategy and tactics by recognizing that the one who attacks has, at least, shown his hand or has committed himself, whereas the defender is still free to do a multitude of things, has several degrees of freedom. The more committed an attack the more limited are the options for the attacker. The options for the defender are still relatively many and, in a committed attack, there is plenty of energy from an attacker that can be turned around -- against the attacker or, even better, towards de-escalation and conciliation.

Basically, eastern wisdom and western science both agree that everything, including time, is one and that everything is energy. This is not our everyday world, but it is at least interesting to recognize one other level of reality from the illusion even if the illusion is our main habitat. Naturally we do live and act in the "everyday" world of illusion, but why not consider the (perhaps) deeper reality behind it.

The relationships between the potential and the manifested, between the mental and the physical, and between expectations and outcome were observed in many societies -- the Chinese (illustrated in the Taoist literature), the Japanese (utilized in esoteric Shinto, Zen-Buddhism and the thereto related martial arts) etc. Some words from the Australian aboriginal tradition illustrates the same thing:

The dreamtime process of creation resembles the simple act of baking bread. First there is an internal desire, a hunger, a need for a delicious morsel existing in a purely energetic state of mind. The desire comes before the bread, just as the dream of the flint is present in the stone before its emergence in the world. Conscious activity gathers the ingredients in the physical worlds that correspond to those in the dream. By combining and working the ingredients, the dream of the bread clothes itself in body. As the bread is eaten, the dream is devoured; it becomes internal and invisible again. The dream of the bread has been digested into a memory.

(Robert Lawlor, 1991. Voices of the first day -- awakening in the aboriginal dreamtime)

In terms of e.g. leadership it may not seem particularly important to understand the intricacies of quantum theory, esoteric Taoism, or Australian aboriginal dreamtime in order to expand -- say -- a hardware store chain. It may, however, be very important to understand that intention, belief, faith, and expectations are fundaments of actual outcomes, not only as a mindset of the leader but as a collective mindset of the whole organization. Some of the principles of quantum theory, therefore, illustrate the relevance to, in this particular case, motivational leadership, making sure that staff are onboard, making sure that they believe while at the same time illustrating the fact that good intentions are more likely to be successful than bad intentions ("good" and "bad", by the way, is an interesting constellation, perhaps better discussed at another time &#128522.

Quantum theory also indicates that, at least at small scales, things are quite different from what we ordinarily experience. At the minute scales of the "quantum foam" time goes in all directions,
forwards, backwards, turns back on itself and so on, minute black holes may appear and disappear, and myriads of particle pairs appear and distinguish each other in a frenzy of activity even in the total vacuum of so-called "empty space". Empty is not at all empty at all, empty equals "full of potential".

Emptiness does actualize the question of the abovementioned "true reality" - if there is such a thing. In a down to earth manner we can ask ourselves what we are holding when we are holding a book, it's a book, right? Yes, it could be, but it could also be a tree, the tree that the paper was made from. When we are holding a glass we are holding a glass, right? Yes, maybe, but we are also holding sand, the sand grains that the silica of the glass is made of, the magma that would form the granite that would be the source of the sand, the exploding star, the supernova, that produced the silica that the granite was made of.

The link to emptiness is more visible when we go a level deeper, the book which is paper made of a tree is not really a book at all, just as in the above example of the oak table, it is mostly emptiness, emptiness which here and there contains isolated energetic phenomena, particles, strings, or waves of probability inhabiting a point in space like a pretty lonely star in the void of deep space. The only reason we perceive it as a book, as a solid object is due to the interaction of the particles in the book and the particles that make up our fingers through the force of electromagnetism -- the negative charge of the electrons surrounding the atoms of the book being repelled by the negative charge of the electrons which are part of our fingers. Visually it's the light, photons, interacting with the particles of the book, affecting the retina's of our eyes, and eventually being used by our brains to construct a sort of "virtual reality", an illusion based on "true reality", an illusion which lets us function in the sense-driven virtual reality we have been constructed to live in.

Since all our sense-based perceptions are individual we all, to a degree, construct our own individual reality. This can be illustrated by the words of the famous Zen patriarch Dogen:

All beings do not see mountains and waters in the same way. Some beings see water as a jeweled ornament, but they do not regard jeweled ornaments as water. What in the human realm corresponds to their water? We only see their jeweled ornaments as water. Some beings see water as wondrous blossoms, but they do not use blossoms as water. Hungry ghosts see water as raging fire or pus and blood. Dragons see water as a palace or a pavillion. Some beings see water as a forest or a wall. Some see water as the seven treasures or a wish-granting jewel. Some see it as the dharma nature of pure liberation, the true human body, or as the form of body or essence of mind. Water is seen as dead or alive depending on causes and conditions.

Thus, the views of all beings are not the same. You should question this matter now, are there many ways to see one thing, or is it a mistake to see many forms as one thing? You should pursue this beyond the limit of pursuit. Accordingly, endeavors in practice-realization of the way are not limited to one or two kinds. The ultimate realm has one thousand kinds and ten thousand ways.
When we think about the meaning of this, it seems that there is water for various beings but there is no original water -- there is no water common to all types of beings. But water for these various kinds of beings does not depend on mind or body, does not arise from actions, does not depend on self or other. The freedom of water depends only on water.

(Dogen)

The great Socrates himself has some thoughts on the matter, described in a Wikipedia article:

Socrates's idea that reality is unavailable to those who use their senses is what puts him at odds with the common man, and with common sense. Socrates says that he who sees with his eyes is blind, and this idea is most famously captured in his allegory of the cave, and more explicitly in his description of the divided line. The allegory of the cave (begins Republic 7.514a) is a paradoxical analogy wherein Socrates argues that the invisible world is the most intelligible ("noeton") and that the visible world ("(h)oraton") is the least knowable, and the most obscure. Socrates says in "the Republic" that people who take the sun-lit world of the senses to be good and real are living pitifully in a den of evil and ignorance. Socrates admits that few climb out of the den, or cave of ignorance, and those who do, not only have a terrible struggle to attain the heights, but when they go back down for a visit or to help other people up, they find themselves objects of scorn and ridicule. According to Socrates, physical objects and physical events are "shadows" of their ideal or perfect forms, and exist only to the extent that they instantiate the perfect versions of themselves. Just as shadows are temporary, inconsequential epiphenomena produced by physical objects, physical objects are themselves fleeting phenomena caused by more substantial causes, the ideals of which they are mere instances. For example, Socrates thinks that perfect justice exists (although it is not clear where) and his own trial would be a cheap copy of it.

(Wikipedia, 2017)

Since all realities are, to a degree, individual, there is no objective reality, no objective "truth". Even natural laws and acts by deities are filtered through the human individual and collective consciousness. The manifested is influenced by this consciousness and, presumably, the more an individual's consciousness is concentrated on a task the more will this individual influence the actual outcome. His "will" or "concentration" affects things, mind over matter.

The everyday reality we experience, then, consists mostly of emptiness and, following the principle that the ultimate yang is born at the center of yin and vice versa, "emptiness is form and form is only emptiness - the Buddhist "Heart Sutra" expresses a truth about existence, illustrating the duality and interplay between Yin and Yang, light and darkness, up and down, warmth and cold, nonbeing and being, opposites balancing and giving birth to each other. Beyond this dualistic, relative, universe, this "apparent" reality, then, lies the "ultimate" (?) or "true" (?) reality, the world where all opposites are united to wholeness, Yin and Yang merging and becoming a wholeness, Tao:

We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole that makes the wagon move.
We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.
We hammer wood for a house, but it is the inner space that makes it livable.
We work with being, but non-being is what we use.

(Lao Tzu)

This illustrates the utility of emptiness and, perhaps, the reality that emptiness isn't really empty at all. In the Chinese (eastern) tradition the thinking about emptiness is similar to the western view, but the terms are different. The basic emptiness is called "the void" and sometimes "Tao" (the way). This is considered to be the primal emptiness which is so empty that it is full of potential (actually not that different from modern physics where a vacuum can be shown to be full of particles and antiparticles that appear and annihilate each other in an intense froth of spontaneous creative activity). From the completeness of Tao comes Yin and Yang, the female and the male aspects of "the force". Yin is female, dark, mysterious, hidden, strives downwards, belongs to the earth, and is associated with the moon. Yang is male, light, straightforward, manifest, strives upwards, belongs to heaven, and is associated with the sun. The combination of Yin and Yang produces the energy of the 5 elements. The energy of these 5 elements is always around us and within us in different mixtures and combinations depending on mood, season, age, time of day, weather, food intake etc.

Yin and Yang have several expressions in e.g. Aikido, good examples being the Omote and Ura forms of techniques. Omote is associated with Yang, straight ahead, straightforward, etc., whereas Ura means, Yin, behind, turning, secret, hidden etc.

What is the relevance in terms of life, health, leadership? That can vary quite a lot, if nothing else at all this quantum theory and esoterism can at least bring home the quite relevant message that -- WE KNOW NOTHING -- which perhaps could bring with it a certain openness in terms of new ideas, a certain humbleness in terms of realizing that since nobody truly knows anything we should not be sure we are right, should have a certain carefulness since we should realize that we cannot really know the consequences of our decisions and actions (there's nothing more frightening than a person who is absolutely sure of something). Maybe, in relation to these fascinating mysteries, we
could also see ourselves as just a little part of the whole, still important and precious, but absolutely a part of the whole, meaning that we could be more motivated to see the wholeness rather than our egocentric desires. The wholeness can, sometimes and to some, be an integrated part of goals and objectives.

In order to bring home the message that WE KNOW NOTHING one may highlight one absolutely mind-blowing fact -- we have many theories and views of matter and energy. That may make us think we actually know a lot about the workings of the cosmos and the quantum world, but all this theorizing is in relation to ordinary matter and energy -- i.e. approximately 5% of the universe. The rest is made up by so-called dark matter and dark energy, of which practically nothing is known, no theories and no models, only guesses and speculation.

If all the above seems too much, too bloody far out, one must at least accept that we have an incomplete understanding regarding approximately 5% of the universe. The remaining 95% we know pretty close to absolutely nothing about.

We do not know what we are, who we are, where we come from, where we're going, when we are, when we're going, not for sure.

Can a horse learn to sing in a year? The old story does not say whether Nasrudin succeeded or not, but who can say for certain it cannot happen, especially if the horse is part of the universal energy system and can be influenced through it?

The basic assumptions about what we are and what "this all" is, is about, etc. affect our ambitions, our dreams, our opinions, our actions, decisions, prejudices. If we have the fundamental assumption that all time -- past, present, and future, exists "at the same time" (as some convincing theories postulate) then somebody like Van Gogh perhaps made a bloody smart investment, he lived for a few years as a spectacularly creative madman who ended up taking his life in a sort of "creative misery" - if I have understood the biographies. Clever boy, he croaked miserably but ended up as a mega-celebrity, an archetype in his own right. If, as Jung seems to postulate, then, archetypes have "true" lives on their own. Becoming part of, merging with, this true archetype would, all by itself constitute quite a way towards immortality. Jung does have a point, and who could conclusively -- beyond all reasonable doubt -- rule out the actual "existence" of archetypes as illustrated brilliantly in "The Endless" in Neil Gaiman's classic comic "Sandman", then Van Gogh achieved immortality and recognition of genius, lots of economic value, lots of admiration etc. Perhaps his, seemingly tragic, life was an investment in expectation of future (which is now) gains? The totality of his life, seen as the temporal totality of his life, seems increased, the balance sheet has grown. Maybe he truly lives with Morpheus in his palace in the center of the Dreaming 😊.

Van Gogh may have been famous and rich during what we see as his physical life if we see the "temporal totality" of his life. Van Gogh is Van Gogh in 1264 when the first events start to be seen that eventually will lead to his birth, his genome. Van Gogh is Van Gogh, cutting off his ear and hanging in the Van Gogh Museum. Van Gogh is Van Gogh travelling to the South Pacific and being sold at auctions for prices that make you feel dizzy. It may be so, it could possibly be so. Some days in late summer with a leisurely glass of rosé in my hand and butterflies in the air one could even truly believe it. Most of the time I think it's bollocks.

If one actually believed the possibility of above Van Gogh - style temporal totality many would probably prioritize more clearly in the direction of doing good, meaning, like some REAL goodie stuff, archetypical Gandhi, Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa, Malala, but we do not. We live in daily "ordinary reality" - defined by biological senses and a tiny bit of intuition, and this state rules our "every day" reality. Sometimes you get to see, at least, the possibilities behind the thin veil, the "gossamer sheet", and you may remember some of it every now and then.

Even if we live our daily lives in a world where a book is a book and what we see is what we see we should know that there is something else behind it all, this is the only ethical, moral basis of life, an honest attempt to understand our world and humbly act from this attempt.

It is from that basis that I cannot completely rule out the possibility that time may be "truly", at least, influenced by consciousness, both individual and collective.

Thus the statement by O-Sensei "Time does not exist in Aikido" could (COULD) be absolutely or partially literally and truly TRUE. It may (MAY) not be.

If anyone has bothered to read this far -- thank you so much & my sympathies 😊

All the best

Stefan
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Old 04-29-2018, 12:08 PM   #31
dps
 
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Re: Aikido and time

Consider this:

"Ordinary everyday time" is a misperception of the actual flow of time. "Extended time" is the actual flow of time. Your mind, being distracted by thoughts and emotions, does not notice the actual flow of time (Extended Time).

dps

Last edited by dps : 04-29-2018 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 05-02-2018, 04:21 AM   #32
StefanHultberg
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Re: Aikido and time

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Consider this:

"Ordinary everyday time" is a misperception of the actual flow of time. "Extended time" is the actual flow of time. Your mind, being distracted by thoughts and emotions, does not notice the actual flow of time (Extended Time).

dps
Very interesting. That would indicate that increased concentration would move one towards "extended time". Is this a "purely" subjective phenomenon or is it "real" - and is there a difference between the two??

All the best

Stefan
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Old 05-02-2018, 05:50 AM   #33
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Re: Aikido and time

Quote:
Stefan Hultberg wrote: View Post
Very interesting. That would indicate that increased concentration would move one towards "extended time". Is this a "purely" subjective phenomenon or is it "real" - and is there a difference between the two??

All the best

Stefan
Time is time. We measure it as sixty seconds to a minute, sixty minutes to an hour, twenty four hours to a day, seven days to a week, etc, etc. Scientifically measured fact that exists outside the mind and out of our control ( real time).

Our perception of time exists in the mind and can be controlled ( subjective).
In practice you concentrate on learning how to move and apply techniques. Time seems to pass by quickly. When you progress to the point of moving, applying technique without concentrating is when time seems to slow down or extend ( real time).

dps

Last edited by dps : 05-02-2018 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 05-02-2018, 06:11 AM   #34
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Re: Aikido and time

Quote:
Stefan Hultberg wrote: View Post
The secret of aikido is to make yourself become one with the universe and to go along with its natural movements. One who has attained this secret holds the universe in him/herself and can say, ‘I am the universe.'"
Becoming one with the universe. Hmm. Extended time is real time, becoming one with time.
dps

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Old 05-03-2018, 04:34 PM   #35
RonRagusa
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Re: Aikido and time

Quote:
Stefan Hultberg wrote: View Post
This post will be long... in connection with time and aikido?
Interesting post Stefan; but you're overthinking it. Aikido happens at now when past and future become irrelevant. The closer you can come to being in the moment the slower your perceived time will be. Becoming mired in what happened or what may happen, remove you from the moment and serve only as distractions. Training is about stripping away the noise of what was and what might yet be and seeing what is.

Ron

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Old 05-03-2018, 06:11 PM   #36
RickMatz
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Re: Aikido and time

I know exactly the feeling of having more time. I get this sense when I've had periods of training a lot. It's unlooked for and unexpected, but damn; it's there!

In old videos of Shioda and Tohei, there is a slight difference to my eye. Tohei strikes me as the most relaxed person in the universe as he's going through his paces and it's all very effective for him.

But Shioda to me seems to be moving at a different tempo than his ukes. It's as if two different videos were shot at different speeds and superimposed.

Maybe this feeling is a side effect, a symptom of simply being relaxed and having an open mind.

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Old 05-03-2018, 07:08 PM   #37
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Re: Aikido and time

We are in good company in our discussion about time:

"A Debate Over the Physics of Time"

https://www.quantamagazine.org/a-deb...time-20160719/
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Old 05-05-2018, 03:10 PM   #38
sorokod
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Re: Aikido and time

Never thought Gödel will come up on AikiWeb, anyway please jump into this rabbit hole: http://edwardfeser.blogspot.co.uk/20...-time.html?m=1

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Old 05-10-2018, 04:26 AM   #39
StefanHultberg
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Re: Aikido and time

Quote:
Ron Ragusa wrote: View Post
Interesting post Stefan; but you're overthinking it. Aikido happens at now when past and future become irrelevant. The closer you can come to being in the moment the slower your perceived time will be. Becoming mired in what happened or what may happen, remove you from the moment and serve only as distractions. Training is about stripping away the noise of what was and what might yet be and seeing what is.

Ron
Hehe, of course I am overthinking it, I used to be a scientist - I overthink everything

Meditation and keiko (not much difference to me, wonderful stilness and movement) are my main diversion from my overacademic nature

All the best

Stefan
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Old 05-10-2018, 09:51 PM   #40
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Aikido and time

Quote:
Stefan Hultberg wrote: View Post
Hehe, of course I am overthinking it, I used to be a scientist - I overthink everything

Meditation and keiko (not much difference to me, wonderful stilness and movement) are my main diversion from my overacademic nature

All the best

Stefan
Hello Stefan,

I spent a few years in what might generally be called a monastery: a place where people follow a fixed rule in almost complete silence. So there was much time to debate the questions with which you are concerned in this thread. One possibility is to choose one of two alternatives: overthinking (as Ron R puts it); or 'underthinking', which I suppose would be militantly in the 'present moment' to the exclusion of everything else.

Or not. One of the attractions of aikido, for me, is the dimension of humor, of not taking anything too seriously--and this includes all those 'cosmic fragment' sayings of Deguchi, O Sensei, and all the disciples. There is a tradition here as well, of course, well represented by philosophers like Heraclitus and Parmenides. An aikido 'sensei' occupies an analogous role: he / she is supposed to make 'important' statements (sometimes called kuden) with the generally acknowledged aim of helping students along the 'way'--whatever this turns out to be.

In my experience there was a long tradition of inviting Hombu shihans to give weekend seminars and after training we would all gather and 'ask Sensei questions.' For me it began when I was at Harvard and attended a seminar given by Kisaburo Osawa. Since I was at Harvard, I was supposed to ask the really difficult questions. Now I am in an analogous position. I do the teaching and my Japanese aikido students are in the position of asking the questions--or not. For I tend to discourage questions.

Since I do philosophy, the topic of the role of language in the pursuit of truth is the one with the longest history; it probably predates the question whether time is real.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 05-11-2018, 03:01 AM   #41
erikmenzel
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Re: Aikido and time

I am an academic, I have a scholarly background.

My way of training and learning Aikido is by doing. If there is one thing that I try to do during training it is to let go of thinking. Thinking makes me focus on myself, on my expectations and on the desire to do something, to have/take control. There is in my opinion one small problem with that, one inconsistency, for I don't matter, I am not the center.

Letting go of me is not easy, but when it happens I observe what is going on, I see the motion and from the motion everything happens. Time is irrelevant there. Things happen when they happen. There is no thinking, no decision making. There is freedom in motion as true freedom comes from not having a choice.

Sounds vague, I know.

Erik Jurrien Menzel
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Personal:www.kuipers-menzel.com
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:41 PM   #42
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Re: Aikido and time

I am 63 years old and retired ( or recuperating from living for over 60 years). My physical problems prevent me from doing much. I have a quiet and still house. When I venture outside my house for a doctor's appointment or go grocery shopping I loose time because time speeds up and passes by quickly. When I return inside my house time resumes its normal pace.

dps
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