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Old 01-05-2007, 03:33 PM   #26
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

Quote:
Gene Martinelli wrote:
It is in the transformation of ourselves and the manifestation of that effect on the world that is the religious/spiritual path, the DO. ...

In order to get up that next level into the "Aiki" for me, I have to use the foundations that exist within my Catholic upbringing, my Christian Faith to draw the spiritual connect to O-Sensei's teachings.
As an example of a balanced method of approaching these issues from the West going East (although applied to a somewhat different subject, but also Japanese) is "Zen Catholicism" by Dom Aelred Graham, a Benedictine monk. With imprimatur and nihil obstat, no less. It was written in 1963, just before the Second Vatican Council reforms were decided and established.

http://www.amazon.com/Zen-Catholicis.../dp/0824514254

A prominent theme in the book is from the Psalms: "Be still and know that I am God." Hmmm. "Chinkon Kishin" is a fair translation of that text.

Also balanced but more from the East looking West (observing Buddhism more generally in connection with Christianity ) is this website:

http://www.frimmin.com/faith/index.html

A very sincere and well-thought out effort. Worth exploring and challenging yourself. The theological and symbolic observations in the movie reviews (the primary symbolic art of our time) are worth a good deal of time spent all by themselves.

http://frimmin.com/movies/

It should be noted that we owe some of our cherished traditions in many now-Christian feasts (Christmas, Easter, Mardi Gras, ) to many preserved and sacralized observances of pagan peoples that were worthy and proper in their own right.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 01-05-2007, 05:12 PM   #27
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
As an example of a balanced method of approaching these issues from the West going East (although applied to a somewhat different subject, but also Japanese) is "Zen Catholicism" by Dom Aelred Graham, a Benedictine monk. With imprimatur and nihil obstat, no less. It was written in 1963, just before the Second Vatican Council reforms were decided and established.

http://www.amazon.com/Zen-Catholicis.../dp/0824514254

A prominent theme in the book is from the Psalms: "Be still and know that I am God." Hmmm. "Chinkon Kishin" is a fair translation of that text.

Also balanced but more from the East looking West (observing Buddhism more generally in connection with Christianity ) is this website:

http://www.frimmin.com/faith/index.html

A very sincere and well-thought out effort. Worth exploring and challenging yourself. The theological and symbolic observations in the movie reviews (the primary symbolic art of our time) are worth a good deal of time spent all by themselves.

http://frimmin.com/movies/

It should be noted that we owe some of our cherished traditions in many now-Christian feasts (Christmas, Easter, Mardi Gras, ) to many preserved and sacralized observances of pagan peoples that were worthy and proper in their own right.
Thank you for the recommendation of Dom Aelred Graham's book. When Jorge was disagreeing with you my mind jumped immediately to Christianizing of these Pagan Holidays to a Christian spiritual & religious connection...hmm that's sound rather familiar. But had decided to leave it be.
So instead I'll sign off with my own rather irrelevant observation:
It is not quite as important that you believe God exists as it is important that God believes you exist.
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Old 01-05-2007, 08:15 PM   #28
tony cameron
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

Another interesting socio-phsychological point to note concerning "Western Religion" and Aikido is that these forums are jam-packed with posts from Aikidoists of the Western (should we say 'European') religious traditions, parlaying their emotionally charged opinions/arguments/fears/insecurities/qualms/disputes regarding the compatability of their religion with Aikido. Please forgive my honesty, but i find it all extremely silly if not slightly alarming. And Aikidoists who flat out refuse to bow to the Kamiza/Tokenoma for fear that they might possibly offend God take the cake I think that it is a dangerous and conceited mind-set to delude ourselves that we might possibly possess knowledge of what might or might not offend the Creator of the Universe (although killing in the name of religion might be one.

Another interesting socio-phsychological point to note is that you don't find a lot of Daoists, Buddhists, Shinto-ists, Omoto-kyo, or other Aikidoists of Eastern spiritual traditions bickering over such a beautiful Martial Art (and Master of said art) like so many children on a playground. Hmm, I wonder why that is? Please get over yourself, bow to the Kamiza/Universe with genuine love and respect in your heart, and throw people around Harmoniously!

"He who argues, does not love. He who loves, does not argue." (Lao Dzu??)

I think i had a dream once that Buddha, Lao Dzu, O Sensei, Jesus, George Carlin, and a bunch of other Ascended Masters were training on an infinite mat in the Dojo of Heaven, but that can't be right: George Carlin isn't dead yet! Is he?

Love,
tony

Last edited by tony cameron : 01-05-2007 at 08:18 PM. Reason: misspelling
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Old 01-05-2007, 09:30 PM   #29
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

Quote:
Tony Cameron wrote:
"He who argues, does not love. He who loves, does not argue." (Lao Dzu??)
But... I have Irish blood. I love to argue ... So.

If I love to argue -- I must argue in love..

That's Aikido -- an argument in love...

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 01-05-2007, 10:04 PM   #30
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
The intent of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church with regard to Shinto, as to which they had absolutely no knowledge, or Omoto, which did not even exist at the time, is a speculation of debatable significance. That also seriously overstates the case that I made: We are not talking about professions of faith. We are talking about the practice of Aikido in the context of Western religion.

I do not take a position on primacy of anything other than revealed truth. Doctrine is not contested. I think it can be affirmatively stated that Shinto has virtually no affirmative doctrinal statements, at least not in the Western sense.
An assumption we will never be able to test. The Good News is good for all peoples and all times, but all peoples at all times are not the same in their understanding or application of it, nor is therei need for any particular aspect of grace the same, either.

Moreover, the graces of the Church are not static, but grow in history and in wisdom, like the seed of the mustard tree. Different branches have had and do have different conceptions of stablizing doctrines in the course of that growth for their times and circumstances. The simultaneous universality and variety of those ideas of stabilizing infulences only deomnstrates the fact that the faith is a living and growing thing.

I strongly contest the inevitablity of conflict on essentials of the underlying conception of Truth expressed by O Sensei in the practices and rituals of Aikido passed down to us. NOT egaging them and examining them carefully and faithfully is a pointless and overly inhibiting objection. Semina Verbi. Seeds of the Word are everywhere. The good news is found in some capacity wherever the Spirit moves the hearts of men. The seeds should not be discarded because you find them among what you deem to be inessential chaff. Was St. Paul wrong in preaching the statue of the "unknown god" to the Athenians?

There is no difference in this context if we are to take the broadest possible and therefore least doctrinal conception when addressing a context far removed from Western ideas of doctrine and theology.
I don't have the authority to say that they are compatible in every particular, nor did I. But then, on the other hand, neither has anyone else made such a determination as a general matter. It is quite literally an open question with suggestive things to discuss. Prejudgment has no place in religion or in any other aspect of life.
In addition to Aikido training, O Sensei's root practice (his daily observance) was Chinkon Kishin. It means "calm the spirit, return to the Divine." Chinkon Kishin incoporates martial techniques of spiritual significance as well as kotodama.

If O Sensei understood his cosmology in terms of the Divine Logos (which he expressly did), how is Chinkon Kishin and the practice of kotodama anything but oriented toward "SU" "the Word," the Saving Name - "I AM"?? In it essentials, it is Christ-oriented, when observed from a Christian perpsective. It therefore cannot be condemned out of hand. That understanding is at least at the level of the God-fearers in the early Church who associated themselves with synagogues thorughout the Greco-Roman world and who formed the ready corps of Gentile converts to Christianity.
It isn't and I didn't, especially not in the way you mean. The care that I put into my statements is a reflection of both my openness to the creativity of the Spirit working in the world and my deep respect for orthodoxy and the need for stabilizing authority. They are never really at odds. You really should read Chesterton's book by that title - "Orthodoxy."
I anticipated that you, or someone from your perpsective, might like to try to correct me, which is why I laid the invitation on the table. As long as we do not depart (and we have not) from the "sprirt of gentleness" counseled by both St. Paul and O Sensei, what's the problem with religious debate in reference to Aikido -- given the topic at hand?

Erick, you Wrote,
"Shinto has virtually no affirmative doctrinal statements, at least not in the Western sense...."

Response
If Shinto has many deities... the Bible proclaims one. If Shinto has non personified divinity, the Bible proclaims a personal God...

You wrote
".... Was St. Paul wrong in preaching the statue of the "unknown god" to the Athenians? ..."

Response
Paul proclaimed their unknown God to be his (the God He had from his own faith) God and them he laid out the Biblical view of God. Paul was evangelizing, not agreeing with them. Read the passage.

You wrote
If O Sensei understood his cosmology in terms of the Divine Logos (which he expressly did), how is Chinkon Kishin and the practice of kotodama anything but oriented toward "SU" "the Word," the Saving Name - "I AM"?? In it essentials, it is Christ-oriented, when observed from a Christian perspective. It therefore cannot be condemned out of hand...

Response
Here you are committing the logical fallacy of confusing things that are similar...... The Gnostic concept of emanations is not part of Christian orthodoxy.

You wrote
You really should read Chesterton's book by that title - "Orthodoxy."

Thanks for the advice. You obviously don't know who you are talking to. I've taught courses Chesterton.

You wrote
As long as we do not depart (and we have not) from the "spirit of gentleness" counseled by both St. Paul and O Sensei, what's the problem with religious debate in reference to Aikido -- given the topic at hand?

Response
This would take way too much time. I have a real life. To be here trying to straighten out someone like you Eric is way past my pay grade. You have fallen victim to the problem that "You don't know what you don't know." Your post displays a real problem in your understanding of what the Bible teaches. If you want a recommendation on a book to read, try An Introduction to Christian Ethics by Roger Crook. The section was good enough for me to use many years ago when I served as a Chaplain of the Examining Board for candidates to the ministry. Roger didn't believe that the Bible could be used as the sole source for ethics for Christians (and recommended many other preferences) but he was honest enough to at least know and clearly state the Biblical worldview in the chapter on Biblical Ethics. Even though he didn't believe what he was writing, he was clear enough to state the facts and reality of Biblical cosmology (that he didn't believe in) . In that chapter, he essentially wrote my position (as a person who didn't believe in it). That's what I need from someone I discuss with. You can disagree with me but at least be knowledgeable enough to know my position as well as yours. A really good debater knows what the brute facts are but you display a real confusion of what the facts are in the passages you quote. Can't discuss with you friend - you need some more clarity in your thought and I can't debate with someone unclear with the facts. You don't know my perspective. My best friends are people who don't agree with my positions at all but they know what the facts are so at the very least, we can talk honestly. Go back to seminary and try again. That last trip didn't work for you.
Best wishes,
Jorge

Last edited by Jorge Garcia : 01-05-2007 at 10:06 PM.

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 01-06-2007, 02:33 AM   #31
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
Erick, you Wrote,
"Shinto has virtually no affirmative doctrinal statements, at least not in the Western sense...."

Response
If Shinto has many deities... the Bible proclaims one. If Shinto has non personified divinity, the Bible proclaims a personal God...
O Sensei acknowledges the One Creator. Shinto in fact has its own version of an explicitly trinitarian relation at that level in the creation story, which was also expounded by O Sensei. Shinto has the proverbial "eight million kami." Kami is not what we mean by "god," although it has been translated that way. In its narrowest sense "kami" is merely acknowldgement of "that which (or who) is above."

In Christian terms, angels qualify as kami to us. As they have many orders (so the Bible says), each ascending choir is kami of those below, as they are all kami to us. Created being cna be and are agents of Divine will, which does not make them extensions or emenations of the Divine. "Emanations" only arise if we deny the independence and freedom of Creation .If one takes the idea of the sovereignty of God to the ridiculous conclusion that there can be no spiritual or material actors in Creation between Him and us, well, then we do have some serious disagreements over scripture.

It is of course pointless to take two differently developed conceptions of the numinous reality and to try to find some consitent one-for- one mapping of them in any concrete terms. That does not mean that points of relation may not be found and made of mutual benefit. It also does not mean they are necessarily antithetical either, simply becasue they describe thing in differnt terms. If you doubt this, even in physical terms -- go ask a physicist how to define a magnetic field. He will answer that it depends on what you want to do with it.

Your argument is founded on an early and erroneous Western conception of the Japanese idea of kami. It is Westerners in the last century who translated " kami" as "gods," more as a too-easy Victorian coding to allow summary dismissal of alien religious ideas, instead of engaging, examining and sacralizing their worthy elements -- as happened with the early evangelization of Europe itself. Richard Burton (Arabian Nights) attempted to more seriously approach Islam at this same time on its own internal terms and was scandalized for his efforts.

The earlier evangelization of Japan in the sixteenth century did not suffer from those self-imposed blinders. They navigated the native culture far more adroitly. The Jesuits were even thought in some official circles early on to be a new variant of Buddhist mikkyo teaching for a while, until the evangelization became successful and it was violently suppressed as a threat to the political order.

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
You wrote
".... Was St. Paul wrong in preaching the statue of the "unknown god" to the Athenians? ..."

Response
Paul proclaimed their unknown God to be his (the God He had from his own faith) God and them he laid out the Biblical view of God. Paul was evangelizing, not agreeing with them. Read the passage.
I have read it, many times. He was doing both, actually. (Actgs 17:23 et seq.) He commended them for their piety and devotion in their own terms. He even expressly adopted their own formula of the Godhead, "as it is in Him that we live, and move and have our being ..."

Paul's approach to the Greeks was to demonstrate that despite their commendable devotions, they had so fractured the image of God, that they had lost sight and no longer knew Him. Re-uniting the Greek conception of the Divine required this struggle to break the hold of images, a struggle that would periodically revive as iconclasm in the Greek world. This was notably absent in the Roman, Celtic and Semitic areas of Christendom.

Japan had never tried to concretize kami in the way the Greeks did with their pantheon or int he way that tranlators wrongly assumed tnathat they did. In that respect, the idea of the immanence of divine action in Japan was actually much closer to the Greek philosoophical formula of immanent Godhead that Paul aproved of than the common Greek religious practices were at the time of Paul's visit ot Athens.

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
You wrote
If O Sensei understood his cosmology in terms of the Divine Logos (which he expressly did), how is Chinkon Kishin and the practice of kotodama anything but oriented toward "SU" "the Word," the Saving Name - "I AM"?? In it essentials, it is Christ-oriented, when observed from a Christian perspective. It therefore cannot be condemned out of hand...

Response
Here you are committing the logical fallacy of confusing things that are similar...... The Gnostic concept of emanations is not part of Christian orthodoxy.
Who said anything about emanations, or Gnosticism? I only said that "In O Sensei's conception the practice of Aikido is a direct emanation of the "Art of Peace" ..." Kami are certainly not to be understood as emanations of the Divine nature but as part of creation, like the angels and other orders of spiritual beings. I was hardly going down the road of demiurges and archons or the Pistis Sophia...
Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
You wrote

You really should read Chesterton's book by that title - "Orthodoxy."

Thanks for the advice. You obviously don't know who you are talking to. I've taught courses Chesterton.
No, I don't know you. That is why we have these conversations. Hi. Nice to meet you, too. Obviously, you differ rather sharply from Chesterton in both style and humor.
Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
You wrote
As long as we do not depart (and we have not) from the "spirit of gentleness" counseled by both St. Paul and O Sensei, what's the problem with religious debate in reference to Aikido -- given the topic at hand?

Response
This would take way too much time. I have a real life. To be here trying to straighten out someone like you Eric is way past my pay grade.
"Real life?" A minister with an opportunity to teach the faith -- you would pass that up as not rising to the elvel of real life? Why bother at all with the hoi polloi here, then? Not feeling the love, myself.
Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
You have fallen victim to the problem that "You don't know what you don't know." Your post displays a real problem in your understanding of what the Bible teaches.
Easy to assume that on the mantle of your assertion of scholastic authority, rather than demonstrating your points in any convincing way. You really don't know who you are talking to either. Are we to assume that credentialling gives one authority or wisdom in theological matters -- or does that authority actually come from another source, perhaps? In any event, it must be shown, and it may not be assumed away by merely saying so . "Not in talk -- but in power." St. Paul did some very powerful talking ...
Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
...a recommendation -- Roger Crook. ... Roger didn't believe that the Bible could be used as the sole source for ethics for Christians (and recommended many other preferences) but he was honest enough to at least know and clearly state the Biblical worldview in the chapter on Biblical Ethics...
I, of course, agree with the point that the Bible is not the sole source of ethics. There is only one such source and the Bible shows what we see of Him as a the chain of reflections in the eyes of many witnesses, as do the traditions and witnesses that framed and prepared the document, and as do other manifestations of the Spirit in the world even today. Aikido included.

I only have one principle in my ethics. It is in the Bible, but of course, it is not the sole source of that teaching either, nor, of course, is the text itself sui generis. Aikido also teaches it. Though the text may well be fullest flower of the record of the history of salvation, the actual event giving ultimate expression to that principle far surpasses it, in every respect, as a basis for imitation, in any ethical sphere.

Aikido is an expression of that same principle, and as such I deem its source to be the same. "All that is true ... "

While I have an abiding love of it, scholarly learning is NOT required in this regard. Simplicity, careful observation, faith and, most especially, love are.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 01-06-2007, 02:38 AM   #32
Gwion
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
If I accept the tenets of the New Testament, I know that the particular beliefs of Shintoism aren't true and that O Sensei really isn't coming back by the clapping to observe the practice or aid it in any way.

this bothers me. Are you saying that Osensei, according to biblical scripture, doesn't have a soul?

I thought it was common knowledge in nearly all religions that spirits of departed reside in heaven and watch over us. Obviously Osensei would be included in that, and if we clap from our spirit, his spirit can 'hear' us. I see absolutely no way in which this contradicts biblical scripture.
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Old 01-06-2007, 04:43 AM   #33
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

You know actually O'sensei never really died. He exsist in spirit everywhere in aikido. In fact his KI is getting stronger with the advent of youtube.
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Old 01-06-2007, 09:59 AM   #34
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

To Erick, Wayne and Kevin,
The last three posts demonstrate something I posted on another thread. That is that the internet is a poor place for these kinds of discussions because of the circular nature of the discussion and the points from which we all are beginning. I am only working from one frame of reference and it is one that I have developed honestly while on my own path over the last 50 years. When enough points of commonality exist, then sometimes we can help each other but that is highly unlikely on this kind of a forum. When people group together in an association of learning where they have more points of commonality in worldview and cosmology and maybe even in metaphysics, then they can aid each other somewhat because some of the common reference points can touch each other without the need for extensive reeducation on the part of many to be able to have a useful discussion.
In our case, our reference points are quite separated and there are an infinite number of variables that are hidden from each other that continue the cycle of misunderstanding. The longer we talk, the worse I see it getting but I can't even type enough to mention the points of misunderstanding because the variety of them keep growing! Please understand I am not claiming any superiority here. Even my own lack of understanding is definitely in play.

Some final points,
Erick, I appreciate your genial tone in your responses to me. I don't mean to be harsh. In a nutshell what I am trying to say is that our points of commonality are few and I see that in your posts. You and I have a lot of "epistemological distance". In another venue, we could learn a lot from each other but not here. I wasn't meaning anything rude when I said I didn't have the time. It's a fact. I am always short of time from my responsibilities teaching in my church school three days a week to my private research to the 60 plus hours of Aikido I am involved and now, handling the paperwork and administration of our small but growing Aikido Association. You are a very knowledgeable person and obviously have a lot to contribute. The problem is that I am working from a few basic positions that I am not flexible on and your paradigm constantly crosses mine.
T o Wayne, in my view, his soul cannot be contacted nor can O Sensei see or know what is going on here right now. He does have a soul and he is still alive somewhere in the spirit world. I would say that covers Kevin's comment as well.
best wishes,
Jorge

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Old 01-06-2007, 10:43 AM   #35
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

Jorge,

You bring up a good point. It is very difficult for people to discuss religion I think, especially when many have dogmatic beliefs that seem diametrically opposed.

I personally try to avoid all conversations discussing religion unless it is to identify the differences in an attempt to understand them, then discuss how we can find the commonality between them to allow them to co-exsist in harmony.

We can say "your wrong, I'm right" all day long, what is the point?

me, I pretty much reject all dogmatic ideas and concepts, but as my wife reminds me, I have the dogma of no dogma and frowns when I get critical of others dogma!'

On one hand I might see how one person might think someone was a nut for trying to contact a soul directly through a ceance, but at the same time, I could see how one might meditate or do aikido and reach a closer relationship and understanding of O'sensei. The person may express it in terms such as "I talked to O'sensei last night". He just might have in his own special way!

Figuratively I'd say that we speak to o'sensei everytime we bow to his picture and do aikido. However, it is not something that I personally place a great deal of spiritual emphasis on as it getting closer to O'sensei is not a personal goal of mine. Therefore, I might look at it differently than someone else does.

Doesn't make one of us right, and the other wrong.
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Old 01-06-2007, 02:24 PM   #36
Tharis
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

As a minor point of fact (or observation), is there anything that the church has been consistent on for the last 2000 years?
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Old 01-06-2007, 04:02 PM   #37
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

I would suppose that depends on your definition of church?
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Old 01-06-2007, 06:49 PM   #38
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

Quote:
Thomas Harris wrote:
As a minor point of fact (or observation), is there anything that the church has been consistent on for the last 2000 years?
Kevin is right Thomas. What is your definition?
About consistensy, the historic church has tons of things that have been consistent or they wouldn't' be here after literally thousands of years. Continuity has to be supreme over discontinuity for that kind of survival. Of course, all living entities evolve as part of their survival so absolute consistency would be illogical to consider. If though your comment was intended to be a critical one, join the club- that is a long line indeed!

Getting to Kevin's comment , not all people are organizational in their thinking. the No-church groups have existed since Biblical times and in some measure of continuity exist all over the world. Type in the words "house church' on Google and you'll see what I mean. In Japan at the turn of the century, Kanzo Uchimura led the Mukyokai or the No Church movement. What he meant was non organizational church. Some groups like the extreme pietists believed only in the inner light and they alone were the church.
But YES, there has been a bottom line consistency in every phase, style and type of church and there is a distinction between what can be traced down the centuries and what is new or innovative in every long held traditional and non traditional expression.
Jorge

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Old 01-06-2007, 09:56 PM   #39
Mike Galante
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

Guys, guys, guys, whats all the fuss?
Any "spiritual" practice, belief should light the fire of God within. This burns through everything and unites us all.
If we are not loving each other, we are not practicing anything spiritual.
Whadayathink?
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Old 01-06-2007, 11:09 PM   #40
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
I am only working from one frame of reference ... When enough points of commonality exist, then sometimes we can help each other ... where they have more points of commonality in worldview and cosmology and maybe even in metaphysics, then they can aid each other somewhat because some of the common reference points can touch each other without the need for extensive reeducation ... In another venue, we could learn a lot from each other but not here.
Erasmus and St. Thomas More did quite a lot with far less flexibility in means of communication. I hope to aid even my enemy, and he is as lacking in points of commonality as one could hope to be. As you, Jorge, are a fellow practitioner of Aikido, we have not only one (at least) common reference but a also commont intent to resolve confict without opposing one another. Worthwhile, in my view, even in this admittedly narrow forum.
Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
Erick, I appreciate your genial tone in your responses to me. You and I have a lot of "epistemological distance"....
Maai. Merely maai -- subject to constant adjustment to maintain proper consistency of connection.
Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
The problem is that I am working from a few basic positions that I am not flexible on and your paradigm constantly crosses mine.
Like swords -- sharp things, paradigms.

Especially where great mysteries are necessarily involved, a paradigmatic approach should be used with great caution. "A person who, in any situation, perceives the truth with resignation, would never need to draw his sword in haste."

We hone a sword against the enemy we expect -- but the enemies we get, like the mysteries we find, are unlikely to have agreed to be bound by our prearranged paradigms. God surprises. Best to be prepared for contingencies. Lots and lots of contingencies. And the best holdout for any contingency in battle is to maintain connection, no matter what.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 01-06-2007, 11:11 PM   #41
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

Quote:
Michele Galante wrote:
Guys, guys, guys, whats all the fuss?
Any "spiritual" practice, belief should light the fire of God within. This burns through everything and unites us all.
If we are not loving each other, we are not practicing anything spiritual.
Whadayathink?
Three words. "Bring more wood ..."

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 01-06-2007, 11:31 PM   #42
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
... me, I pretty much reject all dogmatic ideas and concepts, but as my wife reminds me, I have the dogma of no dogma and frowns when I get critical of others dogma!
There is a Zen story that speaks to the "dogma of no dogma."

There was a samurai who believed he had mastered zazen and koan but had not yet mastered the art of tea. He sought a master of tea, and took instruction.

After some weeks, he felt was doing well, but the master asked him as he was preparing to make the tea, "What does it mean to make the tea?"

Taking it as a koan, the samurai cleverly answered "Kwatz!"

The master said, "No. It means that the water has had time to boil." And he made the tea.

Sometime later, the master asked him again "What does it mean to drink the tea?"

This time the samurai looked outside at the fall weather and summoning all his hard-won koan training, he said "The leaves tremble in the wind and fall."

The master said "It means the tea has now cooled enough to drink." And he sipped his tea.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 01-06-2007, 11:33 PM   #43
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
You know actually O'sensei never really died. He exsist in spirit everywhere in aikido. In fact his KI is getting stronger with the advent of youtube.
Youtube is just shameless idolatry. Heathen, the lot of 'em ...

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 01-07-2007, 09:04 AM   #44
Mark Freeman
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

Interesting thread guys.

My position is one of a 'practicing heathen', although I definitely don't want it to be seen as a 'religion'. So my views only carry the weight of personal opinion, I have no 'book' to base my beliefs on, although dis/non believers do have a very long history, some were burnt at the stake for their troubles. I'm hoping that you guy's will not go that far in this day and age, so I should be safe.

I don't see that one needs any religion/faith/belief to practice the principles inherent in aikido. If I felt that I had to surrender to a faith or belief to fully appreciate aikido, I would consider some other practice to do, ( although I can't see anything that would provide me with so much of what I am searching for ).

I can see why aikido is consistent with adherents to many/all religions, as 'peace' and 'love' are at the core of what makes aikido aikido. So it is with those of us who do not have any religion, western or otherwise. Are there any religions out there which would not find a welcome in aikido?

Quote:
It is not quite as important that you believe God exists as it is important that God believes you exist.
If I believe God does not exist and he 'knows' ( I nearly wrote 'believes' but God doesn't need to believe in anything, does he? ) that I am wrong, isn't he neglecting his duty by letting me blindly go about my business without some proof of the error of my ways?

I mean no offence to any of you who 'believe'. I just have a bit of a problem when 'truths' are being offered, based on scripture/faith/belief. Too many contradictions for me to handle.

Just a few heretical thoughts.

regards

Mark

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Old 01-07-2007, 09:55 AM   #45
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
I mean no offense to any of you who 'believe'. I just have a bit of a problem when 'truths' are being offered, based on scripture/faith/belief. Too many contradictions for me to handle.

Just a few heretical thoughts.

regards

Mark
No offense taken mark. Erick and I have "epistemological distance". You and I would have that and also "metaphysical distance". One is a difference of understanding in how we learn and the other is a difference in our perception and belief in the nature of realty. I didn't mean to push the Bible because it doesn't matter to me what anyone else believes about it, I know what I believe. I only commented using it because an interpretation of it was brought into the discussion. In my first post, I merely mentioned that for me, it was my starting point so I described where that took me. Erick came in with interpretations of the Bible to counter my statements with specific references from the Bible.

Erick wrote,
"Shinto can be accepted in every particular where it does not conflict with revealed truth. If anyone thinks the concept of kami is necessarily offensive to revealed truth, then they have not properly understood the concept of kami. "Thrones, powers, dominions ...?"

As to O Sensei's veneration according to Shinto tradition in the dojo, in Catholic tradition, we are simply asking for his intercession in our practice to make it fruitful and acceptable to God. If we are faithful, he is merely dead -- not utterly gone.

We rely on something the Apostle's Creed describes as the "communion of saints" to support us in persevering in faith. Even in the Protestant branches, even the more Calvinistic doctrine, this is not an alien concept, either. The Westminster Confession (adopted by the Philadelphia Baptist convention in 1688) described it as those "being united to one another in love, have communion in each others gifts and graces" by the mediation of Christ (the divine Word). We merely ask that e be permitted to commune with him in his art, spiritually, as we commune with one another in his art, materially.

O Sensei was clearly a man of prodigious virtue. One can debate the particular profession of Christian faith by O Sensei in any exclusive or dogmatic sense, but he clearly identified with the Divine Word or fundamental reason and will underlying creation. Christ was hardly exclusionary in his modes of teaching. O Sensei also teaches the invocation of LOVE in accordance with that will among mankind, and specifically applying it towards one's enemies on that basis.

That hits the necessary high points of the evangelium ("good news") for me. I do not have authority to teach that he was teaching the Gospel in another form, but by no evidence I have seen am I required to assume or act as if he wasn't (and privately, I may permissibly assume that he was.) That delicately suggestive but steely ambiguity is quintessentially both Catholic and Japanese in its feeling.

It is no more impermissible nor unfaithful to observe or venerate the kamidana in accordance with Shinto ritual in a genuine spirit of faith as to the "uniting to one another in love" that occurs in the proper Aikido practice than it was for St. Paul to point out and venerate the statue of the "unknown God" for the benefit of the Athenians and in accordance with their own traditions."

That is what was unfortunate in my mind. We don't need people arguing over interpretations on a forum like this. That is fruitless. Again, I felt compelled because he was not accuartely interpreting those passages and I might add that honest interpreters of all traditions would agree, even atheists that teach the Scriptures. They might interpret it like Erick but they never would have said that the NT writers would have accepted a Shinto cosmology. That is like saying that the Founders of the U.S. would have loved the Al-Qaeda . His statements demanded a public response but I do apologize to you for the whole discussion. It never should have happened. In my defense, how to properly interpret the Bible, "hermeneutics", is a course I have taught at many levels for many years. It is such a pet peeve of mine, that I ran out into traffic to save it. When you do that, you just get run over!
Best wishes,
Jorge

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 01-07-2007, 10:31 AM   #46
Mark Freeman
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

Quote:
Jorge Garcia wrote:
Again, I felt compelled because he was not accuartely interpreting those passages and I might add that honest interpreters of all traditions would agree, even atheists that teach the Scriptures. They might interpret it like Erick but they never would have said that the NT writers would have accepted a Shinto cosmology. That is like saying that the Founders of the U.S. would have loved the Al-Qaeda . His statements demanded a public response but I do apologize to you for the whole discussion. It never should have happened. In my defense, how to properly interpret the Bible, "hermeneutics", is a course I have taught at many levels for many years. It is such a pet peeve of mine, that I ran out into traffic to save it. When you do that, you just get run over!
Best wishes,
Jorge
Atheists that teach the scriptures - now you've confused me Jorge, please expand

Also, as an 'outsider' it's the 'interpretation' of the Bible that makes my brow furrow. How do you 'properly' interpret the text, who decides what is 'proper' and what is not. It seems to me that the Bible is taken 'at face value' as 'the truth' by some, and as a collection of parables and stories to act as guides by others. Who is more right? As you have the benefit of having taught this material, my questions probably belong in 101, but questions are valid, aren't they?

It seems to me the more 'expert' one becomes in any field, the less likely we are to ask ourselves questions that may challenge our own position.

Quote:
That is like saying that the Founders of the U.S. would have loved the Al-Qaeda
another confuser for me, what do you mean? My limited understanding of some of the founding fathers of the US was that they were fiercely secular.

I'm not trying to be combatative Jorge, just curious

regards,

Mark

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Old 01-07-2007, 10:54 AM   #47
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

Hi folks,

Before this thread goes too far astray from the original subject, may I please step in and ask people to make sure that your post isn't just discussing religion in general but explicitly discussing its relation to aikido?

Thank you,

-- Jun

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Old 01-07-2007, 11:01 AM   #48
Mark Freeman
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote:
Hi folks,

Before this thread goes too far astray from the original subject, may I please step in and ask people to make sure that your post isn't just discussing religion in general but explicitly discussing its relation to aikido?

Thank you,

-- Jun
Sorry Jun, you are right of course, but in our defence, it is a subject that does lend itself to many views.

regards,

Mark

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Old 01-07-2007, 11:29 AM   #49
Jorge Garcia
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

You wer right the first time Mark, the questions go in 101. Sorry Jun, I hope you can see that I was trying to avoid this.
Best,
Jorge

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Old 01-07-2007, 02:16 PM   #50
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Re: Western religion and Aikido

Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
Interesting thread guys.


f I believe God does not exist and he 'knows' ( I nearly wrote 'believes' but God doesn't need to believe in anything, does he? ) that I am wrong, isn't he neglecting his duty by letting me blindly go about my business without some proof of the error of my ways?

I mean no offence to any of you who 'believe'. I just have a bit of a problem when 'truths' are being offered, based on scripture/faith/belief. Too many contradictions for me to handle.

Just a few heretical thoughts.

regards

Mark
Uhmm Mark... you do know that line I wrote that your quoting is nothing more than a joke? Hence the smiling wink face icon after the statement.
Sorry Jun - figured I had to at least ask on that one.
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