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Old 12-24-2007, 06:44 AM   #51
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: The aura of invincibility and the cult of personality

I think it does Avery.

Putting others first before yourself. Selfless Service or Service to Others.

Never accept defeat. Certainly a central theme of what we are talking about in aikido! Pick up the pieces and keep going!

Never Quit. Without saying!

Never leave a fallen comrade. Take care of others...compassion.

I'd say if we concentrated on these four things, the world would be a better place and we would maybe not need Armies!

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Old 12-24-2007, 03:42 PM   #52
Dan O'Day
 
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Re: The aura of invincibility and the cult of personality

Yes, that ego question is a bit ethereal. Or would it be the answer?

Anyway...my experience has been one of great benefit whenever attending a seminar featuring a visiting sensei. I have not had the opportunity, or yet the desire, to travel far to train with a sensei of high renown.

Ultimately, however, one of the general guidelines for myself in life is to not lead nor follow and certainly never deitize any human being. That deitization thing is scary, in my opinion. It seems as if this is often done as a means to abdicate personal responsibility in life; the result of which will most often become a life lived for the personal agenda of whomever is "speaking" for the diety.

I like the term "sensei". I was told once the translation was rather simple.."one who has come before". I like that. It seems logical that one who has "come before" would be suitable as a guide or mentor.

I ought mention I consider guidance and mentorship quite different animals than that which is called "leading" and "leadership".

In fact - to come back to ego - it may be that more "ego" exists in the mind of the leader than that of the mentor or guide or teacher.

Of course one must consider what "ego" is. A rather large yet obscure construct of humanity it was to come up with this, this "ego" thing. Fitting it may seem.

Ego to me is all of that which leads me to believe I am seperate from you. I suppose it is much to ask of anyone to shed all that I see as ego for societies across the planet do not exactly promote this practice and many actively shun it.

And hey! I'm just like anyone else...I want to fit in, be accepted, be loved; I've sure got my ego tuned up.

So it's a tough row to hoe. To be or not to be - that old Irish guy Billy O'Shakespeare knew what he was talking about.

Of course the other side of the coin is that it is not a tough row at all. In fact, the very lessening of ego's grip on a person's spirit may cause such a quantum shift of perspective that things such as being accepted by one's fellows, become totally moot.

Life sure is exciting! And my aikido training has become a fantastic way for me to get bearing on struggles such as my mind, my ego, may latch onto.
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Old 12-25-2007, 08:56 AM   #53
stan baker
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Re: The aura of invincibility and the cult of personality

..

If I had the chance would I travel the world for a chance to practice with the best teachers?

Hell Ya!!! LOL

William Hazen[/quote]

Hi William,

then you should come to spencer, mass. and practice with dan harden

stan
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Old 12-25-2007, 09:04 AM   #54
SeiserL
 
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Re: The aura of invincibility and the cult of personality

Quote:
Dan O'Day wrote: View Post
Yes, that ego question is a bit ethereal.
IMHO, actual the term ego describes the mental construct learned by the active verb process of identifying with those things/persons external from ourselves and attaching an internal frame of references in the pronoun "I" which certainly (as described) doesn't stand for "intelligence".

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 12-25-2007, 05:29 PM   #55
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: The aura of invincibility and the cult of personality

I don't think ego is the real issue, but "self centeredness, or selfishness"

It is quite possible to have a "healthy ego" that is balanced, self aware, and that "extends outward".

That is a selfless or compassionate ego.

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Old 12-25-2007, 06:14 PM   #56
Carl Thompson
 
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Re: The aura of invincibility and the cult of personality

Merry Boxing Day

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Roman Kremianski wrote: View Post
I think the whole "Getting rid of your ego" argument is parallel to the similar recent "Getting rid of pain" debate. It was said that eliminating the feeling of pain was not a good idea, because it is there for a reason. I believe the same can be said about ego.
I like this point. I knew a guy who couldn't feel pain (thankfully not an aikidoka). He had a lot of problems as a result. We need pain, but having control over it is a good thing. The same goes for the ego.

In an art without formal competition, there are many opportunities for uncontrolled egos to build little empires out of nothing but hot air, but it comes with the territory. If you're smart, even as a beginner you'll suss things pretty easily. Among students, the "giddy schoolgirls" mentality is largely the problem of those affected by it. No matter how many cool sensei they have trained with, if they are trading on glamour and nothing else, it simply means they are more interested in the superficial side and not so bothered about learning anything effective. These cherry-picking "aiki-tourists" might be irritating, but they can be good for your own ego (especially when they correct you, wagging their finger saying "No, no! I've trained with X sensei so do it like this!"). On the other hand, those who travel earnestly (sometimes walking an identical path to the aiki-tourist) to genuinely learn from others can pick up a lot from their more varied experience.

Quote:
Christopher Gee wrote: View Post
Ultimately, I've found, its easy to be complacent. Dont rely on anyone to guide you to mastery, its your responsbility to perfect your budo. Or atleast, thats the attitude I take.
It seems all the world's great martial artists had this thought. Even Bruce Lee said that his art of Jeet Kune Do was to be a "finger pointing to the moon". He said "Please do not take the finger to be the moon or fix your gaze so intently on the finger as to miss all the beautiful sights of heaven. After all, the usefulness of the finger is in pointing away from itself to the light which illuminates finger and all."

Carl
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Old 12-26-2007, 05:39 AM   #57
SeiserL
 
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Re: The aura of invincibility and the cult of personality

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I don't think ego is the real issue, but "self centeredness, or selfishness" It is quite possible to have a "healthy ego" that is balanced, self aware, and that "extends outward". That is a selfless or compassionate ego.
IMHO, the learned-ego-identity is very useful if it is used in service to spirit/others/higher-mutual-good (not vice-versa).

It may be more about the direction (out-versus-in and other-versus-self) we take as leaders or attendees at seminars. I like to attend those seminars in which the leader truly wants me to get skills rather than to be impressed by their skills, to be an active participant in learning (steal this technique) rather than a passive spectator.

Of course. IMHO, all of these are choices we make.Choose who you want to be and who to learn from wisely.

Everyone lights up a room, some when they enter and some when they leave. Which are you and which do you want to be?

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 12-29-2007, 12:56 PM   #58
mathewjgano
 
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Re: The aura of invincibility and the cult of personality

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote: View Post
IMHO, the learned-ego-identity is very useful if it is used in service to spirit/others/higher-mutual-good (not vice-versa).

It may be more about the direction (out-versus-in and other-versus-self) we take as leaders or attendees at seminars. I like to attend those seminars in which the leader truly wants me to get skills rather than to be impressed by their skills, to be an active participant in learning (steal this technique) rather than a passive spectator.

Of course. IMHO, all of these are choices we make.Choose who you want to be and who to learn from wisely.

Everyone lights up a room, some when they enter and some when they leave. Which are you and which do you want to be?
Well said.
The thing I take most from this subject is the idea that teachers must care more for their students' learning than their own image or feelings and so long as that is the case, matters of ego almost become moot. In the same vein, as long as students realize learning happens more from self-teaching than from acquiring some commodity, egocentric teachers become more or less harmless. The best teachers realize they're guides to insight; the best students realize the same thing...in my opinion.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 12-29-2007, 03:07 PM   #59
SeiserL
 
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Re: The aura of invincibility and the cult of personality

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
The best teachers realize they're guides to insight; the best students realize the same thing...in my opinion.
Nicely said.
The aura should shed some light on the subject, not blind the student.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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