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Old 04-24-2008, 10:15 AM   #176
Keith Larman
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
It (the article on Pedophilia) mentions 13 years as an upper boundary, but this is merely an arbitrary marker for convenience, like 18 as the age of majority, or 21 as the drinking age. I teach at an elementary school, and there are 12 year olds who are clearly pre-pubescent, and there are 12 year olds who have very adult bodies. This is even more true of 13. It's not for nothing that sexual education often starts in the 5th grade, when children are 10-11 years old. Corky's point, I believe, is that in times past a physically mature 13 year old girl was married off and expected to bear children, and Juliet is such an example. And the fact is, we have no idea how physically mature this girl is. Nor, for that matter, how mentally mature. The fact that this relationship seems to have played itself out through email is, IMO, a salient fact.
Well, the problem here is that the very definition of pedophilia is one that is a bit controversial. And there is the technical usage within psychology vs. common usage in language. The canonical definition of pedophilia within psychology is defined in terms of pre-pubescence. However, common language usage tend to lump all child sexual abuse incidents under the same general category. But that definition is itself a bit controversial in some quarters for a variety of reasons including the notion that physical sexual development increasingly is outpacing mental sexual development. So let me point out that girls are increasingly developing sexually (physically) at earlier and earlier ages. Some argue it is the hormones in the diet, other the increased caloric intake, but whatever the reason the sexual development of children is occurring earlier and earlier. So even the old "lines" of when it is pedophilia and not are more blurry than ever. Heck, a friend of ours has a 9-year-old daughter who has started menstruating. It is not unusual now to see 9-year-olds developing breasts. So the onset of puberty is going on earlier and earlier. And this is creating problems with the "definition" of the term.

The other side of this same coin is the realization that the mental development lags considerably behind the physical in most kids. And you've already discussed these things and sure, they are salient facts if we're going to discuss whether there was *actual* damage to the child in any particular case.

And sure, back in the olden days 14-year-olds might find themselves married off. I'd like to think we know better.

Finally part of the issue of the difficulty of these definitions stems from the mindset of the abuser. The same disconnect that "makes it okay" to have sex with a minor is consistent among those who abuse pre-pubscent and pubescent children. And you later wrote:

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
None of which is to say a 49 year old man engaging in any kind of romantic relationship (let alone a physical relationship) with a 13 year old is at all permissible, or condonable. Let me categorically state that, because in these conversations it can get lost in the noise: I do not believe that the relationship alleged here, assuming everything in the article is true, is healthy, acceptable, justifiable, without grave psychological and emotional consequences, or should be without heavy punishment. It goes against important principles our society holds to today.
And therein lies the point. Sure, in the olden days this would have been "okay." We know better now.

My objection to Corky's post has to do with statements like:

Quote:
This is not a predatory monster, he is man whose crime it was to fall in love with a child who fell in love with him.
and

Quote:
And here we are, none of us the victim or direct relation of the victim of this act of misplaced love...
I'm sorry, that just doesn't cut it. It is sexual abuse of a child. Equating it with Shakespearean love or calling it "misplaced" is simply wrong. We can argue as to whether it is pedophilia or "just" sexual abuse of a child. But either way it is something much worse, much more insidious than "misplaced love".

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
However, Corky makes another argument: And this one I can't quite agree with. It essentially is, "What Would Ueshiba Do?", and I don't buy that when it's "What Would Jesus Do?", and I'm much more amenable to the idea of Jesus' divine infallibility than Ueshiba's. Ueshiba, because of his own particular ideology, was able to condone a number of things that I am not willing to. And no one needs to. Few, if any, aikido practitioners today follow Ueshiba's actual ideology and spirituality, not even the current Doshu.
Hence why I felt the topic was irrelevant to this thread. It is absurd on the face of it.

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Old 04-24-2008, 10:50 AM   #177
CorkyQ
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

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Jennifer Yabut wrote: View Post
It still seems like to me that you're more about blind "forgiveness" as opposed to really dealing with the problem. Showing "compassion" and "forgiveness" does *not* mean the offender ought to go scott-free without any kind of consequence.
You must be joking with that last line, if you don't think that Clint George is getting off with anything "scott-free."

Call me a purist, but yes, I am "about" blind forgiveness, not that I am capable of it. It is an ideal for which I strive, just as I strive for perfection of self, though I will most likely never get there.

Osensei said that "Aiki overcomes self. It not only takes hostility from our hearts, but by transforming those who appear as enemies into enemies no more, it leads to absolute perfection of self."

One can certainly write off what this silly old man said as the ravings of a lunatic at worst or as useless at best because "Few, if any, aikido practitioners today follow Ueshiba's actual ideology and spirituality," but I will not be deterred by anyone who practices an art which puts the quote above as its stated goal without thinking that goal is worth pursuing. It seems rather foolish to denigrate the Founder's intention while practicing the art, unless some higher goal can named. What is it?

As I hope I've made it abundantly clear, I am also all about dealing with the problem, but with compassion in my heart. Mary, I don't hold Osensei up to be a deity. I can't say Osensei was a perfect person capable of a flawless existence. I can't say it about Christ, Buddha, Lao Tzu, or Mohammad. Who knows? But one thing I do know is that at the heart of every spiritual endeavor is love and one huge part of love is dedicated to those who screw up. Forgiveness, compassion, and understanding are the basis for every spiritual practice in the world, and the fact that none of us may be capable of attaining a true state of grace while in human form is the reason we must practice it whenever and however we can.

So, while you, Josh, are not able to forgive (condone is something else), something Osensei might have been able to forgive, and Osensei may not have been able to forgive something Buddha might have been able to forgive, and I might have to work on forgiving someone for something you might easily forgive them for, it is the practice of forgiveness that leads to the perfection of self of which Osensei spoke.

Without going into detail I will share that I was in a situation quite similar to the one that Clint George finds himself, though I am the parent of the child. I can not honestly say that I have truly forgiven the person, because I still have flashes of desire for vengeance, but I will tell you that compassion was the way I have gotten as close to full forgiveness as I have gotten so far.

I don't mind being the odd one out, calling for compassion while others are calling for retribution. I really believe what Osensei said is true even though I may never fully embody it before I die, even if he never embodied it before he died. I will continue practicing aikido until I can no longer rise from the mat because I truly embrace the truth of these words of Osensei: "the training in Aiki is training in divine technique. Begin to put this into practice and the power of the universe will come forth and you will be in accord with the universe itself."

You may not believe them yourself, but if you don't, what is your purpose in practicing aikido?
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:00 AM   #178
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

I fail to see how believing in the words of Ueshiba Sensei does not square with wanting punishment of past crimes and prevention of future crimes in the case presented in this thread. If you truly care about the situation, of course you would want these things. That does not imply in and of itself an unwillingness to forgive. I may forgive...but I don't want the child predator back in society with free access to future victims.

I find it strange that someone would use that opinion to say that someone else has no reason to practice aikido. Or that they don't "really" practice aikido.

Best,
Ron

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Old 04-24-2008, 11:08 AM   #179
dragonteeth
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post
I don't mind being the odd one out, calling for compassion while others are calling for retribution.
I've reread every post in this thread again - where exactly does anyone call for retribution? I've seen no calls for castration, no calls for ganging up on him and beating him to a pulp, no calls for *ahem* prison justice, and in fact nothing really explicit about what his punishment should be at all...where is this retribution call that you keep railing about? Can you please quote those posts so I can attempt to better understand what you are saying?

Thank you!
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:12 AM   #180
Dan Rubin
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

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Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post
As I hope I've made it abundantly clear, I am also all about dealing with the problem....
Corky,

In your opinion, what would be an appropriate way to deal with the problem?

Dan
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:36 AM   #181
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post
Call me a purist, but yes, I am "about" blind forgiveness, not that I am capable of it. It is an ideal for which I strive, just as I strive for perfection of self, though I will most likely never get there.

Osensei said that "Aiki overcomes self. It not only takes hostility from our hearts, but by transforming those who appear as enemies into enemies no more, it leads to absolute perfection of self."
Be careful that you don't take OSensei's words out of their cultural context. A lot of his sayings wind up sounding a lot like Jesus or other "Western" proponents of peace and love. I don't think (and I could be wrong) that he was on that page. His son, for instance, always insisted that OSensei was not a pacifist.

Further WRT your quote about Aiki overcoming the self, there are other quotes where he implies that this overcoming of the self is done so that the practitioner can become a vehicle of divine justice. That is a much different concept than most Western readers would initially assume.

The nail that sticks up gets hammered down, so to speak.

Chris Moses
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Old 04-24-2008, 11:44 AM   #182
Jennifer Yabut
 
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Corky Quakenbush wrote:
Call me a purist, but yes, I am "about" blind forgiveness, not that I am capable of it. It is an ideal for which I strive, just as I strive for perfection of self, though I will most likely never get there...

...You may not believe them yourself, but if you don't, what is your purpose in practicing aikido?
*sigh*

Corky, it is simply unrealistic to demand "blind forgiveness". Should it be an ideal? Perhaps. However, trying to force a victim of any kind of sexual abuse to "forgive" doesn't really help the victim. If anything else, it could imply that the victim was somehow equally "at fault" for what happened. Heck, you even said in one of your earlier posts that the young girl involved "fell in love" with Clint George - which implied that she was somehow "responsible" for what allegedly happened to her.

And what is equally disturbing to me is that your "compassion" seems to be sorely misplaced. You seem to be more concerned about protecting the wolf than the sheep.

Last edited by Jennifer Yabut : 04-24-2008 at 11:48 AM.

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Old 04-24-2008, 12:10 PM   #183
CorkyQ
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Dan Rubin wrote: View Post
Corky,

In your opinion, what would be an appropriate way to deal with the problem?

Dan
Thanks for all the enthusiastic responses! It's wonderful to be part of this fiery conversation! With all the quoting and rebutting, it feels like my point of view is at the center of a wonderful randori!

Dan, I have already stated that I believe what Osensei spoke about, and I truly believe that compassion, when practiced freely, without restraint is the way to deal with the problem. I believe what Osensei said about the transformational properties of aikido because I have seen them at work in my own life. I'm sorry, I would like to be more specific, but I have to get to work soon!

Lori, my statement was meant for my life generally more than for this thread in particular, but it does kind of fit, now that you bring it up.

I was referring to a state of the heart. Just look around. All I have ever said in my posts is that Clint George deserves our compassion. I never condoned what he did, I never said that the parents of the girl or the other members of the dojo did not have a right to feel betrayed. All I said was that this aikidoist and fellow member of our community was worthy of our compassion. Maybe you feel more compassionate about him than you feel vitriolic, do you? Maybe somewhere in the middle? Where in the scale between those two ends of the spectrum do you think you would like to reside? If you were able to go through the posts and measure them on a scale of compassion on one end and vitriol on the other, where would many of them lie? Some are full of compassion, some offer some, some offer none.

Ron, I never said anyone doesn't "really" practice aikido, but that I find it odd that someone would dismiss all the stated goals of the founder as hogwash, and yet practice the art. It simply defies common sense. Then I put forth the question (which you did not answer ) as to any reader's higher purpose in practicing the art that does not align with the Founder's intent, that's all. If it does make sense to practice the art for some other goal than the one for which it was intended, fill me in.

Jennifer, (sigh) aren't I just hopeless? lol... I'm not about protecting the wolves more than the sheep - I'm about protecting the wolves as well as the sheep - "loving protection of ALL things."

Chris, you may certainly be right and I can't argue with your interpretation, and maybe I'm crazy, but Osensei also said "the 'Aiki' of which conventional martial artists spoke and the 'Aiki' of which I speak are fundamentally different in both essence and substance. It is my sincere hope that you will ponder this deeply." And ponder it I will. Thing is, the more I ponder it, the greater the revelation to me that love in the Eastern sense is the same as love in the Western sense and that Osensei's declaration that "Budo is love." can only have one meaning. But I could be wrong, I've only been pondering it for a couple of decades - hope I don't die before I get it right! ha!

Thanks again, my friends! Any chance to reacquaint myself with the Founder's teaching and reaffirm what kind of work I will be doing in my heart today while my hands are doing their thing is welcome!

Everyone, enjoy your training!
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:24 PM   #184
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Ron, I never said anyone doesn't "really" practice aikido, but that I find it odd that someone would dismiss all the stated goals of the founder as hogwash, and yet practice the art.
And who has said this? Not one person in this thread. Not one person has "dismissed all the stated goals" of anything. Nor has anyone represented what "all the stated goals" are. You mentioned a few translated quotes...that's all. It seems we may disagree with what those quotes mean...but the quotes have not been dismissed.

Quote:
It simply defies common sense.
Oh? Let's take the Yoshinkan as an example. It is a branch of aikido blessed by the founder, which does not make a big deal about Ueshiba Sensei's statements that you quote. Rather, the focus is on the aikido that it's founder, Gozo Shioda made. It is still aikido, right? Does that defy common sense? The second largest aikido organization in the world and all of it's members defy common sense?? I think...not.

Quote:
Then I put forth the question (which you did not answer ) as to any reader's higher purpose in practicing the art that does not align with the Founder's intent, that's all.
I didn't answer the question because it is based on a false premise. You postulate that the contributers to this thread (or some subset there of) are voicing opinions that are contrary to what you call the "Founder's intent". Though I don't think you read Japanese, and you've never met or talked with him. And it is obvious from your posts that you don't really get what people are saying. Strange, isn't it?

Quote:
If it does make sense to practice the art for some other goal than the one for which it was intended, fill me in.
I practice the art because I enjoy it. After 15 years or so, that's what keeps me going. Some days, it is enough...

Best,
Ron (for someone who doesn't want others to be judgemental, you seem to have very little problems with doing it yourself...)

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 04-24-2008 at 12:27 PM.

Ron Tisdale
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:33 PM   #185
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

I recently emailed the paper ( the reporter, actually ) that reported on this story for any updates related to the charges or to a trial, if there is one. I will let you know if and when I receive a response.

Jennifer Paige Smith
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:36 PM   #186
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Everyone loves a scandal.
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Old 04-24-2008, 12:54 PM   #187
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Corky Quakenbush wrote: View Post
Chris, you may certainly be right and I can't argue with your interpretation, and maybe I'm crazy, but Osensei also said "the 'Aiki' of which conventional martial artists spoke and the 'Aiki' of which I speak are fundamentally different in both essence and substance. It is my sincere hope that you will ponder this deeply." And ponder it I will.
Right, because the "aiki" used in older/sword arts implies timing and fitting the moment a bit more (as I understand/use it). You meet the attack with the perfect response at the perfect time. OSensei said that there is no attacker in Aikido (thus the breakdown of the old aiki concept) because (and this is what gets left out too much) the attacker becomes a partner you control completely. That doesn't mean that you respect everyone's choices and opinions equally, it means that you dominate and control them to an extent that they cannot express their intent to harm, but rather through you, they are brought into accord with the will of the kami. At least that's how I take him these days.

Chris Moses
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:39 PM   #188
rob_liberti
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

josh reyer wrote:

Quote:
Rob, that's really a well-thought out post, which could lead to an extremely interesting discussion. I do think, however, that it should have been posted in its own thread in the "Open Discussions" forum. This thread has had difficulty enough staying near topic as it is...
Fine. I don't know how to copy an entire thread myself. If someone can, and wants to rename it, please do so.
Of course I disagree. A main theme of the thread was how to prevent it. To do that you need to think about what causes it. I'm taking on what Ellis said about the cause. Regardless, examining the root cause is just part of the natural and organic way discussions progress. To break things apart by small topics is the very definition of compartimentalization - which will NOT help anyone. I'll be happy to contine to argue the reasons why it is pertinent on the other thread as long as it doesn't start looking like pearls before swine.

Until then, Lori Snidow wrote:
Quote:
Well, Rob, I guess you missed the very first line of my post, which said "please let me offer an analogy..."
I'm missing it again. Are you saying it didn't happen? (Telling me it is an analogy doesn't make that point.) Assuming it did happen, I had and still have no intersted in picking on your choices directly. I TRULY assume you do not think of things in the same way I do - and if you did, you obviously would not have handled things in that way. It was just an example you opened your pesonal life up to for discussion on this thread. When you do that you are making a tacit agreement that it is up for discussion. I only intend to discuss the paradigm to make the connection between METHOD of trying to help the kids with potentially causing predators, victums, and women-haters.

Quote:
I was not implying that my son's behavior would lead to being a sexual predator.
Agree. *I* was making the point that the accumulation of many subclinical abuses of how a situation like that is typically handled may likely lead to a predator or a victum, or a sneaky/creepy women-hater.

Quote:
Whether his intent is sexualized at his age (or not) is irrelevant.
I obviously disagree here. How it is handled and all such things like it are handled is the entire point. I was speaking to the METHOD by which one tries to raise good kids being part of the problem and using the example on the table to connect the dots.

Quote:
It is still socially unacceptable behavior
Of course. No one argued otherwise. Again, just the METHOD of dealing with it was analysed and the connection was made.

Quote:
To accuse those who have posted here of not being compassionate with such vitriol lacks the very compassion which you espouse, IMHO.
Certainly my compassion for chidren was a driver. I certainly did not accuse you of not being compassionate. I simply do not believe you (or many parents) saw how your METHOD of helping the child ties in to what I am calling subclinical abuses. Again, I'm certain that if ANYONE saw things my way THEY would not handle such issues in that way described by the example. As far as my compassion towards parents doing this by accident, well, maybe it is more like the compassion of Jesus storming at the Temple.

Rob
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:43 PM   #189
Keith Larman
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

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Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
I recently emailed the paper ( the reporter, actually ) that reported on this story for any updates related to the charges or to a trial, if there is one. I will let you know if and when I receive a response.
I did the same back when it all started. I never received a response.

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Old 04-24-2008, 01:46 PM   #190
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
Right, because the "aiki" used in older/sword arts implies timing and fitting the moment a bit more (as I understand/use it). You meet the attack with the perfect response at the perfect time. OSensei said that there is no attacker in Aikido (thus the breakdown of the old aiki concept) because (and this is what gets left out too much) the attacker becomes a partner you control completely. That doesn't mean that you respect everyone's choices and opinions equally, it means that you dominate and control them to an extent that they cannot express their intent to harm, but rather through you, they are brought into accord with the will of the kami. At least that's how I take him these days.
That was awesome. Well done and thanks. Should we do that even if they are harming by accident? I think yes.
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Old 04-24-2008, 01:47 PM   #191
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

I am not convinced that O Sensei's vision was all about unconditional compassion, and even less about forgiveness.

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Old 04-24-2008, 07:14 PM   #192
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Jennifer Smith wrote: View Post
I recently emailed the paper ( the reporter, actually ) that reported on this story for any updates related to the charges or to a trial, if there is one. I will let you know if and when I receive a response.
Jennifer, I am looking forward to it. Knowing all the details would help. I think everyone is concerned because it is a well-known Aikidoka who is accused. Having the details of the case will better define the situation pointing to the proper direction for compassion and judgement.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:13 PM   #193
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

My compassion for Clint George is that he was highly looked up to. He modeled Aikido for others. But all the while he hid his unlawful immoral behavior from others behind Aikido. I think he is able to realize what he has to face. I don't think he evil, just troubled and ill. My compassion is that he is troubled and ill, he needs serious help, if did it. I wouldn't have any compassion if worse things where experienced by the victim.

This terrible situation that does reflect on Aikido, the very least is embarrassing. Having this terrible situation exist in Aikido does raise many questions about what Aikido teaches, what Aikido represents, and who are Aikidoka. In my mind it runs along the same lines as the Catholic Church's problem with some Priests molesting children. The out come of the case might or might not have the similar effect as the Church. I am not saying it would be on the same scale as the Church. I don't think anyone of us wants anyone thinking Aikido is pedophile friendly.

I would find the topic of how many interpret Osensei's idea of love/compassion along the same lines of Christ or even the Dali Lama and why would be interesting.

Last edited by Buck : 04-24-2008 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:27 PM   #194
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
"Both good and bad people are part of the family of World Harmony. Aikido instructs us to give up all kinds of attachments, and not to consider the matter of good and evil as a problem since it is only relative."
Ueshiba Morihei "Takemusu Aiki"

He was definitely not a Buddhist, so "compassion" was not his thing either. He was a Shinto, god-possessed, self-proclaimed avatar of cosmic energy, and saw his students as sources of power for him to do his cosmic work. He quite comfortably accepted severe brutality by his students towards others in his later years, and was quite comfortable with war criminals as mentors and students. (I don't mean war criminals in some philosophical sense - I mean people who cut up bound prisoners).

In a Western sense, he was not a moral man, nor did he preach morality. That's wishful thinking based on interpolations of translations which mean something very different in the original Japanese. The peace Ueshiba preached was the reconciliation of cosmic forces, NOT world peace. His son, Kisshomaru, rather asutely turned aikido into a martial social work, which is what has made millions of practitioners and millions of dollars.

To be clear, I think he was remarkable. But not in the way wishful Westerners wafting whimsical poesy about abiding love and compassion for our fellow men.

Best

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Old 04-24-2008, 08:45 PM   #195
Michael Hackett
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

I don't think most people would run from Aikido because of these two incidents in any great number, any more than they have run from public schools, police departments, gymnastics, or the hundreds of other activities where children have been victimized by those in power. Perhaps a specific venue, but not the entire art or practice. Joe and Josephine Lunchbox are a little more discriminating than that. They might demonstrate a higher level of alertness, but Aikido as a whole won't suffer from these isolated events.

As for forgiving and forgetting....She Who Must Be Obeyed has forgiven me for a couple of transgressions over the years, but there ain't no way that she's forgotten! I think she's on to something with that.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:27 PM   #196
Keith Larman
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Michael Hackett wrote: View Post
I don't think most people would run from Aikido because of these two incidents in any great number, any more than they have run from public schools, police departments, gymnastics, or the hundreds of other activities where children have been victimized by those in power. Perhaps a specific venue, but not the entire art or practice. Joe and Josephine Lunchbox are a little more discriminating than that. They might demonstrate a higher level of alertness, but Aikido as a whole won't suffer from these isolated events.

As for forgiving and forgetting....She Who Must Be Obeyed has forgiven me for a couple of transgressions over the years, but there ain't no way that she's forgotten! I think she's on to something with that.
Heck, I doubt the overwhelming majority of those practicing Aikido today even have a faint idea of these things happening. The number of folk here is rather small compared with the actual practicing base of students.

What it does show, however, is that it can and does happen, even in our insular little (sometimes apparently quite idealized) world. And that we need to be cognizant of that and do what we can to make sure it won't happen again. Shodo o-seisu.

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Old 04-24-2008, 10:23 PM   #197
Michael Hackett
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Keith, you're right - it can and does happen in every insular world and the best we can do is ensure our own conduct is acceptable and look out for danger to those around us. I don't think any group of humans is immune from something like this. I've seen brother officers, judges, lawyers, doctors, teachers, a couple of clergy, some martial artists, coaches and scoutmasters fall for similar conduct. Oh yeah, a nurse or two and one fry cook I can remember. The organizations were all responsible and above board, but they had a miscreant soul in their midst, albeit well-hidden from view.

Michael
"Leave the gun. Bring the cannoli."
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:44 PM   #198
Dewey
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Ueshiba Morihei "Takemusu Aiki"

He was definitely not a Buddhist, so "compassion" was not his thing either. He was a Shinto, god-possessed, self-proclaimed avatar of cosmic energy, and saw his students as sources of power for him to do his cosmic work. He quite comfortably accepted severe brutality by his students towards others in his later years, and was quite comfortable with war criminals as mentors and students. (I don't mean war criminals in some philosophical sense - I mean people who cut up bound prisoners).

In a Western sense, he was not a moral man, nor did he preach morality. That's wishful thinking based on interpolations of translations which mean something very different in the original Japanese. The peace Ueshiba preached was the reconciliation of cosmic forces, NOT world peace. His son, Kisshomaru, rather asutely turned aikido into a martial social work, which is what has made millions of practitioners and millions of dollars.

To be clear, I think he was remarkable. But not in the way wishful Westerners wafting whimsical poesy about abiding love and compassion for our fellow men.

Best
Thank you, Mr. Amdur, for your very insightful & qualified observations/remarks in this thread. Even more, thank you for making it clear that Ueshiba Morihei wasn't the "uber-hippie" that many modern Aikidoka prefer to cast him as. He was furtherest from such.

Thus far, I have restrained myself from posting in this thread. Why? A bit of background in regards to the "baggage" that I bring: for nearly 6 years I was a seminarian studying for the Roman Catholic priesthood in the Archdiocese of St. Louis ('97 to '03). In that time, I experienced firsthand the sexual abuse crisis that rocked the RC Church in America.

I personally knew of 3 priests who were accused (2 later convicted) of pedophilia (more specifically ephebophilia). I happened to live in the same rectory as one of them...and never would have guessed it in my wildest nightmares. Some of it happened right under my nose and I never saw it! To make a very long story short, I was completely oblivious to their "ulterior" activities. No "red flags"...no warning signs. Nothing. I found out only when the said priest(s) were nowhere to be found one day and a high-ranking monsignor pulled me aside the very same day with a courtesy "heads up" and an injunction to "keep your mouth shut."

The point is: don't put "it" past anybody (male or female perps) and don't think for a second that you've done enough to protect your children. Human depravity and/or mental illness (whichever you choose to see pedophilia & ephebophilia as) knows no limits and is not curable.

For what it's worth...
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:22 AM   #199
Fred Little
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Quote:
Ellis Amdur wrote: View Post
Ueshiba Morihei "Takemusu Aiki"

He was definitely not a Buddhist, so "compassion" was not his thing either. He was a Shinto, god-possessed, self-proclaimed avatar of cosmic energy, and saw his students as sources of power for him to do his cosmic work.
Good morning Ellis:

At the risk of contributing to further thread drift.....I wouldn't be so quick to state that he was "definitely not a Buddhist," just as I wouldn't be so quick to state that a Santeria or Vodun practitioner is "definitely not a Catholic."

Actually, given the comparative frequency of multiple religious identifications and affiliations among Japanese, I would be even more hesitant in the former assertion than the latter.

On the basis of all the evidence I've seen to date, I would be more inclined to classify Ueshiba as a heterodox Buddhist. In fairness, I should also acknowledge that a great many Buddhists concur with your statement above, precisely because of their zeal to defend more orthodox views regarding what a Buddhist is or isn't.

But if you have a bit of evidence of which I am unaware -- say some clear statement by Ueshiba that he set down or that was reported by a reliable witness -- that clearly distinguishes between his views and Buddhism (not merely a particular sect of Buddhism, but Buddhism in general), then I might have to reconsider.....

Best,

Fred Little
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:30 AM   #200
Ellis Amdur
 
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Re: Very Disturbing news about Clint George

Well, we are talking about Ueshiba, so I suppose it's not thread drift. I take back "definitely." But when an individual practices Shinto and neo-Shinto rites his whole life, very definitely IDENTIFIES himself with the deities as opposed to "seeing through" them as"emanations of mind," only uses Buddhist terminology to claim various Buddhist "demigods" as part of his own identity, talks about a sotereological goal congruent with a Shinto overlay on Taoism, yes, I do not see much evidence he is Buddhist, except in the quibbling sense that most Japanese hold heterodox views. But taking this any further would take this from thread drift to dropping it off the edge of the earth entirely, so let's take any further parsing of his theology off-line. My larger point was that Ueshiba was not focused primarily on morals in either a "person centered" way or even a "doctrinal" way.
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