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Old 04-22-2008, 04:47 PM   #26
Tony Sova
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Erick,

You said: "This discussion is worthwhile because it makes explicit an implicit dualism that underlies many problems in thinking about aikido. And that is precisely the dualism of which I speak -- good versus evil spirit-- in Christian teaching there is no independent existence of evil -- darkness is defined only by the privation of light. And so it is for Ueshiba of Aikido:"

What does Christian teaching have to do with my Gnostic dualism? Is that your faith? If so that would explain everything.

You said: "O Sensei's views are NOT gnostic. There is NO secret knowledge to be imparted -- you just have train honestly in the basics of the art -- and be mindful of WHAT you are DOING when you are doing it."

Your understanding surrounding the characteristics of Gnosticism appears to be quite limited. Not all Gnostic traditions hold to a ‘secret knowledge' as you say. In fact, I find it alarming that you portray yourself as one who understands Gnosticism and yet you don't even seem to know the esoteric significance of what secret knowledge really is. Hint: we all have it, n'uff' said.

Furthermore I never said that O'Sensei's teachings were Gnostic, but, rather, that some of them had Gnostic characteristics. For example, his statement and I quote, "When you call out the name of God, it echoes inside of you" implies the inherent divinity within us all. This is a core teaching that permeates Gnostic beliefs. But you knew that right?

You said: "No, merely that my individual understanding of death and suffering are not adequate to the task. Even Buddhism recognizes this. The problem is not malignant intent -- but creativity in the context of finitude. Were the wolf to leave the sheep unmolested, there would be sheep without limitation. They would consume their finite fodder. Then there would be no fodder, no sheep -- and no wolf."

Indeed, Buddhism has a lot to say about nothing -‘sunyata'. The essential problem is that such a sorrowful system where one life exploits and consumes another for food should exist in the first place. You can mask this harsh reality in whatever euphemistic terminology you wish. It's called denial.

You said: "Darkness has a purpose -- only in the context of light"

I would agree that Darkness does have a purpose I would not however attribute the creation of Darkness to a being of pure benevolence.

You said:" The shadows cast as the light moves on its subject place some things now in light -- and now in shadow. But the fault is neither in the light nor the shadow framed nor in the subject but in our limited perception. We can try to turn our backs to the source of the light, whether from disregard of it -- or in a misguided attempt to see in the same way as the source sees -- directly and therefore without shadow. But then we see only the shadow our own form casts in front of us. We cannot cast our own light."

Limited perception is sense perception. To attempt to see from this platform would be a misguided attempt to see as the source sees. Unlimited perception is spiritual perception, however, and one who is aligned with the Light will see things as the ‘source sees' as we are qualitatively one with the source by nature.

You said: "Really? I give witness and simply tell you, whether you choose to believe me or not, the philosophy of Aikido does not exist in words that you may adequately comprehend unless you first have a depth of experience in the action it refers to."

If the philosophy is flawed then I do not have to engage in it to determine whether it would be worth my time. I can only tell you what would or would not work for me. Nobody knows me better than myself. This is Gnosis. Thus I am fully qualified to make this spiritual judgment for myself.

You said: "You, on the other hand have two things to explain, supposedly independent of one another, good spirit and evil spirit, and actually, three things, since you maintain that matter is neutral between them."

I owe you and explanation? To cast pearls before swine (unlearned or uninitiated) is an exercise in futility. My friend, perhaps you should start by educating yourself on the historical aspects of Gnosticism and how it evolved within the ancient Mesopotamian milieu so as to understand the influence it had on later religions and civilizations before you attempt to engage in a debate on it philosophical workings.

You said: "Suffice it to say that in the physical world -- light and matter are fundamentally one in both Eastern and Western understandings, and that if the spiritual world is actually dual then it is you as an advocate of spiritual dualism that have the burden to show the reason for the disparity."

Where do you get your information? The existence of Gnosticsm (both eastern and western forms) and its dualism automatically refutes your erroneous assertion.

You said: Yes, but we know where the Magi went ...

Given the elementary understanding of Gnosticism that you've exhibited thus far I highly doubt you know anything significant about ancient Chaldean Magussaeanism (not to be confused with Persian Magianism). For example, do you know what the essential difference is between them both historically and doctrinally? Answer that off of the top of your head and we might be able to engage in a meaningful exchange on the subject.

You said: "I don't presuppose. I know -- by actual experience -- that it cannot be understood any other way. And I tell you, my friend, as a matter of direct experience, that aikido is learned through the body instructing the mind, which instructs the body. There is only endless cyclic motion, there is not division. Without the form of the body to ground perception, spirituality is in vain."

Without Consciousness there is no perception. With no Spirit there can be no Spirituality hence your reliance on the body is in vain and nothing more than another form of Materialism.

You said: "Sooner or later, everyone gets their philosophy whacked upside the head. There is more spiritual learning to be gained in that split second than in ten years of quiet sitting."

Words to the wise: Religion without philosophy is sentiment and fanaticism and philosophy without religion is mental speculation.

You said: "Swing ... and a miss" --

"Coffee is number one source of antioxidants" http://www.physorg.com/news6067.html


Where did I make a reference to Green Tea being higher in antioxidants than coffee? Take a look at it again counselor and I quote, "I'd switch to green tea if I were you. It's high in anti-oxidants". Being high in anti-oxidants is not synonymous with being higher in them.

Cordially,

- Tony Sova
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Old 04-23-2008, 09:35 AM   #27
Dewey
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
I'd say it would depend on the Aikido dojo. It sounds like you're going to be bringing a lot of baggage into the dojo about what you *think* Aikido is already. That doesn't work where I train, but we're not a public dojo so we're free to pick and choose who trains with us. I would talk to any prospective teacher about your concerns/worldview and see if what they think.
Beat me to it!

Unless you train in a "closed" dojo where deshi are handpicked, then you will undoubtedly encounter folks in Aikido who are all over the board in regards to spirituality & religion.

I myself am a devout Roman Catholic. I spent several years in the seminary studying to be a priest, following a semi-monastic lifestyle. My spirituality very much informs my study of Aikido and compliments it. It is because of my spirituality that I study Aikido over other martial arts.

Now, if you ask my dojomates how much they care about my spirituality and religious beliefs, guess what sort of answer you'll get: "couldn't care less...just as long as you don't push them on me." The same is true for me in regards to them. That's where the mutual respect comes to play.

Just like my shoes and my ego, I leave my religion at the door.

Last edited by Dewey : 04-23-2008 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:05 AM   #28
tuturuhan
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

And God said "Let there be light"

In the creation story, whether chistian, hindu or pre-religion, there was the dark, the deep the unknown.

It was a time before organized religion decided to call "the dark" evil. If God is the creator of all things, and lived in the darkness before creating "light"...what does this mean?

The goddess Kali is the female goddess of death and destruction and the goddess of birth and creativity. It is easy to see her as embodying a duality. But, in truth she represents a "process". We are born, we grow and then we die. There is the growth of the forest and then the forest fire. With the death of the trees by the "light" of fire, there is the making of room for youth and new life.

They Yin and the Yang, male/female, in/out, up/down, does not speak of right and wrong. It instead observes the process of nature...

Sincerely
Joseph T. Oliva Arriola

Joseph T. Oliva Arriola
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Old 04-23-2008, 04:09 PM   #29
Tharis
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

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Greetings and Sh'lama (peace),

It is a pleasure and honor to be here. Here is a quote that I would like to explore:

"The earth was born from the universe and those who flourish in that life-giving environment can directly become one with nature. They never oppose natural law," - (What is Aikido?;by Second Doshu Kisshomaru Ueshiba and Third Doshu Moriteru Ueshiba)

It appears that Aikido philosophy is rooted in a form of non-dualism. I am a dualist and as such I see two opposing forces of nature operating within the world, those of Light and of Darkness and never twain shall the two meet. Organic Nature is in and of itself harsh, cruel, chaotic, competitive, self-serving and merciless. This is Darkness. Most Martial Arts reflect these inferior qualities and the organic consciousness of the individuals that created them. In retrospect where Organic Nature is harsh the spirit is gentle; where it is cruel the spirit is caring; where it is chaotic the spirit is harmonious; where it is competitive the spirit is co-operative; where it is self-serving the spirit is self-sacrificing; where it is merciless the spirit is compassionate. The world is largely an admixture of these two opposing forces and as a dualist I am ever seeking to separate the two so as to align myself with the Light - the primordial origin of my spirit. In this respect I am in opposition to natural law (Darkness) in favor of spiritual law (Light). The Spirit is Light and according to my understanding Aikido appears to be characteristically aligned with the principles of Light. This brings a question to mind: can I as a dualist find success in Aikido when I aspire to separate myself from rather than becoming one with a world that is malign in nature?

In the Name of the Great Life,

- Tony

"When you call out the name of God, it echoes inside of you"
Sounds like what we call gnosticism, maybe manicaeism . I'll admit I'm not a fan of either religion (and that's an essay I don't want to bore you all with), but I don't think such would necessarily keep a person from Aikido, though it will necessarily alter the way you approach the mat (just like everything does).

Maybe the only concern I can find is that Aikido ultimately is about learning from and through your material body. If you really think that the material, physical world is evil, you'd either have to ignore these aspects or make some sort of adjustment, perhaps by associating your practice with your spirit.
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Old 04-23-2008, 07:15 PM   #30
MikeLogan
 
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

So is light a physical phenomena, or a spiritual existence? Am I perceiving just the symbol of light's spiritual existence, er?
Quote:
Tony Sova wrote:
To cast pearls before swine (unlearned or uninitiated) is an exercise in futility.
Is that the spiritual existence of light I feel simply radiating from you?

If you're genuinely interested in a sustained dialogue in all topics theological/metaphysical/mystical/philosophical/quantum mechanical then I'm afraid you won't do any better here than Erick, a veritable Prince among we, the many porcine.
Quote:
Erick Mead wrote:
light and matter are fundamentally one in both Eastern and Western understandings
It would be helpful to read your arguments refuting the above as opposed to simply stating one is wrong. This goes for most of your other statements as well.

As for being able to determine:
Quote:
Tony Sova wrote:
If the philosophy is flawed then I do not have to engage in it to determine whether it would be worth my time.
then allow me to save you and the rest of us the bother of discussing this any further. If you can do the above without stepping onto a mat, then you can certainly check a few books out at the library and figure this out in the in the, unfortunately, all too corporeal comfort of your own home.

Though really, if you deem us worthy from your perspective, it being so benignly in accord with the Light, then illuminate. Don't lease us in the dark. Connect. Catch up with us, or slow down to our speed long enough for us to understand you. Why would you enter this fantastically ethereal media just to get defensive?
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Joseph Arriola wrote:
If God is the creator of all things, and lived in the darkness before creating "light"...what does this mean?
This gets into theological/philosophical deep waters. Google Searching : "Theoreom of the Un-Caused Cause" will show you the basics. One such being the idea that a creator of this universe we perceive (the universe and all physical phenomena) does not necessarily exist inside of said universe. It might even state that such a creator must exist outside of the entire universe and encompass it. Time for more beer.

Thanks,

michael.

Last edited by MikeLogan : 04-23-2008 at 07:24 PM.

If way to the better there be, it exacts a full look at the worst.

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Old 04-23-2008, 11:19 PM   #31
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Quote:
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You said:
Quote:
... an implicit dualism that underlies many problems in thinking about aikido. ... the dualism of which I speak -- good versus evil spirit-- in Christian teaching there is no independent existence of evil -- darkness is defined only by the privation of light. And so it is for Ueshiba of Aikido:"
What does Christian teaching have to do with my Gnostic dualism?
Nothing. The point was that Christian understanding of a non-dual nature of evil is closely echoed, or replicated in O Sensei's own understanding of the problem of evil and thus they are closer related or analogous than a dualist understanding.

Quote:
Tony Sova wrote: View Post
You said:
Quote:
"O Sensei's views are NOT gnostic. There is NO secret knowledge to be imparted -- you just have train honestly in the basics of the art -- and be mindful of WHAT you are DOING when you are doing it."
Your understanding surrounding the characteristics of Gnosticism appears to be quite limited. Not all Gnostic traditions hold to a ‘secret knowledge' as you say.
By all means, enlighten us, as it may relate to your judgment of aikido.

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Tony Sova wrote: View Post
Furthermore I never said that O'Sensei's teachings were Gnostic, but, rather, that some of them had Gnostic characteristics. For example, his statement and I quote, "When you call out the name of God, it echoes inside of you" implies the inherent divinity within us all. This is a core teaching that permeates Gnostic beliefs. But you knew that right?
Why, yes ... Emmanuel -- "God with us." "I Am" necessarily echoes within me. But what has that to do with your verdict on aikido?

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Tony Sova wrote: View Post
... such a sorrowful system where one life exploits and consumes another for food should exist in the first place. You can mask this harsh reality in whatever euphemistic terminology you wish. It's called denial... I would not however attribute the creation of Darkness to a being of pure benevolence.
My children do not understand if I strike them to keep their hands from the hot stove, but their pain is an expression of my love for them, and my desire to protect them in ways they cannot (yet) understand. In this sense is Aikido and its approach to the violent expression of the spirit of loving protection, consistent with the Christian understanding of the problem of good an evil, in the context of a loving Parent we should emulate and are thus both non-dual in a similar way.

The positing of evil independent of created order understood in this way is not necessary -- and hence such dualism is in need of proof to be admissible as a more reasonable complex cause. Apparently, such a proof is not self-evident -- for all systems that tend to dualism also tend to esoteric teaching -- which by not being transparent, is not readily capable of being independently compared with other understandings. You seem to admit this.

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Tony Sova wrote: View Post
... one who is aligned with the Light will see things as the ‘source sees' as we are qualitatively one with the source by nature.
Quote:
Tony Sova wrote: View Post
If the philosophy is flawed then I do not have to engage in it to determine whether it would be worth my time. I can only tell you what would or would not work for me. Nobody knows me better than myself. This is Gnosis. Thus I am fully qualified to make this spiritual judgment for myself.
You do NOT know yourself in the context of the physical action of aikido. Thus your gnosis of yourself is ignorant of you-doing-aikido. Your gnosis does not reach to what you do not know, and which, I repeat, you cannot know without actually doing it.

Try it. You'll like it.

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Tony Sova wrote: View Post
You said: "You, on the other hand have two things to explain, supposedly independent of one another, good spirit and evil spirit, and actually, three things, since you maintain that matter is neutral between them."

I owe you and explanation? To cast pearls before swine (unlearned or uninitiated) is an exercise in futility.
Dear me, is my snout showing? You owe me nothing. I simply posit the systemic problems illustrated by your position, as it relates to aikido and its understanding of in-yo ho, which is not dualistic. You started this discussion seeking such information. The funny thing about seeking is that it disturbs settled understanding -- but then having gnosis is one beyond seeking? And thus, why exactly did would you ask any one for information here, again?

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Tony Sova wrote: View Post
Being high in anti-oxidants is not synonymous with being higher in them.
You're right. Lay off the tea and coffee. I'd suggest a stiff whiskey.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 04-23-2008, 11:28 PM   #32
Dewey
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
You're right. Lay off the tea and coffee. I'd suggest a stiff whiskey.
No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.

-St. Paul (1st Timothy 5:23)
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Old 04-24-2008, 07:19 AM   #33
Tony Sova
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Greetings Michael a.k.a. "Mr. Johnny come lately",

You said: "If you're genuinely interested in a sustained dialogue in all topics theological/metaphysical/mystical/philosophical/quantum mechanical then I'm afraid you won't do any better here than Erick, a veritable Prince among we, the many porcine."

I'm glad that you are infatuated with Prince Erick's pseudo-spiritual ramblings as well as his less than accurate understanding of Gnosticism proper. I, however, am not intoxicated by his brew.

You said: "It would be helpful to read your arguments refuting the above as opposed to simply stating one is wrong. This goes for most of your other statements as well."

I didn't have to argue. Erick said, "light and matter are fundamentally one in both Eastern and Western understandings". It is far from unanimous that light and dark are fundamentally one in Eastern and Western understandings. There are Gnostic groups in both the eastern (Bonpo) and western (Chaldaean Magussaeanism, Persian Magianism, Syriaic Nazoreanism, etc…) religious traditions that hold dualistic views similar to mine and that pre-date the traditions that endorse the non-dual philosophy. Thus their very existence in both hemispheres in and of itself refutes his statement automatically.

You said: "then allow me to save you and the rest of us the bother of discussing this any further. If you can do the above without stepping onto a mat, then you can certainly check a few books out at the library and figure this out in the in the, unfortunately, all too corporeal comfort of your own home."

Good advice and that is precisely what I am doing in the ‘all too corporeal comfort of my home' as you say.

You said: "Though really, if you deem us worthy from your perspective, it being so benignly in accord with the Light, then illuminate. Don't lease us in the dark. Connect. Catch up with us, or slow down to our speed long enough for us to understand you."

I find many of O'Sensei's teachings to be aligned with the benevolent teachings that permeate Nazorean ethics. Criticism is not a wise method of trying to understand someone. Acceptance and respect would be superior tools of choice in the execution of such an endeavor don't you think?

You said: "Why would you enter this fantastically ethereal media just to get defensive?"

If you take the time to look, the majority of my interaction with others on this thread has been very positive. I do not, however, respond well to unprovoked sarcasm and sequential arrogance like Erick's and now yours.

Regards,

- Tony.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:32 AM   #34
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

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I didn't have to argue. Erick said, "light and matter are fundamentally one in both Eastern and Western understandings". It is far from unanimous that light and dark are fundamentally one in Eastern and Western understandings.
Non sequitur, sir. I spoke of the physical realm to show that dim matter and luminous energy are one thing, in terms of physics or in terms of the Eastern understanding of Ki and the Taiji. I simply pointed out that the assumption that the spiritual realm diverges from the physical realm in its unitary (though bifurcated) structure in that regard lacks inherent rational appeal from the evidence we have. In a unitary understanding, light is light and dark is not anything at all, it is is absence -- of light.

I have not met a dualist yet who did not assert that his belief in fundamental duality was more reasonable from the evidence he sees, and you have confirmed that by your primary attention to the supposed "substance" of evils of this world reflecting a larger spiritual reality. Duality is not necessary to explain evil flowing from lack of en(light)enment, and thus, you must supply more evidence than that to convince anyone that it is or ought to be, different from the common ground of unity that Aikido and Christianity share -- a deep trust in a spirit of loving protection that we seek to emulate -- especially in the worst circumstances encountered in this life...

Quote:
Tony Sova wrote: View Post
There are Gnostic groups in both the eastern (Bonpo) and western (Chaldaean Magussaeanism, Persian Magianism, Syriaic Nazoreanism, etc…) religious traditions that hold dualistic views similar to mine and that pre-date the traditions that endorse the non-dual philosophy. Thus their very existence in both hemispheres in and of itself refutes his statement automatically.
This is an example of the fallacy of ad populum (appeal to popularity) or ad vericundiam (appeal to authority), or a mixture of the two. Truth does not depend on either popular agreement or mere respect for persons "in the know." The unitary nature of physical state of the universe is held in Chinese understanding (an empirically arrived-at understanding, whatever its differences of method from the West) and in Western empirical physics. Those are empirical facts, albeit framed from different approaches, but to the same conclusion, lending both approaches more rigor in the assertion, not because they agree, but because they find the same things to be evidenced from their wildly differing forms of investigation.

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Tony Sova wrote: View Post
I find many of O'Sensei's teachings to be aligned with the benevolent teachings that permeate Nazorean ethics. Criticism is not a wise method of trying to understand someone. Acceptance and respect would be superior tools of choice in the execution of such an endeavor don't you think?
In a martial arts forum??? We deal expressly with issues of conflict and in conflict here. Aikido is a spirit of loving kindness in the slap-your- hand-from-the-hot-stove manner -- not hugs and warm caramel crumpets. The fact that we deal with it in a spirit of loving protection (or try to) does not diminish the fact that by practicing this art we do not shrink from necessary conflict where it presents itself.
Quote:
Tony Sova wrote: View Post
I do not, however, respond well to unprovoked sarcasm and sequential arrogance like Erick's and now yours.
You asked if your beliefs conflict in some regard with the practice of Aikido. I suggested that they do -- and in some detail. You are free to deny it, on whatever grounds seem admissible to you. But then do not complain if I point out that your position is still as conflicted as when you asked the first question, -- implying a recognition of the possibility of that conflict.

It is not personal -- any more than my partner swinging a bokken at my head is meant as anything other than a loving challenge to practice. Everyone is entitled to his own follies, and I certainly have mine -- like preferring to believe that coffee is a better source of anti-oxidants than green tea, and drinking entirely too much whiskey on occasions, and only then imagining that I am the Prince of anything.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 04-24-2008 at 08:39 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:47 AM   #35
Tony Sova
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Prince Erick,

Please forgive me your highness. I didn’t realize I was mingling with royalty as your loyal subject Sir Michael has made abundantly clear.

You said: “By all means, enlighten us, as it may relate to your judgment of aikido.”

Have I made a judgment on Aikido? I don’t think so.

You said: “Why, yes ... Emmanuel -- "God with us." "I Am" necessarily echoes within me. But what has that to do with your verdict on aikido?”

For the second time, I have made no verdict on Aikido. Yet, apparently much to your dismay I have made connections with it in relationship to Gnosticism much like you have with Christianity.

You said:”consistent with the Christian understanding of the problem of good an evil, in the context of a loving Parent we should emulate and are thus both non-dual in a similar way.”

And yet again Christianity comes up in a conversation that is based solely on the differences and or similarities between the philosophies of Gnosticism and Aikido. Where’s the relevance? Your motives are starting to stick out like a sore thumb old friend. I am gonna’ go out on a limb here counselor and speculate that you are a Christian and that your interest in my thread is directly in relationship to Gnostics being deemed as the religious antagonists and veritable Antichrists of your beloved faith. Am I right? How cliché that would be.

You said: “You do NOT know yourself in the context of the physical action of aikido. Thus your gnosis of yourself is ignorant of you-doing-aikido. Your gnosis does not reach to what you do not know, and which, I repeat, you cannot know without actually doing it.”

Let’s get something straight counselor. First, let me state for the third time and the record that I have NOT made a judgment on Aikido. Second, and more importantly, my Gnosis does reach to what I know in relationship to MYSELF. Thus I CAN make a judgment on whether something would or would not work FOR ME without having to try it. For example, I am pretty sure that killing someone wouldn’t be a profitable thing to do. Only I can make such a determination for myself. So do I have to engage in the physical action of killing someone to KNOW that such an action would not be a beneficial one? Of course not, case and point.

You said: “Try it. You'll like it.”

At some point I just might do that but only if you promise to be my partner!

You said: “You owe me nothing. I simply posit the systemic problems illustrated by your position, as it relates to aikido and its understanding of in-yo ho, which is not dualistic. You started this discussion seeking such information. The funny thing about seeking is that it disturbs settled understanding -- but then having gnosis is one beyond seeking? And thus, why exactly did would you ask any one for information here, again?”

So rather than instigating this pathetically infantile testosterone charged pissing contest with me of which I no longer have the stomach for, why didn’t/don’t you just simply extend me the courtesy of answering my question? My how easy that could’ve been! So my question still stands, can a dualist find success in Aikido? Though your understanding of Gnosticism is sorely lacking, I do trust that your understanding of Aikido is not and that you are qualified to answer the question.

You said: “You're right. Lay off the tea and coffee. I'd suggest a stiff whiskey.”

Whiskey’s for you wild eyed southern boys. I prefer a tasty Bloody Mary made with a good ole commie’ top shelf Vodka, lol !

May the Love of Christ Bless You and Keep You…
- Tony
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:15 AM   #36
Dewey
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Wow...this thread has really spiraled out of control. The debates and ad hominum arguments sparked here are perfect examples why I advocate a Jeffersonian understanding of Aikido training: leave your religion (along with your shoes and your ego) at the door when you come to train. An aikidoka, in my opinion, is free to believe whatever they want in regards to religion...just as long as they're willing to take ukemi just like the rest of us. Aikido is a budo first and foremost.
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Old 04-24-2008, 09:20 AM   #37
Tharis
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

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Brian Dewey wrote: View Post
Wow...this thread has really spiraled out of control. The debates and ad hominum arguments sparked here are perfect examples why I advocate a Jeffersonian understanding of Aikido training: leave your religion (along with your shoes and your ego) at the door when you come to train. An aikidoka, in my opinion, is free to believe whatever they want in regards to religion...just as long as they're willing to take ukemi just like the rest of us. Aikido is a budo first and foremost.
That's easier for some than for others. I probably couldn't leave my religion "at the door."

At the same time, the mat is not place for intellectual argument or *gag* proselytizing. Maybe that's better left to the bars or locker rooms.

And to the OP, as I just posted somewhere else, I think what you train, if you train sincerely, will change the way you think about things.

Whether that will lead you away from dualism or to a reinterpretation of said dualism isn't certain, but if you're really a gnostic (at least according to what I tend to associate with gnosticism), it may require some adjustment. I think I'd agree that Aikido generally requires a synthesis of spirit with flesh.

Last edited by Tharis : 04-24-2008 at 09:30 AM. Reason: Decided to append some thoughts rather than double-post
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:02 AM   #38
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

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Tony Sova wrote: View Post
Prince Erick,
I hereby abdicate.

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Tony Sova wrote: View Post
And yet again Christianity comes up in a conversation that is based solely on the differences and or similarities between the philosophies of Gnosticism and Aikido. Where's the relevance?
Well, let's just say I am not making it up ---
Quote:
Morihei Ueshiba wrote:
"Kirisuto ga ‘hajme ni kotoba ariki' to itta sono kotodama ga SU de arimasu. Sore ga kotodama no hajimari de aru." (‘In the beginning was the Word', spoken by Christ is this kotodama SU. This is the origin of kotodama.)

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=2 ( Tr. -Peter Goldsbury, from the Takemusu Aiki lectures)
----------------------------------

[From Takemusu Aiki Lectures (1)] http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=636

Today, as requested, I will attempt to describe for you what aikido is.
* Aikido is the principle of eternal continuation throughout all ages of the one and same system of the Universe.
* Aikido is Heaven-sent truth and the marvelous work of Takemusu Aiki.
* Aikido is the Way of union and harmony of Heaven, Earth and humanity.
* Aikido is, moreover, the Way to take care of the entire creation.
* Aikido is the supreme work of kotodama1 and the Great Way of Universal Purification (misogi).

... Aikido is the Great Way to completely purify the entire world. It purifies and clears away sins, malice and evil thoughts of the Universe and takes care of them.

This is accomplished through kotodama.
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Tony Sova wrote: View Post
... my Gnosis does reach to what I know in relationship to MYSELF. Thus I CAN make a judgment on whether something would or would not work FOR ME without having to try it.
A remarkable standard. The Neo-Confucian philosopher, known in Japan as Oyomei, held that that knowledge and action are one thing. If you believe you know something but fail to act on it, then you do not truly know that. If you fail to act but claim to know then the knowledge is a vain and impotent thing. It is not I that have said this, but Oyomei.
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For example, I am pretty sure that killing someone wouldn't be a profitable thing to do.
That depends on what they are doing at the time -- and more importantly -- to whom.
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Only I can make such a determination for myself. So do I have to engage in the physical action of killing someone to KNOW that such an action would not be a beneficial one? Of course not, case and point.
If you ever kill, it will very likely be without making any such determination at all, you will simply do it and it will be done before you ponder the circumstance. Most killing happens in this way. Determining the whys and wherefores is not a part of that particular problem, excepting only the odd sociopath.

That is why Aikido is so important -- to train for conflict in a spirit of loving protection so that the instinct and reflex is both fierce AND rightly guided. Time is not available for making such determinations consciously in the moment of attack. The time for deciding the targeting program of the missile is before the "launch" button its pressed.

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At some point I just might do that but only if you promise to be my partner!
Come and play.

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Tony Sova wrote: View Post
So my question still stands, can a dualist find success in Aikido?
Not as a dualist. In the moment of attack there is no duality at all. There is no room for more than one thing in that instant.

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May the Love of Christ Bless You and Keep You…
And you also. Christ said and did many things -- however he is only recorded as having made two things with his own hands -- a chair -- to takes one's ease; and "whip of cords" -- to beat people with. Worth thinking about.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 04-24-2008 at 10:09 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:46 AM   #39
Jonathan
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

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And you also. Christ said and did many things -- however he is only recorded as having made two things with his own hands -- a chair -- to takes one's ease; and "whip of cords" -- to beat people with. Worth thinking about.
Actually, the Bible teaches that Christ is the Creator of all things.

Colossians 1:13-17 (KJV)

13 Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 04-24-2008, 10:56 AM   #40
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Hi folks,

Please watch the tone that some of you are using in this thread (and in the Forums) and stay away from personal attacks and discussions of a personal nature.

Thank you,

-- Jun

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Old 04-24-2008, 02:06 PM   #41
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Sorry Jun, I will conduct myself in a more respectable manner from now on.

- Tony
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Old 04-24-2008, 03:06 PM   #42
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Sh’lama Erick,

You said: “Well, let's just say I am not making it up ---“

Making what up? That you are or aren’t a Christian? You could just give me a straight answer. Are you a Christian?

You said:
Quote:
Morihei Ueshiba wrote:
"Kirisuto ga ‘hajme ni kotoba ariki' to itta sono kotodama ga SU de arimasu. Sore ga kotodama no hajimari de aru." (‘In the beginning was the Word', spoken by Christ is this kotodama SU. This is the origin of kotodama.)

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=2 ( Tr. -Peter Goldsbury, from the Takemusu Aiki lectures)
----------------------------------

[From Takemusu Aiki Lectures (1)] http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=636

Today, as requested, I will attempt to describe for you what aikido is.
* Aikido is the principle of eternal continuation throughout all ages of the one and same system of the Universe.
* Aikido is Heaven-sent truth and the marvelous work of Takemusu Aiki.
* Aikido is the Way of union and harmony of Heaven, Earth and humanity.
* Aikido is, moreover, the Way to take care of the entire creation.
* Aikido is the supreme work of kotodama1 and the Great Way of Universal Purification (misogi).

... Aikido is the Great Way to completely purify the entire world. It purifies and clears away sins, malice and evil thoughts of the Universe and takes care of them.

This is accomplished through kotodama."


Thank you for listing this information.

You said : “If you ever kill, it will very likely be without making any such determination at all, you will simply do it and it will be done before you ponder the circumstance. Most killing happens in this way. Determining the whys and wherefores is not a part of that particular problem, excepting only the odd sociopath.”

The sad part about the concept of killing is that it happens in the first place. Ironically the Martial Arts are largely a bye product of patriarchal cultures where war and violence are valued. It is interesting that women do not create fighting systems or wage wars. That is something worth thinking about.

You said: “Not as a dualist. In the moment of attack there is no duality at all. There is no room for more than one thing in that instant.”

That is good to know. Thank you for answering my question.

You said: “And you also. Christ said and did many things -- however he is only recorded as having made two things with his own hands -- a chair -- to takes one's ease; and "whip of cords" -- to beat people with. Worth thinking about.”

Indeed it is but he displayed his commitment to non-violence while enduring a terrible beating at the hands of his aggressors all the way to the cross showing the superiority of spirit over matter (flesh). May we all attain such an exalted state of spirituality!

Blessed are those who heed to the Call to Life, for Life is victorioius!

In the Name of the Great Life,

- Tony

“If you know yourself you will become known, and you will know that you are the children of the Living Father. If you do not know yourself you dwell in poverty and have become that poverty.” - (Yeshua;GOT)
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Old 04-24-2008, 04:11 PM   #43
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

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Indeed it is but he displayed his commitment to non-violence while enduring a terrible beating at the hands of his aggressors all the way to the cross showing the superiority of spirit over matter (flesh). May we all attain such an exalted state of spirituality!
Not that you said it was, but just to be clear, this is not the philosophy of Aikido. OSensei was never a pacifist. OSensei clarified his view on what he meant by non-violence as being so in control of your attacker that he is an extension of yourself that *you control*. Taking a beating to show one superiority over matter is something else.

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Old 04-24-2008, 05:30 PM   #44
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Tony,
May I ask you to use the Quoting system when you want to quote somebody.
Copy/Pasting text and then putting it in Italic does not make for a good read.
Please, think about my poor eyes.

Good luck with finding your answer(s).
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Old 04-24-2008, 05:38 PM   #45
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

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You said: "Well, let's just say I am not making it up ---"
Making what up? That you are or aren't a Christian? You could just give me a straight answer. Are you a Christian?
You tell me ... I am not a follower of Kant, and thus I have no desire to get to a categorical imperative to resolve my standing in the divine order once and for all -- I couldn't do it if I tried anyway. The world is simultaneously determined (Divine) and contingent (Natural), and it works just fine that way. It is error to demand too much of either one.

My point is simply that the parallels of O Sensei's Eastern understanding are tracked more closely by Christianity than by any version of Gnosticism I have had the pleasure of engaging, be it Basilides, the oracles vouched by Julian the Chaldean, or even Phillip Pullman's sexed-up neo-Valentinianism in the Golden Compass series.

Quote:
Tony Sova wrote: View Post
Thank you for listing this information.
You are welcome.

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Tony Sova wrote: View Post
The sad part about the concept of killing is that it happens in the first place. Ironically the Martial Arts are largely a bye product of patriarchal cultures where war and violence are valued. It is interesting that women do not create fighting systems or wage wars. That is something worth thinking about.
Patriarchal. I had not heard that in several years. That is a very Romantic view -- in the philosophical sense. I would doubt that you have seen two women fight -- it will remove any romanticism about the presumptive "non-violence" of the fairer sex. Women are less effective than men as a rule in sheer levels of violent capability and their proclivities for overt violence have been culturally suppressed or channeled into areas of particular vulnerability. However, female violence is merely different -- not better -- and no less inherent in the species.
Quote:
Patrica Pearson in "When She Was Bad" wrote:
Women commit the majority of child homicides in the United States; more than 80 percent of neonaticides; an equal or greater share of severe physical child abuse; an equal rate of spousal assault; about a quarter of child sexual molestations; and a large proportion of elder abuse... The rate at which infants are murdered by women in the U.S. is higher than the rate at which women are murdered by men."
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That is good to know. Thank you for answering my question.
My pleasure.

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Tony Sova wrote: View Post
You said: "Christ ... having made two things with his own hands -- a chair -- to takes one's ease; and "whip of cords" -- to beat people with. Worth thinking about."

Indeed it is but he displayed his commitment to non-violence while enduring a terrible beating at the hands of his aggressors all the way to the cross showing the superiority of spirit over matter (flesh). May we all attain such an exalted state of spirituality!
According to Mark and John his last words were:

"My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?!" "I thirst." "It is finished." That does not sound like a triumphal spirit, but of an utter desolation of spirit, a continuing deeply unsatisfied longing of the human body, and, at last, a surrender -- not a triumph.

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

It is not a lesson in non-violence -- it is immensely more subtle than that -- ("I come not to bring peace, but a sword" "... whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one." ... " Peace be with you; My peace I give you, but not as the world gives do I give you. Let not your hearts be troubled and be not afraid.")

Gandhian nonviolence presumes that non-violence will awaken an inherent moral restraint. There was no moral restraint on offer in the execution of a state criminal by the Roman soldiery in first century Judea. It is lesson rather in ukemi, in calmly receiving the fullness of the attack.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 04-24-2008, 06:53 PM   #46
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

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Indeed it is but he displayed his commitment to non-violence while enduring a terrible beating at the hands of his aggressors all the way to the cross showing the superiority of spirit over matter (flesh). May we all attain such an exalted state of spirituality!
Displaying a commitment to non-violence? Hmmm...The Bible says that "for the joy that was set before him Christ endured the cross." (Heb. 12:2) What joy was that? The joy of demonstrating the superiority of spirit over matter? No. The joy of showing his commitment to non-violence? No. The joy Christ fixed his eyes upon and that sustained him through the tortures of the cross was the joy that came from seeing His Father's will fulfilled and knowing that fulfilling it meant the salvation of many lost sheep.
Quote:
It is lesson rather in ukemi, in calmly receiving the fullness of the attack.
That's a novel take on the Crucifixion. Purely on a physical level as a lesson in ukemi Christ's crucifixion isn't very good. As I understand it, ukemi is supposed to protect me and perhaps even allow me to reverse the technique applied to me. I don't see this in Christ's crucifixion. His "ukemi," as you've described it, was fatally harmful. He had no thought of "reversing technique" either, which, as God, he could have done at any time. Yes, Christ did "calmly receive the fullness of the attack," but the fact that doing so resulted in his death, for me, rules out his actions as a lesson in ukemi (or at least good ukemi).

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 04-24-2008, 08:16 PM   #47
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

I was simply responding in kind, and more mildly to boot. You started the diminuation, ignored sincere questions, tossed a request back in my face, and then ended with more of the same self-righteousness.

Is it not a little odd to enter a community and expect everyone to warmly shake your hand after you refer to them as swine? Is that unreasonable?

All I think I can offer with regard to your original question is that from I understand of your words, (and I suppose your bearing), Dualism demands conflict. Aikido demands the nullification of conflict. It is the absence of conflict. If there is conflict that is impossible to resolve from the dualistic perspective then it would seem the idea of aikido (in my limited understanding) is anathema to your philosophy/religion.

Somewhat off-topic Tony, but how does dualism inform you regarding physics of the natural world, thermodynamics, chemistry, all that junk. Just curious.

michael.

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Old 04-24-2008, 09:32 PM   #48
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

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[Re ukemi That's a novel take on the Crucifixion. Purely on a physical level as a lesson in ukemi Christ's crucifixion isn't very good.
... I wasn't thinking purely on a physical level But, hey -- any death you can walk away from is a good one...

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 04-25-2008, 10:56 AM   #49
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Greetings Jonathan,

You said: "The joy Christ fixed his eyes upon and that sustained him through the tortures of the cross was the joy that came from seeing His Father's will fulfilled and knowing that fulfilling it meant the salvation of many lost sheep."

Since we are going in this direction:

The Fallacy of Blood Atonement:

Commandment number six states "Thous shalt not kill' and the breaking of such a commandment is considered a sin. God then commands himself (in the Trinitarian sense) in the from of his Son to break his own commandment by committing ritual suicide (I and my Father are one) for the removal of sin. Thus we have sin removing sin and additionally sins that I, you and the entire human race after that had yet to even commit (unless you hold to the doctrine of reincarnation denoting the eternality of the soul).

According to this concept God is hypocritical for breaking his own commandment, murderous for desiring the death of living beings to remove sin (animals were killed prior to Jesus), psychologically unstable for committing suicide, unjust for punishing individuals who had yet to commit sin after the crucifixion, and unintelligent/illogical for attempting to remove sin with sin.

With all due respect, this has nothing to do with God and everything to do with both ancient Levitical Judaic tribal beliefs, Greco-Roman Paganism, and the limited intelligence of the men who attempted to marry the two.

Regards,

- Tony

Last edited by Tony Sova : 04-25-2008 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 04-25-2008, 11:31 AM   #50
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Tony, Ellis Amdur just posted some good stuff that might help you get a better idea about what OSensei actually meant by some of the things he said over here. Scroll down to #193.

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