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Old 04-25-2008, 11:37 AM   #51
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Tony, while I may not agree with everything you just said, I have to admit it gave me quite a loud laugh! My cube neighbors now want to know what I'm reading!

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
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Old 04-25-2008, 11:47 AM   #52
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Sh'lama Christian,

A quote from the post on the thread you mentioned: "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."

The above characteristics mirror quite closely the Gnostic concepts of Divine Aeons or Uthras who take human form for the pupose of executing Divine work.

Another quote from that post: "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."

Based on this I can see that I am one of those westerners who have been inspired by western interpolations of Ueshiba's message.

Thank you for understanding the purpose and intent of my original question, and facilitating the process of rendering it an appropriate and effective response. I am most appreciative.

May Kushta (Truth) Keep you...

- Tony

Last edited by Tony Sova : 04-25-2008 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 04-25-2008, 12:08 PM   #53
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Ron,

Heresy is alive and well in the 21st century my friend!

Regards,

- Tony
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Old 04-25-2008, 12:09 PM   #54
Jonathan
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Quote:
... I wasn't thinking purely on a physical level But, hey -- any death you can walk away from is a good one...
Yup, I agree. Mind you, Christ didn't actually walk away from death - he walked right through it. What kind of ukemi would that be, I wonder?

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 04-25-2008, 12:18 PM   #55
Jonathan
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Quote:
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.
Well, I could wade into all the theological and doctrinal matters involved in answering your above assertions, but I don't think Jun would appreciate it. This isn't a Christian theology site - or a Gnostic one.

Suffice it to say, strawman tactics don't really strengthen your contentions.

Ciao!

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 04-25-2008, 01:13 PM   #56
Tony Sova
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Jonathan,

You said: "Well, I could wade into all the theological and doctrinal matters involved in answering your above assertions..."

I've beat that dead horse a million times, however, if you so desire I will invite to post your objections at www.essenes.net on the forum there where such discussions are encouraged.

You said: "but I don't think Jun would appreciate it."

I agree.

You said: "This isn't a Christian theology site - or a Gnostic one."

Ironically the purpose and intent of the original thread had nothing to do with theology.

Regards,

- Tony
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Old 04-25-2008, 03:38 PM   #57
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Quote:
Tony Sova wrote: View Post
Ironically the purpose and intent of the original thread had nothing to do with theology.
?????

Quote:
Tony Sova wrote: View Post
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. ... 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?
What part of the original post, exactly, was NOT theological?? -- I mean, apart from the definite and indefinite articles, the prepositions, and the punctuation. Oh, and the word "twain." Twain would not have appreciated being associated with anything remotely theological.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 04-25-2008, 04:16 PM   #58
Tony Sova
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

You said: "What part of the original post, exactly, was NOT theological??"

I did say specifically say 'purpose and intent of the article' mind you. The purpose and intent of the article was/is philosophical NOT theological.

- Tony
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Old 04-25-2008, 04:44 PM   #59
Tharis
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Can a dualist learn from his own body?

I think, to me, that's the main question. I associate gnosticism with a lot of mind/spirit over body, and I associate Aikido with synthesizing the three. I'm not sure these two are ultimately compatible.
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Old 04-25-2008, 05:03 PM   #60
Tony Sova
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Hello Thomas,

You said: "I associate gnosticism with a lot of mind/spirit over body, and I associate Aikido with synthesizing the three. I'm not sure these two are ultimately compatible."

Thanks to the efforts of people like yourself, Christian and others on the forum I am beginning to believe this as well. I would like to continue learning more about Ueshiba's teachings and beliefs. Can you or anyone else on this thread recommend any books or articles that are not tainted with western interpolations on Ueshiba?

Thank you.

- Tony
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Old 04-25-2008, 05:08 PM   #61
Dewey
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Quote:
Tony Sova wrote: View Post
Hello Thomas,

You said: "I associate gnosticism with a lot of mind/spirit over body, and I associate Aikido with synthesizing the three. I'm not sure these two are ultimately compatible."

Thanks to the efforts of people like yourself, Christian and others on the forum I am beginning to believe this as well. I would like to continue learning more about Ueshiba's teachings and beliefs. Can you are anyone else on this thread recommend any books or articles that are not tainted with western interpolations on Ueshiba?

Thank you.

- Tony
First, stay away from John Steven's works. Second, go to AikidoJournal.com...which is the most scholarly & reliable source of information on Aikido in the English language. Use the ever-helpful search function and read all pertinent articles. Will take several hours...but well worth it. There is a goodly amount of info on Ueshiba.

Specifically, Peter Goldsbury's articles you might find of interest: here & here

Last edited by Dewey : 04-25-2008 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 04-25-2008, 05:24 PM   #62
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

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Tony Sova wrote: View Post
Can you or anyone else on this thread recommend any books or articles that are not tainted with western interpolations on Ueshiba?
Here's himself. Fairly authoritative. Transcribed by Hideo Takahashi, and translated by Sonoko Tanaka, and introduced with approval by Ueshiba's son Kisshomaru, Nidai Doshu. However, you will need A LOT of background to digest this wide-ranging discussion.

Takemusu Aiki Lectures (ca. mid seventies)
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=636
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=638
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=639
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=641

An early work, Budo Renshu (1930's), is also helpful, but there is no online copy I know of. That is his only major written text, I am afraid, apart from the Doka (versified "Songs of the Way.") One version of the Doka (there are several translations around) is found here in Seiseki Abe's translation. What I said about needed background for the lectures goes quintuple for the Doka:

http://www.aikidofaq.com/doka.html

There is an interview of him and his son available. (late 1950's) It is translated by Stan Pranin, a well reputed reporter of such things (and which I find unobjectionable as translation). However, I must mention that certain aspects of that interview have been the source of some qualifying linguistic comment by others, which is too abstruse to try to explain here.

http://www.aikidofaq.com/interviews.html

Enjoy.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 04-25-2008, 05:44 PM   #63
Tharis
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Quote:
Tony Sova wrote: View Post
Hello Thomas,

You said: "I associate gnosticism with a lot of mind/spirit over body, and I associate Aikido with synthesizing the three. I'm not sure these two are ultimately compatible."

Thanks to the efforts of people like yourself, Christian and others on the forum I am beginning to believe this as well. I would like to continue learning more about Ueshiba's teachings and beliefs. Can you or anyone else on this thread recommend any books or articles that are not tainted with western interpolations on Ueshiba?

Thank you.

- Tony
Is there any place in the world that has not been "polluted" by "western interpolation"?
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Old 04-25-2008, 07:04 PM   #64
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Quote:
Tony Sova wrote: View Post
Can you or anyone else on this thread recommend any books or articles that are not tainted with western interpolations on Ueshiba?

Thank you.

- Tony
Mr Sova,

If these books or articles are written in English (and not translated), western interpretations, and perhaps interpolations, might well be unavoidable. It is difficult to avoid this with translations, also.

I first learned aikido in the UK and the US, at the hands of Japanese teachers who travelled there with the express purpose of teaching aikido to non-Japanese. This experience led me to come and live here, in Hiroshima, in order to learn the Japanese language and then read O Sensei's discourses in his own language. This is a major challenge and there are no short cuts possible here.

Living here has also led me to look at all the books and articles written about O Sensei in Japanese, that have not been translated. I found one, for example, recently. The title is 古事記と植芝盛平 合気道の神道世界. In English this would be something like, Kojiki (=Records of Ancient Matters) and Morihei Ueshiba: the Shinto World of Aikido. The author is a certain Yutaka Shimizu. The book is directly relevant to the Takemusu Aiki lectures, cited by Erick Mead his post above.

I think that the point I am making is that for a westerner it would be difficult (and also wrong) to slough off this heritage and attempt to become a cultural 'blank slate', so to speak. It is certainly not possible in Japan, which is rather possessive of its culture. However, it was Kisshomaru Ueshiba, not Morihei, who decided that aikido should become available for non-Japanese and so we have the situation that aikido is already 'interpreted' by the west (including those Japanese experts like Koichi Tohei who first wrote about the art in English).

In this situation, the study of O Sensei's discourses and other writings about aikido becomes rather like training itself. There is a constant need to question oneself and go back to the beginning--to the basics, to learn to distinguish the grains of wheat from the (rather larger amount of) chaff.

So, with this caution, I would recommend anything by Kisshomaru Ueshiba, but (1) these are translations, and (2) must be supplemented by the archive built up over the years by Stanley Pranin at Aikido Journal.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:16 PM   #65
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I first learned aikido in the UK and the US, at the hands of Japanese teachers who travelled there with the express purpose of teaching aikido to non-Japanese. This experience led me to come and live here, in Hiroshima, in order to learn the Japanese language and then read O Sensei's discourses in his own language. This is a major challenge and there are no short cuts possible here.... I think that the point I am making is that for a westerner it would be difficult (and also wrong) to slough off this heritage and attempt to become a cultural 'blank slate', so to speak. It is certainly not possible in Japan, which is rather possessive of its culture. ...There is a constant need to question oneself and go back to the beginning--to the basics, to learn to distinguish the grains of wheat from the (rather larger amount of) chaff.
If I may, there are (at least) two major ways of examining such things in anthropology:

1) by recognizing and examining spaces within organic cultural boundaries (Malinowski's participant perspective); and

2) by examining continuing cultural transfers across those boundaries. (Boas).

You seem to have taken Malinowski's approach. I find myself more drawn to Boas', (although I find his relativism less appealing). One looks at the evolving expressions of one culture; the other looks at the evolving relationship of boundaries between cultures. Both are important perspectives to maintain.

Japan must be understood in its own terms. But Japan is not, and has never been, as isolated and unaffected by world cultural movements as its modern nationalist prism (beginning with Norinaga) might have preferred to color the view. And in this is not merely the very significant Chinese contribution. Even Lao Tse took the road West.

There is much else, whether the layer of catholicized Kakure Christianity, the ongoing receipt of the "Dutch" learning, or more tenuous but real connections in Kukai's contemporaneous receipt of tantric learning in the T'ang capital with a Syrian Christian church active there, or even more remote connection in the common heritage between Hellenic Christianity and Greco-Buddhist teaching on the Silk Road. There has been and remains much of common currency under layers of accumulated history. Not all similarities are mere analogous development or naive imitation.

The history that contributes novelty also preserves continuity. The mokume is there, no matter how you cut the wood or what shape it takes or is given. The sword records in its structure every blow of the hammer that forged and folded it.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 04-26-2008, 07:07 AM   #66
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Hello Erick,

In my Comparative Culture classes at Hirodai, I used the two works of Geert Hofstede Culture's Consequences and Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, plus three works by Colin Turnbull (The Mountain People, especially). I am uncertain whether this makes me a Malinowskian (?) or a Boasist (Boas-constrictor?).

Have you come across a work called Aristotle in China? It is a study of how the Chinese saw Aristotle's Categories. The author is Robert Wardy, a don from Cambridge (UK).

As you state, Japan must be understood in its own terms. I hope you understand that this is what I have been trying to do for the past thirty years by living here. Here the issue is the taint of 'western interpolations' on Ueshiba.

Best wishes, as always,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 04-26-2008, 09:31 AM   #67
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Thank you Brian, Erick and Mr.Goldsbury for your lending me your guidance and expertise. I've already begun reading the material in the Aikido Journal.

Sincerely,

- Tony
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Old 04-26-2008, 06:25 PM   #68
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Well, that would have to be a 'yes' and a 'no'.
hahahahahahah

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Old 04-26-2008, 08:19 PM   #69
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Re: Can a dualist find success in Aikido?

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
...[I use] Geert Hofstede Culture's Consequences and Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, plus three works by Colin Turnbull (The Mountain People, especially). I am uncertain whether this makes me a Malinowskian (?) or a Boasist (Boas-constrictor?).
Well, going there initially was definitely weighted toward the participant perspective. They are the ends of one dimension of a full spectrum.

You have mentioned Hofstede before and I have looked at some of his work. I find it an interesting perspective. He seems to extend Jung's method of psychological typology to the sociological realm. Like Jung's work for individuals, classification of various dimensions of cultural variation may avoid unintended conflicts brought about by differing culturally-borne assumptions. In that, his work seems to have some affinity to Aikido, actually, and I can see the appeal. On the other hand, as with the older sociological concept of race, the variations within types may be as great or greater as the variation between them.

Japan is insular, in every sense, but its insularity is often in tension with its differing senses of both curiosity and "mission," as seen dramatically in the last century. Those differing perspectives could both align and conflict, and that is seen in the life of O Sensei himself.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Have you come across a work called Aristotle in China? It is a study of how the Chinese saw Aristotle's Categories. The author is Robert Wardy, a don from Cambridge (UK).
Nope. I did my undergraduate work on Wang Yang-ming (Oyomei). Then the Navy called. I tend to look at distinctions as developmental complexes rather than discrete types in Aristotelian terms. How they engage one another seems more intriguing somehow than how they "are" at any point in the progression of things. I think Oyomei deserves another look on such issues and is very harmonious with Whitehead's process thought -- and the whole concept of takemusu aiki, to my mind.

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... this is what I have been trying to do for the past thirty years by living here. Here the issue is the taint of 'western interpolations' on Ueshiba.
But he plainly desired (nearly demanded) that his art and thought engage the Western mind. If that was the point, and the flow of the art into the West is a mirror to the spontaneous creation of "technique" in aiki, then perhaps that 'interpolation' is the point -- not the distraction. Finding "pristine" antecedents in that context is of less concern -- at least to me.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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