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Old 01-16-2002, 05:02 PM   #1
Jonathan
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Spiritual power

I've often wondered about the amazing feats attributed to O-sensei. How was he able to transcend the physical laws governing our world? I heard one story, for instance, where O-sensei climbed atop a huddle of men and kiaied loudly. They all fell to the floor and were immobilized until O-sensei clambered off the huddle. Many claimed that they were held by the neck or pinned even though they were not in physical contact with O-sensei. How was this possible? Clearly this feat was not a matter of merely supreme physical technique. The only power I know of that supercedes the natural laws of our existence is that which is spiritual. I wonder what the nature of O-sensei's spiritual power was. Many primitive cultures wouldn't hesitate to attribute his power to occultic or demonic forces. Others would suggest a more innocuous origin of his power. Whatever the case, I think that there is enough anecdotal support for suggesting that O-sensei's power was not entirely his own. That is, it didn't originate entirely from within him. What do the rest of you think? (Hope this question doesn't sound too bizarre)

I can't help thinking of Faust when I consider this question.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 01-16-2002, 06:18 PM   #2
Arianah
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Hi there!

The question isn't too bizarre. Actually there is another thread very related to this that you might want to check out:

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showth...&threadid=1307

I think that though people can do amazing things, and O'Sensei was truly an amazing man, that one must hold some skepticism. O'Sensei's students revered him, and perhaps stories that have been passed along by them have been exaggerated (or maybe even fabricated--that would be sad, but you never know.) Though I believe that there are endless possibilities, the likelihood of one man mastering so much skill as is related in some of the stories about O'Sensei is pretty slim. I say this with no disrespect, but it is human nature to make someone you respect sound even better than he or she actually is. Don't get me wrong; I'm not a pure skeptic. Actually, I buy into a lot more than I probably should.

About O'Sensei's kiai, I've heard (don't remember where--most likely on this board) that when he was practicing, people within a mile could hear his kiai. And noise can paralyze temporarily . . . hmm . . .

Arianah
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Old 01-17-2002, 08:30 AM   #3
Ghost Fox
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A warrior is a living shrine (avatar) of the divine,
one who serves the grand purpose.

O'Sensei never attributed his great martial and spiritual power to himself. He said he was a conduit for the kami to flow through him.

Ancient Kemetic (Egyptian) texts talk about cutting-off one's head and replacing it with the head of a god. This was symbolized by putting own an animal head. This is why you see so many of the gods in the ancient Kemetic pantheon with the heads of animals. The animal heads were metaphors of various divine attributes. Similar to today where you have expression like one being hawkish or stubborn as a bull.

Cutting-off one's head is a metaphor for the detachment or worldly things spoken of in Buddhist dogma. One must not let one's own desire, one's ego-shell, rule over ones action. This is a very difficult concept for those raised under a western paradigm where the individual is king, where segragative (dualistic) logic dominates and holistic (synchronic) thinking is seen as new age propaganda. I speak of this because one cannot gain access to divine power without separation one's True Self from one's persona.

People like O'Sensei, Mother Teresa, the prophets and the saints where able to accomplish great things not because of there own personal power, but because they sacrificed themselves to the greater good, to the Divine. If one aligns one's will to that of the Divine Will, nothing in heaven or earth is beyond your power, but if one is aligned to the Divine one seeks to control nothing of desire nothing. One must become dead to the world and born again.

Lesser effects are possible through pure psychic potential (ki development) and hedge magick where through mental and auric induction one can cause changes to occur in the material plane. Although, I feel that one should develop ones own personal ki as much as possible, it has limits and no moral constraints. As one develops one's personal ki he should subscribe to a philosophy, similar to that in aikido, and strive to align one's personal ki to the Universal Ki.

I hope I haven't gone too far off the topic, and I think in a round about way it answers your query.

Peace and Blessings (Used the Force Luke. )

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Old 01-17-2002, 04:55 PM   #4
Jonathan
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Thanks for your replies to my question. I, too, am not disposed to taking a thing at face value, Arianah. I certainly don't assume that every story I've heard about O-sensei is true. However, there are some amazing instances concerning him that are shared by fairly credible sources: eye-witnesses, actual particpants, or legitimate biographers. I know that stories sometimes balloon into mythology, but I am not willing because this is true to assume that all of O-sensei's amazing feats are bunk.

As well, I think it is myopic of anyone to suggest that all extraordinary skills attributed to O-sensei can be reduced to mere physics. There is too much that is unknown to say this unequivocally -- or even confidently. Besides, I have video footage of him doing things that exceed the bounds of physics.

Anyway, I am not in need of a heroic role model and I'm not in search of a missing spiritual dimension to my life (thanks all the same, Ghostfox). I just wondered about what the possibilities might be regarding the unusual man we call O-sensei.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 01-17-2002, 07:02 PM   #5
Arianah
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Disclaimer: I'm not expressing this as truth; I'm expressing it as purely my own opinion, but it seems that you are looking for opinions, so here goes . . .

I believe that there are two levels to every person: the physical, logical, conscious level that we experience from and within ourselves and everyone around us, and the spiritual level--another level of consciousness (or whatever one wants to call it) that all people are capable of reaching at one point with dedicated focus on it (I also believe in reincarnation so one has a lot of time to find the ability to tap into this spiritual level.) Most have not reached this level, when the mind has absolute control over the body etc., so when we witness someone who has, we deem them (depending on time period/culture) demons, witches, saviors, masters, gods, etc. O'Sensei might have had the ability to tap into his spiritual level (to some extent), and thus perform some great feats that we may believe impossible or unbelievable.

I could have just uncovered the secret meaning of life! Or what I just said could be a bunch of horse crap (most likely the latter ) Either way, I apologize immensely for making you sit through and read this.

Arianah

Last edited by Arianah : 01-18-2002 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 01-17-2002, 07:18 PM   #6
shihonage
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In order to summon your ultimate, all-defeating, Earth-shattering spiritual powers, pronounce after me the following words:

Klaatu
Berata
Nik... Damn.
Nickel ?
Necktie ?
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Old 01-17-2002, 07:38 PM   #7
Thalib
 
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summoning

Klaatu
Verakta
Ni... ghurhhrm

There... I said it... sort of...
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Old 01-17-2002, 08:06 PM   #8
Erik
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A warrior is a living shrine (avatar) of the divine,
one who serves the grand purpose.


http://www.ultraman2000.com/ultraman_9.jpg
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Old 01-17-2002, 09:03 PM   #9
Arianah
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ha, ha, ha . . .
Why do I get the feeling I'm being ridiculed? (or is that just too perceptive of me for belief? )
Oh well--bound to happen sooner or later.

Arianah
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Old 01-17-2002, 09:33 PM   #10
Edward
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According to the Uchi-Deshi, Osensei was an exceptional man, but NORMAL. He was obsessed with Aikido and wanted to practice day and night. None of them witnessed any of the exploits that we read every where. The problem is that he himself believed that he had supernatural powers.

However, I think repeating this stuff does to his memory more damage than good.

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-17-2002, 09:49 PM   #11
Chocolateuke
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Lightbulb

I really dont want to get into a flame war over impossible feats because Ive seen to many flame wars on the net and wanna live with spiritural and intellecual and netectuall hamony ( if there is such thing).

Anyhow sure I see exactly how all the things that is claimed that O-Sensei is fraud. but he did one really incredible thing he founded Aikido ... but some things you learn at the dojo are "immpossible" to the untrained ( like for me spelling. you learn the unbendble arm. Ive had highschool varsity football players try to bend by arm and I can barely bench 110 pounds. Im a weakling and they cant bend my arm no matter how much bulk they have. thats incredble! also you learn how to do the unlifitble body, thats to do with centerness but you can be 85 pounds and incredbly centered and a body builder cant lift you! the point is that some of the Mystisim is really very rational, and logic. think chemistry back then your teacher would mix white liquid with another different white liquid and it would turn yellow! or he would take a copper string and mix it with silver nitrate and crystles would grow! a lot of science to the untrained is also unbelieveble. in my opnion spirtual and science studys studied together because they contemplate each other so well. the average person dosent think so but science getting very closly related to Religion.

Dallas Adolphsen
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Old 01-18-2002, 11:44 AM   #12
darin
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Just a few months ago I saw a program on Japanese TV about ki power. Two Japanese kempo masters and a Chinese tai chi master demonstrated their ability to control people by using ki. To me it looked more like hypnotism or some kind of mind control. Maybe Ueshiba used similar techniques... It was quite amazing what these guys could do.
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Old 01-18-2002, 12:40 PM   #13
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hmm - you state that "According to the Uchi-Deshi, Osensei was an exceptional man, but NORMAL.". In complete aikido, Suenaka sensei states explicitly that he was woken by a vibration caused by O-sensei performing kotodama meditation.

Sid
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Old 01-19-2002, 12:22 PM   #14
Abasan
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Sueneka Sensei also said that Osensei could read his mind when he contemplated on hitting Osensei at the beach.

Still, for those that won't believe, it's not for us to tell otherwise.

As far as being normal and having supernatural powers, I believe that is entirely possible. Over the centuries, there have been many documented incidences where mothers have lifted cars to rescue their baby; people falling from multistorey buildings unscathed; etc etc. Yogi's who could hold their breath for hours, Chi Kung masters who could be beaten by steel rods without harm, psychics, esp etc etc.

If you train hard in something all your life, I'm pretty sure you can learn to do some of these things.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 01-19-2002, 12:39 PM   #15
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Arianah
ha, ha, ha . . .
Why do I get the feeling I'm being ridiculed? (or is that just too perceptive of me for belief? )
Oh well--bound to happen sooner or later.

Arianah
By me!

Not possible!
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Old 01-19-2002, 05:41 PM   #16
Arianah
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Erik, it was nice to see the old Ultra 7 man pictures though. I had forgotten all about that show (though it was way before my time). I've seen a couple of episodes that one of my friends had a few years ago. What a great show . . . cough, cough.

Arianah
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Old 01-19-2002, 11:50 PM   #17
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
According to the Uchi-Deshi, Osensei was an exceptional man, but NORMAL. He was obsessed with Aikido and wanted to practice day and night. None of them witnessed any of the exploits that we read every where. The problem is that he himself believed that he had supernatural powers.

However, I think repeating this stuff does to his memory more damage than good.

Cheers,
Edward
In "Aikido Ichiro" there's a section where a few of the pre-war uchideshi talk about their experiences with M. Ueshiba's psychic powers. Sounded to me like they, at least, believed it, so I suppose it would depend on which uchi-deshi you talked to. Gozo Shioda himself claimed to have witnessed M. Ueshiba dodging bullets. Now, I don't particularly believe in the super-human powers that have sometimes been attributed to him, but it's clear to me that at least some of his long time personal students did.

Best,

Chris

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Old 01-20-2002, 05:00 AM   #18
Edward
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Quote:
Originally posted by Chris Li


In "Aikido Ichiro" there's a section where a few of the pre-war uchideshi talk about their experiences with M. Ueshiba's psychic powers. Sounded to me like they, at least, believed it, so I suppose it would depend on which uchi-deshi you talked to. Gozo Shioda himself claimed to have witnessed M. Ueshiba dodging bullets. Now, I don't particularly believe in the super-human powers that have sometimes been attributed to him, but it's clear to me that at least some of his long time personal students did.

Best,

Chris
I think the latest generation of Uchi deshi, notably the "American" shihans (since most ended up in the USA) did not believe much in Osensei's supernatural powers. Saito Sensei as well.

Cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-20-2002, 06:20 AM   #19
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward


I think the latest generation of Uchi deshi, notably the "American" shihans (since most ended up in the USA) did not believe much in Osensei's supernatural powers. Saito Sensei as well.

Cheers,
Edward
Technically speaking, there were no uchi-deshi after the war, including Morihiro Saito (this according to K. Ueshiba). Checking back in "Aikido Ichiro", I see that the two people who cited M. Ueshiba's "psychic powers" were Mochizuki and Kamada, two big names at the Kobukan. Add in Gozo Shioda and you have three of the major uchi-deshi giving out stories of personally witnessing super-human type powers.

Believe it or not, as you like. Me, I don't credit the events to supernatural powers, but it's clear to me that at least some of M. Ueshiba's uchi-deshi certainly did.

Best,

Chris

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Old 01-20-2002, 01:30 PM   #20
Jonathan
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So, are men like Mochizuki and Shioda sensei somehow more gullible than those of us more distant from the events these men call supernatural? Are they unreliable eye-witnesses, or just foolishly predisposed by their uchi-deshi relationship to O-sensei to view his martial feats as supernatural? Doesn't their own high degree of martial skill make them better able to distinguish excellent technique from something beyond? Hmmm....

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 01-20-2002, 02:08 PM   #21
Erik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jonathan
So, are men like Mochizuki and Shioda sensei somehow more gullible than those of us more distant from the events these men call supernatural? Are they unreliable eye-witnesses, or just foolishly predisposed by their uchi-deshi relationship to O-sensei to view his martial feats as supernatural? Doesn't their own high degree of martial skill make them better able to distinguish excellent technique from something beyond? Hmmm....
Check out how often scientists get fooled and scientists are held, theoretically, to a much higher standard than folks in the martial arts. Very often, it's those who are the closest that get fooled the worst and it's usually because they are also the one's who most want to believe.

So, to my way of thinking, in regards to O'Sensei having super-powers I think they are highly unreliable observers.
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Old 01-20-2002, 03:51 PM   #22
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Erik


Check out how often scientists get fooled and scientists are held, theoretically, to a much higher standard than folks in the martial arts. Very often, it's those who are the closest that get fooled the worst and it's usually because they are also the one's who most want to believe.

So, to my way of thinking, in regards to O'Sensei having super-powers I think they are highly unreliable observers.
Without knowing those people personally I find it hard to make a judgement. Also, I might well disagree with their interpretation of the events in question.

In any case, my citing of Kamada, Mochizuki, and Shioda was in response to the assertion:

"According to the Uchi-Deshi, Osensei was an exceptional man, but NORMAL. .... None of them witnessed any of the exploits that we read every where."

Which seems to me to be clearly mistaken in light of (at the very least) the statements of those three people.

Best,

Chris

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Old 01-20-2002, 09:09 PM   #23
Edward
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I have to confess that I don't have much information about the above mentioned Senseis. What I can confirm, is the interviews with Osensei's Uchi Deshi of the post war period, who don't seem to believe much in super-natural powers, but rather in the exceptional martial abilities of Osensei and his dedication to training even at old age.

cheers,
Edward
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Old 01-20-2002, 09:15 PM   #24
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By the way, try reading the 1st paragraph from this interview with Koichi Tohei Sensei.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article...?ArticleID=861

Also Kenji Tomiki Sensei avoided the question in a very diplomatic way

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article...?ArticleID=204

I must add that the stories that I read myself seem to be like duels when someone was deliberately shooting at Osensei. In this case, I doubt it that opponents really shot to kill, as this would be a crime, and then this would be against Samurai ethics to shoot an unarmed man in a duel. Probably the opponents did not aim very accurately.

The fact that Osensei was constantly moving probably made their task even more difficult.

Put in this way, there would be nothing super-natural about Osensei except his courage and his bravery.

Fortunately, Osensei was never hit, because then Aikido would have never been created.

Cheers,
Edward

Last edited by Edward : 01-20-2002 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 01-20-2002, 10:05 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edward
By the way, try reading the 1st paragraph from this interview with Koichi Tohei Sensei.
I notice that Koichi Tohei says that he has never had anything to do with supernatural powers, even though he claimed to have cured appendicitis through laying on of hands in a seperate interview.

Further, the incident with the tree that he ridicules is recounted in Gozo Shioda's "Aikido Jinsei", but that was some years before Koichi Tohei even began Aikido, so there's no way he'd have first-hand knowledge of the event.

The Tomiki article talks a litte about religion, but nothing that I noticed about supernatural powers.

I any case, I think that my point is clear - for better or worse, certainly some of the uchi-deshi believed in M. Ueshiba's supernatural powers and made clear public statements to that effect.

Best,

Chris

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