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Old 03-17-2009, 09:52 PM   #301
Buck
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Quote:
Jonathan Olson wrote: View Post
Buck, I wonder if you should try to spend less energy worrying about doing the "True" aikido, and more trying to make aikido your own.
As the 300th reply on this thread, that would be all wrong wouldn't it? No on second thought, your right I should have Aikido my way, why not. Let me think here, how would that be hmmmm.........OH I got! It will be..... (drum roll pls)......just the way....... O'Sensei did it, in the original way! Yea....like that. But I do like the idea of turning Aikido into a hip-hop art.

Last edited by Buck : 03-17-2009 at 10:00 PM.
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Old 03-27-2009, 01:21 AM   #302
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Yes, I was a bit of a devil there.

What I find interesting is all the different versions of how people interpret O'Sensei. A man who was fiercely dedicated to Japan and his race. A man with an odd mixture of convictions, that modeled himself, his life and his art from a variety of Japanese sources and stuff that where so different from each other. Stuff that included mixing a personal spiritual experience, that is marked by common indications of leaders who need credibility and purpose for their goals. Warrior samurai culture, codes, and preservation of that. Superstition and myth created and catered uniquely to the Japanese mind in the form of Shinto. Japanese culture that moved toward change, but honors highly and holds it up all that stuff it wanted to change in some strange preservation. A man with that believed strongly in Japanese culture and ways. Who modeled himself as a warrior of peace. Who had a message that he wanted to spread that wasn't unique or new to the world outside Japan. A man who was naive to the stuff and the world beyond the closed doors of Japan. Educated by wealth and by a new obscure religion. This an many other things similar to so many others in the world.

I am surprised that we haven't, in the west, parallelled O'Sensei to the likes of western men like Marcus Aurelius "the wise," and his meditations. Or that of the Stoics and how they see things.

It is often that people twist the beliefs of others into something the original belief wasn't, and follow that. Often when we turn a person into a hero, all we see is the embellishments of fanatics or worshippers who are not interest in truth, and not how that person was actually like. In the US take living heros of our past like, Custard, Annie Oakley, Jim Bowie, Daniel Boone, etc. All tall tales that embellished what they were really like.

I guess not seeing a person for who they really are is less important than making stuff up as a means to serve the agenda's of others is what makes it more interesting to follow then what a person is really and truly like. O'Sensei I think created enough elaboration and myth around himself. That seems like a Japanese thing to do when pursuing something as he did. Then it was more elaboration and myth was heaped on after his death. And what he was about was even more skewed by others then by him.

I guess in Japan the wrapping is more important then the gift and re-gifting is common. I think O'sensei's intent was lost, maybe because the rest of the world was already ahead of him and Japan. Something he wasn't aware of too much. Maybe his view and message would have been different if he had more of a global education in religion and philosophy.
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Old 03-27-2009, 04:12 PM   #303
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Marcus Aurelius - I think your president Bill Clinton named his "Meditations" as one of his favourite books; so full of wisdom, isn't it?
And then we overlook that Marcus Aurelius once lit the Appian Way with the bodies of 600 burning crucified Christians.
I guess it's easy to buy into a myth, isn't it?
Oh, and I'd guess that Buck thought this thread had gone too quiet so he thought he ought to say something controversial!

Last edited by Mark Peckett : 03-27-2009 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:09 PM   #304
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Quote:
Mark Peckett wrote: View Post
... And then we overlook that Marcus Aurelius once lit the Appian Way with the bodies of 600 burning crucified Christians.
I guess it's easy to buy into a myth, isn't it?
How'd that work out for him?

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:31 PM   #305
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Not that Marcus Aurelius wasn't a baddie, as rulers often are, or a persecutor of Christians - but are you thinking of Nero burning Christians for nighttime illumination, or maybe the 6000 slaves crucified along the Appian Way during Spartacus' rebellion? I guess it *is* easy to buy into a myth...

I am not an expert
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:32 PM   #306
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Marcus Aurelius - I think your president Bill Clinton named his "Meditations" as one of his favourite books; so full of wisdom, isn't it?
And then we overlook that Marcus Aurelius once lit the Appian Way with the bodies of 600 burning crucified Christians.
I guess it's easy to buy into a myth, isn't it?
Oh, and I'd guess that Buck thought this thread had gone too quiet so he thought he ought to say something controversial!
As hind-sight being 20-20, I would take Bill over the last guy, what was his name, any day.

And the point is made, with your opinion on MA (Marcus Aurelius). It is all about perspective it all relates to what I posted. We only look at O'Sensei as if he what he said is without flaw, perfect and that it will fit exactly in our lives and to every situation. We don't see him a person missing how he really was. We don't critically look at him. How fair is that.

I don't care if the thread got quiet. I think I owned it to everyone to explain things and not give a smarty pants answer.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:35 PM   #307
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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How'd that work out for him?
Witty.
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Old 03-28-2009, 02:45 PM   #308
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
As hind-sight being 20-20, I would take Bill over the last guy, what was his name, any day.
Heheheh...for me it was hard to say what his name would be on any given day, I kept coming up with new ways to refer to him.

Quote:
We only look at O'Sensei as if he what he said is without flaw, perfect and that it will fit exactly in our lives and to every situation...We don't critically look at him. How fair is that.
Hey now...what's this "we" stuff? Speaking as a guy who's tried to apply "Aikido" to darn near everything in my life, I actually don't think I've had a very unrealistic view of the man...considering I've never met him. Remember, some of us start out with highly developed skeptical personalities when we encountered this stuff.

Quote:
I don't care if the thread got quiet. I think I owned it to everyone to explain things and not give a smarty pants answer.
I think you probably don't owe anyone here anything, but I do appreciate how much effort you've put in to explaining your position.
...and I like smarty pants answers...even if they usually make me feel less clever by comparison.
Take care,
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:50 AM   #309
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Jeremy, thanks for putting me straight on my errors back there. Proof positive you should do your research before firing off a post. Also thanks for setting Marcus Aurelius in the context of his culture, clearly a violent and casually cruel one; although I understand that he was a more merciful emperor than most, he acted with "an undoubted ruthlessness, particularly "when it came to the defence of his own dynastic interests" (Marcus Aurelius: Warrior, Philosopher, Emperor by Frank McLynn).

However, if we take what he wrote out of that context, does it still resonate down the centuries and have something to teach us? I guess it does - rather like O'Sensei.

If we accept, as I have posited before that these were indeed just men, then we can cut them a little bit of slack. "When you look for the bad in mankind, expecting to find it, you usually will." Another American president - Abraham Lincoln. Wish I'd thought of using that quote first, but that honour belongs to Pollyanna's father, who went on to find 800 glad texts in the Bible.

As far as smarty pants answers go, I know some posters like to make long posts that other posters can reply in even longer posts, quoting and refuting point by point, whereas I prefer to keep mine short and pithy. I hope this has gone some way to redressing the balance.
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Old 03-29-2009, 02:00 PM   #310
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

I agree, Mark - I often think that people's words and works serve us better taken outside of the context of their creators' personal lives. I would rather read someone's essays before a biography, for instance. We're all human and fallible, even the wisest of us - Gandhi, Lincoln, O Sensei, anyone - and maybe that makes their wisdom even more valuable for us, because when we interpret it through our own experience, it seems more relevant somehow for having been thought of by people as flawed as ourselves.

I kind of like the smarty-pants answers; they keep it light...

I am not an expert
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:09 PM   #311
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Heheheh...for me it was hard to say what his name would be on any given day, I kept coming up with new ways to refer to him.
Oh yea...that's so true! The one I keep refering to rthyms with the occupation of trucker.

Quote:
Hey now...what's this "we" stuff? Speaking as a guy who's tried to apply "Aikido" to darn near everything in my life, I actually don't think I've had a very unrealistic view of the man...considering I've never met him. Remember, some of us start out with highly developed skeptical personalities when we encountered this stuff.

I think you probably don't owe anyone here anything, but I do appreciate how much effort you've put in to explaining your position.
...and I like smarty pants answers...even if they usually make me feel less clever by comparison.
Take care,
Matt
Thanks Matt. I appreciate it.

Last edited by Buck : 03-30-2009 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:21 PM   #312
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

I have this thought, why is it Karate writings (contemporaries to Aikido writings, for example) are clear and understandable where here is no debate or broad range of interpretation, unlike Aikido?

It's when you lose critical thinking, and that desire to be skeptical in place of drinking the kool-aid no matter how strong it is made, or who makes it. And it isn't so much of understanding O'Sensei as your BFF, or supreme being guide, or the imbecilely wise- all knowing sage. Instead it is understanding in an educated way and realistic way the the foreground and background story on O'Sensei. Ya, got to understand the man, the Japanese man in the context of his life, and times, and his world. Like not assuming what he meant by "Love" because what O'Sensei seems to be speaking to our defination of love, or what others tell us via their own perspective and filters of what they interpret "Love" to be. Rather seeing what was happening in O'Sensei's life, what views and perspectives that he had that may have influence him. What was the big picture that the word "Love." I know the word used, and meant by O'Sensei didn't mean sexual abuse or harassment. Though some did. That is a danger, and enough of a danger to stop, look, and think.
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:34 PM   #313
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

I was reading the Groupthink thread, and can be said that O'Sensei in terms of Aikido didn't do groupthink. But, maybe ( I will discuss it there on the Groupthink thread) we don't realize that O'Sensei was into group think, as a Japanese, as his involvement in the Omoto religion.

Only seeing a man's good half or only his bad half is only seeing half a man.
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:14 AM   #314
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
the imbecilely wise- all knowing sage.
Wow, I really did an opps... I meant the impeccably wise... and not imbecilely.

While I have my own attention on this, I will take the opportunity to say there is this thread called, Interpretation; In the beginning (O Sensei) .http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15909 that really supports the reason why we must question. That is no reflection up the person who started the thread, it worth pointing out how he came to think what he did, and how easy it is to do it.

Last edited by Buck : 03-31-2009 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:38 AM   #315
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Since this clearly a thread about understanding what other people mean and what we mean, perhaps it would be helpful, Buck, if you defined your own terms.
What do you mean by "Love"?
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:11 AM   #316
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Quote:
Mark Peckett wrote: View Post
Since this clearly a thread about understanding what other people mean and what we mean, perhaps it would be helpful, Buck, if you defined your own terms.
What do you mean by "Love"?
Matt,

Good question, I already have. I will say it again just for you, with one leg in my smarty shorts But, in "shorts" form, it isn't by the western definition. But, more by the Japanese definition, that relates more to our western understanding of mercy. I direct you to this kind of stuff to make a formation, Japanese culture and thinking, language, history, politics, Shinto, Omoto, and the Hagakure (and several other stuff written like that).

Something I haven't admitted and have touched ever so slightly on, is that based on how O'Sensei addressed his philosophy to the west, there is room to say he mean love in a western way. But suspect that he might have been trying to find a hook for westerners. Based on the times and his contact with westerners he may have allowed the idea of love as westerners see it to apply to Aikido. And or translation between the two languages may have played a role in what western believe about the word love.

Also, you have to consider the role his assigned uchideshi to the states treated and interpreted the word love as. Not all Aikidoka agree on how to treat it. Some styles are more liberal, and others conservative and even differences are among each.

All of which cause more confusion and lack of harmony in understand what O'Sensei meant. But what we can do is start at the point of origin, look at Japan at that time, understand better the Japanese politics, understand Japanese culture and its history, etc. That why we can see what might have inspired O'Sensei to design Aikido as he did. Rather then guess or project on to O'Sensei ourselves based on what we perceive as shared common elements like personified cultural or personal commonalities.

Pointing to Karate again, or even Judo, the philosophy etc. is very clear and far less abstract and confusing than what O'Sensei created for Aikido.

I am not saying I have a defination, rather where to look for that (drum roll please) ....finger on the desk drum roll.... defination.

Last edited by Buck : 03-31-2009 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:18 AM   #317
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

I should add that the reason I ask is that Mitsugi Saotome, who trained with O'Sensei and, obviously, is a native Japanese speaker, in "Aikido and the Harmony of Nature" - a book written from discussions with Saotome Sensei and from his dictation in English - quotes O'Sensei talking about love, and that love pretty much matches up with my personal view of unselfish love for all mankind.
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:31 AM   #318
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Quote:
Mark Peckett wrote: View Post
I should add that the reason I ask is that Mitsugi Saotome, who trained with O'Sensei and, obviously, is a native Japanese speaker, in "Aikido and the Harmony of Nature" - a book written from discussions with Saotome Sensei and from his dictation in English - quotes O'Sensei talking about love, and that love pretty much matches up with my personal view of unselfish love for all mankind.
And that does have to do with what I just said, about uchideshi and what follows from there. I am not arguing Saotome sensei is right or wrong, I am saying, look at what others like Saotome sensei said about love is there a solid uniform consistancy?

Stanley Pranin said something like he believed that Aikido today is not O'Sensei's Aikido, but rather that of O'Sensei's uchideshi. I am not 100% on that, I am going off of memory. For the record, I drink...allot....of....beer.

All in all, I am saying there is no consistency or solid consensus on what love is mean by, in the Aikido world. Therefore, we need to go back and look at different sources and thingys, as I said, to find such an answer. Ya, know do the research and stuff.

The other thing too is we have to understand how the Japanese language works where multiple means apply.

Last edited by Buck : 03-31-2009 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:45 AM   #319
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

The Karate of today isn't Gichin Funakoshi's Karate either. And I guess that the Christianity of today isn't that Jesus either - or we wouldn't be communicating through expensive hardware like this; after all, isn't it easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven?
All things change, which is the essence of Buddhism - we don't even have an immortal soul, but, if you like, a wave of karmic propensities or choices made in the previous life. Quantum physics acknowledges the act of observing changes the nature of the experiment observed.
I wish you well in your attempt to clearly define aikido, and to establish what O'Sensei did or didn't say - I can't imagine it will be an easy task.
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:21 AM   #320
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Quote:
Mark Peckett wrote: View Post
.
I wish you well in your attempt to clearly define aikido, and to establish what O'Sensei did or didn't say - I can't imagine it will be an easy task.
Fudge, I did it again, calling Mark, Matt. Sorry guys.

I will go by last names in the future.
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:52 AM   #321
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

And the karate of Funakoshi probably wasn't the karate of Okinawa or his contemporaries who stayed secluded and only later became better known by people once they started to look behind Funokoshi. Aikido ... Same same. Shotokan is actually a mainstream Japanese art, as opposed to an Okinawan one. It underwent changes quite similar to aikido in it's transition from Daito ryu. No surprises there really.

Best,
Ron
Quote:
Mark Peckett wrote: View Post
The Karate of today isn't Gichin Funakoshi's Karate either. And I guess that the Christianity of today isn't that Jesus either - or we wouldn't be communicating through expensive hardware like this; after all, isn't it easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven?
All things change, which is the essence of Buddhism - we don't even have an immortal soul, but, if you like, a wave of karmic propensities or choices made in the previous life. Quantum physics acknowledges the act of observing changes the nature of the experiment observed.
I wish you well in your attempt to clearly define aikido, and to establish what O'Sensei did or didn't say - I can't imagine it will be an easy task.

Ron Tisdale
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"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:00 PM   #322
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

FWIW, when I mentioned Karate, I once again assumed readers as well versed martial artists, who would know that I was speaking about stuff like Shotokan's Kuns and training precepts, and other writings. That's all and nothing else besides they are written so much clear- like I said- than the Aikido stuff.

Last edited by Buck : 03-31-2009 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:08 PM   #323
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Peckett,

It isn't not clearly defining Aikido that am getting at, rather clearly seeing. Seeing without obstructions, filters, prejudices, etc.
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:50 PM   #324
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Dear Buck

What you see depends on where you stand, my friend.

When I am honest, critical, self-critical, and self-aware, I take a stand; I create filters.

I separate myself from my experience and from other people.

I often, in fact, find myself attracted to the lonely vigor, which I know in the same breath can and often does alienate me.

Then. in the midst of my practice, thought, doubt, and aspiration to understand evaporate -- dew in the strong light of action. There is action, reaction. There is truth.

And I ask, considering those moments of understanding that exist in acting, does it matter how well I have thought through my position?

Does it matter, for example, whether I have cut through the mist of myth surrounding O'Sensei?

Is the proof in the pudding?

Regards,

cdh
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:57 PM   #325
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Dave,

I appreciate where you are going, and my concern would be the same if we where both held to the common discussion. I would reject the common discussion advoiding that it employs the easy turn gambit. Such a device results in only squelching critical thought and intellectual exploration. Therefore, I hope you understand I am beyond that level of discussion to avoid that turn that will only distract from the discussion.

It is up to each of us to determine personally what fits us, is it the original (O'Sensei's composition) or the alternatives (composition and interpretation of uchideshi), Alternatives have no assessed judgment, but rather the point of understanding the alternatives are interpretation composites based on original. Alternative benefit does accrue, that isn't argued. But rather, the understanding of the alternative are separate from the original, and don't equate to or replacement for the original. Alternatives reflect from the original by their own admission to interpretation, constitution, progeny doctrine, conventions and stuff. They are not replacements or substitutes for the original, but rather deviations from alternative. Thereby, indicating an important demarcation between the original and alternatives. It is that understanding that the original requires the proper treatment, not equating to the alternatives or the fabrications, which require their own individual treatment. It is the original that is the measure of proper perspective and scale of Aikido. For me, what fits is the original.

Filters etc. interfere with the proper perspective and scale of Aikido. Filters etc., distort the elements cast by the original and result in inaccuracies, and those types of things. Allowing for distortion and being subject to varied range of interpretation as well. I can't see why anyone one would not want to experience an original vs. says a copy of the original. Originals are always more highly valued.
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