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Old 02-06-2009, 06:20 AM   #76
Buck
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Why do you think this is the case? I think I support the role of myth in human experience and I do not believe god(s) exist. I do not believe they don't exist either. I try to suspend belief where ever I can.
For me at least, myth is usually like a parable. Like a koan, meaning is discovered through individual consideration.
My thought was pretty basic. And it is because mythology works hand in hand (inseparable) with the idea of gods.
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:30 AM   #77
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Many of the people I talk to about Aikido and who are not involved with Aikido really throw this question at me often. After telling them superficially about the spiritual thoughts of O'Sensei they say, stuff like, who says O'Sensei knew what he was talking about. They are implying that I don't question him or his wisdom. They think I am make an assumption that his stuff is true and full of wisdom. I am a fool for not thinking he could be B.S.ing and I am fool for it.

That usually gets me thinking stuff like this. When we really get into Aikido do we just accept O'Sensei as being supremely wise, and he speaks the truth without question? I was watching this show about this cult that was started in the 60's by a Baptist or some type of minister. he attracted a lot of followers, it got really big. And lasted for decades. It was all about love and stuff that was similar to what O'Sensei said. And plus Aikido got big in the US in the 60's. The people in the cult really where into what this minister turn cult leader who was telling them stuff to believe that was a mix of Christianity, the stuff of the 60's movement- free love etc, and western philosophy. His huge group of followers ate it up, and his cult grew to thousands all over the place.

My point how am I not different from a cult follower who doesn't question what I am being told. I automatically assume what O'Sensei says (what I can understand - even that is in question) makes him automatically accept him as being of perfect wisdom. Wisdom and direction that will properly guide my life and lead me to what I desire- happiness, bliss, etc. Should I stop and think about hero worshiping O'Sensei (as they see it) and consider maybe his words are not all that wise, powerful, enlightening and having all the answers. Is his words and ideas able to bring me to that spiritual advancement that so many are looking for, and we are so devoted to without question. A spiritual place that we can't come to by ourselves?

As human I think we search for answers from others, for some gawd awful reason. Maybe it is because we are a social creature, and have some need to follow one person. We see it so strongly in society, religion and politics. Why we need leaders in so many parts of our lives is a huge question for me. I am not saying Aikido is like that cult there are differences, really important differences, that I didn't talk about. But what I am saying is that for some reason we have to look to other human's -who are human like us- for things that are really beyond what humans can do, or be, especially with spirituality.

I am wondering if there are others who see this differently or the same.
I think it's easy to confuse O Sensei's message with the imagery he used to explain it. His message, at least to me, is pretty clear; Aikido as a martial art transcends conflict in ways that bring people together rather than driving them apart. Getting caught up in the form of his delivery only serves to cloud the message unnecessarily. All the fuss over gods, spirits, purple hazes, golden rain and all the other trappings of mysticism is just smoke. A good stiff breeze blows it all away.

My spirituality lies within me and Aikido, as I practice it, gives me an opportunity to unify mind, body and spirit.

Ron
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Old 02-06-2009, 07:54 AM   #78
Mark Peckett
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Once again to return to the central question: who sez O'Sensei was was wise.

In Christian theology (Mark 11:12-14) Jesus cursed a fig tree which did not bear fruit when he was hungry.

The Buddha is on record as say "a nun who has been ordained even for a century ... must do homage to a monk ordained but that day."

Mohammed, confronted by resistance from local merchants in Mecca to Islam is reported to have accepted 3 local deities. He soon withdrew the acceptance saying that Sat6an placed the words on his tongue.

So, a man so angry he cursed a tree which had no control over whether it was bearing fruit at a time when the Son of God was hungry.

A man who was a sexist.

And a man apparently fooled by the Devil.

Now do we disregard the wisdom of these world religions because these men made mistakes. Jesus may have been the Son of God but he was also a man, prone to the emotions of man. The Buddha, who taught the world how to perceive reality directly, as a man influenced by the culture in which he grew up, had attitudes to women that we in the 21st century would disagree with. And Mohammed, the last prophet of God, because of a situation which might have seen the end of his nascent religion, succumbed to the blandishments of Gibreel.

Of course we don't. We see the wisdom in much (or all if you are a follower of that particular faith) of what they said - and we forgive them their failings.

Why should O'Sensei be treated differently? I've never in nearly 30 years of practice been in a dojo which treated him as a god (and I would question the advisability of practising in a dojo that did); I acknowledge that on occasion he was tricky and that some of his teachings are contradictory. But the core of Aikido, its marital arts practice and its spiritual teachings - are they wise? Without doubt.

And surely it is that spirit of appreciation of the best in (wo)mankind and forgiveness of the worst that we should bring onto the mat in our own practice.
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Old 02-06-2009, 08:28 AM   #79
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
With great respect, I think your comment is rather American-centered and breathtakingly general. I think that explaining "this art's popularity in the West" is quite different from explaining why "many Western practitioners" find "the strong spiritual elements they often" identify "less alien". The two might occasionally coincide, but are not the same. As the elected head of a large international aikido federation, I suspect I am on fairly strong ground here.
I respect your authority and the trust others have reposed in you, for reasons that are obvious in these forums. That does not alter the observation or the place from which that observation is made -- which I will fully admit comes from a definitively Western (American) perspective.

I am hardly the cultural imperialist. I have been touched almost as much at the DaiButsu and Hachimangu in Kamakura, as I have by the call of the muezzin across the Temple Mount to the Lions Gate, and I follow neither tradition. I nevertheless find rich value in specifically Japanese spiritual practices and thinking. That does not mean I agree with all of it either.

The fact that any person or culture may perceive a thing to be true in the contingent development of their own history, in one aspect, does not mean they fully comprehend their own position (my own included) or how they arrived at it (or that they care all that much, frankly) -- any more than an assailant's assumption that he will remain standing after taking a swing is an accurate assessment of the contingent development of the situation at hand.

But when those cultural religious factors intersect with others it IS important to see how those things developed apart to better see how they may (or might better) develop in conjunction. This is especially so if there is some actual historical connection underlying them, because they might no be so "alien" after all. Atsutane was always suspected of being influenced by Kakure Kurishitan thinking or "Dutch" knowledge, and Saeki suggests this influence is deeper and even affecting the primary sources, such as Kojiki, which is most suggestive in the Sanshin Zouka.

For this reason I referenced Saeki's work which has languished because of the War and the Communist revolution in China that cut off research until relatively recently, and that line of reserach is being rvived from more intensive consideration of the Dunhuang documents and the Chinese sources about the Tang period as it influenced Asuka/Nara era Japan. His is hardly an "American-centered" perspective -- and his points are far from mere generality, even if they do represent a more nineteenth century style of scholarship.

The fact that such ideas have been taken to ill effect (IMO) by such as Deguchi, does not mean that others having ideas flowing from that source (Ueshiba) cannot redeem the value that is in them, nor that the ideas themselves are of less value or not worth considering, even so. There is commonality in these two cultures beyond the idea that Aikido is "like karate, but more spiritual," but hinted at even in that basic thought of the ordinary uninformed person in both places.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-06-2009, 08:52 AM   #80
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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My thought was pretty basic. And it is because mythology works hand in hand (inseparable) with the idea of gods.
I may be wrong, but I don't think myth is inseperable from the idea of gods. The famous myths most people think about are the classics which just happened to originated in polytheistic cultures...Some would assert the Bible is a montheistic myth. And I would say there are modern day myths that have nothing to do with any concept of the divine.
My sense of myth comes from my classics courses (what I was able to retain, at any rate ) in which they are treated as forms of history. It's not so much what they literally express that is important, but rather the information we can glean from between the lines. For example, I think if Homer, and not Plato, had written the Allegory of the Cave, we might call it myth instead of an allegory...that is, assuming Homer even existed.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 02-06-2009 at 09:04 AM.

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Old 02-06-2009, 10:52 AM   #81
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Mythology no more requires gods than does religion. Nor does moral theory require religion. Lots of good, solid philosophy out there that doesn't require divine beings. And lots of mythology is just "tales of old". Religions generally would fall into the category of mythology (except the religion of each person reading this post -- yours is the exception of course -- please don't send me hate mail) but not all mythology is religion based. Kinda like the old logic chestnut that all cats are animals, but not all animals are cats...

Legendary stories become mythology. Many have the religious overtones of their times involved, but that does not mean mythology requires divine beings. Although I have no idea what the heck that has to do with o-sensei being wise or magically dodging bullets.

I figure if some want to consider o-sensei to somehow be a divine being, more power to them. Seems rather odd to me given some of the things he said and did over his lifetime. But whatever floats your boat, I've never been too impressed with most of the divine beings in most religions. But it did remind me of the expression on the face of the chair of the religious studies department back when I notified him I was going make sure I had the credits to get my degree in philosophy *and* religious studies. That was a divine moment of cognitive dissonance for him...

All that said, was he wise? Sure, if you agree with what he said, obviously he must be, right?

In all seriousness I do not understand the great necessity some feel to elevate a man to god-like status. We're all "all-too-human". Some do better in their lives, others do worse. Some have effects that ripple out in great waves, others not so much. O-sensei obviously was a big-wave guy and he has left us with a scintillating bunch of things to consider. But lets allow him the luxury of being "merely" human with some good ideas about some stuff and some really fantastic martial abilities.

I'm checking outta this one now...

Ah, yes, topics I promise myself never to discuss on-line. Religion, politics or the basis of morality. I seem to have violated two of my own commandments...

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Old 02-06-2009, 11:47 AM   #82
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Do symbol Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Mythology no more requires gods than does religion. Nor does moral theory require religion. Lots of good, solid philosophy out there that doesn't require divine beings.
Philosophy requires a good deal of reasoning to reliably use as a moral template for decision. Ordinary morality has not time (nor can afford the expense) of careful reasoning in every situation. Morality is not irrational -- but it is pre-rational.

And let's face it, as a societal matter most of the reasoning out there simply is not that good. Most people's factual assumptions upon whatever reasoning they do engage is not as well-informed as a really sound argument would require. Voltaire was no slouch in the reasoning department, but he held you not only should not but could not, dispense with the Divine sanction, purely as a matter of necessity in stabilizing a durable human society. It seems we may be out to test that hypothesis. Early results do not look promising.

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Ah, yes, topics I promise myself never to discuss on-line. Religion, politics or the basis of morality. I seem to have violated two of my own commandments...
So how 'bout them Cardinals, huh?

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-06-2009, 12:08 PM   #83
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Although I have no idea what the heck that has to do with o-sensei being wise or magically dodging bullets.
It was a bit of a tangent, sorry. We were discussing how myths can be bad (as it relates to the myths surrounding O Sensei, of course). I asked why people who supported myths necessarily were believers of god(s), an assertion of Bucks. I meant for it to support my notion that myths don't necessarily lead to religious implications (e.g. "cult-like" behavior).

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Old 02-06-2009, 01:53 PM   #84
Keith Larman
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Philosophy requires a good deal of reasoning to reliably use as a moral template for decision. Ordinary morality has not time (nor can afford the expense) of careful reasoning in every situation.
No one said morality is easy. Religion offers a convenient framework. But since when is convenience relevant? Just because the alternative is uncomfortable does not make the alternative incorrect.

I get my moral imperatives from the voices in my head... Excellent, louder and louder each and every day. Huh? What? Oh, yes, time to go sharpen the swords...

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Old 02-06-2009, 01:55 PM   #85
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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It was a bit of a tangent, sorry. We were discussing how myths can be bad (as it relates to the myths surrounding O Sensei, of course). I asked why people who supported myths necessarily were believers of god(s), an assertion of Bucks. I meant for it to support my notion that myths don't necessarily lead to religious implications (e.g. "cult-like" behavior).
No worries, I'm usually rather confused by Buck's posts anyway. I just don't seem to live in the same reality. He must have different voices in his head...

Ah, reminders of the old Julian Jaynes theories... Must listen to voices and get the heck off of the computer...

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Old 02-06-2009, 04:11 PM   #86
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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I am hardly the cultural imperialist. I have been touched almost as much at the DaiButsu and Hachimangu in Kamakura, as I have by the call of the muezzin across the Temple Mount to the Lions Gate, and I follow neither tradition. I nevertheless find rich value in specifically Japanese spiritual practices and thinking. That does not mean I agree with all of it either.
Apologies if my last post to you was couched in stronger terms than you would have liked.

I think that Onisaburo Deguchi's theology, for want of a better term, and the ways that Morihei Ueshiba adapted, improved, or simply used this theology, are matters of some importance in their own right. Thus Prof. Saeki's researches have a place. (Of course, like any research, it has to be examined and evaluated.) So, I do not believe that the 'medium' and the 'message'--including the provenance of both--can be separated to the extent that Ron Ragusa appears to believe.

What I take issue with is the thesis that the theology of Deguchi and/or Ueshiba--have made any significant contribution to the popularity of aikido in "the West", even the "many Western practitioners" who find "the strong spiritual elements" that they often" identify "less alien" than the Japanese who could not understand Ueshiba's discourses (because, like K Chiba, they had not been educated to be receptive to such discourses).

I have just read Riki Morris's novel based on Terry Dobson's life and this led me to reread Aikido in America. Even here, the 'aikido life' depicted is quite different from years I spent in the New England Aikikai in the 1970s with Mitsunari Kanai (and we never discussed such issues as whether O Sensei was wise). Henry Ellis has a splendid website all about the early growth of aikido in the UK, in which people like K Chiba played a major role. Nobuyoshi Tamura wrote a book called Methode Nationale, in which he tried to sketch out a syllabus for aikido training in France. These Japanese shihans, who found O Sensei's discourses 'alien', made the major contribution to the popularity of aikdo in 'the west' and Omoto theology, even Morihei Ueshiba's cosmological theology, figured not at all.

So I think this is a matter on which we will have to agree to differ.

Best wishes,

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 02-06-2009 at 04:14 PM.

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Old 02-06-2009, 08:48 PM   #87
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Apologies if my last post to you was couched in stronger terms than you would have liked.
You'll have to hit me harder than that. As an attorney, as well as a budoka, hand my proverbial head to me -- if I deserve it. I'm fine.

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I think that Onisaburo Deguchi's theology, for want of a better term,
.. and an exceedingly charitable term ...
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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
... and the ways that Morihei Ueshiba adapted, improved, or simply used this theology, are matters of some importance in their own right. Thus Prof. Saeki's researches have a place. (Of course, like any research, it has to be examined and evaluated.) So, I do not believe that the 'medium' and the 'message'--including the provenance of both--can be separated to the extent that Ron Ragusa appears to believe.
I find that medium and the message are usually distinct, if inextricably interwoven. Warp and woof.

The whole context of two hundred years of an increasing and increasingly sophisticated Christian presence in the high circles of the Tang capital, working closely with Buddhist institutions when the Sinophile Japanese Court was soaking it all up, contemporaneous with the adoption of Chinese script to write the Kojiki, I find a fruitful and interesting topic to continue digging into.

I have Saeki's 1911 book on the Xian monument, but if you find his 1937 book on the Dunhuang texts ("Jesus sutras"), I would love to have even a facsimile copy, as it is near impossible to find, and this was the last printing I have reference to : P. Yoshiro Saeki: The Nestorian Relics and Documents in China, (1937). Tokyo: Maruzen, 1951. Gillman et al have a book from 1999 but it is not an original translation and follows Saeki in its more limited selections. Palmer's book is a new translation (even if he and John Stevens might well have been school chums, spiritually speaking, in terms of the enthusiasm and "personal" views of the material). The translation certainly is well-vetted in the credentials department and seems OK to my halting eye (Classical Chinese is tough, religious text much tougher -- and foreign religious text in Chinese -- well ... .) Having Saeki's original full translation would be nice, as would be his works on Uzumasa 大秦 and the links he finds to the DaQin 大秦 and the Hata 大秦, for which I have only secondary references.

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
What I take issue with is the thesis that the theology of Deguchi and/or Ueshiba--have made any significant contribution to the popularity of aikido in "the West", ...
Ah.. then you take me amiss. I doubt that "theology" such as it is, is remotely concerned, in that it is a more visceral sensibility I mean -- what one comes away with as an untutored observer, "beginner's mind" as the saying goes -- aspects perceived at the naive level, I find, have affinities in Ueshiba's more developed tone and focus -- and then his choices of emphasis -- even when deep in his own tradition -- speak far more to that "gut" focus and away from that of Deguchi. Since I see Ueshiba as a very "gut" thinker, shall we say, I will claim some justification from his pattern.

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
...These Japanese shihans, who found O Sensei's discourses 'alien', made the major contribution to the popularity of aikdo in 'the west' and Omoto theology, even Morihei Ueshiba's cosmological theology, figured not at all.
I trained under Chiba for most of year during a schedule conflict in law school back, oh, 94'-95. He's got what I'm talking about and not a drop of theology about him. He seems to have gotten pure joy out of anyone who was very serious about what they were doing, and the more serious, the happier he seemed. While he has his critics (and probably some valid criticisms, who doesn't have those?), his gut sensibility -- and his is hardly "tender" -- capture some of this. (People who thought they were more serious than they really were, are a likely source of his critics, I should think). I dislocated a toe (wholly my stupidity) that he reset for me on the mat -- and like a light switch saw a quite different part of it in him, very different, but yet the same. It may similarly be the nature of Ueshiba in his practice is what drew those of such a nature to him, who knows?

That's why I consistently point to the practice as the seminal value, even while I dig out conceptual elements that I earlier perceived in a manner far less intellectually. They are also present in the deeper portions of what Ueshiba seems to have been trying to say, through Kojiki and his idiosyncratic imagery, insofar as I can (in translation and halting primary source access) determine.

The very differing nature of the intuitive an analytic forms of understanding makes it hard to draw strict parallels between them -- but it is no more disconnected than my center and uke's back foot, though I cannot say exactly where the line runs quite yet, of this much I am fairly certain and can in limited ways even argue to useful conclusions. More remains to be done, and for which I am grateful for your continued effort, even though you may intend other conclusions or uses, and endure my tedious questioning.

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So I think this is a matter on which we will have to agree to differ.
I have no patience for useless agreement. Useful disagreement is so much better, and I suppose I will look forward to more?

Last edited by Erick Mead : 02-06-2009 at 08:52 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:09 PM   #88
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Uzumasa 大秦 and the links he finds to the DaQin 大秦 and the Hata 大秦,
Hata

Stupid paste button.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-06-2009, 09:30 PM   #89
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Matt and Keith,

I appreciate you concern, but I am no expert on myths. I don't even try to be. I used it in the broadest senses of the word which related to what I had said,that has to do with what I said before, and that was, "people can turn a human into a myth, then into deity. " I was approaching that point to where I was going from O'Sensei being human to myth to deity. There is your hand to hand connection. I wasn't talking about all myths or the subject of myths.

Many other people in Aikido have done that and written about O'Sensei being a supernatural/ deity. They have created stories, a.k.a. myths, about O'Sensei. Some people speak and treat him as if he is divine. Thus, his words are perfect wisdom. It isn't the truth of course. He was human without any superhuman powers. How do we get caught up into believing that? I know how I did. It is better to see O'Sensei as he truly was, a true human, a humanitarian, and not put so much emphasis on him in that way where we turn him into the divine. That is the realization I am coming to.

Last edited by Buck : 02-06-2009 at 09:33 PM.
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Old 02-06-2009, 10:51 PM   #90
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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I would think that one of the benchmarks of a wise person would be his followers or disciples. Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, had people who lived when they did, learned and understood what they taught and continued their teachings well after they died.

Who are O'Sensei's disciples that learned his religious beliefs from him, understood what he was saying and continued his beliefs after his death. His son didn't, and as far as I know none of his students did or are doing.

David
Perhaps, like male pattern baldness, the trait skips a generation.

Which might make the beautiful statement quoted of Peter Boylan in your signature a great, and congruos, example of getting the message and and getting the method.

Best,
Jen

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Old 02-07-2009, 09:49 AM   #91
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Does O'Sensei have to be wise? I think we make the assumption that if he is that skilled (with techniques), a skill so impressive that he has to be wise-and cause of the strong spiritual stuff too.

Really if we took his skill away and just looked at his words, treating them as a spiritual and religious stuff would he have the same following? There are were the myths come from about O'Sensei, his physical skill in doing martial art. It seems myths are created and then naturally move on into the spiritual side of things.

For me, I take myths to be stories that are not all truth/fact, I like to call fiction, not to be confuse with non-fiction. Myths seem to be many things and different to different people. The thing I find interesting is that we as humans love to tell stories, fulfilling a great need to communicate to one and other. The thing I find interesting is that as people we even create myths where myths are not to be, like science. Humans because we want to communicate with one another and stories are major way to do that probably since our existence, or when we developed that part of the brain developed.

I am saying that it is natural to develop myths about O'Sensei, but the issue is what story is being told. Because it does effect us on how we see O'Sensei, and in turn how we see ourselves. Do we take the myth literally, or figuratively. As a story or as a fact. I think it is a matter not that myths exists, but instead of how they are treated.

Does O'Sensei have superhuman divine wisdom? Or is it just the things in his life that he as experienced and learned from and believes is the best way he sees to live. But is that universal to all of us, his experiences, his life, his achievements, his eyes, his understanding? And should people think so. Is that the message he was trying to get across, a message he was trying to communicate, his story, his myth?

Maybe, I got to work more on my ukemi and protect my head better and stop questioning.
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Old 02-07-2009, 09:58 AM   #92
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
Many other people in Aikido have done that and written about O'Sensei being a supernatural/ deity. They have created stories, a.k.a. myths, about O'Sensei. Some people speak and treat him as if he is divine. Thus, his words are perfect wisdom. It isn't the truth of course. He was human without any superhuman powers. How do we get caught up into believing that? I know how I did. It is better to see O'Sensei as he truly was, a true human, a humanitarian, and not put so much emphasis on him in that way where we turn him into the divine. That is the realization I am coming to.
I think I see where you're coming from now. I think I probably tend to latch on to a few words or segments of a post, but then miss other parts. Sorry where I did that.
I agree it's important to recognize that O Sensei was a person like the rest of us and to not make assumptions which cause us to stop questioning things and finding things out for ourselves. Wisdom to me generally means knowing something about our own ignorance in conjunction with whatever we "know" and then making as few assumptions as possible in our thinking beyond that. Question everything.
Take care and thanks for the conversation!
Matt

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Old 02-07-2009, 11:40 AM   #93
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Question everything.
...And then question that.

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Old 02-07-2009, 12:23 PM   #94
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Keith Larman wrote: View Post
No one said morality is easy. Religion offers a convenient framework. But since when is convenience relevant?
That's the first time I have heard someone dismiss religion as a "convenience." Usually, they say it is a pointless difficulty. But I'll go with it. Examples--- When you have no time to reason... like when the sword is six inches from your neck -- or the car is twenty feet from the kid in the road. You have either trained to be connected (religere = to bind together), or you haven't. When one hears sophisticated and plausible arguments for things that are merely deep rationalization for naked desire -- one tends to see them more readily if one is not approaching it from the reasoning side initially, but first examining the pre-rational assumptions upon which the reasoning is performed.

The mind is much larger than logic.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-07-2009, 02:53 PM   #95
Keith Larman
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
That's the first time I have heard someone dismiss religion as a "convenience." Usually, they say it is a pointless difficulty. But I'll go with it. Examples--- When you have no time to reason... like when the sword is six inches from your neck -- or the car is twenty feet from the kid in the road. You have either trained to be connected (religere = to bind together), or you haven't. When one hears sophisticated and plausible arguments for things that are merely deep rationalization for naked desire -- one tends to see them more readily if one is not approaching it from the reasoning side initially, but first examining the pre-rational assumptions upon which the reasoning is performed.

The mind is much larger than logic.
Oh, give me a break. That is a profound twisting of my words and quite unfair. I did not *dismiss* religion as convenient. Reread what I said.

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Old 02-08-2009, 11:06 AM   #96
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Oh, give me a break. That is a profound twisting of my words and quite unfair. I did not *dismiss* religion as convenient. Reread what I said.
I did. It was not an attack but an aside to take one part of your statement to agree with and the other to question. I said "convenience;" you read that as "convenient." and your post used both, but summed up by questioning when convenience is relevant.
Quote:
Keith Larman wrote:
No one said morality is easy. Religion offers a convenient framework. But since when is convenience relevant?
It read like you saw religion as convenient, and at the same time an irrelevant convenience. There is an important difference -- although neither of us really meant to draw out that difference as such, we were talking at cross-purposes.

Something that is convenient is easy to reach; accessible; close at hand; near. Religion is convenient; it is available no matter what, where or what circumstance. Philosophy is not convenient -- it requires much deliberation and anticipation of unexpected scenarios to use effectively as a moral guage in application.

Something that is a convenience is suitable to one's comfort, purposes, or needs; personal comfort or advantage; something that increases comfort or saves work. Neither religion nor philosophy are a convenience. They are both work -- like any other human endeavor, you get out of it what you put into it. Religion does not ease discomfort or lessen pain -- it makes them endurable. Merely comforting religious sentimentality is as much an escape as any other escape into sentimentality.

If we narrow our focus down on the strict commonalities between say, Christianity, and Ueshiba's thought we can view them both as practical exercises in engendering love -- which is not so much a philosophical approach as a concrete one -- it is something you act upon in order to understand it. Love is facile and illusory without the mind of true budo (whether practiced as such, or not) -- It is a sword, so says O Sensei -- and so says Jesus of Nazareth. On that ground, at least, I can say Ueshiba was quite wise.

I would take Leonard Cohen's phrase as particularly apt on both scores: "But, love is not a victory march. It's a cold and it's a broken 'Hallelujah!' "

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-08-2009, 08:03 PM   #97
Shannon Frye
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Very nice comparison. I've encountered various Christians who say that martial arts, or even aikido makes then feel uncomfortable, claiming that it goes against their Christian beliefs. In your comparison, you don't have to be a follower of either to see that they both promoted the same concepts of love.

ps. Good song reference too.

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post

If we narrow our focus down on the strict commonalities between say, Christianity, and Ueshiba's thought we can view them both as practical exercises in engendering love -- which is not so much a philosophical approach as a concrete one -- it is something you act upon in order to understand it. Love is facile and illusory without the mind of true budo (whether practiced as such, or not) -- It is a sword, so says O Sensei -- and so says Jesus of Nazareth. On that ground, at least, I can say Ueshiba was quite wise.

I would take Leonard Cohen's phrase as particularly apt on both scores: "But, love is not a victory march. It's a cold and it's a broken 'Hallelujah!' "

"In the end there can be only one"

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Old 02-08-2009, 09:39 PM   #98
Lyle Bogin
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

O Sensei created (or inspired if you prefer) what I think is the best contemporary model for non-competitive martial training.

He was a genious just for that.

Of course he was a jackass from time to time. But he left us something really great to work with.

I'll stick him on my shelf of heroes next to bruce lee...
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Old 02-08-2009, 11:32 PM   #99
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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... you don't have to be a follower of either to see that they both promoted the same concepts of love.
I am curious, why are we comparing Jesus/Christian idea of love with O'Sensei?

FWIW. I know what O'Sensei said to Terry Dobson but that was to Terry Dobson. I see it as a communication tool, and not something that is identical. I hope it isn't because of that then it is just following what the "Magic Conch Shell." -Spongebob Square Pants. I Aikido should be deep than that. I am realizing that as I sit down more maturely and from a secure place, seriously questioning.
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Old 02-09-2009, 03:36 AM   #100
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
What we have here is a category problem.
No, what we have here is a lack of understanding.

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Chinese traditional knowledge is not science
We agree on something, anyway. I fear our paths will diverge from this point on.

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
It understands the world in non-linear terms in which the effects are not proportional to causes, and processes are neither commutative, nor systemically isolable nor necessarily repeatable.
Are you writing for comic effect?

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
This is not to criticize the value of reduction, but to emphasize the value of whole systemic categories as a form of knowledge that science does not speak to.
You're making a pretty common mistake about how science works, if you think it's all about "reduction".

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Scientific minds therefore occasionally tend, as you have done, to actively denigrate what they have failed to comprehend. It is not "non-sense" -- it is simply not "your sense."
I comprehend the shortcomings of "traditional" Chinese knowledge perfectly well, thank you. The same cannot be said of your understanding of scientific processes. I will continue to denigrate things that are provably wrong, thanks all the same.

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
It is a prejudice, nothing more
If not wanting to spread falsehoods is prejudice, then yep, I'm prejudiced.

All ideas are not of equal value. To think that they are is pure craziness. What should happen is that ideas get tested to see if they're true. If they fail the test, they get ditched. There must be a name for doing that...

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
You cannot say in terms of science that KI cannot be real
I don't see why not. There is no evidence for it, and if you think it is a form of energy, you are provably wrong using very basic physics you can try at home. None of the other explanations for it make any more sense (and the fact that there are multiple explanations is a telling point).

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
When you sort it out, let me know.
I sorted it out some years ago.

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Chinese traditional knowledge does not do this -- therefore it is not capable of being "proved" "wrong" by science
So, to paraphrase, you're saying I should believe these highly unlikely explanations, some of which are provably wrong, because you don't think they can be proven wrong?

I'll pass on that, thanks.

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
"Science" means knowledge
Indeed it does. Sadly it does not seem to be widely taught. Certainly you have quoted most of the common misconceptions

There's a pretty widespread meme that "traditional" knowledge must somehow be better than scientific knowledge, because it's been around so long.

You might want to consider that ideas that have been around for a long time and are not part of the scientific canon, are normally not part because they aren't true.
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