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Old 02-13-2009, 10:43 PM   #151
Buck
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

I think you can't look to O'Sensei as that wise old shaman sage who has all the answer. Who will clear -with his word (wise words) -all the personal strife and torment a person experiences as they seek out solace and refuge. That was Christ's problem, and he didn't practice Aikido. We look for stability most of the time from those we think have the answers, except from within ourselves. In this sense O'Sensei was not wise. I don't think he had those answers. I felt after reading him that is what Aikido practice was for (love ending sentences that way, I am the rebellious type). You work it out all on your own. He just provided the medium with all the discipline and things he brought in from the military ways, and delivered it with a touch of Japanese spirtuality from many sourses. He really was more like a coach who prayed in the locker room, then the likes of Jesus or Oprah ( the way people follow her, she is close to being a female Jeeeesus). Putting O'Sensei on a pedastool is the myth that impeds the truth. IMHO

Last edited by Buck : 02-13-2009 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 02-14-2009, 05:56 AM   #152
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
O'Sensei was not the stuff of Airport Hare Krishna's- the people that my older brother feared as a kid. For some kids it was clowns, but for my brother it was those guys.
Sounds like your brother needed Robert Stack.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
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Old 02-14-2009, 07:11 AM   #153
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
Sounds like your brother needed Robert Stack.
Nice Kotegaeshi by Robert Stack at 0:17..

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:27 AM   #154
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Sounds like your brother needed Robert Stack.
That was so funny it brought me to tears.
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Old 02-14-2009, 10:02 PM   #155
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
You work it out all on your own.
As I see it, the secret to all "true" success in life.

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He really was more like a coach who prayed in the locker room, then the likes of Jesus or Oprah ( the way people follow her, she is close to being a female Jeeeesus).
How do you mean? Are you saying O Sensei was more of a "regular guy" than a guru?

Quote:
Putting O'Sensei on a pedastool is the myth that impeds the truth. IMHO
So you don't think there's ever a time when looking at someone in idealized terms (i.e. put'em up on a pedestal) can lead to any truth? From a historical standpoint of factual events, I agree that myth obfuscates part of the truth, but when it comes to "wisdom" and other highly subjective concepts, I don't think it necessarily does the same thing.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 02-14-2009 at 10:05 PM.

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Old 02-14-2009, 10:37 PM   #156
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post

How do you mean? Are you saying O Sensei was more of a "regular guy" than a guru?

.
No, that he was more like a coach than say a divinity like Jesus, or Ophra or Ron L. Hubbard.

I figure people have been reading me since the start, and know what I am saying when I say pedastool (pedestal). A pedastool is my way of say a foot rest. Where people can throw up their feet on it, relax and enjoy the ride. They depend on his words of wisdom for their easing of the crazy mental stuff that goes on inside their head, or their lives, or to identify with, to reflect themselves on him. Or be someone they can believe in.
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:57 AM   #157
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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No, that he was more like a coach than say a divinity like Jesus, or Ophra or Ron L. Hubbard.
I think I understand you better now. It was the Oprah remark that threw me with respect to the divinity point.

Quote:
I figure people have been reading me since the start, and know what I am saying when I say pedastool (pedestal). A pedastool is my way of say a foot rest. Where people can throw up their feet on it, relax and enjoy the ride. They depend on his words of wisdom for their easing of the crazy mental stuff that goes on inside their head, or their lives, or to identify with, to reflect themselves on him. Or be someone they can believe in.
If that answered my question I couldn't make the connection. I get the pedestal analogy, what I'm saying is you seem to think this is always bad. I'm saying it's somewhat natural to put people on pedestals from time to time and that it can even be healthy.

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Old 02-15-2009, 04:55 PM   #158
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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I think I understand you better now. It was the Oprah remark that threw me with respect to the divinity point.

If that answered my question I couldn't make the connection. I get the pedestal analogy, what I'm saying is you seem to think this is always bad. I'm saying it's somewhat natural to put people on pedestals from time to time and that it can even be healthy.
It is not a good thing for all the well-known text book reasons. I would think respect would be a better choice. You respect O'Sensei instead of putting him up above you for those that do. Tis, is an age old problem, we as human generally do the pedastool thing as a natural (or conditioned) reflect. And it gets us into trouble every time.

Last edited by Buck : 02-15-2009 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:01 PM   #159
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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It is not a good thing for all the well-known text book reasons.
Agreed.

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I would think respect would be a better choice. You respect O'Sensei instead of putting him up above you for those that do.
I think we're discussing semantics at this point because I would say "pedestal-placing" is an extreme form of respect...bordering on excessive, but not always quite there. I get what you're saying though.

Quote:
Tis, is an age old problem, we as human generally do the pedastool thing as a natural (or conditioned) reflect. And it gets us into trouble every time.
It begins with our parents, generally speaking. We place them on pedestals because they seem to have an answer for everything. Over time we see they only have answers for some things, and gradually we begin to find out answers for ourselves. This is a case in which I don't think we can make the absolute statement that it's trouble every time, but I'm probably splitting hairs here so i digress.
Take care,
Matt

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Old 02-15-2009, 10:36 PM   #160
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Agreed.

I think we're discussing semantics at this point because I would say "pedestal-placing" is an extreme form of respect...bordering on excessive, but not always quite there. I get what you're saying though.

It is the excessive and what comes from that is the concern. It can turn ugly the guy who shot John Lennon, to those of Heaven's Gate, to all sorts of things. Sure no every case turns out this way, some experience depression and other like emotional stuff when they are let down. Like those got fanatical and who idolized and worshiped a person turning that person into what the they made that person into.
Matt
I can see what your getting at. I just want to say going to the extreme is the issue for me. People do look at O'Sensei and his words in an extreme they idolize and worship him and what he says. Maybe, it is too much respect? You got to allow the man to be human. He had a temper, could be seen as alittle odd and didn't always practice what he preached- though in the Japanese way of things that might be accepted as O'Sensei being martial artist. He wasn't perfect, and wasn't a god outside the Shinto sense, but certainly not the messiah, or Zeus, or other such related divinity. He could have been a living Kami- he was skilled in Aikido. That works for Shinto.
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Old 02-16-2009, 01:49 AM   #161
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
let me point out that the argument you have ventured
I seem not to have been clear. I made a statement of fact, and a statement of my moral position. No argument was presented.

I found your explanation of ki, BTW. It did remind me that there are indeed theories that cannot be tested. I haven't seen such a classic example of the genre for some years.
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:00 AM   #162
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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You obviously don't understand how things not scientific work. I know you think you do but you are wrong.
On the contrary, I know there are a vast number of things I do not understand. But I don't use a position of respect to spread misconceptions about them.

You have such a position in the aikido world, and therefore people in that world will tend to believe what you say. I believe that confers a responsibility on you.

Once this sort of misinformation gets out there, it can be very difficult to correct. A senior Japanese karate instructor once wrote a book in which he tried to explain the physics of various techniques. The physics was laughably poor, but now virtually every article or book on the subject quotes him on it.
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Old 02-16-2009, 03:41 AM   #163
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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I think the point had to do with what happens when a scientific test isn't readily available though didn't it?
I'm not quite sure what his point was, to be honest. If you're asking if there are things that are not easily testable, then yes, of course there are. Sometimes because the tests are just really difficult, or perhaps because it is a philosophical idea that doesn't really lend itself to testing, and sometimes because the "theory" is just gibberish and makes no kind of sense.

Traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, and ki are not amongst them though. Those sorts of things are put to the test all the time.

There are also loads of things for which there are no good explanations - many diseases have no known cause, for example. In some cases it is possible to rule out an explanation without having an alternative.

In mathematics things are even worse (Godel's Theorem).

But science is more ruling out what is wrong than proving something is true. The best you can hope for is that your theory is currently the best guess (or one of the best guesses), but you should expect it to be modified or replaced as further observations cast doubt on it.

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Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
Would you be willing to describe the experiment for me?
There are loads, actually. Googling will give you lots of links, eg
http://www.practicalphysics.org/

If ki is a form of energy that can affect people, then it should be easily detectable. Oddly, none of these experiments seem to display any sign of it (the principle of conservation of energy suggests that it should). Really, really accurate experiments done by professional physicists show no sign of it either. It is therefore unlikely to exist.

However, the beauty of the scientific approach is that it is self-correcting. People are encouraged to add to the body of knowledge we have about the universe. The discovery of a new form of energy would be revolutionary. But there has to be evidence, not just assertions or wild theories.
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:55 AM   #164
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Jim Cooper wrote: View Post
If ki is a form of energy that can affect people, then it should be easily detectable. Oddly, none of these experiments seem to display any sign of it (the principle of conservation of energy suggests that it should). Really, really accurate experiments done by professional physicists show no sign of it either. It is therefore unlikely to exist.
And Jim, this is precisely my point... While you sit there and scientifically explain that ki is unlikely to exist, some of the best martial artists I know use it all the time. Since they didn't require a machine to verify its existence, they can go about using it in their art. I "know" ki exists. I use it in my technique. I can feel it, my partners can feel it. I have trained with people who can do absolutely amazing things, free of the need to have a physicist tell the that what they are doing is real. My ability to do what I do is quite independent of the need for "scientific" verification. My partners would be happy to verify that something has totally changed compared to ten years ago when I had no idea about this stuff.

I have used homeopathy with my family for twenty years quite successfully. I REALLY don't care whether scientists tell me it doesn't work. I have a body of empirical experience that it does. So do two hundred fifty years of doctors and patients. Perhaps, at some pint, science will explain it but until that time I am quite happily doing it.

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Old 02-16-2009, 10:35 AM   #165
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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You got to allow the man to be human. He had a temper, could be seen as alittle odd and didn't always practice what he preached- though in the Japanese way of things that might be accepted as O'Sensei being martial artist.
I don't know enough about O Sensei to say whether or not he practiced what he preached, but he was definately human and subject to the same basic condition we're all afflicted with.

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He could have been a living Kami- he was skilled in Aikido. That works for Shinto.
Somewhere I once heard a loose definition of kami described as that which inspires awe. The intense personal effort O Sensei seemed to fill his life with is itself pretty awe-inspiring to me, so in that sense he certainly was living kami.
Coincidentally...I rank him up there with my other heroes: Einstein; Ghandi; Sam Clemens; Jim Morrison; and Bender, from Futurama (to name a few). Each personality is quite different and I certainly treat each one with different levels of seriousness, but each is held as some standard of greatness for me to reach toward.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 02-16-2009 at 10:37 AM.

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Old 02-16-2009, 10:51 AM   #166
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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I seem not to have been clear. I made a statement of fact, and a statement of my moral position. No argument was presented.
Is that your argument as to what you did? Or is it simply a "statement of fact?" On what basis can you assert that the one description (statement-of-fact) excludes the other (argument), particularly since you were involved in a verbal dispute?
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:45 PM   #167
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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While you sit there and scientifically explain that ki is unlikely to exist, some of the best martial artists I know use it all the time.
No, they aren't. They may be using it as a model (I mean that in the scientific sense of the word), and so do I sometimes, but it doesn't actually exist.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Since they didn't require a machine to verify its existence
See, this is one of the misconceptions you have about science. There are plenty of things that do not " require a machine to verify its existence". Polar bears, for example, clearly exist, yet no machine is required to verify that.

But if ki is a form of energy that can affect people, then building a machine to detect it should be pretty straightforward, don't you think? We (not you and me personally) can detect individual subatomic particles. Anything that can move a person should be a doddle.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
My ability to do what I do is quite independent of the need for "scientific" verification
Well of course it is, why wouldn't it be? If you needed to be able to explain everything before you could do it, you'd need to know a hell of a lot of stuff.

You seem to be confusing observation with explanation. You obviously don't need to be able to explain a phenomena to show that it happens.

But conversely, just because you can do an aikido technique better than someone else, and you say you're using ki, does not automatically prove that ki exists. (For starters, someone else might do it better than you and claim they don't use ki.)

It's this sort of comment that leads me to believe you do not really understand what science is or how it works. This is not intended to be insulting, regardless of what the list admins might think. No-one knows everything. There are bound to be a lot of things I don't know about that you do, and that you would correct me on if I wrote things you knew to be wrong. I'm comfortable with that. I'm not sure why you aren't.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
I have used homeopathy with my family for twenty years quite successfully. I REALLY don't care whether scientists tell me it doesn't work.
Sorry, but you're missing the point again. I've already said that homeopathy has been shown by scientists to work sometimes (and it is only sometimes, regardless of your personal experience).

Why it works is a different thing altogether. Studies have shown that its effectiveness is no better than the placebo and related effects. This means that homeopaths' explanation for why it works is extremely doubtful.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
Perhaps, at some pint, science will explain it
It already has, to the satisfaction of those people who are in a position to collect and evaluate the evidence rigourously.It works as well as sugar pills, and most likely for the same reasons.

The placebo effect, whilst demonstrably real, has not been adequately explained, to my knowledge. But that's allowed.
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:49 PM   #168
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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I On what basis can you assert that the one description (statement-of-fact) excludes the other (argument)
I wasn't presenting any form of reasoning, which precludes it from being an argument (in the sense of a logical argument), although it may be a disagreement (which wasn't what I meant).
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:58 PM   #169
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Jim Cooper wrote: View Post
I seem not to have been clear. I made a statement of fact, and a statement of my moral position. No argument was presented.
Gee, it -- sounded -- like an argument....
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Jim Cooper wrote:
People should not really pontificate on subjects they clearly do not understand. You and George obviously do not understand how science works. I know you think you do, but unfortunately you're wrong. ... But I believe people in positions of respect and/or authority have a responsibility to not spread misinformation. Politicians are called on it by journalists. And I'm doing it here.
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I found your explanation of ki, BTW. It did remind me that there are indeed theories that cannot be tested. I haven't seen such a classic example of the genre for some years.
I, like you, treasure empirical fact. The explanation is not a theory. It is an observation. Observation is by definition not testable -- observation tests theory. Ki is oscillation/rotation of (_____) Neither East nor West have yet categorically filled in that blank -- although anything that oscillates or changes with respect to a fixed point of observation that you choose to insert will work -- East or West.

That observation fits every traditional discussion of the principle I have yet come across. I did my undergraduate thesis on Neo-Confucianism of the Ming. Then I flew helicopters and worked with marine acoustics and earned a deep respect for applied physics. I've been at this awhile. And you are right, to a point -- it is not cutting edge science, it is too common and ordinary for that -- more like an engineering problem ...

What science means by oscillation/rotation -- Eastern thought deems Ki. We measure it physically by angular momentum -- which photons have, though they have no mass. That simple. O Sensei pulled up a tree with it -- it is not some woo-woo psycho-babble. Dismissing the way the culture that invented gunpowder decides to describe its empirical categories of the world -- smacks of a blinkered prejudice, and a foolish one. I am sure that cannot be the case, and so this must be a dyspeptic mood that will pass, no doubt, and you will eventually come around.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:19 PM   #170
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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No, they aren't. They may be using it as a model (I mean that in the scientific sense of the word), and so do I sometimes, but it [Ki] doesn't actually exist.
To falsify it you have to define it. You have not done so -- you reject my observation as invalid (without stating the criteria of admissibility for evidence of the point, which, to be material, must relate to the definition of the hypothetical, first stated). You cannot falsify until you define.

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Jim Cooper wrote: View Post
But if ki is a form of energy that can affect people, then building a machine to detect it should be pretty straightforward, don't you think? We (not you and me personally) can detect individual subatomic particles. Anything that can move a person should be a doddle.
And of course, that is quite trivial with the correct definition .. . Ki is not A form of energy. It is THE form of energy (and of matter, for that matter.) Ki is oscillation -- that's what FORMS the inertia in mass, and FORMSenergy in light -- angular momentum. Mass inertia is simply the sum of a thousand billion atomic gyros in a given object resisting displacement in space -- and the fact that supercooled helium near absolute zero (approaching zero vibrations) loses viscosity (fluidic inertia) demonstrates that the observation can be and is quite routinely tested.

Ki is those waveforms of both energy and matter. It is form over substance -- quite literally. To ask WHAT exactly is formed in oscillating -- well, there is the real inquiry. You perceive nothing except through oscillations -- of one sort or another -- it is a philosophical challenge as much as a scientific one.

If you dismiss this with out taking the effort to demonstrate an error rather than continue to vainly declare a supposition of error, it is because you will not, or cannot, think yourself out of your own categories. Ptolemy ruled supreme for a long, long time for this very reason. Wasn't right though.

O Sensei ties himself to this concept of Ki -- which even casual read of the Doka shows. It is a very traditional wisdom and a straightforwardly applied knowledge. Not easy, or unsubtle, though.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 02-16-2009 at 07:25 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:23 PM   #171
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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I don't know enough about O Sensei to say whether or not he practiced what he preached, but he was definately human and subject to the same basic condition we're all afflicted with.
Yea, I guess, I sounded that way. It wasn't my intention. I was giving a probability of behavior to illustrate he had flaws and stuff.
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Old 02-17-2009, 03:37 AM   #172
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Gee, it -- sounded -- like an argument....
I'm not quite sure why. The post was made up entirely of statements.

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
I, like you, treasure empirical fact.
I haven't noticed all that many similarities so far :-)

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
The explanation is not a theory. It is an observation. Observation is by definition not testable -- observation tests theory.
<sigh> Quod erat demonstrandum

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Dismissing the way the culture that invented gunpowder decides to describe its empirical categories of the world -- smacks of a blinkered prejudice, and a foolish one.
It's blinkered predjudice to not believe something that's not true?

That's also a nonsense statement logically. You're suggesting that because gunpowder was invented in China, everything else in Chinese thought through the ages must be true?

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you will eventually come around.
Offer up some proof and I will.
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Old 02-17-2009, 03:43 AM   #173
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

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And of course, that is quite trivial with the correct definition
I think you need to accept that I'm not going to subscribe to your "theory" (or whatever you want to call it) until it is part of mainstream physics.
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:55 AM   #174
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Dear Jim,

Respectfully, your distinction that your post didn't contain reasoning is both quixotic and contrary to all appearances,

The following contains an identifiable major premise; minor premise; and conclusion.

Quote:
Jim Cooper wrote: View Post
***People should not really pontificate on subjects they clearly do not understand. You and George obviously do not understand how science works.

***
[P]eople in positions of respect and/or authority have a responsibility to not spread misinformation. Politicians are called on it by journalists. And I'm doing it here.
FWIW
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:44 AM   #175
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Re: Who Sez O'Sensei Was Wise!

Why Physics and not Biology?

Why must Ki be a energy in the sense that Physics treats this concept and not a manipulation of the sensory/cognitive system?

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