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  #26  
Old 03-19-2009, 11:31 PM
Peter A Goldsbury AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
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Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 12

Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 12

INTERLUDE
V: The Danger of Words or,
The Elephant in the Dojo: Distinguishing the Jumbo from the Mumbo
Part 2: Ueshiba's Elephant and the Rest of the Herd...
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Last edited by akiy : 03-19-2009 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 03-31-2009, 07:32 PM   #25
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 12

Quote:
David Henderson wrote: View Post
Hi Peter,

Thanks for your response. I guess my question then would be, accepting your qualifying remarks, is on the unity of forms into some subsuming, unitary reality that transcends form itself -- I think this isn't something Plato professed; does this comport with your understanding?
PAG. Yes, it does. The Timaeus has a cosmology and some readers of Plato profess to see a kind of Hegelian dialectic going on. My French philosophy professor used to argue in this way, or that the Forms are ultimately numbers. However, scholars like the late Gregory Vlastos and Terence Irwin see the Thoery of Forms as very much a part of Plato's middle period. Aristotle, of course, attacked the Theory quite early on. This is partly why I myself do not care to speculate on whether Plato had any overriding aims with his Theory of Forms, such as Steve Earle suggests in his post.

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This kind of unity of forms, BTW, isn't the same as the idea of form itself, which conceptually, doesn't necessarily connote transcendence, unification, or "formlessness."

Regards,

cdh
PAG. Yes, of course.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 04-02-2009, 09:02 PM   #26
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 12

Thank you.
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Old 04-06-2009, 08:30 AM   #27
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 12

Hello Steve,

Many thanks for your response. From what you state, it would seem that Ueshiba Sensei was well in the avatar mode at this point and was seeking at least a glimmer of understanding / confirmation from his audience. His explanation was clearly about kotodama, as he conceived this. I would love to have been a fly on the wall at the meeting you describe--and also wonder why Odano Sensei's answer would have caused such a rapid departure from his presence.

I ask because I had a two-hour meeting with the present Doshu last Saturday. Admittedly, the circumstances were different. It was not my first meeting with Doshu and when we meet, Doshu rarely discusses anything but the points of the meeting. So, if I had been Odano Sensei, I would have stayed and argued, as I do with the present Doshu.

However, though from your posts it is clear that Odano Sensei never studied kotodama, her studies in Japanese kanji seem to have provided at least one of her students with the means to include kotodama in his vision of aikido.This person is William Gleason. So please be aware that I will discuss your book in my next column (which will appear in May, if I can get everything together) solely in connection with Mr Gleason's view of the role of kotodama in aikido.

Best wishes,

PAG

Quote:
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Ellis,

Continental origins? Maybe. There are also all of the lost tribe theories that would relate kotodama to Judaism and the Kabbalah. I am not a student of kotodama and can't really offer an opinion. (Odano-sensei also never studied kotodama.) What I would say is that the table of fifty sounds is unprecedented elsewhere. Phonetically, Japanese is closer to the Polynesian languages than any other group; but none of those languages has anything like the table of fifty sounds associated with them. The sanskrit alphabet that Fred has introduced above, while obviously phonetically arranged, from what I can tell shows very little resemblance to the fifty sounds of Japanese; first of all, it appears to be made up of vowels and consonants as opposed to whole syllables. Also the progression of these sounds does not seem to resemble the progression in the Japanese table.

Odano vs. Ueshiba: OK, twist my arm. This forum is obviously not a venue that allows passing comments to pass! Not sure that it will shed the light you are hoping for, but here goes. Also, I will need to be vague on details as my notes are buried in a pile while we have work done to our house, but this is what I remember.

Preface by saying that Odano encountered a number of the prominent "spiritual" figures of her age through no desire of her own; the meetings were almost always arranged by her friends and usually ended in the bizarre. After returning home from a meeting with Goi Masaharu, founder of the Byakko Shinkokai, in which the two spent most of their time glaring at each other, she developed a high fever and was bedridden for 24 hrs--only to discover that Goi had been bedridden with the same fever during exactly the same period of time. Several hours after meeting with Sakurazawa Nyoichi (George Ohsawa), founder of macrobiotics, in which he praised her for her work and then proceeded to demonstrate that he had misunderstood it entirely, he dropped dead--giving Odano-sensei a reputation in some macrobiotic circles as the lady that killed George Ohsawa! Compared with these meetings, the encounter with Ueshiba was tame. One of her friends was evidently practicing aikido and wanted to introduce Ueshiba-sensei to her friends, so a group of four or five of them called upon him one afternoon. This was in the early sixties; Odano sensei would have been in her early fifties and Ueshiba early eighties. They were seated around a square table, and because Odano was the youngest in the group she ended at the "foot" of the group which in fact but her all the way around the table next to Ueshiba. As she told it, Ueshiba began telling them how one kamisama rose up to heaven at the sound of suuu and another came down to the sound of suuu . . . something to this effect. Looking around the table he encountered glazed eyes until he reached Odano--at which point his face lit up. You understand! he said. He reached over and grabbed her arm.

This was before Odano had begun sharing much of her work; she was an unknown entity to Ueshiba and would not have received any special introduction; she introduced herself to Ueshiba by name. Ueshiba was obviously very pleased. You will have to come study with me, he said. I will give you private lessons in the art of self defence (goshinjyutsu). Odano, who was never very good at telling white lies, thanked him for his kind offer and replied with a statement to the effect that she had lived without goshinjyutsu up until now and saw need for it.

The effect was apparently like throwing water on a fire; Ueshiba's mood soured immediately and Odano's friends begged a hasty retreat with Odano in tow. Outside on the street they began pummeling her with their handbags--you can't talk to Ueshiba-sensei like that, they said!

End of story. Except that several years later Odano received a postcard from the Ueshiba family inviting her to some event and demonstration, which she passed along to a young guy who was visiting her at the time and who said he wanted to go. Don't remeber who it was; sorry--it's in my notes. But he ended up becomming one of the uchideshi at Hombu.

Steve

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Old 04-06-2009, 06:09 PM   #28
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 12

Professor Goldsbury,
Thank you for another in depth article. It takes me back to university days getting my degree in Philosophy.
All the talk of language made me think of Esperanto and other attempts at easing the pains of translators. I also remembered reading that Oomoto encourages members to learn Esperanto as part of there creation of utopia. I can't remember the original source I read, but from Wikipedia

Quote:
Oomoto

The Oomoto religion encourages the use of Esperanto among their followers and includes Zamenhof as one of its deified spirits.
Zamenhof being the creator of Esperanto in 1887.
So I was wondering if you or someone else on the forums knew if Esperanto was used while O sensei was active and if O sensei ever learned or spoke Esperanto?

Thanks again, I and everyone else eagerly await another article.

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no one knows which is which
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Old 04-07-2009, 05:51 AM   #29
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 12

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Brad Darr wrote: View Post
Professor Goldsbury,

Zamenhof being the creator of Esperanto in 1887.
So I was wondering if you or someone else on the forums knew if Esperanto was used while O sensei was active and if O sensei ever learned or spoke Esperanto?
Hello Brad,

Thank you for your kind words.

Esperanto was used while O Sensei was active in Omoto, but there is no evidence that O Sensei ever studied the language and Deguchi Onisaburo apparently did not speak it very well.

Esperanto initially had a distinctly radical tinge. The Japan Esperanto Association was founded in 1906 through the efforts of an anarchist named Osugi Sakae and the radical Kita Ikki called for Esperanto to become a second language in Japan (with the abolition of English), in order to diminish western influence.

Later the movement became more mainstream and by 1926 there were 181 registered groups in Japan with over 6,000 students. Omoto began to promote Esperanto in 1922, as part of the new-style socially approved Omoto, after the First Suppression in 1921. (This was just after O Sensei moved to Ayabe.) The promotion activities continued right up to the Second Suppression in 1935.

However, Morihei Ueshiba's move to Tokyo lessened his contact with Deguchi and I would think that Ueshiba had enough to do with running the Kobukan Dojo to find time to learn Esperanto.

There is no trace of Esperanto (as far as I can recall) in Kisshomaru Ueshiba's biography.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 04-15-2009, 10:02 AM   #30
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 12

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Hello David,

The 'imperfect shadows' were the preferred expression in the Republic, as can be seen from the Allegory of the Cave. However, in the later dialogues, notably the Parmenides and Sophist, Plato subjected the theory of Forms to some criticism and wrestled with the problem of the relationship of the Forms to the changing objects that they were to be Forms of and whether every type of object had its Form.

The 'imperfection' of 'imperfect shadows' does not really explain the relationship. A shadow is a replica of the object of which it is a shadow only in outline and is also pretty firmly connected to the object. Objects do not have the same connection with Forms, since the latter are in a world apart. So the metaphor only goes some way in attempting to explain the relationship. There is a vast secondary literature on the topic of participation (and self-predication) in the middle and later dialogues.

Best wishes,

PAG
These images were picked up by Bonaventure, with some significant modifications, and in him there is an introit to a close parallel in Japanese thoughts on such things in Miura Baien's work on the nature of Ki. Bonaventure's thought on hylemorphism, is a unifying dualism of the same order as Baien's 條理 jouri, because for Bonaventure the division of spiritual and corporeal matter and form is one of operation and result -- not one of origin or nature...

In fact, the image of their concepts is remarkably similar. Both acknowledge an initial fundamental unity that achieves a functional division into celestial and terrestrial substantive forms. Baien's work sustains a trope of unity and emergent distinctive form/substance in the image of exposed branching of trees in winter (which form the image in the character 條 jou). This is echoed in the term hyle-morphism (usually seen as hyle - 'wood' in the limited sense of 'stuff' or 'matter') but the word is larger, connoting 'trees' themselves and 'forest', not just their product as a base material. Aquinas's extension of hylemorphic change with co-emergent forms and substances compare favorably in this sense to the nature of the One primal Ki that divides into yin and yang and then ten-thousand enfolded iterations of those branching divisions that are explained in Baien's jouri concept . The close association of kami and mono -- seen also in the sense of kotodama -- can be placed in a like parallel from a purely Shinto perspective in the progressive emergence of the highly familial, eight myriad myriad kami.

The sense in which the intermediate steps are lost or skipped over, in shortcuts or instantaneous metaphors (in different ways by different languages and cultures) are actually now demonstrated as a highly practical part of information theory -- under the same terminology -- where the hylemorphic, un-wieldy "tree" structure that reaches the particular result or instance of meaning is simultaneously unfolded/collapsed in tandem (anamorphic and catamorphic transitions). The essential operation that creates the resulting substantive form is still there but implicate, like the grain of the wood records its growth pattern (and the resulting loss of various minor side-branches) (which happens to be a similar image encoded in the character ri 理 the pattern of grain or veining in jade, and classically likened to the grain of wood.)

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 05-16-2009, 07:15 AM   #31
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 12

Hello Erick,

Many apologies for not responding more speedily to your last post.

I have looked through Rosemary Mercer's Deep Words, which I believe is the only treatment in English. Even with her excellent notes and comments, I can see why he is not read much nowadays. His dates are 1723-1789, whereas those of his much more famous compatriot (Motoori Norinaga) are 1730-1801.

When I have followed up your suggestions about possible connections between Miura Baien & St Bonaventure, I will respond in more detail.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 05-16-2009, 06:05 PM   #32
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 12

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Erick,

Many apologies for not responding more speedily to your last post.

I have looked through Rosemary Mercer's Deep Words, which I believe is the only treatment in English. Even with her excellent notes and comments, I can see why he is not read much nowadays. His dates are 1723-1789, whereas those of his much more famous compatriot (Motoori Norinaga) are 1730-1801.

When I have followed up your suggestions about possible connections between Miura Baien & St Bonaventure, I will respond in more detail.

Best wishes,

PAG
I will look forward to it.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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