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Old 04-04-2009, 08:08 AM   #1
Mary Eastland
 
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Words like God and Ki

Mary Malmros said : Well...this is where y'all bring out the boffer bats (or the bokken) and start whaling on me and yellling, "Mary, shut UP!" But does "spirit" have anything to do with "spirituality"? I think of "spirituality" as a connection with the divine, whether that be Allah or the kami or Jesus or the god in you. The usage of "spirit" in the martial arts, OTOH, has always given me the sense that it was a translation of a word that referred to a particular attitude and that the original had no connotations of the sacred. So, am I wrong about that?

This thought made me think.

The words god and ki cause a lot of response...people get emotional and defensive when the words god and ki are used.

If we could set that defensiveness aside and continue to communicate our thoughts while listening to others the real issues might be heard.

Being in the moment and accepting what every uke offers is sacred. This experience helps me connect to others in the outside world. Both god and ki are in the now. Aikido training deepens this experience for me making my life a sacred mysterious practice.

Mary
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:45 AM   #2
Buck
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Re: words like god and ki

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Mary Malmros said : Well...this is where y'all bring out the boffer bats (or the bokken) and start whaling on me and yellling, "Mary, shut UP!" But does "spirit" have anything to do with "spirituality"? I think of "spirituality" as a connection with the divine, whether that be Allah or the kami or Jesus or the god in you. The usage of "spirit" in the martial arts, OTOH, has always given me the sense that it was a translation of a word that referred to a particular attitude and that the original had no connotations of the sacred. So, am I wrong about that?

This thought made me think.

The words god and ki cause a lot of response...people get emotional and defensive when the words god and ki are used.

If we could set that defensiveness aside and continue to communicate our thoughts while listening to others the real issues might be heard.

Being in the moment and accepting what every uke offers is sacred. This experience helps me connect to others in the outside world. Both god and ki are in the now. Aikido training deepens this experience for me making my life a sacred mysterious practice.

Mary
Not to bust your bubble, and I appreciate where you are going on this, but these type of discussions usually don't get past the arguments of proving or defining the existence of both god and ki.

Ki and god are such abstract ideas that are suspectable to such a vast range of interpretation of tangible existance and definations and stuff.

The you have the emotional ties to the words, and people defend their views of both ki and god (mostly god) to the extreme of life and limb.

I would love to read a discussion on ki and god that goes past all that. But, it is so difficult to get past that stuff in a discussion. And I am guilty of that.
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:36 AM   #3
mathewjgano
 
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Re: words like god and ki

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Being in the moment and accepting what every uke offers is sacred. This experience helps me connect to others in the outside world. Both god and ki are in the now. Aikido training deepens this experience for me making my life a sacred mysterious practice.

Mary
This is beautifully worded, Mary! Thank you!
As Buck said, these are pretty abstract concepts and that makes it very hard to discuss, but I liken them to abstract or surreal paintings. We may never understand the exact meaning behind their artists' expression (I don't think many of the artists even did), but we can still make the attempt and find a variety of possible meanings...and it is this other-regarding mode of thinking which i think is crucial to conflict resolution, the basic purpose behind Aikido.
I hope I don't come across as too ego-centric in this next bit (just ego-centric enough! ), but I have had a fairly wide variety of friends, many of whom never seemed able to see eye-to-eye on any number of issues, let alone spiritual ones. My perception has pretty much been that these people don't get along because they're too busy translating everything into their own terms AND nothing beyond that. It's a practical mode of behavior because it gives concrete guidelines on how to readily behave. However, the ability to suspend belief is invaluable to me because of examples like these from my own life...which I think ties into Mary's remarks about a sacred and mysterious practice. I'm rarely confident like when I say it's very hard to live in the midst of uncertainty. Mine is an extreme example, but the need to define and categorize ideas can be somewhat compulsory, and for good reason too, but considering the notion that we're all essentially ignorant of the universe at large (from macro to micro), those definitions are somewhat weak to begin with. The ultimate question in topics like these, I think, has to do with functionality: "how does it (the concept) work for you?"
Ok, I don't feel very concise right now so I'll end my bit of rambling there and hope it will have served somethin useful to the conversation. Thanks again for the food for thought!
Cheers,
Matt

Last edited by mathewjgano : 04-04-2009 at 11:38 AM.

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Old 04-04-2009, 11:43 AM   #4
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Re: words like god and ki

One more thought. In hopes of redeeming myself. Perhaps, I am guilty of being one of those who Mary talks about. But understanding the origin of these things are is important to their existence and what they mean. Where gods and created for this or that reason, as a result of this or that. I can't say for sure but I can say these things have an importance. Here is my take, on that importance.

I feel god and ki primary resulting function is to have power over others. It seems part of being us, is that as humans want power of each other. Take the concept of gods, which seem to provide that power over others, even though the original purpose might not have been that. The origin of god(s) may have been mostly to explain things what was not understood or more powerful then,us, humans. And /or for persuasion and power over others in times previous times where the concept of god(s) was much more powerfully believed in. Gods are a many as the stars, with vast definitions and conceptions of powers.

Ki, in the martial sense is an invisible power used to defeat others generally. It isn't something that can do Cupid's job. Ki is a weapon. Whether it is the application of physics or something else it too was conceived in ancient times where understanding of the sciences where not developed. This creates a problem with language, terminology, and precise universal definition. Thus, everyone then can be on the same page in a discussion. Never the less the origin of Ki is related to having power over others - what ever it its.

I think knowing the importance of or even the origin ( if possible ) of the why, what, and when may answer the ideas of gods or ki existing. It can also lead us to understand why we personally believe in them to exist, (on faith- if you like), or the lack of understanding of what we are going, or happening around us, and then explaining it (we humans have a need for that which we don't understand to be explained) as an act of god or result of ki.

A personal thing here, I think ki is terminology for many physical things that at one time in the past where observed but given the blanket term of ki. For example, Aikido. Meaning it is an art that uses the principles of physics in such away to get the job done,and it is hard to tell what is happening, and the ease of say the throw. In contrast to say brute might and strength. Western wrestling has many maneuvers that can be labeled ki, and moves that are might against might. Ki as a principle of physics, such as a simple fulcrum and lever or pulleys over come the limitations of might. Thus the purpose of the weaker (limited strength or force) overs coming the stronger (greater strength or force). Simply, use the model of tug of war. Both teams pulling against each others force and energy, until one team lowers their center of gravity or uses another principle of physics that the opposing team can't defeat. Sorry, can't even get into the topic of god in the same way.

We all want to define things in the way we see them, and resist seeing the way others do. Or in the original way such things where created. Maybe this is because, we all secretly want to be as wise and powerful over others and create the idea of gods is to reflect that what is within ourselves, and our own desires. That is way we fight so hard to defend what we believe. Yes, it boils down to power struggles that we use words like god and ki.

Last edited by Buck : 04-04-2009 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 04-04-2009, 03:12 PM   #5
Buck
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Re: words like god and ki

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post

Ki, in the martial sense is an invisible power used to defeat others generally. It isn't something that can do Cupid's job.

Thus, everyone then can be on the same page in a discussion.
Opps....

The sentences above should have read:

Ki, in the martial sense is an invisible power used to defeat others generally. It isn't something that [can't ]do Cupid's job.

This creates a problem with language, terminology, and precise universal definition. Thus, everyone then [can't] be on the same page in a discussion.
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:54 AM   #6
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: words like god and ki

Buck wrote: We all want to define things in the way we see them, and resist seeing the way others do. Or in the original way such things where created. Maybe this is because, we all secretly want to be as wise and powerful over others and create the idea of gods is to reflect that what is within ourselves, and our own desires. That is way we fight so hard to defend what we believe. Yes, it boils down to power struggles that we use words like god and ki.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Last edited by Buck : Yesterday at 04:55 PM.


That being said:

Can't we challenge oursleves to step outside of what we believe? Could we really listen and understand what another is saying?

Can't we open our minds and hearts to the bigger uke....to not have power over others but to discipline oursleves when we have a habitual response?
Instead of defending my response I can step into the question and breathe into the discomfort.

I can relax more. I can think they might have a point. Maybe I could look at their ideas and allow learning to continue.
Then I might have less to defend and more peace to feel.
Mary
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Old 04-05-2009, 01:19 PM   #7
mathewjgano
 
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Re: words like god and ki

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
This creates a problem with...precise universal definition. Thus, everyone then [can't] be on the same page in a discussion.
I think even with slippery concepts people can arrive upon the same page, so to speak. The trick is suspending our own metric/rubric in an attempt at "divining" that of the other. Or another way of putting it: not letting pre-existing knowledge taint the upload of new information. That's not to say at some point we shouldn't cross-reference with our pre-existing notions. Presumably, we came up with those for good reason, but information/ideas can obfuscate just as much as they can reveal.
Understanding doesn't need language. In front of Tsubaki America shrine there are two dragons (I think) one with it's mouth open, the other with it closed. They represent understanding without language and I think their archetype applies to this conversation.
I disagree that the use of ki and god (the terms, of course) necessarily bring 'power struggles'...although I might have a slightly different sense of the phrase. I think the power struggles which probably tend to arise around their use are more directly related to other things.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 04-05-2009 at 01:28 PM.

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Old 04-05-2009, 01:57 PM   #8
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Re: words like god and ki

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Can't we challenge oursleves to step outside of what we believe? Could we really listen and understand what another is saying?

Can't we open our minds and hearts to the bigger uke....to not have power over others but to discipline oursleves when we have a habitual response?
Instead of defending my response I can step into the question and breathe into the discomfort.

I can relax more. I can think they might have a point. Maybe I could look at their ideas and allow learning to continue.
Then I might have less to defend and more peace to feel.
Mary
Developing fudoshin / equanimity keeps you from being blown off your own position, whatever it is. Not having a position to defend (shoshin) is an entirely different matter. Using each encounter to awaken the other to that there is nothing to defend? That's one understanding of Aikido---Priceless

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Old 04-05-2009, 03:09 PM   #9
Jonathan
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Re: words like god and ki

Quote:
The words god and ki cause a lot of response...people get emotional and defensive when the words god and ki are used.
Why is that, do you think?

Quote:
If we could set that defensiveness aside and continue to communicate our thoughts while listening to others the real issues might be heard.
You seem to assume here that one cannot be defensive and truly hear a person whose views differ from one's own. Might it not be that one's defensiveness arises because one understands another's viewpoint?

What "real issues" do you mean?

Quote:
Being in the moment and accepting what every uke offers is sacred.
I don't know what you mean here...Perhaps your idea of "sacred" is different than mine...Could you explain a little?

Quote:
This experience helps me connect to others in the outside world. Both god and ki are in the now.
How are these two statements connected, exactly? And what do you mean by "connect to others" and "are in the now"?

Quote:
Aikido training deepens this experience for me making my life a sacred mysterious practice.
What do you mean by life being a "practice"? And do you think that something which makes your life more mysterious, or less clearly understood (which is what I understand "mysterious" to imply), is a positive thing? If so, why?

I hope you don't mind my questions. I come across the kinds of words and phrases you use quite often in the Aikido world and never actually fully understand what is being said. Maybe you can elucidate for me.

Jon.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:02 PM   #10
mathewjgano
 
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Re: words like god and ki

Quote:
Mary wrote:
The words god and ki cause a lot of response...people get emotional and defensive when the words god and ki are used.
Quote:
Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
Why is that, do you think?
I'd be curious about how you'd answer this question. Would you mind giving your opinion?

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Old 04-05-2009, 05:19 PM   #11
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: words like god and ki

Quote:
Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
Why is that, do you think?
Because people might think they have the one right answer.

JH You seem to assume here that one cannot be defensive and truly hear a person whose views differ from one's own. Might it not be that one's defensiveness arises because one understands another's viewpoint?

You could be right.

JH What "real issues" do you mean?

Issues like acceptance and compassion and understanding.

JH I don't know what you mean here...Perhaps your idea of "sacred" is different than mine...Could you explain a little?

Sacred=regarded with reverance.

JH How are these two statements connected, exactly? And what do you mean by "connect to others" and "are in the now"?

When uke attacks me I do not look to overpower him or her. I receive the attack, blend with it and throw. In the now... being present not in the past or future...now is all that exists.

JH What do you mean by life being a "practice"? And do you think that something which makes your life more mysterious, or less clearly understood (which is what I understand "mysterious" to imply), is a positive thing? If so, why?

I consider the world my dojo.
I pray, meditate, and work at changing ideas and behaviors that don't work for me. I receive help and hope from the god, nature and people. This makes life wonderful and mysterious.

Aikido training contrubutes to a large part of my meditative practice. I don't try to change my uke so I don't try to change people. I accept my uke as they are at this moment. I accept people in the world as they are at this moment. I blend with the conditions and move on.

JH I hope you don't mind my questions. I come across the kinds of words and phrases you use quite often in the Aikido world and never actually fully understand what is being said. Maybe you can elucidate for me.

Thanks for asking.

Mary

Last edited by Mary Eastland : 04-05-2009 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:38 PM   #12
Kevin Karr
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Re: words like god and ki

Re: "Spirit"

Too many words. Just train!
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:06 PM   #13
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: words like god and ki

Geez Kevin..I don't really have that much to say...what do you say to the likes of George and Buck and Peter?
;o)
Mary
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Old 04-05-2009, 08:38 PM   #14
Jonathan
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Re: words like god and ki

Matthew:

You wrote:

Quote:
I'd be curious about how you'd answer this question. Would you mind giving your opinion?
You're curious now, but perhaps by the time you finish reading my answer you'll just be disappointed. Then again, maybe not.

So, why do I think the words "god" and "ki" cause defensive and emotional responses from people? Hmmm...I don't think there is a single answer I could offer that would account for everyone, of course. Generally, though, I suspect, at least when people talk about God (or god, whatever), the idea of some Thing/One being superior to us and standing in judgment upon our deeds gets people's hackles up. So long as "god" remains some amorphous entity/idea that is malleable enough to be bent to reflect the individual's own ideas of the divine (which means, essentially, that the individual is god), then god remains fairly innocuous. I guess it isn't so much, then, the idea of a God that provokes people as it is the idea that God can be clearly defined and known - especially if that God renders any sort of negative opinion on our conduct or asserts Him/Her/Its will upon us.

The idea of ki being provocative is a little strange to me. Personally, defining ki is not provocative to me in the least. Why do others find it worth getting wound up over? I expect they don't so long as (like in the situation with the term "God"), no one says dogmatically, "This is ki." I suspect this is at least somewhat connected to postmodern philosophy which has so deeply infected Western culture.

Have I satisfied your curiosity?

Mary:

You wrote:

Quote:
If we could set that defensiveness aside and continue to communicate our thoughts while listening to others the real issues might be heard.
When I asked you what the "real issues" were you wrote:

Quote:
Issues like acceptance and compassion and understanding.
How are these things "real issues," exactly? I mean, how are they more "real" than issues concerned with god or ki?

Quote:
Being in the moment and accepting what every uke offers is sacred.
Quote:
Sacred=regarded with reverance.
So, you revere being in the moment and accepting what every uke offers? Interesting...Why have you chosen to frame these things with religious terms?

Quote:
When uke attacks me I do not look to overpower him or her. I receive the attack, blend with it and throw. In the now... being present not in the past or future...now is all that exists.
Okay. Let me ask, then: If your goal is not to overpower uke, why throw uke at all? Why do all that you must to throw uke (receive, blend, etc.) if you don't intend to overpower uke? Doing all this, it seems to me, is in an effort to exert control over uke. I suppose one could argue that controlling uke and overpowering uke are not the same thing, but I wonder if the distinction is more semantic than real. I should think that if someone attacked you on the street and you threw him/her to the ground with shihonage, he/she would feel overpowered whether or not it was your goal...

"Now is all that exists." You specifically mean in the context of dealing with uke, right? Or do you see all of life as existing only in "now"?

Quote:
I consider the world my dojo.
I pray, meditate, and work at changing ideas and behaviors that don't work for me. I receive help and hope from the god, nature and people. This makes life wonderful and mysterious.
I suppose it would make life wonderful. Mysterious, though? I don't know what you mean by "mysterious."

Jon.

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Old 04-05-2009, 09:34 PM   #15
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: words like god and ki

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
[/b] training deepens this experience for me making my life a sacred mysterious practice.

Mary
You and a coupla others:

Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man's desire to understand. --Neil Armstrong

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. --Albert Einstein

We wake, if ever at all, to mystery. --Annie Dillard

As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins. --Albert Schweitzer

God asks no man whether he will accept life. That is not the choice. You must accept it. The only choice is how. --Henry Ward Beecher

People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering. --Augustine

No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to unchartered land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.-- Helen Keller

[Consciousness] is either inexplicable illusion, or else revelation.-- C.S. Lewis

Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes - The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries. --Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.-- Johnathan Swift

He is short-sighted who looks only on the path he treads and the wall on which he leans. --Kahlil Kibran

Jennifer Paige Smith
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Old 04-05-2009, 09:58 PM   #16
Abasan
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Re: words like god and ki

In his private lecture to Saotome, Osensei talked of Saotome's sudden enlightenment in Aikido as spiritual and hence to keep it to himself because sadly enough most of his other students don't understand that and wouldn't want to understand it.

Osensei himself founded Aikido after achieving spiritual enlightenment and he specifically mentioned God's love. What he later term as the universal awareness and love that he knows ultimately originated from a single divine.

I've taken to reading back some of my older books and recently finished again reading Aikido and The New Warrior. A compilation of essays from various notables of the American aikido fraternity. Including people like George Ledyard, T. Dobson and etc. Without a doubt, this particular collection seems to revolve around aikidoist who are tremendously curious or focused on the learning of ki and harmony in aikido. Each essay will undoubtedly espouse the principal blending. I believe the collection of essays span the time of the 70s and probably coincides with the then wide movement of the flower power.

That these sort of people got 'into' Aikido because of their search for harmony with the world and their distaste for raw violence seems so at odds with what the newer generation of aikidoist is searching for; domination, control and power to defeat. Time and time again, questions of defeating a 'real attack', an MMA fighter and brand X martial arts becomes the prime mover.

Ostensibly, questions of Ki and Spirituality becomes persona non grata, to be quietly tolerated but given only so much leeway before the discussion is veered towards more earthly orientation. Suddenly I ask to myself, if this is what you seek, why do you learn aikido? Aren't there more arts that would fulfil those very earthly desires? Wing chun, systema, aikijutsu, silat are all very relevant arts. They have softness that can be applied to an attacker that would effectively stop a confrontation without harming the opponent just as much as what Aikido has promised to do. You can also vouch for their street effectiveness. They also have no qualms about trying it out for real? It struck me as funny. That the guys who continuously challenge Aikido's desire to be united in both mind, body and spiritual enlightenment are the guys who continue training in Aikido and hating it. They have every choice to leave and study the aforementioned arts or MMA or BJJ or name your CMA here. This I believe comes from the need to validate their theory or perhaps something even more insidious. That their spirit and mind are looking for change and enlightenment and that they wish someday Aikido would do it for them. Only their body doesn't believe it really.

I've no idea why I actually wrote this. But somehow the title of this post just seems right.

And btw, Elizabeth Browning's quote is so profound. Its even in the Quran.

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 04-05-2009, 10:53 PM   #17
mathewjgano
 
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Re: words like god and ki

Quote:
Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
You're curious now, but perhaps by the time you finish reading my answer you'll just be disappointed. Then again, maybe not.
heheheh...one of my mottos: the unaimed arrow never misses. So, I was just curious and now I'm not any more. Thanks.

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Old 04-05-2009, 10:59 PM   #18
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Re: words like god and ki

Quote:
Jonathan Hay wrote: View Post
"Now is all that exists." You specifically mean in the context of dealing with uke, right? Or do you see all of life as existing only in "now"?
When else but in the moment can anything exist?

Ron
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:47 PM   #19
Erick Mead
 
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Re: words like god and ki

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Quote:
Jonathan Hay wrote:
Quote:
Mary wrote:
The words god and ki cause a lot of response...people get emotional and defensive when the words god and ki are used.
Why is that, do you think?
Because people might think they have the one right answer.
There is only one right answer: Do not treat subjects like objects. Treat all subjects with the respect you, as a subject, expect. Covers God -- and everybody else...

All the Law and the Prophets and the sages and the shamans agree.

When someone errs, (and we do err), correct them as you would like to be corrected -- and, I find, on occasions when I have been particularly unkind -- sometimes I can be very harsh with myself....



What is God, but an acknowledgment that no matter how much we try conceal what we do from anyone, or even ourselves, someone is always watching and judging how we treat each other -- I know -- I am.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:12 AM   #20
Jonathan
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Re: words like god and ki

Quote:
When else but in the moment can anything exist?
On a purely physical level I understand what you're saying. But in the mind, of course, this is not the case. Memory, desire, and imagination all move the mind across past, present and future in a constant, jumbled flow.

Jon.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:50 AM   #21
C. David Henderson
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Re: words like god and ki

In the mind, memory, desire, and imagination all move in the present moment.
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Old 04-06-2009, 02:03 PM   #22
Jonathan
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Re: Words like God and Ki

Quote:
In the mind, memory, desire, and imagination all move in the present moment.
Yes. But the mind can be almost completely oblivious to now as it anticipates/imagines the future, or dwells in/upon the past. In this sense, it can be quite free of "now."

Jon.

"Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."
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Old 04-06-2009, 02:16 PM   #23
C. David Henderson
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Re: Words like God and Ki

Jon,

I certainly understand what you're saying. Your point of view provides an interesting take on "freedom-from-now;" rather than the usual "Freedom of Now." (e.g., Mr. Tolle's famous book)

I appreciate the symmetry.

I wonder if there is anything to the "now" from which one needs be freed other than the "not-now" offered up by the mind.

Of course, the orthodox answer is likely "no," but in some situations, e.g., sitting in the dentist's chair getting a root canal, I personally need to find refuge in "anything-but-now."

Probably a reflection of my need for further growth, and lack of understanding of the causes of my suffering I suppose...(other than failure to floss daily.)

regards,

cdh
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Old 04-06-2009, 06:22 PM   #24
mathewjgano
 
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Re: Words like God and Ki

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David Henderson wrote: View Post
I wonder if there is anything to the "now" from which one needs be freed other than the "not-now" offered up by the mind...e.g., sitting in the dentist's chair getting a root canal, I personally need to find refuge in "anything-but-now."
That's funny, not long ago I went to the dentist and prayed to god (whoever might be listening) the novocain was enough and used my ki (focused intention) to lessen the pain when it was just slightly not. The "middle of now" became the same kind of tiled ceiling I dislike installing at work while memories of why i was so intently looking up at the ceiling kept popping up.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 04-06-2009 at 06:25 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:25 PM   #25
jonreading
 
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Re: Words like God and Ki

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Mary Eastland wrote: View Post
Mary Malmros said : Well...this is where y'all bring out the boffer bats (or the bokken) and start whaling on me and yellling, "Mary, shut UP!" But does "spirit" have anything to do with "spirituality"? I think of "spirituality" as a connection with the divine, whether that be Allah or the kami or Jesus or the god in you. The usage of "spirit" in the martial arts, OTOH, has always given me the sense that it was a translation of a word that referred to a particular attitude and that the original had no connotations of the sacred. So, am I wrong about that?

This thought made me think.

The words god and ki cause a lot of response...people get emotional and defensive when the words god and ki are used.

If we could set that defensiveness aside and continue to communicate our thoughts while listening to others the real issues might be heard.

Being in the moment and accepting what every uke offers is sacred. This experience helps me connect to others in the outside world. Both god and ki are in the now. Aikido training deepens this experience for me making my life a sacred mysterious practice.

Mary
In social company, never discuss religion and politics...and ki.

Anytime you challenge beliefs, you are bound to receive a strong reaction in defense of those beliefs.To challenge a belief caullously is both disrespectful and inflammatory; whether or not the belief is accurate is irrelevant. I think we could all use a lesson in manners when we approach such sensitive topics. To a lesser degree, I believe the same circumstances surround the belief in ki; either you believe in ki or you don't.

Aristotle classifies a type of audience which no orator can persuade and advices orators not to persue discourse with that audience since it will never succeed. I think the audience is very important to successful discussion about omnipotent beings and ki energy. Unfortunately, there will always be a troll whose anger towards arguing against a belief supercedes the fact he is not the targeted audience of the conversation and he will subsequently weigh in...
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