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Old 03-04-2002, 06:03 PM   #1
AikiWeb System
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 1,320
Discuss the article, "Dojo Gestalt" by Alan Drysdale here.

Article URL: http://www.aikiweb.com/spiritual/drysdale1.html
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Old 03-04-2002, 09:58 PM   #2
Dean H.
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 45
The word spiritual is a loaded term, isn't it?
Among other things, it can mean non-physical, supernatural, and sacred. Aikido doesn't seem to me to be exactly any of those terms.

Words I might use that come to mind regarding Aikido are, in my opinion: connecting, relaxing, calming, respecting, etc.

Maybe it is the shift from competition to cooperation which is important in Aikido.
It was important for the country of Japan and perhaps for any of us who desire simplification in the face of some kind of struggle in our lives.

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Old 03-05-2002, 12:04 PM   #3
Bruce Baker
Dojo: LBI Aikikai/LBI ,NJ
Location: Barnegaat, NJ
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 893
Aikido/ spirituality?

Aikido and Spirituality? Isn't that like trying to find all the magicians secrets in a one sitting?

The new society of modern man has tried by all scientific means to explain all phenonmenon. Sometimes it is impossible with the tools at hand, or the knowledge being used to pick apart the magic, but in the end, the impossible becomes the improbable which can be defined while the impossible just takes a little longer.

There are training techniques that found in different cultures around the world that give superiority to fighting skills of that culture, yet, when we try to explain them without the proper experience, or knowledge, it becomes same as the magicians magic trick. There are ways to strength or weakness you carry with religious spirituality without knowing the scientific reasoning that causes such phenonmenon. Although there are sources and tools in the last ten years that are beginning to measure this energy, and explain why certain aspects work and others do not. These tools are being used to search for the scientific reasoning so that we can learn the boundaries of physical manifestations of Chi/Ki verses the introduction of religious spirituality into Aikido as a means to understanding the powers found in the world we live in, and how we can use them for Aikido?

It might be as simple as understanding some of the modern conveniences we have today, compared to horse/ buggy / kerosene lantern of yesterday? Or, in the sense of using the spiritual approach, you need to have the right attitude/ state of mind to be at one with the universe?

I think, you will find that the balance of the total package of understanding the forces that improve your physical, mental, and natural control of universal elements we are just starting to understand will be your personal journey. How you percieve the understanding of these elements to gain balance and control will be up to you.

As far as the journey of O'Sensei ... we can not know the personal demons that his life carried, opposed to our own, but somewhere he found the strength to conquer them, and give us a glimpse of a better Martial Arts life beyond that of one dedicated to killing, showing personal greatness by combat, or just plain tell us that the UNIVERSE was held together by LOVE? Eventually, all religions and spirituality should reach this basic tenant. What we do with it when we get there ... now there is question to ponder?
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Old 03-06-2002, 08:56 AM   #4
Ghost Fox
Dojo: Jikishinkan Dojo
Location: New York City (Brooklyn)
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 219

In a purely metaphysical sense nothing has a quality onto itself. There are certain quantifiable facts in the universe, such as the skeletal- muscular limitations that make Nikyo work or the laws behind transferring linear into circular momentum.

Things like beauty, joy, and spirituality are subjective, skewed by the experiences of the observer. They are relative, based upon the observer's interaction with the given experience.

Generally the people raised in a particular culture will share certain values and experiences due to societal and educational programming. The people in this group will tend to view similar events in a similar way.

From a Jungian perspective we are all tied to a collective, (A universal culture if you will.) unconsciousness and therefore share certain common experiences and memories. These collective experiences are extremely general, but they help human beings interact with one another. It acts as a general framework for a group of people to build beliefs, myths and values around. Where a particular culture will see the Virgin Mary as the Divine Mother most every culture has a similar metaphoriem. The specifics are different, but whether it's the Virgin Mary, Auset, etc…the general concept is shared by most every culture. In this case a female through immaculate conception giving birth to a divine being.

The less an idea or art is tied to a specific culture and draws from the collective unconsciousness the more likely that a larger group of people will see it in a similar way. Although Aikido is derived from Japanese fighting arts, there came a point when Aikido became a universal art, "a gift to humankind," as Stevens puts it.

Aikido has dragons and a host of Shinto gods in its cosmological system, but they are meaningless if isolated by themselves. They only have meaning with respect to the cultural mythology from which they were borrowed.
What is truly important, more universal, in Aikido's cosmological framework is the actual movements we learn in studying the art.

The waza disguise a clever metaphysical (psychological/spiritual) programming. A subconscious virus if you will. I believe Ueshiba intentionally or unintentionally hid the true meaning/spirituality of Aikido in these techniques. By constant practice we seed our subconscious's with the ideals of love and harmony, and by not relying on a religious paradigm Aikido becomes accessible to people outside of the culture it was created.

If you come to Aikido with at least a neutral stance, I believe that in time it will become spiritual for you. If you come with malice and the desire to do harm, I believe that one will either end up leaving the art or leaving the malice behind. I have personally seen people come to Aikido with a lot of anger issues (Pot calling kettle come in kettle. ), and leave the art after they are unable to receive the "satisfaction" that they are looking for.

(Man, I really have to lay of those Joseph Campbell Specials on PBS.)
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Old 06-26-2004, 04:14 PM   #5
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 2
Re: Article: Dojo Gestalt by Alan Drysdale

Aikido and (?) spirituality.

There are word combinations, pictures, signifiers,superlatives
with exponential variation possible for each person looking at this "Elephant" to employ.
Are people drawn to you in a crowd..
do children walk up and engage you, unasked,..in public?
Do you see peace everywhere you look...or conflict?

Can you see, the humanity of, the "Family of man"
on every face tha comes your way.


Does the world breathe you or do you breathe the world.
What is the intention in your head, spirit, heart?

Einstein said " Either one lives everyday as a miracle
or not."

"Talk is talk" you say?
This finger pointing at the moon...
........is not the moon.


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