Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Spiritual

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-02-2009, 12:06 PM   #1
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
An interesting relationship

Today's doka reminded me of something I've thought about a few times w/ re: describing "the way." On one hand we have today's doka which says:
Quote:
To the Technique of Tsurugi,
Neither brush nor word of mouth can render due service.
Saying nothing you must go forth
And so must you know (satori).
On the other hand I recall a doka which describes the art of the brush (pen?) as leading toward understanding. I just quickly tried to find it, but wasn't successful so hopefully someone with better familiarity can describe it in more detail.
At any rate, I find this interesting because it fits with my notions on the nature of understanding which I first found articulated "by" Socrates in which he claims basically that the only thing he knows is that he's ignorant. Of course that doesn't stop him from deliberating on all sorts of ideas.
Coincidentally, this is the main reason I've continued to post so much here on Aikiweb when I don't feel I train enough to offer much insight: in discussing ideas, I stimulate critical thinking and interpersonal communication skills...which is something, if not enough to attain satori.
What are your impressions?
And, any holes in my line of reasoning?
Take care all,
Matthew

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2009, 04:41 PM   #2
CitoMaramba
 
CitoMaramba's Avatar
Dojo: Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui Group Philippines
Location: Plymouth, UK
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 492
Philippines
Offline
Re: An interesting relationship

"Tsurugi" is the alternative pronounciation (kunyomi) of the Kanji 剣, which means "sword" and is often pronounced as "Ken" (onyomi). As in "Kendo" (剣道).
So, "Technique of Tsurugi" is "Technique of Sword".

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2009, 04:50 PM   #3
akiy
 
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 5,851
Offline
Re: An interesting relationship

If it interests anyone, the original Japanese for this douka seems to be:

つるぎ技筆や口にはつくされず言ぶれせずに悟り行へ

Here's a thesis (in Japanese) by Higuchi Takanari sensei which references the above douka and compares it to a similar quote from Miyamoto Musashi's "The Book of Five Rings":

http://www.interq.or.jp/silver/sinom...usu.essay3.htm

Sorry -- no time for me to translate that section right now...

-- Jun

Please help support AikiWeb -- become an AikiWeb Contributing Member!
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2009, 05:34 PM   #4
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: An interesting relationship

Quote:
Inocencio Maramba wrote: View Post
"Tsurugi" is the alternative pronounciation (kunyomi) of the Kanji 剣, which means "sword" and is often pronounced as "Ken" (onyomi). As in "Kendo" (剣道).
So, "Technique of Tsurugi" is "Technique of Sword".
Thank you, Inocencio. That is perhaps an obscure word for sword. What do you think about the ideas expressed in the doka? Or more to the point, what do you think about how it relates to the idea that words and ideas can support a path toward satori, even if perhaps not get one there?
Jun, thank you for the reference! I hope someone will be willing to translate the gist of it for me...my Japanese isn't so good.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 07-02-2009 at 05:36 PM.

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2009, 08:38 PM   #5
Suru
Location: Miami, FL
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 453
United_States
Offline
Today's Doka

"To the Technique of Tsurugi,
Neither brush nor word of mouth can render due service.
Saying nothing you must go forth
And so must you know (satori)."

Does anyone else find this doka to be quite demoralizing when it comes to writing posts?

Drew
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2009, 11:19 PM   #6
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: Today's Doka

yes, and with demoralizing, "shut up and train" is applicable as well.

-----------------------------------
Other thoughts on it:

Practice is what will bring deep understanding of technique, not how to explanation. Pretty obvious.

"Technique of Tsurugi" probably due to the Shinto thing O'Sensei is refering to Murakumo-no-Tsurugi a.k.a Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi. Whether O'Sensei is referring to the sword in terms of the Kojiki or the Nihonshoki, I don't have a clue. Or if he is referring to the sword in practical use - which is a long shot isn't it? I don't know. That is the mystery for me. It would make sense in either way and could refer to all the ways. That is if there is a prescribed method of use for the sword. If there is, it could apply to Aikido technique. And that would make sense. Otherwise, if he referred to the sword in terms of the Kojiki or the Nihonshoki then it seem such a reference would dictate inferring something about the sword in the role in plays in the Kojiki or the Nihonshoki that would tells us something applicable about doing Aikido technique. Or not. that it simple is an abstract preface referring to looking at practice as scared.

I don't read or speak Japanese, so it is a shot in the dark for me. But based on my assumptions that the Dokas are captions telling the keys to technique then what I said would make sense. Or at least be on the right path.

Last edited by Buck : 07-02-2009 at 11:21 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2009, 12:39 AM   #7
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Ai symbol Re: An interesting relationship

For some reason by browser acted up and I only seen the one post by Drew, a.k.a Suru.

I wasn't directing that to anyone responding to the thread. "Shut up and train" is a phrase used often on the internet as a insult or a shut down. I am not using it in that way. I am reflecting the montra of less talking more training.

Matt,

I am unable to point out any holes in your reasoning. I am not comfortable doing that because that is not what I am about. Some people that is all they do. I am not one of them. Far as I am concerned I can't help you there.

I can give you my impressions. My impressions are generally reflected in what I said in my first post on the Doka. In light of my Browser working properly and reading your thoughts, I would say from whom or from what is O'Sensei referencing/citing/resoursing /drawing from is Musashi's "...Five Rings." Jun's and Inocencio's posts are ones I didn't initially see due to the browser malfunction. Gives a good idea O'Sensei is referring to sword application as well (based on Jun's and Inocencio's posts), and possibly the strategy and stuff dictated in the book by Musashi. To what extent or how, I don't know. I personally am betting O'Sensei is referring to all three things I mentioned in my first post. That is my impression.

Last edited by Buck : 07-03-2009 at 12:44 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2009, 04:13 AM   #8
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: An interesting relationship

Quote:
Philip Burgess wrote: View Post
I wasn't directing that to anyone responding to the thread. "Shut up and train" is a phrase used often on the internet as a insult or a shut down. I am not using it in that way. I am reflecting the montra of less talking more training.
I think that's the gist of the doka as well...and despite my actions reflecting otherwise, I think it's a crucial message on how to really progress. It's easy to get caught up in words and they can obfuscate as much as they can reveal.

Quote:
I am unable to point out any holes in your reasoning. I am not comfortable doing that because that is not what I am about. Some people that is all they do. I am not one of them. Far as I am concerned I can't help you there.
Well I certainly respect that, but I rely on others to point out the things I may miss. I think that's the whole point to the dialectic: two heads are better than one. Then again I often think too much and feeding into that might not always be the best thing...particularly in light of this doka.

Quote:
Gives a good idea O'Sensei is referring to sword application as well (based on Jun's and Inocencio's posts),
I'm fairly certain that he is. I like the zen idea that concepts always fall short of reality and as such, past a certain point, descriptions of swordsmanship are meaningless. Conceptually, I think I have a basic idea of what aiki is. But to use an analogy, my mental image has poor resolution. I can make out some basic shapes and colors, but it is nowhere near as crisp and complete an image as the reality. But, that's not to say descriptions can't be useful...why else would one bother to describe how they fall short?
And Drew, it's totally discouraging, but I'm a glutton for punishment.
Gambattemashyo.

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2009, 08:41 AM   #9
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: An interesting relationship

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
.
Yea, I didn't take in the Zen idea in to the picture, and agree it plays that part, sure. Langauge is limiting. I think the Zen phase goes, words lie. I think that means what your pointing out is there is a limitation and pitfalls when it comes to words and oral descriptions. Complex stuff indeed.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2009, 09:09 AM   #10
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,000
Japan
Offline
Re: An interesting relationship

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
On the other hand I recall a doka which describes the art of the brush (pen?) as leading toward understanding. I just quickly tried to find it, but wasn't successful so hopefully someone with better familiarity can describe it in more detail.
At any rate, I find this interesting because it fits with my notions on the nature of understanding which I first found articulated "by" Socrates in which he claims basically that the only thing he knows is that he's ignorant. Of course that doesn't stop him from deliberating on all sorts of ideas.
PAG. Why do you think that, 'that does not stop him from deliberating on all sorts of ideas'? Do you not think that there is an important context to Socrates' protestations of ignorance? (He was always arguing with people whom he really did believe were crucially ignorant about important ethical and political issues. Remember that Socrates was put to death by the very same people with whom he was arguing.)

If you really think that 'words lie', why do you both continue to post in these forums? You appear to be skeptics about the value of language ('words lie'), but you do not live out your skepticism. You enjoy displaying your skepticism, but you also assume that words do not 'lie', whenever you post your opinions. For you expect us all to believe that what you state in your words is true.

I am not telling you to stop posting; I am merely pointing out that what you say (words lie) and what you do (post lots of words which you believe to be true) does not match.

Best wishes,

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 07-03-2009 at 09:12 AM.

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2009, 03:28 PM   #11
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: An interesting relationship

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
PAG. Why do you think that, 'that does not stop him from deliberating on all sorts of ideas'? Do you not think that there is an important context to Socrates' protestations of ignorance? (He was always arguing with people whom he really did believe were crucially ignorant about important ethical and political issues. Remember that Socrates was put to death by the very same people with whom he was arguing.)
My guess is that he felt in the grand scheme of things he was essentially ignorant, but that individual points of knowledge were attainable. Or perhaps he simply felt that ignorance could be proven?

Quote:
If you really think that 'words lie', why do you both continue to post in these forums? You appear to be skeptics about the value of language ('words lie'), but you do not live out your skepticism. You enjoy displaying your skepticism, but you also assume that words do not 'lie', whenever you post your opinions. For you expect us all to believe that what you state in your words is true.
I wouldn't say words lie; my understanding of the zen perspective might be mistaken. I would say words can get in the way sometimes and help find the way other times...a half-truth. My favorite analogy to use would be the three blind men and the elephant. All three had valid concepts even though the fullest context wasn't readily available.

Quote:
I am not telling you to stop posting; I am merely pointing out that what you say (words lie) and what you do (post lots of words which you believe to be true) does not match.

Best wishes,

PAG
Well to be honest I do often feel conflicted in posting, despite my view that words aren't lies per se. I feel like I learn a lot from the folks here on Aikiweb, which is why I keep trying.
What is your view of the context you alluded to regarding Socrates?
Also, do you know the other doka I'm trying to recall?
Thank you for your reply!
Matthew

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2009, 06:51 PM   #12
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,000
Japan
Offline
Re: An interesting relationship

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
My guess is that he felt in the grand scheme of things he was essentially ignorant, but that individual points of knowledge were attainable. Or perhaps he simply felt that ignorance could be proven?

What is your view of the context you alluded to regarding Socrates?

Thank you for your reply!
Matthew
Hello Matthew,

Ah, yes. It was Mr Burgess who used the phrase 'words lie'. I do not think that words ever lie; the people who use them do.

As for Socrates, we know about him only from Plato and Xenophon, who also had their own agendas. The knowledge we have is also coupled with burgeoning Greek interest in language and especially rhetoric. The sophists were pioneers of educational methodology and offered to teach virtue in their general courses, for which, like Takeda Sokaku, they charged a hefty fee.

Socrates allegedly believed that virtue could not be taught and had to be arrived at by a dialectical process he called aporia, leading to elenchos. Plato's early dialogues all have Socrates approaching those who claimed to be virtuous and seeking definitions of the said virtue: he always professed not to know the definition. Then, by a process of dialectical questioning, he reduced all his interlocutors to an intellectual and moral dilemma. However they tried to escape, this led to a self-contradiction, which they did not take kindly to, at all.

The sophists had a bad press at the hands of Socrates and Plato, but much of this was undeserved.

Best wishes, and please keep posting. (But continue to ask Rev Barrish about Japanese spiritual culture.)

PAG

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-2009, 08:09 PM   #13
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: An interesting relationship

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
PAG. Why do you think that, 'that does not stop him from deliberating on all sorts of ideas'? Do you not think that there is an important context to Socrates' protestations of ignorance? (He was always arguing with people whom he really did believe were crucially ignorant about important ethical and political issues. Remember that Socrates was put to death by the very same people with whom he was arguing.)

If you really think that 'words lie', why do you both continue to post in these forums? You appear to be skeptics about the value of language ('words lie'), but you do not live out your skepticism. You enjoy displaying your skepticism, but you also assume that words do not 'lie', whenever you post your opinions. For you expect us all to believe that what you state in your words is true.

I am not telling you to stop posting; I am merely pointing out that what you say (words lie) and what you do (post lots of words which you believe to be true) does not match.

Best wishes,

PAG
Hello, PAG. It is very refreshing to have a well thought out response as your. It really is an honor, it isn't something you do allot, and it is probably due to you being very busy. Let me also say by no means do I not recognize your extensive scholarly knowledge. I want to start off on the right foot here.

Oh gee, Socrates. That is a tough one for me. My knowledge of him is not beyond the average college courses in philosophy. There is the theory he never really existed and was a device of Plato's. I don't know the background on that theory to see if it on solid ground. But when I speak of Socrates that is something I always keep in my mind. Because it really can have an effect on how he is seen.

And what else comes to mind, is the Socratic method of teaching that I have encountered used by high school teachers, professors and lecturers. I have a professor was discussing his teaching methodology, which he said was the Socratic Method. I commented and said, "Didn't they kill Socrates for that?" Needless to say he wasn't happy with my comment. But hey, the professor didn't see it that way, just because I did...well.

Hypocritical, I guess of me, or just by years of being subjected the Socratic Method, and thus by default, I use the Socratic method on my employees. But, none of them have forced me to drink hemlock. I don't think it is a good teaching approach, I didn't like it. And I didn't force any teacher along with other students to force the professor to drink Hemlock. If any thing can be said, it is, I am not the best person to discuss Socrates. That is why I didn't comment when Matt brought him up.

I believe that discussing my comment on the Zen saying "words lie" is a good start to discussing your points and comments about what I said..

There is a limitation to what words can express and convey, and they do mislead. We all know that if you over the age of 5. Communication at best is difficult to get right, according to many authors on books that range from parenting, to marriage, to interpersonal communication, to business, to communication its self, self-help, psychology, and so on, and so on. And there are so many things that effect communication that has been about by professional that also could fill a city library. I think that has been established communication is difficult. To short cut all that, I used the Zen saying, and probably awkwardly and it didn't come across as well as intended or not received well due to those things that can effect decoding a message, again communication isn't an easy thing. As humans we have this need to communicate and that is a whole other subject. With out going into it too deeply, we as humans need to communicate in all sorts of ways with all sorts of stuff to other humans. It starts they say, as early as in the womb. Well I don't know about that but it is evident with new born babies we have a need to communicate. We are very noisy by nature. We all don't communicate the say way, speak the same language, and so on. Now we come full circle to the difficulty of communication. But from the perspective now then limitations of language that add to the difficulty of communication. It is not being skeptical of language rather the difficulty in terms of the limitations of language. Take for instance, all the different meanings words can have, you can look in the Oxford Dictionary the American version and find many definitions for so many words. Then take the same word and look it up in Merriam Webster Dictionary. Then compare those with a British Dictionary. Take the American English language and compare it to (I dare say) British English and all different dialects, colloquialism, synonyms, homonyms, style, etc. of both very similar languages. And then add the accuracy of words in general to convey meaning or an experience. In addition to that, we are school for over 20 years in the English language. Wow it's over-whelming isn't that we can communicate at all and I just touch upon the tip of the iceberg. I didn't even touch upon how there is specialized language for almost every industry, art, craft and so on. Or how there is double meaning and all those things that take place in language and communication.

Yes, there is limitation to language was my point in relation to O'Sensei who didn't write his Doka in common or current Japanese language. I say that based on, I forget which of his students being interviewed, mentioned that when O'Sensei spoke on spiritual topics (and I am paraphrasing -- and I will quote later) he didn't understand the use of language O'Sensei was using. To me this says, O'Sensei had a different way of communicating that was and is difficult to understand. Because it seems he didn't use vernacular of the day for his Doka that where written in a poetic form(?).
With all that example and background info, I refer to words lie as, words don't convey everything, they are not accurate and it is difficult to communicate our thoughts and ideas, including opinions, comment and arguments. It isn't a platform of skepticism that I am launching from. Again an example of words lying, or in other words can mislead, which is an example in itself, are not always accurate all the time every time etc. we communicate to each other.

That being said, communication is work and I think is taken for granted, and misunderstood in many cases and situations in our lives. It is difficult to communicate. Language changes over time, in all sorts of ways, like definations, colloquialism, and all that other stuff related to language and communication. Finally, the last layer to the onion, which I forgot to add early is the percentage of language and communications relies on getting our message across as intended being dependant on body language, tone, inflection, and facial expressions, and more.

I don't expect people to think what I say is true, that is for others. I just would rather have people not get trapped in that sheeple trap. But to discuss, to engage, exchange, and that stuff in order to hopefully lead us to truth. I think that has been forgotten or lost in many circles.

Peter, thank you for taking the time, again, in providing your comments and feedback. I feel it is a great opportunity to communicate toward a path to possibly a truth(s). Truth(s) we either have forgotten or never knew, but can discover together. I think there lays the beauty and higher purpose of language, is to get past the lies.

Last edited by Buck : 07-03-2009 at 08:14 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2009, 04:51 PM   #14
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: An interesting relationship

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Matthew,
...Best wishes, and please keep posting. (But continue to ask Rev Barrish about Japanese spiritual culture.)

PAG
Hi Peter,
I just wanted to express thanks for your post. I think it's a good point that the sophists weren't as bad as most fans of Plato/Socrates would probably say (I know I've used the term primarily as a negative).
I'll definately have to make more efforts to learn from my sensei. For a while now this forum has served as a poor surrogate for such a unique perspective!
Thanks again,
Matthew

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2009, 09:31 PM   #15
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,000
Japan
Offline
Re: An interesting relationship

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I wouldn't say words lie; my understanding of the zen perspective might be mistaken. I would say words can get in the way sometimes and help find the way other times...a half-truth. My favorite analogy to use would be the three blind men and the elephant. All three had valid concepts even though the fullest context wasn't readily available.
Matthew
Matthew,

Why is this your favourite analogy? It seems to me to be an excessively limiting choice of analogy, rather like the glass being half empty, in preference to it being half full. Why not change the analogy to three sighted men, in the street, in a dispute with a cop about a parking ticket? It would be pretty pointless to quote to him Zen sayings like 'Words lie'.

I believe there is far too much negativity towards language on these forums. Some people seem to regard communication as a major struggle, with an extremely low success rate. It is as if there is some Form of Communication, out there in Plato's universe (along with his other Forms), of which all AikiWeb attempts at communication are pathetic attempts at instantiation, with nothing ever reaching the remotest proximity to the Form. If this is your model, well, it is a wonder that people ever open their mouths, or reach for their keyboards.

However, I believe it is a false model, along with all the other Forms. Moreover, Ueshiba's doka are, in my opinion, utterly unsuitable models of communication and the translations make them even worse. It is pointless even to attempt to understand them without some knowledge of the conventions of Japanese waka poetry.

These ponderings on the 'meaning' of the doka are due in large part to the excessive mystification / mysticization of language in aikido, with people going into agonies about the correct relationship of the 'do', the 'ki' and the 'ai'. If people start off with the idea that discourse about aikido is basically impossible to understand, their skepticism will be rewarded. Of course, its all his fault, the man who wrote the doka to begin with.

PAG

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2009, 01:26 AM   #16
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: An interesting relationship

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Matthew,

Why is this your favourite analogy? It seems to me to be an excessively limiting choice of analogy, rather like the glass being half empty, in preference to it being half full.
Hi Peter,
It's my favorite because it seems to fit with a lot of my experiences...the more negative ones, at any rate. I agree it is a glass is half empty view of perception and language, but I think that's its purpose, to illustrate the shortcomings of describing perceptions on the truth (some truths anyway).
Quote:
Why not change the analogy to three sighted men, in the street, in a dispute with a cop about a parking ticket? It would be pretty pointless to quote to him Zen sayings like 'Words lie'.
To me it seems like the parking ticket is pretty much cut and dried: the sign said no parking. It might seem unjust, but it's not the cop's place to do anything about that...according to law, anyway. Or maybe I should ask how that analogy might positively describe the fact that perception isn't perfect to make sure I understand you. Maybe the analogy of the elephant is more fun? I know a lot of folks would rather paint something by coloring in the negative space around it...maybe it's just a matter of taste?

Quote:
I believe there is far too much negativity towards language on these forums. Some people seem to regard communication as a major struggle, with an extremely low success rate.
You're probably right about the amount of negativity. I know I feel it's easier to throw my hands in the air, say, "well it's the nature (fault) of language, not my own inability to find the right words," and go on replying to the, Aikido does not work in a fight, thread. I suppose it comes down to laziness in many cases...and I know with as dogmatic as I've been at posting here (with the aim of using language to find a more complete understanding) I can also be pretty lazy about it.
Also, some folks don't like language as much as others. I have friends who would rather give an angry expression than articulate how they feel...and they certainly don't like to analyze it. Feeling it suffices for them.

Quote:
It is as if there is some Form of Communication, out there in Plato's universe (along with his other Forms), of which all AikiWeb attempts at communication are pathetic attempts at instantiation, with nothing ever reaching the remotest proximity to the Form. If this is your model, well, it is a wonder that people ever open their mouths, or reach for their keyboards.
I hope I haven't implied this was my model. I wouldn't post here if I didn't think truth could be understood to some important degree. Indeed whenever I have felt the most right with the world is when I have sat down and held a conversation with myself. It's a little odd, but when I was in elementary school I used to sit in my closet (it was a fort!) and think about the things I experienced at school or with my friends, reasoning things out to myself. It's basically what I do here on Aikiweb except I'm looking for outside input.

Quote:
However, I believe it is a false model, along with all the other Forms. Moreover, Ueshiba's doka are, in my opinion, utterly unsuitable models of communication and the translations make them even worse. It is pointless even to attempt to understand them without some knowledge of the conventions of Japanese waka poetry.
As a long-time poet I have the occasional tendancy to lean on the open-ended side of language...and in truth I believe it has hurt my earlier ability at precise and concise language. That said, I do think there is something to the constructivist model of learning, and that while it may be impossible, or nearly enough so, to understand O Sensei's poetic style, I think it can still spark meaningful insight on the part of the individual. I also think it's important for that individual to recognize the meaning is probably self-derived, particularly when we have folks like yourself, who have studied these things so deeply, telling us to beware of these shortcomings.

Quote:
These ponderings on the 'meaning' of the doka are due in large part to the excessive mystification / mysticization of language in aikido, with people going into agonies about the correct relationship of the 'do', the 'ki' and the 'ai'. If people start off with the idea that discourse about aikido is basically impossible to understand, their skepticism will be rewarded. Of course, its all his fault, the man who wrote the doka to begin with.

PAG
I have a hard time with this because I consider myself to be a pretty realistic person (who doesn't though), but I have always loved mystical language...it's what attracted me to poetry in the first place. People have used this kind of language since pre-history I presume: if you see the Buddha on your road, kill him. It's not meant to be taken literally, and I think the problem arises when people confuse semantic meaning with abstract meaning. In my own case it's all an exercise...when I have a realistic view anyway. It's a mental exercise not unlike panning for gold. It takes a lot of effort for what is usually a few flecks of gold. But I enjoy the exercise and I do find a valuable nugget every now and then.
Then again, I'm often told i think too much.
I'm tired so I hope this is as lucid as it's felt while I was writing it.
Thank you for sharing your thinking, I do appreciate it!
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2009, 03:08 AM   #17
Misogi-no-Gyo
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 498
Offline
Re: An interesting relationship

No one actually dealt with the doka, itself, so I thought I would redirect the thread back onto the importance that seems to have been lost in some ridiculous philosophical debate... hahaha, sorry, but my uncle was the head of the philosophy department of a major university and i grew up having those types of conversations when I was like 5. Didn't get him anywhere but crazy and all it did was teach me how to make others feel really stupid about their (stupid opinions...)

In any case... Not really sure if I should be sharing this, but since the original teaching was shared with me in a somewhat public setting it must not be too restricted of a teaching.

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
To the Technique of Tsurugi,
Neither brush nor word of mouth can render due service.
Saying nothing you must go forth
And so must you know (satori).
Tsurugi has a very special meaning and specific reference for it was taken from Kojiki as the model for a very specific teaching. The usage here is not as the word sword. The usage is icicle-sword - in other words an icicle used as a sword. There is both an omote and ura teaching of which I will give a brief introduction. The omote (first two lines of the doka) is a physical-based teaching of kokyu-ho leading to kokyu-nage. The ura (last two lines) relate to kotodama-no-gyo - meaning the specific practices of kotodama-ho leading to the actual application of kotodama at the very center of the spiraling kokyu. The oral teaching being most important, one can notice that each new line gives truer meaning to all of those that precede it. Meaning that one must actually understand the entire thing in order for even the first line to make any real sense.

So breaking it down line by line, then section by section, then taking it as a whole (but in reverse) the doka reads:

Line by line...
To the Technique of Tsurugi, To the technique of the instant and infinitely ever-expanding icicle
Neither brush nor word of mouth can render due service.absent of visible sign or giving any indication
Saying nothing you must go forthKotodama - in the moment before the word, as it echoes forward back to and through its source
And so must you know (satori)You are already, always - before, during and after.

Section by section...
To the Technique of Tsurugi,
Neither brush nor word of mouth can render due service.

echoing at the speed of light (faster than the written or spoken word which are extremely slowed down versions of the Kotodama - speech which is the first iteration of the empty kotodama and then writing which is the second, slower and more empty representation of the kotodama) the Nage pierces Uke's spirit with the expanding spirit-sword as it transforms from the running water form into the icicle form

Saying nothing you must go forth
And so must you know (satori).
The Kotodama moves outward back through the source of the echoing spiral and continues to do so in the presence of one who knows without question.

In its entirety, but in reverse...
The one who knows with one hundred percent of his spirit and will and without question gives birth to the reflection of the kotodma (echo of the source) as he allows the instant and infinite expansion of himself to reach out into all that is not him until he and it are one via the culmination of all things that move (water) transforming into one thing that is solid (icicle)

I hope that clears things up a bit... Let's wait for the students of the exalted charlatans come out and try and unravel this one... anyone? ...anyone? ...Beuller? Thought not! You may not know who they were/are... but I do.

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
On the other hand I recall a doka which describes the art of the brush (pen?) as leading toward understanding.
Oh, this is not the same teaching at all. However where the two relate is in the emptiness of the written word versus the hidden teaching of kokyu through shodo (calligraphy). This is why calligraphy of the founder has such value - especially the doka. It is not just about what he wrote which is often poorly translated and more often completely misunderstood, but is actually about how it was written. Scholars are so busy trying to tell us what they think the words mean when in actuality they should be looking at the way the words, themselves were written... but you didn't hear that from me.

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
At any rate, I find this interesting because it fits with my notions on the nature of understanding which I first found articulated "by" Socrates in which he claims basically that the only thing he knows is that he's ignorant.
Socrates was right... he was ignorant... wash, rinse, repeat... wash, rinse, repeat...

Best in training to all

.

Last edited by Misogi-no-Gyo : 07-06-2009 at 03:13 AM.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2009, 03:29 AM   #18
Misogi-no-Gyo
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 498
Offline
Re: An interesting relationship

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Moreover, Ueshiba's doka are, in my opinion, utterly unsuitable models of communication and the translations make them even worse. It is pointless even to attempt to understand them without some knowledge of the conventions of Japanese waka poetry.
Goldsbury Sensei,

I would complete agree that the translations make them worse. However I would tend to disagree that even a scholar's understanding or even mastery of "waka" would assit one in understanding O-Sensei's doka. I think that was also the point of them in the same way that Musashi wrote "Go Rin No Sho" as a handbook that would only make any real sense to one worthy of the teaching in the first place. As far as their communicative value to one who actually is worthy of the teachings, the doka hold some very interesting meaning and provide for a clear path of study and direction.

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
These ponderings on the 'meaning' of the doka are due in large part to the excessive mystification / mysticization of language in aikido, with people going into agonies about the correct relationship of the 'do', the 'ki' and the 'ai'. If people start off with the idea that discourse about aikido is basically impossible to understand, their skepticism will be rewarded. Of course, its all his fault, the man who wrote the doka to begin with.

PAG
It all reminds me of the word "obfuscatory" which is a word who's meaning is perfectly described in the word itself... However, if O-Sensei actually wanted to forward a syllabus for future study of worthy disciples after his death the doka in and of themselves are perfectly executed. All the information needed is in there. All one needs in addition to being able to see them is the oral teachings that accompany them and the door magically opens

best in training to all

.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2009, 04:02 AM   #19
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,000
Japan
Offline
Re: An interesting relationship

Hello Shaun,

Many thanks for response. A have appended a few comments to the text of your post.

Best wishes,

PAG

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
Goldsbury Sensei,

I would complete agree that the translations make them worse. However I would tend to disagree that even a scholar's understanding or even mastery of "waka" would assit one in understanding O-Sensei's doka. I think that was also the point of them in the same way that Musashi wrote "Go Rin No Sho" as a handbook that would only make any real sense to one worthy of the teaching in the first place. As far as their communicative value to one who actually is worthy of the teachings, the doka hold some very interesting meaning and provide for a clear path of study and direction.
PAG. Well, I think we will have to disagree. I did not mention 'scholarly understanding'; you supplied this gloss on what I actually stated. The Founder was writing in a tradition that began with the Man'yoshu and I think some understanding of this tradition--a tradition of poetry-writing, I emphasize, is of value in approaching the doka. Of course, one can argue that Morihei Ueshiba used poetry as the vehicle for something else, but the poetry is still the base vehicle, so to speak.

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
It all reminds me of the word "obfuscatory" which is a word who's meaning is perfectly described in the word itself... However, if O-Sensei actually wanted to forward a syllabus for future study of worthy disciples after his death the doka in and of themselves are perfectly executed. All the information needed is in there. All one needs in addition to being able to see them is the oral teachings that accompany them and the door magically opens.
PAG. Yes. Obfuscatory came to my mind, also. However, your baldly stated comment about oral teaching suggests that Shakespeare was perhaps in need of a commentary, since the poems 'in and of themselves' are not 'perfectly executed'. (If they were, there would be no need for the oral commentary.)

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
best in training to all.
And to you, too.

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 07-06-2009 at 04:10 AM.

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2009, 01:16 PM   #20
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: An interesting relationship

Quote:
Shaun Ravens wrote: View Post
...and all it did was teach me how to make others feel really stupid about their (stupid opinions...)
Well to be fair, I do that pretty well on my own!
Thank you for describing the doka! I'll have to keep processing that a bit.

Peter,
was my post as ridiculous as Shuan described? If you have the time and desire, I would like to hear your thoughts on it too.
Take care all, and thank you again!
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2009, 06:26 PM   #21
Buck
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 950
United_States
Offline
Re: An interesting relationship

Shaun,

Thank you.
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2009, 06:46 PM   #22
Peter Goldsbury
  AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
 
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,000
Japan
Offline
Re: An interesting relationship

Hello Matthew,

Your discussion with me in this forum concerned Socrates, which was not ridiculous at all. The relevance to the thread, however, is more open to question. Since Jun regularly posts a daily doka in English on the AikiWeb top page, it is quite reasonable that people will discuss them. Since I have read them in Japanese, and have also read other waka / tanka, I appreciate the difficulties of understanding the Japanese and making an accurate translation that also reads well.

I am sure that Mr Ravens will respond as he thinks fit. However, Shaun has had the very good fortune to train with Abe Seiseki Sensei, who taught O Sensei calligraphy and, of course, learned from him aikido and the results of his own studies in kototama gaku. Abe Sensei has made a special study of O Sensei's doka (and you can find references in Japanese on the Web).

You can find the profile of Takanari Higuchi here:
http://www.interq.or.jp/silver/sinom...usu.career.htm
Higuchi was a student of Tanaka Bansen in Osaka and, incidentally, Abe Seiseki entered this dojo not long after it opened in the 1950s. Higuchi runs or ran the Takemusu Kai and has published much interesting material in Japanese.

Please remember that English translations of O Sensei's writings are a very fragile basis from which to conduct serious AikiWeb discussions on what he thought, especially about something as important--and difficult--as kotodama. I am not being condescending here: I am simply stating a fact, which has become obvious to me over the years. So these discussions really do end up sometimes like the three blind men discussing an elephant. My suggestion that you often consult with the Rev. Barrish was not even half joking.

Best wishes,

PAG

P A Goldsbury
_______________________
Hiroshima, Japan
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2009, 09:55 PM   #23
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: An interesting relationship

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Matthew,

Your discussion with me in this forum concerned Socrates, which was not ridiculous at all. The relevance to the thread, however, is more open to question.
I just want to make sure I'm holding my own as best I can; if I'm speaking without reason I'd certainly like to know. I'm trying to be more intellectually rigorous that I have in the past.

Quote:
Shaun has had the very good fortune to train with Abe Seiseki Sensei, who taught O Sensei calligraphy and, of course, learned from him aikido and the results of his own studies in kototama gaku.
He certainly has a unique vantage and I really appreciate his efforts to explain things!
I also intend on utilizing my access to Rev. Barrish more than I have. I've been discussing Aikido for enough years now that I should have more knowledge than i do and the same is just as true for Shinto.
At any rate, thanks for the reply.
Take care,
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2009, 12:45 PM   #24
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
United_States
Offline
Re: An interesting relationship

Matthew, Shaun and Peter, but especially Matthew,

I have enjoyed reading your posts in this thread, they give me much to think about. Please continue!

Best,
Ron (nothing to contribute but my support)

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-07-2009, 05:55 PM   #25
Misogi-no-Gyo
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 498
Offline
Re: An interesting relationship

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote: View Post
Matthew, Shaun and Peter, but especially Matthew,

I have enjoyed reading your posts in this thread, they give me much to think about. Please continue!

Best,
Ron (nothing to contribute but my support)
Ron-San,

I, too, support the thread. Proper and analytic dissection of O-Sensei's doka is of paramount importance to understanding O-Sensei's Aikido. This is like the missing link in archeology, but is much less discussed or even known. I typically don't say much (er, the recent kotodama thread) when it comes to people messing around in the aikido sandbox as most Aikidoka - senior, book publishing ones included are simply not willing, able or ready to hear information which would totally invalidate their often well-meaning, but completely off the mark viewpoint. There are entire schools of thought that I know to be absolutely worthless, but who am I to dethrone other's teachers, masters and long-held mystical derivations which are far from O-Sensei's meaning and intention. I know this because O-Sensei, himself said so... for whatever that may be worth to some. My viewpoint is that sometimes it pays to spend an inordinate amount of time traveling off the path if only to discover how important it is not to ever do that again...

In this case, since the teaching was somewhat public, recorded (several versions, by me at least) and truly inaccessible without the oral teaching, I found it important enough to offer a small, but somewhat guiding hand back onto the path of reality concerning this particular doka. Not that the ensuing philosophical debate wasn't interesting. It was given my particular communicative slant. However, I just hate to see something which has a clear path of study be so bastardized by such an irrelevant, while by all means, interesting philosophical debate.

O-Sensei's art, and the clear path of study he left has been mistakenly brought forward by countless Shihan who did not take the necessary interest in the very detailed lectures given over a period of three and a half decades. This is sad and correctable, but only so by Aikidoka who adopt a different mentality from those who were only interested in techniques and the accumulation of mere physical level interests and pursuits.

You and I, both, have an interest in the aiki-based "power" of which Mike S. Dan H and Akuzawa Sensei speak. However, none of that will be enough to lead us even to the place where O-Sensei's art began. It will surely not lead us to the place to which O-Sensei, himself brought his own study. We can and should look to go beyond this place, as O-Sensei spoke to that very fact, himself. The importance lies in three (3) critical areas/teachings that are at the verge of being forgotten/supplanted by the meaningless meanderings of a recent self-appointed scholar, regardless of the fact that he missed his own teacher's relationship to this very thing and misled the entire current generation of seekers of the way of the founder of Aikido... Go figure.

best in training to all...

.

I no longer participate in or read the discussion forums here on AikiWeb due to the unfair and uneven treatment of people by the owner/administrator.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Budo Bear Patterns - Sewing pattern for Women's (and Men's) dogi.



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Master/slave relationship and Instructor with ego sad_robert Anonymous 45 05-31-2009 02:17 PM
Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 2 Peter Goldsbury Columns 3 04-19-2007 04:53 AM
Interesting experience Michael Meister General 16 09-06-2004 09:45 AM
Some interesting news on Steven Seagal. Zulk General 33 01-26-2004 02:56 PM
Interesting footwork clip bob_stra General 5 03-24-2003 04:41 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:48 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate