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Old 08-18-2009, 01:12 PM
Peter A Goldsbury AikiWeb Forums Contributing Member
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Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

INTERLUDE
VI: The Question of Kotodama:
Part 3: Postwar Resurrection: Back to Morihei Ueshiba's Elephant

NOTE. These columns are research-in-progress and a considerable amount of detail is presented. They are not finished essays and I am...
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Last edited by akiy : 08-18-2009 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 09-11-2009, 04:17 PM   #25
Steve Earle
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

Peter,

'Tis a privilege to be having this disucssion and I truly appreciate the time and attention you are giving it--and giving to my book.

I am a fan of Steven Pinker's writings am also aware that the thesis that the association between signs and things is arbitrary has deep roots. Just looked again at the dictionary definition of 'arbitray' and came up with:
1. subject to individual will or judgment without restriction; contingent solely upon one's discretion: an arbitrary decision.
2. decided by a judge or arbiter rather than by a law or statute.
3. having unlimited power; uncontrolled or unrestricted by law; despotic; tyrannical: an arbitrary government.
4. capricious; unreasonable; unsupported: an arbitrary demand for payment.
5. Mathematics. undetermined; not assigned a specific value: an arbitrary constant.
Really don't think that any of these accurately apply. Also, the notion that the universe happens by virtue of randomness is certainly one way of looking at the world; but if that were really true, then we would need to question the phenomenon of meaning altogether. Another way of saying this is, by the extension of Pinker and Wang's thesis, that I married the one woman out of all the women in the world that I did is arbitray; I don't find that particularly appealing and certainly would not want to tell her that!!

Will comment on the "word sound" discussion seperately as this requires a little more time.

Steve
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:12 PM   #26
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

Peter,

Again, many thanks for the rigorous look at aikido's history and pretensions. A question:

Do you think KOTOTAMA folk believe literally the stuff about sounds creating the universe and all the rest of the, or do you think they "playing" with the language in the manner of Einstein's "sit on a light beam" thought experiment or Crick's entwining snakes?

You have reproved me once or twice for my enthusiastic contempt for the writing of Stevens. I had a little epiphany, though, reading Grappard (et al.) on the "cubist" traditions of language play in mikkyo. As irritating as I found Stevens' TENCHI Jesus picture (Christian statuary in a similar pose to Osensei completing TENCHI NAGE in...The Philosophy of Aikido?), much of my rancor dissipated, at least in that instance, when I realized that he wasn't explaining so much as demonstrating (not sure if this was a conscious choice on his part).

That kind of "...therefore my cat is a dog" silliness was very much in the tradition (what Jacqueline Stone calls "KANJIN thought," IIRC). And if that's what it took to "unify mind and body" and the tantra-ists sought, good on them. No one anticipated finding cell-theory defying snakes actually hosting genes, right? It was UPAYA, as it were, expedient means.

No?

Thanks again.

Don J. Modesto
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:47 PM   #27
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

Hello Don,

Well, even a glance at Odanao Sanae's theories, as explained by Steve Earle, convinces me that she is doing some very typically Japanese things with language. I have not read her writings in Japanese (like the writings of Baien Miura, they have succumbed to the law of the Survival of the Fittest in regard to unusual theories and are unread and unavailable). If I did, I might discover that she used far more puns than is evident even with Steve's explanations.

The typically Japanese thing she is doing is finding associations through homophones, to an extent that is impossible with an alphabet-based language like English. Homophones were also a problem in early Chinese, but the Chinese appear to have solved this problem--and kept to their principle of one meaning for each character--by adding radicals to distinguish the semantic element from the phonetic element. With alphabets, the semantic element has completely disappeared.

The great danger with Japanese discussions about language--and I have participated in such discussions hundreds of times, is that certain crucial distinctions are ignored. The crucial distinctions are between the graphic aspects of zodiographs, pictographs, ideographs and logographs (including their evolution, etymology, constituent parts and mnemonic devices for learning them), and their role as words in the language.

Why do such discussions take place? I think there are various reasons. Given the vast number of homophones, Japanese is rich in puns and such puns are a constant source of humor. The ability to use the language in such a way is taken to be a sure sign of literary culture. In addition, the educational system has constantly reminded Japanese of the unique features of their language and books on this uniqueness are still widely sold and read. R A Miller's disputes detailed in his book were with the Japanese education ministry--full of people who went through the top layers of Japan's elitist educational system. In England there are no best sellers on the Great Vowel Shift and few native speakers of my acquaintance know much about the etymology of the language. However, many Japanese of my acquaintance are constantly amazed not only that I can read their language but also can read characters that they themselves cannot. There is a common belief that this is not supposed to happen.

Kotodama is a thick layer of extremely rich icing on this linguistic cake. It takes all the common elements of homophone association and uniqueness and adds the spiritual aspects found in such activities as chinkon and kishin. One of the reasons for the first suppression of Omoto is that chinkon kishin became very widely used and Ayabe became awash with people in swoons and trances, all exhibiting signs of so-called spirit possession. Were they all pretending? Was Morihei Ueshiba pretending? Was Odano pretending when she had her vision of the kanji? I doubt it.

In this respect, a critical look at Ryuichi Abe's book on Kukai would be in order. I mean, a critical look at what Abe himself takes for granted about language and what Kukai did with it.

Finally, for those who do not know what 'kanjin-style interpretation' is, here is a quote from the work of Jacqueline Stone, mentioned by Don in his post.

"The kanjin-style interpretation mode found in many medieval kuden texts aims at retrieving hidden meanings held to embody the most profound insights of religious liberation. Such hidden meanings, it was thought, could be accessed only by those with enlightened insight and transmitted only to the properly initiated; they were not part of the common doctrinal understanding. This mode of interpretation has been characterized by modern scholars as undermining orthodox doctrinal understanding by encouraging the proliferation of arbitrary, private readings. ... It is often cited as evidence for an alleged decline of learning in medieval Tendai, and the term used for it in modern Japanese scholarship--kanjin-shugi (literally, "kanjin-ism") frequently carries pejorative overtones. In large measure, this dismissal may be traced to a profound epistemological gap that separates the way scholars read texts today from the way they were read by scholar-monks of the medieval period. Something very like the kanjin mode of interpretation still persists in certain quarters, for example, in the folk etymologies of new religious movements. Okada Kotama (1901-1974), founder of the new religion Sukyo Mahikari, placed great emphasis on what he termed "spiritual word studies" (kotodama-gaku); when he interpreted the word "scholarship" (gakumon) as really meaning "the suffering of self" (ga-kumon). or egotism, he was engaging in kanjin-style hermeneutics. But a long time has passed since scholars have deemed this a legitimate way to read texts; indeed the entire way of seeing the world that underlies and supports this mode of interpretation has become quite foreign to us." (Stone, Original Enlightenment and the Transformation of Medieval Japanese Buddhism, p. 156.)

Stone goes on to explain the principles underlying such kanjin-shugi hermeneutics in Tendai Buddhism. However, neither Stevens nor Gleason, in his new book, makes any attempt to bridge a similar gap in the explanations given of kotodama theory. Gleason simply acknowledges his debt to Odano Sanae and Koji Ogasawara, but leaves the principles of kototama gaku unexplained. Similarly with Morihei Ueshiba, who lifted it all from Shiho Yamaguchi and Onisaburo Deguchi.

Best wishes,

PAG

Quote:
Don J. Modesto wrote: View Post
Peter,

Again, many thanks for the rigorous look at aikido's history and pretensions. A question:

Do you think KOTOTAMA folk believe literally the stuff about sounds creating the universe and all the rest of the, or do you think they "playing" with the language in the manner of Einstein's "sit on a light beam" thought experiment or Crick's entwining snakes?

You have reproved me once or twice for my enthusiastic contempt for the writing of Stevens. I had a little epiphany, though, reading Grappard (et al.) on the "cubist" traditions of language play in mikkyo. As irritating as I found Stevens' TENCHI Jesus picture (Christian statuary in a similar pose to Osensei completing TENCHI NAGE in...The Philosophy of Aikido?), much of my rancor dissipated, at least in that instance, when I realized that he wasn't explaining so much as demonstrating (not sure if this was a conscious choice on his part).

That kind of "...therefore my cat is a dog" silliness was very much in the tradition (what Jacqueline Stone calls "KANJIN thought," IIRC). And if that's what it took to "unify mind and body" and the tantra-ists sought, good on them. No one anticipated finding cell-theory defying snakes actually hosting genes, right? It was UPAYA, as it were, expedient means.

No?

Thanks again.

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 09-11-2009 at 11:49 PM.

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Old 09-12-2009, 12:44 AM   #28
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
The typically Japanese thing she is doing is finding associations through homophones, to an extent that is impossible with an alphabet-based language like English. Homophones were also a problem in early Chinese, but the Chinese appear to have solved this problem--and kept to their principle of one meaning for each character--by adding radicals to distinguish the semantic element from the phonetic element. With alphabets, the semantic element has completely disappeared.
Actually, in Chinese the homophone issues are believed to have developed more severely over time and Old Chinese was far less homophonic than Middle or Modern. The tones of Modern monosyllabic Chinese are believed derived from the different sound emphasis of eroded terminal consonants (or dropped multiple syllables) of the older tongue. Some of that erosional shift no doubt has to do with the polyglot and shifting ethnic boundaries (and therefore "slurred" pronunciations) within the "Chinese" polity at any given time, -- an item of eager criticism on the relative "impurity" of Chinese culture that Norinaga made no end of pointing out ...

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
The great danger with Japanese discussions about language--and I have participated in such discussions hundreds of times, is that certain crucial distinctions are ignored. The crucial distinctions are between the graphic aspects of zodiographs, pictographs, ideographs and logographs (including their evolution, etymology, constituent parts and mnemonic devices for learning them), and their role as words in the language.

Why do such discussions take place? I think there are various reasons. Given the vast number of homophones, Japanese is rich in puns and such puns are a constant source of humor. The ability to use the language in such a way is taken to be a sure sign of literary culture. .... In England there are no best sellers on the Great Vowel Shift and few native speakers of my acquaintance know much about the etymology of the language. .... here is a quote from the work of Jacqueline Stone, mentioned by Don in his post.

"The kanjin-style interpretation mode found in many medieval kuden texts aims at retrieving hidden meanings held to embody the most profound insights of religious liberation. Such hidden meanings, it was thought, could be accessed only by those with enlightened insight and transmitted only to the properly initiated; they were not part of the common doctrinal understanding. This mode of interpretation has been characterized by modern scholars as undermining orthodox doctrinal understanding by encouraging the proliferation of arbitrary, private readings. ... Something very like the kanjin mode of interpretation still persists in certain quarters, for example, in the folk etymologies of new religious movements. ... But a long time has passed since scholars have deemed this a legitimate way to read texts; indeed the entire way of seeing the world that underlies and supports this mode of interpretation has become quite foreign to us."
I think the basic legitimacy of ways of reading of texts is not dictated by scholars but by those who express it in playing with the language and render its function by using it according to rules and manners that they mutually understand and appreciate -- or even invent -- and thereby give meaning to. Kotodama is in this mode of language. Playful craft in lively bending language endures far longer than any scholarly work of dissection. That is not to make a value judgment -- but merely an observation as to developmental and cultural priorities in the uses of language. I am not alone in this conclusion.

"The basic pleasure in the phonetic elements of a language and in the style of their patterns, and then in higher dimension, pleasure in the association of these word-forms with meanings, is of fundamental importance. This pleasure is quite distinct from analytic understanding of its structure. It is simpler, deeper-rooted and yet more immediate than the enjoyment of literature . Though it may be allied to some of the elements in the appreciation of verse, it does not need poets, other than the nameless artists who composed the language. It can be strongly felt in the simple contemplation of a vocabulary, or even in a string of names. ... I will at any rate say that language -- and more so as expression than as communication --is a natural product of our humanity. But it is therefore also a product of our individuality. We each have our own linguistic potential: we each have our own native language. "
-- J.R.R. Tolkien -- English and Welsh

Last edited by Erick Mead : 09-12-2009 at 12:47 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 09-12-2009, 01:50 AM   #29
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

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I think the basic legitimacy of ways of reading of texts is not dictated by scholars but by those who express it in playing with the language and render its function by using it according to rules and manners that they mutually understand and appreciate -- or even invent -- and thereby give meaning to. Kotodama is in this mode of language. Playful craft in lively bending language endures far longer than any scholarly work of dissection. That is not to make a value judgment -- but merely an observation as to developmental and cultural priorities in the uses of language. I am not alone in this conclusion.
Who said anything about dictation? In your way of expression, you are making a value judgment here.

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Old 09-12-2009, 08:37 AM   #30
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

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Who said anything about dictation? In your way of expression, you are making a value judgment here.
Judgment yes,... of value, no. Making scholars the source of legitimacy in language is a BIT dictatory. I grant they have a great role in preserving language, but not, I think, in advancing its development or further creativity a great deal -- at least, not by scholarly methods.

I merely pointed out that at least one prominent influential scholar of English and several other tongues, by both scholarly work AND personal, creative example has championed the durability (and seriousness and accessibility) of play in language over its analytic use. If scholars have deemed a way of creative reading no longer "legitimate" and "foreign" in the sense of excluded, then they seem to take upon themselves a power of judgment nowhere granted. They do not stand any further outside language than the non-scholars. And they miss a large part of the point by making an a priori judgment that the uses of language may be adequately judged by its analysis, to the exclusion of its play. Analysis can be play, and vice versa, but play means more and lasts longer.

The play's the thing...

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 09-12-2009, 08:45 AM   #31
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

Quote:
Peter writes:
Kotodama is a thick layer of extremely rich icing on this linguistic cake. It takes all the common elements of homophone association and uniqueness and adds the spiritual aspects found in such activities as chinkon and kishin. One of the reasons for the first suppression of Omoto is that chinkon kishin became very widely used and Ayabe became awash with people in swoons and trances, all exhibiting signs of so-called spirit possession. Were they all pretending? Was Morihei Ueshiba pretending? Was Odano pretending when she had her vision of the kanji? I doubt it.
Why leave it at pretence? There is just as much legitimacy to call it misguided. There are certain practices known to screw with the energy in the body and mess with your mind / body relationship -seen as general health, mental health and so on.
The mere mention of these things leaves one open to panoply of issues: belief in the supernatural, belief in God, a God, a host of gods. And that leaves the discussion open to the idea of evil-spirits, good-spirits, angels and demons and so on.

Questions
1. There are any number of self-induced or chemically induced trances in many cultural practices which are all associated with a particular belief of one kind or another. As such where do they- as a group-offer valid evidence of their associated practices and individual beliefs?
2. Where are others associated with the Kotodama that have produced a physical power that they were known for it in any significant manner?

On a practical level with our feet on the ground
Although it is only a limited part of Peters overal study I would guess there are those -like me- spending time reading these columns and associated recent books on the topic of Ueshiba's power and potential origins: "Transparent power" and "Hidden in Plain Site" (examining the source of Ueshiba's power), for sources of his power. We have seen stark proof of those who used the DR methods and produced real power, but not much else.

I have been fascinated to read those attempting to make the case for other sources for power building. With these columns I was intrigued and hoping to see an examination of the kotodama and Omoto believers demonstrating other supposed power building methods of Ueshiba- as they deserve equal examination. Evidence for questionable spiritual effects notwithstanding- It would very interesting to see evidence for the practices as a means for power building affecting Ueshiba's peers in those same practices.
It appears-as yet-there is still no smoking gun. It has been an interesting walk though
Cheers
Dan

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Old 09-12-2009, 08:47 AM   #32
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

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Judgment yes,... of value, no.
Well, we will have to agree to disagree about that.

Actually, nowhere in my columns have I ever set up a conflict between how scholars allegedly 'dictate' language use and how language users, including scholars, actually function as part of a language community.

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Old 09-12-2009, 10:48 AM   #33
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

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Well, we will have to agree to disagree about that.

Actually, nowhere in my columns have I ever set up a conflict between how scholars allegedly 'dictate' language use and how language users, including scholars, actually function as part of a language community.
No, you have not, but you have privileged the objective view of some matters over their subjective practice. Both are valuable -- but the latter cannot be fully apprehended by the former.

What you are doing is of immense value -- I am simply saying that there is a great difference in understanding something other people are doing and doing it so as to understand it in ways that do not lend themselves to articulation in reasoned discourse. Why else do the Doka exist? How else would one seek to understand O Sensei's lectures on his own terms? It may be less accessible analytically, for reasons of history, changes in language or culture or a host of other reasons -- but we still read and listen to Shakespeare, Homer, Chuang Tzu ... --

And even if analytic recourse is had and is of use to create different understandings of those texts, one needs in a primary sense to simply play with the sound-feel and the image of phrase in the context of its expression -- immediately and more largely. For all its analytic interest, is a digression on causes of color spectra that ocean waters may reflect, really needed to appreciate the image of "the wine dark sea?" Or is its lingering and striking image not immensely and immediately more powerful as all the blood in the tale runs out? Analysis in that case is interesting and useful, certainly, but there are other ways of "getting" the coherence from creative expression, which sometime benefit from waiting and playing with it expectantly. Kotodama, the Doka, and the mythological excursions that make up O Sensei's preferred way of expressing himself are not, primarily, objects for analysis. Though it can certainly ably serve in its turn.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:58 AM   #34
Steve Earle
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

Hi Peter,

Quote:
"One might assume that the orderly way in which the pronunciation of the vertical columns of this table follow upon each other would be common knowledge: it is not. This aspect of the syllabary is not addressed in the textbooks. It is not mentioned in studies of Japanese phonetics. Nor is it mentioned in historical texts, either modern or ancient. It is certainly not found within the esoteric Shinto tradition of kotodama that ascribes spiritually derivative meanings to the kana word-sounds. Outside of the immediate circle of Odano-sensei's students, it remains, to my knowledge, entirely unknown."

This whole 'Life Sounds' chapter deserves separate treatment, but what struck me is that the quoted paragraph takes no account of vowel dimensions and the various ways of ordering the kana sounds that we find discussed in Ogasawara and other kotodama gaku scholars. Hence my earlier remarks on the importance of kototama gaku as an interpretative tool for understanding Odano's thinking. She may not think so, but to me she is writing in a very definite and pronounced Japanese cultural tradition. You yourself have emphasized in several places the importance of seeing significance in coincidences. So here is an example that you appear not to accept: what you see as a coincidence, I see as a connection.
Cannot answer for what Ogasawara and others were up to; nor can Odano. Nor are any of us responsible for the way in which the kana syllabary is ordered. To my mind, suggesting (as the people you cite seem to be doing) that an alternate arrangement of the kana syllabary is either more correct or has some kind of mystical significance would be akin to rearranging the order of the alphabet and then claiming that Western culture has gotten it wrong down through the years. The kana syllabary commonly appears in the form that it does; why try to improve upon it?

As far as the originality of Odano's observations, in particular,
1. the distinction between 'momentary' and 'continuous' sounds;
2. the hypothesis that the kana sound n is the missing 'father sound' (not asking you to agree; just pointing out that this is highly original);
3. and most of all, the observation that the a ka sa ta na ha ma ya ra wa progression is dictated by human physiology;
are, to my knowledge, unique to Odano's work.

Quote:
PAG. Sure, but Odano is following in the very same intellectual tradition. I would be very interested in knowing what she read and on what she based her theories. It is hard to believe that it was entirely the vision and 'common sense'.
By her own account, she read a great deal before her transformative experience and very little afterwards; but she was never interested in Japanese religion or mysticism and would have had no incentive to delve into kotodama. Following her death, I helped sort through and dispense with the things in her house; there was no library to speak of. More importantly however, nothing that she says is based on research or requires academic qualification--just very methodical thinking.

May I suggest that, if you are really interested, you not depend entirely upon my interpretations but read any of her books, Seimei no Genri, Kangaeru Chikara, Gengo Enerugi, which you can obtain through the following site:
http://kotoha-a-f.org/08_form/index.html
Can all but guarantee that you will find these very different from kotodama writings.

All the best.

Steve
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:24 PM   #35
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

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Hi Peter,

Cannot answer for what Ogasawara and others were up to; nor can Odano. Nor are any of us responsible for the way in which the kana syllabary is ordered. To my mind, suggesting (as the people you cite seem to be doing) that an alternate arrangement of the kana syllabary is either more correct or has some kind of mystical significance would be akin to rearranging the order of the alphabet and then claiming that Western culture has gotten it wrong down through the years. The kana syllabary commonly appears in the form that it does; why try to improve upon it?
PAG. Yes, I tend to agree. The discussions of M Nakazono and W Gleason appear to be based on Ogasawara's understanding of the Takeuchi documents, which you cite on p. 217, in connection with your discussion on p. 149 of the question whether jindaimonji & kamiyogana, "preserved within the annals of Shinto", actually existed.

Quote:
Steve Earle wrote: View Post
As far as the originality of Odano's observations, in particular,
1. the distinction between 'momentary' and 'continuous' sounds;
2. the hypothesis that the kana sound n is the missing 'father sound' (not asking you to agree; just pointing out that this is highly original);
3. and most of all, the observation that the a ka sa ta na ha ma ya ra wa progression is dictated by human physiology;
are, to my knowledge, unique to Odano's work.
PAG. Yes. I tend to agree here, also.

Quote:
Steve Earle wrote: View Post
May I suggest that, if you are really interested, you not depend entirely upon my interpretations but read any of her books, Seimei no Genri, Kangaeru Chikara, Gengo Enerugi, which you can obtain through the following site:
http://kotoha-a-f.org/08_form/index.html
Can all but guarantee that you will find these very different from kotodama writings.
PAG. I will certainly do so, given that I have an ever-lengthening reading list.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:45 PM   #36
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

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No, you have not, but you have privileged the objective view of some matters over their subjective practice. Both are valuable -- but the latter cannot be fully apprehended by the former.
PAG. I disagree with the first and third of your propositions.

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
It may be less accessible analytically, for reasons of history, changes in language or culture or a host of other reasons -- but we still read and listen to Shakespeare, Homer, Chuang Tzu ... --
PAG. Nowhere in my columns have I ever denied this.

Quote:
Erick Mead wrote: View Post
And even if analytic recourse is had and is of use to create different understandings of those texts, one needs in a primary sense to simply play with the sound-feel and the image of phrase in the context of its expression -- immediately and more largely.
PAG. No. If you insist on setting up this dichotomy to begin with, I would say that both ways are complementary: neither is primary to the other.

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
For all its analytic interest, is a digression on causes of color spectra that ocean waters may reflect, really needed to appreciate the image of "the wine dark sea?"
PAG. You are implicitly attributing to me analytical interests that I do not share. For me, the interest in the metaphor is whether it works in the same way in the English translation as it does in the Greek original.

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Or is its lingering and striking image not immensely and immediately more powerful as all the blood in the tale runs out? Analysis in that case is interesting and useful, certainly, but there are other ways of "getting" the coherence from creative expression, which sometime benefit from waiting and playing with it expectantly. Kotodama, the Doka, and the mythological excursions that make up O Sensei's preferred way of expressing himself are not, primarily, objects for analysis. Though it can certainly ably serve in its turn.
PAG. I can only restate that you appear to be making something 'primary' that I myself see as complementary and this is something I have never denied.

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Old 09-12-2009, 11:44 PM   #37
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

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PAG. No. If you insist on setting up this dichotomy to begin with, I would say that both ways are complementary: neither is primary to the other. ... I can only restate that you appear to be making something 'primary' that I myself see as complementary and this is something I have never denied.
I did not set it up as primary. It seems unavoidably primary for us as aikidoka -- because O Sensei made it so. Though I tend to see it more primary generally, in most cases, that is because of the fact that it is so in those cases. Court procedures and rules, for instance are analytical to the point of recondite because the rational is always playing second fiddle where conflict is concerned, and compensates with intensity what it lacks in initiative. I think you have experienced this, as I recall in a traffic accident there -- the underlying non-rational assumptions differ greatly -- but the intricacy of the process itself is of the same order, and for the same reason.

Having said that, too many read (especially non-Japanese speakers) too much into what they presume as his emotive "intent" (I would place Stevens toward that side of the spectrum) -- Emotions and intent are fraught with danger as a cross-cultural matter -- as concrete image and narrative are not so susceptible-- Christianity and Buddhism both stand as witness to that.

I think there is a distinct limit to understanding his discourses rationally (never mind linguistically). This does not mean he was mad nor that they are incomprehensible, just not primarily in an objective rational mode. Where Myth for some odd reason can translate more easily, (or perhaps, rather, does not require further translation of abstracts if its descriptive power is adequate) -- perhaps because it speaks to that deeper layer of concrete appreciations that Tolkien speaks of.

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PAG. ... For me, the interest in the metaphor is whether it works in the same way in the English translation as it does in the Greek original.
It CANNOT do so -- it is not Greek, much less Classical Greek. For me the question is whether the concrete image the Greek is pointing to was captured in the English. At that point, what "work" the metaphor then performs is in the mind of the reader, not the author or translator -- which is the case in both Greek and English.

It "works" in my mind if it provokes the same range of play in English as in Greek, not whether the map of the two forms of play on the image provoked is precisely coincident. The latter works for analytic treatment -- but it is a poor sense of the art -- or of the thing pointed to by it. The play of deepening red on/in about water has too many referents to tie down analytically. The finger points -- one does not analyzing the act of pointing, the language points in its way also. The concrete elements of image are the key (or the characters' acts, in the case of narratives) and it is not reducible. This seems O Sensei's primary mode of expression.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 09-12-2009 at 11:49 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 09-13-2009, 12:27 AM   #38
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

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It CANNOT do so -- it is not Greek, much less Classical Greek. For me the question is whether the concrete image the Greek is pointing to was captured in the English. At that point, what "work" the metaphor then performs is in the mind of the reader, not the author or translator -- which is the case in both Greek and English.
Fine. Have the last word. I think we are never going to agree here.

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Old 09-13-2009, 09:11 AM   #39
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

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Fine. Have the last word. I think we are never going to agree here.
Is the point of this or any forum for discussion the promoting of agreement -- or making disagreements fruitful ? The conception of aikido granted to me would say the latter. This debate is not a sterile academic one -- it is at the heart of the current doubts and practical questions raised by many (some very prominent) aikidoka.

George Ledyard, a formidable martial artist of some standing, not three days ago stated on these forums that there were things Saotome did to him he did not know how to interpret, and things he had learned to do that he himself did not know how to interpret. Having read Saotome's works it is clear to me that Saotome himself is at odds to find ways to interpret many of them to others. O Sensei struggled his whole life to find ways to do it.

We are talking about refining qualia, not redefining physics or any objective mechanics, and as such the play with sense representations in sound, language and image are unavoidable. Qualia are at issue -- matters of perceptive quality, like optically ambiguous images - aiki uses structurally ambiguous perception/action to take the same exact physical situation and alter it instantly in the structure and perception of the human body.

The human body has no static stability; its structural stability is nothing less than the quality of its structural perception. There are mechanisms for this; I have described them. It is important to understand the nature of their action and the manner of the essential inputs they provide. But the qualia that these mechanisms provoke are not reducible to the mechnisms themselves. The mind plays here -- but not in the main consciously, and so rational thought cannot be dominant in this area.

You have already addressed the naming problem in this context, and it could not be more material to the real issue. Democritus dramatized the problem, in his self-critical dialogue of Intellect and Sense:

Intellect: "By convention there is sweetness, by convention bitterness, by convention color, in reality only atoms and the void."

Sense: "Foolish intellect! Do you seek to overthrow us, while it is from us that you take your evidence?"


By the same token OUR mythic structure is founded on the conceit of complete or even dominant rationality. Useful, but also misleading. I hope this is not the last word -- but I'll let Erwin Schrodinger have it, who started by noting Democritus' still unresolved mythological debate between the two:

"Scientific theories serve to facilitate the survey of our observations and experimental findings. Every scientist knows how difficult it is to remember a moderately extended group of facts, before at least some primitive theoretical picture about them has been shaped. It is therefore small wonder, and by no means to be blamed on the authors of original papers or of text-books, that after a reasonably coherent theory has been formed, they do not describe the bare facts they have found or wish to convey to the reader, but clothe them in the terminology of that theory or theories. This procedure, while very useful for our remembering the facts in a well-ordered pattern, tends to obliterate the distinction between the actual observations and the theory arisen from them. And since the former always are of some sensual quality, theories are easily thought to account for sensual qualities; which, of course, they never do. "

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 09-13-2009, 08:20 PM   #40
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

Hello Steve,

I have not yet responded to your earlier long post. Since our earlier discussion has already covered a great deal, I will focus just on a few parts.

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If we begin with nothing more than what words are—how they are pronounced and how they are written—what do these external, formal aspects suggest about their interiority, their meanings?
PAG. What do you mean by 'interiority' here? For example, every Sunday I do the codeword in The Times newspaper. It is like a crossword, except that there are no clues and you are given only three letters to begin with. You have to fill in all the words on this basis. There was one word and I had the following letters: _eat_en. The two missing letters are the same and, of course, the answer can only be 'heathen'. This word is 'composed' of 'heat' and 'hen'. I can imagine a crossword clue: unbelievers in a very hot farmyard surrounded by sqawking birds. Would you say that this is (part of) 'heathen's' 'interiority', or part of its 'meaning'?

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The book is subtitled an introduction to the art and science of kotoha, and the interpretive part is the artistic part. The process is one of opening oneself to the possible associations and implied suggestions, even inspiration. (This is the opposite of what happens when you seek to define a word.)
PAG. How about the 'science' part? You denigrate science quite a lot in the book for its reductionist tendencies, but I suppose that this is part of the methodology. In what way would you say that Odano's work is 'scientific' and in what sense are you using the term? Clearly it must be different from the reductionist sense, but I am not clear about this.

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More importantly, what you are likely to then discover is that what words and the phenomenon of language, when interpreted in this way, are talking about is something other than their associations in our ordinary daily conversation. This is the double-edged sword (s+word) that I talk about; at the same time that words and language are the stuff of human existence (a fairly long list of modern philosophers will attest to that same conclusion), they are also indicative of a much deeper, causal domain. The only possible "proof" of any of this is an "ah ha" experience, and that is not something I can give you.
PAG. I fail to see from your statement how the domain is necessarily causal. If it is causal, then something more than an "ah ha" experience is warranted.

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Likewise, the "diagrams" with which you have such a problem are not offered as "proofs" of anything; they are simply illustrations of an approach or art of interpretation that I have found fascinating and inspiring and that I am choosing to share. Whether or not you, the reader, resonate with what I present is only partially my responsibility.
PAG. Which comes back to the question of how Odano's work is a science. As I intimated earlier crosswords and similar puzzles rely for their effectiveness on the fact that the words are used in way other than their use in daily conversation. Skill in solving crossword puzzles might be effective in improving one's rhetorical or conversational skills, but the use of words in crossword puzzles and the use of language in daily conversation seems to me to be quite different and any overlap is coincidental, or arbitrary.

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Never would I suggest that my associations/interpretations/constructions are either the ONLY ones or the RIGHT ones. Nor would I suggest that they are particularly useful outside of the context of this kind of interpretation (when you show the policeman your driver's license, for example). The word ‘arbitrary' I find problematic because I happen to believe that, ultimately, nothing is arbitrary and everything is related to everything else; but certainly on the surface these associations are arbitrary. That such associations do occur, however, is an inherent feature of language. I also happen to think that they are fun. In the same way that stand-up comedians get mileage out of word associations.
PAG. In the column I used the word 'arbritrary' in the same sense as McNally used it when discussing Mabuchi's theory of language. I will give the quote once more:
"Mabuchi observed that language was characterized by the unity of its words (kotoba) and their meanings (kororo, or i). Put simply, the language of the ancients was perfectly transparent to the reality that it was used to reflect. In the words of the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, the ancient language represented a unity of signifier and signified. This unique quality gave this a magical power endowed by the kami, which Mabuchi called the kotodama. In contrast, the Chinese language began with arbitrary sounds that the Chinese then matched to written ideographs. Thus, Chinese, like all languages, was, in Saussure's terminology 'unmotivated'." (McNally, p. 19.)

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The alphabet (this is all in the book), in contrast with both the Chinese ideographs and the Japanese kana is a linear sequence and therefore inherently numerical. The ideographs lend themselves to structural interpretation; kana characters lend themselves to phonetic associations; letters of the alphabet lend themselves to numerical associations. Once again, though, all of this is by free association; I am not using numbers to calculate or to prove something the way that mathematics is used to prove science.
PAG. Fine, but what about the methodology here? It seems to be quite arbitrary.

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In several instances you call me to task for using a particular character to represent a sound, when in fact there are any number of characters that can represent that sound; to which I would say, bring it on! You can replace any character I have chosen with any other, as long as it does in fact carry the phonetic reading in question. And if you apply the same methods of interpretation (but sincerely—not facetiously) the results should almost always surprise you. (But if they don't, don't blame me!)
PAG. But why do you exclude facetiousness? On your reasoning you are not allowed to, for any association/interpretation is as good as any other association/interpretation. You have made no claim about any preferred associations/interpretations.

Best wishes, as always, and once again, many thanks for this conversation.

PAG

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Old 09-20-2009, 03:27 PM   #41
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

Peter,

Thank you. I feel that these discussions are wandering away from the original purpose of your column, which (I think) has been to examine kotodama and its relevance to aikido (personally, I have been practicing aikido now for 40 yrs and have never felt a burning need to study kotodama in order to understand it better--but that is just my take), and I can almost audibly hear your other readers yawning over this dialogue! We may need to agree to disagree until we can talk about this in person. And who knows whether or not we will agree then!

I have a brother who lives in the U.K. and who is extremely proficient at and has coached me on doing The Times crossword puzzles. They are entertaining and can very easily devour a Sunday afternoon. I don't look for hidden significance in them though, as that is hardly their purpose (I think we can at least agree on that!). But the fact that anagrammatic meaning can be found so pervasively within English spellings of words is at least worthy of note.

I also firmly believe in the validity of the scientific method. But I also believe that the scientific method does not justify scientific reductionism, which (as I said in the book) is similar to religious fundamentalism in more ways than one.

Odano's thought experiments and speculations to do with the nature of energy are scientific in the best sense of the word. A number of physicists at the cutting edge are now talking about hyper-dimensionality and non-locality; I have not talked with them, but I have a sense that they would be open to many of Odano's arguments.

Furthermore, honest science readily admits that there are many elements of the human experience that science cannot touch. Art is one of them. Culture is another. So is meaning. So is spirit.

For example, modern science is beginning to get a pretty good handle on how the brain functions in a mechanical sense. It can measure "brain waves" and it can tell which parts of the brain are active during different thought processes. That said, it cannot see into the mind (it cannot see thoughts and meanings for example). Contemplative practices, on the other hand, can. Science does not disprove the validity of contemplation and contemplation does not disprove the validity of science; both are valid, but within different domains of understanding.

At the same time that these domains are different, however, they are also not unrelated. A thought does exhibit a particular brainwave, for example. A word does have a particular meaning. Again I would have to disagree with the notion that the sounds attributed by the Chinese to their ideographs are arbitrary: The construction of language is an extremely complex process, extending over generations, and requiring agreement on the part of the members of the particular cultural group that it represents. Not arbitrary in any sense of the word.

Why exclude facetiousness? Personal preference. Also simple cause and effect: Facetious in, facetious out. I prefer not to waste my time.

Let's agree to disagree!

Best,
Steve
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Old 09-20-2009, 06:23 PM   #42
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

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Let's agree to disagree!

Best,
Steve
Hello Steve,

I think we will have to do this anyway. However, you published a book, which is thus in the public domain and in my opinion it warranted an extended discussion because of the links (coincidental or not) with kotodama-gaku, as this is understood.

All good wishes to you,

PAG

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Old 04-18-2010, 03:45 PM   #43
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

Hello Dr. Goldsbury,
I wanted to submit the name of a book to you: Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson.
Some of the ideas, I thought, were interesting, maybe even relevant or related to Kotodama. I don't know a whole lot about this area, but the ideas struck me as related. Frankly, I don't mean for this post to be taken all that seriously, but rather in the hopes that it is interesting..just for the ideas, and to be taken only for what they're worth. A kind of comparison of what I took from both the book, and from this installment of TIE.
Maybe I should say again, all of this, is only my humble opinion and thoughts, of course.
Here's the gist of the backdrop:
It is a not-too-distant futuristic dystopian society, somewhat like in the Matrix....and there is a new plague.
Directly snipped from the Wikipedia page for Snow Crash
Quote:
The protagonist is the aptly-named Hiro Protagonist, whose business card reads "Last of the freelance hackers and Greatest swordfighter in the world." When Hiro loses his job as a pizza delivery driver for the Mafia, he meets a streetwise young girl nicknamed Y.T. (short for Yours Truly), who works as a skateboard "Kourier," and they decide to become partners in the intelligence business (selling data to the CIC, the for-profit organization that evolved from the CIA after the U.S. government's loss of power).

The pair soon learn of a dangerous new drug called "Snow Crash" that is both a computer virus capable of infecting the brains of unwary hackers in the Metaverse and a mind-altering virus in Reality.
Ok so here is the key: this virus: it takes over both the person, while 'in the matrix' (cyberspace/mind) and also messes them up, when in reality (/meat-space/body). This is unique, and heretofore unknown. Apparently, the actual expression of the virus itself has some strange and unique properties. It is unlike any other 'code' seen. 'Disassembly' of the code and the subsequent investigation of this further leads to the study of ancient languages.

Quote:
The pair soon learn of a dangerous new drug called "Snow Crash" that is both a computer virus capable of infecting the brains of unwary hackers in the Metaverse and a mind-altering virus in Reality.
ok; so this next part, I feel, is a directly similar idea to part of the kotodama things.
Quote:
Hiro, with the prompting of his Catholic and linguist ex-girlfriend Juanita, begins to unravel the nature of this crisis. It relates back to the mythology of ancient Sumer, which Stephenson describes as speaking a very powerful ur-language. Sumerian is to modern "acquired languages" as binary is to programming languages: it affects the entity (be it human or computer) at a far lower and more basic level than does acquired/programming language.
and then it launches into this bit
Quote:
Sumerian is rooted in the brain stem and related to glossolalia, or "speaking in tongues"a trait displayed by most of L. Bob Rife's convertees. Furthermore, Sumerian culture was ruled and controlled via "me," the human-readable equivalent of software which contains the rules and procedures for various activity (harvests, the baking of bread, etc). The keepers of these important documents were priests referred to as en; some of them, like the god/semi-historical-figure Enki, could write new me, making them the equivalent of programmers or hackers.
And this is his 'source mythology'
Quote:
As Stephenson describes it, one goddess/semi-historical figure, Asherah, took it upon herself to create a dangerous biolinguistic virus and infect all peoples with it; this virus was stopped by Enki, who used his skills as a "neurolinguistic hacker" to create an inoculating "nam-shub" that would protect humanity by destroying its ability to use and respond to the Sumerian tongue. This forced the creation of "acquired languages" and gave rise to the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel. Unfortunately, Asherah's meta-virus did not disappear entirely
and from what I see... the remainder of the novel is the playing out of a specific tale of the players in this world/environ.
A couple of thoughts:
I thought it was very interesting about the 'lower level' nature of the code. Like language for us; is a 'mode' to communicate information. Pictures, and video certainly, as we have seen and heard...each more efficient than the next. But carrying information in 'more parallel' kind of way. A different 'mode' but still building in that way. The book's idea that there was a different 'way' to communicate.
Directly to the hardware. It is 'firmware' language that is directly appreciated by another 'interpreter' (meant in a computer-science, kind of way). In some way, I think 'touch-experience', can be a completely different 'way' to communicate information. It accesses a different level of awareness, perhaps. Some thoughts of Finnegan's Wake keeps popping up here, with the thunderwords, and the induced imagery/emotion, but it is too vague for me to name or describe cogently.

Also: here again, with the kotodama. Eliciting 'hardware'(/meatware) responses in the body and 'software' (/wetware) responses in the mind/spirit of the opponent/other. This reminds me, for example; of some of the examples of the kiai of the seasons I had read about, or of Mr. Amdur's example of the kiai that froze the (his?) child as they were about to run out into traffic. I'm sorry but I forgot which book that was in.

Also: about the part of the shaman, being able to create new programs? Well; that kind of blows me away... I couldn't say, for sure. But it makes me wonder all the things O Sensei did with, and saw in, the Kotodama. Frankly, my intuition tells me here that the truth of these things is even stranger than the book's fictional account. For instance, the trance aspects, relations with occult practices, and things mentioned above. Enough on that.

Anyway, sir, all/most of this was over my head and definitely above my 'pay grade', but thought it was an interesting book, with a few potential parallels to this installment. I wanted to mention it. And, well... frankly, I wrote the letter just for the fun of it, too.

Thank you very much for the series. Your scholarship is truly impressive.

Oh yes, Last thing.
And, FWIW, I thought DH's post above was spot on. I would very much find any attempt to address the concerns/topics fascinating.
Quote:
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Why leave it at pretence? There is just as much legitimacy to call it misguided. There are certain practices known to screw with the energy in the body and mess with your mind / body relationship -seen as general health, mental health and so on.
The mere mention of these things leaves one open to panoply of issues: belief in the supernatural, belief in God, a God, a host of gods. And that leaves the discussion open to the idea of evil-spirits, good-spirits, angels and demons and so on.

Questions
1. There are any number of self-induced or chemically induced trances in many cultural practices which are all associated with a particular belief of one kind or another. As such where do they- as a group-offer valid evidence of their associated practices and individual beliefs?
2. Where are others associated with the Kotodama that have produced a physical power that they were known for it in any significant manner?

On a practical level with our feet on the ground
Although it is only a limited part of Peters overal study I would guess there are those -like me- spending time reading these columns and associated recent books on the topic of Ueshiba's power and potential origins: "Transparent power" and "Hidden in Plain Site" (examining the source of Ueshiba's power), for sources of his power. We have seen stark proof of those who used the DR methods and produced real power, but not much else.

I have been fascinated to read those attempting to make the case for other sources for power building. With these columns I was intrigued and hoping to see an examination of the kotodama and Omoto believers demonstrating other supposed power building methods of Ueshiba- as they deserve equal examination. Evidence for questionable spiritual effects notwithstanding- It would very interesting to see evidence for the practices as a means for power building affecting Ueshiba's peers in those same practices.
It appears-as yet-there is still no smoking gun. It has been an interesting walk though
Cheers
Dan
Thank you, and with much respect,
Josh P.
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:34 AM   #44
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

Hello Josh,

Many thanks for the response. I have not read anything by Neal Stephenson, but I will rectify this lack as soon as possible. I went to the Wikipedia article. An important question for me is how Stephenson regards semantics: how he believes that words actually 'mean'. I think this area is where kotodama derives its interest--or mystery--or irrelevance.

In my opinion, the works of Philip Pullman, J K Rowling, or J R Tolkien all display a relatively straightforward set of semantic conventions. When Harry Potter casts a spell, for example, the utterance of the words functions in a straightforward way. Similar conventions are displayed regarding the three instances of kotodama recorded in the Manyoshu.

With the later versions of kotodama, especially post-Kokugaku kotodama, the waters are muddied somewhat, since the presence of many homonyms in Japanese--and the fact that the writing of Japanese words in Chinese characters does not establish a one-to-one relationship between the character, the way it is read, and its meaning--adds a new element and one that it is clearly difficult to deal with. I think it is no accident that the so-called 'science' of kotodama-gaku never established itself outside a certain coterie of True Believers, which, of course, included Morihei Ueshiba.

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 04-19-2010, 07:56 AM   #45
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

My intended usage of the word "action", relates to this kind of meaning in bold: "The notion of kotodama presupposes that sounds can magically affect objects" (taken from the wiki).

What if the sounds of kotodama are just the echo of what has already been done? While an echo has limits based upon speed, kotodama sounds may not have such limits as the person may require some amount of time to generate the action.

What if there is an action being performed by which kotodama sounds are a by product? This action, driven by mental, spiritual, internal, whatever description you want to give, is generated not as the by product of kotodama sounds, but instead it is the reverse? Or perhaps using sound driven kotodama chants, one can learn to internally generate the action. Perhaps the kotodama sounds are part of the learning device, rather than that which generates the action.

Or perhaps, writing the word/kanji/picture/rune/whatever also holds to a similar theory? What if the actual written glyph is a byproduct of the action already internally generated? The after effects of putting something into action. Or again, perhaps a learning device intended to instruct others into the way of internally generated actions?

What if people looked to kotodama (and its related kin) to learn how to create an action? And maybe one person actually does something once but can't recreate it? And maybe by breaking down the kotodama into base parts, one can find out exactly what one needs to do to recreate the action? But, then again, one could get lost amidst all of this study for something that only a few rare individuals can accomplish.

What if those few rare individuals who could create action from mind/spirit/whatever used the best thing they knew how to teach to others? And amidst something as internally driven as kotodama, what if those individuals turned to sounds and words as the best available tool? What other tool would suffice (telepathy not being an option) to convey the idea that the sounds or words are not the power or the magic, but the mental/spiritual/whatever is the actual force generating the action? And the best way to train, that anyone knew of, was to repeat the kotodama sounds (and/or write the words) of power until the appropriate mental/spiritual/whatever was achieved that generated the action.

Once learned, maybe the kotodama sounds became the echo of the action ...
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:34 PM   #46
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

I guess this approaches thread drift, but given that this is about the first thing in a TIE discussion that I felt able to contribute to, I'll have a bash...

Quote:
Peter Goldsbury wrote:
An important question for me is how Stephenson regards semantics: how he believes that words actually 'mean'. I think this area is where kotodama derives its interest--or mystery--or irrelevance.
It's quite a while since I read Snow Crash and most of my books are currently boxed up in the anticipation of moving house, but my recollection of the "virus" and the Sumerian Ur-language was pretty much in line with the Wikipedia article. My interpretation of it, in the context of the novel, was that they both were intended to be things that slid underneath the level of "meaning" - people didn't need to understand them to be affected by them (trying not to give spoilers...).

It's possible that you might find more clues as to Stephenson's view of semantics (in so far as an author's views can be determined by their works of fiction) in the monolithic "Anathem", provided that you are happy to read about them through his alternate-world filter. There is a fair bit of discussion of where forms / meanings / ideas come from and how they arrive in the world (as well as cloisters of academic monks and encounters with aliens).

Quote:
When Harry Potter casts a spell, for example, the utterance of the words functions in a straightforward way.
Given that Stephenson's genre is SF, it is difficult to make direct comparisons, but my guess is that he would have a similar "technological' approach to language and meaning, notwithstanding the words he puts in some of the characters' mouths in "Anathem".

A distinction could be drawn with someone like TIm Powers, much of whose work might be seen as based on one central idea: "What if symbols of things had real effects in the world?"

Anyway, enough blathering from me.

Best,

Ed

It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.

Winston Churchill, 1930.
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:01 PM   #47
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

Quote:
Ed Stansfield wrote: View Post
"What if symbols of things had real effects in the world?"
Then you would be Catholic ...

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 04-20-2010, 06:17 AM   #48
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

Hello Josh,

Here are a few more comments, made as a result of reading the posts of Mark Murray and Ed Stansfiled.

Quote:
Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
Hello Dr. Goldsbury,
I wanted to submit the name of a book to you: Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson.
PAG. As I stated earlier, I looked at the Wikipedia article. Purely on the basis of this article, I do not believe that Stephenson's assumptions about semantics are any different from, e.g., Tolkien's or J K Rowling's. That is, he writes in English and makes the same assumptions about semantics that are made by pretty well everyone who reads this column. Anyway, I will reserve further comments until I have read the book.

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Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
Oh yes, Last thing.
And, FWIW, I thought DH's post above was spot on. I would very much find any attempt to address the concerns/topics fascinating.

Thank you, and with much respect,
Josh P.
PAG. Yes, perhaps one might rephrase the concerns: Would you ever buy a used car from Takeda, or Deguchi, or Sagawa, or even Ueshiba? What kind of arguments do you think they would use to persuade you? Would you be convinced by them? (In this respect, the car dealer skits in The Fast Show are essential viewing.)

Best wishes,

PAG

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Old 04-21-2010, 12:19 PM   #49
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Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Quote:
Josh Phillipson wrote:
Oh yes, Last thing.
And, FWIW, I thought DH's post above was spot on. I would very much find any attempt to address the concerns/topics fascinating.

Thank you, and with much respect,
Josh P.
PAG. Yes, perhaps one might rephrase the concerns: Would you ever buy a used car from Takeda, or Deguchi, or Sagawa, or even Ueshiba? What kind of arguments do you think they would use to persuade you? Would you be convinced by them? (In this respect, the car dealer skits in The Fast Show are essential viewing.)

Best wishes,

PAG
Hello Peter
I believe my interests/concerns were not so course, but rather more specific. I don't see "salesmanship" as relevant in any way as I was hoping for evidence from sources OTHER than them. My concerns/interests are meant to defy or negate the ability for them to personally "sell" me at all.
To use your model...I was looking for an actual vehicle that ran, could be driven and vetted to be trustworthy. Last I knew, people actually got out and independantly tested vehicles, and even researched them to avoid the salesmen!

My interests were stated:
Although it is only a limited part of Peters overal study, I would guess there are those -like me- spending time reading these columns and associated recent books on the topic of Ueshiba's power and potential origins: "Transparent power" and "Hidden in Plain Site" (examining the source of Ueshiba's power), for sources of his power.
We have seen stark proof of those who used the DR methods and produced real power, but not much else.

1. I have been fascinated to read those attempting to make the case for other sources for power building (other than DR).

2. With these columns I was intrigued and hoping to see an examination of the kotodama and Omoto believers (actually) demonstrating (real power, obtained through) other supposed power building methods of Ueshiba- as they deserve equal examination.

3. Evidence for questionable spiritual effects notwithstanding- It would very interesting to see evidence for the practices as a means for power building affecting Ueshiba's peers in those same practices. It appears-as yet-there is still no smoking gun.....


Put more simply, I have watched video, felt first hand, and read of power from the DR lineage to Ueshiba. I was hoping someone could point somewhere, to anyone real who Ueshiba trained with (in these "other methods") and who were not students of his during that time that demonstrated power and were known for it?

I don't need the "This is everywhere in Asia" argument put forth by others. That is already known but does nothing to address the point. As I said to Ellis. "In regards to Ueshiba himself getting power from "elsewhere"- thats' great.....Where is the proof?"
Who else beside him (from that supposed study -real or imagined) was known for power in that era?

Who? Where? What? Why? and When? ....seems to me to be decent journalistic rules of the road, all meant to negate editorial, hype and "salesmanship."
I was looking for evidence of men with power who gave training to Ueshiba (outside of DR) were actually known for it.
I'm still waiting......
Cheers
Dan

Last edited by DH : 04-21-2010 at 12:31 PM.
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