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Old 08-26-2009, 08:52 AM   #1
Erick Mead
 
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How To Teach Power & Harmony?

One definition of harmony: Unifying of opposing qualities without destroying any part of their distinctions.

There is an element in the understanding of Aikido - in which the art is seen as a simultaneous manifestation of and instrument for creating a unity of opposites. This sense of the thing is itself an example of what it represents, since Aikido is seen (by the Founder) as both the tool producing the unification and the product of its work, a form of recursive or circular reference.

But some see a permissible separation between these things -- that power and harmony may be pursued independently of one another and then at some arbitrary later point be "connected."

I lay this question out there because the desire for power, as such, is a theme that troubles me in much of recent debates -- and among people of quite good intention here. The reason is that in my estimation of these things, harmony is not served by any will to power. Power as an intermediate end, as means to other ends is not by nature harmonious and tends ot be destructive of existing coherence or wholeness. I need not catalog the historical examples of the moral failings of the will to power. This is not an issue of that degree, but the pattern is there.

There are a number of different ways of expressing this self-similarity of coherent differences that have innate appeal to me. St. Bonaventure saw an interpenetrating entwining of a unifying hylemorphic duality (tree-like or wood-form, in the sense of its grain. The latter sense is in common with the Chinese concept of innate order described as li (J. -- ri) 理 (originally standing for the veining in jade, and by extension of wood as well). Miura Baien, a late Tokugawa scholar used a similar imagery of 條理 jouri -- the unification of branches differentiating from the tree from without sacrificing essential unity. More Western, we have the Hegelian dialectic, (too usually understood and applied in a crassly arbitrary and linear manner). More modernly, we have the mathematical understanding of fractional-dimensions (fractal) in non-linear processes, with scale-independent self-similarity, detreministic but non-computable and non-repeatable. The 19th c. Russian idea of sobornost, is similar -- a sense of community and individuality melded without sacrificing the essence of either. Solovyov's more speculative extension of that idea of sobornost in his work on spontaneous order dealt with integrating such opposing tendencies into a coherent whole, in ways similar to the above.

In all of these, I find a concrete image or sensibility that is innately satisfying of the meaning of the nature of harmony. It is hard to adequately articulate without taking in all these things at once. That largely unspoken sense is what seems to appeal at a gut level for the practitioners of aikido,

And it seems to distinguish it from the technically and historically related aiki-jujutsu arts. We are likewise distinct but not apart from them, certainly, but that does not end my concern or the significance of the nature of the separation. Sometimes a branch snaps off the tree.

Solovyov was reacting both to the linear forms of reasoning (e.g. - as many crudely applied Hegel's dialectic ) and the positivists who tended to deny (or at least undermined) the existence of intrinsic order, leading to the Neitszchean will to power -- which is poison (if you ask me) to the nature of harmony.

Power itself, as it comes by virtue of spontaneous development from the process of harmonious differentiation and development (of which there are many possible paths) exists within a harmonious constraint as to its exercise. The will to power, as a goal rather than a simple outgrowth of a developed nature, does not arise from, nor does naturally respect the integrity of the things to which it necessarily relates or interacts.

I see this as a problem in the nature of harmony and what we in this art strive to develop. I see this in terms of both martial power and in terms of that power existing and operating in a coherent harmony even in face of a direct conflict. The latter seems more important to emhpasize, as there are many other approaches to purely destructive martial power.

In other words, this is really quite a practical problem, not merely a theoretical or speculative one. If power is merely a (dispensable) adjunct to martial harmony, all well and good -- train as you like in the cafeteria mode, pick and choose and no harm done -- and later on "get your mind right" or not as you choose. (This is obviously a larger issue, to -- far beyond aikido or martial art, but we are of our time aren't we?).

But, much suggests that the crystal, like the tree, (like everything?) grows as the nature of its seed -- Then we should expect there to be an integrated differentiation throughout any art. That nature of its harmony in its development is what is truly responsive to the similar aspects of a larger reality of its harmony in both conflict and cooperation.

If harmony in direct conflicts is the integrated aspect of a coherent function that also produces a harmonious martial power, then we have a fundamental problem in trying to working on harmony and power as discrete functions.

If the latter point is true, then the (currently very popular) eclectic "a little here, a little there" and then "let's mash-up for a finished product," is leading to something other than what aikido is intended to accomplish -- in terms both martial and spiritual. At the same time, my premise as to the nature of harmony and power denies the very possibility of a purely prescriptive approach: "Thou shalt train in THIS way and not THAT way."

So if you do not accept my reasoning or my degree of concern -- why not?

If you do accept the reasoning, and prescriptive rules being conceptually unavailable, how do we instruct people in what is coherent with the purposes of the art, and what is damaging to it, so they can avoid stalling in their development of both power and harmony?

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:32 AM   #2
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

One can use a hammer to build a house. That house can become a love filled home or a crack house. What responsibility does the carpenter have in the matter?

A hammer can drive nails or crack heads - the role of the wielder is clear in this case.

The nature of a tool does not change whether in the hands of a craftsman or a novice but the product of its use is self explainitory.

Power is a tool and harmony is a product - what is required is a craftsman. Craftsmen acquire their skills and mastery in the arts by many routes but an apprenticeship under a master is usually the fastest way to achieve mastery.

The efficacy of the path to mastery is embodied in the masters produced - but then it is too late if they do not fit into ones preconceived notion of mastery.

Proceed with extreme caution.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

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Old 08-26-2009, 10:27 AM   #3
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

I agree that you have to train 'this' way up to a certain extent.

The first time I ask you to punch you will punch whatever way you want to. If you had some training you would probably use that training, say throwing in some hip power, balancing your punching hand with power generated from your other hand, torquing your toes to drive the power up, maintain your center so that the power is transferred correctly and etc etc.
It won't be what I'm looking for. Your punch is probably good and chances are it would hurt someone. But it won't be what my art is all about.

I'll ask you punch a certain way. You don't understand. What's all this? Its all wrong... there's no power there, the stance is too weak, I can block that easy etc etc. And yes probably you're right too at least at first. But train longer and you would start to see the idea behind the punch. Its different. Totally different that what you think a punch should be like, but it is effective especially for what its intended to do.

Similarly people see aikido and make all sorts of judgement. I do too. We all do because we have our own experience, understanding and knowledge. And we like to see it mirrored in the things we do and learn. Sometimes when it doesn't, it sorts of creates a conflict within us and we rebel or admonish.

There are many levels of understanding in any knowledge. You will begin at the form first, the principles, the technique and the method, the application, the power, the spirit and etc.

As you pass a certain level of understanding in each level, you would probably be able to adjust that level to your own style. But not before. Usually you would need to follow the prescribe method in the first level to understand the following level faster but not necessarily. Some people are just blessed with a good mind. Most people are clueless.

The easiest to point out is doing a particular technique. Throw in anything.. shihonage ikkyo whatever. Say ikkyo aihanmi for good measure. Whats there at the kihon level?

Proper hanmi, center, extension. Then make the connection, Kuzushi (and -> uproot). Extend into uke's center and his elbows go up automatically. From here there's a few divergence. Some like to cut into the face and center line. Some like to cut out diagonally through the center line. Whatever the case, the centerline is cut.
Those are the 'adjustments' we make to suit our style and situation and physical differences. There are many more. Doesn't detract from the basic method and principles behind it.

Now another art may have something that looks like ikkyo but when applied the mechanics may look similar but doesn't function the same. Some don't even have the idea of taking center line. They might rely on pain compliance, or torquing the elbow, or shifting the body weight to get kuzushi, or rotating the spine whatever...

It might accomplish the end result of ikkyo pin but it certainly isn't aikido. At least not yet. Later on, ikkyo doesn't even look like that. Its just up down up down and that's it. Or its come come come and out you go. And that's the level when kihon is no longer applied, because they're understood all that and now they're on a different level of understanding. Kihon was a step for us to learn. eg basic maths before going to algebra then we go to calculus and so on and so forth. Pretty soon, we'll be playing with sin, cos, logs and maths doesn't look like maths. Additions don't look like additions. But if we tried to start off students at that level without basic maths, everyone will go screwy. It'll be mumbo jumbo and some people will just go out there spouting memorised formulas and workings and they can't go beyond that. cause there's no understanding.

That is my understanding of it anyway. And that's why I believe you have to learn a 'certain defined way' at first. Until you understand that level, and then you can use what you have learned to suit your temperament.

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Old 08-26-2009, 10:30 AM   #4
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

I see Aikido as a process of learning the harmonious working of separate parts to do or accomplish something in the most efficient manner possible.
The use of power is part of that process.

Emphasizing the use of power in the process disrupts the process and the efficiency.

David
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Old 08-26-2009, 10:33 AM   #5
Erick Mead
 
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

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Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
One can use a hammer to build a house. That house can become a love filled home or a crack house. What responsibility does the carpenter have in the matter?

A hammer can drive nails or crack heads - the role of the wielder is clear in this case.

The nature of a tool does not change whether in the hands of a craftsman or a novice but the product of its use is self explainitory.

Power is a tool and harmony is a product - what is required is a craftsman. Craftsmen acquire their skills and mastery in the arts by many routes but an apprenticeship under a master is usually the fastest way to achieve mastery.
It is just this instrumentalism that troubles. Are you so sure of this point if the "tool" and the "product" are both living creatures? Or the same creature? Is your conclusion the same?

Can purpose and structure be so divorced in living things without doing injury ? Does not this inseparability define the nature of harmony that we perceive and treasure in living things (the kami aspect if you wish to Nipponize the point.) .

Divide body and soul and the living thing ceases. This is true for men as it is for all animals. It has been recognized from ancient times in all cultures (to the extent of trying to vitalize things of which it is not strictly true). We seem to be doing the reverse and de-vitalizing through this instrumental approach. Are we simply left with a dead hammer waiting to find out who picks it up?

This is the heart of the issue.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:05 PM   #6
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

Power is the means to achieve harmony. Neither are opposites to be united.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

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Old 08-26-2009, 12:12 PM   #7
Erick Mead
 
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

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Power is the means to achieve harmony. Neither are opposites to be united.
So "...there is only power and those too weak to seek it?"

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:46 PM   #8
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

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Say ikkyo aihanmi for good measure. Whats there at the kihon level?

Proper hanmi, center, extension. Then make the connection, Kuzushi (and -> uproot). Extend into uke's center and his elbows go up automatically. From here there's a few divergence. ... Later on, ikkyo doesn't even look like that. Its just up down up down and that's it. Or its come come come and out you go. And that's the level when kihon is no longer applied, because they're understood all that and now they're on a different level of understanding. Kihon was a step for us to learn. eg basic maths before going to algebra then we go to calculus and so on and so forth. Pretty soon, we'll be playing with sin, cos, logs and maths doesn't look like maths. Additions don't look like additions. But if we tried to start off students at that level without basic maths, everyone will go screwy. It'll be mumbo jumbo and some people will just go out there spouting memorised formulas and workings and they can't go beyond that. cause there's no understanding.

That is my understanding of it anyway. And that's why I believe you have to learn a 'certain defined way' at first. Until you understand that level, and then you can use what you have learned to suit your temperament.
A very good post. An interesting point, the mathematics. Maths are interesting in one way because they are taught in a certain progression. However, from another perspective, it does not and should not matter where or with what set of concepts you start to teach maths, because it IS a coherent whole, and wherever you may happen to start it all still leads everywhere. I, for one. would have been far better of with a different progression in maths -- and ultimately had to find my own way, with rather more difficulty.

Some of this is learning styles and some of it teaching preferences based on the learning styles of those who end up teaching. The same might be said of Aikido.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:08 PM   #9
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

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So "...there is only power and those too weak to seek it?"
Absolutely not. Seeking power for the sake of gaining more power ... well, we know where that leads. Seeking greater power in order to bring about harmony ... what one does with the power is of the upmost importance.

I keep thinking of your penchant for physical models ... Can one cast harmony in terms of entropy since a type of harmony may be considered as 'things in their proper place and or relation'. Harmony defined as opposing chaos which begets harmony is decreased entropy. Just by what mircale is the entropy of the universe decreased? Now, there is something to be reconciled.

Last edited by Rob Watson : 08-26-2009 at 01:22 PM.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

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Old 08-26-2009, 01:22 PM   #10
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

As a newbie, I think that it is necessary to understand to harmonize (blending, leading the mind) first so we don't collide with our partners. Once we connect (harmonize) with them, we can lead them. Once their minds are led, their body follows and you can use little to no power to perform the art (meaning performing the waza naturally without forcing or flexing your muscles through the art). I think the major power of a technique relies on how well you harmonize and how well you lead your partner.

My 2 cents.

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Old 08-26-2009, 02:46 PM   #11
Erick Mead
 
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

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Absolutely not. Seeking power for the sake of gaining more power ... well, we know where that leads. Seeking greater power in order to bring about harmony ... what one does with the power is of the upmost importance.
Not to continue the paraphrase trope on modern morality tales too far -- but "I would use this (power) for good, but through me it would it wield a power to great and terrible to imagine." Or "In place of a Dark Lord, you would have a queen! Not dark, but beautiful and terrible as the dawn! Treacherous as the sea! Stronger than the foundations of the earth! All shall love me, and despair!"

Anyway, the question is -- If we want it for its ability to impose control, how are certain that we ourselves are not made subject to the control of that power in doing so? Who is servant and who is master in this situation? Is any power which does not grow natively out of us, for purposes other than the amassing of the power itself, really ours to use? And if we use it, can we be sure that we are not tools in turn of its proper owner?

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Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
I keep thinking of your penchant for physical models ... Can one cast harmony in terms of entropy since a type of harmony may be considered as 'things in their proper place and or relation'. Harmony defined as opposing chaos which begets harmony is decreased entropy. Just by what mircale is the entropy of the universe decreased? Now, there is something to be reconciled.
1) Entropy never decreases in the universe (caveat -- at least in 4d spacetime).2) decreases in entropy occur but only locally and at the price of accelerated increase elsewhere. The entropy thus shoved around is one measure of "power;" 3) Chaos and harmony are not opposed. The spiralling, branching fractal structures of these systems and our movements are dissipative -- that is, they minimize entropy by maximizing the capture of ever finer tranches of residual differentials that make up the remaining potential energy of the system, until it is completely gone and entropy is at the limit.

In other words, the essence of native "power" or "power in harmony" is not derived from storing and expressing large energy differentials or potentials -- but derived from the facility of such systems in sucking the energy OUT of potential differences in highly efficient ways. When reversed, then, such systems allow the system to collect ANY available potential differences, however small, and making them effective through concentration at arbitrary, but highly critical points. Seeking power, in the sense of building large potentials to exploit, is a different sort of thing. Surfing versus cigarette boats.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-26-2009, 03:15 PM   #12
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

"Looks like meat is back on the menu, boys" would be my fav as this does cut quick to the meat of the subject.

And yet the ring is destroyed ...

Perhaps we are barking up the wrong tree. It is not about power in harmony but it is about getting into harmony with the universe (or principles thereof). Some conclude such is possible by use of power (in the stored potential sense).

This begs the question (No, the Socratic fallacy is not a logical error) just what are the universal principles to which we have become unaligned?

You posit a definition of harmony "Unifying of opposing qualities without destroying any part of their distinctions. " Qualities of what? They are opposing because they are not harmonized and maybe they cannot ever be. Mixing water and rocks does not reduce either of thier distinctiveness and yet one is left with a mix of rocks and water and not something else. Can't mix hot and cold and get anything except warm ...

Also "Aikido is seen (by the Founder) as both the tool producing the unification and the product of its work, a form of recursive or circular reference." I never heard it put this way and I'm at a loss as to stipulate such for the sake of argument. O'sensei straddles the 'floating bridge of heaven' to modulate the divine influnce which reconciles the conundrum posed by the 2nd law of thermodynamics as alluded in my previous post. This presupposes that his conception of the divine as eperate and distinct from the universe and I'm reading and rereading Prof. Goldsbury columns to attempt to gain some clarity on this aspect.

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

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Old 08-26-2009, 04:48 PM   #13
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

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"Looks like meat is back on the menu, boys" would be my fav as this does cut quick to the meat of the subject.

And yet the ring is destroyed ...
Yes. But not by the straight road... In that lesson the straight road has been irretrievably bent. The point -- the safe way (morally, physically) to defeat contending power is not through linear opposition of counter-power but through circuitous recursive dissipative mechanisms, which are hard to see or to know that they should be opposed or are even moving against one (i.e. -- the actions of "the very small" and the toleration of pity toward an evil but conflicted will).

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Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
You posit a definition of harmony "Unifying of opposing qualities without destroying any part of their distinctions. " Qualities of what?
Human and divine, attacker ansd attacked -- anything that stands in relation and distinction to another. The logic of power as such ends in annihilation of that which opposes it, therefore power, in the limit, is in relation to nothing but itself . Without a will to allow contrasting action, power is therefore incapable of unity with genuine distinction -- or generating true novelty. Not Takemusu Aiki, in other words

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Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
Also "Aikido is seen (by the Founder) as both the tool producing the unification and the product of its work, a form of recursive or circular reference." I never heard it put this way and I'm at a loss as to stipulate such for the sake of argument. ...
This presupposes that his conception of the divine as eperate and distinct from the universe and I'm reading and rereading Prof. Goldsbury columns to attempt to gain some clarity on this aspect.
I greatly value Prof. G's linguistic and philosophical insights, and his patient development of a topic. It may be that Prof. G chooses not to indulge or express his capacity for his appreciation of mythic insight, and to concentrate instead on other expressions of his immense knowledge. He has said he intensively indulged the Spiritual Exercises at one point, so I do not attempt to make any comparisons on the point. He has been quite critical of some of the more wooly-minded aspects in those who have attempted to appreciate it in a particularly facile manner.
If I were to judge only from what he has offered on that score, however, I would have to conclude that he seems to possess a bit of tin ear (or too post-modern an outlook), when it comes to the music of mythical and mystical insight as a way of knowledge, and its recurrent non-linear "leaps."

Those attributes are indicative of the bent, recursive, elliptical way of knowing, which frustrates the linear mind to no end. What such minds see is only the point where the elliptically-minded happens to cross his linear straight road -- some times ahead, sometimes behind, but that indicates nothing of what he has seen or the gorund he has covered. It is common to consider such minds as realtively disordered in their thinking, but in fact what they are is ordered in ways the linear thinker does not easily perceive.

I judge Morihei Ueshiba to be of this turn of mind, as it is my own. But that is no more than to say that a lefty knows a lefty when he sees one, which is not to say I can pitch a a decent strike, much less a no-hitter.

I do not think Ueshiba presupposes "the divine as seperate and distinct from the universe" -- and I certainly don't -- for instance from the 4th transcript of the Takemusu Aiki lectures:

Quote:
Morihei Ueshiba wrote:
Those who desire world harmony must dedicate themselves to its realization and to the accomplishment of the Divine Plan for their own nation. The assigned task of a nation is the realization of national harmony as One Family. We must all accomplish our own missions, that is, our assigned duties, as our share of the Divine Plan. Thus, we must perfect our own selves before the perfection of others in order to render any service in accordance with the Will of the Great God. The very act of perfecting oneself is a rendering of services towards the perfection of the Universe.
The self-similarity of action or form to action or form at other scales within an coherent system is the hallmark of a recursive chaotic system. In other words, if the problem is abuse of power in the world at large -- the mirror is the first place for each of us to look.... That beam in my own eye, for example, I am told obscures a great deal...

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-26-2009, 06:01 PM   #14
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

"Unifying of opposing qualities without destroying any part of their distinctions."

In the battle of good versus evil just how much of the evil shall we retain? How is it possible to unify good and evil? Perhaps you mean to say that evil is vanquished by good while good remains untarnished by evil (the end does not justify the means) and evil is still clearly evil- but I still fail to see how there is any unification going on here. Destroy evil without becoming evil I get but where and what is unified?

It seems you have posed an unsolvable problem.

Morihei Ueshiba wrote:
Those who desire world harmony must dedicate themselves to its realization and to the accomplishment of the Divine Plan for their own nation. The assigned task of a nation is the realization of national harmony as One Family. We must all accomplish our own missions, that is, our assigned duties, as our share of the Divine Plan. Thus, we must perfect our own selves before the perfection of others in order to render any service in accordance with the Will of the Great God. The very act of perfecting oneself is a rendering of services towards the perfection of the Universe.

Nothing there to clarify the nature of the divine. Seems the elliptical paths are woven by those 'in the know' and they are just playing with us. Still begs the question as to who is the arbiter of the 'Divine Plan' and who knows the 'Will of the Great God'? Assigned duties? Seems like someone with some kind of power is in play here. Not to nit pick overly but is O'senseis harmony the same as your definition?

Either way O'sensei still makes the point that the universe needs perfecting - what, exactly, is 'broken'? Maybe the only thing broken in the universe is the disconnect between our perceptions and assumptions and the world around us doing its thing according to the 'Divine Plan'. Seems excessively fatalistic but then again why not 'rage against the night'?

Prof G's proclivities aside O'sensei certainly did invoke the divine powers as one would be want to do given the intractability of the issue from a logical point of view. The solution to Gödel's trashing of logic is to invoke some power from beyond logic to rectify the situation - certainly he couldn't do it and went insane in the process. There is more to it than logic can describe so how to teach such in a logical progression (so as to make it more easily learned) - it can't be done.

Some things simply cannot be taught but they certainly can be learned. We just figure it out on our own and are similarly confounded as to the manner of passing on the pearls.

I can't help but feel out of my depth but I keep on swimming anyway ...

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

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Old 08-26-2009, 06:18 PM   #15
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
It may be that Prof. G chooses not to indulge or express his capacity for his appreciation of mythic insight, and to concentrate instead on other expressions of his ... knowledge.
PAG. Correct.

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
He has said he intensively indulged the Spiritual Exercises at one point, so I do not attempt to make any comparisons on the point. He has been quite critical of some of the more wooly-minded aspects in those who have attempted to appreciate it in a particularly facile manner.
PAG. I am not sure what you mean by "indulged" here, for its use here does not appear to fit any of the eight meanings offered in the revised OED. The Spiritual Exercises are a handbook of meditation, as Ignatius saw this, and the Jesuits expect their members to use the Exercises all the time. During the years I was a member of this order, I did the full 30-day retreat once, but, as a novice and scholastic, pretty constantly used the Exercises, together with other mystical works (e.g., The Cloud of Unknowing, Walter Hilton, Meister Eckhart, John of the Cross, Thomas a Kermpis). During this time, I never had the sense that there was any indulgence involved.

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If I were to judge only from what he has offered on that score, however, I would have to conclude that he seems to possess a bit of tin ear (or too post-modern an outlook), when it comes to the music of mythical and mystical insight as a way of knowledge, and its recurrent non-linear "leaps."
PAG. See above. I have deliberately avoided discussing the "music of mythical and mystical insight", because (among other reasons) I do not regard them as the same and because I am unconvinced that the distinction 'linear / recurrent or recursive' does the music any justice.

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Those attributes are indicative of the bent, recursive, elliptical way of knowing, which frustrates the linear mind to no end. What such minds see is only the point where the elliptically-minded happens to cross his linear straight road -- some times ahead, sometimes behind, but that indicates nothing of what he has seen or the ground he has covered. It is common to consider such minds as relatively disordered in their thinking, but in fact what they are is ordered in ways the linear thinker does not easily perceive.
PAG. I am sure you are aware that woolly-mindedness affects linear and recursive ways of thinking alike. Of course, a historian of ideas must be aware of this.

Best wishes,

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 08-26-2009 at 06:21 PM.

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Old 08-27-2009, 07:16 AM   #16
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

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In the battle of good versus evil just how much of the evil shall we retain? How is it possible to unify good and evil? ... Destroy evil without becoming evil I get but where and what is unified?
Hassidic Judaism distinguishes two types of persons tending to goodness -- exemplified by Jacob and his twin Esau. One is the tzadik who in his nature desires and seeks after righteousness. The other is the beinoni, the "between" man who lives in and loves to strive with and triumph over evil. Budo resides in the latter category.

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It seems you have posed an unsolvable problem.
There is a difference between a problem with indeterminate solutions, and an unsolvable problem. Navier-Stokes equations are of the former type -- and yet we have worked our way through to dazzling array of different solutions that have very practical applications in aviation.

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Nothing there to clarify the nature of the divine. Seems the elliptical paths are woven by those 'in the know' and they are just playing with us. Still begs the question as to who is the arbiter of the 'Divine Plan' and who knows the 'Will of the Great God'? Assigned duties?
You are assuming it is necessary to know the global plan to understand its local geography -- which is not the case. Budo's purpose is not to know the divine plan -- it is to oppose evil, in accordance with that plan. "Prosper the work of our hands" the Psalmist says. Returning to our favorite text, "Good and evil have not changed since yesteryear; ... It is a man's part to discern them,... "

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Either way O'sensei still makes the point that the universe needs perfecting - what, exactly, is 'broken'?
You know that, or I should say you could easily point to three or four things that are evidence of it. Now go find out why, and fix them. Voila -- the "process of perfection." Rinse, repeat. Simple -- but not easy. And you will also get it wrong, and have ot fix part of the fixes. The desire for definite certainty seems very much a part of the problem, especially of very large forms of evil -- juxtaposed against a more reserved, tentative (and yes recursive/retracing/ backtracking) of a willingness to risk slight err and recurrent corrections -- and opposed to demanding complete correctness and thus commit monstrous errors, with little will to correction. "The just man sins seven times a day."

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The solution to Gödel's trashing of logic is to invoke some power from beyond logic to rectify the situation - certainly he couldn't do it and went insane in the process. There is more to it than logic can describe so how to teach such in a logical progression (so as to make it more easily learned) - it can't be done.
Assuming one teaches in a logical progression. I prefer to teach from a point of reference in movement inward toward the particular elements of a movement or outward toward its general evolution into related movements. I pick one and go with it.

There are lots of holes in that approach, but none more demonstrable than in any arbitrary "logical progression." -- It is the cracks in the world that let the light in. Completion always comes from without, and yet so too remains incomplete -- so teaches Gödel. Any linear traverse of a landscape is just a slice of the whole.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-27-2009, 07:38 AM   #17
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

There is also the direct approach to solving problems. Sometimes it is simpler, even if it requires a bit of energy.

My Marine Brethren seem to like this method!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/runningfool115/746153932/

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Old 08-27-2009, 09:45 AM   #18
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

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PAG. I am not sure what you mean by "indulged" here, for its use here does not appear to fit any of the eight meanings offered in the revised OED. The Spiritual Exercises are a handbook of meditation, as Ignatius saw this, and the Jesuits expect their members to use the Exercises all the time. During the years I was a member of this order, I did the full 30-day retreat once, but, as a novice and scholastic, pretty constantly used the Exercises, together with other mystical works (e.g., The Cloud of Unknowing, Walter Hilton, Meister Eckhart, John of the Cross, Thomas a Kermpis). During this time, I never had the sense that there was any indulgence involved.
I had no reference to the eight meanings in the OED, I am afraid, -- It was the word the kami evoked in me. You had a desire for them -- to which you yielded = "indulged." Or in the more technical context, the 1968 Penitentiary does seem to grant them plenary treatment in retreat. Wherefore, I suppose the kami may also have thought it appropriate to suggest it to me under the circumstances.

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PAG. See above. I have deliberately avoided discussing the "music of mythical and mystical insight", because (among other reasons) I do not regard them as the same and because I am unconvinced that the distinction 'linear / recurrent or recursive' does the music any justice.
I did not say they were the same. I will say they are related. While words are antithetical to mystic experience, a great many have been spilt in dealing with its imagery. (Those insistent kami again, I suppose.) And it is in imagery that they relate. "Words of power" (the topic at hand) as they evoke or create harmony with concrete senses is something that the Celt and the Japanese seem to hold in equal awe.

But really, I am not asking whether you are capable of discussing them. I have absolutely no doubt you can do them good service on that score. I am talking about doing it rather than discussing it. I have some reservations about someone like John Stevens, not because of his artistic choices, which I think are actually fairly evocative -- but for the pattern of spiritual/theological assumptions or choices in rendering his word-pictures that seem to diverge from patterns that I see in the material he is addressing. Of course, my own assumptions are equally in the dock, but I sort of like mine, which is a failing he and I most likely share.

When I read the Doka, or the lectures on the aspects of myth, I try to turn off my analytic brain for a while and just see the images given, as they move and transition in imagery, as thoroughly as I can. Then I turn it back on again. Sometimes I put the switch on rapid cycle. Straight on ahead - random walk back, and iterate. Same as the way that the pattern of images connects Hilton's Scala, Jacob's ladder, the mustard tree, the Vine and branches, the pillar of fire, and stream of living water. I see those -- I could analyze it for you, but only the evocation of the imagery might make you see it.

Your own efforts on the particular historical and cultural issues help to bring more and more out of the blurry background. But the background that I see is not blurry because my eyes lack focus -- it is blurry because it is snapshot of a moving pattern of its own. If it seems now one thing and now another that is part of what the image itself presents to be seen in its native changes. Much of what I write in this mode is in a sense a meditation on the imagery and its associations. What I write and think in the other mode is much more analytic and tends to the physical.

If I were to look for a "type" to point to I would look to Hiltons' intellectual forebear, Hugh of St.Victor, for whom the alternatives of systematic thinking from revealed knowledge and imaginative contemplation were companions and not strangers, and showed a certain indifference to established categories of more purely philosophical thought. Phronesis rather than sophia. Closer to MacIntyre, and very far from Rawls.

How about you? What do you see ? Would you indulge whatever there is in you of the Saxon skald or "long-haired Gaul" or your inner Irishman and let us see how your verbal moonlight paints the scenes from the imagery as you see or its patterns and associations?

Or, perhaps tells us why, despite that recurrent manner of the Founder's teaching, that may not matter, if that is your belief. Kisshomaru Doshu tried to weed it out, or it seems so from your accounts. But it seems equally true that it will not be weeded, so, perhaps it could be better cultivated, instead.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-27-2009, 09:52 AM   #19
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

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There is also the direct approach to solving problems. Sometimes it is simpler, even if it requires a bit of energy.

My Marine Brethren seem to like this method!

We Navy helicopter pilots have a similar liking for direct approaches, also requiring some additional energy -- but a tad more finesse -- and we like pass OVER the walls leaving things intact instead of busting through them -- though I must say that can be great fun, in its own right ...

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:31 PM   #20
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

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I had no reference to the eight meanings in the OED, I am afraid, -- It was the word the kami evoked in me. You had a desire for them -- to which you yielded = "indulged."
PAG. I think you are using "indulged" rather loosely here. Entering the Jesuits and having that final cigarette, drink, or chocolate seem to me quite different.

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Or in the more technical context, the 1968 Penitentiary does seem to grant them plenary treatment in retreat.
PAG.

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
When I read the Doka, or the lectures on the aspects of myth, I try to turn off my analytic brain for a while and just see the images given, as they move and transition in imagery, as thoroughly as I can. Then I turn it back on again. Sometimes I put the switch on rapid cycle. Straight on ahead - random walk back, and iterate. Same as the way that the pattern of images connects Hilton's Scala, Jacob's ladder, the mustard tree, the Vine and branches, the pillar of fire, and stream of living water.
PAG. This seems somewhat schizophrenic to me. I agree that seeing the images pass by (stream of consciousness) is one way of reading a text, but it is not the only way. Since I was brought up on I A Richards and F R Leavis, I prefer their more comprehensive approach.

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But the background that I see is not blurry because my eyes lack focus -- it is blurry because it is snapshot of a moving pattern of its own. If it seems now one thing and now another that is part of what the image itself presents to be seen in its native changes. Much of what I write in this mode is in a sense a meditation on the imagery and its associations. What I write and think in the other mode is much more analytic and tends to the physical.
PAG. Two points: (1) I do not switch between any modes when I consider a text, and (2) there is much scope for woolly-mindedness here that you do not deal with.

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If I were to look for a "type" to point to I would look to Hiltons' intellectual forebear, Hugh of St.Victor, for whom the alternatives of systematic thinking from revealed knowledge and imaginative contemplation were companions and not strangers, and showed a certain indifference to established categories of more purely philosophical thought. Phronesis rather than sophia. Closer to MacIntyre, and very far from Rawls.
PAG. There is also much scope for woolly-mindedness here and it is your summarizing that is the issue for me. You link together Hugh of St Victor, 'established categories of more purely philosophical thought', phronesis, MacIntyre and Rawls. My own studies of four of these do not yield such a link, so I would need to 'unpack' the thought and see more clearly where the link allegedly lies.

Best wishes,

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Old 08-28-2009, 12:26 PM   #21
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

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PAG. I think you are using "indulged" rather loosely here. Entering the Jesuits and having that final cigarette, drink, or chocolate seem to me quite different.
Ah, I see -- the kami compelled you ...

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
PAG. This seems somewhat schizophrenic to me. I agree that seeing the images pass by (stream of consciousness) is one way of reading a text, but it is not the only way. Since I was brought up on I A Richards and F R Leavis, I prefer their more comprehensive approach.
Leavis and Richards in the same sentence -- And you call me schizophrenic? Actually, I don't care for Richards but find Leavis congenial even if I think Fr. Hopkins is overblown. I prefer Ecclesiastes' seasonal modality -- I just think that men's souls have shorter seasons and cycles that the sun knows not.

Do not the salary-men seem to require the excuse of drinking to approach social matters in a different mode of thought? I don't think anyone considers them schizophrenic - though one can reasonably question other aspects of that adaptation.

I see no difference in intellectual terms in areas where intuition must play at least as large a role as linear connection -- making space for them both to differentiate from one another and yet not break their essential unity. (If unity were broken, that would be schizophrenic, FWIW).

Finding good structure for intuitive practice, it seems to me, is a significant key. There's an aspect of MacIntyre's thinking. The increasing lack or abandonment of the same in Western culture is a powerful draw to any alien system that seems to lay claim to one -- such as Aikido -- and a chief source (IMO) of much wooly-mindedness. Your effort is doing much to dispel some false notions underlying a great deal of the wooly-minded and undue presumptions of the integrity of tradition behind the "myth of Aikido."

And in one mode of mind I heartily agree with you, but in the other mode of mind I find the effort to be doing a disservice to the genuine and legitimate yearning behind the problem. While (as with those of like mind to Richards) it deconstructs much, it seems to build little in its place, or offer any way to surer refuge. A ramshackle raft it may be, but let's not commit everyone to the mercies of the deep blue sea just yet.

O Sensei sought such an intuitive practice within a tradition he understood and let his intuition guide him within it and in departing from (and enlarging) the strict sense of that tradition along his own intuitive lines. It seems to me this operation of intuition within structure is part of the teaching of St. Ignatius also.

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PAG. Two points: (1) I do not switch between any modes when I consider a text, and (2) there is much scope for woolly-mindedness here that you do not deal with.
But the task of close reading is simply the structural reflection of the text upon itself to discover implicit patterns within and drawn from it. Some of that may amplify, diminish or wholly alter the facial, or shall we say, the omote reading. If you like Richards then I can see why you were so successful teaching in Japan. Nearly every sentence in Japanese seems to me an exercise in deconstruction.

Since I find structural metaphor to be helpful as image, I liken close reading of a text to seeing a scene through a window or mirror. One can in a close reading turn the glass at a severe angle and see much more of the variable internal structure of the medium though which the light of the scene is transmitted, to see how much the ordinary view distorts the scene -- but the scene is severely distorted in that sharply angled view -- and in case of a mirror, the same scene is no longer even in view.

Another approach is to layer different texts, different glasses through which to see -- and then bring them so close as to read a scene through them together. In that regard, the scene is not so much distorted -- but the exercise reveals something interesting about not only about the exceedingly fine differences of curvature in the structures of the media, but also of the structure of the light passing through them. e.g. -- Newton's rings

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PAG. There is also much scope for woolly-mindedness here and it is your summarizing that is the issue for me. You link together Hugh of St Victor, 'established categories of more purely philosophical thought', phronesis, MacIntyre and Rawls. My own studies of four of these do not yield such a link, so I would need to 'unpack' the thought and see more clearly where the link allegedly lies.
The cause of the problem in summarizing is likely unavoidable for reasons I will explain shortly. If you will bear with me for a moment, I have in other settings given a structural analogy of how people who think I like I do work. In a forensic setting it is invaluable. The unpacking may or may not help -- because it is in overlaying that the patterns I see are evident.

But first, and summarizing once more, Hugh is the root of a conjoined-twin tradition of intuitive, imaginative practice with rigorous systematic practice, in regular alteration with one another. St. Bonaventure represents the better balance of this tradition of "two-step," if you will, than, for instance, St. Thomas Aquinas, in my view, for whom the late intrusion of mystical insight stopped his systematic thought utterly. He seemed unprepared. The Christian humanists of the early Enlightenment more nearly captured it for our age -- until the wars of religion almost snuffed it out entirely (and literally in the person St. Thomas More, who embodied it). This deeply divided the rational from the mystical and mythical. That point of departure is exactly where MacIntyre diagnoses our current crisis arising -- which is furthermore cross-cultural, as is easily seen in Japan, well before the late War, and seems to follow a similar pattern.

The preference for the "vaguness" of phronesis over the categorical exclusivity of sophia is from the examples of isolation and disappointment seen in very different ways in Wittgenstein, or Neitzche, say, compared to Husserl or Whitehead, who, seemingly remain much more connected to the richness of living. The latter tried in their own ways to reconstitute the broken way of more integrated thinking in those two alternating recursive modes - imago et systema which begin to echo Hugh's sacramental theology. The inherent pitfalls of such attempts at reconstruction occupy much of MacIntyre's thought. Rawls' thought seems to be relatively flat, sterile and tool-like by comparison -- as though an "original position" can be posited without invoking the ghosts of First Causes' past, and like an instrument designed without a telos in view.

As to why summary is the practical limit of what can be managed here:

A linear thinker (let's call him "L") traverses a straight line path from point A to point B. A non-linear thinker (let's call him "N") traverses a series of partial ellipses that collectively form a flat spiral traverse of the same general line. (You can draw these two figures with a pen on piece of paper.

At the end of these two processes, L demands of N a single clear line of thought from A to B --which poses a deep problem. If N reproduces his actual line of travel it will be far longer than the line of L, and recurrently doubles back into the general vicinity of areas passed before. On the other hand, it will encompass far more of the planar geography between A and B than did L's straight line.

Now something close to a straight line path can be derived from the the traverse of our elliptical excursions. At the edges where they tangentially overlap, something close to a straight line is evident. To the nonlinear thinker these often widely separated but parallel paths are equally valid -- and equally partial -- as linear representations of their path.

But to the straight line thinker those "constructive" lines will seem to start offset with respect to A and traverse to a point offset with respect to B, or if it attempts to show a centerline transect from A to B it will seem to "skip over" many intermediate steps. So, a straight line explanation -- while it can be shown by the elliptical path -- is only ever a rough approximation of the linear path desired by L or of the elliptical path actually followed N. Hence, it is the source of much misunderstanding between people of different turns of mind. It is nearly as powerful a perceptive filter as color perception is for those who see red distinct from green and those who see shades of one "color." While for N the line is convenience -- for L the line is necessity.

In fact, if the material is not itself linear or planar (in the sense of our proverbial "Aikido Mountain," for instance) , the nonlinear or elliptical way may be actually be more efficient and take less time and energy -- depending on the lay of the land -- than the straight line path transects across the mountain. On the other hand, explaining why following that path was entirely natural is a bit tricky, unless you actually followed it. Certainly, there are many non-linear paths that are less efficient also. The point of preference being -- for those in the middle of the spectrum between the extremes of N and L -- the more rugged the terrain traversed the more likely that the strictly linear path is not optimal.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 08-28-2009, 04:50 PM   #22
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

"As a human being, one must engage in ascetic practices ceaselessly by oneself according to one's mission. In other words, if we thouroughly study our chief guardian diety and also our own body and mind, we will begin to understand the works we must perfrom in our daily life." Ueshiba Morihei Takemusu Aiki lectures (Aikido Journal #117)

"Finally, the deities have appeared in the world. The true Age of Gods has come. We must perform our duties as the world family in order to step into the world of change where body and spirit are in harmony. We must tune our breath to our own spirit and the principle of things, and make it the purification of our soul. In other words, we must make of our given breath and spiritual home (physical body) a field where we may cultivate our spirit. Then we will be worthy of reaching God and assuming the role of the principal guardian deity to become fully active.
No matter what kind of formal guardian deity there may be, he must without exception receive his training through a physical body. Thus, we must purify our physical body as well. Then a formal guardian deity will become a principal guardian deity through spiritual work.
We are formal guardian deities which means we are like the seed of a heavenly being." Ueshiba Morihei Takemusu Aiki lectures (Aikido Journal #118)

"It is the Way to daily thank the Great God for His work and thus it is a prayer. There is nothing better than a prayer. Even when we feel ill or unpleasant, we can become refreshed and get well by offering prayers. I have experienced this through my prayers. I stand on the platform of Heaven and worship God facing to the east and heavenward. I offer my gratitude in prayer standing in the center of the Earth together with everything existing between Heaven and Earth. This is the true aikido and takemusu. This is the source of harmonious interaction between the breath of fire and water." Ueshiba Morihei Takemusu Aiki lectures (Aikido Journal #118)

"We must love for the sake of Love. We must perform our duties faithfully for the sake of faith. It is indispensable that we have impassioned faith and receive the light of faith, that is, divine wisdom. If our faith is not the harmonious union of light and heat, we will not be able to perform our duties as human beings nor be worthy of studying takemusu aiki." Ueshiba Morihei Takemusu Aiki lectures (Aikido Journal #118)

So, there you go. Prayer, purification and have faith. Become a guardian diety and asume the duty to show others how to realize heaven on earth. It's all part of the Divine Plan.

And I thought it was complicated ...

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

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Old 08-28-2009, 07:29 PM   #23
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

Hello Erick,

Post #21 was very interesting. I have three comments.

1. I think that I A Richards was probably an influence on a movement called New Criticism, which in turn was perhaps an influence on deconstructionism, but I do not think that his criticism can be identified with the latter.

2. You have supplied your own summary of the relations holding between Hugh of St Victor, MacIntyre, Rawls (who was one of my teachers at Harvard). There was another one, which you termed, "established categories of more purely philosophical thought", which you appear to have missed. As with Miura Baien and St Bonaventure, your view of the relations might be satisfactory for you, but it is not for me, and I think this has nothing to do with any 'linear-lateral' distinction.

3. The linear - lateral distinction is too sharply drawn, and I do not think it is robust enough to bear the weight you have put on it. In your thinking it appears to be yet another category, delineated in black and white and admitting of no shades of grey.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 08-28-2009, 09:04 PM   #24
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Re: How To Teach Power & Harmony?

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Post #21 was very interesting. I have three comments.

1. I think that I A Richards was probably an influence on a movement called New Criticism, which in turn was perhaps an influence on deconstructionism, but I do not think that his criticism can be identified with the latter.
An acorn looks nothing like an oak, either, but if you sow acorns, you get oaks.

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2. You have supplied your own summary of the relations holding between Hugh of St Victor, MacIntyre, Rawls (who was one of my teachers at Harvard). There was another one, which you termed, "established categories of more purely philosophical thought", which you appear to have missed. As with Miura Baien and St Bonaventure, your view of the relations might be satisfactory for you, but it is not for me, and I think this has nothing to do with any 'linear-lateral' distinction.
No, it does not, however, purely philosophical inquiry appeals more to the linear approach. Wittgenstein like Nietzche got himself stuck in a intellectual/emotional alley, where he could see little else. Long-suffering friends were his saving grace, from the bleakness of his mental isolation.

That is not a criticism, but an acknowledgment of a spectrum of types with their respective strengths and weaknesses -- along one transect of the human experience with these as their extremes, of which some examples closer to one end or the other lie. The problems of linear and non-linear thought as means of explanation (vice discovery or understanding) are inverts: "N" cannot persuasively or simpy explain what he has discovered is indeed correct and true; and "L" can straightforwardly and convincingly explain a pleasing but ultimately false idea. Both attributes are necessary to adequate seeking of truth.

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3. The linear - lateral distinction is too sharply drawn, and I do not think it is robust enough to bear the weight you have put on it. In your thinking it appears to be yet another category, delineated in black and white and admitting of no shades of grey.
Well, this is not a Tolstoy novel... I had thought the mention of a spectrum and L & N as outlier types would have communicated otherwise. Never mind that I am attempting to illustrate a nonlinear mode in an expressly linear construct. Misunderstandings abound, as I said, and case in point, I suppose.

As for Rawls, his effort is remarkable and admirable. He is very much on point in the discussion of Power and Harmony. However, as I have come to understand it, his approach fails to adequately acknowledge the truth of differential and contingent development of societies, internally and externally and the ways in which they must grow, differentiate and yet remain intelligibly unified in a humane way.

It is a problem so deep that the concept of "original position" as a starting point is not useful. In organic development Old leaves fall way, buggy whip producers MUST fail as economic entities when cars arrive or the society is not merely becoming unjust, but moribund.

The distinction between state of nature and society is a beautiful falsehood. Being in society is in our nature, from birth in the instantaneous sense and from what ever dawn of "human" you choose to select. Is the original position at a stage of Cromagnon cave art and flint goods or at the stage of Blake's "dark satanic mills?" Nor are we ever out of the state of our nature thus understood, and with every likelihood of brutal possibility that presents.

History, any history, personal, collective, large or small, is not reducible, nor indeed even computable, as contingency is a feature -- not a bug. Contingency is not just, and upends every manner of justice that is attempted from any position, original or otherwise -- and as a practitioner in explicit arts of justice, I will claim a point of privilege in stating its present nature, never mind citing Job for its enduring character.

Society IS power -- that is at least part of why humans seek company in a hostile world; and yet society is also threat, because it is also capable of destroying much when not in harmony. That is why when challenges to ways of knowing come along, -- MacIntyre's epistemological crises -- the careful intellectual history which you relate is so critical.

That crisis has come to Aikido, without question. But also critical is Aikido's place in relation to other ways of knowing with which it is both interacting and being challenged -- which is where I see my efforts, such as they are, being directed. By its nature that effort is more diffuse, and, well, not linear.

There is a movement that speaks seriously, and they do speak of it, of changing the way Aikido IS presently. They do so with a claim to "restore" a "lost knowledge." Leaving aside the exact meaning of or presumptive merits of the premises -- this a project MacIntyre has explicitly shown doomed to fail in the terms they present it, whatever other salutary benefits consideration of the challenge may produce. And they do not speak as those who are charged with the duty of the tradition in which practice is occurring. There are goods within the tradition too valuable and promising of future value to place in jeopardy of well-meaning but misguided "restorationist" sentiment -- of any kind.

There is no going back, EVER; there is no restoration. There is only further development from the present circumstance and the history that has brought us here. That is the fundamental reason why Rawls "original position" and maximin seem to me just another (very sophisticated, and highly abstracted) version of "golden age" ideals we have all known and loved at some pooint in our own histories. It has innate appeal and always has, and is now in postmodern dress in the Theory of Justice. But it was sterile fantasy then, as it is now.

Justice is not so simple, and more valuable for all of that. Aikido develops in a place where power and harmony meet in common purpose in its tradition and in its practice. This is the realm of justice, and practice in it. Power and Harmony are are seen to need to work together, in practical and demonstrably physical ways. As example alone in an age of empirical fetish, the value of this cannot be underestimated. Keeping those developing practices in power and harmony from being severed from one another is very important. If they are, then the baby will drown in the bathwater before we ever get around to throwing it out.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 08-28-2009 at 09:14 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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