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Old 02-02-2010, 04:45 PM   #26
Janet Rosen
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Re: The "love" schtick

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David Board wrote: View Post
Two minutes for low schticking.
Takes a licking and keeps on schticking...

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Old 02-02-2010, 07:32 PM   #27
Rob Watson
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Re: The "love" schtick

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
... (1) the ai of aiki 合 and ai 愛 = love, are homonyms.

(2), there is no evidence of M Ueshiba using such homonyms before he met Onisaburo Deguchi and studied kotodama-gaku...
This just makes my head hurt. Homonyms and kotodama seem to be completely at odds with each other. Seems more like an inside joke - from the outside.

"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 02-02-2010, 07:59 PM   #28
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: The "love" schtick

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Robert M Watson Jr wrote: View Post
This just makes my head hurt. Homonyms and kotodama seem to be completely at odds with each other. Seems more like an inside joke - from the outside.
Hello Robert,

Care must be taken here. There is a major difference between kotodama as such [the general belief in the power of language, when certain conditions are fulfilled, as evidenced in the Manyoshu] and the much more arcane 'science' of kotodama gaku, which can be seen from the writings of Japanese scholars like Yamaguchi Shido and Ogasawara. This is an aspect of M Ueshiba's preoccupation with kotodama about which virtually nothing is known outside some very limited circles in Japan. (This is partly why I devoted so much space to language and kotodama in my AikiWeb columns.)

PAG

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Old 02-02-2010, 08:34 PM   #29
Mike Sigman
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Re: The "love" schtick

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

Care must be taken here. There is a major difference between kotodama
My goodness. You appear to be tilting at windmills, Dr. Quixote!
Quote:
as such [the general belief in the power of language, when certain conditions are fulfilled, as evidenced in the Manyoshu] and the much more arcane 'science' of kotodama gaku, which can be seen from the writings of Japanese scholars like Yamaguchi Shido and Ogasawara.
Personally, given the massive borrowing on all other fronts from the Chinese, Indians, etc., I doubt that the sounds of the Kotodama boil down to anything more (in essence) than the common idea that certain sounds affect the connective tissues (and congruent strength) of the body in certain ways. This belief is so widespread and so common in Asia that (given all the other borrowing) to think that rudimentary sounds in Shinto (which leans on Buddhism) somehow represent some different idea than the original... well, it's just too far beyond the pale. But that's probably a discussion in itself and OT for here.
Quote:
This is an aspect of M Ueshiba's preoccupation with kotodama about which virtually nothing is known outside some very limited circles in Japan. (This is partly why I devoted so much space to language and kotodama in my AikiWeb columns.)
I suspect the "preoccupation" probably devolves to "what the ancients did", as does so much else. More interesting is to watch this brief interdiction of "love" and see how it will be flowed around and swallowed, like a rock on the beach, regardless of what you say and do.

Best.

Mike Sigman
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:09 PM   #30
Erick Mead
 
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Re: The "love" schtick

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
I doubt that the sounds of the Kotodama boil down to anything more (in essence) than the common idea that certain sounds affect the connective tissues (and congruent strength) of the body in certain ways.
Kotodama is more music than language. Ancients, eh? Hmmm.

Angelucci F, Ricci E, Padua L, Sabino A, Tonali PA. Music exposure differentially alters the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor and nerve growth factor in the mouse hypothalamus. Neurosci Lett. 2007;429(2-3):152-155.

Mitterschiffthaler MT, Fu CH, Dalton JA, Andrew CM, Williams SC. A functional MRI study of happy and sad affective states induced by classical music. Hum Brain Mapp. 2007;28(11):1150-1162.

Iwanaga M, Ikeda M, Iwaki T. The effects of repetitive exposure to music on subjective and physiological responses. J Music Ther. 1996;33:219-230.

Gerra G, Zaimovic A, Franchini D, et al. Neuroendocrine responses of healthy volunteers to ‘techno-music': relationships with personality traits and emotional state. Int J Psychophysiol. 1998;28:99-111.

Grewe O, Nagel F, Kopiez R, Altenmüller E. Listening to music as a re-creative process: physiological, psychological and psychoacoustical correlates of chills and strong emotions. Music Percep. 2007;24(3):297-314.

Rickard NS. Intense emotional responses to music: a test of the Physiological Arousal Hypothesis. Psychol Music. 2004;32(4):371-388.

Name a classical army that did NOT have a musical tradition (pipes, horns, drums, etc.) associated with it. They weren't there for romantic effect. Neuro-hormonal response to sounds is the place to go look for any objective judgment on kotodama. I'll say it again -- oxytocin is the key to understanding the objective connection between budo and love. It is not metaphorical or woo-woo bunny-think -- though subjective impressions are just as important to transmit ideas of "feel."

Last edited by Erick Mead : 02-02-2010 at 10:13 PM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:35 PM   #31
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Re: The "love" schtick

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Gerra G, Zaimovic A, Franchini D, et al. Neuroendocrine responses of healthy volunteers to ‘techno-music': relationships with personality traits and emotional state. Int J Psychophysiol. 1998;28:99-111.
do you know what they were listening to?
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Old 02-03-2010, 12:25 AM   #32
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: The "love" schtick

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
The irony is that Deguchi might well have borrowed Christian ideas of love to create the complete structure found in Reikai Monogatari. The problem is whether he, and Ueshiba also, understood the cultural background of the term, especially the tension between eros and agape in Christian theology (beginning with the letters of St Paul).

Best wishes to all,

PAG
This whole concept of Love is very complex. It certainly goes far deeper than what most Americans mean when they talk about it. My sense of the way in which O-Sensei used the term would be similar to something along these lines...

Quote:
Love is the affinity which links and draws together the elements of the world... Love, in fact, is the agent of universal synthesis. - Tielhard de Chardin
In the martial arts one finds some very interesting usage. Ushiro Sensei talked about "striking with Love". The Systema folks have some very similar ideas. This is an area which is definitely above my pay grade so to speak. I suspect that O-Sensei would have had common ground with these folks but for most of us, there's quite a ways to go in our training before we have much of a clue what these folks mean.

Personally, I find the quest towards understanding of questions like this to be far more interesting than how to "thwow thomeone to the gwound wuffly". Who is waughing? Is that you Mike?

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Old 02-03-2010, 01:52 AM   #33
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: The "love" schtick

Hello George,

Well, yes. Two points.

1. Teilhard was a very interesting character and his writings were not without controversy. In fact, they were severely attacked by his colleagues. So much so that when I was a Jesuit novice, I was denied permission to read his works and had to appeal to higher authority. I received permission, but was bound to silence: I could not discuss his writings with my fellow novices.

I think the reason why the Jesuits and others were so chary of Teilhard was his tendency to pantheism. If everything converges to the Omega Point anyway, and this is love, there is no place for the moral activities that Christianity has regarded as essential to the agapistic concept of love (which is at the root of the Christian concept. The tendency to pantheism is what places Teilhard's thinking very close to Omoto theology. I think if Teihard had lived a century earlier, he and Deguchi would have been soulmates.

There has been little written about love in a western concept, apart from Bible commentaries. Have you come across the writings of Denis de Rougement, Anders Nygren, or Martin D'Arcy. All three wrote on the subject.

2. As for Ushiro Kenji's reference to 'striking with love', there is a cultural context to this phrase with far less pleasant overtones. 愛の鞭 ai no muchi (the rod of love) was a common phrase used by, among others, Japanese army officers in the 1930s for the systematic beating, hazing--and worse--of their subordinates and, of course, their foreign captives (who did not really deserve the attention that ai-no-muchi implied, since they had surrendered and so were worthless, but were given it anyway).

I have just been studying Ellis's treatment of Takeda Sokaku in HIPS. There is a great danger that his discussion of Takeda's treatment of Tokimune will be dismissed as wanton cruelty, because the cultural context has not been recognized. Kant's ethical theories have had far more influence on western attitudes than is commonly realized and I am quite confident that Takeda would have justified his remorseless training of Tokimune on similar grounds: what he was giving him was beyond value, and given the Confucian attitudes common even then, Tokimune's own opinion was never an issue.


Best wishes,

PAG

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 02-03-2010 at 01:56 AM.

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Old 02-03-2010, 05:50 AM   #34
Mark Peckett
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Re: The "love" schtick

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So we have Takeshita, with his credentials and knowledge of Ueshiba, giving a fairly explicit definition of aiki:

"Aiki is a means of achieving harmony with another person so that you can make them do what you want."
I suspect that making someone doing what you want isn't necessarily harmonious. In order to achieve harmony, the act must be in the best interests of yourself and the other person. Now it might be that what you make the person do doesn't to them appear to be in their best interest e.g. taking a child into care, when the child clearly loves its mother, but the mother is at the present time incapable of taking care of the child. Further actions in that case are also required to enable the mother to care for her child effectively.

Merely making someone do what you want, particularly if what you're making them do is solely in your interest and benefits the other person not all at, or even harms them is not aikido - it is BULLYING.

Last edited by akiy : 02-03-2010 at 11:47 AM. Reason: Fixed quote and italics tags
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:39 AM   #35
jxa127
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Re: The "love" schtick

Mark,

While what you're describing could be bullying, it does not have to be. If somebody is attacking me, I want that person to stop. If I "achieve harmony" to get that person to stop, then I am doing so to get the person to do what I want. There is no bullying.

I have a four-year-old son. My wife and I must both discipline him and encourage/praise him. We perform both tasks in ways that "achieve harmony" to get him to do what we want (acknowledging his feelings, giving time outs, etc.). Still no bullying.

In peer to peer relationships or subordinate to boss relationships as at work, one can still achieve harmony to get what one wants. I facilitate a lot of meetings, and I always have goals or set of priorities that is important to my organization. There's definitely something that I want other people to do, and often they are reluctant to do it, even though we all work in the public sector and are trying to do what is in the public good. When I facilitate the meetings I try to "first understand, then strive to be understood." This is, I think, still a way of achieving harmony to get somebody to do what I want. It is also still not bullying.

Regards,

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Old 02-03-2010, 07:29 AM   #36
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Re: The "love" schtick

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Mark Peckett wrote: View Post
I suspect that making someone doing what you want isn't necessarily harmonious. In order to achieve harmony, the act must be in the best interests of yourself and the other person. Now it might be that what you make the person do doesn't to them appear to be in their best interest e.g. taking a child into care, when the child clearly loves its mother, but the mother is at the present time incapable of taking care of the child. Further actions in that case are also required to enable the mother to care for her child effectively.

Merely making someone do what you want, particularly if what you're making them do is solely in [i]your[i] interest and benefits the other person not all at, or even harms them is not aikido - it is BULLYING.
Er, when someone attacks and you cause them to do ukemi... that's a bit more in line than that panic about "bullying". As I said to Peter, his words, Takeshita's, Inaba's, etc., will simply be ignored and trivialized so that "love" may triumph. Looking at the last 10 posts, it's fun to watch the process in action.

Mike

Last edited by akiy : 02-03-2010 at 11:47 AM. Reason: Fixed quoting tags
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:07 AM   #37
Nicholas Eschenbruch
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Re: The "love" schtick

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
As I said to Peter, his words, Takeshita's, Inaba's, etc., will simply be ignored and trivialized so that "love" may triumph. Looking at the last 10 posts, it's fun to watch the process in action.

Mike
Once again, an intial reminder that Ueshibal Morihei might have had a spiritual intent for most of his life will simply be trivialised until only semantics remains and a cynical outlook may triumph. Looking at the hole thread, it's sad to see the process in action.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:50 AM   #38
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: The "love" schtick

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
2. As for Ushiro Kenji's reference to 'striking with love', there is a cultural context to this phrase with far less pleasant overtones. 愛の鞭 ai no muchi (the rod of love) was a common phrase used by, among others, Japanese army officers in the 1930s for the systematic beating, hazing--and worse--of their subordinates and, of course, their foreign captives (who did not really deserve the attention that ai-no-muchi implied, since they had surrendered and so were worthless, but were given it anyway).
This is interesting... it fits with some of the behaviors I have seen between teachers and their direct students. These teachers can be incredibly wonderful, generous people with folks who are merely guests but ar total terrors with their personal students.

However, my admittedly limited understanding of the way in which Ushiro used the phrase and how the Systema people us similar concepts has to do with changing the intention behind the strikes. Changing the intention by removing the very powerful intention to destroy actually makes the strikes almost impossible to anticipate. You don't realize just how much your intuition plays a part in picking up incoming strikes until you play with someone who has changed the intention or removed the intention behind the strikes. It seems like you just get hit with no warning and little ability to respond.

I need to comb through Ushiro Sensei's books again to see, but I think that the sense of Love as an "attractive" force (in the way that Teilhard de Chardin or O-Sensei might have used the term) as opposed to normal striking which is certainly "repulsive" in its energy. I've done some rudimentary striking training with the Systema folks and they do some very interesting on creating a truly comfortable feel between the fist and the target, not just for the striker but the "strikee" as well.

Anyway, I will probably have to train for quite a few more years before I can add to this. I do believe that I have a slightly better perspective on this idea via Aikido and how O-Sensei may have perceived Love as the force of attraction which makes it possible to join wi9th the partner in the Aikido interaction. I have played with the idea of how changing the intention effects ones ability to perform irimi when attacked with strong intention and it definitely changes things completely. It is tangible to both partners in the interaction. As I said, more to come in a few years.

What you say about Teilhard de Chardin's relationship to the Church doesn't surprise me. He always felt like he had a distinctly Asian flavor to his Chrstianity. Probably why I liked him so much.

No, I had not encountered those other writers. I will do some more reading, thanks!

Last edited by George S. Ledyard : 02-03-2010 at 08:58 AM.

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Old 02-03-2010, 08:53 AM   #39
Mark Peckett
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Re: The "love" schtick

Mike and Drew, you agree with me.

If you had read the middle paragraph of my post carefully you will see that I said it is sometimes necessary to do something that is not apparently in someone else's interest in order to restore harmony. Obviously to defend yourself if attacked in an unprovoked manner, you are actually dealing with bullying, not creating it; if you are defending your family against an assualt, you are not bullying. You are taking the first steps in restoring harmony, which may be the assailant facing up to the consequences of their actions, possibly in a court of law.

It is not enough, however, to say aikido is a means of achieving harmony to get another person to do what you want, unless you place it in a broader moral context ... which I attempted to do in my post.

If you simply want to get people to do what you want, take up hypnosis and go on stage. You can get people to bark like a dog and get paid for it.
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:04 AM   #40
Marc Abrams
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Re: The "love" schtick

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
This is interesting... it fits with some of the behaviors I have seen between teachers and their direct students. These teachers can be incredibly wonderful, generous people with folks who are merely guests but ar total terrors with their personal students.

However, my admittedly limited understanding of the way in which Ushiro used the phrase and how the Systema people us similar concepts has to do with changing the intention behind the strikes. Changing the intention by removing the very powerful intention to destroy actually makes the strikes almost impossible to anticipate. You don't realize just how much your intuition plays a part in picking up incoming strikes until you play with someone who has changed the intention or removed the intention behind the strikes. It seems like you just get hit with no warning and little ability to respond.

I need to comb through Ushiro Sensei's books again to see, but I think that the sense of Love as an "attractive" force (in the way that Teilhard de Chardin or O-Sensei might have used the term) as opposed to normal striking which is certainly "repulsive" in its energy. I've done some rudimentary striking training with the Systema folks and they do some very interesting on creating a truly comfortable feel between the fist and the target, not just for the striker but the "strikee" as well.

Anyway, I will probably have to train for quite a few more years before I can add to this. I do believe that I have a slightly better perspective on this idea via Aikido and how O-Sensei may have perceived Love as the force of attraction which makes it possible to join wi9th the partner in the Aikido interaction. I have played with the idea of how changing the intention effects ones ability to perform irimi when attacked with strong intention and it definitely changes things completely. It is tangible to both partners in the interaction. As I said, more to come in a few years.

What you say about Teilhard de Chardin's relationship to the Church doesn't surprise me. He always felt like he had a distinctly Asian flavor to his Chrstianity. Probably why I liked him so much.

No, I had not encountered those other writers. I will do some more reading, thanks!
I would venture to say that George's views around what Ushiro Sensei is trying to say is on target. Not only is the intent not to destroy as an act of striking, but I view the energy contained in the strike as "in" (in-yo) energy.

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Old 02-03-2010, 09:19 AM   #41
George S. Ledyard
 
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Re: The "love" schtick

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hello Robert,

Care must be taken here. There is a major difference between kotodama as such [the general belief in the power of language, when certain conditions are fulfilled, as evidenced in the Manyoshu] and the much more arcane 'science' of kotodama gaku, which can be seen from the writings of Japanese scholars like Yamaguchi Shido and Ogasawara. This is an aspect of M Ueshiba's preoccupation with kotodama about which virtually nothing is known outside some very limited circles in Japan. (This is partly why I devoted so much space to language and kotodama in my AikiWeb columns.)

PAG
I think that there is a range throughout various cultures world wide that covers everything from the power of sound as vibration all the way to the power of words and continuing all the way to the power of the words in a very specific language. On the latter, no one went deeper than the Japanese I think.

In the Western traditions I see a bit less of the power of sound or language but quite a bit more of the same kind of thing only with numbers (Greek numerology or the Kabala). It all seems to have culminated in the alchemical traditions that continued until Newton's time and then morphs into modern science, losing its spiritual / mystical content.

Anyway, as you have done such a wonderful job showing, O-Sensei's version of this was arcane even for his own culture. Not surprising that this would be so as it is an incredibly complex way of looking at the world. Just listening to Gleason Sensei talk about how the kototama connects directly to actual technique in Aikido is enough to make my head feel full to bursting. It's amazing to me that anyone could hold so much in his head. As Ron Weasley in Harrry Potter said "No one could think all those thoughts at the same time... his head would explode."

George S. Ledyard
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:51 AM   #42
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Re: The "love" schtick

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I That doesn't mean there's a problem with the message. It's a problem with the practice. Our job as Aikido practitioners is to get the depth of the practice into accord wit the depth of the message. This whole schizophrenic split between the martial artists on the one hand and the "aiki bunnies" on the other is a distortion of the art. For the Founder it was both a martial art and a spiritual pursuit. Ignoring central tenets of the Founder's ideas, such as Budo is Love, while pursuing technical achievement, no matter how accomplished, simply isn't the Aikido of the Founder. Holding hands and singing "Kumbaya" with no actual ability to really manifest the principles of "aiki", even in a minimal way, isn't the Aikido of the Founder either.
...Fix the practice, yes. But the whole "love" schtick, is still the point, at least if one wants to do a Aikido as envisioned by the Founder.
Thank you, Ledyard Sensei, I really enjoyed reading your post! It's interesting how folks do often seem to fall on one "side" or the other of the love-power dichotomy. Most folks agree both are important, but most folks also seem to be a little more ready to support one and not the other. Interesting to me is that this fits with my running impression of people in general since most folks I've known seem to fall in one camp or the other and rarely seem to appreciate both equally...or at least seem far more inclined to imply one is more important than the other while professing both to be equals.
Of course, I reserve the right to be wrong in my impressions.
Thanks again (to you and everyone else here for the great discussions).
Take care,
Matt

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Old 02-03-2010, 11:45 AM   #43
jxa127
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Re: The "love" schtick

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It's interesting how folks do often seem to fall on one "side" or the other of the love-power dichotomy. Most folks agree both are important, but most folks also seem to be a little more ready to support one and not the other.
It's going to be years before I have George Ledyard's experience and insight -- if ever. There's a whole world of nuance that is getting lost; maybe even because some of us are seeing this as a love-power dichotomy.

But here's the problem: when I started training in '99, I read The Spirit of Aikido, Budo: Teachings of the Founder of Aikido, Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere, and The Magic of Conflict, etc. -- you know, the standard English language texts. So I thought I had a good idea of what aikido was about, it's spiritual meanings, and how I was supposed to perform techniques based on that understanding.

Then, over time, I read more at Aikido Journal about the history of Aikido. And then I read Ellis's Dueling with O Sensei. In the past few years, I've ready Peter's Transmission, Inheritance, and Emulation essays and Ellis's Hidden in Plain Sight. The stuff from Stan Prannin, Peter Goldsbury, and Ellis Amdur have completely turned my previous understanding of aikido's "spiritual" side completely on its head!

How can I claim to know what O Sensei meant when he wrote or talked about love, when it turns out that he was talking about love in the context of kotodama and seed syllables of power? To my mind, the kotodama context changes the whole discussion on "love"! We seem no longer to be talking about compassion, brotherly love, of the love of God for his people. We're talking about being a conduit for the power of the Gods and using that power to (and perhaps even force people to) unify in "harmony."

Or at least that seems to be what O Sensei was doing, although he did not seem to expect his students to do the same thing.

To me, then, the logical conclusion is that my earlier understanding of aikido's spiritual aspects was partially, or even mostly, mistaken.

Finally, I don't think this is anything new. I recall a Q&A session at a seminar in Kenosha, WI in the summer of 2000. Yasuo Kobayashi was the guest instructor and he shared his reminiscences of being a direct student of O Sensei with us after training one evening. One of the students asked him about O Sensei and kotodama. Kobayashi shihan answered that he and the other students did not understand what O Sensei was talking about. As I recall, he also said that started studying aikido because he had studied judo and was pretty good at it. However, when he saw O Sensei demonstrating aikido and thought that O Sensei's uke were just falling for him. After taking ukemi for O Sensei, though, Kobayashi was amazed and decided to train with O Sensei.

It seems to me that if even the direct students were confused by O Sensei's spirituality, but impressed by his power, that it is presumptuous for me to assume that I understand the spirituality -- especially if I don't have the power.

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Old 02-03-2010, 11:52 AM   #44
Erick Mead
 
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Re: The "love" schtick

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Josh Phillipson wrote: View Post
do you know what they were listening to?
The abstract doesn't say: Pretty powerful across a broad hormonal spectrum though: it raised beta-endorphins, norepinephrine, adrencortocotrophin, growth hormone, and cortisol.

Mosh injuries would be hardly noticeable with THAT cocktail a-brewin' ... The classical music control was generally calming but with no hormonal effect noted (There is a"Mozart effect" noted in other literature as to increased spatial reasoning and learning ability).

Not a lot of social coordination to that kind of adrenal-driven violence. To be martially useful, you want something both capable of promoting the same types of "peak" physiological commitment but which does not have the socially negating adrenal dominance Berserkers are the obvious historical problem to be avoided.

Highland pipes, though -- now we're talking serious mayhem ...

There are other interesting things I have not yet followed up on in this area, but I have them noted for further looking:
Most studies out now are focused on the soothing aspects of oxytocin and not as much on the arousal and physiologically protective effects -- and aspects of oxytocin-mediated aggression which are just as powerful if not more so -- and have more interest for our bailiwick -- since oxytocin will govern and drive the HPA (adrenal) system -- but not the other way round.

Similarly the flipside of what George suggests as to losing the desire to harmn in actually striking -- when intuiting of the behavior of others oxytocin plays a powerful role as well

Last edited by Erick Mead : 02-03-2010 at 12:01 PM.

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Erick Mead
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Old 02-03-2010, 01:58 PM   #45
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Re: The "love" schtick

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Hello Robert,

Care must be taken here. There is a major difference between kotodama as such [the general belief in the power of language, when certain conditions are fulfilled, as evidenced in the Manyoshu] and the much more arcane 'science' of kotodama gaku, which can be seen from the writings of Japanese scholars like Yamaguchi Shido and Ogasawara. This is an aspect of M Ueshiba's preoccupation with kotodama about which virtually nothing is known outside some very limited circles in Japan. (This is partly why I devoted so much space to language and kotodama in my AikiWeb columns.)

PAG
Besides your columns (many thanks and please keep them coming - I'm definately buying the book as well when it comes) I have two works by Nakazono and whatever can be gleaned from OSensei on the kotodama so I'm way out in left field due to the lack of good info. Even the 'gist' is slightly less substantial than mist. Your previous comments re Nakazono are in mind in this regard.

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George S. Ledyard wrote: View Post
This whole concept of Love is very complex. It certainly goes far deeper than what most Americans mean when they talk about it.
I find a great deal of resonance between what I think OSensei was talking about and the work of Martin Buber "Ich und Du" (in english anyway 'I and Thou'). The idea of intimacy and love (between people) as a microcosimic simulacrum of the kind of ecstatic relationship one can have with the divine veers close to the mark in my mind.

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"No one could think all those thoughts at the same time... his head would explode."
I feel I'm dangerously close to reaching this point on a great many occasions of late.

"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 02-03-2010, 02:06 PM   #46
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Re: The "love" schtick

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This whole concept of Love is very complex.

SNIPS

Personally, I find the quest towards understanding of questions like this to be far more interesting than how to "thwow thomeone to the gwound wuffly". Who is waughing? Is that you Mike?
Brings to mind the scene from Lord of the Rings in which Cate Blanchett turns down the ring offered by Frodo and says "..all shall love me and despair". Opposites inextricably entwined ... recurrent theme?

"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 02-03-2010, 03:10 PM   #47
Janet Rosen
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Re: The "love" schtick

One aspect of love, I think (thinking/speaking as one who has been happily married for over 30 yrs & has good relationships w/ parent/sibling as well as longtime friends), is not necessarily "liking" all of the other person's traits, but accepting and respecting the reality that is the other person.

And to me this also speaks to the presence I try to bring to that intimate on-the-mat relationship with my training partners: trying to deal with open mind, eyes and heart with the in the moment reality of that other person, his attack, his possible different agenda from mine, etc rather than to predefine, prejudge, preconceive what will happen or what either of us should do.

Don't know if I'm articulating this correctly but I think I'm getting the gist of it across....

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Old 02-03-2010, 03:52 PM   #48
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Re: The "love" schtick

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One aspect of love, I think ... is not necessarily "liking" all of the other person's traits, but accepting and respecting the reality that is the other person.
...
Don't know if I'm articulating this correctly but I think I'm getting the gist of it across....
If I get it right, it seems to me that "love your enemies" means getting over the impediment to immediate action caused by the concern that he actually means to kill me.

Training is more concerned with controlling the partner than with hurting him, though the attention to every possibility of hurting him needs always to be uppermost in the intent -- not merely to avoid -- but ALSO to approach as closely as possible. If not, can it be a real budo ?

Obviously, I love my daughter. But if she is in danger of being hit by the oncoming car, I full willingly will dislocate her shoulder, and casue her severe laceratison when she hits the sidewalk I threw her to -- so I can get her out of harms way. I intentionally did her harm -- to protect her from yet greater harm -- that she she did not see.

The attitude toward an actual enemy must be of a recognition of moral harm, I suppose, to protect him from doing an evil that will do himself harm (' what profit to gain the world, yet lose his own soul,' etc.) -- that he does not see -- I must be no less resolute in my full willingness to do him harm -- in that same sense --- and with the same motivation -- that seems to me close to a budo ideal.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:36 PM   #49
Janet Rosen
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Re: The "love" schtick

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
If I get it right, it seems to me that "love your enemies" means getting over the impediment to immediate action caused by the concern that he actually means to kill me. .
Yes, if by "concern" we mean letting the mind play over that so it creates paralysis or confusion, which I think is likely.

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
The attitude toward an actual enemy must be of a recognition of moral harm, I suppose, to protect him from doing an evil that will do himself harm (' what profit to gain the world, yet lose his own soul,' etc.) -- that he does not see -- I must be no less resolute in my full willingness to do him harm -- in that same sense --- and with the same motivation -- that seems to me close to a budo ideal.
I don't think I disagree... but I think more what I was trying to express was not even recognition of moral harm or protecting him (notwithstanding the "loving protection" quote we all know) but that morality IN THE MOMENT doesn't matter and is also a distraction from the immediate reality of the attack. I think the morally grounded and mindful person is apt to automatically factor those things in without having to ponder them in the moment.
Open to discussing this further as its really interesting to me AND I'm still not sure I've cogently expressed myself

Last edited by Janet Rosen : 02-03-2010 at 05:37 PM. Reason: tonguetied in writing

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Old 02-03-2010, 05:44 PM   #50
Erick Mead
 
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Re: The "love" schtick

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I don't think I disagree... but I think more what I was trying to express was not even recognition of moral harm or protecting him (notwithstanding the "loving protection" quote we all know) but that morality IN THE MOMENT doesn't matter
I think that is right. I do not view love itself as moral in the programmatic sense -- though it does lead to morals if rightly ordered (tail-chewing, I know, but oh well) -- Love is a force of nature -- quite literally -- elemental and dangerous stuff. The problem is always in rightly ordering things -- and that why we train -- so that the elemental fire and water stuff flows in safe channels -- or at least I think that is why we train -- instead of, say, picking fights in bars.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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