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Old 05-06-2010, 05:43 PM   #26
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Cultivating a mind for training honestly.

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I think,
through training, you may be able to gain control over others. But you are not entitled to that power by virtue that they attacked you, nor by virtue that you have studied Budo. Therefore abuse of that power is reprehensible. That is why self mastery is key in my opinion. When it isn't put as the singular objective in training focus is lost, and people start to believe they actually have entitlement to and over other's lives. Whether they interpret that sense of self-entitlement as the right to kill another, or whether the interpret that sense of self-entitlement as them having the "right" to choose not to kill some one. IMO I don't believe either should be a choice. We are not entitled to an opinion or any rights over lives we had no part in creating. Whether that means ending a life or choosing to arrogantly flaunt a tainted sense of mercy, we have no right to these decisions over others. And I don't believe we are entitled to stewardship over ourselves when lacking self mastery. If you can't even be your own master, then why suppose you can steward yourself with any sense of justice? Self mastery takes a life time. Which goes hand and hand with my opinion; that you don't have any entitled rights over any life you had no hand in creating...including your own.
I don't see the linkage the same way you express above.

I have skills and power, as do all of us to some degree, to control, hurt, or kill. Some more than others, but that is not important right now. I don't see entitlement as a part of it. Skills are skills and that is all they are.

So, as I walk down the street, I don't have a sense of entitlement and say as I walk by everyone 'your lucky, I choose to let you live another day". Even though that may be what is actually going on. Heck, the guy I pass may be saying the same thing to! (Wouldn't that be funny actually...it makes me laugh and think of some old samurai film!).

Anyway, most of our interactions in normal society are controlled by any number of sociological factors. I am not a sociologist so I can't really talk about this with any intelligence.

However, I think, that if certain things are done, lines crossed, choices made, I do have certain entitlements. I have the right to defend myself and others to the degree of control/force as I deem appropriate to the situation. If I use too much, well, then there may be consequences in any number of ways. Courts, Karmic, etc.

I think self mastery and mastery of skills come into play in helping us make better decisions about our interactions. It can be anywhere from dealing with our loved ones, in the office, on the street, in confrontations or what not.

I think the more we work on improving ourselves and our ability to deal with things skillfully in life and our interactions with others, the more appropriate choices we make.

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Old 05-06-2010, 07:46 PM   #27
RED
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Re: Cultivating a mind for training honestly.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I think it is our job to set the example, not sure you can teach self mastery. I think the best you can do is provide a forum or environment for that to occur.

I have enough issues of my own with self mastery that I would not presume to "teach" anyone anything.

Leadership by example I think is the best way to do this.
I'd have to agree.

MM
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Old 05-06-2010, 07:55 PM   #28
RED
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Re: Cultivating a mind for training honestly.

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote: View Post
I don't see the linkage the same way you express above.

I have skills and power, as do all of us to some degree, to control, hurt, or kill. Some more than others, but that is not important right now. I don't see entitlement as a part of it. Skills are skills and that is all they are.

So, as I walk down the street, I don't have a sense of entitlement and say as I walk by everyone 'your lucky, I choose to let you live another day". Even though that may be what is actually going on. Heck, the guy I pass may be saying the same thing to! (Wouldn't that be funny actually...it makes me laugh and think of some old samurai film!).

Anyway, most of our interactions in normal society are controlled by any number of sociological factors. I am not a sociologist so I can't really talk about this with any intelligence.

However, I think, that if certain things are done, lines crossed, choices made, I do have certain entitlements. I have the right to defend myself and others to the degree of control/force as I deem appropriate to the situation. If I use too much, well, then there may be consequences in any number of ways. Courts, Karmic, etc.

I think self mastery and mastery of skills come into play in helping us make better decisions about our interactions. It can be anywhere from dealing with our loved ones, in the office, on the street, in confrontations or what not.

I think the more we work on improving ourselves and our ability to deal with things skillfully in life and our interactions with others, the more appropriate choices we make.
From an Aikido aspect, I've always viewed Aikido less about "defense", and more about intolerance.
Aikido is intolerant of violence. It does not defend against attacks in my opinion. Attacks exist, violence exists. Aikido refuses to accept that fact, because those things shouldn't exist. It will not participate in a fight. Aikido says that malice is wrong, hurt and death is wrong and should not exist. Something truly went wrong with the world that it does exist. Aikido is not pacifistic. It is highly intolerant of the things in this world that are in opposition to life.
Therefore, I don't think a person has the right necessarily to defend themselves. They instead have an obligation to be intolerant of violence/evil/malice/sin/etc. They are obligated to protect everyone--including themselves.

It is less about the individuals needs to protect themselves to me, I think it should be more about protecting everyone, even those who might do you wrong... no one has a right to show violence towards a life they did not create..it is vandalizing some one else's property. IMO
You can't damage some one else without damaging yourself.

O'sensei followed Budo...Budo is "the way of the warrior/war" and the seven virtues are something worth warring over and fighting in defense(even offensively) for. Aikido is not pacifistic IMO.

Don't get me wrong--I'm Aikikai-- I'm not a crazy aiki-ist/puedo-spiritual aiki-bunny.
I just have very strong feels about how people view each other and self defense. I was a missionary for years, and had cultivated very strong opinion regarding humanity, suffering, and such a long time ago. When I found Aikido, it lined up with my feelings towards what it meant to fight for social justice to the letter.

This is just my opinion however.

Last edited by RED : 05-06-2010 at 08:07 PM.

MM
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Old 05-07-2010, 02:05 AM   #29
Amassus
 
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Re: Cultivating a mind for training honestly.

Quote:
I think the more we work on improving ourselves and our ability to deal with things skillfully in life and our interactions with others, the more appropriate choices we make.
I agree. Helping people do this in the dojo is important to me. Of course continuing to 'polish the mirror' is something foremost in my mind. I think it represents a reflective nature. The ability to look at your own actions and assess them, critique them and then decide how you would do things differently if needed.

Quote:
Aikido is not pacifistic. It is highly intolerant of the things in this world that are in opposition to life.
Therefore, I don't think a person has the right necessarily to defend themselves. They instead have an obligation to be intolerant of violence/evil/malice/sin/etc. They are obligated to protect everyone--including themselves.
I like how you put this. I never feel like a 'defender; with aikido. I am very proactive in my approach and if you seek to get in my space, then I will resolve the situation decisively. Hmm, that line makes me sound like a thug Who knows.

Maggie and Kevin, I really apprecitate the thought going into your replies. I'm getting a lot out of this thread.

Dean.

"flows like water, reflects like a mirror, and responds like an echo." Chaung-tse
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Old 05-09-2010, 10:57 AM   #30
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: Cultivating a mind for training honestly.

Maggie, I might choose different words, semantics, but over all I believe I understand the jest of your philosophy/thoughts on this. I would say I would agree.

I always go back to the Koan, "Do no harm/Stop Harm".

I believe ulitimately that it is a paradox in which there are no clear answers.

I agree, though, about your concept of self and about being a protector of "non-violence/violence" and that we do need to be careful not to become selfish with protecting only ourselves.

To create peace, I believe we need to put ourselves out there on the line, through selfless service and in doing so, it creates risk for ourselves.

There are many ways in which we can perform selfless service indeed!

Good discussion.

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Old 05-09-2010, 01:42 PM   #31
RED
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Re: Cultivating a mind for training honestly.

I think I've come to some of my opinions due to dealing with some martial art students. There's always the guy in the back in the class that wants to know how so-and-so technique can be used in a street fight, or they argue that learning to knee walk will never help them eliminate attackers on the streets. They are obsessed with some fight that might never happen, to the point I think they are missing out on a lot of what they should be focusing on.

Sometimes I think some people get so focused on themselves that they never learn Aikido. If your main goal is yourself, you can never achieve anything better than yourself I guess.
Some of these guys who question constantly if Nikkyo will work in MMA, or if they can use kokyu in a bar fight...I just think some people have been doped into believing their own legend after awhile.

People want to learn "their" Aikido sometimes, opposed to Ueshiba's Aikido. I think we are all guilty of this from time to time. But I don't think it is the ones who admit they are prideful you have to worry about, it is the ones that don't realized that they bought into the magic of their own legend. :/

This just makes for bad martial arts in my opinion.

MM
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