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Old 12-06-2003, 01:52 PM   #1
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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Jealousy and Aikido

Does anyone have an aikido-related perspective on responding appropriately to the success/skill of another? Not just in an aikido context, but also with school, work, etc. In short, this is about jealousy and related emotions.

I don't think I have a serious envy problem by any means, but I do notice that while I consciously avoid it, I have certain betraying 'reflexes'. For instance, if I let my thoughts wander when considering another's success, I tend to start thinking thoughts like, "Well, it's not really important anyway." or "It's not significant to be good at that" or "It wasn't an accurate assessment of skill".

Sometimes, it's hard to /truly/ feel good for someone else, and I wonder if any of you have found good methods of training that part of aiki.

It seems to be fundamentally a matter of creating division or harmony between two people, so I figured aikido might be a suitable philosophy to apply.
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Old 12-06-2003, 02:17 PM   #2
Suru
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I don't think anyone goes through life without feeling jealous from time to time. I find myself being jealous of people who seem to have peace of mind during the times that I don't.

I don't get jealous of someone who makes a lot of money or drives a fancy car because that person very well might not have peace of mind.

We often think someone "has it all" when, in reality, inside they are hurting. So jealousy is a guess, really. It's a guess that someone is happier than us. This may be the case from time to time, but we all have our problems.

I wonder if human beings would be better or worse off without our emotion of jealousy.

A man can convince everyone else in the world that he is the happiest and most successful person alive, but he can never convince himself.

So, jealousy is often an illusion and I don't let jealous thoughts weigh on my mind for too long.

Drew
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Old 12-06-2003, 05:03 PM   #3
Jeanne Shepard
 
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I've read a saying that goes,

"How you do something is

how you do everything."

I take that to mean, that is you tend to be jealous in general, it will be a problem in all of your activities, that it's just how you are.

Jeanne
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Old 12-06-2003, 10:57 PM   #4
indomaresa
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...

i rarely found myself feeling jealous at people around me, mostly at people I read about or watch on tv.

like

"why can't Bill Gates donate some of his money to build me a Quad-Processor Pentium XX PC for me?" or "why can't I be the doshu?",etc

^_^

people closer and in direct contact to me can't evoke those feelings, but someone told me that people like me knows how to make themselves feel happy. Or feel content.

Reading drew's comments;

"It's a guess that someone is happier than us"

I think that's true.

The road is long...
The path is steep...
So hire a guide to show you the shortcuts
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Old 12-07-2003, 09:26 AM   #5
SeiserL
 
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I love and old quote from a bad movie about a rich guy being beat up by some poor people. He keeps his cool and calmly says, "You're not mad at me because I'm rich, you're mad at me because you're not."

IMHO, jealousy if often about taking some one else's success as a personal statement about our own short comings. We wish we had it too.

Quit taking others personally and life gets easier.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 12-07-2003, 01:11 PM   #6
Noel
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IMO, jealousy is part of the price we pay for being human. If you can turn it into something positive, it can help make you a better person, I think.

For example, (pre-aiki) I used to look at guys I'd graduated with who were doing better materially and get upset. I finally got to a point (on the mat when I realized I could actually help folks newer than me with techniques, incidentally) where I realized that being jealous of others was preventing me from seeing what I actually had in front of me. Although I still feel it sometimes, I'm learning to use it as an opportunity to 'count my blessings'. Maybe I shoulda paid more attention in Sunday school
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Old 12-07-2003, 10:18 PM   #7
aikidoc
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If you focus on competing with yourself, jealousy will not be an issue-unless you are jealous of yourself. If you are externally focused, turn inward and seek your center. Once you have achieved perfection, they you can worry about how you stack up with others.
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Old 12-08-2003, 01:43 AM   #8
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How do people "deal with" emotions anyway? You can say that "oh, feeling this way is not healthy so I will stop feeling like this" but do you actually have the ability to just STOP?

I cannot stop, I can just make myself feel guilty for not having that level of control. The only way to truly control my feelings is to intellectualy sabotage them.

A friend of mine continously brags about his success with women. I feel jealous because I dont have that. I tell myself that he is bragging to make himself feel better and the true story is probably not as glamorous as he makes it out to be. If I dont tell myself that everytime I get a pang of jealousy, the only recourse would be to bash his skull in with a rock and drag his women off to my cave.

This is as much control as I have over my emotions, and I am pretty sure that if you take the sugar coating and self-delusion away, this is as much control as anyone has over their emotions.
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Old 12-08-2003, 10:20 AM   #9
DCP
 
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"If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins."

-Franklin

I used to get mad when I would hear about other schoolteachers' salaries. Instead of just whining, I helped advertise for a school referendum and served on the contract negotiating team after the referendum passed.

Is jealousy bad? Not always.

A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.
- Aesop
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Old 12-08-2003, 11:24 AM   #10
kensparrow
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Quote:
Wynand van Dyk (drDalek) wrote:
How do people "deal with" emotions anyway? You can say that "oh, feeling this way is not healthy so I will stop feeling like this" but do you actually have the ability to just STOP?

I cannot stop, I can just make myself feel guilty for not having that level of control. The only way to truly control my feelings is to intellectualy sabotage them.

A friend of mine continously brags about his success with women. I feel jealous because I dont have that. I tell myself that he is bragging to make himself feel better and the true story is probably not as glamorous as he makes it out to be. If I dont tell myself that everytime I get a pang of jealousy, the only recourse would be to bash his skull in with a rock and drag his women off to my cave.

This is as much control as I have over my emotions, and I am pretty sure that if you take the sugar coating and self-delusion away, this is as much control as anyone has over their emotions.
I think we do have the ability to control our feelings to some degree. I think an individual can condition themselves in or out of specific emotional responses to situations. If you are afraid of something for instance, it is possible to repeatedly expose yourself to that thing in a safe environment until you are no longer afraid of it. I think it would be tougher to do this with a complex emotion like jealousy but it should still be possible. Unfortunately, I agree with Wynand in that most people self-delude themselves into thinking that repressing a feeling is the same thing as not really feeling it.
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Old 12-08-2003, 06:35 PM   #11
Jeffrey A. Fong
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Controlling feelings is like controlling the wind. Sure, you can build windbreaks or dig a cave, but the wind is there, a natural feature of wherever you are. Some lives are stormy, and others calm. The process of controlling either the weather or one's internal emotional process is one of understanding the circumstances, your constitution (i.e., psyche), adaptation and/or changing your perspective.

In Aikido, practice is noticing, accepting and guiding another. Emotions demand no less, no more.
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Old 12-08-2003, 08:40 PM   #12
Sparta
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Awareness of "me" and awareness of the "other" is only in conflict where judgment and pre-supposition enter in. Awareness is not judgment, however.

I'm so new to aikido, and yet so much of it rings true with how I've grown in this life and the things I've learned through life's nage-dance... Now when I'm in the dojo, I tend to switch from a state of amazement to a state of wondering why a technique works so effectively to simple joy... but the reason I keep going back to the dojo is for those little moments when things click... these epiphanies, these little sparks of truth... those little jewels of consciousness are what I truly value in practicing aikido. And I assume that's the same reason everyone else is there as well. I get such pure, unfettered breath from those moments. It would be completely insane for me to wish to hold those little enlightenments from my brothers and sisters in the dojo... as insane as wishing to hold breath itself from them.

Well... that's my take.

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Old 12-09-2003, 12:19 AM   #13
Edward
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Aikido is probably "the" jealousy martial art par excellence. So much politics involved in grade promotions, no competition to prove who's really efficient and who's not, add to that that this art tends to attract people with certain inferiority complexes and others with megalomania. So welcome to the club! I guess feeling a little jealousy is quite human, but putting this jealousy into action for example by lobbying your teacher against your victim or bad-mouthing and back-stabbing, then I guess it is bad, and unfortunately a common practice in aikido.
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Old 12-09-2003, 09:26 AM   #14
mengsin
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In our daily life, we must always be aware of what happenings from left and right side, and what is coming behind your back. Mostly importantly, you must know how to move forward. Hope this helps in your training.

mengsin
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Old 12-09-2003, 10:49 AM   #15
Ted Marr
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It seems like this thread has started to get kind of off topic... not that I'm one to be criticizing...

In any case, back to feelings of jealousy and envy.

Most people seem to be assuming that these feelings are "bad" in some sense. I'm not entirely sure this is true. I'm envy my teacher's skill, and of how quickly beginners can learn. As long as I let it's only expression be in my practicing more and harder, I don't see that this is anything bad.

As for "controlling" or "repressing" these or any other emotions... it's an entirely personal thing how you deal with them, but I know that my personal experience is that you can only exert a limited amount of control over how you feel just as an act of will. However, it is comparatively easy to "loose yourself" in another activity for a while, which tends to "reset" my emotional state. And it gives you some time to not think about something while your subconcious mulls it over. I think this may be universal.

Again, though, this is neither good nor bad except in its execution. I'm sure we've all heard of, or know people who use alchohol (or whatever) as a way to "loose themselves" temporarily.

Of course, as an Aikido person, you have a pretty good out to loose yourself... training. Train hard enough that you don't have the time and leftover brain processing space to dwell on negative thoughts and emotions. I hate to stretch and abuse an overly Christian metaphor here, but if idle hands are the devil's workshop, then an idle brain and body are the lab where he brews up a batch of self destructive thoughts.
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Old 12-09-2003, 10:52 AM   #16
aikidocapecod
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As I have aged....man have I aged.....I have found that jealousy for another's "things" or "abilities" is less a negative feeling against that person, but rather a look at our own life and the roadblocks we have that keep those "things/abilities" from us.

Also, as I have aged, I find myself having more feelings of admiration for those who have the ability and try to learn from them.

Example..I play some golf. When I first began...I found myself saying to myself "I hope he misses this putt"...if I was playing a match against him. Now I say..I hope he makes the putt. I would rather have my game elevated, as opposed to having his diminished.....
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Old 12-13-2003, 03:19 AM   #17
p00kiethebear
 
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hmmmm jealousy...

I think that's a pretty natural reflex that everyone has felt at some point or another. I think, with continued practice though, we can all get free from it.

"I hate other people. I hate to think that they might be happy, happier than I am. So I call them, and I ask if they want to buy any magazines" - Tycho

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 12-22-2003, 10:33 PM   #18
Richard Elliott
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Re: Jealousy and Aikido

[quote="Paul Sanderson-Cimino"]Does anyone have an aikido-related perspective on responding appropriately to the success/skill of another? Not just in an aikido context, but also with school, work, etc. In short, this is about jealousy and related emotions.

Great post sir. I also, have had battles with the twin "vices" of jealousy and envy; as well their close cousin conceit. We're raised in a culture of instant gratification; one of the corrective aspects of Aikido is the idea of being on a "path" or "way": long-term perspective.

Some of the pitfalls I've experienced concerning the "negative" emotions are:

a) burying myself in a desperate boudouir of the self-absorption of anal-izing feelings and identity issues. Despair and anzxiety can be interesting. Oh yeah...

b) becoming obsessively "past-oriented" trying to reconcile comparative inferiority with others by resolving problems in the past. This may be a positive thing if it's not obsessive and doesn't drive one into fantasy land (Oh God! Why am I the way I am?)

"Well I'm special. Of Course." Oh Yeah...

Mr. Marr mentions finding one's center and this is right. I would only add that, for me, this has more often than not meant becoming more "other-directed"; becoming involved with others, for short. In the process I have always been led back to the "here and now". Or as an aikidoka might say "Train, Train, Train."

Thanks

Respectfully, Richard
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Old 12-24-2003, 12:55 PM   #19
Thor's Hammer
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Stress

try relieving stress... I find that, more often than not, after a long period of concentrated thoughtless sitting, feelings like jealousy and envy disappear with the stress, and I get a new vigor to train, not for myself, but to train.
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Old 01-16-2004, 12:26 AM   #20
k'shi
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Jelousy, I think it's a feeling created by the ego, expressed by basic survival instincts. The one you envy poses a threat, the person seems to have "more" then you and by that has a good chance on eliminating you. Ofcourse jelousy can be expressed in many ways because of many reasons, but I do think it all comes down to the basic survival and protection lust.

Love,

- Jop den Daas

Don't take it personal,
For it is the personal we ascend beyond.
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Old 01-16-2004, 10:15 AM   #21
Ron Tisdale
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Quote:
Does anyone have an aikido-related perspective on responding appropriately to the success/skill of another?
Yes. I go to them and ask them to teach me.

Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 01-16-2004, 10:17 PM   #22
barnibis
 
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Jealousy?

Hi everyone!

i had just recently found myself having to deal with the whole jealousy thing, so after seeing this thread i just had to put in my two cents.

Recently i found myself feeling really jealous of another Dojo member. i was frustrated by my inability to control my feelings, and it was getting to the point, where some people were starting to notice. So i became really desperate and knew i had to come to terms with my feelings.

Staring the issue right in the face i came to very simliar conlcusions about jealousy as posted by other people in this thread before me. And so i understood that this really wasn't about the person i was jealous of, but it was all about me.

So,after understanding this, i was still left with the question of what to do about it?

i found something, in O- Sensei's "The Art of Peace"

O-Sensei says:

"If you have not

Linked yourself

To true emptiness, you will never understand

The art of peace"

i figured that i am not at peace with myself because i am suffering this bout of jealousy.

And im losing control.

Its all about my ego and my feelings of inferiority.

So what i do is this, when i feel myself starting to get really jealous, i take a deep breath and tell my self....i am nothing. There is no me, there is just this technioque that we are practicing. And this body of mine will only become better through this experience/practic e.

And when i was sure that this was working for me, i actively sought to train with this person i was so jealous of.

okay this might have been oversimplified, or maybe not, but it worked for me, and i was able to rise above my feelings, this time.

i believe that when O-Sensei talks of linking oneself to true emptiness, he might have been talking about dissolving your ego, or at least always maintiaining the ability to seperate your self from your ego.

o..
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Old 01-17-2004, 12:47 PM   #23
gstevens
 
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Jealousy and Envy. I have lost a few friends to these two emotions, when they have become jealous of what I have or what I am doing. I rarely feel Jealous or envous, perhaps because of the way that I look at the world. Ocassionaly when I feel a slight pang at how another seems to have something effortlessly that I am struggling with, money, power, sex, Aikido skills, whatever, I take the time in that instant to look at what I am really feeling. I am feeling something based on MY PERCEPTION of the other person.

Generaly this is a really good thing. I can then look at what MY PERCEPTION is telling me about me. Am I feeling that I do not have ENOUGH? That I want higher social status, that I am missing something that I think is important in my life? If I answer yes to any of these or simular questions, then I have to look at why I feel this way, what in my life am I unwilling to release, or am resisting embrasing. Our emotions can be links to our subconscious thoughts.



If I truely want something, then I persue it, persue it with all my heart. I make all my decisions based on what it is that I want. Each decision is a victory, a step closer to the place that I want to be. I work and think toward what I want to be, what I want to do, not to where I percieve the other person being. In some cases, instead of the other person being an enemy, a competitor, they become a resource.

I also find, that what I thought others had achieved without effort, has actualy taken them a lot of effort. If instead of enving them, I can admire them, often they become excellent guides on my path.

This means that I have to live in the moment. I cannot pour myself into something while being jealous, or envous, or wishing, or being enraged.



A technique that sometimes helps me to get into and stay in the moment is to stop momentarely and focus on one single sense, touch, sight, sound, taste, or smell. Focus comepletely on it. It brings me up short every time, breaks me out of the future, or the past into the right now. Once in the now, I can take an action on MY path which gets me to where I want to go.
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Old 01-17-2004, 08:14 PM   #24
Paula Lydon
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~~I can't claim to be immune from this feeling we call jealousy, but at my age I am afflicted less often. When I am, though, I've learned that it's got nothing to do with 'the other'; it's about what they are mirroring to me that leaves me sensing a lacking or missing of such and such in myself or life. I then try to figure out what that is and if it's valid I do something about; if it's invalid, i.e. old mental tapes or such, I acknowledge it and can put it behind me. Takes a few days of stewing sometimes. Yeah for maturity! Took long enough

~~Paula~~
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Old 01-18-2004, 10:54 AM   #25
achilleus
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This distinction helped me with a recent problem:

when I am jealous the problem is about me.

when I am envious the problem is the other.

Jealous (may come from old french for zeal) behaviour is definitely our own inferiority - our need to over-protect what we have because of suspicious urge that they are out to get what little we have.

Envy is wanting to take what we want from others.

The two play us all against each other nicely.

I find that I am jealous far more often than I am envious - I get territorial, overprotective, wondering what that school across town actually has planned, does that instructor really think he can start teaching classes down the street from me, etc.

Maybe this emotional context is what makes jealousy so difficult - it seizes us and certainly strokes the ego the wrong way (or right way).

no mind no thought no mouth no sight

DA
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