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Old 06-22-2003, 03:17 PM   #1
thisisnotreal
 
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O-Sensei's Spiritual Achievements

Greetings!

...long time lurker, first time poster.

I think this place is amazing, and thanks for it.

I am going to post about things which are so wildly beyond my knowledge that it's crazy...and that no one has to point out I don't know what I'm talking about. I just don't want anyone to think i'm blasphemeing.

My question is about what you think O-Sensei achieved in terms of spiritual enlightenment?
>>I want to know what you think he was thinking and the beginning of what he learned.


Not necessarily physical feats of daring and amazingness..but in terms of his understanding in the spiritual.

...and his level of precision and perception,
(did he ever drop a dish or break something? They say he never bumped into someone when travelling through busy exchanges, but *ran* and the uchideshi couldn't keep up)

.. the ability to really read people, did he hear voices? Could he stop time for a moment and step outside? (btw; i think he maybe could)

What does enlightenment consist of and mean to his 'moment-to-moment' consciousness?
What is fudoshin? ('unmoveable mind')? What is eternal truth? Not like what a McDondald's (tm) sign looks like...but things that are forever?
"The laws of heaven". The Will of I am?
I think *believeing* and accepting what you know in this moment is the beginning here.

I think that it is possible to get more than a fingerhold on spiritual truths. And OSensei knew things.


-I think part of the real beginning is to really know your awareness.
**
The journey begins with that.
Acknowledging the ego, and control over it.
Then to know your own will.

-To bring your mind and will inline with the God. (Cant' fight him if he exists, eh? no harmony ever to be found in that. Nature gives lots of evidence for himself. Design and order and all that)

-Then to know this moment that you are free and need no thing from any man.


Do I make sense to someone?


**..in no particular order.
Other important things.
1. being a good, kind person.
2. Experiencing things simultaneously. Aware of awareness while experiencing multiple simultaneous things..
3. denying yourself
4. breathing

I think the most important thing; Honesty and sincereity, thru and thru. What you think and what you say. Do you believe what you know? What do you *know* anyway?


conjecture welcomed...




josh


This essay made a big impact on me.
>> http://www.oregonvos.net/~jflory/god_in_the_moment.htm
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Old 06-22-2003, 09:55 PM   #2
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I suggest you read a book called "The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido" it talks a bit about O'Sensei's religious beliefs, the influence of Kototama on Aikido, and, well, I haven't finished reading it yet but it's really interesting so far, if you weed out some exaggerated stories of O'Sensei's physical achievements (Charging into a line of Russian infantry dodging all of their bullets)
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Old 06-22-2003, 10:47 PM   #3
Charles Hill
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Hi Josh,

Like Bryan, I think "The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido" by William Gleason is a really good book. However, I recommend "The Essence of Aikido" compiled by John Stevens instead. Mr. Gleason's spiritual, martial, and linguistic (knowledge of the Japanese language) skills are obviously great. It should be noted that his book is based on the totality of what he has learned and practiced. For example, the material on Kototama contains a lot of information taken from O'Sensei's book, "Takemusu Aiki," put out by the Byakko Shinkokai. However, the material is mixed with material Mr. Gleason learned from other Kotodama teachers, people who, as far as I know, have no connection to Morihei Ueshiba. As someone who has had some training in Kototama and has gone through the original writings of Morihei Ueshiba, this is for me, a big plus. Mr. Gleason is way ahead of me, so in reading his book, I learned a lot. The book is extremely difficult to understand, so it is definitely a book to read many times.

"The Essence of Aikido" is not any easier, but it is closer to a straight translation. John Stevens' other books, particularly "The Philosophy of Aikido," would probably be a better place to start.

I understand your post to actually be a call for discussion, not a request for advice, so I'd like to try to give my opinion.

Spiritual enlightenment seems to be such a subjective thing. From what I understand, it is often a thing to be felt in the presence of the person. Since we can't do that in this case, we have to look at what O'Sensei left. I think that it has been made very clear that a lot of what we know as "Aikido" has largely come through the influence of his son, Kisshomaru Ueshiba. To look at the Founder's direct teachings, the best source seems to be his lectures which were either written down or recorded.

My language skills are greatly lacking, but it seems to me that there is no overall complete teaching. When compared to other spiritual teachers, such as the Buddha, there is nothing clear and coherent. However, this could be construed as good when we see that the Founder had some incredible students who have become great teachers. Through them we can get some clues to the degree of the Founder's spiritual achievements. However, I think it is important to be aware of Kisshomaru Ueshiba's influence (as well as that of Kisaburo Osawa.)

I guess my main point is that in the Buddha's case, one can look at the basic teaching and be ignorant of Buddhist history and still come away with an appreciation of the Buddha's greatness. I don't think that is possible in Morihei Ueshiba's case.

Charles
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Old 06-27-2003, 06:47 AM   #4
mike lee
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Are we now gods? Ha!

I think that the question is nonsense and that no one, with the exception of another enlightened being, would be fit to judge another human being, let alone O-Sensei and I doubt that another truely enlightened being would ever take it upon himself to judge another person or to even talk about a "level of spiritual achievement," whatever in the world that means as if it could be measured.

Sorry. Am I being too harsh?
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Old 07-10-2003, 12:09 PM   #5
kensparrow
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Hi Josh,

I don't mean to be critical but you might get better responses if you narrowed your question(s). Your post was a bit confusing. That being said, your post made me think of one of my favorite proverbs:

"Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water."
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Old 07-10-2003, 09:25 PM   #6
DaveForis
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Hmm. A couple good book suggestions. Here are mine.

"The Meditative Mind" by Daniel Goleman

A book or three about Zen (Zen masters don't waste time reflecting on what they do to achieve enlightenment, they just do it. Read a few and look for the connections in what they did.)

"Seeing With The Mind's Eye" by Mike Samuels (This is a textbook about visualization, a state of consciousness, and allllll the places where it's used in human culture.)

"What the Buddha Taught" by Walpola Sri Rahula (Ya like enlightened philosophy? Read. )

Ahh... What the heck...

"Path Notes of an American Ninja Master" by Glenn Morris (Yes. Even HE admits the title is really, really cheesy. He blames it on the editor. Just read this book, then all the stuff in his bibliography. Then get the sequel. This man has studied enlightenment... And had his share of visions, apparently.)

Read up a bit on Chi Kung

Look into the Kundalini

Study Esoterics (And then read O-Sensei's Douka again. Holy cow there's some good stuff there!)

If you want to understand O-Sensei and what he thought, read about EVERYTHING spiritual. It all points in the same general direction.

Just two points to keep in mind:

O Sensei was still human, and thus still imperfect (by objective standards). It's human nature. Oh well. In any case, they just have a slightly different perspective on life.

It's perfectly okay to judge people. It's what we human beings do best. "This is good, that is bad!!!" Just realize that your judgements aren't important. Acknowledge them, then let them go.

(Reads Josh's post again)

Yeah. You do make sense. You're on the right track. Read Path Notes and the bibliographies and stuff. You'll love it.

There's one thing you have very wrong, however. Denying yourself is BAD. While you're busy suppressing all of your negative egotistic impulses, well, where do they go? Into the back of your mind, where they become demons and torment you. Acknowledge them, and let them go. When you can let them go, they aren't part of you. Then there is no denying yourself. Get it?

Eh. I read the article and hated it. It's philosophy. Philosophers spend too much time thinking about the Grand Finale and don't bother trying to figure out how to get there. What the author is describing is just Zen Buddhism. Read that. And read the "Meditative Mind." Actually, read the latter first. That book, and that religious teaching tell _how_ to get there. The more I study, the more I find that the "how" is infinitely more important than the "where." In fact, pondering where it is you want to go spiritually just completely destroys your ability to practice the methods that get there (I'm guilty of this,) as the article does hint.

Behind every flaw in technique is a flaw in the mind or spirit
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Old 01-18-2005, 05:48 PM   #7
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: Are we now gods? Ha!

Quote:
Mike Lee wrote:
I think that the question is nonsense and that no one, with the exception of another enlightened being, would be fit to judge another human being, let alone O-Sensei and I doubt that another truely enlightened being would ever take it upon himself to judge another person or to even talk about a "level of spiritual achievement," whatever in the world that means as if it could be measured.

Sorry. Am I being too harsh?
Um, Yeah.
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Old 01-18-2005, 09:58 PM   #8
eyrie
 
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Re: O-Sensei's Spiritual Achievements

It is like a finger, pointing at the moon.... :-)

For an interesting contrast which is not so dissimilar, check out "Mind Over Matter - Higher Martial Arts" by Shi Ming (tr. Thomas Cleary).

Ignatius
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Old 01-19-2005, 09:03 AM   #9
Mat Hill
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Re: Are we now gods? Ha!

Quote:
Mike Lee wrote:
I think that the question is nonsense and that no one, with the exception of another enlightened being, would be fit to judge another human being, let alone O-Sensei and I doubt that another truely enlightened being would ever take it upon himself to judge another person or to even talk about a "level of spiritual achievement," whatever in the world that means as if it could be measured.
So I guess saying he went nuts in later life is completely unenlightened?
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Old 01-23-2005, 10:52 AM   #10
Bill Danosky
 
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Re: O-Sensei's Spiritual Achievements

When you tell somone a joke and they don't get it, they usually say, "That's stupid." Then, when they do "get it" they think, "Oh, that's really funny/ clever, etc."

Likewise, when someone like O-Sensei is speaking from a level we don't understand, it's easy to say he went nuts.

I read the article Josh linked in his post and while I didn't understand every word, I did recognize a few glimmers of truth. There's something very magical in our ability to even perceive many of the concepts it discussed.

OTOH, I have a nagging concern that all our efforts to become aware of our universe amount to nothing if it's just our collective "mind" filling in the blanks of something that's not real to begin with.

Too spooky?
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Old 02-10-2005, 03:35 AM   #11
Mat Hill
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Re: O-Sensei's Spiritual Achievements

Quote:
Bill Danosky wrote:
When you tell somone a joke and they don't get it, they usually say, "That's stupid." Then, when they do "get it" they think, "Oh, that's really funny/ clever, etc."

Likewise, when someone like O-Sensei is speaking from a level we don't understand, it's easy to say he went nuts.
Thank you for framing the paradox.

What happens if they get the joke and they still say, "That's stupid!". One of the problems with accepting O-sensei as a genius is that it doesn't allow for different senses of humour!
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