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Old 04-17-2004, 11:00 PM   #101
Magma
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Jo -

Yes I can accept that for some people a belt is just a belt.

I'm not arguing that.

I'm saying that there is value to treating the belt as a symbol, and that this is a way of continuing their training that they miss if they do not themselves make use of it.

Chris -

"So what's the point - because it's a metaphor it must be profound?"

Nope.

Profundity is in the eye of the beholder; not all metaphors are profound. And yet, this one could be if one would step out of one's box and experience it.

Peter -

"Of course that deep pool can be obscured by all those metaphors."

Of course. This is part of the very personal nature of metaphor. But does this mean that we should abandon metaphor as a tool of understanding and insight? Run from it? Hardly. Metaphor is the sonar by which the depths of this pool (called existence and experience) are sounded and mapped.

Specifically, there is no obfuscation in the metaphor of the belt.

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
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Old 04-17-2004, 11:56 PM   #102
Chris Li
 
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Quote:
Tim Rohr (Magma) wrote:
Chris -

"So what's the point - because it's a metaphor it must be profound?"

Nope.

Profundity is in the eye of the beholder; not all metaphors are profound. And yet, this one could be if one would step out of one's box and experience it.
And yet, you were able to judge other people's Aikido training without any idea of what they have already experienced...

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-18-2004, 10:54 AM   #103
Magma
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Chris -

Again, no.

I can only judge what I read here, seeing an unwillingness to experience a metaphor or tradition for fear of its historical authenticity.

Peace.

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
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Old 04-19-2004, 01:50 AM   #104
PeterR
 
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Re: i got a funny question...

Quote:
Magma wrote:
I'm saying that there is value to treating the belt as a symbol, and that this is a way of continuing their training that they miss if they do not themselves make use of it.
In my opinion nothing is missed considering the great effort required to toss away preconceptions and the like. Adding extra layers when the whole idea is to strip them away just seems counter intuitive. Metaphors do help I suppose - I use them all the time at work and play - but they are tossed at the earliest possible convenience.

Look at it this way - if you truly concentrated on an aspect you wouldn't need the metaphor. It's like a crutch when you are perfectly capable of walking unaided. <--- metaphor alert.

Quote:
Profundity is in the eye of the beholder; not all metaphors are profound. And yet, this one could be if one would step out of one's box and experience it.
One could easily argue that Chris has stepped outside of the box and does understand the place of metaphor in his personal training.
Quote:
Hardly. Metaphor is the sonar by which the depths of this pool (called existence and experience) are sounded and mapped.
Personally I would just jump in and swim to the bottom. <-- another metaphor alert.

Cheers

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-19-2004, 01:58 AM   #105
Chris Li
 
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Re: i got a funny question...

Quote:
Tim Rohr (Magma) wrote:
Chris -

Again, no.

I can only judge what I read here, seeing an unwillingness to experience a metaphor or tradition for fear of its historical authenticity.

Peace.
You may say "no" now, but you did make clearly judgemental statements regarding the practice of more than one of the posters here. If you look back, you'll see that, while I have argued with issues and interpretations, I have never made a statement judging the state of another person's training - since that would be impossible to do without actually meeting them. The fact is, you have no idea of whether or not we have experienced a particular metaphor or tradition - all you know is that we were not in favor of that particular metaphor or tradition.

Best,

Chris

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Old 04-19-2004, 01:20 PM   #106
Magma
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Re: i got a funny question...

Peter -

Metaphor, treated properly, is no preconception. There are no layers between you and the thing. Metaphor is more of a *post*conception... looking at something in a new way. You still know the thing as well as you did before, but now you also see it in a different way, too, with new insights. This is what I mean by people missing out on a great deal if they do not entertain metaphor and choose just a factual existence. Yes, the fact may be true, but it is no less true after the metaphor helps you understand it more fully.

So, metaphor is no crutch. It is like stopping along a path to look at a stone you have known about for sometime, only today you take the rock and turn it over, finding out more about it. You do not hold the metaphor as the truth of the experience but rather the knowledge you gained from it. However, next time you come to a stone in the path, you will remember the metaphor again and perhaps turn this one over to gain something new there, too.

Postconceptual, and not at all a substitute for truth or fact.

As for swimming to the bottom of the pool, feel free. I'm sure you will discover some notion of its dark depth and shape. But then again, if you took a light along with you, you would know and see far more, and you would take that knowledge with you even if you left the light behind.

Chris -
In my opinion, if someone refuses tradition out of hand and refuses to entertain metaphor, then their training does suffer. They will only know the thing in one way. If they only seek the physical and do not go beyond that, taking nothing with them off the mats, their training does suffer. I will stand by those statements; if you feel they apply to you then I guess we should just let the matter drop.

Treating the belt with respect as a symbol of your time on the mats is a way to continue training even after our time in class, and it has value inspite of all sorts of wild anachronisms.

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
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Old 04-19-2004, 02:30 PM   #107
Ron Tisdale
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Re: i got a funny question...

Quote:
In my opinion, if someone refuses tradition out of hand and refuses to entertain metaphor,
I'd be currious as to who you think has done that...

The people I've been reading have simply been pointing out the historical flaws in some budo 'myths'. Doesn't mean they don't live aikido in their extra dojo life, doesn't mean they don't explore metaphor (as evidenced by myself). Everything that you claim this myth can do can be done in other ways, that are not based on a myth. Its not a matter of refusing to go beyond the physical...its having (what I would consider) a solid basis to do just that. Again, your words sound like "you must buy into this myth, or you're not spiritual". I just don't see how anyone can say that with a straight face.
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 04-19-2004, 02:44 PM   #108
Chris Birke
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Re: i got a funny question...

I just walked in on this, it hadn't really thrilled me at first but now it's up to 5 pages.

So, you guys are arguing over whether to wash a belt, right?

Just checking.
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Old 04-19-2004, 02:56 PM   #109
Magma
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Re: i got a funny question...

Ron -

"Again, your words sound like "you must buy into this myth, or you're not spiritual". I just don't see how anyone can say that with a straight face."

Good thing that's not what I'm saying.

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
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Old 04-19-2004, 02:58 PM   #110
Doka
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Re: i got a funny question...

Hi Chris,

Yes they are!

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Old 04-19-2004, 08:06 PM   #111
Bronson
 
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Re: i got a funny question...

Quote:
PeterR wrote:
Personally I would just jump in and swim to the bottom.
Just don't wear your obi...wouldn't want to get it wet

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 04-19-2004, 08:20 PM   #112
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Re: i got a funny question...



The horror - just to be clear I am not arguing for or against washing the thing. I don't wash because I am a lazy swine - not for any other reason.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-19-2004, 08:48 PM   #113
Bronson
 
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Re: i got a funny question...

Quote:
PeterR wrote:
The horror - just to be clear I am not arguing for or against washing the thing. I don't wash because I am a lazy swine - not for any other reason.
I don't wash mine either, but I fully support those who wish to. Personal preference imo.

This thread just seems to be gettting a bit silly now...like a bad Saturday Night Live skit that's gone on too long.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 04-19-2004, 09:42 PM   #114
Magma
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Re: i got a funny question...

*hits the button for the "Laughter" and "Applause" lights*

*waits for the response*

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
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Old 04-22-2004, 01:00 AM   #115
Alan Lomax
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Re: i got a funny question...

PeterR wrote: Personally I would just jump in and swim to the bottom.

Bronson wrote: Just don't wear your obi...wouldn't want to get it wet

If Peter did jump in and swim to the bottom of the metaphorical pool, would that be a metaphore for him washing his belt even though he doesn't care to wash his belt?

Could one use Tim's metaphorical rocks along the path to either wash the belt or keep it off the ground while swimming in the pool?

I think there may be a metaphore in the form of the happy sock which could be metaphorically in the shallow end of the pool.

Alan Lomax
Doumukai Aikido
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Old 04-22-2004, 06:04 AM   #116
Magma
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Re: i got a funny question...

*stands on side doing semaphore to guide alan back from his metaphor*


Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
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Old 04-22-2004, 03:49 PM   #117
PeaceHeather
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Exclamation Re: i got a funny question...

Quote:
thatoldfool wrote:
Exactly what health risks does a sweaty belt pose, anyway? Ok, bacteria - but what bacteria exactly?
Um, I have a number of friends who train hard and sweat up their practice armor, which may be made of cloth, leather, or both. The bacteria aren't an issue so much as the salt deposits, which will wreck leather and shorten the life-span of fabric, especially if it's fabric that sees a lot of wear.

There is also mold to consider, especially if you do as some of my friends, and store your armor in a large duffel bag. The duffel isn't the issue -- it's putting it away wet and not taking it out again to air-dry when you get home.

Mold can be nasty stuff to breathe, depending on the species and your sensitivity.

Was told a story that the teller swore was true, about a guy who never washed his gambeson (padding worn under armor) until he got married, and his wife said it wasn't allowed into the house until he cleaned it. I mean this thing had stiffened up so much from sweat and salt that it could literally stand on its own, it was *years* old and had never ever been washed. So, he plopped it into the washer -- basically a full, sleeved quilted coat -- and when the rinse cycle was complete, he opened the washer and it was GONE. All that was left were some bits of wet lint and a couple ties!

So yeah, fabric life really *is* shortened by salt deposits; they're abrasive and wear the fibers down until they can disintegrate under their own weight when wet.

Makes for a funny story, though.
Heather
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Old 04-22-2004, 04:00 PM   #118
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Straight Face Re: i got a funny question...

The first time I participated in a martial art, many years ago, we were taught not to let our belts touch the floor. Questions like, "what about when you throw us?" were met with dirty looks from the sensei.

I was taught that it's a matter of respect for the belt, and the work you put in to earn it. Kinda like, in the Scout Manuals, we're taught not to let the American flag touch the floor (don't know about the traditions in other countries). It's a respect thing.

I can't remember if we were taught anything about washing the belts, though; I was never involved in that particular art long enough for mine to even soften up. *shrug*

Heather
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Old 04-22-2004, 04:19 PM   #119
PeaceHeather
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Re: i got a funny question...

Quote:
PeterR wrote:
Look at it this way - if you truly concentrated on an aspect you wouldn't need the metaphor. It's like a crutch when you are perfectly capable of walking unaided. <--- metaphor alert.
Pssst... that's a simile, not a metaphor.

Heather, not be a smartaleck at ALL, no really...
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Old 04-25-2004, 09:40 PM   #120
gasman
 
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Re: i got a funny question...

Bacteria Schmacteria...
I never wash my belt. And I'd eat a sandwich that had accidentally fallen to the floor. Mind you, I served one year conscription in the infantry...
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Old 04-26-2004, 02:23 AM   #121
deepsoup
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Re: i got a funny question...

Like Peter, I can't just replace my belt when it wears out, so I don't wash it more often than I have to. But it does soak up a little sweat, it does get stinky eventually, and when it needs a wash, out of respect for myself and my training partners it gets one.

This unwashed belt "tradition" is bogus, pure and simple. Its nothing more than a magic feather. (That is a metaphor, by the way.) Dumbo found out eventually that he didn't actually need his magic feather, and all you folks with the stinky belts: you can fly without yours too!

Sean
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Old 04-26-2004, 05:48 AM   #122
Magma
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Re: i got a funny question...

Sean -

The tradition is nothing like the feather. I don't need to respect my belt (not washing it, nor letting it touch the floor), to be able to do the physical techniques of aikido. Nor is my aikido made better in a causative fashion by having the belt on when I throw uke. Rather, it is indirect. Because treating my belt with this sort of respect continues my awareness and sensitivity training well beyond the time on the mat, that means that such awareness and sensitivity comes back to enhance what I do *on* the mats.

And off.

Even that is a horribly emasculated and pragmatic exploration of *part* of the tradition's value, but one must start somewhere, I suppose.

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
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Old 04-26-2004, 06:32 AM   #123
deepsoup
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Re: i got a funny question...

Quote:
Magma wrote:
Because treating my belt with this sort of respect continues my awareness and sensitivity training well beyond the time on the mat, that means that such awareness and sensitivity comes back to enhance what I do *on* the mats.
So the gist of your argument is that you don't need it, it doesn't make a difference, but actually yes it does, and therefore you do. Still sounds a lot like a magic feather to me.

Honestly, if this was in print, I'd send a copy to Private Eye for inclusion in Pseud's Corner.

When I treat things with respect, one of the ways I express it is by keeping them clean. If you use it, you've gotta maintain it. Knives need to be sharpened, pianos need to be tuned, and clothes need to be washed. (Unless of course you don't cut with them, don't play them, and don't wear them.)

Where I train, anyone who wants to deify their belt is very welcome to, as long as they keep it at home in a glass case and wear a clean one to training.

Sean
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Old 04-26-2004, 07:01 AM   #124
Magma
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Re: i got a funny question...

Sean wrote:
"So the gist of your argument is that you don't need it, it doesn't make a difference, but actually yes it does, and therefore you do. Still sounds a lot like a magic feather to me."

Nope. You can understand the difference between direct and indirect application, right? Perhaps you would have seen that this was the "gist" of my argument had you included the sentence before where you began your quote. The previous sentence said simply:

"Rather, it is indirect."

That is, not causative.

It is very much like a general who as a young Lt. led his men into an ambush and was shot by the enemy as they made an escape. He is given the bullet by the doctors after they patch him up. He realizes that he might have made mistakes in leading his men as he did, that he might have been less than he could have. He wants to be better. So he determines that the bullet is a reminder for him to always consider and think before charging in blindly. He also determines that the bullet will not leave his person, so that it will constantly be with him to serve as the reminder.

The bullet does nothing causatively to make him more mindful and a better leader, but indirectly, it is a reminder.

Indirectly.

Not direct.

Non-directo effecto.

Sean:
"Where I train, anyone who wants to deify their belt is very welcome to, as long as they keep it at home in a glass case and wear a clean one to training."

Nice strawman. Just who, exactly, is deifying their belt? Excuse me if I hear your answer with Homer Simpson's terrified tone as he says, "Aaaiigh! BOOGEY MAN!!"

Tim
It's a sad irony: In U's satori, he forgot every technique he ever knew; since then, generations of doka have spent their whole careers trying to remember.
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Old 04-26-2004, 09:09 AM   #125
deepsoup
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Re: i got a funny question...

Quote:
Magma wrote:
He also determines that the bullet will not leave his person, so that it will constantly be with him to serve as the reminder.
The bullet does nothing causatively to make him more mindful and a better leader, but indirectly, it is a reminder.
If the bullet serves to remind him, then it causes him to remember. By causing him to remember, it causes him to be more mindful.

Causative.

Not not causative.

Nothing "nothing causative" about that.

Like your style, hope you don't mind my copying.
(Did you read a lot of Dr Seuss as a kid? )


Quote:
Magma previously wrote:
Perhaps you would have seen that this was the "gist" of my argument had you included the sentence before where you began your quote.
If its not causative of anything, its not having any effect. (Directly or otherwise.) Occams razor sliced away the sentence before where I began my quote, and therefore so did I.
The reason I don't get it, is that it seems to me to be self contradictory. You're saying it doesn't cause anything to happen, but it does have an effect. Thats not how it is with cause and effect, directly or indirectly the cause causes the effect.

Quote:
Nice strawman. Just who, exactly, is deifying their belt?
Um.. Well, you are!
To a sceptic like me, thats how irrational behaviour towards an inanimate object out of respect for some intangible mystical influence it may have over ones life looks.
Its certainly superstition, but if you don't like 'deify' then call it 'kami', make it 'mojo', blame it on the boogie.
Whatever its called, all I was trying to say in that last paragraph was that where I train, we prefer our clothes (all of them) to be clean.
In short we respect the dojo more than the mojo.
If its whiffy and it ain't getting washed, its welcome wears out fast!

Sean
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