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Old 07-22-2005, 12:23 AM   #76
Red Beetle
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Quote:
Michael Kimeda wrote:
Sola Scripture
Pig headed Protestants

1 Timothy 3:14-15
Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth

In case you would like an interpretation: the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth. not the bible... how do i know this? the bible says it.

Michael Kimeda

I know that some who are even victims of the Roman Catholic Church-state have pointed out your logical shortcomings on your response to me since you posted the above. You are begging the question. Remember, logical consistency is the negative test for truth. Protestantism is free from such error.

The Bible alone is the Axiom. The Bible alone is the mind of God revealed to man (John 17:8 for example). It alone defines what the church visible is, not the other way around. From this only axiom we explicitly state or logically deduce a complete system theology.

Again, the Roman Catholic Church-state claims that ordinary man can not interpret the Bible because it is infallible. They then claim that because of this the ordinary man needs an infallible interpreter (supposedly the Roman Catholic Church-state). But then who will interpret the infallible interpretation given to the ordinary man by the infallible interpreter? It follows that we must have another infallible interpreter to interpret this new infallible interpretation, and so on--ad infinitum.

So, rather than take anyone's word for it, you should be like the Bereans. Rather than resting on "church authority (sola ecclesia)," they "searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (sola scriptura--Acts 17:11).

Red Beetle
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Old 07-22-2005, 06:21 AM   #77
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Monty,
You really should follow your own advice and just practice Judo.
I do not know what a particular Catholic may have done to you, to make you appear to hate us so. But we thank you for adding strength to our conviction and our Faith.

I wish you would stick to writing on martial arts. I've read your articles from your website and thought the articles were well done. The one on shime-waza was right on the money and good sound strategy.

Gene
p.s. Oh yeah, one more thing you might want to put all that research skill of yours to checking your cool little AKA, because it has non-Christian mystical connotations. But I might be wrong...
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Old 07-22-2005, 06:47 AM   #78
AugustV
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

I believe we ALL should adopt the tradition of bowing rather than shaking hands. It would transmit less disease. The act itself reminds us of the Glory (potential and otherwise) in each and every one of us.

August
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:02 AM   #79
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Hi folks,

Once again, please stick to the original subject of this thread which is in regards to aikido and Catholicism/Christianity, especially in regards to "the spiritual aspects of Aikido and some thoughts about ki."

Thank you,

-- Jun

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Old 07-22-2005, 09:26 AM   #80
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Here's a stab at returning this back to topic - which has already been requested (rightly so) a couple of times...

In my opinion, yes, Ki, when it is thought of something akin to the "Force" (as in Star Wars), can conflict with Catholic/Christian ideals - particularly those pertaining to Love. While one might want to make a charge against the practice of superstition, etc. I am coming from a different angle here.

When we buy into notions of "Ki as the Force" (and any such similar understandings of Ki) we are actually lusting after power and/or failing to reconcile our own will to power (i.e. to seek dominance over others). We thus come to be preoccupied with manners by which we can accumulate more power for ourselves and spend less time cultivating a self that can offer service (i.e. the practice of love and compassion) to others. This happens, in my opinion, because the lust for such power is ultimately an act of egocentricism, which is the exact opposite of what it takes to follow the Way of Christ: Acts toward the cultivation of selflessness.

As a Christian (i.e. a follower of Christ) we should ask, "What does it value my soul to be able to have my arm go unbendable?" "How will this make more capable of practicing Love and Compassion?" "How does holding a jo away from by body, one that folks cannot move, bring me closer to God?" "How does standing on one leg such that no one can push me over help me to open my heart to the suffering and needs (both spiritual and worldly) of my fellow Man, my spouse, my children, my family?" For me, such things are of no value to all. They are of no value at all because they do not partake of a spirituality that is social in nature (that possesses within it the intimacy necessary to relate to another - be that other God, Christ, or Man). Or, for me, such things remain of superstition because they are more of ego gratification than of anything else. The difference is this: Christ is the true center, a center in the name of anti-egocentricism. The lust for power over others, or the attraction or pull we feel toward acquiring more Ki (as a power that is only seen or tested via the manipulation of others), or Ki as The Force, is based upon a false center, a center constructed only in the delusion of egocentricism. In this way, the pursuit of Ki or the cultivation of Ki, and thus the supporting beliefs and actions of such an understanding of Ki, can indeed be anti-Christian.

Last edited by senshincenter : 07-22-2005 at 09:31 AM.

David M. Valadez
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Old 07-22-2005, 10:33 AM   #81
Drew Scott
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
Here's a stab at returning this back to topic - which has already been requested (rightly so) a couple of times...
[snip]
When we buy into notions of "Ki as the Force" (and any such similar understandings of Ki) we are actually lusting after power and/or failing to reconcile our own will to power (i.e. to seek dominance over others). We thus come to be preoccupied with manners by which we can accumulate more power for ourselves and spend less time cultivating a self that can offer service (i.e. the practice of love and compassion) to others. This happens, in my opinion, because the lust for such power is ultimately an act of egocentricism, which is the exact opposite of what it takes to follow the Way of Christ: Acts toward the cultivation of selflessness.
While the behavior you describe would indeed be detrimental and contrary to most interpretations of the teachings of Christ, I think it's a bit of a leap to say "if you are attempting to cultivate this power, then you are engaging lustfully in an egocentric pursuit of power over others". This is akin to saying that since Aikido is training which allows you to thwart the goals of an attacker, it follows that all Aikido practice is an egocentric exercise of power over others. Power, and the development/pursuit of it, has no inherent morality. The application of developed power is where the morality of the WIELDER is expressed.
Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
As a Christian (i.e. a follower of Christ) we should ask, "What does it value my soul to be able to have my arm go unbendable?" "How will this make more capable of practicing Love and Compassion?"
If my practice of Love and Compassion includes protecting the helpless and thwarting the efforts of those who would inflict suffering on others, and my study of "Ki Power" furthers my ability to do so, then it values my soul by increasing my ability to fulfill the mandates of a good Christian life. The stronger I become, in any way, the more strength I have to extend to others in need. Why reject one form of strength and accept another?
Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
For me, such things are of no value to all. They are of no value at all because they do not partake of a spirituality that is social in nature (that possesses within it the intimacy necessary to relate to another - be that other God, Christ, or Man).
Again, I would argue that the proof of such spirituality is in the *application* of whatever power is gained from these exercises, not in the exercises themselves.
Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
Or, for me, such things remain of superstition because they are more of ego gratification than of anything else. The difference is this: Christ is the true center, a center in the name of anti-egocentricism. The lust for power over others, or the attraction or pull we feel toward acquiring more Ki (as a power that is only seen or tested via the manipulation of others), or Ki as The Force, is based upon a false center, a center constructed only in the delusion of egocentricism. In this way, the pursuit of Ki or the cultivation of Ki, and thus the supporting beliefs and actions of such an understanding of Ki, can indeed be anti-Christian.
CAN be, for sure. But if trained with a different purpose at heart, they can also simply be the acquisition of more tools with which to further one's efforts to help the world.

Given the motivations you've described, pursuit of Ki power, or physical strength, or financial gain, or yes, perfection of Aikido technique, can all be counter to most interpretations of the teachings of Christ. However, to assign selfish, egocentric motivations automatically to these pursuits, especially if selectively assigned to those you find to be "superstition" or "of no value" seems in itself to be an egocentric act.

Regards,
Drew
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Old 07-22-2005, 12:00 PM   #82
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Thanks all for getting back on track. Some excellent discussion. Obviously many of us have been thinking about my original questions. How about the scientists (physicists) among us? Is ki a form of physical energy, mental energy, spiritual energy, or is it--as many say--just a mental method of that helps improve technique? I am aware of some attempt to look at ki scientifically, but from what I have seen there have been no convincing studies. I am open to correction from those who know better.

August
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Old 07-22-2005, 12:06 PM   #83
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Hi Drew,

Thanks for the reply - at least we are off that Catholic/Protestant thing! :-)

Please allow me to elaborate a bit more then -- even defining what I mean by "egocentric."

In all that I am attempting to say, I am of course referring to the spiritual aspects of our being. As such, "egocentric" here is not being used to refer to "any position different from mine." Nor is it being used polemically via some sort of argument for relativism. When I use the word "egocentric" I am attempting to refer to a state of being (i.e. a system of action, thought, and word) that takes as its point of interpretation the small self. The small self is the habitual self -- the self seated within the realms of fear, pride, and ignorance (concerning the Way). This is important, in my opinion, because, spiritually, it is through fear, pride, and ignorance that we are separated from God and from Christ. It is also through these aspects that we cease to truly practice Love and Compassion, and/or do so only under "fair-weather" conditions.

This then is not the usual "guns kill people" or "guns don't kill people, people kill people" kind of debate. I am attempting to talk about something else. I am referring to a spiritual process (i.e. How does one gain proximity to God and to Christ). In particular, I am referring to any process by which we come to separate ourselves from the material world and thereby gain proximity to God and/or any process by which we remain of the material world and thus gain distance from God. Thus, from a spiritual point of view, at a certain point, we are going to have to move beyond what we can do (e.g. throw people) and/or cannot do with what we know (e.g. Aikido) and/or with what we have (e.g. strength). At a certain point in the process of cultivating our spirit, we will have to straightforwardly deal with who or what we are in our being. Where are we in the following of Christ -- in the imitation of the example of his being? Where are we in opening and submitting our soul to the grace of God and the true practice of Love and Compassion?

Within this perspective, I would indeed also suggest that, along with questing after "The Force," understanding Aikido, or practicing Aikido, to gain power over others is also equally egocentric (defined above) and thus equally damaging toward our relationship with Christ. It is in this light that I would propose we understand Osensei's suggestions that we see Aikido as Love AND that we also see Aikido as NOT victory over another but victory over ourselves (i.e. our smaller self). It may very well be true from a material perspective that guns kill people and/or that guns do not kill people, people kill people. It may very well be true from a material perspective that power and/or the pursuit of power has no inherent morality. However, from a spiritual point of view (which is not entirely captured by a concern over what we may do with such power), any power that comes to us through the cultivation of some virtue other than Love, some other aspect of ourselves that is not based in fearlessness, humility, and wisdom (i.e. the opposite of fear, pride, and ignorance), is a not only, in my opinion, a turning from the Way, a turning from Osensei's teachings, it is also a turning from God and from Christ. The ultimate issue here is not to merely act so that others may benefit, but rather to be selfless in our actions. This is a subtle but very real distinction. When we come down on the right side of this line, we can understand, I feel, Aikido as victory over the self. I also believe we can act in the interest of others but with no thought of reward and/or of pride -- acting instead from and through the grace of God -- following our savior's path. Spiritually speaking, this is more than merely working so that others gain or benefit. It is learning to work and learning to be so that I have no sense or need of gain -- because I am fulfilled perfectly, completely, with the presence and the kingdom of God.

This is just an opinion. Again - thanks for the reply - very well said.

dmv

David M. Valadez
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Old 07-22-2005, 12:16 PM   #84
AugustV
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

One other thing, casting aspersions on another's faith is not in the spirit of Christianity or aikido. Recall Christ's prayer for unity among his followers (There is plenty of blame to go around for our failure there). This is not the forum to argue doctrine, but I would be prepared to do so--politely--elsewhere.

One of the greatest Christians of our time, Mother Theresa of Calcutta, did not proselytize but sacrificed herself for the good of her fellow men and women. She accepted all for who they were and washed their feet humbly, lovingly, and wisely. She reflected Christ in her actions. Will that get her to Heaven? Only God knows her true heart.

When I was looking for a martial art that might be compatible with my own beliefs, I read a great deal about many. Aikido attracted me because of Morihei's enlightenment and subsequent teachings. Let us be careful NOT to be so sure that his not being Christian in this life--an accident of his birth--has kept him from God's reward. It is not ours to judge--even ourselves. That is scriptural.

In our dojo, people of sundry racial, religious, and political backgrounds practice with joy. Christ must smile on it; I bet that Osensei does as well.

August

Last edited by AugustV : 07-22-2005 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 07-22-2005, 12:20 PM   #85
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Quote:
Lee Price wrote:
Hey thats interesting...first time I've read anything from the bible though I am supposed to be catholic. But you know when I read this it sounds to me that we are being told that we are supposed to be Gods...no? especially the bit "for thou art great, and doest wondrous things..thou art God alone"...is that talking about us?


mmm...anyway I'm certainly not religious...I always liked the quote by Henry David Thorea "talk of heaven..ye disgrace earth"...
Lee, if you can't get hold of a Bible, and want to read one, I would be more than happy to send you a copy. Private message me if interested.

As for reading small bits of scripture......this can often lead towards a misunderstanding of the meaning of the scripture as it needs to be read in context with what precedes it, and what comes ater it.
"....thou art God alone" is referring to God only. Man seems to have spent most of history trying to put himself forwards as a little god (pharaohs, ceasars, Bonaparte, Hitler, Will and Grace....ok, the last one is pushing it). Plenty of sects that use the term Christian actually push the belief of Man's diety over God's (I could give a long, long list, but I think that it might cause offense to some )

I hope that this excellent thread has been an eye opener, for both Christians (Catholic or not) and non-Christians, and I am thankful that views expressed were respected by other posters. If such discussion brings believers closer to Jesus, and leads non-believers to Him, then I am all for it.
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Old 07-22-2005, 01:53 PM   #86
Drew Scott
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
Hi Drew,

Thanks for the reply - at least we are off that Catholic/Protestant thing! :-)

Please allow me to elaborate a bit more then -- even defining what I mean by "egocentric."

[snip]

dmv
Well put. The division you are making between egocentrism and the true practice of selfless Love and Compassion is clearer to me now. I'm still chewing over your position that the development of "ki power", whatever that may be, must, by necessity, be an egocentric act. I'll have to go back and ponder your posts for a while.

Thanks for the fascinating conversation!

Regards,
Drew
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Old 07-22-2005, 02:37 PM   #87
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Ah -- I think I get your point now over the "innateness" I am using as groundwork for the rest of my position…

I want to make clear here then that I was not referring to Ki and/or the awareness of Ki and/or the (debatable) presence of Ki, etc. In my first post, I was trying to be very specific when I only attempted to problematize a notion or practice that presents Ki as something similar or equivalent to "The Force." For me, sensitivity of Ki, understood as the word one uses to represent the great aggregate of elements through which something (anything) is made animate (i.e. alive, moving, greater than its parts, etc.), is a part of Budo. Ki as "The Force," while part of the history of martial arts, is a part of superstition -- not a part of Budo. If one through there various ki drills and/or practices is attempting to make themselves sensitive to the great aggregate of elements through which something is made alive, moving, and greater than its parts, etc., to be sure, such a practice would NOT innately represent a departure from Budo and a venture into superstition. Nor, in my opinion, would it represent a venture into egocentricism. Rather, it would represent an attempt to open oneself up to the greater Unity of which we are undoubtedly all a part.

For me, it is the same way regarding Aikido as a whole. We can look at it in two ways: As victory over others, or as victory over ourselves. We may want to say that one thing may be the other or that one thing may lead to the other (e.g. the latter leading to the former), but this can only be said from a material perspective -- where notions of victory and defeat are understood differently from how they are understood within a spiritual framework. I believe that Osensei was speaking of things from a spiritual perspective. In my opinion, when he spoke about victory over the self he was not referring to having one become some sort of knight that worked or fought for others in the name of righteousness and justice. Rather, he was talking about developing a sense of selflessness through one's training. Thus, victory over of the self could be understood as a reconciliation with the small self or as a healthy cultivation of non-attachment toward those attributes that mark the small self (e.g. fear, pride, ignorance, etc.). Equally, it can be understood as the gaining of a discipline and/or a wisdom that allows us to act non-egocentrically. Here, Aikido as victory over the self and gaining sensitivity to the great aggregate of elements through which something (anything) is animated (i.e. ki development/ki sensitivity) overlap in a practice of selflessness. For me, this is quite different from seeing Ki as "The Force" and seeing Aikido as a mere means of gaining victory over others (whether they deserve it or not).

In short, as stated in my opinion, cultivating Ki sensitivity or practicing Ki development, as I have described it above, does not innately become from a spiritual perspective an egocentric act. Here I can agree with you.

Thank you for "inspiring" me to try and be more concise (as best I can).

Yours,
dmv

David M. Valadez
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Old 07-22-2005, 04:11 PM   #88
Drew Scott
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
Ah -- I think I get your point now over the "innateness" I am using as groundwork for the rest of my position…

I want to make clear here then that I was not referring to Ki and/or the awareness of Ki and/or the (debatable) presence of Ki, etc. In my first post, I was trying to be very specific when I only attempted to problematize a notion or practice that presents Ki as something similar or equivalent to "The Force."
[snip]
In short, as stated in my opinion, cultivating Ki sensitivity or practicing Ki development, as I have described it above, does not innately become from a spiritual perspective an egocentric act. Here I can agree with you.

Thank you for "inspiring" me to try and be more concise (as best I can).

Yours,
dmv
Well stated, as always. I appreciate your taking the time to clarify your position. If I'm correctly understanding your posts, I think I can see now how the concept of Ki as a separate "mystical" force, and the cultivation of it as a method of personal power is problematic within the context of Christ as "the center" and "the source".

So, perhaps what we can draw from this to answer the originator of the thread is that Aikido and the accompanying concepts of "Ki", Budo, etc, need not conflict with one's practice as a Catholic, provided one keeps one's faith as the context within which such concepts are studied and practiced (gross generalization, I know)?

Regards,
Drew
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Old 07-22-2005, 07:31 PM   #89
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Yes, I would agree.

I really like the way you said this because it includes within it the notion that we must as individuals take responsibility for the overall perspective of our Aikido practice - particularly when something as universal as a personal faith is involved. It really demonstrates that Aikido can only do what we allow it to do; Aikido is only what we make of it. From this we should understand, whatever Aikido is, it can only be our Aikido. If Aikido is strong or weak - it is of our doing. If Aikido lends itself to our faith or turns us away from it - it is of our doing. If Aikido is culturally dependent or universally applicable - it is of our doing. If Aikido encases us of in a set of choreographed patterns or if Aikido frees us in takemusu aiki - it is of our doing. If Aikido is all about gaining victory over others or about gaining victory over our self - it is of our doing. For better or for worse, this is a truth none of us can escape: We are responsible! Equally, for better or for worse, this is the truth by which we can damn or save ourselves; even damn or save our art (figuratively speaking).

Again - thanks so much,
david

David M. Valadez
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Old 07-23-2005, 02:20 AM   #90
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

To me the ability to turn the other cheek lies in the fact that it is a conscious choice following the Heart of Jesus. The turn is not done out of fear because I have no other option. In doing martial arts I find and see both the tremendous power & skill we can develop and use against a human being and the incredible easy ways it is to hurt and injure said human being. I must have a guiding principle - That would rest with my Faith in God and His teachings.

When I started and began pondering over Ki (it looks like I still do) I tried a Descartes thought -sort of- and switched the perspective, ho w do the Japanese & Chinese come to terms with a soul/spirit in connection to Ki? What did the people of Christian Faith Think about electricity -it's in us ,too? Finally, I remembered that an angel - a great being from God- making wrong or evil choices is a demon- choosing to be away from God. All is God, good or evil becomes your choice.

Well off to summer camp.
Godspeed to those attending,
Gene
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Old 07-23-2005, 06:16 AM   #91
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

All this talk about "ki" and "the Force".... don't you mean "Holy Spirit"???

Ignatius
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Old 07-23-2005, 09:19 PM   #92
Drew Scott
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Quote:
David Valadez wrote:
[snip]
For better or for worse, this is a truth none of us can escape: We are responsible! Equally, for better or for worse, this is the truth by which we can damn or save ourselves; even damn or save our art (figuratively speaking).
Great post. It really IS all about personal responsibility.

This one goes in the permanent file.

Thanks for the great conversation.

Regards,
Drew
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Old 07-25-2005, 01:13 PM   #93
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Quote:
August Valenti wrote:
One of the greatest Christians of our time, Mother Theresa of Calcutta, did not proselytize but sacrificed herself for the good of her fellow men and women. She accepted all for who they were and washed their feet humbly, lovingly, and wisely. She reflected Christ in her actions. Will that get her to Heaven? Only God knows her true heart.
I see this as an aspect of aikido that particularly speaks to my Catholic up bringing. The idea that I might endure more training and more danger to have a better chance of preserving my enemy. Somewhere between turning the other cheek and driving out the money changers.
Quote:
August Valenti wrote:
When I was looking for a martial art that might be compatible with my own beliefs, I read a great deal about many. Aikido attracted me because of Morihei's enlightenment and subsequent teachings. Let us be careful NOT to be so sure that his not being Christian in this life--an accident of his birth--has kept him from God's reward. It is not ours to judge--even ourselves. That is scriptural.
I agree that people are to quick to point fingers at others and not look in the mirror. Judge not, lest ye be judged.
Of course, I'd rather be persecuted by an unjust God than be the sycophant of a righteous one.
Quote:
August Valenti wrote:
In our dojo, people of sundry racial, religious, and political backgrounds practice with joy. Christ must smile on it; I bet that Osensei does as well.

August
I'd like to think that dojos should be run in that way. People coming together to practice dealing with conflict.

Again off topic, but I have to ask the small world question:
August, do you have any Valenti relatives in Ishpeming, MI? I sometimes train with a Mark Valenti.

"One does not find wisdom in another's words." -James D. Chye
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Old 07-26-2005, 02:16 PM   #94
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

James,

I have no relatives in that part of the world. Thank you for your reply. It is certainly time for Christians, at least, to stop bickering. O'Sensei developed a peaceful, healthful way for people to learn to manage conflict. Like many others in this forum, I do not see it conflicting with Christianity for those who practice in a manner consistent with a Christian point of view. I was curious to see if others had considered the "appearance of impropriety," in the "ritual" aspects of aikido or in its underlying philosophy. I am glad to have intelligent discussion going on.

August
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Old 07-31-2005, 06:36 PM   #95
Red Beetle
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

Here is a good article explaining why Catholicism, among other things, has nothing to offer Aikido, or anything else.

The article was written by a well respected Roman Catholic Bishop.
A must read for any serious Catholic.



http://www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=31


Red Beetle
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Last edited by Red Beetle : 07-31-2005 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 07-31-2005, 07:11 PM   #96
Mashu
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Re: Catholic Aikidoka

That was an interesting read. Thanks. Around the 1870's and on was a bad time for established hierarchical religions in the West. They took a real beating and a myriad of different groups and movements appeared. Lot's of peculiar characters took advantage when organizations like the Catholic church was losing it's grip.
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