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Gleason, William -- The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido
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Description:
Keywords: Gleason Spirutal Foundations
ISBN: 0892815086


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AikiWeb System


Registered: April 2001
Posts: 1318
Review Date: Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 0 

 
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Author: Steven Scott
E-Mail: Send E-mail to Steven Scott

Unlike many of the books existing on the Martial Arts, the title of The Spiritual Foundations of Aikido defines exactly what the reader can expect to see and experience within the pages.

Likewise, due to the content, it would most likely not suit those to whom such aspects of the Art are merely a passing interest. The book requires a lot of thought and a fair amount of mental digestion, but is undoubtedly one of the best of its kind. Well-written and very well presented, with sidebars showing the Kanji and Kana of each individual page's content, it is a pleasing if somewhat deep and meaningful read.

The book begins with a section on the origins of the art, before beginning the main body of the text, with explanations on the 'mind', or 'mental attitude' required to properly pursue the 'Do' that exists within Aikido. It follows this by introducing the spiritual roots of the art, formed by following the teachings of Shinto and Kannagara no Michi (the path of divine consciousness), each explained in simple and easy to understand terms. Also, the primary links between Kannagara no Michi and the sacred sounds of the Kototama are initially raised here for reference in the later chapters.

The largest sections of the book, however, are devoted to explaining the concept of One Spirit, Four Souls, Three Origins and Eight Powers (one chapter devoted to One Spirit, Four Souls. The other to Three Origins, Eight Powers), and how each interacts with not just each other, but with the universe itself. It is here that the author carefully breaks down and explains the various deities involved in the creation of each aspect of One Spirit, Four Souls, and how they are influenced by the cause and effect that each of the Kototama has on the universe.

The explanation of the Three origins as the One Spirit, Four Souls and Eight Powers leads into a briefer explanation of the meaning and content contained within each of the respective powers, and also the representative aspects of these powers within the art of Aikido.

The book finishes by covering the practises and principles behind the art, as well as the relationship of the books content to the study of Aikido's technical aspects.

A short section on the nature and order of the universe follows to provide a very interesting and unusual closure to a most individual and unusual book, but definitely one worth investigating.

Yours in Aiki
--
Steven Scott
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AikiWeb System


Registered: April 2001
Posts: 1318
Review Date: Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
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Author: Jeff Tibbetts
E-Mail: Send E-mail to Jeff Tibbetts

For the Aikido history buff, or anyone interested in some of the more esoteric Eastern religious practices, this book is amazing. I suspect that for many poeple this would be the only way to find out about where the religion of O'Sensei had it's roots. On many levels, this book is a valuable resource for the analysis of some of the philosophy that Aikido encapsulates. It's well written, very well illustrated and covers a broad range of the religious practices that influenced the founder. Excellent on many levels.
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