“Mistugi Saotome and the Confusion of Spiritual Philosophy,” from Aiki-Kuzushi

“I’m presently working my way through the 1986 book Aikido and the Harmony of Nature, by Mistugi Saotome. Now, I’m not an ASU (Aikido Schools of Ueshiba) student, but I’ve been kinda a fan for some years. In videos I’ve seen of him, Saotome shihan’s technique is clean and effortless-looking, and his students are knowledgeable in their approach and powerful in their technique.”

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  1. If you throw a rock up into the air does the whole universe change its rules to fit with your particular beliefs?
    Does it behave in any way differently each time depending on the individual throwing the rock?
    Or does it simply fall?
    Gravity by any other name is simply gravity.
    That’s a good starting point.

  2. Albert Simonson says:

    Ascribing why that rock falls is another kettle of fish. Check out “The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man’s Changing Vision of the Universe” by Arthur Koestler. Einstein changed the rules. BOOM!

  3. Basically, Nev hits the nail on the head with his comment.
    I would like to add this:
    Religions and “spiritual philosophy” in human history are generally a reflection of the social organization of people. Groups that are primarily organized by clan have beliefs reinforcing that organization. The bird clan, the bear clan, etc.
    Tribes have beliefs that are the “tribal glue”. We’re the “water tribe”, you’re the “oil tribe”. Stay away unless it’s time for mayonnaise.
    City-states and nations over the globe have risen and fallen and added their religious concepts to the mix. It’s a known fact that the major religions we have now for the most part are synthetic religions built up of elements of earlier beliefs.
    Now the nations and the peoples of the world are rubbing elbows, mingling, and in some cases tripping over one another.
    Now we’re at the cusp of a new era which has seen the concept of national identity taken to absurdity. Japan and State Shinto is a good example. WWII was (I hope) the pivot point away from that tendency.
    It’s very important for us to see the leadership of The Founder in assessing the circumstances of his people after WWII. He embraced the idea of the international disemination of Aikido, and that vision for the future has come to pass. For me, this is the crux of the matter regarding Aikido as “the Art of Peace”. It is not a religion, in that it does not create another national, tribal, clan or clique of “like-minded” believers. It is, well,.. an emulsifier.

  4. Whether faith or reason are present, or no-one there to notice it, or consider the ‘whys’ and wherefores, without either the observation or assistance of humans, if nothing is holding it up, the rock will still fall along with all the other attributes of existence being what they are and doing what they do. And the universe will go on universing as it always has.
    The book looks like an interesting read.

  5. …have had the pleasure to train with Saotome sensei on several occasions. his sincerity is impressive, as is his ability to speak at length without notes. so are his techniques. the link between the two is difficult to see. so, as i go to train rather than philosophize… 😉

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