“Sword and Brush Lives On,” Nev Sagiba

Thankfully, the early half of my life involved lots of physical activity and some measure of the old way to effect balance with the arts and sciences.

When, finally I decided to get a computer to store my writing as being more efficient, it was a testing time. Moving between keyboard, mouse and screen to buki and taijutsu and back felt very challenging, and whilst building up the link between the two dimensions, I began to understand the demands experienced by Dr. Who, the Time Lord.

And yet it was the reconciliation of this very disparity that enabled both sets of abilities, despite the immense discomfort of CHANGE, to augment and expand skills exponentially. Patience with fine motor coordination and immediately explosive kinesthesia stopped warring and became collaborating friends.

The ancients knew this!

They also knew that if you “know” too much at the outset of a journey, climb or endeavour, you will “know” enough to talk yourself out of it. Simply the vision of the desired outcome and persistence are enough. And perhaps, if lucky some few friends with the same attitude.

Ueshiba, like all the great innovators, was not too highly “educated” into one way of thinking. Nor was for example Tesla and the long line of inventors and discoverers who preceded the likes of him. These individuals simply had a broad and far reaching altruistic vision and very often its inspiration worked in a practical manner the first time!

Ueshiba often stated, “I simply see the technique as if receiving it instantly, and then leave everything in the hands of Kami and the Universe.. It is as if the Kami are transmitting it to me.” And in combat there are not often long pauses wherewith to “figure things out.” Perhaps in-between battles, but then you require the skills of strategic thinking to make use of time lapses instead of wasting them with fear and worry. Such skills arise from training and experience.

You do. You survive. Such spontaneity is much sought after. The very seeking and striving for it kills it, since it is ALREADY THERE, at your core as an innate part of your being, waiting to be allowed out. You have to accept that you, as a conduit for the universe, already “have” it, and then trust enough to carry out whatever it is you wish, without even the slightest equivocation, before the warps and farts of quasi logical intellectual clutter gets in the way of living brightly in each moment.

Ueshiba described it rightly as akin to a powerful but delicate bright light inside a glass globe covered with stiff, caked up mud. If you smash the mud, you risk losing the light, but the gentle polishing of keiko will guarantee safe results over time. He also described it as a food garden which continues to grow and to fructify despite neglect, in-between periods of due vigilance.

The doing is the explanation.

The repetition, the refinement.

The noticing, the teacher.

The fallow period (but not too much) when recovery and rich fertility builds up.

The Way of the universe and nature.

Truly capable budo instructors, expect you to get up and IMMEDIATELY practice once shown. The more time passes, the more the imprint fades. This is the secret of mitori geiko. Standing around chattering is merely avoidance of work. Work carries the pain of change and the flushing of attachments of concrete mental sludge, stagnant habituated patterns and complacency.

In an imminent challenge of either nature or of violence, you will need to move immediately, with clarity, vision and skill, without the luxury of time to analyze at length.

You can have the best and prettiest hakama in the world, but if you are lazy, it means nothing. It means nothing anyhow. Aikido is Aikido in any clothing.

Back to inter-dimensional time travel, how many warm cups of tea or coffee have you had lately since the keyboard became the new age brush?

How many unburnt meals?

How many healthy meals, for that matter?

This ability to juxtapose, reconcile and balance disparate dimensions and differing time dimensions are already with us now! No need to wait for some distant future. Use the tools already before you. As above so below. A menial task conducted properly and with vigilance has immense great effects in the ripples that emanate from your mind.

If not that, then an example of excellence and skill in action will rub off infectiously. This is why there is no form of acknowledgement better that someone trying to copy your innovations.

The tools for melding disparate time states are in your hands daily. The technique is to navigate without undue stress. The sword and the brush have become Aikido and Ai-keyboard.

Enjoy the journey. It is vast and infinite, just like the universe.

Daily life can be both keiko and misogi. For it to be so it must be preceded with the attitude that it is so.

Nev Sagiba

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