“The Parable of Indra’s Net,” by Nev Sagiba

Indra’s Net or Indra’s Web is a metaphor taken from the Avatamsaka or Flower Garland Sutra. The sutra describes a vast net that reaches infinitely in all directions (probably so called “dark matter”), and linking the net are an infinite number of jewels or nexus, meeting points of juxtaposition. Each individual jewel reflects all of the other jewels, and the reflected jewels also reflect all of the other jewels. The metaphor illustrates the interpenetration of all phenomena. Everything contains everything else. At the same time, each individual thing is not hindered by or confused with all the other individual things.

This immense primordially original, multi dimensional, all encompassing, all inclusive Cosmic Mandala composed of myriad array of nexus, forms the Universe’s architecture.

Being complete, the nature of the Universe reconciles antagonistic forces and neutralises extremes without loss of integrity or energy. Understanding this potential enables infinite adaptivity in reconciling opposites, making them complementary for us humans as well. This is the Great Universal Aiki which Ueshiba referred to. When tapped, it enables an organic, living template which aligns with the immutable essence of life and nature, capturing the primordial patterns of Origin and give rise to expressions of refined aiki in all things. Because there can be no loss in the universe, energy and matter cannot be destroyed and are rather cycled and recycled.

This is in accord with the free flow that governs the expanding Light nature, the Universe’s trajectory, referred to in the Shinto as Kannagara-no-Michi and by other visionaries with terms such as, “The Eternal River of Life,” the unseen energy and matter that forms the bulk of the universe we are not yet equipped to perceive, which relentlessly moves “forward” in time. This has relevance to both consciousness and function in what we know as life.

Indra’s Net is a profound metaphor for the structure of reality, representing the interconnectedness and interdependency of all things, describing a rich and diverse universe where infinitely repeated mutual relations exist between all its elements and entities, the Cosmos is a crossing of many threads of light, at the crossing of each light is a jewel which reflects the light of each other jewel.

Indra’s Web is more than just a metaphor. Science is discovering what Buddhist and Hindu mystics intuited long ago in the E8 Polytope. The future developments which will arise from this discovery will catapult humanity into new dimensions. Indeed, it is already doing so now.

Are you ready for the great Cosmic adventure?

What has this to do with Budo?

Budo is life and the protection care and nurturing of life. True Budo cannot be achieved by destructive means. Without Aiki, or harmonised intent, it leads to energy debt and recurring patterns of aggression. Without intentional harmonising there would be such anarchy that would lead to a social meltdown that could reduce our species back to that of the caveman. In the animal kingdom, an alpha male does not last who cannot protect his herd, cluster, pack, group or tribe. The alpha female assists and the rest becomes functional hierarchy. Protectivity is an essential principle of existence that life forms reflect and copy from the “higher spheres.” How much more is the value of protectors in the human species.

That the web of life is integrated and interconnected is not new knowledge.

It is said that when Minamoto no Yoshimitsu was sitting having lunch, his gaze fell upon a spider’s web, where a large moth had entangled itself, the small spider at the centre retaining control, he had a flash of insight that would lead to the development of aikijujutsu.

In today’s world, I can communicate with you who are reading this now, on a beam of light from thousands of miles away in seconds, because this principle of interpenetration of all phenomena is extant in the form of also the world wide internet. Named World Wide Web, it could not have been justly named anything else, hence each URL beginning with www.

People whose birth was non traumatic, or less traumatic are not easy to dominate because both spheres of the brain are active and balanced and they can see through the deceptions that may hypnotize and entrap others. More neurons are firing in the interconnected web of their brain and as a result they may also tend to be ambidextrous and additionally cooordinated. In feudal times in both east and west, this was looked upon with superstition and fear. Terms such as “left hand of the devil” were invented to force people to conform and free thinking innovators were often persecuted. Aikido training restores the left/right brain balance as well as vivifying a number of other faculties which would otherwise remain dormant.

Children suffering from dyslexia, dyspraxia, the so called ADHD, and other “syndromes” and disabilities have shown remarkable results following extended periods practicing Aikido and activities which call upon using both sides of the body.

Because of the inability to see magnanimously and without ambiguity people tend to contend. Instead of seeing differences as the complimentary opposites they really are, they get paranoid and want to destroy what their sick mind perceives as a threat. Complimentary differences lead to all win outcomes. War and conflict, as history repeatedly and nauseatingly reveals, lead invariably to temporary and forced “peace” followed by all lose consequences.

This planet has been here 4.6 billion years. We as a species for several million years as we are told, and still this lesson is a hard one for concreted minds buried in the dark silt at the bottom of existence.

There is hope in that some, probably you reading this, can see beyond conflict as a solution for anything. A balanced mind can see alternatives and variables in the great adventure of life. Opportunities instead of problems.

When you can extract the opportunity out of a challenge you have developed the mind of Aikido. From ancient times, “styles” developed around the concretion of an incomplete picture. So people clung to the limitations they imagined they possessed.

Interestingly, the more complete the picture becomes the more difficult for destructive conflict to arise, because a full view gives rise to equilibrium, which neutralizes conflict creatively because the many alternatives to violence and destructivity, doing things the hard way with all its consequences, become evident to an awakened mind. Awareness of these Takemusu potentials clears the mind.

The dark corners of the mind where neurones are not firing develop opinions rather than simply seeing what is, as it is.

When practicing a complete range of transitions and counters, to and from the full range of techniques, new areas of the mind and brain come alive. Neuronal pathways are revived and even new ones developed. One’s view of life changes to become more insightful and complete. This of course enables numerous advantages the dormant do not get.

Transitions and counters drills also enable insight and the ability to notice and identify the numerous tsuki or openings in an opponent’s attack that the average student of fighting cannot grasp. They think it’s magic. In a way it is. It is the magic of noticing what’s there hidden in plain sight.

When you practice with others, each has their unique way of expressing. In this way we learn from each other and expand our horizons even more.

This gives you predictability. Predictability sweeps away irrationality, because you no longer believe, but know through the understanding gained in practice. Predictability in combat enables victory. This is where the old saying comes from, “First win then show up for battle. Otherwise don’t go.”

Indra’s Web is dynamically reflected in the many threads of energy of Aiki…at the crossings of the flows between transitions (henka) and counters (kaeshi) as infinite spontaneously created technique that occur in that moment of precise juxtaposition. When you train wisely and perceptively noticing variables, you can do better than fight easy should a situation arise, but in discovering Indra’s Web, mitigate fighting altogether.

Aiki victory disables the potential for conflict in advance. Hence it serves the constructively creative requirements of nurturing, protecting and caring for all life in the interconnected web of life that supports and enables your existence.

This gives rise to the effortless effort, which is the Way of Ai Ki in all things.

Nev Sagiba


“Now an e-book:
FOUR DIAMONDS 1024 – Basic Transitions and Counters of Aikido

by Nev Sagiba

4 Diamonds 1024  - The Book

Get the e-book: "FOUR DIAMONDS 1024, Basic Transitions and Counters of Aikido"

The ability to adjust seamlessly between techniques defines mastery. In most cases, this essential attribute of Aikido has been either ignored or guessed at. This book not only reveals the innate simplicity behind the apparent complexity of Aikido Transitions and Counters, but it provides a full spectrum of possibilities for practicing. Here it is, simplified in drills of two techniques. When you can do these drills easily, you will be able to effect spontaneous responses to any attack. If you know your basic techniques this book is recommended and will enrich your Aikido. FOUR DIAMONDS 1024, provides complete sets of exercise drill guidelines to enable exploration of the available range of basic transitions and counters and unlock their potentials.

* You asked. We heard you. Here are some of the previously unanswered questions not written in the original publication. If you’ve already purchased the book, please complete it here for free. Download Addendum 2 of FOUR DIAMONDS 1024.

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