Contention is expensive. Excessive striving costs irreparably as all the mad of history can attest.
Cause and effect being the entire nature of the universe, to every action there are consequences. No being exists who is exempt and there are no dispensations save in the application of the Law Itself. The only way to apply it harmoniously is harmony itself, which then augments the Law and Order that maintains the Universe.
Wise navigation learns to not accrue debt, but to sail efficiently and economically. You may call it Love, or Harmony, or Goodness or Tau or whatever label you wish, it’s all the same.
The secret is not how well you control others, because you can not, but how well you control yourself and become response enabled, response able, responsible or able to respond.
The error is in the desire to control others. The mad become madder and madder and more entangled trying to play this game of futility.
But of yourself, you have absolute jurisdiction.
Few use this to its immeasurable potential. Instead, most, driven by simian genes, seek jurisdiction where they have none. People bully their spouse, their children their employees, their dog (the cat won’t let them) and anyone else they can for as long as they think they can get away with it.
Most of the time they don’t even realise they are doing it. Manipulation, womanipulation and people manipulation leads to lose-lose outcomes.
Eventually you will be caught.
Observe life meticulously, study it over long periods of time and you will notice this salient fact for yourself.
The alternative to bullying, whether conscious or unconscious, people think, is to be a doormat, a victim, the one being bullied.
There is another way. The Way of Aiki or accommodation, loving allowance. But the pundits fail to give you the key and when you don’t know it, you fall victim and accuse them of mystical fantasies.
Well, I’m about to give you the key, so pay careful attention.
It’s the same as losing fat. Instead people try to lose “weight” by not eating, then get sick, return to bingeing and go round in meaningless circles. Simplicity dictates stop eating fat making junk, exercise, hydrate and do that which makes you not “lose weight,” rather: BURN FAT! It’s intended function in nature as fuel for muscle activity.
The mind is little different. Nobody really wants to be a bully or a victim but whilst some resign to being a victim, others espouse the “silver rule” and get in first with what they deem the lesser evil by being bullies. Whilst wrong as it leads to serious consequences, it is all a primitive mind knows wherewith to protect what semblance of integrity it may wish to have.
However, bullying corrodes the very integrity you are striving to protect. The predator then becomes the hunted. This is the cause of all of human woes, crime, divorce, abuse and leads to ultimate failure. The wheel of life going round in circles of meaningless futility.
How do we solve the problem?
Position. Position is everything.
When you know how to correctly, optimally and appropriately POSITION YOURSELF, you can dance. The key to success in all things is found in how you choose to position yourself. That skill comes from noticing terrain and all assets and liabilities within that terrain.
To obtain position, first you must achieve clarity of noticing.
Consider multiple attacks in Aikido. How many of you reading this practice multiple attacks at each training session? If not, why not?
Aikido is NOT about pushing one person over who was going to fall down for you. That’s patent quackery and charlatanism. Self deception of the worst kind.
Aikido is the ongoing dynamic reframing of best position during multiple attack!
Before you can correctly position yourself you must develop inner vision and commonsense through regular training that will instantly reveal the best position. Position, by the way, is not static (get the glue out of your feet and mind), but needs to keep moving in accordance to the Great Harmony of the Universe, INNER POSITION: CENTRE!
Robert Browning put it like this:
“TRUTH is within ourselves; it takes no rise
From outward things, whate’er you may believe.
There is an inmost centre in us all,
Where truth abides in fullness; and around,
Wall upon wall, the gross flesh hems it in,
This perfect, clear perception—which is truth.
A baffling and perverting carnal mesh
Binds it, and makes all error: and, to KNOW,
Rather consists in opening out a way
Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,
Than in effecting entry for a light
Supposed to be without.”
Jesus put it like this:
“If you bring forth what is within you,
what you bring forth will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is within you,
what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”
Gospel of Thomas
By repairing and reclaiming your INNER POSITION, id est, ALIGNMENT with your inmost core, which is always irrevocably aligned with the Centre of the Universal Origin, you learn to move correctly and to position yourself externally, intuitively and from WITHIN!
“Regular training and meditation, removes the dust from the mind’s eye and the joints.. enabling you to gain greater clarity each day.” – Morihei Ueshiba
Before you can SAFELY Aiki, accommodate or lovingly allow, you must first be in a position of safety yourself, otherwise you will be forced to instinctively contend in order to defend.
Position of safety is not a place but a paradigm of mind, morality, attitude, a paradigm of spirit, integrity and clarity. A paradigm of knowing, experience and trust. A paradigm of core values emerging from heart and centre which then becomes reflected in the way you move, act and behave.
When you consciously sustain a regular discipline such as Aikido training as A Way of Life, these will emerge naturally.
There are many insights both ancient and modern. I’m not saying anything new here. Simply restating the self evident in case for the time being it may appear not to be. Nothing new can be said. All wisdom is perennial and much like Aikido techniques can only be re-expressed as may be relevant for this day. And then anew again.
A lot has already been said, pointing to this Universal Principle of Aiki – Resist Not Evil..
Resist Not Evil
Matt 5:38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
Matt 5:39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Matt 5:40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.
Matt 5:41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
Matt 5:42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
Luke 6:29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the [one] cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.
Luke 6:30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.
Render Unto Caesar
Mark 12:14 And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?
Mark 12:15 Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it.
Mark 12:16 And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s.
Mark 12:17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.
Lao Tzu 63
Requite injury with kindness.
For Virtue is Kind
Lao Tzu 49
The Sage has no interests of his own,
But takes the interests of the people as his own.
He is kind to the kind;
He is also kind to the unkind:
For Virtue is kind.
He is faithful to the faithful;
He is also faithful to the unfaithful:
For Virtue is faithful.
Fitting hospitality must be shown even towards an enemy arrived at the house. The tree does not withdraw from the wood-cutter the shade at its side.
Doing Good to the Evil
Sufi: Saadi of Shiraz
Merely doing good to the evil may be equivalent to doing evil to the good.
With What Will You Recompense Kindness
“What do you say concerning the principle that injury should be recompensed with kindness?” The Master said, “With what then will you recompense kindness? Recompense injury with justice and recompense kindness with kindness.”
The bottom line is this. When you properly adjust and position YOURSELF (at all levels), it becomes possible to allow and to accommodate and to not resist evil; and yet not receive the evilly intended ki.
The attacker will have to deal with the energy and intention he has generated. It may damage him, equal to the proportion of his intent. This may educate.
This is the universal Law of Harmony.
Aikido neither yields to, nor subsidizes, or resists discordant energy, but simply notices it clearly enough to get out of the way effectively.
Aikido may well be a ‘defence’ art, but it is also a yoga and a dance. The yoga of Aiki is in the reconciling of intention and energy. It is the powerful physical accommodating which gives rise to the dance of Aiki.
Many years ago, after a class where multiple attacker jiyuwaza/randori had featured prominently, I walked into a nearby temple and was confronted with a huge mural depicting a representation of deity dancing on the heads of a thousand headed serpent. I instantly “got it”, causing my hair to stand on end and my body to tingle with whatever it is that tingles when you have these experiences. But just to reassure myself I was not fabricating my own rendition I asked a monk who confirmed: “Ah yes, it’s particularly difficult to fight a snake. More so when it has endless heads. The serpent represents the ocean of Samsara, the natural world of change. Its attacks, the inevitable suffering and challenges of finite life. If you fight it, you will surely get bitten and be defeated by its poison. Each time a fanged head rises to strike, it can be either a defeat or a steppingstone. You make that choice! The Deity exemplifies this universal principle. Each attack is seen with non-attachment as an opportunity, a gift of energy enabling you to dance your way through existence toward realizing the Absolute, the Nirvana that’s within the Cosmic Dance reflected in ourselves in daily life. True and lasting peace can be found nowhere else!”
Aikido has always been with us. It is the Nature of the Universe, Kannagara no Michi. There is not so much to “do,” rather to enter and to stand in best position and dynamically and consciously allow. In the Universal One Life of undifferentiated origins, Chushin, (the centre of the circle) does not distinguish between sentoujinchi (battle position) and odori (dance). It simply travels in the direction of Hikari (light) constantly remaking new harmonies.
In order to properly “resist not evil,” without succumbing to its vagaries, your core must be strongly rooted in divine principle (ten or heaven), you must have clarity of perception, noticing what is, exactly as it is, unfettered by opinions; and you must be well grounded (chi or earth) in a stable stance that is also flexible according to the need of each moment.
Aikido properly practiced preeminently addresses these human deficits.
Most usually, the challenge itself can be made a steppingstone. This is reliant upon your attitude. Important it is to neither ignore it, nor become attached to it, but rather use it to catapult to the next step towards the goal sought. Often the next step, or next several steps will also be challenges, and so on.
Whereas the mediocre will choose to drop out, the warrior persists!
Sometimes in order to survive you have to dance like blessed hell! But what the heck! It’s all training!
Be thankful for the opportunity the present discomfort presents; and choosing to suffer willingly through the development of skill in action will then become a joy!
The joy of Aiki. To dance, calmly centered under fire.