Maai is the functional study of relationship boundaries and of the nuances of the natural forces that go into making them. Boundaries exist to protect a centre. There are infinite centres reflecting the one universal core.
People let their minds entangle in the space between boundaries and because it appears to be empty, become hypnotized by a concept of no-concept into which they insert their fears and ideas and their own mind then defeats them. Reality is what is happening while your mind was writing another script. These false assumptions born of fear then lead to violence of some kind.
The principle of musubi unites the boundaries and dances with the energy exchange between them bringing the natural economy of energy exchange to a balance where it may settle. Respect being the ultimate social lubricant it enables a constructive paradigm of existence to take place and to vivify those core values which carry us through time by uniting us as a species who can thrive against the odds.
All of human suffering comes from the disregard of, and the transgression of either real, imagined or other boundaries.
Often territory is hard earned, but it can also be stolen. Stolen territory whilst filled with the energy stolen from the rightful owners is fraught with mishap. The hungry ghosts of injustice do not rest until they have fed on the souls of the perpetrators. This is why all empires fall. Murder is not a building block but a corrosive acid.
Primitive and dysfunctioning minds disregard boundaries pretty much as you can see with your pet dog. He believes he owns the street and will not stop at the front gate you prescribe. Until a car hits him, somebody shoots him or he is stolen to fight in the pits.
A dog cannot understand a line drawn on a map by a man since such lines are not endorsed by the universe and its primordial laws. The agreements made between men come from aeons of warfare over such very lines. To prevent further bloodshed and feuding, over time legal constructs have evolved which are commonly understood and agreed upon by all except dogs and invading armies working for dubious agendas.
The word “boundary” has a multitude of connotations.
kuiki– limits, boundary, domain, zone, sphere, territory
kukaku— division, section, compartment, boundary, area
shikiri—partition, division, boundary, compartment
kunizakai— boundary of a nation, state, etc.
These nuances are endless but the principle of the boundary is universal. These range from fascia to the biosphere of the planet to all things in nature and the universe. A breach may lead to a death and also to extinction of a species depending on the nature of the breach.
Fascia are the layers of fibrous tissue in the human body, a structure of connective tissue that surrounds and maintains the integrity of muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves, binding some structures together, while permitting others to slide smoothly over each other. Various kinds of fascia may be distinguished. They are classified according to their distinct layers, their functions and their anatomical location. The fascia figures strongly in pressure point sciences whether for curative purposes or combat destructibility.
The biosphere is the global sum of all ecosystems. It can also be called the zone of life on Earth, a closed and self-regulating system. The biosphere is the global ecological system integrating all living beings and their relationships, including their interaction with the elements of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. The biosphere evolved, beginning through a process of biogenesis or biopoesis, over some 3.5 billion years ago. In a broader sense biospheres can be any closed, self-regulating systems containing ecosystems; including artificial ones. Over aeons biopoesis took place in an environment in which a variety of different kinds of protolife were assembled and concentrated.The biosphere includes magnetic fields, the Van Allen radiation belt and a range of border life protection fields which form critical buffers shielding the biosphere from cosmic rays and charged particles from the Sun.
The sole purpose of boundaries is to protect life and the evolution of life.
The energy transfer field between boundaries generates the details of relationships. This may be modulated where intention, will or “ki” exists. Attempt at transgression poses a risk particularly and ultimately to the transgressor, be this an astronaut “space walking” inside the radiation field known as the Van Allen Belts or a soldier sent to invade the home of another to enable theft of resources. In each case there will be unavoidable consequences imposed by nature and universal law. In the universe everything carries a price. The innate universal law of reciprocal causality, cause and effect, is constantly seeking redress and a balance that is not merely static but a living accommodation of all forces and entities concerned. This is evident all around us in nature.
As emerging human beings, our primary field of study with relation to boundaries is that of human relations. Respect for all life. This is pretty much the main field of learning for our species as nothing else can move forward or evolve without this area being addressed. From dating, to family relations, to provincial, state, national and international exchanges, there exists an ongoing interplay which is not static.
The most fearsome “relationship,” is that of interpersonal violence. War. Aggression. Abuse. Violence. And yet the best lessons are learned from war and combat of any kind when properly addressing the possibility of transgression by being prepared in advance and making a dynamic science out of how to best deal with any invasion, the transgression of boundaries. If the event then takes place and if you survive to retain your sanity and your life, you become empowered and gain clarity.
In their wisdom, to this end and forming essential social maintenance the ancients developed the dojo As far back in time as you delve into history and pre-history, some form of dojo was extant. The Roman empire has the Scuderia (which in its original Latin means “place of the shield.”) The Greeks had the Xystos. In old England archery practice was compulsory with severe penalties for shirkers.(interestingly “game” is the Old English word for “fight.” ) Similarly all “stone age” peoples had their places of practice, initiation and schooling survival skills, such as for example, the Melanesian’s Kwod. And so on. Everywhere you go where men are healthy, sane and normal they are bent on the protection of their culture, their family and their loved ones. In today’s world we have military reserves and cadets training to keep people useful and vigilant.
Crude combat is ego based and merely clashes. Advanced combat is strategic but non-strategic minds generally have no comprehension what this means. It means Aikido. Real Aikido, not merely the boofhead mentality of pushing people over or complicit collusion which is nothing more than another form of self delusion, but rather the recognition, protection and maintenance of boundaries.
Strategy does not clash but controls the apparently empty spaces between each mass at odds faced with the possibility of imminent contention. This with attention to the salient details leads energy to completion without incurring a loss of integrity. It constitutes “perfect practice. Observe Morihei’s authentic “no touch” techniques.”
AikiBudo’s strategic leading of ki has a clear conception of boundaries. Not only in the dojo but in all aspects of daily life. The true Budoka strives to correct himself alone, because, as a nascent species we are riddled with the predisposition to transgress valid boundaries either by accident because we are morally blind, or deliberately because we are morally obdurate and mentally deficient. Sorry folks. That’s the cold, hard, ugly truth. There is a lot of work to be done. Begin with a mirror or an honest true friend who does not fear holding you accountable for your actions.
Aikido identifies THE LINE that defines legitimate boundary and controls the buffer zone between opponents with an entirely different agenda than that of seeking to defeat anything other than one’s own mental and spiritual dysfunction.
The agenda is to ensure harmony for all concerned, an all win scenario with no “losers,” resulting from the valid and skilled restoration of harmony.
If you don’t know what this means, then get to. Either start getting serious about so called “Aikido” or go do something else until following the pain of learning the hard way about the self-destructive folly of transgressing where you have no jurisdiction, your pain becomes too much. When that self inflicted pain becomes so much that you can no longer stand the anguish, you may be then be ready to start real Aikido practice in earnest.
I make no apologies in stating this unequivocally, categorically and advisedly.
In other words we all need to stop wasting everyone’s time faking it and begin to practice real Aikido principles in the world, in life, not merely in the closet of a safe dojo space. It’s only an act until we have subjugated ourselves to the process of serving our fellow humans in the active protection of life. There is no other way to find out find out who you really are than facing real risk and dominating it for the greater good. Thereby walking the talk, putting the theory into practice we find out who we really are.
Then take your field experience into the dojo and convert it into AI-KI-DO!
It’s a good starting point to beginning to understand what Morihei Ueshiba was “rambling” about.
Oh yes, and while you are at it, practice daily to have the backbone to protect those boundaries which are legitimately yours to protect, whether big or small.
As a footnote, I may add the following: It is said that Morihei carried a notebook into which he entered epiphanies and practical budo notes. Some like to claim and suggest that for some abstruse purpose these and other writings have been excessively revised post mortem.
I do not think so. Sure, Japanese is not so easy to translate into English. More so old Japanese and even more so that of Morihei Ueshiba may not always be comfortable to disambiguate with rote and mechanical, word for word precision at the best of times. But it is clear that despite all this, Morihei’s insights carry a gist which is self evident and incontrovertible, no matter how they were rendered or even re-rendered in translation.
For example, whether you state it as, “Budo is not a means of felling the opponent by force or by lethal weapons. Neither is it intended to lead the world to destruction by arms and other illegitimate means. True Budo calls for bringing the inner energy of the universe in order, protecting the peace of the world , as well as preserving, everything in nature in its right form.”
“Budo is not the felling of an opponent by force; nor is it a tool to lead the world to destruction with arms. True Budo is to accept the spirit of the universe, keep the peace of the world, correctly produce, protect and cultivate all beings in nature.”
“Aikido is not a technique to fight with or defeat an enemy. It is the way to reconcile the world and make human beings one family.”
.. and so on as now prolifically available, his comments speak most lucidly to that of the urgent need for human beings to fast learn and bring forth the skills of respecting legitimate boundaries before it becomes too late to know how. And he provided a means whereby we may learn to refine this skill – Aikido.
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