….red leaves by the river(2)…


…koke fukaki sode…

But now,
in a
cedar-wooded cabin,
I would just so love to find myself
…and thick with moss my sleeves…

– – – Princess Shikishi

…Guy Debord / La Société du Spectacle (4)…


  • And then when we get to the point where the real world is transformed into nothing but images, then those images become real entities, and the extremely effective agency for a hypnotized way of seeing the world. These performances and images, as the aggregate, the collectivity that shapes how we see – through a variety of specialized media – the world – which at this point can no longer be grasped directly – as a matter of course elevate the sense of sight to the position of most privileged of our five human senses: whereas in other times and other eras it was the sense of touch. And this elevation of the sense of sight – that most abstract of the senses, and the most easily deceived – corresponds to the generalized abstraction of present day society. But this ‘spectacle’ – these performances and images – cannot simply be defined as things we perceive with our sense of sight, even in combination with our sense of hearing. We also have to define them as things that are outside of  our normal human activity in our real, normal, physical space… things that are beyond the ability of any single, isolated consumer/audience-member/viewer to rethink, reconsider and correct. And everywhere that there is this autonomous, beyond-our-control  ‘representation’ : performances and images that are ‘untouchable’… there the ‘spectacle‘ of our society coalesces.

* – * – *

What I deal with and I see is that people living in a world of symbols and philosophy end up believing that the ebb and flow of their mental condition actually is reality itself.  And so, as my sword teacher said – we were talking about all the great Japanese poetry and the Budo way of thinking – and then he said: “That’s very good philosophy. Please teach me with your sword.” Meaning: what you can actually do is what you can actually do.

And I see this as a form of illness: it’s so common amongst people now that they don’t feel their natural bodies any more – they feel the mental body. And I see often a struggle between the physical body – which has in it a million years of surviving… it wants to keep living… it will do all kinds of things just to keep living, living, living… and the mental body: which can be wrapped up in self-destruction and despair.

And so conditions of depression often are the conflict between the mental body wanting to die and the physical body refusing. And the soul – the being – is hung between hell and heaven.

The natural self doesn’t get to live because it’s being suppressed by the mind. The mind-self has already decided – it believes somehow – that death will free it from restrictions . It doesn’t see it as oblivion and it never considers that if you are really are unhappy – the mental state you are in could continue in another world ad infinitum with no escape.

No-one wants to consider that because we feel powerless. The mental self, in the world of symbols, can end up feeling powerless – or more powerful than it actually is. It can hallucinate god-like nature, or hell-like nature. The body itself – the physical body-  is created and evolved to live whether it’s cold or hot or starving: it wants to live… and the the very last thing is it struggles for its last breath because it’s so much in love with earth.

The mental body: no.

Particularly now. Because the mental body does not match the physical body anymore.

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O’Sensei no kuden: peace in the world (8)

Bu has come down to us from ancient times, and it’s important to understand that its original nature is to take our animal spirits and to manifest there the spirit of the creator, and to make the three worlds [ – manifest, hidden and divine – ] join together in harmony and loving kindness and mutual care… this is what it really is.

– – – O’Sensei,  probably audio-recorded by by Masatake Fujita,  transcribed by Sadateru Arikawa Shihan, published in Aiki-Shinzui,  p.90

…triple swords at Samhain….


…pencil learning vs.electronic…

Amusing to note, as we process the recent findings of Princeton and UCLA researchers,  that:

  • Masatake Fujita sound-recorded O’Sensei’s talks, and Sadateru Arikawa transcribed them for the Aikikai’s  newsletter…. AND, NOTORIOUSLY, AT HOMBU, NOT A SINGLE STUDENT UNDERSTOOD WHAT O’SENSEI WAS SAYING…

while on the other hand:


Rebeca is teaching ‘cante’…

…(Flamenco singing):  group classes on Tuesdays, 6:15… private classes by arrangement… accompanied by Mahavia guitarist, Derren Crosby Davidavich…  …contact Rebeca-san on (208) 713-0235, or at RRLeatherwing@outlook.com …

..and Rebeca-san’s new CD: ‘VOGT’  by PALANKEEN…vogtCDnOPENCOVER

…the digital download is available here,  and the  CD’s are available on the same link.  You can buy them here in Boise at Doyle’s on Broadway,  and at the Record Exchange.

Lynn’s latest sculpture, Torran…

…is a sturdy small horse or a large pony  not strictly breed specific (though he strides through Lynn-san’s imagination with Spanish or Celtic ancestors).   Torran is a traditional-scale, resin release — available for order now…. www.lynnafraley.com

Peter is producing and performing in The Christmas Interludes…

three favorite actors performing AT YOUR PARTY:

Stubby Pringle’s Christmas,  A Child’s Christmas in Wales,  or  A Christmas Carol…  available December 5 – 27,  with public performances at The Mode Lounge, and at Boise Contemporary Theaterbwcarol


A change of optic:

Aikido is a gem of many facets – sometimes it seems that every one of O’Sensei’s students remembered a different teacher, and of course, many, many different styles have been preserved and developed – but here is one facet that clicked into focus for me recently:

what if O’Sensei spent his time away from Iwama and Tokyo coherently pursuing what he felt to be his “mission in life”?…

what if he spent his time away from Iwama and Tokyo creating and nurturing a network of dojos run by Omoto-Kyo, ex-Omoto-Kyo and Ko-Shinto believers ( hand-picked deshi,  some of them raised, almost, as members of his family) – – – and ex-Kamikaze pilots, too (!) – often with his own name on the sign –  in places – and close to shrines…

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