We can divide the body into four parts: the ki-tai, ryu-tai, ju-tai and ko-tai [ki-body, flowing-body, flexible body and stiff body] 1). For every one of these four parts of the whole go-tai, it is essential that they become utterly transparent to one’s kon, one’s spirit.
- Now, in the case of the ki-tai, it is through a spiritual apprenticeship inspired by the direct perception of the Great [Original] God, as you practise ki-energetics in every part of your being, that complete transparency to your spirit and to the resonance of that spirit will develop. For this reason it is important to practise ki-energetics in such a way that you quickly become aware of the tao, the ground of all existence.
The practice of ki-energetics consists of prayer enlivened by a sincere faith.
- Now, the blood that circulates through your ryu-tai can be healthily purified by unifying body and spirit. This is what we call purifying your ki. The inspirational teaching and ongoing project of the sound ‘U’ is that our blood, as it circulates, can completely become simply part of the [natural] universe. You become Hiroko – you act as the kami acts. In order to do this, you have to seriously polish your human instincts. And that is the work of Izunome.
This [flowing body] becomes, miraculously, a purified form of the spiritual threads [that make up the universe]. This can only be accomplished through the dedicated pursuit of Budo.
- As you purify your blood-flow and spirit-body, the ju-tai, the flesh-body is miraculously reborn, and becomes suffused with a diffuse light. This is essential..
- And finally we come to the ko-tai, the solid-body. It is essential in all of this to establish a first-rate foundation [with ko-tai training that penetrates] to your very marrow and bone.
In the same way, we can divide Kokyu into four parts: Ten no Kokyu – otherwise known as:
- the breathing of the Sun
- and of the Moon,
and Chi no Kokyu – otherwise known as:
- the rising
- and ebb of the tides.
As you make yourself open to the exchange of Ten no Kokyu and Chi no Kokyu, you forge aiki: [which is to say:] the cross of tate-yoko, [the vertical exchange of the Sun and the Moon’s kokyu, and the horizontal movement of the energy of the tides] comes together as aiki, as long as you do this with the honest aim of becoming a good and wonderful person.
Alone or with a partner, alone or in a crowded dojo, it doesn’t matter. If you forge yourself anew as a fine specimen of a human-being, then you don’t need to send a rocket to the moon in order to know [the moon] completely. Because you have collected together in your own body the Sun, the Moon, and the stars. So you have no need to go look for them. And thus in their intellectual work, by studying both Japanese wisdom, and global scientific knowledge, a scientist could contribute to a purer, and clearer world.
But in any case, in today’s world, more and more we place too much store by the wrong things, and consequently people feel that they are losing themselves. This is regrettable. People should at any cost follow the way of aiki shugyo. If you do this, you can re-discover the ‘self’ that has been lost.
You can discover the root of all the workings of the sacred sword of Ame-no-Murakumo-no-tsurugi. In other words: Takemusu Aiki. In other words: a better liberalism and a better democracy.
- – - O’Sensei, Takemusu Aiki, p.115-7 of the French edition, vol.3