There is no doubt that aikido is "off in subtle
ways." I offer that any cultural filter is off in
subtle ways. [Looking about for my camera and
This is a dilemma that I think many of us have -
to what degree does our cultural filter assist us?
to what degree does it hinder us? how and
when should we change cultural filters to better
grasp the meaning of the Word of God?
For God, to me, is supra-cultural.
Let's try the filters with Matthew 23.
When I read Matthew 23, where Jesus calls
a 'spade a spade' to the Pharisees, I find
my mind must use the American filter of
honesty, speaking the truth, demanding
excellence, and persuading on-lookers with
concise pictures of 'bad' religion - concern
over titles, love of clothing, uplifting of the
tithe, and white-washing many external
aspects -- all while ignoring the weightier
When I read Matthew 23 with an eastern
mind-set, the chapter is very jarring. I
simply stop reading, since Matthew 23 (with
the eastern mind-set) makes no harmony,
no flow, and within that mind-set, I can
perceive no moving of the Spirit of God. In
fact, within my eastern mind-set, I must
ignore Matthew 23 because it creates such
incredible 'dysphoria' (i.e., extreme
discomfort) in my heart.
So, I switch mind-sets when needed. I shift
even analogies as well. In a way, I am changing
the filter on my camera lens (the mind-set), and
then scanning my memory of scenes and insights
in order to take a better picture of truth (the
analogy). These mind-sets are like filters and
pictures; I wish I could say that I grasped the
'truth'... but I can only capture a picture of a
moment of insight.... <sighs>....
Let's try the filters with Galatians 6:1&2. Chief
in my reasoning as a believer (western or
eastern) is Galatians 6:1 and 2. To me, these
verses are the essence of advanced
When I read Galatians 6:1 & 2 with an
American mind-set, something odd happens
-- the verses are very jarring. The verses
have insufficient conflict, confrontation, and
simply imply no time-table of results.
Believe it or not, within my American mind-
set, I find that my heart ignores Galatians 6:
Thus, I read Galatians 6:1&2 with an
eastern mind-set. Now, I see the aikido:
- I am to see that someone is
overcome, and not ignore them;
- I am to consider my strengths and
weaknesses, and take my stance
- I am to come alongside and feel
- I am to leverage my advice to that
area of over-burden;
- I allow time constraints to be ignored;
- I am to restore him/her gently.
Here are some personal observations of some
I know one American personally that lives
by the Law of Christ. He has no eastern
training. After years of getting to know him,
he did, however, have considerable Amish
influence and perhaps that is why he can
read and comprehend Gal 6:1&2, and live
Likewise, I know one medical nurse, and
she lives these verses when she perceives
someone is wounded. Otherwise, she can
confront and attack in a very American
I know three American pastors fairly well.
They do not live by the Law of Christ. One
of them told me, "I am not gifted to live
those verses." A dodge? Not really, I think
that such a 'dysphoria' was created
between the Law of Christ versus his
American mind-set, that he had to develop
a handle to keep those verses away from
impacting his American Christian lifestyle.
He loves to confront from the pulpit... he
avoids coming alongside anyone that is not
willing to repent quickly. The idea of no
time-table is abhorrent to him.
To me, the American mind-set is not God's mind-
set. And yes, to me, the Buddhist mind-set is not
The American mind-set worships "choice",
"quick confrontation", and "win/lose"
(among other aspects). The eastern mind-
set worships "surrender", "gentle
confrontation", and "harmony". [These are
broad strokes of the brush, but it helps at
this point to use a big brush... .]
The key to me, is to either (1) attain to God's
mind-set or (2) learn to switch mind-sets as
needed in order to understand and live the
I am 51 years old now, and have never had
great success with (1), and I foresee dying long
before I can say I have grasped (1), that is to
have attained to God's mind-set.
Ah, but (2), I can do. Switching filters on my
mental camera is not so hard. The two filters --
western or eastern -- each have an ability to
'color' different truths of God within His
I vote to not discard the American mind-set,
since that filter is potent and valuable.
True, our form of American western mind-
set was forged years ago in the religion of
social Darwinism and colored by the
expediency of business and many wars.
Thus, this mind-set allows TGs to be
devoured by superior doctrine and then
"fired" from churches -- the pastor (as
business boss) sleeps well at night. Despite
such abuse, the American mind-set is still a
valuable filter for my mind's camera.
I also vote to not discard the eastern mind-set,
since that filter is also potent and valuable.
True, it was forged hundreds of years ago
in the religion of Buddhism and is colored by
the concept of blending energies. This mind-
set allows TGs to learn to meditate on
'nothing' and then blend with the 'universe'
-- the book of Colossians speaks of better
things on which to meditate, and better
things with which to blend. Despite such
abuse, the eastern mind-set is still a
valuable filter for my mind's camera.
For me, the lens of the camera is changed as
needed. All lenses are valuable, especially if the
owner of the camera does not glue only one lens
in place over the eyes of their heart.
Much love in Christ always and unconditionally;
(c) Copyright Caryn LeMur 2007
|The Collection of Short Works,
Letters, and Poems
The Lens Of The Camera
It is really just a Japanese word.
Yet some of my writings deal with
the "Aikido of Love".
And Aikido, when used as an
analogy, can cause an insightful
and different view of some
scriptures than the standard
A good friend stated that aikido
was founded on Buddhist
principles and therefore "off in
True? False? Partially true? I
think it is important to discuss
cultural views, for every cultural
view has limitations.
If you can, get out your camera,
and two lenses, k?
And then, I think you'll understand.
The Lens Of The
|In Deepest Sympathy -
Poetry for those that grieve
|Building Faith, Hope, & Love -
Stories and Writings
|A Cup Of Cold Water -
Letters For The Thirsty
|A Pause In The Forest -
Poetry for thoughtful moments