Dear B:

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
lens filters....]

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
    matters.

    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
Christianity.  

    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:
    1&2.

    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
    accordingly;

    - I am to come alongside and feel
    his/her over-burden;

    - 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
people:

    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
    those verses.  

    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
    manner.

    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
God's mind-set.  

    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
scriptures.  

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
scriptures.  

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;

Caryn




*****





(c) Copyright Caryn LeMur 2007
The Collection of Short Works,
Letters, and Poems
The Lens Of The Camera
Aikido.  

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
Western view.

A good friend stated that aikido
was founded on Buddhist
principles and therefore "off in
subtle ways."

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.

Hugs!  Caryn


**************************

The Lens Of The
Camera
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