I used to take Karate, Wado to be exact.
I used to read books related to the Martial Arts.
There was one that was interesting. When I find it, I’ll be sure to post the name of it. It was a diary of sorts. The Army had a little experiment. They took some of their men, and trained them in some unconventional disciplines. The used, and learned about such things as, Bio-feed back. They were taught a particular flavor of Aikido. They were taught to meditate, and how to adjust their body temperature.
The Aikido teacher was a self-proclaimed liberal, if I remember correctly. That he found himself teaching some of the Army’s best, caused a little bit of a internal conflict for the guy. Well, the book was a great read. He chronicled his time with them, and I found it greatly interesting.
There was one particular story that I found particularly interesting. There was a party. I’m not sure, but I think he was the one to throw the party. Both his Aikido friends, and some of his new military friends were invited.
Now, this is what made it interesting. If there is any particular martial art that a “pacifist” may enjoy, it would be Aikido. There are particular flavors of Aikido that have a philosophy very similar to that of a secular/religious pacifist.
So, picture this… There is a gathering of people, some of who are died in the wool pacifist along with some professional military personnel. Some of his pacifistic friends couldn’t believe that he was teaching the finer aspects of their beloved Aikido to such brutish barbarians. They even said so. The military men didn’t appreciate the sentiment, as one can imagine. There was even an argument between one from each camp.
Looking at both participants of the argument, he had a moment of clarity. They weren’t really all that much different. They both held systems of belief that they held to be true. They were both willing to enter into a type of conflict for their belief. Even the pacifist was willing to enter into a type of combat for her belief.
I’ve seen this before in another venue. First I saw it during my seminary tenure. There was one particular fellow that loved to expound upon his pacifistic belief. Yet, I saw him tear into his fellow students in a merciless fashion. He was smart, had a well developed vocabulary. Later on in our academic career, I saw him verbally slice a new student apart. In the end, I could only see him as self-righteous and arrogant.
I’ve come across it again. This time, I’ve found it in the blogosphere. I’ve found it on a multiplicity of blog sites. I’ve found it on what some would classify as a Fundamentalist Blog. I’ve found it on what some would classify as a Moderate Blog. I’ve found, and I try to not go there to often.
I will tend to side with the one that is overtly militant. They seem to be the most truthful. The others…well, they sadden me. They claim the best in us all as their motivation, yet their actions say otherwise. Their words are good, very good. They are all very skilled, very skilled. They can slice and dice those of us of lesser rhetoric, into such small particles of verbiage. They will feel good about themselves, both the militant and the pacifistic. For, both of them are muscular evangelists.
Me, I just think it is meanness. It is the meanness that is deep within each of our fallen hearts.
Just plain meanness.
~Now I need to go find that book. I may enjoy rereading it.~