The Threatened Lifestyle


Let me re-point out that from the point of view of the premodern wisdom traditions, Nietzsche's Will to Power is understood as only one of two ways to align oneself with our experience of life. And, out of the two ways, it is the more unwise way, the more spiritually immature way. Why? Because it is based upon ignorance and delusion. How? It is ignorant because it does not recognize that it is the subject him/herself that is causing the problem being observed - the problem of everlasting competition. Meaning, there is an unrealized mutual arising and co-dependency between the "I" and the dichotomous experience of the world. Or, put another way, people that have not reconciled their ego feel themselves threatened at all times: The more threatened they feel, the more the ego goes unreconciled, and this self-feeding process goes on ad infinitum.


It is delusional because it posits that if one gained power over competing wills to power the subject would stopped feeling threatened. In truth, it never does, as there is no end to the experience of being threatened because the element are self-feeding. There is no peace that can ever be brought about to quench the subjectively sensed need for power or the vulnerability it is supposed to quell.


Let us take this into our martial art, and let us take off the table the negative contrasting Will to Power (meaning, it too is a will to power manifestation) of the weak attack and the choreographed Uke. Let us only look at a solid, tactically sound, potentially damaging Shomenuchi. What does the average - most common - Aikidoka experience when facing that strike as Nage? Fear. Threat. Why? Go down the rabbit hole deep enough and you are going ultimately end on the premodern wisdom tradition answer of, "Because the Nage has an 'I' that he/she is trying to protect." There is an ego-attachment that is unreconciled. And, how does that Nage then do the technique, let's say Ikkyo? In a dichotomous manner. Why? Because they are already in a dichotomous state of being? Why? Because of the "I" attachment - the one that posits that they stand in contrast to Uke; the one that requires defending from that Shomenuchi, from that thing that can only be experienced as "threat."


What does that Nage's technique look like, it being a derivative of an experienced Will to Power (Nage) facing a competing Will to Power (Uke)? This is where you get all the yang-yang clashes in Aikido - the BIG MAN versions of Aikido. BUT THIS IS NOT AIKIDO! And as such, this is also not martially effective whenever the Nage is unable to overpower the Uke. Meaning, this is very martially unsound! Yet, what do we see? We see an overwhelming appreciation for this kind of Aikido by the masses that are looking for a martial Aikido. Why? Because Nietzsche was right in his initial observation: Everywhere we look, we will see competing Wills to Power. It is what is common - it is everywhere. It is the faith of the masses! But, it is not enlightened, and it is not the only way to be. And, it is not the way to do Aikido.


When I see these "Big Man" Aikido versions, yang/yang, forcing, and over-powering, I instead ask: "Can one of your small female deshi do that against that Uke?" "Can you do that against an Uke that has 50-75 pounds on you?" The answer is always, definitely: "No." What the premodern wisdom traditions held, and what Nietzsche did not grasp, and what most Aikidoka do not grasp, is that our experience of the world need not be one of competing Wills to Power. The "I" can be reconciled, and we do not have to function ignorantly within a dichotomous field of competition. Without the egocentric experience of the world, an experience of unification and communion sets into our consciousness, and with that we lose the experience of "threat" and the experience of Uke as other.


How does such a Nage face that aforementioned Shomenuchi? He/she does not seek to overpower it - which makes for a martially impractical Aikido. Instead, Nage unites with the strike. How? Why? Because Nage is already one with the strike, because Nage is already one with Uke, because Nage has already reconciled the self. For that Nage, the strike is not a threat - the strike, even with its full power and damaging potential - is experienced purely as energy. Think of "The Matrix" when we see that Neo realizes everything is just code. Like this, Yin and Yang reconciliation becomes not only possible but inevitable, as the universe simply goes on to play its eternal orchestration, one in which Nage is now fully a part of. What else? Most importantly, subjectively speaking, the associated fear, the constancy of feeling threatened, leaves such a Nage. This stands in great contrast to the insanity that awaits the person yet diseased by his/her Will to Power.