(See this article in original French)
An individual’s freedom is the absolute prerequisite to peace .
Everyone’s duty is to be free. Freedom is the prerequisite to identity and to it’s uniqueness. By acting freely, a subject participates in the expansion of the universe by it’s complexification. Identity is the universe’s utmost division and an individual’s task is to make it live. But individual’s freedom is hindered by invisible bonds of loyalty. These obligations arise from our need to belong to diverse entities, comprised in undifferentiated group consciousnesses.
This is the price of incarnate life.
To receive a body, you adopt two family histories and through them, the history of ancestral consciousness and its cultural and clanic subdivisions, as well as the history of human consciousness as a whole. Upon incarnation each individual is burdened with this collective history.
It is the conflict between our duty to be free and our obligations of loyalty towards the groups, that creates an internal conflict, a true identity schism. To be objectified, the conflict is projected between the subject and others. Objectified in the relationship, it can be changed. The evolution and harmonization of the internal conflict will occur if the re-enactment of the relational experience leads to peace. Change is therefore made possible through our actions. This is the meaning of the way and of practice: our karma consists of our actions.
To understand our need to be free and our need for relationships, we must understand that conscience is only what it contains and all it contains. Internal conflict is a pillar of conscience itself. It is structural. This implies that change cannot occur in conscience itself. The conscience can only change by integrating novelty and novelty comes from otherness. One changes only in the other.
This means that peace is only possible when the subject has freed himself from his obligations of loyalty to ancestral consciousnesses to whom he owes language, culture, and myth. And also to the collective human consciousness to whom he owes symbols and, through them, the ability to integrate novelty and therefore change.
There is a only one way to free oneself and that is to accomplish our spiritual duty which is always composed of two antagonistic elements:
- Liberating the human group out of the self, by embracing our own freedom and respecting that of others.
- Liberating the expanding universe within the self by removing all obstacles to our own freedom.
The two are inseparable because they both determine universal harmony which in turn determines peace. Peace is the sign of spiritual accomplishment. Aikido must lean towards this concept that I have named “effective harmony.”
This article was submitted exclusively to Aikido no Sekai by Andre Cognard Shihan. All rights reserved. You can also submit Aikido or Peace related articles to Aikido no Sekai via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
André Cognard Saiko Shihan, 8th Dan Hanshi
In 1973, He met Hirokazu Kobayashi Shihan in Paris and since then, devoted his life to Aikido. In 1982 he founded the Academie Autonomous Aikido (now Autonomous Academie d’Aikido Kobayashi Hirokazu), now represented in France by more than 100 dojos.
In February 1998, upon the recommendation of Hirokazu Kobayashi Shihan, along with five of his students, he founded the Kokusai Aikido Kenshukai Kobayashi Ryu Ha. Hirokazu Kobayashi Soshu awarded Andre Cognard the degree of hachidan (8th dan), along with the title of Saiko Shihan of Aikido Kokusai Kenshukai (or the first of Shihan). Currently, he holds the title of Hanshi conferred by Dai Nippon Butokukai. Published in French, he is author to many books about Aikido and the martial arts.
(Please also see: “8 Tips to Making Peace a Habit“)