Feathered Sculpture - Virgil A. Walker

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Kototoma

Pheasant, chicken    56" x 46" x 10"


It started as an argument about Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ,” which neither of us had ever seen. Not letting that deter, and thanks to headphones, my friend and I argued on over many weeks. I found myself rummaging forty year-old textbooks from Dr. Goyette’s philosophy classes, reviewing the historical mission of drama from its roots in the Eleusinian mystery school, in order to understand the potential of the Passion Play.

The argument turned to Ephesus, where John wrote his gospel and introduced Christ as Logos, the Word. A struggle to understand Logos revealed a perplexing change in meaning over time. I found aid in resolving this in the Myth of the Cave. Plato describes the normal condition of our consciousness as fixated on the shadow play, while behind, objects are carried on a parapet, and behind that the fire that illuminates them and casts the shadows. Socrates postulates education is metanoia, true revelation, turning to see the objects and the illuminating light. For Aristotle, Logos is the objects, for Heraclitus, the originator of the Logos teaching, it is the fire.

My son, overhearing one of these dialogues, handed me his book on the spiritual teachings of Morihei Ueshiba, the founder of the martial art, Aikido. He pointed out that Morihei’s core teaching was Kototama, Logos in the Heraclitian sense. Morihei used Logos when talking to Westerners. His practices of Kototama “create light, wisdom, heat, compassion, and enable true strength.” 

 

   

   Photo:  Richard K. Webb

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