Principles and Perspectives

Ichirei Shikon, Sangen Hachiriki.

一霊 四魂 三元 八力

One Spirit - Four Souls (One Self - Four Temperaments)
Three Origins - Eight Powers (Three Fundamentals - Eight Functions)

One Spirit: Ichirei

The “Naohinomitama” is the One Spirit that acts as kind of a ‘reflective’ conscious container for the four souls.

Naohi whose function is described as 省 with one Chinese character can polish the four souls by reflecting what was done is proper or not. Naohi can distinguish right from wrong to guide the human so that it will not make mistakes, and calls for reflection, self reproach and repentance when mistakes occurs. Only this Naohi can be connected with ‘Heaven' and has a function to polish the four souls by controlling them. It gives feedback to Aramitama through shame, to Nigimitama through remorse, to Sakitama through awe, and to Kushimitama through notice.

Four Souls (or Temperaments): Shikon

1. The wondrous (kushimitama). ‘Wisdom’. Summer, South(facing). Heaven.

2. The happy (sakimitama). ‘Love’. Winter, North(facing). Earth.

3. The tranquil (nigimitama). ‘Relation’. Autumn, West(facing), Water.

4. The turbulent (aramitama). ‘Courage’. Spring, East(facing), Fire.

Three Origins (or Fundamentals): Sangen.
‘The Three Friends of Winter’: Sho-chiku-bai 松竹梅
Pine-bamboo-plum: steadfastness, perseverance, and resilience. 

1. Heaven Ryu-tai, Ki-no-nagare ‘flowing’ Plum.

2. Man Ju-tai, Awase ‘flexible’ Bamboo.

3. Earth Ko-tai, Kihon ‘solid’ Pine.

The Triangle represents ‘Iku-musubi’(tama), the power of birth and creation, the gaseous dimension. It symbolises initiative, the animal realm, and Masakatsu. Technically, the triangle represents entering and flowing movements (Ryutai). 
'Susanoo-no-Mikoto’ 須佐之男命 -god of the sea and storms, and the stars (dark star).

The Circle represents ‘taru-musubi’(tama), the enriching power, the liquid dimension. It symbolises unification, the vegetable realm, and Agatsu. Technically, the circle represents blending and soft movements (Jutai). 'Tsukuyomi-no-Mikoto’ 月夜見尊 -god of the moon (and night).

The Square represents ‘tamatsume-musubi’(tama), the power that fixes the soul in the physical body, the solid dimension. It symbolises form, the mineral realm, and Katsuhayahi. Technically, the square represents control and firm or ‘hard’ movements (Kotai).
'Amaterasu-Ōmikami' 天照大御神 -the Sun goddess.

"The Triangle represents the generation of energy and initiative; it is the most stable physical posture.

The Circle symbolises unification, serenity and perfection; it is the source of unlimited techniques.

The Square stands for form and solidity, the basis of applied control."

“When the triangle, the circle and the square become one, it moves in spherical rotation together with the flow of ki, and the Aikido of sumi-kiri (total clarity of mind and body) appears.”

–Morihei Ueshiba

In Shinto, the Mitsu-domoe is mostly used and commonly represents the interaction and union of the cosmic forces that make up the Universe. These three can be seen as:

1. The High Plain of Heaven, Takama-ga-hara (高天原), -the Divine.

2. The Earth, -the Manifest.

3. The Underworld, -the Hidden realms.

Eight Powers (or Functions): Hachiriki

are dual opposing complementary forces: In/Yo.

1. Movement – Stillness

2. Melting – Congealing

3. Pulling – Loosening

4. Combining – Splitting

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