Countless people have attempted to define the absolute power of the world of nature. Some praise it as god, some call it the Buddha, others call it truth. Still others convert nature into a philosophy by which they attempt to sound its deepest truth. Such attempts to define the power of nature are no more than striving to escape its effects.
All of the forces of science have been unable to conquer nature because it is too mystic, too vast, too mighty. It too intensely pervades everything around us. Like the fish that, though in the water, is unaware of the water, we are so thoroughly engulfed in the blessings of nature that we tend to forget its very existence.
We would cease to exist if removed from the laws of nature. For instance, we would be totally unable to maintain stability on the surface of the earth without the force of gravity. Only those with their eyes open to the world of nature are capable of uncovering its truth. Everything springs form a sense of gratitude toward nature. Aikido, though praised a healthful system of self-defense techniques, would be nothing apart from the laws of the great universal. The martial way begins and ends with courtesy, itself an attitude of thankfulness to and reverence for nature. To be mistaken on this basic point is to make of the martial arts no more than weapons of injury and death.
The very name Aikido indicates its dependence on the laws of nature, which we term Ki. Aikido means the way to harmony with Ki. That is to say, Aikido is a discipline to make the heart of nature our own heart, to understand love for all things, and to become one with nature. Techniques and physical strength have limits; the great way of the universal stretches to infinity.