HISTORY OF REIKI
of course, you know differently..."
© 2002/3 James Deacon
History of Reiki is unfolding even as we breathe.
sources, adding to what we are currently being told is the 'true'
history, are regularly being 'rediscovered' by researchers - though
this is not to say that we should necessarily believe that absolutely
everything we are told are indeed 'facts'.
of caution is, I think, not inappropriate.
in a broad sense, is at best a subjective discipline, and however
unintentionally, always contains some degree of bias.
reliable history is usually arrived at by studying various sources -
with an emphasis on those sources who, to coin the phrase "do not have
an axe to grind", or have no real vested interest in the outcome of the
be said of the quest for the 'truth' concerning Reiki - being carried
out solely by 'Reiki people'?
I would like to
human nature being what it is, we would perhaps be a little naive to
dismiss the possible influence of ulterior motive and 'Reiki
ego-politics' on the evolving 'revisionist' view of 'true' Reiki
[Sometimes, for example, In my more suspicious (and admittedly
'un-Reiki-like') moments, I marvel at the growing number of
Usui-Sensei's original students who keep cropping up to validate the
theories of this or that 'faction' within the Reiki Research Community.]
and trust is one thing - gullibility another....
should also, I feel, be mindful of the phenomenon which is (in a
very 'non-PC' way) commonly referred to as: 'Chinese Whispers' [or, in
the case of Reiki, perhaps that should be 'Japanese...']
there is the central issue of objective research itself: the fact that
most Reiki Researchers - due to a lack of background knowledge re: the
broader context of Japanese Mystical, Religious, Therapeutic and
Cultural influences, etc - can make glaring mistakes &
mis-understandings, and albeit unintentionally find themselves
responsible for the evolution and propagation of Reiki 'Urban Legends'
this, the general problem of reliability of sources:
(I for one, long ago learned
that if, for example, a member of, say, the Jodo Shin sect, or the
Shingon sect tells you that Usui-Sensei was a Tendai Buddhist all his
life, you can probably believe this to be true - but if however, a
member the Tendai sect tells you Usui-Sensei was Tendai all his life,
you may need to find a secondary impartial source...)
ongoing research into Reiki history, numerous contradictions
continually arise - there is much rumour, hearsay, and
'mis-information' - and many 'hidden agenda'....
has of course been pointed out that Reiki allows for many styles and
methods of practice (and teaching) and that we should not question
Usui-Sensei's methodology or his reasons for incorporating specific
practices into his Reiki system.
I am in
full agreement with this, and I feel the
important point here is that it is not a matter of seeking to question
the reasons behind Usui-Sensei's methodology, but rather to question
the validity of the ever-growing number of new, diverse and dissonant
claims as to what exactly Usui-Sensei's methodology was in the first
example, many are now claiming that Usui-Sensei taught the Shinto
practice of Kotodama as part of the Reiki system - and a significant
number of people have reported favourable results from incorporating
Kotodama into their current Reiki practice.
while I agree that use of Kotodama may have
noticeable effects - and like many other spiritual meditative
techniques, can be a valid practice in terms of self-development -
again, it is not a question of whether or not Kotodama 'works' per se,
but rather a question as to its status as an original Reiki technique.
journey to popularity in the 'west', Reiki - as envisioned and taught
by Usui-Sensei - went through many changes and developments (whether
you see these as positive, negative or neutral) - and since
Takata-Sensei's day, has continued to change - and will no doubt keep
on changing in the future, as creative people continue to make
modifications to the System to suit personal tastes, beliefs, perceived
efficacy, social trends and levels of acceptability.
just as Reiki in the 'west' has changed and evolved, so, we are also
beginning to discover, in the three-quarters of a century since
Usui-Sensei's death, Reiki in Japan has also
undergone some profound changes and developments...
REIKI HISTORY TIME-LINE