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shadow
12-26-2002, 11:55 PM
something incredibly interesting, to me, that i have just discovered is that in terms of physics i.e. the science in which we of the western world place so much importance upon verifies many of the beliefs of eastern thought. the most striking one (to me that is) is that in dealing with atomic physics, when one deals with the infinitely small.... the smallest we are able to probe within the nucleons (protons and neutrons) of an atom it is found that there is no mass. mass is represented in terms of energy.... so at that sub-atomic level everything is energy. so when you think about it, if you want to think about a key building block that makes up people, animals, inanimate objects, the universe..... it is energy rather than an indestructible form of mass as was thought for so long.
this in my mind is an incredible thing to find out, because it reinforces the spiritual beliefs of the east which appeal to me so much. this is ki, this is the energy which is discussed in japanese arts and thought, the chi in chinese thought, the prajna in indian thought..... energy in scientific thought.

perhaps many of you already know this, but for those who dont i hope it brings a little bit of thought to you, particularly to those of you who try to deny the existance of ki or dismiss it because there is no scientific explination.

to know more i found this and other scientific parallels in "the tao of physics" by fritjof capra.

Jeff Tibbetts
12-27-2002, 03:28 AM
point taken© As I've mentioned before, Easter thought is so rational that even the buddhist creation myths are pretty much scientific fact ¥sound just like the big bang theory¤ and all the tenets can be backed up by or support scientific thought© I think you have to remember that it's all representational and that if you turn it from talk of gods and magic that it becomes the laws of nature and physics© I also think that many buddhist monks would resent that idea, but that's one advantage of the outsider's eye, impartiality©

Bruce Baker
12-27-2002, 11:39 AM
You know, science always takes longer to define phenonmenon.

The bioelectrical energy we use to move our bodys is quite amazing in itself, but when read as an actual antenna to recieve, send, or physically manifest charges of energy that can be felt, then we are really getting into the weird area we try to define as Ki.

Presently, there are a number of holistic instruments that measure the bioelectric energy put out by the human body, and some people have been using this data to diagnose illnesses. Some of the crude EEG machines measure electrical energy of the brain, the nervous system, but isn't that the same source of Ki energy too?

The texts of using meditation, religion, and many forms of practice to access this energy are ways people have practiced to link body and mind to prompt a response, the same as an actor calling upon a memory to help them envision sadness, happiness, despondency, or any emotion. These methods of connection are time proven.

The problem with reading words is that you don't always have the same experiences to match the words of the writer? Tough gig. Not everyone can run on the same road and see the same thing as your predecessor did.

Scientific means to gain ki, connection of body and mind? Maybe. I think anyone can do it, provided they learn to clear their mind and use some common sense in training.

The peculiararity is ... I may never understand the prompts that connect your thoughts to action, so I, as a separate human being, must rely on explaining myself with my own experiences ... which may or may not suffice for another person to find what I have found.

A lot of variables, even for the scientific method.

Oh well.

Learn some of the variables and prompts that others use, find your own prompts to connect body and mind ... that should get you on the way.

Experience really is the best teacher ... with a few guiding words that are always true, that is.

Always test the words, continually.

How else are we gonna get a scientific explanation of Ki?

Thalib
12-27-2002, 05:07 PM
Knowledge is Ki.

JW
12-27-2002, 09:15 PM
represented in terms of energy.... so at that sub-atomic level everything is energy. so when you think about it, if you want to think about a key building block that makes up people, animals, inanimate objects, the universe..... it is energy rather than an indestructible form of mass as was thought for so long.
I always admire this kind of attempt to relate scientific understanding to Eastern beliefs. However I am always more cautious about things, so please don't look at my comments as less than constructive resistance. Here goes:

Just because we use the word "energy" to describe ki and lots of other eastern, metaphysical, and new-age ideas doesn't mean they are related to "energy" as described in physics, right? For instance "energy" can mean motivation as in "I don't have the energy to argue," whereas the person saying this may not be physically fatigued or hungry ( = may not be low on chemical energy in his body).. Perhaps this person is talking about emotional energy, as in it would be too draining or distressing or depressing to argue. The word energy can mean different things, and if no one had ever used the word energy to describe ki, would anyone think it meant anything that subatomic particles are massless?

--JW

Jeff Tibbetts
12-28-2002, 12:31 AM
Jonathan, I do see what you're trying to say© I think that many of us have a tendency to always want to categorize everything we encounter© If we don't understand something than we learn enough about it to make a connection to something we do know and then attribute it with all the same qualities as the other thing© I think this is due to the way that we're raised to ask questions about everything, know as much as possible© It would be ludicrous to, in school, decide not to complete a math problem on a test and just say "this is not important to define"© This is exactly what a lot of Eastern philosophers do, they say "if you want to look into it, then fine but the results will be the same as if you didn't know how it works"© When it comes to Ki, we all want to make it more easily definable, so we compare it to things we know a little about, and this helps us discuss it and think about it© When we compare it to energy, we take the mystery out of it so it becomes less mentally threatening©

Not to say that this is inherantly bad, or that I don't do it, but we should be aware that western thought is prone to it©

shadow
12-28-2002, 05:14 AM
jonathon i think you miss the point.

it is not that sub-atomic particles are massless..... in essence mass doesn't exist except as a representation of energy.

i've only just begun delving into eastern thought yet i see the same fundamental concepts repeated throughout most of the different countries or religions of thought. in my eyes science also says broadly the same things. would it not make some kind of sense that everyone is seeing roughly the same kind of things seperated only by the descriptions imposed by words?

western thought was brought about in ancient greece by plato, socrates and later aristotle (in a basic sense). at the same time the aristotlean school was developing there was another school of thought called the sophists whom also had thoughts which were incredibly similiar to what is now considered eastern thought, but they were basically squashed by aristotle.

we think of science and mysticism being inseperable, yet they are just a study of the same thing really. science uses experiments and materials, mysticism uses meditation and insight.

i personally take great comfort in knowing these things.

anyways im going to shut up now.

Kujo
12-28-2002, 02:06 PM
hi all!

I've been lurking awhile and this is my first post. I offer the following thoughts and observations:

I see a lot of confusion in people without extensive direct experience doing science in how they conceive science as merely today's new religion. I must forcefully disagree. Science is not a religion. Both science and religion are attempts to find larger patterns and meaning in reality. But the scientific method does not dictate necessary social behaviour or custom. While I have my own issues of the basis of science in the roots of the Parmidean myth (the triple myth of logical necessity, bivalence, and objectivity), fundamentally science as a first-order model of reality, experienced in this shared life, is remarkably robust. Furthermore, while I would not agree with Robert Pirsig (in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) that science is value-free, it does attempt to modify its model system on the basis of clear observations and a consistently applied method of deduction and extrapolation. While being a human endeavour it does of course occasionally suffer from the cult of ego, political motivations, and other human fallibilities, it remains a system of understanding that is fundamentally accessible to anyone with the will to participate, having first invested the time to learn the deductive tools that scientists use. All you need is the desire to think and see clearly, and curiosity.

The reason that I take this stand is because there is one cardinal trap that a lot of people fall into, even scientists. That is overextension of a model into a system in which it is inappropriate, or creates unnecessary confusion, when a different frame of reference or model system would offer a lot more insight with a greater clarity. For example, switching from Cartesian to radial coordinate systems for the Schoedinger equation makes the grungy math a lot easier, and thus minimizes the possibility of a stupid math mistake. Attempting to extend scientific insight into the realm of metaphysics must be done with extreme intellectual rigour to avoid this trap. I think this can be best accomplished by a deep understanding of the backgrounds of the two systems you are trying to connect, before facile analogies are offered. The best scientists observe and observe and observe relentlessly before trying to fit their data.

Now having said that, I offer the following perspective that may, in fact, contradict the very point I made above! I speak as one who as done academic science for over ten years, and aikido for almost four. I do wish to discuss what might be a good way of describing ki. Is it a spiritual force? A physical force?

I've thought carefully about this debate, and drawing on my scientific background, it shares many parallels with the wave/particle models of electromagnetic energy. It occurs to me that the best descriptions are always based on context. Gamma radiation, the highest energy EM, is described in units of electron-Volts, which is consistent with the particle model of tiny hard elastic collisions that transfer energy. Radio EM is described in units of wavelengths, as the lowest energy EM, and is consistent with the notion of waveforms that add and cancel and subtract and form beat patterns. You could stick to one unit system through the whole EM spectrum, but human minds don't relate to the physical implications to changes in exponents very well -- the difference between 10^50 and 10^75 doesn't offer a lot of insight into how the system is behaving. So you look at the context, and apply the right model to each situation to give yourself the easiest math and greatest physical insight. Both wave and particle models have merit, but it is the application of these models that matters. Overextending the models can lead to confusion at best and deeply flawed conclusions at worst.

So I think the same applies to the physical/spiritual models of ki. There is a deep gratification in learning how to synergistically transfer energy through the body to generate powerful physical technique. There is also gratification in feeling the connection of good timing, spacing and happy emotional connection between training partners. But to extend the spiritual model of ki to far can lead to intellectual laziness, and to extend the physical model too far risks emotional rigidity and an ego-centered closemindedness that interferes with further unbiased observation. I think each of these models offer valuable insights, but have their appropriate limits. This can be addressed by careful application of the model systems or by invention of better models. I do not think that this can be achieved by trying to force equivalencies between the model systems, like trying to define an equation relating emotional energy with kinetic energy. That would be an example of an inappropriate extension of the model systems.

Thanks for the chance to listen to all your thoughts. I look forward to your feedback on my thoughts.

Kujo

Kujo
12-28-2002, 02:44 PM
whoops -- gotta check my spelling better next time -- that's *Parmenidean*, not *Parmidean*. Sorry for the error.

Jeff Tibbetts
12-28-2002, 03:00 PM
Karen, listen to me and listen very carefully© I want this to sink in© You ready?

DON'T LURK, EVER! Do not stop posting, you have got to remain active! We need someone on this board that has your insight, from a scientific standpoint© I feel like I'm four years old after reading your post© Seriously, that is just nuts!

I think I got the main point of what you're trying to say, I hope© If I heard you correctly, what you meant to say was that threre's a balance point between thinking of Ki as a scientific, physical thing and an emotional, intuitive thing© Maybe I'm the only one who didn't have a damn clue what you were talking about, not to say that you aren't true or that it wasn't interesting, but if I had to guess I'd say that maybe if you toned the language to something that all of us who are not professional scientists could understand than your analogy would hold up a bit better©

At any rate, let me be the first to invite you to post more, as we honestly need a good counter-balance to the spiritual romantics that comprise many of the core board posters©

Col.Clink
12-28-2002, 04:52 PM
Hey all,

An interesting topic and I think everyone has made some good points, some nice exchanges of thought.

Now, I am definately no scientist, although I do like certain things about the subject. Unfortunately though, my limited intelligence capacity prevents me from understanding Science and all the mathematics involved. Oh to have time send me back to school where I would make a more sincere effort!!

But, to the subject at hand. As a student of Ki-Aikido, I find the more scientific the explanation gets, the harder it is to actually understand Ki. I do sincerely believe it is an internal energy, that we are born with it and that as we develope into the adult, our concept or process of using it diminishes by the simple fact we are brought up to believe that 'might is right', or physical strength is our true power.

I never actually believed in Ki when I started my training, I was very much from the 'might is right' school, my size and strength was my power. After some training and realizing that no matter how hard I tried to stop or move someone half my size, and of the opposite sex, my thoughts on physical strength and extension of Ki had quite a turn around.

It had nothing to do with science, plenty to do with actually training and testing my strength against others Ki. This, I think, is the best way to actually understand Ki, go to a Ki Society dojo and try for yourself. Experience it. Experience, I think you'll agree, gives us the understanding and open-ness to first accept, or reject, something for what it is.(Which is why I like the analogy.."if at first you don't succeed, try and try again").

Then most likely we try to explain it either in scientific thought or some mystical way, when really it is none of these things, it just is...or, is just us.

Human nature though tells us to look more deeply into what "just is" and find an explanation as to WHY things just are. Why is the sky blue? why is the grass green? Well, it just is, at least until somebody found out the chemical, biological and scientific explanations of these things, which is also great. We must always ask WHY?? If we do not, we do not grow or develope as a race. Perhaps oneday there will be a definitive explanation on Ki, hope I'm still around to see it!.

Ki in scientific thought, is best for those with a scientific mind, bearing in mind that science is not always 100% correct in it's first attempt at disseminating subjects.

Ki in mystical thought is best for those with a more mystical mind. Again though, not 100% accurate.

Ki for the non believer is also best left at that, if you excuse the analogy, kind of like telling a child they'll like the taste of brussel sprouts( yuck!!)

In essence, whatever gives you the understanding or acceptance of experiencing Ki, whatever HELPS you to undertstand it, use it. Whatever helps someone else, use that. But the key(excuse the pun)in my opinion, is a willingness or openness to try.

I am very glad for Damien, that he has found something for him that helps to understand a little more about Ki.

Someone else will have a totally different experience or concept.

In closing, whatever works for you works, and whatever doesn't, well there may be another way. Like we make Aikido our own, our Ki is also our own.

Just my thoughts.

And Jeff, I too had no idea what Karen was saying, I'll have to read it a few more times!! No offence to you Karen, but like I said at the start, I'm no scientifical guy.

Thanks for reading the ramble

Cheers

Rob

Thalib
12-28-2002, 05:12 PM
Everytime I contemplate on anything spiritual, I could never avoid on contemplating it's physical/scientific counterpart. Probably it is because of my religion always taught me to think logically and rationally and not to just take anything face value.

Waiting for a book written by Karen Kujo.

:p

Kujo
12-28-2002, 07:48 PM
OK, yours truly was herself scrambled in her thinking of the wave/particle models in quantum physics. I realize now that I myself got the wrong conclusion (that different unit systems implied different behaviour across the EM). Mea culpa. Scratch that analogy.

What I was trying to get at, was that sometimes we do experiments and try to fit them into our existing model of the world, and it doesn't work. If we assume light is a particle, then the data from the classic two-slit experiment don't fit. (See http://www.colorado.edu/physics/2000/schroedinger/two-slit2.html for a really nice interactive experiment to follow). But Newton had demonstrated all these qualities about light that fit a particle model (See http://online.cctt.org/physicslab/content/PhyAPB/lessonnotes/dualnature/dualnaturesummary.asp). So really there is something similar to the blind men and the elephant happening here. Now, if each blind man said, "At this moment, as far as I can feel, I describe the elephant as having the following properties:" then we might eventually understand there is a unifying elephant underneath all their models. But that is because they were careful about interpreting their data in a very strict, nonegotistical way, that leads us to the more insightful conclusion. But if each blind man said, "No way! There is something wrong with all of your observations and conclusions because they are not conisistent with mine!" then it would degenerate to useless bickering. The difference is that the careful, rigourous interpretation of observations and experiences is what I call science (even if it is included in various religious doctrines, or part of a philosophical methodology). The endless bickering is just human failing, even if it does happen among people who call themselves scientists doing what they call science.

Also I see from some people's responses that science is seen by some as inaccessible. We've got the Web to follow up on our curiosity at a moment's notice! I look on Google for "Parmenides" and get (http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/p/parmenid.htm) for a history of the man who was Zeno's teacher (Zeno of Zeno's paradox) and "Parmenidean myth" brings up a review of "Critique of Patriarchal Reason" by Arthur Evans which attacks the basis of Greek logic and science (http://www.webcastro.com/evans1.htm).

(http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/emspectrum.html) has a nice, nonmathematical review of electromagnetism. It's easier than ever to find stuff to learn -- the real task is applying critical thinking to sort the gold from the dross. I think that what I got in my scientific training was practice in critical thinking and how to look things up -- if I look on a web page that argues that the earth is flat, do I know how to use reason and experience to figure out that it is an incorrect conclusion? Science to me constantly refines a model of reality that satisfies both experience and logic and has greater predictive capability. It's not something to feel alienated from or something that you''re afraid you're not smart enough to grasp, nor intricate theories that can't be questioned. It's that fear of science in many people I seek to alleviate. Yes you'll look stupid asking questions -- I'm the consummate idiot, forever asking clarification. But as my Japanese friend said (I don't know if it's just her or a Japanese saying): Ask once and you're stupid once. Don't ask and you're stupid forever. It's all about attitude.

I feel very much that aikido training is an experimental science -- you learn in a very immediate way what works and what is bull$hit; the dojo is the ultimate laboratory for discovering aikido. You incorporate your understanding with humility and see there is something aesthetically elegant, intellectually stimulating, and physically satisfying. Soul, mind and body can be refined together.

I don't see that holding ki, or any persistent complex phenomenon, as undefinable serves any purpose -- it just destroys curiosity. (Of course there's a time for "letting go" but that's another topic.) Nor that there should be any conflict between a classically scientific explanation and a spiritual one, because that's like the blind men arguing about the nature of the elephant. What I do advocate are questions that help us figure out what the appropriate scope of each model might be -- "so if I keep patting upwards of what feels like a tree trunk, why does it start feeling like a rope eventually? Why does the middle of my tree trunk bend? What is that loud trumpeting noise I hear near the blind man who thinks the elephant is like a snake?" It's finding the limits of each of these models that create new understanding, and thus new models. But the questions must be based on rigourous thinking and nonegotistical debate, with the determined attitude to observe clearly, listen thoughtfully and not be overcome by illusions. So while I do think there is an appropriate way to apply various models of ki, this is only because *our models are limited*, not that because ki is fundamentally mystical or not comprehensible or otherworldly. We need better models. So we need better questions.

How booooring. Sounds like a lot of hard work. Sounds like a budo, this constant neverending iterative refinement of ourselves and our understanding. So maybe what we call "scientific method" might also be applied to the spirit. Maybe there is no fundamental difference in our methods of investigation of the physical and spiritual worlds after all.

Kujo

Peter Goldsbury
12-28-2002, 08:49 PM
Also I see from some people's responses that science is seen by some as inaccessible. We've got the Web to follow up on our curiosity at a moment's notice! I look on Google for "Parmenides" and get (http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/p/parmenid.htm) for a history of the man who was Zeno's teacher (Zeno of Zeno's paradox) and "Parmenidean myth" brings up a review of "Critique of Patriarchal Reason" by Arthur Evans which attacks the basis of Greek logic and science (http://www.webcastro.com/evans1.htm).

Kujo
Yes, Google has many treasures but these are often hidden amongst much that is less good. Inputting 'ki' (the Japanese character) yielded 13,500,000 entries. Even scrolling through these would require much time, far more than I have, for example (even during the New Year holiday!).

As for Parmenides, I wish the author of the article in IEP had given a few notes and a booklist, so that we could better evaluate his/her opinions. It is perhaps a pity, also, that Mr Evans did not get round to finishing his doctoral dissertation. I for one would have liked to see the details of how he deals with the Way of Truth and how Plato tried to deal with this in the Sophist.

But I completely agree with you about category mistakes and over-extending conceptual models. Part of the problem is that, compared with Japanese, English has less vocabulary with which to handle concepts such as ki and hara.

Best wishes for 2003.

Bruce Baker
01-08-2003, 07:01 AM
So ...

The Universe is provable as enerygy becoming matter and matter becoming energy.

It is amazing what science can prove to be true when people put their minds to it.

Now ... we need to experiment with polarity of the human body and how it applys to Ki/chi, and the exhange/ usage of energy in martial arts, and maybe get some of these myths dispelled with scientific proof.

Your Ki? Your hara?

Merely measurements of your body's energy working in harmony.

SeiserL
01-08-2003, 09:12 AM
It is amazing what science can prove to be true when people put their minds to it.
IMHO, its more like, if people already put it in their minds science amazingly proves its true. ;-)

Until again,

Lynn

chadsieger
01-08-2003, 09:20 PM
Although there all already some good posts on this thread, I'd thought I add my bit.

The word/character "Ki" is used to describe many different things, some are somewhat metaphysical while others are quite tangible. It is some of the more salient aspects that keep the study of "ki" and Western science from being mutually exclusive.

Test:

Stand on one foot. For optimum balance, have your weight extend into the ground on the inside of your foot, an imaginary line between your big tow and your heel. Can you feel the energy go down through you leg into the ground? Do you feel when it is on the less stable outside?

Once you can balance, you have temporarily mastered a ki/energy exchange from your body to the ground. Magic? Unexplainable to Western science? No, just a baby step.

Now, eventually you can utilize this feature in your arms, body, fingers, and elsewhere and you are said to move with good ki. If you "disbelieve," I am sorry. There are many other aspects of this facinating concept, all of which require great effort, some faith, and a whole lot of questioning to unravel.

Sieger

daedalus
01-08-2003, 09:59 PM
I don't want to step on anyone's toes but, as far as _The Tao of Physics_ goes...

I was talking about the subject of Eastern philosophy and quantum physics/relativity/etc. with my physics professor, especially the points made in _The Tao of Physics_. We both were of the opinion that the comparisons are mostly baseless. Mystic language can be interpreted as whatever people want if they taken it out of its original context. The context of Taoism, Zen, and the like was not to explain how particles move at near-light speeds or quantum logic. They were to bring enlightenment and peace of mind. Using them to explain physics (or physics to explain them) is, at best, forced analogy. Upon closer examination, almost all of Capra's ideas are jumps, false assumptions, or just outright nonsequiters. One could interpret the Kabbalah or the Gnostic Gospels in the same way, even though they have very different philosophies than (and often, contradictions to) Taoism, Buddhism, etc. Capra himself abandoned his thinking in the 80s for "deep ecology".

On another note, I wouldn't waste my time looking for a scientific basis for ki. Experience is more useful in the everyday world than science. Not more correct, mind you, but more useful.

Steve
01-09-2003, 12:00 AM
[QUOTE="Damien Bohler

SNIP

we think of science and mysticism being inseperable, yet they are just a study of the same thing really. science uses experiments and materials, mysticism uses meditation and insight.[/QUOTE]SNIP

No. This is not true. The difference between science and mysticism is very simple. Science tests its ideas about the world and changes its conclusions to fit the resulting data. Mysticism, and this includes religion, doesn't want to test its ideas and refuses to change in response to contradictory data about those ideas.

Hanna B
01-26-2003, 12:35 PM
Can you feel the energy go down through you leg into the ground? Do you feel when it is on the less stable outside?

(snip)

Now, eventually you can utilize this feature in your arms, body, fingers, and elsewhere and you are said to move with good ki. If you "disbelieve," I am sorry.Oh, please don't be sorry on my account!

My teacher does some talking about ki (or qi, as he has some qi gong-influences in his aikido). I love what his exercises add to training, including those qi balls that some people made so much fun about on this board, about a year ago... but I do still not believe in ki. Some people get upset when they hear this... To me, ki is the word you use about everyting you encounter in your practise that you can not describe. Mental image or whatever, I have not yet felt that my disbelief in this to him very basic concept has made it more difficult to learn from him.

jimvance
01-26-2003, 02:05 PM
I cannot believe I missed this entire thread! This is an interesting concept, one that very closely approximates my own rationalization of being, my metaphysical "belief system". I particularly appreciated Ms. Cujo's insights, and can say that they made sense to me, even if I wasn't aware of all the historical references. As she and Prof. Goldsbury said, that is what really makes this forum and the internet in general a real giant step for human interaction. Unfortunately, it is most often used for the wrong purposes, but se la vie.

I would have to agree on Hanna's point, that looking at some phenomena, such as the "ki feedback" described by Chad, with a different symbology than what is accepted by <insert name here> doesn't mean the two models are antagonistic. And following Karen's point, we should be looking for the similarities between the two paradigms so that we can compare and contrast the differences without a personal value judgement.

I personally think the word "ki" is overused the same way that most Christians overuse the word "God". That doesn't mean that I think all Christians are idiots; it just means my "worldview", my perspective, my modus operandi, my whatever-you-want-to-call-it doesn't follow the Christian ideal. I don't think people who practice Ki Aikido are silly by describing what they see in the world as "ki"; I just want to use different symbology. I find my wife attractive because she and I have certain similarities; what I find really attractive are the differences!

Thanks again for giving a scientific point of view Karen, you are greatly needed here on Aikiweb and in the world in general. Still can't believe I missed all this....

Jim Vance

mike lee
01-27-2003, 05:22 AM
I personally think the word "ki" is overused the same way that most Christians overuse the word "God".
Sorry, but this really makes no sense to me. Ki is the life force found in all living things. We practice an art that is based on harmonizing with that ki. What should aikidoists talk about more than that?

The central issue for Christians IS God and his will for man. Everything that Christians do revolves around this single, spiritual entity. What should Christians talk about more than that?
... my modus operandi, my whatever-you-want-to-call-it doesn't follow the Christian ideal.
And so, what IS your modus operandi?

Alan Drysdale
01-27-2003, 03:59 PM
"Ki is the life force found in all living things. We practice an art that is based on harmonizing with that ki. What should aikidoists talk about more than that?"

As an analogy, I have no problem with this, but if it is meant as literal truth, I do. Biologists spent a lot of time and energy on the "elan vitale" or "life force" a hundred years ago. They didn't find it. They no longer look for it. Rather like the "luminiferous ether" that physicists looked for before Maxwell and Morley.

The word "Ki" is used in a lot of ways by the Japanese. "Genki desu" means something like "feeling good" or "I am well", for example. From what I've heard, and Prof Goldsbury can probably confirm or deny this, the Japanese aikidoka don't get nearly as hung up on the metaphysics of ki as Westerners do.

There is something to be said for having a general purpose term in aikido that we can use whenever we haven't the foggiest idea what we want to say, but IMO it just hides the truth - whatever it might be.

The most interesting question to me is whether, among the many uses we make of the word, there is something unique and different about some use of the word "ki". It is used for musculo-skeletal integration (using our bodies efficiently), for a particular way of moving our bodies (and that might be a unique use, relating mostly to extension), and also for some sort of information exchange between nage and uke, as when we lead our uke's ki and perhaps throw without even touching. It is used for centering our mind, controlling its tendency to fly all over the place.

Anybody have any more examples of how we use the word "ki"?

Alan

akiy
01-27-2003, 04:03 PM
Anybody have any more examples of how we use the word "ki"?
Yup:

http://www.aikiweb.com/language/ki_phrases.html

-- Jun

jimvance
01-28-2003, 12:40 AM
Hi Mike. I don't mind sharing what little nonsense I have with everyone. I consider that quite a compliment. It's indifference that upsets me, so thanks for asking.Sorry, but this really makes no sense to me. Ki is the life force found in all living things. We practice an art that is based on harmonizing with that ki. What should aikidoists talk about more than that?I don't like to use the words "ALL" when it comes to stuff like this, there is just too much in this universe we really don't understand yet. I am not saying that using "ki" as a definition is wrong, just that I would prefer to be more specific in my definitions of what is happening. That is just me, maybe I lean more to the "pigeonhole all phenomena" group.

Regardless of what you call it or I call it, we are both WRONG. Dead wrong. Words, symbols, language are just approximations are they not? So we are not so far off from each other, regardless of how we choose to see things.And so, what IS your modus operandi?Hell if I know. :D I just am trying to keep breathing. Talking about this kind of stuff makes each breath kind of special though.

Jim Vance

mike lee
01-28-2003, 03:27 AM
I don't like to use the words "ALL" when it comes to stuff like this, there is just too much in this universe we really don't understand yet.
As I said, ki is the life force found in all living things. The use of the word "all" is what makes this statement very specific.

Take a long hard look at a dead animal sometime. The only ki you will see is that of the insects and worms eating its dead flesh.
As an analogy, I have no problem with this, but if it is meant as literal truth, I do.

It's meant both ways. Ki is created in a living body primarily through breath. Once the breathing stops, ki is no longer created and life in the body ends. This is why ki is almost literaly equal to life and breath.

We all know that every living organism requires certain elements to live. Some are tougher than others. Some live in the hot springs at Yellowstone. Some live in the arctic.

Let's take humans for example. We need air, water, nutrition, and we need to keep our bodies within a certain temperature range, or we will die. The body also depends on the proper functioning of the internal organs, and the circulatory, nervous and skeletal system. All of these things form a system where ki is literaly created. Ki being the energy, the life force that sustains us.

But there are also spiritual elements. We know, for example, that humans can die from a lack of love. Therefore, the mind is considered to have a significant effect on the level of ki in the body.

If one remains at the level of continually attempting to distingush the dual concepts of literal and figurative, I don't believe that one can accomplish very much in one lifetime with regards to a genuine understanding of ki.

Chris Fenner
01-28-2003, 07:31 AM
I came into Aikido from Karate where results bore a direct relation to physical effort and much time was spent in running up and down doing push-ups and sit-ups.

Because of this I found ki difficult to grasp and rationalised it as a way to make our bodies perform more efficiently by getting our conscious mind to focus on something else e.g. unbendable arm exercise where you extend to infinity whilst your partner tries to bend your arm. Your conscious mind doesn't interfere by thinking I must try to keep my arm straight.

In Aikido we spend time "proving" ki with exercises and tests. These show that what you are thinking has a massive effect on your stability and centre. What, mind and body linked, outrageous!

I developed on to a model where ki exists because it has a real effect and we show this effect (to ourselves) continually with ki exercises.

However, this is only part of the story, as so much in martial arts there are many layers which we move through in our drive for knowledge. Ki is not just applied in straight lines, and it is not just about yourself. Try the unbendable arm exercise with a partner, but this time connect to their direction (trying to bend your arm), agree and sympathise with this. See if you can feel into their structure.

Ki is also the connection with your training partner. As you become more relaxed with the techniques, feel the direction and use the shape of the aikido to guide the direction of their attack. Aikido becomes softer and flows more easily.

This is what I am working on for my own aikido at the moment.

Happy studying

Chris Fenner

Epsom Dojo, UK

Ghost Fox
01-28-2003, 07:42 AM
As I said, ki is the life force found in all living things. The use of the word "all" is what makes this statement very specific.
I humbly disagree. Ki permeates and emanates from all things, not just living things. Ki doesn’t originate because of life or objects; ki is a fundamental part of creation. A rock, the sun, the moon, fire all have ki. A rock for example has very different ki then fire, but both have ki. Rock-ki is stable, slow to move and settles downward. Fire-ki is very dynamic, expansive and moves upward. This is why in certain esoteric traditions you have “elementalist” who meditate on the spirits of the earth, fire, wolf, etc…

I think the main difference between living and nonliving thing is that living things seem to maintain a continuous connection with the quintessential ki. Living things act like a sink or conduit for the raw ki that permeates existence. This does mean that living things tend to have a higher concentration of ki surrounding them (Certain ki-exercises and Qi-Kung exercises allow one to store a higher concentration of ki in the same vessel and increase the flow of ki through ones body.), and the ki is less likely to become stagnant. When the connection to the fundamental ki is severed the vessel is no longer animated, trapping & locking the remaining ki into a set pattern (a corpse). All nonliving things (and living things for that matter) have a set amount of ki locked into its basic structure; some people call this the etheric double of an object. This etheric double is the mold from which the actual object takes its shape.

In addition certain areas can have more ki than others. When all the ki in an area (water, earth, animal, plant, human, ley lines etc…) is in a state of constructive interference you have an area with “good” feng shui.

MHO nothing more.

:triangle: :circle: :square:

Paul Clark
01-28-2003, 08:24 AM
Hi all,

Wow, this has come a long way from the original post. It started with a "discovery" that matter and energy are related, and that this might provide a scientific explanation for "ki".

With deference to Karen Kujo, who is clearly a practicing, professional physicist where I am more or less a retired one, I'd add this more specific nugget for your consideration.

Einstein's great contribution to the language of us mere mortals is his well known equation, E=mc^2. For those who have never had to learn precisely what this means, it's simply that the Energy "E" of a mass "m" may be calculated by multiplying the mass by c^2, or the square of the speed of light "c", which happens to be 3x10^8 meters per second.

Relative to the original post, there are several important things to note. First, energy and mass are indeed interchangeable in a way--mathematically, you can convert one to another simply by multiplication with a constant. That does not mean at either the quantum or classical physical levels that it's easy to convert mass to energy, or vice versa. In fact, it's very difficult to do, mass is destroyed in the process, and it liberates a whole lot of energy (a hydrogen bomb, or the sun for example). If you think about this for a few moments it'll illustrate one of the challenges inherent in using this idea to explain ki.

Second, all mass has energy. Einstein and physics don't distinguish between a life energy and an inanimate one. So a rock has energy proportionate to its mass, as do I, and each of you. If, as one poster says, ki is only present in living things, the mass-energy equation doesn't explain ki. Likewise, if as another poster says ki is more concentrated in living things, or in the gas of a fire, then you still have a problem applying the science to explain ki, IMHO, at least THIS science.

Of course, this doesn't prove that there's no such thing as ki. It only says in a more specific way what Karen was getting at a while back--that Einstein's equation linking matter and energy is not a good way to explain it scientifically.

I can't help noticing that we have two posters who confidently disagree on whether ki is a "life force" or something that permeates all matter, like Yoda's Force ("the rock, the tree, the ship . . ."). Which of them is correct, and how do we know?

(pulls pin, lobs hand grenade onto the table, and leaves the room . . .)

Paul

mike lee
01-28-2003, 02:14 PM
I can't help noticing that we have two posters who confidently disagree on whether ki is a "life force" or something that permeates all matter, like Yoda's Force ("the rock, the tree, the ship . . ."). Which of them is correct, and how do we know?
Actually Mr. Lost is absolutely correct. I intentionally geared my post toward discussing ki in relation to the life force and to living things because this is the kind of ki we most commonly deal with in martial arts, especifically in aikido.

Originally, I said that ki is in all living things because in this form it's easier to percieve. My analogy about the dog was not absolutely correct because as long as there is some molecular structure remaining, of course there is ki, or energy, holding that structure together. But, generally, speaking the ki in a dead animal is not much use, thus the phrase, "like beating a dead horse." Yes, the dead horse has ki, but of what use is that kind of ki? He's not going to be taking you for a ride anymore!

Secondly, Mr. Lost was able to explain the effects of various forms of ki in non-living objects and other forms of energy.

A cellphone puts out energy, for example, that some say can cause cancer after prolonged use. So I guess we could say that the ki of the cellphone is damaging human ki to the point that it begins to break down and causes a possibly fatal malady.

In the end, as Einstein said, everything IS relative. Is not the earth an all things on it formed from star dust? And are not all living things fueled from the light of the Sun?

jimvance
01-28-2003, 03:33 PM
Wow, this has come a long way from the original post. It started with a "discovery" that matter and energy are related, and that this might provide a scientific explanation for "ki".Right you are Paul. I went back to the original post and re-read it. And according to the way the Aikido world looks at Ki, Damien was onto something....that in dealing with atomic physics, when one deals with the infinitely small.... the smallest we are able to probe within the nucleons (protons and neutrons) of an atom it is found that there is no mass. mass is represented in terms of energy.... so at that sub-atomic level everything is energy. so when you think about it, if you want to think about a key building block that makes up people, animals, inanimate objects, the universe..... it is energy rather than an indestructible form of mass as was thought for so long.

...this is ki, this is the energy which is discussed in japanese arts and thought, the chi in chinese thought, the prajna in indian thought..... energy in scientific thought.

...i hope it brings a little bit of thought to you, particularly to those of you who try to deny the existance of ki or dismiss it because there is no scientific explination.There are two main statements here. The first says matter and energy are transferable, since matter is composed of energy. The second says that "ki" is that universal energy found at the edges of scientific perception. And since the character for "ki" is found in the name "Aikido", we must all adopt the second statement's perspective in order to stay true to the tenets of Aikido's founder, who propagated it. I would say that there are several flaws in the argument.

1. The concept of Aiki did not originate with Morihei Ueshiba, and as such was not equated as harmonizing with the opponent's energy. Most Japanese martial arts identified with the concept of Aiki as a method to steal the initiative and lead the opponent's mind. In the Kotodama-rich world of Omotokyo, Ueshiba did identify Ai and Ki as separate concepts with their own guiding principles that he illustrated in his particular budo. He further defined Ki as the binding principle of the universe, which went hand in hand with the religious beliefs held within the Omoto religion.

2. The accepted Japanese version of "ki" has less to do with energy, and more to do with steam, weather, and attitude. The kanji itself shows vapor rising off a pot full of rice. The English word energy can be translated as "kiryoku" AND "seiryoku". Nuclear energy also uses the term "ryoku" rather than "ki". Ki as translated from the Chinese "Chi" or "Qi" is only one of three forms of energy identified by Taoists, who were interested in it as a life preserving agent. The term has taken on a completely foreign context within the West from what it originally stood for in the country of its origin.

3. The real ambassador of "Ki" is Koichi Tohei, who was influenced heavily by Tempu Nakamura and his system of Shin Shin Toitsu as much as he was by Morihei Ueshiba. At the inception of Aikido in America, Tohei was the main figure. Some people argue that his philosophy and methods did more to influence the original American synthesis of Aikido than the Founder, and that would include the concept of "ki".

If people want to relate experiences like the "unbendable arm" through the language and metaphor of "ki", all the more power to them. My teacher shows that particular exercise as one of unifying the body and the mind through understanding human structure and engineering rather than a quasi-mystical experience involving an ethereal force.

We all have ideas to share and appreciate and the real goal should be to stay vulnerable to the data reality gives us, rather than make the universe fit to our preconceptions.

Jim Vance

W^2
01-28-2003, 04:39 PM
You can almost hear Godel laughing...perhaps we should rename this thread Godel’s Revenge. Of course, I'm referring to his Incompleteness Theorem. 'Once more into the breach dear friends'...<here we go>...

This is a little off topic, but some arguments constructed within a closed system - let's call them recursive statements - will be unprovable within that system. Meaning every closed system is internally inconsistent, regardless of syntax, semantics, etc. - Godel's Incompleteness Theorem proved this for Mathematics, but it is extensible to any closed formal system (any system with order - I dare you to find one without it). Hence, my mention of the Anthropic Principle, which is, in and of itself, a bit "loose" in definition (pun intended).

The Anthropic Principle is essentially the acknowledgment that Homo Sapiens is prone to Observation Selection Effects - the parameters of our existence are inseparable from our experience, and therefore, may taint our understanding of it (the data). If that sounds somewhat circular to you, then you're still awake - that's the gist of it. It leads to egocentric reasoning; this is what Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle asserts (it seems we're awash with principles doesn't it?). The term is also applied to methods of dealing with this unpleasant phenomenon (from a scientific point of view). In this regard Karen Kujo's analogy of scale is quite appropriate, in that the object of study - Ki - may require thinking, and therefore a mathematical model, which isn't fully quantifiable on our scale of existence. Indeed, there are many forces that act on us - some more directly experienced than others - for which this is true. 'We have to overcome ourselves before we can overcome the world'.

Of course, our Scientific knowledge isn't complete; we still can't reconcile two working theories, General Relativity & Quantum Electrodynamics, and this is ironically another issue involving scales. Work on unification in physics is largely focusing on the development of M-Brane Theory, which is a higher dimensional geometrical approach to the problem - providing enough room to bring the two together.

I think what Karen is saying is this: Let's not bicker over scale (whether Relativity is the correct process or Quantum electrodynamics), but to try to understand it as it is, that being the universe and all it entails.

By the way, have you ever noticed that descriptions of "spiritual things" are about as clear as scientific definitions for time, etc.?

It is clear that our understanding is limited, and we must seek the "answers" sincerely and with an open mind.

These are just some of my thoughts on this subject,

Ward

W^2
01-29-2003, 03:45 PM
Perhaps it would be better to provide a context for this discussion by restating the topic. After all, they say that the solution lies in correctly stating a problem.

‘It work’s for me...’

To begin with, energy is a fundamental indefinable in Physics - the word originates from the Greek ‘energos’ or active, which is derived from ‘en’ = in + ‘ergon’ = work...hey, there’s something going on here! We still have no scientific idea of what ‘energy’ actually is only what it does. You could think of it as a heuristic term, describing the how, where, and when of ‘something’ – to some extent anyhow - with certain mechanical (measurable) properties.



‘There seems to be no end to it...’

Whatever it is, the universe, as we know it is full of it – literally made of the stuff - and it manifests itself in many different ways. <Maestro, if you please> ‘They say it has potential – then whiz - it’s really movin’, it’s cruelest form is carrots & peas, sometimes it’s really groovin’, it makes the wheels turn in my head and warms the house when I’m in bed...<gasp>... it starts our cars and fuels the stars, women are from Venus and men are from Mars...<now with a halftime feel>...and it has a Special, accelerated proclivity of increasing inertia and Relativity, and Generally speaking it has it’s place in dragging time & warping space, it could be WIMPy or with HALO round, but it’s mostly hiding and can’t be found, and even in a particular way asymmetry seems to have lead astray, our Standard Model isn’t replete with all the recipes at our feet, and through it’s conservation makes, organic life here common place...Yeah that’s - ‘It’?

Ok, I got a little carried away, but the point is we don’t have a fundamental, scientific explanation of ‘what’ is doing this work, only descriptions of the phenomenology, and our descriptions are not complete even though there are many.

‘That sounds like a lot of work...’

Posit: Is it plausible then, according to current scientific knowledge, a force or energy (something that performs work) exists which hasn’t been described scientifically (for which no equation of state exists), which may or may not interact with all matter uniquely and in terms of organic matter specifically, would interact in proportion to complexity, and therefore as our mental state affects our physical condition - which it does – would affect our interaction with said force or energy? Certainly our perception would affect our observation and awareness of such a hypothetical force or energy, as we aren’t even cognizant of the billions of neutrinos that are passing through us as we read this, and specifically, there are many ‘mechanical’ things that we become aware of only as trained martial artists. For instance, if you aren’t aware of the need to relax your muscles, then you’ll never be able to move any part of your body quickly and with power. You get the idea...

‘May the Work-Force be with you...(hey sounds like Capitalism)’

Ki, as a label for this proposed energy or force, is a subject of inquiry that is still open, with no contrary, empirical scientific evidence to refute it. As for the who, what, and why of ‘energy’...I’ll leave you with that to wrap your noodle around...

Food for thought,

Ward

jimvance
01-30-2003, 01:31 PM
Just when we were getting to the good stuff, everyone gets bored! It must be more important to talk about punching people (33 posts), why I like to have sex after class (58 posts), or how tough Steven Seagal really is (65 posts). I guess I kind of like this nerdy stuff, you know, "science". Okay rant over, but first I have only two words to say to Ward:

You rock! :D

The song was geeky, but Hey! it was still cool. :cool:

You have given me a ton of "stuff" (that is a highly scientific term, you know) to look up, ponder, assimilate and validate in my practice. There is a theory that the human brain can actually register quantum fluctuations, and that this may account for intuitive flashes and some forms of ESP. This opens many cans of worms:

Did Ueshiba have this intuitive ability and did he register subatomic fluctuations?

Did Ueshiba not have this ability but did see it in Onisaburo Deguchi and his teachings, and did he transplant them into his fledgling art of Aikido?

Did Ueshiba speak of ki in a way that would later be validated by quantum physics by his design, or was he merely propagating the same intuitive ideas of a binding energy pervasive in different forms of Oriental mysticism, such as Shingon Buddhism?

This is really a fascinating topic with all sorts of interesting details, perhaps the most being the reconciliation of Ueshiba's mystical symbology with cutting-edge scientific discoveries. Unfortunately most of the juicy stuff that could be discussed will probably be glossed over so that the parties involved can sit entrenched in their dogma and rattle their sabres at the guys over in the other trenches. This means that treasure-house of knowledge that is the scientific mind of Ward will be ignored.

Thank you Ward, you opened my mind a bit more.

Jim Vance

Ghost Fox
01-31-2003, 07:40 AM
My 2 cents.

I’ve read the post but I find it generally lacking (yet interesting), just like science is often lacking in explaining experiences. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against science, it’s a valuable tool, but that’s all it is to me. I’ve been an electrical engineer for 5 years now, and I’ve studied quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, electromagnetic wave theory, and all that jazz. What it made me realize, is that science is lacking. That a lot of things in science are taken on faith (excuse me axioms, and hypothesis), and that it is a secular religion.

I also don’t agree with the point on explaining occult phenomenon using science. What people want is to have a “Ki Meter” on their wrist and see their Ki output during class. I personally don’t feel this is going to happen. We have a tendency in this culture to use whatever modern theory exists to explain the occult. Whether it’s Messmer and his Magnets, Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory or Einstein’s quantum mechanics we try to gain security and validity (from the intellectual community) for these phenomena by playing by their rules.

I don’t think that Ki is an energy (KE= .5mv^2, PE= mgh) or a force (F=ma) or that aura’s are truly magnetic or electric. These are metaphors. Just like explaining an electric circuit using a plumbing system as an analogy. There are certain correspondences and correlations because nature rules are redundant for the most part, but they are merely analogies.

Besides everyone knows that Ki is more closely link to the event of Consciousness/Mind (and yes a rock has consciousness), and that this Consciousness is independent of a brain or vessels for that part. The ether that occultist & scientist used to talk about is actually Mind/Consciousness permeating existence. You would be better off looking into Holographic memory, Jungian psychology; MRI/PET scans of people practicing Aikido with Ki and without Ki.

Remember the body is in the spirit; the spirit is not in the body.

Just my two cents.

jimvance
01-31-2003, 12:36 PM
I’ve read the post but I find it generally lacking (yet interesting), just like science is often lacking in explaining experiences....If this is a polite way to say that you think what you have read so far is stupid, I don't appreciate it. Please be more specific in your invalidations. I’ve been an electrical engineer for 5 years now...

a lot of things in science are taken on faith...

it is a secular religion.Does this mean you are a priest? Do you take what you do at your job on faith or can you identify and quantify it in a practical manner?I also don’t agree with the point on explaining occult phenomenon using science. What people want is to have a “Ki Meter” on their wrist and see their Ki output during class.What the...!!??

That was the point of the original post, that Ki could possibly be identified with subatomic energy rather than a mystical force. No one on this entire thread has talked about occult phenomena, so who cares whether or not you agree with it! It's nice to have a forum where everyone can throw in their two cents, but please don't try to break your bank getting at it. If you want to talk about intelligent things, then talk intelligently, don't muddy the waters.Besides everyone knows that Ki is more closely link to the event of Consciousness/Mind (and yes a rock has consciousness), and that this Consciousness is independent of a brain or vessels for that part. The ether that occultist & scientist used to talk about is actually Mind/Consciousness permeating existence.Would you do us all a favor and tell us what you mean? Maybe just put a link or two to a website that will explain it. I am sorry if this is coming across as harsh, but goodness, it's like being told I am going to see the Cirque du Soleil and when I get there, it's a sad faced man with his pants around his ankles having his face sprayed with seltzer water from a monkey on a bike.

BACK UP WHAT YOU SAY!

Jim Vance

Ghost Fox
01-31-2003, 02:05 PM
If this is a polite way to say that you think what you have read so far is stupid, I don't appreciate it. Please be more specific in your invalidations.

Jim Vance
Hello Jim,

Are you okay? Nowhere did I call anyone stupid. I think all the post where very well written by people with very high credentials in the scientific community. I merely was saying that I don’t believe science can explain everything. By science I mean the philosophy based upon the works of Aristotle, Socrates and Plato. Where science is used by people to give meaning and structure to their lives. In no way was I calling anyone stupid
Does this mean you are a priest? Do you take what you do at your job on faith or can you identify and quantify it in a practical manner?What the...!!?? Jim Vance
No, it does mean that I base my work on a science where I never saw an electron, or and electromagnetic wave where in reality several other explanation can be used to explain the same phenomenon but the only one prevailing paradigm is used.
That was the point of the original post, that Ki could possibly be identified with subatomic energy rather than a mystical force. No one on this entire thread has talked about occult phenomena, so who cares whether or not you agree with it! It's nice to have a forum where everyone can throw in their two cents, but please don't try to break your bank getting at it. If you want to talk about intelligent things, then talk intelligently, don't muddy the waters.

Jim Vance
Sorry but ki is an occult phenomenon in the sense that it’s covered or hidden from view, and most people in the scientific/medical community would see it that way. So, I guess the answer to your questions is no, I don’t think ki could be identified with a subatomic particle. I never said Ki was mystical, just that it doesn’t fall within the realm of segregative logic.

I’m sorry that you feel my opinion doesn’t matter, but you seemed to be a little upset that no one was posting, so I gave you a response to why I wasn’t. I didn’t think I would be yelled at by a fellow Aikidoka, but then again I’m finding on this web that most people resort to verbal violence under the slightest provocation.

To me philosophy, psychology and occultism are very intelligent matters. If occult science wasn’t important people like Pythagoras, Newton, Locke, Kant etc… wouldn’t have studied so deeply into the occult sciences. Read Bardon’s “Introduction to Hermetics” I think you would find it very interesting.
Maybe just put a link or two to a website that will explain it.

Jim Vance
URL=www.crystalinks.com/holographic.html]www.crystalinks.com/holographic.html[/URL]

www.earthportals.com/hologram.html

www.islandnet.com/~licht/synchronicity.htm

www.imprint-academic.demon.co.uk/SPECIAL/04_02.html

cogsci.uwaterloo.ca/courses/Phil255/Phil255.week9.html

moebius.psy.ed.ac.uk/~dualism/intro.html

http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/Mind/Descartes.html
I am sorry if this is coming across as harsh, Jim Vance
I don’t worry about it. I don’t mind the fact that my character an intellect was attacked and belittled because I voiced my opinions. I should have known who I was my fault. Have a great day Jim, I apologize for the misunderstanding.

Hanna B
01-31-2003, 03:30 PM
BACK UP WHAT YOU SAY!Keep your voice down.

W^2
01-31-2003, 03:38 PM
Hello Damion,

I don't know exactly which post(s) you were referring to originally, but perhaps you should reread mine, since you're reiterating points, in part, included therein. I urge you to think about it first, thoroughly and deeply. Of course you're free to believe whatever you wish. However, one of the points of my posts is that we have to look at our own way of thinking about anything very carefully and honestly, whether it’s ‘scientific’ or Zen - it is the introspective paradox of the human condition [and essential for any martial artist]. Simply making statements of belief without qualifying or substantiating them isn't productive.

Since you didn't illustrate it concisely, what exactly do you find 'lacking' in these posts? It is clear that you see science as a tool, but you don't seem to think that the scientific methodology is applicable in certain undefined categories of research. Why? How would you suggest investigating and verifying your statements? While it is true that an unqualified belief in the current scientific facts, and their inherent philosophies, may constitute a 'secular religion', it would be a fallacy to imply that the Scientific Method is - in application - a secular religion. For one, the term “secular religion” is an oxymoron; secularism is by definition not a religion in the first place - they form a dichotomy. Practitioners of either, on the other hand, can employ the Scientific Method.

You state your observation that science is 'lacking' something, then you list three classical equations as your basis for disbelief in what Ki may or may not be (a hypothetical form of energy or force), even though science - even since my last post - still doesn't know what energy is (yet all of science is based on this fundamental indefinable). That is circular reasoning...an inconsistent recursive statement - ah that Godel or is it the Anthropic Principle? Our knowledge of how energy manifests itself isn’t complete, and therefore, may not be used as a conclusive basis for what constitutes a ‘force or energy’. This is what I implied in referring to Weakly Interacting Massive Particles & Halo’s (an observable cosmological indicator constraining Dark Energy theories – in theory anyway). We seem to be missing a lot of ‘It’.

In addition, even though some people refer to Ki metaphorically as an ‘energy or force’, that does not make it so a priori or posteriori. Some people use those terms literally, and since Ki is still an open subject of inquiry, there isn’t any empirical evidence or logical argument which suggests either of these statements are mutually exclusive.

What makes an unexplained or even hypothetical phenomenon 'occult'? There are many incidents in the history of "science", in which the accepted science of the era turned out to be "occult" rather than factual. This is a counterpoint to your assertion that occult phenomenon shouldn't be explained by science - who decides?

'Besides everyone knows Ki is...' - as a counter example, the differing posts within this thread suffice. Truth isn't democratic, please refer to the previous paragraph.

Please don’t take any of this the wrong way Damion, this is how we grow – throwing each other back and forth. I look forward to your responses on this matter, perhaps we'll have a little clarity yet.

Cheers,

Ward

jimvance
02-01-2003, 12:11 AM
Gosh Ward, you write really well. No, I mean that, I feel like a chump looking at how I responded to Damion and then seeing how you did. I wanted to say the same things you did, I guess I just didn't get the words right. I am still pretty young and hot-headed, so I think with my mouth a lot of times rather than "think about [the question] first, thoroughly and deeply" and then respond.

I apologize for the harsh tone earlier, I see now that I could have been more effective while maintaining a better "posture" in my response. No hard feelings Damion, I was not trying to attack you personally. It's important to me to keep a very clear line of thought in regard to this subject, since it resides at the borders of the known, and can fall prey to all sorts of odd beliefs. In my earlier posts, I was trying to understand the "specialized" definition of ki inherent in Aikido and how it related to the "mainstream" definition in Japan. Maybe from there we can bridge the gap into Western thought and onto the bleeding edge of scientific research, replete with its own odd beliefs. :D

Here's a question: If it could be, what is one way Ki could be identified through the scientific method? Is this the same ki that Ueshiba talked about, was passed on to Tohei, and now resides in the minds of Westerners practicing Aikido?

Jim Vance

Thalib
02-01-2003, 02:05 AM
Just thought I drop by... I haven't read most of the post but...

Although I do agree that it is not impossible to explain Ki scientifically, I personally don't see the need to. When I do explain to others about Ki, I do go explaining it to them from the physical and go into the mental and spiritual aspects of it when they are ready.

Everything is Ki, wether it is physical strength or something that goes beyond this relative world. Consider something like gravity, gravity is Ki. We were all taught that gravity is equal to something like 9.8 m/s^2, but that is not constant, it is relative to the location and/or situation, it is the "small g". Science has now defined a gravitational constant, which is the "big G", quite a small number and they are still calculating it.

When we are talking about the "big G", the gravitational pull between me and this remote control in front of me and the gravitational pull between me and the sun is actually the same. This "big G" is true for our relations in this earth and it is even true for our relation outside the solar system. It is one proof that we are all connected, even to a distant star.

What if there is a universal energy or force that is not relative to anything, like how gravity is with the "big G". Let's say this universal energy is called Ki and it exists in all things. And this Ki connects everything.

Ki, the ultimate element - indivisible. Even quarks are still divisible. But to "see" this is quite highly impropable. It's like keep dividing things in half, it won't reach zero, it will just go into infinity. I just contradicted myself there haven't I.

Science wants to see this "Ki". Isn't it enough just to feel it, know that it exists?

PeterR
02-01-2003, 02:27 AM
Scientific progress can be measured by the fall of occult pillers. A few wrong turns here and there (it is exploration after all) but every scientific premiss that has stood the test of time is one thing - reproducable. I don't have to see an electron but I can reproduce the experiments that led to the observations.

Frankly speaking the three Greek kings of philosophy were not scientists and neither was Newton - affectionately referred to as the last of the alchemists. At the time each was alive western medicine revolved around the humors of the body - one of which was basically equivilent to Ki. These pre-scientists were into observation but the idea of testable hypothesis was in its infancy during Newton's time. Once developed though, the power of progress was unstopable.

Question for the believers of Ki - do you also beleive in http://www.sheridanhill.com/humors.html

Careful how you answer - old Marco Polo wasn't the first cross-cultural traveller.

PeterR
02-01-2003, 04:41 AM
A further note as I digest my Ramen.

When I say believe in Ki I don't mean it's use as analogy of either physical or mental processes Its a potentially powerful tool in this respect although I prefer a more pragmatic approach. What I do mean is Ki as a concept which is un-explainable through the scientific process - the mystical Ki.

Like all mystism - what qualified became more and more narrow as our scientific understanding of nature increased. 150 years ago freak weather was an act of God now its El nino.

Paul Clark
02-01-2003, 07:55 PM
Frankly speaking the three Greek kings of philosophy were not scientists and neither was Newton - affectionately referred to as the last of the alchemists. At the time each was alive western medicine revolved around the humors of the body - one of which was basically equivilent to Ki. These pre-scientists were into observation but the idea of testable hypothesis was in its infancy during Newton's time. Once developed though, the power of progress was unstopable

Peter--Newton wasn't a physician, nor did he aspire to be as far as I know, so the "humors of the body" weren't exactly his thing. You're not quite correct regarding testable hypotheses in his time. Newton produced his 3 laws of motion, the easiest to write is his second, f=ma, but there are equations for all of them. They're not only testable, they work for all but quantum phenomena and those that take place at large fractions of the speed of light. Newton, by the way, while uninterested in humours, also invented calculus which still works quite well.
Everything is Ki, wether it is physical strength or something that goes beyond this relative world. Consider something like gravity, gravity is Ki. We were all taught that gravity is equal to something like 9.8 m/s^2, but that is not constant, it is relative to the location and/or situation, it is the "small g". Science has now defined a gravitational constant, which is the "big G", quite a small number and they are still calculating it.

Thalib--the "big G" is simply the gravitational constant, one of the several terms in the gravity equation, which gives the force of the gravitational attraction between two masses m1 and m2 as:

F=Gm1m2/r^2, where r is the distance between the centers of the two masses.

You only get an really significant value for the Force of gravity if at least one of the masses is very large, like a planet or a moon, because the value of G is so small. Gravity is a very weak force, comparatively speaking.

Newton also "discovered" this formula, along with "big G". To say that "science has NOW defined a gravitational constant . . ." might give the mis-impression that this constant has been only recently defined/discovered, which is not the case.

"Little g" is commonly used to denote the acceleration of EARTH gravity at the earth's surface, and it is calculated as

g=Gm(earth)/d^2(earth)=9.8 m/sec^2=32.2 ft/sec^2.

The acceleration does vary as you get further away from the center of the earth, but that isn't because of a lack of precision in the science or the value of G--it's a fixed relationship that Newton wrote in 1686, and which is still adequate to predict the motion of all the heavenly bodies we observe. Ki was not discussed.

I'd also point out that if Ki is a separate force as pervasive as gravity, it must be vanishingly weak, since gravity itself is extremely weak and yet it alone quite accurately accounts for all motion of large massive bodies. For Ki to also be in play but not observable indicates it must be weaker still by several orders of magnitude.

I'd think we all hoped Ki would be somewhat more noticeable, so perhaps something besides Newtonian or Quantum physics would be more useful for defining it. This math doesn't get you the answer you expect.

Paul

PeterR
02-02-2003, 02:14 AM
Never said he did - I've actually read quite a bit of his work including some first edition texts. If you read my post I carefully said "at the time he was alive". The scientific method was in it's infancy - in fact I have no argument with the statement that "he was one of the founders".

Newton was into a lot of things besides apples. His list of interests include alchemy, numerology, religion, astronomy, astrology. Link for those interested.

http://www.alchemylab.com/isaac_newton.htm
Peter--Newton wasn't a physician, nor did he aspire to be as far as I know, so the "humors of the body" weren't exactly his thing. You're not quite correct regarding testable hypotheses in his time. Newton produced his 3 laws of motion, the easiest to write is his second, f=ma, but there are equations for all of them. They're not only testable, they work for all but quantum phenomena and those that take place at large fractions of the speed of light. Newton, by the way, while uninterested in humours, also invented calculus which still works quite well.

Paul Clark
02-02-2003, 07:51 AM
Sorry, intended to clarify, wasn't pointing fingers. All in the name of education. . .

speaking of which, how do you guys make those little boxes that are titled "Paul Clark wrote"??

Paul

Ghost Fox
02-02-2003, 10:57 AM
Here's a question: If it could be, what is one way Ki could be identified through the scientific method? Is this the same ki that Ueshiba talked about, was passed on to Tohei, and now resides in the minds of Westerners practicing Aikido?

Jim Vance
Like I said before, I personally thing ki has more to do with a mental state then with a kind of energy (of course I can be wrong).

In order to prove my hypothesis I suggest measuring the brain waves and brain activity of highly proficient Aikidoka (both uke and nage) before and after they practice.

We could see if during practice they enter an Alpha or Delta state of consciousness. Also we can see what areas of the brain become most stimulated during the practice of aikido. As well as if there is any brain synchroniztion between uke and nage.

It would also be interested to use SQUIDS to measure quantum fluctuations like you mentioned before.

What will it prove, maybe nothing. But that's what research is all about.

:triangle: :circle: :square:

P.S. No worries about the previous incident.

Peace and Blessings.

jimvance
02-02-2003, 01:29 PM
So what is Ki? Is it consciousness or is it a quantifiable phenomena? Damion, you did say that Ki resides in consciousness, but in post #28 on this thread, you also describe it as a type of energy.

My interest doesn't really focus on the ki as energy model (personally), because I already use a more Western, "scientific" symbology. I am not saying using the Eastern terminology is better or worse, just different. I think this is where the argument in this thread rests (when we are not expounding on Newton or other proponents of the scientific method).

How was the concept of "ki" perceived in the lands of its birth, how did it change when Ueshiba (under the influence of Deguchi) invented Aikido, and how did Tohei envision it when he was the primary ambassador of Aikido to the United States? This has more to do with Ward's Anthropic Principle and how to bridge the cultural gap between East and West rather than spout flowery, dogmatic, and/or intuitive realizations of what each forum member has been taught about ki.

If we are going to do experiments using brain wave patterns of Aikidoists, then what is it we are looking for? How does that compare with what Western science has already told us?

Oh yeah, what the heck is SQUIDS?

Jim Vance

PeterR
02-02-2003, 07:06 PM
Sorry, intended to clarify, wasn't pointing fingers. All in the name of education. . .
No problem if you did - nature of the forums.
speaking of which, how do you guys make those little boxes that are titled "Paul Clark wrote"??
In the upper right corner of the message you want to quote there is a reply with quote icon. Press that and then cutting and pasting the quote end quote commands allows you to quote comment quote comment. Makes things much clearer. Of course the first few times Preview the reply before sending.

Paul Clark
02-02-2003, 07:22 PM
No problem if you did - nature of the forums.

In the upper right corner of the message you want to quote there is a reply with quote icon. Press that and then cutting and pasting the quote end quote commands allows you to quote comment quote comment. Makes things much clearer. Of course the first few times Preview the reply before sending.
aha, figured it had to be something obvious!
I think this is where the argument in this thread rests (when we are not expounding on Newton or other proponents of the scientific method).
Just testing the newly-illuminated tao of posting with quotes. No Newton this time, Einstein either.

Thanks

Paul

Jim ashby
02-03-2003, 03:02 AM
SQUIDS. Superconducting Quantum Interference Detectors.

Have fun

mike lee
02-03-2003, 04:16 AM
And all this time I thought it was refering to US naval personnel.

gadsmf@aol.com
02-05-2003, 11:40 AM
Good science can explain many things but Ki

shouldn't be one of them. This whole thread came to be because physics has demonstrated the existence of some very weird phenomena especially at the quantum level (uncertainty principle, quantum entanglement etc.)

However, just because some weird phenomena have been demonstrated by physics does not mean any weird phenomenon or concept

can or should have a physical explaination.

I believe in Ki because I've seen it work but trying to explain is as self defeating as trying to catch a thought with a butterfly net.

Let science explain the explainable

and let Ki retain it's mystery.

I highly recommend Leon Lederman's

"The God Particle", where he bemoans the

trend towards quantum mysticism. Most entertaining.

There, I've published, now I'm sure I'll be damned.

mike lee
02-06-2003, 03:37 AM
I believe in Ki because I've seen it work but trying to explain is as self defeating as trying to catch a thought with a butterfly net.
I don't think ki is something that one needs to "believe in" like a god, it's just something that we can cultivate in our body to make us stronger and healthier.

For example, a person doesn't need to believe in the internal-combustion engine in order to drive, nor does one need to have a thorough understanding of air-foils in order to fly.

Young people, even in Asia, have a hard time understanding ki because their bodies are literally full of it. (It's like the eye trying to see itself.)

But as we age, aches and pains creep into our bodies for various reasons; previous injuries, rhumatism, etc. The pain we feel is ki trying to flow.

In fact, Chinese doctors say that when we stop feeling pain it means that the problem is in an advanced stage.

Therefore, in Asia, various means are utilized to stimulate the flow of ki in sick or ailing people. Some of the treatments are similar to Western physical therapy. Other treatments can range from meditation (to relax and overcome severe pain), to various physical movements, yoga, accupuncture, moxibustion, etc.

My personal choice is a combination of yoga, meditation, tai chi chuan and aikido sword and jo kata.

An old Zen Buddhist monk once told me that the best way to overcome physical problems is to learn to overcome them one's self, not depending on others.

In the West people often want a quick fix for their problems — a doctor a pill, etc. But they seldom get to the root of the problem, ultimately percipitating even worse illnesses.

For example, why do so many Westerners have headaches, low-back pain and sore feet at the end of the day? Instead of complaining to a doctor, they may want to consider that fact that drinking excessive amounts of coffee has very negative effects on the body, and consiquently the flow of ki. It's too acidic, it constricts the blood vessals, limiting the flow of ki to various parts of the body, especially where the blood vessals are small, like the head. This is not even to mention the fact cafeine make people tense, further restricting the flow of ki in the body.

Add large amounts of red meat and sugar, which also turn acidic during digestion, and people's bodies become hopelessly out of balance.

Please don't get met wrong — I love a good cup of coffee, but if one wants to cultivate ki in the body, six cups a day is a curse.

Alchohol is another story, but that's mainly related to lowering oxygen levels in the blood and flooding the body with sugars.

It's been my experience that the aging process is the best challenge and opportunity to learn about ki. Young people should just be concerned about keeping physically fit, healthy and having a good time — they're already full of ki.

Kujo
02-12-2003, 11:41 PM
Hello again all,

Just starting off with a joke:

ever notice that anything with "science" in its name isn't one? (creation science, christian science, political science...)

anyway, been interesting reading, this thread.

some of you may enjoy this article:

http://slate.msn.com/id/2078486/

Here, a science writer describes why he turned away from Buddhism, and why he abandoned routes of spirituality because he could not reconcile them with what he perceived science concluded about reality.

A quote of the final paragraph:

"All religions, including Buddhism, stem from our narcissistic wish to believe that the universe was created for our benefit, as a stage for our spiritual quests. In contrast, science tells us that we are incidental, accidental. Far from being the raison d'´être of the universe, we appeared through sheer happenstance, and we could vanish in the same way. This is not a comforting viewpoint, but science, unlike religion, seeks truth regardless of how it makes us feel. Buddhism raises radical questions about our inner and outer reality, but it is finally not radical enough to accommodate science's disturbing perspective. The remaining question is whether any form of spirituality can."

It is quite a provocative statement! I do not agree that science tell us that we are accidental. Science is a tool for understanding, integrating and extrapolating our observations of this shared reality in an objective fashion. The conclusions one derives are always placed within a very well-defined context. Such a generalized statement that "we are accidental" steps outside of science and becomes a personal opinion.

The author of the article has an interesting website too: www.johnhorgan.com. I'm curious to see what people think of what this author has to say.

I still don't know enough about ki to say anything new about it, but I will say this about science:

Anybody could make science sound like Trivial Pursuit, a bizarre urge to collect facts that other people don't consider interesting, or some sort of categorization fetish. It is not these things! It is a way of using wonder and intellect to construct progressively refined models of reality. Its power lies in reproducible experiments and models that can incorporate past data and test future predictions. Therefore, one obvious way science won't increase your understanding is that if you can't devise an experiment where you can put in controls or explain certain results, it can't help you. This happens a lot in research -- the unexpected result, the unexplained phenomenon. Science doesn't seek to idolize these events. Science backs up one step, and refines the experiment so that it can be interpreted. This approach is necessarily limited. That is both its weakness and its strength. Science makes no comment about what to do when you're stuck and can't think of cool experiments. But then, it doesn't *impose* a methodology either. The blank slate is prison and freedom both.

To repeat: Science is not a religion! The roots of many religions was an explicit way to organize societies -- morality was a way to keep people from killing each other or dying prematurely. It is no accident that religions are so preoccupied with controlling sex and food -- sex usually led to more humans to deal with, and food was needed to keep humans existing. Science does not codify any sort of ethics regarding these activities. The only ethics codified within science are designed to protect the quality of science (not talking about the wider ethics of examining how science affects society -- that's a different topic).

Anyway, I'm still neutral on the idea of whether or not what science has shown so far will grant useful insight into defining/demonstrating ki as a universal constant. However, I do believe that application of the scientific method to study how ki, or the concept of ki, affects people -- that to me is a much more tractable phenomenon.

And I stand by my earlier posts that cherry-picking scientific facts to match or provide evidence for one's preconceived ideology about *anything* is intellectually dishonest. It may be an emotional exercise to figure out why you feel the way you do, but don't call it science. Call it therapy.

kujo

Erik
02-13-2003, 10:45 AM
Karen,

very well said.

John Boswell
02-13-2003, 11:46 AM
Just thought I'd throw this out there for Trivia Interest:

Saint Thomas Aquinas was cannonized a saint in the Catholic Church. During his life, he used LOGIC to PROVE the existance of GOD.

That's no easy feat, I'm sure. Anyone that wants to throw "Science" around to talk one way or another about religion will have the hands full trying to tackle good old St. Tom.

Personally, I say: "Judge for yourself." But then again, I talk alot. :P

ikkainogakusei
02-13-2003, 07:50 PM
Okay I can't help but chime in here.

I won't profess to be an authority, especially in regards to quantum physics and sub-atomic particles, but I've had some exposure to scientific research with regard to some things attributed to Ki/chi/qi/keehae.

FIRST: can we agree that each of us has our perspective of the attributes of Ki?

SECOND: Let me put forth that I am not providing a definitive answer, but rather food for thought, and possibly the creation of new questions.

THIRD: It is not my intention to belittle other views or definitions of Ki.

'Kay sorry just wanted to put that out.

With regard to strength and Ki, there are three important aspects to the anatomy of a muscle that come into play.

First is motor unit recruitment. You may have noticed that you can vary the amount of strength used in your muscles depending upon the power needed to do a task. This is because the nerves that go from your brain to your muscle are devided into separate neurons which each feed into a certain number of muscle fibers in your muscle, The second is the muscle spindle, this is a nerve 'organ' that tells you how stretched or contracted your muscle is. Close your eyes and bend your elbow. Part of the information that tells you where your arm is, is coming from the muscle spindles (see Disembodied Lady 'Man who mistook his wife for a hat' Oliver Sacks). Another part is from the golgi tendon organ.

Another job of both the GTO and the muscle spindles is to excite or inhibit the muscle in contraction, depending on what you are doing. They're meant to keep you from over-doing it and ripping more muscle than you can repair. Ever heard of that guy on PCP who was only 90 lbs, but somehow could lift a fridge? One of the reasons he could do that is because he didn't get that inhibitory message.

What does that have to do with Ki? Well there have been a few exercise physiologists who wanted to know how these old guys doing martial arts could exert so much strength. To them it didn't add up, since the aging effects of muscle tissue didn't quite explain it (i.e. type one oft eventually becomes type II after damage/secondary or primary aging).

So they got a few 'old guys' who were doing martial arts Xseveral decades and they did a bunch of tests. What they found doing EMG analysis (electromyography) is that these guys had a vastly greater level of motor unit recruitment than was considered normal for humans. So their muscles may have seemed smaller, or even not the 'right type' but they were using more of it than many young athletes. They then looked at the response of the GTO and spindle and found that these guys were able to inhibit the inhibitors, that they rewired their brains to control something that is very difficult to control, but with enough ability that they didn't injure themselves.

Also, I am currently taking a class in neuro-motor control and the professor had been talking about some new research on the shout used by power lifters. They also did the same sort of tests on the lifters and found that this shout had a smaller but similar effect on the motor-unit recruitment, spindles, and GTO. What pops into my mind is how this shout might be related to the kiai. Of course the kiai has more obvious effects of timing the tightening of trunk muscles etc. I haven't got the journal article on this shout yet, but I plan to at the next possible moment.

With regard to the biofeedback measurement and the other manifestations of ki, I don't know. I don't feel like I must define these things, or affirm or deny their existance. Nor do I feel the compulsion to assert my views as being better or more accurate than anyone else's. I think the elephant analogy is quite appropriate here.

Respectfully,

me :ai:

PS I can't vouch for this article, I actually haven't read it yet, but while doing a document search it came up (from PROBE: the unknown) so I thought I'd leave a link.

http://64.224.111.216/archives/kki/1973/jan73/ki.html

Kujo
02-14-2003, 04:02 PM
Jane sez:
They then looked at the response of the GTO and spindle and found that these guys were able to inhibit the inhibitors, that they rewired their brains to control something that is very difficult to control, but with enough ability that they didn't injure themselves.

Fascinating! I wonder if this is a matter of *recalibrating* the feedback mechanism. It wouldn't surprise me if the mechanism of developing muscle strength is not directly tied to the neuromuscular inhibition mechanism, which need to be trained separately. That is to say, even if you make your muscles twice as strong, if your body still "thinks" it can only handle your original strength without damage, then the inhibition mechanism would prevent you from actualizing the increased strength.

It reminds me of how I play with the fear edge when I train. Some fears are justified for your present ability -- I would never recommend any beginner take breakfalls from day one, no matter how physically competent they were, for example. But it is important to slowly remove those inhibitions as one's ability increases. The trick is always being in harmony between pushing the envelope and staying safe.

The other night we were doing a shomenuchi kokyunage where nage enters to the uchi side, then pivot throws uke while cupping uke's shoulder (of the arm that was doing shomen); uke must take a breakfall. This is definitely a confidence technique: if both uke and nage move in a committed fashion with good momentum, then the technique works well and feels great for both partners. I knew I could physically do it, but the fear was making me break my momentum and was very frustrating. Then when I was nage, sensei started talking to the class while I was in mid-throw. I thought, "oh sh*t!" and suddenly I had executed a perfect throw and my partner was grinning at me. Sensei looked in my direction and said, "...just like that!" The class laughed, and I replayed what Sensei said that had broken my concentration (and my phobia): "Move confidently!" BAM! "...just like that!"

My partner later said, "of course that throw was perfect -- sensei stopped you from getting in your own way!"

Breaking through inhibitions? Letting the ki flow better? Both sound plausible to me.

kujo

ikkainogakusei
02-14-2003, 04:44 PM
Fascinating! I wonder if this is a matter of *recalibrating* the feedback mechanism. It wouldn't surprise me if the mechanism of developing muscle strength is not directly tied to the neuromuscular inhibition mechanism, which need to be trained separately. That is to say, even if you make your muscles twice as strong, if your body still "thinks" it can only handle your original strength without damage, then the inhibition mechanism would prevent you from actualizing the increased strength.
So please excuse for not giving a response to your whole post, I'm cheating myself out of time again and should be working on a paper.

Actually, just by stretching you are 'recalibrating' the feedback mechanism. You see the spindle 'organ' looks like a sqiuggly neuron wrapped around myofibers (or muscle tissue) an that spiraled neuron monitors the tension on that tissue. and the GTO is monitoring the tension in the tendons. When you stretch, your body reacts against the stretch by tightening, but the more you stretch the looser your muscle and tendons are, and the looser your spindle organs and GTO(s) are. By doing this, it allows you to generate more force over a longer period (or so the current established thought asserts)ot time. E.G. 90deg. of movement produces less work than 130deg. of movement.

An example of the existance of GTOs and spindles would be to flex your arm until your hand touches your shoulder, then contract your biceps muscle as hard as you can for as long as you can. Did you get a Charley Horse feeling? Thats because the biceps muscle was all scrunched up and those monitors couldn't respond like normal.

Another change that happens is that when you first begin to work a muscle on a regular basis, your brain is not accessing or recruiting -all- of your motor units for that muscle. As you keep stressing that muscle, your brain begins to wake up more of these motor units. If I remember correctly, the time period is six weeks of training before one truly begins to increase the size/strength of a muscle (though it is different for each muscle due to density and fiber type). Before that most of strength increase comes from motor unit recruitment.

So yeah, if your muscle is too tight, then the GTO and spindle would be too. Though it should be considered with a grain of salt. There are plenty of power lifters who put a lot of weight to this discovery, and there are a few exercise physiologists who say too much credit is given to these organs. The jury is still out in that regard.

Now, beyond that, these old-timers are accessing abilities not normally attributed to people like you and me. I don't think they have figured out how, but they have found that the upper limit placed on % unit recruitment without injury is out the window for them.

I would be interested in Functional MRI tests on novices vs. masters on the unbendable arm.

ikkainogakusei
02-14-2003, 10:52 PM
It reminds me of how I play with the fear edge when I train.<snip> The other night we were doing a shomenuchi kokyunage<snip>I knew I could physically do it, but the fear was making me break my momentum and was very frustrating. Then when I was nage, sensei started talking to the class while I was in mid-throw. I thought, "oh sh*t!" and suddenly I had executed a perfect throw and my partner was grinning at me. Sensei looked in my direction and said, "...just like that!" The class laughed, and I replayed what Sensei said that had broken my concentration (and my phobia): "Move confidently!" BAM! "...just like that!"

My partner later said, "of course that throw was perfect -- sensei stopped you from getting in your own way!"

Breaking through inhibitions? Letting the ki flow better? Both sound plausible to me.
kujo

Sure. Another aspect is the 'you think too much' factor. Not you necessarily, we haven't trained together. Pardon me whilst I relate a story.

About a year ago I had gone back to the first Aikido dojo where I had trained. There was an uchideshi there who obviously didn't know me from Adam and seemed to have a look on his face like 'I'm going to tell you why you should train at this school.' At that moment an old friend had come up to say hello. He introduced me as his first teacher and since he was a well established yudansha, the uchideshi paused with an 'oh' expression. I think I was given a little too much deference, but I think that's what my friend found entertaining.

I explained that I have had to limit my training greatly because I was going to school, explaining the kinesiology thing. With that the deshi immedaitely asked me to give him a biomechanical breakdown of a movement he found difficult. To this I gave him the Kinesiologic version of 'You think too much'. It's called (by some) Bernstein's Paradox. He asked the question 'How can our brain hold so much information for so many movements?' He came up with the assertion of our brains having what he called

'coordinative structures'.

Okay this is an oversimplification but here goes: You begin to learn a task, and a significant part of learning that task is doing the task. While you are trying out all the possible movements to execute it, your brain is acting like Michelangelo to David and carving away all the things you don't need to do, until you develop this coordinative structure. Part of this is making neurological 'batch-files' which will execute the task without you having to actively think of every little element. E.G. when was the last time you thought, 'uh, walk...okay I need to pick up my right foot, equalize my balance while I swing my left leg...' and so on? Rather, you just think 'walk' and it happens.

So sometimes when you are doing a task which you are not confident you know, some of that batch file processing in your brain is hindered by this micromanagement your consciousness is asserting.

So I don't know this to be true, but it might be that the shock induced by your sensei, broke your active mind of it's control of your movement, and allowed your body to do its thing. As your partner said.

Mabe.

Food for thought.

:ai: :) :ai:

Kelly Allen
02-21-2003, 06:26 AM
Jane

Your insights on muscular anatomy with respect to producing more power with less muscle explains alot. Can you also hypothisize using the same science how my 175 lb Sensei seems to be harder to push off a spot he's standing on the mat than it is for me to push my 300 lb brother out of his lazyboy recliner?

Also do you beleive that Reike is another manifestaion of KI. And is the phenominon that their practitioners produce such as much elevated heat in the hands and or parts of the body they are touching/near touching are proof that ki exists and can be manipulated?

The last paragraph wasn't spacifically for Jane. These are just a couple of things that came to my mind as I was reading these very interesting threads.

ikkainogakusei
02-24-2003, 07:01 PM
Jane

Your insights on muscular anatomy with respect to producing more power with less muscle explains alot. Can you also hypothisize using the same science how my 175 lb Sensei seems to be harder to push off a spot he's standing on the mat than it is for me to push my 300 lb brother out of his lazyboy recliner?
Hi Kelly :)

Though I'd like to say I have an answer to your questions, there are so many unknowns. So I will risk scientific criticism by making a supposition or two.

Suppose your 300lb brother is in front of this lazyboy. Might we assume that he is standing with his feet parallel to his shoulders and also (both heels making the ends of a line) parallel to the chair? Then it is easy. Imagine standing a sheet of cardboard on an edge and then pushing against the flat planar side, it tips over easy.

Now, I have no way of knowing the circumstance in which your sensei had demonstrated this immobility. Was he standing the same way? Was he slightly different in stance? Was he 'dropped in center'?[/QUOTE]
Also do you beleive that Reike is another manifestaion of KI. And is the phenominon that their practitioners produce such as much elevated heat in the hands and or parts of the body they are touching/near touching are proof that ki exists and can be manipulated?[/QUOTE]
I can't give you an opinion on Raike as I know very little about it. I just ran a cursary search on the Library database here and it didn't come up with anything.

As for proof, I think it's all closer to evidence than proof. Proofs are being disproven every day. I like to try not to say something absolutely is, simply because I think it limits me, though I'll admit I have faltered in this.

Sorry I can't be more informative this time.

:ai: :) :ai:

kensparrow
02-25-2003, 12:51 PM
[QUOTE=I see a lot of confusion in people without extensive direct experience doing science in how they conceive science as merely today's new religion. I must forcefully disagree. Science is not a religion. Both science and religion are attempts to find larger patterns and meaning in reality. But the scientific method does not dictate necessary social behaviour or custom.[/QUOTE]Not that this has anything to do with Aikido but I have to disagree that science is not a religion and that the scientific method does not dictate social behavior. Isn't the scientific method a set of rules that anyone who wishes to call themselves a scientist must follow? Doesn't a set of rules that governs how we ask questions influence the answers we find? Doesn't science hold itself up as the only True Path to knowledge?

Godel proved (scientifically ;) ) that any logical system is inherently incomplete and yet science seems to treat this much the way religion treats its internal paradoxes i.e. as a point of faith.

Sounds like religion to me.

Now I think I'll go search for answers in that trancendental moment just before nage dislocates my shoulder.:D

Kelly Allen
02-26-2003, 05:31 AM
Hi Kelly :)

Though I'd like to say I have an answer to your questions, there are so many unknowns. So I will risk scientific criticism by making a supposition or two.

Suppose your 300lb brother is in front of this lazyboy. Might we assume that he is standing with his feet parallel to his shoulders and also (both heels making the ends of a line) parallel to the chair? Then it is easy. Imagine standing a sheet of cardboard on an edge and then pushing against the flat planar side, it tips over easy.

Now, I have no way of knowing the circumstance in which your sensei had demonstrated this immobility. Was he standing the same way? Was he slightly different in stance? Was he 'dropped in center'?
Also do you beleive that Reike is another manifestaion of KI. And is the phenominon that their practitioners produce such as much elevated heat in the hands and or parts of the body they are touching/near touching are proof that ki exists and can be manipulated?[/QUOTE]
I can't give you an opinion on Raike as I know very little about it. I just ran a cursary search on the Library database here and it didn't come up with anything.

As for proof, I think it's all closer to evidence than proof. Proofs are being disproven every day. I like to try not to say something absolutely is, simply because I think it limits me, though I'll admit I have faltered in this.

Sorry I can't be more informative this time.

:ai: :) :ai:[/QUOTE]
Actually the analogy was my 300lb brother laying/sitting in his recliner. And my 175 lb. sensei standing normally, as though waiting for a bus or something to that effect. The only dropping of center was done mentally (projecting KI downward).

As for the Reike I may have spelled it wrong. Mike Lee can attest to my bad spelling. Sorry! Reike in short is a form of healing similar to Kiatsu. Not sure if I spelled that right either. But rather than useing the tips of one thumb or fingers. The practitioner uses the whole hand and does not necessarily touch the person he/she is attempting to heal. These practitioners are reputed to have their hands increase in tempuature dramatically while preforming their healing.

RichardWilliams
02-26-2003, 08:21 AM
Hi everyone,

The subject of Ki always brings out many different views, but you must excuse me if i get annoyed with particular takes on Ki.

I must disagree with Darren Gadd and anyone else that shares the view that good science shouldn't be used to explain Ki.

What i come across a lot is ignorance about Ki that is based on the fact that people only know things from hearsay. If anyone is interested in Ki (or as i prefer, Qi) then all they need to do is spend a little time researching it properly like anything else.

Maybe twenty years ago, this could not be done without travelling to the far east, but in the modern day of the internet and global book publishing it is really not an issue to find good information on Qi.

For example, if you were interested in the effects of gravity between two masses you would search the internet or buy a book on physics. Why not do the same for Qi?

...I think the answer to this is probably simple, ...people don't actually believe they can read about Qi the way they can read about a whole other bunch of scientifically accepted subjects.

But why is bringing 'science' into it so important. Well this is because modern society will only validate a principle, on mass, if it is explainable through science. Yes, religion, philosophy, ideology etc. are all important to some degree too, but not in the way science is.

Put simply, the effects of Qi and the science of Qi are measureable, and what is more HAVE been measured by many different people from many different disciplines. It is not a matter for belief just as the force of gravity is not a matter of belief. It is more a matter of education and removing hearsay and the ignorance that follows it.

Please note, I'm not trying to cause offence to anyone though. I actually believe a lot more of us should become better aware of what is actually available to us through Qi training and understand the considerable long term health benefits it presents. It is something we can and should all benefit from.

Now on a complete tangent, hi Karen Kujo.. in one of your entries you quote a science writer who turned away from Buddhism. A fact about Buddhism i didn't know until recently is that the real teachings of the original Buddha have (supposedly.. this is from someone elses writing) been lost or rather, misinterpreted and abused.

That is, the real thoughts of the Buddha was that you should be as agnostic as possible. The word agnostic in this context really means totally questioning everything and not simply taking all presented answers as fact.

That is, Buddhism isn't so much about the individual, more about everything. It is more about constantly asking new questions rather than settling for answers already obtained.

What happenen early on in the history of Buddhism, as i understand it, is that the answers to the questions we were all supposed to ask were filled in by the religious leaders of the time. The reason being is that to maintain control of a population, you can't have individuals constantly questioning things for themselves. It was important, so they thought, to provide a suitable set of answers. Unfortunately this has meant that the real teaching of the original Buddha has been lost over time, with many variations of Buddhism being created as many different individuals present their own slant on the original concept.

I wouldn't describe myself as a Buddhist, but i would say that Buddhism is a lot closer to science than many people think because it is ultimately about asking new questions.

I guess now i should sit back and see what trouble i've caused with my words.

R.

ikkainogakusei
02-26-2003, 02:02 PM
Hi Kelly


Actually the analogy was my 300lb brother laying/sitting in his recliner. And my 175 lb. sensei standing normally, as though waiting for a bus or something to that effect. The only dropping of center was done mentally (projecting KI downward).
Uh, I guess a further explanation of why it can't be easily explained is in order. You see we could do a biomechanical study of the stance your sensei takes, but it would require close visual inspection, and likely some measurement. If he was acted upon (maybe pushed?), and we had a few highly expensive force plates in order to measure each foot, and the pressure exerted and distributed, we might be able to see a small portion of what goes on. However we couldn't so easily see the torsion on each individual joint throughout the body and how he responds.

What about from a neuromotor control perspective? Well EMG monitoring can give a peek at what some muscle fibers do within a muscle, but are not effective at measuring the whole muscle, so distribution of force through muscles in response might be a task. Then we could try a functional MRI and examine the brain's response, or if we can find a really big FMRI machine maybe we could examine the functional responses of all the cells in the body, but I don't know if that's been done before.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I probably couldn't get enough information over the internet to give you an appropriate response. Certainly, I would love to get the funding to do studies on many of the mysteries of Ki, but that'd be tough, and expensive.
As for the Reike I may have spelled it wrong. Mike Lee can attest to my bad spelling. Sorry! Reike in short is a form of healing similar to Kiatsu. Not sure if I spelled that right either. But rather than useing the tips of one thumb or fingers. The practitioner uses the whole hand and does not necessarily touch the person he/she is attempting to heal. These practitioners are reputed to have their hands increase in tempuature dramatically while preforming their healing.
The only study I know of was done by an elementary school aged girl who had a blind test done. She had people put their hands through a blind and asked them which hand was being sent chi energy. The correct response was given less than 40% of the time. This is less than a chance guess. It was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Now, I don't know who was 'sending' the chi, and I don't know the agenda of the person judging the scientific accuracy of the study, but this is the only study I know of.

There are people who specialize in integrating CAMs (complimentary and alternative medicines) into the standard treatment of patients who can afford it, but my background is kinesiology, so I am not as familiar with the CAM application.

Wish I could help further.

:ai: :) :ai:

Kelly Allen
02-27-2003, 01:53 AM
No problem Jane. You made your statement well enough for me to make a point. Ki hasn't been studied enough to come to scientific conclusions. I'm sure that if studies were made very interesting results would manifest themselves. Untill such time that this happens Ki will be a very mysterious phenomenon indeed.

RichardWilliams
02-27-2003, 07:54 AM
err, Kelly, Ki HAS been studied enough to come to some conclusions.

It is certainly NOT a very mysterious phenomenon. Just as i said in my earlier post, all you need to do is become better educated. The information is already out there!

R.

ikkainogakusei
02-27-2003, 10:25 AM
No problem Jane. You made your statement well enough for me to make a point. Ki hasn't been studied enough to come to scientific conclusions. I'm sure that if studies were made very interesting results would manifest themselves. Untill such time that this happens Ki will be a very mysterious phenomenon indeed.
Uh, I think it might be more accurate to say that -=I=- haven't studied Ki enough to tell you of the scientific conclusions that may have been made.

I did mention a couple studies which I have been exposed to, that have had interesting results.

I wonder though, if once something is scientifically defined that people will no longer put the explained into the category of Ki (e.g inordinant strength exhibited by older masters)?

My apologies if somehow I misrepresented myself as an expert on the subject of Ki.

:ai: :) :ai:

Kelly Allen
02-28-2003, 02:22 AM
err, Kelly, Ki HAS been studied enough to come to some conclusions.

It is certainly NOT a very mysterious phenomenon. Just as i said in my earlier post, all you need to do is become better educated. The information is already out there!

R.
This subject is of great intrest to me so if you know of spacific research material I would like to know where to find it. Every thing I have see on Ki has been directly related to concept not research.

PeterR
02-28-2003, 04:33 AM
This subject is of great intrest to me so if you know of spacific research material I would like to know where to find it. Every thing I have see on Ki has been directly related to concept not research.
A big me too here. Lot's of scientific studies showing the validity of some accupuncture, some herbal medicine and a whole heap of studies where the effect was marginal at best. Where they have been shown to work there are quite good theories beside Ki as to why.

However, when we get to Ki and rigorous science the former falls flat on its face. I understand Ki as concept, would actually like it backed up by research but its a total red herring to say
It is certainly NOT a very mysterious phenomenon. Just as i said in my earlier post, all you need to do is become better educated. The information is already out there

Really not interested it playing I know something you don't.

Please quote one scientific study that supports Qi. And by that I mean reproducable and not anecdotes.

The progress of science is measured by the fall of the pillars of superstition.

RichardWilliams
02-28-2003, 08:07 AM
Peter, please try not to be so hostile. Please do not simply label my quote as a red herring without bothering to see if what i said is correct or not, or without waiting for all of the facts!

You appear to be jumping to the conclusion that i'm talking rubbish without waiting for me to add to what i've already said.

And if you'd have read my first post you would (possibly) have realised that i want to share my sources with everybody who is interested as better understanding of Qi would be a great benefit to us all. So PLEASE do not accuse me of playing 'i know something you don't'!

Ok, you would like me to quote one scientific study that supports Qi... how about several quotes of studies that support Qi, from different angles and different disciplines? This is something i will gladly do.

I am currently at work and do not have this information to hand, but this weekend i will add a further post. I hope you can wait until then.

The thing about the discussion of Qi is that there are many different view points about many different manifestations of Qi. In the martial arts like Aikido, Hapkido, Tae Kwon-Do, and Karate, from my experience, the Qi argument takes the form of using mysterious powers to overcome an opponent. Of course, this approach to Qi is riddled with myth both old and modern. There is a lot said about Qi from this angle that is blatantly untrue.

The subject of Qi is also addressed in Chinese arts such as Tai Chi. Here the understanding of Qi becomes a little more refined, and (in my opinion) a lot more accurate.

Qi is also (much more widely) addressed from the angle of health, longevity, self-healing and healing of others. It is in this area that by far the most complete work has been done on better understanding Qi. What i've found is that if you read as much as you can about Qi and healing (for example, read a good book on Qigong) you will begin to develop a firm basis for your understanding of what Qi really is. With this understanding you can then return to the many questions that started your interest in Qi, such as the questions of martial application. The answers can then become much more focused and accurate and the myths can be sorted out from the reality.

Personally, i have read quite a lot of work on this subject from different disciplines. I have also recently begun practising Qigong. I can testify to the real physical changes that take place in the human body through Qi work.

Qi is a truly fascinating thing. I know i don't have anyway near all the answers, and i am still trying to learn more and more, but from where i've reached at the moment i know it is something that must be treated with the correct degree of respect.

For me, my initial interest was in trying to understand the mysterious feats that i kept reading about. Perhaps even a little bit of wild fantasy that i may even be able to repeat those feats myself (now that's stupid, i know).

However, as i've read more and more, Qi has become a very simple thing, along with a very simple goal. For me, i now wish to forget all the martial stuff that once inticed me to this subject. My interest has turned into: Practise Qigong, improve my health, learn how Qi can be used heal others, and hopefully live a longer, fitter, happier life. That's not a bad set of ambitions to have is it?

R.

RichardWilliams
02-28-2003, 09:32 AM
Hi, me again,

This is a footnote to my last post. So that we know we are on the same page here Peter, i would like to add the following.

There are several occasions in Aikido where someone performs Kokyu Nage on another person, and this person is thrown without any physical contact.

In some instances (not that many in my neck of the woods i'm glad to say) someone will say that the person was thrown because of, in some way, Ki. Of course, to all of us with sensible reasoning minds this is nonsense. It is probably nonsense to you, and it is certainly nonsense to me. The fact that it is nonsense to me should be noted though.

It is not because i regard Ki and the use of Ki to be something mythical. It is simply because i think i have a fairly good grip on Ki. I know Ki (Qi) is real and is not this.

In the case where someone falls over without physical contact then this is simply explained by the fact that the person who was thrown knew if they didn't get out of the way they would get clobbered.

The problem with this assertion that Ki was somehow involved in the throw is highly damaging though to the sensible discussion of Ki. People will quite rightly say Ki is not the thing responsible for the throw, but what will then typically happen is that they go too far the other way and decide that all effects attributable to Ki must also be nonsense and that Ki must be some non-real mystical thing. It is a shame when this happens.

For me, i try to look at each thing on its own and look at all of the factors involved. Is there another explanation... how does it fit with other things i know about Qi that i know to be correct...

Basically what i'm saying is i'm certainly NOT certifying as true everything that people say about what is possible with Ki. In Dojos and Dojangs there are a lot of bad ideas associated with Ki. Unfortunately these bad ideas simply push the sensible reasoning student away from the correct understanding of Ki. The boundaries between what we are validating and what we are not must be clearly defined. If you primarily approach Qi from the internal, healing related fields (like Qigong) then from my experience you tend to find the sane, sensible, well argued and scientifically validated answers. If you approach the subject from external, martial application you tend to find almost entirely myth. This is an important distinction in understanding Qi or Ki.

R.

PeterR
02-28-2003, 10:02 AM
My post on re-reading came out a little harsh. A few years ago I came across a "scientific study" on Ki and was astounded by the circularity of the argument. I've read a few since then and all are very similar and I've always wondered do these people really believe what they say or ...

By way of example. Breathing exercises based on Ki/Qi improve health, therefore it is proven that Ki/Qi improves health. Well no, breathing exercises improve health.

A quick search of the internet will give you an article which claims Qi alters the conformation of certain proteins. This is great news but the instruments they use for the measurements are not capable of measuring the degree of interpretation. It sounds pretty impressive on first read though.

Don't get me wrong. I run to the local acupuncturist to deal with my aches and pains. The last time I went he couldn't help me and sent me to a chiropracter. All hospitals here have an in house acupunturist and some have a herbalist, they work with modern medicine and Ki/Qi is intimately involved in what they do.

I see Ki as a way of describing the physical world much as the West used Humors. I know modern medicine can not deal with everything and even recently herbal medicines have yielded potent drugs.

About 20 years ago a very smart Biochemist who happened to be Chinese was left with a horrible dilema - his son was dying of stomach cancer and the chemo therepy wasn't doing that much good. He took his son off Western drugs and went to a herbalist. The kid was dead within two weaks - he had a slim chance with the chemo. That was real close to home - I knew the father had met the son. You don't tend to hear the other side of the coin.

Erik
02-28-2003, 11:49 AM
The only study I know of was done by an elementary school aged girl who had a blind test done. She had people put their hands through a blind and asked them which hand was being sent chi energy. The correct response was given less than 40% of the time. This is less than a chance guess. It was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Now, I don't know who was 'sending' the chi, and I don't know the agenda of the person judging the scientific accuracy of the study, but this is the only study I know of.

Here's a link which talks about the study.

http://www.abc.net.au/science/k2/moments/gmis9836.htm.

It didn't involve ki, precisely, but rather therapeutic touch. It's a great study though.

Erik
02-28-2003, 12:11 PM
If you primarily approach Qi from the internal, healing related fields (like Qigong) then from my experience you tend to find the sane, sensible, well argued and scientifically validated answers.
Richard, you've just written several pages of "it works, I know it works, so there".

Ok, so where?

Kujo
02-28-2003, 05:44 PM
Ken sez:
Not that this has anything to do with Aikido but I have to disagree that science is not a religion and that the scientific method does not dictate social behavior. Isn't the scientific method a set of rules that anyone who wishes to call themselves a scientist must follow? Doesn't a set of rules that governs how we ask questions influence the answers we find? Doesn't science hold itself up as the only True Path to knowledge?
*sound of knuckles cracking*

Are you seriously interested in debating this? In order to debate clearly, in a fashion that increases understanding, I suggest that we first agree on the definition of some keystone words. In fact, the act of agreeing on these definitions may very well eliminate any conflict, since by changing the foundation of the debate we may change the conclusions.

I posit defining two concepts: "faith" and "reason". I am using the definitions outlined by Dr. Wheelan, philosophy professor at Georgetown University. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy and a Ph.D in geophysics, and did a high-energy physics postdoc at Princeton. If you do not agree that these credentials provide sufficient credibility for this discussion, please suggest what system of credentials you do wish to work within and what your rigourous definitions are.

His web page:

http://www.georgetown.edu/faculty/heelanp/

His article on defining faith versus reason, using the Catholic Church and Pope John Paul II's encyclical as the subject of his conference:

http://www.georgetown.edu/faculty/heelanp/Faith&Reason.htm

Now, after you give me your complete and precise definition of "faith" and "reason" then I think we have a good foundation with which to distinguish the larger concepts of "religion" and "science". I do not claim that there is no overlap in meaning amongst these concepts. I just want to distinguish “fuzzy logic” from “woolly thinking”. ;)

I am holding everything I say up for easy verification for my audience, providing complete transparency for this discussion. I am always interested in hermeneutics and look forward to being enlightened by novel scholarship and well-thought out perspectives.

A quote from Dr. Heelan’s page:

"Hermeneutics or interpretation is concerned with the generation, transmission, and acceptance of meaning within the lifeworld and was the original method of the human sciences stemming from F. Schleiermacher and W. Dilthey…Its purpose is to incorporate into the philosophy of science those aspects of historicality, culture, and tradition that are absent from the traditional analysis of theory and explanation, to re-orient the current discussion about scientific realism around the hermeneutics of meaning and truth in science, and to establish some relationship between the current philosophy of natural science and hermeneutical philosophy."

Kujo

Kelly Allen
03-01-2003, 06:01 AM
I'd still like to find/see KI/Qi related scientific tests (MRI, boichemical measurements, etc.) Hopefully on subjects who are famous for their acheivments using Ki. Reguardless of wheather its high ranking Ki Society MAists or well known Reiki practitioners. If there is energy produced (and I'm sure there is) it has to be measurable. I for one would like to see the data and the analysis of same.

W^2
03-02-2003, 12:44 AM
Hello Karen,

Since methodological hermeneutics is probably a little off the beaten path for most, I thought I'd post some thoughts relating to your last post as it relates to this thread.

To begin with, methodological hermeneutics is a tenet of philosophy and is not required to discuss religion & science, nor their underlying concepts. It requires a research topic, accurate biographical material of the author, and a historical analysis of the prevailing philosophies of the time period in which the respective research paper was written, applied in an iterative fashion. I think it is rather obvious that this process is beyond the scope of these forums, however interesting it may be. Further, while hermeneutics is certainly academic, it isn't scientific in that it can't explicitly follow the scientific method in application. In fact, it is debatable whether this process does produce any [independently repeatable]clarity to a given subject other than by providing a historical context with which to discuss it.

I might also add that Dr. Wheelan's paper -'Faith & Reason' - while certainly dicussing the concepts of the title, doesn't go so far as to define either of them explicitly. Using that paper as basis for debate would necessarily limit it to the parameters of catholicism and philosophy, and therefore wouldn't serve to clarify the subject of Ki in Scientific thought, nor the differences and similarities of science & religion in general.

Having said that, I do think it is important to differentiate between the Scientific Method and science in general - whether current or historical. In this regard it would be fair to say that some scientists have certainly applied faith in science and the scientific method while pursuing scientific endeavours. This falls squarely within the definition of the words 'faith' and 'religion' given by Merriam-Webster, the first 'allegiance to duty or a person : LOYALTY b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions', and the second as 'a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith'.

However, this does not make either Science or the Scientific Method a religion A Priori. Again, Merriam-Webster defines the word 'science'as the 'knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method b : such knowledge or such a system of knowledge concerned with the physical world and its phenomena : NATURAL SCIENCE'.

Generally, we tend to think of religion as a belief in God or the supernatural and Science as the systematic study and cataloging of the physical - a dichotomy. Unfortunately, due to the rather unreasonable past influence of Religion on Science, there's a strong tendency to promote this paradigm within Scientific circles.

To be continued...

-Ward

RichardWilliams
03-02-2003, 04:31 AM
Quote "Richard, you've just written several pages of "it works, I know it works, so there".

Ok, so where?"

Dear Erik Haselhofer,

Didn't you read the part of my post where i promised to share the information about the sources i've read?

You seem too keen to quote me out of context and too keen to jump on me. Tell me, is it because in this forum nobody really knows who anybody else is and that we will never meet that good manners and simple respect can go out the window?

I'm online briefly to read email before getting outdoors and away from my PC for a while. I WILL post later today, and add what i can as i promised.

Yours,

Richard.

Erik
03-02-2003, 10:31 AM
Didn't you read the part of my post where i promised to share the information about the sources i've read?
I did. You spent a whole bunch of time writing those other posts so I figured it would have been easier to quote sources.

I note that they are still lacking.

Erik
03-02-2003, 10:35 AM
I'd still like to find/see KI/Qi related scientific tests (MRI, boichemical measurements, etc.) Hopefully on subjects who are famous for their acheivments using Ki. Reguardless of wheather its high ranking Ki Society MAists or well known Reiki practitioners.
I would love to see it too. If people are claiming they can do something they should offer legitimate proof.
If there is energy produced (and I'm sure there is) it has to be measurable. I for one would like to see the data and the analysis of same.
Why are you sure they are producing energy above and beyond what everyone else is doing?

RichardWilliams
03-02-2003, 11:09 AM
Erik, get a grip! I've read your reply to me, and that alone is annoying. But i've also read your reply to Kerry Allen, and it appears like a second person you have misunderstood.

When i first read your reply to me i was thinking of writing a level headed, simple reply with all the information attached, and not entering a pissing contest which you obviously seem so keen on. But having your next post those thoughts have gone out the window a little.

You are being downright ignorant and arrogant about the few facts you seem to have rattling around your tiny mind. I was quite prepared to be polite but you really are behaving like an intellectual child. I have had enough and wish you would show some patience, some willingness to entertain new concepts and most of all i wish you would GROW UP!!

You write 'Why are you sure they are producing energy above and beyond what everyone else is doing?' This HAS BEEN DONE. Get over it. Certainly do not have a go at Kerry over this point, because a) you misquoted her original post and b) your just plain wrong!

Think carefully about your next post, or this could get a whole load worse for you. I have plenty of facts to hand that can only make you look more ignorant and unwilling to listen.

Ok. Now for the grown up bit (try and stay with us here Erik, i'll try to go slowly for you).

I have personally read many books (>10) and articles on Ki, Chi or Qi. Those books have been from quite different categories. I could refer you to all of them but i won't. This is simply because one book stands head and shoulders above the rest. I highly recommend it and i'm considering buying you your own personal copy Erik (seriously).

The author is Kenneth S Cohen. The title is 'The Way of Qigong - the Art and Science of Chinese Enery Healing'. ISBN 0-345-42109-4.

I think this is by far the best introduction to Qi that i've read so far. Here are some of the quotes attached to the front cover and first page. Having read the whole book i would have to agree with all of them wholeheartedly.

"This breakthrough book is destined to become the classic reference on body energy and healing" - Joan Borysenko, Ph.D.

"Ken Cohen's treatment of the ancient healing and self-healing art of qigong represents the 'gold standard' against which works on other therapeutic methods might well be measured" - Christopher Bird co-author of 'The Secret Life of Plants and Secrets of the Soil'

"Ken Cohen is a rare combination of expert practitioner, gifted scholar and lucid writer. He manages to convey not only the techniques of qigong, but its wisdom. I highly recommend The Way of Qigong for yourself and for those you care about." - Elmer Green, Ph.D, author of Beyond Biofeedback

"THE BEST, MOST COMPREHENSIVE BOOK ON QIGONG WRITTEN. A must for anyone interested in Chinese medicine or Chinese energy healing." - Wayne B. Jonas M.D.

There are three of four more quotes of similar strength at the front of this book. They are all spot on.

I'm going to stop this post here and start a new one. This post is getting a bit long. Don't worry Erik the next wil follow straight away. I'll try to find the bit about the measurement of energy that you were so quick to dismiss.

Yours,

Very Annoyed.

RichardWilliams
03-02-2003, 11:38 AM
Reply to Erik: Part II.

Jumping straight to the middle of the book here for Eriks benefit.

(All quotes taken from book listed in previous post, The Way of Qigong by Ken Cohen)

"The Copper Wall Project.

In the West, the most impressive research to document electrical correlates of healing energy is a project originally called "Physical Fields and States of Conciousness", and later known as the Copper Wall project.... conducted in Kansas....

A copper-walled room was constructed, consisting of a copper floor, copper ceiling, and a copper wall to the front and back. Each copper panel was separate from the others and thus electrically independant.....Each subject sat on a chair on a glass base, facing a copper wall, while scientists measured body potential changes and electric fields. As might be expected, in six hundred experimental trials with regular subjects.. ..there were no unusual or large electrical surges. However, when the sensitives (ed. - Qi sensitives) were tested, the results were surprising...... ...during the meditation sessions, body potential surges ranged from 4 volts to 221 volts, with these spikes lasting anywhere from 0.5 seconds to 12.5 seconds.... ..the magnitude of these electrical surges is extraordinary: 10,000 times larger than EKG voltages generated by the body's most powerful electrical organ, the heart, and 100,000 times greater than EEG voltages. These results expand our understanding of both body potential and human body potential."

Please bear in my mind, i'm quoting just small parts of a much larger chapter. You really need to read the whole book for yourself. In this way the information can be better taken in and you will be free to come up with your own conclusions.

Anyway, this is just the tip of the iceberg. One of the overriding impressions i was left with on finishing the book is that Qi is really quite amazing. There are a very large number of experimental correlates of Qi from all sorts of different places. The author, Ken Cohen does an excellent job of presenting all known sources to the reader.

I will try to give a brief flavour of all these correlates below.

First, a quote from the Foreword written by Larry Dossey M.D.

"Someday soon, the principles of healing you are about to read about will be taught in all our medical schools. In fact, this is already beginning to take place, as an increasing number of institutions develop courses in alternative or complementary medicine, including Qigong.

There are two main reasons for the growing acceptance of these methods: They constitute both good science and authentic wisdom. Science and the venerable tradition of qigong are joining hands as you are about to read. As a consequence, qigong can no longer be considered just a matter of faith or belief, nor as only a body of practical knowledge accumulated across the centuries, although this would be impressive enough. When the methods Cohen describes are subjected to rigorous empirical tests, they repeatedly demonstrate their worthiness. These developments are immensely important. They indicate not only increasing acceptance of qigong, but increasing openness within science and medicine as well.... ....In his discussion of qigong, Cohen wears two hats, as all modern healers should. First, he is a scientist. He realizes that science has become the dominant metaphor of our culture, and that we cannot ride roughshod over its methods and messages......."

ok, time to post. Part III coming next.

RichardWilliams
03-02-2003, 12:22 PM
Part III.

All quotes taken from The Way of Qigong by Ken Cohen.

Quote from the section What is Qigong?

"According to Chinese medical theory, health means a full and flowing supply of Qi.... ...However, unlike blood, qi is an invisible subtle force. We know it exists the same way we know sunlight and wind exist. We cannot capture or grasp these forces in the hand, yet we can experience them. Science does not need to prove their existence in order for us to believe in them. Nevertheless, it is wonderful to know the science CAN measure these things. Qi is quantifiable, as research increasingly is proving, but is more than a quantity!"

In the book, the author gives a broad history of Qigong tracing development back thousands of years. He shows how it has been a very important part of Chinese culture for a long time. I would add as an interesting point here (and please note, i read this somewhere other than this particular book, but an equally valid source) that the name of the country of China (Chi'na) is derived from a specific use of the term 'Chi', the vary same Qi / Ki / Chi that we are discussing in this thread!

Further on, the author discusses Bioelectricity...

"Most of the evidence of measurable correlates of Qi have been amassed around the phenomenon of bioelectricity. Although qigong causes obvious physical changes--relaxed muscles and improved respiration and posture--some of its most powerful healing effects are due to its influence on the body's electromagnetic energy."

"If electricity is essential for healing, it must be an important correlate of healing qi. Experiments in both China and the United States confirm this hypothesis... ..there is evidence that during qigong the conductivity of acupuncture points---that is, the ability of these points to conduct an electric charge--changes dramatically. When a qigong practitioner concentrates on a particular point, the skin resistance at that point goes down relative to other acupoints on the body. Researchers tested this hypothesis at Beijing's Institute of Space Medical Engineering and reported their results at the Second World Conference for Academic Exchange of Medical Qigong in 1993.... "

Then the author discusses the copper wall project, already mentioned above.

Then the author discusses the correlation between Qi and Endorphins. Endorphins are the best-known neuropeptides, morphinelike substances found naturally in the human body. Endorphins account for moods of well being or euphoria. Research shows that "endorphins are a correlate of qi, but that qi is more than endorhpins."

Then the author discusses the health hormone DHEA and its relationship to qi.

Next the author discusses Bioluminescence and Qi.

Then he discusses consciousness and how it is a correlate of qi.

You still with us here Erik? I haven't lost you yet have i?

Then the author moves on to a massive amount of experimental evidence showing the effect of qigong practice on health.

There are statistically significant results with regard to healthy heart function and blood pressure,

healthy circulatory system

healthy digestive system

healthy brain function

healthy EEG (Electoencephalogram)

mental health

respiratory system and asthma

the immune system and the big 'C' ...(C is for cancer Erik)

longevity

So we can see a trend here. The positive effects of qi-work (qigong) are profound, and the empirical, scientific evidence is there to back it up.

Unsurprisingly the author also supplies a rather large list of Qigong resources for the interest reader, at the back of the book.

Ok, quite honestly i'm getting bored typing now. If you want more, don't feel shy in coming forward (Erik).

I certainly do not have anywhere near all the answers but know enough to recognize ignorance on this subject when it rears its ugly head. I strongly recommend the book i've heavily quoted. I'm sure most of you will find it a real eye-opener and we should be grateful for people like Ken Cohen who are trying to increase awareness and understanding of Qi in the West (the Chinese have obviously known about it for a long long time).

The book is about 15 dollars in the US, and so it would probably be worth it for me to buy you a copy Erik. I wouldn't mind at all.

I will hear from you soon no doubt.

Richard.

Erik
03-02-2003, 12:42 PM
I've made a case for a long time on closed minds and which side is the more closed. Thanks for making my case.

Did you know that you are cute when you are angry?

By the way, does any of this have to do with why Cohen quotes the "Copper Wall Project"?

He was able to demonstrate unusual physiological control as one of 9 "exceptional healers" studied in the Menninger Clinic's Copper Wall Project.

http://www.qigonghealing.com/html/aboutcohen.html

It's funny though. For something revolutionary, as clearly this is claimed to be, there seems to be remarkably little information available on it. I'll see what I can find from a more even-handed perspective.

Erik
03-02-2003, 01:42 PM
"According to Chinese medical theory, health means a full and flowing supply of Qi....
Ok, that doesn't mean anything, but ok.
...However, unlike blood, qi is an invisible subtle force. We know it exists the same way we know sunlight and wind exist.
It is so. I know it is so. I have said it is so, therefore, it is so.
We cannot capture or grasp these forces in the hand, yet we can experience them. Science does not need to prove their existence in order for us to believe in them.
At least this one is honest. It's belief.
Nevertheless, it is wonderful to know the science CAN measure these things. Qi is quantifiable, as research increasingly is proving, but is more than a quantity!"
Valid, double-blind, hard-core research, no doubt. :rolleyes:
He shows how it has been a very important part of Chinese culture for a long time.
So....black cats, walking under ladders, friday the 13th have long been a part of culture too. Big Whoop! Do you still believe in Santa Claus?
"If electricity is essential for healing, it must be an important correlate of healing qi.
It is so. I know it is so. I have said it is so, therefore, it is so.
When a qigong practitioner concentrates on a particular point, the skin resistance at that point goes down relative to other acupoints on the body. Researchers tested this hypothesis at Beijing's Institute of Space Medical Engineering and reported their results at the Second World Conference for Academic Exchange of Medical Qigong in 1993.... "
From http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/acu.html.

The quality of TCM research in China has been extremely poor. A recent analysis of 2,938 reports of clinical trials reported in Chinese medical journals concluded that that no conclusions could be drawn from the vast majority of them. The researchers stated:

In most of the trials, disease was defined and diagnosed according to conventional medicine; trial outcomes were assessed with objective or subjective (or both) methods of conventional medicine, often complemented by traditional Chinese methods. Over 90% of the trials in non-specialist journals evaluated herbal treatments that were mostly proprietary Chinese medicines. . . .

Although methodological quality has been improving over the years, many problems remain. The method of randomisation was often inappropriately described. Blinding was used in only 15% of trials. Only a few studies had sample sizes of 300 subjects or more. Many trials used as a control another Chinese medicine treatment whose effectiveness had often not been evaluated by randomised controlled trials. Most trials focused on short term or intermediate rather than long term outcomes. Most trials did not report data on compliance and completeness of follow up. Effectiveness was rarely quantitatively expressed and reported. Intention to treat analysis was never mentioned. Over half did not report data on baseline characteristics or on side effects. Many trials were published as short reports. Most trials claimed that the tested treatments were effective, indicating that publication bias may be common; a funnel plot of the 49 trials of acupuncture in the treatment of stroke confirmed selective publication of positive trials in the area, suggesting that acupuncture may not be more effective than the control treatments.
Then the author discusses the correlation between Qi and Endorphins. Endorphins are the best-known neuropeptides, morphinelike substances found naturally in the human body. Endorphins account for moods of well being or euphoria. Research shows that "endorphins are a correlate of qi, but that qi is more than endorhpins."
It is so. I know it is so. I have said it is so, therefore, it is so.
Then the author discusses the health hormone DHEA and its relationship to qi.

Next the author discusses Bioluminescence and Qi.

Then he discusses consciousness and how it is a correlate of qi.
It is so. I know it is so. I have said it is so, therefore, it is so.
You still with us here Erik? I haven't lost you yet have i?
Your woo-woo science lost me, and other rational types, long ago.
Then the author moves on to a massive amount of experimental evidence showing the effect of qigong practice on health.
That doesn't prove Qi. Exercise produces a whole wealth of results. Why are people so willing to buy into this stuff and we can't get them to buy into weightlifting?
There are statistically significant results with regard to healthy heart function and blood pressure,

healthy circulatory system

healthy digestive system

healthy brain function

healthy EEG (Electoencephalogram)

mental health

respiratory system and asthma

the immune system and the big 'C' ...(C is for cancer Erik)

longevity
LMAO! Again, it doesn't prove Qi just that certain results may have been achieved through QiGong practice. But I gotta tell you, those are mighty big claims. Or, as Mom used to say, "you are wearing your britches kind of big aren't you?" We have not even proved many of the effects claimed by vitamins and there is a massive amount of research there. So QiGong has proven all of these things in one book? It's proven longevity? I must repeat....

It is so. I know it is so. I have said it is so, therefore, it is so.
So we can see a trend here. The positive effects of qi-work (qigong) are profound, and the empirical, scientific evidence is there to back it up.
The only trend I see is an adamant believer who read a book. There may well be positive effects to QiGong practice. That is a different topic from the existence of Qi. One does not mean the other.

If I walked across a busy intersection, told you I was guided by Zeus, does that prove the existence of Zeus? Not! Repeat many times! Repeat blindfolded! Repeat with blindfolded drivers! Repeat with non-Zeus guided types. Repeat a whole bunch of different ways. In the end, what have you proven?

That one person has the ability to walk across the street while blindfolded while believing he is guided by Zeus.

You have not proven Zeus.
Ok, quite honestly i'm getting bored typing now. If you want more, don't feel shy in coming forward (Erik).
At least you spelled my name right. :)
but know enough to recognize ignorance on this subject when it rears its ugly head.

I'm not sure about that. Any mirrors in your house?

I admit it! That was a cheap shot. But you started it. :)

I'll see what I can find on the Copper Wall project. It'll probably prove to be woo-woo science but we'll see what happens.

RichardWilliams
03-02-2003, 02:04 PM
I give up! You win!

You're clearly a moron and there's no arguing with that.

All you've done is pull apart quotes i've made from somebody elses work. How on earth does that invalidate the original author who you still have not read.

It is clear that will not allow yourself free thinking on this subject.

You really are pathetic, and i hope it doesn't get in the way of others reading this book.

Yours,

Incredulous.

ikkainogakusei
03-02-2003, 02:25 PM
Here's a link which talks about the study.

http://www.abc.net.au/science/k2/moments/gmis9836.htm.

It didn't involve ki, precisely, but rather therapeutic touch. It's a great study though.
Hi Erik, you're right, my apologies for not being clear in the text of my message, my thoughts were along the lines of Complimentary and Alternative Medicines.

I see that the temperature of this thread has risen and I wonder if we should consider a few things.

:ai:

First, it's not likely that we can prove, scientifically or not, the existance or non-existance of ki, to everyone's satisfaction on this thread.

:ai:

Second, just because someone does not hold the same view, does not mean it is a license to insult or deride another.

Third, I'd like to point out that in logical discourse there is a set of defined fallacies which help prevent us from jumping to the wrong conclusions. One of those categories is called "Fallacies of Distraction" and within that is 'From Ignorance': because something is not known to be true, it is assumed to be false. Can we agree that ki cannot be annihilated from our repitoir just because one or more of us does not see what we think is current scientific proof of it? It neither disproves nor proves its legitimacy?

Also, when it comes to electrical 'energy' one must consider many things.

Volts are not necessarily the best measurement (alone) of 'energy'. For example, a balloon with static energy has a potential for several thousand volts, but typically has less than a millionth of a coulomb. The charge of a coulomb is important in the equation. (see Paul G. Hewitt, Conceptual Physics)

(red herring) In doing a search on ES chrge from carpet, I found this page.

http://www.esdjournal.com/techpapr/sfowler/ccenters.htm

I don't have my physiology books with me, so I can't get the actual data on the electrical energy in the average human heart but I do know that an internal (artificial)pacemaker generally sends within 5-40 joules to the heart to get it back on track. I know it is a leap, but it might be near the general electrical impulse level in the heart.

[1 Joule = 2.777 778 x 10(to the negative fourth power) watt hour] That's very small.

Does this make the 'copper room' experiment insignificant? No, but it would be good to look at the charge level and understand it in order to put things in perspective. Also, is it possible that the voltage is an artifact of Ki, and not the Ki itself? Maybe, I certainly can't decide this myself. With regard to Ki and it's manifestation/affect between two people (ki master/ healer to reciever) it would be interesting to see both sides and effects.

RichardWilliams
03-02-2003, 02:31 PM
There is an aspect of discussing Qi that i've deliberately avoided because it most certainly moves away from written down science, but for someone like you Erik, is certainly a difficult thing to argue against.

That aspect is actual Qigong practice by an individual. If you were to invest a small amount of time to try the simple exercises at the beginning of Qigong practice, say several weeks, then you may infact experience for yourself, first hand, the experience of Qi flowing in your own body.

I practice Qigong, and i promise you, forget the book, forget everything else i've ever said. If you train for a short while you begin to experience things happening that make you really sit back and think about Qi.

Of course, you're gonna love refuting this one. All you need to say is that i can't back it up, and that i'm obviously full of it.

Well try it for yourself. Actually try it.

Failing that (which you probably will), get of your arse and find somebody (in the flesh) who practices and has practiced Qigong for several years. Ask them for their experience. Forget me, there are many people world-wide who practice Qigong everyday. I'm sure you should find it difficult to track them down and talk to them.

The thing that is really sticking in my throat with your words is that I KNOW it to be real from practicing it. You cannot know this, and must only resort to what you can find written down in sources that you can believe. This self-knowledge gives me an undeniable appreciation of Qi and hence a very great inability to back down from facts that fit perfectly with my own experience.

I am also healthier and stronger than before. Is this really just a placebo effect or is there something to it?

And please! don't make out i started it. Go back to the first post you wrote. Your post was presumptious, arrogant and lacked basic respect for someone you'd never met. Where do you get off on that kind of behaviour?

R.

Erik
03-02-2003, 05:00 PM
I'm only going to take on one part of the discussion here and surely get flamed for it.
I am also healthier and stronger than before.
How are you healthier and stronger? Is it measurable? You can pick up more weight today than prior to Qigong? What other factors in Qigong might lead you to be healthier than before? Just the physical activity of doing something may make a difference. Maybe you just think you are healthier which by the way is fine with me. You claim Qigong prevents/heals cancer? How so? This is measured somewhere? How?

You have no clue how hard it is to prove something like this but you emphatically state these things as fact and leap to conclusions based on them.

When I was 7 or so I used to be afraid of werewolves. Go figure. Well, one day I walked around the corner of the hallway and saw a werewolf. I vividly remember the experience. I saw, I felt and it was real when it happened. I ran back to Mom and Dad too. No way would I have listened to the following questions:

How did it get in the house?

How come no one else saw/heard it?

How come it didn't make any sounds?

How come it didn't chase me?

How come it wasn't there when I went back with Mom & Dad?

Of course none of that disproves what I imagined that I saw. It could have teleported into the house from it's alien spaceship. It was studying human beings and it's invisibility device failed allowing me to see it. It's sound dampening system worked though. Upon realizing that it had been seen it immediately teleported out of the house and back to it's space ship never to return.

The reason I was afraid of werewolves up to that point is because I was secretly in tune with their magnetic fields. Being that I'm in the Northern half of the Earth, and the qi of us Northerners congregates there, it's logical that my perceptions were heightened to sense werewolves.

There you go. I experienced.

By the way, that Northern bit is something I picked up from a Qigong book today.

I don't think you get my point at all. It may very well be that QiGong has health benefits. Lots of physical activities do. I could recite a litany of benefits for many activities. It just doesn't mean all the rest, or even any of it.

That's were I take exception.

Erik
03-02-2003, 05:40 PM
Note: Some nasty grammar and spelling in that last post. My apologies.

And the ki of those in the Southern hemisphere congregates in the lower more sexual part of the body. In Northerners it congregates in their head.

I read it in a book on QiGong therefore it's true.

Erik
03-02-2003, 06:30 PM
One of those categories is called "Fallacies of Distraction" and within that is 'From Ignorance': because something is not known to be true, it is assumed to be false. Can we agree that ki cannot be annihilated from our repitoir just because one or more of us does not see what we think is current scientific proof of it? It neither disproves nor proves its legitimacy?

I'd like to state this differently, or, maybe I'm stating something else. It may be that ki exists? It's also, however, impossible to prove that something doesn't exist. Just because we cannot prove that it does not exist does not mean that it does exist. I think therefore that the burden of proof lies with those attempting to prove something does exist.

What I'm arguing for is a much higher standard of proof than is typically delivered.

For instance, in Marin, CA, they have recently discovered a breast cancer cluster. Many have jumped on the bandwagon as proof of the dangers of whatever issue they champion, particularly pesticides. These same people forget that Marin has more money and women receive better medical care increasing the likelihood it will be caught. Women with money also tend to delay giving birth which increases the likelihood of breast cancer. Maybe it's a type of tree in the area? Maybe it's just a statistical fluke? Or, maybe it is pesticides?

Proving these types of things are incredibly complicated and it's the point which is almost always missed. Proponents of these sorts of practices often make big claims with no proof.

I have proven one thing.

Richard can get MAD!

:grr: :grr: :grr: :grr: :grr:

PeterR
03-02-2003, 07:21 PM
Published books - especially those directed at a general audience and even more so those by authors have a vested interest don't count. I can't tell scientific from anecdote. Yeah that includes the Copper Room.

A study, appearing in a reputable Scientific Jounal is all that is being asked for. This means that any one can reproduce the experiment, anytime.

Non-mainstream science gets in all the time - we have cold fusion, poly water and that study were a solution infinately diluted seemed to contain maintain an effect. Certain alternative health groups loved that last one but in the end all the above experiments were either not reproducable or the effect was explained.

The thing is if the Ki/Qi people would have just stayed with the more esoteric descriptions all would have been good. What we have though is an attempt to impress (read sell books) by clothing the debate in science. Well sorry, but science is not a bunch of jargon. It REQUIRES proof - and that has not been shown.

Paul Sanderson-Cimino
03-02-2003, 10:11 PM
To summarize my thoughts, I will appeal to George Leonard-sensei in his book "The Way of Aikido". He there succinctly phrased his view of supernatural acts supposedly made by martial arts masters - to paraphrase, "I don't believe them necessarily, but I won't say they're impossible, because I've seen a lot of things happen that were once thought impossible."

One thing that I think is perhaps nice about many people's treatment of ki is that they don't see why it necessarily must be some magic force - many say "By thinking this way, and following this 'ki training', I find it helps me in my daily life and aikido. So there's no need to wonder what /really/ causes it, per se."

To give my suggestion as to why 'ki' is such a big deal for physicists, I would point to the law of conservation of mass and energy. Ki in the sense of energy that can knock someone over or send telepathic messages (that is, go over and actually fuss around with the biological circuitry/memory systems of another human) implies that it is something which can alter the state of matter - it has force, energy, tangibility, because it can interact with physical matter.

This ties into the topic of physical determinism, applied to more philosophical considerations.

Basically, determinism holds that given every single bit of data on the universe as it is, you can say what it will look like the next instant. ("Things can only happen one way.") This is, like many scientific theories, extremely simplistic and 'obvious', but positively /loaded/ with depth and implications.

It seems common sensical to say 'Sure, given all the data on a certain ball held at a certain height in a certain place, you could theoretically do all the equations and calculations that would tell you /exactly/ what it would do. Chaos theory (the idea that sometimes, little errors 'snowball' into big inaccuracies - the common illustration is the cute image of leaving out a single butterfly flapping its wings in the rainforest in a big weather computer: no problems on day one, or day ten, but day five thousand's predictions would be horribly inaccurate.) doesn't really play in here: chaos theory relies on a tiny error. We're saying "what if there were no error in the measurements" - a "God's-eye view", as it were.

Okay, that's nothing special.

But ... remember that our actions, words, etc. are triggered by neural impulses.

The human brain is basically a computer. Rather than circuits, it has nerves. The differences between these two things are really quite academic. They both convey electric (or at least electro-chemical) impulses; they both are a network of connections with inputs (e.g. senses) and outputs (e.g. muscle-activating nerves).

Actually, we don't even really need to compare the brain to a computer.

It only needs to be noted, to create a philosophical quandry, that the human brain is physical. A bunch of cells, or going a level down, a bunch of arrangements of proteins, or a step down, a bunch of arrangements of amino acids...molecules bonded this way and that...atoms bonded this way and that...and so on.

This means, if you view it deterministically, that your thoughts, feelings, actions, etc. are all determined by the electrochemical configuration of your brain. It means that humans are a predictable and mechanical component of the world - complex but not "Special".

How could it be that humans /are/ "special"?

Well, to make a long philosophical discussion short, you might bring in something like a "Ki Effect".

Basically, the problem with consciousness/free will in the physical world is cause-and-effect determinism: things only happen when they are caused, and a precisely defined cause causes a single specific effect. (If you rewound the universe and played the tape again, it'd be the same: the rules don't change, and you have the same start conditions.)

It is possible to say (although this is entirely non-scientifically significant, because it is an assumption/assertion that has no support or evidence against it, and in fact because it is so far non-testable, can't have either) that on some other plane - a "spiritual world", say, with its own rules and regulations that somehow don't include the notion of cause-and-effect that is in play in the physical world - free will is logically possible. (Perhaps there is no time, perhaps...well. I won't go into more speculation.)

If this spiritual plane, which allows free will because it lacks the laws of cause-and-effect, etc., can somehow interact with the physical world, then we can support the long-standing (though not unchallenged) philosophical assertion that human beings have free will, that they are /special/.

How can this happen?

Well, if one's "spirit" actually can change "thoughts", "feelings", "actions", etc. (all the results of alterations in brain chemistry - all the results of manipulating physical matter, i.e. your brain) then we have something that may be called:

"The Ki Effect": A theoretical mechanism whereby non-phyiscal entities may alter the physical world.

This might just be making a neuron fire when it should not have (neurons, to grossly oversimplify, fire only when, like any other circuit element, an impulse reaches them that was transmitted from another neuron.) That is, a neuron is sitting there, and suddenly, out of nowhere, electrochemical energies appear and make it fire.

This should seem really, really weird to most physicists or scientists out there ("quantum randomness", which I won't address due to the need to be somewaht concise, aside). It implies that energy and matter /just appears/. (Or disappears; it doesn't matter.)

It could be that this "Ki effect" can do more than just alter neurons; but in fact can have more profound effects - letting O-Sensei resist the force of multiple strong individuals pushing on his jo, for instance. In other words, telekinesis.

How could this be measured scientifically?

While this is well beyond the current capacities of science, it could be that someday we will be able to circuit-map the neurons of our brain, and see where all the energy is flowing. We could then make a model of that particular brain (whoever's is used) and give it all the data that exists (even little gravitational tugs on a neurochemical by a distant moon of Jupiter) that can change the way it would act. Then we compare what actually happens in that brain - what neurons fire when, for instance - with the model's predictions.

If, say, a neuron fires when it shouldn't, or doesn't fire when it should, we can assert that either

1) We're missing some physical force (perhaps 'quantum randomness')

2) The "Ki Effect" exists - something nonphysical is somehow altering the physical world.

Something to think about.

shadow
03-02-2003, 11:08 PM
wow.... go away for a month and things explode!

i never expected my post to ignite such a lengthy debate, i havent read all of the pages here but i find that all the way through my original point was missed. im no science expert, no mysticism expert or no aikido expert.

firstly i did not say that matter and energy are interchangeable, they are one and the same! at the particle level matter (mass) exists as energy so taking that all the way up to our level, we are made of energy (particles flying around at extremely high speeds giving the appearance of a solid form). this statement was not based on mysticism but on scientific research.

but nowhere in my original post did i try and explain ki in terms of science. i was merely pointing out a parallel that i found interesting. the particle energy i described above is as mysterious to science is as ki is to mystics. yet the description (again as soon as we bind anything by words it loses its meaning) given by both appear to be very similiar. matter is made from energy in science. the universe is made from ki (chi, prajna, whatever) in mysticism.

i give no explination for either here, but to me it just shows how both eastern and western ways of thought can complement each other and at the basic level are one and the same.

as i have said earlier, it would make sense if all the leading intellegence of the world had the same universal views wouldnt it? it would mean that yes there is some kind of rule/structure/form applicible to the universe we live in and that it can be understood in a variety of ways.

anyways back to the arguing!

:)

shadow
03-02-2003, 11:18 PM
Well sorry, but science is not a bunch of jargon. It REQUIRES proof - and that has not been shown.
peter, i study science right now and the very first thing we learnt is, THERE IS NO PROOF IN SCIENCE. simple as that. everything in science, every little thing is merely a theory (apart from some aspects of chemsitry). its all just an estimate of the way the universe works. nothing is put down ever as being definite. a good example is newtons laws of physics are now basically seen as not being relevant to the way the universe really works. at the quantum level newtons laws dont work. they only work at our visible level and even then only give approximations not exact answers.

mike lee
03-03-2003, 03:09 AM
I don't know if this is going to help at all, but I'll give it a shot.

Any medical doctor can tell when a patient's dead. If there is enough residual ki (or energy) left in the body, and if the body isn't in too bad a condition, some people can be revived.

In the West, we work with ki all of the time, we just don't describe it as such. At the psychological level, for example, when a person is depressed, they complain of having low energy. When they're happy, they seem to have lots of energy. What changed? Clearly the mind can be likened to a valve that influences the flow of ki to varying degrees, depending on ones mental condition and approach to life.

The ancients in the East, as well as modern medical doctors in the West, are well aware of the mind's influence on the flow of energy, life force, or ki, in the human body.

How often do you hear a doctor say that a patient is dying because they have lost the will to live? On the other hand, there are many cases where a patient should have died, but because of influences such as intense prayer (using the spirit to influence the mind), a patient makes a quick and unexplainable recovery.

I think that if we step back and take a look at things a little more objectively, we will find that there are more similarities than differences in Eastern and Western thought. It's just that the terms or the way of expressing certain ideas seem to be different.

Being incredulous isn't helpful, but neither is blind faith.

Lou-tzu was describing ki when he described a spring where the flow of water had slowed. The water had become dank and murky. But when the flow is robust and strong, the water becomes clear and drinkable.

RichardWilliams
03-03-2003, 08:07 AM
Hi again Erik,

You write "You have no clue how hard it is to prove something like this but you emphatically state these things as fact and leap to conclusions based on them."

I have a VERY good understanding of how hard it is to prove something like this, thanks to individuals like your good self.

I HAVE given you enough information so that you could stop posting for a while and go away and properly, objectively research this subject. You appear to prefer to simply respond to my posts 10 minutes after they arrive. Clearly this allows no time for reflection or lengthy research. You are acting on your gut feeling and trying your best to use your previously learnt understanding of the world to argue your case. This is not good enough.

You repeatedly use the words:

"It is so. I know it is so. I have said it is so, therefore, it is so."

to counter what i've posted.

Your input to this thread on close examintaion is no more than:

"It isn't so. I know it isn't so. I have said it isn't so, therefore, it isn't so."

I have quoted research areas that you could go away and analyze independantly to any input from me. You have not presented counter-research, so how you can possibly be so certain that you are in the right?

Isn't this what they call presumption and arrogance?

You say i'm leaping to conclusions. Certainly not. I'm vary careful about what i know (or believe) about the range of possibilities of Qi. I also do not accept several ideas put forward related to Qi. Please do not suggest that because i think one thing is true about Qi that everything written about Qi is correct, because this is not a view i hold.

Please spend some time to think about the following, and don't just reply in 10 minutes.

In the UK recently, an elderly gentleman was interviewed on national radio. He gave an account of his own experience.

Many years ago he was diagnosed with a serious case of cancer. The doctor had told him he had, at best, three years (i think this figure is correct). The doctor recommended chemotherapy as a last ditch attempt to cure the cancer but indicated in this mans case it only had a small chance of success.

The man pondered his options and turned down the chemotherapy. As you probably know, it has many undesirable side effects.

Many years later he is still alive. Why? Because he changed his lifestyle and importantly began practice of Qigong. Apart from curing the cancer (gone without a trace) his general health is better. This gentleman was on the radio to plug his new book that gives his account of what happened.

There is a second account i read recently of a woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She was treated by a Qigong healer. On return to her doctor, a re-examination showed the tumour had completed disappeared. Of course her doctor wanted to know what had happened too.

There are many more stories like this.

So the thing to consider here is,

if someone has a life threatening tumour that is observed by Western medicine, and then this person does not take a single prescription drug, or take an accepted course of Western treatment (chemotherapy) and then some time later the tumour disappears and that person returns to good health through self qigong practice or visits to a qigong healer, then what is going on?

You have two ways to go here Erik. You could accept just this one fact that the Qigong DOES cure serious illness, or can disprove Qigongs relationship to the person being cured.

Now having a go at me is easy. Just write a post calling me a liar.

Having done this contact the first person who has written an account of such a situation and tell them they are full of it too.

Keep doing this with everybody that knows first hand the healing power of Qigong. Where will this get you?

Would you prefer to suggest a possible alternative? Maybe all of these people were secretly abducted by aliens and operated on, or maybe a secret government agency did it.

God forbid that it might actually be something to do with Qigong. I mean, how could this possible be? You obviously have a very thorough understanding of how the universe ticks, and if you can't see it being true then it can't possible be true can it?

You see, the real problem here is when you argue with me all you can achieve is showing that i am unable to properly argue the case for qigong. This does not too disprove the healing effects of Qigong. If you argue with the accounts i describe you are arguing with a very large number of people. Are we all wrong? Surely not.

R.

mike lee
03-03-2003, 08:29 AM
Hey! What about my post? Wasn't it nice?

RichardWilliams
03-03-2003, 09:00 AM
Sorry Mike,

Too busy arguing with Erik.

Yes, i liked your post. Very pleasant. I totally agree about avoiding both blind faith and total disbelief. How about a bit of objectivity...

Thank you for adding another voice that is closer to what i've been saying.

R.

Erik
03-03-2003, 12:01 PM
I have a VERY good understanding of how hard it is to prove something like this, thanks to individuals like your good self.
I'm just pointing out flaws in your thinking. There have been many.
I HAVE given you enough information so that you could stop posting for a while and go away and properly, objectively research this subject.
More assumptions.
Clearly this allows no time for reflection or lengthy research.
What? You think your claims are new or something? That you are the first person ever to make claims without proper research to back them up?
"It isn't so. I know it isn't so. I have said it isn't so, therefore, it isn't so."
Like I said, provide unbiased reliable research, and I'll listen. You have provided nothing but claims.

QiGong cures cancer!

QiGong practitioners live longer!

I just want valid research. You have provided nothing but anecdotal claims. The problems with anecdotal evidence are legion.
I have quoted research areas that you could go away and analyze independantly to any input from me.
How do you know what I have done or have not done? See, here you go again, making claims without facts. Once again you present allegations without any facts. I just want facts without allegations. We can work with facts.
You have not presented counter-research, so how you can possibly be so certain that you are in the right?
I don't have to provide counter-research. It's not my job to prove a negative. I'm not the one making claims. Nor, do I see this as right and wrong. I'd be thrilled if QiGong worked. It would be a million times better than chemotherapy but chemo works X percent of the time. It has evidence to back it up. QiGong has you and others making claims.
Isn't this what they call presumption and arrogance?
Pot...Kettle....Black....
i think one thing is true about Qi that everything written about Qi is correct, because this is not a view i hold.
It's about time.
if someone has a life threatening tumour that is observed by Western medicine, and then this person does not take a single prescription drug, or take an accepted course of Western treatment (chemotherapy) and then some time later the tumour disappears and that person returns to good health through self qigong practice or visits to a qigong healer, then what is going on?
Possibly many things. What about the thousands (hundreds, millions) of people practicing QiGong who have died of cancer? Or, are there none of those? How many people had similar experiences to the author you mention and did nothing? Danger Will Robinson!
You have two ways to go here Erik. You could accept just this one fact that the Qigong DOES cure serious illness, or can disprove Qigongs relationship to the person being cured.
Like I said, I can't disprove your claims, just like I can't disprove Santa Claus. It's your job to understand what the standard of proof is.

If I don't step on cracks while walking down the street, and don't get hurt, is that because I didn't step on cracks, or because most people don't get hurt walking down the street?
Now having a go at me is easy. Just write a post calling me a liar.
I've never called you a liar, although you have called me many things and insulted me numerous times.
Having done this contact the first person who has written an account of such a situation and tell them they are full of it too.
I'm sure they believe it was QiGong that saved them. Just because they say it is so doesn't make it so.
Keep doing this with everybody that knows first hand the healing power of Qigong. Where will this get you?
Maybe to the truth? You look at them and say it was QiGong. Good for you, but it's not proper research. It's a form of evidence, granted, but by itself it's light years less than the standard.
God forbid that it might actually be something to do with Qigong.
I've already said it could be. There are tons of benefits to exercise, for instance. I'm simply saying the following:

a) The benefits claimed are not backed with sufficient evidence.

b) We have not determined that the claimed benefits are true.

c) We have not determined that any results claimed were produced by the alleged cause.
You see, the real problem here is when you argue with me all you can achieve is showing that i am unable to properly argue the case for qigong.
I think that was proven many posts ago. And someone who can out argue me doesn't make the case either.
This does not too disprove the healing effects of Qigong. If you argue with the accounts i describe you are arguing with a very large number of people. Are we all wrong?
Maybe! A lot of people believe they have been abducted by aliens. At one time lots of people believed in Zeus and Apollo. Do large numbers make their claims true? Lots of people have seen and claimed lots of things. Their claims don't make truth.

Erik
03-03-2003, 12:11 PM
Some interesting links on Chinese Medicine:

http://www.csicop.org/si/9607/china.html

and

http://www.csicop.org/si/9609/china.html

Yes, I went to the anti-christ for these.

shadow
03-03-2003, 07:11 PM
i think you two (erik and richard) need to either start a new thread for the continuation of your argument or perhaps just start emailing each other.

PeterR
03-03-2003, 08:47 PM
Daimen its never so simple. There is a big difference between studying science and doing it and one thing is clear - proof is relative. Absolute proof is a statistical impossibility but scientific proof is really dependent on the questions being asked.

I can scientifically prove to you that all human beings will eventually die. We have what 4 billion? potential observations.

Quantum physics is the origin of the idea that observing something changes it but the problem manifests itself in everything from sociology (how many subjects lie about their sexual encounters) to microbiology (those microscope lights are hot). The thing is scientific proof requires two things, the primary of which is reproducability. The second, and this varies a lot from science to science, is the ability to determine the error of your results. The latter however is directly related to the former.

The argument between Erik and Richard is basically boiling down to what is proof by Resaonable Doubt versus proof by Doubtful Reason. Sorry Richard the line came to me last night and I had to use it.

One thing that I did notice about the "scientific experiments" is their complexity.

Put a Qi/Ki master in a chair 10 feet from a table (no partition necessary). On the table put a 100 ml beaker of water with a thermometer in it coupled to a graph. A second thermometer attached to the same graph measures the air temperature less than a foot away from the beaker. If the Qi master can elevate the temperature of the beaker by 1 degree using the second thermometer as reference I'll be converted. By the way who gets to set up the machines and run the experiment is up to the skeptics.

Good science is elegently simple and does not have to hide in complexity.

With respect to anecdotes it cuts both ways. As I said in a previous post I personally know someone who died from Cancer because they put their faith in QiGong. Therefore if I applied anecdotal reasoning I would infer that QiGong kills people.
peter, i study science right now and the very first thing we learnt is, THERE IS NO PROOF IN SCIENCE. simple as that.

Erik
03-03-2003, 11:20 PM
i think you two (erik and richard) need to either start a new thread for the continuation of your argument or perhaps just start emailing each other.
And ruin my fun! :)

A new thread maybe, but not email. This stuff comes up time and time again in our art. When I started I gave all this stuff a full opportunity. I even used to call people closed-minded. Unlike Richard, I went to sources outside of my circle. The information was much better outside of the usual suspects.

Ki deserves a full rebuttal every now and again.

Besides, this has all been good for the peace of the board. There another thread going on where many equally questionable things have been said. I didn't go after that one.

See, the glass is really half-full. :)

mike lee
03-04-2003, 03:14 AM
Incredulousness will get you nowhere, but flattery can make one a President. It's not science, it's just the way its is.

RichardWilliams
03-04-2003, 08:22 AM
Peter, you wrote,

"Put a Qi/Ki master in a chair 10 feet from a table (no partition necessary). On the table put a 100 ml beaker of water with a thermometer in it coupled to a graph. A second thermometer attached to the same graph measures the air temperature less than a foot away from the beaker. If the Qi master can elevate the temperature of the beaker by 1 degree using the second thermometer as reference I'll be converted. By the way who gets to set up the machines and run the experiment is up to the skeptics."

I have NEVER heard anyone associated with Qi practice say something like this is possible. It certainly doesn't fit in with the things i understand of Qi in any way.

Why request as proof, something that is clearly ridiculous?

It is likely saying, ok i won't believe black-holes exist until you do this experiment with three hamsters and a piece of wet string? To me, there is clearly no relation between one thing and the other... in both cases.

Stick to a very simple, easily REPRODUCEABLE area of Qigong. Healing power. Based on my current understanding, i have no doubt that there exists, repeatable evidence of healing through Qigong, which comes hand in hand with a good, scientific based logic on what the size of error was in those cases.

The problem here, which is the problem that is going to lead me to withdraw from this thread is that I am unable to treat this subject with the exact degree of scientific rigour that you and Erik obviously require.

As i'm just an engineer, and do not hold formal qualifications as a scientist i appreciate my limitations and know however well I argue my case, it is always going to fall short of what you require.

But the thing is, for me it doesn't matter. I have first hand experience which i know you can never counter. Of this I'm totally sure.

Another crazy thing about this whole situation is we're all talking on a site dedicated to Aikido (my by far my most favourite martial art by the way. It is truely wonderful). If my friends and I went through everyday life arguing (with the requirement of solid scientific proof) about the exact existence of everything we came into contact with we would go mad. I'm sure the same is true for all of us.

Ok, prove to yourself what is proveable to yourself, but you CANNOT throw away all you experience in life that you don't scientifically understand. Does anyone really think they know the answer to everything?

How about LOVE? If we were talking about love in a way that required me to prove in a scientific way how real it is i could not. So would that then have to mean love is not real?

Yet love is something i know to be real in a way i can't imagine will ever be changed. Of course, i'm not trying to compare Qi and love. I'm just saying, think about the things we take as being the way they are, simply because that is the only way they should really be taken.

Be careful how you take this though! Please note, I am most certainly NOT saying that because love is handled like this that we should not apply scientific reasoning to Qi. I think we must apply scientific reasoning to Qi because science is very important to all of us. But i also think Qi can (and has) stood up to scientifc reasoning, even if i have failed to demonstrate this first hand.

What i'm trying to communicate is that there are things that are very real to us, regardless of scientific reason. We do not have to go through life proving everything. By this, i mean, if i withdraw from the thread i still have the first hand experience that confirms Qi is as real to me as love is. I clearly can prove neither, yet this does not seem to matter at all.

By the way Erik, i would like to apologize unreservedly, for any insult i have sent your way. Ok, i'm only human, and you did get me a little angry, but if i am to discontinue posting to this thread, i would like to do so leaving nothing behind for which i'm not here to argue.

R.

PeterR
03-04-2003, 07:02 PM
I have NEVER heard anyone associated with Qi practice say something like this is possible. It certainly doesn't fit in with the things i understand of Qi in any way.

Why request as proof, something that is clearly ridiculous?
Of course you haven't Richard because it is so simple. Yet there are claims of being able to alter protein conformations and the like through energy/qi transfer. I was talking about hiding behind complexity.

I have never had a problem with Qi as a concept, some of the practices associated with it I do myself. But what I do have a serious problem with is when you try and couch the argument for its existence in science. To date, any attempt to do so has resulted in very bad science to the point of fraud. Harsh I know but what else can you call it.

The flow of Qi is used by way of explanation.

For example breathing exercises have been shown to have a beneficial effect. Groups of elderly doing tai chi, versus groups not doing. Recovering stroke patients, surgery, being asked to do simple breathing exercises did better. But again all this indicated was the benefit of the exercises not Qi - there is a real difference.

One more time. I don't know of any working scientist so anal that everything has to be proved scientifically. We like to smell the roses, fall in love, debate esoteric principles, even believe in Ki. The thing is though we hate to be bullshitted especially using terms and constructs we hold dear.

Kelly Allen
03-05-2003, 07:05 AM
Richard

I'll read the book to see what it says. I will come to my own conclusions about that spacific reseach. I, however, will keep my opinions to myself because the tention in this thread is turning me off posting on it.

RichardWilliams
03-05-2003, 07:15 AM
Hi Kelly,

I'm very sorry if i've caused you to feel like this. I am deeply sorry.

However, i would like to point out that any respect i have for Erik and Peter is only increasing, not decreasing as this continues. They are helping me to push my own understanding forward, and i love them for it.

I think that this argument is actually levelling out a little... ..see my next post.

R.

RichardWilliams
03-05-2003, 07:18 AM
Peter wrote - "Of course you haven't Richard because it is so simple. Yet there are claims of being able to alter protein conformations and the like through energy/qi transfer. I was talking about hiding behind complexity."

With respect, i think you may have missed the point on this. What i am trying to suggest is that, yes, by all means run a very simple test to prove or disprove an assertion of Qi. The problem i have with your suggestion is that, simple as the test is, it is not a test that directly relates to a claimed ability of Qi. I'm a big fan of Occam's Razor. Sure, don't hide behind complexity, search for the simple answers as they are often the right answer, but let's at least get an appropriate test in place.

"I have never had a problem with Qi as a concept, some of the practices associated with it I do myself."

Help me out a little here, i'm confused on this one. Is what you are trying to say "Qi can be accepted and taken into everyday life, but cannot and should not argued as existing in science". At the same time to this you are saying to me that i am wrong to argue anything about the existence of Qi unless i do so following proper scientific reasoning.

My confusion is, it is ok for you accept Qi as a concept but will not take it in any way as associated with science, but i am not free to post based on my acceptance of Qi as a concept, and am only allowed to post using scientific argument. Double standards me thinks.

Put it another way. You are happy to work with an airy-fairy notion of Qi and, as important as science is to you, will not allow yourself to bring science into, whereas i am trying to apply science (obviously not particularly brilliantly to date, i agree) to better understand something i've previously only seen physical manifestations of. And i'm the bad guy...

I may have ended up with bad scientific argument and i may not, but my heart is actually in trying to work with science because for me, science continues to come up with new explanations and answers that work and make life better. Ok, it's a bad thing if i mash up science but this is only through general human stupidity. Are you actually also saying that i shouldn't even try to bring science into it. For me saying that science can never and will never explain something is like saying that not thing can in no way be real. Do you agree? If so, you also cannot accept Qi as a concept without some acceptance that now or in the future a proof of something will be attained. (Apologies if i have misunderstood your stand here, perhaps i have. Also, please see the end of this post before jumping on this point)

"But what I do have a serious problem with is when you try and couch the argument for its existence in science. To date, any attempt to do so has resulted in very bad science to the point of fraud. Harsh I know but what else can you call it."

Again, I personally do not accept a very large number of claims regarding Qi. I have always held this view, despite the fact that other people would like to pretend like it is something new that i've adopted due to possible failure to argue my case. I think there are people (like those listed on the web-page supplied by Erik, thank you) that claim all sorts of things that are not only wrong, but claimed in a way that presents them the opportunity for money making off the back of it. This people should be treated very harshly and i'm all for standing with you on this point.

"For example breathing exercises have been shown to have a beneficial effect. Groups of elderly doing tai chi, versus groups not doing. Recovering stroke patients, surgery, being asked to do simple breathing exercises did better. But again all this indicated was the benefit of the exercises not Qi - there is a real difference."

I totally agree.

"One more time. I don't know of any working scientist so anal that everything has to be proved scientifically. We like to smell the roses, fall in love, debate esoteric principles, even believe in Ki."

Good, i hoped that this was the case.

"The thing is though we hate to be bullshitted especially using terms and constructs we hold dear."

I have no problem with this either, so why don't we work together to reach a proper acceptance test? One that both you, Erik and I can all agree on. However, i would like to add a note of caution here to with respect to the last line of your post.

Please be very careful that you do not wander into the area of hypocrisy. I have no problem with the concept that i should not abuse terms and constructs that many scientists hold dear. This has never been my aim. But what i would say is that you must also use the same measuring stick with your own words.

I'm sure you would understand if i became annoyed with you criticising my words and then adding a post that shows some lack of proper treatment on your part. I thought this was where you were going with your suggested experiment, but on further reflection i believe that you've just misunderstood me. I guess, if i am to be fair, i would say that the fact that you originally suggested this test probably doesn't come down to an inability to understand how to design an objective test, but rather a more vague understanding of what the claimed abilities of Qi are.

The longer this has gone on the more i have realised the following point is very important. Lets all argue this as best we can. If everybody stares harder and harder at Qi this can ONLY be a very good thing. Either originally held views become reinforced, or rejected but either way nobody loses out and the truth wins. You may forget, i'm very interested in continuing to learn about this subject WHEREVER i end up, and i will not accept things blindly but require proof for myself. If properly researched results show up flaws in thinking, then i will accept the results and change my stance accordingly.

So how about we make a combined attempt to devise one single, simple test, that we all agree can be taken as proof positive or proof negative of a particular form of Qi. We all agree on how the test is to be done and what it is aims are. I accept, if we do this, that i must work along lines that the particular form of Qi chosen remains scientifically unproven until the test is completed and the form of Qi proven.

The problem here is can we agree on one test that all three of us accept totally? I hope so, it will certainly be very interesting to devise such a thing. It will also greatly simplify the whole argument. I totally accept that despite of any the things i've seen first hand, i cannot put forward to you guys something as science fact without successful completion of this test. Also, if this test were to be completed and the form of Qi proven (this may or may not happen, we do not know which) then this only allows me to argue this one form of Qi. New forms will require new tests. Of course, if the test were ever proven positive, i would hope that all three of us would then agree on just that one single point (of course, only if proven positive).

Basically, despite my own personal experiences i understand exactly what you are both trying to say about bringing science into the equation. If we are going to continue this in a scientific fashion, i have no fear in joining you on this.

R.

(i'm sorry Peter, you've made suggestions in the past for conclusive tests, but they don't fit the bill for me, and i would hope we could all settle on the same test)

PeterR
03-05-2003, 08:39 PM
Help me out a little here, i'm confused on this one. Is what you are trying to say "Qi can be accepted and taken into everyday life, but cannot and should not argued as existing in science". At the same time to this you are saying to me that i am wrong to argue anything about the existence of Qi unless i do so following proper scientific reasoning.
Wow these posts are long - my attention span is degrading.

I am simply saying if you are going to use science to describe Qi/Ki or to prove it's effect then you have to adhere to the norms of scientific investigation. If you are not going to do that then using scientific jargon to convince is no better than a magician's slight of hand.

If Qi/Ki exists science will eventually prove it. If it doesn't it can happily remain in the sphere of belief.

shadow
03-05-2003, 09:02 PM
you are all nuts.

ikkainogakusei
03-05-2003, 09:24 PM
you are all nuts.
Okay, you -=have=- to see the humor in that statement along with the signature...

happiness.harmony.compassion

:D very cute :D

PeterR
03-05-2003, 09:24 PM
you are all nuts.
Yup but I have to work at it.

Just a quick reminder the thread is "Ki in Scientific Thought".

I never argue whether or not Ki is real. It's not that big of a thing in the Aikido that I do.

Kevin Leavitt
03-05-2003, 09:33 PM
Good book to read is called the Quantum and the Lotus. Two smart PhDs in Quantum physics that are also/where buddhist monks talk about basically Subatomic energy (Quantum Physics and the exisitence of "KI" if that is what you want to define it...Proved it to me that KI exist if in no other way than in concept.

I always like the phrase "I think, therefore I am". Doesn't require much scientific proof there. I think if you can conceptually concieve of KI, then it exist..if in nothing else then in concept.

UFOs may or may not exist...does it really matter to the people that truely believe that they saw one...to them and their world they do exist and it governs there lives and impacts decisions and things they do, which impact the world...if nothing else than to sell copies of the National Enquirer.

So in scientfic terms, you have an ACTION "The believe UFOs exists" REACTION "I am going to buy that Tabloid to read about them". National Enquirer is making more money than I am!

Empircally, I really don't think science can answer or prove/disprove ALL questions. It will never be able to empircially determine how the world was created or when...nor will it prove/disprove the exsistence/non exsistence of a higher power/being. Therefore, the "THEORY/CONCEPT" of science being perfect itself is fundamentally flawed. (unless science IS the GOD or higher power!!! MMMM I will have to think about that one for quite a while.

Long story short. a simple logic algorythm:

Science can prove/disprove everything, therfore science is not flawed or perfect.

If that was the case, then we would have all the world problems solved since science could never be wrong.

Another way of looking at it:

Humans control scientfic thought....therfore humans would have perfect in order for science to be perfect.

Anyway...these are my thoughts!

Kevin Leavitt
03-05-2003, 09:33 PM
Oh forgot...Yes we are all nuts since we are NOT perfect! (Just varying degrees and perceptions of what is NUTS)

Erik
03-05-2003, 11:53 PM
Richard, no biggie on the whole thing. As I've said before, I like to see things stirred up from time to time and I may have been stirring the pot just a little.

For that I apologize.

To clarify where I come from more specifically. A friend of mine says that he has achieved certain results from acupressure. While he and I debate that, we both agree that the acupuncture community needs to be held to the same standards as the medical community and that it currently is not. So what happens is that large claims are made which actually could put people at risk.

For instance, certain cancers are very curable. Some can be cured nearly 100% of the time if caught early enough. Suppose that some exotic practice does help cancer but it only helps some of those specific cancers 50% of the time. A medical doctor who prescribed a less successful treatment over a more successful treatment would face a massive lawsuit and maybe more. In this example I would argue that the person encouraging the exotic practice is guilty of manslaughter. I would also imagine that there is an incredible lack of diagnostic ability in the alternative realm. So they may be doing something to help cancer when it's a bad gall bladder that is the problem.

You probably get the idea.

As to ki, some definitions work fine for me, but when people start talking about directly manifested results I want evidence.

mike lee
03-06-2003, 03:01 AM
During World War II, a US Army Ranger battalion suddenly found itself surrounded at the Battle of the Buldge. They were vastly out-numbered and out-gunned. After several days of fierce fighting in harsh winter conditions, the Germans sent the American commander a message and asked if he was ready to surrender. The commander replied, "nuts."

PeterR
03-06-2003, 03:05 AM
To which the German commander promptly replied. "No thank you we prefer sausages with our Beer."
The commander replied, "nuts."

Erik
03-07-2003, 12:34 AM
Sometimes you feel like a nut,

Sometimes you don't!

Jean-David
06-12-2003, 06:25 PM
I practiced aïkido for about two years but I stopped after that. The reason being that I didn't believe in ki. By ki I mean an ostensibly paranormal phenomenon similar to psychokinesis ( the purported power to influence matter from a distance without the use of the normal sensory-motor channels ). The question is whether this ki is essential to aïkido... in that I mean would one still practice aï"ki"do if ki realy did not exist? The answer to this question, although it may differ according to the people who answers it and their style, is in my opinion simply no. The way I see it aï...do would still be effective as a methode of self defence and would still remain an interesting philosophy of life but senseis would stop teaching students about the existence of ki and students would stop performing ridiculous feets that are supposed to develop or test their ki abilities.

Obviously students are always free to leave the dojo if they disagree with their teacher it is still unwise for any person to base their whole aï...do practice ( that can last a life time) on the existence of a phenomenon that has not been proven to exist and worse that directly contradicts what science has taugh us. Simply put, it's a very risky bet.

Obviously one can say to hell with science but isn't it ironic how we charish scientific discoveries in medicine (cure for diseases), engineering (technology), astronomy (space exploration) while disregarding it's reliability and scope on such matters as "ki".

Of coarse science still has much to discover and what it discovers might actualy suport the existence of "ki" but at this moment it is not the case. Science is the best thing we have to learn how the world works.

Another thing that bothers me is that some teachers actually perform feats in front of thier students indicating that they are demonstrating ki.

And these feets are actually astonishing and convincing. The problem is that unless the teacher places himself in a controled environment under the supervision of a team of expert magicians and scientists who can publish their results in prominent scientific journals, and that he consistantly replicates his paranormal feets ( Comitee for the scientific investigation of claims of the paranormal http://www.csicop.org ) you can not be certain that his feet is genuin. Did you know that there is an organisation in Quebec called "Les sceptiques du Québec" that offers tens of thousands of dollars to anyone that demonstrates even the smalest paranormal feet...why hasn't anyone won the mony, why don't these teachers go ( ok they might not want the monney...? [for the dojo] ) anyways they would be giving an invaluable help to science...

For those of you interested in the paranormal... I suggest you read: "Varieties of anomalous experiences : examining the scientific evidence" Published by the American Psychological Association, it probably the best reliable up to date reference on the subject you will be able to find. The also gives reliable references for those who want to know more.

Jean-David
06-12-2003, 06:32 PM
and for those teachers living in the USA there is an organisation called "The James Randi organisation" that will give a million dollars! to anyone who can realy demonstrate a paranormal ability. Nobody has won yet, why don't you teachers try it out for a change...

W^2
06-12-2003, 08:00 PM
???

~Ward

kironin
06-13-2003, 03:27 AM
I practiced aïkido for about two years but I stopped after that. The reason being that I didn't believe in ki. ...
So you had only one dojo within a fifty mile or so radius of where you live ? If not, it must be clear to you from this thread and others that you can find dojos that don't mention ki.

So you didn't believe in Ki, but you never tested your instructors in two years ? Geez, I wish my students were so nice. (Not really, honesty in practice is good). Did you talk to your instructor ?

Sounds like the issue for you has more to do with the image of aikido you got at one particular dojo. Perhaps increasing your sample size would be a good idea.

I happen to be a scientist and Ki Society instructor, go figure. My first Ki Society instructor also happened to be a psychologist and a scientist, go figure.

Nobody has ever required for me to believe in a supernatural version of Ki to practice aikido.

I wonder, did you enjoy the practice ?

Craig

Alfonso
06-13-2003, 02:29 PM
Has anyone defined Ki yet?

In another post it was mentioned that Qi(Chi) and Ki are not synonyms.

Seems like Jean David wanted to learn "the Force" and got turned off since it didn't appear at all.

In the small experiment proposed Qi seems to be defined as "the ability to channel heat into a distant object with precise focus"

So.. is in anyones mind (esp. Ki Society folks) is

Ki = Telekinesis?

Ki = Telethermoism?

Ki = "The Force" (mind control, superstrength, telekinses, with a splash of supersensitivity to nature/life)?

and if not, what is Ki? , and are you talking about Chi?

Which one of these concepts is suceptible to experimentation?

ikkainogakusei
06-13-2003, 04:00 PM
Which one of these concepts is suceptible to experimentation?
Uh, I mentioned in an earlier post on this thread one article and then another on an analogy to the kiai used in lifting.

it's post #58 of this thread.

http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=39922#post39922

:ai: :) :ai:

Alan
06-13-2003, 04:39 PM
have we missed the point! What you define as ki is the energy vibration emanating from onesbattery cell...The body..

True ki cannot be defined in those terms for ki is god emanating from the spirit within ones vehicle.. Do you really understand and live O sensei's lifes teachings. O sensei awoken himself by himself he did not follow some teaching etc.. He did not try too figure out something, he new! He waited listened and LIVED what he new within himself. The Way....No matter how many books you read you will never dicover ki in them! You need to live and learn like a child for you all are children of god..For you wrote the books and made the mountains in front of you....

ikkainogakusei
06-13-2003, 04:46 PM
...True ki cannot be defined in those terms for ki is god emanating from the spirit within ones vehicle..
Uh, okay but what if there is something that somebody calls Ki, that is measurable. Does it cease to be Ki?

respectfully,

:ai: :) :ai:

Jean-David
06-13-2003, 04:49 PM
Yes I did enjoy the practice in general. But some exercices such as the unbendable arm seemed ridiculous to me. I liked the philosophy of non-violence and the subtle techniques of aïkido but not the whole misterious background that came with it.

No I never tested my instructer. I guess I didn't feel comfortable doing so. The problem is that even if I had "tested" him, that would not have meant anything. Like I already stated, to demonstrate that a feet is truly paranormal, the subject must be placed in special conditions with the supervision of a teem of expert scientists and magicians... The dojo is hardly an ideal place for this. That is what science is all about...

My instructor said himself that believing in ki was not necessary to practice aÏkido but rather that one had to "be present", "be there" refering to our attention, alertness and concentration: "I am!"... still I can not explain many of the surprising feets we were supposed to be performing without the concept of the paranormal (ki).

I think what displeased me the most was that for some of the feets that the teacher showed us, I could not arrive at a normal explanation of the feet except the for idea that the teacher was tricking us willingly or unwillingly ( subtly moving his body ) and there for not realy using ki as he stated he was. And since Ki has not been reliably showen to exist, I am faced with a dilemma : wether to say the hell with science and believe what my teacher is saying or be sceptical and refuse to accept an idea (ki) that is in direct contradiction with science and there fore accept the distressing idea that my teacher is fooling me and others willingly (!!!) or unwillingly in which case the teacher would be fooling himsel also. And I think every one will agree that the truth is preferable to an error. But the dilemma is only superficial because if as I suspect, the teacher is fooling himself, in that case he realy believes what he says and that does not make him a bad person (as in the case of deliberate trickery) only a person who is mistaken. So I do not have to make the difficult choice between science and the teachers honesty, all I am stating is that to make mistakes is only human, its normal and that is why we need science so much...

While being unsceptical has never made a person bad, it is however risky for anyone who cherishes the truth. I choose science. Ki is in its paranormal defenition, scientifically verifiable and therefore distinct from many metaphysical, religious, supernatural and philosophical ideas which are not verifiable by science and so just because science does not speek of them it does not mean they do not exist ( not all truths are scientific ), but it makes these ideas subject only to belief and not knowledge. That is why, when faced with a scientificaly verifiable hypothesis, belief should only be temporary and part of the scientific method. One must not settle to believe in these types of hypothesis, and certainly not when there is no undisputed objective evidence to support these claims. One must strive for knowledge in this area.

Jean-David
06-13-2003, 04:59 PM
paranormal: adj "of or pertaining to the claimed occurrence of an event or perception without scientific explanation, as psychokinesis, extrasensory perception, or other purportedly supernatural phenomena.

akiy
06-13-2003, 05:05 PM
Since when is "ki" paranormal?

I wrote the following a back in 2001 in these Forums:

I remember a story told by George Simcox sensei who was at the dinner table with Koichi Tohei sensei when a reporter asked Tohei sensei if he could move (if I remember correctly) a salt shaker across the table with his "ki." Tohei sensei smiled and said, "Why, of course!" Tohei sensei then reached out with his hand, picked up the salt shaker, and put it down across the table.

-- Jun

Jean-David
06-13-2003, 05:52 PM
If the "ki" in aïkido is not paranormal as I defined it, in that case why do some aïkidoka continue to practice the unbendable arm exercise or many other exercises that if you perform them exactly accordingly to instructions should not work if any kind of paranormal phenomena is excluded?

Charles Hill
06-13-2003, 06:21 PM
Terry Dobson, in his book, wrote that while ki is without scientific explanation (thus making it "paranormal,") it is just a matter of time before someone does figure out how to explain it scientifically.

I think that one problem here is the confusion in the usage of the word paranormal. The dictionary definition is negative, "without scientific explanation," while the common definition is positive, "cool, kooky things the X-men can do." It's like the aviation term, U.F.O. which originally meant something seen but not identified. Now, you say the word and everyone thinks aliens.

Charles

kironin
06-13-2003, 06:30 PM
Has anyone defined Ki yet?
"Ki is the elemental basis of the universe."

--- Koichi Tohei Sensei

if I was an information theorist, I might say the elemental basis if the universe is information.

Ki is mind or the mind is ulitmately information. Intangible but real. Ki is the body or the body composed of structure encoding information. Mind and body or one and the same as a complete encoding of you.

Now, that's not science but that's a premise to a 500 page book of laying it all out in a testable scientific worldview given what we believe is plausible from current understanding, if you are willing to pay me for doing it. :-) I do know the book would greatly dissappoint anyone looking for paranormal/supernatural phenomena.
In another post it was mentioned that Qi(Chi) and Ki are not synonyms.

Seems like Jean David wanted to learn "the Force" and got turned off since it didn't appear at all.

In the small experiment proposed Qi seems to be defined as "the ability to channel heat into a distant object with precise focus"
It's possible. Qi and Ki are often seen as interchangeable possibly because of the large influences of chinese culture on japanese culture, Qi as an explanation/cause of paranormal tricks does seem to be a hangover from China that has avidly been sucked up in the west.
So.. is in anyones mind (esp. Ki Society folks) is

Ki = Telekinesis?
No.
Ki = Telethermoism?
No.
Ki = "The Force" (mind control, superstrength, telekinses, with a splash of supersensitivity to nature/life)?
No.
and if not, what is Ki? , and are you talking about Chi?
August, 1968 Koichi Tohei Sensei said in his book "This is Aikido"

"The word "ki" has many different shades of meaning in Japanese; from ancient times it has turned up in expressions that range in meaning from the weather to feeling good, or being strong-willed, or even being depressed. When I was teaching in the United States, I found that one of my most troublesome difficulties was translating "ki" so that my English-speaking students could understand it. I finally came to the conclusion that there is no suitable word in the English language by which to render its meaning, and I simply had my students use the Japanese word. I shall follow the same practice in this book."

He then goes on to use the word "ki" in several different contexts where clearly he is using different meanings of the word. Meanins that would be evident to a native Japanese speaker if the rest of each sentence was also Japanese. I don't think it's hard for a native English speaker to appreciate this if remembers this warning above. With the hindsight of 30+ years and gnashing of teeth in this and other threads, I kind of wish he had decided to use various English words instead but I have to admit I am not sure exactly what they would be or if it would change anything for those looking through a supernatural lens.

Aikido is not about Chinese magic.

To me, what seems to generate the desire to search for a scientific definition of ki and the resulting gnashing of teeth by others is that some claim Ki explains paranormal feats. Of course the problem is that none of these paranormal feats has ever been done in such a way that normal mundane explanations involving textbook physics, magicians tricks, or medical biostatistics could be excluded.

On the other hand, IMNSHO, for the nonparanormal ki of Aikido,

ki is no more seperable from nature than the mind is from the body.

Craig

W^2
06-13-2003, 06:43 PM
paranormal: adj "of or pertaining to the claimed occurrence of an event or perception without scientific explanation, as psychokinesis, extrasensory perception, or other purportedly supernatural phenomena.

...'paranormal' is a label given to all phenomenon which science has yet to describe theorectically. This is supposed to be a counter-argument to Ki being 'real'?

Try again.

~Ward

W^2
06-13-2003, 06:51 PM
Do you know that some people (who shall remain nameless) actually think the Earth isn't flat?!

I just couldn't resist.

~Ward

kironin
06-13-2003, 07:15 PM
paranormal: adj "of or pertaining to the claimed occurrence of an event or perception without scientific explanation, as psychokinesis, extrasensory perception, or other purportedly supernatural phenomena.
Given you previous post, there is so much to reply to I am not even sure where to begin, but I think this definition of paranormal is a bit trickier than you imagine.

Do you think human vision is paranormal ?

The burning big question in vision research for the 30+ years is finding a scientific explanation of how we see.

We don't have one right now, but I intend to keep on using my vision to navigate the freeway. I can accept that there are some plausible unproved ideas about how we see.

That I am not see deluding myself that there is a car veering into my lane.

As to unbendable arm. No one has done a long intensive expensive research project on it, but I am willing to accept that the plausible theories concerning a combination of the biophysics of the arm, psychology/self-hynosis, etc. would explain it well enough that I don't need to wait for someone to do a careful scientific analysis for me to freely use the phenomena of unbendable arm in aikido technique. Saying one is using one's ki to do unbendable arm is not a scienific explanation but it doesn't invalidate the phenomena. There is no trick involved. One simply creates a situation where bending the arm requires more than human strength.

Now if someone was to claim that they could make their arm unbendable by one of those massive industrial robots, I would definitely consider that a paranormal event!

I want a splatter shield if I get a front row seat.

Craig

W^2
06-13-2003, 07:21 PM
The real crux of this apparent dichotomy of the existence of Ki is the very real difference between the 'Mysticism' leanings of Eastern philosophies and the 'Secular Humanist' western mind. If you don't know what these are, and their pervasive influence on certain cultures, then should educate yourself first before responding with uniformed opinion...into which category do you fall?

~Ward

Thalib
06-13-2003, 07:40 PM
I remember a story told by George Simcox sensei who was at the dinner table with Koichi Tohei sensei when a reporter asked Tohei sensei if he could move (if I remember correctly) a salt shaker across the table with his "ki." Tohei sensei smiled and said, "Why, of course!" Tohei sensei then reached out with his hand, picked up the salt shaker, and put it down across the table.
Akiyama-han... This is the kind of story that I really need to pass around. It is a very good explanation of :ki: . Let there be no illusions.

Thanks

kironin
06-13-2003, 08:29 PM
If the "ki" in aïkido is not paranormal as I defined it, in that case why do some aïkidoka continue to practice the unbendable arm exercise or many other exercises that if you perform them exactly accordingly to instructions should not work if any kind of paranormal phenomena is excluded?
Well lightning just zapped the power line and I lost the long version of this reply.

Maybe the ki of the universe is trying to tell me to be brief. :-)

The brief answer is because these exercises work in teaching one about the internal aspects of aikido. This training helps me have the state of mind and physical response that allow me to use minimal effort and maximum efficiency in throwing or controlling attackers.

The history of these exercises demonstrates that they were never meant to be demonstrations of the paranormal. Just teaching exercises in learning to unite your mind and body in the current moment.

signing off before the next lightnig bolt!

Craig

kironin
06-13-2003, 08:35 PM
to practice the unbendable arm exercise or many other exercises that if you perform them exactly accordingly to instructions should not work if any kind of paranormal phenomena is excluded?
just remembered one comment,

people only think that it should not work if one excludes paranormal phenomena because they simply don't understand well enough how their own mind and body works.

Craig

Erik
06-13-2003, 11:18 PM
Since when is "ki" paranormal?

I wrote the following a back in 2001 in these Forums:

I remember a story told by George Simcox sensei who was at the dinner table with Koichi Tohei sensei when a reporter asked Tohei sensei if he could move (if I remember correctly) a salt shaker across the table with his "ki." Tohei sensei smiled and said, "Why, of course!" Tohei sensei then reached out with his hand, picked up the salt shaker, and put it down across the table.
Jun, that dog just don't hunt. I mean, gosh, ki healing, why that's not paranormal at all.

:rolleyes:

It's been awhile since I've read his books but I seem to recall a lot of gray in those too.

Erik
06-13-2003, 11:30 PM
Science has long since passed the unbendable arm.

The Unbendable Arm Explained (http://ofinterest.net/ua/arm2.html#1)

akiy
06-14-2003, 12:33 AM
Jun, that dog just don't hunt. I mean, gosh, ki healing, why that's not paranormal at all.
<Shrug>

Just because some folks out there believe and/or advertise that "ki" is "paranormal" doesn't mean all of us have to. I certainly don't.

-- Jun

kironin
06-14-2003, 01:14 AM
Science has long since passed the unbendable arm.

The Unbendable Arm Explained (http://ofinterest.net/ua/arm2.html#1)
Certainly plausible handwaving but if you want to talk science then you need to provide peer reviewed references of research that lays out the data so that a critical reader can decide if the data is convincing enough to warrant the conclusions. Possible alternatives to your interpretations have to be properly addressed.

just thought I would point out where the bar is

:-)

science pubs too often fail to meet this.

Craig

kironin
06-14-2003, 01:54 AM
from Erik's reference ...

"He told me that the power he used was "life energy," and that it was developed through years of special mental and physical training"

-----

If he had said this about his ability to do unbendable arm in front of Tohei Sensei, he would have been ripped up a new asshole on the spot.

Tohei Sensei has been known to teach in seminars beginners to do things in a few minutes just to make the point to senior teachers to get their egos out of their practice and stop trying to act like what they are doing is somehow special.

Craig

ikkainogakusei
06-14-2003, 12:41 PM
if you want to talk science then you need to provide peer reviewed references of research that lays out the data so that a critical reader can decide if the data is convincing enough to warrant the conclusions. Possible alternatives to your interpretations have to be properly addressed.
I'm apt to agree with Craig here. When I first did this experiment, I knew enough about the body to know that the triceps muscle would be an opposer. Plus, the better version does not fully straighten the arm, but leave it bent slightly because it then doesn't have the triceps in full slack.

Now, if the explanation were to discuss the possibility of the 'tightening' inducing a relax-response from the muscle spindles and GTO's, I'd find that more believable. Overstimulation (as I had said before) can cause the muscles to weaken, thus in relaxation one might be able to find more strength in the moment as it were.

:ai: :) :ai:

Erik
06-14-2003, 03:00 PM
Craig, your request for testing is brilliant. It makes something as mundane as the unbendable arm seem, well, important. It gives it a legitimacy it couldn't get any other way. And, you siezed the high ground because we skeptics always want proof from the believers. Then the way you subtlely worked hypnotism into the discussion. Just enough that ki is a little bit esoteric but at the same time making sure that you come off as a rationalist on the topic of ki. And, best of all, you slammed science while you were at it.

Absolutely brilliant salesmanship and spin.

By the way, since all ideas are equal I presume you'll be testing for radiation emmissions from the planet Krapton and fairic magic, right?

Honestly, and I really do mean this, I'm impressed.

kironin
06-14-2003, 04:56 PM
Oh sure, Erik,

I am a master spinmeister salesman

just waiting to hypnotize you with my Krapton raygun into believing all ideas are equal.

:rolleyes:

if you think there was a slam on science, then you understand even less about how scientist operate on a daily basis than I thought.

You think unbendable arm is mundane. That's fine. Plenty of mundane things are studied by scientists. What's important is a judgment call on your part. Somebody else could feel differently. What's important hinges first on whether a well-defined, answerable question can be posed, not on how mundane a phenomena is. What's important hinges second on whether you can convince someone with money that it is worth answering the question. Numerous mundane things have been to discovered to contain unsuspected phenomena when some change in thinking has occurred. The chaotic dynamics of a dripping faucet is one example.

It's not about making unbendable arm seem important, it's about the fact that you said that science already had an explanation for what was happening and then gave a reference to page with one anecdote and a hand waving explanation.

If you are going to champion science, then at least use scientific standards. I have heard some alternate plausible explanations, but I haven't seen any good data for any of them.

If someone has a hundred grand to spare that they want to spend on investigating unbendable arm, I'll be happy to write and submit a grant proposal.

However, I will be sure to avoid the word "ki" or anything like it the proposal text just in case someone like Erik is on the review committee.

meanwhile, I will just go on teaching the exercise and let students draw their own conclusions.

Craig

Jean-David
06-14-2003, 07:39 PM
This virtual conversation is very interesting. From reading the messages you people have been sending in reply to my views, I have gladly noticed that none of you believe in any kind of paranormal ki.

If so, does that mean that in your aïkido practice, talk about spiritual energy, ki (what every it means), visualisation of water flowing out of your arm when you practice the unbendable arm, centering your self... are but usefull metaphores (hightening concentration, alertness, minimizing effort...) aimed at enhancing ones proficiency at aïkido?

Someone mentioned that the term paranormal was problematic and explained how vision remained unexplained scientificaly therefore pointing out that paranormality could also apply to established phenomena, I agree with this argument. But paranormality applies both to established events(vision) and non established events(ki). For sake of coherence, from now on I will talk of ki (telekinesis and so on) as ostensibly paranormal as opposed to an established paranormal phenomenon.

paranormal: adj "of ((or pertaining to the claimed occurrence of)) an event or perception without scientific explanation, as psychokinesis, extrasensory perception,or other ((purportedly)) supernatural phenomena."

I will quote my self: "My instructor said himself that believing in ki was not necessary to practice aÏkido but rather that one had to "be present", "be there" refering to our attention, alertness and concentration: "I am!"... still I can not explain many of the surprising feets we were supposed to be performing without the concept of the paranormal (ki).

If ostensible paranormality can be excluded from the unbendable arm and all other feets in aïkido as many of you have stated there is one feet my teacher once perfomed before me and that I cannot explain (as I stated earlier) scientificly (obviously excluding trickery wether willfuly done or not).

I will describe it: the teacher is standing straight, both his arms falling straight down on either side of him, his hands macking a fist. Two students are standing straight next to my teacher (one is on my teacher's left and the other at his right).The student at his right grabs on to his right hand and the one at his left grabs on to his left hand. When my teacher is ready he asks the two students to try to lift him. The student at the teacher's right grabing on to the teachers right hand (with his two hands) trys to lift the teacher by trying to pull straight up the teachers hand (as if the student was lifting a very heavy bowling ball). The student at my teacher's left does exactly the same with the teachers left hand. Both try to pull him up at the same time. The students succede in lifting the teacher and replace him to the ground. Again the teacher asks the two students to lift him and again they succede and place him back to the ground. The teacher asks the two students to lift him for a third time. But this time the two students are incapable of lifting him. It is clear on their faces that they are putting all their strength to lift my teacher but they can not. The students struggle for about 10-15 seconds then the teacher asks them to stop.

I has this feet on video casset... he was filming a video for the purpose of informing others about aïkido.

I hope you can enlighten me on how my teacher could have performed this feet without using any ostensibly paranormal ability and without deceiving us students... that is, by his explaining that he did it using ki (in the metaphoric sens [ ki is a metaphor to help us be more proficient in an aïkido free of the ostensibly paranormal ki that I think you and I agree hasn't been scientificaly established yet ]

Ok... writing this I just realised that if my teacher didn't realy do an ostensibly paranormal feet, then he is not deceiving us students at all but simply trying to help us, since he never said that ki was paranormal (I never heard him say it anyeays), so I must conclude that he was refering to a metaphoric ki!!!...

Ok... I guess I just answered my own question!! :)

I have put intentions in my teacher which were never realy established by him... he always told us that it didn't matter wether ki existed or not, what was important was to feel "I am!!" (will) I now understand the error in my logic...

... so what do you think... is ki a metaphor?

Erik
06-14-2003, 09:07 PM
Jean-David, I'll offer a very quick reply to this.

The one variable you aren't catching is what he may be doing with his hands or other parts of his body. What extremely subtle shifts is he making that aren't obvious. For instance, a tense body is easier to lift than a relaxed body. A subtle shift of angle in his arms would also make a difference.

A much better way to test this would be to have the instructor sit on a board and have people lift him using the board. Theoretically, he would be harder to lift if there were anything 'special' involved. They never do that one though. ;)

By not mentioning those things, and he may even do them subconsciously, he is, in a way, guilty of deception even if it's only to himself.

Jean-David
06-14-2003, 09:13 PM
........still I fail to see how the feet my teacher performed helps us (students) in any way enhance our proficiency at aïkido... if he didn't perform an ostensibly paranormal feet than how did the metaphoric ki (means of hightening concentration, alertness or will) make him stay on the ground? I suspect it is a suptle movement of his body like shifting his wait from one side to the other or something of that sort, but than how is that usefull... learning magic tricks or how to deceive people who want to lift you?? I fail to see how the knowlege acuired from this kind of exercice could be used in other aïkido situations... if metaphoric ki made him stay on the ground than, than metaphoric ki is just a trick. Futhermore this kind of demonstration from my teacher (wether he believes in an ostensibly paranormal ki or not, or wether to him it is important in aïkido) made me think that he was talking about an ostensibly paranormal ki (wether he was or he wasn't) and probably every one in the dojo also, therefore wether my teacher realized it or not, he was giving the impression of talking about a truly ostencibly paranormal ki in his explanation of the feet so that if in fact his feet was not ostensibly paranormal than I take back what I said earlier about puting intentions in my teacher... he put intentions in me... :(

Thinking of his demonstration in terms of metaphoric ki is too ridiculous... that is why one can only suspect he was talking about something paranormal. If my teacher was talking about metaphoric ki and did not realize we were not, than I'm glad I left the dojo... If he was talking about paranormal ki while explaining his feet than I am gladder that I left the dojo since as we have come to agree ( you people that are reading this) that ki unworthy of belief just like one can not legitimaty say he knows that ki exists or does not (or cannot) exist at this time ( not enough proof ). I have given the reasons for this in earlier posts.

While I can still see possible benefits of practicing the unbendible arm and other exercises alike, this particular exercise that I have talked about puzzles me greatly! Can you enlighten me?

Thanks

Erik
06-14-2003, 09:25 PM
Here's an article on the subject.

http://216.239.33.100/search?q=cache:OCDaCepiMRMJ:www.geocities.com/danielajames/aikido/ki/aikiphysics.PDF+lifting+a+body+ki+society&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

Actually, I'm not sure that will work. If it lists a google result, go down to 'aikido: physics in action?'. The pdf wouldn't come up when I tried it so if it fails use the 'view as html' option.

Jean-David
06-14-2003, 09:28 PM
Is this kind of deception or self deception common among aïkido teachers? Do you think I was right to leave that dojo? What does this say about other exercises like the unbendable arm? Where is the limit between deception and the practical benefits of these exercises?

Erik
06-14-2003, 09:32 PM
Jean-David, it was a long swing :) but you hit the nail with the hammer on this one.

Futhermore this kind of demonstration from my teacher (wether he believes in an ostensibly paranormal ki or not, or wether to him it is important in aïkido) made me think that he was talking about an ostensibly paranormal ki (wether he was or he wasn't) and probably every one in the dojo also, therefore wether my teacher realized it or not, he was giving the impression of talking about a truly ostencibly paranormal ki in his explanation of the feet so that if in fact his feet was not ostensibly paranormal than I take back what I said earlier about puting intentions in my teacher... he put intentions in me...

This is the part where Craig goes into denial.

ikkainogakusei
06-15-2003, 12:48 AM
Um,

Off topic, but what part about vision is unexplained? Cones pick up mostly color (more macular), rods pick up light contrast (more in periphery), various parts of the brain have been connected through neural tracing and such to the eyes, those parts interpret shape, movement, hue, and object identification, then impart it to the areas of the brain connected to consciousness. What makes it paranormal?

:ai: :) :ai:

kironin
06-15-2003, 03:27 AM
Ok... writing this I just realised that if my teacher didn't realy do an ostensibly paranormal feet, then he is not deceiving us students at all but simply trying to help us, since he never said that ki was paranormal (I never heard him say it anyeays), so I must conclude that he was refering to a metaphoric ki!!!...

Ok... I guess I just answered my own question!! :)

I have put intentions in my teacher which were never realy established by him... he always told us that it didn't matter wether ki existed or not, what was important was to feel "I am!!" (will) I now understand the error in my logic...

... so what do you think... is ki a metaphor?
Bingo! :-D

You got the answer.

As to your description of the unraisable body exercise where two guys attempted to lift your instructor. I can't speak for your instructor, but if you saw me demonstrate this and then voiced your concerns we could have had a discussion about efficiency. If I tense my body, the lifters will be able to put more into the vertical component of the force they are applying to my arms and I will shoot straight up. If you are not just trying to be a stiff board, then it often gets expressed in the your shoulders shrugging up next to your ears. Part of doing the exercise successfully is having the same feeling as unbendable arm in both arms with good feeling of extension through the little fingers so that the lifters cannot apply force efficiently into the vertical component. You should notice that the instructors shoulders are not raised when the lifters are unsuccessful (if they are it is time to suspect that some delusion or collusion is going on). No matter how strong they are, they won't lift you if they can't succeed in applying force upwards through your center of mass. However, if you don't move the force ends up putting a great deal of stress on the lifters posture. You can learn how to use this to break their balance and drop them to the floor. You can make it even more impressive by first letting them lift you up and then un-shrug you shoulders putting yourself in the proper position to reduce the efficiency of their lifting force to below that needed to keep your weight up there and at the same time put tremendous pressure on their posture causing them to collapse.

There is nothing paranormal here at all, just good use of the four ki principles -

1. focusing my mind calmly at my center of mass

2. releasing unnecessary (counterproductive) tension

3. cultivate a feeling of a boat floating on water with lots of ballast

4. be with a positive open mind (ki/mind is extending)

the key ;-) is efficiency, but it takes a little training

you can stand on scale be correct and your weight won't change



a fork lift operator won't find any difference in lifting you and a sack of potatoes that weighs the same as you.

*****

A valid question is then

Why would I want to learn to do this ?

in aikido there are attacks where two or more people grab you, learning the skills above so that they become an natural response is critical to dealing with uncooperative attackers.

hope that helps your understanding,

Craig

kironin
06-15-2003, 03:41 AM
Jean-David, it was a long swing :) but you hit the nail with the hammer on this one.

Futhermore this kind of demonstration from my teacher (wether he believes in an ostensibly paranormal ki or not, or wether to him it is important in aïkido) made me think that he was talking about an ostensibly paranormal ki (wether he was or he wasn't) and probably every one in the dojo also, therefore wether my teacher realized it or not, he was giving the impression of talking about a truly ostencibly paranormal ki in his explanation of the feet so that if in fact his feet was not ostensibly paranormal than I take back what I said earlier about puting intentions in my teacher... he put intentions in me...

This is the part where Craig goes into denial.
Now I am impressed, nice turn to try to put me in the position of trying to defend the practice at some school I don't know and only going on the impressions of a someone practiced there for about two months during which he had no serious discussion as far as I can tell with the teacher or the senior students.



You are being a little desperate to prove your point.

Craig

kironin
06-15-2003, 03:59 AM
Um,

Off topic, but what part about vision is unexplained?

:ai: :) :ai:
This is one long url to an accessible description of the problem

http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/neuro/journal/v6/n6/full/nn0603-550.html

In case the url doesn't work,

yes we have a good idea of anatomy, and the biophysics of light detection and optics

that doesn't explain how we construct perception of the 3-d world with the inherent ambiguities of a 2-d retina.

The paranomal definition being repeated isn't a very useful one in my opinion.

Craig

Col.Clink
06-15-2003, 07:04 AM
A much better way to test this would be to have the instructor sit on a board and have people lift him using the board. Theoretically, he would be harder to lift if there were anything 'special' involved. They never do that one though. ;)
Your correct Eric, we don't do that one, rather difficult carrying round a board big enough actually, but I promise I'll try in the not too distant future. ;)

I have seen it done on a chair, and done it myself. No, I did not shift my angle/weight, it is just a matter of shifting the mind ( make your own conclusion, and yes I have a lot more to practice on it to become proficient).

The idea is not to see if the uke's CAN lift (although that is the way it is done), but to feel the difference in nage, and nage to feel a difference in themselves while making sure uke is still lifting honestly.Is there a more relaxed state? did nage change something without uke noticing? Is it just body mechanics? Is it using Ki? Did uke lift honestly or feel awkward or pressured?
The one variable you aren't catching is what he may be doing with his hands or other parts of his body. What extremely subtle shifts is he making that aren't obvious. For instance, a tense body is easier to lift than a relaxed body. A subtle shift of angle in his arms would also make a difference.
ummm.... 0.075 degrees left arm, 1.278 degrees right arm, drop centre 4.5 degrees. Point fingers to ground in an arc of 0.025 degrees and smile widely!! Or, if you don't have a protractor or level, you could extend Ki!!

Call it whatever you find works best Eric. I've heard loads of people discredit Ki Society, and heard loads discredit Aikido, and they are either informed, mis-informed or just miss the point altogether, or just maybe none of it was for them, but I always hear aikidoka saying "give it a go" ,or, " make your own judgement". Whoever said "empty your cup" must have been wrong I guess, I think he/she meant to say "coffee, white with one", damn waitress!!



But honestly, if no scientist has done a true and accurate experiment over a few years using many different people and scientifical contraptions, why bother trying to explain it scientifically. I think the heading should now read, Ki in theoretical thought, as science ain't doing diddley squat on this subject.

Anyway, I'm tired and my pumpkin is about to explode. Wonder if they ever got their coffee?

Have a good day/night.

Cheers

Rob

Erik
06-15-2003, 12:02 PM
Now I am impressed, nice turn to try to put me in the position of trying to defend the practice at some school I don't know and only going on the impressions of a someone practiced there for about two months during which he had no serious discussion as far as I can tell with the teacher or the senior students.

You are being a little desperate to prove your point.
Not at all, it just takes a lot of pounding to get through a thick Houston skull.

His description was accurate. I've never seen anyone teach this stuff with a rational explanation provided. It's always about extending ki out the arm or shooting water out a firehose. A quick google didn't yield any ki society sites with any either. Of course, if the only explanation you have for lightning is a thunder god then I guess you go with a thunder god. You also probably shouldn't get too bent out of shape when someone comes up with a fire god, rock god, tree god, or whatever god.

Oh, and it's not his job to seek out the senior students or sensei. They should be up front and clear about what it is, and what it isn't, when they present it.

cindy perkins
06-15-2003, 12:07 PM
My stepfather was a physics professor with an interesting problem; he had an irrational belief in the current state of scientific discovery. He got angry whenever we discussed the possibility of faster-than-light travel, because it was in violation of Einstein's theories. It is said that Einstein was plagued with the same problem; unable to accept the randomness implicit in quantum theory, he spent much of his old age trying to refute it. Scientific thinking involves understanding that the best understanding we have now may be superceded by discoveries later on.

Science may someday explain ki, or explain it away, but right now it is unexplained. Not disproven. Unproven. To remove yourself from an otherwise enjoyable experience because they seem to be doing something "paranormal" is not to be rationally scientific, but to irrationally reject a thing that cannot - yet - be explained by science.

Therefore, Jean-David, I would suggest that you practice aikido for what it brings to you, and do not worry too much about the scientific explanation for the instructor's feats. You may have more fun at an Aikikai dojo than a Ki Society dojo, if you have one in the area. Just my thoughts, for what they're worth...

ikkainogakusei
06-15-2003, 12:10 PM
This is one long url to an accessible description of the problem

http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/neuro/journal/v6/n6/full/nn0603-550.html

In case the url doesn't work,
So yes I don't have the spare cash to subscribe to Nature, tho I'd like to. Passwords make knowledge less accessable. :)
yes we have a good idea of anatomy, and the biophysics of light detection and optics that doesn't explain how we construct perception of the 3-d world with the inherent ambiguities of a 2-d retina.
So I can understand that information from one optic nerve would limit depth, but we have two eyes with overlapping fields of view to assist in perception of depth. There are several areas of the brain which have their own responsibility for a different aspect of perception, including object identification. So is the assertion of this nature article specific to the neuro-physiological aspects of constructing perception? Mind-you, I'm not insinuating that you or the article are wrong, I'm quite interested.

:ai: :) :ai:

kironin
06-15-2003, 01:51 PM
So yes I don't have the spare cash to subscribe to Nature, tho I'd like to. Passwords make knowledge less accessable. :)

:ai: :) :ai:
Damn, I was hoping it was in the public section but I guess my home browser is remembering passwords. :)

See if you can find this book at a local store. It is

Why We See What We Do: An Empirical Theory of Vision

by Dale Purves & Beau Lotto

Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, Massachusetts, 2003

paperback, pp 260

ISBN 0878937528

----------------------------

I haven't seen it but the recent June issue of Nature Neuroscience had a review that summarized things nicely including pointing that even though the book above presents the problem very well the past-experience theory they argue is the explanation is out of fashion because of studeis with newborn infants and other work that has demolished other past-experience theories previously proposed.
To the surprise of most people, vision has not yet been explained scientifically. There is no agreement on how we see the size of an object (at various distances), its color, and whether it is moving or not, simply by looking at it. How does the rich, three-dimensional world of visual experience arise from the ambiguous, seemingly impoverished two-dimensional image projected onto the retina? Imagine that a retinal image contains a trapezoidal region of a given intensity. Its shape could come from a rectangle lying down or a trapezoid standing up. Its intensity could come from a white surface in dim light or a black surface in bright light. How does the visual system compute an answer (that is, generate a percept)?

Purves and Lotto must be applauded for defining this "pervasive ambiguity of retinal stimuli" as the central problem. In the finest tradition of giving science away, they bring this problem to life using a series of computer-generated illustrations that delight the eye and edify the mind. The coverage is reasonable, with chapters on lightness, color, three-dimensional space and motion. Sensory physiology is thoroughly addressed, which is not surprising given the status of the senior author as a leading neuroscientist. More surprising is the authors' bold critique of sensory physiology. Dismissing current research trends (such as channels) as fads, they argue that neuroscience has failed to address the ambiguity problem. They assign a vital role to phenomenology and suggest that rapid progress in neuroscience requires an understanding of the "overarching strategy of vision."

large snip...

The non-specialist will appreciate the wonderful illustrations that fill this book and the clear introduction to the fundamental challenge of vision. But in explaining how vision succeeds, Purves and Lotto ignore crucial pieces of evidence. And they add little to the debate that is new.

kironin
06-15-2003, 02:43 PM
His description was accurate. I've never seen anyone teach this stuff with a rational explanation provided. It's always about extending ki out the arm or shooting water out a firehose.
I see, you want everyone to teach only in a way that satisfies your criteria or his for rational description. Use of a gestalt approach where one might use visualizations like shooting water out a firehose or traveling a laser beam to infinitely or imagining a pole extending through spine in both directions inifinitely etc.

These are forbidden because we must all think only rational thoughts. Anything that even smacks of irrationality must mean you and your students are deluded, gibbering idiots. No exercise can be done without first preceded by a 30 minute discussion of biophysics, anatomy, and psychology to make absolutely sure that no student harbors any view contrary to the local skeptics club.

:rolleyes:

{QUOTE] Oh, and it's not his job to seek out the senior students or sensei. They should be up front and clear about what it is, and what it isn't, when they present it.[/QUOTE]
Well, as far as I can tell from what Jean wrote, he admits his teacher did exactly that. I find it interesting that your expectations are that a student should be spoon fed everything. That you think it is not a students job to seek answers to their own individual questions.

Craig

Jean-David
06-16-2003, 12:28 AM
"To remove yourself from an otherwise enjoyable experience because they seem to be doing something "paranormal" is not to be rationally scientific, but to irrationally reject a thing that cannot - yet - be explained by science.

Therefore, Jean-David, I would suggest that you practice aikido for what it brings to you, and do not worry too much about the scientific explanation for the instructor's feats. You may have more fun at an Aikikai dojo than a Ki Society dojo, if you have one in the area. Just my thoughts, for what they're worth..."

The problem is that aïkido isn't only meant to be enjoyable like dancing. Aïkido is a way of living and staying alive! So if I'm an aïkidoka and someone attacks me on the street with a baseball bat, it "will matter" whether ki is suposed to be an ostensibly paranormal power or simply a helpfull metaphor... or will it?... if ki is just a helpfull metaphor than good, if its realy paranormal... I mean look at the black belts! They are so good, no one could hurt them! The simple fact that high graded aïkidokas defend themselves so well shows that it doesn't matter what kind of ki they are using,since it works. Then where is the problem?... I'll tell you what the problem is : it implies that one should not bother knowing why things happen and how they happen. Because something is, it doesn't matter why and how!!! If this computer works does it matter how it works? If I'm alive does it matter how and why I am alive? be it I am powered by a tiny batery in my right foot or in my right testicle. Science is based on the exact opposit assumption!! If we had never asked ourselves how our bodies worked we would never have developped medecin to cure it!!

I never said ostensibly paranormal ki didn't exist... what I said was that it has not been proven and it contradicts many fundamental aspects of physics. Suppose you believe in that kind of ki, it might not change your aïkido but it certainly will change the way you see the world... if you think the truth is worth something, than your taking a risky bet.

I have never scientificaly tested the hypothesis that visualising ki ( water, energy, light, etc) or atempting to experience it (centering, moving it, extending it, etc.)... (assuming that ki is just a helpfull sensation and nothing more) enhanced one's proficiency at aïkido. I have never tested the opposit view that simply throughtly examining and teaching the mecanics of aïkido movements was sufficient, meaning that adding intellectual and psychosomatic metaphors does not realy make a difference, in fact it may even confuse the student in making him think of these metaphors as more than what they realy are (especialy when these metaphors produce seemingly impossible feets and realizing that [or hoping that] by simply examining the mecanics of the moving body [move here, do that with your legg at this angle at this time] one will be able to reproduce these seemingly impossible feets without being mystified... I have never tested both views but I believe the best way to teach aïkido is in between: first explain the mecanics ( the physics ) of the movements and then teach the metaphors. The instructor must clearly state that the metaphors are there for the sole purpose of getting the body movements right, and not the opposit! ( The body movements are not there to get the ki moving! )

Jean-David
06-16-2003, 11:01 AM
But honestly, if no scientist has done a true and accurate experiment over a few years using many different people and scientifical contraptions, why bother trying to explain it scientifically. I think the heading should now read, Ki in theoretical thought, as science ain't doing diddley squat on this subject.

Answer : it's not up to scientists to prove ki... it's up to you to prove it to them !!

Jean-David
06-16-2003, 01:52 PM
If you believe that the truth is worth something in and on itself, than to believe in an ostensibly paranormal ki is to take a risky bet. what do you have to loose? The truth. How risky is it? As risky as believing in Santa clause. It's a comforting belief and no kid ever got hert or died believing in Santa clause. Yet I don't know any adults who still believe in Santa Clause... Why? Simply because they never found any evidence that he existed... plus how is he suposed know what every kid in the world wants for christmass and than give it to them all in one night whithout breaking one law of physics. :) Than why do some people still believe in an ostensibly paranormal ki? because they found evidence... I think not. It's time they grow up.

That being said... why refuse an otherwise enjoyable activity like aïkido just because it "seems" to do "paranormal" feets? If the feets aren't realy paranormal ( as I believe ) and the instructer tells his students they are paranormal, then nobody should go to that dojo. On the other hand, if the teacher doesn't say whether aïkido feets are paranormal or not, it is up to every student not to believe in an ostensibly paranormal ki, to not get fooled by aïkido's surprising feets. In both cases the student remains responsible of his own learning. It's his fault if he believes in ki. Aïkido is not a sect. The student is free to beleive what he wants, leave the dojo when he wants. In a sect, the disciples are brainwashed so that they are made to think one way. It is only in sects that one can say the teaching method is bad, wrong and the teacher guilty. In aïkido, the teacher might be unsceptical, but it's not the teachers fault if the student believes what the teacher teaches him, it's the student's fault.

Alfonso
06-16-2003, 02:21 PM
Jean David; I think you can find Aikido instructors who satisfy your needs. Just keep looking a bit more.

personally , to me Ki is a metaphor, and was never explained differently. I don't have an issue with it.

This is in any case, a Japanese martial art, not a martial science..

some of the issues you raise are part of the cultural baggage that comes with Aikido.

If you stick around you'll see you're not alone in your desire for a more "modern" type of schooling.Until then I still agree with your instructor that you don't have to "belive in Ki" to do Aikido.

how about "belief" itself in scientific thought? can you measure that?

Col.Clink
06-17-2003, 01:19 AM
But honestly, if no scientist has done a true and accurate experiment over a few years using many different people and scientifical contraptions, why bother trying to explain it scientifically. I think the heading should now read, Ki in theoretical thought, as science ain't doing diddley squat on this subject.

Answer : it's not up to scientists to prove ki... it's up to you to prove it to them !!
If science wants an explanation, I'm afraid it is up to them to set the wheels in motion, because I don't mind if they ( or anyone else that does not beleive etc)don't believe, I have nothing to prove, but I'm not against helping science out if I can, and, I don't have the money for that kind of in depth study to conduct myself.


Than why do some people still believe in an ostensibly paranormal ki? because they found evidence... I think not. It's time they grow up.
Let's see, perhaps the same reasons people beleive in faith or fate, soul mates, God, or whatever other belief systems are out there. They are all beliefs until science can explain them, but they are also on an individual level, nobody forces anybody to beleive in something they do not wish to. Same is said for Ki, no-one was forcing you to belive in Ki, you chose to believe it as ostensibly paranormal. I'm not going to critisize your discription of your experience, but I do object to your critisisims of telling folk to grow up because someone belives different to you!

ostensibly : to all outward apperances.

paranormal : cannot be explained by science.



But since Ki has not tried to be explained by science, it cannot be "paranormal". Perhaps it should be ostensible phenomena. (check .C.)

phenomena : 2 plural phenomena a : an object or aspect known through the senses rather than by thought or intuition b : a temporal or spatiotemporal object of sensory experience as distinguished from a noumenon c : a fact or event of scientific interest susceptible of scientific description and explanation.

If someone believes in something that has a positive impact on their life, and they have made that choice on their own, who has the right to tell them it is all just bullshit and they should quit or are deranged, just because they themselves have not had a good experince of it, or they cannot explain it by science, or their teacher says it is bullshit? make your own judgements and leave others to make theirs.

I'm sorry if you feel you've been cheated or decieved, but I or anyone eles cannot give a scientific explanation because it has not been tested upon, it's all theoretical.

I don't quite understand alot of things, including Ki, but I'm giving it a go and enjoying the experience, and when I feel it's a load of BS, then I'll try another school, and another and another. Just because you could not get something positive out of your experience, does not mean no one else can. Go to another dojo and put it behind you, but above all enjoy it. I hope you find the aikido your looking for.

Cheers

Rob

:ai: :ki:

mike lee
06-17-2003, 04:55 AM
The concept of ki is very "rational." That is, perhaps, why Amerikans have such a difficult time grasping it. Then, when they become aiki-do "instructors," they hide behind a sense of contrived "rationality" and go into complete denial about the entire subject of ki.

Where does the fault for such ignorance lie?

happysod
06-17-2003, 07:20 AM
Mike, I think you’re going a bit far here and heading down a well-worn “you’re not xxx so you just don’t understand”, sorry, speak slowly and I’ll give it a go...

I personally think many of the problems regarding Ki are in the language itself. As has been said in many threads on Ki, in Japan it’s just a normal word, nothing special. However, when we try to substitute the English equivalents the trouble starts. Language and culture are inextricably linked and so it’s the attempt to explain the concept which is accepted in one culture to one where it’s not generally used which blurs things. It’s a bit like trying to describe maths using hand waving, you may be able to get the gist, but still not understand.

As a Ki-blind westerner of cynical disposition, I normally leave Ki alone, but from my understanding the question of “do you believe in Ki” is a bit like asking “do you believe in a table?”. If I can’t see the table, why should I believe in it? But my belief doesn’t affect the presence of the table for others, so for now I’ll continue to eat off my lap and leave the posh dining area to the Ki-adepts.

:D

Jean-David
06-17-2003, 08:08 PM
I wrote:

Than why do some people still believe in an ostensibly paranormal ki? because they found evidence... I think not. It's time they grow up.

Robert H.G Burrell wrote:

"Let's see, perhaps the same reasons people beleive in faith or fate, soul mates, God, or whatever other belief systems are out there. They are all beliefs until science can explain them... I do object to your critisisims of telling folk to grow up because someone belives" different to you!"

I agree with you. It's all belief untill science prooves it, and then it becomes knowlege ( uncertain knowlege). But some beliefs contradict what science tells us about whe world ( ki- ostensibly paranormal ) and therefore since there is a contradiction between your belief about the world and the way science explains the world, both percpectives can not be correct at the same time. Both ways of thinking of the world may be incorrect (science and belief in ki), or one way may be correct (science or belief in ki) while the other is not (science or belief in ki). Since there is no way of knowing with certainty which is actualy the case, than a person must make a decision between one ( belief in ki ) or the other ( what science says about ki ), or simply not make any decision at all (suspention of jugdement). I "believe" that one should choose what science says about an ostensibly paranormal ki (does not exist). Why? Because to me the truth is desirable in itself and because the most reliable way of to get to that truth is by way of science, not the only method, but the best. A scientific fact is not certain but it is the least uncertain of perspectives.

While the belief in ki does contradict what science says about the world... faith or fate, soul mates or God do not. Why? Not because science accepts them but because science only speeks of observable, verifyable, measurable, quantifyable and refutable phenomena ( an ostensibly paranormal ki, for example, can be examined scientificaly ). Faith or fate, soul mates or God do not fit thouse conditions. Belief is necessary where knowledge can not go, just as knowledge is preferable to belief where it's applicable.

Just as children grow out of believing in Santa clause (an observable, verifyable, measurable, quantifyable and refutable phenomena) from lack of evidence, the same thing should be happening with the belief in an ostensibly paranormal ki. Yet some adults still believe in it .... why? I suspect it is because of there conception of what constitutes sufficient evidence. it may be sufficient for them but it isn't sufficient for science. And for reasons I have already stated above, I prefer scientfic proof.

Yes, I am telling folks to grow up ( be more sceptical ) because I believe differently then them. How could it be otherwise? The opposit would be quite unusual. And I believe I have good reasons to say so: being right is better than being wrong or not believing anything ( even if being right makes things less enjoyable, less desirable [the truth is better than a joyfull illusion] or even if being right or wrong makes no practicle difference at all for an aïkidoka since his techniques still work), science is better than pseudoscience and not believing in ki is better than believing in ki.

Robert H.G Burrell wrote:

"If someone believes in something that has a positive impact on their life, and they have made that choice on their own, who has the right to tell them it is all just bullshit and they should quit or are deranged?"

In a sens your right... who has the right to tell a child that Santa Clause is bull shit (does not exist) and that they should quit (stop believing in Santa Clause) or are deranged (unsceptical), since the child believes in something that has a positive impact on his life ( I hope ), and they have made that choice on their own?

The child would probably be very upset and maybe for a long time and... anyways the child grows out of it... why not let the pleasure last as long as it does... Why would the child be upset? because if you tell him Santa Clause doesn't exist he will believe you!! But for us adults, I don't see how stating our opinion in a discution, ever made another adult cry or be unhappy or mad for more than the discution lasts unless that adult was doubting himself. If someone can't handle someone elses opinion than he should think over his own...so I don't see why I wouldn't have the right to tell someone else my opinion... as he, to me.

Plus if children never stopped believing in Santa Clause would we eventually tell them that he doesn't exist. Obviously not because we were all children once, therefore we would all believe in Santa Clause... but suppose if children grew up and never stopped believing in Santa Clause (they are certain they saw him when they were kids[ It was a fake ] )... (as some still believe in an ostensibly paranormal ki)... do you think it would be strange???... undesirable???... unnatural... why??

For us adults, (even if believing in an ostensibly paranormal phenomena is harmless to ourself or to others and actualy makes us or others happy) who decided not to believe in Santa Clause anymore for lack of evidence, it would seem unusualy inconsistent to maintain belief in ki, since both ideas are comparable in scientific status...

Col.Clink
06-18-2003, 02:18 AM
I agree with you. It's all belief untill science prooves it, and then it becomes knowlege ( uncertain knowlege). But some beliefs contradict what science tells us about whe world ( ki- ostensibly paranormal ) and therefore since there is a contradiction between your belief about the world and the way science explains the world, both percpectives can not be correct at the same time. Both ways of thinking of the world may be incorrect (science and belief in ki), or one way may be correct (science or belief in ki) while the other is not (science or belief in ki). Since there is no way of knowing with certainty which is actualy the case, than a person must make a decision between one ( belief in ki ) or the other ( what science says about ki ), or simply not make any decision at all (suspention of jugdement). I "believe" that one should choose what science says about an ostensibly paranormal ki (does not exist). Why? Because to me the truth is desirable in itself and because the most reliable way of to get to that truth is by way of science, not the only method, but the best. A scientific fact is not certain but it is the least uncertain of perspectives.
I almost agree entirely here. I think the difference is in our beliefs. You are of the belief that science is the number one way to disimilate anything, and anything that does not conform to scientific fact cannot exist because it is conflict with scientific law (correct me if I'm wrong )

I'm of the belief that since science is still evolving, and human's obviously limited exploration & disimilation of the universe and other things, that Ki and other phenomena may be entirely possible because: A) it has not been proven otherwise, and B) I don't hold science as an absolute truth on all possibilities because it is evolving.
While the belief in ki does contradict what science says about the world... faith or fate, soul mates or God do not. Why? Not because science accepts them but because science only speeks of observable, verifyable, measurable, quantifyable and refutable phenomena ( an ostensibly paranormal ki, for example, can be examined scientificaly ). Faith or fate, soul mates or God do not fit thouse conditions. Belief is necessary where knowledge can not go, just as knowledge is preferable to belief where it's applicable.
Science determines though what is measurable, and if they think it is not, then they don't measure/examine it, which is why I guess no studies have been done on Ki, which brings us back to belief.


Just as children grow out of believing in Santa clause (an observable, verifyable, measurable, quantifyable and refutable phenomena) from lack of evidence, the same thing should be happening with the belief in an ostensibly paranormal ki. Yet some adults still believe in it .... why? I suspect it is because of there conception of what constitutes sufficient evidence. it may be sufficient for them but it isn't sufficient for science. And for reasons I have already stated above, I prefer scientfic proof.
That's ok, because I don't need proof due to my experiences, which is also un-measurable, unless I get ki tested ;)
Yes, I am telling folks to grow up ( be more sceptical ) because I believe differently then them. How could it be otherwise? The opposit would be quite unusual. And I believe I have good reasons to say so: being right is better than being wrong or not believing anything ( even if being right makes things less enjoyable, less desirable [the truth is better than a joyfull illusion] or even if being right or wrong makes no practicle difference at all for an aïkidoka since his techniques still work), science is better than pseudoscience and not believing in ki is better than believing in ki.
Now this is where we definately disagree, I don't think I need to explain why.
But for us adults, I don't see how stating our opinion in a discution, ever made another adult cry or be unhappy or mad for more than the discution lasts unless that adult was doubting himself. If someone can't handle someone elses opinion than he should think over his own...so I don't see why I wouldn't have the right to tell someone else my opinion... as he, to me.
Trust me I'm not crying, I've heard and been called a hell of a lot worse. But discussion becomes more of an argument when name calling or unnecessary comments are made from one about the other because of a belief. Opinion is great to listen to even if I don't agree, and opinions are welcome, but I think we can have an adult disscussion without the "grow up" comments really, and that is what I meant by what I said earlier, no offence intended.
Plus if children never stopped believing in Santa Clause would we eventually tell them that he doesn't exist. Obviously not because we were all children once, therefore we would all believe in Santa Clause... but suppose if children grew up and never stopped believing in Santa Clause (they are certain they saw him when they were kids[ It was a fake ] )... (as some still believe in an ostensibly paranormal ki)... do you think it would be strange???... undesirable???... unnatural... why??
If everyone believed in santa claus that would be great!! everyone would be doing good deeds to make sure they got some goodies at christmas!! But really, I don't mind what others believe as I stated previously.
For us adults, (even if believing in an ostensibly paranormal phenomena is harmless to ourself or to others and actualy makes us or others happy) who decided not to believe in Santa Clause anymore for lack of evidence, it would seem unusualy inconsistent to maintain belief in ki, since both ideas are comparable in scientific status...
Santa claus and Ki....interesting analogy, but since I don't belive in Santa Claus (sorry kids) and belive in Ki I really cannot answer, but that comes down to another thing....choice!

Like science, I too am evolving, my thoughts today will be different or expressed differently another day due to influences and experiences, what I belive to be truth one day, may be false the next, but I'm not going to try to tell someone they must think the same as me because of scientifical fact or fiction.

If Ki was proven scientifially tommorrow, I'd still teach students the same as I do now, it is their choice weather fact or fiction, as long as it helps them.

We have different beliefs, based on different thoughts or facts, and all I can say is if everyone followed what science always beleived, then perhaps the Teslas and Eiensteins may have never been known, but who knows?

Thanks for the convo and your thoughts. I still hope you find what your looking for in Aikido.

Cheers

Rob

PeterR
06-18-2003, 03:00 AM
Science determines though what is measurable, and if they think it is not, then they don't measure/examine it, which is why I guess no studies have been done on Ki, which brings us back to belief.
This is a bit of a canard in that science is not a monolithic entity conspiring to keep the "unscientific" at bay.

There have been quite a few attempts to apply scientific methods to chi, some quite rigorous. Unfortuneately for those who believe in Ki as a projectable force - it has not been demonstrated. That doesn't stop people from quoting some questionable studies as proof positive - just do a search on google or even this site.

The experiments cost too much: wrong - preliminary experiments of a whole range of possiblities can be done on standard lab equipement. The effect of Ki on protein structure used circular dichroism to probe conformational changes although in this case more was made out of noise than should have been. This is how science tends to work - another project has already paid for the equipement, you get some preliminary results and get more equipement, maybe even a slave/student.

The results can't get published: wrong - if they are good they will be. Even if there is some question they might be. Polywater got published, cold fusion was published, and if I remember correctly a whole section of quack science was in hysterics with an experiment showing that infinately diluted samples could still give an antibiotic respose. In all the above cases the value of the peer review and publication system was demonstrated. The peers didn't quite believe it but could not figure out what was wrong, the studies were published and subsequently it was figured out what was actually being observed. There are so many competing journals not to mention the popular media that if someone did clearly show the existance of ki - the world would hear of it.

As Craig has pointed out there are scientists that have no problem with Ki - just that we will talk about it in a different way than we would talk about our work.

Jean-David
06-18-2003, 05:13 AM
Suppose if children grew up and never stopped believing in Santa Clause (they are certain they saw him when they were kid )... (as some still believe in an ostensibly paranormal ki)... do you think it would be strange???... undesirable???... unnatural... why??

CORRECTION

kironin
06-18-2003, 12:55 PM
As Craig has pointed out there are scientists that have no problem with Ki - just that we will talk about it in a different way than we would talk about our work.
And I actually agree very much with Peter's post.



I think of Ki as a topic of metaphysics and part of Japanese culture not as part of a scientific discourse. Science is a pretty recent invention as a human method of knowing. It's taken on a high status indirectly through the success of applied science in manufacturing and warfare. Other older more intuitive human ways of knowing often have views of the world and concepts that appear to clash with scientific theories. Actually most of the clash is in details of reality where science can make measurements and the previous ways of knowing relied on extrapolation/speculation or just simple assertion that didn't necessarily have to follow from the world view. Because the high status of science, some, I would say misguided, souls attempt to use science-like methods to prove concepts/worldviews derived from other human ways of knowing. Thus is born a form of pseudoscience like the Logos club of the 1930's, creationism, or ki/chi detectors. The pitfall lies at the beginning. Actual scientific method tries in general to prove a hypothesis wrong while pseudoscience is trying to prove one very particular hypothesis right (cold fusion was a spectacular example of how scientists as human beings can get caught up in the same dead end thinking as those trying to prove ki exists as some form of energy we do not know about). In science, big paradigm changes requires dramatic results, not an analysis of something at the noise level of an instrument or anecdotal case studies.

I don't have a problem with someone saying they used ki to make their arm unbendable or to throw their opponent. That is a human way of knowing the world that is just as valid as it ever was. For some people it's a far more intuitive way of learning - what I would call the inside-out approach as opposed to a outside-in approach that might appeal to others (yoshinkan being an example). Not everyone is or wants to be hyper-rational. Human intuition is generally not rational.

The following Ki Saying by Tohei Sensei could bother those that wish only to read things as a literal interpretation,
THE ESSENCE OF KI

We begin with the number one in counting all things. It is impossible that this one can ever be reduced to zero. Because just as something cannot be made from nothing, one cannot be made from zero.

Ki is like the number one. Ki is formed from infinitely small particles, smaller than an atom. The universal Ki condensed becomes an individual, which in turn condensed becomes the one point in the lower abdomen, which in turn infinitely condensed never becomes zero, but becomes One with the Universe. Thus we understand the essence of Ki.

So Ki is the elemental basis of the Universe. So Ki is everything, nothing and something.

This is not about science and therefore to try to form a scientific definition of Ki is really a meaningless waste of time IMO.

Care to try to bend my arm ? :D

Craig

Jean-David
06-18-2003, 10:30 PM
[QUOTE="Robert H.G Burrell (Col.Clink)"]I almost agree entirely here. I think the difference is in our beliefs. You are of the belief that science is the number one way to disimilate anything, and anything that does not conform to scientific fact cannot exist because it is conflict with scientific law (correct me if I'm wrong )

No, on the contrary, I believe that any logical explanation of an observation may be true,

What is science?

A set of cognitive and behavioral methods designed to describe and interpret observed or inferred (concluded from evidence) phenomenon, past or present, aimed at building a testable body of knowledge open to rejection or conformation.

A) even if it does not conform to science's explanation of that observation. What is a scientific fact may not exist ( I am not talking here about observations [ I am not doubting the fact that the earth turns around the sun, or that some aïkidokas can stay on the ground while other's try to lift them -unliftable body exercise- ], I am talking about interpretations and explanations ). Science's explanations of reality are the most reliable but that never stopped scientists from rejecting previous explanations that do not fit the observations anymore or if a better explanation comes up... Even thouse scientific explanations that are called scientific facts today may one day be rejected if new observations are made that do not fit those explanations (however fundamental they are... if telepathy, or telekinesis for example are scientificaly proven to exist).

B) or if science has not explained it.( whether it is so because the observation is out of science's scope [as ki would be if it were only observable to the person who experiences it, or as philosophy is, because it is not felt, seen, herd... but only thought of] or because science can observe the phenomenon but has not done so yet.)
[QUOTE="Robert H.G Burrell (Col.Clink)"

"Science determines though what is measurable, and if they think it is not, then they don't measure/examine it, which is why I guess no studies have been done on Ki, which brings us back to belief."

If you are stating that one of the defining caracteristics of ki is unmeasurability, I don't know what to answer... it's like if I told you that "laisjdghipsah" is ostensibly paranormal... how can you understand me since you don't know what the heck "laisjdghipsah" means in the first place. First, you should define the word "ki" in a way it is meaningfull and correct to you so that others dont have to guess what ki you are talking about... if, to you, ki means positive will, thoughts, a mix of both, or a special bodily sensation that one must strive to attain for the purpose of beter aïkido performance, or a fundamental property of the world, or life... matter, energy, or the world itself...or anything else please tell me. If you don't tell me what ki means, how am I supposed to know that it is unmeasurable and that it exists?
[QUOTE="Robert H.G Burrell (Col.Clink)"

"If everyone believed in santa claus that would be great!! everyone would be doing good deeds to make sure they got some goodies at christmas!! But really, I don't mind what others believe as I stated previously."

Imagine a group of kids, one of the kids tells the others a story about himself. The other kids find the story funny and they have a good laugh together, while the kid who told the story is so pleased that everyone is cheered up and so very proud of himself that he says to himself: it was a good lie !!
[QUOTE="Robert H.G Burrell (Col.Clink)"

"Like science, I too am evolving, my thoughts today will be different or expressed differently another day due to influences and experiences, what I belive to be truth one day, may be false the next, but I'm not going to try to tell someone they must think the same as me because of scientifical fact or fiction. "

The argument looks good... because people's and science's views change, don't try to convince others because you might be wrong yourself (however convinced you are). Because all is uncertain, (it is also uncertain that all is uncertain) shut up... Legitimate point of view.

The problem is that you are contradicitng yourself... If you realy believed what you are telling me, you would not want your "thoughts today to be different or expressed differently than another day due to influences and experiences" just in case those influences and experiences were wrong in telling you what you must think. You would have stopped learning because learning is all about others telling us what we must think (I'm not saying we can't learn thing's just by ourselves, but only that if we just believed what we learned by ourselves, than we would still be in the stone age). Whether it's going to school, or reading a book, or raising children... it's all about "telling someone they must think the same as me because of scientifical fact or belief.

Yes, peoples and science's views change but they usualy change for the better... Why would we then say that wisdom comes with age, or that the renaissance enlightenement movement was a big step forward, or that todays medicin does miracles compared to the middle ages... science progresses, people progress (although relative)...

Obviously I don't want to make someone believe something against their will (brainwashing, druging, or any other radical procedure), but when I believe or I think I know I'm right about something and they are wrong I tell others what I think and it certainly isn't just for the fun of it, it is to convince them... since to me the truth is worth in and on itself.
[QUOTE="Robert H.G Burrell (Col.Clink)"

"If Ki was proven scientifially tommorrow, I'd still teach students the same as I do now, it is their choice weather fact or fiction, as long as it helps them."

A good lie is still a lie, just like unsceptical enjoyement is still unsceptical. Yes the students are responsible for there own learning, which doesn't stop them from being unsceptical if they believe in an ostensibly paranormal ki (measurable).
[QUOTE="Robert H.G Burrell (Col.Clink)"

"We have different beliefs, based on different thoughts or facts, and all I can say is if everyone followed what science always beleived, then perhaps the Teslas and Eiensteins may have never been known, but who knows?"

To question explanations of observatoions when observations do not fit the explanation is naturaly scientific. So if you think there you are observing things that seem to go against accepted scientific explanations, then do communicate with scientisits to show them your unusual observations and they will reliably decide if your observations do indeed contradict accepted scientific explanations of the world. If you question science in specific areas of inquirey (ki?) just because it may be all wrong (as all knowledge and belief may be) and just wait for history to prove you right, it may, like it may not... I'm just glad scientists don't believe what you do, because if they did they wouldn't have the pleasure of sitting back and letting history do the hard work for them!

shadow
06-18-2003, 11:30 PM
hello.

i actually started this thread and it was basically to try and show the similarities between the japanese word ki and the english word energy.

energy is used to describe almost every phenomena when it comes to the natural world. wether it is the energy given by the wind, by heat, by kinetic energy, energy in trophic levels in ecosystems, the energy from the sun, energy in terms of electricity..... there seems to be numerous different sorts of energy present in the universe and energy seems to be able to convert from one form to another.

for example the nuclear energy given off in nuclear reactions gives energy which is then harnessed as electricity to power this computer.

another example, the energy of the sun is utilised and converted by plants which are then eaten by animals to provide metabolic energy and also kinetic energy in their movement and as a result heat energy.

i just see ki energy (if you want to see it as something paranormal) as fitting in amongst these different forms of energy, one that perhaps has not been ascribed units of measurement yet, that doesnt mean its not present.

also the japanese seem to use ki (anyone who has a good grasp of the japanese feel free to back me up or tear me down for this one) in a very similar manner, with ki being present in words ascribed to processes that involve energy.

:)

Col.Clink
06-19-2003, 12:29 AM
This is a bit of a canard in that science is not a monolithic entity conspiring to keep the "unscientific" at bay.
It's not what I meant, and maybe I can't explain what I meant properly, so I won't try to confuse myself or anyone else.

{QUOTE]just do a search on google or even this site.[/QUOTE]
sorry but I've done google search on Ki before and I don't have the time to scroll through them all, if you have some links please post them, thanks.
The experiments cost too much: wrong

Costs too much for me (which is what I said), AND I'm not a scientist, so I wouldn't have the slightest on how to measure ki as an energy scientifically, or the equipment involved.
The results can't get published wrong: -

I didn't say that either, but I agree with you.
As Craig has pointed out there are scientists that have no problem with Ki - just that we will talk about it in a different way than we would talk about our work.
But the problem is definitive proof either way, which sceptics cleary want as much as Ki folk, but obviously for different reasons.

Peter, I'm no scientist as you can tell. I'm giving my view as I know it, right or wrong I don't know, but I have much to learn and many years left to learn it in.

cheers

Rob

PeterR
06-19-2003, 12:48 AM
Don't worry Rob I rarely write to a specific post. When I latch onto a statement its usually a doorway into a larger issue. What triggered me in this case was the statement I quoted but what I was trying to address were the arguments often made why scientists would not even consider looking for Ki. Never said you made anything that I didn't directly attribute to you.

Cheers

Col.Clink
06-19-2003, 01:01 AM
No, on the contrary, I believe that any logical explanation of an observation may be true,
I don't want to get into it, but what I think may be logical, you may not and vice versa.
A) even if it does not conform to science's explanation of that observation. What is a scientific fact may not exist ( I am not talking here about observations [ I am not doubting the fact that the earth turns around the sun, or that some aïkidokas can stay on the ground while other's try to lift them -unliftable body exercise- ], I am talking about interpretations and explanations ). Science's explanations of reality are the most reliable but that never stopped scientists from rejecting previous explanations that do not fit the observations anymore or if a better explanation comes up... Even thouse scientific explanations that are called scientific facts today may one day be rejected if new observations are made that do not fit those explanations (however fundamental they are... if telepathy, or telekinesis for example are scientificaly proven to exist).

B) or if science has not explained it.( whether it is so because the observation is out of science's scope [as ki would be if it were only observable to the person who experiences it, or as philosophy is, because it is not felt, seen, herd... but only thought of] or because science can observe the phenomenon but has not done so yet.)
I agree, which is why I don't hold science as absolute truth, for tomorrow it may not be.


If you are stating that one of the defining caracteristics of ki is unmeasurability, I don't know what to answer... it's like if I told you that "laisjdghipsah" is ostensibly paranormal... how can you understand me since you don't know what the heck "laisjdghipsah" means in the first place. First, you should define the word "ki" in a way it is meaningfull and correct to you so that others dont have to guess what ki you are talking about... if, to you, ki means positive will, thoughts, a mix of both, or a special bodily sensation that one must strive to attain for the purpose of beter aïkido performance, or a fundamental property of the world, or life... matter, energy, or the world itself...or anything else please tell me. If you don't tell me what ki means, how am I supposed to know that it is unmeasurable and that it exists?
No, I don't know if it can be measured scientifically or not, and I have defined it in this thread and others what it means to me, or what I beleive it to be.
Imagine a group of kids, one of the kids tells the others a story about himself. The other kids find the story funny and they have a good laugh together, while the kid who told the story is so pleased that everyone is cheered up and so very proud of himself that he says to himself: it was a good lie !!
Just say what you mean, call me a liar if you wish. That's your opinon based on whatever it is you want to base it on, and I'm OK with that..true!!
The argument looks good... because people's and science's views change, don't try to convince others because you might be wrong yourself (however convinced you are). Because all is uncertain, (it is also uncertain that all is uncertain) shut up... Legitimate point of view.
I'm not saying I'm right, I know I could be wrong in my beliefs, and I'm certainly not trying to convince anyone otherwise, I'm responding to your thoughts because that is what this forum is for, Opinion's, fact's etc etc etc to help us all learn a little about ourselves and others and what we do. If I don't question anything, I do not grow, that's just the way I see it. I have as many questions about Ki as sceptics do, but first I must understand that perspective before I can totally admonish it, I believe.
The problem is that you are contradicitng yourself... If you realy believed what you are telling me, you would not want your "thoughts today to be different or expressed differently than another day due to influences and experiences" just in case those influences and experiences were wrong in telling you what you must think. You would have stopped learning because learning is all about others telling us what we must think (I'm not saying we can't learn thing's just by ourselves, but only that if we just believed what we learned by ourselves, than we would still be in the stone age). Whether it's going to school, or reading a book, or raising children... it's all about "telling someone they must think the same as me because of scientifical fact or belief.
I don't think I am, what I learnt in school I had no choice over, I couldn't question because I was taught what was said was gospel( which is how kids are taught/brainwashed/whatever). As an adult I can question what I am told, and choose if I think it is absolutly right or not if there is no definitive proof to say otheriwse. And as science is evoloving, I don't BELIEVE it is definitive on everything. I am open to studys as much as the scpetic is, but I would also have to have an understanding of science too, unless it was explained in laymans terms. But one thing at a time, huh.
Obviously I don't want to make someone believe something against their will (brainwashing, druging, or any other radical procedure), but when I believe or I think I know I'm right about something and they are wrong I tell others what I think and it certainly isn't just for the fun of it, it is to convince them... since to me the truth is worth in and on itself.
That's great for you, but I'm for free will and free choice, I'm not here to convince anyone anything.
[QUOTE="Robert H.G Burrell (Col.Clink)"

"If Ki was proven scientifially tommorrow, I'd still teach students the same as I do now, it is their choice weather fact or fiction, as long as it helps them."

A good lie is still a lie, just like unsceptical enjoyement is still unsceptical. Yes the students are responsible for there own learning, which doesn't stop them from being unsceptical if they believe in an ostensibly paranormal ki (measurable).Exactley!!
To question explanations of observatoions when observations do not fit the explanation is naturaly scientific. So if you think there you are observing things that seem to go against accepted scientific explanations, then do communicate with scientisits to show them your unusual observations and they will reliably decide if your observations do indeed contradict accepted scientific explanations of the world. If you question science in specific areas of inquirey (ki?) just because it may be all wrong (as all knowledge and belief may be) and just wait for history to prove you right, it may, like it may not... I'm just glad scientists don't believe what you do, because if they did they wouldn't have the pleasure of sitting back and letting history do the hard work for them!
Great, any scientist is welcome to come on down and test Ki (at their expense), although they maybe better suited on testing someone with more year's experience than myself. And like you, I'm glad there are more open minded people in this world willing to test boundaries rather than just accept them outright!

Have an enjoyable life Jean-David.

Cheers

Rob

kironin
06-19-2003, 01:05 AM
hello.

i actually started this thread and it was basically to try and show the similarities between the japanese word ki and the english word energy.

....

from your original post

...

to know more i found this and other scientific parallels in "the tao of physics" by fritjof capra.
Well, I went back and read your original post

:)

I don't know how to put this politely.

Capra's book is very old news and is considered to be total crap by theoretical physcists who are intimately familiar with the Standard Model. The comparison between quantum chromodynamics and eastern mysticism holds up under only the most superficial comparisons. Capra glosses over the truth in a lot of places to make it seem like modern physics is confirming eastern mysticism. Don't be fooled. This is just another case of trying to use the status of science to try to bolster the legitimacy of a nonscientific human worldview. Capra could just have as easily used his book to explore the parallels between modern physics and the mysticism of the desert fathers (Orthodox Christianity).

I can see the similarities between Ki and energy. In Japanese one can say that someone is full of ki the same way someone in English can say someone is full of energy.

However when I tell you that kid on the mat over there has a lot of energy, I doubt that your response would be to ask me to quantify that in units of measure (volts, btus, calories ?). Talking about units of measure for Ki has about the same meaning. Be very careful when you try to mix worldviews like Capra tries to.

Craig

Col.Clink
06-19-2003, 01:08 AM
Don't worry Rob I rarely write to a specific post. When I latch onto a statement its usually a doorway into a larger issue. What triggered me in this case was the statement I quoted but what I was trying to address were the arguments often made why scientists would not even consider looking for Ki. Never said you made anything that I didn't directly attribute to you.

Cheers
Sorry Peter, I understand, and got the wrong end of the stick. :confused: Ki disscussions can go on and on and on and folk still never quite see eye to eye.

Cheers

Rob

mike lee
06-19-2003, 02:20 AM
Ki disscussions can go on and on and on and folk still never quite see eye to eye.
That's because the people that are talking the most actually know the least about the subject, coupled with the fact that they aren't listening.

If the conditions aren't right, a seed won't grow.

Col.Clink
06-19-2003, 05:52 AM
That's because the people that are talking the most actually know the least about the subject, coupled with the fact that they aren't listening.

If the conditions aren't right, a seed won't grow.
Mike, I don't know if that is a compliment or an insult, but either way thanks for making it in such a polite way!

Cheers

Rob

:do:

Jean-David
06-19-2003, 01:57 PM
Hi, Robert

I am not calling you a liar ! on the contrary I think you are truthfull and I hope I have not offended you by my previous "cold" replies. I realy enjoy this discution! it's raising some important questions.

I don't see how we can agree, though. Why? Because one can not use reason to argue about values. Why? Because values do not give a "bip" about reason, logic, or the truth (and I'm certainly not saying here that I have these things, more than you) One can not use science, or reason, or logic against values because values are not truths or objects of knowledge, but objects of desire. The only thing one can oppose to others values is one's will. What is a truth against a tank... To say that the truth is better than an error is not a truth. To say that not believeing in Ki is better than believing in ki, is not suseptible to being prooved scientificaly, nor in any other way.

To me not all enjoyable beliefs (harmless to one's self and others) are good, one must strive for an exquisit balance between two conflicting needs : the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas. And when someone else doesn't act accordingly to my desire (value), I let them know, not because they are right or wrong to want otherwise, but because I like the truth and I think they do also, even more than pleasure, so that they will realize that they are being gullible and therefore conclude that it would be inconsistent to hold there gullible belief and at the same time like the truth, since there is a greater chance of holdind the truth by being a moderate sceptic and using science as a method to search for it than any other method.

To you, all enjoyable beliefs (harmless to one's self and others) are good, because they are enjoyable.

I am not right or wrong, you are not right or wrong, my desir is not good or bad in itself, your desire is not good or bad in itself ...

That's what makes values undestructable !!

And if I don't agree about something, I will never agree, unless I realy agreed in the first place but just didn't know it (for example, if I had thought about all the implications of my value in the first place... I may have realized that I never wanted it anymore.) I was trying to see If you realized the implications of you value. It seems you do. Values are learned not through rationnaly argued discutions, but through imitation or rejection...

It isn't because something is good that you want it, it is because you want that thing, that it is good. Yes, I am saying murder is good for those who like it and it's bad for those who don't... That never stopped me from hating murderers.

Robert wrote :

"As an adult I can question what I am told, and choose if I think it is absolutly right or not if there is no definitive proof to say otheriwse. And as science is evoloving, I don't BELIEVE it is definitive on everything. I am open to studys as much as the scpetic is"

What you are saying is that you will believe what you want unless that belief is proved wrong. Science can disprove a scientific fact, theory or law, so untill it hasn't been disproved, or as long as it is confermed, it is maintained. But science can't disprove something that it has not yet observed because of a scientific fact, theory or law that contradicts it, because if it could, that would mean that science would know everything, that it would have stopped progressing. But how do we know for certain that we have observed everything?? In that case you can choose to believe anything you want. In that case the only criterea of what to believe in and not believe is how much pleasure it brings to you... everything is uncertain, so believe what you want ( we want what pleases us), what you like !! I like Santa so I will believe in him... I like ki so I will believe in it... As I have already stated, Your are nor right or wrong to believe this, your value is not better, nor worse than mine in itself. Still, I don't think you would make a good scientist...

Robert wrote :

"I'm not saying I'm right, I know I could be wrong in my beliefs, and I'm certainly not trying to convince anyone otherwise, I'm responding to your thoughts because that is what this forum is for, Opinion's, fact's etc etc etc to help us all learn a little about ourselves and others and what we do. If I don't question anything, I do not grow, that's just the way I see it... but I'm for free will and free choice, I'm not here to convince anyone anything."

To convince : to move by argument or evidence to belief, agreement, consent, or a course of action. (Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary)

I don't see how moving by argument or evidence to consent is against free will and free choice... on the contrary it is because we have free will and free choice that we can move by argument or evidence to consent. I think you're confusing this "to convince" with something that people do to make other's believe something against there will ( brainwashing) or something that people do to make other's believe something when those people are not necessarily reasonable (they can't think for themselves, or rely on others to think for them). You do not mind if others do not give consent to your beliefs on this forum as long as there beliefs are harmless.

I do because even though science is uncertain, it is more certain than pseudoscience... Gravity probably exists, while Santa probably does not. I'm glad they didn't teach me about Santa at school and I'm glad they taught me Gravity.

The truth doesn't say what should be done...

That doesn't stop me from having different values than you.

ted murphy
06-19-2003, 02:56 PM
Very interesting topic, thank you to all who posted.

When I was a apprentice plumber I worked for this old timer. He had a divining rod made up of two iron nipples and two pieces of heavy copper wire. I've seen him use it to find broken pipes underground many times. I have no idea how it worked, but every time I dug the hole the pipe was there. And believe me, digging a hole 6' deep is something you don't attempt unless you really think the pipe is there.

It was a practical application of something that may be considered supernatural, but I could never argue with the results.

Now I don't know a whole lot about Ki, it's meaning, or application. But if it does create results for the folks who use it, I cannot help but see it as something that is real.

Ted

Jean-David
06-19-2003, 05:00 PM
http://www.skeptic.com/01.1.shermer-skep-manifesto.html

mike lee
06-21-2003, 02:38 AM
Everything that scientists measure is ki or the result of ki.

shadow
06-22-2003, 04:49 AM
thats it mike. energy and ki are words that can be exchanged.

craig, have you read capra's book? i know it is old and people (especially scientists) are bound to have problems with writings like that, so they will find any reason to tear holes in it.

anyways the point i was trying to make came not from capra's comparisons, but from a chapter in which he was speaking primarily of physics not of comparisons between the two.

he said that sub sub atomically everything exists as energy, as far as i know this is straight from physics.

so scientists measure energy and everything they discuss in terms of energy. the way i see it, in eastern philosophy they consider the same energy but instead of trying to measure it and put labels on it all, they try to harness it or utilise it through their bodies.

so i think science and eastern thought are really not seperate, just two different ways of looking at the same thing.

feel free not to agree with me of course, im just a young fool who will probably look back at this in years with a completely new and different viewpoint.