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Guest_779
04-03-2001, 12:18 PM
The terms ch'i and ki (as related, for example, to martial arts) are indistinguishable. Although it has a multitude of meanings, ki or ch'i has been described as the breath, spirit or nature of things. In Taoism, ch'i is the life force, the vital or primordial energy which, as cosmic spirit, diffuses all creation and gives it life. Every individual has a reservoir of this energy from birth, located in the physical sense at the navel, the so-called "ocean of breath" where exercises aimed at prolonging life are centred, the ch'i-hai. Normal living depletes this store of energy and leads to sickness and death. Different techniques, for example those of Taoist alchemy, concentrate on preserving, nurturing and replenishing ch'i, whether in the physical, mental or spiritual sense; and lead to health, longevity or immortality at the appropriate level. In the physical sense, exercises concentrating on control of breath may lead to re-establishment of emotional well-being and balance within the neurohormonal system.

In neo-Confucianism the concept was expanded and precised to indicate that which causes the physical manifestation (variable) of the metaphysical (always good). A flawed ki thus indicates a flawed moral nature; purification of ki leads to enlightenment, with consciousness and action in perfect unity.

Ki energy is both personal and impersonal, concrete and universal. Transcending time and space, it is the basic creative energy or force in life. As a psychophysical energy important in the martial arts, ki energy is developed by breathing exercises and implemented by concentration of the will. Ki is twofold - the unity of the individual-universe and the free and spontaneous expression of breath-power. The former, inheriting the ideas of ancient Chinese thinkers, is realized through unifying ki, mind and body in, for example, aikido training. It acts as defence against physical attack and may be used at a distance. The kiai shout focuses all the bodily and spiritual energy into one sound, unifying the proponent's powers and disconcerting the opponent.

Harmony of ki, or ai-ki, is manifest when mind and body are unified, its subtle working is the maternal source that affects changes in breath. As delicate changes in breath power occur spontaneously, proper technique flows freely.

Awareness of delicate changes may show fierce and potent or slow and stolid movements of ki in the void, leading to discernment of the degree of concentration or unification of mind and body. Ki can be taken to mean mind, spirit or heart, and thus to have ki out of order in some way means a diminished state of consciousness. This may be insanity, nervousness, depression; it may be an emotional condition (quick tempered, shy). It is the ki and not the individual that is referred to in these cases.

References

·Koichi, Tohei Book of Ki: co-ordinating mind and body in daily life
·Reed, William Ki: a practical guide for Westerners
·Siu, R G H Ch'i: a neo-Taoist approach to life (1974)
·Yang, Jwing-Ming The Root of Chinese Chi Kung (1988)

Horus
04-26-2001, 04:18 PM
good description of ki. i've looked all over the web looking at info on ki and this seems to be the best description and informational resource i've seen so far!:D

CorkyQ
07-31-2013, 09:37 AM
Since my aikido training took a hard turn almost 10 years ago, I have been examining the nature of ki and have come to these conclusions.

Ki is fundamental energy. It is the energy that forms atoms out of nothing, and it flows.

Fundamental energy has different properties depending how it manifests in the material world as we know it. These are to be found among the four forces in nature: gravity, electromagnetic, strong, and weak (the last two affect matter at the subatomic level).

I propose that there is a fifth way fundamental energy expresses that is so difficult to quantify that it has been put aside as either imaginary or magical or it is ignored altogether. It is called spiritual energy.

For sake of simplicity, I will refer to spiritual energy as ki.

Ki has properties just like the other four, but since electromagnetism and gravity are easily observable in our human scale I will compare ki mostly to them.

Some gross generalizations: Gravity affects mass and is connective. Magnetism is connective also but can be repellent as well. The larger and denser the mass, the greater the gravity; the more the flow of electrons the greater the magnetism. Magnetism easily overcomes gravity in some situations (refrigerator magnet sticks to the door, doesn't drop to the floor; levitation of objects) but is weaker in others (two inches away from the refrigerator and the magnet drops to the floor).

The way Gravity and Electromagnetism become observable through their properties relative to material objects in the former and specific metals in the latter, Ki becomes observable specifically in living matter.

Ki is ordinary. That is, it is in every bit of living matter. It is the natural force that through its connectivity binds inert compounds into reproducing organisms.

All of the energetic expression of the universe starts with the big bang. In the space time continuum the big bang is happening right now as well as 13 billion years ago, but it is the radiant flow of all that energy that shows up as the cosmos.

Ki is expanding from the big bang as well. As the universe spreads itself far and wide, ki churns through it all, evolving living matter to fit the whole, subject to all the forces of nature but given life by the constant flow of this energy from its source.

We can observe this energy to be connective. As previously mentioned it binds inert compounds together to form organisms. It connects organisms together to make more organisms. It is connective between predator and prey. As this energy moves through space it gathers the inert compounds in the form of bodies that born of connection, grow, mature, age and become inert compounds again.

As our ancestors developed a neo cortex they became aware of the energy they could feel inside them making them different from the ground around them. Intuitively they understood that this energy was giving them life and without it they would go back into the ground, and though they could not explain it and could scarcely describe it, they called it, for lack of another word, "god."

The life-giving and connective properties of ki are tied together but also act independently. The life-giving aspects of ki happen automatically within living systems. The connective properties, outside of the ones chemical in nature, are expressed through intention.

Through intention we regulate the flow of ki through our bodies so that we can take action. Some actions are involuntary, but all are regulated through intention. For example, we swallow automatically, but the intention of the involuntary act is to push food and liquids through the esophagus without entering the trachea. In order to get up from a chair to get something to swallow requires that intention.

Through the mechanism of intention, we release flow through our body parts to take action. But the connective properties of this energy are also regulated through intention.

The connective properties of ki flow through us to other animate and inanimate objects. Our ancestors with their newly developed neo cortex became aware of this flow of energy between them, and though they could not explain it and could scarcely describe it, they called it, for lack of another word, "love."

The reason love feels so good is because when you love you are opening channels of this energy flow to do what it does best -- connect -- and as it is literally life-giving, it feels the best when the flow is not constricted. When we love, our systems become open conduits for this connective energy. There is a reason why perhaps the most intense physical pleasure our bodies are capable of comes from the deepest connection two people can have, and that's not a connection that is solely physical.

But because we have intention as a regulating device, we can withhold our connection from anyone or anything we choose. Unconditional love is said to be the highest form, and with it comes optimum ki flow and free expression of ki's connectivity. But as we start to withhold our love, usually out of a perception of threat, we put up barriers to that flow, our intentional "floodgates".

Putting up barriers to flow to thwart the connective properties of ki to protect the self do not stop those connective properties from needing to do what they do, and as the need to connect grows within a person the ki starts to come out constricted by fear. Similar to fluid dynamics, the ki that comes out in a constricted flow, comes out like water through a fire hose and with it a destructive connection.

In the book Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba under the direction of Osensei, in the section under "Basic Knowledge" after posture, distance from one's partner, and the hand blade, comes ki no nagare, which is translated "stream of spirit." Your "stream" and your attacker's "stream" merge (harmonize). In the book it is put this way: It is the work of spirit power to involve the opponent's movement into your movement, responding naturally and unconsciously to the changes of circumstances.

Two pages later in the book, after entering and spherical movement, chikara no dashikata (extension of power). The description distinguishes between force power and spiritual power and describes releasing this spiritual power through the arms hands and fingertips.

The connective and live-giving properties of ki are the essential ingredient in aikido. Our practice is to transcend ancient lower brain defense mechanisms to release the unrestricted flow of ki of which we are capable. When we do this it becomes obvious why Osensei continually called aikido a budo of love.

graham christian
07-31-2013, 02:07 PM
Ki Defined? Slightly explained maybe. I wish it was more defined for I am yet to find many worthwhile explanations let alone defined.

In fact I would say that when it is understood to a good level only then can you see how ai and Ki and do work as aikido. Only then can you see ueshiba's ai ki has nothing to do with the aiki of daito ryu.

To understand Ki is quite like zen attitude for you must practice letting go of all what you think or have been told about it I would say about 95% of the time.

Been teaching it many many years and thus not surprised or against all those thoughts and chats and 'official' references about it but am merely aware of the general lack of reality on it.

Mmmm, glad you brought this up as a thread. Be interesting to see if some new, good explanations come from it.

Peace.G.

Budd
07-31-2013, 03:16 PM
I think we're seeing a bit of overlap (or disconnect, YMMV) of how the philosophy, belief systems, science and observable actions all blend together as an approach. Not a slam, just not really my bag for discussion or interest. I'm more just the hobbyist talking shop.

graham christian
07-31-2013, 04:16 PM
Since my aikido training took a hard turn almost 10 years ago, I have been examining the nature of ki and have come to these conclusions.

Ki is fundamental energy. It is the energy that forms atoms out of nothing, and it flows.

Fundamental energy has different properties depending how it manifests in the material world as we know it. These are to be found among the four forces in nature: gravity, electromagnetic, strong, and weak (the last two affect matter at the subatomic level).

I propose that there is a fifth way fundamental energy expresses that is so difficult to quantify that it has been put aside as either imaginary or magical or it is ignored altogether. It is called spiritual energy.

For sake of simplicity, I will refer to spiritual energy as ki.

Ki has properties just like the other four, but since electromagnetism and gravity are easily observable in our human scale I will compare ki mostly to them.

Some gross generalizations: Gravity affects mass and is connective. Magnetism is connective also but can be repellent as well. The larger and denser the mass, the greater the gravity; the more the flow of electrons the greater the magnetism. Magnetism easily overcomes gravity in some situations (refrigerator magnet sticks to the door, doesn't drop to the floor; levitation of objects) but is weaker in others (two inches away from the refrigerator and the magnet drops to the floor).

The way Gravity and Electromagnetism become observable through their properties relative to material objects in the former and specific metals in the latter, Ki becomes observable specifically in living matter.

Ki is ordinary. That is, it is in every bit of living matter. It is the natural force that through its connectivity binds inert compounds into reproducing organisms.

All of the energetic expression of the universe starts with the big bang. In the space time continuum the big bang is happening right now as well as 13 billion years ago, but it is the radiant flow of all that energy that shows up as the cosmos.

Ki is expanding from the big bang as well. As the universe spreads itself far and wide, ki churns through it all, evolving living matter to fit the whole, subject to all the forces of nature but given life by the constant flow of this energy from its source.

We can observe this energy to be connective. As previously mentioned it binds inert compounds together to form organisms. It connects organisms together to make more organisms. It is connective between predator and prey. As this energy moves through space it gathers the inert compounds in the form of bodies that born of connection, grow, mature, age and become inert compounds again.

As our ancestors developed a neo cortex they became aware of the energy they could feel inside them making them different from the ground around them. Intuitively they understood that this energy was giving them life and without it they would go back into the ground, and though they could not explain it and could scarcely describe it, they called it, for lack of another word, "god."

The life-giving and connective properties of ki are tied together but also act independently. The life-giving aspects of ki happen automatically within living systems. The connective properties, outside of the ones chemical in nature, are expressed through intention.

Through intention we regulate the flow of ki through our bodies so that we can take action. Some actions are involuntary, but all are regulated through intention. For example, we swallow automatically, but the intention of the involuntary act is to push food and liquids through the esophagus without entering the trachea. In order to get up from a chair to get something to swallow requires that intention.

Through the mechanism of intention, we release flow through our body parts to take action. But the connective properties of this energy are also regulated through intention.

The connective properties of ki flow through us to other animate and inanimate objects. Our ancestors with their newly developed neo cortex became aware of this flow of energy between them, and though they could not explain it and could scarcely describe it, they called it, for lack of another word, "love."

The reason love feels so good is because when you love you are opening channels of this energy flow to do what it does best -- connect -- and as it is literally life-giving, it feels the best when the flow is not constricted. When we love, our systems become open conduits for this connective energy. There is a reason why perhaps the most intense physical pleasure our bodies are capable of comes from the deepest connection two people can have, and that's not a connection that is solely physical.

But because we have intention as a regulating device, we can withhold our connection from anyone or anything we choose. Unconditional love is said to be the highest form, and with it comes optimum ki flow and free expression of ki's connectivity. But as we start to withhold our love, usually out of a perception of threat, we put up barriers to that flow, our intentional "floodgates".

Putting up barriers to flow to thwart the connective properties of ki to protect the self do not stop those connective properties from needing to do what they do, and as the need to connect grows within a person the ki starts to come out constricted by fear. Similar to fluid dynamics, the ki that comes out in a constricted flow, comes out like water through a fire hose and with it a destructive connection.

In the book Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba under the direction of Osensei, in the section under "Basic Knowledge" after posture, distance from one's partner, and the hand blade, comes ki no nagare, which is translated "stream of spirit." Your "stream" and your attacker's "stream" merge (harmonize). In the book it is put this way: It is the work of spirit power to involve the opponent's movement into your movement, responding naturally and unconsciously to the changes of circumstances.

Two pages later in the book, after entering and spherical movement, chikara no dashikata (extension of power). The description distinguishes between force power and spiritual power and describes releasing this spiritual power through the arms hands and fingertips.

The connective and live-giving properties of ki are the essential ingredient in aikido. Our practice is to transcend ancient lower brain defense mechanisms to release the unrestricted flow of ki of which we are capable. When we do this it becomes obvious why Osensei continually called aikido a budo of love.

Hi Corky.
I agree Ki is the fundamental energy behind original manifestation, thus is it devine. It forms atoms etc. from nothing yes.

The simplest way to even look at nothing or comprehend nothing is by breaking up the word..No...Thing.

This is indeed why most have a hard time relating to it because even in their minds they relate to 'thiings' and Ki is No Thing.

Then we come to 'being aware of it' or feeling it. What else is this but perceiving. However it's not physical perception or even mental and so this is why spiritual is so important to understanding.

Ki is indeed the life giving energy in animate and inanimate forms too and so is universal.

Intention and connection are good to use on the way to understanding but personally I find they are just tools to a better understanding.

For example I would say intention is one factor but then even that one factor will change once inspected as to what intention? Then also connection although a good principle to use will eventually change also to a more all embrasive thing.

So Ki does 'connect' but for me that's not enough for actually it harmonizes. It not only harmonizes with but actually brings about harmony. Ai....Ki. Thus it reaches and organizes according to universal divinity. As does life itself for all life forms are of that word organize and thus called organisms.

The way of harmony.

Peace.G.

Brett Charvat
07-31-2013, 04:32 PM
Different techniques, for example those of Taoist alchemy, concentrate on preserving, nurturing and replenishing ch'i, whether in the physical, mental or spiritual sense; and lead to health, longevity or immortality at the appropriate level.

-- Really? Interesting how few immortals are walking among us.

The kiai shout focuses all the bodily and spiritual energy into one sound, unifying the proponent's powers and disconcerting the opponent.

-- What if my opponent is deaf? :confused:

phitruong
08-01-2013, 05:59 AM
-- Really? Interesting how few immortals are walking among us.


"There can be only one!"


-- What if my opponent is deaf? :confused:

Show him/her/it the one hand clapping technique.

bkedelen
08-01-2013, 09:58 AM
Ki is an intergalactic energy panacea and also about breathing and nature and stuff. Furthermore it is solo training like yoga only done the right way. It was made up by the Chinese but the Peking Opera cleverly disguised its provenance by hiding it inside rubber weapons, calisthenics, and street magic. Lastly it is what Jesus knew about and definitely completes religions.

Gerardo Torres
08-01-2013, 01:24 PM
Ki is an intergalactic energy panacea and also about breathing and nature and stuff. Furthermore it is solo training like yoga only done the right way. It was made up by the Chinese but the Peking Opera cleverly disguised its provenance by hiding it inside rubber weapons, calisthenics, and street magic. Lastly it is what Jesus knew about and definitely completes religions.

Pretty good summary of several thousand aikiweb posts on the subject of "ki". :D

graham christian
08-01-2013, 07:06 PM
The other single fundamental principle regarding Ki and in fact necessary for it's use is non resistance. Without non resistance there is no Ki or awareness of Ki.

The fallacy of thinking about Ki from the viewpoint of 'power' and the even more absurd notion of 'explosive power' is merely egotistical 'mind' in action. Yet another false path attracting only fearful or misinformed folk.

Ki is non resistance, Ki is all pervasive, Ki is harmonizing, Ki creates alignment and thus not control, Ki is of the selfless self and thus universal and already connected. Thus it is a discipline to allow rather than to intend and connect ultimately.

Until folk let go of the false albeit alluring definitions and explanations of Ki then it will remain a mystery and be falsely propagated only by those with 'new tricks' based on 'old quotes' and commonly given false ideas.

Peace.G.

RonRagusa
08-01-2013, 08:32 PM
Ki is fundamental energy.

Since your whole analysis to follow is based on this single statement, I'll treat it as an axiom; that is I'll accept that "Ki is fundamental energy" as being self evident.

It is the energy that forms atoms out of nothing, and it flows.

Atoms are formed from the association of electrons, protons and neutrons. Electrons are elementary particles, but protons and neutrons are composite particles formed out of combinations of differently "flavored" quarks.

Fundamental energy has different properties depending how it manifests in the material world as we know it. These are to be found among the four forces in nature: gravity, electromagnetic, strong, and weak (the last two affect matter at the subatomic level).

This is an interesting conjecture. The implication of this is that Ki represents the grand unification of the known 4 forces as it (Ki) existed at the moment of the Big Bang. What you are implying is that the symmetry breaking that gave rise to gravity, electromagnetic, strong, and weak forces is really just different aspects of Ki that are subject to observation whereas Ki itself seems to be beyond our efforts to directly observe measure. This is actually in line with current physics. The unification of the 4 forces is quite beyond earthly experimentation and therefore not observable.

I propose that there is a fifth way fundamental energy expresses that is so difficult to quantify that it has been put aside as either imaginary or magical or it is ignored altogether. It is called spiritual energy.

A proposition that implies another symmetry break.

For sake of simplicity, I will refer to spiritual energy as ki.

Ok, far from making things simpler your statement here serves to muddy the waters of understanding. You are referring to a property subset of the thing (Ki) as the thing itself. Earlier you stated that "Fundamental energy has different properties depending how it manifests in the material world as we know it." And your axiom states that "Ki is fundamental energy." So while spiritual energy is a manifestation of certain properties of fundamental energy (Ki) it isn't the thing itself any more than gravity, electromagnetism, the strong or weak forces are Ki. Maybe you could call it spirit and leave it at that.

Ki becomes observable specifically in living matter.

Ok.

Ki is ordinary. That is, it is in every bit of living matter. It is the natural force that through its connectivity binds inert compounds into reproducing organisms.

This is a very strong conjecture that, unless you insist that it be accepted on faith, requires experimental verification. I mean you're talking the secret of life here Dr. Frankenstein. :)

As the universe spreads itself far and wide, ki churns through it all, evolving living matter to fit the whole...

Are you referring to Ki the fundamental energy or ki the spiritual energy?

...subject to all the forces of nature but given life by the constant flow of this energy from its source.

And its source would be?

You have some interesting stuff here Corky. While my own views regarding Ki are quite incompatible with what you have laid out here, I really appreciate that you have obviously given this subject a lot of deep thought. I'm sure that your meditations have had a profound beneficial effect on your Aikido, which has in turn, helped your views on Ki evolve. A very nice positive feedback loop.

Ron

CorkyQ
08-05-2013, 05:06 PM
Since your whole analysis to follow is based on this single statement, I'll treat it as an axiom; that is I'll accept that "Ki is fundamental energy" as being self evident.

Atoms are formed from the association of electrons, protons and neutrons. Electrons are elementary particles, but protons and neutrons are composite particles formed out of combinations of differently "flavored" quarks.

This is an interesting conjecture. The implication of this is that Ki represents the grand unification of the known 4 forces as it (Ki) existed at the moment of the Big Bang. What you are implying is that the symmetry breaking that gave rise to gravity, electromagnetic, strong, and weak forces is really just different aspects of Ki that are subject to observation whereas Ki itself seems to be beyond our efforts to directly observe measure. This is actually in line with current physics. The unification of the 4 forces is quite beyond earthly experimentation and therefore not observable.

A proposition that implies another symmetry break.

Ok, far from making things simpler your statement here serves to muddy the waters of understanding. You are referring to a property subset of the thing (Ki) as the thing itself. Earlier you stated that "Fundamental energy has different properties depending how it manifests in the material world as we know it." And your axiom states that "Ki is fundamental energy." So while spiritual energy is a manifestation of certain properties of fundamental energy (Ki) it isn't the thing itself any more than gravity, electromagnetism, the strong or weak forces are Ki. Maybe you could call it spirit and leave it at that.

Ok.

This is a very strong conjecture that, unless you insist that it be accepted on faith, requires experimental verification. I mean you're talking the secret of life here Dr. Frankenstein. :)

Are you referring to Ki the fundamental energy or ki the spiritual energy?

And its source would be?

You have some interesting stuff here Corky. While my own views regarding Ki are quite incompatible with what you have laid out here, I really appreciate that you have obviously given this subject a lot of deep thought. I'm sure that your meditations have had a profound beneficial effect on your Aikido, which has in turn, helped your views on Ki evolve. A very nice positive feedback loop.

Ron

Ron, thanks for your consideration of my postulate. Through our reflections may we both gain in our understanding of aikido's mysteries.

I used the word ki in two contexts - first as fundamental energy, the source of all observable forces of nature, then as the particular observable force, a fifth force of nature, that creates life out of non-living matter. I made this distinction because most people referring to "ki" are speaking of the latter. In this context the word ki would be synonymous with spiritual energy or spiritual force.

Quarks are observable, to those with the tools to measure their effects, as subject to all forces of nature. All the forces of nature have connective properties -- quarks combine to produce hadrons and are never found isolated. So even at the most basic level of physical reality, the quark model recognizes the fundamental principle of connection. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quark. It is when they exhibit the connective property, again common to all, that hadrons combine to become chemical elements.

An atomic nucleus blown up to the size of an baseball sitting on the pitcher's mound of a major league baseball stadium would have its closest electron the size of a pin head orbiting out past the furthest bleacher seat. Matter is mostly empty space. Think of physical reality as 3d projections of pure energy forming a holographic, tactile image that appears solid and "real" to our gross senses and yet is mostly immaterial.

The paradox in quantum physics is that particles also appear as a wave. Imagine fundamental energy radiating from its source, the central core of the big bang; broadcasting, if you will. The interference pattern created by this radiant energy throughout time space continually creates all of what we call physical reality across the entire cosmos through the mechanism of quantum physics.

Within that physicality the known forces of nature become observable by their properties. We start to see differentiations in the way compounds act in accordance with gravity, for example. Fluid mechanics as a subset of gravitational forces demonstrates how the constricted flow of liquid through a fire hose seems to defy gravity and shoots water up many stories to subdue the flames of a burning building. A fire hose hooked up to a 125' water tower will have no problem spraying water that high with gravity as its only propellant, but fill the water tank with sand and the sand won't make it out of the hose.

At the level subatomic particles become atoms, differentiation of gravitational and electromagnetic forces are already observable because those subatomic particles form atoms of cobalt, iron and nickel.

This is the level at which ki (spiritual force) differentiates also, because at the atomic level various elements come together to form molecules of amino acids.

Spiritual energy has not been recognized by the scientific community at large because it has heretofore been unquantifiable. Weight and mass and magnetic fields can be measured, but no one has come up with a way to measure a flow of love between individuals or a quantitative difference between a living being and a corpse.

As for the effects of the properties of ki (spirit force), they are easily observable if not measurable. From a purely biological perspective, that organisms exist and reproduce is the simplest observable fact. On earth the ingredients of our planetary mass acted upon by ki formed chains of the elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, but on other planets perhaps the chemical building blocks of life may be specific other elements depending on the various factors of that respective planet.

Ki (spiritual force) is as ordinary and as profound as gravity and the electromagnetic spectrum, but as a force of nature it is found acting, like gravity and electromagnetic radiation, in harmony with all other observable manifestations of fundamental energy, in the creation of living beings in evolving, expanding fractal patterns.

Relevant to aikido, ki's connective properties manifest in the phenomenon known as love. Love is the name we give the feeling of ki expressing through our being that connects to someone or something else. Though no one can measure it, it is difficult to deny its existence, so it is considered esoteric. But can we really explain why and how the force gravity is in existence? No, we can only describe its existence through the effects of its properties.

Every person knows the feeling of connecting with others as joyous and life-giving. We intuitively see growth and improvement as favorable things, sickness and decay, though part of the experience of living matter, as unfavorable and a depletion of the life force (ki, spiritual force). Immeasurable but hard to deny, love and cooperation feels better to all than hatred and conflict. A simple examination reveals a simple truth: Five people who can agree on a restaurant for lunch are going to have a better time than each of the five trying to draw the rest to a restaurant of the ethnic variety of food that each prefers. Love allows us to harmonize more easily than disdain does.

What I believe to be Morihei Ueshiba's greatest discovery, through an epiphany, was that the connective properties of ki manifest physically in conflict situations between human beings.

Many memoirs of Osensei report that although the students could replicate the movements of Osensei, no one's aikido "felt" like his. He has been quoted as admonishing students to express aiki rather than do aikido techniques. This distinction, rather than being a head-scratcher and shoulder shrugger, should be observable and replicable.

The way we work in my dojo, ukes extend authentic attack energy and are free to attack any way they care to at any time, as no techniques are taught or demonstrated. Instead of an uke who is there to facilitate nage's movement through a complex formation of elemental aikido movements usually called "a technique," ukes in my dojo are there to provide an unrelenting, authentic flow of attack energy. When this is done at a particular level of intensity, there is no way for nage to wiggle out, escape or force themselves and uke through a technique. Our practice is to overcome the natural resistance or escape responses embedded in our lower central nervous system and transcend them to function at a higher level of consciousness which allows us to love our partner despite the attack.

Rather than what my teacher Don O'Bell sensei called "Pollyanna love," I am referring to the embodiment of a state of being in which this energy flows in a limitless, unobstructed way toward our partner.

This optimum flow of ki as it passes through our systems may be distinguishable at some level through variations in intention in compassion, forgiveness, acceptance, appreciation, etcetera, but the common quality in all those forms of love are that they are beneficent in nature. One's ki will flow in greatest abundance to those one wants to benefit. In other words, if you are injured in an accident, my ki will flow more toward you if I want to help you than it will if I don't want to be involved. This seems obvious, but if we really become conscious of our feelings when we withhold love from something we find it is relatively unpleasant. It's especially noticeable when compared to when we love someone.

In practice in our non-technique training, we start to see that we cannot under any circumstances fake the embodiment of some form of beneficent intention and see aiki materialize in the form of uke going to the mat. But by shifting our consciousness truly to love in one or more of its myriad forms, aikido happens immediately and in paths usually much simpler than the techniques most aikidoka practice.

Through practicing this way we have seen the literal truth of some of Osensei's "esoteric" teachings. Feeling the way it feels when someone we have grabbed or are striking responds with an intention that we benefit from our interaction is a tactile, empirical experience hard to deny.

I have been studying the nature of attack energy as it arises from intention for almost ten years, and I feel confident in saying that anyone I offer this energy to will confirm that it is both authentic and relentless, even at a reduced intensity. When I grab an unranked aikido student less than a year in training with the same energy and intention I have given to Saotome Sensei, Heiny Sensei, and Ikeda Sensei when invited to be uke for them, and this beginning student shifts from being absolutely at my mercy to moving with me as I hit the mat all from modifying his intention from defense to beneficence, it is a profound affirmation of Osensei's claim that the power of aikido comes from love.

RonRagusa
08-05-2013, 09:48 PM
I used the word ki in two contexts - first as fundamental energy, the source of all observable forces of nature, then as the particular observable force, a fifth force of nature, that creates life out of non-living matter. I made this distinction because most people referring to "ki" are speaking of the latter. In this context the word ki would be synonymous with spiritual energy or spiritual force.

When I wrote that my view of Ki was incompatible with your explanation it was because I use Ki in an entirely different context. It's much less sweeping than your Ki as fundamental energy and has nothing to do with Ki as the generator of life from lifelessness.

While my blog has many posts regarding my take on Ki, for the sake of brevity I'll just say that for me Ki is manifest via the coordination of mind and body. Spirit is the facilitator of mind/body coordination. When I have coordinated mind and body I enter a state of correct feeling and Ki is noticeably evident.

Quarks are observable, to those with the tools to measure their effects, as subject to all forces of nature. All the forces of nature have connective properties -- quarks combine to produce hadrons and are never found isolated. So even at the most basic level of physical reality, the quark model recognizes the fundamental principle of connection. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quark. It is when they exhibit the connective property, again common to all, that hadrons combine to become chemical elements.

An atomic nucleus blown up to the size of an baseball sitting on the pitcher's mound of a major league baseball stadium would have its closest electron the size of a pin head orbiting out past the furthest bleacher seat. Matter is mostly empty space. Think of physical reality as 3d projections of pure energy forming a holographic, tactile image that appears solid and "real" to our gross senses and yet is mostly immaterial.

The paradox in quantum physics is that particles also appear as a wave. Imagine fundamental energy radiating from its source, the central core of the big bang; broadcasting, if you will. The interference pattern created by this radiant energy throughout time space continually creates all of what we call physical reality across the entire cosmos through the mechanism of quantum physics.

Within that physicality the known forces of nature become observable by their properties. We start to see differentiations in the way compounds act in accordance with gravity, for example. Fluid mechanics as a subset of gravitational forces demonstrates how the constricted flow of liquid through a fire hose seems to defy gravity and shoots water up many stories to subdue the flames of a burning building. A fire hose hooked up to a 125' water tower will have no problem spraying water that high with gravity as its only propellant, but fill the water tank with sand and the sand won't make it out of the hose.

At the level subatomic particles become atoms, differentiation of gravitational and electromagnetic forces are already observable because those subatomic particles form atoms of cobalt, iron and nickel.

This is the level at which ki (spiritual force) differentiates also, because at the atomic level various elements come together to form molecules of amino acids.

Spiritual energy has not been recognized by the scientific community at large because it has heretofore been unquantifiable. Weight and mass and magnetic fields can be measured, but no one has come up with a way to measure a flow of love between individuals or a quantitative difference between a living being and a corpse.

As for the effects of the properties of ki (spirit force), they are easily observable if not measurable. From a purely biological perspective, that organisms exist and reproduce is the simplest observable fact. On earth the ingredients of our planetary mass acted upon by ki formed chains of the elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, but on other planets perhaps the chemical building blocks of life may be specific other elements depending on the various factors of that respective planet.

Ki (spiritual force) is as ordinary and as profound as gravity and the electromagnetic spectrum, but as a force of nature it is found acting, like gravity and electromagnetic radiation, in harmony with all other observable manifestations of fundamental energy, in the creation of living beings in evolving, expanding fractal patterns.

Your physics seems on solid ground with respect to the Standard Model. Your speculation regarding the roles of Ki as being the source of the four known forces and the bestow-er of life is like String Theory, Quantum Gravity or M Theory in that before it can be accepted as scientific "fact" it must undergo experimental verification.

You can, of course, choose to simply accept your view on faith, convinced that it is correct because of your own observations over the past 10 years. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with that. It's your metaphor and (from what I read in Mark Freeman's blog) you have been able to employ it to take your Aikido to another level. Can any of us ask more of our metaphors?

What I believe to be Morihei Ueshiba's greatest discovery, through an epiphany, was that the connective properties of ki manifest physically in conflict situations between human beings.

I agree with that sentiment.

Your training paradigm sounds interesting. After watching a few of your videos on YouTube, I can see that while our metaphors and methods are different we have goals for our Aikido that are very much in common.

Ron

graham christian
08-06-2013, 11:08 AM
To Ron and Corky and Mary and Krystal.

Firstly Ron and Corky, I see you like looking scientifically at things and relating them to your Aikido.

I wrote a story about Ki which appeared on the open discussions forum and thus mentioned one and zero. This is where Krystal and Mary joined in.

So as a little scientific something that 'logically' addresses a connection between the fundamentals of life and brings together eastern and western 'thought' on the matter and indeed led to the theories behind elctronics, computers etc. I think you may like this little video.

If nothing else may it give you food for thought:)

http://youtu.be/M5YhbehrqOQ

Peace.G.

OwlMatt
08-06-2013, 06:39 PM
Since my aikido training took a hard turn almost 10 years ago, I have been examining the nature of ki and have come to these conclusions.

Ki is fundamental energy. It is the energy that forms atoms out of nothing, and it flows.

Fundamental energy has different properties depending how it manifests in the material world as we know it. These are to be found among the four forces in nature: gravity, electromagnetic, strong, and weak (the last two affect matter at the subatomic level).

I propose that there is a fifth way fundamental energy expresses that is so difficult to quantify that it has been put aside as either imaginary or magical or it is ignored altogether. It is called spiritual energy.

For sake of simplicity, I will refer to spiritual energy as ki.

Ki has properties just like the other four, but since electromagnetism and gravity are easily observable in our human scale I will compare ki mostly to them.

Some gross generalizations: Gravity affects mass and is connective. Magnetism is connective also but can be repellent as well. The larger and denser the mass, the greater the gravity; the more the flow of electrons the greater the magnetism. Magnetism easily overcomes gravity in some situations (refrigerator magnet sticks to the door, doesn't drop to the floor; levitation of objects) but is weaker in others (two inches away from the refrigerator and the magnet drops to the floor).

The way Gravity and Electromagnetism become observable through their properties relative to material objects in the former and specific metals in the latter, Ki becomes observable specifically in living matter.

Ki is ordinary. That is, it is in every bit of living matter. It is the natural force that through its connectivity binds inert compounds into reproducing organisms.

All of the energetic expression of the universe starts with the big bang. In the space time continuum the big bang is happening right now as well as 13 billion years ago, but it is the radiant flow of all that energy that shows up as the cosmos.

Ki is expanding from the big bang as well. As the universe spreads itself far and wide, ki churns through it all, evolving living matter to fit the whole, subject to all the forces of nature but given life by the constant flow of this energy from its source.

We can observe this energy to be connective. As previously mentioned it binds inert compounds together to form organisms. It connects organisms together to make more organisms. It is connective between predator and prey. As this energy moves through space it gathers the inert compounds in the form of bodies that born of connection, grow, mature, age and become inert compounds again.

As our ancestors developed a neo cortex they became aware of the energy they could feel inside them making them different from the ground around them. Intuitively they understood that this energy was giving them life and without it they would go back into the ground, and though they could not explain it and could scarcely describe it, they called it, for lack of another word, "god."

The life-giving and connective properties of ki are tied together but also act independently. The life-giving aspects of ki happen automatically within living systems. The connective properties, outside of the ones chemical in nature, are expressed through intention.

Through intention we regulate the flow of ki through our bodies so that we can take action. Some actions are involuntary, but all are regulated through intention. For example, we swallow automatically, but the intention of the involuntary act is to push food and liquids through the esophagus without entering the trachea. In order to get up from a chair to get something to swallow requires that intention.

Through the mechanism of intention, we release flow through our body parts to take action. But the connective properties of this energy are also regulated through intention.

The connective properties of ki flow through us to other animate and inanimate objects. Our ancestors with their newly developed neo cortex became aware of this flow of energy between them, and though they could not explain it and could scarcely describe it, they called it, for lack of another word, "love."

The reason love feels so good is because when you love you are opening channels of this energy flow to do what it does best -- connect -- and as it is literally life-giving, it feels the best when the flow is not constricted. When we love, our systems become open conduits for this connective energy. There is a reason why perhaps the most intense physical pleasure our bodies are capable of comes from the deepest connection two people can have, and that's not a connection that is solely physical.

But because we have intention as a regulating device, we can withhold our connection from anyone or anything we choose. Unconditional love is said to be the highest form, and with it comes optimum ki flow and free expression of ki's connectivity. But as we start to withhold our love, usually out of a perception of threat, we put up barriers to that flow, our intentional "floodgates".

Putting up barriers to flow to thwart the connective properties of ki to protect the self do not stop those connective properties from needing to do what they do, and as the need to connect grows within a person the ki starts to come out constricted by fear. Similar to fluid dynamics, the ki that comes out in a constricted flow, comes out like water through a fire hose and with it a destructive connection.

In the book Aikido by Kisshomaru Ueshiba under the direction of Osensei, in the section under "Basic Knowledge" after posture, distance from one's partner, and the hand blade, comes ki no nagare, which is translated "stream of spirit." Your "stream" and your attacker's "stream" merge (harmonize). In the book it is put this way: It is the work of spirit power to involve the opponent's movement into your movement, responding naturally and unconsciously to the changes of circumstances.

Two pages later in the book, after entering and spherical movement, chikara no dashikata (extension of power). The description distinguishes between force power and spiritual power and describes releasing this spiritual power through the arms hands and fingertips.

The connective and live-giving properties of ki are the essential ingredient in aikido. Our practice is to transcend ancient lower brain defense mechanisms to release the unrestricted flow of ki of which we are capable. When we do this it becomes obvious why Osensei continually called aikido a budo of love.

When you start talking about creating atoms and making organisms out of inert compounds, you venture out of the realm of spirituality and into the realm of science. And when that happens, you take on the burden of making falsifiable claims supported by specific evidence. I see none of that here.

What's more, you presume to explain with this "energy" things that science has already explained. That means that you not only need to prove the existence and function of this "energy", you also need to disprove existing science.

I am continually amazed by the number of people for whom it is not enough for aikido to simply be aikido. Aikido is not for explaining the origin of life and matter -- we have science for that.

RonRagusa
08-06-2013, 10:18 PM
What's more, you presume to explain with this "energy" things that science has already explained. That means that you not only need to prove the existence and function of this "energy", you also need to disprove existing science.

I read two hypotheses that Corky put forward. First he hypothesizes that the four forces of nature are different manifestations of a single fundamental force that he chooses to label Ki. To my knowledge, scant though it may be, science has yet to explain the unification of the four forces, so I guess you're not talking about that.

He then goes on to assert in a second hypothesis that there is a fifth manifestation of Ki, namely spiritual energy. Among other things, this fifth force is supposedly responsible for bridging the gap between living and non-living matter. Again, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, I do not believe science has been able to explain how non-living organic compounds can combine to form living organisms.

Since science has explained neither of these things perhaps you could be more specific in your critique.

Also, one can hypothesize to one's heart's content without having to as you say "...prove the existence and function of this "energy", you also need to disprove existing science." Einstein used mathematical metaphors and thought experiments to develop the Special and General Theories of Relativity but never did a lick of work trying to prove or disprove them experimentally. He also did not have to disprove Newtonian Mechanics since he showed how classical mechanics was a special case of his more general theories.

I am continually amazed by the number of people for whom it is not enough for aikido to simply be aikido.

Please write that sentence down, put it in a sealed bottle and bury it in your back yard. If your still studying Aikido in 25 or 30 years dig it up, reread it and see how you feel about it. ;)

Ron

Krystal Locke
08-06-2013, 10:31 PM
He lost me when he said that "binary systems" and DNA were considerably younger than Ba Gua and the I Ching. DNA's been around for much much much longer than any book, martial style, or even the oldest common ancestor between humans and chimps . Numbering systems have been around longer than Ba Gua and the I Ching, but not as long as DNA.

The I Ching is a divinatory manual. For me, that puts it firmly in the same camp as tarot, ouija boards, throwing bones, cutting open a goat to read its entrails, flipping a coin or stepping on a crack. Superstition. Not terribly interested.

Zero is not a negative number. That fact weakens the guy's claims, in my opinion. Further weakening came when he dropped the zero and did a frame switch when he was talking about the 64 possible combinations of trigrams, which is really just an odd composite of a two byte, 3 bit/byte, binary valued system. That sort of frame switch drives the math geeks nuts. Dont talk about zero as a foundation for a supposedly spiritual argument, then leave it behind when you get to explaining reality.

Different cultures use wildly different numerical bases for their numbers. The Mayans used base 20. Babylonians used base 60 (that must have been either a composite base or a total pain in the ass). The Chinese used a composite unary, decimal, and positional system about the time the I Ching was written. Numerical bases are abstract, and therefore rather timeless. The use of specific numerical bases is a cultural artifact. Different cultures needed different numerical systems. Humans tend to prefer the decimal base because we have ten fingers. If we had 8 fingers, we'd tend to octal and that video may have had more of a leg to stand on.

The DNA thing is a profound stretch.

Did he really try to tie in The Matrix?

Maybe his video on finding one's soulmate is better.

We have very different worldviews. I assume that we both prefer to believe true things rather than false things. I am curious about your epistemology, why you believe the things you believe, and by what criteria you judge information for truthfulness. I am an engineer and a scientist. My epistemology is profoundly evidentiary, and in order to make sure my judgments are grounded in reality, I prefer methodological and humanistic naturalism and physicalism. What warrants your knowledge?

To Ron and Corky and Mary and Krystal.

Firstly Ron and Corky, I see you like looking scientifically at things and relating them to your Aikido.

I wrote a story about Ki which appeared on the open discussions forum and thus mentioned one and zero. This is where Krystal and Mary joined in.

So as a little scientific something that 'logically' addresses a connection between the fundamentals of life and brings together eastern and western 'thought' on the matter and indeed led to the theories behind elctronics, computers etc. I think you may like this little video.

If nothing else may it give you food for thought:)

http://youtu.be/M5YhbehrqOQ

Peace.G.

RonRagusa
08-07-2013, 07:04 AM
He lost me when he said that "binary systems" and DNA were considerably younger than Ba Gua and the I Ching.

I had the same thought.

Ron

Hellis
08-07-2013, 07:16 AM
I am continually amazed by the number of people for whom it is not enough for aikido to simply be aikido. Aikido is not for explaining the origin of life and matter -- we have science for that.

Matthew

No need to bury this comment in a bottle in your back yard - I think this is one of the most sensible comments on this thread.
For the record I have been studying Aikido since 1957 - not the occasional week end course - but at length with the likes of Kenshiro Abbe Sensei - Nakazono Sensei - Noro Sensei - Assistant to TK Chiba Sensei.

Kind regards

Henry Ellis
Co-author of `Positive Aikido`
http://aikido-stories.blogspot.com/

lbb
08-07-2013, 07:34 AM
I am continually amazed by the number of people for whom it is not enough for aikido to simply be aikido. Aikido is not for explaining the origin of life and matter -- we have science for that.

Indeed...and this is a subject of another thread, I'm sure, but I'd love if some of those people could answer that question: why do you need aikido to be more than aikido? Of course, their proof-by-definition answer is that all that other stuff IS aikido. This is plainly nonsense, but try telling them that.

graham christian
08-07-2013, 09:07 AM
I had the same thought.

Ron

The modern binary systems or western adopted one is from around 1700 and genetics etc. as a subject is quite new.

So he's talking the things as you have been taught or aware of and comparing them to similar binary logic from way back when.

The key really is that prior to the adoption of algebra in the west by scholarly academia the what was zero?

Zero was treated as a something, a real thing. Funny thing is it led to better problem solving.

Peace.G.

graham christian
08-07-2013, 09:28 AM
He lost me when he said that "binary systems" and DNA were considerably younger than Ba Gua and the I Ching. DNA's been around for much much much longer than any book, martial style, or even the oldest common ancestor between humans and chimps . Numbering systems have been around longer than Ba Gua and the I Ching, but not as long as DNA.

The I Ching is a divinatory manual. For me, that puts it firmly in the same camp as tarot, ouija boards, throwing bones, cutting open a goat to read its entrails, flipping a coin or stepping on a crack. Superstition. Not terribly interested.

Zero is not a negative number. That fact weakens the guy's claims, in my opinion. Further weakening came when he dropped the zero and did a frame switch when he was talking about the 64 possible combinations of trigrams, which is really just an odd composite of a two byte, 3 bit/byte, binary valued system. That sort of frame switch drives the math geeks nuts. Dont talk about zero as a foundation for a supposedly spiritual argument, then leave it behind when you get to explaining reality.

Different cultures use wildly different numerical bases for their numbers. The Mayans used base 20. Babylonians used base 60 (that must have been either a composite base or a total pain in the ass). The Chinese used a composite unary, decimal, and positional system about the time the I Ching was written. Numerical bases are abstract, and therefore rather timeless. The use of specific numerical bases is a cultural artifact. Different cultures needed different numerical systems. Humans tend to prefer the decimal base because we have ten fingers. If we had 8 fingers, we'd tend to octal and that video may have had more of a leg to stand on.

The DNA thing is a profound stretch.

Did he really try to tie in The Matrix?

Maybe his video on finding one's soulmate is better.

We have very different worldviews. I assume that we both prefer to believe true things rather than false things. I am curious about your epistemology, why you believe the things you believe, and by what criteria you judge information for truthfulness. I am an engineer and a scientist. My epistemology is profoundly evidentiary, and in order to make sure my judgments are grounded in reality, I prefer methodological and humanistic naturalism and physicalism. What warrants your knowledge?

If he lost you then maybe it is to do with you. The subjects of binary and DNA are in the west considerably younger.

The IChing and Bagua considered divinatory manuals and thus discarded is once again missing the point. He is talking about the logic used to address and explain such things, the logic used in those subjects themselves....binary. Fundamental.

Past cultures and numeric systems has nothing to do with it and is way off the mark. I thought switching drove mathematicians nuts? Past cultures going way back also had various binary systems which would be more to the point. The question is what were they used for? Why were they used?

The other question is how comes spiritual devine subjects like bagua found such logic the best way to explain it's truth? How comes also great moves forward in problem solving resulted from using zero as in algebra? Thus in both spiritual and physical and mental such ways of looking revealed much until then hidden truths?

By the way, don't forget he pointed out at the beginning the third factor with regards to the yin and yang symbol which is the encompassing circle.

Peace.G.

Keith Larman
08-07-2013, 09:37 AM
“The human brain is a complex organ with the wonderful power of enabling man to find reasons for continuing to believe whatever it is that he wants to believe.” Voltaire.

Carry on.

RonRagusa
08-07-2013, 09:51 AM
The modern binary systems or western adopted one is from around 1700 and genetics etc. as a subject is quite new.

So he's talking the things as you have been taught or aware of and comparing them to similar binary logic from way back when.

The key really is that prior to the adoption of algebra in the west by scholarly academia the what was zero?

Zero was treated as a something, a real thing. Funny thing is it led to better problem solving.

Peace.G.

I guess, Graham, that I'm just not interested in exchanging one form of symbolic metaphor for another. The consistency of knowledge down thru the ages is often masked by the fact that symbols representing that knowledge are continually morphing.

Ron

Gerardo Torres
08-07-2013, 10:39 AM
Hey I came up with a working definition of "ki" while drinking my coffee this morning. It's based on the three internal harmonies because I don't know any better. At least it's short! :D:

ki (:ki:) is the mind-driven capacity to efficiently convert the physical energy of the human body into the mechanical power best suited to perform a task.

bkedelen
08-07-2013, 11:01 AM
Zero was treated as a something, a real thing. Funny thing is it led to better problem solving.

Yes, pre-scientific thinking really helped society nail problems like how to detect witches.

"We have fought long and hard to escape from medieval superstition. I, for one, do not wish to go back" - James Randi

jonreading
08-07-2013, 11:26 AM
"What I really need is a droid who understands the binary language of moisture vaporators."
"Vaporators? Sir, my first job was programing binary load lifters very similar to your vaporators in most respects."

Sorry... couldn't resist. And since we are on the topic...

"For my ally in the Force [Aikido]. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. It's energy surrounds us and binds us."

"You will know (the good from the bad) when you are calm, at peace. Passive. A Jedi uses the Force [Aikido] for knowledge and defense, never for attack."

"A Jedi [Aikiidoka] must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind."

"To answer power with power, the Jedi [Aikidoka] way this is not. In this war, a danger there is, of losing who we are."

This is creeping me out.

graham christian
08-07-2013, 11:35 AM
I guess, Graham, that I'm just not interested in exchanging one form of symbolic metaphor for another. The consistency of knowledge down thru the ages is often masked by the fact that symbols representing that knowledge are continually morphing.

Ron

True, but such is life as you use symbols all the time to represent all ideas and understandings so actually there's no escape if one desires to communicate.

What is binary code but a language. Science has found it to be a very useful one. Science has found this language very useful in not only transmission but also practical use and search and discovery.

Of course from the viewpoint of using in order to understand then it depends on if you like addressing things from that standpoint.

Just one way...one and zero....I use to help students understand part of Aikido and very successfully too.

I can use many in existence things too like basic rules of electricity to help students gain a better understanding. I'm sure you use various analogous or symbolic things too.

Correct feeling is good, beneficent intention is good, to me all part of the thing known as Aikido.

I don't need scientific back up or scholarly agreement or references to who else said so to understand and see their pertinence and viability.

It's all good;)

Peace.G.

graham christian
08-07-2013, 11:40 AM
Yes, pre-scientific thinking really helped society nail problems like how to detect witches.

"We have fought long and hard to escape from medieval superstition. I, for one, do not wish to go back" - James Randi

Nice concept...pre scientific...mmmmm. You must think science is something new.

Peace.G.

graham christian
08-07-2013, 11:43 AM
"What I really need is a droid who understands the binary language of moisture vaporators."
"Vaporators? Sir, my first job was programing binary load lifters very similar to your vaporators in most respects."

Sorry... couldn't resist. And since we are on the topic...

"For my ally in the Force [Aikido]. And a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. It's energy surrounds us and binds us."

"You will know (the good from the bad) when you are calm, at peace. Passive. A Jedi uses the Force [Aikido] for knowledge and defense, never for attack."

"A Jedi [Aikiidoka] must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind."

"To answer power with power, the Jedi [Aikidoka] way this is not. In this war, a danger there is, of losing who we are."

This is creeping me out.

Mmmmmm...creeped out and returned to the dark side you have.;)

Peace.G.

bkedelen
08-07-2013, 12:56 PM
Here is another concept for you: anti-intellectualism.

“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'” - Isaac Asimov

graham christian
08-07-2013, 01:06 PM
Here is another concept for you: anti-intellectualism.

"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" - Isaac Asimov

Well your first concept was funny to me. This one is just as strange for putting intellect in it's place comes from wisdom. Of course if intellect hasn't yet come to recognize the difference then in comparison it itself is to that degree ignorant.

But still, it's all good. Anti ki-ism could be a constant thread running through certain near subjects.;)

In fact anti aikidoism is rife in Aikido:)

Peace.G.

RonRagusa
08-07-2013, 01:32 PM
Hey I came up with a working definition of "ki" while drinking my coffee this morning. It's based on the three internal harmonies because I don't know any better. At least it's short! :D:

ki (:ki:) is the mind-driven capacity to efficiently convert the physical energy of the human body into the mechanical power best suited to perform a task.

Always seems to come back to coordinated mind and body.

Ron

Gerardo Torres
08-07-2013, 02:53 PM
Always seems to come back to coordinated mind and body.

Ron
Pretty much. I don't think many would disagree with that basic concept. I think the on-going debate circles around presenting the attributes of the different training models each person is familiar with.

When I formulated my definition of Ki, I based it on the three harmonies model, "mind leads intent, intent leads Ki, Ki leads power", which is one of the bases of how I like to train. I tried, however, to place the definition closer to the realm of physical reality. Since "spiritual energy" is not a defined type of energy nor can we measure its sate, I used "physical energy" (resulting from our tangible body mass), which can be transformed into either mechanical and/or thermal energy, and finally expressed as power (energy/time), the process being initiated by the mind or as some call it "intent" (which follows a desire).

OwlMatt
08-07-2013, 03:25 PM
I read two hypotheses that Corky put forward. First he hypothesizes that the four forces of nature are different manifestations of a single fundamental force that he chooses to label Ki. To my knowledge, scant though it may be, science has yet to explain the unification of the four forces, so I guess you're not talking about that.

He then goes on to assert in a second hypothesis that there is a fifth manifestation of Ki, namely spiritual energy. Among other things, this fifth force is supposedly responsible for bridging the gap between living and non-living matter. Again, and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, I do not believe science has been able to explain how non-living organic compounds can combine to form living organisms.

Since science has explained neither of these things perhaps you could be more specific in your critique.

Also, one can hypothesize to one's heart's content without having to as you say "...prove the existence and function of this "energy", you also need to disprove existing science." Einstein used mathematical metaphors and thought experiments to develop the Special and General Theories of Relativity but never did a lick of work trying to prove or disprove them experimentally. He also did not have to disprove Newtonian Mechanics since he showed how classical mechanics was a special case of his more general theories.
There are scientific theories for how inert compounds come together to form living things, yes. But more to the point, in order to claim that there is an "energy" that does this, one must first explain how what we call life is more than just a complex system of inert compounds. We know what makes blood pump, we know what makes muscles contract, we're even starting to understand how the brain works, so what need have we for this "energy" to explain anything? And what's more, how does one come to understand molecular biology by training aikido?

BTW, Einstein's gravity (which is a curvature of space caused by mass) did disprove and replace Newton's gravity (which is a force).
Please write that sentence down, put it in a sealed bottle and bury it in your back yard. If your still studying Aikido in 25 or 30 years dig it up, reread it and see how you feel about it. ;)

Ron
You've made this argument with me before, and it's hard to read it as anything but a cop-out. If you think I'm wrong, explain why. Simply telling me that I'll understand someday is presumptuous and painfully condescending and says nothing of any substance.

OwlMatt
08-07-2013, 03:31 PM
Always seems to come back to coordinated mind and body.

Ron

This much, at least, I agree with.

RonRagusa
08-07-2013, 04:16 PM
BTW, Einstein's gravity (which is a curvature of space caused by mass) did disprove and replace Newton's gravity (which is a force).

General Relativity did nothing of the sort. In fact Newton's gravity equations are derivable from the equations of General Relativity and NASA routinely uses Newton's equations when calculating mission trajectories. In fact, Newtonian mechanics is perfectly applicable to most material object interactions that do not involve very high energies.

Simply telling me that I'll understand someday is presumptuous and painfully condescending and says nothing of any substance.

Maybe, maybe not. Either way it's still good advice.

Ron

Krystal Locke
08-07-2013, 04:17 PM
Here is another concept for you: anti-intellectualism.

"Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" - Isaac Asimov

This.

The right to have an opinion does not make that opinion right.

RonRagusa
08-07-2013, 04:34 PM
When I formulated my definition of Ki, I based it on the three harmonies model, "mind leads intent, intent leads Ki, Ki leads power", which is one of the bases of how I like to train. I tried, however, to place the definition closer to the realm of physical reality. Since "spiritual energy" is not a defined type of energy nor can we measure its sate, I used "physical energy" (resulting from our tangible body mass), which can be transformed into either mechanical and/or thermal energy, and finally expressed as power (energy/time), the process being initiated by the mind or as some call it "intent" (which follows a desire).

That's the kind of informative post that drives the discussion forward. My own working definition of Ki as a manifestation of a coordinated mind and body employs spirit as a quality I possess which can enhance or retard my ability to integrate mind and body. As such, spirit plays a vital role in my training, but not as a form of energy or a mystical connection to some greater truth. Training employs exercises and waza that are designed to facilitate the smooth unification of mind and body in order to manifest Ki. The fact that theses exercises and waza are built around martial techniques makes the whole experience doubly rewarding.

Ron

OwlMatt
08-07-2013, 09:12 PM
General Relativity did nothing of the sort. In fact Newton's gravity equations are derivable from the equations of General Relativity and NASA routinely uses Newton's equations when calculating mission trajectories. In fact, Newtonian mechanics is perfectly applicable to most material object interactions that do not involve very high energies.
Newton's math is still good, yes, but Einstein showed Newton's understanding of what gravity is to be incomplete.

This is all really beside the point, though. Corky is making some pretty bold scientific claims, and scientific claims require (a) falsifiability and (b) evidence. Without these two things, Corky is essentially just saying, "This is what I believe," and that's not how science works. Corky either needs to get out of the atoms and biology business or start making falsifiable claims that are supported by evidence.
Maybe, maybe not. Either way it's still good advice.

Ron
I repeat: if I'm wrong, please explain how. Your current stance seems to be that after a long time in aikido, people naturally come around to your correct way of thinking, and that therefore you are not burdened with explaining yourself. That's a pretty quick way to kill a conversation. I'm happy to listen, but you're giving me nothing to listen to.

RonRagusa
08-07-2013, 09:48 PM
Newton's math is still good, yes, but Einstein showed Newton's understanding of what gravity is to be incomplete.

These are your words: "BTW, Einstein's gravity (which is a curvature of space caused by mass) did disprove and replace Newton's gravity (which is a force)." (emphasis added)

I repeat, it did neither.

I repeat: if I'm wrong, please explain how. Your current stance seems to be that after a long time in aikido, people naturally come around to your correct way of thinking, and that therefore you are not burdened with explaining yourself. That's a pretty quick way to kill a conversation. I'm happy to listen, but you're giving me nothing to listen to.

Again, your words that I responded to: "I am continually amazed by the number of people for whom it is not enough for aikido to simply be aikido."

Since you have not made a falsifiable statement there's nothing for me to point to as being right or wrong. My current stance, as you so skillfully misinterpret, is that with time and maturity one's views and perceptions are apt to undergo significant alterations. Believe it or not, I don't care, and am certainly under no obligation to explain myself to you.

Please feel free to get the last word in, I'm done with this.

Ron

jonreading
08-08-2013, 08:40 AM
1= DO
0= DO NOT

There is no try.

OMG

jonreading
08-08-2013, 08:55 AM
Seriously,

First, I like the concept of concrete expression of ki. I am more likely to accept a definition of ki if it can be expressed and replicated. The ol' "kokoro" thing does work, even if it is not fancy. I think there is a big difference in application when you go from arm-chair quarterback to being on the field. I respect the people who are putting forth replicable aiki; even more so when they can show it to you in a weekend.

Second, I think when we over-complicate what is going on, it becomes very difficult to express aiki organically. So I find myself bouncing back and forth between relying on "fundamental" aiki, and exploring the wooga-wooga stuff. And, what I once though to be wooga-wooga stuff is now fundamental stuff.

You tell me aikido is polka dots, you have an obligation to show me how its polka dots. You wanna call BS on someone, show up on their door, call BS, and grab their wrist. Their stuff either works or it don't.

Also, as a shameless plug, we are having George Ledyard Sensei in Atlanta Dec. 6-8. I consider George Sensei to be a leader in sharing aiki, explaining it, and empowering students within a seminar to walk away with a better understanding of aiki. He does so much wooga-wooga stuff he needs a grass skirt. He also loves to be called on BS. And unicorns - he loves unicorns.

bkedelen
08-08-2013, 12:10 PM
I know where you are coming from Jon. Particularly in light of the fact that phenomena that are not measurable and repeatable do. not. exist..

Rob Watson
08-08-2013, 12:37 PM
In his 1844 book, Philosophical Fragments (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophical_Fragments), Kierkegaard writes:
Let us call this unknown something: God. It is nothing more than a name we assign to it. The idea of demonstrating that this unknown something (God) exists, could scarcely suggest itself to Reason. For if God does not exist it would of course be impossible to prove it; and if he does exist it would be folly to attempt it. For at the very outset, in beginning my proof, I would have presupposed it, not as doubtful but as certain (a presupposition is never doubtful, for the very reason that it is a presupposition), since otherwise I would not begin, readily understanding that the whole would be impossible if he did not exist. But if when I speak of proving God's existence I mean that I propose to prove that the Unknown, which exists, is God, then I express myself unfortunately. For in that case I do not prove anything, least of all an existence, but merely develop the content of a conception.

Replace god with ki and what have you got?

"Ki" is a container a label a cup that holds our ignorance - empty your cup, indeed.

CorkyQ
08-08-2013, 02:43 PM
When I wrote that my view of Ki was incompatible with your explanation it was because I use Ki in an entirely different context. It's much less sweeping than your Ki as fundamental energy and has nothing to do with Ki as the generator of life from lifelessness.

I understand.

While my blog has many posts regarding my take on Ki, for the sake of brevity I'll just say that for me Ki is manifest via the coordination of mind and body. Spirit is the facilitator of mind/body coordination. When I have coordinated mind and body I enter a state of correct feeling and Ki is noticeably evident.

I believe you

Your physics seems on solid ground with respect to the Standard Model. Your speculation regarding the roles of Ki as being the source of the four known forces and the bestow-er of life is like String Theory, Quantum Gravity or M Theory in that before it can be accepted as scientific "fact" it must undergo experimental verification.

You can, of course, choose to simply accept your view on faith, convinced that it is correct because of your own observations over the past 10 years. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with that. It's your metaphor and (from what I read in Mark Freeman's blog) you have been able to employ it to take your Aikido to another level. Can any of us ask more of our metaphors?

Like all theory from Newton on up, the best we can hope for is a working model. In our human history each theory has been proven to be incomplete or dead wrong eventually, but in the meantime the working model allows us to predict some effects and create technology to implement them.

This is how I look at the postulate I have presented. I am more than open to revisions or contrary evidence. It is through these things our understanding grows.

Your training paradigm sounds interesting. After watching a few of your videos on YouTube, I can see that while our metaphors and methods are different we have goals for our Aikido that are very much in common.

Ron

I think the truth can be told many ways.

Thanks for your consideration.

Corky

CorkyQ
08-08-2013, 03:39 PM
This is all really beside the point, though. Corky is making some pretty bold scientific claims, and scientific claims require (a) falsifiability and (b) evidence. Without these two things, Corky is essentially just saying, "This is what I believe," and that's not how science works. Corky either needs to get out of the atoms and biology business or start making falsifiable claims that are supported by evidence.


You are correct about me making some bold claims, Matthew, but the claims I am making do not contradict any of the current scientific models as far as I can see. All scientific theory starts with observation, then a theory and then a testing of the theory. It should stand up to challenges and predict outcomes. So far in my experience my model has done both.

You bring up some good points about how complex organisms are and how energy is supplied to cells that do involuntary work to keep a being alive who acts voluntarily.

There are rules that apply to the way chemistry interacts with gravity and electromagnetic radiation and those appear to us (become observable) on the gross level. For instance we can speculate how the molecule H2O could act at a million degrees below 0 on a planet the size of Jupiter, but we will never have the true empirical measurements, it will always be speculative.

We are really lucky to be on a planet with such a moderate temperature that water can exist on it in all three forms of matter solid, uncompressable liquid, and compressible gas. We can see that it acts completely differently in regards to gravity (Water tank with water - open the hose at the bottom and all the water qoes away. Fill it with crushed ice and it stays put. As water vapor (without pressure differential), it stays put. You see all of what it does but the fundamental question is always "why."

I propose that the chemical properties of four essential elements that make replicating chains of amino acids just happening to be on the planet in a state ready to form amino acids under the right set of planetary conditions is neither no more or less extraordinary than a quark becoming and disappearing in the creation of a star.

Again, this is a postulate, intended to be a working model. If you would like to challenge it or put it to the test in that regard, it would be appreciated.

Sincerely,

Corky

hughrbeyer
08-08-2013, 08:43 PM
I know where you are coming from Jon. Particularly in light of the fact that phenomena that are not measurable and repeatable do. not. exist..

Love.
Success.
Pride.
Fear.
Courage.
Loyalty.
...

bkedelen
08-09-2013, 08:09 AM
Yes exactly. Each of those is only between the ears.

"So many times we try to find the right emotion. What emotion is going to help you? This is what helps you (raises his fists). Forward motion, getting your legs back, getting up off the bottom, working the whole time. Those are actions. Not one of those was an emotion. Anger, happiness, sad, fear, scared. Not one of those is going to get a judge to mark your name. (raises his fists) This is what marks your name." - Chael Sonnen

phitruong
08-09-2013, 08:39 AM
Love.
Success.
Pride.
Fear.
Courage.
Loyalty.
...

where's donuts and coffee? they don't seem to exist either. you would see them, then they disappeared in a blink of an eye. :)

Marc Abrams
08-09-2013, 09:35 AM
where's donuts and coffee? they don't seem to exist either. you would see them, then they disappeared in a blink of an eye. :)

The police took care of the donuts and coffee.... :D

Marc Abrams

phitruong
08-09-2013, 10:30 AM
The police took care of the donuts and coffee.... :D

Marc Abrams

are you saying that donuts and coffee are criminal elements, i.e. bad ki?

CorkyQ
08-09-2013, 12:08 PM
Yes exactly. Each of those is only between the ears.

"So many times we try to find the right emotion. What emotion is going to help you? This is what helps you (raises his fists). Forward motion, getting your legs back, getting up off the bottom, working the whole time. Those are actions. Not one of those was an emotion. Anger, happiness, sad, fear, scared. Not one of those is going to get a judge to mark your name. (raises his fists) This is what marks your name." - Chael Sonnen

The emotionlessness M. Sonnen is actually describing is defensiveness coupled with a need to connect. Without an expressed need to connect from one person to another there is no point to martial arts. And if getting a judge to "mark your name" is the goal it might be an apt quote. But there is a big difference in purpose and hence in practice if the fundamental goal of the activity is not to overcome aggression but to heal conflict.

All action begins "between the ears, " whether arising from the limbic system or the neocortex but if it stayed between the ears then no action would take place. It is through intention that action occurs (even involuntary action).

If the implication is that Love, Success, Pride, Courage, and Loyalty don't exist because they are not measurable, think again. They are only immeasurable objectively in degree of comparison by instruments, but one can certainly see a difference in quantity of courage between a martial artist who learns sniper marksmanship to stave off an armed attacker from a great distance from one who engages the armed attacker within arms reach with nothing more than compassion and moral conviction. It took the largest army in the world many years to settle the insurgent fighting in Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. In comparison it took Mohandis Gandhi three weeks to end a civil war by refusing to eat while the fighting went on - and that is with only the relatively rudimentary methods of communication in then underdeveloped India in 1922 for the word of the fast to get out, mostly word of mouth (no texting, tweeting or world wide web).

Pain relievers, like many medicines, are tested using patient feedback because there is no definitive ways of measuring pain, as it is subjective. We can see certain brain activity, measure amounts of drug intake in the subject's body, but the real test of efficacy is if people feel better after taking the pain killer. So, is pain non-existant because it is "between the ears?"

As a simple empirical experiment, choose a person you love and for one hour throw out any negative thoughts you have about them and focus on what makes you love them. Choose a different hour, throw out any positive thoughts about the same person and keep reminding yourself of all the things that person does that you hate. Do it in the person's proximity (magnetic forces always work but the effects are more observable when the masses are within a particular field, same with ki), but do not say a word - just keep thinking either acceptance, forgiveness, compassion, respect, love, or disgust, resentment, anger and a feeling of superiority. Really do it, don't just go through an intellectual exercise. See if the person you focus on notices a difference. That would give you a gross measurement of flow of love at least on a gross level of yes or no.

I also have empirical support, affirmed by experienced aikidoka from outside my dojo, that the principles I've described are valid in action, and my entire expression of aikido is nothing more than embodying some form of beneficent intention, turning off the line of the attack and entering - and no set technique. Osensei meant it when he said budo is love.

CorkyQ
08-09-2013, 12:13 PM
where's donuts and coffee? they don't seem to exist either. you would see them, then they disappeared in a blink of an eye. :)

the donuts and coffee have been reduced through a combination of gravity, electromagnetism, strong and weak subatomic forces, and love to their elemental components which are now appearing as stimulants to my animated skin suit, which did all the breaking down without any conscious directives from me...:D

bkedelen
08-09-2013, 12:55 PM
We will just have to agree to disagree.

In my experience action begins by taking action. Sonnen is describing how to succeed at being a professional athlete. Performance psychology, physical excellence, and professionalism are obviously difficult goals requiring years of pain and discipline and are therefore easy to discard in favor of "wishing makes it so" (see Carl Sagan's Demon Haunted World).

This is easily demonstrated.

Go to the dojo and stand in front of uke. Feel whatever you want at uke, at yourself, at your teacher, at god, at the earth. Do it for a while to really let it sink in that feelings in the context of physical culture accomplish nothing more than the conjugation of jack and shit. Then take action, observe, adjust, repeat. The difference will be astonishing.

Hilary
08-09-2013, 02:18 PM
Been sitting on the sidelines for most of this, but at this point I feel the following needs to be said. You can make up all the philosophy/mythology/mental models you want; you don't get to make up the physics you want. This thread now has elements that appear to the lay person, knowledgeable relative to physics. They do not represent the depth or nuance of the actual subject, they are not described in the language of physics (mathematics); they are a layperson's simplification and some statements are downright wrong.

Quantum is the new black; people who have no business using that word, are in fact using it to describe everything from conscienceless to face cream. A doctorate in the right branches of physics allows you to partake in this discussion; years of post doctoral research allows you to propose additions, modifications or other alterations to the science. All of those require replication and peer review to begin to be taken seriously. All else is mental masturbation pulled directly out of one's fundament.

Mental models that describe certain physical sensations and mindsets, that allow people to train and eventually acquire the complex mechanical reality that is expert/master level martial arts, does not require rewriting the fundamental processes that govern the universe. We are not that powerful we are not that important. That we exist at all in our everyday complexity is amazing and requires no magic, neither does randori.

phitruong
08-09-2013, 03:17 PM
Quantum is the new black; people who have no business using that word, are in fact using it to describe everything from conscienceless to face cream. .

what?!!! are you telling me that there is no such thing as quantum face cream? i knew it! that's Heisenberg bugger was a con artist. he told me with absolute certainty that his quantum face cream would dilate time and possibly space to make me look 10 years younger. he was so convincing, especially when his partner in crime, Bohr, chimed in and approved of the product. i bought a couple cases of quantum face cream. damn it! i am going to ebay these stuffs. maybe some of these suckers.... i meant aikido folks might want to buy some. :)

Keith Larman
08-09-2013, 03:20 PM
Been sitting on the sidelines for most of this, but at this point I feel the following needs to be said...

I've written and deleted about 4 messages so far along the path here. Thanks for saying it so much better than I ever could. And in a much nicer way too...

Krystal Locke
08-09-2013, 11:04 PM
I think I love you.

Been sitting on the sidelines for most of this, but at this point I feel the following needs to be said. You can make up all the philosophy/mythology/mental models you want; you don't get to make up the physics you want. This thread now has elements that appear to the lay person, knowledgeable relative to physics. They do not represent the depth or nuance of the actual subject, they are not described in the language of physics (mathematics); they are a layperson's simplification and some statements are downright wrong.

Quantum is the new black; people who have no business using that word, are in fact using it to describe everything from conscienceless to face cream. A doctorate in the right branches of physics allows you to partake in this discussion; years of post doctoral research allows you to propose additions, modifications or other alterations to the science. All of those require replication and peer review to begin to be taken seriously. All else is mental masturbation pulled directly out of one's fundament.

Mental models that describe certain physical sensations and mindsets, that allow people to train and eventually acquire the complex mechanical reality that is expert/master level martial arts, does not require rewriting the fundamental processes that govern the universe. We are not that powerful we are not that important. That we exist at all in our everyday complexity is amazing and requires no magic, neither does randori.

graham christian
08-10-2013, 05:20 PM
Ki is devine. One day science may understand but until then best leave it to the professionals.;)

Peace.G.

hughrbeyer
08-10-2013, 06:37 PM
I don't have a lot of patience for people getting all mystic about ki. No, there's not some mysterious fifth force undiscovered by scientists but available to martial artists.

I also don't have a lot of patience with people claiming that there's nothing to ki and similar imagery. Every athletic endeavor has their imagery which makes no sense logically, but helps the body move the right way for that situation. Weightlifting--the antithesis of internal arts in a lot of ways--certainly has lots.

And I appreciate the Sonnen quote, but five minutes on google would give me plenty of quotes from well-respected fighters talking about the importance of attitude and intent, which are certainly not measurable in the scientific sense. Even our own Keith talking about the OODA loop doesn't fit in that framework.

Perhaps all ki is is a way to use the mind to organize the body to deliver power that isn't dependent on muscular strength. If so, that's an explanation of why it is relevant, not a proof of why it is not.

bkedelen
08-10-2013, 08:19 PM
Perhaps all ki is is a way to use the mind to organize the body to deliver power that isn't dependent on muscular strength.

Again with the pseudoscience. You guys are killing me. The only sources of power to which humans have access (in the absence of some kind of motor) is muscular contraction and planetary gravity. Why oh why can people not differentiate between mythology, skilful means, and reality?

hughrbeyer
08-10-2013, 09:18 PM
I think the voices in your head are keeping you from hearing what I'm saying. Where have I said anything about ki incompatible with considering it method of "skillful means" for martial movement? And saying that you're not depending on muscular strength doesn't mean that you're not using muscles at all.

Go argue with the ki ball people, they're more fun.

CorkyQ
08-10-2013, 10:00 PM
For my part, all I have done is present a model in a very simplified way. The models of quantum mechanics can be expressed relatively simply for a lay perspective, or they can be explained in much greater details based on mathematics, but no matter what, it is still a model - a model in which uncertainty figures heavily from a mathematical perspective.

If you believe a current theory of quantum mechanics, why? Did you replicate the experiments yourself and do all the math? Or are you putting your faith on some scientist you don't even know? If you are, don't you feel llike it may be a little silly to accept a model as fact when every model of physical reality to date has eventually shown itself to be erroneous or incomplete?

I am never surprised when people reject something they've never heard before, even when they will accept theories of others whose math they trust without understanding it (such as anyone who has expressed belief in quantum theory but has not been on the front lines of particle physics research).

According to wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolaus_Copernicus) "About 1532 Copernicus had basically completed his work on the manuscript of De revolutionibus orbium coelestium; but despite urging by his closest friends, he resisted openly publishing his views, not wishing—as he confessed—to risk the scorn "to which he would expose himself on account of the novelty and incomprehensibility of his theses."[53]"

100 years later Galileo was put to trial and convicted for publishing supporting evidence that Copernicus was correct in claiming the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around.

But before you dismiss someone else's theory it might be prudent to have your own theory to explain the phenomena of living organisms which live, grow, and evolve through connective interactions. In terms of ki we have a special problem because the sheer complexity of the expression of life force defies the idea it could be categorized so simply as a force of nature in the same vein as gravity or electromagnetic radiation.

However, that implies that there is something simplistic about the four recognized forces of nature. If any of the four forces were a simple thing they could be described with the ease and precision that one might describe the taxonomy of a cat.

The observable facts of gravity may be simple to explain, as are the qualities that give a specific creature the name ‘cat' but why mass attracts mass defies understanding, as does why 30 million years ago the genetic code of some carnivoramorphan's genes mutated toward cat characteristics and other's toward bears, canines, hyenas, etc., and what would cuase such complex changes in a relatively unchanging environment over the course of the prior 30 million years. If the only four forces of the universe are really just gravity, electromagnetism and strong and weak subatomic forces, which of those or combination of those are responsible for the development of a cat?

Carl Sagan wrote in The Demon-Haunted World:

"Spirit" comes from the Latin word "to breathe." What we breathe is air, which is certainly matter, however thin. Despite usage to the contrary, there is no necessary implication in the word "spiritual" that we are talking of anything other than matter (including the matter of which the brain is made), or anything outside the realm of science. On occasion, I will feel free to use the word. Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or of acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both."

(Non-sequitur: Just for fun, here is a picture from TIME Magazine, October 1980 which featured Carl on the cover and had a picture inside that included me. I spent a year and a half working with and travelling the world with Carl Sagan on the COSMOS series in 1979 and 80.)

1163

The idea of the fusion of spirit with science has been broached by other scientists and is not a new idea. The first comparison of the intuitive understanding of life force and the quantification science provides that I ever read, The Tao of Physics by Fritjof Capra, Ph.D. was published in 1975. A physicist and systems theorist, Capra, who I had the wonderful experience to personally talk with in May 1984 has written a few books on paradigm shifts in science. In the Tao of Physics, published in 43 editions in 23 languages, Capra goes into far greater detail about the then current model of quantum mechanics and how material reality is created through subatomic processes, and that these processes are what constitute matter, not permanently existing subatomic particles.

Hilary, if you want the math and detailed hard science he was coming from, and from which my postulate is based, here is a link to Capra's book in pdf form: http://www.plouffe.fr/simon/math/The%20Tao%20of%20Physics.pdf Please let me know if you find anything in there about quantum mechanics that is inaccurate, doesn't hold up to recent scientific understanding, is based on unreliable studies or is just plain dead wrong, and please back it up with sources like Capra did, particulary if your sources contradict the idea that matter is continually becoming and being destroyed at the subatomic level, a fundamental aspect of my postulate.

Capra writes this in The Tao of Physics: With the concept of the quantum field, modern physics has found an unexpected answer to the old question of whether matter consists of indivisible atoms or of an underlying continuum. The field is a continuum which is present everywhere in space and yet in its particle aspect has a discontinuous, ‘granular' structure. The two apparently contradictory concepts are thus unified and seen to be merely different aspects of the same reality. As always in a relativistic theory, the unification of the two opposite concepts takes place in a dynamic way: the two aspects of matter transform themselves endlessly into one another. "

"The field theories of modern physics have led not only to a new view of subatomic particles but have also decisively modified our notions about the forces between these particles. The field concept was originally linked to the concept of force, and even in quantum field theory it is still associated with the forces between particles. The electromagnetic field, for example, can manifest itself as a ‘free field' in the form of travelling waves/photons, or it can play the role of a field of force between charged particles. In the latter case, the force manifests itself as the exchange of photons between the interacting particles. The electric repulsion between two electrons, for example, is mediated through these photon exchanges.

This new notion of a force may seem difficult to understand, but it becomes much clearer when the process of exchanging a photon is pictured in a space-time diagram. The diagram below (please see source for all diagrams)shows two electrons approaching each other, one of them emitting the photon (denoted by ~4 at the point A, the other one absorbing it at the point B. When the first electron emits the photon it reverses its direction and changes its velocity .(as can be seen from the different direction and inclination of its world line), and so does the second electron when it absorbs the photon. In the end, the two electrons fly apart, having repelled each other through the exchange of the photon. The full interaction between the electrons will involve a series of photon exchanges, and as a result the electrons will appear to deflect one another along smooth curves.

In terms of classical physics, one would say that the electrons exert a repulsive force on one another. This, however, is now seen to be a very imprecise way of describing the situation. Neither of the two electrons ‘feels' a force when they approach each other. All they do is interact with the exchanged photons. The force is nothing but the collective macroscopic effect of these multiple photon exchanges. The concept of force is therefore no longer useful in subatomic physics. It is a classical concept which we associate (even if only subconsciously) with the Newtonian idea of a force being felt over a distance. In the subatomic world there are no such forces, but only interactions between particles, mediated through fields, that is, through other particles. Hence, physicists prefer to speak about interactions, rather than about forces.

According to quantum field theory, all interactions take place through the exchange of particles. In the case of electro- magnetic interactions, the exchanged particles are photons; nucleons, on the other hand, interact through the much stronger nuclear force-or ‘strong interaction'-which manifests itself as the exchange of a new kind of particles called ‘mesons'. There are many different types of mesons which can be exchanged between protons and neutrons. The closer the nucleons are to each other, the more numerous and heavy the mesons they exchange. The interactions between nucleons are thus linked to the properties of the exchanged mesons and these, in turn, interact mutually through the exchange of other particles. For this reason, we shall not be able to understand the nuclear force on a fundamental level without understanding the whole spectrum of subatomic particles.

In quantum field theory, all particle interactions can be pictured in space-time diagrams, and each diagram is associated with a mathematical expression which allows one to calculate the probability for the corresponding process to occur. The exact correspondence between the diagrams and the mathe- matical expressions was established in 1949 by Richard Feynman, since when the diagrams have been known as Feynman diagrams. A crucial feature of the theory is the creation and destruction of particles. (Poster's emphasis) For example, the photon in our diagram is created in the process of emission at point A, and is destroyed when it is absorbed at point B. Such a process can only be conceived in a relativistic theory where particles are not seen as indestructible objects, but rather as dynamic patterns involving a certain amount of energy which can be redistributed when new patterns are formed."

So in a nutshell, what I have postulated could well be integrated into the current, modern scientific viewpoint, if for an objective system of measurements of either ki or its effects. Or it could be proven wrong, but if it is proven wrong then it will require another postulate to take its place. As of now, scientists can scarcely describe, and only as probabilities of potential events, the nature of atomic structure, and then only how the atomic structures act when in the form of chemical elements and compounds. No one has yet tackled the fundamental nature of what makes elements of the earth get up and walk around with purpose. They can describe the chemical and mechanical processes that occur in conjunction but they cannot explain the difference between a living body and a corpse except through function.

For naysayers, please produce an alternate explanation, postulate or theory using any science you choose, to explain how the elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen naturally come together to form amino acids that build into complex organisms capable of consciousness through any number of senses.

And if you study aikido, please refer to the book Aikido, 1958 by K. Ueshiba, under the guidance of Morihei Ueshiba, specifically the section titled "Basic Knowledge," and offer your theory or postulate on what Ueshiba was talking about when he mentions "#4. Stream of Spirit," and "#7. Extention of Power," particulary in regard to the distinction made between "spirit power" and "force power." If you don't believe these things exist, excuse me if I express incomprehensibility that anyone would dedicate himself or herself to any practice in which one believes 20% of the "Basic Knowledge" of the practice to be the Founder's belief in fantasy.

What I have offered as a postulate is a model for the description of life force (ki) that can be applied and observed through the practice of aikido. It is replicable, predicts outcomes, and has so far stood in the face of challenges. As I am personally not interested in models that have flaws, please disprove it or replace it with something better, as to just spout off about how wrong it is does not make one's point of view reflective of truth.

Thanks for the lively discussion!

Corky

CorkyQ
08-10-2013, 10:15 PM
In my experience action begins by taking action.

It must be very interesting operating in a world of involuntary action. Suddenly you are standing in front of the refrigerator without intending to get yourself a beer...

I'm curious as to how you get out of bed in the morning without intending to? How does your car get started without you intending to turning the ignition switch? Once it self starts, does it sense where you want to go? Oh, wait, you don't intend to go anywhere, suddenly you are just going. Are you happy wherever you end up because you never intended to go to a specific place? Someone else in charge of your body? On auto-pilot 24/7?

Interesting conjecture that you can do anything without some intention. Even involuntary actions begin with intention. Please name one human action that does not arise from intention.

CorkyQ
08-10-2013, 10:21 PM
Again with the pseudoscience. You guys are killing me. The only sources of power to which humans have access (in the absence of some kind of motor) is muscular contractions and planetary gravity. Why oh why can people not differentiate between mythology, skilful means, and reality?

Hmm... I had no idea that Adolph Hitler could convince an entire country's populace to elect him and support him in getting rid of Jews and trying to conquer the world merely through his muscle contraction and planetary gravity. And all this time I thought it was the power of his oratorial skills and his skill at propaganda... see - you learn something new every day!

Hilary
08-11-2013, 12:37 AM
Sensei Ellis I thank you for your kind consideration. I now must point out a fact that my poor wife finds tiresome, given she hears it several time a week, for decades, who can blame her. Concerning the name Hilary, one “l” is for boys and two “ll’s” are for girls, and only boys named Hilary know this. Now so do all of you. Cherish this knowledge, hold it close for it is precious.

Hellis
08-11-2013, 01:16 AM
Sensei Ellis I thank you for your kind consideration. I now must point out a fact that my poor wife finds tiresome, given she hears it several time a week, for decades, who can blame her. Concerning the name Hilary, one “l” is for boys and two “ll’s” are for girls, and only boys named Hilary know this. Now so do all of you. Cherish this knowledge, hold it close for it is precious.

My apologies - I actually received a reminder for my annual eye test just this past week, I will now be acting on that. :)

Henry Ellis
Co-author `Positive Aikido`
http://aikido-stories.blogspot.com/

aikilouis
08-11-2013, 10:34 AM
Corky,

Quantum physics is an area of physics, meaning that its research submits to scientific standards in observation, data processing, reasoning and presentation of theory. The fact that people trust quantum physicists without having to reproduce the experiments and the calculations themselves means that they are confident that those people would follow the guidelines of their profession before offering propositions. If one of them was found out not to follow the scientific method, his work would be automatically invalidated.

Copernic and Galileo's trials were not conducted by scientific commitees on the basis of the respect of the scientific method, but by moral and political authorities based on their view of how people SHOULD see the world. Do not insult your contradictors by putting them in the same bag.

You seem to see life as a mystery that cannot be explained without throwing away most of the scientific discoveries of the past two centuries. Well you are wrong. There are still unexplained facts, but basically life as a phenomenon is a property of matter emerging from complex molecular interaction, basically the point where chemistry and biology mix up. No need to summon a fifth fundemental force that particle accelerators could not measure but bare-handed aikidoka could.

I will pass on the cat paragraph because it does not make any sense.

And by the way, being on the same picture as a famous scientist does not make one as knowledgeabe or credible.

Concerning The Tao of Physics, the book makes some parallels between some scientific discoveries and the interpretation of the world by some Eastern traditions. However, those parallels do not constitute a validation of the latter by the former (or vice cersa), because they do not satisfy proper scientific reasoning conditions. You can find them beautiful or interesting, but you cannot go any further. Proving one does not prove the other.

Krystal Locke
08-11-2013, 11:56 AM
Awwww, shit.............

Sensei Ellis I thank you for your kind consideration. I now must point out a fact that my poor wife finds tiresome, given she hears it several time a week, for decades, who can blame her. Concerning the name Hilary, one “l” is for boys and two “ll’s” are for girls, and only boys named Hilary know this. Now so do all of you. Cherish this knowledge, hold it close for it is precious.

jonreading
08-12-2013, 11:24 AM
...Suddenly you are standing in front of the refrigerator without intending to get yourself a beer...


And how is this a bad thing?

I am project-oriented...Part of my job... Everything is a verb. Intent causes action, actions are verbs. I think sometimes we uses examples that are really just exercises of poor grammar. For example, to love someone to death, if love is a verb is ... well... um... I tend to agree that mens rea is not an action, it is a state of being. Emotion for me is more of a description of my state of being. If I raise my hand in anger that is different than raising my fist in defiance, is different than extending my hand in friendship. All three examples are simeple actions of my hand; the state of mind I possess while performing the action is different.

Anyway... I think intent is important to ki. If I remember correctly in Budo Renshu O'Sensei writes about kokoro and the proper union of mind (intent) and body. In this sense, I tend to see "heart" as a willfull disposition; the intention of mind to accomplish a goal, and response of body to act on that intent. To express "heart" is to have both the drive and ability to carry out a task.

When athletes speak about drive, heart, intent, or other motivational factors in their careers, I think they are trying to align their capacity to strive for a goal with a goal. i.e. to have something to fight [for]. I am not sure if it is fair to criticize an athlete for aligning their motivation with a goal that defines success in a sport. In Sonnen's case (as with MMA fighters), a route to victory is to acquire more round points than your competitor.

This past week in Florida, Saotome sensei spend several minutes speaking about the seriousness of budo training. Many of his regular students have heard the speech before, but in the context of my post, I bring it up to illustrate the importance of matching our intention to do something with our ability to do something. Let's just say sensei does not share the same confidence in our ability to defend ourselves as our intention may imply... :) The road to somewhere, I think, is paved with good intentions...

To Benjamin's point... I still think "ki" has more to do with efficient muscular and skeletal structure, leverage, rotation, and subconscious response (from uke). I think to Hugh's point, there are a number of ways in which to habitualize these traits into your movement, one of which in mnemonic devices.

akiy
08-12-2013, 11:45 AM
Hi everyone,

I have deleted a number of posts in this thread which I considered to be disrespectful. If you were one of the authors of any of these posts, please consider this (another) warning.

It seems some people here are putting forth personal insults veiled behind "humor." That's not acceptable here.

Watch your tone, folks. And, please contribute positive substance to the discussions here.

Thank you,

-- Jun

graham christian
08-12-2013, 11:58 AM
When it comes to Ki first a person has to get to grips with it's reality. Until then they are just using other than or trying to convince themselves Ki is something else.

Intent......mmmm.....much link is given to intent and action. I've said before this is only one factor and given far too much importance as a one only thing. There's far more to learn about intent itself than thinking it can be a substitute word for mind.

To understand intent forget mind for it is not of the mind....it is of the spirit. Thus it is to understand what intent does.

One thing it does is to focus the mind.

The other thing it does is direct energy.

Now it is too simplistic to say intention causes action for there are at least three other factors of equal importance when talking action. There is desire, there is purpose and there is decision. All these affect energy and indeed motion.

Then there is the major factor I've not heard anyone go into and that is the factor of type of intention.

Just saying intention without knowing 'which' intention is pretty meaningless really and only makes someone sound good.

So we have here spiritual disciplines which come before mind and body. The correct ones bring about spirit mind and body coordination.

Then there is even more. Then one may realize the type of intention and purpose etc. Ueshiba was telling you about and using and demonstrating, the type of intention. Devine intention. Corky translates it as benificent.......very good. A spiritual connection with devine from which comes Ki.

Peace.G.

Hilary
08-12-2013, 12:09 PM
Since you made me read all that. Don’t confuse faith as an expectation of future outcome based upon previous experience, with dogmatic faith, which by definition can have no proof; it’s faith. I often use the former, but consider the latter to be not only the null hypothesis of rationality but the potential downfall of civilization as we know it; the thing most likely to prevent humanity from reaching the global stewardship phase of civilization. But I digress this is an aikido forum.

Sorry Corkey you don’t get to turn me into uke in this argument, I neither have to defend the scientific method, nor do I have to refute your conflation of sub atomic physics, abiogenesis, the Quackenbush spirituality project, Usheba’s aikido, the derivation of feline existence as an expression of fundamental forces or how hard it is to make a really good soufflé.

My current working definition of Ki is “the skillful expression of capable intent”, your mileage may vary and this is a work in progress, as is life. That we use mental models to define our training methods or provide some form of feedback we can key off of, to develop difficult to describe and complex body kinematics is understandable, acceptable, and fully encouraged. Learning through simple sensitivity exercises and drills that together develop the interlocking aspects of connected body and stability, rather than diagramming the whole shebang and applying Runge-Kutta, yields far better results and does not annoy the pig.

If a personal philosophy, spiritual model or epistemology of enumerating pin dancers gets you through the day, well bully for you. That is the thing about personal philosophies, they are personal. But, when you postulate a personal theory that portends to redefine physics without the math, nor the ability to predict outcomes, then you are stepping into the pool with fierce intellectual big boys who think orders of magnitude above your pay grade (FYI I sure as hell am not in that club either). To wrap your "perfect model" in technical jargon implies you know what you are talking about; in this respect you don’t. I have a degree in physics and I am unambiguously unqualified to make statements such as yours; I am just educated enough to know that.

As to your aikido, I have neither touched your fudotai nor jostled your fudoshin (present endeavors excepted). Maybe these ideas have made you a sublime master of the art, maybe not. If they have improved your art that is great and we expect to see great things from you.

Quantum mechanics is defined in math not “described in greater detail” (serious cart before the horse action here). Go learn to solve the Schrodinger equation and you will have learned the alphabet. With a little work you will soon be utterly flummoxed as is the warp and woof of most human kind, nerds included. You are allowed to jump out of your sandbox, just make sure you are sporting the right equipment to stick the landing.

Hilary
08-12-2013, 12:23 PM
So Krystal is it my sex or marital status that disappoints? I am also closer to 60 than 50 (by only a little, but much to my consternation) if that acts to further damp any enthusiasm.

Krystal Locke
08-12-2013, 06:24 PM
Got a slightly younger sister? Maybe named something like, oh, George or Wallis?

So Krystal is it my sex or marital status that disappoints? I am also closer to 60 than 50 (by only a little, but much to my consternation) if that acts to further damp any enthusiasm.

OwlMatt
08-12-2013, 10:19 PM
Hmm... I had no idea that Adolph Hitler could convince an entire country's populace to elect him and support him in getting rid of Jews and trying to conquer the world merely through his muscle contraction and planetary gravity. And all this time I thought it was the power of his oratorial skills and his skill at propaganda... see - you learn something new every day!
Benjamin is talking about literal power, as were you up until this post. This post, instead, is all about skills (your word, not mine), which you are figuratively approximating with power in a way that is completely irrelevant to the subject of this discussion.

Benjamin's assertion is that the only powers -- that is, scientifically speaking, energy sources for performing work -- to which the human body has access in and of itself are muscle power and gravity. Your sarcastic comment about Hitler's oratory not only fails to disprove this assertion, but fails to address it at all.

bkedelen
08-12-2013, 10:53 PM
At least we got to see Godwin's Law in action.

sakumeikan
08-13-2013, 03:36 AM
Hi everyone,

I have deleted a number of posts in this thread which I considered to be disrespectful. If you were one of the authors of any of these posts, please consider this (another) warning.

It seems some people here are putting forth personal insults veiled behind "humor." That's not acceptable here.

Watch your tone, folks. And, please contribute positive substance to the discussions here.

Thank you,

-- Jun

Dear Jun,
Please enlighten me here.Please tell me the name of anybody I have personally insulted on ANY comment i have made on this forum.Is this my first warning or are you considering sending me a final warning? Hope you arewell, Cheers, Joe.

OwlMatt
08-13-2013, 10:46 AM
I have made no secret of the fact that I am uncomfortable in general with the word ki, because it has no agreed-upon definition and because my impression is that it is generally misused by those who are not fluent speakers of Japanese. But what I am uncomfortable with is neither here nor there; I'm sure there are those who use the word effectively.

What really sets off my nonsense alarm, though, is when people start talking about "ki energy" or "ki power". These people are invariably talking about something invisible, immeasurable, and self-existent which we can manipulate in a non-muscular way to produce measurable effects in the physical world, not unlike the Force in Star Wars. And the scientific truth is that no such thing exists.

phitruong
08-13-2013, 11:50 AM
not unlike the Force in Star Wars. And the scientific truth is that no such thing exists.

qualification: that our current knowledge know of. the knowledge of the universe is currently beyond us. to say that we know everything that is possible and not, is very arrogant. we don't even know enough about our segment of the galaxy, much less the universe. what's impossible here, might be possible elsewhere.

as far as the Force goes, i like the Sith approach much better. the Sith way is to zap you with lightning then send you the electric bill afterward. if you don't get kill by the lightning, then the bill would kill you. :)

bkedelen
08-13-2013, 11:55 AM
To be fair to the "non-muscular" guys, practitioners who have the juice consistently produce results which are asymmetrical to the amount of effort they put into their techniques. Even after seeing and feeling it for years, I am still amazed by just how effective the initiated can be while putting very little energy into the system.

I just like to razz the anti-resistance training and "non-muscular" guys because they are still dependant upon their musculature and gravity for all of their own force/power/work, no matter how deep down the rabbit hole they go. Since you are still dependant upon your musculature, you might as well have one that is high-functioning. A lot of serious health problems loom in the future of those who forego moving around heavy things.

OwlMatt
08-13-2013, 12:11 PM
qualification: that our current knowledge know of. the knowledge of the universe is currently beyond us. to say that we know everything that is possible and not, is very arrogant. we don't even know enough about our segment of the galaxy, much less the universe. what's impossible here, might be possible elsewhere.
Yes, but it's important to remember that in science saying that something could be possible means very little. I can't disprove the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and I haven't been all the way through the universe, so I can't say with certainty that there isn't a Flying Spaghetti Monster somewhere, but until someone provides evidence of its existence, it is sound science to operate under the assumption that there is no such thing.

To be fair to the "non-muscular" guys, practitioners who have the juice consistently produce results which are asymmetrical to the amount of effort they put into their techniques. Even after seeing and feeling it for years, I am still amazed by just how effective the initiated can be while putting very little energy into the system.
Oh, absolutely. But I think the real physics behind that are a lot more interesting than any mysterious "energy" people can make up.

phitruong
08-13-2013, 12:22 PM
Yes, but it's important to remember that in science saying that something could be possible means very little. I can't disprove the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and I haven't been all the way through the universe, so I can't say with certainty that there isn't a Flying Spaghetti Monster somewhere, but until someone provides evidence of its existence, it is sound science to operate under the assumption that there is no such thing.
.

the sound scientific approach is to said "i do not know if it exists or not, based on my current level of understanding", not dismiss it entirely. the foundation of science is to admit we do not know and go about discovering it.

OwlMatt
08-13-2013, 12:38 PM
the sound scientific approach is to said "i do not know if it exists or not, based on my current level of understanding", not dismiss it entirely. the foundation of science is to admit we do not know and go about discovering it.
This is the kind of reasoning I hear from alien hunters, crypto-zoologists, and young-earth creationists. They would all have us believe that something is reasonably viable until it has been completely disproved. It's perfectly reasonable to believe aliens built the pyramids until we have scoured every corner of the universe and proven that there are no aliens. Bigfoot is as likely as not to be real until we have mapped every inch of wilderness on earth. Evolution is "just a theory" on equal footing with "intelligent design" until we can go back in time and document speciation. That's not how science works. Until there is evidence for something, there is no reason to believe it and no need to disprove it.

bkedelen
08-13-2013, 01:01 PM
Actually Phi is exactly correct. One cannot prove a negative, so you have to be willing to accept that anything is possible as long as it is not in violation of things which have already been investigated using an evidence based methodology. No other assumption is logical. For example one could neither be certain of, nor certain of the lack of the existence of aliens. One can be relatively certain that young-earth creationism is bullshit, however, because geology, biology, and many other areas of study have produced absolutely insurmountable evidence contradicting young-earth creationism.

Until there is evidence for something, there is no reason to believe nor evidence not to believe it, and no need to prove it unless you are serious about finding out if your opinions have merit. Like you, I am a fan of Occam's Razor, but I must say that its application can hamper you in the area of martial arts and philosophy. In those areas it is often prescribed to hold your mind open to a wide range of possibilities so that you don't miss something which your preconceptions might have had you label impossible.

OwlMatt
08-13-2013, 01:24 PM
Actually Phi is exactly correct. One cannot prove a negative, so you have to be willing to accept that anything is possible as long as it is not in violation of things which have already been investigated using an evidence based methodology. No other assumption is logical. For example one could neither be certain of, nor certain of the lack of the existence of aliens. One can be relatively certain that young-earth creationism is bullshit, however, because geology, biology, and many other areas of study have produced absolutely insurmountable evidence contradicting young-earth creationism.

Until there is evidence for something, there is no reason to believe nor evidence not to believe it, and no need to prove it unless you are serious about finding out if your opinions have merit. Like you, I am a fan of Occam's Razor, but I must say that its application can hamper you in the area of martial arts and philosophy. In those areas it is often prescribed to hold your mind open to a wide range of possibilities so that you don't miss something which your preconceptions might have had you label impossible.
But we're not talking about martial arts or philosophy. Corky is asserting the existence of a specific force/power/energy which can produce measurable effects in the physical world; he is making a scientific assertion. This is not a subjective artistic or philosophical statement. There is no reason to believe him -- and ample reason not to -- until he provides verifiable scientific evidence for his assertion.

bkedelen
08-13-2013, 01:34 PM
My point is that since his assertion is presented without evidence it CAN be discarded without evidence. It doesn't HAVE to be discarded, however. Every great idea and every failed idea starts out just like this. I'm definitely discarding this one but I will be open to other ideas because I am interested and only require plausibility to take on an idea, not absolute proof.

Mary Eastland
08-13-2013, 03:55 PM
Maybe we should just call it... Ai - - do. :cool:

Krystal Locke
08-13-2013, 05:03 PM
Maybe we should just call it... Ai - - do. :cool:

So, about all this "harmony" nonsense........

:rolleyes:

graham christian
08-13-2013, 06:20 PM
So, about all this "harmony" nonsense........

:rolleyes:

Harmony nonsense? I think harmony recognizes nonsense. It doesn't support nonsense. It cuts through nonsense.

Harmony works with Ki.

Peace.G.

Krystal Locke
08-13-2013, 08:09 PM
Wow. Thanks for that. If I ever take my comedy act on the road, I'll know who to hire as a straight man.....

Harmony nonsense? I think harmony recognizes nonsense. It doesn't support nonsense. It cuts through nonsense.

Harmony works with Ki.

Peace.G.

Hilary
08-13-2013, 09:23 PM
On the proving the negative. Bertrand Russell once wrote “If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion”. This was used for decades in arguments with various theists. A good debate was had by all until a few years ago it was put to rest by Dr. Carolyn Porco imaging team leader of the Cassini Probe, who felt obligated to state the obvious. Every teapot, china or otherwise is circling the sun in an elliptic orbit and once a day it is between the Earth and Mars (I am paraphrasing). Trust a female PhD to know where the teapots are buried.

Keith Larman
08-13-2013, 10:05 PM
On the proving the negative. Bertrand Russell once wrote...

Hey, I used Russell's teapot in another thread similar to this recently. Stealing my perfectly good philosophical debate point... Can't you scientists leave us philosophers with a few good arguments? :)

A good debate was had by all until a few years ago it was put to rest by Dr. Carolyn Porco imaging team leader of the Cassini Probe...

Coincidentally regarding our conversations last weekend, Cassini was (I think) the last major project my dad worked on at JPL before he left to go to Carnegie Melon... Actually I think it was called CRAF-Cassini at the time, but I'm not sure.

Oh, sorry, carry on with the teapots and spaghetti monsters...

On ki... The philosophy dude in me wants to ack that "existence" is a remarkably complex concept in practice. There are "modes" that we do tend to acknowledge such as the existence (in a sense) of the number 2, the idea of love, emotions, etc. Abstractions, explanation, higher order concepts, etc. and on and on. The problem is reification of an abstraction. Once you take an abstract concept but start to treat it as a "thing", as something more concrete, well, you open yourself to all sorts of logical problems. For further reference simply read some of the posts in this very thread.

And what I find astounding is that some seem to feel that saying "ki doesn't exist" as a material thing, as a fundamental particle, or even as anything else relatively familiar somehow detracts from the concept of ki as being valuable, useful, and loaded with useful meaning. It doesn't. Reification can be an ugly thing and it sinks many a philosophical argument. You don't have to make it "something", reify it, to discuss it and for it to have some value on some level or another. Even just as an abstraction of something larger and complex mixing together physical force, mental intent, and even dancing unicorns. Okay, not that last part... Although I am reminded of a video on Planet Unicorn, but that is just way too left field for this conversation...

But please, carry on. The logic guy in me has loved the various straw man arguments to go along with various ontological confusions interspersed with what is at best simplistic technology babble mixed with pseudo-science.

Just to make a plug for those reading this thread scratching their heads, new to all this -- Dr. Goldsbury has written some fantastic articles on history of Aikido available right here on this site. And of course Ellis Amdur's work "Hidden in Plain Sight" (available at Amazon now if I'm not mistaken) deals quite directly with the question of what this stuff is all about, at least in his opinion. And I don't recall reading any quantum physics in either source... And those articles have actual footnotes and stuff. You know, real academic rigor and all that...

Gary David
08-14-2013, 07:18 AM
Hey, I used Russell's teapot in another thread similar to this recently. Stealing my perfectly good philosophical debate point... Can't you scientists leave us philosophers with a few good arguments? :)

But please, carry on. The logic guy in me has loved the various straw man arguments to go along with various ontological confusions interspersed with what is at best simplistic technology babble mixed with pseudo-science.

In the end what does science, logic or philosophical debate matter? You either have something or you don't.....The only way to check is to get with folks you don't know and show it. The other thing is to have a clear understanding of where you are on the path...that takes getting with people you don't know to level set also. Really pretty simple.

Isn't that what you, I, Hillary, and others where doing this past weekend?
Gary

Keith Larman
08-14-2013, 07:59 AM
In the end what does science, logic or philosophical debate matter?
Gary

Yup...

Last weekend I was trying to do something I've been working on, practicing, etc. And got shut down because out of the 20 things to get right I managed to forget about one. So I failed and my partner shut me down unwilling to just let me have it. I smiled, said a bad word, then fixed it and did it again. Now lather, rinse and repeat over and over again. That was the weekend for me. But one time it happened I was reminded of a story about Samuel Johnson answering a question about Berkeley's idealism. Basically Berkeley held that there were no such thing as material objects. When Johnson was asked what he thought of Berkeley, the story goes he kicked nearby large rock and said "Thus I disprove Berkeley." It's easy to make claims but a heck of a lot harder to make it work when the rubber hits the road. Too many people spend way too much time talking in their self-affirming bubble environments rather than getting out with those actually doing and seeing how it works. For the physics discussion those making some claims really ought to bounce those ideas off actual scientists and see how that goes.

Me, I prefer kicking rocks as I form my theories. "Ouch. Okay, something's not right... Let me work on that and see what needs to get fixed." Pretty simple, really. Funny this thread revolves around themes of science. And yet those making scientific claims are doing exactly what the scientific method tries most to avoid. Theories are fine, but you also test them out. The physics stuff here is a huge area of incredibly complex study with a large body of highly intricate and repeatedly verified information to back it up. The same can be done in training -- you just have to be willing to put it on the line and not just with the adoring fans. Make it work and you *might* have something. Might.

hughrbeyer
08-14-2013, 08:18 AM
And what I find astounding is that some seem to feel that saying "ki doesn't exist" as a material thing, as a fundamental particle, or even as anything else relatively familiar somehow detracts from the concept of ki as being valuable, useful, and loaded with useful meaning. It doesn't. Reification can be an ugly thing and it sinks many a philosophical argument. You don't have to make it "something", reify it, to discuss it and for it to have some value on some level or another.

Word. And it's an error both sides fall into--such as people on the ki-mystic side feeling they have to turn it into something concrete (quarks, fifth force) in order for it to have validity. They're playing on their opponents' turf and don't even know it.

Bernd Lehnen
08-14-2013, 09:00 AM
I have made no secret of the fact that I am uncomfortable in general with the word ki, because it has no agreed-upon definition and because my impression is that it is generally misused by those who are not fluent speakers of Japanese. But what I am uncomfortable with is neither here nor there; I'm sure there are those who use the word effectively. ...

And the scientific truth is that no such thing exists.

You should have seen the sort of desperate expression on the face of practically any Asian I have dared to ask how she/he would define KI, be she/he of Chinese, Japanese or any other Asian cultural heritage. More so, when they were well into scientific thinking.

They simply did not use Ki as a defined entity, they had to add at least one other meme to this quite undefined "nonsensical" part, a meme in itself, and only then in this combination it started to take on "definite meaning".

So, looking for definite meaning in Ki as a stand-alone term itself seems to be a typical crazy western people predilection.

Reading through this thread what I found were opinions, if anything.

Best,

Bernd

Hilary
08-14-2013, 10:22 AM
Gary, the only reason the debate matters is that while much of truth is subjective, in certain areas a great deal of human, societal and actual capital has been utilized to further understanding. To clutter that with disinformation, window dressed with jargon, offends my sensibilities and further confuses people. This era of humanity’s adolescence, when it is almost impossible to have an informed opinion about many things without being an actual expert, is unsettling to most people. Creating clutter only make it worse. We have a lot to think about in these days and only so much time to do so, removing noise at the source clarifies things. Back to Ki.

Keith I had to go look up reification thanks for that, certainly a concept we should all get familiar with in this day and age. It is one of the reasons that I tried to stress the acceptance of mental models, they may not be ultimate truth, but they sure can come in handy. In another thread on another site I had to throw a free body diagram at the readers because people were talking vectors, and they were wrong. I used them to define the stability testing problem not how to sit seiza and be stable; just deconstructed the simplified incoming force into its appropriate components. Define the problem first then solve it.

After that I was asked to explain another somewhat more complicated stability exercise with physics. To which I had to reply, to what end? Some simple discussion of the video in question sufficed to illuminate the major points without resorting to diagrams and matrices. Another said we should remove all the mumbo jumbo from the art. I replied that the mumbo jumbo was pretty well embedding the pedagogy, and provided useful mental models as well as feedback for all the little drills that together form the skill set that is connected and stable body. Sensation, while inexact and easily fooled is one of our best methods for training the body

The concept/feeling of shooting ki out your unbendable arm certainly is a better signal to train off of, and provides better results that just explaining that you are altering the direction of forces in the uke and nage interaction. I do both, ki sensation to train the body, force explanation to satisfy the mind. Similarly this weekend, the sensation of pushing out in all six directions while pulling silk was certainly easier to attain and wrap your head around than trying to exhaustively define the body tensegrity state. It is certainly more useful training feedback. As you guys know this stuff is hard to do correctly, let alone consistently, without thought and under real world conditions; there is always 1 of 20 to forget.

Stubbing one’s toe make for an excellent lesson with a high degree of retention. The key to “having something” is finding the right tools and information to solve the problem and then doing the work. These problems have been solved by many with only Bronze Age technology/knowledge modern thinking should help us understand more fully what is occurring, but doesn’t decrease the work required. Gary, Keith I’d like to think we did some work and moved a little closer both here and this weekend on the mat.

graham christian
08-14-2013, 10:26 AM
You should have seen the sort of desperate expression on the face of practically any Asian I have dared to ask how she/he would define KI, be she/he of Chinese, Japanese or any other Asian cultural heritage. More so, when they were well into scientific thinking.

They simply did not use Ki as a defined entity, they had to add at least one other meme to this quite undefined "nonsensical" part, a meme in itself, and only then in this combination it started to take on "definite meaning".

So, looking for definite meaning in Ki as a stand-alone term itself seems to be a typical crazy western people predilection.

Reading through this thread what I found were opinions, if anything.

Best,

Bernd

Don't know who you were talking to, I find it more western to think Ki isn't used independently. I was with a Japanese friend in his shop when one of his employees was grumbling and complaining. He just called him over and said"Today you bad Ki.....go home!"

They probably don't mention Ki or 'pretend' they don't use it as such when talking to those they can see from experience will not have a clue what they are talking about.

I don't go around using the word when talking to most but if they enter the dojo......ah, my world....standard.

Peace.G.

bkedelen
08-14-2013, 11:02 AM
It is one of the reasons that I tried to stress the acceptance of mental models, they may not be ultimate truth, but they sure can come in handy.

This is the very definition of skilful means. It is fine (essential!) to play with body coordination, visualization, and mental models which are not strictly true in an attempt to produce results which are outside the bounds of your partner's expectations, or even outside the bounds of your own expectation. As long as you are bounded by your own expectation you are guaranteed to produce only mundane results.

Within that context, science is useful only in so far as it allows us to avoid branches in the path that are distinctly identifiable as red herrings such as magic, undiscovered fundamental forces, homeopathy, etc..

That is why science consistently fails to produce results in the area of human physical development. It cannot answer the questions we have within our lifetimes, and therefore we must go forth and empiricize, armed with a curious mind and a calibrated bullshit-meter.

"The world’s most successful athletes and coaches rely on exercise science the way deer hunters rely on the accordion." - Greg Glassman

Hilary
08-14-2013, 11:58 AM
Hold on there Ben! Never underestimate the power of a good accordion!

phitruong
08-14-2013, 01:32 PM
Hold on there Ben! Never underestimate the power of a good accordion!

please don't! because if you push for accordion, then i would have to counter it with bagpipes and it would be ugly, especially when one of us will have to wear short tartan mini-skirt in commando style. :eek:

Janet Rosen
08-14-2013, 02:44 PM
please don't! because if you push for accordion, then i would have to counter it with bagpipes and it would be ugly, especially when one of us will have to wear short tartan mini-skirt in commando style. :eek:

Well, it's all accordion to who you ask...Seersucker plaid mini-hakama for summer wear in hot climates....then you won't be able to tell the Serious Martial Artist (TM) from a golfer....another fashion idea down the tubes. Back to the ki wars.

OwlMatt
08-14-2013, 11:03 PM
I think the ki war has pretty much been put to rest, at least within the boundaries of the scope of this thread. Ki is not a force, a power, or an energy. Those are things which are observable (in the scientific sense of the word) and quantifiable. Ki cannot be observed (again, in the scientific sense of the word) and cannot be quantified, therefore it is not a force, a power, or an energy. What's more, the list of forces, powers, and energies available to the human body is pretty well established.

No one in this thread is arguing against visualization, mental models, mind/body coordination, etc. and no one in this thread is trying to strike the word ki from the aikido lexicon (though I confess I never use the word myself, except in conversations like this).

Hilary
08-15-2013, 04:44 PM
Janet's atrocious puns (madam we shall mete out pun-ishment the bloody plains of another thread) and then Matt's succinct wrap up, were the perfect bow with which to tie up all the loose ends of this arduous thread. The quintessential period, the natural end of file, end of the freaking line. For someone who purports to be so in tune with the universe your aesthetics and timing embody all the grace of a one legged Radio City Music Hall Rockette...with gout.

Rob Watson
08-15-2013, 05:09 PM
Wait, all this time I thought it was "spirit of loving projection" ... no wonder ... ouch.

Janet Rosen
08-15-2013, 09:57 PM
Janet's atrocious puns (madam we shall mete out pun-ishment the bloody plains of another thread) and then Matt's succinct wrap up, were the perfect bow with which to tie up all the loose ends of this arduous thread. The quintessential period, the natural end of file, end of the freaking line. For someone who purports to be so in tune with the universe your aesthetics and timing embody all the grace of a one legged Radio City Music Hall Rockette...with gout.

Hilary, be warned.....my aikido sucks....but I defer to nobody on rapidfire extemporaneous punning on virtually any topic....:D

Krystal Locke
08-15-2013, 10:10 PM
She's lying about her aikido, but not about her mad punning skills.

Hilary, be warned.....my aikido sucks....but I defer to nobody on rapidfire extemporaneous punning on virtually any topic....:D

Janet Rosen
08-16-2013, 01:09 AM
Aw shucks...thank you

akiy
08-16-2013, 09:50 AM
Thread closed. Discussion going nowhere fast. (Many posts deleted.)

-- Jun