"ki is not equivalent to "life force" or "vital energy" etc.
a rock has ki."
I've read descriptions of chi (Chinese for ki) that talk about the chi of objects. If you read about Feng Shui they talk about this. Who'd've guessed that you'd read about decorating in an Aikido forum?
I'm confusing myself trying to elaborate on this. Could be I'm WAY off (esp. as far as animate objects are concerned). Kironin- if you don't mind, could you elaborate? If ki is not vital energy, what is it (what kind of energy or thing)?
Personally, I think it's really key
to base talk about ki on actual experience. I don't know about reincarnation, but I do know that I feel great after most Aikido classes, and that I feel interesting things when I work with really good Aikidoka- that's ki (at least in part). You can believe in ki, but then what's that based on? Like people have said ki can be part of a spiritual view, but it doesn't have to be. Right now, it seems like ki must be part of the big picture, but I don't want to jump to any conclusions- I'm not sure what part. At the same time, ki is very natural/normal. I tell this to skeptical friends sometimes. Dr. Yang Jwing Ming, famous Chinese martial artist, writes about laughter as expelling energy- this makes sense, right? Think about how it feels to hold yourself back from laughing, that rush of energy in your torso. I guess my long-winded point is that ki/chi/whatever is a natural everyday thing, whether it fits into a spiritual/religious framework or not.