Re: what does religion say about ki?
I don't know, I don't want to sound ornery, but, ah... This is obviously a thread about ki, so if you're not interested in talking about ki, there are other threads... And if ki is a "fundamentally nonverbal experience," isn't everything? Words describe what we experience- experience is there without words, right? Whether I think "I am typing right now" as I type, or not, I'm still doing the same thing. everything is nonverbal at one level, but why we're "here"/posting is to be verbal. just talking about ikkyo won't in itself make your ikkyo better, but it might give you some insight that'll improve your training. I think this applies to ki, too. But that's just me, maybe for lots of others, talking about ki doesn't serve any purpose.
I think all that ki/energy stuff is really cool and interesting, and is probably the main reason I got into martial arts in the first place. There are lots of other reasons I've continued, but it remains fascinating to me.
Here's the thing- the point I was trying to make, and maybe this didn't come out clearly, is that talk about energy DOESN'T have to be "metaphysical", or religious, etc. Ki can often seem magical when a really good martial artist or healer uses it well, but I think this is just because most people (or maybe just most Westerners) aren't aware of ki in everyday life. It's there all the time, and it's a natural part of life (otherwise what is it? not real? some magic power that only works on the mat?). As far as its religious nature goes, I think most really religious people will say that every part of their life is religious- not just being in church, temple, whatever, but talking to neighbors, watering plants, and so forth. As ki is just another part of life, how ki fits into religion depends on whether you are religious, or how religious you are. Once you can feel ki to some degree, you know it's real (as real anything else you experience consistently). From there, it's up to a person to fit it into their beliefs, whether totally atheist/scientific, or devoutly religious.