Dojo: aikido of morgantown
Join Date: Jun 2005
Re: what does religion say about ki?
i've been thinking about this thread quite a bit since last night. i study comparative religions, and so this kidna stuff tends to be right up my alley.
my own research indicates the following connection:
ki = chi/qi = shakti.
these four notions are at their conceptual roots basically identical. each culture, of course, puts their own mythological/archtypal/symbolic glosses on the ideas. for example in india: shakti is also the name of a goddess who is the female concort and object of worship for the god shiva. for shivites, shiva is to be understood as the root deity (i.e. "one god", the source) of which all other deities are manifestations of on some level. shakti is the female/creative energy of the divine source (the indian way of understanding the holy spirit). conceptually this is often described as the One seperates into the male / female pair shiva and shakti, which represent much the same notion as yang and yin (yo and in in japanese).
this can be further elaborated by using the tao te ching. in section 42 we have
tao becomes one
one becomes two
two become three
three create the 10,000 things.
this can probably be understood in a multitude of ways. but the usual understanding is the tao (which, remember, is ultimately beyond words) becomes "one" (that, which in the first section of the book is described as nameable, and as "the mother"). this divides into, or indicates, two: yin and yang. this in turn becomes, or indicates, three. these three are often understood as yin, yang and chi (see the middle of chapter one). or: male energy, female energy, and the creative unifying energy.
in osensei's spiritual teachings we run into some of the same notions. the source gives birth to the one word ("su") which creates fire and water (fire and water [ka and mi -- kami] being another way of describing in and yo). all of which animates and is animated by ki.
(quick side note for the curious: ki is often made analogous to the indian concept of prana. but strictly speaking, prana comes down to breath, and the practice of prana gives of access to shakti. so prana would be better understood as relating to kokyu, as the practice of kokyu is what enables us to have access to ki.)
how all of this relates to christianity is not too difficult to see.
tao = source = father
mother = su = son / word (another way of conceptualizing "word" is "sophia", keeping in mind that the old testiment often refers to the word as feminine)
chi = ki = holy spirit
this, of course, only functions on a fundamental level, as a way of understanding how various cultures have described their experiences of these aspects of whatever you wish to call it. each culture then, quite naturally, begins to build upon these concepts various cultural glosses. and from these we get the perceived, and often practically necessary, differences between faiths.
in response to the person who asked something to the effect of whether or not ki can make people speak in tongues. it depends on your understanding of this phenomena. the gifts of the holy spirit described in acts bears strikingly incredible similarities to the descriptions of the fruits of enlightenment thru ki study as described in the eastern mystical traditions. and the preceeding descritptions in acts also look quite a bit like descriptions of enlightenment in said faiths.
however, in other faiths, while you often find people in the throws of divine ecstacy speaking, shouting, etc. in various languages, most often this lasting gift is understood as the ability to suddenly speak a language. this would seem to be so for the apostles as well, since this mostly illiterate crew then went out to spead the gospel in the languages they apparently could not speak before.
as to measuring ki: look into the study of the zero-point field in physics. this field was discovered decades ago, but study of it only recently began. some interesting aspects of it: it does not appear to be physical (in the sense of the electro-magnetic field) or non-physical, but instead seems to exist at the "zero point" (hence the name) where these distictions do not yet exist; it is in everything, quite literally, down to the smallest partical we've found yet; it appears to exist outside of the space-time continuum; it seems to be the seat of conciousness, and in this way has reinvigorated the study of what was once called parapsychology at places like harvard and cambridge, etc. be careful of the sources you find tho. this idea has been latched onto by many a new age folk, creating both positive and negative speculations and research, but also watering down the field (no pun intended) a bit. there is a book called the field by lynn mctaggart, which is pretty good, tho she is a reporter around issues of alternative health, and so her book is understandably coloured by her interests. however, the science she reports is impeccable, and thru her book you'll find the ways to do further research via scientific channels if that's your bent.
so that's some of my observations, via my field of study, on matters of ki.
sorry this post is soooooo long...