Re: what does religion say about ki?
I don't think I've ever seen a topic take followers of Aikido so far away from Aikido. Before I begin, I won't push anyone to believe or follow what I do, nor will I fight with anyone over their beliefs.
Ki or Chi, the "translation" of this concept in to English as a word means energy or power. I find it difficult to use these words to explain the concept of this force. I understand Ki as the "energy" all around us. I believe this is the "energy" in us, around us, in all things and connecting all things. There is positive Ki and negative Ki (good and bad Ki if you will).
Religion is a set of beliefs. Whatever the religion may be, each delivers it's followers things to believe in and ways or ideas to live by, usually rules to better live in harmony with the world and our fellow man (but then again, so does Aikido).
I believe that the two can be placed hand in hand in just about any religion. As a Christian couldn't the force sometimes called "Ki" actually be the presence or spirit of Christ I feel all around me and through me. I believe that both the concepts of religion and Ki require faith. You can practice religion and go to the places of worship and never believe because you've never "felt" your God or Spirits. I also believe you can practice cultivating you Ki and train to use positive Ki, but you will not gain the concept untill you have "felt" it. Both are things you can explain, but neither are things that can be taught. As for religion and Ki, I ask "What does your religion say about the energy, power, or forces around us?".
It is my oppinion that harvesting positive (good) Ki and harvesting positive relations with the world around us (from a religious perspective) are similar in nature. Both require us to take a look at who we are and how we do things and strive for a better relation with everything. Boiled down to crude fundamentals, I believe this is the basis of our Aikido as well.
Aikido has had a dramatically positive influence on my life and has helped me to better understand, or at least look deeper in to many aspects including religion. Again these are just my views and opinions, stripped down to keep it simple as they may be. Thank you for taking the time to read them.