Mike Sigman wrote:
Just as a side note, I'm not sure you'd want to lump the "eight brocade exercises/warmups" in with the rest of your discussion, Ron. What a lot of westerners call the "Eight Pieces of Brocade" is really more accurately called the "Eight Strands of Silk" and silk is a metaphor for the fascia and tendons that I keep referring to in the breathing and movement exercises of "qi/ki". In other words, that particular qigong is a full-blown, very complicated exercise routine that involves movement with intent, deliberate breathing, focusing of pressure, etc., in a series that covers the whole body and all the meridians. It shouldn't be confused with some "spinal" or "waki" exercise.
The above exchange is illustrative of the problems of communication in this medium that reduce me to alternately making what may seem to be purposely cryptic comments or remarks that may seem utterly obtuse and off-point.
I don't disagree with your "should" or "shouldn't." I don't think that Ron is making the conflation that you caution against. I know I didn't conflate the two when Ron and I were working together.
At the time, it was just a specific technical point at a specific place in application of a specific technique, expressed in terms that would be understood by the person I was working with.
But it becomes very easy to conflate a couple of different pointers --which are only that -- and build up a (mis)impression of the systems from which the pointers might have been taken and the relationships between them.
Which leaves me sympathetic with your concern that they not be inappropriately conflated, capable of stating authoritatively that no such conflation was intended at the time, skeptical of any assertion that such a conflation was made by Ron at the time, and even so, seeing clearly how somebody reading the Ron's account at second or third hand might quite naturally make the conflation in the absence of the original context.
Similarly, I can tell somebody to "watch out for that falling safe" without being able to claim a detailed understanding of and ability to explain gravity without extensive study of either Newton or Einstein's mathematics.
Especially with the proprietary languages seeming to be valued more than what they communicate.
As Richard Brautigan put it in the title of one of his books, at that point, we might as well be "Shoveling Mercury with a Pitchfork."
But FWIW, if I had to do my language and culture studies over again, I'd start with the Chinese, not the Japanese.