Re: Poll: Is "ki" as used in aikido a metaphor for you?
Sensei Seiser covered it, but I'll blab anyway:
Staying out of the philosophical discussion of what can be known by humans, ki is something I can feel. It is common for people to tell me I can not feel it, because they can not. So, I don't talk about this ability too often.
On the other hand, I've heard that the Japanese use Ki as a catchall concept 'to avoid affirming tautologies', meaning keeping discussions simple.
I had occasion to have a nerve deadened by medical procedure due to a bad injury. The MD asked how my body felt. I described sensations in terms of 'chi', even though I have some medical training - because I am comfortable using that concept, and am neither a neurosurgeon, nor a pain management specialist. He rolled his eyes a little, then listened anyway. Ultimately we understood each other.