IMO, some very good perspectives on how to view it and learn to know it better - I will try to incorporate aspects of your approach in my continuous pursuit of this stuff.
Thanks, Greg. I'm exhillarated and refresehed. I'm not even seriously worried about how to apply this in martial context. It's just so amazing to realize very directly that I have a whole other level of myself that I just lost touch with. As if I had more of a grasp of it earlier--no. I just read a lot of what Tohei and Ueshiba said and I believed it and tried to understand and use it.
But it was as an individual trying to get something that was not part of himself.
Now it's the recognition that it's a part of me like my heart is part of me. Now I'm feeling with this newly-recognized sense organ that does so much more than just sense things....
With my wife, for instance, I suddenly realized that trying to connect with her through discussing the various public and private issues and responsibilites we shared was not doing it. When I just shifted my attention to feeling her ki with my ki, there was an immediate change and without my having said or done anything unusual, it seemed that she felt a lot more comfortable and relaxed. Because I was feeling the union of ourselves instead of being a "self" trying to discuss some issue with another "self". And my son was suddenly much calmer and better behaved last night, as well. I think they both felt this level of connection that removed any doubts or underlying anxieties they might have.
Now, as Mike said, seeing the whole picture is difficult. Realizing that you have fascia is one thing, but realizing that the fascia carries the ki and that the ki (your own ki) is already circulating through the body via the fascia causes a lot of the things already said about fascia to become clear. The fascia affects the ki and the ki affects the fascia. They're meant to work together with the mind and the bones/muscles/nerves/organs to make a complete person.
Also, some more recognitions about the fascia or "the suit".
1. Don't crease the suit!
if you use Mike's balloon analogy, you can bend the suit, but when you crease it, it seriously weakens the value and also constricts the flow of the ki. So you want to keep the suit soft, open and not creased.
2. I think the suit responds very differently to ki than to anything else.
So if you try to electrify fascial tissue to make it contract, you're missing the point. You can chemicalize it, electrify it or do whatever you want to study it, but it won't give the same kind of results at fascia energized by the ki.
And a bunch of other stuff.
I started aikido in 2/74 but didn't stick with it. When I came back some months later, I saw a guy who was there the first night I attended. I asked him, "Have you found your ki yet?"
For years after that, that question seemed stupid.
But now my feeling is that, almost 40 years later, I have
found my ki.
Now, as to martial arts, I think we all understand now that the "universal" ki and the way we would use ki in martial arts are not quite the same thing. The martial arts require refinement and development of the ki. So this first step I've taken is not a declaration that now I can fajing King Kong. Using this for martial arts is still going to take a lot of development.
But I'm still psyched!
Best to all.