Thread: Metaphors
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Old 01-12-2011, 08:49 AM   #11
David Orange
Dojo: Aozora Dojo
Location: Birmingham, AL
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1,511
Re: Metaphors

Nicholas Eschenbruch wrote: View Post
Especially in relation to the experience of the body, I would tend to think myself that metaphor is irreducible. (Recently it was pointed out to me that a lot of body metaphors are apparently the result of synaesthesia, which again would be a facinating, different line of inquiry).

I can accept synaestesia in this context. I was in a bit of a hot argument recently when someone attributed Ueshiba's performance to brain damage and his "visions" to synaesthesia.

But I was considering synaesthesia (which I believe we Yanks spell synesthesia) recently in the context of distinguishing ki from mind. I think what's happened in the West is that we believe that mind comprises all unseeable and unmeasurable qualities of the human body. You can't see the nerve impulses, but you can measure them. You can image what you can't open physically while the body lives. But anything you can't see or measure, such as thoughts or the movement of ki, is classified as "mental" activity. My "breakthrough" was in recognizing that mistake first. Just as all "mental" activity is not "calculation," all invisible human vitality is not necessarily "mental". It is because ki clings so closely to mind that we have never been able to distinguish it.

If I have a contribution to science greater than the filing of papers and the proper addressing of e-mails, it would be to stimulate a new context of consideration of ki so that neurologists and psychologists, psychiatrists and general practitioners would have a rational way of relating to it.

And I think that non-metaphorical context would be that "mind" has been over-identified to include non-mental functions of the body. In other words, take all the known functions of the body and re-classify which are the result of "mental" powers and which are the result of another kind of agent that works almost inseparably with the mind to operate some functions independently and other functions at the suggestion of the mind. In other words, convince science to conceive that the "eye" of the mind looks through a lens—and that this lens is what the Japanese call ki and the Chinese call qi.

As to synaesthesia, well, we're "looking" at an invisible idea through the "eye" of the mind, which has so far failed to recognize that it is "seeing" through a lens.

I made the comparison of trying to smell with the eyes or see with the nose. Of course, these things are actually the opposite of synaesthesia--confounding of one sense for another. And the activity and reality of ki has been overlooked by science because science has so far confounded the actions and effects of ki with those of the mind, so they have failed to see this fine distinction, that the ki is really more physical than mind....

So that's the big hike I'm now undertaking. I want science to recognize that this marginal transitional quality between mind and body does exist and that it bears tremendous import for every medical and social science.

Now, if we can understand all the factors involved and use the ki in the right relation to the mind and the body, I think we can experience a sort of blending of the senses of the mind and the ki into an awareness much broader than current "thinking" allows.

Best to you and all and again, especially to Mike Sigman for so much delineation of structure, function, intent and awareness over the years.


"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"
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