Thread: Ki is Kindness.
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:11 PM   #65
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,199
Re: Ki is Kindness.

Carina Reinhardt wrote: View Post
Sorry I'didn't see your answer in the 2 page.
Did you see that


In essence, the character ki means:
spirit, mind, soul, heart
* intention
* bent, interest
* mood, feeling
* temper, disposition, nature
* care, attention

So it also can mean kindness..
Carina, honestly, I think that's a bit of a stretch. I really do. The function of words is to communicate. That doesn't mean that they must have a singular meaning (most words probably have more than one meaning, or at least different shades of meaning), or that they must always be unambiguous. But when we twist a word around and try to make it fit any situation we want, just because we like something about the word and its associations (or what we believe its associations to be), it becomes so distorted that it's no longer useful for communication. You stretched the above list of definitions to get "ki" to mean "kindness"; with no more of a stretch, I can get it to mean "anger". Is this useful?

To use a similar example: the word "zen" refers to a school of Buddhism and its practices. Admittedly a large house, it is nevertheless a specific spiritual tradition -- that's what the word "zen" means. In the United States, however, the word is commonly misused in popular culture as a general catchphrase for many different things that have nothing at all to do with this tradition. The label "zen" is variously used to mean simplicity in design, or intense concentration, or tranquility, or a way to decorate your house, or anything vaguely Oriental. Everything from hair salons to marketing companies describe their product as "Zen" or "Zen-like". It has this aura of cool, of mysticism and esotericism, of knowing more than you do and (because of said mysticism and esotericism) being forever absolved from having to actually explain what you know. If you claim the "zen" label, you can forever deflect calls for explanation with a pitying smile: poor unenlightened mortal bound to the wheel, still chained to your need for explanations. Give up the need for explanations! Some things you can only feel.

Substitute the word "zen" with the word "ki" in the paragraph above, and honestly, I think that's the direction you're heading. I don't think it's a direction that leads to understanding, only more muddying of the waters.
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