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Old 11-09-2007, 08:39 AM   #51
Budd
 
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

Maybe the discussion is pointing out the difference between an "invisible energy" that can mean anything to anybody vs. the trained useage of gravity, the solidity of the ground and mind-directed forces utilizing the spine, tendons and connective tissue (as well as other additives).

Either way, I imagine anyone that talks about how they use "ki", "jin" and/or "kokyu" -- should be able to demonstrate what they mean in a way that can be "felt" by someone that doesn't necessarily do the same things or even believe in them.

But, yeah, anyone can talk about how they do certain things, I always figure you have to feel it to know for sure
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Old 11-09-2007, 10:03 AM   #52
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

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Budd Yuhasz wrote: View Post
Maybe the discussion is pointing out the difference between an "invisible energy" that can mean anything to anybody vs. the trained useage of gravity, the solidity of the ground and mind-directed forces utilizing the spine, tendons and connective tissue (as well as other additives).
Sorry, unsure what you mean by "trained usage of gravity". But, as I said, the only thing that ails me is ki being referred to as if it was something physical (as opposed to metaphor). The "mind-directed forces utilizing the spine, tendons and connective tissue" is fine, so long as we're talking about detectable, electrical nerve impulses.

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But, yeah, anyone can talk about how they do certain things, I always figure you have to feel it to know for sure
I'll drink to that!
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Old 11-09-2007, 10:32 AM   #53
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

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The "mind-directed forces utilizing the spine, tendons and connective tissue" is fine, so long as we're talking about detectable, electrical nerve impulses.
Not sure how they're objectively measured from a transactional standpoint, but you could call it "wringing wet spaghetti from uncooked pasta" if you wanted, as long as the measurable results are there and can be taught
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Old 11-09-2007, 10:45 AM   #54
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

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Sorry, unsure what you mean by "trained usage of gravity". But, as I said, the only thing that ails me is ki being referred to as if it was something physical (as opposed to metaphor). The "mind-directed forces utilizing the spine, tendons and connective tissue" is fine, so long as we're talking about detectable, electrical nerve impulses.
Ki is not a metaphor. It is a physical understanding of actual hard-biting reality. It is an empiric concept developed by the Chinese to describe observed phenomenon, but it is a synthetic, not analytic, factor. When reductionist science talks about things that have synthetic reality across defined forms of interaction, we speak of "conservation." Ki is not force, because force is not a conserved quantity. Energy and mass are conserved and polar quantities in Western physics. Ki is (in western terms) closer to a synthetic composite of them, and the closest analog I have yet found is the western idea of angular momentum, considered as a primary quantity of operation, as it is in operation everywhere from Planck scales to the furthest reaches of the universe (seems that O Sensei said that, actually) .

The mind (as it perceives energy and mass) is not outside (as in the west) but inside the conceptual operation of Ki. That makes interactions of perception important. Some choose to call that mystical, but this aspect of Ki is, in actuality simply a an empiric recognition of the composite body/mind interaction as Ki is also the composite energy/mass interaction. The "observer effect" found at the most fundamental levels of reality is fully anticipated in Chinese thought on Ki. The concept of Ki merely extends that principle to other scales -- recognizing that all things interact (thus are "aware" to some degree) to alter (to some degree) what is around and interacting with them, and does not assume that these interactions are all linear and proportional (which in fact we now know is the exception rather than the rule in any system of arbitrarily large order).

Ki also does not assume that all such interactions are strictly local. The most common example of that is the decomposition of a seemingly arbitary critical current path between two remote charged masses into a lighting bolt or spark. at that moment the two masses of charge are physically interactin (exchanging electrons). This occurs at a very poorly understood and chaotic threshold, before which the two masses of charge are not in interaction except through fields, and so the threshold has to be triggered non-locally through the field.

That does not make Ki less"real" or in any way mystical, it is just an empirical understanding of the universe that is in some ways alien to the assumptions of Western reductionist science. They can be reconciled meaningfully.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 11-09-2007 at 10:59 AM.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 11-10-2007, 03:54 AM   #55
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

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Ki is (in western terms) closer to a synthetic composite of them, and the closest analog I have yet found is the western idea of angular momentum, considered as a primary quantity of operation, as it is in operation everywhere from Planck scales to the furthest reaches of the universe (seems that O Sensei said that, actually) .
One of the interesting analogies I found for ki has more to do with potential energy ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potential_energy ). It has corrolaries at different levels :
1- Intent can be considered as the storage of energy by shifting the mental point of equilibrium of the individual from a balanced stance (shizentai or kamae) to another at a different place, after having used energy on another individual and on one's own movement and you drive a car and positioning. Energy of intent transforms into the body's movement, which translates into an alteration of the partner's structure (atemi, throw, lock or pin).
2- Inside the body, increasing potential energy means working on the body's unity, eliminating the useless tensions (sources of energy waste) and keeping clear paths of energy transmission (from the centre of gravity to the extremities).
3a- The body as a system only works in relation to its environment, so improving awareness, perception and decision making have immediate effects on how potential energy is used, very much the same way your foot gets ready to pump the brake pedal when approach a crossing. Nothing has moved yet, but the potential is there.
3b- The body's connection with the ground and how it deals with gravity probably has something to do with what O Sensei called the ki of the earth. Now I'm interested in what he referred to as ki of heaven.

All these ideas are of course open for criticism, they are nothing but hypotheses, but I'd like your opinions on the chief idea, potential energy being one of the multiple meanings of ki.

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Old 11-10-2007, 09:28 AM   #56
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

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Ki is not a metaphor. It is a physical understanding of actual hard-biting reality. It is an empiric concept developed by the Chinese to describe observed phenomenon, but it is a synthetic, not analytic, factor. When reductionist science talks about things that have synthetic reality across defined forms of interaction, we speak of "conservation." Ki is not force, because force is not a conserved quantity. Energy and mass are conserved and polar quantities in Western physics. Ki is (in western terms) closer to a synthetic composite of them, and the closest analog I have yet found is the western idea of angular momentum, considered as a primary quantity of operation, as it is in operation everywhere from Planck scales to the furthest reaches of the universe (seems that O Sensei said that, actually) .

The mind (as it perceives energy and mass) is not outside (as in the west) but inside the conceptual operation of Ki. That makes interactions of perception important. Some choose to call that mystical, but this aspect of Ki is, in actuality simply a an empiric recognition of the composite body/mind interaction as Ki is also the composite energy/mass interaction. The "observer effect" found at the most fundamental levels of reality is fully anticipated in Chinese thought on Ki. The concept of Ki merely extends that principle to other scales -- recognizing that all things interact (thus are "aware" to some degree) to alter (to some degree) what is around and interacting with them, and does not assume that these interactions are all linear and proportional (which in fact we now know is the exception rather than the rule in any system of arbitrarily large order).

Ki also does not assume that all such interactions are strictly local. The most common example of that is the decomposition of a seemingly arbitary critical current path between two remote charged masses into a lighting bolt or spark. at that moment the two masses of charge are physically interactin (exchanging electrons). This occurs at a very poorly understood and chaotic threshold, before which the two masses of charge are not in interaction except through fields, and so the threshold has to be triggered non-locally through the field.

That does not make Ki less"real" or in any way mystical, it is just an empirical understanding of the universe that is in some ways alien to the assumptions of Western reductionist science. They can be reconciled meaningfully.
A very interesting post and a very interesting opinion, but we must agree on a number of principles of what "ki" is proposed to be:
  • An existing physical/metaphysical energy
  • A force that can manipulated, manifested or controlled through thought
  • A force that can have a physical affect upon an individual that manipulates it
If you'll agree with those three assertions, then we can move forward.

Ki, under those terms, does not exist. The fact remains that its effects cannot be studied and empirically tested, whether or not you or anyone else believes in it. If its effects could be recorded in such a manner, it would change this world incredibly; people would be learning how to use it everywhere you went! Special Forces operatives, army and navy personell, policemen, bodyguards and bouncers, etc, would all be training in how to use it - it'd revolutionise the training of all people that work in environments where physical restraint, or even combat, is a likelihood - but this isn't the case and it never will be.

The fact remains that almost the entire scientific community does not believe it to have any credibility outside the area of metaphor - this is simply because its effects cannot be properly observed and recorded, and, thus, there is no reason to believe in its existence - there is no reason to believe in something that cannot be verified through means of sound theory or experiment. Any logical, thinking individual would come to the same conclusion.

Peace.
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Old 11-10-2007, 09:50 AM   #57
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

I couldnt agree more with Matt, and although not a scientist myself its obvious that the recreation of 'ki' effects is essential to them being made fact.

I would like to share with you a little story. I started Aikido, with no clue (still in the same place.. nearly) believing what an instructor told me as gosble (if you believe in that sort of thing). As we grow we begin to question. When questioned I would receive a very... limited answer or a stern look much like I would get from my father when I questioned why is was my responsibility to take out the rubbish. I began to train with individuals of a similar grade to myself (comparable in skill and passion), when I was training with them my belief in my skills were shaken... violently.

The belief that thought can manifest great powers of jedi proportions is simply not reality. As I found to my regret. I remember being told my yondans that ki people could always train ata higher level than the 'others'. Sadly I couldnt even move these others and I'd like to believe that I trained hard for 4 years. By no means mastery, but then I was training with those of a similar ability.

If I may drag this back to budo. In Katori Shinto Ryu they believe in the use of 'spells' and the protection of deities. In D Skoss's books an author (cant remember the name just now) describes how these metaphysical and spiritual ideas aided the Bushi in putting them in the 'zone'... understandable seeing as what they had to do. But to say that an obes such and such a dan has great powers over the strong and fit is just a false sense of security.

Aikido without purpose is a dance for fools.

Regards,

Heiho wa heiho nari - Otake Risuke
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Old 11-10-2007, 11:08 AM   #58
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

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One of the interesting analogies I found for ki has more to do with potential energy ...I'd like your opinions on the chief idea, potential energy being one of the multiple meanings of ki.
I think it has problems. The first is the level of abstraction. The power of Western thought is in its abstractive faculty That is what makes ever closer analysis possible. Chinese thought is much more concrete, holistic and relational. "Force" is a level of abstraction above what Ki is dealing with.

Second, potential energy is for forces that are conservative (not path dependent) once they do actual work. Disregarding the path means that one disregards differing interim interactions that MUST occur in the real world on different paths (i.e. -- less than"ideal"), which Chinese thought would never disregard.

On the other hand, energy in potential and energy of work as a pairing of a unitary whole in terms of Ki are not far off the mark. What is missing is the problem of mass, inertia, and entropy -- which may be understood relativistically as energy lost to the reshaping of space by moving that mass. The quality of mass is

Angular momentum transfer can deal with all of this in terms that fit traditional understandings of ki applied to various interactions considered "different" in western terms. Even heat is vibration, and heat transferred into an object is an increase in the vibrational angular momentum of its constituent atoms. Friction similarly is the transfer of angular momentum increasing in surface vibration of atoms disturbed by the passage of another object within the range of Van der Waals and electroweak forces. Chemical potential energy is quite literally tightly compressed springs of molecular bonds ready to increase their oscillation wildly upon release (explosion of heat).

I'll try to address your specific points.

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1- Intent can be considered as the storage of energy by shifting the mental point of equilibrium of the individual from a balanced stance (shizentai or kamae) to another at a different place, after having used energy on another individual and on one's own movement and you drive a car and positioning. Energy of intent transforms into the body's movement, which translates into an alteration of the partner's structure (atemi, throw, lock or pin).
Clearly, intent is part of the understanding of Ki. however, intent is only active is it is received by an entity that is "aware" of that intent. Whitehead in "Process and Reality" tries to avoid the vitalism unnecessarily implied by terminology of "awareness" or "perception" by adopting an otherwise long disused word without those connotations: "prehend."

One can analogize that differing bodies of charge prehend or are "aware" of one another because of the field that develops between them. Clearly this is an electric potential. This only occurs because they are attuned by their charge to perceive or "prehend" one another via the field.

Neutral objects are neither perceived by objects forming the field, nor perceive the objects via the field, but if the field does work (saying spinning a dynamo magnetically or collapsing in a current they can still be affected by the work of the objects forming the field, while unaffected by the field itself. But unless the objects move in the field, the system does no actual work. Since an understanding of Ki would properly address the neutral as well as the charged objects ( although somewhat differently) the neutral objects do not form part of the potential and therefore potential energy is not apt as a mapping of ki in this example.

Conversely, the particular kind of oscillations of a electron, in western understanding form a negative "charge," while the kind of oscillation in protons form positive "charge." Both are defined in terms of angular momentum of oscillation. At absolute zero all particle vibrations cease, and all charge and potential ceases (apart form the zero-point vacuum energy). Ki with its inherent plus/minus quality remains proper as an understanding at this level, the offsetting plus/minus burbling of the vacuum can never be stilled, but it has zero potential since there is no lower energy level.

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Ludwig Neveu wrote: View Post
2- Inside the body, increasing potential energy means working on the body's unity, eliminating the useless tensions (sources of energy waste) and keeping clear paths of energy transmission (from the centre of gravity to the extremities).
I am not clear on how this relates to potential energy. It seems more of an observation on minimizing entropy.

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Ludwig Neveu wrote: View Post
3a- The body as a system only works in relation to its environment, so improving awareness, perception and decision making have immediate effects on how potential energy is used, very much the same way your foot gets ready to pump the brake pedal when approach a crossing. Nothing has moved yet, but the potential is there.
I think my points above on "awareness" or "prehension" address this.

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3b- The body's connection with the ground and how it deals with gravity probably has something to do with what O Sensei called the ki of the earth. Now I'm interested in what he referred to as ki of heaven.
If understood in terms of angular momentum, motion assumes a phase relationship that is easily understood in these terms, attractive or repulsive in operation. It is easily altered from one to the other at the scales in which aikido operates, and can have its "spooky" bits in the manipulation of turning limbs and bodies by off-axis conservation in precession. Even straight "linear" motion has angular momentum with regard to an off-axis point of observation, and therefore may be understood in these terms, since ki is an inherently relational concept.

Things like dropping the 6 guys holding the DTR demonstrator up off the ground (video in earlier post) are done using this principle (and you can see it if you know what you are looking for). He shifts his mass laterally with an oscillation, that takes him off their base to support it and they all topple over. The action is not "like" a dolphin kick to swim in water -- it IS that motion -- with the same effect, he moves laterally, and they fall down, because they cannot hold themselves up, much less him.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
一隻狗可久里馬房但他也不是馬的.
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Old 11-10-2007, 11:36 AM   #59
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

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A very interesting post and a very interesting opinion, but we must agree on a number of principles of what "ki" is proposed to be:
  • An existing physical/metaphysical energy
  • A force that can manipulated, manifested or controlled through thought
  • A force that can have a physical affect upon an individual that manipulates it
If you'll agree with those three assertions, then we can move forward.

Ki, under those terms, does not exist. ... The fact remains that almost the entire scientific community does not believe it to have any credibility outside the area of metaphor - this is simply because its effects cannot be properly observed and recorded, ...
Ki is not other than what can be observed and recorded, It is a different way of understanding what may be observed and recorded. It simply addresses those phenomena as the operation of one thing, vice conventions of treating different sorts interactions as different "things." Understanding in the convention of Ki is not different than selecting a convention of physical analysis for convenience. Maxwell's equations were framed on Maxwells understanding of a "sea of molecular vorticity." It just so happens that the traditional descriptions of the operation of ki map very closely onto the same physical concept of angular momentum that applies to vorticity, waves, spin, gyrodynamics and other forms of fundamentally cyclic motion/alteration across all scales of reality we know of at this time, as a singular quantity at every one of those scales of operation.

The operation of mind in this traditional system is simply an acknowledgment that aware beings affect and are affected by the transfers of motion going on all around them, whether through photons, or other physical vibrations communicating motion. Since Physics has had to wrestle with the fundamental nature of the observer problem (and to strictly police observer- bias issues in experimental efforts), the convention of Ki is not in worse shape for the systematic inclusion of the mind in its system, rather than trying to systematically exclude it.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 11-10-2007, 02:39 PM   #60
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

If your idea of ki is "a different way of understanding what may be observed and recorded", then I think we're fumbling over definition, but I think that does make the term fall into the territory of metaphor.

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It just so happens that the traditional descriptions of the operation of ki map very closely onto the same physical concept of angular momentum that applies to vorticity, waves, spin, gyrodynamics and other forms of fundamentally cyclic motion/alteration across all scales of reality we know of at this time, as a singular quantity at every one of those scales of operation.
The "traditional descriptions of the operation of ki" to which you refer may well be similar to the physical concept of angular momentum, but that doesn't mean ki exists - in order for something's existence to have any credibility, it needs to be observed. Any observable effects (that doesn't include things like floating, because that plainly doesn't happen) attributed to ki can be explained by other means without the need for inventing some far-fetched theory involving mystical energies that tie the universe together. We are living in the 21st century now - we can do without believing in things without sound reason to do so; we can do without deities, superstitions and ki.

Peace.
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Old 11-10-2007, 05:14 PM   #61
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

Er . . . I think it's good to maybe look at the difference of people that explain KI as meaning everything and anything, versus people that use it functionally . . . and then go see what they are actually doing.

Last edited by Budd : 11-10-2007 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 11-10-2007, 08:58 PM   #62
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

Hello everyone, Hi Paul, if you guys have a minute see my website at http://www.onlyoneexists.ws

It is my opinion that we westerners especially put to much of a fantasy upon ki (energy). Since we have a limited understanding as to why the easterners describe ki in such ways. For instance ki is also considered a feeling and a mood in eastern tongue. We westerners are seeing to much into star wars and into x-men like powers and not into the reality of energy itself. The entire body is compressed energy, thought is energy, movement is energy, and as far as this action in aikido, so is attention and intention energy.

I dont want to sound like a mister know it all because I dont, as the chinese say, "there is always a higher mountain".

I really posted this reply because I really admire sincere martial artist, I was raised around the martial arts and took a few classes, my old man was a 7th degree black belt or higher I dont know because he died before showing me his other certificates in ishinryu karate and I've studied many forms. My dad was alot like me, he wanted to experience the truth of his art and not just be a puppet doing forms and not realizing the secret the original masters found. It wasn't until a few years ago that my studies concerning ki and the like transformed. I think Peter Ralston (www.chenghsin.com) had alot to do with that and also I just never had a deep down good feeling about accepting a gospel truth that I personally had not experienced. This leads me in saying that ki is real, but it will never be real to the person who seeks a fantasy, first you must be real. Oh I'm sorry Paul your question concerning the bigger person lifting you up is easy to understand. Babies are always heavy and hard to lift when they don't want to be picked up, and why? The baby naturally has strong (ki) but don't fantasize ki, see what it is, I like to describe it more as attention and intention rather as to an "invisible glow or force". Though it is force, it is force just the same as the force you are using to read these words. The master has a conscious awareness of that force, this is the difference from pupil to master among other things. Back to what I was saying, techniques and trying to do as the teachers says is good, but better is the ability and experience of self discovery and personal unfolding, when one reaches the experience and not just the hearsay, ki becomes real and known and felt. I remember the first time I experienced this energy I was awed and overwhelmed, and any one who really have experienced it will tell you the same in simular, because it is a heightened awareness of something more and beyond normal perception, in fact ki actually causes that experience. It's like experiencing pure energy, and we are energy! Do you get it, it is you! Remember O Sensei saying he was the universe, that is real and true, but most of his students never EXPERIENCED that and most students and teachers today do not know of it beyond an intellectual comprehension. Please see my simple website and email me for any questions, I am here to help and training and helping others sharpens me as well so we would both benefit, "no one is really greater than the other we are all just children." Let us learn and discover together, I would like to correspond with anyone who really wants to know the true nature of ki!

http://www.onlyoneexists.ws

Thanks so much for reading,
CJ
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Old 11-10-2007, 09:48 PM   #63
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

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If your idea of ki is "a different way of understanding what may be observed and recorded", then I think we're fumbling over definition, but I think that does make the term fall into the territory of metaphor.
The "traditional descriptions of the operation of ki" to which you refer may well be similar to the physical concept of angular momentum, but that doesn't mean ki exists - in order for something's existence to have any credibility, it needs to be observed. [
Gravity is a fictitious force, which is to say it is a consequence of the property of mass shaping space, and not a "force" mediated by quantized particles. Bloody useful though, to imagine as if it were one.
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Any observable effects (that doesn't include things like floating, because that plainly doesn't happen) attributed to ki can be explained by other means without the need for inventing some far-fetched theory involving mystical energies that tie the universe together. We are living in the 21st century now - we can do without believing in things without sound reason to do so; we can do without deities, superstitions and ki.
sigh. You sound more dogmatic than a Dominican cardinal. For all the triumphs of reductionist physics it has limits, hard ones. Heisenberg's not least among them. Angular momentum did not have a satisfactory definition in general relativity until 2001! There is truth that a system can posit but cannot prove or extend. It is necessary, to exceed those limits, to use a meta-system. Observer problems are among those. Incorporating mind in a systemic way is necessary to address those problems. Problem is physics is fundamentally premised on matter unmediated by mind (even though it is only observant minds that reveal physics.) A puzzlement.

We in the West do not have a monopoly on observation. For all of our analytic mastery, there are some things analysis cannot give you. It is the height of foolishness to disregard the coherent empirical observations of one of the greatest civilizations on the planet, merely because they organized and applied those observations in something other than our rubric.

The task is to make those observations available to our rubric of observation by close study and critical comparison and test them accordingly. Dismissing them out of hand is both parochial and unscientific.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:30 AM   #64
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

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We in the West do not have a monopoly on observation. For all of our analytic mastery, there are some things analysis cannot give you. It is the height of foolishness to disregard the coherent empirical observations of one of the greatest civilizations on the planet, merely because they organized and applied those observations in something other than our rubric.
Wow, Erick, I am very surprised to say this, but I agree with you 100%

Well said, sir
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Old 11-12-2007, 04:32 PM   #65
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

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Gravity is a fictitious force, which is to say it is a consequence of the property of mass shaping space, and not a "force" mediated by quantized particles. Bloody useful though, to imagine as if it were one.
Gravity is hardly a fictitious force. Granted, it depends how one defines "force", but to me, a force is an influence that can cause a body to accelerate. Just a couple of quotes on the subject from a couple of quick sources:
  • "[gravity is] the force of attraction between all masses in the universe; especially the attraction of the earth's mass for bodies near its surface" Princeton's Wordnet
  • "'gravity' specifically refers to a force which all massive objects (objects with mass) are theorized to exert on each other to cause gravitation." Wikipedia
So unless you're saying that we're held on this planet by other means than gravity (ki, perhaps) then I don't know where you were trying to go with that.

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
Angular momentum did not have a satisfactory definition in general relativity until 2001! There is truth that a system can posit but cannot prove or extend. It is necessary, to exceed those limits, to use a meta-system. Observer problems are among those. Incorporating mind in a systemic way is necessary to address those problems. Problem is physics is fundamentally premised on matter unmediated by mind (even though it is only observant minds that reveal physics.) A puzzlement.
Hold on one moment - let's get down the core of what you're saying here. You're trying to compare angular momentum with ki, but they're completely different. One is a supposed esoteric energy that can be controlled by the mind and the other is a well-documented phenomenon that stands on top of tested mathematical formulae.

"Observer problems" are inherent in things that don't exist. There's no good evidence for ki's existence; all real effects attributed to ki can also be attributed to things that already have groundings in science - both physics and psychology - and very often it will make much more sense to do so, rather than conveniently attributing these things to mystical energies.

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
We in the West do not have a monopoly on observation. For all of our analytic mastery, there are some things analysis cannot give you. It is the height of foolishness to disregard the coherent empirical observations of one of the greatest civilizations on the planet, merely because they organized and applied those observations in something other than our rubric.
It's not disregarding coherent empirical observations; they're not coherent or empirical at all. Chinese practices like acupuncture have been around for hundreds of years, and they have a huge basis in theory about qi flowing down meridians and such, but at the end of the day, it's still placebo. There's no reason to believe that qi or ki energy is flowing through people - no reason at all. Sure, back when acupuncture was starting out, the theory could only be based on the scientific information available at the time, but now it's people making jumps in order to reinforce that which they already believe. We have a much deeper understanding of the human body now than cultures of times gone by, but many people seem to get left behind.

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
The task is to make those observations available to our rubric of observation by close study and critical comparison and test them accordingly. Dismissing them out of hand is both parochial and unscientific.
Of course it is, you're right, but it's not that anyone's dismissing it through lack of thought - it's that these theories are being dismissed because they don't have a solid grounding that fits in with what we already know. People have come up with some truly wild theories over the years, but only the ones that can be tested again and again whilst yielding the same results can ever have a hope of being universally accepted as science.
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Old 11-12-2007, 05:53 PM   #66
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

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Matthew Bowen wrote: View Post
Gravity is hardly a fictitious force.
You may want to consult Dr. Einstein on that one. Proving that gravity was a fictitious force caused by the warping of spacetime by incident mass was the underlayment of general relativity and the equivalence of time with space. If space is considered as a field grid, mass warps it so that near a defined mass the shape of space changes and grid lines are farther apart than where mass is not. The effect is that the same spatial grid is traversed in the same time, but because the shape of space is skewed the nearer one gets to a mass, velocity apparently increases. Einstein's point is that gravity is an effect of 3d perception of a 4d reality. The same is seen in 2d projections of 3d phenomena -- the orbit of a planet at constant velocity viewed edge-on in 2d seems to undergo differential acceleration and deceleration when its angular velocity is in fact nearly constant when viewed from a perspective that is 90 degrees out of the orbital plane.

All that aside, MY POINT was that first approximation conventions have uses even when they are premised on a misunderstanding of some fundamentals that do not substantially affect the scale of observation. Having said that, physics is reductionist in its nature of operation, seeking to isolate a unitary cause of a unitary effect among many effects and possible causes. The Chinese system of understanding of which qi/ki is a part is also a description of physical reality, but holistic, seeking to describe the operation of a unitary cause flowing through multiple patterns of possible cause and effect.

It cannot be said at this time that the one is wrong and the other a convention of convenience, properly understood. In fact, it seems that as reductionist physics continues its enterprise it brings us progressively closer and closer to diverse circumstances in the operation of an ever-reducing number of fundamental causes, and which, in the limit, appears to be = 1. They are more akin than they are different. In the one case physics assumed multiplicity and has ended up refining its way toward unity. The Chinese system assumed unity and has haltingly worked it way toward describing the multiplicity of occasions of that unity in operation.
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Matthew Bowen wrote: View Post
Hold on one moment - let's get down the core of what you're saying here. You're trying to compare angular momentum with ki, but they're completely different. One is a supposed esoteric energy that can be controlled by the mind and the other is a well-documented phenomenon that stands on top of tested mathematical formulae.
If you believe that is what qi/ki is -- then you do not understand how the Chinese understand the concept. It is an empiric basis for noting observation. Move past the woo-woo sales brochures and look at how the three fundamentals yi 易, qi 氣 and li 理 actually are used to describe things. If you grasp this, then consider the way in which zero-point energy is described as the minimal energy state of the universe. (i.e. -- that below which no lower energy state is possible). Between the extremities of a black hole or vacuum energy (a sea of incessant oscillations of 0/+1/-1), are nodes of concentration of various collections of +1 and -1 in variously well-defined patterns in dimensions of scale running the spectrum between, but with a fundamental similarity and operation across all those scales.

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Matthew Bowen wrote: View Post
"Observer problems" are inherent in things that don't exist. There's no good evidence for ki's existence; all real effects attributed to ki can also be attributed to things that already have groundings in science ...
Observer problems are inherent in anything that has observers. As Bishop Berkeley once pointed out, it was not a trivial problem, and since confirming Bell's Theorem it has proven to be a hard-biting one.

Mind is the observer. Physics does not have means to incorporate the operation of mind into its system. It keeps running up against hard boundaries defined by it, both proximate and remote, and yet also cannot seem to find a way to do away with its naughty and scandalous effects.

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Matthew Bowen wrote: View Post
It's not disregarding coherent empirical observations; they're not coherent or empirical at all. Chinese practices like acupuncture have been around for hundreds of years, and they have a huge basis in theory about qi flowing down meridians and such, but at the end of the day, it's still placebo.
What was it again that causes the placebo effect (ie. -- a real effect)? -- I may have missed it. Though maybe I actually just mentioned it. Of course if it is not real, then we have no need to guard against it in making our physical observations, then do we? But if it is real and we have not accounted for it, how can we say that we are describing the reality in operation IN OUR OWN EXPERIMENTS?
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Matthew Bowen wrote: View Post
Of course it is, you're right, but it's not that anyone's dismissing it through lack of thought - it's that these theories are being dismissed because they don't have a solid grounding that fits in with what we already know.
Let me give you the basic epistemological equation:

[what I already know] + [what I already know] = 0

If you are intent on only ever knowing things in terms you already know you will never learn anything.

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Matthew Bowen wrote: View Post
... but only the ones that can be tested again and again whilst yielding the same results can ever have a hope of being universally accepted as science.
Of course, the Chinese system does not follow the scientific method of observation. That is the point, there is a method to any scheme of observation. You only find what the method is set up to seek. If there are things it is not finding but cannot be disregarded in its operation, you need a different method of observation to suplement the one you have. Because they are different the one cannot be judge of the validity of the other, until you have established common terms of correspondence, and there are limits even then, especially when the topic under consideration is one the other system cannot get its hands on.

The scientific method is not the only system of coherent empiric observation. As good as it is and for all its glories, there are admitted and profound limits to its powers of observation -- which science itself has confessed from empiric observations. To say that other systems of observation have NOTHING to say to supply the lack is called hubris.
The Chinese learned that lesson the hard way -- but we seem intent on forgetting it.

For those other observations to have explanatory power in scientific terms requires first that they be understood in their own terms. Only then can principles of operation can be mapped to see what correspondences exist. I have suggested a few here. Then one may begin to attempt translating observations and conclusions from those observations into the other system.

Last edited by Erick Mead : 11-12-2007 at 05:58 PM.

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Erick Mead
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Old 11-12-2007, 06:44 PM   #67
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

In the midst of this discussion, I think it's worth pointing out that I disagree in the description of "ki" as an esoteric mind-directed force. I believe it is a very physically trained mind-directed force. And that in order to train it, you have to learn how from people that explicitly know how to do it and can teach it.
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:31 AM   #68
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

Is ki necessarily linked to the mind ? Can an inanimate object (in motion or not) have ki ?

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Old 11-13-2007, 04:02 AM   #69
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

Eric, I cannot be anything other than laudetory over your arguments about Ki. They are always internally consistent, address a wide breadth of subjects and theories and you have an obvious knowlege of the "classical" sciences. But, and you knew there had to be one, the major problem I have with treating ki as something which is external is the lack of consistent reproducibility of the effects of ki under even the most simple of experimental conditions, such as blind test etc.

Now I'd be the first to applaud and agree when you say that science does not answer all questions. In fact any scientist who claims it does isn't a scientist, they're actually just another fan-boy cultist. However, I have great difficulty in assessing a phenomena whose definition is often as slippery as a greased eel and whose effects seem to be dependant on the hierachy of the parties involved on a par with more prosaic scientific measures. Your example of gravity, while useful, was a case in point. The theory concerning gravity was severly tested and only accepted when it consistently explained the observed facts, I've yet to see this consistency in any facet of what is termed Ki.

Having said that, I'm now going to happily shoot myself in the foot. A researcher with a passionate hatred of homeopathic medicine (one which I share I might add) did their best to disprove the effects of homeopathy using standard drug-trials. Unfortunately for us both, it did perform better than could be accounted for by the placebo effect, so yes stranger things etc.

So, I'm still happy to hold a reasonably open mind (depite myself), but you can't ever really disprove something fully and as the burden of proof normally resides in those who make the claim I'm going to stick with my more prosaic visualisations until I get hit by the true ki blast.
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:47 AM   #70
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

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Erick Mead wrote: View Post
You may want to consult Dr. Einstein on that one. Proving that gravity was a fictitious force caused by the warping of spacetime by incident mass was the underlayment of general relativity and the equivalence of time with space. If space is considered as a field grid, mass warps it so that near a defined mass the shape of space changes and grid lines are farther apart than where mass is not. The effect is that the same spatial grid is traversed in the same time, but because the shape of space is skewed the nearer one gets to a mass, velocity apparently increases. Einstein's point is that gravity is an effect of 3d perception of a 4d reality. The same is seen in 2d projections of 3d phenomena -- the orbit of a planet at constant velocity viewed edge-on in 2d seems to undergo differential acceleration and deceleration when its angular velocity is in fact nearly constant when viewed from a perspective that is 90 degrees out of the orbital plane.
Blah blah blah... blah blah... blah.

Blah.

Blah.

Blah blah blah blah bla'la'la;'la blah. Blah.

Dude, quoting relativity isn't going to lend heightened importance on what you think Ki is or isn't. I have a buddy that thinks quoting relativity makes him smart. It only proves he's read a Steven Hawking book once, and gotten only what a layman would from it.

It sounds to me like you DESPERATELY want Ki to be real, tangible, and eventually measurable. And you quote science to do it.

Here's some examples of other "scientists" who DESPERATELY want things they believe to be real.

1) In knowing light was a wave, and knowing waves can't travel in vacuum, scientists who DESPERATELY wanted light to be a wave created the Ether. the ether was a substance that was both infinitely dense, and had no density, all at the same time. Infinite density allowed Light to travel so very fast. No density allowed the planets to travel through the solar system without coming to a stop because the Ether was too dense to move through.

2) Global warming fruitcakes want DESPERATELY to think that we are the cause of many climatic woes on the planet. Nevermind that this isn't the first "hot cycle" the planet has seen, by far, and that historically, greater solar activity coincided with hot cycles. We are seeing a time of greater solar activity now, in fact, and sure enough, we see a bit hotter climate. Don't believe that, because Al Gore told you not to? NASA has been tracking the temperature on Mars for some 50 years now. It's getting hotter there, too. Instead, we create a Religion based on Green, where you can atone for your sins by offering a tithe in the way of Carbon Offsets.

The whole point is, we make models based on physical realities. Our models aren't always right, and we improve upon them. BUT... taking things, essences, phenomenon, feeling that we can't quite explain yet, and assigning them mystical properties such as KI is akin to witchcraft.

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Old 11-13-2007, 11:59 AM   #71
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

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Ludwig Neveu wrote: View Post
Is ki necessarily linked to the mind ? Can an inanimate object (in motion or not) have ki ?
Good questions. First, let me address Ian's, however.
Quote:
ian Hurst wrote:
... the major problem I have with treating ki as something which is external is the lack of consistent reproducibility of the effects of ki under even the most simple of experimental conditions, such as blind test etc.
Your counterexample indicating placebo and superplacebo effects is a case in point, Ki/Qi is not a thing any more than "energy" or "force" is a thing. It is a concpet used to organize the observations f reality. As such its power of observation lies its explanatory power, NOT necessarily in its predicitve power. Why? (you very reasonably ask). Quite simply because while prediction is, quite rightly the heart of the scientific paradigm and its explanatory power, there are things that paradigm has revealed to us that are not only beyond our present powers of prediction on known evidence, but are beyond the very nature of things that prediction functions to observe. Planck scale operations are beyond the realm of predictive observation, and we know this BECAUSE of predictive observations. At grosser scales but for related reasons, complex non-linear processes are too.

To a great extent, our physical understanding of discrete "things" and predictive histories is being fundamentally broken down across the board by physics already, much to the discomfort of many people. That does not mean we abandon science, it means we work to thoroughly understand other ways of thinking about matters of similar depth and seriousness of observation. That may open doors that are now closed to the tools of science. Once inside we may find a window to open that science can fit through. There may not be any, but there might be also. Of course, right now it is impossible to see unless we first find a tool to get in the door.

Now as to qi/ki and animate versus inanimate objects and mind.
The proper process of altering the quantity and quality of qi 氣 ( an images of wisps of steam curling in on one another), is yi 易"change, or exchange" ( an image of pouring water from a container). Yi is not a linear process of change, which is to say, one thing always follows another but, for example, the forty-fifth order change is not trivially reversible to the fourth order change in its history.

The characteristically complex but deterministic form of the continued operation of this process is called li 理 ("inner principle") which is also uses for the grain of wood, an image of lines of flow and periodic alteration. Phase transitions and fractal shapes are characteristic aspects of li.

A rock has qi. Fire has qi. Water has qi. Men have qi. Each have their characteristic li which is the form or shape of the operaiton of change (yi) in the nature of their (qi). The qi of a rock changes , the qi of water changes -- each according to the inner prinicple (li) of their development of the qi that each possesses. And they are composites. Rock has both yin and yang qi in a different arrangement (li). Water also has both yang and yin qi, but in a different arrangement or proportion. Water ripples or freezes or melts, rocks flake or erode or melt as circumstance and the form of the organization of their qi dictates.

Mind is recursive, that is to say the inner principle (li) of mind is to be able to alter its qi responsively rather than passively. Anything living has a degree of mind, because anything living responds to its surroundings and adapts itself to them (alters its qi). On the other hand, things like the quantum state of fundamental "particles" seem to depend on the presence of mind (observation) to make them concrete.

Conscious beings are not only adaptive to the motions of the objects around them, but are also adaptive to the motions of mind around them, their own primarily, and that of others, ultimately. This presents a further change in the (li) of mankind that is characteristic of their proper function, over the minimal recursiveness of plants, and the less complex recursiveness of of animals. Neo-Confucians would distinguish between the lesser man who is adaptive only to the changes of his own mind and the superior man who is genuinely adaptive to the changes of the minds of others (ren). This line of moral thought is played out in modern process theology and philosophy following Whitehead. In point of fact, what I am about to lay out is a Chinese way understanding of of physical reality that exactly tracks Whitehead's process thought, and to which he acknowledge a great debt.

The point of connection with Western physics is that NO REAL THING EXISTS THAT IS NOT IN MOTION. Even the nothingness of vacuum is in incessant, necessary minimum motion. This substance of motion 氣 has a characteristically dynamic and periodic nature 易, and a characteristic pattern of development in the operation of that dynamic 理.

QI is a quantitive and qualitative concept, grossly yang qi and yin qi. Qi is analogous to a substance in motion, although it is the qi or motion that forms the substance itself. As a wave is formed by water moving only only locally, so yet the wave propagates and perpetuates itself globally through many stationary local masses of water. Qi, in either quality, yin or yang exists only as a transitory phase. Qi may be gathered and transformed and transferred in the proper form, but qi is never destroyed.

Heat is oscillatory (yi) motion (qi) of atoms (li).

Electromagnetic quantities are oscillatory (yi) motion (qi) of an electromagnetic field (li).

An minimal atom is formed by the oscillatory motion of the nucleated electron. Atoms are notoriously unstable in their external electric properties and thus easily combine in various patterns (li) tending to associate (yin qi) with related or sympathetic forms of oscillatory (yi) motion (qi) (other atoms and electrons), and tend to not associate (yang qi) with non-sympathetic oscillatory bodies.

Protons and neutrons and electrons are bound by yet a different set of oscillatory matrices that we name bosons, along with the propagating aspects of the electric field (photons). Bosons have a regular beat (integer spin).

Protons, neutrons and electrons themselves represent composite complex oscillatory matrices of a particularly long-lived type, and we named these fermions. Fermions are syncopated (half-integer spin).

Fermions and Bosons have helicity (spiral mathematical description), and chirality (handedness or left/right assymetry)
In the case of fermions (which have energy but no mass) (yang qi) chirality is always matched to helicity regardless of observation, but in the the case of fermions (which have mass) (yin qi) chirality can be apparently reversed by changing one's point of reference such that the helicity changes.

The Lissajous curve image I have posted elsewhere (and below) posted has greater significance than merely depicting a characteristic harmonic motion of aikido technique.

These things all have consistent patterns from the infinitesimal scales noted -- to human scales of harmonic pendula -- and cosmic scales of observation in the internal spiralling and external grouping of galaxies. It is not inconsistent to view it all as the operation of one principal process dynamic. It is not magical or woo-woo thinking (anymore than quantum and relativistic concepts already are) to approach the problem in this manner.
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:10 PM   #72
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

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Derek Raleigh wrote: View Post
It sounds to me like you DESPERATELY want Ki to be real, tangible, and eventually measurable. And you quote science to do it....

The whole point is, we make models based on physical realities. Our models aren't always right, and we improve upon them. BUT... taking things, essences, phenomenon, feeling that we can't quite explain yet, and assigning them mystical properties such as KI is akin to witchcraft.
Well it is nice to have the balancing attack offsetting the crtiticisms I receive when making arguments that traditional concepts of Ki also have a basis for consistent descriptions in our physics.

While the ether is making a comeback into vogue in different way because of vacuum energy, global warming is and continues to be the scam that global cooling was when I was in high school.

For the bazillionth time -- Ki/Qi is not other than what we can observe -- it is a different paradigm of understanding and attempting to extend our observations. It is not a thing, it is a concept, a tool -- like gravity is a concept and tool. It is not a predictive concept, because it is not a concept developed in the predictive scientific tradition. If you attempt to understand it that way, then you have fundamentally misunderstood it.

Your statement is like saying that an airplane is useless as transportation because it is not street legal. The perspective of one mode of observation does not necessarily control nor even condition the perspective of another scheme of observation.

Like that song says "If you want to be somebody else -- change your mind."

Last edited by Erick Mead : 11-13-2007 at 12:15 PM.

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Old 11-13-2007, 12:10 PM   #73
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

*deleted because of no substance*

Yeesh, already.

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Old 11-13-2007, 01:20 PM   #74
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

Okay, my previous post was too ranty and tangenty (I swear that's a word). I see two arguments here:

1) Ki does not exist in the metaphysical sense. It's a belief system that people use to explain things they don't understand.

2) Ki does exist and is based on scientific principles that can be explained through the understanding of physics and biological principles.

I think if I had to choose a side, I'd go with the second argument, but I also think the advocates for this argument - at this point - are maybe giving too much weight to how they "think" something may work (i.e. grasping for understanding using terms that may not be apropos) and aren't really giving much input into how it's used or performed in everyday practice.
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Old 11-13-2007, 04:12 PM   #75
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Re: Ki and Remaining Grounded

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A very interesting post and a very interesting opinion, but we must agree on a number of principles of what "ki" is proposed to be:
  • An existing physical/metaphysical energy
  • A force that can manipulated, manifested or controlled through thought
  • A force that can have a physical affect upon an individual that manipulates it
If you'll agree with those three assertions, then we can move forward.

Ki, under those terms, does not exist.
Well, that is the arrogance that I was referring to - the Fact that You Know that "under those terms" it "does not exist."

That is why -you- do not "move forward" - you are trapped in your own paradigm that explains everything to you, without possibility of the existance of anything you do not understand from within it. There is no discussion when that is the case, only stagnation. But I can tell you this - others have indeed "moved forward" just not to you. Good thing their reality is not exclusively defined by.... you.

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The fact remains that its effects cannot be studied and empirically tested, whether or not you or anyone else believes in it.
Again - amazing that you Know this to be not only true, but the Only truth....

Snip........

Quote:
Any logical, thinking individual would come to the same conclusion.
Right.

Last edited by Aiki1 : 11-13-2007 at 04:16 PM.

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