Lawrence Koichi Barrish
may I suggest a Shinto perspective re: Sunshine and Ki
Basic of Shinto is to respect and revere the Generative Cosmic Vitality of the Sun as our ultimate parent. A way to think of the word for human being: hito is Hi=sun and to= tomeru to stop. Sun stop suggests the thinking that our human forms are temporary resting places for divine solar Ki. If we can understand this deeply we can have true understanding of the Shinto thinking that was the root of Aiki.
America Tsubaki Okami Yashiro Kannushi
Just a thought ... if the kami are viewed as spirits which live in this world alongside us, then perhaps these spirits can be, literally, alive. And part of the beliefs is a system of knowledge by which people can, in some manner, communicate, see, hear, touch, etc these spirits. Certain areas, for whatever reason, resonate with a closer bond with the kami.
Just as some people state that a guardian angel saved them, then perhaps it is equivalent that the kami have helped some people in some manner. Although with kami, there is necessarily a much wider range of spirits than just guardian angels.
Rites from ages ago, through the long years, have most likely been hollowed out and have lost their original function. They are most likely a form to follow and as such, most probably think of kami in a general sense, apart from reality.
What if the spirits that have been called kami were real, not figments of imagination for a cultural religion? What if there were various types of spirits? What if those older rites and practices could actually do what was intended: communicate, see, hear, touch, control, possess, etc?
What is now looked upon as form and words, just as ki is looked upon as this "magical" energy, could have been at one time teachings to actually accomplish specific things in regards to kami, just as many are learning that aiki is a concrete teaching to change the body.
I don't know much about anything, especially shinto or kami ... just some musings I thought I'd toss out there.