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Old 12-26-2002, 11:55 PM   #1
shadow
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ki in scientific thought

something incredibly interesting, to me, that i have just discovered is that in terms of physics i.e. the science in which we of the western world place so much importance upon verifies many of the beliefs of eastern thought. the most striking one (to me that is) is that in dealing with atomic physics, when one deals with the infinitely small.... the smallest we are able to probe within the nucleons (protons and neutrons) of an atom it is found that there is no mass. mass is represented in terms of energy.... so at that sub-atomic level everything is energy. so when you think about it, if you want to think about a key building block that makes up people, animals, inanimate objects, the universe..... it is energy rather than an indestructible form of mass as was thought for so long.
this in my mind is an incredible thing to find out, because it reinforces the spiritual beliefs of the east which appeal to me so much. this is ki, this is the energy which is discussed in japanese arts and thought, the chi in chinese thought, the prajna in indian thought..... energy in scientific thought.

perhaps many of you already know this, but for those who dont i hope it brings a little bit of thought to you, particularly to those of you who try to deny the existance of ki or dismiss it because there is no scientific explination.

to know more i found this and other scientific parallels in "the tao of physics" by fritjof capra.

happiness. harmony. compassion.
--damien--
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Old 12-27-2002, 03:28 AM   #2
Jeff Tibbetts
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point taken© As I've mentioned before, Easter thought is so rational that even the buddhist creation myths are pretty much scientific fact ¥sound just like the big bang theory¤ and all the tenets can be backed up by or support scientific thought© I think you have to remember that it's all representational and that if you turn it from talk of gods and magic that it becomes the laws of nature and physics© I also think that many buddhist monks would resent that idea, but that's one advantage of the outsider's eye, impartiality©

If the Nightingale doesn't sing-
wait
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Old 12-27-2002, 11:39 AM   #3
Bruce Baker
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science of Ki

You know, science always takes longer to define phenonmenon.

The bioelectrical energy we use to move our bodys is quite amazing in itself, but when read as an actual antenna to recieve, send, or physically manifest charges of energy that can be felt, then we are really getting into the weird area we try to define as Ki.

Presently, there are a number of holistic instruments that measure the bioelectric energy put out by the human body, and some people have been using this data to diagnose illnesses. Some of the crude EEG machines measure electrical energy of the brain, the nervous system, but isn't that the same source of Ki energy too?

The texts of using meditation, religion, and many forms of practice to access this energy are ways people have practiced to link body and mind to prompt a response, the same as an actor calling upon a memory to help them envision sadness, happiness, despondency, or any emotion. These methods of connection are time proven.

The problem with reading words is that you don't always have the same experiences to match the words of the writer? Tough gig. Not everyone can run on the same road and see the same thing as your predecessor did.

Scientific means to gain ki, connection of body and mind? Maybe. I think anyone can do it, provided they learn to clear their mind and use some common sense in training.

The peculiararity is ... I may never understand the prompts that connect your thoughts to action, so I, as a separate human being, must rely on explaining myself with my own experiences ... which may or may not suffice for another person to find what I have found.

A lot of variables, even for the scientific method.

Oh well.

Learn some of the variables and prompts that others use, find your own prompts to connect body and mind ... that should get you on the way.

Experience really is the best teacher ... with a few guiding words that are always true, that is.

Always test the words, continually.

How else are we gonna get a scientific explanation of Ki?
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Old 12-27-2002, 05:07 PM   #4
Thalib
 
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Knowledge is Ki.

When I have to die by the sword, I will do so with honor.
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Old 12-27-2002, 09:15 PM   #5
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Re: ki in scientific thought

Quote:
Damien Bohler (shadow) wrote:
represented in terms of energy.... so at that sub-atomic level everything is energy. so when you think about it, if you want to think about a key building block that makes up people, animals, inanimate objects, the universe..... it is energy rather than an indestructible form of mass as was thought for so long.
I always admire this kind of attempt to relate scientific understanding to Eastern beliefs. However I am always more cautious about things, so please don't look at my comments as less than constructive resistance. Here goes:

Just because we use the word "energy" to describe ki and lots of other eastern, metaphysical, and new-age ideas doesn't mean they are related to "energy" as described in physics, right? For instance "energy" can mean motivation as in "I don't have the energy to argue," whereas the person saying this may not be physically fatigued or hungry ( = may not be low on chemical energy in his body).. Perhaps this person is talking about emotional energy, as in it would be too draining or distressing or depressing to argue. The word energy can mean different things, and if no one had ever used the word energy to describe ki, would anyone think it meant anything that subatomic particles are massless?

--JW
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Old 12-28-2002, 12:31 AM   #6
Jeff Tibbetts
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Jonathan, I do see what you're trying to say© I think that many of us have a tendency to always want to categorize everything we encounter© If we don't understand something than we learn enough about it to make a connection to something we do know and then attribute it with all the same qualities as the other thing© I think this is due to the way that we're raised to ask questions about everything, know as much as possible© It would be ludicrous to, in school, decide not to complete a math problem on a test and just say "this is not important to define"© This is exactly what a lot of Eastern philosophers do, they say "if you want to look into it, then fine but the results will be the same as if you didn't know how it works"© When it comes to Ki, we all want to make it more easily definable, so we compare it to things we know a little about, and this helps us discuss it and think about it© When we compare it to energy, we take the mystery out of it so it becomes less mentally threatening©

Not to say that this is inherantly bad, or that I don't do it, but we should be aware that western thought is prone to it©

If the Nightingale doesn't sing-
wait
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Old 12-28-2002, 05:14 AM   #7
shadow
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jonathon i think you miss the point.

it is not that sub-atomic particles are massless..... in essence mass doesn't exist except as a representation of energy.

i've only just begun delving into eastern thought yet i see the same fundamental concepts repeated throughout most of the different countries or religions of thought. in my eyes science also says broadly the same things. would it not make some kind of sense that everyone is seeing roughly the same kind of things seperated only by the descriptions imposed by words?

western thought was brought about in ancient greece by plato, socrates and later aristotle (in a basic sense). at the same time the aristotlean school was developing there was another school of thought called the sophists whom also had thoughts which were incredibly similiar to what is now considered eastern thought, but they were basically squashed by aristotle.

we think of science and mysticism being inseperable, yet they are just a study of the same thing really. science uses experiments and materials, mysticism uses meditation and insight.

i personally take great comfort in knowing these things.

anyways im going to shut up now.

happiness. harmony. compassion.
--damien--
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Old 12-28-2002, 02:06 PM   #8
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hi all!

I've been lurking awhile and this is my first post. I offer the following thoughts and observations:

I see a lot of confusion in people without extensive direct experience doing science in how they conceive science as merely today's new religion. I must forcefully disagree. Science is not a religion. Both science and religion are attempts to find larger patterns and meaning in reality. But the scientific method does not dictate necessary social behaviour or custom. While I have my own issues of the basis of science in the roots of the Parmidean myth (the triple myth of logical necessity, bivalence, and objectivity), fundamentally science as a first-order model of reality, experienced in this shared life, is remarkably robust. Furthermore, while I would not agree with Robert Pirsig (in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance) that science is value-free, it does attempt to modify its model system on the basis of clear observations and a consistently applied method of deduction and extrapolation. While being a human endeavour it does of course occasionally suffer from the cult of ego, political motivations, and other human fallibilities, it remains a system of understanding that is fundamentally accessible to anyone with the will to participate, having first invested the time to learn the deductive tools that scientists use. All you need is the desire to think and see clearly, and curiosity.

The reason that I take this stand is because there is one cardinal trap that a lot of people fall into, even scientists. That is overextension of a model into a system in which it is inappropriate, or creates unnecessary confusion, when a different frame of reference or model system would offer a lot more insight with a greater clarity. For example, switching from Cartesian to radial coordinate systems for the Schoedinger equation makes the grungy math a lot easier, and thus minimizes the possibility of a stupid math mistake. Attempting to extend scientific insight into the realm of metaphysics must be done with extreme intellectual rigour to avoid this trap. I think this can be best accomplished by a deep understanding of the backgrounds of the two systems you are trying to connect, before facile analogies are offered. The best scientists observe and observe and observe relentlessly before trying to fit their data.

Now having said that, I offer the following perspective that may, in fact, contradict the very point I made above! I speak as one who as done academic science for over ten years, and aikido for almost four. I do wish to discuss what might be a good way of describing ki. Is it a spiritual force? A physical force?

I've thought carefully about this debate, and drawing on my scientific background, it shares many parallels with the wave/particle models of electromagnetic energy. It occurs to me that the best descriptions are always based on context. Gamma radiation, the highest energy EM, is described in units of electron-Volts, which is consistent with the particle model of tiny hard elastic collisions that transfer energy. Radio EM is described in units of wavelengths, as the lowest energy EM, and is consistent with the notion of waveforms that add and cancel and subtract and form beat patterns. You could stick to one unit system through the whole EM spectrum, but human minds don't relate to the physical implications to changes in exponents very well -- the difference between 10^50 and 10^75 doesn't offer a lot of insight into how the system is behaving. So you look at the context, and apply the right model to each situation to give yourself the easiest math and greatest physical insight. Both wave and particle models have merit, but it is the application of these models that matters. Overextending the models can lead to confusion at best and deeply flawed conclusions at worst.

So I think the same applies to the physical/spiritual models of ki. There is a deep gratification in learning how to synergistically transfer energy through the body to generate powerful physical technique. There is also gratification in feeling the connection of good timing, spacing and happy emotional connection between training partners. But to extend the spiritual model of ki to far can lead to intellectual laziness, and to extend the physical model too far risks emotional rigidity and an ego-centered closemindedness that interferes with further unbiased observation. I think each of these models offer valuable insights, but have their appropriate limits. This can be addressed by careful application of the model systems or by invention of better models. I do not think that this can be achieved by trying to force equivalencies between the model systems, like trying to define an equation relating emotional energy with kinetic energy. That would be an example of an inappropriate extension of the model systems.

Thanks for the chance to listen to all your thoughts. I look forward to your feedback on my thoughts.

Kujo
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Old 12-28-2002, 02:44 PM   #9
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whoops -- gotta check my spelling better next time -- that's *Parmenidean*, not *Parmidean*. Sorry for the error.
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Old 12-28-2002, 03:00 PM   #10
Jeff Tibbetts
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Karen, listen to me and listen very carefully© I want this to sink in© You ready?

DON'T LURK, EVER! Do not stop posting, you have got to remain active! We need someone on this board that has your insight, from a scientific standpoint© I feel like I'm four years old after reading your post© Seriously, that is just nuts!

I think I got the main point of what you're trying to say, I hope© If I heard you correctly, what you meant to say was that threre's a balance point between thinking of Ki as a scientific, physical thing and an emotional, intuitive thing© Maybe I'm the only one who didn't have a damn clue what you were talking about, not to say that you aren't true or that it wasn't interesting, but if I had to guess I'd say that maybe if you toned the language to something that all of us who are not professional scientists could understand than your analogy would hold up a bit better©

At any rate, let me be the first to invite you to post more, as we honestly need a good counter-balance to the spiritual romantics that comprise many of the core board posters©

If the Nightingale doesn't sing-
wait
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Old 12-28-2002, 04:52 PM   #11
Col.Clink
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Hey all,

An interesting topic and I think everyone has made some good points, some nice exchanges of thought.

Now, I am definately no scientist, although I do like certain things about the subject. Unfortunately though, my limited intelligence capacity prevents me from understanding Science and all the mathematics involved. Oh to have time send me back to school where I would make a more sincere effort!!

But, to the subject at hand. As a student of Ki-Aikido, I find the more scientific the explanation gets, the harder it is to actually understand Ki. I do sincerely believe it is an internal energy, that we are born with it and that as we develope into the adult, our concept or process of using it diminishes by the simple fact we are brought up to believe that 'might is right', or physical strength is our true power.

I never actually believed in Ki when I started my training, I was very much from the 'might is right' school, my size and strength was my power. After some training and realizing that no matter how hard I tried to stop or move someone half my size, and of the opposite sex, my thoughts on physical strength and extension of Ki had quite a turn around.

It had nothing to do with science, plenty to do with actually training and testing my strength against others Ki. This, I think, is the best way to actually understand Ki, go to a Ki Society dojo and try for yourself. Experience it. Experience, I think you'll agree, gives us the understanding and open-ness to first accept, or reject, something for what it is.(Which is why I like the analogy.."if at first you don't succeed, try and try again").

Then most likely we try to explain it either in scientific thought or some mystical way, when really it is none of these things, it just is...or, is just us.

Human nature though tells us to look more deeply into what "just is" and find an explanation as to WHY things just are. Why is the sky blue? why is the grass green? Well, it just is, at least until somebody found out the chemical, biological and scientific explanations of these things, which is also great. We must always ask WHY?? If we do not, we do not grow or develope as a race. Perhaps oneday there will be a definitive explanation on Ki, hope I'm still around to see it!.

Ki in scientific thought, is best for those with a scientific mind, bearing in mind that science is not always 100% correct in it's first attempt at disseminating subjects.

Ki in mystical thought is best for those with a more mystical mind. Again though, not 100% accurate.

Ki for the non believer is also best left at that, if you excuse the analogy, kind of like telling a child they'll like the taste of brussel sprouts( yuck!!)

In essence, whatever gives you the understanding or acceptance of experiencing Ki, whatever HELPS you to undertstand it, use it. Whatever helps someone else, use that. But the key(excuse the pun)in my opinion, is a willingness or openness to try.

I am very glad for Damien, that he has found something for him that helps to understand a little more about Ki.

Someone else will have a totally different experience or concept.

In closing, whatever works for you works, and whatever doesn't, well there may be another way. Like we make Aikido our own, our Ki is also our own.

Just my thoughts.

And Jeff, I too had no idea what Karen was saying, I'll have to read it a few more times!! No offence to you Karen, but like I said at the start, I'm no scientifical guy.

Thanks for reading the ramble

Cheers

Rob

"Excess leads to the path of Wisdom"
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Old 12-28-2002, 05:12 PM   #12
Thalib
 
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Everytime I contemplate on anything spiritual, I could never avoid on contemplating it's physical/scientific counterpart. Probably it is because of my religion always taught me to think logically and rationally and not to just take anything face value.

Waiting for a book written by Karen Kujo.


Last edited by Thalib : 12-28-2002 at 05:18 PM.

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Old 12-28-2002, 07:48 PM   #13
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OK, yours truly was herself scrambled in her thinking of the wave/particle models in quantum physics. I realize now that I myself got the wrong conclusion (that different unit systems implied different behaviour across the EM). Mea culpa. Scratch that analogy.

What I was trying to get at, was that sometimes we do experiments and try to fit them into our existing model of the world, and it doesn't work. If we assume light is a particle, then the data from the classic two-slit experiment don't fit. (See http://www.colorado.edu/physics/2000...two-slit2.html for a really nice interactive experiment to follow). But Newton had demonstrated all these qualities about light that fit a particle model (See http://online.cctt.org/physicslab/co...uresummary.asp). So really there is something similar to the blind men and the elephant happening here. Now, if each blind man said, "At this moment, as far as I can feel, I describe the elephant as having the following properties:" then we might eventually understand there is a unifying elephant underneath all their models. But that is because they were careful about interpreting their data in a very strict, nonegotistical way, that leads us to the more insightful conclusion. But if each blind man said, "No way! There is something wrong with all of your observations and conclusions because they are not conisistent with mine!" then it would degenerate to useless bickering. The difference is that the careful, rigourous interpretation of observations and experiences is what I call science (even if it is included in various religious doctrines, or part of a philosophical methodology). The endless bickering is just human failing, even if it does happen among people who call themselves scientists doing what they call science.

Also I see from some people's responses that science is seen by some as inaccessible. We've got the Web to follow up on our curiosity at a moment's notice! I look on Google for "Parmenides" and get (http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/p/parmenid.htm) for a history of the man who was Zeno's teacher (Zeno of Zeno's paradox) and "Parmenidean myth" brings up a review of "Critique of Patriarchal Reason" by Arthur Evans which attacks the basis of Greek logic and science (http://www.webcastro.com/evans1.htm).

(http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/sc...mspectrum.html) has a nice, nonmathematical review of electromagnetism. It's easier than ever to find stuff to learn -- the real task is applying critical thinking to sort the gold from the dross. I think that what I got in my scientific training was practice in critical thinking and how to look things up -- if I look on a web page that argues that the earth is flat, do I know how to use reason and experience to figure out that it is an incorrect conclusion? Science to me constantly refines a model of reality that satisfies both experience and logic and has greater predictive capability. It's not something to feel alienated from or something that you''re afraid you're not smart enough to grasp, nor intricate theories that can't be questioned. It's that fear of science in many people I seek to alleviate. Yes you'll look stupid asking questions -- I'm the consummate idiot, forever asking clarification. But as my Japanese friend said (I don't know if it's just her or a Japanese saying): Ask once and you're stupid once. Don't ask and you're stupid forever. It's all about attitude.

I feel very much that aikido training is an experimental science -- you learn in a very immediate way what works and what is bull$hit; the dojo is the ultimate laboratory for discovering aikido. You incorporate your understanding with humility and see there is something aesthetically elegant, intellectually stimulating, and physically satisfying. Soul, mind and body can be refined together.

I don't see that holding ki, or any persistent complex phenomenon, as undefinable serves any purpose -- it just destroys curiosity. (Of course there's a time for "letting go" but that's another topic.) Nor that there should be any conflict between a classically scientific explanation and a spiritual one, because that's like the blind men arguing about the nature of the elephant. What I do advocate are questions that help us figure out what the appropriate scope of each model might be -- "so if I keep patting upwards of what feels like a tree trunk, why does it start feeling like a rope eventually? Why does the middle of my tree trunk bend? What is that loud trumpeting noise I hear near the blind man who thinks the elephant is like a snake?" It's finding the limits of each of these models that create new understanding, and thus new models. But the questions must be based on rigourous thinking and nonegotistical debate, with the determined attitude to observe clearly, listen thoughtfully and not be overcome by illusions. So while I do think there is an appropriate way to apply various models of ki, this is only because *our models are limited*, not that because ki is fundamentally mystical or not comprehensible or otherworldly. We need better models. So we need better questions.

How booooring. Sounds like a lot of hard work. Sounds like a budo, this constant neverending iterative refinement of ourselves and our understanding. So maybe what we call "scientific method" might also be applied to the spirit. Maybe there is no fundamental difference in our methods of investigation of the physical and spiritual worlds after all.

Kujo
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Old 12-28-2002, 08:49 PM   #14
Peter Goldsbury
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Quote:
Karen Kujo (Kujo) wrote:
Also I see from some people's responses that science is seen by some as inaccessible. We've got the Web to follow up on our curiosity at a moment's notice! I look on Google for "Parmenides" and get (http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/p/parmenid.htm) for a history of the man who was Zeno's teacher (Zeno of Zeno's paradox) and "Parmenidean myth" brings up a review of "Critique of Patriarchal Reason" by Arthur Evans which attacks the basis of Greek logic and science (http://www.webcastro.com/evans1.htm).

Kujo
Yes, Google has many treasures but these are often hidden amongst much that is less good. Inputting 'ki' (the Japanese character) yielded 13,500,000 entries. Even scrolling through these would require much time, far more than I have, for example (even during the New Year holiday!).

As for Parmenides, I wish the author of the article in IEP had given a few notes and a booklist, so that we could better evaluate his/her opinions. It is perhaps a pity, also, that Mr Evans did not get round to finishing his doctoral dissertation. I for one would have liked to see the details of how he deals with the Way of Truth and how Plato tried to deal with this in the Sophist.

But I completely agree with you about category mistakes and over-extending conceptual models. Part of the problem is that, compared with Japanese, English has less vocabulary with which to handle concepts such as ki and hara.

Best wishes for 2003.

P A Goldsbury
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Old 01-08-2003, 07:01 AM   #15
Bruce Baker
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So ...

The Universe is provable as enerygy becoming matter and matter becoming energy.

It is amazing what science can prove to be true when people put their minds to it.

Now ... we need to experiment with polarity of the human body and how it applys to Ki/chi, and the exhange/ usage of energy in martial arts, and maybe get some of these myths dispelled with scientific proof.

Your Ki? Your hara?

Merely measurements of your body's energy working in harmony.
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Old 01-08-2003, 09:12 AM   #16
SeiserL
 
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Quote:
Bruce Baker wrote:
It is amazing what science can prove to be true when people put their minds to it.
IMHO, its more like, if people already put it in their minds science amazingly proves its true. ;-)

Until again,

Lynn

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
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Old 01-08-2003, 09:20 PM   #17
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Talking

Although there all already some good posts on this thread, I'd thought I add my bit.

The word/character "Ki" is used to describe many different things, some are somewhat metaphysical while others are quite tangible. It is some of the more salient aspects that keep the study of "ki" and Western science from being mutually exclusive.

Test:

Stand on one foot. For optimum balance, have your weight extend into the ground on the inside of your foot, an imaginary line between your big tow and your heel. Can you feel the energy go down through you leg into the ground? Do you feel when it is on the less stable outside?

Once you can balance, you have temporarily mastered a ki/energy exchange from your body to the ground. Magic? Unexplainable to Western science? No, just a baby step.

Now, eventually you can utilize this feature in your arms, body, fingers, and elsewhere and you are said to move with good ki. If you "disbelieve," I am sorry. There are many other aspects of this facinating concept, all of which require great effort, some faith, and a whole lot of questioning to unravel.

Sieger

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Old 01-08-2003, 09:59 PM   #18
daedalus
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I don't want to step on anyone's toes but, as far as _The Tao of Physics_ goes...

I was talking about the subject of Eastern philosophy and quantum physics/relativity/etc. with my physics professor, especially the points made in _The Tao of Physics_. We both were of the opinion that the comparisons are mostly baseless. Mystic language can be interpreted as whatever people want if they taken it out of its original context. The context of Taoism, Zen, and the like was not to explain how particles move at near-light speeds or quantum logic. They were to bring enlightenment and peace of mind. Using them to explain physics (or physics to explain them) is, at best, forced analogy. Upon closer examination, almost all of Capra's ideas are jumps, false assumptions, or just outright nonsequiters. One could interpret the Kabbalah or the Gnostic Gospels in the same way, even though they have very different philosophies than (and often, contradictions to) Taoism, Buddhism, etc. Capra himself abandoned his thinking in the 80s for "deep ecology".

On another note, I wouldn't waste my time looking for a scientific basis for ki. Experience is more useful in the everyday world than science. Not more correct, mind you, but more useful.

Brian
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Old 01-09-2003, 12:00 AM   #19
Steve
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[quote="Damien Bohler

SNIP

we think of science and mysticism being inseperable, yet they are just a study of the same thing really. science uses experiments and materials, mysticism uses meditation and insight.[/QUOTE]SNIP

No. This is not true. The difference between science and mysticism is very simple. Science tests its ideas about the world and changes its conclusions to fit the resulting data. Mysticism, and this includes religion, doesn't want to test its ideas and refuses to change in response to contradictory data about those ideas.

Steve Hoffman
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That's going to leave a mark.
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Old 01-26-2003, 12:35 PM   #20
Hanna B
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Quote:
Chad Sieger (chadsieger) wrote:
Can you feel the energy go down through you leg into the ground? Do you feel when it is on the less stable outside?

(snip)

Now, eventually you can utilize this feature in your arms, body, fingers, and elsewhere and you are said to move with good ki. If you "disbelieve," I am sorry.
Oh, please don't be sorry on my account!

My teacher does some talking about ki (or qi, as he has some qi gong-influences in his aikido). I love what his exercises add to training, including those qi balls that some people made so much fun about on this board, about a year ago... but I do still not believe in ki. Some people get upset when they hear this... To me, ki is the word you use about everyting you encounter in your practise that you can not describe. Mental image or whatever, I have not yet felt that my disbelief in this to him very basic concept has made it more difficult to learn from him.
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Old 01-26-2003, 02:05 PM   #21
jimvance
Dojo: Jiyushinkan
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I cannot believe I missed this entire thread! This is an interesting concept, one that very closely approximates my own rationalization of being, my metaphysical "belief system". I particularly appreciated Ms. Cujo's insights, and can say that they made sense to me, even if I wasn't aware of all the historical references. As she and Prof. Goldsbury said, that is what really makes this forum and the internet in general a real giant step for human interaction. Unfortunately, it is most often used for the wrong purposes, but se la vie.

I would have to agree on Hanna's point, that looking at some phenomena, such as the "ki feedback" described by Chad, with a different symbology than what is accepted by <insert name here> doesn't mean the two models are antagonistic. And following Karen's point, we should be looking for the similarities between the two paradigms so that we can compare and contrast the differences without a personal value judgement.

I personally think the word "ki" is overused the same way that most Christians overuse the word "God". That doesn't mean that I think all Christians are idiots; it just means my "worldview", my perspective, my modus operandi, my whatever-you-want-to-call-it doesn't follow the Christian ideal. I don't think people who practice Ki Aikido are silly by describing what they see in the world as "ki"; I just want to use different symbology. I find my wife attractive because she and I have certain similarities; what I find really attractive are the differences!

Thanks again for giving a scientific point of view Karen, you are greatly needed here on Aikiweb and in the world in general. Still can't believe I missed all this....

Jim Vance
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Old 01-27-2003, 05:22 AM   #22
mike lee
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point of reference

Quote:
I personally think the word "ki" is overused the same way that most Christians overuse the word "God".
Sorry, but this really makes no sense to me. Ki is the life force found in all living things. We practice an art that is based on harmonizing with that ki. What should aikidoists talk about more than that?

The central issue for Christians IS God and his will for man. Everything that Christians do revolves around this single, spiritual entity. What should Christians talk about more than that?
Quote:
... my modus operandi, my whatever-you-want-to-call-it doesn't follow the Christian ideal.
And so, what IS your modus operandi?
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Old 01-27-2003, 03:59 PM   #23
Alan Drysdale
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"Ki is the life force found in all living things. We practice an art that is based on harmonizing with that ki. What should aikidoists talk about more than that?"

As an analogy, I have no problem with this, but if it is meant as literal truth, I do. Biologists spent a lot of time and energy on the "elan vitale" or "life force" a hundred years ago. They didn't find it. They no longer look for it. Rather like the "luminiferous ether" that physicists looked for before Maxwell and Morley.

The word "Ki" is used in a lot of ways by the Japanese. "Genki desu" means something like "feeling good" or "I am well", for example. From what I've heard, and Prof Goldsbury can probably confirm or deny this, the Japanese aikidoka don't get nearly as hung up on the metaphysics of ki as Westerners do.

There is something to be said for having a general purpose term in aikido that we can use whenever we haven't the foggiest idea what we want to say, but IMO it just hides the truth - whatever it might be.

The most interesting question to me is whether, among the many uses we make of the word, there is something unique and different about some use of the word "ki". It is used for musculo-skeletal integration (using our bodies efficiently), for a particular way of moving our bodies (and that might be a unique use, relating mostly to extension), and also for some sort of information exchange between nage and uke, as when we lead our uke's ki and perhaps throw without even touching. It is used for centering our mind, controlling its tendency to fly all over the place.

Anybody have any more examples of how we use the word "ki"?

Alan
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Old 01-27-2003, 04:03 PM   #24
akiy
 
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Quote:
Alan Drysdale wrote:
Anybody have any more examples of how we use the word "ki"?
Yup:

http://www.aikiweb.com/language/ki_phrases.html

-- Jun

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Old 01-28-2003, 12:40 AM   #25
jimvance
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Hi Mike. I don't mind sharing what little nonsense I have with everyone. I consider that quite a compliment. It's indifference that upsets me, so thanks for asking.
Quote:
Mike wrote:
Sorry, but this really makes no sense to me. Ki is the life force found in all living things. We practice an art that is based on harmonizing with that ki. What should aikidoists talk about more than that?
I don't like to use the words "ALL" when it comes to stuff like this, there is just too much in this universe we really don't understand yet. I am not saying that using "ki" as a definition is wrong, just that I would prefer to be more specific in my definitions of what is happening. That is just me, maybe I lean more to the "pigeonhole all phenomena" group.

Regardless of what you call it or I call it, we are both WRONG. Dead wrong. Words, symbols, language are just approximations are they not? So we are not so far off from each other, regardless of how we choose to see things.
Quote:
Mike wrote:
And so, what IS your modus operandi?
Hell if I know. I just am trying to keep breathing. Talking about this kind of stuff makes each breath kind of special though.

Jim Vance
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