Author Topic: What is Chi?  (Read 31205 times)

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #30 on: October 28, 2008, 05:02:13 pm »
The healing brings up a good point.
As i mentioned earlier, my wife is a massage therapist that has studied under a master over in Thailand and various mentors here in the US.  She will refer to the energy work that she does (which i have an unfortunate propensity of needling).  Although it bugs me that she cannot describe any mechanisms in terms palatable to my western science outlook, the end results are not deniable.  She has diagnosed called serious illnesses in people (that you cant really tell by palpating or such). and has generally amazing recuperative skills.  So she talks about the 'energy work' not just as something simply such as blood flow, or proper breathing, or something else entirely internal.  its something that is detectable and alterable from one person to another.....
 

I can believe it. My former post concerning the internal endocrine changes and synaptic enzyme releases doesn't come NEARLY close to encompassing the full scale of chi healing. The effects of it, from person to person, remind me of something I once heard concerning the nature of subatomic particles, which is that once one particle comes into contact with another, they will continue to affect each other's movement for the rest of eternity, no matter what distance there is between them. So a particle in my lungs might be spinning to the tune of a dancing quark on Alpha Centauri, or something. I'm not sure if this idea is true or not, but I find it aesthetically pleasing.

I would like to be able to post/go into an intelligent conversation about physics (both Newtonian and quantum scale), energy transfer and other possible physical explanations for the phenomenon, but I am, regrettably, woefully ignorant in any non-biology-or-geology-based science. Has anyone read anything about interaction of the two?

I don't believe that there is any sort of real energy transfer involved because we don't see any physical evidence of such. Well, obviously there will be some electromagnetic transfer (in the form of heat), but chemical energy transfer wouldn't be occuring, kinetic transfer, or mechanical, or any of the other types of energy we know of, would not be occuring in this. So, I stick to the idea that its some sort of psychosomatic response.

But, if the psychosomatic response causes change... then its running off of some sort of 'energy' (where energy is defined as the ability to do work). Maybe the 'energy' isn't being transferred so much as its internal energy being focused to do work?

In all of my experiments, I find that different systems tap into different things... that upon reflection seem very similar (as we discussed above). If I can raise "energy" myself through ritual or meditation or breathing exercises etc... can someone else evoke this same thing through something weird like Reiki?

I dunno, but it seems as possible (if not more possible) than some mystical transfer of 'energy' from someone's hands into someone elses body.
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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #31 on: October 28, 2008, 05:02:56 pm »
I swear I'll get that book out tonight and take notes.

As for energy....paging LMNO....
"The thoughts of all men arise from the darkness. If you are the movement of your soul, and the cause of that movement precedes you, then how could you ever call your thoughts your own? How could you be anything other than a slave to the darkness that comes before? Only the Logos allows one to mitigate that slavery. Only knowing the sources of thought and action allows us to own our thoughts and our actions, to throw off the yoke of circumstance."
- R. Scott Bakker, The Darkness That Comes Before

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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #32 on: October 28, 2008, 05:04:57 pm »
Thank you for that.  Once you mentioned Reiki, I started to worry.

LMNO, you know me. I work on my experiences, and use the best scientific information to try to explain them. If science doesn't know how something works, then I say "I don't know, but there is something happening". If science can make no claim about something because its untestable, then I say "I don't know" and don't make a further comment. I don't understand the origins of everything, and science will probably never have ALL the answers, so I end up saying I don't know quite a bit.
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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #33 on: October 28, 2008, 05:06:52 pm »
I swear I'll get that book out tonight and take notes.

As for energy....paging LMNO....

Nah, Kai already stated there's no known energy at work here.

Rat, unless you want to re-define "energy" as information transfer, "psychosomatic" energy is chemical energy in the hormonal cascades from the limbic system.

Thank you for that.  Once you mentioned Reiki, I started to worry.

LMNO, you know me. I work on my experiences, and use the best scientific information to try to explain them. If science doesn't know how something works, then I say "I don't know, but there is something happening". If science can make no claim about something because its untestable, then I say "I don't know" and don't make a further comment. I don't understand the origins of everything, and science will probably never have ALL the answers, so I end up saying I don't know quite a bit.

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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #34 on: October 28, 2008, 05:13:14 pm »
The healing brings up a good point.
As i mentioned earlier, my wife is a massage therapist that has studied under a master over in Thailand and various mentors here in the US.  She will refer to the energy work that she does (which i have an unfortunate propensity of needling).  Although it bugs me that she cannot describe any mechanisms in terms palatable to my western science outlook, the end results are not deniable.  She has diagnosed called serious illnesses in people (that you cant really tell by palpating or such). and has generally amazing recuperative skills.  So she talks about the 'energy work' not just as something simply such as blood flow, or proper breathing, or something else entirely internal.  its something that is detectable and alterable from one person to another.....
 

I can believe it. My former post concerning the internal endocrine changes and synaptic enzyme releases doesn't come NEARLY close to encompassing the full scale of chi healing. The effects of it, from person to person, remind me of something I once heard concerning the nature of subatomic particles, which is that once one particle comes into contact with another, they will continue to affect each other's movement for the rest of eternity, no matter what distance there is between them. So a particle in my lungs might be spinning to the tune of a dancing quark on Alpha Centauri, or something. I'm not sure if this idea is true or not, but I find it aesthetically pleasing.

I would like to be able to post/go into an intelligent conversation about physics (both Newtonian and quantum scale), energy transfer and other possible physical explanations for the phenomenon, but I am, regrettably, woefully ignorant in any non-biology-or-geology-based science. Has anyone read anything about interaction of the two?

I don't believe that there is any sort of real energy transfer involved because we don't see any physical evidence of such. Well, obviously there will be some electromagnetic transfer (in the form of heat), but chemical energy transfer wouldn't be occuring, kinetic transfer, or mechanical, or any of the other types of energy we know of, would not be occuring in this. So, I stick to the idea that its some sort of psychosomatic response.

But, if the psychosomatic response causes change... then its running off of some sort of 'energy' (where energy is defined as the ability to do work). Maybe the 'energy' isn't being transferred so much as its internal energy being focused to do work?

In all of my experiments, I find that different systems tap into different things... that upon reflection seem very similar (as we discussed above). If I can raise "energy" myself through ritual or meditation or breathing exercises etc... can someone else evoke this same thing through something weird like Reiki?

I dunno, but it seems as possible (if not more possible) than some mystical transfer of 'energy' from someone's hands into someone elses body.

If we talk about psychosomatic "energy", then in essence we are talking about consciousness affecting physiology. And consciousness is an emergent system from biology that doesn't violate biological systems but can't be derived from basic biological equations (kinda like how the fluid behavior of liquids can't be derived from atomic physics). I'm a biologist, I don't know anything about consciousness. In the case of "healing energy", it might be mind affecting body affecting mind affecting body in some network I don't claim to understand in the least bit and should probably shut up now before I put my food in my mouth. I'd rather say I don't know.
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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #35 on: October 28, 2008, 05:17:00 pm »
Right, I'm not talking about a transfer of some definable energy. But rather, that some energy (ability to do work) appears involved. Could be psychosomatic, aka it could be internal and simply 'engaged' by the ritual (be it Rieki or Chi or Magic Rituals or Whatever).

But I still think energy isn't the right semantic symbol to use here... too many other connotations involved with it that just don't fit.
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #36 on: October 28, 2008, 05:24:31 pm »
Right, I'm not talking about a transfer of some definable energy. But rather, that some energy (ability to do work) appears involved. Could be psychosomatic, aka it could be internal and simply 'engaged' by the ritual (be it Rieki or Chi or Magic Rituals or Whatever).

But I still think energy isn't the right semantic symbol to use here... too many other connotations involved with it that just don't fit.

I'm okay with defining Chi as this nebulous idea we are talking about, whatever it might be and whatever its origins are. We can talk about Chi in this way, and it doesn't matter whether its psychosomatic or some sort of cosmic energy, we can still talk about it in the same manner, because we are talking about the emergent properties and results, and working backwards from that.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #37 on: October 28, 2008, 05:26:08 pm »
Right, I'm not talking about a transfer of some definable energy. But rather, that some energy (ability to do work) appears involved. Could be psychosomatic, aka it could be internal and simply 'engaged' by the ritual (be it Rieki or Chi or Magic Rituals or Whatever).

But I still think energy isn't the right semantic symbol to use here... too many other connotations involved with it that just don't fit.

I'm okay with defining Chi as this nebulous idea we are talking about, whatever it might be and whatever its origins are. We can talk about Chi in this way, and it doesn't matter whether its psychosomatic or some sort of cosmic energy, we can still talk about it in the same manner, because we are talking about the emergent properties and results, and working backwards from that.

Works for me. For now, until we find something better, I'll use "Chi" as the representation of this 'stuff' in our discussion of this topic. ;-)
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

"Back in my day, crazy meant something. Now everyone is crazy" - Charlie Manson

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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2008, 05:45:02 pm »
I think the most basic thing we can say about Chi is that there is some sort of major health benefit associated with it, or with its cultivation. Some of the health benefit claims are rather wild, but most of them are down to earth.

Hypertension is one that has actually been clinically tested for Chi Gung, and it does seem to work quite well.  It also reduces the chance of stroke, chance of death by stroke, and I guess because of that, increases your lifespan. As we have already talked about in this thread, it seems to improve circulation. Note that all of these benefits deal directly with the circulatory system, specifically in dialation of blood vessels.

There are more items here: http://www.qigonginstitute.org/html/papers/Anti-Aging_Benefits_of_Qigong.html

Along with references at the bottom.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #39 on: October 28, 2008, 05:50:03 pm »
I would also like to say that even if it's being used as a placeholder for "certain things observed", and that there is a method to increase said Observed Things, that doesn't mean the placeholder is anything more than a convenient way of saying "I dunno".

After all, the Reactive Mind and Engrams are Observed Things in Scientology, yet I'm sure most of us would call bullshit if we discussed them as "real".*









*The fact that if you do excercise X you'll get a result Y is one of the strongest selling points of Scientology.  The trick is that they don't have to PROVE that it happened because of Z, because you've already got result Y.
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Buy the Chao te Ching, or be doomed forever.

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Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #40 on: October 28, 2008, 06:10:16 pm »
I would also like to say that even if it's being used as a placeholder for "certain things observed", and that there is a method to increase said Observed Things, that doesn't mean the placeholder is anything more than a convenient way of saying "I dunno".

After all, the Reactive Mind and Engrams are Observed Things in Scientology, yet I'm sure most of us would call bullshit if we discussed them as "real".*



*The fact that if you do excercise X you'll get a result Y is one of the strongest selling points of Scientology.  The trick is that they don't have to PROVE that it happened because of Z, because you've already got result Y.

YES!

And this is a great example of a valuable sport for Model Agnosticism. If we are agnostic towards the model X (Reiki, Chi, Magic rituals, Yoga, Tantra etc etc etc) we can examine the Y results without a dogmatic belief in the Cause being Z. Rather we can look at the proffered Cause explanations (Z1 ... Zn) from each model and determine if the explanation works across more than just that model. So if we have a model which says "The magical powerz come from glyphs burned into your brain by Angels when you engage in rituals A, B and F" and we can get results in a different model which doesn't require rituals A, B F or Angels with magic markers... then obviously, the model may be valuable (it may be a documented way of achieving results) but its explanatory power becomes obviously flawed.

As Crowley once said:

Quote
Anyhow, we have got values of y and z for x, and values of x and z for y—all our equations are indeterminate; all our knowledge is relative, even in a narrower sense than is usually implied by the statement. Under the whip of the clown God, our performing donkeys the philosophers and men of science run round and round in the ring; they have amusing tricks: they are cleverly trained; but they get nowhere.
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #41 on: October 28, 2008, 06:11:19 pm »
I would also like to say that even if it's being used as a placeholder for "certain things observed", and that there is a method to increase said Observed Things, that doesn't mean the placeholder is anything more than a convenient way of saying "I dunno".

After all, the Reactive Mind and Engrams are Observed Things in Scientology, yet I'm sure most of us would call bullshit if we discussed them as "real".*









*The fact that if you do excercise X you'll get a result Y is one of the strongest selling points of Scientology.  The trick is that they don't have to PROVE that it happened because of Z, because you've already got result Y.

Something is happening. Its happening in the open, not in some closed in room with a phony machine. People are becoming healthier by standing in one place and cultivating and manipulating chi. Whatever chi is, I don't know, but something is going on. I don't just have to observe it in others either, I can do it myself (and unlike with Scientology, I can do it for free) and I can see the difference in myself. I don't use any fancy rituals or language for it, I just do it, stripped bare, and its doing something, and that something has observable benefits. It doesn't require buying into something, and it doesn't require belief beyond experience, no trickery involved, no lying, no SP's, etc. And I think most of you would agree that there isn't a level of disrespecting other people that goes into the process, it seems like the opposite happens.

I'm not going to argue any more than that.
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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #42 on: October 28, 2008, 06:23:42 pm »
Sorry. Its like creationists. I don't like it when someone insinuates even the slightest comparison between something I do and Scientology.

Sets me on the defensive.
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Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #43 on: October 28, 2008, 06:27:36 pm »
Sorry. Its like creationists. I don't like it when someone insinuates even the slightest comparison between something I do and Scientology.

Sets me on the defensive.

Well, the difference is in the conclusion... All you have claimed throughout the discussion is that when you do Chi exercises... 'something' happens. You haven't made any claims about the Cause... and any discussion of Cause has been nicely spiced and seasoned with skepticism and uncertainty.

Thus, I would say that, in no way, is your position here comparable to Scientology. For what its worth, I didn't read LMNO's statement as anything like that anyway, rather I think it was just an illustration of what it looks like on the wrong side of this line we're walking ;-)
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #44 on: October 28, 2008, 06:34:13 pm »
Sorry. Its like creationists. I don't like it when someone insinuates even the slightest comparison between something I do and Scientology.

Sets me on the defensive.

Well, the difference is in the conclusion... All you have claimed throughout the discussion is that when you do Chi exercises... 'something' happens. You haven't made any claims about the Cause... and any discussion of Cause has been nicely spiced and seasoned with skepticism and uncertainty.

Thus, I would say that, in no way, is your position here comparable to Scientology. For what its worth, I didn't read LMNO's statement as anything like that anyway, rather I think it was just an illustration of what it looks like on the wrong side of this line we're walking ;-)

Yes. I know. Thats why I apologized.  I wouldn't have if LMNO had really.

Wish I knew the cause though. Knowing the cause can help you manipulate the outcome.
If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water. --Loren Eisley, The Immense Journey

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