Author Topic: What is Chi?  (Read 31590 times)

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #45 on: October 28, 2008, 06:38:02 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.

Oh, you scientists and your desire to KNOW WHY! ;-)

Hehehehe, I wish we knew too.

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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #46 on: October 28, 2008, 06:38:22 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".


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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #47 on: October 28, 2008, 06:39:30 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".

Doing X and getting Y doesn't mean that it was caused by CHI.


Redacted.

Expanded.
LMNO
Pope/Wrought Iron Instigator
First Church of Last Exit Before Toll
The Spider Project.

Buy the Chao te Ching, or be doomed forever.

http://www.stonybrook.edu/sb/marburger/index.shtml

"Get offa me, you freaks!  This is not North Korea.  No.  This is America, and I expect to be PAID for that sort of nonsense.  In advance.  No credit...Cash on the barrelhead or GTFO.  I swear to God, there's nothing more annoying than commie perverts who don't understand the intrinsic value of the free market system."

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #48 on: October 28, 2008, 06:40:40 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".

Doing X and getting Y doesn't mean that it was caused by CHI.


Redacted.

Expanded.

Agreed... Chi appears as a convenient label for X in this case.
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #49 on: October 28, 2008, 06:45:05 pm »
Really?

I figured X was the excercise, Y was the result, and CHI was the "reason".
LMNO
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Buy the Chao te Ching, or be doomed forever.

http://www.stonybrook.edu/sb/marburger/index.shtml

"Get offa me, you freaks!  This is not North Korea.  No.  This is America, and I expect to be PAID for that sort of nonsense.  In advance.  No credit...Cash on the barrelhead or GTFO.  I swear to God, there's nothing more annoying than commie perverts who don't understand the intrinsic value of the free market system."

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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #50 on: October 28, 2008, 06:47:14 pm »
yea, i think chi is the unknown mechanism.
And i would say that if chi is shorthand for 'idunno' then it would be accurate to say 'doing X gets you Y because of chi'

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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #51 on: October 28, 2008, 06:54:01 pm »
Really?

I figured X was the excercise, Y was the result, and CHI was the "reason".

I just meant X as in unknown.

But in "Do X, get result Y because of Z" then I think Chi would be the Z.

yea, i think chi is the unknown mechanism.
And i would say that if chi is shorthand for 'idunno' then it would be accurate to say 'doing X gets you Y because of chi'

like that.
- I don't see race. I just see cars going around in a circle.

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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #52 on: October 28, 2008, 06:55:23 pm »
Ah, but we just recently changed the definition from the standard one used, which is "lifeforce/energy/cosmic blagadibloo".

CHI is our hypothesis, not our theory.
LMNO
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The Spider Project.

Buy the Chao te Ching, or be doomed forever.

http://www.stonybrook.edu/sb/marburger/index.shtml

"Get offa me, you freaks!  This is not North Korea.  No.  This is America, and I expect to be PAID for that sort of nonsense.  In advance.  No credit...Cash on the barrelhead or GTFO.  I swear to God, there's nothing more annoying than commie perverts who don't understand the intrinsic value of the free market system."

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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #53 on: October 28, 2008, 07:01:35 pm »
Ah, but we just recently changed the definition from the standard one used, which is "lifeforce/energy/cosmic blagadibloo".

CHI is our hypothesis, not our theory.

Ah, And still i pee!.....

wait.. wrong conversation.
aren't we even further back than that?  we have no hypothesis here.  just observation and a placeholder for a hypothesis.....

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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #54 on: October 28, 2008, 07:09:38 pm »
Are we doing chi exercises or science/math equations, now?

If the former, I think it would be easiest just to say that chi exercises help people in various ways. If the latter, then I think we're just making up abstractions that are leading us around in logical circles, until we'll eventually prove that chi = chi*chi/ki^(lifeforce/[belief-definition]).
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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #55 on: October 28, 2008, 07:16:33 pm »
I've got nothin but observations and something that is goin on which I am calling chi for the moment.

Besides, I like the history behind Ch'i (the chinese concept, the wade-giles spelling, separating that particular concept from a nebulous chi we are talking about) and I used to be Taoist; I feel an affinity for the philosophy and culture behind it. So, while I may not agree with the usefulness of all ritual, there are some rituals I partake because I enjoy them, even if I don't have to do the ritual to achieve the results. Thats all personal reasons and not science though.
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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #56 on: October 28, 2008, 07:22:10 pm »
I've got nothin but observations and something that is goin on which I am calling chi for the moment.

Besides, I like the history behind Ch'i (the chinese concept, the wade-giles spelling, separating that particular concept from a nebulous chi we are talking about) and I used to be Taoist; I feel an affinity for the philosophy and culture behind it. So, while I may not agree with the usefulness of all ritual, there are some rituals I partake because I enjoy them, even if I don't have to do the ritual to achieve the results. Thats all personal reasons and not science though.

 :)

Taoism is a great philosophy; the sense of quiet that it imparts is liberating.

Do you do any Taoist art techniques, like brush-stroke painting?
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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #57 on: October 28, 2008, 07:43:20 pm »
I've got nothin but observations and something that is goin on which I am calling chi for the moment.

Besides, I like the history behind Ch'i (the chinese concept, the wade-giles spelling, separating that particular concept from a nebulous chi we are talking about) and I used to be Taoist; I feel an affinity for the philosophy and culture behind it. So, while I may not agree with the usefulness of all ritual, there are some rituals I partake because I enjoy them, even if I don't have to do the ritual to achieve the results. Thats all personal reasons and not science though.

 :)

Taoism is a great philosophy; the sense of quiet that it imparts is liberating.

Do you do any Taoist art techniques, like brush-stroke painting?

I don't anymore. I did at one time. I'm not Taoist because I reject some aspects of Taoism. Just like I'm not Buddhist because I reject some aspects of Buddhism. Use what works, discard what doesn't, write your own scripture.
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 #58 on: October 29, 2008, 09:30:03 am »
This is an excellent discussion so far, and I'll just jump in here.

I use Chi/Ki and Pranayama(lit. -Breath-Mastery, Sanskrit) models while meditating and for martial arts. I also gave a short talk about the breath techniques I use @ the last KallistiCon.

So, first I'll rant about Breath (and I'd e-prime this, but it's freakin' late, and I'm starting to feel the sleep dep, so keep in mind that I'm talking MODELS not Truth). I'll go further into this and how it ties to Chi/Ki in further posts. Since most people here should be somewhat familiar with the 8Circuit model, I'll stick to that for most of my explanations. If anything confuses, please ask.

-Breath: All Chi/Ki building exercises I've done and read about start with a breathing practice.

Why? Breath is the door to achieving conscious control over sub-conscious bodily processes.

The body has many systems and processes that we usually let the subconscious and the limbic system handle. Heart rate/circulation. Blinking. Digestion. Breathing.

Yet breathing is the one that we can have the most direct conscious effect on. We learn very early on (bathtub anyone?) to hold our breath when necessary. Some websites I've looked at says a human can learn to hold it's breath at 6 months of age. It's also one of the primary functions that we first start doing _outside_ the womb.

In the 8Circuit model, this is imprinted 1st circuit reflexes. But, it's also the one of the easier imprinted reflexes to achieve conscious control over. Once you can mindfully sit and follow your breath, you can mindfully sit and follow more complex bodily reflexes, like heart-rate/circulation, and thinking. Again, breath is the 'subconscious' process that we can most readily access consciously through our motor cortex. Yet, like training the hand to draw, training the breath takes some direct, repetitive practice.

Now, once one achieves a relaxed and mindful awareness of one's breath, the next thing you should notice is Muscle Armor (1st circuit tensions). These, according to the 8C model, are chronic stress-handling "muscle-armor" tensions. In "civilized" hominids, these usually occur in the upper frame and shoulders, as well as the abs and lower back.

Vividly imagine someone yelling and swinging a baseball bat at your face and these areas of muscle tension should leap into your awareness.

With these areas tensed, the body breathes by raising and lowering the shoulders. This breath pattern tend to increase noradrenaline and the related responses in the limbic system. This is natural for a monkey to do, but the constant perceived threats we encounter in our "civilized" environments, which we then mentally suppress, have conditioned these areas to be chronically tensed. This leads to a constant flush of noradrenaline in our systems, which may lead to some nasty results later in life.

This is not the first way we learn to breathe, and closely observing babies will tell you this. This has been trained into us from constant exposure to perceived threats. So, most breathing exercises teach you at first how to recapture the breathing techniques of the innocent child.

Wow, that got kinda long, so I'll go into the practice and effects of the "Complete Breath" tomorrow.
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Re: What is Chi?
« Reply #59 on: October 29, 2008, 11:38:22 am »
This is an excellent discussion so far, and I'll just jump in here.

I use Chi/Ki and Pranayama(lit. -Breath-Mastery, Sanskrit) models while meditating and for martial arts. I also gave a short talk about the breath techniques I use @ the last KallistiCon.

So, first I'll rant about Breath (and I'd e-prime this, but it's freakin' late, and I'm starting to feel the sleep dep, so keep in mind that I'm talking MODELS not Truth). I'll go further into this and how it ties to Chi/Ki in further posts. Since most people here should be somewhat familiar with the 8Circuit model, I'll stick to that for most of my explanations. If anything confuses, please ask.

-Breath: All Chi/Ki building exercises I've done and read about start with a breathing practice.

Why? Breath is the door to achieving conscious control over sub-conscious bodily processes.

The body has many systems and processes that we usually let the subconscious and the limbic system handle. Heart rate/circulation. Blinking. Digestion. Breathing.

Yet breathing is the one that we can have the most direct conscious effect on. We learn very early on (bathtub anyone?) to hold our breath when necessary. Some websites I've looked at says a human can learn to hold it's breath at 6 months of age. It's also one of the primary functions that we first start doing _outside_ the womb.

In the 8Circuit model, this is imprinted 1st circuit reflexes. But, it's also the one of the easier imprinted reflexes to achieve conscious control over. Once you can mindfully sit and follow your breath, you can mindfully sit and follow more complex bodily reflexes, like heart-rate/circulation, and thinking. Again, breath is the 'subconscious' process that we can most readily access consciously through our motor cortex. Yet, like training the hand to draw, training the breath takes some direct, repetitive practice.

Now, once one achieves a relaxed and mindful awareness of one's breath, the next thing you should notice is Muscle Armor (1st circuit tensions). These, according to the 8C model, are chronic stress-handling "muscle-armor" tensions. In "civilized" hominids, these usually occur in the upper frame and shoulders, as well as the abs and lower back.

Vividly imagine someone yelling and swinging a baseball bat at your face and these areas of muscle tension should leap into your awareness.

With these areas tensed, the body breathes by raising and lowering the shoulders. This breath pattern tend to increase noradrenaline and the related responses in the limbic system. This is natural for a monkey to do, but the constant perceived threats we encounter in our "civilized" environments, which we then mentally suppress, have conditioned these areas to be chronically tensed. This leads to a constant flush of noradrenaline in our systems, which may lead to some nasty results later in life.

This is not the first way we learn to breathe, and closely observing babies will tell you this. This has been trained into us from constant exposure to perceived threats. So, most breathing exercises teach you at first how to recapture the breathing techniques of the innocent child.

Wow, that got kinda long, so I'll go into the practice and effects of the "Complete Breath" tomorrow.

This is a great post and I just have some comments on several aspects of it:

1) I've heard of Pranayama before, have seen it used in yogic practices. To a large extent, it seems very much like the breathing practice you work with in Chi Gung. I don't know if thats because both these practices have come from the same root (homologous) or that they have arisen separately but similarly (analogous).

2) You seem to be already using the psychosomatic model for Chi (and the 8 circuit model), while I am going to remain agnostic on this.

3) In Chi Gung, the focus is on bringing the breath downward, out of the chest, strengthening the diaphragm, stretching the abdominal muscles, and using all areas of the torso to gather breath. I don't think many people realize they can gather breath in each distinct part of their torso, even in one side and not the other, that you can breathe from very specific areas, including the lower abdomen, upper, right and left, the kidneys (the area around them),the lower chest, the upper chest, the upper back, and the neck.

4)  I love the use of visualizing a baseball bat flying at your face to quickly find areas of tension. That is something I have never heard before and may use in the future.

I'm guessing where you are going with this is to lower the breathing into the abdomen. I'm looking forward to seeing how you explain it.
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