Qi Physical, or Metaphysical please help..

Qi Physical, or Metaphysical please help..

Postby Taichikid » Mon Dec 01, 2008 1:32 am

Through my studies of Tai Chi, I have come across many diffrent references to chi.
I have read that it is a comepletely seperate force that inhabits the body that drives life. That humans can learn to harness. I have heard that it is just a way to describe the control over the nervous system. I have heard it referenced to Chi Magic, I have heard of levitation, moving stuff with out touching it, using it to control elements.

starting stuff on fire
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM_E6sRQQAg&feature=related Middle of the video.

Moving Stuff with out touching it
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JYGqVA9xc4&feature=related

Moving People With Out Touching Them
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGaWhP4lbys&feature=related

What is the purpose to Tai Chi?

Can Chi be harnesed in such ways?

Can you control elements?

How much is fact and how much is fiction?

Also I have heard references to a form of double fencing that can give you the ability to use light stepping as a form of jumping alot higher and the ability to control your jump and fall rate. Sky form?
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Postby Audi » Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:53 am

Hi TCK,

According to my understanding, the traditional Chinese view of Qi/Chi is like the traditional Western view of "spirit." Depending on the context, you will find almost universal acceptance, universal rejection, or anything in between.

How many people would reject the validity of the concept of "school spirit"? On the other hand, how many people would accept the validity of a spirit that looked like a white bed sheet and went "boo" to scare people? Similarly, there are some aspects of Qi that virtually everyone accepts, but there are other aspects that very few people would take seriously.

There is a warning in the Tai Chi classics about "giving up the near to pursue the far." In my view, seeking out things not described in the Tai Chi Classics or the writings of the early masters fits the subject of this warning. Given all the subtlety, depth, and wonderous things in high-level mainstream Tai Chi, I think it is not advisable to skim over them to pursue anything that might suggest control over the elements, telekinesis, or levitation. In my view, none of the things you referenced in your post are the focus of any of the classics or writings of the early masters.

Take care,
Audi
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Postby mlot » Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:44 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Audi:
<B>There is a warning in the Tai Chi classics about "giving up the near to pursue the far." In my view, seeking out things not described in the Tai Chi Classics or the writings of the early masters fits the subject of this warning. Given all the subtlety, depth, and wonderous things in high-level mainstream Tai Chi, I think it is not advisable to skim over them to pursue anything that might suggest control over the elements, telekinesis, or levitation. In my view, none of the things you referenced in your post are the focus of any of the classics or writings of the early masters.

Take care,
Audi</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Like Audi said...the video link below is what can happen to someone if they skim over the fundamentals to pursue anything that might suggest control over the elements, telekinesis, or levitation and fool themselves into believing it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEDaCIDvj6I

I really for sorry for the guy too. Image
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Postby JerryKarin » Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:50 am

There are many schools of martial arts. Some do put a lot of emphasis on qi and the manipulation of it. I met people in Taiwan who did various forms of that and it is not all hooey. That said, I can't comment too much on that sort of thing because I have not studied that. Traditional Yang style, and by that I mean what the Yang family teaches, attains to phenomena which could be described as the effects of qi, but it is always indirectly, IMO. By doing other things qi, spirit, and jing4 become manifest. A set of conditions catalyze the appearance of forces like qi, but the details of that are left to the autonomous mind/body system while the conscious mind focuses on intent and using the body in accordance with principles such as the 10 essentials.

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 12-15-2008).]
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Postby JerryKarin » Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:55 am

So for example heat and motion are produced in the engine of an automobile, but the driver only indirectly affects all that. He has the accelerator, clutch, steering wheel, brake, etc which are his focus. The machine does the rest. IMO, in traditional Yang style, Qi could be likened to the electricity in the ignition system. Yes, it is part of what makes the car go but it is not something the driver directly affects.

Yang Chengfu's talk on practice uses some phraseology which appears in one form or another throughout the taiji literature:

意到而气到,气到而劲自到

'When intent arrives, so does qi. When qi arrives so, automatically, does jing4'.

which I take to mean the 'user interface' so to speak is through yi 'intent'. The rest, qi and jing, follows along from that and the details of the qi and jing are at a lower level than the conscious interface.


[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 12-16-2008).]
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Postby JerryKarin » Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:24 am

I should add that there are others who post here, and whose opinions I respect, who don't agree with my explanation of the role of qi.
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Postby mlot » Tue Dec 16, 2008 12:30 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JerryKarin:
<B>So for example heat and motion are produced in the engine of an automobile, but the driver only indirectly affects all that. He has the accelerator, clutch, steering wheel, brake, etc which are his focus. The machine does the rest. IMO, in traditional Yang style, Qi could be likened to the electricity in the ignition system. Yes, it is part of what makes the car go but it is not something the driver directly affects.
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I can somewhat agree with the analogy based on being contained within an individual (or car in this analogous case). However, without the physical connection of jumper cables, I have yet to see a driver of one car transfer the electricity from their car through the air directly to a separate car to start it. Like wise, I think a lot of the outside of the individual person transfers of "qi" are merely power of suggestion, psychosomatic, or just plain magic tricks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JM_qg5d1YGI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5hCczfGYv0&e

Even within an individual I personally tend to view "qi" not as some magical, metaphysical, mysterious energy, but as actual energy (oxygen, glucose, synaptic transfers, etc) and their meridians or pathways (blood vessels, nerves, etc.) within the the body. When my "intent" leads to moving my hand, my nervous system signals the muscles from my brain to my hand, and once these muscles are signaled blood brings them oxygen and glucose to continue and complete the task. I do this task in a relaxed flowing manner so as not to impeded the blood flow (through full hard prolonged contraction of muscles) which allows more "qi" (oxygen and glucose) to get to the muscles.

Many will disagree with my interpretation of "qi" as well, but I personally tend take a more pragmatic and Western scientific and medical based approach to the topic, which I think the car analogy does well. It demonstrates that while the drivers indirect intent initiates the electricity to keep the engine running, the electricity still moves through wires and set physical pathways. The electricity doesn't jump out of the driver and into the car. The electricity certainly doesn't surround the car protecting it from a crash or collision.

I think many of the modern taijiquan masters, including it appears Yang Zhen Duo, are beginning to think the same thing.

http://www.01248.cn/tss1/index.htm



[This message has been edited by mlot (edited 01-20-2009).]
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Postby shugdenla » Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:19 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Taichikid:
<B>Through my studies of Tai Chi, I have come across many diffrent references to chi.
I have read that it is a comepletely seperate force that inhabits the body that drives life. That humans can learn to harness. I have heard that it is just a way to describe the control over the nervous system. I have heard it referenced to Chi Magic, I have heard of levitation, moving stuff with out touching it, using it to control elements.

starting stuff on fire
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iM_E6sRQQAg&feature=related Middle of the video.

Moving Stuff with out touching it
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JYGqVA9xc4&feature=related

Moving People With Out Touching Them
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGaWhP4lbys&feature=related

What is the purpose to Tai Chi?

Can Chi be harnesed in such ways?

Can you control elements?

How much is fact and how much is fiction?

Also I have heard references to a form of double fencing that can give you the ability to use light stepping as a form of jumping alot higher and the ability to control your jump and fall rate. Sky form?</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


a. The purpose of taijiquan has to be in your own dissection or understanding of it. It has to resonate with your own being, and you in turn discovering what you want to get from it.

b. The only harnessing has to be in self understanding and realization. If you see nothing to harnessm then it is not there! If you see something then you try to see where you can challenge those who claim what they claim and with the second and most important step being the acquisition of that skill, whatever it may be. Keep in mind that the skill may be dubious but you are pursuing an illusion! Seek and you shall find in that the objective reality is as it is.

c. Can one control elements? Don't know of which you speak but for me, taijiquan always begins with structural elements/basics associated with my favourites, i.e penglujiankao, simplified as in Chengfu 10's essentials. I call it structural basics! Within the moving form, at least grasp birds tail, this is where penglujiankao is most apparent!

d. How much is fact and how much is fiction? People seem to be attracted to the ridiculous in taijiquan but again that is an essential question. Everybody claims to posses the real but when you asked to see if you can gain that skill, it is like beating around the bush! No results but the talkfu (as opposed to kungfu-(exertion/perfection) is excellent.

Keep pursuing your goals despite my apparent distrust of the link you provided because they do not represent anything close to taijiquan practice that I have been used to. That is just me! Perhaps there are others out there who firmly believe those same links are taijiquan related.
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Postby JerryKarin » Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:14 pm

One other point which might be useful to mention to avoid any confusion is that the 'chi' of 'tai chi' is not the same word as 'qi'. The ji (older romanizations chi) of taijiquan (pronounced like the letter G) is a word that means 'extreme', as in 'when things go to their extreme they necessarily go into reverse'.

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 12-16-2008).]
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