is this even possible??

Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:01 pm

Re: "What word would be for the state of people whom describe themselves as skeptics but do not have an open mind?"

I am sorely tempted to say. . . .

But I will refrain.

--Louis
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Postby Anderzander » Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:13 pm

Yes - Louis... lol

I just read on one of the online dictionaries this definition for skeptic:

1. One who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions.

This is perhaps more in the sense in which I meant it in my post.

Like many of our words it appears to have been changed in definition from its original meaning.
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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:03 pm

I suppose we must avoid the extremes of being overly credulous - "It's on the internet ergo true" - and closed-minded - "It's impossible" (even though I have no positive proof that it can't be done).
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Postby shugdenla » Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:41 pm

Bob,

In agreement. The operative criteria is under what conditions will this magical stuff work?
Does it need a condition? Yes.

Can anyone be taught to do it?
My example (a stretch of 'light skill') are the high skyscraper guys who go traverse buildings and do the steel foundations. I am in awe of them but would I want to learn that skill? Highly unlikely! Is it special (enough for me to make it seem mystical)? Not really!

It comes down to a kind of placebo response, me thinks.
This should mean that all who believe in these things with an open mind can go and study with that teacher and gain the skill? That is the only true test of reproducibility of the event. Test it as the Buddha said and see if it stands to the scrutiny. Do not believe because someone told you or you saw it on youtube! It is nice, nonetheless.

[This message has been edited by shugdenla (edited 10-12-2006).]
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:33 pm

AZ,
I know you're just messing with me. I do have a sense of humor.

I question everything, all the time, not just claims of seemingly magical skills. I question whether the sky is really blue, whether water is really wet, whether money really is the root of all evil (some day, I'll get some real money together and actually test that theory, I hope!). It's just my nature.
I guess you can say I'm an "I'll believe it when I see it, smell it, touch it, taste it, feel it" kind of guy. Or when others whose opinions I trust have done so but even then I'm going to want to feel it first hand before I give it the final "yes" vote. Only then will I put my faith in something, not before.

Having seen these claimed abilities to be able to influence people and things with no physical contact for a long time now, with absolutely no reproducability (I hope that's a word, it's quite early and I haven't had any coffee yet) on the part of those making the claims, I have built up quite a bit of what I feel is healthy skepticism about them. I've never seen anyone who could actually do it, so how can I believe in it?
My real question here is:
How many times do you have to disprove something to yourself and others before you stop being accused of being "closed minded" about it?
If the answer is "never", which is what is being asserted here, then I will wear that badge with honor. Because I would rather be "closed minded" than "simple minded", any day of the week.
If you simply believe something that is claimed on the word or the side show presentation of the person making the claim, with no testing of your own to be able to prove it, then that is simple minded in my book. So if not believing after putting it to the test and it fails is "closed minded" than that is exactly what I am and I'm durned proud of it.

Question, test, be sure of anything you believe in, anything. Then when you are satisfied that this thing is true beyond a shadow of your doubt you can believe with whole hearted surety and not just with blind faith.
Wouldn't that be preferable?

I have stated, ad nauseum, that my disbelief is conditional, have I not? That if someone can show me the money and actually do this, I'll change my mind.
Is that being closed minded still?
If so, then that is what I am. Guilty as charged and happy to be that way.
But...
I, of course, don't see it that way.


Bob
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:38 pm

OH, and to answer your question:
The only reality that matters, of course. Mine.
No one elses reality means all that much to me.

Bob
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Fri Oct 13, 2006 1:21 pm

Shug,
Some people want to believe so badly that they will make it happen. They'd rather act like it is happening than have to admit that it isn't.
The students of people who claim they can do these things often do get thrown around, because they want to be. That way their Masters skill is proven and they can feel good about life.

In that respect, this is very real.

Even audience members who need something to believe in will go along with the demonstration, lending it an air of respectability.
Unfortunately, what happens next is that someone like me steps in and the whole thing goes quickly down the drain. I'm not thrown, I'm not even bumped, but their chi/yi/jing alone and their show is brought to a screeching halt.
Then the excuses start and I get labeled "closed minded", "unreceptive" and a few other epithets that are probably all perfectly true and applicable. No matter, their mind over matter power doesn't really work so they can call me what they'd like.
I have names for them as well, I'm just too polite to say them.
Well, usually.
;-)

Bob
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Postby bamboo leaf » Fri Oct 13, 2006 3:27 pm

(Some people want to believe so badly that they will make it happen. They'd rather act like it is happening than have to admit that it isn't.
The students of people who claim they can do these things often do get thrown around, because they want to be. That way their Masters skill is proven and they can feel good about life.)

I find this very disingenuous to the many who have felt this including myself. To suggest that somehow because others have felt or seen something that you have not so there for they are being mislead. What kind of logic is this.

(I have stated, ad nauseum, that my disbelief is conditional, have I not? That if someone can show me the money and actually do this, I'll change my mind.)

would you then be one of those making the teacher feel good about life?
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Postby tai1chi » Fri Oct 13, 2006 3:46 pm

Hi,

it's true that these demonstrations might be ascribed to "suggestion", the "desire to please" and "mass hypnosis," but that is usually considered demeaning or inaccurate. We generally agree that what happens in the video actually happens. The only question, imo, is "why" does it happen or what makes it happen? This eternal debate has always been about the causes, not the effects.

It's irrelevant to argue whether it is "possible" for this to happen. It does happen. Bob has his own idea of "how" and "why." Agree or not, they are possible mechanisms. My point --and I consider myself a skeptic in the classical sense-- was that all the proponent of an alternative theory needed to do was show why those demonstrations "could not possibly" be exactly what Bob says.

Personally, I think there are skills involved; but, ime, both partners need to know of the same skills, and they aren't supernatural. However, being skeptical means that one accepts that it might be possible. So, I can't discount Bob's opinion. It doesn't mean I accept it. That is also true for other assertions.

Anyway, rather than "reality", it might be simpler and more to the point to argue what someone thinks the cause is.

regards,
Steve James
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Postby bamboo leaf » Fri Oct 13, 2006 5:40 pm

(The only question, imo, is "why" does it happen or what makes it happen? This eternal debate has always been about the causes, not the effects.)

the explanations have been provided in accordance with the masters who can do this theories, based on an understanding and the reality of their own practices.

(It's irrelevant to argue whether it is "possible" for this to happen. It does happen. Bob has his own idea of "how" and "why." Agree or not, they are possible mechanisms. My point --and I consider myself a skeptic in the classical sense-- was that all the proponent of an alternative theory needed to do was show why those demonstrations "could not possibly" be exactly what Bob says.)

exactly its irrelevant to argue, I would say no, no one needs to prove or say anything. Since those doing it are and have explained, (talking about the masters who have shown clips that are widely known for there skills)

why should one disregard them and do listen to what? My point is that for what ever idea or path we all find what we seek and look for. No one that I know says what is shown or talked about is any better then any thing else, they do say that they are higher level skills meaning that they are harder to develop and only a few reach this level.

(Personally, I think there are skills involved; but, ime, both partners need to know of the same skills, and they aren't supernatural. However, being skeptical means that one accepts that it might be possible. So, I can't discount Bob's opinion. It doesn't mean I accept it. That is also true for other assertions.)

I don’t understand Bobs or anyone else’s views on this, there are things that are more common but would have many also being skeptical of the idea. For example does or can softness really win out over hardness or force. How many in their current practice actually use very little to no force at all? Does everyone agree on the meaning and experience of jin? What often confuses me is that if one buys into, can do has experienced, the above ideas why is it so hard to extend this understanding to higher level aspects of this?



[This message has been edited by bamboo leaf (edited 10-13-2006).]
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Postby tai1chi » Fri Oct 13, 2006 5:56 pm

Hi bambooleaf,

but you're simply claiming that all this has been shown already by others. Why not simply state your answer to the question instead of circumlocuting. I.e., "what" do you --not a past master-- think, believe, say that "it" is. We've agreed that "it" exists. So, what is the mechanism?

regards,
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Postby Bob Ashmore » Fri Oct 13, 2006 7:54 pm

BL,
If a Master ever actually does manage to throw me with their chi/yi/jing alone, without any physical contact with me...
He sure won't need me to make him feel good about life.
He'll already be there, don't you think?
And if he's not there's not one darned thing I could do at that point to make him that way.
I'D sure feel stupid though...
Well I guess that WOULD make him feel happy about life, right there!
But since I think there's a better chance of my getting eaten by a shark, at noon, on a sunny day, on the city hall steps in Minneapolis, MN...
I don't spend nights worrying about it.


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Postby bamboo leaf » Fri Oct 13, 2006 9:17 pm

Haha, your right there probably there feeling good about life.

(So, what is the mechanism?) I view it more of a process where by one fist understands what is meant by qi, yi and shen and then operates off of that understanding, refining it as one develops and is exposed to others of higher level.

I am sure that all of you have pushed with others at one time or another and wondered why did some one move so far or fall out with what seemed to you like no force at all, I would venture to say that if you asked them about it they would probably tell you they felt no force used but found themselves falling or chasing their own centers.

if one continued to work out this process, i think it would be understandble but very differnt from what most do these days, less and less force until none is really needed or used.

In this day and age of utube and such, its amazing that we can actually see some of the old masters at work showing skills that took them a life time to build. They didn’t start out that way but are able to provide IMO a short cut to others interested just by watching, thinking and then trying to practice it seeing how it works or could work.


just some thoughts


edited for to much rambling Image


[This message has been edited by bamboo leaf (edited 10-13-2006).]
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Sat Oct 14, 2006 4:32 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by bamboo leaf:
<B>
(So, what is the mechanism?) I view it more of a process where by one fist understands what is meant by qi, yi and shen and then operates off of that understanding, refining it as one develops and is exposed to others of higher level.
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


This is very close to what Wei Shuren writes in his books. I am going to post a bit from his works in the other thread.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> No one that I know says what is shown or talked about is any better then any thing else, they do say that they are higher level skills meaning that they are harder to develop and only a few reach this level. </font>


I agree – imo nothing is any better. It's sad when people try to put their style or branch on the higher place not knowing the whole thing about the other style/branch.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Does everyone agree on the meaning and experience of jin? </font>


It seems that even within Yang style there are somewhat different views on it. Where does the deference come from, this is quite a question.
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Postby Yuri Snisarenko » Sat Oct 14, 2006 12:33 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by bamboo leaf:
[B]
I am sure that all of you have pushed with others at one time or another and wondered why did some one move so far or fall out with what seemed to you like no force at all, I would venture to say that if you asked them about it they would probably tell you they felt no force used but found themselves falling or chasing their own centers.

if one continued to work out this process, i think it would be understandble but very differnt from what most do these days, less and less force until none is really needed or used.


</font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

David, thanks for the explanation.

Could you give a basic advice how to start feeling the other's intent? How do you start with a beginner? Do you do some prearranged patterns like peng-lu-ji-an, or just freestyle pushing hands? What the speed of such drills?


[This message has been edited by Yuri Snisarenko (edited 10-14-2006).]
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