Jason started off a good thread on Chi and asked that, for the purpose of the thread, it be assumed that chi existed. I first assumed that he wanted some information on how one might begin to cultivate chi or use chi. Of course, it became a debate about whether or not anyone could prove that chi exists to the skeptics. From his later posts perhaps that was what he wanted, but I want to bring an issue to this new thread. The first post lead me down a different thought path and I appreciated the posts of John Thurton. However, the thread was, as always, diverted off down that old trail.
We have been there before. There are chi believers and chi disbeliever’s. There is nothing wrong with questioning anything. However, I think that it should be taken to a separate thread and the discussion allowed to continued.
The fact of the matter is I do not care if someone else believes in chi or not. I do not care if they demand that some one prove it to them before they do. I do not care what standards they set for that proof. I do not care because it is not my job, or duty, to prove it to them.
I believe in chi, and I believe in it due to my own personal experiences. Does this prove anything to anyone else? Absolutely not. My experiences have proved it to me. I do not expect anyone else to accept anything unless they are satisfied. However, based on my experiences I do expect to be allowed my own beliefs. I do expect to be able to discuss these beliefs with others. I do expect to be able to discuss how to learn more with others.
I think that a number martial arts work with the belief of chi and the use of chi, by derailing any and all discussion of chi to a discussion of whether or not we can satisfy someone’s own belief system does a disservice to those looking into this area of martial arts. Whether or not I can convince someone else that chi exists will not negate my own personal experiences. I think that those who do not believe in chi should always start a parallel thread to voice their dissenting opinions.
As I said it is not my purpose in life to convince anyone else that chi exists. Without a way to measure chi, beyond a person’s personal impressions (which are appropriately not accepted), there is no way to convince the skeptics. (Now before anyone incorrectly jumps on this like last time, I am NOT saying that because you CANNOT measure it then chi DOES exist.) I do not expect anyone to accept a belief until they are satisfied for themselves. However, I would like to hear from people who work to cultivate their chi. I would like to hear from those who practice chi kung. But, unfortunately, I doubt that this will happen.
What do I tell my students about chi? I don’t tell my kids’ classes anything. I never discuss it at all. In my adult classes I tell them that I believe that chi exists and is a life force that flows within the body. I make it very clear that they can believe it or not. They can think of it as a person’s spirit or an electrical force or whatever. They don’t have to believe it at all. I do not harp on it or focus on it. We do practice standing meditation and I will be introducing some chi kung practices as I learn more. I do tell them that the thought process of directing chi helps me strike harder and root better, so I really don’t care if it truly exists because this helps my martial arts, so I use it. Maybe it is true, maybe it is a crutch. Again I care not.
However, I am just beginning this path and starting some practices under my current teacher Sensei David Mott. I am very interested in hearing what others do, and really would have enjoyed this thread had it gone the path I thought was intended.
Some I am sure will feel that I am self deluded, I feel they are too stuck in the mere physical. Does this prove anything? Again no. Again I don’t care. I do care about travelling farther down a path I have chosen. Have your beliefs or disbelief’s. Post them boldly every time chi comes up under a thread called CHI IS BS! I care not. Skeptics do the world good. They keep people on guard.
Oh well, a toast to the thread that could have been.