It seems to me that we are beginning to have a rough list of questions to be asked (and perhaps researched) about chi, come the day we're satisfied with our definition. I thought it might be helpful to do one posting in which I list those questions as they've come up in the course of our discussion up to this time. Please let me know if I have _misstated_ your question, and send me your revision so that we can refine the list as we go along; please correct me if you asked a question and I didn't include it on the list. I 'm listing the questions in the order that I found them in the postings; this is unlikely to be the order you'll want them in as a final list.
[Note: Asking these questions _presupposes_ the existence of chi. When chi is adequately defined, this is entirely respectable scientifically; if research were done only with regard to things already known to exist, science would be severely limited. The adequate definition is essential, however. (Consider the problem with doing research regarding the theories of Freud; the fact that he never defined terms like "ego" and "id" adequately makes it essentially impossible to construct research studies about them.)]
First rough draft, questions to be asked about chi:
1. Can internal chi be developed through biofeedback techniques? (from Allen M.)
2. Is it possible to detect chi? (from Wu Wei)
3. How is chi manifested in an individual engaged in bringing it under deliberate control? (from Wu Wei)
4. What are the physical characteristics [i.e., the biofeedback -- Suzette] that result from bringing chi under direct control? [And, I assume, the biofeedback when someone who has already brought chi under direct control makes use of that control? -- Suzette] (from Wu Wei)
5. Is chi an ultra-heightened biomechanical phenomenon that can be empirically measured and understood using conventional physiological concepts? (from John C)
6. Or, is chi a force that is outside the boundaries of conventional concepts that requires a shift in the paradigm and theory of the "bodymind"? (from John C) [Note: I suggest taking a look at the current paradigm and theory of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). Try _Mind*Body Medicine_, by Daniel Goleman and Joel Gurin, Consumer Reports Books 1993; ISBN 0-89043-840-4. This is seven years old, but still the best place to start -- and it is most emphatically not a "tabloid" source.]
7. Is internal chi manifested in everyone or only in those practicing the martial arts? (from John C) [Note: The term "manifested" would require definition, since it has more than one meaning.]
8. Shouldn't we define external and internal chi with a single definition? Isn't it perhaps impossible to make a distinction between the two? (from various people)
9. Are there martial artists who can influence both external chi and internal chi? (from Gilbert MacIntyre)
10. Are there martial artists who can influence both external chi and internal chi "as one"? (from Gilbert MacIntyre)
There. Given an adequate definition, we could refine this list and consider what might be done with it next -- perhaps, as I said, in a different forum. I'm not sure the VSD Forum is the appropriate place for that next step, but I could be wrong; I am willing to be persuaded. [Note: Persuading me -- with clarity -- would give you a chance to practice your verbal skills.]
One more thing.......
Gilbert MacIntyre writes that there is a Tibetan Buddhist practice "called Tonglen" which he understands to be "the practice of taking sick, negative, diseased, chi from one person into your being and replacing it with your own." That may well be right.
I would suggest an alternative, however, in which "Tonglen" (and other practices of the same kind) are a resonance phenomenon. That is, these are practices in which the "practitioner" is able to make it possible for the person with sick/negative/diseased chi to alter the condition for the better by trying to match the "practitioner's" chi -- perhaps without conscious awareness that that's what's happening. (Consider the way the sound of a concert A struck on a piano or tuning fork will cause the A string of a guitar to make a matching sound without being struck. That's resonance.) It is always better -- when possible -- to let people go forward by removing the fence holding them back than it is to pick people up and throw them over the fence.