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 Post subject: Questions about chi
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2000 3:58 pm 
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Location: Huntsville, Arkansas, USA
The first question to construct is from Allen M., modified by Wu Wei:

Can internal chi be detected through biofeedback techniques? (After which we'll move on to "can it be developed," since Wu Wei is quite right that if it can't be detected the question of whether it can be developed is moot.)

Let's develop this question. What do we "really mean" by it? How should we word it? What are its presuppositions and its implications? Are there sub-questions? Why do we want to know the answer? How can we make a case for asking this question?

I'll wait to hear from you.

Suzette


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 Post subject: Questions about chi
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2000 6:22 pm 
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I think we're on the right track. Although, I'm concerned about how we determine chi has been detected. I think student outlined the various scenarios well, but we need to determine what constitutes the detection of chi as opposed to other physiological readings (the difference between A1 and A2 in student's post).


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 Post subject: Questions about chi
PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2000 5:01 am 
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by ozarque:


Can internal chi be detected through biofeedback techniques?

Let's develop this question. What do we "really mean" by it? How should we word it? What are its presuppositions and its implications? Are there sub-questions? Why do we want to know the answer? How can we make a case for asking this question?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


What do we mean by what? Ch'i? Bio-feedback? Detect? Internal? Technique?

Detect for me would be observe and measure changes, at least grossly: increase, decrease, steady flow, interrupt.

Bio-feedback to me implies a scale of measurement of changes stronger than anecdotal evidence: some measurable chages in physiology.

Internal to me would be the subject's own ch'i level as detected and/or changed by the subject without the hypothetical addition of ch'i from an other person's direction.

Technique to me is a method of doing something, one hopes a repeatable one.

So where does this leave us?

In my opinion, we have the following scenarios:

A. Bio-feedback detects something.
In which case we either 1) have started to measure ch'i, or 2) are measuring something else that gives us the results we expect from ch'i, or 3) have faulty measuring equipment or users, or 4) have mendacity somewhere in the process.

B. Bio-feedback detects nothing.
In this case we either 1) have faulty measuring equipment or users, or 2) have mendacity in the process, or 3) are attempting to measure something incapable of being measured by this equipment, or 4) are attempting to measure something that does not exist.

Does anyone see other possibilities? Do you have significantly different definitions?

student


[This message has been edited by student (edited March 31, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Questions about chi
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2000 3:32 pm 
I wonder if IR photography could help. Just a thought.

------------------
Allen, New website http://www.ury2k.com/pulse/index.htm mirror: http://home.ici.net/~uechi/


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 Post subject: Questions about chi
PostPosted: Sat Apr 08, 2000 5:51 am 
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Location: Huntsville, Arkansas, USA
I'm going to try to impose a bit of structure here, so that we can all see clearly where we're headed and why....

1. Our longterm goal, broadly speaking, is to find scientific evidence for the existence of internal chi, so that internal chi can be investigated, studied, written about, discussed, and so on, in a rigorous manner.

2. The definition we've constructed for internal chi is:
"Internal chi is a form of internal energy that human beings can learn to bring under deliberate voluntary control."

3. Terms internal to the definition have been defined by us as follows:
"Internal" -- within our bodies and minds (or within our bodymind)
"Energy" -- the capacity to do work (that is, to lift something, carry something, hold something back, break something, and so on)

4. The question we're now tackling is: Can internal chi be detected by using biofeedback techniques?

A student member writes that "detect" for him or her would mean "to observe and measure changes, at least grossly." That's excellent. The first problem for our project, however, is that change has to be observed and measured from a baseline measurement of some kind. For chi, we not only have no baseline, we don't know what measurement would _constitute_ a baseline.

Suppose we bring a martial artist considered skilled with internal chi into the lab and decide that we're going to measure change. Change in what? Blood pressure? Electrolytes? Heart rate? Enzymes? Height and weight? Brain waves? Neurotransmitters? What? We don't know. We can hook up our martial artist to all sorts of measuring devices and get baseline measurements of blood pressure and so on; we can then ask our martial artist to "exert some chi" for us for ten seconds and measure again. Suppose that when we do that we find a variety of changes in the measurements -- suppose the blood pressure goes up significantly, for a very simple example. Many things are known to cause blood pressure to rise; the fact that that has happened could only be used as evidence for internal chi if all those other things could be ruled out. And the same thing, I believe, would be true for any of the physiological changes that standard measuring devices can measure for us. So, although detecting change in the martial artist is a useful scientific strategy, it won't help us at this point. What next, then?

Remember that we've defined energy as the capacity to do work. That work has been done can ordinarily be proved by change in whatever the work has been done _to_. That a ten-pound boulder has been moved three feet can be proved by the change in the boulder's position. We can therefore consider what task -- what work -- a martial artist could perform to demonstrate that he/she had used internal chi to bring about the change.

Consider the usual tests for psychokinesis. The person claiming to have that ability sits at a table where there is a compass, for example, and without touching the compass or table moves the point of the needle from north to east and keeps it there for twenty seconds. If this is done under controlled conditions -- which means that there's no way that person, or any other person, could move the compass needle by physical means -- the completion of the task proves something. I say proves "something," because all that is really proved is that the person can move the compass "mentally," and it's alleged that the mechanism for that is psychokinesis. For all we know, it would be correct to say that the mechanism is internal chi. But that is in many ways a quibble over terminology; it would at least prove the existence of a form of internal energy under deliberate voluntary control, one that was not on the standard list.

What we need is a task. When we want to teach a child deaf from birth how to pronounce an English sound so that others will understand, we can't use that child's hearing as feedback. So there's a device that lets the child watch a tv screen on which a basketball is seen being thrown at the basket/hoop as the child tries to pronounce the sound. The child can tell how close he or she is to pronouncing the sound properly by how close the ball comes to going through the basket; when the pronunciation is satisfactory, the ball goes right through. The biofeedback from the device is visual and tactile. The device works very well as a way of teaching pronunciation. That's an objective test, measurable and verifiable and repeatable.

To detect chi through biofeedback, I am of the opinion that we would need to propose a task -- work -- for the martial artist to do using internal chi. A measurable and verifiable and repeatable task, and one that we can't account for by proposing some other sort of energy.

Suggestions?


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 Post subject: Questions about chi
PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2000 1:27 pm 
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There's been no activity on this thread for a while, so I'm checking: If there's no interest in pursuing it further, either because you're satisfied with what has been done or because you don't feel that anything further would be useful (or interesting), let me know. I'll then close the thread.

Thanks...

Suzette


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 Post subject: Questions about chi
PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2000 7:10 pm 
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Suzette,

I think we may be at a stand-still. On your April 7 post when you mention we need a task and, "A measurable and verifiable and repeatable task, and one that we can't account for by proposing some other sort of energy," I don't know if this is possible. One task, however, I've never seen live but have heard about, is the ability to break a tile or brick when it is in the middle of a stack (ie: 3rd brick in a stack of 5) and only that brick / tile. This may be a force / energy / chi of something occuring that trascends what is seen (ie: internal) that has a measurable, repeatable effect on something external, that is under the individual's control.


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 Post subject: Questions about chi
PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2000 5:41 am 
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I agree that we seem to be at a standstill. This may be because we've gone as far as the group is interested in going with this issue. We've agreed on a definition of internal chi, constructed to make it possible to talk about chi rationally and productively. (Which is something we've been doing, by the way, in this thread.) We've agreed on the first question that we would want to ask about chi, as we have defined it. It may well be that that's enough; in any case, it's up to the group.

I only want to say that the task described in the post before this one is much more than would be required. It would be impressive, no question about it, but from a scientific point of view it's unnecessarily difficult. A very small task would be more than sufficient.

Here's a scenario to explain what I mean. You set up a controlled laboratory research area. You put a two-inch square piece of ordinary paper on a table two feet in front of the martial artist who wants to demonstrate the ability to use internal chi, consciously and deliberately and voluntarily to do work. "Top" is written on one side of the piece of paper, "bottom" is written on the other. You set the paper down with the side reading "bottom" facing upward. The martial artist then attempts to use internal chi to turn the paper over so that the side that says "top" is facing upward -- without touching the paper, blowing on the paper, or doing anything "physical" to it in any way. This is done while controlled conditions are maintained so that no cheating is possible. If the paper turns over and lies on the table with the "top" side upward, the task has been accomplished. _Almost_.

That is, you would have proved that the martial artist is able to use _some_ nontraditional energy source to do a task, to do work. To prove that that nontraditional energy source is in fact _chi_, however, you would have to rule out all other possibilities. The one other possibility most likely to be proposed by individuals who could do this task is psychokinesis.

It will be obvious to you, I'm sure, that mainstream scientists would be just as unwilling to accept the existence of psychokinesis under conscious deliberate control as the existence of chi under conscious deliberate control. (The existence of psychokinesis _not_ under conscious control is well documented, in my opinion, in the research on poltergeists.)

For scientific purposes, turning that piece of paper over is just as valid proof as smashing bricks or levitating the Pentagon would be. The issue is whether an internal energy source called "chi" that can be used to do work exists, not how _much_ work it can do.

Suzette


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