Chi?

Discuss Qigong, its ideas, theories and practice. Please stay on topic.

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Postby joeblast » Sun Dec 27, 2009 4:41 pm

Is the action of Tao somehow not change?

Returning is simply another change.

Just like the Tao that can be spoken of is not the real Tao, such is qi - its an experience. Getting down to the nitty gritty and really trying to accurately define it is tough, and I'll invoke heisenburg's uncertainty principle here - you can only get so close to the 'true' value, for really all we are able to do is dance about the subject, never quite touching the flame.

that's the reason I shared the quote :)


(how did it not address context specific terms? it did, and showed many uses where usage of 'qi' is still applicable, yet 'energy' ceases to be applicable.)
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Postby Josh Young » Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:41 pm

Is the action of Tao somehow not change?

Returning is simply another change.

I believe in return, change I do not. It seems to be an illusion, things appear to change but do not really change. For example, now is one moment, that has never changed. No moment has ever replaced the next, the moments never change over, even though one may watch a clock one cannot leave the moment of now. Thus change is an illusion, but return is predictable.


I'll invoke heisenburg's uncertainty principle here - you can only get so close to the 'true' value, for really all we are able to do is dance about the subject, never quite touching the flame.

Heisenberg uncertainty arises with the conflation of wave phenomena as particles, when particles do not exist. It turns out there is no uncertainty, the paradox is that there is no entity called particle, rather the criteria of particle is just a set of properties, they do not entail a particle. If you try to give values of position and velocity it does not work, because particles are not independent bodies, ergo they are not particulates. It is like trying to say where the physical body of a wave in the ocean is while tracking the velocity of the wave. The wave is not an object, it is an energy, the same is true for what we think are particles and this is the source of the uncertainty paradox. That and the artifact of linear time, which creates delusions about the nature of space and time.


In the classics it says that the qi of the body is unified. How does the example address this context? Qi is also used to refer to electricity in China, how does the example address this context?
You see, it is electricity, but not only electricity, because it is a word, one used in many contexts and not one limited to a single meaning or contexts, in other words it has no real meaning outside of individual contexts, there is no single qi in the inclusive sense, but there are dozens of forms of it in the contextual sense.

The idea that there is a single type of qi is largely just a romantic notion linked to the new age movement in the west. Just like the idea of the earth worshiping witch or the noble Indian warrior of the plains living in perfect harmony with the earth. People believe in these things today, but they have no basis in reality.
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Postby joeblast » Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:28 am

:lol: say the blind men inspecting different parts of the elephant...

how can there be return without change? (not necessarily having left in the first place) yet, things simply are without the need for more, but most often there is more, in some sense of the word.

qi is unified, yet the parts have their own qi of sorts...read and ponder the poetic again, brother - its encompassed. it may not be direct, but sometimes occam's razor fits the bill ;)



as to my correlation of heisenburg's uncertainty principle..."particles" may not be minute little ballbearings, yet place a detector in front of a "physically compatible" elementary particle/wave whatever manifestation and you very much get a reaction...like a photon striking a light detector. that something can "act like a particle" when you really dont have sufficient resolution to see what it "looks like" - but you can still experiment and make educated guesses as to its nature - is really immaterial in the larger picture, I was merely using that as a congruence of concepts; using words to define experience is and always will be an abstraction.
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Postby Dvivid » Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:48 am

The fact is, words fail.

1. I experience time in a chronological linear manner, though I understand the concept of everything occurring simultaneously in a single moment. I am a present person, and often feel "in the now". But NOW is always different.

2. I experience a oneness of mind and a feeling of interconnectivity with all things sometimes in meditation. The physicist Schrödinger said the total number of minds in the universe are ONE, and that "plurality is only an appearance". But, I still disagree with you, so where's my oneness?

3. Change is the only constant in the universe. As each moment passes to the next, everything is different. Conceptualizing about "returning" to oneness, really just means you are in a state of constant change.

4. I think it is entirely valid to consider "living in harmony with nature". It doesnt mean something supernatural will come of it, and I dont think theres anything 'new age' about that idea.

Eating local, organic food, going to bed when it is dark, waking up with the sun, listening to your body - this is living in harmony with nature.

5. I have experienced a unified Qi in my practice. But within that feeling, I also sense variations; yin qi and yang qi, governing qi and wei qi...

Is it one? No, its two. Is it two? No, its one.

Remember that the fundamental nature of Qi (energy) is to transform.
"Avoid Prejudice, Be Objective in Your Judgement, Be Scientific, Be Logical and Make Sense, Do Not Ignore Prior Experience." - Dr. Yang

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Postby Josh Young » Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:50 am

I am amazed by how conclusions can differ!

I see energy as propagating, but causing no change or transformation.

I see change as a good concept to use but observe that nothing changes.

I see now as the same always, unchanging and present even when I have no awareness of it.

The sun, one can plainly see, rises and sets. What is apparent, such as change and time and energy transformation, can be misleading, even as the sun rising and setting can be.

I agree though, qi as energy is all that is and ever shall be. Nothing is lost and nothing is gained.
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Postby joeblast » Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:11 am

Josh Young wrote:I see energy as propagating, but causing no change or transformation.
hm....please elaborate?
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Postby Josh Young » Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:01 pm

I am elaborating not for sake of argument, but because I was asked to.


It this is out of place we can take it to PM.

Consider a wire with what we call an electric current, (I would call it an electrical resonance, not a current) the wire does not change, even as it propagates the energy.

Consider the ocean as a wave passes through it, it propagates but does not change. If one watches the wave, it dissipates as it propagates(entropy), but never transforms.

Consider a light bulb, the electrical energy goes through it, it is not transformed into light, light is given off as a result of entropy but is not the result of a change of energy or matter. The bulb remains the same, so does the filament.

Consider critical mass and atomic fission. The fundamental parts of the subatomic "particles" remain as they are. The atoms do not change even when they are split.

Consider a tree that is cut into ten thousand wooden objects. The wood does not change, the atoms of the wood does not change. We can say that the shape has changed, but there was no transformation only the removal of material.

Consider the thermodynamic laws, if you lift something off of the ground then it has not changed, other than to say it changes position, but that is propagation, not transformation.

The universe never seems to change. We assume it does perhaps, because our perspective changes position, so things look different to us according to our perspective, but the elephant stays the same regardless of the claims of the blind. If one of the proverbial fellows trades position with another, then he would report that the elephant changed, but did it?

In the way of nature, the path of nature, the way of things, in Tao, all is. Tao is great, great is not value, it is expanse. Yin and yang exists as two sides of one, this one is undifferentiated and so is none even as it is one. This is wuji-taiji-yin/yang. I doubt any of us is not familiar with this. If I push you, and you are yin to my yang, you do not change my energy, even as you re-direct it, you would propagate it, but not transform it, for it cannot be changed.

Change is part of the illusion. We assume that things change when our perception does, we assume things have changed when we perceive them as different than they were. But if we look for the moment of change we will not find it.

Consider the concept of changing direction, this is not a true transformation, rather it is a redirection, a propagation. Consider the combustion of wood, it is basically made of beta bonded sugar molecules that form the polysaccharide: cellulose, a natural hydrocarbon based form of plastic. However when wood burns it propagates its energy, on one level we say the wood has changed, and this is valid. However if we look at the process of combustion, we see energetic propagation and release, the hydrogen and carbon for example, do not change. So even while we can observe types of change this is due to perspective, if we look at instances of change we find that a lack of change underlies them. For the electricity to be" changed" into light, the nature of the electron charge, of the photon, of entropy etc, must not change. For the wave to reach the shore the ocean and the wave cannot change.

Pass a wave through water with a cork floating on it, even as the wave "changes" position, the cork stays in the same location. The movement of the wave requires that the water not change locations, it must stay in the same place.

This is the essence of my view of change, as foolish as it may be.

It was explained by Sidhartha, he said the only thing that never changes is that everything does, more or less. Think about that, he states that change is an illusion, because the constant observation of change never changes. This implies the same thing as the wave in the ocean, for the wave to "change" position the ocean must remain as it is. Change requires as it's foundation a lack of change, this implies that change is an artifact of mind, which Siddhartha also taught me.

Sorry if this sounds foolish, I am you see a human and therefor am foolish.
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Postby joeblast » Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:41 pm

Not foolish at all, bro! I just wanted to understand where you were coming from a little better. I understand the change but not change angle, didnt want to necessarily get hung up in dualism ;) To me it seems that awareness, consciousness, is what does not change - the cork has moved position slightly due to a wave passing underneath; the electrons in the wire have all bumped down along the line and shifted position, as have electrons absorbed and emitted photons in the filament - all of this has changed, while from another point of view they've stayed the same.

Consider this in the context of qi - though a great amount of energy has passed underneath the cork, the ultimate meaningful result may be of the cork perhaps making the crown centerpiece on the child's sand castle once its landed on a beach somewhere. In such a case, each aspect of qi serves various form and function, one might consider the positive qi generated by the boy's achievement on the beach and the happy day that resulted. (One can also extrapolate the qi of the play sword made from one of the 10,000 pieces of that tree, the bow or spear made, serving to feed the family of the hunter that made it...or the photon emitted from a supernova 13 billion years ago, hitting the hubble's mirror...)

Speaking strictly from an 'energy' standpoint, qi has certain connotation. My main point was that it does indeed seem that even though energy is qi, not all qi is necessarily (even if simply transforming) energy, for there can possibly be great meaningful result contained and or transferred outside of the scope of simply energy, it can also contain meaning - which of course in and of itself can be put into a context of energy, but may not necessarily be considered a 'classical' form of energy. Different combinations can give rise to different manifestations; sometimes the whole becomes far more than the sum of its parts. The elephant may not necessarily care what the blind men are saying, but if it bats the darkened glasses from one of them, all of a sudden there's another dimension to this "thing" they're inspecting!

Most often we learn more of ourselves when clarifying our own positions - hence the reason its such a boon in some instances for an intermediate student to have to turn around and begin teaching, for the fundamentals of one's own understanding must be solidified before they can be effectively communicated :) (for instance, my younger brother just got his commercial heli license, and now its his turn to start teaching beginners.)

I dont disagree with your point of view at all 8)
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Postby Dvivid » Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:54 am

Nice elaboration, I dont disagree either.

But the wire decays over time, increasingly as it is used.

That is change.

Your eyeballs will age until they cease to function. That is change.

Those atoms of our decayed bodies after death will become grass or a tree or a whatever. That is transformation. Different than it was before. Change.
"Avoid Prejudice, Be Objective in Your Judgement, Be Scientific, Be Logical and Make Sense, Do Not Ignore Prior Experience." - Dr. Yang

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Postby Josh Young » Sat Jan 02, 2010 8:32 pm

And despite the ability to measure the illusion of change, nothing changes.

The wires basic parts never become something else.

The eye never becomes not an eye.

What we call change requires that things do not change.
Buddha said this, in that what we call change entails an unchanging foundation. In tao this is undifferentiation, this gives rise to differentiation, but tao cannot change, it is ever as it is, it gives rise to change only by not changing.

And for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, this is return, not change. Change is to me a shape in a cloud, I might recognize it, but the cloud has not changed.
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