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Thread: Could 'subtle energy' (chi, life force, etc) be 'diffuse magnetism'?

  1. #1 Could 'subtle energy' (chi, life force, etc) be 'diffuse magnetism'? 
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    I'm new to this forum and have more of a holistic, intuitive slant than most of the other participants, but I am have been studying the science of subtle energy for some time now and arrived at this thought after much reading and thought (and dreams too). I'm curious what more mainstream minds have to say on the subject. Please be kind


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    I think it should be moved to Pseudoscience. Well, you asked....


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    Well, there is a surprising amount of convincing scientific research out there regarding subtle energy. It does seem to be ignored, dismissed and swept under the rug, though.
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    What the heck is it supposed to be? There is no scientific meaning to the term. If there's a "surprising amount of convincing scientific research out there" can you provide a single scientific link addressing the subject?
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    Well, that's the problem you see - 'subtle energy' falls outside of the paradigm of conventional science. People seem to be conditioned to automatically dismiss the science associated with it as pseudoscience. The books "Life Force, The Scientific Basis" by Claude Swanson PhD, "Energy Medicine, the Scientific Basis" by James Oschman PhD, and "Science and Human Transformation: Subtle Energies, Intentionality, and Consciousness" by William Tiller PhD, to name a few are all loaded with all kinds of science, good, rigorous science on the subject.
    There appears to be a sort of Pavlovian conditioning on the part of the mainstream mindset to reject the concept altogether, to dismiss the evidence without really taking a good look at it, just because it does not fit in the paradigm. This seems terribly un-scientific to me.

    So, no, I cannot provide a scientific link that you would approve of because there is a division here, a line in the sand, and the concept of subtle energy is central to that division.

    After some contemplation as to why this line in the sand exists, and why science is so oddly dogmatic about it, I read that a common western translation for Chi or prana is "spirit" or even (gasp) "holy spirit" and since that is the domain of religion, there is simply no going there by any scientist worth his salt.
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    In other words, you have nothing other that pseudoscientific word salad.

    As I thought when I asked you to provide some support for your assertions.

    As for why the line in the sand is drawn, it's called science.
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    Quote Originally Posted by plasma dragon View Post
    The books "Life Force, The Scientific Basis" by Claude Swanson PhD, "Energy Medicine, the Scientific Basis" by James Oschman PhD, and "Science and Human Transformation: Subtle Energies, Intentionality, and Consciousness" by William Tiller PhD, to name a few are all loaded with all kinds of science, good, rigorous science on the subject.
    You can't expect that most people will run out and read those books. If you want others to even think about investigating these ideas, you need to paraphrase some of the theories and evidence in those books. Since you've obviously read them and digested them, it shouldn't be too hard for you to summarize them here in a paragraph or two. It's the least you have to do to begin to convince others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by plasma dragon View Post
    Well, that's the problem you see - 'subtle energy' falls outside of the paradigm of conventional science. People seem to be conditioned to automatically dismiss the science associated with it as pseudoscience. The books "Life Force, The Scientific Basis" by Claude Swanson PhD, "Energy Medicine, the Scientific Basis" by James Oschman PhD, and "Science and Human Transformation: Subtle Energies, Intentionality, and Consciousness" by William Tiller PhD, to name a few are all loaded with all kinds of science, good, rigorous science on the subject.
    There appears to be a sort of Pavlovian conditioning on the part of the mainstream mindset to reject the concept altogether, to dismiss the evidence without really taking a good look at it, just because it does not fit in the paradigm. This seems terribly un-scientific to me.

    So, no, I cannot provide a scientific link that you would approve of because there is a division here, a line in the sand, and the concept of subtle energy is central to that division.

    After some contemplation as to why this line in the sand exists, and why science is so oddly dogmatic about it, I read that a common western translation for Chi or prana is "spirit" or even (gasp) "holy spirit" and since that is the domain of religion, there is simply no going there by any scientist worth his salt.
    Rubbish. Discovering a new phenomenon brings massive financial incentives- particularly if there are medical applications. The reason scientists don't research these ideas today is because the evidence uncovered to date offers no reason to proceed any further. If scientists were as "closed minded" as you suggest, we'd have never discovered and made use of the very real forces that allow us to do magnetic resonance imaging, thermal imaging etc. No scientist worth his salt denies the involvement of various forms of energy in the functions of living things, but this other stuff is not science, conventional or unconventional.
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    There is plenty of science that DOES demonstrate this but it is continually dismissed. The Russians have discovered and made use of these forces. So have the Chinese. They don't suffer from the same line in the sand that we do.

    Wilhelm Reich made all sorts of interesting things happen with his orgone and he was shut down. Tesla, also shut down. Royal Rife and his Rife machine - extraordinary outcomes with frequency,way ahead of his time - shut down, erased like the rest of them. In our current world, William Tiller is a brilliant scientist describing these forces, but he is also marginalized. There are plenty of others as well.

    It is my sense that I could provide evidence here, along with some lovely little elegant math equations to describe it all, and people would still turn a blind eye because of your conditioning. It wouldn't matter how logical, how elegant, how precise, how replicable it is - it seems that it goes against your religion.

    However, I am always up for a challenge, so I will expose my vulnerability here and risk your "rubbish, nonsense, balderdash" responses - although it would be quite lovely to receive kind and polite and possibly even helpful responses instead Please keep in mind that I am a student, not any more than that -

    I have been working with subtle energy of the human biofield for 15 years, manipulating it with sound frequencies. I have found, in my own research, that the biofield, which appears to extend approximately 5-6 feet off the body, appears to contain what I can only conclude is a magnetic record of the life experiences of an individual. I have the curious ability to decode this information, and as such can take anyone whom I know nothing about, comb through their field with vibrating tuning forks, and tell them great details about their state of mind, current and historical pain, the personalities of their parents, and much much more.

    In the process of this energetic diagnosis, this exploration of the diverse frequencies that extend beyond the body , the static and incoherence of the frequency field appears to relax down into a more coherent and clear signal. In short, people feel better, generally right away. I know there is currently no science to support this, I am simply reporting my experience and that of my clients. Call it placebo if you like.

    This is all a process I came to intuitively, and puzzled by it all, have sought to understand scientifically. What are the forces in play? What is the biofield made of? These and many other questions have driven my research. Try to find a physicist to speak with you about the physics of sound on the biofield! It's been very challenging to say the least.

    I hold no dogma or position. I have my own experience that there is something there, something that can be decoded and manipulated for a beneficial therapeutic outcome with audible sound. I have only questions, and have looked long and hard for the answers to these questions - mostly, I want to know what comprises this field, and after much contemplation I came to the conclusion that it behaves magnetically, even though conventional science says that the magnetic field of the body can't possibly extend out that far.

    I have a skeptical, inquiring mind that never stops researching and seeking to understand. I am not conventionally educated so I have no adherence to what I was taught in school. It seems to me that if millions of people over thousands of years claimed direct experience with subtle energy, then there has to be something to it. One interesting notion I came across is that the magnetic field of the earth has been decreasing since they first began measuring it some 150 years ago. And apparently there is geological evidence that it has been decreasing for 4000 years.

    If subtle energy is 'diffuse magnetism' then it would make sense that current science would be skeptical of it when only highly sensitive can currently perceive what perhaps most ancient people could because it was stronger then, and there was less environmental man- made interference. It is generally represented that magnetic lines of force travel from pole to pole around the earth. Why wouldn't metaphysical dragon lines or ley lines be these magnetic lines of force?

    The magnetosphere of the earth, the heliosphere of the sun - why should the EM shield of the human body be any different?
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    Quote Originally Posted by PumaMan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by plasma dragon View Post
    The books "Life Force, The Scientific Basis" by Claude Swanson PhD, "Energy Medicine, the Scientific Basis" by James Oschman PhD, and "Science and Human Transformation: Subtle Energies, Intentionality, and Consciousness" by William Tiller PhD, to name a few are all loaded with all kinds of science, good, rigorous science on the subject.
    You can't expect that most people will run out and read those books. If you want others to even think about investigating these ideas, you need to paraphrase some of the theories and evidence in those books. Since you've obviously read them and digested them, it shouldn't be too hard for you to summarize them here in a paragraph or two. It's the least you have to do to begin to convince others.
    PumaMan, I will do that, as I am writing my masters Thesis at the moment and summarizing what is written in those books. When it is complete, I will post it. But it is surprisingly hard to summarize in a way that meets academic expectations - because it is a different paradigm altogether. The paradigms don't blend. Yet, anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by plasma dragon View Post
    There is plenty of science that DOES demonstrate this but it is continually dismissed. The Russians have discovered and made use of these forces. So have the Chinese. They don't suffer from the same line in the sand that we do.
    Still waiting for a reference, but I'm not holding my breath. More unsupported hand waving.."because I say so"

    Sheesh...
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    Quote Originally Posted by plasma dragon View Post
    It is my sense that I could provide evidence here, along with some lovely little elegant math equations to describe it all, and people would still turn a blind eye because of your conditioning. It wouldn't matter how logical, how elegant, how precise, how replicable it is - it seems that it goes against your religion.
    But of course, you haven't done so...
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    Quote Originally Posted by plasma dragon View Post
    The Russians have discovered and made use of these forces. So have the Chinese. They don't suffer from the same line in the sand that we do.
    See, that's the problem. You are just stating something with absolutely no evidence or examples. Surely, if you know about what the Russians and Chinese have done, you could at least tell us what they did -- evidence would be nice also.

    BTW, what sort of undergraduate degree do you have and from which university? Which university are you studying for your PhD?
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    PumaMan and MeteorWayne, I have done all my research in books, not websites. I have been a good researcher and only read books by men with PhD's from fancy colleges. I have read hundreds and hundreds of pages in the last few years and have far ranging notes, but I don't have the skills at this time to sum it up in a few paragraphs. I suppose if I dug deep enough I could find correlations on the internet, but I am supposed to be writing and sythesizing what I have read, not spending time doing that. At the moment I am trying to get a better grasp on what the current scientific understanding of magnetism is, but of course keep finding conflicting information.

    My degrees and universities are...unremarkable, and I am working on my Masters, not my PhD.

    So, if I come across any good examples of what I have read in my books on the internet, I will post the links. In the meantime, I guess I am going to go do some writing.. if anyone has any good links on magnetism, I would greatly appreciate it -
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    You do realize that, after starting the thread, you are now evading requests for more information. It doesn't bode well . . . .

    if anyone has any good links on magnetism, I would greatly appreciate it
    Ah come on now, an internet search suing "magnetism" will get you more links than you could read in ten years.
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    Well, yes, that is the problem, isn't it? Many many links, lots of information to sort through, only so much time. And lots of it conflicting! This includes Maxwell's original equations that were left out by others trying to simplify things, this does not, and so on like that. For someone new to the search, it's quite confusing. I don't know what is considered a valid source and what is not.

    I am not evading requests for more information - my sources are books, and that is a problem with internet discussions! I also have sources of published journals (mostly Journal of Alternative Medicine), but those have been available through my school and don't tend to be hanging out accessible by everyone.

    I'm willing to share what I do find, when I find it, because I am seeking greater understanding. As I said, I'm not trying to defend any assertions, just trying put together pieces of a puzzle that I have been working on. I have metaphysical pieces and physical pieces and an intuitive sense that they fit together somehow but there are surprisingly few people who have a science education that are willing to explore this topic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by plasma dragon View Post
    There appears to be a sort of Pavlovian conditioning on the part of the mainstream mindset to reject the concept altogether, to dismiss the evidence without really taking a good look at it, just because it does not fit in the paradigm. This seems terribly un-scientific to me.
    No, it is entirely scientific to dismiss evidence if it does not fit into an existing paradigm, when there is ample evidence to confirm this paradigm. For there to be a change in paradigm the new evidence will need out-weigh the old. Assuming neither evidence was just measurement error. This is a bit simplistic; read up Thomas Khun's work for more details. Thomas Kuhn (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Then read up on Karl Popper, just because he's awesome.

    Look, you come across genuinely interested to learn more about this subject. I'd advise keeping an open mind (that means not rejecting the current scientific paradigm, but learning it to see if it helps answers your questions). A common problem i've found with many 'alternatively' minded people - if you don't mind the label - is that they don't actually understand the scientific process, even if they do understand some concepts of science (such as physics or whatever). It is the process that is important, which elevates science from other forms of human enquiry. This is why we would like to know what masters you are undertaking, it will help us determine how much of the scientific method you should have been taught.
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    ok, my degrees...kind of hokey really, but degrees nonetheless...I received 90 credits (no small feat) from a community college program called Assessment of Prior Learning where you can be granted college credit based on life experience. You compartmentalize your life experience into 3 credit segments like "Office Procedures" and "Introduction to Spread Sheets" and for each of these units you need to produce 3 letters of verification from people in your history who can vouch for your claims that you do indeed have this life learning experience . Most of my background is in business - I started three businesses and sold two of them. I pursued a parallel career in the healing arts, becoming certified in massage therapy and a variety of other practices. I have read non-fiction books on business, and health, pretty much non stop since I was 17.

    I therefore finished undergraduate school in just one year, receiving a degree in General Studies after completing 30 credits of mostly core curriculum that my other 90 credits didn't encompass. As a single mother with a busy practice, heading off to fancy schools was not an option for me so I attended both my undergraduate and graduate programs at the state college here in my hometown. I could choose one of two graduate degrees - counseling or education, so I chose education. The college has a undergrad program in wellness and alternative medicine and they have asked me to teach part time on sound healing, which is my vocation, as soon as I complete my thesis.

    So there you have it. I am not a scientist. Not technically anyway. But I do have a powerful need to understand the mechanics and the logic and the language of things. And playing with audible sound (produced by tuning forks) as I have over the last 15 years has been a voyage of experimentation and discovery. It has led me to many, many questions, questions which have been very hard to answer, and only seem to produce more questions.

    I've spent a lot of time combing through the literature trying to find research on audible sound and there is virtually none! Infrasound, ultrasound, yes - practically nothing on audible sound. I started my literature review with sound, then moved on to music, but didn't really find much equivalent until I got to the "most controversial of CAM therapies, the biofield therapies" because they operate with a mechanism undefined by current western science.

    Since my work involves finding the "edge of distortion" in the field (sometimes five feet or more off the side of the body) with the tuning fork (so easy that anyone and everyone can do it) and combing inward while the coherence of the tuning fork appears to overtake or entrain the dissonance being produced by the body, I am working in not one but TWO controversial and unproven areas - audible sound and the biofield.

    Now, I wouldn't be going to all this effort to understand and define this scientifically - my practice is busy and my clients don't care about the mechanics of the process - but for the fact that I have witnessed extraordinary effects time and time again. Pain and anxiety and other states of disorder resolve right on the table, sometimes in ways that are nothing short of miraculous. The process is particularly effective for PTSD and head trauma, two things that our returning Vets are really suffering with. I want to make this process available to them, but I understand enough about the world that advancing the knowledge of it is best done through academic channels. That is why I went to school as an adult learner.

    But it has been somewhat consternating to have most of the work happen in the subtle energy of the biofield (which might as well be a unicorn as far as academia is concerned), and my masters research has turned, somewhat unexpectedly, into a quest to really understand the physics and composition of the biofield and understand how and why audible sound produces the effects that it does. It's a skinny little frontier out on the fringe. Most woo people don't care about science and most science people don't care about woo. I'm right smack in the middle of that equation.
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    Prometheus, thanks for the link on Thomas Kuhn. My thesis advisor suggested I read him and, actually, I was thinking about that this morning and couldn't remember his name and hadn't yet looked back in my notes for it.
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    http://dc235.4shared.com/doc/eLZQXh63/preview.html

    H
    ere's a link to a paper I am citing
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    I couldn't help it.

    Also, you have a degree in bullshit. Try to leave the country with it. Try. No other country will take you because it's useless. As for me, I'll study with the boys at Cisco. You know actual science. There is an assload of research about "audible sound" - where the hell do you think all these 5.1 systems, subwoofers & amps came from? What do you think the aeronautical engineers had to factor in when designing the Concord? What about the plethora of communications technology? Seriously? You honestly believe we haven't researched audible sound while people are walking around with cochlear implants?
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    GLEN REIN - Google Search
    That guy's "PhD" carries about as much weight as this one does.
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    Plasma Dragon, you have been very bold to share your findings and opinions here with us and in such a peaceful and eloquent manner. Obviously you are a daring pioneer and there are many people who read your posts who recognize that you are up against ignorance at it's best. Your wisdom is apparent, and not because of any regurgitation of facts, but because of your willingness to see past conditioning where others easily falter. The ability to ask questions beyond what you have been told and beyond what has been currently decided on as "proven" is what perpetuates our species forward. Closed-minded skeptics, when introduced to a new idea immediately respond, "that's not possible." They do not offer a shred of growth to humanity but instead hinder growth with their sneers. The Open-minded skeptic thinks, "how can this be possible?" They are the ones who have been responsible for the ingenuity and inventions that have propelled humanity forward in leaps and bounds beyond the chokehold of conditioned drones. Consider the naysayer's sneers as the sound of imprisoned minds begging you to show them the way out of their conditioning. Remember, to them, the world is still flat and they're in danger of falling off the edge.
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    Quote Originally Posted by against_ignorance View Post
    Plasma Dragon, you have been very bold to share your findings and opinions here with us...
    Welcome to the forum.

    In the future, you may wish to check thread dates; this one is a year old.
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    Quote Originally Posted by against_ignorance View Post
    Plasma Dragon, you have been very bold to share your findings and opinions here with us and in such a peaceful and eloquent manner. Obviously you are a daring pioneer and there are many people who read your posts who recognize that you are up against ignorance at it's best. Your wisdom is apparent, and not because of any regurgitation of facts, but because of your willingness to see past conditioning where others easily falter. The ability to ask questions beyond what you have been told and beyond what has been currently decided on as "proven" is what perpetuates our species forward. Closed-minded skeptics, when introduced to a new idea immediately respond, "that's not possible." They do not offer a shred of growth to humanity but instead hinder growth with their sneers. The Open-minded skeptic thinks, "how can this be possible?" They are the ones who have been responsible for the ingenuity and inventions that have propelled humanity forward in leaps and bounds beyond the chokehold of conditioned drones. Consider the naysayer's sneers as the sound of imprisoned minds begging you to show them the way out of their conditioning. Remember, to them, the world is still flat and they're in danger of falling off the edge.
    Against_ignorance, thank you for your kind words. I find it unfortunate that so many who participate in these science forums are unkind, even bullies. It seems to be the culture. I have enjoyed very much my forays into learning about Electric Universe theory at the thunderbolts.info forum. Those individuals are open-minded and polite. If you are a seeker of new knowledge, you may find the information there of interest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by plasma dragon View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by against_ignorance View Post
    Plasma Dragon, you have been very bold to share your findings and opinions here with us and in such a peaceful and eloquent manner. Obviously you are a daring pioneer and there are many people who read your posts who recognize that you are up against ignorance at it's best. Your wisdom is apparent, and not because of any regurgitation of facts, but because of your willingness to see past conditioning where others easily falter. The ability to ask questions beyond what you have been told and beyond what has been currently decided on as "proven" is what perpetuates our species forward. Closed-minded skeptics, when introduced to a new idea immediately respond, "that's not possible." They do not offer a shred of growth to humanity but instead hinder growth with their sneers. The Open-minded skeptic thinks, "how can this be possible?" They are the ones who have been responsible for the ingenuity and inventions that have propelled humanity forward in leaps and bounds beyond the chokehold of conditioned drones. Consider the naysayer's sneers as the sound of imprisoned minds begging you to show them the way out of their conditioning. Remember, to them, the world is still flat and they're in danger of falling off the edge.
    Against_ignorance, thank you for your kind words. I find it unfortunate that so many who participate in these science forums are unkind, even bullies. It seems to be the culture. I have enjoyed very much my forays into learning about Electric Universe theory at the thunderbolts.info forum. Those individuals are open-minded and polite. If you are a seeker of new knowledge, you may find the information there of interest.
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    Nothing personal, but if the world were always kind and forgiving to new ideas, science couldn't thrive. The burden of proof and the looming threat of failure is what drives scientists to work so hard. I'm not involved in ground-breaking research, but I don't imagine the people who are pushing the envelope of theoretical physics, for instance, are doing it for the warm and fuzzies they get from everyone.

    It's about progress, proof, and ultimately adding to our fund of knowledge. If hugs and kisses from the scientific community were a driving force in science, Nikola Tesla never would have become (in my opinion) the one of the greatest scientific minds in history.

    If you don't bounce back stronger than before each time you get shot down, you definitely can't handle the leading edge of the scientific wing.
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    Flick Montana, I am not a scientist nor do I claim to be one. I have no claims at all, just questions, and some speculations. Is it fair to be "shot down" for asking questions? I'm not putting myself forward as anything other than a simple person who has a curious mind, who is trying to understand a phenomenon that is puzzling to me. I have gone to people in science and asked them these questions. And I have encountered rudeness, dismissal, and even outright bullying like the weigh in from hockeydrunk.com up there. I have come to see that this is how the culture of science operates - but I am no good at hardball, and am not particularly inclined to learn to become good at it. That is why I chose to bow out of the conversation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by plasma dragon View Post
    Is it fair to be "shot down" for asking questions? .
    Certainly not, if that was all you were doing. The thing is, you never learn from the answers, do you? No matter what the science says, you will continue to believe in things like Chi, life force, diffuse magnetism, energy vibrations and goodness knows what else. Not so? It is this inability to learn that garners the ridicule you suffer.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

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    Kalster, has science proven that these things do not exist? Why are you so certain that what you say is true? Because other people have told you that and you believe them? Where is your skepticism about what you have been told? I have been a skeptic all my life. My mother used to always exclaim in exasperation "You can't tell that child anything, she has to figure it out for herself!". I'm not willing to believe everything I am told, especially if my direct experience tells me otherwise.

    My direct experience as a bodyworker has demonstrated to me, over and over again, that there is a sort of magnetic fluid that surrounds the human body, and that I can use sound to modulate and manipulate this field to produce consistent and predictable therapeutic outcomes. If you were on my table you would experience this very clearly. I have had many skeptics come to my table and I have never had anyone leave a skeptic - it is that obvious to direct experience. And my experience with this fluid field correlates with how the esoteric literature describes it. It is a physical phenomenon and as such it should be explored and defined by science, not gruffly and arrogantly dismissed because it does not fit in with the dogma. IMHO.
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    Why is it that scientists who subscribe to tested and proven theories are considered sheep for believing those theories?

    We don't simply believe what some schmuck on the street corner told us. We may review the data from a decades-long research project and find it viable enough to sway our opinion. But please don't subscribe to that tired old method of calling us mindless zombies who believe any drivel we're told. It's insulting when you suggest that we don't have the mental capacity to entertain more than one possibility or that we aren't capable of forming our own opinions based upon our view of the material.
    KALSTER likes this.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    Quote Originally Posted by plasma dragon View Post
    It is a physical phenomenon
    If so, you should be able to provide some objective evidence.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by plasma dragon View Post
    It is a physical phenomenon
    If so, you should be able to provide some objective evidence.
    I agree. I am actually working on that...
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    Plasma Dragon,
    you may want to read the following articles:
    Stenger, V. J. (1999). Bioenergetic fields. The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine 3(1), 16-21.
    Stenger, V. J. (2001). The breath of God: Identifying spiritual energy. In P. Kurtz (Ed.), Skeptical odysseys: Personal accounts by the world's leading paranormal inquirers (pp. 363-74). Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books.

    Hope they help you. These new concepts of subtle energies, life energy, chi, and the like, are seem to be different from those recognized by physics. The latter, are frequently misinterpreted and used to explain phenomena observed by those researching in areas such as bioenergy fields and psychoenergetics.

    Respectfully,
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    plasma dragon I have worked with Chi, Ki and similar "forces". They can properly be described as being in the area of Hypnotic and self hypnotic phenomenon. The phenomenon are real the prepossed explanation of them is bogus.
    Here is an example: I'm not a particularly athletic person. From a cold start , if I attempt touch my toes without bending my knees, I get about mid way down my shins. Now if I then do a short yoga-like mental focusing exercise I can bend measurably lower. The effect is measurable but inherently subjective.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    plasma dragon I have worked with Chi, Ki and similar "forces". They can properly be described as being in the area of Hypnotic and self hypnotic phenomenon.
    How do you mean sealeaf? In what way is it self hypnosis?

    You example didn't explain anything to me...
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    In the theory of martial arts, karate, Judo, etc. focusing the ki is the process of developing maximum action from the practitioner's body and of ignoring pain and other distractions. It involves factors like visualizing your strike as passing through the target, and consciously relaxing any muscles not needed for the strike. These, coupled with physical conditioning, produce the remarkable martial arts effects like punching through bricks. These processes happen inside the pactitioners own mind. This means that they are subjective phenomenon. The general term for mental processes that change reality for the subject is "hypnotic". If the person does it to them selves it is "self -hypnotic".

    When the practioner is focusing his ki it helps him be more effective if he truely believes that reality is changed, not just changed for him. As a result he talks of and thinks of the ki as a real external force. If he is a teacher dealing with students he imparts this belief to them. If he is in conflict with another practioner with similar beliefs they will each be attempting to impose their "ki" upon the other. Of course the one who succeeds in making the other believe that the physical struggle is going end in defeat has a major advantage.

    This process of making someone else accept a changed subjective reality imposed by you is called "hypnotism".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    In the theory of martial arts, karate, Judo, etc. focusing the ki is the process of developing maximum action from the practitioner's body and of ignoring pain and other distractions. It involves factors like visualizing your strike as passing through the target, and consciously relaxing any muscles not needed for the strike. These, coupled with physical conditioning, produce the remarkable martial arts effects like punching through bricks. These processes happen inside the pactitioners own mind. This means that they are subjective phenomenon. The general term for mental processes that change reality for the subject is "hypnotic". If the person does it to them selves it is "self -hypnotic".

    When the practioner is focusing his ki it helps him be more effective if he truely believes that reality is changed, not just changed for him. As a result he talks of and thinks of the ki as a real external force. If he is a teacher dealing with students he imparts this belief to them. If he is in conflict with another practioner with similar beliefs they will each be attempting to impose their "ki" upon the other. Of course the one who succeeds in making the other believe that the physical struggle is going end in defeat has a major advantage.

    This process of making someone else accept a changed subjective reality imposed by you is called "hypnotism".
    Thankyou sealeaf for a most excellent response.

    Where's the evidence that it only occurs in the mind and is only a 'beleif'? By focussing, and entering a certain mind set, the practicioner is focussing the mind towards the functions that the body will perform... this is just mind over matter. If anything one could say that we have been hypnotised to think it will hurt when we punch a brick.. and becuase we believe it, it hurts. But those practising ki are freed from this hypnotism and have a greater mastering of reality and of their own bodies. It's not a beleif that reality has changed, it's a fact.
    So it could be said that pain is largely self hypnosis.

    Hypnotism really is to put yourself to sleep...

    Just to play devils advocate: What if the practicioner is really accessing a subtle energy? What evideence is there of this being merely a changed subjective reality?

    Hypnotism involves putting somebody into a sleep like trance state, Hypnos was the greek god of sleep... focussing the mind is not like going to sleep.

    Pain is largly brought on by anxiety (beleif in pain)... It's more likely that 'ki' is a natural state of mind but pain is a state induced by hypnosis.

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    What can be accomplished through various hypnotic and self hypnotic techniques is amazing. We are only scratching the surface of this field. However there are limits. If it truly can't be done by the human body, then you still can't do it. The catch there is that most people severely underestimate human natural ability. Stage magicians exploit this all the time. Pain for example is just nerve impulses reaching the brain and being assigned meaning by the brain. The brain has no sensory ability of its own. If you take the labels off those impulses then you do not feel pain. Not feeling pain will not stop your flesh from carbonizing or being sliced. The most important evidence of it just being subjective is seen when practitioners try to impose it on others. The faith healer's "power of God" "slay in spirit" those who buy into the act and they fall over at a touch of his hand but if there is a disbeliever in the crowd, the preacher will have to push him down. Another evidence that ki is subjective is that while amazing things are done by the practitioners body when he raises his ki he still has to use his body to do it. No bricks are broken by ki alone. Levitation seems to be an impossible trick for humans. At least I have not seen any convincing evidence of it. Stage magicians fake it. The TM crowd claimed it and showed interesting still photos of people sitting in the lotus position in mid air. I have seen a video of a TM levitation class in progress. I'll grant that it is really difficult to jump while in a full lotus position but they had learned to do it. Jumping was all it was though. No hovering in mid air, just bouncing up and down. Research just how complex a process going to sleep actually is before you say it is not a matter of mental focus. Mental focus may be the more simple process.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    What can be accomplished through various hypnotic and self hypnotic techniques is amazing. We are only scratching the surface of this field. However there are limits. If it truly can't be done by the human body, then you still can't do it. The catch there is that most people severely underestimate human natural ability.
    Most people have been hypnotized into a false awareness of what they are capable of?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    Another evidence that ki is subjective is that while amazing things are done by the practitioners body when he raises his ki he still has to use his body to do it. No bricks are broken by ki alone.
    I never heard of Ki before... but of course it refers to an energy that can be accessed by the mind/body... rather than an energy that goes around breaking things on it's own, I presume.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    Levitation seems to be an impossible trick for humans. At least I have not seen any convincing evidence of it.
    Me neither... I have known people who claimed to have witnessed it, to have been a part of the process of making somebody levitate in front of a class. Not jump up and down in the lotus position, but float horizontally in mid air.

    I don't know what to think about it... but that person was not lying or making it up... So what was going on? Possibly that person had been hypnotized into beleiving they experienced it, but not likely. Possibly the whole thing was a dream or a hallucination, but not likely. More likely to me that the person witnessed something for which there is not currently a scientific explaination thats commonly known.
    There is this 'force' called gravity, is it not likely that there is also an anti gravity force? or a way to stop this force affecting a thing? I personally don't know enough about gravity to answer the questions, seems to me science is still trying to understsand it fully.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    Research just how complex a process going to sleep actually is before you say it is not a matter of mental focus. Mental focus may be the more simple process.
    I said:Hypnotism involves putting somebody into a sleep like trance state, Hypnos was the greek god of sleep... focussing the mind is not like going to sleep.

    Focussing the mind so that muscles work efficiently and pain signals are not magnified by fear, or even shut out completely... is different from sleeping or inducing sleep.
    Sleep may well require a mental focuss, I don't know.


    Where's the science on what happens to the mind/body when somebody 'manipulates' ki? or self hypnotizes themselves to make something a reality by beleiving in it? if thats how you prefere to think of it.

    They say the brain operates through a spectrum of EM frequencies... Sleep and the various forms of it cause the brain to operate at a certain frequency of the spectrum. When somebody goes into a trance, their brain will be at a certain frequency.

    I bet the frequency of the brain of a ki master, will be different from the brain frequencies associated with all forms of sleep and hypnosis.

    It might be that sheer faith in a positive outcome can allow the brain to reach a higher energy state, thereby allowing it to operate better and control the body better, resulting in achievements that 'non beleivers' can't comprehend as normal reality or emulate.

    Perhaps 'blind' beleif is not so blind after all?
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    Electro encephalographic waves do have frequencies but our ability to classify them is primitive. We have only the roughest idea what they mean. The hypnotic state is not at all like natural sleep. It is a state of focused attention to the hypnotist. The trance results from the subject's complete focus on the hypnotist, to the exclusion of everything else. Now understand that I have only been hypnotized once and have only used hypnosis therapeutically myself less than half a dozen times. So I could know less than I think I do. As to the scientific studies of Ki? I doubt that any professional "Ki istas"have submitted themselves to be studied. What science has been done is more along the lines of debunking those who were trying to defraud the public by pretending to use ki.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    The hypnotic state is not at all like natural sleep. It is a state of focused attention to the hypnotist. The trance results from the subject's complete focus on the hypnotist, to the exclusion of everything else.
    Strictly speaking the word 'hypnosis' should only be associated with trance states that appear as sleep states. This is becuase the word hypnos means 'sleep'.

    I have no personal experience with any proffessional hypnotists... but from what I've seen hynotism is more about putting somebody into a subconscious trance in which they become very suggestible. As soon as they come out of the trance they don't remember a thing.

    It's not that your foccusing on the hypnotist... it just that what they say subtly goes into your subconscious and you act out what they request without any real consciousness of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    As to the scientific studies of Ki? I doubt that any professional "Ki istas"have submitted themselves to be studied. What science has been done is more along the lines of debunking those who were trying to defraud the public by pretending to use ki.
    As always, trying to disproove the amazing rather than understand it...

    I expect there are many martial arts master monks who would be willing to have a brain scan while the pratice there chi... it's simply a case of whether anybody will pay to find out what's happening in the mind/body and whether they will share the findings.

    Like you say though... looking at pictures of brains lighting up in different areas and then guessing what it means is primative. I'd guess the best way to understand the different mental states is to experience them for yourself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Strictly speaking the word 'hypnosis' should only be associated with trance states that appear as sleep states. This is becuase the word hypnos means 'sleep'.
    This appears to be an example of the "etymological fallacy".

    I'd guess the best way to understand the different mental states is to experience them for yourself.
    I'm not sure. The little I have read about research in this area shows that there is very little correlation between what people "think" is happening and objective measurement.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Strictly speaking the word 'hypnosis' should only be associated with trance states that appear as sleep states. This is becuase the word hypnos means 'sleep'.
    This appears to be an example of the "etymological fallacy".
    Why do you share this opinion without sharing the logical reasoning that led to it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    I'd guess the best way to understand the different mental states is to experience them for yourself.
    I'm not sure. The little I have read about research in this area shows that there is very little correlation between what people "think" is happening and objective measurement.
    Ok. So why is objective measurement more accurate in this case than what a person who has experience it thinks?

    Why can we not objectively measure what people who have experienced it think? that would give us a good idea of whether people's thoughts tend to correlate... if they do, then chances are they are accurate measurements of the phenomena.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Ok. So why is objective measurement more accurate in this case than what a person who has experience it thinks?
    Because it's easy to fool people (and people often fool themselves). Magicians and charlatans depend fundamentally on that fact to practice their craft.

    That's why science doesn't -- and shouldn't -- place much weight on subjective "proof."
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Why do you share this opinion without sharing the logical reasoning that led to it?
    Sorry, I thought it was clear. You were arguing that hypnosis should mean something other than it does, because of the origins (etymology) of the word.

    Etymological fallacy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Ok. So why is objective measurement more accurate in this case than what a person who has experience it thinks?
    Ummm... because it is objective? The whole purpose of the scientific method is to remove subjectivity and get objective, repeatable results.

    Why can we not objectively measure what people who have experienced it think?
    Oh, you can. You can make objective measurements of subjective phenomena. And this may show that what people think is happening ("there was no gorilla on the paying field") does not match objective reality.
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    There's a lot of variables when dealing with people... as such we all experience different things, granted.

    But if these states such as hypnotism, and high energy ki 'focus', can be both measured by observations with technology, but also by subjective experience of the people who experienced the different states (as conformed by observations and measurements)... then this dual approach to understanding will probably give the best results.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    Why do you share this opinion without sharing the logical reasoning that led to it?
    Sorry, I thought it was clear. You were arguing that hypnosis should mean something other than it does, because of the origins (etymology) of the word.

    Etymological fallacy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    I worked out what an etymological fallacy might be... I didn't work out why my interpretation of hypnos as sleep was false.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Ok. So why is objective measurement more accurate in this case than what a person who has experience it thinks?
    Ummm... because it is objective? The whole purpose of the scientific method is to remove subjectivity and get objective, repeatable results.
    I don't think it's beyond the scope of a person to analyse an experience objectively...

    It's just hard to find people who don't have preconcieved feelings about a topic...

    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Why can we not objectively measure what people who have experienced it think?
    Oh, you can. You can make objective measurements of subjective phenomena. And this may show that what people think is happening ("there was no gorilla on the paying field") does not match objective reality.
    If everybody say's there was no gorilla on the playing feild... doesn't this conform to objective reality? realistically 1 million out of one million people will say 'there was no gorilla'... and that will also be the objjective reality.
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    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    [It's just hard to find people who don't have preconcieved feelings about a topic..
    Which is why we prefer objective data.

    If everybody say's there was no gorilla on the playing feild... doesn't this conform to objective reality?
    Presumably this won't work now but take a look...

    The Monkey Business Illusion The Invisible Gorilla
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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    I don't think it's beyond the scope of a person to analyse an experience objectively...
    But the only way to show that any particular person's analysis is in fact objective is to test it against some other process which is known to be objective.

    For the most part, without sound and/or vision recordings of something this is near impossible. What we can do is use various research and other processes to educate people that it really is much, much easier to fool yourself than you might think. And if someone sets out to persuade you or even to fool you, you are probably susceptible, to some degree, to their ideas. All up, it's a good idea to be willing to see that your own memories and thoughts can be faulty - whether your brain did it all by itself or someone else misled you.

    For things where it isn't even possible to show personal failings in reasoning or recollection, we use processes like peer review in academic publishing. There's no guarantee in this process that all of the people involved won't suffer from the same errors as the writer/s, but there is a much better chance of picking up really obvious flaws or oversights in reasoning and calculation and analysis than anyone can do without such external checking.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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    Instead of calling them fancy names, couldn't you just call it instinct? I mean Life Force, Chi, Kii, Kundalini Yoga, Samahdi, Electricity and all them special names that recruit?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perplexion View Post
    Instead of calling them fancy names, couldn't you just call it instinct? I mean Life Force, Chi, Kii, Kundalini Yoga, Samahdi, Electricity and all them special names that recruit?
    Well, most of those come from different languages, so it really shouldn't be a surprise that different languages have different words for things. :P
    Also I guess instinct is the "result" of these things, these are names for the "cause" of instinct I guess.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by question for you View Post
    [It's just hard to find people who don't have preconcieved feelings about a topic..
    Which is why we prefer objective data.

    If everybody say's there was no gorilla on the playing feild... doesn't this conform to objective reality?
    Presumably this won't work now but take a look...

    The Monkey Business Illusion The Invisible Gorilla
    Can't say I saw the gorilla... There had been some swift pases so I was foccusing hard on counting. When I reallised there had been a gorilla... it sort of triggered a sense that I noticed it, but paid zero attention to the oddness of it. I was focussing pully on the observations I had been asked to make... the number of time the ball is passed. had I not been given a brief and simply watched the video... I would have noticed the gorrilla.

    One thing to learn from this might be that when we go into something with an aim to discover something in particular, it might be a lot easier to miss out on discovering other unexpected things.
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    Tell you what, go to Google Scholar, and find some of his peer reviewed articles about the matter.
    In the information age ignorance is a choice.
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    Chi or Whatever, shouldn't much be payed attention to developing. If you have ten opponents, you may turn into maybe, seven people at that particular occaision. A basic example of Chi is to stand totally relaxed, until a time where you tense up. You may relax and see it at work again, maybe this time with slight adjustments in posture and whatever to balance the maitenance. The Maitenance should be Instinctual not Psychological. "The body should take care of itself" . Personally, I practice MA in a very relaxed manner, relying on my skeleton and not my muscles. Of course in the real thing, it "all "would go. Teaching yourself to fight with your skeleton will get you pretty far if you meditate on it. I say" tenseness" is an example of Chi.
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