The One Point • Gravity •

Discussion in 'Tai chi' started by fusedroot, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. Polar Bear

    Polar Bear Moved on

    Yeah but just because we don't know the answer doesn't mean we accept any answer. It would be like me asking who used all the toilet roll and nobody knowing then me telling everyone it was aliens. It's the kind of logic children use whereas as adults we should be comfortable with the answer "I don't know" instead of creating childish fairy stories to cover our ignorance.
    Science is the ability to say "I don't know" and spending you life trying to find out.

    The Bear.
  2. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    JK I responded in the religion forum as it seems more appropriate. In light of your 2nd post which I have not replied to yet I think I should make it clear that I have no problem with religious belief I don't want people to become atheists and I know of many scientists who are also religious who I admire. The image you are trying to portray of atheistic opposition to your view purely because you believe in God is false. Im opposing your arguments because they seem inherently flawed to me and because you demand that people produce scientific evidence and criticise them when they are unable to when you yourself consider such evidence irrelevant to things you personally believe to be true.
  3. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian


    Your whole post is full of hypocrisy.
  4. bealtine

    bealtine Valued Member

    Right so, both of these points need some quick addressing.

    You dismiss qi because there is no evidence...or that this stuff which doesn't exist is a piece of sedition etc. etc.

    Yet by the same token you believe, without any evidence whatsoever,
    in a God.

    Therein lies the dichotomy of views, you unreservedly believe in something without any tangible evidence yet you dismiss some other stuff because there is no evidence.

    Uhuh brain stopped punch F1 to restart...
  5. daftyman

    daftyman A 4oz can of whoop-ass!

    This is no longer a taiji thread, but a religious one. Someone please shift it!
  6. Taoquan

    Taoquan Valued Member

    I must reemphasize how hectic it can be to "catch up" to you UK people on these threads! Man you have an entire page written before I get out of bed! :D
    Well I will have more time this afternoon/evening to respond to FQ but quickly since CK asked:

    These are the same studies that I mentioned in our previous posts "now is your chance" and the other Qi one we had great discussions on. For the most part you have looked through them and mentioned a few negative aspects of the studies, but you also mentioned they brought up good points. The main study I referred to here was the study done by (heck I will copy it for you and find the link)

    Although reports of acupuncture have been recorded in the west since the 1800's, it wasn't until the 1970's that this method of therapy became well publicized. A reporter for the "New York Times" became ill with appendicitis while traveling in China and had an appendectomy without anesthesia, but with the use of acupuncture. This was widely reported in the western press. Doctors tried to explain the technique by saying it was the "placebo affect". This is the phenomenon in which 30% of people will be shown to be able to self heal in experiments when given a sugar pill instead of the "real medicine". However, this was shown to be a false belief because animals (who couldn't possibly respond to suggestion) also responded to the analgesic properties of acupuncture.

    In the 1960s, western scientists developed a special tissue-staining technique that allowed him to identify these meridians in rabbits. Western scientist ignored this research until the 1980s when two French researchers, Drs. Claude Darras and Pierre De Vernejoul repeated Dr. Hans experiment using radioactive tracers on human beings.

    They injected and then twirled radioactive technetium into the acupoints of patients and used nuclear scanning equipment to follow the flow of technetium. They also injected non-acupoints. At non-acupoints, the radioactive tracer diffused outward from the injection site into circular patterns. When the true acupoints were injected, the radioactive technetium followed the exact pathways as the acupuncture meridians in the ancient charts of the human body! They also found that when acupuncture needles were inserted into distant acupoints along the same tracer-labeled meridians and the twirled, a change was produced in the rate of flow of the technetium through the meridians. This research supported the ancient Chinese claim that the acupuncture needle stimulation affected the flow of ch'i through the body's meridians.

    If I recall you did not like that it was not on an "unbiased site" which I can agree with, but here you go CK

    Here is the snipit on electrical resistance:
    In 1950 Yoshio Nakatani demonstrated that in specific organ disease a number of acupuncture points along that organ's acupuncture meridian had a markedly decreased electrical resistance compared with the surrounding skin. (e.g. in Kidney disease several of the kidney points had a lowered skin resistance). He found the resistance values for these points varied with the time of the day, ambient temperature Acupuncture, activity and emotional state of the subject.

    I have done a few searchs looking for more info regarding these studies but little comes up other than what I already have, so anyone that finds more thank you.

    FQ I can respond to yours a bit later, hopefully I won't have pages to read through :D
  7. Fire-quan

    Fire-quan Banned Banned

    Hi Joanna! You seem very open to discussion, so I hope you don't mind me diving in. I'm not attcking you - live and let live, but, I do have some problems with what you say.

    I should say, I have no probelm with anyone's beliefs. I come from a philosophical background, so I have some different persepctives. Not saying they're correct, just, different faces on the diamond, so to speak.

    I have to say, Joanna, that for most of the history of Christianity you would be a heretic for saying that God was "the totality everything." It's been a powerful tennet of Christian belief for along time that God is separate, the creator is not the creation. In orthodox Islam, it would certainly be heresy to state that God is the creation.

    Havign said that, to me, one of my favourite tricks is "I took your idea but I did somethig different with it..." so I myself often see Christian, Jewish or Muslim ideas in different ways than those stated - so I figure good for you if you see God as the totality of everything - quite a few people have said that they believe that to me. It's quite nice - sort of, new age Christian perspective.

    For a philosopher, the Devil's in the detail, because it's well known that the question of "What is God" has consistently fallen in the same trap of not narrowing down what God is, only widening the meaning of the description to include the still quite undefined idea of God. For example, before the "God is totality" idea, the "God is love" idea was at the fore, and before that "God is perfection" so on and so on - Christian theologists can trace a number of these interpretations over the centuries. In every case, "God" remains firmly undefined, while the descriptive adjective is widened to include "God" as one of its meanings. But "God" sits in that menaing just as undescribed as ever.

    Problem is, saying "God is love" is a kind of word game, used quite subtely; the statement doesn't actually narrow down the meaning or nature of "God" at all, it just broadens the meaning of love, to include God. Just like "God is the totality of all" doesn't actually narrow down the meaning of God, it just expands the meaning of "totality" to include God. That's a subtle word game, and it has the power of making us think we've narrowed down the meaning of God, when it hasn't at all - but it makes us thing we have. The same trick is used with "qi."

    A powerful aspect of that word game is that it allows us to define the undefineable, or, less politely, it allows, in theory, something made up to appear real by using a word-game, in this case by using word play to transform "God" in to something concrete in our world, like, "the totality of all things."
  8. Fire-quan

    Fire-quan Banned Banned

    Hebrew scriptures don't support much animal rights, Joanna. Just look at kosher killing methods. Don't get me started on halal.

    Appart from that, many of the people involved in those awful scientific experiments might be religious.

    Somethign else, I genuinely wondered, is if you stuck to the Christian moral code, should you advocate violence in any way? Including, of course, taiji??

    Heh - well - it won't be the scientists who do that, it will be the philosophers, and they do it not by scientific method, but by just exploring the history of the concept, and why we developed it. That's my view - but I have no problem with religious people.

    My question in then, don't you think people can be moral without religion?

    Rabbis don't know everything. The chief rabbi of Israel said that God used Hurricane Katrina to punsih New Orleans because black people there were too immoral and didn't pray enough.

    It's not a mystery, not really. There's two main explanations, one M theory, which states that time and space only exist in our universe in the way that we percieve them, but beyond our universe, in the 11th dimension, the existence of which can be demonstrated mathematically, time and space have no menaing - it's literally without beginning and without end. Actually, we CAN get our heads around that, it's just a bit of a change of how we traditionally think. Collisions of energetic "membraines" in the eleventh dimension can cause whole universes to "expand" in to their own time and space, something which, theoretically, we already have the knowledge to do in an experiment. A created universe would exist in our universe for a fraction of a microsecond only, before expanding in to its own time and space - it wouldn't displace our own. It's now thought that there are bazillions of universes in a "multiverse".

    Thing is, that possiblity can be mapped and extrapolated from mathematics, from "inside" this universe, simply by observing its structure. Int he same way, the concept of "God" can be mapped - why we thought it up, we we believe it etc. from "inside" our conceptual universe. Only thing is, religious people tell us it is dangerous to think for ourselves.

    The second possiblity currently being discussed is the "Boltzman brain paradox" which states, pretty simply, that the laws of thermodynamics state that the universe should be tending towards disorder. However, there are so many sentient beings, and so much life on our world, that it means the order in the universe is actually increasing by the day. A "Boltzman brain" is a sentient being that could, statistically, appear out of no where and view the universe, possibly complete with memories - given an infinite number of universes in an infinite space, and the fact that things can - and do - actually appear out of no where in our universe.

    The thing is, it is far more statistically likely that you are a Boltzman brain, generated with false memories, than you are who you think you are!

    I'm going with option one. The big deal about God has always been "well how did the universe get here?" We actually pretty much know - we've gone past the barrier, and it isn't even difficult to create a universe - we can do it ourselves. And, we can also animate non-living objects and give them life.

    Anyway - hope you don't think I'm getting at you - just friendly debate.

  9. Fire-quan

    Fire-quan Banned Banned

    Heh - thing is, you already know what I'm going to say, because you see people do this with things like qi, or other aspects of martial arts, i.e. using language to manipulate percpetion of what is really being talked about. You now people do this, and you rightly call them on it - but the hardest thing is to apply scrutiny to ourselves - I'm the same, we all are.

    Thing is, saying that we can't disprove God is a trick. Let's say "You can't disprove faries!" Well, there's never going to be a way of disproving somethign that can hide from all and any test. Thing is, we do that with anything - disprove unicorns, immortal Taoist masters, Thetans - anything... and the smoke and mirrors is in one simple thing - the power of naming something. If we name it, like "faries" it seems more likely that it "could" be true, just because we've named it. Whereas, sad to say, just because we point to one imaginary thing out of billions, that doesn't make it any more liekely to be true than any of the other billions of made up things, just for the virtue of being named. It's a really simple word game, and people use it in martial arts all the time.

    There's no way to disprove the kind of "things" that aren't in the remit of science.

    But, fortunately, God is in the remit of philosophy. Philosophy can't prove God doesn't exist, but it can demonstrate how and why we made him up.

    As for how the universe got here - we know.

    That happened because science is an ideological structure, and all ideologicla structures, religious, political, scientific, marital, all work in the same way. We can actually map the mechanics of ideology and show exactly how and why all people with strongly held, ideological convictions react the way they do, process information the way they do, and treat contrary information the way they do.

    There are lots of things beyond the remit of science, such as, conceptual information - ideas, thoughts, feelings - morality. A different approach has to be taken to deal with that kind of information - but it is just as rigourous as science. You can't prove morality exists - because the question is itself a word game - but you can demonstrate how the concept of morality evolved, and how it changes, and how it functions, and also how we falsely came to see it as a "thing" rather than as an idea.

    Probalby after reading Nietszche! His greatest words - God is dead, meaning, take full and total responsibility for you - don't pass the buck.

    That's an interesting point - and was covered in an episode of Bewitched - seriously. Magic, really, like Taoism, isn't intended to be a flase science, it's intended to perceptually, or mentally deconstruct surity in reality. You can't test that.

    That's true, as long as people bring qi in to the remit of science by claiming measurable effects.

    There's truth in that I guess. Science can run amok without some moral compass. Whether that has to come from God - well, I figure if people are saying "you're bad because you don't believe what I believe" then they've left wild, unfolding the path of wisdom in favour of the sanctuary of self importance.
  10. Fire-quan

    Fire-quan Banned Banned

    I think Joanna is right on that really, because what she's saying is that qi is something that people HAVE made scientifically testable claims regarding - for example, if qi can heal people, well that's testable. If qi can make you super powerful, well that's testable. It's not the substance, it's the effect that's testable. If you see God as out of the sphere of testable things, then it's always a matter of personal belief... but if you say, for example, by praying I can increase my bio-electric output, then that can be tested. It won't prove God exists, but it proves there's something to what you're saying... Same as, if qi really does produce testable results, then, well, that's testable. What's different with God and qi here, the way I see it, is that people really do constantly claim testable results of Qi. If onlypeople DID do that with God, then we could test Him!
  11. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    I can't be bothered to even read most of that. I saw one or two things as I scrolled down. My view of God is entirely consistent with Judaism - it is not a "new age" Christian perpective. In the words of Sir Jonathan Sachs, the UK's chief Orthodox Rabbi "if you worship anything less than God, anything less than the totality of all, then you get to idolatry" The view is (by extension) also a classic Kabbalistic view - you can look at everything and say "that's a piece of God, that is." Recognising the God in everything enables one to realise that we are all equally important.

    Regarding animals in Judaism, there are many vegetarian and vegan Jews - it makes keeping Kosher very much easier. The ideal world (Eden and up to Noah) was one where everyone ate vegetation only. God is said to have allowed Noah's descendents to eat animals, but animals must never be made to suffer (& hunting is forbidden). Again, the only way to really accomplish animals not suffering is to go vegan. Also many Christians are veggie or vegan. In Revelation it re-iterates that we will all return to a state where all eat vegetation and even the lion shall lay down with the lamb. Many Jews and Christians do NOT read the Bible absolutely literally incidentally and there is a Jewish teaching that every passage has 70 meanings. There are literal, symbolic, metaphorical, allegorical meanings... etc.

    In Islam (in common with Confucianism) one should eat "no more meat than is necessary" which obviously in any industrialised nation with access to lots of food and plenty of healthy alternatives should be none at all. Such choices have not always been so easy, especially in arid lands.

    Now I'll say again, my religious views are not on trial here - people are going to have to do better than seeking to overthrow my arguments by making personality attacks based on my alleged hypocrisy, when my views are only being guessed at anyway. People keep trying to put me in a box, but I have drawn on Christian, Judaic, Sikh, Muslim, Confucian and Daoist beliefs so it should be fairly apparent that I'm not that easy to pigeonhole. I will say that having seen God (with a fellow witness) and had visions and dialogues with Him very regularly, including being directed to Biblical passages relevant to my life almost every day, I have considerably more evidence that God is real than I have that any of you people are. He's great :)

    Back on topic I wanted to point out that back on page 3, I asked Taoquan and Onyomi this question:
    Then this:
    I want to know how to do the things described. How do I "[use] the dantian to create jin at the end of a palm strike"? How do I "squeeze my dantian and send energy down my lung meridian" How do I "create the "neidan" by sinking the qi with a different kind of motion"? How do I "feel as if your breathing starts at your feet, goes all the way up your back and over your head, down your face, throat, chest and into the dantian, then back down to the feet" ? How does going "into a deep meditation state" develop "a higher level of qigong" ? How does one "get your 12 meridians at least somewhat open before you can really do the ren-du circuit"? How do you "learn to flow the ren-du and 12 meridians at the same time and the 12 meridians must be somewhat open to open the ren-du." ? What does this mean?
    How do I open them, whatever they are? Why "doesn't it work that way" why are there "misconceptions" and if it is disputable how do you know you've got it right?

    I can dig a ditch. I can tell others how to do it too. How do I open a meridian, or whatever it is I am meant to be opening?
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2007
  12. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    Not :woo: Nietzsche again. People today are obsessed with the guy - well I guess it goes with the edgy and nihilistic self image...
  13. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    I see nothing hypocritical about asking people to check whether or not qi culitvation is consistent with their existing beliefs.

    Secondly, if science proves qi to be false then so much the better - my moral objection to qigong is based on the fact that it is not real - it is a method of deception and self-deception - a way of befuddling the mind and making it think things that are not real. I take the same view on magic. It isn't real - people have no real magic powers - but they can make others think they have, and use that to create fear and to have power over them. This is why such things clash with my religious morals. The basis of my religious conviction is that people should be freed from fear, superstition and fatalism.

    Atheists often don't quite get this about some religious prohibitions - the outlawing of practices that have no validity. It is because they are false that they are prohibited. You should not try to cast spells or summon demons because you can make these things effectively real to you and damaging in the process.

    I just spotted Fire-quan's thing on Christianity and martial arts. I've explained turning the other cheek before - it is about not lashing out in anger or vengeance - and I've also pointed out the temple incident, after which Jesus told his followers to carry swords. Total pacifism is just one interpretation and something of a minority view.
  14. CKava

    CKava Just one more thing... Supporter

    However if it turned out to be real- if science proved it existed- your moral objection would still exsist because it is based on a religious conviction. Or am I wrong?
  15. Taoquan

    Taoquan Valued Member

    This is what I have been talking about, most don't ask these questions and most just blindly accept whatever is taught about Qigong, Questions are extremely VITAL for this reason. As you mentioned before sometimes we DO tend to speak in "esoteric" terms. For me personally the reason for this is two fold:
    1) Because this is the easiest way to understand it. What I mean by this is as you well know Dantiens are no where near anything in the western frame work of the body. Nor are chakras, meridians etc. Heck even most of the language we use for them are SOMEONE else's interpretation of said chinese character. Many characters in chinese DON'T have a western translation b/c there are not terms for them in the west, or they lose their entire idea.

    2) I for one don't always know what "esoteric" language is to a person. I deal with Dantiens, Meridians, Qi etc everyday so this is everyday terminology to me and sometimes I get wrapped up in it.

    So as I try to answer some of your questions below please ask if I use terms that are not clear. I will be 100% honest if I don't know and fortunately I have resources to where I could find an answer. Here we go:

    I hope I did not speak in esoteric terms to further confuse you or anyone. As I mentioned if it is unclear then let me know. Also these are just answers to your questions, I know you will not agree with them and that is fine, I just gave you the answers. It is up to you to agree with them or not. :D
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2007
  16. Taoquan

    Taoquan Valued Member

    As for this bit, give me some time this evening and I will edit and get back to it. Thanks :D

  17. Fire-quan

    Fire-quan Banned Banned

    Hey that's fine - I'm not on any crusade to change anyone's beliefs or opinions. I rather sense from your tone that you feel under attack, and that's never my intention, especially as attacking someone is the least effective way of communicating information. I like debating, but when people feel hounded for beliefs they have every right to posess, well, that's no fun for anyone, and obviously isn't constructive debate we're all engaging in for the sake of it.

    Ok - well, thanks for taking the time out to respond.

    Well, that's a perfectly valid way of looking at things. I don't, personally, believe that the totality of things is made any more god-like by calling it God, but it's a very popular new age belief - the deification of the "totality".

    Obviously, like lineages in martial arts, we tend to think "old is good" or "old is superior" so thinking an idea is old school Judaism makes it seem more authentic. Actually, Rabbi Sach's perspective isn't old shcool Judaism - interesting that you've thought it is though, just because a modern Jewish thinker has said it. It's expressly idolatry to worship any element of the created world in Judaism, and that includes, obviously, all of the things in the created world put together to make a totality. I'm sorry Joanna, I don't mean to be rude, and I've read your stuff and you're a very smart thinker, but on this technical, historical point, you're completely wrong.

    I wonder if the "totality" idea is a corruption of Castaneda's "totality of self" idea, and it entered new age thought like that, eventually seeping in to Christianity? Anyway...

    What is most interesting is how we look to the past to find authenticity, both in religion and martial arts. Thing is, you know it's a corrupt practice in martial arts, but you don't extend the same conceptual understanding to religion. I think you're too bright to sustain that dichotomy for ever.

    Again though, modern Jewish practice doesn't extend to changing the facts about ancient Jewish practice. The Jews in the Bible ate meat, or, were specifically permitted to eat meat - as long as it was meat of a certain kind, prepared in a certain way.

    But, you know, so what? Jews ate meat. They aren't Jains. It's just, don't tell me Judaism is an animal rights religion, ha ha... the first laws - actual, legal laws that we know of - relating to animal welafare (you now, beyond saying that cutting their throat and letting them bleed to death is humane) were devised by Buddhists in India.

    Well, I don't recall Jesus ever saying don't eat meat!

    Well, every idea has many meanings, Joana; it depends on the depth of understanding of the reader, their previous experiences, their willingness to see beyond themselves, their agenda, their translation. Something worth considering is Derrida's brilliant insight that there's no author intentionality in a text - even God's - you actually read in to it all of your own understandings.

    Thing is, God specifically told the Jews all the animals that they could eat. I don't see how any revisionist view of the Bible will ever get you past that - still - no, you're not on trial if you choose to see it that way - it's just our different interpretations.

    Well, that's a very clever interpretationbut vegetarianism isn't a central message of Allah. If it was, He'd have said. The Koran is specifically held to hold all the answers, now and forever, for how we should live. No where does it say be vegetarian.

    Even Buddha wasn't vegetarian.

    No, they aren't - I just thought you were open to discussion. I don't mean to offend you.

    Well, that's a fair point. I'm sorry if you felt I put you on trial. Buddhist saying says when you can't find your own path you burn grass, but when you find it, no more grass burning. I don't need to burn anyone's grass. In martial arts terms, I like a lot of what you say, although it isn't all true, but, which of us is compeltey true all the time? Maybe I'm wrong in the things I think you're wrong on! I suppose what matters is to be open to new ideas. You know Satan is an angel, right? Tests us with ideas, to see what we'll do.

    Bertrand Russell said that those we have to fear the most from are those that know for sure.
  18. Fire-quan

    Fire-quan Banned Banned

    Well, that's quite a personal comment, Joana - I don't figure I deserve that, ha ha, but my ego is not fragile.

    I rather think, not "what God wants - again".... at least Nietszche made us speak only for ourselves, and only with the authority of ourselves. I rather think that someone who claims to speak with the authority of God has a reason for doing that, and it isn't that they speak for God.

    You know, when you think about it "I speak for God" is just so, well, patently not true. It's an insult to God, above all else. Like everything in this mirror-world, great straightness seems twisted, and vice-versa.
  19. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    As it is 1 am, I'll try to deal with the shortest question and then I must go to sleep.

    Obviously it would depend a great deal on precisely what they discovered was real. If it was something biological but previously not understood, then it would probably be helpful to get the Pope's view and Rabbi Jonathan Sach's view and Archbishop Rowan Williams' view etc. I'd also place a lot of importance on Sikh and Muslim views on it.

    If it turned out to be a spiritual life force, then as a monotheist I would have to see that as the bit of God that is within us all. I am pretty sure that the monotheistic faiths would come down hard on any suggestion that we should try to manipulate that, in much the same way that they should condemn man playing God by making hybrid life-forms in laboratories. Humans manipulating God would of course be both impossible and abhorrent.

    Sometimes qi people talk about draining qi from sexual partners or from trees - this vampiric kind of manipulation of life force should also be seen as completely abhorrent.

    If the force turned out to be spiritual but somehow not from God, then that would, in my view, add weight to more dualistic ideas about the spiritual content of the universe - the idea of a literal Devil or evil force would then need to be taken quite seriously, I think.

    If qi as a spiritual force turned out to be either a conjuration or corruption of spiritual energy stemming from man or from an infernal source, then its manipulation would also be wrong as qigong would then be tantamount to sorcery.

    Fire-quan, just seen your last comment:
    You're going to have to have that out with a whole load of prophets and saints and the whole Sikh faith.
  20. jkzorya

    jkzorya Moved on by request

    You are wrong here - there have been different perspectives within Judaism from the start. "Some Jews say that God contains the Universe, but is infinitely greater. Other Jews say that God is the universe and the universe is God. Some folks say that all these ideas are true." Rabbi Ted Falcon - Judaism for Dummies. Judaism is also a living tradition and Kabbalistic ideas about God have been around for well over 1,500 years - they are far from new.

    Secondly to recognise that God is in everything does not mean the same thing as worshipping those separate manifestations in isolation - in fact it is prohibited - one should serve the whole creator and the greatest good, not the individual creature.

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