[quote=Adam D]Pardon me for diverting the subject, but …
Funkyhorn, what else do you have to say about the ‘development of chi’ in oriental mysticism? It has been a subject of fascination for myself and one of my best friends since high school. I’m afraid that for my friend it may have developed into an unheathy fascination. I don’t quite know what to make of it as a Catholic, but I put some stock in the reports of monks are martial artists who claim to accomplish some incredible stuff through manipulation of chi. And acupunture is somehow related to chi, isn’t it?
Yet, when it comes up on Catholic Answers live (at least the few times I’ve heard it addressed to Jimmy Akin) I hear it said, “there’s no such thing as chi. It just don’t exist” I can’t dismiss it so easily. What do you think? Should one put stock in such things? And if so, what exactly do we attribute it to? Is it demonic? Or what?
First, I’ll divert you to another thread where I talk about this a little more. I can’t really say either way about “chi.” I know that I’ve seen some very amazing “tricks” where martial artists will claim to utilize chi…but thats all they are, is tricks. One example would be if you ever saw someone hold the tip of a long spear and press it to their neck and then someone else would whack the other end of it with something like a hammer hitting a nail into a piece of wood, but the spear doesn’t puncture his neck. Chi? I doubt it. I know full well that if I (or anyone for that matter) took that spear, pulled it back, and jabbed it into the same spot on the guy’s neck, it would go through.
I think that chi may be no more than being able to manipulate your body in ways that most others aren’t trained to. I’ve seen/felt people using chi to make one hand hot and one hand cold…although there wasn’t a HUGE difference in temperature, there was a difference. I did feel the guy’s hands before and after.
Like I said in this other thread, I remember some lady being on EWTN talking about the healing powers of chi energy and about it being used in hospitals today as a new method of healing…and she was very against it.
I’m not sure what Jimmy Akin bases his statements about chi on, but a more accurate statement might be that it doesn’t exist the way many people believe it exists. Chi IS something, but probably not what martial artists, monks, Taoists, believe it is. In any case, when you get right down to it, it really isn’t that great. You can maybe do a few side show stunts with it, but I really don’t think it is beneficial in a practical sense.
If your friend has developed an “unhealthy facination” with it, then it isn’t a good thing. I think that the concept of chi puts too much (if not all) the emphasis on your own powers that you think you have rather than the blessings or grace that God has given you. People believe that THEY become powerful by having this chi energy and the consequences of this delusion are not good. I think that it very well could be the devil working through you. The devil definately has powers on earth to do these kinds of things.
Anyhow, in short, I don’t think its worth anyone’s time. There are several exemplary martial artists who don’t believe in it and don’t use it, so I don’t see how it could benefit you in that sense. Besides, we have SO many better things to be doing with our time than trying to stimulate, cultivate, and develop chi…like study the Bible, or apologetics, or go cow tipping…