Without Writing

The art of writing without writing… about fighting.

Monthly Archives: November 2010

Chi… Can Surprise

And now, dear readers, we come to a topic of discussion which- while uncontentious in scientific circles- is still a hot potato amongst people at large. I refer to the question of “Chi”, the chinese word meaning “vital energy” (the Japanese word is “Ki”), though in early Chinese writings it translated directly as “breath”. (Note the similarity to “Spiritus”, a latin word technically meaning “breath”, but which is in Catholic services commonly used to refer to “spirit” or “ghost”.)

For me, the genesis and nature of this concept is fairly obvious and immediately apparent: In ancient times, the mechanisms by which life processes are generated was unclear. Ancient peoples only had vague folk-sciences to explain why breathing air keeps one alive, why eating food keeps one alive, and why diseases occur. The concept of “the soul” was created in order to try to explain each person’s individual character, memories and apparent continuity of personality. Read more of this post