Archive for Scientist

C is for Chi

Posted in All, Health, Science, Spirituality with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 7, 2010 by marushiadark

“You guys can do all this awesome Bending stuff … I’m just the guy in the group who’s regular.” ~ Sokka, Avatar: The Last Airbender

When I was young, around nine-years old, my dad decided to enroll me and my younger siblings in martial arts.  My father was a black belt.  The sensei of the school he enrolled us in studied under the same master as him.  From time to time, my dad would show us techniques well in advance of what most of the other students were learning.  I don’t really consider my father to be the best of teachers.  I feel he lacks the patience to go through things in a step-by-step, kinesthetic, ground-up manner.  When I first learned to drive, he started me on my mom’s SUV, which to this day I still get nervous driving.  However, regardless of how I may feel about him, there’s one thing I owe him my gratitude for and that’s introducing me to the concept of chi.

I don’t remember exactly how I old I was at the time, maybe somewhere around fourteen years of age.  But I remember my father sitting me down in the living room.  He didn’t really go into too much detail; he just explained that there was a sort of energy inside us and that we could learn to use it with practice.  He told me to hold out my hand, which I did.  Then he held his own up around mine without touching it and asked what I felt.  I remember feeling a sort of warm energy when he did this.  That’s chi, he said.

So ended the lesson.  It wasn’t much of anything, really.  All I had to go by was that experience, that feeling, and a vague idea that it had something to do with breathing.  But fortunately, that was enough to get me started.

It’s truly a revelatory experience your first time.  I remember my eyes went wide when I first felt it.  Over the years, I had to figure a lot of stuff out for myself and my progress was very slow.  Having someone there to guide you through your exploration of internal energy is a very beneficial thing.  Joining a Tai Chi or Chi Kung or Yoga class, or even just working with a partner who knows something about it, is a lot better than trying to figure it all out all on your own.

“To train the mind, one must first train the body.” ~ Izumi Curtis, Full Metal Alchemist

In my house, we have a lot of old Shaw Brothers kung fu films.  The first one I ever saw was The 36th Chamber of Shaolin.  It’s the story of a young man named San Te who enters Shaolin Temple and learns kung fu.  At first, San Te’s eager to the point of foolishness and wants to start with the highest art, so he’s taken to the 35th Chamber where a bunch of old and senior monks are reciting Buddhist sutras.  The master of the chamber tells the San Te to leave because San Te clearly doesn’t know what he’s doing.  When he refuses, the master raises his arms and the man falls back on his ass.

The monk never touched him, but was sitting at least ten feet away.  You can imagine the look on San Te’s face and how afraid and confused he was.  That was his first experience with chi.

While that may have been a movie, the idea of chi has basis in reality.  The other day, I was watching Stan Lee’s Superhumans, which is a documentary series about real life superhuman abilities.  Among the ones I saw in the episode was a Shaolin monk named Shi Yan Ming who used chi in martial arts.  The premise of the show is to try and determine the scientific basis of such superhuman feats.  A collision scientist was brought in with equipment that revealed results unlike anything the woman had ever seen before.  Shi Yan Ming’s punches delivered damage greater than that of a 30 MPH car crash.  That was just one of several feats performed that would appear impossible given his size and muscular build, so clearly chi has an affect here.

Many martial artists have spent years developing their chi power through training of the body and getting a feel for their own energy.  Unfortunately, few of them spend as much time studying the nature of reality, science, healing, philosophy, and metaphysics, so their ability to use chi is limited mostly to its connection with their physical bodies.

“Teacher, what is this?  This isn’t kung fu!”

“That’s the highest form you’ll ever see, the final form.  You don’t understand.” ~ 36th Chamber of Shaolin.

So what exactly is chi?

In its most basic sense, chi is a type of energy that exists within your body.  It originates from your soul and is the essential life force that powers your mind and body like electricity flowing through your computer.

Your body has many different systems of organs, such as the nervous system, the circulatory system, the skeletal system, the digestive system, etc.  There is also an energy system.  You may have seen diagrams of energy meridians which map out the locations of this system for use in acupuncture, reiki, and other healing arts.  If the meridians are the blood vessels, the chi is the blood that flows through them.

Through mental training and practice, you can learn how to use and manipulate your own chi for a variety of purposes.  If you’ve never worked with it before, it’s essential that you experience it for yourself.  I can’t think of a better way to start you off than to say find someone who knows about it and get them to show you, just like how my dad first showed me.  It will jump start your awareness.

The nearest I can describe it in words is that it’s like an electromagnetic effect.  If you were to hold two magnets of the same polarity in your hands and try to bring them together, you’ll feel a well of magnetism between your hands as if there were an invisible ball there.  That’s basically the same effect that you are creating here.

It’s likely that chi is electromagnetic energy, but I us the word “chi” out of tradition and because it just sounds cooler.  Recall that everything in the universe is made of energy, most of which, if not all of which, is electromagnetic in nature.

The human body is indeed capable of generating electrical charge, which creates magnetism.  The effect of putting your hands out acts like two opposing capacitor plates.  Through focus, you can turn the current on or off and control the flow of electromagnetism between your hands.  I’ve heard of people that can actually shoot sparks across their fingertips like a van de graaff generator.  That’s probably what allows the Sith and Firebenders to manipulate lightning, at least in theory.

Over the years, I’ve been able to do a lot of things with my chi.  I can generate it, manipulate it into different shapes, alter its “mass,” and use it for healing purposes.  I haven’t been able to use it for telekinesis yet, bu

Realistically, I’ve found that, for the amount of time and focus you’d need to gather the energy necessary to flip off a light switch from across the room, it’d be a hell of a lot easier to just summon the discipline and energy to get up and turn it off manually.  So that scene with Anakin Skywalker feeding Padme with the Force … not likely to happen.

U if for UFO

Posted in All, Miscellaneous, Science with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 3, 2010 by marushiadark

“I think that the fundamental mistake that many scientists make is that they assume that extraterrestrial beings are only 100-200 years beyond our civilization, not thousands, millions of years beyond ours.” ~ Michio Kaku

If I had to name my top five favorite scientists of all time, they would probably be: Nikola Tesla, John Hagelin, Carl Sagan, Fred Allen Wolf, and Michio Kaku.  Einstein would be lucky to make top ten in my book.

When I was young, I used to watch The History Channel and The Discover Channel all the time.  This was back before Nazis, 2012, Global Warming, 9-11, UFOs, The Da Vinci Code, Nostradamus, and Jesus documentaries comprised 90% of all the shows on those two channels.  During that time, UFO documentaries were few and far between, but also really good and informative, even inspiring.

One of the earliest videos on aliens and UFOs that I can recall seeing was Carl Sagan explaining the Drake Equation.  Shortly after seeing it, they stopped airing Carl Sagan’s documentaries and started showing newer stuff.

The opening quote of this article comes from one such program on the possibility of extraterrestrial life.  In that show, physicist and futurist Michio Kaku explains his rather unique perspective on the matter, which was very memorable to me and has stayed with me ever since.  Between Sagan, Kaku, and similar documentaries on UFOs, I became intensely fascinated with the subject.

Around my freshman year of college, I began to get into more of the conspiratorial aspects of UFOs.  The first three documentaries of that nature I ever saw were:

  1. Evidence: The Case for NASA’s UFO, by David Sereda
  2. Behold a Pale Horse, by William Cooper
  3. The Disclosure Project, headed by Steven Greer

To this day, I still rely on them when introducing people to the subject of UFOs and alien life.

“At any given time, there are approximately 1500 aliens on this planet … Humans, for the most part, don’t have a clue.” ~ Kay, Men in Black

I consider it fortunate that I had such a well-grounded baseline for the topic of UFOs and aliens, because there are a lot of cooks, fakes, and hoaxes out there.  From that point on, my mind was wide open to the idea and I continued to learn about aliens and UFOs from the likes of as Bob Lazar, George Carlin, UFO Hunters, Crop Circles, and many others.

In particular, I find Lazar’s accounts to be the most revelatory, since he actually worked on reverse engineering and testing the propulsion of the alien craft.  His findings on the use of eka-bismuth (or should we say vibranium?) in a miniature particle accelerator to create a gravitational wave distortion (possibly interfering with superlight waves) for propulsion and unwired electrical power makes a great deal of sense and could be the answer to many problems on earth involving energy and space travel.

Of course, I can’t really think of anyone both powerful enough and caring enough that has the type of funding necessary to build such devices while also wanting humanity to have them.

“We’re not hosting an intergalactic kegger down here.” ~ Zed, Men in Black

For a long time, I believed that human beings might be entirely behind the UFO phenomenon and that the saucers were simply secret man-made crafts.  But more recently, I think they are actually alien in origin and it’s only been since the mid-twentieth century that humans have attempted to reverse engineer them.

Obviously, a lot of questions are raised about why they don’t show up, why haven’t we seen them yet, and so forth.  For every question out there, there’s also a viable answer.  Why haven’t we seen them?  Maybe we’re not sure what we’re looking for.  Maybe some governmental body is actively keeping us in the dark.  Why don’t they come down and visit?  Maybe we have nothing to offer them that is of interest to them (like Michio Kaku’s analogy of ants next to a highway).  Maybe it’s like Star Trek where-in they have a prime directive to not interfere with planets that haven’t reached a certain state yet.

Quite frankly, I think it’s a greater mystery is why they would come and visit us than why they wouldn’t, given how backwards and self-destructive our species tends to be.

We need to put ourselves in their shoes.  Maybe, in continuing to fight amongst ourselves, we simply haven’t earned the right to interact with them.  Not yet, anyway.  As agent Kay from Men in Black puts it, “Human thought is so primitive, it’s looked upon as an infectious disease in some of the better galaxies.”  If we were the ones traveling to another planet, would we readily immerse ourselves in harmful contagions if we had no way of shielding ourselves from them?  Think about it.

And if they had any hand in creating us, maybe we’re just a failed and forgotten experiment; or, at best, maybe they’re just on the other side of the glass sitting patiently observing us to see what we will do next.

“Fifteen hundred years ago, everybody knew the earth was the center of the universe … and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that people were alone on this planet.  Imagine what you’ll know tomorrow.” ~ Agent Kay

Generally speaking, people tend to pigeon-hole extraterrestrial activity into one of two categories: enlightening or destructive.  They’re either angels here to save us or demons here to enslave us, and we portray them as such in our fictions.

I think such dualistic thinking is disingenuous to them and to us.  It fails to take into account the potentially broad spectrum of possibilities.  Just as not every human being can be classified as hero or villain, so too do I feel that not every ghost, alien, or other such entity can be classified as belonging to either one of two categories.  More likely, I think there are good aliens, bad aliens, and indifferent aliens.  Some wish to do us harm, some wish to help us, and some don’t really care either way; they’re just trying to make a living for themselves and fulfill their basic needs and be happy, just like us.

The only thing that really differentiates us from them is that their origins, technology, culture, customs, and possibly their physical forms are unlike ours.  Otherwise, if they are intelligent, sentient beings, it’s reasonable to assume that they have minds and souls not unlike ours.

What those differences actually are and which ones are good and which are bad, I don’t really know.  I’m sure some probably look like greys and some look like us and some may even look like lizards.  But until they arrive, your guess is as good as mine.  I await with baited breath the same as anyone else.