Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ch'i, Memory

The Chinese speak of Ch'i. Hindus have a variety of names. A very large portion of the planet, including the Celtic peoples considered lines of force in the body, in the world. Kirlian photography is cited as a way to see auras, which are in some sense visible manifestations of these lines of force. I don't really care if it is true or not. Mainstream science doesn't seem to care either, mainly I think because no one can figure out what to do with it even if it is true in a scientific sense. Yet in what Jung called archetypes, in that place, there is no doubt that lines of force are embedded in the archetypal experience, and that it is universal in human inner space.

And of course the fields of electromagnetism are physical analogues of this inner experience. I read somewhere in the philosophy of science that all the basic scientific theories are based on visions and experiences that arise out of intimate human experience - that we will never have the capacity to break out beyond that.

This includes in a deep sense even quantum mechanics. There is no way that we really have an objective view. We have methodologically and mathematically controlled intersubjective self consistent views. There really is a big difference.

There is a first principle behind all this, that we can actually trust our sensory experience, when it is controlled by logic, rationality, and mathematics to be an adequately correctible map of objective territory. The feedback of our procedures has been tremendous continual success. It is almost certainly so that we can trust this process, but an ever smaller jury is by the nature of the process still out and will probably continue to be.

Ch'i is inner experience of inner space, and not a proper scientific subject because of that.


I nest within you
Never outside you, never
Beyond your sweet glow.

I feel the rising rhythm
Of your song all around me.

This is like fish in
Warm blue alpine lakes, birds in
Green summer breezes.


The next poem is a true story, a moment in my life that changed my life. My parents never knew. They were aiming for behavior modification and they got it. I guess they felt a certain success. I never burdened them with the truth.

The truth was that they taught me to hate. I had never had occasion to hate before that. My behavior modified not because of their techniques but because I had to withold my true emotion at great risk if I did not. Even in fourth grade I knew enough to know that hatred of Mom and Dad was very private experience, not to be shared. There was a kind of "uh-oh", a kind of being on the edge of a cliff. I have never had fear of heights but I have always respected them.

In my teen years of course, that hatred started hormonally slipping out sideways and my parents paid the price. I too paid the price. My separation was not pretty, full of rebellion and deliberate refusal to grow up. Then drugs. I am an alcoholic man. At nearly 26 years sober I know the first turning point was fourth grade.


I remember me
Then, standing in lonely doors
Staring at my Mom
Who was hoping my Dad knew
Who was hoping my Mom knew
And me hoping too.

In fourth grade I learned to hate.
It broke my young heart.

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