Qi Gong Helps You Relax: Benjamin-Newton.com

jump past page header

picture of me on dinosaur birthday in black and white 2 color drawing

Benjamin-Newton.com

Complete Academic Non-Fiction E-Books by Ben Huot

Jump to Top of Page

Qigong and Tai Chi are both real and powerful. Some rare individuals have a had problems with it because they had a history of psychosis and overdid the exercises under no supervision too fast. As a person with Schizophrenia I can see why some of the unusual feelings brought on by this combination could be disturbing. The good thing is that although a person with Schizophrenia should approach this with caution and extra guidance and some not at all, for the vast majority of people will encounter more problems and greater risk crossing the street in the morning.

Qigong is based on the idea of energy but it is not the same energy as they talk about in paganism or new age religions. For one thing, Qi is not spiritual but rather about the connection between mind and body. There is nothing spiritual going on there. The energy called Qi flows much like the blood flows through your body or you inhale and exhale in succession. This is already going on whether you agree with it or not. There are no special powers to gain and no deities involved.

Qi is not the same as science at all, but its relationship to religion is much as science is related to religion. Which is to say there is some cross over in some ways in both these things much as almost anything is related to something else in some way, but these are really just different disciplines.

Qigong is based on Philosophical Taoist ideas, but this philosophy has no theology or metaphysics. It is just kind of a view of how nature and animals see life and has a corresponding ethical code. Taoism actually fits Christian ideals much better than Neo-Platonism does by a long shot. Taoism does not promise eternal life or make any claims to who you should worship. It is no more religious than science is.

The confusion goes back to the lack of metaphysics or theology in traditional Chinese philosophy. There are no prohibitions to supernatural phenomena within traditional Chinese thought like we have in Christianity and maybe Islam or Judaism. The ancient Chinese thought is all based on the how and not the why. It is also considered perfectly acceptable to take parts of Chinese thought as well as with Indian thought and not the whole thing, unlike in Christianity or Islam.

There is also a huge difference between the Chinese philosophy as practiced by the scholar officials and the peasant based folk traditions. Even as early as the time of Confucius while China did have an animistic past by even 2,500 years ago the high society and government became completely philosophical based with no theology because of a change in leadership and a need to get legitimacy for the new government. There was a previous animistic or shamanistic tradition in China that is traditionally Chinese as well and existed back 5,000 years ago and was brought back in Religious Taoism.

Also Tai Chi and most martial arts are based on Taoist ideas as well. Some of the most liked aspects of Zen Buddhism like spontaneity and artistic ideas seen as traditionally Chinese come directly from Taoism. So while Philosophical Taoism is by definition a philosophy only with no theology Religious Taoism very much is something I would consider contrary to Christianity. Most of these texts are still to even translated into English yet. They were also added to different schools of Taoism much later on and are really completely unrelated except in name and both being Chinese in origin.

Recently people for various reasons some political, some financial, and some based on real belief have tried to bring back paganism in Western Europe and the United States from the time of the European Enlightenment in the 18th century which later became the Theosophy movement and later became know as new age. There are actually some surprising connections between atheism and this Neo-Paganism. Early on in the 19th century writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson brought in ideas called Transcendentalism from Hinduism in the United States.

Later they were brought in alongside the anti-war movements of the 60s and 70s and by the 90s they became known as the new age movement. The defining thing about the new age movement is that things are drawn from almost every major religion including Christianity and paganism but there was a certain well known authors and thinkers who used Eastern philosophical concepts in non-traditional ways. In order to form a legitimacy and context for new age beliefs many leaders in that community both science and eastern philosophy have been used in non-traditional ways.

I would be wary of any religion that is a hybrid of multiple belief systems or that has scriptures that were written or the ideas that originate in the 19th or 20th centuries. But that goes across all religions. There are plenty of Christian and Islamic traditions as well as Scientific theories that have connections to these movements as well. The thing is though there is nothing really in keeping with any of these traditions whether scientific or religious. Part of the problem is that people who understand the ideas well like in science are poor writers and people often oversimplify things.

So Qi Gong has been coopted by many groups for many reasons including financial, political, and genuine faith. The Falun Gong movement incorporates ideas from Qi Gong and Buddhism but is seen by the Chinese as a political enemy. So for those who want the traditional Chinese philosophical Taoist version I would recommend finding a teacher who has decades at least of experience and it preferably trained in China or a country which has embraced traditional Chinese culture for hundreds or thousand of years like Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. The Shaolin “temple” is the historic center where Zen Buddhism originated and is probably the most elite training center of any of the Chinese meditations or marital arts traditions. Often times the kind of Qigong you want is likely the medical qigong.

The best advice for starting anything new including Qigong (and the same applies to Tai Chi as well) is to research it well, find a well trained and respected instructor, listen to their advise and start out slowly. If you run into problems seek advice from the instructor. Qi gong is much easier to do than Tai Chi and specifically targets the organs. It is a combination of breathing, awareness of your body and surroundings and simple physical movements much like stretching and breathing deeply. It can help tremendously with pain, insomnia, depression, and related symptoms or diseases.

It will never be fully proved by science much as religion will never be either because they are different disciplines. It is kind of like trying to prove that you are in pain or trying to prove that literature is good. It is not good to do if you have psychosis or you are so worried about it because the whole point is to relax you.