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Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?

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Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Stickman2 11/15/18 4:45 PM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? (D Z) Dhru Val 11/15/18 10:04 PM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Stickman2 11/16/18 6:45 AM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? curious 11/16/18 2:13 PM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Stickman2 11/18/18 4:32 AM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Change A. 11/18/18 7:48 AM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Andromeda 11/18/18 10:06 AM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Change A. 11/18/18 12:00 PM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? curious 11/18/18 2:42 PM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? (D Z) Dhru Val 11/18/18 9:38 PM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Stickman2 11/19/18 1:35 AM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Chris Marti 11/19/18 7:21 AM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? jonjohn 11/19/18 8:27 AM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Chris Marti 11/19/18 8:59 AM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? neko 11/19/18 9:26 AM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Stickman2 11/19/18 2:51 PM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Stickman2 11/19/18 2:48 PM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? J C 11/30/18 2:05 AM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Stickman2 11/30/18 5:27 AM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Change A. 11/30/18 9:04 AM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Stickman2 11/30/18 12:54 PM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Stickman2 11/19/18 2:46 PM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? (D Z) Dhru Val 11/19/18 1:29 PM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Chris Marti 11/19/18 1:57 PM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Andromeda 11/19/18 5:07 PM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Stickman2 11/20/18 4:01 AM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Andromeda 11/20/18 5:14 AM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Stickman2 11/20/18 7:20 AM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Stickman2 11/19/18 3:11 PM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? neko 11/19/18 3:32 PM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? curious 11/20/18 1:17 PM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Stickman2 11/23/18 4:36 PM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Change A. 11/24/18 8:03 AM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Stickman2 11/24/18 3:58 PM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Matt 11/30/18 11:27 AM
RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ? Stickman2 12/1/18 10:52 AM
Is there anything to say that channels of prana or chi are anything but old and obsolete attempts to models the nervous, circulatory and lymph systems ?

I'll be generous and offer the idea that our bodies have an invisible but influential effect on our bodies in the same way that dark matter influences detectable matter. But do we really need to speculate on mysterious energies in the body ?

If prana isn't just the the activity of the gross body, how do we know it's there, how can we tell ?

Thanks you

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/15/18 10:04 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Prana, chi etc are systems based on subjective experience, created by people who did not have precise understanding of anatomy.

Nervous, circulatory, and lymph systems are based on objective observations, and tied into patients as part of medical diagnosis along side objecitve measuers of health (blood pressure, blood work, heart rate etc).

We still don't have a very precise objective understanding of psychological processes, so subjective systems still have uses when it comes to problems that have a mental component (i.e. meditation related issues, psychological problems etc).

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/16/18 6:45 AM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
(D Z) Dhru Val:
Prana, chi etc are systems based on subjective experience, created by people who did not have precise understanding of anatomy.

Nervous, circulatory, and lymph systems are based on objective observations, and tied into patients as part of medical diagnosis along side objecitve measuers of health (blood pressure, blood work, heart rate etc).

We still don't have a very precise objective understanding of psychological processes, so subjective systems still have uses when it comes to problems that have a mental component (i.e. meditation related issues, psychological problems etc).
Hm, yeah there's a disconnect between observed physiology and how we experience it subjectively, especially with eyes closed and meditating on fuzzy formless things, and even more especially if the exercise is to lose sense of form.
But I think that if we can feel it, then it's something physiological. Unless our understanding that the nervous system is the mediator of feelings is mistaken. It would belike saying you can sense gravity without needing the presence of matter.
However, what if I complicate things by saying I am an idealist, and claim that our physiology is only a sensory representation of something less formal ?
Our even point at phsyics and say that material form comes from collapse of the wave function etc. ? I don't want to go all Chopra, but I think there are things I'd like to get an understanding of there. Come to think of it, I'm pretty iffy about the derivation of the classical (ie bodies) from the fuzzy and indetirminate quantum.

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/16/18 2:13 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
I agree with the materialist sentiment - that these are just based on physiological processes. But I’m not sure they are obsolete concepts.

For example, scientists discovered a new organ this year (yes really!) called the interstitial. This is a fluidic organ under the skin, so could easily have a role to play in piti / prana / chi.  

Also, from my own experience I can identify at least three different base sensations and then emergent phenomena from those. I would love it if science could improve our understanding of these phenomena - but I’m not aware of research linking the physiology to the perceptions.  Maybe somebody knows of research in this area?

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/18/18 4:32 AM as a reply to curious.
curious:
I agree with the materialist sentiment - that these are just based on physiological processes. But I’m not sure they are obsolete concepts.

For example, scientists discovered a new organ this year (yes really!) called the interstitial. This is a fluidic organ under the skin, so could easily have a role to play in piti / prana / chi.  

Also, from my own experience I can identify at least three different base sensations and then emergent phenomena from those. I would love it if science could improve our understanding of these phenomena - but I’m not aware of research linking the physiology to the perceptions.  Maybe somebody knows of research in this area?

I did see the news about the interstium, but I reason that it's a physical thing that will cause physical sensation like all the other tubes and ropes inside of us.
In short - it's not subtle it's physical.

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/18/18 7:48 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:
Is there anything to say that channels of prana or chi are anything but old and obsolete attempts to models the nervous, circulatory and lymph systems ?

I'll be generous and offer the idea that our bodies have an invisible but influential effect on our bodies in the same way that dark matter influences detectable matter. But do we really need to speculate on mysterious energies in the body ?

If prana isn't just the the activity of the gross body, how do we know it's there, how can we tell ?

Thanks you

I think prana or chi is just about the unblocking of the nervous, circulatory and lymph systems and to get it working to the best of its ability.

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/18/18 10:06 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
For me, the subjective experience of prana/chi has never neatly lined up with anything I've studied in anatomy. I used to be really curious about this, but over the years I've found that trying to cram subjective energetic experiences into a materialist box isn't nearly as fruitful as simply exploring the experiences themselves with an open mind without trying to spin it into some sort of story that makes sense intellectually. Scientific explanations may be more sophisticated, but they are still just stories and the feling of certainty they give us can be quite an obstacle to sincerely curious observation and clear perception, i.e. insight practice (which IMO is the whole point anyway).

I have wondered if there might be some correlation between prana and fascia, which is a highly innervated connective tissue. Actually, I just googled that and I'm not the only one as a whole bunch of hits came up--found this on a Kripalu yoga site, and anecdotally doing lots of yoga/martial arts/mobility work did seem to increase my ability to sense prana/chi:


[url=]Fascia has the property of plasticity, and thus reacts positively to the heat generated by muscle contraction, allowing it to become more fluid and mobile. That’s why gradual warm-ups that open the body are necessary for a sustainable yoga practice. As Chris notes, “From a yogic perspective, prana, the life-force energy, is embedded in the fascia, so awakening the fascial wrapping puts us into a deeper relationship with prana.” The warmer the fascia, the more elastic it becomes, and that plasticity makes fascia a conduit for prana to flow freely.

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/18/18 12:00 PM as a reply to Andromeda.
I have thought about prana flowing through connective tissue as well and it does seem to make sense to me. I think the end result of meditation/yoga is to have the prana flowing freely. 

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/18/18 2:42 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Oops - yes the interstitium, not the interstitial.  Sorry!  Just to carry on with the phenomenological - physiological analogues ... On prana / chi I perceive three base sensations, and what seem to be combinations (but could be other base sensations).  The sensations are:

1. Skin tingling. This seems to arise from anapanasati, but I don't know whether it is due to oxygenation of the skin, capilliaries expansion, nerve activtion, the interstitium or something else.

2. Energetic feelings in the limbs, torso, spine and brain stem.  These seem to be related to the nervous system.  If my leg goes dead during sitting, the return of feeling seems to be the same kind of energetic sensation.  I have tried consciously harnessing these energetics in martial arts and they do result in a big increase in power. It feels a bit like a subtle body to me, but I could be wrong.

3. Slower twinkling sensations in the body mass, particularly the limbs.  This a dense set of sensations that arise and pass away when I concentrate on them, but otherwise just seem like a background awareness of the body.  They have been increasing as I do more pranayama (wim hof breathing).  Recently when my leg went dead on a sit, I could still feel these twinkling sensations in the lower legs, even though I could not otherwise feel or move those limbs  I have no idea what physiological system is transmitting these sesations.

Then there are combined sensations, like energetic involuntary movements and what I perceive to be piti.  These seem to be some combinations of 1, 2 and 3, but maybe they also involve other base sensations that I can't discern.  Lower levels of Piti seems to have more general physical aspects to them above the energetic feelings, while higher levels seem to be more about energetics in the spine.  Recently I was hooked up to an Emotiv EEG and I summoned what I perceive to be piti, and this showed really high readings on 'stress'.  That seems interesting, although I don't know how Emotiv construct that measure so I am not sure what it means.

Does anybody have similar sensations?  Or different? 


 

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/18/18 9:38 PM as a reply to curious.
I don't think assigning direct bodily causes to all subjective experience of bodily experiences is correct. Much of it is cognitive.

A few simple examples:
1) Many people, including myself, have had meditative attainments, where sensations that we commonly thought of as beign our "head" or our "arms" or body in general are dropped away.

2) many amputees experience phantom limb type phenomenon, where they have painful or uncomfortable sensations of a phantom arm or leg, where they have lost it.

This suggests that large portions of the sensations that make up our body cannot be mapped directly to nerves within the body but are rather cognitive in nature.

3) Experiment:
   a) Close your eyes and feel the sensations that make up the fingers on your hand.
   b) Now imagine for 2 minutes that this sensation of the fingers was stretching out just 2 inches longer.
   c) Now imagine for 2 minutes that this snesation of the fingers is stretching out 1 foot longer.

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/19/18 1:35 AM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
(D Z) Dhru Val:
I don't think assigning direct bodily causes to all subjective experience of bodily experiences is correct. Much of it is cognitive.

A few simple examples:
1) Many people, including myself, have had meditative attainments, where sensations that we commonly thought of as beign our "head" or our "arms" or body in general are dropped away.

2) many amputees experience phantom limb type phenomenon, where they have painful or uncomfortable sensations of a phantom arm or leg, where they have lost it.

This suggests that large portions of the sensations that make up our body cannot be mapped directly to nerves within the body but are rather cognitive in nature.

3) Experiment:
   a) Close your eyes and feel the sensations that make up the fingers on your hand.
   b) Now imagine for 2 minutes that this sensation of the fingers was stretching out just 2 inches longer.
   c) Now imagine for 2 minutes that this snesation of the fingers is stretching out 1 foot longer.
But brain is part of body, it's physical not subtle/etheric/astral etc. But maybe you make a point about where the real action is happening and how the brain can construct the experience of structures that aren't there. So that maybe, even though we can't dissect a body and find nadis, that doen't mean we can't experience them. I followed on from thinking about phantom limbs in this way myself, but as far as I know the latest is that phantom limbs still rely on the nervous system in the brain and rest of body.

Bottom line being that I still think that if it's something that can be felt then it means something physical is happening, not subtle.
Our modern model of biology has many unseen forces at work - electromagnetic, nuclear (strong/weak), gravitiy and maybe someone can add more. Do we really need to add subtle energy, or is it obsolete concept ?

Thanks. SM2

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/19/18 7:21 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Bottom line being that I still think that if it's something that can be felt then it means something physical is happening, not subtle.

I'm curious now -- how do you explain phantom limb sensations in amputees?

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/19/18 8:27 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Neurons' activity. Ramachandran deals with the subject in a lot of his talks 

(Despite a great deal of research on the underlying neural mechanisms of phantom limb pain there is still no clear consensus as to its cause. Peripheral mechanisms (areas of the nervous system outside the brain) and central neural mechanisms (inside the cortex) are among the hypotheses that have gained the most support over recent years. However, none of these theoretical constructs appears to be able to explain the phenomenon of phantom limb pain independently and many experts believe that multiple mechanisms are likely responsible.)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantom_limb#Mechanism

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/19/18 8:59 AM as a reply to jonjohn.
The deeper point: if neurons and other anatomical systems, interacting with the brain, can manufacture phantom sensations in an amputated limb, then why not phantom sensations in other places in the body? Over the years my meditation practice experience has taught me the mind can manufacture all manner of sensory phenomena, from sounds and touches to sights, taste, and so on.

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/19/18 9:26 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
To add to what others have said:

Even though I am not an amputee, I do experience tactile sensations and emotions outside of my body as well as inside my body. What is the physical thing that is happening there? It seems very difficult to posit that it is anything else than neural activity that is causing those sensations. So if neural activity alone is able to cause pretty much any kind of sensation anywhere in space, what is the point of looking for glands, lymph nodes, or physical structures that correspond to these "subtle" sensations? I am pretty sure I do not have any glands outside of my body, a couple feet in front of my chest.

At the end of the day, like Andromeda says these sensations are just sensations. And from the meditation point of view, what you do with a sensation is entirely independent of its anatomical correlate (if any).

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/19/18 1:29 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
12
[color=#111111]Bottom line being that I still think that if it's something that can be felt then it means something physical is happening, not subtle.[/color]
[color=#111111][/color][color=#111111]Our modern model of biology has many unseen forces at work - electromagnetic, nuclear (strong/weak), gravitiy and maybe someone can add more. Do we really need to add subtle energy, or is it obsolete concept ?[/color]

1.
I think its is of value to psychology. Most of these eastern concepts of chi, prana etc are based on subjective experiences, and are the result of communities of people that spent a lot of time and effort to map out subjective phenomenon.

I don't think it has value as a physcial force per se.

2.
I will also point out that the hard problem of consciousness remains completely unsolved.

This doesn't mean that we have to believe in things like prana, chi etc as literal truths. I personally don't.

Just that materialist reductionism is not a foregone conclusion either. 

3.
It is important to note that for the purposes of meditation, and finding "ultimate truth", 1st person subjective experience is priviledged.

Whereas for the purposes of functional or empirical truth, 3rd person objective measures are priviledged. 

The hard problem of consciousness remains completely unsolved by the current models of physics.

Since we have no causal understanding of why 1st person subjective experience exists to being with, it is impossible to fully describe 1st person subjecitve experience causally in 3rd person objective terms.

We know emprically that the neurons, neurotransmitters, etc are linked with conscious experience, however there is no reason for any sort of computation to result in consciousness to begin with.

None of this means that there has to be some sort of other hidden force, or that has to map on to some old eastern teaching, but it does suggest that we should keep an open mind.

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/19/18 1:57 PM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
Well said! We tend to think science has all the answers but that's just not the case. Scientism is just as much a belief system/ideology as religion.

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/19/18 2:46 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Bottom line being that I still think that if it's something that can be felt then it means something physical is happening, not subtle.

I'm curious now -- how do you explain phantom limb sensations in amputees?
As per Johnjohn's reply. Additionally thinking about the rubber hand illusion and how we can be quickly and easily induced to identify an inanimate object as part of ourselves - then asking if a rubber hand, then why not the whole world ?

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/19/18 2:48 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
The deeper point: if neurons and other anatomical systems, interacting with the brain, can manufacture phantom sensations in an amputated limb, then why not phantom sensations in other places in the body? Over the years my meditation practice experience has taught me the mind can manufacture all manner of sensory phenomena, from sounds and touches to sights, taste, and so on.

Indeed. But OK, does that mean we can manufacture the sensations of new chakras and meridians wherever we want them ?
Or is there something more stable about the experience of these things over populations and eras ?

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/19/18 2:51 PM as a reply to neko.
neko:
To add to what others have said:

Even though I am not an amputee, I do experience tactile sensations and emotions outside of my body as well as inside my body. What is the physical thing that is happening there? It seems very difficult to posit that it is anything else than neural activity that is causing those sensations. So if neural activity alone is able to cause pretty much any kind of sensation anywhere in space, what is the point of looking for glands, lymph nodes, or physical structures that correspond to these "subtle" sensations? I am pretty sure I do not have any glands outside of my body, a couple feet in front of my chest.

At the end of the day, like Andromeda says these sensations are just sensations. And from the meditation point of view, what you do with a sensation is entirely independent of its anatomical correlate (if any).
Maybe, but there's a smorgasbord of therapies and powers based on these things, and that's where we start to need objectivity, otherwise we get people suffering or ending up in the morgue.

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/19/18 3:11 PM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
I agree, especially with (2) as I see people struggling to come to terms that our experience of brains and neurons are themselves constructions (ie. effects), and effects cannot be fundamental causes.
But I think that the medicinal applications of this theory are where it starts to become a matter of how much people are willing to go with the subjectivity of it all, or whether they want something that really works. People sometimes take a bet on the functional reality of energy systems and lose it big time.

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/19/18 3:32 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
For what it's worth, I agree that the hard problem of consciousness does pose some very serious and fascinating fundamental questions about mapping subjective experience to physical neural correlates.

Whatever we think of the Hard Problem, however, associating prana with physical structures in the body that are clearly not there when medics perform surgeries does not provide any kind of solution to the Hard Problem. Saying prana / chakras = some glands and physical anatomical structures has all the Hard Problems of saying "it's all neurons" PLUS all the problems of these glands and organs not really existing in the first place.

At least we know that the brain exists, it looks like a good point to start to me!

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/19/18 5:07 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Well said! We tend to think science has all the answers but that's just not the case. Scientism is just as much a belief system/ideology as religion.

So true--I suspect most of us coming to meditation with a Western secular/atheistic background need to be very careful to investigate these biases lest we be led astray by scientism. I personally did not realize just how problematically scientistic most scientists are until getting into biomedical research and seeing it firsthand. I've had to dismantle all sorts of ideals and fixed beliefs that were trained into me and getting in the way of insight.

As for prana/chi/etc. being in the body--I'm like neko and my subjective experience of these and many other things extend beyond my body. For example, doing push hands sensitivity drills in tai chi that teach one to feel the energy in another person's body. Was I actually feeling through my partners' nerves? Unlikely. But the specifics of what is going on don't really matter so long as it increases your ability to sense what your partner is doing so that you are more likely to win wrestling matches. A perspective of not-knowing works best here, just as it does for insight practice.

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/20/18 4:01 AM as a reply to Andromeda.
For example, doing push hands sensitivity drills in tai chi that teach one to feel the energy in another person's body. Was I actually feeling through my partners' nerves? Unlikely. But the specifics of what is going on don't really matter so long as it increases your ability to sense what your partner is doing so that you are more likely to win wrestling matches. A perspective of not-knowing works best here, just as it does for insight practice.


Depends. Maybe if you understood the mechanism better you would perfom better, or it would open up new horizons. I've seen a dozen videos of tai chi masters getting battered by MMA guys.
I've done all sorts of energy work and martial arts dabbling. I had an instructor who said the years of tai chi gave him the power to ward off blows, he took a stance and told me to kick his thigh. I did. He took it. But taking a kick from my weedy foot doesn't prove much.
People who say they can defend themselves with chi belong in a sports science lab getting a few whacks.


What do you think the tingliness in the hands, that's supposed to be sensing someone's field, is ? I used to do reiki so I got a lot of that. Same as in meditation. I can do it now at the keyboard, I pay attention to my hands and there's a faint tingling, done it for years and never got into the physiology of it.
Nerves ? Blood vessels ?

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/20/18 5:14 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
I agree that "chi ball" stuff is bullshit and tai chi is useless for fighting (which is not to say it doesn't have other uses). I learned better practical skills from a pro MMA guy, but MMA still has plenty of bullshit. By far the most useful stuff came from a self defense instructor who used to be a jail guard and actually had extensive experience with real violence. He seemed to have an uncanny ability to sense the space and bodies around him but wouldn't use sissy terms like chi or energy. Instead he talked mostly about leverage and the psychology of violence, which was much more appropriate and conducive to good self defense.

I have no idea what the tingly sensations are in your hands when doing Reiki, etc. Probably complex projections originating in the brain that go well beyond a simple physiological explanation. Any attempt at scientific explanation would be reductionistic and highly speculative; in other words, really bad science or scientism. Just one more fixed belief to tear down later. Why not do some insight practice with those sensations instead? Where is the origin of your need for certainty on this?

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/20/18 7:20 AM as a reply to Andromeda.
"I have no idea what the tingly sensations are in your hands when doing Reiki, etc. Probably complex projections originating in the brain that go well beyond a simple physiological explanation."

There you go, there's some ideas.

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/20/18 1:17 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
I wouldn't rush to abandon science here. After all, if these experiences are so subjective, how is it that different people report similar phenomena?

And for that matter why give any primacy to the brain over the body? Both are materialist constructs - as is our perception of our environment too. I guess materialism, mentalism (if I can call it that) and non-dualism will all give different interpretations of sensory phenomena, but they don't completely rebut each other. Rather, they provide different insights from different frames of reference. Remember, materialism and science do work on some level, as you tell from useful inventions like computers, anaesthetics, antibiotics, radio, x-rays, eyeglasses and flight.

The reason I say this is that I think prana/chi/piti can be subject to some useful objective investigation. That doesn't mean we would understand everything.  Nor do we need to - science is about finding better explanations, not ultimate answers.  But we might learn enough to help better shake up the dependently arising self, enabling faster progress in inight. 

I do agree scientism is a real danger - testable theories and verifiable evidence are the key, rather than assertions that science can explain everything based on existing knowledge.  

Just my 2c worth.  emoticon

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/23/18 4:36 PM as a reply to curious.
curious:
I wouldn't rush to abandon science here. After all, if these experiences are so subjective, how is it that different people report similar phenomena?

And for that matter why give any primacy to the brain over the body? Both are materialist constructs - as is our perception of our environment too. I guess materialism, mentalism (if I can call it that) and non-dualism will all give different interpretations of sensory phenomena, but they don't completely rebut each other. Rather, they provide different insights from different frames of reference. Remember, materialism and science do work on some level, as you tell from useful inventions like computers, anaesthetics, antibiotics, radio, x-rays, eyeglasses and flight.

The reason I say this is that I think prana/chi/piti can be subject to some useful objective investigation. That doesn't mean we would understand everything.  Nor do we need to - science is about finding better explanations, not ultimate answers.  But we might learn enough to help better shake up the dependently arising self, enabling faster progress in inight. 

I do agree scientism is a real danger - testable theories and verifiable evidence are the key, rather than assertions that science can explain everything based on existing knowledge.  

Just my 2c worth.  emoticon

I don't think eveything will be explained by science. But yogic/energy science makes testable predictions, follow the procedure and you should get the result. Difficult to measure in subjective experiences of states of consciousness, but a lot easier in the medical field where it either cures something, or it doesn't. From what I see energy medicine (chakras/meridians etc) is riddled with failures.

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/24/18 8:03 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Energy medicine is riddled with failures because it's not easy to open up the chakras. One needs to clean up all the psychosomatic issues and only then can chakras open up fully. Then there would hardly be any stress and all the stress related ailments will go away. So it is a holistic approach.


RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/24/18 3:58 PM as a reply to Change A..
Change A.:
Energy medicine is riddled with failures because it's not easy to open up the chakras. One needs to clean up all the psychosomatic issues and only then can chakras open up fully. Then there would hardly be any stress and all the stress related ailments will go away. So it is a holistic approach.

Sound like famous last words.

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/30/18 2:05 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:
Chris Marti:
The deeper point: if neurons and other anatomical systems, interacting with the brain, can manufacture phantom sensations in an amputated limb, then why not phantom sensations in other places in the body? Over the years my meditation practice experience has taught me the mind can manufacture all manner of sensory phenomena, from sounds and touches to sights, taste, and so on.

Indeed. But OK, does that mean we can manufacture the sensations of new chakras and meridians wherever we want them ?
Or is there something more stable about the experience of these things over populations and eras ?


Great article on how it's not about energy at all:

What if I told you that nearly everything we’ve been taught in the West about how Chinese medicine works isn’t accurate? 
What if I told you that Chinese medicine isn’t a woo-woo, esoteric “energy medicine” at all, but instead a functional, “flesh and bones” medicine based on the same basic physiology as western medicine?  And what if I told you I could explain the mechanisms of Chinese medicine in simple, familiar terms that any eight year-old could understand and even the most skeptical, conservative doctor couldn’t argue with?

Here’s the thing. The “energy meridian” model that has become the default explanation of Chinese medicine US is not only out of sync with our modern, scientific understanding of the body – it’s also completely inconsistent with classical Chinese medical theory.  In other words, we’ve made up our own western version of Chinese medicine that has little to do with how it was understood and practiced since it began more than 3,000 years ago in China.

When the terms qi (oxygen), mai (vessel) and jie (neurovascular node) are properly translated, it becomes clear that there is no disagreement between ancient Chinese medical theory and contemporary principles of anatomy and physiology. Chinese medicine is not a metaphysical, energy medicine but instead a “flesh and bones” medicine concerned with the proper flow of oxygen and blood through the vascular system.



https://chriskresser.com/chinese-medicine-demystified-part-i-a-case-of-mistaken-identity/

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/30/18 5:27 AM as a reply to J C.

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/30/18 9:04 AM as a reply to J C.
Chinese medicine is not a metaphysical, energy medicine but instead a “flesh and bones” medicine concerned with the proper flow of oxygen and blood through the vascular system.



https://chriskresser.com/chinese-medicine-demystified-part-i-a-case-of-mistaken-identity/
It's to do with just the proper flow of blood. If blood flows properly, oxygen flows properly as well.

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/30/18 11:27 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
There is so much awesome content in this thread I don't know where to jump in, so I'll just start with a string of observations that I feel good putting together here.

'Objective' data about anatomy and sensations: when I was way under 10 years old, I found that there was a point between my eyebrows that felt weird under certain circumstances.  When I put certain objects near that point, I felt a ringing, throbbing thing under my skin.  I recall my brother felt it too. I really don't think I had heard about a 'third eye' at that point.  Maybe I had seen a red dot on someones forhead. This was in the 60's.  In the 70's I read, I think in a Heinlein book, a character talking about that phenomena so I figure it's real even though we don't have a satisfying way of talking about it.

Now in my teen years (the 70's) I started bumping into various meditation/Buddhist people, and they always turned me off because of their weird woo-woo explanations of stuff so I never learned anything from them. This facilitated ignorance went on for 40 years. Then for various reasons I started vipassana and I feel my experience and understanding of myself and the world started evolving in a great way. I noticed when people started talking to me about chakras and I have more respect for that bit of woo-wooism. I guess my point is, that if someone had talked to me skillfully about the eyebrow chakra when I was 17 I might have found a way to shave 40 years of avoidance off my path. That's where us modern evangelists have room to help things along.

The rubber hand thing and bhumi stuff surely proves that the brain can imagine stuff but that does not mean to me that imagining is always skillful. I never want to be this poor aikido guy getting punched in the face https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WN9V4PFUdqg or help someone else suffer a metaphorically similar fate.  That woo woo Aikido guy is to dojo as literal reincarnation is to modern western meditation halls.

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
11/30/18 12:54 PM as a reply to J C.
J C:


Following a few references from the article I read around this and here are a few handy links

Energy - Merdian Misconceptions of Chinese Medicine

https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/286171

A Review of the Ancient Concepts of Chinese Medicine

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=2ahUKEwjc4a_c4_zeAhUyoXEKHeIKDAIQFjABegQIBBAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.journalofchinesemedicine.com%2Fsubscriber%2Fdownload%2Flink%2Fdownload%2FMC43MjIyMzQwMCAxNTQyMzA0Mzc1MjAyODc%3D%2F&usg=AOvVaw1G9Ej7PmrSAWlE5DSRWwqI


Noting that both of these are by believers in acupuncture, just not the energy theory.

And for hard core skeptics who don't believe in any of it

The Forefather of Acupuncture Energetics, a Charlatan?

https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-forefather-of-acupuncture-energetics-a-charlatan/

RE: Prana, chi - it's just nerves and blood vessels really, yeah ?
Answer
12/1/18 10:52 AM as a reply to Matt.
matthew sexton:
I never want to be this poor aikido guy getting punched in the face https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WN9V4PFUdqg or help someone else suffer a metaphorically similar fate.  That woo woo Aikido guy is to dojo as literal reincarnation is to modern western meditation halls.


I would immediately leap up and channel some emergency reiki into the old guy !