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Re: Catholicism and eastern martial arts - Bourbon Apocalypse - 03-05-2015

(03-05-2015, 02:28 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote: But you guys seem to think absolutely everything short of actual murder is OK. This is either liberalism or plain laziness to think seriously about things. And I'm tired of talking to liberal and/or lazy Catholics.

Wait...murder is not okay?

My Friday nights will never be the same...


Re: Catholicism and eastern martial arts - spikepaga - 03-05-2015

Well I do a lot of weight training and resistance training, and since that came from Classical Greece I guess I am a heathen lazy a** Catholic.

These kind of eccentric behaviors is why people tend to think we are all crazy. And apparently some of us are real cray.

Unless you are burning some incense to Buddha statues or praying to some Ganesh deity while doing your Tai-Chi or Judo or whatever........there is no reason why we should live our lives second guessing every action we take (specially us men) like we where some Amish housewives.

The way some people talk , I am thinking they have a panic attack just going to the museum to look at ancient art from other cultures.




Re: Catholicism and eastern martial arts - Sequentia - 03-05-2015

I just went ahead and signed up for a taiji quan class. I'm wondering if it's actually the same instructor who taught my taiji class about 8 years ago, in which case I would have nothing to worry about. I have no interest in Taoist or Buddhist meditation anyway.

Which gets me wondering, do atheistic communists and Christians in China practice taiji/tai-chi? Is taiji more of a cultural tradition than a religious or philosophical one? In terms of, do most Chinese-regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof-practice taiji? From what I understand taiji is "slow-motion" kung fu.

I've always found China to be an interesting country, especially from an anthropological perspective. If I ever had to learn an Asian language, Mandarin Chinese would be the one.

Another thing I'm wondering: are there any well known Taoists or Buddhists who have converted to the Catholic faith?


Re: Catholicism and eastern martial arts - Beardly - 03-05-2015

So far as tai chi  goes, I think what most people think is problematic is the theory of chi itself, which is supposed to tie into some eastern mysticism or something. Though honestly, all it ties into is a bad medical theory. And seeing as I know plenty of trad Catholics who buy into all manner of bad medical theories (don't vaccinate your kids, all chemicals in food are bad, conventional medicine is bad), and since I'm pretty sure there's at least a few tradies who still believe in humorism, I think it's really just a matter of picking your poison.

:afraidsmiley:


Re: Catholicism and eastern martial arts - Ave Castitatis Lilium - 03-05-2015

At least acupuncture actually works, for some reason.


Re: Catholicism and eastern martial arts - J Michael - 03-06-2015

(03-05-2015, 11:31 PM)Ave Castitatis Lilium Wrote: At least acupuncture actually works, for some reason.

It's because of the bad medical theory. :eyeroll:


Re: Catholicism and eastern martial arts - J Michael - 03-06-2015

(03-05-2015, 11:02 PM)Beardly Wrote: So far as tai chi  goes, I think what most people think is problematic is the theory of chi itself, which is supposed to tie into some eastern mysticism or something. Though honestly, all it ties into is a bad medical theory. And seeing as I know plenty of trad Catholics who buy into all manner of bad medical theories (don't vaccinate your kids, all chemicals in food are bad, conventional medicine is bad), and since I'm pretty sure there's at least a few tradies who still believe in humorism, I think it's really just a matter of picking your poison.

:afraidsmiley:

Which theory would that be, anyway?  And, as far as Tai Chi goes, there's far more to it's foundations and history than just any medical theory.  If you would look into it slightly more than just superficially you'd see that.  And, it doesn't take all that much looking into, either.


Re: Catholicism and eastern martial arts - Beardly - 03-06-2015

(03-06-2015, 01:29 PM)J Michael Wrote:
(03-05-2015, 11:02 PM)Beardly Wrote: So far as tai chi  goes, I think what most people think is problematic is the theory of chi itself, which is supposed to tie into some eastern mysticism or something. Though honestly, all it ties into is a bad medical theory. And seeing as I know plenty of trad Catholics who buy into all manner of bad medical theories (don't vaccinate your kids, all chemicals in food are bad, conventional medicine is bad), and since I'm pretty sure there's at least a few tradies who still believe in humorism, I think it's really just a matter of picking your poison.

:afraidsmiley:

Which theory would that be, anyway?  And, as far as Tai Chi goes, there's far more to it's foundations and history than just any medical theory.  If you would look into it slightly more than just superficially you'd see that.  And, it doesn't take all that much looking into, either.

I'm mostly joking actually. Most of the problem people have with Tai Chi and related martial arts is the theory of chi itself, which is itself just a part of traditional Chinese medicine, together with Wu Xing (i.e. the five "elements," although that's a bad translation), yin and yang, and the rest. From a western perspective, this isn't mysticism--it's just a theory about health and the body. And from a western perspective, it has about as much weight as humorism, or, indeed, is the eastern equivalent of humorism. So honestly, one ought to be as wary reading Aquinas or Albertus Magnus on various issues relating to the body as one ought to be practicing Tai Chi, because they refer to humorism frequently, especially as relates to various sins (e.g., nocturnal emission can be a sin of negligence if it is due to a failure to ensure that there is not an excess of some humor, though I forget which in particular).

Now, I realize that Chinese medicine is not all there is to Tai Chi, just as it would be absurd to say that humorism is all there is to Aquinas or Albertus Magnus. I'm just pointing out the absurdity of staying away from Tai Chi on the basis of traditional Chinese medicine. Granted in a somewhat incendiary way.


Re: Catholicism and eastern martial arts - J Michael - 03-06-2015

(03-06-2015, 07:39 PM)Beardly Wrote:
(03-06-2015, 01:29 PM)J Michael Wrote:
(03-05-2015, 11:02 PM)Beardly Wrote: So far as tai chi  goes, I think what most people think is problematic is the theory of chi itself, which is supposed to tie into some eastern mysticism or something. Though honestly, all it ties into is a bad medical theory. And seeing as I know plenty of trad Catholics who buy into all manner of bad medical theories (don't vaccinate your kids, all chemicals in food are bad, conventional medicine is bad), and since I'm pretty sure there's at least a few tradies who still believe in humorism, I think it's really just a matter of picking your poison.

:afraidsmiley:

Which theory would that be, anyway?  And, as far as Tai Chi goes, there's far more to it's foundations and history than just any medical theory.  If you would look into it slightly more than just superficially you'd see that.  And, it doesn't take all that much looking into, either.

I'm mostly joking actually. Most of the problem people have with Tai Chi and related martial arts is the theory of chi itself, which is itself just a part of traditional Chinese medicine, together with Wu Xing (i.e. the five "elements," although that's a bad translation), yin and yang, and the rest. From a western perspective, this isn't mysticism--it's just a theory about health and the body. And from a western perspective, it has about as much weight as humorism, or, indeed, is the eastern equivalent of humorism. So honestly, one ought to be as wary reading Aquinas or Albertus Magnus on various issues relating to the body as one ought to be practicing Tai Chi, because they refer to humorism frequently, especially as relates to various sins (e.g., nocturnal emission can be a sin of negligence if it is due to a failure to ensure that there is not an excess of some humor, though I forget which in particular).

Now, I realize that Chinese medicine is not all there is to Tai Chi, just as it would be absurd to say that humorism is all there is to Aquinas or Albertus Magnus. I'm just pointing out the absurdity of staying away from Tai Chi on the basis of traditional Chinese medicine. Granted in a somewhat incendiary way.

Thanks for clarifying!


Re: Catholicism and eastern martial arts - richgr - 03-06-2015

I have never learned about the medicinal theories historically associated with Tai Chi, so I couldn't comment there, but I am interested in Tai Chi from the perspective of physiology and physics. See this work: http://www.amazon.com/The-Theoretical-Basis-Tai-Chuan-ebook/dp/B00JE4TV8U

I'd like to respond to the original poster's questions and concerns.

I agree with Renatus, and on that basis, I also recommend Tai Chi as one of the most excellent and efficient means we have for developing physical self-awareness and sensitivity. The martial form is a factory designed to produce total physical self-awareness as well as awareness of external forces received into the body; then the form equips a person with the most efficient tools to redirect that flow of energy back out (to neutralize it).

The concept of the yin-yang simply points to how energy (chi) flows and aligns with the Western notion of energy, usually expressed kinetically. Tai Chi represents the most fundamental form of internal martial arts; it tries to recreate in the body an actual yin-yang in applied physicality. As such, it is from a philosophical perspective the root of every possible martial art, just as metaphysics studies being insofar as it is being itself and the root of all other sciences.

Some priests caution against Tai Chi or say it is demonic because they incorrectly associate it with other questionable practices, such as forms of Yoga, which *has* led to cases associated with the demonic whether people want to accept that or not. Tai Chi itself is a purely physical process that trains the body to achieve optimal muscular and skeletal health and self-awareness. I myself have never seem much use for stretching, but if you are interested in stretching, Tai Chi requires a good amount of flexibility; I would say a practical amount of flexibility.

The practice of Tai Chi can progress only as a practitioner becomes increasingly aware of and able to differentiate fine motor muscular activity into increasingly smaller and smaller segments. It produces posture as the body should have it and absolutely requires the proper use and movement of the joints in their biologically intended fashion as Western science is amazingly demonstrating. Tai Chi, further, indicates some of the failures of Western science; for example, the unquestioned notion that proper spinal posture requires an s-curve to the degree we normally see in a model skeleton.

As such, Tai Chi forms a beautiful analogy to spiritual advancement, which requires greater discernment and self-understanding of one's interior movements and influences in order to remain faithful to the Lord. Such spiritual discernment leads to greater docility to and cooperation with the movements of the Holy Ghost; just as Tai Chi leads to greater docility and responsiveness to an incoming force while finding a way, not to resist, but to let the energy flow through the body in a way that neutralizes any potential harm.

I only briefly scanned the article that J Michael posted, and while there are some beautiful comparisons to the Christian life contained in it, I do have questions regarding its philosophical and theological precision as the multiple and equivocal use of the same terms, such as spiritual, charity, heart/mind, interior, centeredness, energy, uncreated/infinite, and many other words, suggest a reduction of the supernatural to the natural, which is the normal danger when Eastern thought is engaged from a classical Christian perspective.

Further the notions of contemplation or contemplative practice and prayer are equivocated or at least given no or minimal indication of difference; e.g. the prayer of the heart isn't simply something can "do" right off the bat. Meditative exercises have a heuristic function that lead to progressive docility in the soul's response to the Holy Ghost, which culminate in infused contemplative experiences proper.

Further, meditative exercises must be differentiated between their supernatural and natural content and functioning. Contemplative prayer on the supernatural and natural levels (the latter is only arguably prayer if at all) produce similar if not identical psychological effects in the subject but are not therefore the same, nor does silencing the mind produce supernatural contemplation proper.

The contemplative experiences described in the article seem to be what has been called "philosophical contemplation" or at least a species of it.

Aside from that, I think there's a lot of potential for deepening our understanding of the Christian faith through mystical and analogous comparisons, but as I said, the frequent danger is a lack of distinction and definition. Just because something is mystery doesn't mean we are forced into agnosticism about it; and the spiritual is not something that remains totally undifferentiated, a vast and vague aporia. Differences in the spiritual realm (i.e., non-material) are precisely determined by the being of relation, including the mystery of the Holy Trinity.

The beauty of Tai Chi is its ability to express physical relation in a way so closely analogous to spiritual advancement and the relation of grace between the soul and God.