So what is Chi anyway?
The simplest way to explain Chi or Qi is energy. Qi is Energy! So what is Energy?
Scientists define energy as the ability to do work. Modern civilization is possible because people have learned how to change energy from one form to another and then use it to do work. People use energy to walk and bicycle, to move cars along roads and boats through water, to cook food on stoves, to make ice in freezers, to light our homes and offices, to manufacture products, and to send astronauts into space.
There are many different forms of energy, including
These forms of energy can be grouped into two general types of energy for doing work:
- Potential or stored energy
- Kinetic or working energy
Life, it is said in the Chinese medical classics, is a gathering of Qi. A healthy (and happy) human being is a dynamic but harmonious mixture of all the aspects of Qi that make up who we are. Life is the sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual. So in order for you to be alive you need to have Qi.
Now that we defined Qi, let’s take a look at Spirit. Spirit is a little harder to explain, because it depends on what your believes are. For the purpose of this article I am going to take the viewpoint of Christianity.
Look discuss a clean and unclean Spirit!
While it is not so difficult to distinguish the body from the spirit and the soul, it is particularly difficult to distinguish the soul from the spirit. What exactly are their differences? Let us consult the Bible once again to give us light about these confusing concepts.
There are a few places in the Bible where the body, soul, and spirit are mentioned. One of these is in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, as written, “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
If we delve into this verse, it clearly states that we are composed of three parts: The body, the soul, and the spirit. The verse also uses the word “and,” which in the original Greek language means to differ from each other. Thus, this clearly states that each part is different and plays a different role in us.
It is easy to distinguish the body as physical, which means using the five senses; the sense of sight, the sense of hearing, the sense of taste, the sense of smell, and the sense of touch. The spirit and soul are much more difficult because they seem similar but are actually very different. They have different functions in our lives as Christians, as it is written in Hebrews 4:12,
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
It is obvious in this verse that the two are separate and what is apparent is that the Word of God divides these two parts from each other.
The Function of the Spirit
Let us go back to Luke 1:46-47. Mary rejoices about God’s love shown through His only begotten son through her spirit. This means that she enjoyed and experienced God through her spirit. The expression of God’s love is through our spirit.
While the soul is the source of our expression through our humanity, it has its limitations and the only way we can experience God is through our spirit. The soul is merely a channel.
Let us go back to our imagery of the parts. The body is the outer level, followed by the soul and the spirit is the core. The expression of love to God paved the way through the soul. We first magnify God’s power and grace, and then we express and experience it fully through our spirit.
The function of the spirit is spiritual. The spirit is the only way to connect with God, and we can only use the spirit if we believe in God and receive Him through our Lord Jesus Christ’s salvation.
An Unclean spirit
The exorcism of demons and unclean spirits is one of the major categories of miracles attributed to Jesus. In the Greek New Testament, 20 occurrences of pneuma akatharton (singular and plural) are found in the Synoptic Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, and the Book of Revelation. The phrase may be used instead of daimonion (50 occurrences) or a verbal form of daimonizesthai, “to be possessed by a demon” or “to be or act as a demoniac,” as indicated by usage in parallel versions of the same story. Throughout The Gospel of Mark, the terms pneuma (with a pejorative modifier) and daimonion seem to be equivalent.
In the narratives pertaining to the ministry of Jesus, temptation to sin is not the primary role played by demons, but rather the causing of disease, disability, mental illness, and antisocial behavior; they defile and compel their human hosts to suffer both physically and spiritually. Although healing and exorcism are distinguished, they often appear in close association, and some afflictions are caused by demonic possession: the inability to speak at Matthew 9:32, blindness at Matthew 12:22, deafness at Mark 9:17–29, epilepsy at Matthew 17:18, and fever and other diseases at Luke 4:39 and Luke 8:2. Mental illness, however, was the most common result.
The exorcism of an unclean spirit was the first act of Jesus’s public ministry.
In my opinion when we practice Tai Chi / Taiji we are working on developing a clean spirit of Holiness. It doesn’t matter what religion or faith you are, striving for a clean spirit is what we are after.
So is Qi and spirit the same thing? I don’t believe so. You may believe differently, but as fellow Taiji practitioners we are both on the path to self fulfillment and cultivation of ones Spirit, Mind and Body. So it doesn’t matter if your a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Daoist or anything else, we are all on the same path.
So arguing about Qi and spirit does nothing in the development of our Taiji.
On the other hand, if you have an unclean spirit I don’t thing you will be practicing Taiji, because you will have the wrong mindset to learn and most teachers will be able to see you are unclean if you even wanted to attempt to practice Taiji.
Not saying you shouldn’t, but if you did the principles of Taiji should work on cleaning your spirit.
I hope you enjoyed the article and got something out of it. Thanks for reading, God Bless and good luck on your Taiji Journey.
Sources for this article: