Kevin Wallbridge on "The Cult of Mystical Ignorance"

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: Kevin Wallbridge on "The Cult of Mystical Ignorance"

Postby Appledog on Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:28 am

Hello! Originally I wanted to have a "cool post count" of 108, or something like that (something associated with Tai Chi) but that does not seem possible here. Therefore I am editing this post to point out that users here cannot delete their own posts. I do not understand why users have the ability to edit their posts but not to delete their posts.
Last edited by Appledog on Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:59 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Kevin Wallbridge on "The Cult of Mystical Ignorance"

Postby charles on Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:41 am

wayne hansen wrote:Mind leads chi follows
Every move you make without an opponent is started by your imagination


True, but not necessarily in the context we are discussing, the small heavenly orbit and cultivation thereof.
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Re: Kevin Wallbridge on "The Cult of Mystical Ignorance"

Postby Bhassler on Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:08 pm

Appledog wrote:
Bhassler wrote:I was afraid that Kevin was too mature to resort to sarcasm and mockery, so felt it was my duty to pick up the banner and run with it.


I prefer to stick with the mature crowd, but, to each his own huh?

Comparing what Kevin was doing to the Socratic method would be more appropriate if he eventually answered the questions he raised. Unfortunately Kevin's "perhaps" is worse than lukewarm, and his response when prodding for answers is worse than unexpected. So while it's true that "attent" has more to it than "intent", the fact that he never actually comments on things from the perspective of practice leaves me wanting more. Let's call this the second prod for discussion, and let's see if you can give any answer whatever, I'm just here to listen.

OTOH if sarcasm and mockery are all that you have, I guess it will have to do.


The reason you got sarcasm and mockery is because it was clear from your comments that you didn't take the time to understand what was written before offering your own criticism of it.

The article specifically addresses the meaning of the Chinese medical term commonly translated as "small heavenly circle", and Kevin provides academic and cultural context for *why* he believes the interpretation commonly given is inaccurate. It's not a training article. You suggested the author either hasn't trained enough or was trained incorrectly because he hasn't "felt" the small heavenly circle, when the major part of the article is pointing out that the small heavenly circle that is so happily spoken of in martial arts doesn't exist in Chinese medicine in a way that is at all similar to what's commonly talked about in MA. What you yourself do or do not feel in that context, and whether it is real or imagined, is largely irrelevant-- whatever it is you might be feeling, it is *not* the so-called small heavenly circle of Chinese medicine.

Is any of this relevant to training? Maybe or maybe not, but it is certainly relevant to understanding the cultural context of the taiji classics, which are ultimately more along the lines of scholarly articles than true training guides-- or rather, they are a scholarly treatment of experience gained through training. Without understanding the cultural background, any commentary on the "classics" is deeply suspect as anything other than the personal musings of an individual.

It's somewhat... odd that the IMA community is so adamant about formal teaching and correct training on the one hand, while those same people who insist on the necessity of right training blithely make up their own terminology for anatomy, approach ancient texts with no cultural or academic context, and invent pedagogy seemingly at random with no regard at all for the vast bodies of professional knowledge and experience readily available in any of those fields.

Discussion is similar to training-- if you want the real stuff, you have to earn it (general 'you' here, not speaking of anyone particularly). You can't get the real skills of fighting by reading books, and you likewise can't get meaningful discussion through physical training alone. You have to develop the gongfu of language, articulation, and logical structure.
Last edited by Bhassler on Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kevin Wallbridge on "The Cult of Mystical Ignorance"

Postby Appledog on Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:25 pm

Hello! Originally I wanted to have a "cool post count" of 108, or something like that (something associated with Tai Chi) but that does not seem possible here. Therefore I am editing this post to point out that users here cannot delete their own posts. I do not understand why users have the ability to edit their posts but not to delete their posts.
Last edited by Appledog on Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kevin Wallbridge on "The Cult of Mystical Ignorance"

Postby voidisyinyang on Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:19 pm

I did training based on the small universe - using the book "Taoist Yoga: Alchemy and Immortality" as the main text.

So when I posted on this text on thetaobums forum - people emphatically stated that the book was "too dangerous" and therefore should not be read.

So I didn't really study the book like I should have. I committed the main error in the training - which is described as "evil fire" in the Taoist Yoga: Alchemy and Yoga book.

So I was feeling energy - but because I had not studied the energy channels enough - and the dynamics - as Kevin Wallbridge states - the "orbit" actually refers to something greater than just a channel - especially once the macrocosmic orbit is opened up.

So it is especially the energy interaction with other people where things get very interesting - and this is really where I messed up in the small universe training.

So then if you see commentary on the small universe - some people insist it should not be practiced since it is too dangerous. Another point emphasized is that most people never really open up the "real" small universe and instead just feel the heat of the yin qi energy.

So I point out that the book "Taoist Yoga: Alchemy and Immortality" that is completely based on the small universe - it describes these different levels of the small universe meditation training.

The book details the problems that can arise - but the book really has to be studied in detail. I mean every word has to be considered and the terms have to be cross-correlated - as the different levels of training overlap.

I returned to study the book - only after the qigong master read my energy long distance to inform me, as I said, in fact it was going up the front of my body - when I thought the energy had been going up the back of my body.

Another point about the small universe practice is that it is supposedly a later derivation - from after the Song dynasty I think or even later. But as Kevin's article shows - in fact it is as far back as the Yellow Emperor Classic.

And fascinatingly - Kriya Yoga has a very similar meditation to the small universe - and Kriya Yoga seems similar to the oldest philosophy of India based on the "three gunas."

In my research I have determined that music theory is what correlates the Taoist philosophy with the "three gunas" of India - and the 12 points of the small universe actually are tied to music theory as well. I go into this in the free pdf I linked before - https://www.pdf-archive.com/2017/04/10/ ... t-alchemy/

So the other point is - Kevin mentions a high level teacher who says if you're alive then the small universe is open!

So this belies all the claims that the small universe is dangerous to practice and only is really open until an advanced level, etc. So as Kevin's article details - the Yellow Emperor Classic book then corroborates that claim by tying the meridians to the small universe.

So the other thing is the teacher I trained with who teaches the small universe through http://springforestqigong.com - he says how in full lotus meditation then the small universe will run on its own. He also says to "let the light guide the small universe." So this fits with Kevin's clarification of the very common claim that the mind leads the qi - when in fact as Kevin documents the real meaning is the shen leads the mind which leads the qi.

So the book Taoist YOga: Alchemy and Immortality goes into detail about the role of the shen in the small universe meditation. It is quite fascinating because the "evil fire" is when the energy goes up the front and out of the eyes - the eye balls actually pulsate from the shen going out along with the yin qi - via the pineal gland. This pulls up the small intestine anaerobic bacteria. So the acupuncture meridians confirm this fact of the front channel.

But in contrast when the energy builds up through the skull then it overflows out of the sinus cavity - with the tongue against the roof of the mouth - the cerebrospinal fluid is swallowed into the stomach, and it is ionized via the pineal gland, from where the yuan qi emanates from out of the heart. So this great heat of qi-cerebrospinal fluid is then absorbed back into the small intestines. This is why no food is to be eaten a half hour before and after the small universe meditation.

I'm just giving some examples - but as I said I greatly appreciate Kevin Wallbridge's analysis of the small universe meditation. I can't say I still practice this appropriately - I still suffer from the "evil fire" qi as I still transmit qi out of my eyes via the front channel. haha.

I'm just trying to recommend people closely study the book "Taoist Yoga: Alchemy and Immortality" - it is a free pdf online. It is an intense read. Some people try to dismiss it as missing some information. But I have not seen - if they state it is missing info then no one has provided the missing info that I can find. I will look into this.
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Re: Kevin Wallbridge on "The Cult of Mystical Ignorance"

Postby robert on Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:00 pm

voidisyinyang wrote:So the other point is - Kevin mentions a high level teacher who says if you're alive then the small universe is open!

How do you reconcile that with this video?

Try not to let the words confuse you — they serve no other purpose than to guide you into the inner structures of Taiji. Chen Xin
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Re: Kevin Wallbridge on "The Cult of Mystical Ignorance"

Postby voidisyinyang on Thu Jun 22, 2017 8:18 pm

robert wrote:
voidisyinyang wrote:So the other point is - Kevin mentions a high level teacher who says if you're alive then the small universe is open!

How do you reconcile that with this video?



Thanks for the vid link.

I can't reconcile it personally. I would just say there are different levels of open. The vid appears to be discussing the Yuan Qi opening - this is what I meant when neidan teachers say it's actually very rare for the small universe to be truly opened - which is to say the macrocosmic orbit. So you have small universe but once it really opens then you go into the macrocosmic orbit and notice in that vid he says - then if you focus your mind on your finger the qi will go there. So that is very definitely referring to the macrocosmic orbit. The yuan qi level is very rare - I got to this for a couple weeks but I had not studied the book "Taoist Yoga: Alchemy and Immortality" enough to understand how to control the energy. So then he says that the energy goes down very easily but is difficult to clear through the spine, but once cleared through then it goes down very easily. I would say on the yuan qi level as the macrocosmic orbit - in fact it is the shen that guides the mind that guides the qi. So shen is very much a subconscious or holographic energy level. So the difficulty with the macrocosmic orbit is where your shen goes then the qi goes (with the conscious intention in between and often after the fact). So you have to learn to understand consciously how to control your shen to then control the qi. And so in terms of the qi going down easily - if the shen goes up - then the qi will turn back into jing and get lost as fluid. So yes the qi goes down easily - but the shen has to be surrounded by the qi - so that when the qi goes down it is not separated from the shen going up.

It is a complicated book that I refer to - and so to say if a person is alive and their orbit is then open - this refers to the yin jing energy I would say. There are different levels of opening that the book goes into.
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