Emails with a medical subject are relatively absent from my inbox since discontinuing my practice, but this morning my mailbox contained two interesting messages concerning oxygen and ozone. I’ll address the first one here. Maybe the second one tomorrow.
A reader named Mangesh wrote a comment on a six year old post entitled Qi—It’s Not What You Think. If you haven’t read it, you’ll need to in order to follow this one. And I think it’s an important subject. Mangesh thinks so, too.
When you click on the link above, the post will open in a new page or tab. When you’re finished you can come back, and we’ll be here.
Blatant over simplification of a concept by a rational westerner. Qi or Prana is a concept which cannot be limited to oxygen only. Friendly reminder that air contains carbon and nitrogen as well. Prana is acquired and even generated through food, water and even the thoughts that you think. Please revisit your research and review things from an energetic perspective!
I appreciate you taking the time to share your observations, Mangesh.
This post was written in 2011. It’s now 2017, and I hadn’t read it in a long time. So, when I received your comment, I assumed from things you said that I hadn’t sufficiently addressed the objections you express. Having reread the post now, I find that’s not quite the case. But I’ll try again.
Perspective is, indeed, everything. Attention and attitude are the most precious faculties available to human beings, and together, they dictate our perspective.
Having its origins, and therefore its ceiling, in the astral plane, Prana does all the things you say, and more. It’s a motor current that circulates in the body. Qi, too, is a motor current. Like all else in the creation, Prana, has its value, but to equate it with Qi would represent a misunderstanding needing clarification.
Central to originally writing this post were two objectives:
- to increase understanding of the profundity of Chinese medicine’s infant beginnings;
- and to send a jolting wakeup call to Westerners, who, like Soulié de Morant, seek some level of spirituality at a personal level, and have eagerly embraced his personal and erroneous projection of Hinduism and a presumed level of esotericism onto the principles and wisdom of Chinese medicine.
Again, this is a disservice to the medicine’s efficacy, as well as a serious deterrent to its acceptance in the West. A disservice so pervasive, that, fifteen years after the publication of Kendall’s bombshell, Dao of Chinese Medicine, there’s no evidence that anyone from the public or the profession has noticed the cat’s out of the bag.
The consensus definition of Qi, accepted by scholars (Chinese and otherwise) of ancient Chinese, is “vital air”. Of course, air contains nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and dozens of other components! That’s the raison d’être of that small, yet immense, qualifier, “vital”, in Qi’s definition. Simply “air” wasn’t sufficient for early Chinese adepts to describe their meaning in defining Qi’s primacy. Just as “Toxic” establishes the critical distinction between “Toxic Heat” and “Heat”—that is, between viral infection and bacterial infection—so, too, vital air distinguishes oxygen from air. The Chinese didn’t require a chemistry lab to make these distinctions. They simply made them through astute perception and left the chemistry for Europeans 2000 years later.
Maybe that’s not it at all. Maybe they were just winging it and thought Qi was a mysterious energy. But everything in my experience of this remarkable medicine in nearly twenty-five years suggests their level of consciousness was far more evolved than this. Kendall’s very thorough examination of the history is quite an eye opener to one whose eye is open. It’s chock full of insights into clinical practice, as well.
In relation to modern practice, an enlightening consideration might be that medical ozone is made from pure oxygen. Heaven forbid we administer ozonated nitrogen by using air as our source! And medical ozone, made with pure oxygen, in precise concentration and dosage, exhibits all the clinical qualities of “super” Qi.
Are there energetic attributes of Qi? Of course there are. Are you suggesting there are not energetic attributes of oxygen? Of nitrogen? Ozone?
You mention ‘rational’ with a hint of disdain, Mangesh. I understand your meaning. But, do you? As all genuine masters, throughout the world, throughout time, have declared, rational thought is a prerequisite to the ascension of consciousness. Not a razzle-dazzle, out of the body one, no, but a basic prerequisite, perhaps more important than the notch-on-our-belt ‘spiritual’ one—if, for no other reason, than the fact that emotional attachment far outweighs logic or rational thinking in the human mind. Given that 85% of our karma is due simply to unclear thinking, we might put clarity on a higher pedestal.
Rational thinking always has been, and still is required for consciousness to ascend into realities far beyond Prana or Qi—levels of existence where reason, thought, doctrine, research, or attachment are eventually replaced by direct perception—knowing, being, and seeing. There’s much, much more, of course, but rational thought is an indispensable step, and as long as we’re living in this dual world, it will be required for normal function.
Ask our new president.