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Qì Fields (part 2) – Qi, Space and Information

Following on from the ideas presented in Qì Field (part 1), the second factor that has helped me to come to terms with the idea of the qì Field in practical and accessible ways is the model of:

Qì, Space and Information

The model of Qì, Space and Information is not always well received, so please bear with me. I’m not presenting this as a truth, I’m offering it as a perspective that I have found helpful:

What is Qì?

Let’s start with the term qì. When we look back at the etymology of the character of qì we find that in its earliest written form it can be simply translated as vapour rising to form clouds. Over the millennia the meaning has developed and evolved (as outlined in this document about The etylmology pf the character qì) From a simple idea that points towards qì simply being an invisible force that causes change (vapour rising to form clouds), we find additional aspects such as breath and nourishment being absorbed into the meaning. 

Of course, we can view both nourishment and breath as falling into the category of invisible forces that create change, but as with any word that has evolved over time, meanings and applications change. For the purpose of the Qì, Space and Information framework I would like to consider qì in its original, simpler aspect

This simple definition, based on the idea that you cannot see the vapour but you can see the clouds, has a couple of significant implications:

  1. Nobody feels qì. The noticeable aspect in the definition is the cloud, not the vapour and so I would suggest that what we feel is the change that is caused by qì as opposed to the qì itself, what we experience is the cloud, not the vapour.
  2. Qì can be viewed as potential. The vapour has the potential to become a cloud but it is not the cloud. Therefore we can view qì, in its purest state, as pure potential.

While the first point about nobody feeling qì opens up a whole other perspective on Qigong which we will explore in another blog, the aspect of qi as pure potential is the one that I would like to focus on in relation to the Qì Field.

If qì is simply potential, then it needs direction in order to manifest any form of change. The way in which we direct qì is with information. So what do I mean by information?

What is information?

The world is full of information, most of it has no impact on us, but when we read an article, watch a film or engage in conversation we engage with the information and, if we apply our qì to it, we make the information our own.

Another way of expressing this is that until we apply our potential to a piece of information, it is just a passing noise. We can also view this from the other perspective, We can ask ourselves how we use the vast potential that resides within us.

The same is true when we consider the concept of a qi field. While we can talk about the Qi Field of an individual, it is most often used in a larger context. In this space we can view the Qi Field as being a field of pure potential (without any information), or we can consider it to be a coherent space with quite specific information.

While the Qi Field which is pure potential is an interesting concept that relates into the idea of Hun Yuan Qi, more commonly the use of the term Qi Field relates to the coherent space with targeted information. So we can then explore the question:

What information is in the Qi Field?

If you consider a group of people gathering together, they may have a common idea of practising qigong, but beyond that the information is likely to be quite broad. When we look at organising the Qi Field within a group, we are really looking at ways of creating common ideas and common goals. This enables the group to work together coherently in ways that serve the purpose of each person within the group.

The way in which the information is brought into the space relates strongly to the skill of the teacher, but when we understand that it is not the strength on the teachers qi, more the clarity and skill in which they can direct the group’s qi, we can start to appreciate the idea of the qi field in far more practical, accessible terms.

In section 3 of this blog we will look at the way in which we can fine tune our own qi field for personal practice…

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