Michael Sternbach

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  1. What is Chi (炁 and 氣)?

    @ChiDragon Let me summarise: Chi (whether prenatal or postnatal) is a microscopic substance, therefore it should consist of some kind of minute particles--not unlike the particles studied by physicists, although not necessarily the same. It is a basic unit that makes up the human body. This, too, suggests some kind of particle. According to physics, matter is made of particles--but again, note that they may not be the same kind of particle, since physics talks about physical matter, whereas chi is a more subtle kind of matter which in turn becomes the foundation of physical substance in my understanding. It exists in the universe, so it is not bound to a (human) body. It is also found in the air we breathe and in the food we eat ("rice"), and then becomes postnatal chi as it is processed by our organism. Alright?
  2. "Spirit" in the DDJ

    What made me bring up the question was you saying that you believe in the existence of dragons. So in your view, what are, or were, dragons if not some kind of spirits?
  3. "Spirit" in the DDJ

    Well, I'm kind of notorious for doing that... It would definitely be interesting to discuss the concept of chi based on its Chinese characters! I am myself not too happy with equating it with 'energy.' At any rate, chi isn't energy in the way of light and other forms of energy understood in modern mainstream physics. So first you stated that you don't believe in spirits, and yet you believe in the existence of dragons as you said here. And now you are telling me that dragons are actually of a spiritual nature. I must say, I am a bit confused now. How do you reconcile those different views which seem to contradict each other? 🤔
  4. Everything is perfect?

    Agreed, as far as it goes. Shortcomings are of two kinds: commission and omission. And then there are those past things we did or didn't do, which we aren't exactly proud of. Although we may have had the best of intentions. In either case, admitting and learning from mistakes is key (as you said). Beating ourselves up over them is not! And to break free from destructive behaviour patterns sometimes requires taking baby steps. And this includes the guilt trap, which tends to paralyze us in our ability to be of servive to others and ourselves.
  5. "Spirit" in the DDJ

    Great. How would you define chi? And do you consider to be dragons physical or spiritual beings? I feel that it's important to try and clarify our views regarding these questions before we would delve deeper into our individual perspectives on Life, the Universe, and Everything. 🙂
  6. Use cannabis to build Chi

    The use of psychotropic herbs has a long tradition in shamanic cultures (in the broad sense), and this includes cannabis. The latter was particularly popular with Daoist cultivators, amongst others. I don't agree with the opinion that categorically denies their utility on a spiritual journey--well-intended as it may be. As you have found, cannabis can activate and intensify your chi flow. It can therefore serve as an agent in an internal alchemical process. However, it's important to remember that, in alchemy, every 'solve' should be balanced by a 'coagula.' Adequate phases of grounding, thereby integrating the increased energy flow, should not be neglected. The trouble with cannabis and other psychoactive substances is that they tend to be addictive. In many cases, their use becomes a habit with a life of its own--rather than a ritual done with awareness and a clear sense of purpose. In this case, you may find that the herb depletes your energy, while its initial positive effects are felt less. Over time, this can entail various undesirable effects, both physically and psychologically. The negative impact on your energy system can become chronic and difficult to fix--I have seen and felt it so many times in members of a particular subculture. And BTW, it's not just the herb that can potentially be hazardous, but also the tobacco that it is often mixed with for application. So to summarise: if you choose to use cannabis in one of its forms for cultivation purposes, do so with unwavering awareness! Make sure you stay in charge of that powerful spirit you summoned; don't let it gradually take you over and control your mind and actions. I will add that consciously working with your subtle energy system (as mentioned in your OP) is a good way to go. Although it can come with its specific challenges, especially when flow is intensified but yet impeded in certain areas. Try and work out the issues. Avoid both fear and haste. Use the power of visualization and emphasize mental clarity. Good luck on your way! 🙂 Michael
  7. Everything is perfect?

    Mine own sinc'rest apologies if 't be true mine own thoughtlessness offend'd thee! i shalt hencef'rth avoideth this mod'rn naughty w'rd altogeth'r in our furth'r exchanges! Bid me, what wouldst cutteth the mustard in thy esteem'd opinion? unf'rgiving (self-) accusations and harsh judgement p'rhaps?
  8. "Spirit" in the DDJ

    What do you mean by 'spirits'? Also, do you believe in chi? Do you believe in dragons?
  9. "Spirit" in the DDJ

    You're welcome. Glad to discuss this further. No, I don't think so. I don't see Plato's God as different from the Dao.
  10. "Spirit" in the DDJ

    There's just one God. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if you speak of Dao, Jehovah, Vairochana, Brahman... They are all but different ways to refer to the ultimate source of being. Dao isn't something you would have to believe in. I am interested in knowledge, not belief.
  11. Everything is perfect?

    Well, I hate to break it to you, but humans make mistakes--and we actually tend to make the same mistakes again and again. Why is this? Because our thoughts, feelings, and actions are determined by deeply ingrained patterns. You can attribute these to your upbringing, to your karmic backstory, to the astrological influences you were born under, and so on... Insights gained from each of the different models may be useful and, in some cases, sufficient to effect change, however, none of them is 'true' in an ultimate and exclusive sense. Rather, they pertain to different levels of patterning which all reflect each other. All the while, with some part of yourself, you may be aware that there could be a better, more lightful way of viewing and doing things. And yet you feel trapped in the karmic shell that was created inside and outside yourself. Kudos to you if you manage to kindle that spark of higher understanding within yourself until you manage to break free from your former limitations eventually! In all likelihood, it won't be an easy process, let alone a linear one. But hey... The way is the goal!
  12. Everything is perfect?

    Yes, in retrospect we may see that we could have dealt with this or that situation more wisely. However, what we tend to forget is that we had to develop that kind of wisdom first -- and that past situation we couldn't handle better may well have been part of that process. While I am not one to deny the reality and power of free will, I feel it's adequate to say that, all in all, we did the best we could back then, given where and what we were. If in the meantime, we became more sophisticated in our insight and understanding, we deserve to give ourselves a pat on the back.
  13. Legit.

    In other words, try before you buy!
  14. "Spirit" in the DDJ

    I beg to differ. Yes, Laotzu is a naturalist. But he isn't an atheist. Unless perhaps you would have a particular definition of God in mind.
  15. "Spirit" in the DDJ

    Seen in its entirety, no. Not of its own accord. It's essentially a medium for the exchange of information between the things--on all levels--that set it in motion. Much in the way water and air can carry waves. Insofar it can be attracted and accumulated by certain things and places, yes. Which is a matter of resonance, though, not of conscious choice. It has a passive or receptive kind of consciousness that simply passes on what it has been imbued with. So (self-)awareness would sound about right.