Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Harnessing Qi to Burn Paper: From Ring of Fire

I watched the documentary Ring of Fire: East of Krakatoa as a young child. I was at an age where everything was mysterious and possible, especially after having lived in a country like Indonesia where, as clich├ęd as this is, traditional beliefs still had a prominent place in people's minds.

At that time I could accept the idea of a man burning things with only his hands as just another new thing I'd learned about the world. For years after I quite firmly believed in Qi and harnessing energy through meditation. Slowly through socialization and school I completely forgot about it and if you asked me last week I'd have said I didn't. Last night, for some reason, this came up at a party and remembering the film I argued that people can set things on fire using just body energy. Of course everyone laughed at me. Well here's the video.

There are many things that science has only vague notions of but that are explained in traditional healing traditions as mystical and secret. The conclusion is that things like Qi do exist but they haven't yet been explained by science. In fact, under Canadian health insurance you are fully covered if you go to an acupuncturist for treatment. Many people I know swear by it, and it certainly helped my dad's back problems. The acupuncturist's practice is based on the same principles as the man's in the video.

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