The Holy Spirit and Chi

What is the Holy Spirit? What is chi? Are the two connected? I read in a book once, that they were exactly the same thing. Are they? I’d like to examine that question for a bit.

Let’s start with chi. I have a black belt in the martial arts—just enough to start learning about chi without ever having delved too deeply into the topic. I know it is real. And I know skilled martial artists can manipulate it. That’s about it. But what is it? From my understanding, chi is supposed to be a universal life force that imbues everything with its presence. As I said, it can be felt and controlled by skilled martial artists. Generally, it feels like a warm energy imbued in your body. You might feel it in your hands, or your feet, or wherever. Special exercises can build it up and bring it out.

The Holy Spirit is the third person in the Trinity. It supposedly flows from the Father and the Son. It is usually described as the breath of life or something similar. Again, it is sometimes described as the animating life force of all the cosmos, just like chi. But is it the same thing as chi? It sounds like it at this level, but there’s a hitch. Jesus blessed his disciples with the Holy Spirit forty days after his resurrection. If the Holy Spirit was this universal animating force as described above, why would this blessing be necessary? Each of the apostles would already be imbued with chi/the Holy Spirit. Jesus wouldn’t be bestowing anything new. Further, the Holy Spirit is supposed to be (at least according to my understanding) uniquely Christian. Chi is not.

I once encountered a priest who was giving a blessing to a group of people. He had us clap our hands together and rub them until they got warm. He said this was the Holy Spirit. And, basically, I can tell you as a martial artist that what he was talking about was also chi.

So, what’s the answer? Is there a difference between chi and the Holy Spirit? If there isn’t, then what good was Jesus’ blessing?

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