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Q: what is the "eastern" alternative to the "scientific method" ( No Answer,   6 Comments )
Subject: what is the "eastern" alternative to the "scientific method"
Category: Science > Social Sciences
Asked by: antun-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 20 Sep 2005 16:36 PDT
Expires: 20 Oct 2005 16:36 PDT
Question ID: 570304
Please elaborate on the "east-west" dichotomy as it pertains to
"seeking of truth" or learning/teaching. This issue was brought to my
attention by the following book review: "This book explains how the
Subject Object dichotomy existing within us is fictitious; a creaation
of our mind. It demonstrates how psychoanalysis can never understand a
person, because analysis implies cutting into pieces and from those
pieces trying to infer what the whole could be; in other words killing
the person to learn or understand him in his live form. It shows how
the present method of analysis adopted by science is incapable of
understanding in its totality something which is alive and
functioning" (

I am not interested in psycoanalysis per se, rather the teaching and
learning of martial arts.
Also what would be the "eastern" countermethod to "taking things
apart" in order to understand them ("the present method of analysis
adopted by science")?
I hope I am making sense....
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: what is the "eastern" alternative to the "scientific method"
From: purplecloud-ga on 20 Sep 2005 20:21 PDT
Although there are many wonderful aspects to eastern culture, the
codification of knowledge is not one of its strengths. Consequently,
in its pursuit of western scientific advancement, eastern culture has
sloughed off much of its traditional knowledge and discipline. By
pursuing the efficient empirical scientific approach  to life, the
balanced, holistic understanding of life has been lost. Consequently,
a modern understanding of martial arts (be it in the east or west) has
become unbalanced because it primarily focuses on the external visible
movements. Such a practice of martial arts actually helps to drain a
person's chi.  The traditional holistic approach first cultivates
one's chi/qi before moving on to practicing martial arts.  It's rather
like using a credit card - ideally you pay off the balance due at the
end of the month. If not, you get into debt and have to pay
significant amounts of interest on what you owe. Much better to pay as
you go.

  Unfortunately, it's very difficult to find a person who has the
wisdom needed to be a teacher. The Taoist philosopher Lao Tse summed
it up  this way:
The way which can be named is not the way. There are many ways to
teach, but most teachers only use language in their teaching. What
needs to be transmitted to the student is more than can be expressed
through human language.

  As for your question on the eastern alternative to the scientific
method - look to the Taoists, the Confucianists and the Buddhists who
embrace the
interconnectedness of things and not isolated analysis of things. It seems like
many top scientists are looking at the interconnectedness of things
and not only relying on the cold analysis of things.

You're headed in a useful direction Antun

Subject: Re: what is the "eastern" alternative to the "scientific method"
From: antun-ga on 21 Sep 2005 23:09 PDT
Thank You for your insightful comment "AM".

As I still have not received a reply from Google, I will elaborate on my querry.
I am currently engaged in a discussion about the reason for decline of
the sport/martial art judo in the United States. I contend that the
main problem is the inclination of westerners to study/disect judo by
means of "western" science in general, and disciplines like
biomechanics, physiology, pedagogy and psychology in particular.
I intuitivly understand that while those disciplines can explain
superficial aspects of martial art practice, I feel that they cannot
grasp the essence of martial arts. I also intuitavly understand that
that  "essence" could very well be something that "cannot be explained
through human language". What I hope to receive from "Google answers"
is: 1) insight into the limitations of "western" science,
2)insight into the "eastern" alternative, and perhaps 3) insight or
history of the notion of "knowledge that cannot be expressed in
words". (Experiental knowledge?).

"AM" you also mention the concept of chi/ki in your comment. Could the
chi,or the cultivation of chi be that "essence", that western science
is unable to grasp (yet)?
Subject: Re: what is the "eastern" alternative to the "scientific method"
From: purplecloud-ga on 23 Sep 2005 03:27 PDT
It's an interesting piece of research that you are proposing here! 
I'd say that chi/qi is perhaps only part of the essence.  Cultivating
one's chi allows you to accumulate enough 'forces' that can lead you
to a different level of enlightenment or understanding. It seems that
with each occurrance of enlightenment more awareness of the universe
  I'd also suggest that what Lao tse was referring to as 'knowledge
that cannot be expressed in words' does not necessarily refer to
experiential knowledge, as that is based, stored and processed in the
human mind. Over the last 500 years or so humans have become quite
good at 'thinking' through things. (This is probably why the
scientific method has yielded such riches.) However, despite our best
thinking, we haven't reached the answer we're looking for. If it could
be done that way, we'd have already gotten the answer! The key to most
eastern practices is to unlearn the concept and habit of using your
mind or sensation to work through things. To decommission our habit of
cogitating what we think is our world.
  The scientific method can only measure what it/humans can perceive
and quantify or fully describe, and there seems to be much more 'out
there' than we perceive!  The 'knowledge that cannot be expressed in
words' probably exceeds the limitations of human language (which we
use to describe what we perceive).
   Perhaps an example of the knowledge which cannot be expressed in
words is the transmission of the dharma by Zen patriarchs to their
Subject: Re: what is the "eastern" alternative to the "scientific method"
From: antun-ga on 26 Sep 2005 14:49 PDT
Purplecloud, in a previous post you state:

"I'd also suggest that what Lao tse was referring to as 'knowledge
that cannot be expressed in words' does not necessarily refer to
experiential knowledge, as that is based, stored and processed in the
human mind."

In following statements by highly regarded martial artists, I find
implication of experiental knowledge that IS based in the human mind.
Is there a way to reconcile your view with the following 3 listed

?Like a drawing in India ink of the whispering of wind in the pines,
the secrets of Judo can only be suggested. Only through personal
experience can one comprehend the mystic ecstasy of such secrets.?

By Prof. Henry Okazaki,

?Sufficient kata study and practice impose a well-defined technical
discipline on the Judoist, one that is unattainable by randori and
contest methods. This discipline, instead of hampering the Judoist,
actually frees him from undue restrictions, liberates his bodily
expression in movement and teaches economy of mental and physical
This process can only be understood through experience and only
through kata performance can judoist come to appreciate judo in its
fullest sense.?

From: Judo Formal Techniques; Otaki & Draeger (1983)

Reality is so vast yet so rarified it eludes all human words, so
vague, and the mind so finite. No wonder those great (martial arts)
teachers of the past left no writing and mostly taught in parables.
What one acquires cannot be described; it can only be realised through
personal experience

Source: ; click ?Great Enablers?, than ?Koizumi?
Subject: Re: what is the "eastern" alternative to the "scientific method"
From: purplecloud-ga on 27 Sep 2005 21:43 PDT
Life involves experience, but what our cognitive or thinking mind can
capture of that experience is only a portion of what we experience.
For example, a dog can hear higher pitched sounds than we can. We
experience the higher pitched sounds, but we are not normally aware of
that pitch.

When we try to put our experience into human language, much is lost in
the process. Different people approach life with different mindsets.
Some people are skilled at expressing their thoughts cogently, others
aren't. Each person has a slightly different framework of experiences
and social conditioning which tints his/her interaction with their

Perhaps when the martial artists you cite talk about experience, they
mean that in their discipline they reach a point where they no longer
need to use human language to verify to themselves what they
experience or express it others. That is, they are no longer
encumbered by limiting their experience to what they can later
articulate to others.

Thank you for a lively discussion!
Subject: Re: what is the "eastern" alternative to the "scientific method"
From: antun-ga on 15 Oct 2005 21:53 PDT
Purplecloud, Thank YOU for your obviously knowledgable feedback!

I have just come accross an extremly UNIQUE article regarding
sport/martial art judo. It is unique and rare because it is the first
time I have ever encountered a discourse that involved judo, Jigoro
Kano (founder of judo), concept of KI and Taoism, all together at the
same time. Judo is unique among the martial arts in that in its
written texts and manuals throughout history, the concept of ki/chi/qi
is (to my knowledge) rarely mentioned.

Among many interesting points in the article, it is stated that judo
is at odds with aikido "on the most elemental philosophical level" !??

I would be most thankful if I could get your thoughts/critique of the
aforementioned discourse.

Please, if you've got the time, review this short article:

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