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The Spiritual Features of the Experience of qi in Chinese Martial Arts

Faculty of Philosophy, Sorbonne University, 75005 Paris, France
Academic Editors: Neal DeRoo and Arndt Büssing
Religions 2021, 12(10), 836; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12100836
Received: 7 July 2021 / Revised: 25 August 2021 / Accepted: 30 September 2021 / Published: 8 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phenomenology, Spirituality, and Religion)
I argue in this article, grounding on a phenomenological analysis of the experience of qi in Chinese martial arts, that the experience of qi in this framework can share the features of a secular spiritual experience, in other words of a spiritual experience that is not religious, at least not necessarily. I put in evidence five features that can characterize the experience of qi in Chinese martial arts and that arguably pertain to spirituality: (1) the importance of individual experience; (2) self-transcendence and the quest for authenticity; (3) the connection with a transcendent dimension; (4) the importance of corporeity and at the same time the apprehension of a dimension which cannot be reduced to corporeity; (5) the use of imagination in order to grasp a transcendent dimension that presupposes the use of metaphors. Consequently, the experience of qi in Chinese martial arts suggests the possibility of a form of spirituality that is not necessarily bound to religion and that at the same time is not a mere rejection of traditional religions. At the same time, I argue that the experience of qi in Chinese martial and energetic arts reveals radical possibilities of human experience at the core of which are fundamental transcendental structures of human experience, i.e., the experience of our body and the experience of the world through our body. This suggests the idea that phenomenology has an important potential for the investigation of spirituality and opens towards a research field that can be deeper explored. View Full-Text
Keywords: spirituality; religion; phenomenology of corporeity; phenomenology of martial arts; phenomenology of qi spirituality; religion; phenomenology of corporeity; phenomenology of martial arts; phenomenology of qi
MDPI and ACS Style

Cibotaru, V. The Spiritual Features of the Experience of qi in Chinese Martial Arts. Religions 2021, 12, 836. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12100836

AMA Style

Cibotaru V. The Spiritual Features of the Experience of qi in Chinese Martial Arts. Religions. 2021; 12(10):836. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12100836

Chicago/Turabian Style

Cibotaru, Veronica. 2021. "The Spiritual Features of the Experience of qi in Chinese Martial Arts" Religions 12, no. 10: 836. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12100836

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