Chi Energy and Birds of a Feather Wisdom
“Men of my age flock together; we are birds of a feather, as the old proverb says. “- Plato’s Republic.
An article in Wired magazine sparked a thought that resounded not only with the aforementioned proverb, but also with some of the wise council provided by Sifu Jones: training partners and the sense of “community” is important when undergoing Chi Energy training [specifically] and the esoteric journey [in general].
The concept of the “community” has evolved with technological advances. No longer limited by distance, family and friends are able to stay connected via a plethora of networking capabilities: telephone; email; web-cams; etceteras. Even virtual environments that form social networks provide a means of maintaining current and cultivating new relationships. Opportunities to befriend a friend’s friend are simply a “click” away. Regardless, however, of the nature of the relationships, up close and personal or electronic, the axiom holds true: “Birds of a feather flock together”.
“The Buddy System: How Medical Data Revealed Secret to Health and Happiness”, written by Jonah Lehrer and published in Wired documents relates the findings of Nicholas Christakis (Harvard social scientist) and James Fowler (UC San Diego political scientist). Based upon research regarding a Framingham, Massachusetts community in 1948 that included parents, children, friends and friends of friends, the extrapolated data was jaw dropping.
Via the precision of statistical analysis and rigor, Christakis and Fowler noted some very interesting things about the Framingham, Massachusetts community that speak volumes to our everyday lives and choices we make. For example: “In the early ’70s, 65 percent of Framingham residents ages 40 to 49 smoked regularly. By 2001, only 22 percent consumed one or more cigarettes daily. But the smoke didn’t clear at random: Friends and family had a decisive influence.”
Fowler noted, concerning smoking, “People quit together, or they didn’t quit at all.” This buddy system of sorts carries with it significant “weight”. The study also showed, with conclusive evidence, “If one person became obese, the likelihood that his friend would follow suit increased by 171 percent.” In essence, the data uncovered and analysis performed confirmed a truth my mother expressed to me during my childhood that Sifu Jones later hinted at for students in the School of Chi Energy: we either are, or become, the company we keep.
Anyone engaged in esoteric practices and meditative efforts knows this to be a lonely journey. However, regardless of the end-goal, our day-to-day lives are filled with interactions and varying degrees of intimacy and relationships with individuals who may or may not have similar interests and habits. The research performed by Christakis and Fowler should cause each of us to take a moment to pause and reflect on our lives and the people with whom we associate:
- Are we affiliated with people who are positive?
- Are our closest friends’ sources of encouragement?
- Do our actions and words match?
- Are the members of our individual networks orchestrated in such a way that we make beautiful music or a discordant and meaningless mixture of sounds?
This is not to say that we should disassociate from coworkers who are not engaged in Chi Energy. Nor should refuse to eat lunch with friends who may be overweight, but we should, at the very least, be aware of these factors; we may, more importantly, act agents of change, should we find discrepancies within the lives of our friends and loved ones.
What is the rule when associating with others who are not like minded?
“Does this mean to be ‘wary of strangers’ and treat everyone like they’re going to poorly influence you? No.. not by my eyes and belief. Again, know what mindset you come from and give to people who could be your friends and close associations, what you’d like to be given to you. Live the Golden Rule as You become who you associate yourself with.
Fortunately, the School of Chi Energy offers an Instructor’s forum where you can find support, positive words of encouragement and advice regarding the journey. It is at the School of Chi Energy that interactive online training provides students with opportunities to fellowship and interacts with other “like minded” men and woman at similar stages of their journey. This is done via conference calls; recorded Q & A sessions moderated by Sifu Jones and Sifu Cicero with students and certified instructors alike; we surround ourselves with a network of like-minded individuals, encouraging one another to fly higher and further.
Be well; be mindful.
Chi Energy Instructor Don Brown MSIS [Certified Instructor]