"This book is devoted to a topic represented by asingle Chinese character: Qi.
When presented with the concept of Qi, students of Chinese culture, Chinesemedicine, Chinese martial arts, and a wide range of Chinese traditional artsand sciences face a very perplexing challenge. Contemporary linguists holdthat if a word or concept can be expressed in any one language or dialect itcan be translated into any other language or dialect. However, many whohave confronted the problem of how to translate the word Qi could challengethis axiom. While teaching a seminar in the translation of traditional Chinesemedical terms and texts at the Chengdu University of TCM, author Ken Roseoften discussed with his graduate and post-graduate students the question ofhow to translate this single word. The consensus developed that it would takean entire book to properly explicate this one word. A Brief History of Qi isthis book.
Beginning with an examination of Qi's linguistic and literary roots, whichstretch back through the shadowy mists of Chinese precivilization, the bookexplores concepts from other (non-Chinese) cultures which can be correlatedwith the ancient Chinese notion of Qi. The authors then trace thedevelopment of the concept of Qi through a number of related traditionalChinese disciplines, including painting, poetry, calligraphy, dance, medicine,qi gong, and martial arts, and conclude with an examination of the depth andbreadth of Qi as manifested in the cycles of life.
The authors lead readers on an adventure of discovery, demonstrating frommany points of view how Qi interconnects the very roots of culture in one ofthe world's most enduring civilizations. They present for the first time inEnglish an exhaustive examination of this ancient metaphysical concept. Anyreader with an affinity for Chinese culture, Chinese medicine, Chinese martialarts, or any of the many Chinese traditional arts and sciences will find thisbook stimulating, provocative, useful, and absorbing. "