Another great analogy Yayama makes in his book Qi Healing is concerning reductionism in a mechanistic, scientific way vs. intangibles explained through some other mechanism of understanding.
Car – can take apart and look at all the component pieces and understand how each one works and put the system back together and understand it as the sum of those parts.
Computer – can take apart to a point but that deconstruction doesn’t explain the information that is controlled by the software.
He makes the analogy that a physics approach to medicine is like trying to understand the car through deconstruction, but that doesn’t explain software or the “information” processing of the mind. He doesn’t draw this conclusion but the next step in this analogy is that we can understand that the software controls the ones and zeros that are indeed understandable as physical, electronic parts of the computer firing (transistors on or off). How does that analogy relate to the software of the brain controlling the “ones and zeros” of the body via the nervous system firing? Is the nervous system more than binary? (yes) How does qigong affect the autonomic nervous system and even allow qigong and yoga masters to bring certain ANS functions under conscious control? Breathing and relaxation are regulated by the nervous system or the consciousness/intent, so it makes sense that we start the whole process with breath control and relaxation but what happens after that? What is the intersection of this conscious control with ANS regulation? How does it work? Apparently the clues are all in the workings of the nervous system.