I am a naturopathic student and Energy Medicine is something that we subscribe to. Energy medicine is not the type of healing method that medical doctors can agree upon. It is unfairly called ‘another form of quackery’. While we are entitled to believe what we want to believe, it is only better justified if there is an effort to try explain these ideas to the masses and letting them understand the ideas behind such healing methods. -Takes deep breath-
In short, Energy medicine is a recognized form of healing by the naturopathic doctors who believe in the wellness of a person in its totality. While a lot work has been done to cover the sciences behind all of these, I am motivated to co-relate the Energy medicine in terms of Islamic healing as it has so often come under fire from so many directions by our own Muslim clerics.
Other than the aspect of mystical values and reasoning, most phenomena of energy medicine are actually explainable. Every tradition seems to have their own rendition of how things are done but I will confine my explanation to my Islamic medicine alone. My aim is none other then to spread realization regarding Islamic energy medicine amongst Muslims since our own people do not understand/not wanting to understand or just ignorant to understand. Here is my bit by bit explanation some of which is already covered by people who are experts in their own fields. And since, they have done a ot of work for us.. it is fair for me to use their articles and acknowledge them as theirs.. I don’t claim their research as mine except for my own analysis on the situation (the uncited pages). I ony piece them together.. You may agree and you may not agree. Up to you at the end of the day.
SILAT AND ILMU PARADOX
Talking about Tenaga dalam, lets talk about the most used platform to spread tenaga dalam in the nusantara context. There has been a lot of unnecessary hoo-haa in the world of pencak silat. That is how it is in Singapore. at least in my point of view.. First of all I want to make my opinion clear about how Silat and Inner Silat is inseparable. Doing with one and discarding the other is a sad thing really. The two school of thoughts are as follows:
1. Silat as Sport and culture only mindset.
2. Silat occult knowledge only mindset.
Silat as Sport and culture only mindset.
Silat cannot afford to be monotonous. As it is, the world is evolving so is the method of fighting and self defense methodologies change over time and do not be surprised that in due time mere self defense techniques does not protect you from the bashings from street thugs. To withstand such ever changing ‘climate’, it has to be holistic and yet not be astray by external influences. Sports silat has definately raise silat to its current fame but I believe that a true self defence school must not confine itself to just punch-in-the-vest-only rule, there should be self defence simulations in classes too so that students can have a feel of what is it like to be applying so and so techniques in so and so situation. Dont get me wrong.. I did not imply that sports athelete are useless but how far of a knowledge can you grasp when you are confined to the ‘olahraga’ type fighting? fighting in silat session and self defence is a different story. This is talking from past experinces not just some hot air.
My take is, different type fights has different situations that surrounds it, that can affect us directly or indirectly. If talking about outside brawl, things would have been short and sharp thus different objective (survival orientated) compared to ‘sport martial arts’ where martial artists are confined to regulations, safety and fitness not to mention ‘factor x’ (adrenalin rush, nervous, paisey, vest too tight, opponent too big, too many girls looking etc..) not that I say brawling is easier but ALL fights has its fair share of difficulty and it is not that so easy for people to just critisize as if they were once champion fighters.. there are some instances also whereby people who are good outside brawl but chicken out in comps.. and those are good in comps, does not mean they are unbeatable outside. as fighters, we should aim to be good at both. Now thats a tough feat.
But not that Tenaga Dalam does not exist, practitioners who just go for sports achievement only will definitely come to a point of relisation that at the end of they day their silat is merely a physical limitation, whereas in its true form a pencak silat exponent is not complete without tenaga dalam or kebatinan. In the past pencak silat masters played a big role in the villages. They are the peace keepers, religious teachers, self defence guru, spiritual guru, exorcist, healer and a village wise elder all rolled into one. Spiritual aspect has always been part of the training for exponents.
‘Silat occult knowledge only’ mindset.
Ilmu and silat is inseperable, yet there are some masters who would not train their students hard enough in physical training due to this believe that they can get spiritual support to get the job done. This can infact be true, as I have seen the applicatiopn of the inner arts and its potential destruction but this can also be foolish if mis-applied. A pencak silat exponent will be very stupid to exclude physical techniques and training believing that practicing tenaga dalam only will win the game. I dare say that such masters who imparted this is half a master only. If looking at the pencak silat technical aspect, these kinda people are technical-less and at the end of the day they become sloppy technicians and tactician who cannot even execute their silat in times of need without ‘external party’. A good pesilat is those who can perform in any given scenario with or without their kebatinan. In silat, kebatinan is just a complimentary module instead of basis. and this has been proven time and time again that, at times it can fail them due to its subjectivity.
Before I go on I would like to explain a bit on kebatinan.. basically there exist 2 ways of attainment(theres more but I shall not say so much)
in silat, I was told that kebathinan is part of al-hikmah knowledge which is then subdivided into
1. Khodam – spirits, genies which is said to be aiding the exponent at times in need (not all schools practice this)
2. Tenaga Dalaman – breathing techniques to harness ‘qudrah'(arabic) ‘chi’ (chinese) or ‘prana’ (indian)
Breathing techniques holds no biasness as it does not have the involvement of external party. Tenaga Dalam is safe compared to the khodamic knowledge.
Back to the story, HOWEVER to discard kebatinan is also wrong as it can supplement techniques, confidence, securing a higher chance of victory over the enemy. Obtaining both stations require some degree of righteousness and embarking on the spiritual path (makrifah.
The kebatinan paradox
Having kebatinan knowledge does not mean that one shall be victorious in the competition, even If it happens it would be an unfair match and nothing good would result in that. If you win the fight it does not make u a better pesilat. Silat competitions are meant to be a testing ground for applications of techniques learned.
But to deny is surely lying to myself.. I have a friend who is an exponent of the most lethal martial art in the world, fought a pesilat.. being young, he is rather proud and disrespectful eventually got injured by kebatinan. Naturally people would feel cheated and disgusted.. well he told me how he felt. To me as what I had told him, no offence yeah, IT is always a bloody problem when a pesilat wins and it is always a problem when he loses.. thats whey i continued saying to him.. If a pesilat exponent win “oh it must be kebatinan” if he loses “now where is your kebathinan? I thought that many pesilats are spiritually equipt why not use it on us??” another friend even said “what is so hard to deal with a silat-man”.. but anyway he is limping now unable to walk properly healing only at a slow rate while doctors still not able to define his injury even by XRAY! it is neither broke nor crack..whether the guy on the other side used kebathinan.. I leave it to you to ponder the possibilities of this mysterious story- if that is not mysterious, even any temple the went, never does the job. Anyway it will be almost a year already since it happened and I pray for him to be on the road to fast recovery.
In conclusion, my hope would be that people will have a positive realisation of pencak silat revival in the holistic sense particularly our silat teachers everywhere. There is always so many school of thought about which knowledge in silat holds more importantance of course, but lets not discard the important things too along the way.