The TAO-Chinese Character
Taoism is the ancient religion of China. This is a system of philosophy based on a keen observation of the cyclic activity of nature and the flow of chi, the vital subtle energy. Chi is the manifestation of the eternal Tao, the source of all reality, expressing as yin and yang, light and dark, the duality essential for manifestation and thus from which all things emerge. This is symbolized by the Tai Chi and called the universe. Its roots extend back before recorded history as an oral tradition but at least to about 2700 BC when the eight trigrams, each consisting of three combinations of yin and yang in a pattern called the bagua, were first written down by the Emperor Fu Hsi. These represented the 8 cosmic principles of creation. Later in about 1100 BC King Wen formulated the I Ching, which was used primarily as a system of divination and consisted of 64 hexagrams, each having two trigrams or 6 yin/yang. These were the basic changing conditions of life that all mankind were subject to in the nine realms, the cycles of rebirth. The teachings of Taoism were formalized in the 6th century BC with the writings of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu, known as the father of Taoism.
Taoism is the ancient religion of China. This is a system of philosophy based on a keen observation of the cyclic activity of nature and the flow of chi, the vital subtle energy. Chi is the manifestation of the eternal Tao, the source of all reality, expressing as yin and yang, dark and light, the duality essential for manifestation and thus from which all things emerge. This is symbolized by the Tai Chi and called the universe. Its roots extend back before recorded history as an oral tradition but at least to about 2700 BC when the eight trigrams, each consisting of three combinations of yin and yang in a pattern called the bagua, were first written down by the Emperor Fu Hsi. These represented the 8 cosmic principles of creation. Later in about 1100 BC King Wen formulated the I Ching, which was used primarily as a system of divination and consisted of 64 hexagrams, each having two trigrams or 6 yin/yang. These were the basic changing conditions of life that all mankind were subject to in the nine realms, the cycles of rebirth. The teachings of Taoism were formalized in the 6th century BC with the writings of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu, who became known as the father of Taoism.
The central idea of Taoism is the Tao, literally meaning the “way”. It is the eternal, un-nameable, formless, nothingness, from which all things emerge and to which all return.
The Tao that can be told is not the eternal; Tao,
The One that can be named is not the eternal name,
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.
The named is the mother of 10,000 things.
In the beginning was the Tao, an empty void of infinite potential. Out of the Tao emerged the One, spirit, manifesting as chi, vital energy. This is the primal division of unity, yin and yang, dark and light circulates about a center ascending becoming heaven and descending becoming earth. They are depicted as a broken or solid line. As in Buddhisn, the cirrcular movemnet of the path about a center, the “circulation”, is expressed graphically by the mandala. Together heaven and earth are the universe, symbolized by the Tai Chi. In the Tai Chi yin and yang spiral about each other in time, one becoming the other. Yin and yang further produce life, ming, and human nature, hun, which are feminine and masculine, and the two principles of the soul, conscious-ness, P’o, and Spirit, Hun. Carl Jung called these opposites the anima and animus.
The Tao produces the One (Spirit, Being),
One produces Two (yin & yang, duality),
Two produces Three (form),
And Three produces 10,000 things… (the World)
Chi connects all things. Man and the environment have a reciprocal relationship. , one reflecting the other. Man is a microcosm, a microcosm of the One, reflecting and connected to the whole. What happens to one affects the other. The object of life is to return to the Tao. This is achieved by balancing, harmonizing and finally synthesizing yin and yang through a multi-staged spiritual meditative practice.
In the practice one first gathers and fills oneself with the Light, then using breathing and visualization techniques moves light in the body in a circular pattern while maintaining a still point at the power center. The mind is focused and thoughts are concentrated. This circulation of light naturally unites the feminine and masculine poles of the heart consciousness at the dan tien with the spirit consciousness in the space between the eyes, gradually building a radiate “pearl” in the center called the ”embryo of the Tao” This is then brought up into the pineal gland, the “1000 petalled lotus” which opens, releasing the spirit body above the head. In this way yin and yang, human nature and life (hsing-ming) are brought into unity, the masculine and feminine psychic poles are united, resulting in an enlightened state of being called the Golden Flower, the immortal spirit-body. This being un-divided then can ascend to the Tao and consciousness hui comes to rest in the emptiness. The practice is essentially an effortless focus of the mind while “doing” nothing. The teaching of non-action or do nothing called wu wei. In this way, one ascends through the dimensions of reality which are nine in number, each with a dual nature, thus there are nine heavens and nine earths. The nine dragons are the forces of creation. Nine are the palaces of the Lo Shu.
Less and less is done until non-action is achieved.
When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.
….(In sitting still, all things are revealed)
The Taoist masters also taught a form of spiritual sexual practice like Hindu tantra, in which the dual male and female principles are synthesized and enlightenment occurs as an orgasm in the head.
In this golden state of undivided wholeness while one is still in manifestation, one becomes pure Light, that which allows the perception of reality but which itself has no substance (mass). It is both wave and particle at the same time. This is the eternal Self that survives death visualized as a pot, the Pot Self. The pot is the body, the container of the essence within. The Body is the vehicle of the Soul.
Thirty spokes share the hub of a wheel,
It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape the clay into a vessel,
It is the space within that makes it useful.
In ancient China the teaching of the Tao was more than a religion, it became a way of life that influenced almost every aspect of the culture. Feng shui, for example, developed as an application of the Taoism to the design of buildings, the layout of towns and the plan of landscapes, all to harmonize people with their environment and thereby to insure man’s health and wealth. The principle is one of reciprocity. Every thing is connected. If the environment is out of balance then so also will be the people. But if the environment is in balance then the people will be prosperous and at peace.
Feng shui which means wind–water, the elements which shape the land, was originally called kan yu, “the way of heaven” and “the way of earth”, is now practiced in over 100 schools over much of Asia. It is a system for the manipulation of chi, subtle energy found in all things, particularly telluric energy of the earth and thus is a part of the ancient science of geomancy of which there is evidence all over the world. In India there is a related form combined with astrology called vastu shastra, place wisdom. Basically feng shui is the art or science of orientation and placement of elements of a plan in both space and time, where by various methods, the flow or containment and so the harmony of chi is achieved. Chi manifests in things as yin or yang, with characteristics of element, shape, color, material, and qualities of light, sound power and life. The method is to use the Bagua and later the Lo Shu as templates over laid onto the plan to determine where and how to make modifications in the chi. Orientation is determined by either the source of chi (such as a port, highway or front door) as in form school or the compass directions in the compass school. Both schools are widely practiced today. Finally the I Ching is cast to determine the auspiciousness or effect a change in arrangement will be.
DNA and the I Ching: The Code of Life and Code of Universe
According to contemporary physics, everything is energy… reality is basically an effect of vibration, that is duality. The big bang theory proposes that the universe began in a sudden expansion of a singularity which formed out of the infinite void (the Tao) from which matter and antimatter emerge (yin & yang/Tai Chi). In the expansion the four forces of nature divide: gravity, electromagnetism, the weak and strong nuclear forces. In science, reality is described by equations, the equality of two quantities. In all cases the ratio of these is always equal to one.
Furthermore quantum equations reduce to a binary code of 0’s and 1’s, which is the fundamental code of all computer software. Science is now proposing that reality is really a simulation, an illusion constructed by the mind collapsing the quantum wave function that describes a matrix of potentialities which is programmed using 0’s and 1’s.. Eastern teaching also says that reality is an illusion, maya, a creation of the mind the dividing. The I Ching is an analog of DNA, the genetic code. East meets west again.
The two systems are compared as follows:
|The Void: infinite, undifferentiated energy.||The Tao: infinite, eternal source of all things.|
|A singularity emerges holding all matter, space and time. This explodes in a big bang.||The One emerges, Spirit, Being. This expands into Becoming.|
|This appears as two-duality: matter and antimatter as pure energy which oscillate or vibrates producing matter. Matter expands-inflation. All is connected by double helix plasma filaments. The DNA molecule is constructed on a double helix.||The One manifests as yin and yang, the light and the dark-duality. The two moves within the One becoming the Tai Chi. Tai Chi spins producing a double helix.|
|The four forces of nature separate: gravity, electromagnetism, strong and weak nuclear forces. The helix is joined by nucleotide bases, four in number. adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine. These are joined as pairs, 4 in number.||Further division produces four, two pairs of yin and yang. Four elements plus one in the center. The two in three combinations pro-duce the trigram having three lines of yin or yang for eight in all, the principles of nature. These are the mother of 10,000 things.|
|Three pars of nucleotide bases makes a codon that code for the sequence of amino acids that make proteins of which there are 1000;s.||Two trigrams or Three pairs of yin & yang produce a hexagram.|
|There are 64 codons in the genetic code.||There are 64 hexagrams in the I Ching code.|
Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching, Gaia-Fu Feng and English, Jane, trans., Vintage Books, 1972
Lui Hua-Yang, Hui-Ming Ching: The Book of Consciousness and Life, (Cultivating the Energy of Life, Wong, Eva trans.), Shambala Publications, Inc., 1998.
Schonberger, Martin, The I Ching & The Genetic Code: The Hidden Key to Life, Aurora Press, 1992.
Wilhelm, Richard, trans., I Ching: Book of Changes, Grange Books, 2003.
Wilhelm, Richard, trans., The Secret of the Golden Flower, Harcourt Brace & Co., 1962.
Wilhelm, Richard, Understanding the I Ching; Lectures on the Book f Changes, Princeton U. Press, 1979.