The Concept and Theory of Qi

meridians dropping downQi is one of the most elusive of knowledge in FengShui. In fact in Chinese Metaphysics everything evolves around Qi, and not many students and practitioners can grasp a firm understanding of this abstract subject.

There had been many contemporary masters who try to explain Qi in plain words and each have their own understanding of this elusive and profound subject.

Here is my understanding of what Qi is. I had written this discourse in three parts. This is part 1.

PART 1 ON QI

THE CONCEPT AND THEORY OF QI

Etymology

The word Qi 氣, written in its old form, is made up of two separate words: Vapor 气and Rice 米.

The general concept of the origin of the word Qi 氣 comes from the Ancients’ observation of their surroundings and their daily life chores. This word being a combination of two characters of Vapor 气and Rice 米, tells us that the Ancients formulated this word when they observed steam rising from rice being cooked.

Qi 氣, however, is more than just steam rising from a cooking pot. It is something not easily translated or interpreted with our limited language. It is something that is so pervasive and encompassing that it touches and affects everything within our universe. From the ticking of the clock to the changing of seasons, everything involves Qi. Nothing escapes its pervasiveness.

Different Definitions of Qi

Generally, when we talk about Qi, people tend to think of the air that we breathe. Well, this is partly true because air is also part of Qi. But Qi is more than just air. It is a lot of other things, not easily described in one word or a few sentences.

There are a lot of names being given to Qi. Here are a few different names: Subtle Energy; Vital Energy; Life Energy; Cosmic Life Force; Dynamic Energy; Bio-Energy; etc…

In Chinese Metaphysics, all the different branches such as FengShui, BaZi, Divination, Healing…. would have a similar definition and interpretation of Qi. Every explanation given by all the different practitioners of Chinese Metaphysics, points toward ‘something’ that is supposed to ‘give life,’ ‘sustain life,’ ‘wellbeing,’ etc.

Categorization of Qi

In all the similar definitions and interpretations of Qi, there are two and only two ‘main’ fundamental divisions of Qi, as acknowledged by all the branches of Chinese Metaphysics – Yin Qi and Yang Qi.
©Moon L. Chin 2013

Every branch of Chinese Metaphysics would base their subsequent divisions of the different types of Qi on this fundamental Yin and Yang principle, each individual branch of Chinese Metaphysics would have their own categorization of Qi.

For example, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qi is divided into two main categories – ‘Congenital Qi’ and ‘Acquired Qi.’

‘Congenital Qi’ is Qi that we are born with and that is inherited from our parents. It consists of Original Qi and Essence (from our parents).

‘Acquired Qi’ is Qi that we take in after birth. It consists of Air and Essence from food and grains.

There also are sub-categorizations of the two mentioned above, but that is not the subject of discussion here. The Qi to which TCM refers all reside in the body of a person. It is very similar to the Qi that is referred to in QiGong and Daoism, as the life force that gives life, health and wellbeing, both physically and mentally.

The QiGong view of Qi is as a life force coursing through our body giving us energy and vitality. They do acknowledge that Qi can be acquired from external sources.

The Daoist, too, have a similar view, but they have a wider perspective world-view than TCM and QiGong. The Daoists view the world as one big vibrating phenomenon that is purely maintained by Qi. That everything from the tiniest molecule to the huge towering mountains is nothing but the manifestation of Qi.

The Daoist view of Qi also encompasses the ‘paranormal’ aspect of worldly phenomena. The traditional FengShui view of Qi, in the olden days, was similar to this Daoist view.

But in contemporary FengShui, there are many who hold a view of Qi that is now slightly different from the Daoist view, in the sense that they have exclude the ‘paranormal’ aspect of the phenomena of Qi. The contemporary FengShui view does not take that into account.

The Origin of Qi

The origin of Qi is a miraculous manifestation. Still today there is no way science can describe how Qi comes about. There are only theoretical postulations. No one can prove mathematically and beyond doubt the formulation of Qi. In this course we shall dwell on the Chinese Metaphysics’ theoretical postulation on how Qi comes about.

The concept of Qi in this course is mainly based on the philosophical concept espoused by a prominent Sung Dynasty Philosopher and Cosmologist, ZhangZai 张载 (AD 1020-1077). ZhangZai was a great adherrent of ZhuangZi’s Yi Philosophy.

©Moon L. Chin 2013

He wrote: “氣之聚散於太虛,猶冰凝釋於水,知太虛即氣,則無無。故聖人語性與天道之極,盡於參伍之神變易而已。諸子淺妄,有有無之分,非窮理之學也.”

Qi accumulates or disperses within the Supreme Void, like water coagulates to ice or ice melts to water. To know that the Supreme Void is none other than Qi, so it is not ‘Empty’ as the Void is. Therefore, the words of the Sages on the nature of the Supreme Void fully refer to the Change and Transformation of the 5 Elements. The various materialistic presumptions have a dualistic ‘have / have not’ differentiation and is not a study of absolute nothingness.

He also said, “太虛不能無氣,氣不能不聚而為萬物,萬物不能不散而為太虛. 循是出入,是皆不得已而然也.”

The Supreme Void cannot be without Qi, Qi cannot but reside in all phenomena, and all phenomena cannot but disintegrate back into the Supreme Void. The abiding cycle of transformation is but the inevitable spontaneity of nature.

All the phenomena in this universe are none other than the resultant play of Qi. The coming together and the disintegration of Qi all play out their drama within the Supreme Void (that is our universe and the multi-verse).

Mountains, oceans and rivers are all formed from the interaction of Yin Yang Qi. The centrifugal force of the spinning Earth intermarries with the cosmic radiation slamming into Earth’s atmosphere giving rise to myriad things. All things on Earth, animate and inanimate are affected by this interaction. Good or bad, beneficial or malevolent, all depends on the subjective conditions prevailing.

Primordial Qi

The Qi that is enduring, pervasive and encompassing everything in the universe is Primordial Qi, called Yuan Qi in Chinese. It is something that defies description, time and space.

Primordial Qi that encompasses Time and Space is pervasive throughout the whole universe and multi-verse. Planets and stars swirl and orbit in space due to certain ‘forces’ that scientists called Electromagnetic force and Gravitational force. This is the work of Primordial Qi.

The Ancient Chinese Sages, Metaphysicians and Philosophers had already given it a name – Qi. It is called Qi because it is intangible and formless, like the steam wafting out of boiling hot water. It is also because Qi is closely related to air (Kong Qi 空 气) whose main component is oxygen (Yang Qi 养 气), which is the giver of life.

Qi being pervasive has as its playground, Time and Space. Qi is enduring, so it defies Time. Qi is formless and intangible, so it defies Space. Time and Space too are enduring and intangible. Therefore, Time and Space is where Qi exercises its muscles, stretches its limbs and works its magic.

©Moon L. Chin 2013
Primordial Qi has no Yin or Yang differentiation. Primordial Qi is not objectively good or bad. Primordial Qi does not discriminate, is just and fair, and gives life to all phenomena on Earth irrespectively. Primordial Qi is Neutral.

Primordial Qi cannot be pinned down objectively, but can only be assessed and analyzed subjectively. Primordial Qi cannot be objectively utilized or harnessed, but can only be utilized or harnessed subjectively in relation to the prevailing situation and conditions either physically or metaphysically.

ZhangZai postulated that all the phenomena in this universe are composed of this Primordial Essence called Qi. This Primordial Essence is formless and timeless and is the force or energy that binds or disintegrates all matter that is of Yin or Yang polarity.

When this Primordial Essence condenses and coagulates, it can form rocks and mountains, plants and vegetation, human beings and animals, and every phenomenon of which we can think.

When this Primordial Essence liquefies, it becomes water or fluid of any kind. Smooth flowing low viscosity fluid can be like water. When water coagulates at extremely low temperatures, it becomes ice.

Hot fluid from the center of the Earth becomes lava. Hot embryonic fluid from humans and animals becomes blood or sperm.

When this Primordial Essence disintegrates, it goes back to its primordial state within the Supreme Void. The Supreme Void is adamantine – indestructible, and so is Primordial Qi. It is ever changing and transforming. It can transform into something else and then revert back to its original form. Its versatility is beyond anything. Thus was born the concept of Yi that means ‘Change.’

Thus the playground where Primordial Qi exercises and works its magic is the Supreme Void and ancient FengShui Masters called it – the XuanKong (玄空).

Qi as in FengShui

In FengShui, the main criteria for the consideration of Qi as a ‘force’ or ‘energy’ are Landforms (rivers and mountains), the seasonal changes and finally the cosmic influences on Earth. All these ‘forces’ or ‘energies’ are lumped together in one word – Qi.

Qi as coming from the interaction of water and mountains;
Qi as coming from the different climates of the changing seasons;
Qi as coming from the planetary electromagnetic radiations bombarding Earth.

FengShui, as earlier described in Chapter 1, is simply the manipulation of Qi for the benefit of Man. Therefore, within FengShui, there is a need for the student to really understand and experience what Qi is all about. But before knowing how to experience the workings of Qi, one needs to have a direct knowledge of what Qi really is.

©Moon L. Chin 2013

A Discourse on the Meaning of Ti Yong and Host Guest.

A DISCOURSE ON THE MEANING OF TI (体) YONG (用) AND HOST (宾) GUEST (客).  

Generally, modern day students of Chinese Metaphysics tend to erroneously equate  Host (宾) and Guest (客) to Ti (体) and Yong (用).

THE HOST GUEST CONCEPT ORIGINATED FROM THE CONCEPT OF TI AND YONG BUT IT IS NOT EXACTLY THE SAME.  

Here is my postulation – Definition of Ti and Yong:
Ti is loosely translated as Body or Base
Yong is translated as Application or Utilisation. 
 
The whole concept of Ti Yong is to dialectically separate the given factors in any methodology into a Base (or Body) and Application (or Utilisation). 

The Ti Yong can be expanded many fold through separate levels. This concept is about derivation of a separate Body or Base from the Yong of original body or base. A separate set of Ti Yong emerges. This can go one indefinitely as long as there is a reason or need.

TI AND YONG

Take the 60 JiaZi as an example:

First level Ti Yong:
a. Heavenly Stems (Tian Gan) and Earthly Branches (DiZi) are both combined as the Ti (Body or Base Principle). 
b. The resultant Sexagenary Cycle or 60 JiaZi becomes the Yong (Application).  In between before arriving at the resultant Sexagenary Cycle, is the Formula that facilitates the combinations to become an entity. 

Therefore between Ti and Yong is the Formula:
TI + FORMULA = YONG

The resultant 60 JiaZi becomes the Yong or Application where one of its usage is in the Chinese Calendar system as Time Indicators.

Second level Ti Yong:
The Chinese calendar system becomes the basis for Date Selection in FengShui. Thus the Chinese Calendar system becomes the Ti and Date Selection methodology becomes the Yong.

Using XuanKong Flying stars as another example:
The fundamental XuanKong Flying stars formulas were all derived from the LuoShu. 

First level of Ti Yong:
The Ti or Base principle of the LuoShu came from the HeTu.  Therefore you can see the first level of Ti Yong is that of the HeTu as Ti and LuoShu as Yong. 

Second level of Ti Yong:
The LuoShu principle becomes the Ti (base principle) of XuanKong flying stars.
XuanKong Flying stars formula is the Yong (Application or utilization).

HOST AND GUEST

Definition of Host and Guest:
Host is the fixed entity that was originally occupying a spot.
Guest is the incoming entity that arrived from somewhere.
The Guest if arrived at a destination and stayed on can become the Host for new arrivals.

Let us take the XuanKong Flying Stars method as an example:

At the macro level there is the Di Pan (Host) which is the LuoShu chart and the Yun Pan (Guest) which is the period chart.

At the micro level, when you superimpose the Yun Pan onto the Di Pan, the Yun Pan which was a guest of the Di Pan, stayed on and played Host to the incoming Flying Stars that are designated as Water Stars and Mountain Stars.

The Yun Pan can act as Host and the Annual stars arrive as Guest. This can go on until the parameters are exhausted.

Thus the conclusion of my postulation based on Flying Stars as an example is:
“Host is the one that was there first, Guest is the one that arrives later”.  
“The HeTu was there before the LuoShu, so HeTu was the Host and LuoShu as the Guest”
“The LuoShu became Host to the Flying Stars principle. Flying Stars became the Guest”
“Di Pan is Host, Yun Pan is Guest”
“Yun Pan is Host, Mountain stars and Water stars as Guest”
“Yun Pan as Host, Annual star as Guest”
“Annual star as Host, Mountain and Water stars as Guests”
“Annual star as Host, Month star as Guest”
“Month star as Host, Day star as Guest”
“Day star as Host, Hour star as Guest”
“Month star as Host, Mountain and Water stars as Guests”
“Day star as Host, Mountain and Water stars as Guests”
“Hour star as Host, Mountain and Water stars as Guests”
“Mountain star as Host, Water star as Guest”
“Water star as Host, Mountain star as Guest”
Etc.

USING LIVE EXAMPLE TO EXPLAIN

The Base Reference point is the LuoShu chart.

The NW sector is Qian Gua (Metal), and now in Period 8, Li Gua (Fire) flies to the NW sector. Now, you have a Macro level situation of Fire Burning Heaven (6 & 9). 

You can lump this together Li Gua in Qian Palace and make it into a ‘Base reference point’, and then use it to analyse the mountain (sitting) and water (facing) stars that arrived to the Qian palace.

You can also use the ‘arrived’ Li Gua (9) as reference point to analyse the effects of sitting and facing stars.

You can also use the DiPan Qian 6 as reference point to analyse the effects of sitting and facing stars.

You can use the sitting star as reference point to analyse the facing star’s effect

You can use the facing star as reference point to analyse the sitting star’s effect. 

The same goes with yearly, monthly and daily stars.  Anyone can be a ‘Base reference point’ as long as you know the order of sequence.  Once you understand this very basic methodology, you will be able to apply all the formulas that you had learned in any situation. What I had just mentioned also explains one of the meanings of this commonly uttered phrase: 
一物物一太极 (there is a TaiJi in every phenomenon).

The conclusion is:

Host and Guest are totally different in meaning from Ti and Yong. 

Ti is the Base Principle and Yong is the Application.

Host can only be considered as the Base Reference Point, and NOT the ‘Base Principle’;

Guest can only be considered as ‘the other incoming factor’ and NOT as ‘Application’.

Guest is ‘the other incoming factor’ in question, where the Result of its interaction with the Base Reference Point is the Focus or Subject of Analysis.  To arrive at the Result, one needs to apply a given formula.  This given formula is the Yong or Application Tool that also could have been derived from a Ti.

Therefore from the examples mentioned above, one can see that the Host and Guest should not be equated to Ti and Yong. 

To say that the Host and Guest concept is akin to the Parent and Child concept is also erroneous and misleading. 

Happy learning.

Copyright Moon L. Chin

Life 2. 生命2

Today's news headline

Life is short. You can be here today and gone tomorrow.

This is the headline caption from our local Chinese daily depicting a family of seven from this town. five of whom died in the Bangkok bomb explosion.

This a very tragic event. May they rest in peace.

When I heard the news of the bomb explosion yesterday, it makes my think why must there be such violent crazy people who can kill and maim innocent people.

Why must there be such despicable dastardly people who use violence against those who disagree with their thinking or ideology?

To me there are only two possible types of perpetrators: one is religious the other is political.

Why are there such people who, maybe with their twisted mentality, wish to destroy others just because they do not share his ideology?

This world is so scary.

Life 生命

Everyone’s life has different paths.

Some are destined to greatness, some are destined to be failures, some are just middle of the road. Whatever level we are in or want to be in depends on our likes and dislikes, depends on our mental inclinations, depends on our ability to accept conventional reality, and also depends on our religious beliefs.

we choose our own path and live the life we wish to live. Some wish to be great, some wish to be ordinary, but nobody wants to fail.

Failure although is not a choice, it can happen. It can come in so many ways. It can be career failure, bushiness failure, financial failure, marriage failure, social failure, relationship failure…….

Recent events unfolding before my eyes in a group in the social media sets me wondering why some people subconsciously or consciously sets themselves up as social failures.

Maybe it is because of their mental inclinations, maybe it’s their upbringing, maybe it’s their ego, maybe it’s their hatred and resentment, maybe it’s their twisted mentality……

Whatever is the reason, a social failure could well eventually become a social outcast. In the social media communities, a social failure may be kicked out and excluded because his behavior is causing vexations to others.

From being kicked out of one community, to being excluded from all communities, the person eventually will become a social outcast.

Nobody chooses to be a social outcast but it can happen. when a person, because of reasons known only to him or to the powers that be, subconsciously or consciously causes vexations in others via his speech and actions, he has already commenced to cut ties with people he vexed.

Eventually when a small tide becomes a tsunami, the person will be casted out of social circles.

Forum Admin

Yesterday, there was quite a surprising development in my life as a forumer in the Chinese Metaphysics circle.

A very close friend, Annie Pecheva, invited me to become an Admin in her FB forum, Chinese Astrology & Fengshui network.

I accepted her invitation, with the intention to assist her to run her forum with as little problems as possible. and hopefully I can contribute a little of my knowledge to make the forum more lively and harmonious.

In fact she had faced a difficult problem recently when one member who was notorious for being obnoxious cursed another member who was not in agreement with him.

The obnoxious guy was a known trouble maker and had offended many members before. But Annie, because of her mild loving character had given this obnoxious guy many chances to change over a new leaf.

At first he seemed to have changed, but the recent development showed an evil side of this guy. His continuous negativity, in my opinion, is a direct cause why many mild mannered members avoided participation in the forum for fear of being ridiculed by this obnoxious guy. He is very fond of trampling on others with his so called “higher” knowledge in Chinese Metaphysics.

So Annie had no choice but to hold a powwow with the group Admins to get a collective decision to ban the obnoxious guy from the forum.

After this episode, I wish for the forum to be harmonious, smooth sailing without any negativity and become a shining example of a well run forum for the benefit of Chinese Metaphysics enthusiasts.

May everything be auspicious from now on.