Here is a gift for those interested in reading Fengshui classics.
YGFS class text_ZangShu
This is a translation of a classic that is a standard teaching material used by GM Li Ding Xin, who commented on it.
This version of the ZangShu: Book of burial
I only translated. Any mistakes in translation, I stand to be corrected. 多多指教.
Look at the powerful dragon in Sarawak. The memorial is surrounded on four sides by beautiful lush mountains and beautifully meandering rivers. The water is pure clean mountain water. From my many years of walking the different dragons I say that the only dragon that can match the power of the Sarawak dragon is the main range that sweeps down to the east coast of peninsular Malaya
Last year, the owners of SP memorials approached me to help them identify the plot of land for shengji in their Saratok memorials, Sarawak.
The most satisfying part of this trip was when I found a Xue that I promptly named it “crab drinking water Xue”.
The owners of the memorial were very happy and they offered me many parcels of land in their memorial in SP, about an hours drive from my home.
Then, someone Called me and warned me not to go and disturb his rice bowl, and made all sorts of threats.
After considering several things, one of which is to give a chance to the more desperate person to make a living, and also the fact that there are some flaws in the landform in SP, I decided to decline the offer by SP management.
2016 Bing Shen 丙申 year is the Fire Monkey year.
This is the “climbing mountain monkey”. The monkey that likes to ascend to greater height.
Generally most people would think this year would be a fire controlling metal situation that is not mutually in harmony.
Although from the basic straightforward elemental interaction it seems correct, but the intrinsic meaning is not exactly it.
Bing fire is like the Sun and Shen metal is Geng metal that is like metal ore under the ground rough and unrefined, or like a big chunk of metal, or even can be viewed as a big cutting tool like an ax or a large sword.
When the Sun shines on exposed metal ore, it could mean many things. For example:
• New minerals can be discovered this year. Or many newer mineral deposits will be discovered and many new mines will be opened.
• The metal industry sees a new lease of sunshine, giving it a new lustre. This could mean metal prices could make a new comeback and rise to higher levels.
• Geng metal belongs to the Dui Gua, and it represents Su Sha 肃杀and Ge Ming革命.
• Susha 肃杀could mean more violent crimes or more bloodshed coming from terrorist attacks in western countries, and even an escalation of war in the middle east.
• Ge ming革命 means ‘revolution’. Itcould mean in many western countries the people would vote out the old government and vote in new governments.
• Ge ming革命 could also mean that there could be a new innovative or revolutionized use of certain metals, and that would boost those metal’s market prices.
• Both the Susha 肃杀and Ge ming革命 aspect of Geng metal and the strong Yang fire from the Sun, could mean the current volatile middle east situation could take a new twist. There could be an increase of fire-power against the Isis terrorists. Although they may not be defeated in the short term, the territories under their control may shrink and they could be contained into a very much smaller area than now.
• The Bing Yang fire will spend its strength illuminating the Geng metal ores. This could mean the fire related industries are trapped into maintaining their previous progresses and there may not be any new growth.
• The financial industry could most probably experience stagnation. No new progresses in sight. Stocks and share will be bearish.
• The housing and development industry may also stagnate and towards the end of 2016 property prices could drop drastically.
Part 3 on Qi
The basic Time Qi时 气would be: hours, days, months and years (sexagenary cycle), the four main seasons and the 24 Jie Qi (24 seasons). All these are regulated and grouped into different pockets of time to denote a certain type of Qi. Time Qi correlates directly to climatic temperatures.
This Time Qi is directly caused by the Earth’s rotation on its axis and its orbit around the Sun. This effect causes the transformation of Qi in the phenomena of: hours, days and nights, months, years, four seasons and 24 Jie Qi.
Time Qi is denoted by the Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches combinations called the 60 JiaZi years (sexagenary cycle). The combination of the elements of Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches will tell what type of Qi is prevalent in a particular hour, day, month or year.
In FengShui (and also in BaZi and Divination) this Time Qi is co-related to the planetary influences and the Sun’s effects on Earth. The Qi from Heaven interacting with the Qi on Earth will produce a certain type of Qi that in turn will interact with the prevailing Time Qi, to further produce another Qi. This latter mentioned Qi is represented by the element interaction between the Heavenly Stem and Earthly Branch of the time and also the NaYin element.
Hours, Days, Months and Years
Hourly and Daily Qi is quite easy for one to comprehend and feel the effects of Qi transformation within the day and night, because the effects are felt within a space of a few hours. Primarily, this hourly, day and night Time Qi is running directly in tandem with our body’s rhythm.
When we wake up in the morning, we can feel the fresh, crisp and cool morning air. As time approaches noon, the day’s heat gathers to peak at noon. The cool morning Qi has already changed and transformed to hot noon Qi.
As the day wears on, and the Sun sets, the heat of the day gives way to the evening cool. This is another part of the cycle of Qi transformation that of going from hot to cool. Generally, people have been experiencing these cycles in all their lives but did not take notice due to their ignorance of the effects of Qi.
Monthly Qi are also easily noticed if one is attuned to the effects of Nature. In the Northern and Southern Hemisphere, where there are four distinct seasons, it is easy to notice the changing Qi as the months wears out. For example, the onset of Spring is easily noticed when one feels the gradually increasing warmth of the Sun, and sees the sprouting of plants.
Yearly Qi is a little bit more difficult to comprehend because of its ‘macro’ nature that spreads throughout 365 days. But the example below should give the reader an indication ‘how to feel’ Yearly Qi
©Moon L. Chin 2013
The year 2008 is a Wu Zi year. The Stem Wu belongs to the Element Earth and the Branch Zi belongs to water. The Stem Wu Earth is controlling the Branch Zi water. Thus, there is a struggle going on between the Heaven Qi that is represented by Wu Earth and the Earth Qi represented by Zi Water.
Furthermore, the NaYin of Wu Zi is called ‘Lightning Fire’ which gives one a feeling of a ‘tremendously fierce striking form of energy.’ This struggle of Heavenly and Earthly Qi on top of the NaYin ‘Lightning Fire’ results in some form of turbulence and chaotic condition. It will translate into a turbulent year. That’s why there were many predictions by FengShui, BaZi and Divination Masters that pointed towards a difficult year for 2008 globally. This is exactly what I meant by the manifestation of the Qi.
There are endless possibilities to the manifestation of Qi and there are also many other ways to describe Qi. One of the major references of Qi, its nature and manifestation, is from the medical treatise HuangDi NeiJing, within which there are many references to the manifestation of Qi within the human body and also its intimate relationship with the manifestation of Heavenly and Earthly Qi.
The four main seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter each have their own characteristic (Qi). Within these four seasons are eight Nodes 四时八节, with two nodes to each season. Each node is actually a time frame where the Qi varies from one time frame to another.
Expand that eight Nodes into the 24 Seasons called 24 JieQi in Chinese Metaphysics you would have 24 different Qi of varying degrees. The 24 Jie Qi can also be finely divided into 72 JieQi. Each of the 72 JieQi lasts only five days, which makes a total of 360 days. (There is a discrepancy of 5.25 days in relation to one Earth year. This is discussed in the chapter on The Chinese Calendar System).
The characteristic of the Four Seasonal Qi is similar to the directional Qi as mentioned previously, because the Four Directional Qi also corresponds to the Four Seasonal Qi. Take for example East, it is equated to Spring; South is equated to Summer; West is equated to Autumn and North is equated to Winter. Therefore the characteristics (Qi) of both four Directional and Four Seasonal Qi are similar.
However, the similarity is only macro in proportion. When it comes to the finer divisions of the 24 JieQi, the Qi characteristics will only display varying degrees of the main characteristic. As an example: the three months of Spring has six JieQi starting from Li Chun, to Yu Shui, Jing She, Chun Fen, Qing Ming and ends in GuYu.
Each of these JieQi would display a different characteristic (Qi) from the previous one. Although the macro portion of Spring Qi is ‘warm and affectionate’ and is similar to the Wood Qi, the micro portion of this Qi would have varying degrees of this ‘warm and affectionate’ nature and also varying degrees of the Wood characteristics of ‘straight and crooked and branching out.’
©Moon L. Chin 2013
Li Chun is just after winter. Therefore it is still very cold. But compared to the winter frost, it is warm. If compared to the coming summer heat, it is still cold. But when it comes to Gu Yu, which is just before Li Xia (Beginning of Summer), the temperature has already gone up to that of close proximity to summer temperatures. It is hot and not ‘warm’ any more.
Therefore, one should get to know JieQi as Time Qi or Seasonal Qi. It is an important element in FengShui (and also in Bazi, date selection, etc.).
(Please see the chapter on The Chinese Calendar System, for more information on the 24 Season JieQi.)
Qi and its Relationship with Earth and Water
Guo Pu (274 AD) had already established the relationship between Qi with Earth and Water when he wrote the ZangShu during the Western Jin Dynasty era circa 270 AD.
He started off the ZangShu by saying:
“To bury is to store and to ride on ShengQi (Lively Qi). The Yin Yang Qi, emits to become wind, rises to become clouds, descends as rain, and seeps underground, is like ShengQi (Lively Qi).”
He also said: “气行于地中。其行也，因地之势。其聚也，因势之止。古人聚之使不散，行之使有止，故谓之风水.”
“Qi moves underground. This movement is because of the terrain. Its accumulation is because terrain ceases. The accumulation without dispersion, and its movement stops is what the ancient sages call FengShui.”
Then he said: “土者，气之母，有土斯有气。气者，水之母，有气斯有水.”
“Earth is the mother of Qi. Qi is the mother of water. Whenever there is Qi, there is water.”
The relationship of Qi with water is like the relationship between oxygen and hydrogen in water. One cannot be without the other. Without oxygen and hydrogen combining, water cannot form. The relationship of Qi with Earth is like rainwater seeping from the surface of the earth inwards. In the hills and mountains, they exit to become springs, streams, rivers and waterfalls.
Therefore, what Guo Pu said is true: Qi, in the form of oxygen and hydrogen combines to become water, and thus is the mother of water. Earth acts as the container of water (which is in fact the manifestation of Qi), is like a mother embracing, protecting and accommodating the child. Water contained within earth can give life to vegetation, and thus is also equated to ShengQi.
What Guo Pu meant when he said that Qi moves underground is that water moves underground. It is common knowledge in geography that water seeps underground to form underground streams, and exits as springs, streams and waterfalls. If one digs a hole deep enough, water will seep from its walls into it. This proves that water moves underground.
©Moon L. Chin 2013
His other sentence that Qi moves underground because of terrain also meant that the movement of water underground follows the gradient of the terrain. It’s a natural phenomenon that water follows the gravity of the earth and flows downwards and outwards, sometimes seeping or gushing out of apertures at the side of a hill or mountain as a spring or waterfall.
The most apparent manifestation of Qi in the form of water flowing according to the gravitational pull of the earth is the rivers in valleys. In XingFa (study of Landforms), rivers are termed Water Dragons.
The other point about the accumulation of Qi, without dispersion, in accordance with the ceasing of the terrain is all about the movement of the so-called Mountain Dragon in FengShui terminology, which means hills and mountains or highlands.
Highlands are open land and when rain falls, it takes in all the water. The water will slowly seep into the earth and will work its way downwards according to gravitational pull and find its way towards an opening. Once it reaches an opening, it gushes out and flows along crevices on the ground as rivers.
The hills and mountains are one big pressurized container of water and, naturally, as water seeping through the earth via gravitational pull it will tend to converge at crevices or openings at the side of a hill or mountain, and gushes out either as a spring or waterfall. There are certain types of waterfalls that just gush out of an opening by the side of a hill or mountain. Mountain streams are also formed this way.
As the mountain range’s terrain moves and winds its way there are naturally vales and valleys connecting different hills. These are the low points where streams and rivers are formed. These are the places, the foothills, where the terrain stops. It is here that Qi stops and flows out as water in streams and rivers, and they are but the real carrier of Yin Yang Qi.
There is no doubt about Qi’s relationship with earth and water. In FengShui, all three are indispensable to each other. That’s why landform is such an important factor in the auspiciousness of a FengShui site.
©Moon L. Chin 2013
Part 2 on Qi
The Different Types of Qi Described in FengShui.
The different types of Qi as described in FengShui are all subjectively postulated. No one can objectively pinpoint or categorize any type of Qi without a reference point. This is called discriminatory reference. It is a subjective reference. The reference point is the discriminatory concept of good and bad, black and white, and night and day. It is the natural progression from the Limitless WuJi that transforms into the TaiJi of Yin and Yang. The TaiJi is the Mother of Dualistic perception. In FengShui there are Yin Yang Qi, Heaven and Earth Qi, Sheng and Shi Qi, Wang and Tui Qi, etc.
Yin Qi and Yang Qi
The most fundamental of divisions is the Yin and Yang of all phenomena. It is the positive versus the negative. Yang is positive and Yin is negative. Yang is white and Yin is black. Yang is hot and Yin is cold. Yang is movement and Yin is stillness. The comparison can go on forever.
However, in the matter of Qi, this basic division into Yin and Yang gives it a reference point to further develop into different sub-categories within these two.
Yang Qi being positive is supposed to be benevolent Qi and Yin Qi being negative is supposedly malevolent Qi. This perspective of Yin Yang Qi is NOT ABSOLUTE.
Yin Qi is supposedly negative, but when there is a positive transformation interaction with Yang Qi it can be turned into Benevolent Qi. Likewise, if Yang Qi has a negative transformation interaction with excessive Yin Qi, it could possible lose its benevolent quality and turn malevolent.
Yin or Yang Qi, if standing alone, without any interaction with each other, could possibly stay neutral, neither benevolent nor malevolent. It just stays as Yin or Yang Qi.
Then there is a third party involvement – Human Qi. This shall be discussed in the next section.
Tian Di Ren (Heaven, Earth and Man) Trinity
In FengShui, great emphasis is placed on the complimentary nature of ‘marriage of Yin Yang Qi or Tian Di Qi (Heaven and Earth Qi) to produce Sheng Qi.’ The resultant Sheng Qi (Lively Qi) would then be beneficial, in the case of a house, to those living in it.
Yin represents Female and Yin Qi would be Earth or Di Qi. Yang represents Male, and Yang Qi would be Heavenly Qi or Tian Qi. Or this can be described alternatively as Internal Qi (Di Qi) marrying External Qi (Tian Qi) to produce Sheng Qi. All these had to be done right using the special formulas as passed down by the Ancient Masters of FengShui.
©Moon L. Chin 2013
Here is Guo Pu’s 郭璞 (274 AD) postulation on Sheng Qi as recorded in the ZangShu:
葬者, 藏也 , 乘生气也 . 夫阳阳之气 , 噫而为风 , 升而为云 , 降而为雨 , 行乎地中 , 谓之生气 . 生气行乎地中 , 发而生乎万物.
To bury is to store, it is to multiply Sheng Qi; Yin Yang Qi emits to become wind, rises to become clouds, descends as rain, moves underground, it is as Sheng Qi. Sheng Qi moves underground, it gives life to myriad things.
Tian Qi天气is Heavenly Qi and is Yang in nature. Di Qi地气is Earthly Qi and is Yin in nature. Ren Qi 人气is Human Qi and is supposed to be Neutral because within a human body, there is both Yin and Yang Qi in balanced proportions.
Tian Qi 天气is external Qi and corresponds to the planetary influences, and especially the Sun’s influence on Earth that causes changes in seasonal temperatures and also causes transformations in vegetation, animal and human lives. The Sun’s light, causing the evaporation of water from the seas, rivers and lakes, is also a latent force to be reckoned with in the study of FengShui.
Tian Qi is also Time and Space. Time is as in seasons, in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years. Time, can also be sub-divided into Yin and Yang time. Daytime is Yang and night is Yin. The season of Summer is Yang and Winter is Yin.
Di Qi 地气 is internal Qi that is latent within Earth. Di Qi is as in Landforms – rivers, oceans, flatland, hills and mountains. Earth Qi does contain both Yin and Yang Qi. It can also be sub-divided.
And on Di Qi, GuoPu said:
“土者, 气之母, 有土斯有气. 气者, 水之母, 有气斯有水.”
“Earth is Qi’s Mother, where there is Earth, there is Qi. Qi is Water’s Mother, where there is Qi, there is Water.”
“The sutra said: Earth moves, Qi moves. Myriad things grow because of this.”
His postulation on Earth as the container of Qi confirms the latent nature of Di Qi 地气.
Ren Qi 人气is Human Qi. Human beings are affected by all the forces of nature. This shows the fragile nature human beings and their dependence on the forces of nature for their well-being.
In Chinese Metaphysics, the study of FengShui is the study of the forces of Nature. The Ancients had developed theories and formulas for us to manipulate these forces for the benefit of Man.
The point that I’d like to emphasize here is: When the Qi from the Heaven descends and interacts with Earth Qi and gives rise to myriad things, the resultant Qi also interacts with human beings to complete the trinity of Tian Di Ren (Heaven, Earth & Man).
Thus, the FengShui concept of Tian Di Ren trinity is none other than to harness the Qi of the Heaven and the Earth to benefit Man in a complete cycle of interaction.
©Moon L. Chin 2013
Sheng Wang Shuai Si
Generally, all FengShui methods agree on the four basic definitions of Qi conditions: Sheng 生, Wang 旺, Shuai 衰 and Si 死. The concept of Sheng Wang Shuai Si Qi is an important component of all FengShui schools. It is a crucial factor in determining the auspiciousness of the site/house and the different sectors within it.
Sheng Qi生气is ‘Lively Qi’ that benefits mankind. It is Qi that can multiply or transform into more ‘Lively Qi.’ It is the Qi that gives life to all phenomena in the universe. It is the Qi that gives life to all plants and vegetation. It is the Qi that gives health and wellbeing to mankind. It is the Qi that is the most sought after in all the FengShui practices. It is Yang in nature.
Wang Qi 旺气 (prosperous Qi) is sometimes called Ji Qi 吉气 (auspicious Qi) and Shuai Qi 衰气 (declined Qi) is sometimes called Xiong Qi 凶气 (inauspicious Qi). Wang Qi 旺气is the prosperous Qi that is benevolent and is Yang in nature.
Shuai Qi 衰气is Qi that has retreated and is Yin in nature. This is in line with the general principle of ‘forward is Yang and reverse is Yin.’
Si Qi死气means ‘Dead Qi.’ It is also sometimes called Sha Qi. Si Qi is malevolent Qi. It is Yin in Nature.
‘The 5 Elements’ is matter that is coagulated from the Primordial Qi. Each element possesses its own characteristic called Qi.
According to ShangShu Hong Fan (尚书•洪范):
“水曰润下 ; 火曰炎上 ; 木曰曲直 ; 金曰从革 ; 土爰稼穑 . ”
“Water lubricates downwards; Fire blazes up; Wood straight and crooked; Metal transforms and Earth sowing and harvesting.”
Therefore the characteristics of these elemental Qi are as follows:
• Water Qi: whatever has a downward flowing motion like fluid
• Fire Qi: whatever has a scorching, blazing or sweltering effect like heat, upward rising motion
• Wood Qi: whatever grows upwards straight or crooked, or whatever grows apart like branches, branching out
• Metal Qi: whatever can experience transformation (much like the weather transforming from Summer to Autumn, where there is a visible transformation of the weather from hot to cold and, trees’ and plants’ leaves falling)
• Earth Qi: whatever sustains growth and gives life; whatever has a vast expanse.
©Moon L. Chin 2013
In FengShui, all the Cardinal and Ordinal directions have Qi and each direction is allocated an element. This element represents the Qi of that direction.
The following is an elaboration of the elemental qualities of the Cardinal directions.
a) The Northern Qi is ‘Pure and Clear,’ and it has a wet and damp nature. Its movement is downwards, as water flows from higher ground to lower ground. It is transformed from the quality of Water. (北方之气清，其性质也润而下，故由湿以成水之气化之.)
b) South’s Qi is ‘Dry and Scorched,’ its nature is “Flaming upwards and Hot,’ and it is transformed from the quality of Fire. (南方之气燥，其性质也炎而上，故由热以成火之气化之.)
c) East’s Qi is ‘Warm and affectionate,’ its nature is ‘Perishable and Empty,’ and it is transformed from the quality of Wood. (东方之气缓，其性质也散而虚，故由温以成木之气 化之.)
d) West’s Qi is ‘Cold and Chilly,’ its nature is ‘Firm, Hard and Sharp,’ and it is transformed from the quality of Metal. (西方之气萧，其性质也坚而锐，故由寒以成金之气化之.)
e) The Center’s Qi is ‘Affable and Amiable,’ its nature is ‘True, Upright, Secure and Solid,’ and it is neither Pure nor Impure; it is either Dry and Warm or Wet and Cold, and it is transformed from the Neutralized Qi of the Center. (中央之气和，其性质也正而固，不清不燥不缓不萧，而又亦湿亦热亦温亦寒，是谓之中和之气化之.)
©Moon L. Chin 2013
Qi 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
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.
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 (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”
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.
Copyright Moon L. Chin
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.
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.