What means the determined will and the noble integrity of a person? Does a scholar, or a gentleman or a soldier acting on behalf of their true hearts describe any meaning of a person’s determined will and noble integrity?
I think it does, and so did our ancestors. They created the character 志 to present a person’s innate purpose and determinate will, to describe a person’s noble integrity.
志 with 士- scholar, gentleman, or soldier on top of a 心-heart, it vividly draws a picture of a determined person with strong self-awareness and wills.
There is a tough guy in my life who deserves this tough character 志.
China’s most beautiful landscape avenue, Sichuan-Tibet Line 318 National Road, is the best choice for cyclists to challenge the limit:
1) A total length of 2,142 kilometers, 14 mountains, with an average altitude of more than 4,000 meters and about 100 kilometers distance cycling a day.
2) Snowy mountains, hail, exposure to the burning sun, and high temperatures happen in one day;
3) Altitude sickness because of riding uphill and downhill in a single day’s attitude ranging from 2600 meters to 5130 meters extremely requires and challenges human body physical limit.
Every year, there are countless groups of cyclists cycling there to taste the limits of life.
He was a member of one cyclist team there years ago. When he told me how his days looked like to him, this was his words with tears and laughter: “问坡何时止，坡曰骑到死！” — “When asked the uphill road when it would end, it says: Until you ride to your death!”
When the uphill road never ends, when the body physical limit is constantly being broken, when you seem to be the only one on this world on that never-ending cycling road, when you have very limited water and food in your back bag to save energy, when your whole body is completely exhausted and in massive muscle soreness…, your innate determined will to not give up is the only thing that drives you towards your daily purpose,…, and your life purpose.
This applies to everyone in everyday life, as well as career and business. It is just that we need to get a chance to discover our deep innate purpose and our strong will in reaching it and never giving up.
When the 14-year-old girl Quan Hongchan won the gold medal in the Tokyo Olympic Women’s 10-meter diving platform with a world record high score, her strong will is to earn money for mom’s illness treatments. Nothing could move her from her strongest will to perfectly complete each of her dives.
In the end, strong wills and determinations are coming from human hearts: love. A person with 志- innate purpose, determinate will, and noble integrity is a person of love.
In 2008, Dr. David Vesely, the chief scientist of the Health Science Research Center of the University of South Florida, found that the heart can secrete the last-life hormone, it can not only kill more than 95% of cancer cells within 24 hours, and it also has an excellent therapeutic effect on other terminal diseases.
And, the human heart is the only place in the body that barely grows cancer cells.
If we look at Chinese characters, for all the human internal organs, besides 心-heart, all the others,肝- Liver, 脾- spleen, 肺-lung, 肾- kidney,胃- stomach, and 肠-intestine have a root character 月 which means the materialized flesh of the body.
Taoism and TCM say: “心主神明” – The heart governs the deity.
The deity refers to the mental consciousness and thinking activities, and in Taoism and TCM’s viewpoints, it is the key master of the human body and soul. When a person is settled physically and mentally, and the mood is stable, the body will quickly regain strength. So:
“The best doctor is you, naturally the healthiest. The heart is the strongest medicine, and the human body has its own repair and self-heal mechanism.”
Thinking in reverse, the biggest and best way to control a person is to scare him, to fill him with fear. Diseases and misfortune will follow him then.
There was a white rabbit who loved the beauty of nature. She especially liked the moon. In her eyes, the moon’s dimness and brightness, waxing, and waning were full of charm.
So the king of the universe summoned her and said that she had a unique talent for admiring the moon and decided to give her the moon.
From then on, the moon was no longer everyone’s moon but belonged to this white rabbit alone.
The white rabbit still went to the grassland in the forest to watch the moon every night.
However, it was strange to say that the former leisure mood was wiped out, and there was only one thought in her mind: “This is my moon!” She stared at the moon firmly, just like a rich man stared at his cellar of gold.
Dark clouds covered the moon, and she became nervous, lest the treasure be lost;
When the full moon was turning into a waning moon, her heart ached, as if she had been robbed.
In her eyes, the moon’s dimness and brightness, waxing, and waning were no longer of charm and joy, but dangers were repeated, which evokes endless troubles and illusions of gains and losses.
The Chinese New Year of the year 2021 was Feb 12 and it was the time every Chinese people brings very traditional good wishes to all their friends using one Chinese idiom: “三阳开泰”, which pronounces as:“San Yang Kai Tai”.
Every year shortly after the Spring Festival, a spring thunder awakens everything, the earth recovers, and everything starts a new cycle of its peace and vitality.
Ever since the origin of Eastern culture, people have begun to use pictorial symbols to express the peace and vitality of each spring. And the below image is what they used for this peaceful meaning. There is a name of this six-lined image: a hexagram. Each line they call it a Yao. A Six-Yao Hexagram consists of two Three-Yao trigrams one at the bottom and one on the top.
There are sixty-four Hexagrams used by ancestors to represent sixty-four situations in all aspects of the universe and the human world. And the Tai Hexagram is the number eleventh.
Tai represents the law of movement of all things in the universe when life is in a smooth and peaceful state. It is an introductory turn of learning how the interactions between Qian-heaven and Kun-earth connect to the changes in the human world and affairs.
What interactions between Qian-heaven and Kun-earth does this Hexagram tell us? How should we interpret a Six-Yao Hexagram?
For each of the Six-Yao Hexagrams, any single Yao represents a stage of a change in a sequence of its form from the inner to the outer, from the bottom to the top, from an early stage or a later stage, from younger to older, from the base to the top… So, when we read the six Yao in a Hexagram, we read it from the bottom Yao to the top Yao. Ancestors were using this to tell us that everything’s change starts from its inside and develops to its external. So, among the two Three-Yao Trigrams in a Six-Yao Hexagram, the one at the bottom stands for internal changes, internal environment, internal conditions, inside a company, in a family, in a society… And the one on the top stands for external changes, external environment, external conditions, outside of a company, outside of a family, or outside of the society…
Combining the concept of human living in the middle of heaven and earth, a Six-Yao Hexagram can be interpreted as shown above.
A Six-Yao Tai Hexagram is formed up by one Three-Yao Qian, the universe, at the bottom and one Three-Yao Kun, the earth, at the top. Observing the whole image of Tai, our most direct and intuitive feeling is that the sky Qian is below the earth Kun. But the sky is above the earth in our real world. Why does this “upside-down” imaged Hexagram that is inverted from the universe phenomenon reflect the smooth and peaceful state of things in the world?
Diving into in-depth research, the monistic Qi theory helps our study of this universal image. Let’s close our eyes and draw the below picture in our head intuitively: first let’s draw a force of active, strong, upward, radiating, warm Yang energy at the bottom, and this Yang energy goes upward constantly. And then, we draw a force of soft, inward, convergent, cold Yin energy staying at the top and moving downward naturally, following its innate character.
What would happen in our picture now? The Yin energy and the Yang energy will intersect. Just like the intersection of positive and negative circuits, just like the intersection of cold air and hot air. The interaction and friction of these Yin and Yang energies will give birth to endless possibilities of a new form of life with energy. This interaction can awaken the earth’s life system.
Let’s look at our picture, and imagine when the Yang energy is above the Yin energy, what will happen? It’s obvious that when they naturally move, they will be moving in opposite directions, they will never intersect to make anything happen, nor will there be any energy collision, as if there is no voltage and current in a circuit. It is very obvious for us to understand, with our very basic modern scientific knowledge.
Now, we get some new energy generated from the Yin and Yang intersection. How will it act in making things work smoothly and peacefully?
Here we need a further supplement of the basic knowledge of Hexagrams. When we use it to analyze social phenomena, we enumerate the symbolic meaning of its various social attributes to its internal Yao and external Yao as shown in figure 17 for Tai.
In ancient times, the most important function of the Sixty-Four Hexagrams was to play as the guidelines of principles for the kings to govern society. In today’s words, they can become the codes that reveal the human physical and mental health, society matters, even philosophical and scientific relationship between the political superstructure and economic foundation of society. But the Sixty-Four Hexagrams came from the phenomena of the sky, the earth, the sun, and the moon, so their most basic application is to expose the unchanging laws of the occurrence and growth of all things in the universe.
The relationship between ancestors and animals was by no means as simple as the relationship between modern humans and animals, which is most probably established through books, media, visits to zoos, pets or animal farms, etc. Ancient people and animals had more equal status in nature. To some degree, ancestors had a more perceptual understanding of animal life and characteristics. They drove deeper analysis of Hexagram images by metaphor at the life characteristics of gregarious animals, such as horses, cows, sheep and etc.
For example, when the herd of horses rests in the evening, it is very natural that the mares will stay in the center of the herd, and the stallions will patrol the periphery to protect the mares. In a herd of thousands of horses, if a leader stands out, it must be a stallion. Wherever this stallion goes, all other horses will follow and absolutely support the leader, no matter stallions or mares. The same is true for cattle. The same is true for other animal colonies. Is there a lesson in the animals’ world to teach them to act like this? We do not know. But we can take this as a practical code, or law, in the same kind of animals’ world that they all follow, naturally. And by acting according to it, the herd of the horses is safer and stronger.
When human society transitioned from a matrilineal society to a patriarchal society, the production relations centered on manual labor gave birth to, nurtured, and promoted the development of family relations with the father as the protagonist of the family. For thousands of years, the development of this family relationship has slowly solidified into a chain of family relationship DNA, which has profoundly affected the harmonious development of society and family invisibly but all over time.
When a family’s Yang energy rise up to meet the family’s Yin energy’s miniaturization downward, it draws a peaceful image of smooth communication between husband and wife, as enforces strong energy support and the lasting soft nurturing between the husband and wife, results in new generations being raised up by a harmonized, happy, and healthy couple… Nothing can be more peaceful than this within a family.
Here we can further expand the Qian and Kun relationship from within a family’s perspective to an organization, a society, or a country…
There is a legend of King Dayu’s flood control more than 4,000 years ago. In the barbaric era, when human productivity was extremely low, Dayu united all disparate tribes and produced a strong centripetal force and cohesion. It took them eight years to solve the monstrous flood and save the world. It was a miracle that it only took eight years for Dayu to control the water in the wild years to achieve great success. The most fundamental reason was that Dayu was a king who put the interests of his people above everything else, and the centripetal force and cohesion he gained was his people’s full support and cooperation for this great cause.
This leads to something a little off-topic here. Dayu’s water management was a sign of the establishment of China’s early state power. It can be seen that the establishment of China’s most primitive state power had nothing to do with land ownership, but was related to preventing natural disasters, protecting people’s lives, creating collective water conservancy, and channeling and promoting agricultural development.
Today, the vast majority of Chinese people do not necessarily understand this Tai Hexagram, but they use this Tai word frequently as they were taught over generations, words, and deeds. At every Chinese New Year, we see and hear and wish everywhere using idioms: “三阳开泰”, “国泰民安”,… Translate the “三阳开泰” into English character by character, it is three, Yang, starts, Tai. Those are the descriptive words of this Tai Hexagram image – three Yang Yao start the Tai Hexagram. And for “国泰民安”, character by character, it is country, Tai, people, safe and healthy. These words and idioms all originated from “Yi Jing”.
You may ask: what if things are not in a smooth situation? Like what happened in the year 2019 and 2020？What if the Qian stands on top of the Kun? What does that mean? How to solve it? And for the Tai, what are the six stages of a peaceful and smooth situation’s development each of the Yao represents? Are they all the same peaceful, or not? The answers are in the book linked below.
Living in the middle of heaven and the earth, the human world’s development, and future are all depending on nature and our Mother Earth. To ignite more hope for the human being and regain back human’s physical and spiritual health, we have to take a new perspective and humbly learn from the basic phenomena of heaven, the earth, the sun, and the moon.
Today, we will use another Six-Yao Hexagram which is based on the Li-sun and Kan-moon Hexagrams to introduce the relationship between the sun and the moon, and how their relationship works on human well-being from ancestors’ profound insights. It is also the relationship between the water and the fire.
This is a very auspicious Hexagram with the name of Jiji. However, it must be re-emphasized that most of the 64 situations in the universe and human life are filled with dangers at stages. Although the two Six-Yao Hexagrams quoted here in my articles are peaceful and auspicious, the pure purpose here is to give readers an easy way to start.
After introducing the combination of the Qian-universe and Kun-earth Hexagrams(Could here be set to be a hyperlink to the previous article of Tai – The Peace of the World), what is about the combination of Li-sun and Kan-moon Hexagrams? Similarly, let’s look at the whole symbolized image of Jiji as shown in the below image. Its internal Hexagram is Li and the external Hexagram is Kan. Intuitively, the sun is below the moon, exactly the same as the heaven below the earth in Hexagram Tai.
Borrowing the masculine, fiery, hard, and hot characteristics of the sun and the feminine, low-key, soft, cold, and introverted characteristics of the moon, the ancients used them to represent the fire and the water respectively and developed a profound scientific theory of life deduction from the relationship between the fire and the water.
Let us re-visit the origin of mankind from a deeper new perspective. In this argument, Eastern and Western cultures show a high degree of consistency. They both have legends of one or two big floods in history. From ancient culture to modern civilization, human settlements are accompanied by rivers. Water sources were and are the most important determinants for early agriculture, fishery, city water, modern transportation, urban constructions, etc. From Asia to Africa, to Europe, to the Americas, the Yangtze River, the Yellow River, the Congo River, the Volga River, the Danube River, the Mississippi River… how many people and cities have been nurtured and watered by them!
As mentioned in the previous analysis, the initial formation of the earth began with the aggregation and interaction of liquids in a vast universe. Then, what is the relationship between the origin of humans and water on the earth?
It is well and broadly known that human eggs are fertilized in a liquid environment, and the embryo develops in the amniotic fluid environment of the mother’s uterus. And more than 70% of the body of a newborn baby is water…
Yes, water is essential to life. But what does fire do with it here?
Is this fire that can warm, heat, and burn water? Yes, it is. No, it is not exactly, but not limited to the fire burning things. The fire the Li Hexagram represents is better described as a force of warm energy, which is upward moving, bright and vibrating. It is a form of Yang Qi, Yang energy.
How should we interpret this fire in human life? It is the energy that drives the sperm to move; it is the energy that maintains our heartbeat, it is the energy that keeps our breath continues; it is the energy that supports humans to move, think, speak…; it is the energy that supports us to change the world… Those are all the fires we are talking about here.
The wisdom of the ancients did not only stop at discovering the important role of water and fire in the human world and human life, they also revealed how water and fire work in human life and the human body, and told us how to effectively use this interaction of fire and water wisely to improve our health and happiness.
They also stated that the fire is representing the south direction and the water is representing the north direction on the earth. While on a human body, the south is the head and the heart, and the north is the abdominal area.
Now, let’s go back to Jiji.
Jiji is the Pinyin pronunciation translation of the Chinese word “既济”. The first character “既” means after finishing a meal. The second character “济” means after crossing the river. In ancient times, one of the biggest natural challenges for our ancestors was to cross a big river; and the top priority challenge in their life was to get them fed full. So, completing a meal symbolizes that people’s material needs were met, and crossing a river symbolized the success of ancestors’ “career”.
Just like the simple phenomenon of fire heating the water, the strong energy from fire and soft energy from water interacted perfectly, as reflected by the Jiji Hexagram.
Did the ancestors simply mean to use this Hexagram to tell that everything is perfect when success is achieved? No.
On the contrary, Jiji reveals that every stage of this success process is full of twists, turns, and imperfections. This Hexagram reminds people to remember that success is difficult to maintain for long when they are reaching the final stage of success. Being arrogant at this time, a momentary victory will dazzle the human head and cause a crisis. It also reminds policymakers to think about possible situations and be prepared in advance when milestones are to be achieved. When the fire and the water are unbalanced, how will it affect human well-being? When the fire is about the water to form an upside-down Hexagram from Jiji, what does that Hexagram mean to the human world? We will discover them together. The answers are in the book linked below.
Einstein’s theory of “Relativity” has a point: the speed of light is the limit speed of the three-dimensional world. The Scale Reduction and Clock Slowness effects show that as long as anything reaches the speed of light, it slows down the time to a speed of 0. It can be assumed that things moving at the speed of light are relatively static for all surrounding objects that also move at the speed of light.
Stillness is relative.
When a bus runs on the street, we feel it is too fast to catch. But if we are on the bus, we cannot feel it’s moving at a steady speed if we do not look outside.
When a flower blooms quietly, the time of a universe of flowers is used up.
We live on the earth, although our Mother Earth rotates at a speed of four hundred and sixty-six meters per second at its equator, we cannot feel it, neither talk about the orbital speed of the earth around the sun of approximately 107,000 kilometers per hour.
All important processes of life happen slowly in a quiet status. Humans come into this world, bringing their own spirit to combine with the fertilized egg, and then returning back to the universe, it is all in the same quiet. All the processes of human growth happen slowly and silently. No one can go from one year old to twenty years old quickly and soundly…
In the long river of time, in the vast universe, individuals are humbled as dust in this time and space. What one can decide is how to use his time.
Everything in the universe is moving. Static is a quiet movement, a prolonged state of life function, a rare thing that carries infinite power.
Fruit, grain, flowers, plants grow statically;
Deep sleep heals the human body;
Rests relieve the human mind;
Where does Earth’s energy come from? It comes from long term static accumulation of sunlight and the slow chemical/physical effects inside the earth.
Lao Tzu said: Root is the source of life; root represents stillness. When a human calms down like a young baby, the brain is clear, and he can feel more happiness.
There are comparisons between people:
A person with a weak liver has a big temper, is irritable, and hard to be quiet; A person with a soft gentle personality is calm with healthy liver function.
Bloody sticky people are suspicious, lack judgment, carry an uneasy mood; but a steady and calm person is decisive with smooth blood circulation…….
For people who are getting puzzled in handling complex and difficult matters, most of the time it is due to loud noise inside and being self-annoyed. But in a static state, the mind, and body are completely calm with a reflection on the inner self, and people may suddenly become cheerful.
In absolute health can people be quiet and calm; being quiet and calm, can people gain health.
Mr. Nan Huaijin said: “No matter what kind of disaster you encounter, you just need to be calm. And quietly observe it change.”
This “observe” means “观” in Chinese. It neither contains an eye “目”, nor a heart “心”, nor a mouth “口”. It means: close our eyes and mouth, do not judge by heart, but reflect and communicate to the inner consciousness, and regain the awareness.
Mr. Nan Huaijin also said: “When a person can be quiet, it is a great movement, and it is the body and energy of a person sitting there quietly for a sports meeting.”
No matter when, our best secret weapon is being calm: not leaking energy through negative emotions, but reserving it for all good outcomings.
The root cause of many diseases is the lack of “slowness” which caused the lack of energy. For example, neurasthenia, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and some others are common mental illnesses caught by people in a state of mental and psychological life that is too fast and excessively anxious.
Why do Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity… attach so much importance to “reflection” and “confession”? They are calling for looking and listening inward.
In a fast-developing hustle and bustle society, everyone has their own private journey to be completed independently by themselves step by step. Solitude is a life course that everyone must go through. About this “solitude”, there is a short story:
A boat traveling across the river and suddenly hit by a boat, a grumpy man on the ark immediately shouted to the hitting boat, a call wasn’t listened to, then another not listened to, when about to bristle, he found that the hit ship was empty. The scolding stopped, he burst into laughers!
With others, we are always in a social state; only in solitude, we are close to the natural state.
To be alone is to walk towards ourselves. When we are not forced to talk to others, we have time to talk to ourselves.
Society can reflect one’s external value, but solitude can shape one’s internal value. It is the most essential and most expensive freedom.
Enjoying solitude is a gesture. It is the attitude of walking through the complex world, not in a hurry, but quietly enjoy the season of bright flowers or wait for the purity of the snow. It is humble and gentle, standing aloof from worldly affairs, but has pride and sharpened edges and corners.
As soon as the mind turns its direction, the spirit turns, and the direction of the life train turns. When a person’s body is seriously ill, its life train has been in the wrong direction for a long time.
BUT, the mind can be turned to a new direction at any time, starting from the heart and head.
From TCM(Traditional Chinese Medicine)’s point of view, meridians and Qi and Blood circulation are complementary. Healthy meridians lead Qi and Blood to be smooth, and the internal organs will become healthy. Good Qi and Blood circulation promote meridian functionalities.
Stretching is a method of independent health management besides meditation.
With proper stretching, people can dredge meridians and strengthen the circulation of Qi and Blood, thereby improving various acute and chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, gynecological disease, heart disease, prostate disease, bone misalignment, and pain due to contraction of the muscles.
Taoism has a saying: “For every inch of tendon extension, the life can be extended for ten years”, Longevity usually has soft tendons and bones.
If you often feel pain in the waist and neck, numbness in the hands and feet, and minor physical problems, from the perspective of Chinese medicine, this is probably due to contraction of the muscles and tendon. Facts have proved that after long-term adherence to stretching exercises, the pains are reduced or even disappeared and the body gets flexible.
There are many things in life that require tender wisdom from a gentle body and a gentle heart. There are a lot of words, a lot of anger, a lot of suffering, a lot of desires, many emotions in life which require tenderness and gentleness, to bring people balanced energy.
Soft and gentleness are a kind of mind, a kind of comprehension, a kind of life, and a kind of wisdom of rules. The beginning of yoga practice in meditation and stretch requires gentle wisdom. If the human heart is not gentle, then the body exercise will be rigid and hard. In yoga, the mind is to connect and command the breath and the body.
Human life is about energy. This energy’s open switch is at the heart, a gentle open heart. Understand the wisdom of a gentle heart, it is easy:
To walk around in life, be able to bow down, work diligently, and show quality speechlessly;
To appreciate the beauty, texture, and connotation of yoga practice;
To accompany human health and mental growth from the beginning to the end;
To help human regain strength and increase self-confidence and they will take better care of their health, physically and mentally;
To make them master of regulating emotions, and the master of their own life.
Maintain a warm and gentle heart, focus the soft mind on the breath, the human breath will guide the Qi and Blood flow through their body. Through Yoga meditation, deep, slow, and soft breath, and stretching practices, humans will gain a soft body, soft breath, and a softer heart.