Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Yin and Yang and Life

In Feng Shui, we do not deal with "dead" yin and yang. We are interested in how yin and yang intercourse 陰陽交媾 to generate life. It is inappropriate to try to create a rigid definition even when we compare two parts of a picture to see which part is yin and which part is yang. Rather, we can use models to help appreciate the concept.

The flower and the bee - which is yin, which is yang?

The bee is the one in action to make pollination a success. Therefore, the bee is yang while the flower is yin, right?

However, the flower sends out the message to attract the bee and is actually the one that initiates the action. The bee only responds to the message to come over. Therefore, the flower is yang while the bee is yin, right?

This is an example illustrating the teaching in

Qing Nang Jing:
Yang originates from yin. Yin breeds yang. Heaven follows form. Earth is attached to qi. This is what is known as the origin of transformation.

陽本陰 陰育陽 天依形 地附氣 此之謂化始 — 青囊經



leegiat 理解 said...

Hi Master Yu,

Again, thanks for subtle enlightenment.


complexity said...

Hi master Yu
If we take presession into account, do we have to handle nutation for precise calculations of the twelve branches?

A couple of things strike me regarding the various calendar systems we use:
* the 10KY calendar seems to run smoothely over the centuries which is a bit odd if it relates to some astronomical data as the universe is expanding. Since it's not static in any position how can it be?
* the lunar mansions vary in position, a fact that's not generally taken into account. Stephen Skinner has described this in detail in the book he published last year on lopans. To make matters worse the geographical relative position appear to be also of importance.
* the sexagenary system looks regular and looking up the calendar we'd have the feeling it unwinds methodically without exception, but not so. Some branch/stem patterns that are logically to be expected don't actually show up in the calendar, not over the last 120 years at least.

For those using flying stars and going down to daily/monthly stars for calculations, there seem to be various points of reference. To quote a few:

New year/yearly star change:
* new year starts at winter solstice, yearly star changes then
* new year starts with the first new moon after winter solstice, yearly star changes then,
* new year starts at lichun

Monthly star change:
* based on lunar calendar
* based on jie qi

Daily star incrementation:
* no incrementation, smooth decrementation over the days
* increments by 1 every day from winter solstice until summer solstice, then it reverts and decrements by 1 every day until winter solstice

Not to mention periods (are we really in period 8? in period 9?...). Did last period start in 2004 or did it actually change a couple of years earlier?

I've heard lots of arguments in favor of each options and tested some of them that I thought were making sense one way or the other. At some point though it can be tricky to assess a system against another as various perspectives can lead to compatible conclusions.

I have just been browsing through Skinner's book and read the section on time and lunar mansions. One thing that struck me is the great dynamic the rings on a lopan manifest. And it also reminded me how very practical it is and how much it is related to the physical world. Which leads me to the following question: what segment of reality do branches and stems reflect?


Joseph Yu said...

Hi Complexity,

As our knowledge about our universe is growing every day, our knowledge of metaphysics should also show a parallel advancement as physics and astronomy do.

People in the early 20th century already pointed out that the 28 Xiu ring on the luopan was already out of contact with the then current positions of the constellations. Unfortunately, no amendment was made in all luopans with this ring.

Research work on how the modern knowledge of science should lead to modifications of metaphysics teaching is our job. There is just not enough people interested in taking on this noble task.