Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wu Jing and Wu Xing 五经与五行

The Five Canons 五经:

Shi Jing 诗经 (Canon of Poetry)
Shang Shu尚书 (Supreme Book)
Yi Jing 易经 (Canon of Changes)
Li Ji 礼记 (Propriety Narration)
Yue Jing 乐经 (Canon of Music)

are also classified under Wu Xing:

Shi Jing is classified as Earth because poetry expresses the feeling of people in the most trustful way.

Shang Shu is classified as Metal because history events show the path of righteousness.

Yi Jing is classified as Water as it is the product of human wisdom.

Li Ji is classified as Fire as propriety is the display of human dignity.

Yue Jing is classified as Wood because music is soothing and kind.

If we try to apply the Sheng Cycle and Ke Cycle to the above, we will have a better understanding of these two cycles. Sheng and Ke are both like a sword with two edges. They are not all good and not all bad. It only depends on how they are used.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wu Xing

The five elements (Wu Xing 五行) correspond to the five norms (Wu Chang 五常) or the five principles of virtues:

Wood - Benevolence 木為仁
Metal - Righteousness 金為義
Fire - Propriety 火為禮
Water - Wisdom 水為智
Earth - Trust 土為信

These are supposed to be the five norms of human behaviour. In other words, what is normal is already virtuous.

It is interesting that the five norms are quoted in the reverse controlling sequence. It will be a very interesting exercise to read into the generating and controlling cycles to see how these five normal human behaviours interact.

Note that you must give up the false notion of what is commonly called a "destroying cycle". Ke 剋, in most situations, has a positive meaning.

Sheng 生, Ke 剋; Ji 吉, Xiong 凶 - This fundamental notion is so simple and yet so simply misunderstood.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Playing with the Five Elements

Let us use the Wu Xing principle to understand the saying:


The translation is:
(1) Destiny
(2) Cycle
(3) Feng Shui
(4) Accumulation of hidden virtuous deeds
(5) Study books

The five element assignment is:
(1) Earth
(2) Metal
(3) Water
(4) Wood
(5) Fire

If you know the five element properties, you will see how aptly they can be integrated into the saying. You will also note that they are in the generating cycle beginning with Earth - the basics.