Friday, July 30, 2010

San Cai 三才

The idea of San Cai is fundamental in all kinds of Chinese studies. In recent years, some people Christianized the idea and created the term Cosmic Trinity.

The term San Cai first appears in the Ten Wings of the Yi Jing. In Xi Ci Zhuan 繫辭傳, it is said:

There is the Way (Dao) of Heaven, the Way of Man, the Way of Earth.

In Shuo Gua Zhuan 說卦傳, it is said:

To establish the Way of Heaven, it is called Yin and Yang. To establish the Way of Earth, it is called softness and stiffness. To establish the Way of Man, it is called benevolence and righteousness.

The concept of polarity is obvious. Heaven is described as cycles of growing and decaying of darkness and brightness which in turn implies the cycles of time.

Earth is described as the contrasting pair of qualities of materials. This can be extended to cover flexibility and rigidness in a more abstract form.

Man is described as the basic quality of benevolence and the action of righteousness. This also gives rise to the concept of Body and Application, Ti and Yong (體用).

It is clever to associate San Cai with (year, month, day, hour) stars, house gua and ming gua in Feng Shui studies. At the same time it can be looked upon as abuse of the idea of San Cai. The beauty of the concept is totally lost.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Principle of Change

This is the principle we adopt in metaphysical studies. Everything is changing with time. Although time may be changing in cycles, there are cycles within cycles and even if a small cycle may be repeated, the enveloping larger cycle may be not and even if the larger cycle has come to the same point, a yet larger enveloping cycle may be not. Nothing can be repeated in identical conditions considering the span of life of human beings or even human civilization.

To require metaphysical theories to obey scientific discipline is simply fundamentally erred as repeatability is denied by the Principle of Change (or the Dao of Yi 易之道).

For example, when I cast coins to obtain a Gua to answer a certain question, even if someone else is casting the same kind of coins at the same location and time asking the same question, the result is unlikely the same. This is because the way I send my message cannot be the same as how others are doing. The human mind as an antenna to send and receive signals is very different from person to person.

Different realms are governed by different principles. Metaphysics has its own value even if a scientific minded person does not agree with this. It has always been my wish that metaphysics will gain the proper recognition for what it is by the scientific world.