Tag: Canon

Qi and The Five Elements

acupuncture needles on antique Chinese coin

The Yellow Emperor (2497 - 2398 BCE) is the legendary inventor of Chinese medicine. In his classic work the Huangdi Neijing (Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon) various principles, such as yin and yang, qi, and the wuxing, compose the Universe. The work was one of the first medical treatise to stress the integration of both spiritual and physical treatments as a holistic approach to medical treatment.

The Huangdi Neijing is actually two texts. The first text is the Suwen, (Basic Questions) and covers the theoretical foundation of Chinese medicine and its diagnostic methods. The Suwen includes topics on feng shui, qigong, acupuncture, herbal medicine, fortune telling, meteorology, and astrology. Because of this vast amount of information, it is a major text of Daoism. The second text named Lingshu (Spiritual Pivot) shares the practical elements of acupuncture therapy.

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Origins of the Eight Trigrams

In the beginning there was nothing but a formless chaos. Out of this chaos, there was born an egg. When the egg split the heavy yolk sank to become the Earth, while the light egg white rose to become the Heavens.

That the Universe is made of two forces, a heavy yin aspect and a lighter yang aspect whose separation and interaction are constantly creating all aspects of the Universe, is the foundation of Daoism. This line of thought developed to include all the social and physical interactions of man.

Before it developed into a complex system of creation and organization, Daoism was more practical. Yin and yang represented different times of the day and of the year. Daylight was the time for work, night was for rest.

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Cosmology

Monument of great astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, Torun, Poland

Cosmology is an account or theory of the origin of the Universe, and, by extension, humanity’s place in it.

Cosmologies often borrow from one another, creating new cosmologies by applying the scientific discoveries of the day. Some cosmologies develop into religious beliefs; others develop through the lens of scientific thought.

Here is a quick historical tour of cosmologies:

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