June 12, 2007 at 12:45 pm #22627
I have spent a long time pondering the question of the elements and trying to reconcile different schools of thought on this. I have found both the Indian and Chinese approaches work. But are they talking about different things or there actually 7 elements ie Fire, Metal, Wood, Earth, Ether, Air and Water.
I hope the group can help
MilesJune 12, 2007 at 9:04 pm #22628
I remember having similar issues, but with me it was reconciling the 8 forces/directions of the bagua with the 5 elements. The two ideas came up independently in China. At some point, they sort of jury-rigged them together in a way that is meaningful, but not perfect.
I was also deeply into Yi Jing symbology for a while and struggled with, again, how the symbology from yin-yang to the 8 forces was not completely logical.
Where I am at with it now is this:
“TAO engenders One,
Once engenders Two,
Two engenders Three,
Three engenders the ten thousand things
The ten thousands things carry shade
And embrace sunlight,
Shade and sunlight, yin and yang,
Breath blending into harmony”
(DDJ, Chapter 42)
The point is, 5 elements or 6 directions or 7 elements or 8 forces or 9 chakras…they are all somewhere along the chain from one to infinity.
We can experience all levels from the spiritual simplicity of “one” to the complexity of the “ten thousand things” that make up our daily life. Finding some intermediate point to work from, be it 5 elements or 7, provides us with some intermediate toe-hold to experience the richness of being, not just the simplicty of one or complexity of ten thousand.
Different systems – 4,5 or 7 elements; 7 or 9 chakras etc. – differ in details that often reflect the culture from which they came, and thus some systems are more congruent with our personality and allow us an easier entry into the richness of being.
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