Taoism: Archaic Sytem Or Transformational Practice

2134 words - 9 pages

Taosim: Archaic System or Transformational Practice What is that power or energy which fuels life? What is the spark that is so present in the living and so absent in the departed? The Eastern religions of Buddhism, Hinduism and Taoism all believe in a powerful life giving force. Different cultures give it different names: in Japan it is ki, India it is known as prana and China it is qi.QI-THE ESSENCE OF LIFE The Chinese place extreme importance on this life giving energy. Qi is viewed as being life itself and without it we cannot exist. Dr. Manfred Porkert quotes the Nei Ching, which is considered one of the most important medical texts in China, when he says: Change, both inception and transformation, rests on Qi, and there is no being in the Cosmos that does not originate from it. Thus Qi envelops from without and moves the Cosmos from within. How else than by Qi can the sun and the moon, the planets and the fixed stars shine, can thunder resound and rain, wind, and clouds be formed, can all beings take rise, mature, bear fruit, and withdraw in the course of Four Seasons. Mans existence too depends entirely upon this Qi . ( Mc Caffrey 3 ) David Eisenberg in his book Encounters with Qi describes three types that exist. They are original, air and nutritive. Original qi is the type "transmitted" from your parents and obtained during conception. We are born with original qi and it is slowly dissipated throughout ones life. The second type of qi is that which comes from the air we breath and must be continually replenished. The third is nutritive and comes from food and other environmental factors, also needing continual replenishment.The Chinese realized that not only physical sickness and disease was a result of imbalanced qi but emotional and spiritual sickness could also develop. The Chinese considered harnessing, directing and effectively balancing the bodies' qi of extreme importance. Thus developing a number of systems to effectively work with qi in ones body.THE TAO Qi is best understood in consideration of Taoism. Early Taoists developed a detailed system of knowledge that includes principles of food preparation and eating, exercise and body movement, healing practices, sexology and an understanding of spirituality. This system has come to be known as Taoism and can be considered one of the oldest systems of knowledge on earth, perhaps preceding the traditions of Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Greece and India.Taoism as a spiritual practice honors the body through a harmonic balance between natural rhythmic laws and universal cosmic principles. Otto Franke describes Taoism when he says, the Tao "is the key to the mysterious intermingling of Heaven and Earth. It means the Way and was a method of maintaining harmony between this world and the beyond, that is, by shaping earthly conduct to correspond completely with the demands of the other world" (Veith, 11).To be in accord with "The Way" or the demands of the other...

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