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Chinese Metaphysics and my Faith

I started my journey into Chinese metaphysics 15 years ago when a dearest friend from Singapore introduced me to the subject and lent me a book. It was a book on feng shui, I don’t remember the title or the author but I became fascinated with the subject; I have never heard about it before and it really caught my attention. After that book came many other books, some on feng shui, others on astrology, and many others simply related to life and energy.

When I first started reading and practicing Chinese metaphysics I didn’t know it could be seen as having some religious or anti-religious connotations.  Frankly speaking the books never said I needed to believe in Tao or believe in Buddha to be able to benefit from Chinese metaphysics, they didn’t say either that I needed to adore any god or goddess or that I needed to deny the existence of my God so I never felt I was going against my faith.  Some books did mention the origin of Chinese metaphysics thousands of years ago in China, some others got into details regarding the Chinese Dynasties that contributed to its development and some others mentioned the Chinese Cultural traditions that added on to its practice but once again the books never actually talked about religion.

It was after several books, after several practices and after sharing my fascination with others that I noticed that some people were against Chinese metaphysics because it was not supported by their faith; some people even looked at me as if I was the devil and that really made me upset.  I was raised as a Catholic and I never had any doubts about my religion so when for a moment I thought I could be going against it I stopped to think and to reevaluate my position.

After deep thinking I decided I was going to continue my studies on metaphysics and of course I was also going to continue with my Catholic practice but I was going to look for information to support my decision and I was going to share that information with those staying away from metaphysics due to their religion.

That is how I started to keep a log of Chinese metaphysics definitions and phrases that I read and that I heard, and I also included in that log interesting paragraphs from the Bible that I connected to Chinese metaphysics, and statements from none-Chinese metaphysics writers who fed my way of thinking. 

One of the paragraphs or sentences that I registered in my log, which caught a lot of my attention was related to feng shui, in case you don’t know feng shui relates to earth’s energy, feng literally means wind and shui literally means water so in the Chinese metaphysics classics the term feng shui implies that the energy Qi rides in the wind and rests on the water (that is why water is so important in feng shui).  Did you know that Genesis, the first book of the Bible that describes the creation says that “The earth was without form and void… and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.  And God said, let there be light; and there was light…”. Did you know that in Hebrew, the original language of the Bible, the word “spirit” is ruach, which is the same word used for “wind”?  Can you see that the first sign of creation according to the Bible was a creative wind blowing over water? For me it looks like in sync with what Chinese metaphysics classics say: Qi rides in the wind and rests on the water!

In any case,  I still believe in God, I still believe in Chinese metaphysics and I also believe in what I once heard from an American writer who literally died from a drug overdose, was revived and then became a Buddhist:  “There is a higher wisdom around us and whether you call that God or karma there is this higher consciousness that holds this universe and is always in connection and always in relationship with us and all you have to do is empower yourself to open up to that…this is what faith is all about, there is no way to prove it”.


Yin and Yang

All civilizations call the emptiness or the void as the beginning of the Universe: “In the beginning…the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep...”  [1]

The emptiness is a source of unlimited energy that existed before the beginning of time; according to Chinese philosophy, when in the emptiness the energy reached certain point it transformed and became Yin, then it reached another point and it transformed again and became Yang. Yin and Yang are the two forces or types of energy that cannot exist without each other, the two opposites that attract: day and night, black and white, sound and silence, movement and stillness, male and female.  

The emptiness is one that gave birth to Yin and Yang that are two and gave birth to three that gave birth to everything that exist. This is the basic principle of Chinese philosophy that is similar to the principle of life in all civilizations yet it is beyond our ability to comprehend but what it means is that everything in the universe is energy or a form of energy and that nothing in the universe exists outside the context of the cosmic trinity: heaven, man and earth.

Nothing in the universe is static, everything changes and as it changes it generates imbalance between Yin and Yang. As Einstein discovered, energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be transformed and it is through transformation that we are able to reach balance between Yin and Yang, which allows us to be better, to do better and ultimately to be happier.   

[1] The Bible - Genesis 1:1,2