04

The Five Agents of Change in Chinese Philosophy

By: R.C.L.

A Compendium of Ancient and Modern Wisdom Revealing the Meaning and Significance of the Myth of Science.

china5.gifTo understand the full significance of the hexagrams we also need to understand the interrelated Chinese concepts of Time, Change and Energy. Basic to Chinese culture and mythology is the discovery/principle of the 5 Hsing. The five "Hsing" is usually translated incorrectly as the five "elements". Actually it means the five "stages of change" and are better thought of as "agents" rather than fixed "elements". The Hsing constitute the five basic types of human energies on the mesocosm. They are symbolized and correspond fractally to the macrocosm by the five visible planets in the fixed field of stars.

The five Hsing, the visible planets, along with the Sun and the Moon, order the flow of creative time. The Sun is Yang, the Moon is Yin. The Sun creates the two-fold rhythm on Earth: day and night. The Moon divides the solar year into twelve months, each of which has a special meaning originating from the structure of consciousness described in the first chapter. In Chinese and Islamic mythology, among others, inspired messages are sent to Man from the chaos of the night ñ the twelvefold star constellations ñ during the time of the new Moon when it is invisible for three nights.

When these messages are integrated into the Mesocosm, the spiritual inspiration guides Man to achieve a balanced flow of the five Hsing, the five types of energies in the human soul. The Hsing can flow in two different directions, the life cycle and death cycle. In the life cycle it flows from Wood, willing, to Fire, sensing. The Wood nourishes or gives life to the Fire. Action once completed gives rise to new sensations, takes you to a new place. So too the Fire, sensing, nourishes the Earth, body. Sensing is the doorway to the body. In the Earth grows Metal, thinking. From out of the physical true thinking can arise. Metal can be made fluid, like Water, feeling, and take any form as a tool of civilization. A thought completed should lead to a feeling and not just another new thought. The Metal condenses Water, and the Water nourishes the Wood. Feelings once spent should lead back again into action. When a person's energy is flowing, it constantly changes in the direction of the life cycle. No one type of energy or Hsing dominates and there is balance in change.

The danger is stagnation where the energy flow becomes blocked in one of the Hsing. That type of energy then begins to dominate and the person's energy becomes imbalanced. For instance, in the trap of thinking where one thought loops endlessly into the next, and the other energies atrophy. When one Hsing dominates over time the other energies weaken. The person then goes out of sync with the natural rhythms of creative time. Unless corrected, such stagnation leads to illness and death. This danger is overcome by going into the inner pentagram, the death cycle, which can liberate from stagnation. Water puts out Fire, Metal saws the Wood, the Earth absorbs the Water, Fire melts the Metal, and Wood assimilates the Earth. Put another way, feelings can overcome a sensual fixation, thinking can get you out of a willing loop, the body can get you out of feelings, sensing can let you out of a thinking prison and willing overcomes body dominance.

All Chinese medicine is based on the five Hsing, and corresponds to the twelve acupuncture meridian cycles and organ groups, Yang and Yin. Chinese medicine maintains health and treats illness by emphasizing a person's CHI and striving for a healthy flow of the five forms of CHI. The healing flow of energies can be enhanced by PrimaSounds. Based on the principal of the natural seventh in sound vibrations, PrimaSounds divide the octave into five intervals. Thus PrimaSounds with its pentatonic scale -A - E - I - O - U blends the seven Chakras in the fivefold flow of creative time.chakrasemituned.jpg

1 Spirit Mental A
2 Soul Fire U
3 Body Earth O
4 Willing Wood I
5 Feeling Water E
6 Thinking Metal A
7 Sensing Fire U


METHODS/EXPERIMENTS: Most communities in the United States now have one or more practitioners of Oriental Medicine, typically referred to as Acupuncturists. In acupuncture needles are used to painlessly stimulates the energy flow. However, not all Oriental Medical providers use needles to manipulate and balance the five Hsing energy flows, some use mental effort alone, or slight massage, such as Q.M. therapists. Again, Tai Chi and the martial arts also use physical and mental exercises to help keep the energy in flow and balance. A good book on this subject with exercises and more information about oriental medicine, the five Hsing, twelve meridian channels, Yin and Yang, has been written by Richard Chin, who is both a western medical doctor and a doctor of oriental medicine and a martial artist. His book is called The Energy Within. A Western M.D., Richard Gerber, has written a ground breaking work, Vibrational Medicine, which lays a predicate for an energy bridge between Western and Eastern medicine.

The five Hsing also correspond to the five dimensions, five stages of evolution and five stages of human development:

5-0 Holy Sage Awarness TAO, (GOD)
4 The Called One Walking Man
3 Superior Man Reflection Animal
2 Worthy Man Dream Plant
1 Common Man Sleep Mineral


The aim of Man at each stage of development is different:

    1. Common Man looks for material goods. This is the stage of the vast majority of the contemporary world; commercial, consumer striving for more and more things.

    2. Worthy Man looks beyond materialistic consumerism and strives for growth and education. He imitates superior man.

    3. Superior Man knows that he can only make sense of life and create meaning if he unites TAO and TE, intention and motivation.

    4. But the political situation, greed and power can make the existence of Superior Man impossible. The Called Man, who has the task, "Ming", from heaven, will change the political situation.

    5. The highest human stage, the Holy Sage, is in tune with heaven, earth, and the TAO. His mere existence makes him into a living pillar around which a culture might grow. In anthropological terms he is a "culture hero".

Since Life is based on Self Organization, the fractal reality of the fourth dimension, we must make our choices out of chance ñ out of chaos. If you ask through the chance oracle how all decisions can be in tune with TAO, then God ñ as the symbol of Chien, Heaven ñ will unite with the Earth Mother ñ Kun.

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Last Modified on July 23, 2010 11:18 AM | Edit

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