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This post is in response to Marc’s question, which was left on the last post.  For those of you who did not see the comment, here’s part of it…….”could you comment or explain the following what is the difference between power or energy from the earth and from heaven. Do the two work together and when the body dies does the spirit need, access, or use earth energy? Are there other energies that we need to be aware. Hope you can answer all in a sentence or two.”

First of all, yes Marc, you can use this format to ask questions or bring up subjects you’d like to explore.  Anyone is most welcome and encouraged to do so. Since you asked for a short answer of the difference between energy from the earth and energy of heaven, here it is:  “Same force, different direction”.  And, since that’s the best I can do in terms of your request for a brief reply, I can now go on with the post and elaborate……….

T’ai Chi has, at its basis, a fundamental theory of the interaction between Yin and Yang, which are considered the two fundamental forces of the universe.  We call one of these aspects Yin and the other YangYin is associated with the earth, the material world, the physical.  Yang is associated with “heaven,” the invisible, the mind. 

Yes, as you asked, these forces always work together.  They are always balanced and in harmony.  Not only that, but they are, indeed, the two fundamental forces from which everything else is made and from which all other energies emanate. In fact, rather than look at them as different forces, it is perhaps a bit more useful and accurate to consider them as different aspects of the same force.

In way of an anology, it may be useful to think of the opening of a door, such as an entrance door to a building.  The door swings open on its hinges in one direction; there is only one “force.”  If you are on one side of the door, however and I’m on the other, we would describe how we are interacting with that force differently.  If you are on the inside maybe you would be pushing the door open.  I’d be on the outside and would be pulling the door open.  If we wanted to close the door the pushing and pulling would be reversed.  Pushing could  be called Yang as it would be expansive, moving away from us.  Pulling could be referred to as Yin because it’s a drawing in, a pulling toward us.

One of the things that can be confusing in Tai chi is that we often times view the earth as the source of Yin or earth energy.  It is, however, more accurately viewed as a result of an accumulation of earth energy. The name we have given to describe that accumulation of force is called gravity.  Modern science has seemed to discover the other aspect of that force, that which expands and moves things apart and the name they have given that force is dark energy. (A name, by the way, I don’t particularly like, but since my opinion wasn’t solicited in the naming process there’s really no choice but to use it)  Dark energy seems to be moving everything apart from everything else while gravity pulls together.  So, we have dark energy as Yang and gravity as Yin, or “heaven” power and “earth” power.

Getting back to Marc’s question about what happens to the spirit and what it needs or uses after you die I saved my second sentence to answer that one.   “Who knows?”  Seriously, though, there are perhaps some thoughts to be put forth in that area, but because I’ve gone on too long already, they are probably better saved for another post.

Think right and happy practice!

Paul

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