ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TAOISM (FOR THOSE WHO MISSED COSMOLOGY AND COSMOGONY MIST): Yuánqì 元氣 Original Pneuma, Original Breath

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The life is truly complicated stuff: small people meet big problems from private to economical and from political to ecological and about half of their trouble small people shouldn’t think at all; big people meet small problems which later will bring them the huge headache for a couple of hours while one crisis happily turns—gradually or instantly, whatever—into another.

The Chinese philosophy is neither complicated nor simple, it is compact, or better to say, combinatorially compact (from German Kombinatorik). Let’s take just one quotation on yuan qi from the article of the Encyclopedia of Taoism.

“Yuánqì 元氣 is the pneuma of the Xiāntiān 先天 (“prior to Heaven”) ontologic and cosmogonic stage. Through the stages of the generation of the cosmos, Original Pneuma transforms itself into cosmic pneuma (qì 氣), a process that is equivalent to the generation of Oneness (yī 一) from the Dao. Oneness then divides itself into Yin and Yang, with the lighter parts of pneuma ascending to become Heaven, and the grosser ones descending to become the Earth, thereby marking the shift to the state known as Hòutiān 後天 (“subsequent to Heaven”). Yin and Yang, or Heaven and Earth, finally give birth to the “ten thousand things” (wànwù 萬物).”
Fabrizio Pregadio
When I said Kombinatorik I meant English ‘combinatorics’ and I Ching in our case. Simple enough, complicated in balance, compact and elegant and all in the same time.

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