Thursday, June 23, 2011

Taoist Cosmogony pt. I

 Before all things, there is Tao.  Subjective and potential, limitless and empty, it is the source of all things knowable and unknowable.  Several early verses of Tao Teh Ching speak at length about Tao while conceding that words cannot fully describe it and that names are only words.

The Limitless produced the Great Limit/Great Axis -- 0-dimensional -- inside-outside: the first division

The Great Axis produced the two First Powers, Ch'ien and K'un (Heaven and Earth, YIN and YANG) -- 1-dimensional -- up-down: the second division

The two First Powers interacted to create the 4 xiang, [symbols / seasons / directions / elements / forces / nucleotides / experiential dimensions] -- 2-dimensional -- left-right & front-back: the third division:

3-dimensional -- these three divisions, or axes, define three entangled or looped "plane-spaces" corresponding to the Three Operations of Heaven, Humanity, and Earth.

4-dimensional -- the 4 Symbols each recombine with the Great Axis, expanding along it and extending through space toward the poles, thus creating 8-Partition Place.  The octants of 8-Partition Place are found to correlate mathematically to the 8 Diagrams (Ba Gua).

The above diagram depicts the Gates of Change, YANG and YIN at either pole of the vertical axis.  It also depicts the Four Symbols forming a Great Square (the plane-space shown above).  Observe that the Great Square extends upwards and downwards towards each pole, (visualize infinitely many "layers" of Great Squares congruently 'folded' or 'stacked' along a common vertical axis) thus creating three-dimensional space, or akasha.

These Great Squares provide domains for expression of the Four Symbols and provide the conditions for Consciousness to interact with the field of Experience.

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