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One part yin nine parts yang, this is basically (gen) a cudgel (tougun),
Two parts yin eight parts yang, this is confused hand;
Three parts yin seven parts yang, this still feels hard,
Four parts yin six parts yang, this is clearly a good hand!
Only (wei) in having five yin and five yang, with yin and yang balanced, is it called marvelous hand!
周敦頤寫下《太極圖說》，解釋太極的奧秘。前半段基本上符合道教的思想。後半段比較多地講了儒家的仁義道德思想。 他的解釋，第一句是「自無極而太極」，意思是從無極生出太極，但南宋著名的理學家朱熹整理注解《太極圖說》時，刪去了「自」字，改成「無極而太極」，認為無極只是形容太極 ，說明它之上沒有更高的本原。這並不符合陳摶所傳《太極圖》的原意，而且抹去了它出自道教的事實。同時，朱熹對圖也有個別改動。
Zhou Dunyi wrote the Taijitu Shuo 太極圖說 "Explanation of the Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate", which explained the profound mystery of the Taiji. The first half basically matches the Daoist religious thoughts. The second half spoke more about the “Renyi Daode” ideas of the Confucians. In his original explanation, the first sentence reads 「自無極而太極」，which means the Taiji is born from the Wuji, but the famous Southern Song Lixuejia Zhu Xi deleted the first character 「自」 in his commentary and edition of the Taijitu Shuo, and regarded Wuji as a part of Taiji and not something higher in origin. This did not matched with original idea of the Taijitu as passed down by Chen Tuan and it also eliminated the fact that it came from the Daoist religion. At the same Zhu Xi also changed some of the meanings of the picture (translator’s note: e.g. He read the picture from top down rather than from bottom up).
Also, Yin Yang theory includes not only correlation, but also causation, dependence, differentiation, and interaction.
THE TAIJI BOXING CLASSIC (Brennan Translation)
Taiji is born of Wuji, and is the mother of yin and yang. When there is movement, the passive and active aspects become distinct from each other. When there is stillness, they return to being indistinguishable. Neither going too far nor not far enough, comply and bend then engage and extend. He is hard while I am soft – this is yielding. My energy is smooth while his energy is coarse – this is sticking. If he moves fast, I quickly respond, and if his movement is slow, I leisurely follow. Although there is an endless variety of possible scenarios, there is only this single principle [of yielding and sticking] throughout. Once you have engrained these techniques, you will gradually come to identify energies, and then from there you will work your way toward something miraculous. But unless you practice a lot over a long time, you will never have a breakthrough.
Using shen, we can control the other from a comparatively distant position. This kind of transformation is to become one with nature. Therefore there is no need for shape or form; in the midst of shapelessness and formlessness you are already united as one body.
extrajoseph wrote:Hi Louis,
Thank you for answering even when you are busy and also the link on Wu Tuna, this forum is one of the best I have seen as far as discussions on Taijiquan is concerned and it is people like you that makes it so enjoyable to be a part of it, I am sorry I only discover this place so late.
I am aware that Wu Tunan talked about linkong jin and Chen Yanlin 陳炎林 also did the same, and probably earlier, in his book 太極拳刀劍桿散手合編 Taiji Compiled: The Boxing, Saber, Sword, Pole, and Sparring :
But I was looking for some older source and a traditional theoretical basis for this phenonmenon, but it seems, from my research so far, to be a modern happening. The other curious thing is why translate "lingkong jin" 凌空勁 as "empty force"? Lingkong means "high up in the sky" in my dictionary, it sounds a bit airy fairy already! According to Chen Yanlin, it is a kind of the function of the mind and not really a force.
extrajoseph wrote:Hi Louis,
Thank you for your further explanations, I have the same feeling that Master Gao’s sayings don’t quite fit in with Taijiquan skill. Without form or no-form (wuxing 無形) has more to do with a fighting strategy or a Buddhist philosophy (I have seen this phrase “有形有相皆是假，无形无相才是真”in the explanation to the Diamond Sutra) than with the movements of the body in Taijiquan.
Taijiquan by definition has to do with finding a balance between the Yin and the Yang in movements, between the Insubstantial and the Substantial, the Soft and the Hard, the Internal and the External, between No-mind and Mind, between No-form and Form.
Without Form there is no “Quan” (fist) to speak about, it will be too Yin to be effective. Chen Xiaowang in his “Five levels of skills in Taijiquan” wrote about how to strive to find this Yin and Yang balance:
http://www.chenjiagou.net/NetworkSchool ... SpecialID=
But he also said: 第五层功夫是由小圈而无圈，也就是由形归无迹的阶段 - In the fifth level of skill it went from the small circle to the no-circle, that is a stage (of training) going from form to return to no trace (of its movements) - so may be in this sense “without form” really means “without (traceable) form” 无(迹)形 and not just use the Yi 意 (formless intention) without the Xing 形 (physical form), as in Lingkong Jin (Miraculous Empty Force), which strictly speaking is against the Taijiquan principles in my point of view, and I have yet to find anyone to be able to do this to me without touching me.
What are your thoughts on this?
Audi wrote:Hi everyone,
I do not have time at the moment to address the overall topic, but just wanted to say that I think that 刚柔要相济 means "Hard and soft should relieve/help each other." To my understanding, these sayings try to apply cosmic philosophy to the practical problems of learning Tai Chi. Also, Yin Yang theory includes not only correlation, but also causation, dependence, differentiation, and interaction. Taiji is a one of two. Wuji can be a one, but then there are no two; or it can be a two, but then there can be no one.
Also, I think before you talk in detail about Wuji, you need to decide how you believe it fits in the cosmos. In China at the time of the classics, Confucians, Daoists, and Buddhists had different views, even when on the surface they used the same language. For my practice , I take the phrase 无极而太极 (The limitless, and yet the supreme limit or non polar and yet the supreme polarity) as the most relevant.
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