Conscious Movement

Postby Louis Swaim » Wed Jun 07, 2006 4:50 pm

Hi Jerry,

Re: “It's true that there is a possible water component to dang4, it participates in compounds like dang4zhou1 'bobbing/rocking boat', and dang4yang4 'waving' 'bobbing'. I would discount it in this instance.”

Yes, for both of the dang4 words and for many of the compounds they participate in, there are meanings or extended meanings that are watery. One of the meanings of the grass radical dang is “marsh,” for example. You likely have sound reasons to discount it, but consider what is being roused/reverberated. The human body on average is about 60% water.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby JerryKarin » Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:50 pm

One piece of the picture as far as gu goes is the common phrase or variations of it in the classics:
Éù±ÈÔòÓ¦
¹Ä¹¬¶ø¹¬¶¯£¬¹Ä½Ç¶ø½Ç¶¯

'When sounds are the same they respond to each other. If you gu the note "do" then "do" sounds,
if you gu the note "re" then "re" sounds."

This is mentioned, sometimes noting that a single "do" elicits multiple "do" notes in sympathetic vibration. This gu is probably pluck a string or strike a tuned bell, rather than drum.

cf. http://www.guoxue.com/zibu/zibu_lscq/ysl013.htm
Ӧͬ section.

[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 06-08-2006).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Thu Jun 08, 2006 8:28 pm

Greetings Jerry,

Ah, the Lushi chunqiu. Very cool! I’ve been looking at the Yueji (Record of Music) in the Liji, (Record of Rites) which has some similar material. The Huainanzi also has a number of references to “resonance” (ganying) that evoke similar meaning. The Yueji has some specific drum-related material such as, “When the sovereign listens to the drums and war-drums, he is aware of his commanding generals. When a junzi listens to music, he does not hear only the sounds, but is aware of the thoughts that are linked with them."

Whether gudang references a drum or not, the sympathetic vibration is the salient aspect of gudang in the taiji context. It has to do with an interaction, and a responsive reaction. (One of the earliest appearances of the graph dang4 that I’m aware of is in the Xici commentary to the Book of Changes, in the phrase “bagua xiangdang” (the eight trigrams mutually interact). I think that’s what it was, I’m working from memory here.

But still, I think the drumming idea in gudang seems much more intuitive for the taiji context and much more accessible to an 18th or 19th century mindset than a tuning fork, pendulum, or a bell (although I like those analogies too). The hanging bells would have been familiar to someone in the royal court, but probably not to a villager. Given the role that drums have played in the military and in local militias in China, it wouldn't be surprising for the author of martial texts to call upon drumming imagery. The reverberation from a drum is something that you can actually feel (feel & hear) in your diaphragm, so it's a striking image, and quite physical. Rousing.

In the military, drums were communication devises employed specifically to clarify and facilitate the chain of command. The drum instantaneously signaled the commander’s orders, and also encouraged and roused the troops to action. I have noticed evidence in several taiji classics where the command organization of armies is emulated as a sort of somatic grammar for the individual. In the spirit of C. Wright Mills, I’m exercising my Sociological Imagination here, but the research goes on.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Louis Swaim » Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:04 am

Greetings,

Here's a very early reference to the use of drums in battle. This is from the Zuozhuan, Legge's translation:

The battle was fought in Ch'ang-choh. The duke was about to order the drums to beat an advance, when Kwei said, "Not yet;" and after the men of Ts'e had advanced three times with their drums beating, he said, "Now is the time." The army of Ts'e received a severe defeat; but when the duke was about to dash after them, Kwei again said, "Not yet." He then got down, and examined the tracks left by their chariot-wheels, remounted, got on the front-bar, and looked after the flying enemy. After this he said "Pursue;" which the duke did. When the victory had been secured, the duke asked Kwei the reasons of what he had done. "In fighting," was the reply, "all depends on the courageous spirit (yong qi). When the drums first beat, that excites the spirit (yi gu zuo qi). A second advance occasions a diminution of the spirit; and with a third, it is exhausted. With our spirit at the highest pitch we fell on them with their spirit exhausted; and so we conquered them. . ."
--Duke Zhuang, 10th year, James Legge, trans., pp. 85-86

I'll post a reference to this below from the Hanyu da cidian.

--Louis
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Postby Louis Swaim » Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:09 am

¡¾Ò»¹Ä×÷šâ¡¿¡¶×ó´«¡¤×¯¹«Ê®Äê¡·£º¡°·ò‘ð£¬ÓšâÒ²¡£Ò»¹Ä×÷šâ£¬ÔÙ¶øË¥£¬Èý¶ø½ß¡£¡±¹Å´ú×÷Õ½»÷¹Ä½ø¾ü£¬ÀÞµÚһͨ¹ÄʱʿÆø×îÊ¢¡£ºó¶àÓ÷³ÃÈñÆøÍúʢ֮ʱһ¾Ù³ÉÊ»ò¹Ä×ã¸É¾¢£¬Ò»Íùֱǰ¡£
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Postby JerryKarin » Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:17 pm

That is a good example but there the subject is yongqi, 'courage'. On the first drum signal it is excited, etc. In our taiji texts we are talking about something different from yongqi. Nor do I see qi yi gudang having anything to do with working oneself up to a soon-exhausted, keening pitch of battle spirit.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Fri Jun 09, 2006 4:53 pm

Greetings Jerry,

It’s not a directly analogous situation, but yes, it is a good example of drumming to rouse the qi, one of many examples I could cite. In that text citation, “War is the qi of valor,” it depicts a very specific instance of preparing for a battle. I’ll try to post some material later from Mark Edward Lewis’ book, Sanctioned Violence in Early China (Suny, 1990). http://www.sunypress.edu/details.asp?id=50863 He has some very helpful information about these issues, especially qi. I think you would find it a compelling read.

Take care,
Louis
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Postby JerryKarin » Fri Jun 09, 2006 5:34 pm

Usage examples found with google:

´º·ç¹Äµ´ÍòÏóÐÂ

·ç·«¹Äµ´

ÔÚÈÈ·ç ¹Äµ´µÄÎåÔÂ

Interesting article linking to wind:

http://www.ndcnc.gov.cn/datalib/2003/SportKnowledge/DL/DL-20031226190359/



[This message has been edited by JerryKarin (edited 06-09-2006).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Fri Jun 09, 2006 5:46 pm

Yes, I can Google too! I think we're on to something, but I don't know what. The couplet seems to be based on a longer phrase:
´º·ç¹Äµ´´ºÀ×Ï죬ÍòÂí±¼ÌÚÍòÏóÐÂ
But what is the source? I'd love to track it down. Could be the Huainanzi, but I don't know.

The sports knowledge link you posted is the one I sent you earlier. It's Chen Weiming's passage on gudang, unattributed.

--Louis
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Postby Anderzander » Fri Jun 09, 2006 5:48 pm

I can't study the language but here is my experience:

When I am sung I feel my weight 'slosh' about like water in a pan. Like pushing into a bag of water - the movement you create internally naturally neutralises your pushing. (not neutralising, ie having no intent in the body, it naturally neutralises)

If my intent is in my body then the water doesn't move well - it somehow increases the viscosity. Like at the point of attention there is tension. (Yi on QI.. the Yi is on the Shen not on the QI etc)

If my intent is outside the body and spirit rises (like an 'insubstantial' or shapeless energy rises to the headtop - the seat of awareness rising), where peripheral vision widens and brightens and the headtop establishes (allowing the body to release by falling away), then Qi all but dissapears and there is a sense of what I sometimes call ting. Mindfullness that is responsive and attentive.

This has a feeling of a sphere as the mind 'physically' opens out (excites) that included the other person. (in the same way that when we hold a pen our mind is not on the grip of the pen but has passed through it to feel the paper upon which the pen writes - the mind moves out through the body physically feeling the space beyond it) When that is there I can understand them as it feels like my mind has joined with theirs. I believe CMC called this exciting the Qi to join with nature, or the like.

Just an attempt to describe the experience that gives my understanding of some of the point being talked about.
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Postby JerryKarin » Fri Jun 09, 2006 5:49 pm

This might support a translation of 'stirred up' for gudang.
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Postby Louis Swaim » Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:10 pm

Greetings Anderzander,

You wrote: “When I am sung I feel my weight 'slosh' about like water in a pan. Like pushing into a bag of water - the movement you create internally naturally neutralises your pushing.”

This is somewhat akin to what I feel. When I sink the qi to the dantian, and when I breathe abdominally, I feel my lungs elongate in conjunction with my diaphragm drawing downward. At the same time, I feel the tissues and organs below my diaphragm being displaced downward, with an attendant sensation of expansion throughout my lower abdomen.

I say “displaced” because the action is indeed hydrokinetic, if you will; it is an instance of hydraulic displacement. But when I pay attention to this phenomenon, I notice that it is environmental as well as somatic. The motions and sensations are related to gravity and atmospheric pressure.

As you mention, Zheng Manqing did write about gudang in a broader sense of one’s relationship to the world. Barbara Davis translates a passage of his: “To use the qi to move the body is the ‘root,’ and is internal. Gudang is the ‘branch’ and is external. ‘Gathered within’ is stillness; ‘gudang’ is movement. They are able to respond to each other and unite as one. However, gudang is not only about one’s own qi being gudang. I must also make my qi gudang together with that of the rest of the world.” (Davis, Taijiquan Classics, p.91)

Take care,
Louis
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sat Jun 10, 2006 4:44 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by JerryKarin:
That is a good example but there the subject is yongqi, 'courage'. On the first drum signal it is excited, etc. In our taiji texts we are talking about something different from yongqi. Nor do I see qi yi gudang having anything to do with working oneself up to a soon-exhausted, keening pitch of battle spirit. </font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Greetings Jerry,

In modern Mandarin, yongqi means courage. I don’t think that would be read as a compound in a text as early as the Zuozhuan, but ‘courage’ does clearly qualify ‘qi’ in that passage. In the Lushi Chunqiu there is a section that explains the interaction of yong and qi, with qi being a sort of prerequisite for courage. “If they possess qi, they are full; if full, they have courage. If they lack qi, they are empty; if empty, they are cowardly.” (8/4, jue sheng, Knoblock & Riegel, p. 200) Most bingfa texts in fact usually refer to the qi of the troops, of the commander, and so forth, but just as a sort of generic qi.

Actually ‘yong’ is not very highly valued in some early military texts, and is considered a liability that keeps troops from working in coordination. The Sun Bin even discounts courage for commanders: “A commander who possesses only courage (yong) is not good enough to be put in command of troops. This is because he seeks to enhance his own ambition.” (Lau & Ames, Sun Pin: The Art of Warfare, p. 155)

More later.

Take care,
Louis



[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 06-10-2006).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:12 pm

Greetings Jerry,

Mark Edward Lewis has some excellent material on qi in early Chinese texts in his book, _Santioned Violence in Early China_. He examines a ritualistic system from the Han called “watching the vapors” (wang qi) that relates to the resonance of musical notes that you cited.

“This practice was based on the beliefs that the annual cycle was produced by cyclic alternation within the qi, a formless energy that underlay all physical existence, and that this cycle could be traced through the mutual interaction between the qi, the seasonal winds in China, and music. . . . the wind was regarded as the tangible form of qi and music as a controlled, intelligible wind. Consequently, shifts in the character of the cosmic qi would affect the properties of musical tones. The twelve tones that defined the Chinese musical gamut corresponded to the twelve months of the year, and these tones were defined by a set of twelve pitchpipes of specified lengths.” (Lewis, p. 140)

Lewis writes that “As applied to human beings, qi in its broadest sense meant vital spirit: ‘Human life is the concentration of qi; when it is concentrated they live, but when it disperses they die.’ [Zhuangzi] More narrowly, it appeared as the energetic drives and emotions that propelled human action, and among these energies and passions it was particularly associated with anger and belligerence. In the writings of the Confucian school qi regularly appeared in the phrase ‘blood and qi,’ where it meant something like ‘animal energies,’ but the most common expression of these energies was in fighting or combat.” (p. 222)

Lewis notes, however, “The authors of the military treatises set themselves explicitly against the bellicosity and valor that characterized qi, insisting instead on the primary importance of the unity negated by individual heroism. . . .Qi was essential to victory, but it had to be shaped by the general’s mind into the formations and maneuvers that were decisive in battle. And just as natural qi was guided by the ruler through the power of music, so the military commander directed his men through the use of drums and bells.” (p. 226)

He recounts the advent of the wu dance by the Zhou troops prior to overcoming the Shang dynasty, which became the basis for later traditions: “During the Warring States such war dances continued, but they were used as elements of military training in which men practiced precise movements in unison to the beat of the drum. Advancing and retreating, assuming square formations and shifting into circles, kneeling and rising, each of these was collectively rehearsed under the guidance of music and chant.” (pp. 226-227)

“In addition to providing the pattern for collective action in training,” Lewis writes, “music was also the mode of imposing order and communicating commands in the field. According to the highly schematic model of the Zhou li, each level of the military hierarchy had its own distinctive drum to signal commands. Drums were used to signal the rhythm of the march and to communicate orders to men who were too far away to hear the voice or see the gestures of their commander. The patterns of music thus formed the nerves through which the commands of the general’s mind passed to the collective body of his army, or in the images of natural philosophy they musically gave direction, harmony, and order to the formless qi of the troops. . . .In addition to providing a rhythm for collective action and relaying commands, [drum] music was also employed to stir up the qi of the troops. . . .” (p. 227)

As I’ve mentioned before, some classical taiji writings evidently use this early military idea of troops as a collective body united by a commander as a model for the somatic grammar of the individual taiji practitioner. Li Yiyu’s idea of jin being “integrated” so that “the jin of the whole body is trained to be one family” evokes this. The military imagery of signal flags and banners is appropriated to depict the somatic relationship among the mind (as a ‘commander’), qi, and body configuration.

This appropriation of the collective body of troops as a model for individual cultivation is something that Lewis also highlights. “In several texts the qi of the troops was explicitly contrasted with the mind of the commander, in the same manner as other passages cast the troops in the role of collective body to the general’s mind. Just as the mind of the commander had to rule over the qi of his troops, so in the individual, as Mencius observed, ‘The will is the commander of the qi, while the qi is that which suffuses the body.’ [II:1.2.9] Qi was a surging, formless energy that could not calculate or restrain itself; reflection and analysis were reserved for the army’s leader.” (pp. 223-224) Wu Yuxiang’s “Mental Elucidation of the Thirteen Postures” is evidently directly inspired in part by Mengzi’s thoughts and language regarding qi and self-cultivation.

Take care,
Louis


[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 06-10-2006).]
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Postby Louis Swaim » Sat Jun 10, 2006 11:12 pm

Could this be the source of gudang?

¬O¬G¡A­è¬X¬Û¼¯¡A¤K¨ö¬ÛÀú¡C¹ª¤§¥H¹p¾^¡A¼í¤§¥H­·«B¡C

It's from the Xici commentary to the Book of Changes. Richard John Lynn renders this, ". . .as hard and soft stroke each other, {That is, they urge each other on, meaning the way yin and yang stimulate each other.} the eight trigrams activate each other. {That is, they impel each other on, referring to the activation that allows change to fulfill its cyclical nature.} It [the Dao] arouses things with claps of thunder, moistens them with wind and rain." (Lynn, p. 48)

--Louis

coded Big5

[This message has been edited by Louis Swaim (edited 06-10-2006).]
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