Greetings Bob and Louis,
Bob, I am glad my previous post was useful. Good luck with your explorations.
Louis, thanks you for your information about the alternate graph for "he2." Although I read the Daodejing some time ago, I do not recall the more complicated "he2" character from there. I think I recall it only from reading the phrase zong4heng2bai3he2 (×ÝºáÞããØ) in discussions of the Warring States period. I am not sure about the origin of this phrase, but Wenlin software translates it as: "maneuver among various political groupings." From this, I presumed it related to he2zong4lian2heng2 (ºÏ×ÝÁ¬ºá), and thus referred to the various "vertical" and "horizontal" coalitions in the Warring States period. Although different characters are used for "he2," the meanings and context seem similar.
In "zhonghengbaihe," "bai" and "he" appear to be opposites, meaning "separating" and "uniting." This recalls for me the English phrase "divide and conquer." In "hezhonglianheng," "he" and "lian" appear to be complementary, implying "uniting into a greater whole" versus "linking up" with the dominant power.
For those unfamiliar with some of the details of the Warring States period, I should say that during this period, various states in China were fighting for supremacy and beginning to gobble each other up. As the state of Qin began to become dominant, the other six or so remaining powerful states were faced with the choice of allying with each other in face of the common threat or siding with Qin to enjoy the benefits of its victories. Various military experts (like the Sunzi that wrote the Art of War
went from state to state advocating different approaches. Eventually Qin did win under China's first emperor.
Louis, you make allusions to earlier uses of kai/he, but only elaborate on the "he" element. Do you have more information about what the compound as a whole might have referred to?
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">traditional Chinese medicine described ¡°opening functions¡± and ¡°closing functions¡± of the organ systems using these graphs</font>
Do you have more information about these functions? I presume somthing like the image of the contractions of the heart, but am not sure if this is what is meant. I did some google searches, but came up with sites with so much jargon that my poor Chinese skills could not figure out what was what.
The "kaihe" reference in both the Daodejing and the Art of War both seem to mean "opening the door," without any reference to "closing." How should we relate this to the yin-yang polarity of Tai Chi's use of "kai" and "he" as correlative pairs? Would you really see this as one of the sources of Tai Chi's use of "kaihe"?
If "kaihe" in the Daodejing" means "opening the door," then the text leads us to associate this with "being female" (perhaps as a reference to the birth canal?) and with the Yin aspect of things. But this seems to contradict Sun Lutang's view of opening as Yang. Do you have any information on what is meant by "heaven's gate" to help judge what the phrase means and whether it means "opening and closing" or just "opening"?
The "kaihe" of the Art of War seems to refer to a tactical mistake, i.e., giving the enemy an opening. I find this hard to relate to what Sun Lutang refers to, which is again a polarity that is inherently neutral. Any ideas on how to do this?