Commentary on the genesis in general and on that of human beings in particular.
Mythological figure: Pan Gu, the first being to come forth from the Primordial Chaos
The Taï Ji is derived from the original emptiness (the Non-being), which engenders matter and energy (Yin-Yang), which in turn engenders the 3 Powers (Fields of Manifestation and Energies) which are Heaven, Earth and Man. The mysterious Spirit residing within the original emptiness, although differing from the creation, it transmits “some of its properties”, a part of its non-phenomenal “essence” to the general creation. It does so through a developer mechanism of the Movements and Energies, inherent in the fundamental Yin-Yang, which engenders the multitude of inert and living things (the 10,000 beings). This creationist process, starting with the fundamental vectors that are matter and energy (Yin-Yang), transformations and manifestations (5 Movements - 6 Energies), generated increasingly complex structures: particles, atoms, gas, molecules, cells, bacteria, plants, animals and human beings. At the same time, the more the structure became complex, the more it became responsive and conscious of itself (this has long been the case for certain living species, including Man of course), but also conscious of his relationship with his environment (is this really true for Man?), and finally, the peak of evolution according to Daoist philosophy, conscious of the origin and the real nature of phenomena, of ‘being', consciousness and Spirit.
The birth of human beings
Traditionally, it is considered that there are three types of births: a natural, a non-natural, so-called “forced” birth, and finally the “necessary incarnation".
- The natural birth according to the Way (Dao)
Whatever is at the origin of creation is also the agent guiding the consciousness of the Unique Original Spirit in Man. This consciousness is linked to Hun 魂 or “Spirit of birth - Innate nature". When this consciousness of the origin is not present, has not yet been acquired (inferior evolutionary stage), or lost (separation of hsing (vital energy) and Ming (self-nature) at birth), or forgotten (decadence), Shen 神 directs the personality. Shen is the individual unique Spirit, in which self-awareness, ancestral energy (zhong qi) transmitted by the specific human lineage to which every individual belongs, merges with the Heavenly energy transmitted by the cycles which govern the transformations during fertilization and gestation. Shen is the foundation of the will and the force of personal character.
In the natural and harmonious process of creation, “something”, participant of the Unique Original Spirit “attaches to” a couple, at a certain time and in a certain place, a couple thus offering the best conditions for its emergence in the phenomenal world in human form. Then, it “incites" them to unite to give birth one day to its new manifestation, a new human being. What is a couple that can offer the best conditions? This is a couple where the partners share true feelings of love, thus having a strong mutual attraction, which best harmonizes their relationships, and in particular, best prepares the material, social and emotional environment when they feel the desire to have children.
- The “forced” birth
Of course, the ideal process as described above only rarely occurs in practice, and many births happen without the progenitor couples having really desired or expected them and they fail to prepare optimally. The physical desire pushes them into a sexual relationship without considering the consequences. Nevertheless, one part of the Unique Original Spirit intervenes in each of the births which thereby occur, always following the initial general creationist plan of which it is itself the inducer. This is the first and the most common case of “forced” births.
Much more serious is the situation where the future parents absolutely want a child at the time they want it, thus doing everything they can, by natural methods or not (sexual stimulants, and nowadays Assisted Human Reproduction) to achieve their aims. This is the second case of “forced” births that was formerly uncommon but is nowadays an increasingly topical issue.
The children born in this way often have a feeling of being out of step while growing up. Sometimes, they clearly express that they don’t feel any affinities with the period and cultural setting in which they are evolving, or even, and this is even more detrimental to their development, with their family environment. Finally, there are consecutive births to forced, unwanted sex (rape). The worst situation for the emergence of the Spirit in humans.
- The Necessary Incarnation
The Necessary Incarnation is, for the human species, like the echo of the “Mysterious Mother" residing in the Non-being. It can happen in any place and at any time but is extremely rare. It occurs to transmit the Way and set down the allegories (“The Way which can be named is not the Way itself") that can guide the returning consciousnesses. The last Necessary Incarnation acknowledged by the Taoist tradition was Lao Si.
Imprint of the cosmic cycles and the Personal Energetic Profile.
A human being is conceived at a certain time, and is in gestation for a certain period, then “comes into the world" at another time. The average duration of gestation is between 266 and 270 days. This duration corresponds to 9 months in the Gregorian or solar calendar but ends in the tenth month according to the lunar calendar. This is why it is stated in the Su Wen Nei King that Man is born in the tenth month of gestation. These 9 complete months have to be seen in connection with the 9 forms of energy of the 3 Fields, the Heavenly, Earthly and Human energies.
At the moment of conception, 9 types of energies among all the current cycles at that particular time will preside over the formation of the essential psycho-organic entities (Shen, Hun and Po) of the future person. The Heavenly energies preside at the conception and for the first 3 months of gestation (embryogenesis) and are related to Shen. The Earthly energies preside for the following 3 months (organogenesis, fetus) and are related to Po. Finally, the Human energies preside for the last 3 months (the fetus is organically viable, it sucks its thumb, sleeps, moves, sees and hears) and are related to Hun. “Heaven commands and initiates, Earth follows and conforms, Man takes his place at the center".
The energies of the cosmic cycles related to these 3 phases of integration of the 9 energies of 3 Fields are the Central Movement, the Energy of the Master of Heaven and the annual Branch for the Heavenly Field, the annual Stem, the seasonal Guest Movement and the seasonal Guest Energy for the Earthly Field (values calculated according to the date of the fourth solar month of conception), the Stem of the solar month, the Energy of the solar month and the energy of the lunar month for the Human Field.
At birth, three main entities are completely formed and will characterize the physical and psychological aspects of the future personal development: Shen, Hun and Po. Shen is related to consciousness and reason, in connection with the heart, small intestine, pericardium, triple heater, the Fire element (Prince and Minister) and the Shao Yin and Shao Yang energies. Hun is related to the innate nature and instinct, in connection with the liver, gallbladder, the Wood element and the Jue Yin energy. Po is related to the physical and its instinctive reactions, to the preservation and conservation of the body, in connection with the lungs, the large intestine, the Metal element and the Yang Ming energy.
Finally, two other entities also participate in the creation of the personality. Yi, linked to inductive intelligence and memory (especially the memory of the bodily experience, having an important relationship with the unconscious), the spleen and stomach, the Earth element and the Tai Yin energy. Zhi, is related to the capacity to decide, the will to act (thus being Shen’s dynamic motor), the force of intentionality, the kidneys and the bladder, the Water element and the Tai Yang energy. These latter two entities, Yi and Zhi, are in particular the imprints of the influence of current energies at the time of birth, that is, the energies of the day and hour of birth. The Stem and the Branch of the day are related to Yi, the Stem and the Branch of the hour are related to Zhi.
In all, 5 environments including 13 energetic terms are considered to be the foundations of the entities Shen, Hun, Po, Yi, Zhi and are thus the physical and psychological characteristics forming the core personality of the person. This is what is called the prenatal energetic Profile, an imprint of the cosmic, heavenly and earthly cycles.
It is estimated that 100,000 years ago, there were approximately half a million human beings whereas the world population should reach 7 billion individuals in 2012. There are presently about 30,000 births per hour in the world (2009). If all these newly born share the same natal and postnatal energetic profile, the geographic, family, social and economic environment of each one is however widely differing for most of them, and this will affect their future development, gradually shaping each personality. The energetic profile is the foundation ground upon which the person will shape their personality. By analogy, it could be said that this ground is mostly swampy, clayey or chalky, thus affecting the construction possibilities, but it is possible to dry or dam a swamp, mould or heat clay, dig a canal in chalk or build with it. This is primarily a question of social environment, culture and education. Let’s say that the energetic profile defines the ground, then in the postnatal environment we learn to maintain it, to improve and cultivate it so that it can produce according to its possibilities.
Energetic assessment and Birth Hexagram
The energetic assessment and study of destiny based on the birth hexagram are more related to European astrology and geomancy. Here we follow the method of He Luo Li Shu 河洛理数. Originating in the Xiang Shu branch of applications of the I Ching, it combines the 8 energetic terms (Ba Zi 八字) which are the Stems and the Branches of the year, month, day and hour of birth with the numbers and trigrams from the Ho Tu and the Lo Shu, the 5 Elements, and the concepts of the Anterior Sky and the Posterior Sky.
Without giving our opinion on the value of these definitions, we felt that it was interesting to offer to the public these study tools on the energetic “markers” that are a part of the psychophysical structure of each individual, tools which are widely available in China.
- Analysis of the 8 Terms (Bazi 八字):
The energies of the annual Stem (Movement) and of the annual Branch (Energy) of the year represent that which controls, dominates and regulates the subject. The Movement of the Stem represents the dynamic energy and the Energy of the Branch, the energy linked to the environment, in particular material. The domination of dynamic energy is exerted on that of the subject, regulating it in a consistent relationship, subduing it in excess and exerting no control when deficient.
In the tradition of interpreting the Eight Terms (Ba Zi) it is agreed that the annual terms represent the grandparents and also the subject’s early childhood. On this subject, it should be remembered that the Chinese society was traditionally patriarchal, that several generations lived under the same roof and the wives resided in the home of the parents-in-law. The grandparents, being associated with the annual Terms, should therefore be the paternal grandparents. So the children were generally in the care of the grandparents, whose moral and cultural influence would be primordial.
Nowadays, the family environment is mostly very different. In fact, it is very rare for the grandchildren and grandparents to live under the same roof, and moreover, cases of single parent families are not exceptional. Paternal and also maternal grandparents now have the same relational opportunities towards the grandchildren, depending primarily on the relationships they maintain with their own children. Nowadays, the annual Terms would therefore be more related to all the grandparents, the Movement of the Stem evoking the dominant energetic dynamic that they exert on the subject and the Energy of the Branch the material environment, the possessions and the wealth that they bring him.
The energies of the month represent that which generates, sustains and nourishes the subject. They also represent the parents as well as the subject’s adolescence.
The energies of the day represent the subject himself, his dynamic and physical characteristics and the age of maturity.
The energies of the hour represent that which is engendered, produced and expressed by the subject, his descendants and also the latter part of his life.