In an ever continuing duality of nature, Yin and Yang finally develops into its large embracing category out of the light and shadow of Heaven and Earth. As the tendencies of form continue to evolve from hard and soft to big and small, to great and humble, The Yi Jing continues to place the oppositions of poles into their qualitative environments. The best way to arrange them was to put them with the natural forces that were ever present in the naturalist reality. Thunder and Wind, Fire and Water, Lake and Mountain, each had their active or passive roles in carrying out the forces of nature. However, there were still forces unaccounted for that were visible to man, and these were the psychological, physical, and supernatural unknowns that he hadn’t quite put together. These were the occurrences of the moon’s phases, its effects on man and woman, Man’s emotions and its effects on others, death and the continuity of life. These grand themes created separate dramas that some how became enmeshed in the history of Chinese Medicine and that of Taoism.
Ancestor worship was prominent ritual for the Ancient Chinese. They dedicated days of relation to Grandfather and Grandmother spirits that looked them over and gave advice when needed. They had actors perform their roles on their part, so that they may be accompanied on great feasts. Eventually, their greatness may have been carried on with next of kin through naming and rites. The Ancestor eventually became the source of all previous knowledge that the family may have had in the past, this was to be used to help out in present situations. One became a host to an Ancestor guest so to be imbued with the historical sense of progress not just for themselves, but for their family, clan, and people.
This historical light of guidance became to be known as Shen.
Opposed to the brightness of Knowing and Understanding, was Gui. The wandering ghost. The Gui is the dark side of the moon. It makes itself known through its unquestionable appearance. What is that thing? It is a headless ghost, meandering, unknown in the world. It is the shadow of the unknown so present in the world.
Shen 神 like Yang is rising, Gui 鬼 is like yin is descending. Shen is like finding the three corners of a puzzle, gui is like searching for the fourth corner.
I like to see the two as knowing and unknowing, a process of memory, a continual creation of moments strung together by life’s choices. Conscious and unconscious, an examination of one’s drives, emotions, and who they are in the greater scheme.
Shen is of heaven, and Gui is of earth. Shen leads us to seek more of Heaven, to complete Ming 命 – Destiny, our Authentic self. Gui is more of the unconscious duality that arises through the natural display of life.
Shen further is comprised two cycles, a vertical and a horizontal one. The horizontal cycle was mentioned before in the previous blog
This is the cycle of thought, Yi 意, where inspiration becomes thought, consideration, ambition, fruition, and then wisdom.
The Shen as it manifests vertically is that through the body’s desires, emotions, feelings, and expressions. This is the cycle of the “Bright” spirits, the Hun 魂 and Po 魄. The Hun, are the cloud spirits, aptly named because they are like nebulous mist that arrises out of the earth. It is the vacillating drives and desires that arise out of the mind to become. The Hun liken with Shao yang and the Blue green dragon, as discussed briefly in the last blog entry. The Hun is the moving drive toward expansion, it is libidinous energy, a driving life force to arise and be carried away with the wind. It is Zhen and Xun. Arousal and dispersion. It is the desiring mind to create, embrace, grow, and inseminate.
The “White” spirits, the Po, is that of a reflective nature. It is likened to the bright moon waning from fullness. It is the White tiger, Dui and Qian, Reflection and Contemplation instilling itself so that another cycle can complete and begin a new. It is Shao yin, as fire immerses itself in water to be released at a later time. The Po spirits are the resulting emotions that one experiences after one’s libido, urges, and actions are already expressed. It is the response one has from the other. It is the resting body’s reply as it processes after activity. It is the body reflecting on itself and its resulting display. As it reflects on itself, and processes its activity it then begins to recreate itself as itself with its new knowledge.
After it begins to excrete the unnecessary, the drive for the future begins again, and the wheels are spun again.