The origin of the cosmos
Is the eternal Mother;
To grasp the mother is to know the child;
To know the child is to hold fast to the mother.
Then life becomes secure.
The term “mother” in Taoism is the formless aspect of the Tao, which can be viewed as the cosmic spiritual dimension. The term “child” refers to the worldly form we take. Both mother and child make up the multitude of shifting forms, and understanding one implies a comprehension of the true nature of the other and vice versa.
To neglect the mother is to cling only to material things and become obsessively attached to superficial forms and appearances. Perception of life becomes very shallow and unsatisfying. It leads to a life that can be meaningless.
To neglect the child is to despise the material world and focus only on the intangibles. Again this leads to a life that in the end is also meaningless.
For life to have meaning, we need to understand and appreciate both the formless world of the Cosmos (the mother energy) as well as the material world that comprises material things, forms and great abundance (the child energy). All of this is summarized in the 7 PILLARS OF TAO and only appreciating these pillars of life and the origins of life can one control and steer one’s DESTINY towards a happy and meaningful life.
The 7 Pillars of Tao
- Concept of Non-Duality: Spiritual and material dimensions are one and the same. This is the first fundamental concept of the Tao. It is seamless, intangible and void so that everything that our senses perceive in the here and now are actually the same thing. This concept is similar to the Buddhist view of Emptiness, which states that form is void and void is form. To fully grasp the concept of non-duality, one needs to practice meditating on stillness and understanding this basic tenet of Taoism requires many hours of silent contemplation.
- Concept of Yin and Yang: Represents the polarity of forces: without one the other cannot exist. Taoism explains that the existence of all things is ONE manifesting two complimentary forms. Everything in the Cosmos comprises shifting forms that have life through the interaction of the polar forces of yin and yang. These forces or energies should be clearly recognized as two sides of the same coin, so that what is perceived at any single moment is merely one perception of the same thing. For example, yin and yang manifests as the sunless and sunny side of the same mountain.
- Concept of Continuing Change: Nothing stays permanently the same, ever. Not even for a second. This fundamental truth lies at the very core of existence. Yet this dynamic, this constant flurry of activity does not lead to chaos, so that the ever changing remains forever unchanged! This seems like a contradiction in terms, but understanding this, you would begin to understand the way of the TAO and complete understanding of the TAO requires a fully qualified spiritual Master.
- Concept of the 5 Elements: Everything in the Universe can be categorized as one of the five elements. Taoism looks towards the “scientific” rather than the “divine” to explain the cycle of changes that characterize the natural and cosmic environments. In Chinese these five forces are called wu xing and this has roughly been translated as the five elements. The five elements are describes as metal, which signifies strength, wood, which signifies growth, water which signifies flow, fire which signifies ambition and earth which signifies the nurturing of the matriarch. Everything in the Universe falls into one of these five categories. Effective feng shui practice, like Taoism, is dependent on a profound understanding of the five elements and how they interact.
- Concept of Three Treasures: The semen, the breath and the spirit make up the three treasures. A deeper practice of the TAO requires an appreciation of the three treasures of existence and each of these treasures is said to have a cosmic counterpart making a total of six interacting treasures. The creation, nourishment and interplay of the six treasures contain the key to unlocking awesome “magical” abilities inherent within mankind’s potential. This prepares the way to the final achievement of the source.
- Concept of Aiming at the Lesser Goal: Because the ultimate goal is so difficult (return to the SOURCE) you do it step-by-step. Many Taoists are therefore happy to aim at the lesser goal, which is to attain increasingly profound realizations or intuitive insights into the true nature of existence. These realizations are almost always accompanied by sensations of intense bliss. Realizations of the “truth” bring a deepening of wisdom and generate feelings of joy and peace with the world.
- Concept of Returning to the Source: The ultimate goal of Taoist practice takes us into the realm of life after death, back to the source, which can mean different things to different practitioners. One definition is the attainment of Immortality, which we can suppose to be some spiritual type being who lives in a spiritual realm. Legend of course describes the Paradise of the Queen of the West, a seemingly inaccessible part of Earth, which is described as a place where everything is available in abundance.
Another perhaps more profound definition of the source is that it is a goal so high it transcends all other goals conceived by man since what we call the beginning of time. Mere words cannot describe the indescribable state of returning back to the SOURCE of our true nature.