The 5 Elements - Could anyone please give a good explanation to teach it?

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The five "elements" are in reality the five movements.


They do not describe what physical things are made of, but what kinds of transformations they generate and go through. 


For instance, the Spleen in TCM is considered to be of the earth movement. This means its energy, actions and existence all go through what happens with earth, as in the earth we have beneath us.


The spleen refine things (as much as solid things put into the earth are refined into purer substances -sediments-), shots energy upwards (as much as steam rises from the earth), controls excess humidity in the body, and so on.


Of course, as every kind of movement and transformation, the Wuxi is part of a greater cycle, and also explained by it - this is the cycle of the sixty (years, months, days, whatever), composed by the variations on the 12 earthly branches and 10 heavenly steams.


Both (the 12 earthly branches and the 10 heavenly steams) are methods of organizing time


The 12 branches refeer to the orbit of Jupiter, and are used to understand the year and the zodiac. The 10 steams are based on the 10-days week chinese calendar, and were used for multiple purposes.


Both systems appeared on the Shang Dynasty, which was a highly mystical dynasty, based on divination and contact with the Heavens.


The 12 branches refeer to a solar year. They explain every aspect of every month, and also every hour of the day (and seconds of a minute and etc) in a fractal composition where we can see how the Yin and Yang of the Earth behave themselves.


That is, the Yin and Yang of the Earth are in constant change, and the 12 branches tell us which combination of Yin and Yang are being emited by the Earth at any due time. The Earthly energies are like a vase, receiving and kindling every form of energy and life. Our own bodies are made of Earthly energy, and they receive those energies from the earth and emit them as well. This is why we must understand and observe nature in order to remain in good health.


As for the 10 steams, they refeer to a Heavenly Cycle. Just like the Earth, the Heavens are also in constant change, and every steam tells us which energies are being emited by the Heavens at any moment. Our own bodies also have Heavenly energy, which comes from our five souls. Understanding the Heavenly Cycle allows us to perform cultivation.


Of course, every single moment of both Cycles interact, so we have a big cycle with 60 interactions. Now, the Five Elements arise when we notice the 60 interactions and compare them with the sixty-four components of all things in the universe.


Now, to understand what things are made of, you'll need to understand the sixty-four hexagrams. The basys of everything in the Universe (even the Heaven and Earth!) are the Yin and Yang.


Yin and Yang, therefore, combine and form all means of existence. However, there is no existence before the Yin and Yang interact three times - for instance, the Heavens are composed of pure Yang energy stacked three times (yang yang yang). While the Earth is composed of pure Yin energy stacked three times (Yin Yin Yin).


This pure energy from the Heavens is called Tian, while the pure energy of the Earth is called Kun. They shall not be confused with the other energies which are also called earth, like the Gen energy.


Tian is the very act of thinking, all forms of ethereal thought. Kun is the very act of existing. So, before the thrigrams (which mark the begining of existence itself), there is no thought or existence.


However, there is something that "exists before existence" - the four phenomena, which are the yin and yang stacked twice.


Shaoyin (the lesser yin) is made of two yin stacked. Taiyin (greater yin) is made of yin with yang stacked above. Shaoyang (lesser yang) is made of yang with yin stacked on top. And Taiyang (greater yang) is made of two yang stacked.


These things "exist before existence", that is, they exist independent of thought, matter or any thing our minds can perceive. Before the limitations of space and time, before the limitations of experiencing or not experiencing, and so on. They are spiritual, unbound by the limitations of the mind, even if still bound by the limitations of the yin and yang. The trigrams, by their time, are what constitute the mind - thought, existence, and sensations.


These four phenomena interact with the eight trigrams. This way, there is a Shaoyin Heaven, a Taiyin Heaven, a Shaoyang Heaven, and a Taiyang heaven. This forms thirty-two pentagrams.

Those thirty-two pentagrams refeer to the human being in its pentagonal existence - on its constitution as the one "connecting the Heaven and Earth". They tell us of the many ways Qi (force, energy) can exist.


However, these thirty-two pentagrams (Qi) are still afterwards influenced by the yin and yang - forming then the sixty-four hexagrams.

Those hexagrams are what represent all forms of physical phenomena.


Now, what exactly "interact" means? When we say the four phenomena interact with the three trigrams, what that means?


It means that they "mix" or "mingle" in them. So, the four phenomena (the four manifestations of Spirit) interact with the eight trigrams (the eight manifestations of mind) to create the thirty-two manifestation of movement  (Qi).


And the two manifestations of Primordial Energy stack (change) the thirty-two manifestations of movement (Qi) to generate the sixty-four manifestations of the physical phenomena.


For instance, physical fire is an hexagram - the thirty-fifth hexagram (jin) which means "prospering". All forms of physical fire are created by the energy of Prosperity, that is, physical fire is manifested once the trigram of "sight" (perception of light) is influenced by the Shaoyin phenomena and the Yin primordial energy.


With this knowledge it is possible to do "magic" - that is, to manifest physical fire with though, spirit and primordial energy. To do so, you need to see fire in front of you (visualize fire), then manifest the Spiritual phenomena of materialization (Shaoyin) and add to that the Primordial Energy of manifestation (yin).


That is what the dao (limited) does. It manifests the primordial yin energy, this yin energy manifests two of the four phenomena, and then the four phenomena are affected by the Primordial Energy - giving rise to though, perception and etc.


Once light/perception/etc (li) interacts with shaoyin, it generates a certain form of Qi which, when interacting with the Primordial Yin energy (manifestation) generates physical fire.


Now we know what the things are made of, as well as which energies manifest at which time.

That is, we know the Feng Shui and the Branches and Stems.


How do they interact with each-other?


Time comes into existence at the same time as Space (Earth trigram Gun). But it isn't Space itself. Rater, time is the existence of "mingling", that is, the very concept of "interaction" between things.

That is why the four phenomena do not interact between themselves. There is no concept of "interaction" before the trigrams are manifested. Now, if time is interaction, do the trigrams interact between themselves?

Yes, they do. They both generate the sixty-four hexagrams themselves, but in a mental level (that is, they create the "concepts" of things, as well as the "flow" of things), as they interact with the four phenomena to give birth to movement. They do not interact with the primordial energies, as those energies are the ones that come to the world, not the ones that are interacted with. That is, the energies stack on other things, but do not interact (mingle) with them, as they are Pure in their origin.


Oh, well, and how does this interaction occurs?


It happens once the trigrams affect each-other or affect/are affected by the four phenomena.


So, if we are looking at a interaction of trigrams between themselves, we are looking at a interaction of very mild nature - of mental nature. It will create things like the concept of fire.


But if we are looking at a interaction of trigrams with phenomena, we are looking at a interaction of very yin nature - of manifestation. It will create various forms of Qi.


With this we have the very first two possible manifestations of time (interaction) between things - Between themselves or between them and something that will lead to a lower state of energy.


This leads us to define two oposites forms of movement (not movement itself). The first is between one's equals. The other is with strangers, dangerous forces which cannot be comprehended.


The trigram which correspond to moving between one's brethen is the Li (perception, light, fire) trigram. Therefore, it is the basys of this form of movement. It is composed of yang which stacks yin on top of itself, and then stacks another yang. It is a form of movement that means you're mingling with others (yang, then yin), but still between your equals (yang).


The trigram which correspond to moving between strangers is the Kan (danger, hearing). Therefore, it is the basys of this form of movement. It is composed of yin which stacks yang on top of itself, and then stacks another yin. It is a form of movement that means you're mingling with strangers (yin, then yang), and far away from your home, alone with them (yin).


Remember : The trigrams correspond to thought, perception and so on. On this level we aren't talking about perfect things anymore. The concepts here presented are the mean we have to try and pry on the concept of time and ways of interacting. There are interactions which are beyond logic, and the interaction of the trigrams with the phenomena is one of them. We are trying to comprehend something which is inherently non-mental with the mind. Faults are to be expected.


Very well.


Seen as these two forms of interaction exist and can be said to correspond (there again, said to correspond, this is not necessarily true) to the Li (fire) and Kan (water) trigrams, what other forms of interaction can we see?


Well, between trigrams the interaction can be either easy to understand, as if one of the trigrams was very open and receptive to the other (like how a field with other field forms.... well, a field), or difficult to undestand, as if one of the trigrams had been bounded by the other in a unnatural manner (like how thunder on top of fire means "abundance").


Easy and receptive, or bound and hard. Those two characteristics are linked to the Kun and Gen trigrams, field and mountain, respectively. Both are born of the same kind of interaction (between trigrams) and are a consequence of looking at how the trigrams interact between each-other. Both are called Earth, and said to be born out of Fire.


Now, we saw how the trigrams interact (either between themselves or with phenomena) and how they interact between themselves. But what happens when they interact between themselves? What's the product?


Well, after interacting between themselves, the trigrams will generate concepts, which are a still thing which rarely mutates, but also ideas, which are a conjunction of many thoughts and concepts which form a whole.


The concepts are like a lake, still and calm, while the ideas are like the heavens, limitless and all-encompassing. Both things we call metal, and they come from the earth.


Then we have concepts and ideas, what else can happen?


Well, at this point, the only thing that can happen is for those concepts and ideas to be throughly brought down, destroyed and reformed by the influence of the four phenomena. Therefore, we get out of the first interaction (between equals) and get into the second form of interaction (between strangers), and go through the cycle.


Now, let's stop here the creation of the Five Movements cycle (as it has become quite clear were I'm headed), and look at other element of it.


If we are talking about interactions between the trigrams, they do not disappear once they interact. They create new things, but those new things also interact with them.

How ideas and concepts interact with the very foundation of their existence, the interaction between trigrams? If you take an idea and make it interact with all of the foundational blocks of knowledge which form it, or put new blocks there, what happens?


Well, this idea is constricted by them. Fire is dominating (or controling) metal. There is a limitation on how your ideas can be organized if you're using only the interaction between trigrams. They cannot interact with other things.


But then again, if you limit the trigrams you'll use too much, that is, if you make the interaction between the ideas limited to a very small number of trigrams, only those who are really close to each other on their constitution, your ideas will be little and small. They will be only very limited in number. This is overdomination of fire over metal. And what if you let your ideas go unrestrained? What if you let them grow limitless?


They will start to escape the bounds of fire - of interacting only between those equals you have defined as the subject of your phylosophical analysis. They will insult fire - that is, will destroy its foundations, its very existence. They will be unruly ideas, which cannot be put to tame by limits.


And so on.


This is how we establish the Five Movements Cycle. It describes the many forms through which movement (interaction) between things happen, as well as what happens when something which is going through a certain movement interacts with something else which is going through another movement.


However, as this happens on higher levels of existence, we see it happening on all other levels as well. Any kind of movement, of interaction between things, will recall this existence. Even the 12 branches and 10 steams are under the power of the five movements - as they are manifestations of energy from the physical sky and the physical earth.


I guess that's the gist of it. At least as far as I have reached in my studies.


Hope for the best and that I haven't made mistakes which may mislead everybody.

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12 hours ago, Desmonddf said:

With this knowledge it is possible to do "magic" - that is, to manifest physical fire with though, spirit and primordial energy. To do so, you need to see fire in front of you (visualize fire), then manifest the Spiritual phenomena of materialization (Shaoyin) and add to that the Primordial Energy of manifestation (yin).


how do you know, can you do any of what you've posted

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16 hours ago, windwalker said:


how do you know, can you do any of what you've posted


Not the complete process, but I've managed to progress a little bit, generating heat. 

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