Philosophy of Tai Chi
Imagine trying to look into a window with the curtains drawn.
Impossible to judge what is inside with an obscured view?
Every Tai Chi movement involves the Tai Chi philosophy of time and space.
Learning movements only, without understanding, is like looking through a drawn curtain.
Tai Chi philosophy is the centre that harmonizes Western knowledge and ancient Chinese wisdom.
We, as egotistical creatures, tend to separate these two studies, in reality they are closely related.
Tai Chi is both scientific, philosophical and joined with Eastern mysticism.
Together we can travel into the Tai Chi philosophy so that we gain a better understanding of this beautiful and fulfilling art.
Foundation of Tai Chi philosophy
Founded on many underlying principles.
3 basic principles:
- Relationship of Wu Chi/ Tai Chi
- Relationship of Yin /Yang
- Interpretation of the Tai Chi diagram.
Wu Chi & Tai Chi
- Void and boundless state that prevailed before existence.
- The ultimate nothingness.
- Before creation time was nothing, but there must have been something.
- We do not know what that something was, nor do we know where it came from, but something was there.
- It simply cannot be comprehended rationally- its existence is only implied, like an object that you see in the mist.
- Ancient Chinese describe it as a phenomenon of nothingness.
- It has form, yet it is unformed.
- It has shape but is still without shape.
- You confront it, it has no front.
- You chase it, it has no back.
- This phenomenon of nothingness is the source of all movement and stillness.
- Everything in the universe, including yin/yang is believed to evolve from this source.
Lao Tze named it Tao. Yijing called it Tai Chi.
Wang Zongyue in his theory of Tai Chi said Tai Chi is born of Wu Chi -
and summarised it as the origin of dynamic and static states and the mother of Yin and Yang.
- If they move, they separate.
- If they remain static, they combine.
Tao does not only reflect the creation of the universe, but also the relationships
between us and all things and vice versa.
All actions arise from inaction.
Yin and Yang
- When something arises from Wu Chi, the original state of nothingness no longer exists, and the state of Tai Chi begins.
- Tai Chi displays the two qualities Yin & Yang.
- Void of Wu Chi is Yin, transformation is Yang.
- Yin and Yang are opposites.
- Learn to apply the Yin/Yang theory through the practice of push hands.