The Tao of Qi


The Zhuangzi says, “Pure spirit reaches in the four directions, flows now this way, now that: there is no place it does not extend to. Above, it brushes the sky; below, it coils on the earth. It transforms and nurses the myriad things, but no one can make out its form. It is one with heaven”

The Yin of Mind is a flowing of Pure Qi in the vast Unknown Quantum of Voidness; the Yang aspect is the outflowing of this voidness manifested as limitless vacillations that is shaped and supported by Dark Yin Energy (Qi∞). This is what it means to be “Whole in Spirit”. Today’s accompanying image expresses this as the Ouroborus Dragon eating its own tail. The ancients referred to this as Black Dragon Ch’an—wherein one’s spirit is supported an infinite number of times through this imageless Qi∞. When supported AS SUCH, one is impervious to any conflicting outside phenomenal disturbances.              


My Master said: Tao, how deep, how still its hiding place! Tao, how pure! Without this stillness, metal would not ring, stone when struck would give no answer. The power of sound is in the metal and Tao in all things. When they clash, they ring with Tao, and are silent again. Who is there, now, to tell all things their places? The king of life goes his way free, inactive, unknown. He would blush to be in business. He keeps his deep roots down in the origin, down in the spring. His knowledge is enfolded in Spirit and he grows great, great, opens a great heart, a world’s refuge. Without forethought he comes out, in majesty. Without plan he goes his way and all things follow him. This is the kingly man, who rides above life.

This one sees in the dark, hears where there is no sound. In the deep dark he alone sees light. In soundlessness he alone perceives music. He can go down into the lowest of low places and find people. He can stand in the highest of high places and see meaning. He is in contact with all beings. That which is not, goes his way. That which moves is what he stands on. Great is small for him, long is short for him, and all his distances are near. (Version by Thomas Merton)

There is no fixed-position in the Unborn. Its fluidity runs like a deep and hidden underground stream. Its pureness radiates the stillness of a Mountain Snow—yet without it no echo would resound from the white-capped towering peaks. The power of this sound is in deathless quietude as the Unborn is within all AS ALL. A man of the Unborn, without foreknowledge, wanders aimlessly about the marketplace in the noonday sun, for his gnosis is dark and carefree; this is a King indeed! He sees the Luminous Darkness and hears the Soundless-Sound. He deals with both high and low and thus dwells in the realm of no-distinctions. His movements are motionless and the Big appears as Small. The farthest distance is the closest-point in the face of the Midnight Sun. Can the Moon’s misshapen-solitude be far behind?

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8 Responses to The Tao of Qi

  1. n. yeti says:

    Though I realize this would be a triumph of hope over experience, but are you finally coming around after all these Zen beatings to not knowing? I know somehow this burst of spiritual excitement cannot last…

    • Vajragoni says:

      Don’t confuse the included “gnosis” here with the ordinary “not knowing”. My hope is that out of all these blogs you, in particular, would come to self-realize what the distinction entails.

  2. n. yeti says:

    To suggest that not knowing is ordinary implies a certain amount of knowing. You of all people should not know this. If you wish to keep knowing it however, instead of freeing yourself from the known, who am I to say otherwise? Heck we hardly know each other. 🙂

    • Vajragoni says:

      “He who knows does not speak, he who speaks (in such fashion) does not know.” 🙂

      When it comes to the dark gnosis, my friend, the not-knowing of which you write is quite ordinary indeed.

    • Vajragoni says:

      The next blog-post will be centered around your concern; in fact, it will especially revolve around your notion of not-knowing.

  3. n. yeti says:

    Wait a minute, I think I am understanding your grievance with not knowing. When I say not knowing it’s not cluelessness or total ignorance; it is recognizing the limits of mentation and the mind system itself. What I find interesting — because it seems we have had some crossed signals about this in the past — is that now you are saying the Unborn has no fixed position, which is precisely what I was saying when we discussed this previously and I mentioned that truth is not a static state. As I recall you challenged this (and I may be mistaken, but that is what I remember). Anyway what I think is occuring here is entanglement with terminology and not that we fundamentally disagree. To return to not-knowing I am talking about a posture of renunciation, of surrender, even of turning away from the mind system if you wish to look at it that way. In that sense I do know, as opposed to not-knowing, because the portal of access is something which can be known and experienced. But when I talk about not-knowing, I am talking about the fundamental nature of the absolute, which I still insist cannot be known by mind system. At that point, I cannot call it knowing, it becomes unknowable (i.e. not containable in mind). Knowing is a form of resistance to the absolute, or can be, and that is what I have been trying to communicate. Now before you scout this epistle for doctrinal quibbles, I hope you can at least try to see through to what I am saying, and not get entangled by the form which may differ from your known.

  4. n. yeti says:

    Regarding speaking and knowing, my dog doesn’t speak (in such a fashion) but that doesn’t mean she knows much either. So no platitudes please. If speaking is not knowing this whole blog would be null and void, and I would like to think it is not in the same category as online porn and marketing spam, which occupies 99% of virtual space. Now obviously because this site is so heavily travelled and teeming with Ch’an adepts numbering in the millions, and as we know Ch’an is very popular these days, it is understandable that whatever I have to say might get lost in the hubbub.

  5. n. yeti says:

    And if I may indulge in one more comment on the matter before leaving you in peace, I must warn you, trying to debate the known vs the unknown is a losing proposition. Though you may well be right in supposing some thick-headedness, this is an unprovable position, because I can simply retreat to the unknown, putting the burden of proof upon the affirmative (known). It’s just a judo flip waiting to happen. It is probably a meaningless debate anyway because what I know (_gnosis_) through dhyana cannot be put in words anyway, and I feel beyond this good-natured ribbing, that we are on the same page. I will say I am on the verge of something, I’ve been getting glimpses hard to articulate. But it matters not. I am retreating to my swamp hut and will continue the meditations among the buzzing of carpenter bees.

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