5 Element Theory:
Old Taoism’s Cycle of Transformation

Five Elements

The Five Elements:
Old Taoism’s Cycle of Transformation

Tao journal, February 2013 excerpt:

As one of the three key streams of Tao energy arts, Five Element Theory can be ap­plied to understand the manifest world in which we live, such as feng shui and astrology, music and military strategy, mar­tial arts and medicine, diet and therapy. There are many schools of thought and many dozens of systems available to work with the Five Elements. For example, the Creation-Destruction Cy­cles—or Wood-Fire-Earth-Metal-Water and Wood-Earth-Water-Fire-Metal, respectively—were popularised during the first half of the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), and remain widespread today.

However, Old Taoism’s approach to the Five Elements is primarily concerned with transformation in body, mind and chi. The Transformational Cycle is represented as: Water-Fire-Wood-Metal-Earth.

The Transformational Cycle is all about developing the human mind-body-qi energy matrix and beyond. The nei gong system as we know it today is built upon its principles, although Taoist nei gong was actively practised before the Five Element system. In fact, Gods Playing in the Clouds Qi Gong predates the Five Element sys­tem by at least 1,000 years, which is curious as it is the most advanced Taoist qi gong ever designed. So why then essentially work back­wards to create what would appear to be an inferior method, requiring a lot more chore­ography to learn, and teach students via the Five Elements?

Get the answer to this question as well as the basis for the five-phase nei gong system in my February 2013 issue of my Inner Quest journal, which includes:

I cover each of the elements and how Old Taoism—that is the Water tradition, which Lao Tzu wrote about in the Tao Te Ching 2,500 years ago—views the interplay of Water-Fire-Wood-Metal-Earth, and how and why the Earth Elements serves as the ultimate container for and balances the other four elemental energies.

This cycle of personal devel­opment and transformation has stood the test of time and helped millions of people in all aspects of their life. The material has become the source of many spin-offs, hybrids and, unfortunately, dilution. Ancient China (and what is now Tibet) was a melting pot of Taoist, Buddhist and Confusion thought, practice and philosophy, so most of what is available to us today is a mélange of the three. The saying is: In China, everybody wears Buddhist sandals, Taoist robes and Confusion caps! Even after all that time and all the comingling, we have been fortunate enough to receive the gift of a pure Taoist stream of teachings, which seems well worth pursuing considering just how rare, complete and potentially beneficial the lessons can be for ourselves, our fellow beings and our planet.

Get my complete, 15-page February 2013 Tao journal issue on Taoist 5 Element Theory and practices. Other features include:

  • What’s Your IQ?—100 Days of Practice by Dan Kleiman

Download your copy now for £8! Or subscribe to 8 issues for £50 and receive your free 25-page report on training Tao meditation and energy arts by clicking here.

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