The Monistic Theory
by Nhân Tử Nguyễn Văn Thọ
Preface | Chapters:
10 11 12
Languages used in the Monistic Theory
The Monistic Theory has used many kinds of
languages to express some of its ideas. These are the mythological, the
metaphorical, the numerical, the literal, the symbolical, the
astrological, and the artistic language etc.
A) The Mythological Language
Idea to be conveyed: This world is created
from the One.
Mythological language: This world is
created from the dismemberment of God or from the Primeval Man. In other
words, the Many proceed from the One, or One is All.
1. Myth and
religion of the North
The three Gods, Odin, Vill and Ve killed
Ymir, the giant... They carried his body into the middle of the great
void. They made sea and lakes of his blood, earth of his flesh and the
sky of his skull, placing a dwarf under each of the four corners, as if
to hold it up. The clouds were made of Ymir's brains and stars and
heavenly bodies from sparks which flew from Muspell. The Gods ordered
their movements and thus established days and years.
The earth was circular and, on the
outside, was a mighty ocean. By its shores the Gods established a
dwelling place for the giants. Within, they built Midgard, the world of
men, fortified as it seems, with a fence made of Ymir's eyelashes. (See
Ib. p. 293, 275, 276) In the South, there was another world, blazing
hot, and it was called Muspell. (see ib. p. 275)
Four dwarfs, Austrri, Vestri, Sudri,
Nordri were said to uphold the four corners of the sky, and several
allusions to this myth are found in early poetry. (See ib. p. 234)
Iranian tradition also has striking
parallels with the Norse creation myth. The creation, as Norse heathens
saw it, was a natural evolutionary process, arising from the fusion of
polarities, heat and cold, light and dark. Many variants of the Iranian
creationist myth are recorded, and they too contain such dualist
explanations of the cosmos, the "hot and moist, bright, sweet
smelling and light" on one hand, with the "cold and dry,
heavy dark and stinking" on the other. The two are
separated by a void, as it were, a mighty gap. The first giant Ymir,
also finds his counterparts in Iranian and, to some extent, in Indian
myth. Ymir, as was seen, was at once father and mother of the giants and
was, in other words, bisexual. A myth like this one appears in
variant forms in Iranian records. According to one of them, the god
Zurvan existed before ages, He conceived twins, one "light and
fragrant", the other "dark and stinking". The fair one created heaven
and earth, and everything beautiful and good, but the other created
demons and everything evil. The formation of the cosmos, as described in
some Iranian sources, is also rather like that described in the Norse
sources. It was made from the body of the first anthropomorphic figure.
The sky was his head, the earth his feet, the water his tears, plants
his hair. This form of the creation myth is said to derive from India.
Ymir, the name of the first
anthropomorphic figure in Norse myth, could formerly mean the roarer,
which is not a suitable name for a giant, but it has often been
associated with the Iranian Yima (Sanskrit Yama) which means "twin" and
is the name given to the first man. As they are recorded, the Norse and
Oriental myths of creation, are created by many centuries and thousands
of miles. They differ fundamentally, but details such as those about the
cow and the hermaphroditic progenitor, as well as the cosmos created
from the body of a primeval being, resemble each other in ways which
make it impossible to think of independent development.
Variant: The three gods took the corpse of
Yimir, carried it into the middle of Ginnungagap, and made the world
from it. From his flesh, they molded the earth. From the blood that
poured from his wounds, they made the salty sea and laid it around the
earth. From his mighty bones, they fashioned the mountains and from his
smaller bones, jaws, and teeth they formed rocks and pebbles. From his
hair they created the forests.
2. Myths of Greece
When Uranus became ruler of the world, his
son, Chronus, dismembered him, just as priestesses of the great
Goddess or Mother Goddess in the female- oriented religion,
dismembered the sacred king. They used his blood, which they
considered to be a prime source of fertility, to fertilize the ground so
that it would produce an abundance of crops. Uranus's blood, too,
produces "crops", in the form of monstrous offsprings.
3. Myths of Hinduism
A late Rig Vedic hymn describes another
kind of creation. A cosmic man, Purusha, was dismembered in a
primeval sacrifice and, from the parts of his body, were made the cosmos
and the four classes of the social order (priest, warriors, populace and
4. Myths from China
According to Lu-Shih-Chun Chui (Lã Thị
Xuân Thu), Heaven, Earth and all things are like the body of one man,
and this man is called "the Great Unity" (Ta Tung, Đại Đồng)
So Pangu (Bàn Cổ) laid down and fell
asleep. He died in his sleep, and his body gave shape and substance to
the universe. Pangu's head formed the mountain of the East, while his
feet formed the mountain of the West. His torso formed the mountain of
the Center, his left arm formed the mountain of the South, and his right
arm, the mountain of the North. These five sacred mountains defined the
four corners of the square earth and its Center. Each stood firmly upon
the earth like a giant stone column and did its part to hold up the
The hair of Pangu's head and his eyebrows
formed the planets and the stars. His left eye formed the sun and his
right eye the moon. His flesh formed the soil of the earth and his blood
the oceans and rivers. His teeth and bones formed rocks, minerals and
gems. His breath formed the clouds and the wind, while his voice became
lightning and thunder. His perspiration formed rain and the dew. The
hair on his body formed trees, plants, and flowers, while parasites,
living on his skin became animals and fish.
5. Myths from Babylonia
Once Marduk had subdued all his enemies,
he returned to Tiamat, stamped on her legs and crushed her skull with
his mace. When he had severed her arteries, the North wind bore her
blood to the secret places. Marduk then divided Tiamat's body into two
parts like a shellfish. Half of Tiamat, he set up as the sky; the other
half he formed into the earth. From Tiamat's saliva, he created the
clouds and filled them with water... He put Tiamat's head into position
to form the mountains of the earth, and he caused the Tigris and the
Euphrate rivers to flow from her eyes...
6. Myths from Toltecs
Quetzalcoaltl, the light one, and
Tezcatlipoca, the dark one looked down from the sky and saw only water
below. A monstrous goddess floated upon the water, eating whatever she
could find with her many mouths, for every joint in her body contained
eyes sharp enough to spot any source of food, and mouths that bit like
wild animals. "We must find some way to stop that goddess from devouring
whatever we create," they said to one another. So it came to pass that
the two great gods transformed themselves into two huge serpents. One of
them quickly grabbed her by her arms, while the other quickly grabbed
her by the feet. Then before she could resist, they pulled until she
broke apart in the middle. Her head and shoulders became the earth,
while the lower part of her body rose into the sky and became the
The other gods were angry at what
Quetzalcoaltl and Tezcatlipoca had done to the goddess. They came down
to earth and decided to give her gifts that would compensate for her
mutilation. They decreed that whatsoever human beings needed for
survival, she would provide. They created trees, tall grass, and flowers
from her hair, fine grasses and tiny flowers from her skins, small
caves, fountains, and wells from her eyes, large caves and rivers from
her mouth, hills and valleys from her nose, and mountains from her
7. Myths from Central
and Southern Africa
According to the creation myth of the
Bakuba (in Zaire), Mbombo the white god, ruled when the earth was
nothing but water shrouded in darkness. One day, he felt a terrible pain
in his stomach, and he vomited the sun, the moon and the stars. The sun
shone so fiercely that the water steamed up in clouds and dry hills
gradually appeared. Mbombo vomited again, and, out of his stomach came
animals and people and many other things: the first woman, the leopard,
the eagle, the falling star, the anvil, the monkey Fumu, the first man,
the razor, medicine and lightning.
B) The Metaphorical Language
Idea to be
conveyed in ordinary language: All creations are emanations
from the Imperishable Soul.
Language: In the beginning this world was merely non-being.
It was existent. It developed. It turned into an egg. It lay for a
period of one year. It was split asunder. One of the two egg-shell-parts
became silver, one gold.
That which was of silver is this earth.
That which was of gold is the sky. What was the outer membrane is the
mountains. What is the inner membrane is cloud and mist. What were the
veins are the rivers. What was the fluid within is the ocean. (Chandogya
Upanishad, 3. 19. 1-2)
As a spider might come out with his
thread, as small sparks come forth from the fire, even so from this Soul
come forth all vital energies, all worlds, all gods, all beings. The
mystic meaning (Upanishad) thereof is the Real of the Real. Vital
energies, verily, are the Real. He is their Real. (Brihah-Aranyaka
Upanishad 2. 20)
As a spider emits and draws in (its
thread), as herb arise on earth, as the hairs of the head and body from
a living person, so from the Imperishable arises everything here.
(Mundaka Upanishad, 1. 7)
This is the truth: as from a well-blazing
fire, sparks by the thousand issue forth of like form, so from the
Imperishable, my friend, beings manifold are produced, and thither also
go. (Mundaka Upa. 2.1)
The Soul (Atman) which pervades all things
as butter is contained in cream, which is rooted in self-knowledge and
austerity. This is Brahma, the higher mystic doctrine (Upanishad).
(Svetasvatara Upa.1. 16)
C) The numerical language
Idea to be
conveyed: All is one, one is all. Or from the One proceed the
language: From the One, issue the Ten Thousand.
In the Yi Jing, there are two sets of
numbers, one is called He Tu (Hà Đồ), another is called Luo Shu (Lạc
Thư), the meaning of them, I will try to give as follows:
The He Tu and Luo Shu Diagrams
We see in these two sets of numbers, some
are in the middle, and some are in the periphery. The number 15 (5+10)
and the number 5 in the middle represent the bisexual Tai Ji (Thái Cực)
(Please note that 15 = 6+9; and 5 = 2+3. 6 and 2 are Yin numbers ; 9 and
3 are Yang numbers, therefore the Tai Ji in the middle englobes both Yin
and Yang numbers, and is called bisexual numbers). The Tai Ji represents
Numbers in the periphery represent the
Many, and derive from the Tai Ji (Thái Cực) in the middle. We see that 3
and 2 = 5; 1 and 4 = 5; 8 and 7 = 15; 9 and 6 = 15. In the Luo Shu (Lạc
Thư), if we add all the numbers horizontally, vertically, and
diagonally, we have always 15. If we add the numbers horizontally,
vertically and diagonally without the number 5, we always has the total
of 10, or twice the number 5. It means that all the beings in the
periphery equal 15 or 5, or the Tai Ji (Thái Cực). Therefore the Many
equal the One.
We remark also that in the He Tu (Hà Đồ),
we have two layers of numbers. The inside layer contains 1, 2, 3, 4
representing the 4 elements: water, fire, wood (air) and metal. It
stands then for all beings. As for the 7 and 8, and the 6 and the 9, in
the outside layer, they represents the two ways of change in our life,
the extrovertive way (6 and 9), and the introvertive way (7 and 8).
It is worth noting that Chinese people
called their Elected men Tzu (Tử), or the Man who has realized the
One, and we have Confucius (Kong Tzu; Khổng Tử), Mencius (Meng Tzu;
Mạnh Tử), Lao Tzu (Lão Tử), Chuang Tzu (Trang Tử), Lie Tzu (Liệt Tử)
It implies that we should return to the
D) The literal language
Idea to be conveyed: This world
come from the dismemberment of the One, or is made with the same
material of the One.
Literal Language: YHVH creates
everything from his own substance:
Idea to be conveyed: The Eternal Om
(Aum) englobes all the states of a man. Literal Language:
(See Mandukya Upanishah, 1-12)
E) The symbolical language
One of the most famous symbolical
languages, common to East and West is the Center and the Circle.
The Center stands for the One, immobile in
the midst of everything. The circle represents the Many, or all the
phenomena ever changing outside.
We see this meaning in all oldest
civilizations and literature of the world (Egypt, Chaldea, Veda,
Pythagoras, Zoroaster, Confucius, Chuang Tzu etc.). The Center
represents, then, God, and the Circle, all the creatures. The Isvara's
symbol (God's symbol) is the Circle with the point in the Center. We
read in Chuang Tzu (Trang Tử), Chapter 2, C that: "The Point which is
the pivot of the norm is the immobile Center of a circumference, on the
periphery of which rolled all contingence, all distinctions and
We know also that: "the Signet of
Zoroaster, - the wise man of the East - the Point within the Circle...
was hailed among all the nations as the Beginning and the End, the Cause
and Effect, the Principle of Life and Action which pervades, animates
and governs the universe...
According to Vedantic texts, there was
none before the creation except Brahman, the pure Being, the
non-manifested, the undifferentiated Maha Bindu, the Supreme Point, the
Conscience-Energy-Potentiality...From this Supreme Point, Source of all
Creations, emanate rays in all direction. This Point can be assimilated
to the Center of the Zodiac, from which emanate the twelve signs in 12
This Point can be compared with the Void
in the Veda (Shunya), having no forms while it is not yet surrounded by
the Maya. It can be called also as the Nothing of J. Boehme.
This Center and this Circumference,
besides, express the relation between liberty and necessity. If man
identified oneself with the manifested and transitory world, then he
will undergo the fate of this world. But if he withdraws his Energy, his
Self-Consciousness in his Center, he will become a pilgrim of the Middle
Way, and this Middle Way itself, he will withdraw from necessity, which
reigns in the Circumference, and what happens in the Circumference could
no more attain him. Living in the Essence, he is free to participate or
not to the changes in the substance outside.
Instead of talking directly of the Point
and the Circumference, the Ancients can use the Compass and the Square,
as seen in the picture of Chinese Fu Xi (Phục Hi) holding the Compass,
and Nu Wa (Nữ Oa) holding the Square, meaning that we can find God in
the Center of everything.
The Freemasonry takes as their symbol, the
Compass and the Square with the letter G, representing God, in the
Center. They explain it as follows:
"Yet I this forme of the formless
Drewe by the Square and Compasses of
...The letter G then has in Freemasonry
the same force and signification that the letter Yod had among the
Cabalists. It is only a symbol of the Hebrew letter and, as that, is a
symbol of God.
We see also the Compass and the Square in
the figure of the Rebis
The Symbol of the Rosicrucians, is a Rose
(the Circle), put on the Cross (the Square). René Guénon and C. G. Jung
said the all the rose-windows seen in Europa's cathedrals have also the
meaning of the Circumference and the Center.
In the Esoteric Alchemy East and West,
they used also the Point and the Circle to sum up their method, their
technics to liberate men and to sanctify them. The Center represent the
Essence, the Immortality's Pill, the Mercurius, the "Lapis
Philosophorum", the Tai Ji, the Golden Pill. The circumference
represents all the phenomena, and all the vessels necessary for making
C. G. Jung, after 30 years of study on all
the Mandalas, concluded that the Center in them represented the Real
Self in Man, and not the Ego. He wrote: "Unless everything deceives us,
they (the Mandalas) signify nothing less than a psychic center of the
personality, not to be identified with the ego."
He also said: "I may define "self" as the
totality of the conscious and unconscious psyche, but this totality
transcends our vision; it is a veritable lapis invisibilitatis..."
In sum, the Center always suggests the
One, the Eternal in the midst of everything. And the Circle around,
depicts all changes (Evolution and Involution) happened to men, and also
the descending of God among men, to promote the ascension of men to God
("Suo nobis descensu ac salubrem dedicavit ascensum". Saint Bernard).
The Center is then the Absolute, the
Essence from which emanates everything. One can call it Ether, Akasha,
Brahma, Sunya, Chakravarti, the Golden Pill, the Immobile Motor of
everything, Mercurius, Prima Materia, Archetype of the Divine Child,
Anthropos, Hermes, Philosophical Gold, Quintessence, Unum, Unica Res,
Monad, Rebis, The Drug of Immortality etc
The Center is also The Coincidentia
Oppositorum, where opposites meet. It is then the Anima Mundi, guide of
Mankind, herself guided by God. It is then the Red and White -
Hermaphrodic-Double Eagle. It is called also the Mystic Vessel where the
two natures unite - sol et luna caduceus - to produce the Filius
Hermaphroditus. It is called also The Fountain of Life as Fons
Mercurialis, or the Symbolic City as center of the Earth, or the Lapis
Sanctuary, or the Golden Fleece
In this case, the Alchemists try only to
help people find their own Essence, their own identity, and use time,
their body, and their ego to reach their Essence.
C.G. Jung says also that everything
derives from God. "Res ex qua sunt res, est Deus invisibilis et
immobilis." (That from which things arise is the invisible and immovable
Egyptians called God as the Center of
everything, or Tem, the pivot of all stars.
The Center can be called as Mercurius, the
Creator of all changes.
In one drawing of the Tarot, we see in the
middle the Tetragram Yod, He, Vau, He, meaning God or Yahwe.
As for the Circle outside the Center, one
is unanimous to consider it as a place where everything transitory
Jean Chabosseu wrote: "The Wheel is a
symbol of the world. The Circumference represent the manifestation
produced by all the spokes emanating from the center.
Regeneration, realization of the universal
harmony, Evolution and Karma are interpretations given to the
Circumference, especially if one consider the two figures, one prepared
by successions of conscious and rational existences, is the Elected, who
is coming near to the final elevation; the other still close to matter,
and attached to it, by all terrestrial benefits, fails and must begin
again. The image of Samsara is imperative: In the midts of the turning
around rises the hope of a purified being who ascends to Brahma and live
The Circumference represents then:
The Wheel of Change
The Wheel of Fate and
Generation of Orphism (Rota fati et generationis)
The Wheel of Fate (Tarot)
The Wheel of Samsara
The Abred Cycle (Bardism)
The Zodiac (Astrology)
The Ouroboros (Theosophy)
The Cycle of the Twelve
The Wheel of Brahma
(Hinduism) (See Svetasvatara Up. 1-6; 6-1.Brih. 6. 2. 15-16. Chand. 5.
10; Bhagavad Gita 8, 24-26)
The Cycles of the Moon.
The Cycle Ren-Du (Nhâm
Đốc) in Man (Taoism).
In sum, the Center stands for what is
unchanging, and eternal, while the Circumference symbolizes all the
changing phenomena. It is suggested that man must find what is Eternal,
and not the transitory. The Bible teaches that we must construct on rock
and not on sand. (Mat. 7:24-27)
F) Astrological Language
Idea to be
conveyed: The One, the Eternal is in the Center. The Many,
the Transitory is in the periphery.
language: The Point and the Circle.
Ancients East and West have written their
creeds in the Monistic Theory in the sky. We will study its Center, and
the Circle around it, called Zodiac, (Zoo = life; Diakos = Wheel) and
the meaning of the Zodiac.
We know that Babylon, Egypt, Israel,
Persia, India, Tibet, China, America North and South, and Islamic
countries have their own Zodiac.
When we look at Celestial Atlas, East and
West, we see that it has a Center located in the Pole-Star.
Western people don't give to the Pole- Star any special significance.
But Oriental people think that God has his residence there. Most of them
consider this star as immobile in the midst of all stars. It is said in
the Confucian Analects: "He who exercises government by means of his
virtue, may be compared to the North Polar Star, which keeps its place
and all the stars turn towards it." (Confucian Analects, Book II, chap.
Orientals called this star the Central
Palace of the Sky, or Tian Ji Xing, where the Summum Unum resides.
I can't accept that the Polar Star, being
a star, that means - being a visible phenomenon - can be unchanged
and immobile. And from a study of Chinese Astronomy, I found out
soon that Chinese Astronomers don't accept that the Polar Star is
immobile. Zu Heng Zhi (Tổ Hằng Chi; 430-501) discovered that the Polar
Star turned around the middle of the sky about 1o. Chen Kuo
(Trầm Quát), astronomer under the reign of Song Shen Zong (Tống Thần
Tông; 1068-1077) also found out that the Polar Star turned around the
middle of the Sky or the North Pole, 3o.
Therefore, the Celestial Pole is always
an empty spot. And after every 25920 years, period of time needed
for the Sun to make a tour of the twelve signs of the Zodiac - he is now
in Aquarius - there will be a new Polar Star.
If the Sky has its Center close to the
Pole Star, the Circumference is then the Zodiac. The Western Zodiac has
12 signs or 12 constellations: Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio,
Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini.
The 12 constellations describe the general
movement of Energy:
The Primeval Energy, impregnates itself,
goes from virtuality to actuality, from unity to multiplicity, from
imponderable to ponderable, from Spirit to Matter, from the realm of
informal to the world of forms which becomes denser and denser. In the
gradual descent of Energy into the ultimate density, the pure conscience
wraps itself and has stolen away behind veils more and more compact
until the term of its involution.
Then arriving at the lowest point of the
cycle, Energy goes back in the ascending arc. It takes forms more and
more subtle, associated with states of consciousness more and more vast
and penetrating, toward the realm of intangible and non manifested,
while multiplicity tends to reintegrate in the One. This is the cosmic
sense of the Zodiac revealed by the study of its elements.
It means that the cycle of change has two
senses: from God to Creatures, and from Creatures to God. Denys
Aréopagite calls the first movement, the Creative one which proceeds
from God, and the second movement the Conversive one which goes back to
In the Zodiac, its circle is also divided
into two parts: From Cancer (Cự Giải) to Sagittarius (Thiên Yết) (from
God to Man), and from Capricorn (Ma Yết) to Gemini (Song Tử) (from Man
According to the Ancients, men have to
pass through two Gates. The Gate of Men, in Cancer (Cự Giải), and the
Gate of the Gods in Capricorn (Ma Yết). "One, "Macrobius says, in his
dream of Scipio, "was styled the Gate of Men; and the other, the Gate of
the Gods. Cancer was the former, because souls descended by it to the
earth; and Capricorn the latter, because by it they reascended to their
seats of immortality, and became God."
So from Cancer to Sagittarius is the Gate
and the Way of Man. This can be called also the Extroversion way,
where man is deeper and deeper engaged in mundane affairs, and become
denser and denser, like Matter that is and surrounds him. From Capricorn
to Gemini is the Gate of Gods, and the Way of Gods. This can be called
the Introversion way, where man try to disentangle from mundane
affairs, and become more and more subtle, finer and finer, like the
Energy that surrounds him.
The Bible says that man has two ways of
working. It said:
"To every thing there is a season, and a
time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to
die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted. A
time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to
build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a
time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones
together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a
time to get and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to
speak; a time to love and a time to hate; a time of war and a time of
Cancer and Capricorn are also the two
Gates of the Sun. The Sun is at the Summer's Solstice when he is in
Cancer. He is at the Winter's Solstice when he is in Capricorn. When the
sun is in Capricorn, he is reborn, he is resuscitated. The 25th of
December of each year, the Winter's solstice day, is therefore chosen
first to represent the birth of Mithra or of the Sun in the
Mediterranean area, and afterward to commemorate the unknown birthday of
Now we must know how to connect these two
Gates with God. Father Theophile Moreux said: At the origin of all
substances there is the Prima Materia (God), an indestructible substance
serving as the stuff of everything. From this matter, derive two
principles: the philosophical Sulfur and Mercury, which by combination
produced the four Elements" Earth, Fire, Water and Air. We must know
that these appellations have nothing in common with all the vulgar
substances bearing these names. They are only philosophical symbols.
The Four Elements in astrology are:
Lion (Leo) with the star
Eagle (Scorpio) with the
Man (Aquarius) with the
Taurus with the star
The Oriental Astrology has similar
The Oriental Zodiac has 28 constellations,
but occupy the same place as the Occidental Zodiac. We can also divide
the Oriental Zodiac into two part: East and West. Jing, Gui (Cancer),
Liu, Xing, Zhang (Leo), Yi, Zhen (Virgo). Jue, Gang (Libra), Ti, Fang,
Xin (Scorpio), Wei, Ji (Sagittarius) (Tỉnh, Quỷ, Liễu, Tinh, Trương,
Dực, Chẩn, Giác, Cang, Đê, Phòng, Tâm, Vĩ, Cơ).
Can, Zui (Gemini), Bi, Mao, Wei (Taurus),
Lou, Gui (Aries). Bi, Shi (Pisces), Wei, Xu, Nu (Aquarius), Niu, Dau
(Capricorn) (Sâm, Chủy, Tất, Mão, Vị, Lâu, Khuê, Bích, Thất, Nguy, Hư,
Nử, Ngưu, Đẩu) .
The Four Elements in Oriental Astrology is
Liu, Xing, Zhang (Liễu,
Tinh, Trương) (Leo)
Ti, Fang, Xin (Đê, Phòng,
Wei, Xu, Nu (Nguy, Hư, Nử)
Bi, Mao, Wei (Tất, Mão,
The Gate of Man is then in Niu, Dau (Ngưu,
Đẩu). The Gate of Gods is in Jing, Gui (Tỉnh, Quỷ).
The Galaxy crosses the Zodiac in two
opposite points, Cancer and Capricorn, the tropical points in the sun's
course, ordinarily called the Gates of the Sun, and the Milky Way (The
Silver River) crosses at the signs Cancer and Capricorn. It means that
it is very hard for a man to find the Gates of Gods. Fortunately,
Ancient Chinese astronomers have named one star in the constellations
Niu, Dau (Ngưu, Đẩu; Capricorn), the Ford of the Sky (Tian Jin, Thiên
Tân), where one can cross the Milky Way by foot.
To enter the Gate of Gods, is then a rare
privilege reserved only for a very few men. "For many are called, but
few are chosen" (Mat. 20: 16 and 22: 14)
The Yi Jing has also a picture
representing the 64 hexagrams disposed in a circle. This Circle can also
be divided into two halves: The right one has 32 hexagrams disposed from
top to bottom, in a an increased order of density, from the less dense
to the densest, from the hexagram Kou, (Cấu) Meeting, or Coming to Meet,
or Meeting with the Mundane (See R. Wilheim, The I Ching, p. 170), to
the densest hexagram The Receptive or the Earth (Khôn). These 32
hexagrams represent the Way of Man, or the Mundane Way. They are the
The 32 hexagrams of the left half disposed
from bottom to top, according to a decreased order of density, from the
less pure to the purest, from the Hexagram Fu (Phục), Return or
Conversion to God (See Wilheim, the I Ching, p. 97) to the hexagram
Ch'ien (Kiền), The Creative or the Heaven.
Shao Kang Jie (Thiệu Khang Tiết) says that
everything comes from the Center and ends up in the Center. In that case
our great circle of Change starts from the Center, passes by the
hexagram Kou (Cấu) and the hexagram Earth (Khôn) (this is the
extroversion way, with the Material Civilization). After that it passes
by the Hexagram Fu (Phục), and Heaven (Kiền) and ends up in the Center.
It means that we must return to God. Chuang Tzu called it "resting in
God" (See Léon Wieger, Chuang Tzu, Chapter 2, C, p. 218). The second
half is called the introvertive way.
The time for man to Return to God is
approximately from 34 to 36, but it can be sooner or later. It is then
time for Illumination. Dr. Richard Maurice Bucke says that it is time
for man to go from Self to Cosmic Consciousness. In his book Cosmic
Consciousness, on p. 81, he has given a list of 43 Elected, and we can
see that Gautama, Jesus, Paul, Dante, Behmen etc attain illumination at
Confucius declared that he attained
illumination at 50
The Yi Jing said: at the time of Fu, or of
the Return to God, one will see his Real Self, and will have
Shao Kang Jie (Thiệu Khang Tiết) has
written a poem saying roughly that: as an intelligent man, and having
the Creator, in our heart, we are not poor. In the first half of our
live, we should devote ourselves to study materialistic and pragmatic
things, while in the second half of our life, we must study to know our
Cosmic Origin. In that case, we will have a happy life.
"It is in searching to transfigure the
limited and to render it worthy of immortality... that a man can find
out the profound sense of life and escape from spiritual sterility.
It is said in Upanishads:
He is the Luminous One, the Creator of
everything, the Mahatma,
He is always set in people’s heart,
And is revealed by the heart, by
intuition, by intelligence
He who knows him, becomes immortal.
G) The Artistic Language
We see that the Monistic Theory is very
rich in its artistic language.
We see that the Sun and its rays can be
used to represent God.
The Eternal can be represented by the ever
seeing Eye, as in Caodaism.
The most famous beautiful art form is seen
in Mandalas, or Yantras of the world. Mandalas and Yantras are symbols
of cosmic unity.
Mahu Khanna said: in the Brhadaranyaka
Upanishah (2,1,19) there is the metaphor of a spider sitting at the
center of its web, issuing and reabsorbing its threads in concentric
circles, all held at one point: This image occurs in several Upanishads
since it points to the basis of the Indian world-view: Unity in
diversity. The spider's threads symmetrically expands into a visible
circumference, and though there are divergent lines in between and
varying distances to be spanned they can all be traced back to the
central point of the web.
This apparently simple metaphor also
condenses the essence of Indian thought: All existence is governed by a
single principle, and the point of origin of the supreme consciousness
is simultaneously an infinite reservoir of collective energy, from which
everything issues and into which everything returns. This Center
is the One, the potential All-point, which not only serves as a bridge,
but is Cosmic Unity underlying the physical diversity of the world. The
metaphor also alludes to the Indian vision of the structure of the
cosmos, which is conceived as a 'holon', growing and expanding in
concentric circles, and then contracting, dissolving into a single
principle... Like a spider in its web, the bindu (point) at the center
of the yantra is a center of every creation, the radiating source of
energy that generates all forms.
The Central quest of Indian thought is to
achieve total experience of the One. Man is a spiritual traveler whose
main aim, in Indian tradition is to intuit the unity of the One. The
traveler, whether he is driven directly to the summit, whether he pauses
for a while, whether he stumbles on the path or turn away, knows
intuitively that all his movements inevitably lead him back to the
starting point, the All-point, the origin and the end of all existence.
The Yantra, therefore, depicts the
evolution and the involution of the cosmos. The expanding and
contracting currents of vibration symbolized by the Sanskrit letters
form a web-like image, as the cosmos emanates and returns again to the
primordial center, the One.
Mandala, in Sanskrit literally means
Circle and Center. To Westerners, the popular reintroduction of the
Mandala concept can be traced to the work of Carl G. Jung, who
rediscovered the Mandala as a basic structural device in the alchemical
tradition of the West, and as a therapeutic, integrative art form
created by patients in their own search for individuation.
The aim of Yantra and Mandala is to arrive
back at the primordial point where man can exclaim: I am That! or in the
worlds of the ancient Vedic seers: That art Thou - Tat Tvam Asi. To
understand the divine nature of things is to become rooted in the heart
of the divine. This is the privilege of man. The Ancient Mexicans
described the artist/seer as a Yolteotl, one whose heart is
rooted in God.
Mantra and Yantra lead us to the One, to
"You, O nameless One, we invoke:
Enter our hearts and speak through us
Lend to us the Vision of Unity
Teach us the Science of the Whole
Make known to us once again the Rite of
Hear us, o Lord of the Center
Keeper of the Radiant Law
In our silence may Your Voice ring
We are as Seeds:
Only You Who walk the Sky
Can show to us the Path
Our feet must follow in this earth
Only You can heal and make us whole
Only through our submission to You
May we heal ourselves and become whole.
In this way may we be led once again on
the Path of Beauty.
Mandala and Yantra, with its Center and
Circle, not only depict for us the way this world of diversity is made,
but also show us our way of return to the One, to the Center. In their
first step, they are scientific, and in their second step, they are
Some one compare them to the eyes. Ralph
Metsner and Timothy Leary said: "The mechanism of the mandala can also
be understood in term of the neurophysiology of the eye...[as] the
mandala is a depiction of the structure of the eye, the center of the
mandala corresponds to the foveal "blind spot". Since the "blind spot"
is the exit from the eye to the visual system of the brain, by going
"out" through the Center, you are going to the brain. The Yogi finds the
mandala in his own body. The mandala is an instrument for transcending
the world of visually perceived phenomena by first centering them and
turning them inward.".
The Center of the Mandala shows us then
the Center, the true city of Brahman in us. It is said in the Chandogya
Upanishad (VIII, I, 1-3): "Within the city of Brahman, which is the
body, there is the Heart, and within the heart there is a little house.
This house has a shape of a lotus, and within it dwells that which is to
be sought after, inquired about, and realized.
What then is that which dwells within this
house, the lotus of the heart?...
Even so large as the universe outside is
the universe within the lotus of the heart. Within it are heaven and
earth, the sun, the moon, the lightning and the stars. Whatever is in
macrocosm is in this microcosm... Though old age comes to the body, the
lotus of the heart does not grow old. It does not die with the death of
the body. The lotus of the heart, where Brahman resides with all his
glory - that, and not the body is the true city of Brahman."
Where we can find this Center in our body?
As I have said many times in this book, this Center can be found in the
middle of our brain and it is called Ni Wan Gong (Nê Hoàn Cung), or the
If the Third Ventricle is the immobile
Center in our body, and is the residence of the One, where is then the
Zodiac, where all the phenomena roll in our body? Chinese people called
it the Ren Channel (Nhâm), an imaginary Channel in the mid-section of
the thorax and the abdomen, and the Du Channel (Đốc Mạch) running
through the spinal column.
The Ren Channel (Nhâm Mạch) starts at
Chengjiang (Thừa Tương), in the depression in the center of the
mentolabial groove. It corresponds to Cancer. It finishes at the point
Huiyin (Hội Âm), in the Center of the perineum and corresponds to
The Du Channel (Đốc Mạch) starts at the
point Changqiang (Trường Cường), midway between the coccyx and the anus.
It corresponds to Capricorn. It finishes at Mouth-Yinjiao (Khẩu Ngận
Giao), between the upper lip and the upper labial gingiva, in the
frenulum of the upper lip. It corresponds to Gemini.
Taoists and Indian Yogi used these two
channels to practice the medullar respiration (respiration through the
spinal column), where expiration passes through Ren Channel (Nhâm Mạch),
and inspiration passes through the spinal column (Đốc Mạch). Indian
Yogis called this practice the opening of the Kundalini.
Once we know the meaning of Yantras and
Mandalas, we do not worry as to their structure. We don't care if they
are made of triangles, spheres, or circles, or lotuses. We have to note
anyhow, that "at the periphery of the figure are four T-Shaped portals
at the four cardinal directions and known as cosmic doors because it is
through them that the aspirant symbolically enters the cosmic
force-field. Pointers directing towards the interior of a yantra, the
portals are an initiatory threshold which simultaneously opposes the
phenomenal and embraces the Noumenal."
Besides Mandalas and Yantras, the Four
Elements are frequently used in the Artistic Language.
As we have seen, that the Four Elements in
the West are Fire, Water, Air and Earth, and are represented by four
stars or four beasts (Taurus: Aldebaran, Man or Aquarius = Fomalhaut,
Leo = Regulus, Scorpio or Eagle = Antares).
Afterwards, The Four Elements stand for
the Four Evangelists:
Taurus stands for Luc
Man stands for Matthew
Leo stands for Marc
Eagle stands for John.
The Four Elements can be fused in One
Sphinx, as seen in Ezekiel. Ezekiel in the vision that he had by the
river Chebar, saw four sphinxes, each of them with four faces: "As for
the likeness of their faces, they four had the faces of a man, and the
face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox
on the left side; they four also had the face of one eagle." (Ezekiel.
The Four Elements appear again in
Revelation, 4:6: "And the first beast was like a lion, and the second
beast like a calf, and the third beast has a face as a man, and the
fourth beast was like a flying eagle."
The Yi Jing gives to
Spring, or to Wood (Air) the Green color.
It gives to Summer or to
Fire the Red color.
It gives to Autumn or to
Metal the White color
It gives to Winter or to
Water the Black color
The Yi Jing disposes the Tai Ji (Thái
Cực) or the Summum Unum in the Center, the Yin and the Yang also called
the Moon and the Sun in the second layer, and the Four Elements in the
third layer. Now, if we like to reach the Tai Ji (Thái Cực), we must go
from the outer layer to the innermost. Strangely enough, the Revelation
talked about the Breaking of the Seven Seals, and the order of these
seals are as follows (Rev. 6: 1-17):
In the first Seal, we see a White horse;
in the second, a Red horse; in the third, a Black horse; in the fourth,
a Pale horse; in the sixth, we see crisis in the Sun and the Moon; in
the seventh, we see the coming of God... In Zechariah, we see again the
vision of the Four Chariots driven by for kinds of horses: Red, Black,
White and Bay. (Zek. 6: 3,4)
The Four Elements or the Four Beasts are
fused in one to form the Egyptian Sphinx (Gizeh Sphinx), the Greek
Sphinx and especially the Assyrian Sphinx.
The four elements sometimes are replaced
by the sacred word INRI.
The Four Beasts used by Oriental people
are the Green Dragon (Thanh Long), the Red Pheasant (Chu Tước), the
White Tiger (Bạch Hổ) and the Black Warrior (Huyền Vũ) They can be also:
Dragon (Long), Unicorn (Ly), Eagle (Phụng), Tortoise (Qui).
In Indian physiology, we see that Chakras
are disposed in the spinal column, from the densest to the less dense:
1. the Muladhara (Chakra
Earth) at the plexus sacro-coccygeal.
2. the Svadhishthana
(Chakra Water) at the plexus sacral.
3. the Manipura (Chakra
Fire) at the solar plexus).
4. the Anahata (Chakra
Air) at the Cardiac plexus).
5. the Vishudha (Chakra
Ether) at the region of the throat.
6. the Ajna (Chakra in the
middle of the eyebrows). It equates to the third Eye.
These six Chakras are called seats of
Shahti, or of the Yin Deity
7. the last Chakra is called the
Shahasrara, at the top of the head. It is called the seat of Shiva, or
of the Yang Deity.
The Shahasrara is also the meeting point
of God and man.
The Tarot, used mostly in divination, has
78 cards. 22 are considered as major arcana. 56 remaining cards are
called minor arcana or People Cards and are divided in four suits or
elements: 16 are called the Swords (Air) suit. 16 are called the Wands
(fire) suit. 16 are called the Cups (Water) suit. 16 are called the
Discs (Earth) suit.
The Tarot proclaims also the Monistic
Robert Wang, author of the Cabalistic
Tarot, wrote: "The chances are good that most readers of this book are
disillusioned with both organized religion and science. Neither seems to
provide the insight into our human condition demanded by an increased
and world-wide sophistication. We have learned so much through the
wonders of technology and modern communications, that the explanations
of our fathers appear more placebo than panacea.... Esoteric tradition,
as represented by the Tarot, makes some very basic statement about man
and the nature of the Universe which is his ultimate environment. It
says that there is a perfect order which one has the capacity to
perceive, and that there is no such things as an accident. For
every movement of every leaf on every tree is a reason, and every
movement of everything is inter-related. Separateness is a myth. We are
all part of one great unity.
These principles have been expressed for
thousands of years, and in thousands of way. And somehow, as expressed,
they are always so simple. The concept that All is One, and we are All
has a certain poetry in this. It may strike a deep-rooted chord and then
be quickly forgotten..."
Tarot teaches people to develop a
conscious awareness of, and contact with, an innermost spiritual nature
which is the essence of God. And Tarot, then, become a means of
self-exploration, and can lead us to a mystical life...
Lévi (Éliphas) was among the first to
declare that the Tarot was more than merely a quaint device for telling
fortune, and that it was virtually the key to all occult science.
The Four Elements have their own property
Fire is Hot.
Earth is Cold.
Air is Dry.
Water is Humid.
These four fundamental properties, are
mingled with each other to produce properties of everything in the
Men were divided in the past into:
Sanguine (Hot + Humid)
Lymphatic (Cold + Humid)
Bilious (Dry + Hot)
Nervous (Dry + Cold).
The Four Elements show that East and West
have the same conception about the creation of the world, and of man. We
must restore these antique notions and the uniqueness of our own
The Four Elements lead us to talk about
the Swastika and the Cross: We see that the Swastika has four wings that
can be rotated. It represents the world rotating around a fixed point in
the middle. The Swastika was not only the symbol of Buddhism, but it was
much more ancient than Buddhism. We see it in the digging of
Mohenjo-Daro in West-Pakistan, or in Samarra, north of Bagdad. We find
it also in many Catholic cathedrals and in many Catholic pieces of Art.
We find it for instance in the Nativity Basilic of Bethlehem, in the
napkin covering the altar of Heilegen-Grabe church (Germany), in the
church Sainte Marie des Champs, in Soest (Germany), in a painting in a
church at Dalby (South Swede), or in a bell in the Church Utterslev,
The Swastika appears frequently in the
catacombs signifying Christ as the power of the world. In Greece, it is
an attribute of Zeus. Among Asian Moslems, the Swastika denotes the four
cardinal directions and control of the four seasons by angels. In Rome,
it is the symbol of Jupiter Tonans and Pluvius...
There are two forms of Swastikas, one
having four corners turning to the left, and one having four corners
turning to the right. One is clockwise, and the other is anti-clockwise,
one is lucky and the other is unlucky.
The Cross is also an universal symbol. The
oldest Cross is now kept in the British Museum under the No 89.128. It
is made in the dynasty of Kassite, in Babylone, around 1746 B.C. and
1171 B.C. It is a world center and therefore a point of communication
between heaven and earth and a cosmic axis, thus sharing the symbolism
of the cosmic tree, mountain, pillar, ladder etc It is dualism in nature
and the union of opposites and represents spiritual union and the
integration of man's soul in the horizontal- vertical aspects necessary
to full life. It is Supreme Identity. The Cross is the figure of man at
full stretch. It represents also the four rivers of Paradise flowing
from the root of the Tree of Life. It comprises the cardinal axes; the
quaternary under its dynamic aspects; the quincunx, the four elements of
the world united at the fifth point, the Center.
It is worth noting that the four branches
of the Cross must be equal.
The four branches of the Cross symbolize
four directions of the sky (North, South, East, West), the four angles
of the astrological theme (AS, DS, FC, MC), the four sunny seasons, the
four Royal Stars that marks in ancient Egypt, the commencement of the
four seasons: Aldebaran (The Taurus's Eye), Regulus (The Lion's Heart),
Antares (The Scorpio's Heart) and Fomalhaut (The Mouth of the Southern
Fish - Aquarius). The Christ's message is transmitted through four
Evangelists John, Matthew, Mark and Luke, with difference in nature
symbolized by The Eagle, The Man, The Leo, and the Ox. St Irenaeus first
established this correspondence, and connects them to the four regions
of the world, and to the four principal winds.
We see that in the Cross, in the Swastika,
or in the Four Elements, a Center is always implied. This Center is the
Summum Unum, or the Eternal around which everything evolves. This Center
is called the Quintessence, in the Four Elements.
The Four Elements, and their quintessence
can be erected into temples, such as the temple of Koumboum in Gyantse
Louis Lallement thus wrote about the
Quintessence: "One can observe that all the ancient cosmogonies present
the world as made up of four Elements: fire, air, water and earth. They
considered "the Quintessence" not as a fifth element, but as something
belonging to an order of subtle reality intermediary between spirit and
matter, or as something like the immaterial matter of the Creation,
containing united in an original indistinction the principles of the
Generally speaking, the Quintessence
symbolizes the pure spiritual reality in relation to its quaternary
translation tarnished by expression or incarnation. The Quintessence is
similar to the Word, the Logos in comparison with the four Evangelists.
The Quintessence is not a pure symbol, it has its own reality, even
still unseizable by human senses...
As for the quaternary law in time, we have
only to remind here the four ages of humanity, the four epochs of human
life, and the four seasons in the year...".
In Antiquity, men considered high and
famous mountains as the Center of the World, as the pivot of the earth,
where heaven and earth meet together. These mountains are for instance
the Mount Kun Lun, the Fuji, the Elbrouz, The Thabor, the Olympus etc
Gradually, they considered temples and
monuments such as Jerusalem, the Pyramids, Angkor-Thom and many Hindu
Temples as Axis Mundi.
In a great temple, always we have a
Central Chamber or Cella reserved to the highest divinity, and around
which we have walls symbolizing mountains, and trenches standing for
rivers. The whole meaning is that if man likes to climb up to divinity,
he must pass by mountains, and oceans, and must endure many tribulations
If we look at art, we see that many
temples are built with Stone disposed concentrically, with the highest
divinity in the Center.
In India, there are many vestiges of stone
disposed in circle, such as in Dipaldiana.
In the Druid religion of ancient Gaul and
Britain, we see many huge stone disposed in circle such as in the
Stonehenge, and Avesbery.
Other Druid temples have also stones
disposed in circles: in the middle of them, there is a big rock,
symbolizing the Supreme Being. We see these vestiges at Y Cromlech in
Pembrochire, or at Keswich in Cumberland (England).
In Norway and Sweden, we see that temples
consecrated to Odin have 12 seats reserved to 12 principal deities and a
seat in the middle reserved for Odin. We see these vestiges at Scandia,
Zeland and Jutland.
into myths of Creation of diverse religions such as Jewish, Catholic,
Persian, Atlantes, Greek, or Hindu, we see that Paradise is in the
middle, with Four Rivers coming to it from the four corners of the
Earth. This means that Paradise comes from a Center.
In our brain, the third ventricle is in
the middle, having four arteries issuing from the Circle of Willis, and
depart to four directions. Hindus and Taoists called it the Shahasrara,
or the Ni Wan Gong (Nê Hoàn Cung), the point where God and Men meet. The
West also considered our brain was a lodging house of the divine part.
We know that many countries considered the
Center as their native land. Jewish people considered for instance Sion
as the center of the world. Pindar, Sophocles, Titus Livius, Ovid etc.
considered Athena or Delphi as the Navel, the Center of the World. Hindu
and Buddhist considered Mount Meru as the Center of the world.
Babylonian considered Babylon as the Center of the World. China
considered itself as the Center of the world, and as the most civilized
people. It considered all the surrounding countries as barbarious.
I have demonstrated that the Center of the
World is in each of us. And we can easily prove it: If we go into an
open space, in the country side for instance, in every of our steps we
will see that the horizon around us changes its limits, while we are
always in the middle of a circumference determined by our standing
We see that everywhere in the world,
ancient people try to teach us how to find the Eternal Center. And we
know that to find the Eternal Center in the midst of all turmoil is to
find God himself. The Eternal Center is then the Fountain of
Immortality. To find it is to know how to be united with God.
In so doing, we must go back into our
heart, dissipate all the clouds of concupiscence and of ignorance,
imitate Saints and Sages of all creeds.
José and Miriam Arguelles wrote:
"The good painter is wise
God is in his heart
He puts divinity into things
He converses with his own heart."
On Iranian myth, see R.C. Zaehner, The Dawn and Twilight of
Zoroastrianism, 1961, pp. 203, 248, 249. For derivation from India,
see Ibid. pp. 207-208)
Myths and Religion of the North, pp. 277-278.
Donna Roseberg, World Mythology, Passport Books, 1986, pp. 4,
Cavendish, Richard Editor, Mythology, 1980, pp. 16, 32
Encyclopedia of World Mythology, p. 24.
See also Richard Cavendish, Mythology,
pp. 59, 60, 62, 64.
Mr. Sénard, Le Zodiaque, Clef de l'Ontologie appliquéeà la Psychologie,
Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, p. 171.
C. G. Jung, Psychology and Alchemy. Chapter the Materia, pp 304-
C. G. Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, p. 97.
Ibid. p. 309.
Eurel, Les Origines de la Genese, p. 128.
Needham, Science and Civilisation in
China, Vol. III, p. 262)
Holy Bible, King James Version, Ecclesiastes, IV, 1-8. p. 544.
Richard Maurice Bucke, M.D., Cosmic Consciousness New York, E. P.
Dutton and Company, Inc. Publishers, 1901, p. 81.
Boshius, Ars Symbolica 127, Symbol CXII, Class I, Tab. VII.
Ibid. p. 8.
José and Miriam Arguelles, Mandala, Shambhala: Bouler and London,
1972, p. 13
Madhu Khanna, Yantra, Thames and Hudson, 1979, p. 33.
Arthur Avalon, translated by Charles Vachot, La Puissance du Serpent
(The Serpent power), Lyon, Paul Derain, 128 Rue Vauban, 1959, p.
Louis Lallement. La Vocation de l'Occident, p. 24.
Machey's revised encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 787.
Ibid. p. 787.
Ibid. p. 787.
Ibid. p. 787.
C.G. Jung, Psychology and Alchemy, p. 127.
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