太極圖說/Taiji Tu Shuo – Taiji Diagram Explanation

無極而太極。太極動而生陽,動極而靜,靜而生陰。靜極復動。一動一靜,互為其根;分陰分陽,兩儀立焉。

Wuji becomes Taiji. Taiji moves & gives birth to Yang, movement at its extremity becomes stillness, & stillness gives birth to Yin. Stillness at its extremity returns to movement. One Movement & One Stillness, reciprocally serve as its root; distinguishing Yin & distinguishing Yang, the Liangyi establish how.

陽變陰合,而生水、火、木、金、土。五氣順布,四時行焉。五行一陰陽也,陰陽一太極也,太極本無極也。五行之生也,各一其性。無極之真,二五之精,妙合而凝。

Yang changes, Yin joins, & generates Water, Fire, Wood, Metal, & Earth. The Five Qi follow the grain, in the manner the Four Seasons progress. The Five Phases are a single Yin & Yang, Yin & Yang are a single Taiji, Taiji is rooted in Wuji. It births the Five Phases, giving each its individual nature. Wuji is real, 2 & 5 are its essence, cleverly uniting & congealing.

乾道成男,坤道成女,二氣交感,化生萬物。萬物生生,而變化無窮焉。

Qian’s principle completes the male, Kun’s principle completes the female, when the Two Qi intersect & touch, the transformation gives birth to the Ten Thousand Things. The Ten Thousand Things are born & grow, & boundless variation is how.

惟人也,得其秀而最靈。形既生矣,神發知矣,五性感動,而善惡分,萬事出矣。聖人定之以中正仁義(自注:聖人之道,仁義中正而已矣)。而主靜(自注:無欲故靜),立人極焉。故聖人與天地合其德,日月合其明,四時合其序,鬼神合其吉凶。君子修之吉,小人悖之凶。故曰:立天之道,曰陰與陽;立地之道,曰柔與剛;立人之道,曰仁與義。又曰:原始反終,故知死生之說。大哉易也,斯其至矣!

Only Humans obtain its most refined Spirit. The Form is already generated, the Shen has developed awareness, the Five Natures perceive movement, & Good & Evil are distinguished, then All Things come forth. The Sage fixes it according to Fairness, Honesty, Benevolence, & Righteousness (Personal Interjection: The Sage’s Dao is Fairness, Honesty, Benevolence, & Righteousness, & nothing more.) This results in mastering Stillness, (Personal Interjection: To lack Desire is the cause of Stillness.) establishing the polarity of Humanity. Thus, the Sage unites his Virtue with Heaven & Earth, the Sun & Moon join their Light, the Four Seasons unite in their orderly sequence, The Ghosts & Spirits unite their good & ill luck. The Gentleman cultivated it & prospers, the Petty Man rebels against it & suffers. Therefore, it is said: Establishing Heaven’s Dao, it’s called the Yin & the Yang; establishing Earth’s Dao, it’s called the Hard & the Soft; establishing Humanity’s Dao, it’s called Benevolence & Righteousness. It is also said: The Origin begins & returns to the end, it is called Knowledge of Life & Death. Great & Changeable, this is its utmost!

5 thoughts on “太極圖說/Taiji Tu Shuo – Taiji Diagram Explanation

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