2.1 Treaty of Zhang San Feng, to realize the Tao

Treaty of Zhang San Feng, to realize the Tao through martial arts


Before the creation of heaven and earth, natural law (Li) already existed. Natural law controls the yin and yang of chi.

(Drawing on the right, representing the Law of LI).

Through the control of natural law, heaven and earth came into existence, with the Tao in their midst. Yin and yang direct the movement of the tao of chi, and therefore the interaction of opposites occurs. The interaction of opposites is yin and yang, duality, number. A yin and a yang constitute the Nameless Tao, the Tao is the beginning of heaven and earth; when given a name, the Tao is the mother of all things. Before the creation of heaven and earth there was the infinite, the unnameable; after the creation of heaven and earth, the infinite appeared, which has a name. What preceded the creation of heaven and earth was called natural law; what followed the creation of heaven and earth was called motherhood. This is the transformation of natural law.

Before creation yin-yang, chi, and number were born from the mother; after creation the eggs develop in the watery environment of the womb. Situated between heaven and earth and sustaining all life, the Tao acts harmoniously. Therefore, Chien and Kun are the main father and mother and belong to the prenatal sphere; our biological parents are secondary parents and belong to the postnatal sphere. Receiving the yin and yang and prenatal and postnatal chi when we come into the world, this is the beginning of human life. By coming to this world, the human being receives life, intrinsic nature and reason from his main parents, and the ching, blood and body of his secondary parents. By combining the body and life of our prenatal and postnatal origins, we become a human being. If we want to form a triad with heaven and earth, can we afford to lose the root of our intrinsic nature?

If we are able to act in accordance with our intrinsic nature, we will not lose the root. Since we have not lost our original nature, how could we lose the direction of our physical bodies? If we want to find our direction, we must first know where we come from. Knowing our origin we will find the way because the means are certainly at hand. But what are the means? They are simply our own innate knowledge and ability.

It doesn’t matter if you are smart or foolish, virtuous or otherwise, everyone can use their innate knowledge and abilities to access the Tao. By being able to cultivate the Tao and understanding our origins, we will understand the direction we should take. If we know our origins and direction, we must understand personal development. Therefore it is said that from the emperor to ordinary people, everyone uses personal development as a basis. But what should we do about personal development? It is at the base of innate wisdom and abilities. From the vision of our eyes and the hearing of our ears we get sharpness and clarity. The hands move naturally and the feet rest on the ground.

We are endowed with both martial and spiritual abilities. That is why we must extend our knowledge and investigate the world, so that our thoughts are sincere and our hearts pure. The mind rules the body and consequently we must rectify the mind and make our hearts sincere.

The feet run through the “Five Elements” the hands express the eight trigrams. When the hands and feet carry out the “four images” and their different applications, our innate abilities return to their origin. When our eyes perceive the “three units” and our ears hear the “six ways”, the eyes and ears carry out the “four forms” and. combining its essence into one, our own innate wisdom returns to its roots. The ears and eyes, hands and feet, divided into pairs, are like yin and yang, and their union in one is like Tai-chi (1). Thus the external is concentrated in the internal and the internal is expressed externally. In this way we develop the internal and the external, the fine and the rough, and with penetrating understanding, we make the work of sensible and wise men a reality. Intelligence and knowledge, wisdom and immortality, this is what it means to fulfill our intrinsic nature and establish life. There is the perfection of spirit and divine transformation.

The way of heaven and the way of humanity is simply sincerity.

(1). It refers to the Supreme Principle (N. of T.).

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