chinese philosophy

“At the very roots of Chinese thinking and feeling there lies the principle of polarity, which is not to be confused with the ideas of opposition or conflict. In the metaphors of other cultures, light is at war with darkness, life with death, good with evil, and the positive with the negative, and thus an idealism to cultivate the former and be rid of the latter flourishes throughout much of the world. To the traditional way of Chinese thinking, this is as incomprehensible as an electric current without both positive and negative poles, for polarity is the principle that + and -, north and south, are different aspects of one and the same system, and that the disappearance of either one of them would be the disappearance of the system.” - Alan Watts

Calligraphy by me. Ink on rice paper, scanned in and cleaned up digitally.
(I still have to practice more.)

Wu wei ( 无为) is a Chinese word which is usually translated as “non doing”. This is a Taoist concept which has found its way into mainstream Buddhism via Zen (Chan). It is a fundamental principle in Eastern cultures and one which mystifies and at times frustrates Westerners.

The idea is that there are times when the best action is no action. We can best deal with a situation by not reacting to it. This is alien to most Westerners who feel that a reaction is always necessary. With wu wei we are as the water when it meets the stone in the river. It flows around without directly opposing the stone. Wu wei. The water way.

Wu wei wu(无为无), alternatively is essentially ‘doing non doing” or “action without action” Bruce Lee talks on this during an interview when we instructs those to “be like water”. 

“The Sage is occupied with the unspoken and acts without effort.’

– Laozi, The Tao Te Ching, chapter 2

2

Can we talk a little about the Miraculouses and the Wu Xing? Because I think there’s a potential connection here that people aren’t really exploring.

The Wu Xing cycle is one of both generation and destruction, which means that each element can give way to another element (Earth > Metal > Water > Wood > Fire) and yet can also be destroyed by an opposing element (Fire > Metal > Wood > Earth > Water)

The above is the closest guess I can wager as to which miraculous represents which element, mostly based on the fact that Water is the Element of Fluidity and Change, which suits the Butterfly and Nooroo’s power, and Earth is the Element of Stability and Discipline, which seems to describe Wayzz pretty well. 

If I’m right then that means the alignment basically goes as follows-

Butterfly- Water
Represents- Change/Creativity
Empowers- Wood/Fox
Overpowers- Fire/Bee

Fox- Wood
Represents- Growth/Exploration
Empowers- Fire/Bee
Overpowers- Earth/Turtle

Bee- Fire
Represents- Passion/Energy
Empowers- Earth/Turtle
Overpowers- Metal/Peacock

Turtle- Earth
Represents- Stability/Discipline
Empowers- Metal/Peacock
Overpowers- Water/Butterfly

Peacock- Metal
Represents- Determination/Self-Reliance
Empowers- Water/Butterfly
Overpowers- Wood/Fox

And another thing to understand is that each of these five element possesses within it the capability to be either yin or yang. Even yin and yang themselves have elements of one another in them, which is how we get an unlucky clumsy bakery girl blessed with loving friends and family and a famous boy from beauty, wealth and prestige who spends his days alone and isolated.

or, in regards to the Miraculouses themselves we get ‘Yang’, or Transformations for Light;

and ‘Yin,’ the Transformations for Darkness;

And any miraculous is equally capable of making one or the other, depending on who wields it. 

Just a little something to chew on while we wait for season 2.

The Stonecutter

“Everyone is special, you know. […] No matter how Useful we may be, sometimes it takes us a while to recognize our own value. This can be illustrated by the Chinese story of The Stonecutter.

There was once a stonecutter who was dissatisfied with himself and with his position in life.

One day, he passed a wealthy merchant’s house and through the open gateway saw many fine possessions and important visitors. “How powerful that merchant must be!” thought the stonecutter. He became very envious, and wished that he could be like the merchant. Then he would no longer have to live the life of a mere stonecutter.

To his great surprise, he suddenly became the merchant, enjoying more luxuries and power than he had ever dreamed of, envied and detested by those less wealthy than himself. But soon a high official passed by, carried in a sedan chair, accompanied by attendants, and escorted by soldiers beating gongs. Everyone, no matter how wealthy, had to bow low before the procession. “How powerful that official is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a high official!”

Then he became the high official, carried everywhere in his embroidered sedan chair, feared and hated by the people all around, who had to bow down before him as he passed. It was a hot summer day, and the official felt very uncomfortable in the sticky sedan chair. He looked up at the sun. It shone proudly in the sky, unaffected by his presence. “How powerful the sun is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be the sun!”

Then he became the sun, shining fiercely down on everyone, scorching the fields, cursed by the farmers and labourers. But a huge black cloud moved between him and the earth, so that his light could no longer shine on everything below. “How powerful that storm cloud is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a cloud!”

Then he became the cloud, flooding the fields and villages, shouted at by everyone. But soon he found that he was being pushed away by some great force, and realized that it was the wind. “How powerful it is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be the wind!”

Then he became the wind, blowing tiles off the roofs of houses, uprooting trees, hated and feared by all below him. But after a while, he ran up against something that would not move, no matter how forcefully he blew against it – a huge, towering stone. “How powerful that stone is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a stone!”

Then he became the stone, more powerful than anything else on earth. But as he stood there, he heard the sound of a hammer pounding a chisel into the solid rock and felt himself being changed. “What could be more powerful than I, the stone?” he thought. He looked down and saw far below him the figure of a stonecutter.”

- The Tao of Pooh, Benjamin Hoff

Life is full of suffering, and its chief purpose is pleasure. There is no god and no after-life; men are the helpless puppets of the blind natural forces that made them, and that gave them their unchosen ancestry and their inalienable character. The wise man will accept this fate without complaint, but will not be fooled by all the nonsense of Confucius and Mozi about inherent virtue, universal love, and a good name: morality is a deception practised upon the simple by the clever; universal love is the delusion of children, who do not know the universal enmity that forms the law of life; and a good name is a posthumous bauble which the fools who paid so dearly for it cannot enjoy. In life the good suffer like the bad, and the wicked seem to enjoy themselves more keenly than the good.
—  Yang Zhu, 440–360 BC.
I don’t think Descartes was as smart as Leibniz. Leibniz was smarter than anybody—maybe anybody who ever lived. I don’t know about the guys on the other side of the pacific—the Chinese, the Indians—but from our guys, on our team, it’s hard to find anybody as smart as Leibniz. On the other hand, that may be why almost everything he said was false.
—  Philosophy of Mind professor
If you know how to watch yourself, gazing inwardly you see no mind, gazing outwardly you see no body. Since mind and body are not there, who is it that suffers illness? Who is it that is not ill? If you can see clearly, you will spontaneously be unburdened.
—  Anthology on the Cultivation of Realization. Author, Unknown. Ming Dynasty (China) 1368-1644