Facing South

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: Facing South

Postby GrahamB on Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:36 am

Are you saying you are not a Jedi?
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Re: Facing South

Postby wiesiek on Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:50 am

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has the special name in any given language/discussion.
Right?
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Re: Facing South

Postby GrahamB on Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:32 am

Image
While having drinks with Tibor Kalman one night, he told me, “When you make something no one hates, no one fucking loves it.” Bollocks to Brexit.
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Re: Facing South

Postby LaoDan on Wed Aug 07, 2019 7:21 am

It is human nature to be wary of the unknown, for good reason since the unknown can easily conceal dangers. It is also human nature to attempt to explain unknown things in order to ease our discomfort. Rituals also comfort people because it is a repetition of something that is familiar. But none of that means that we understand things as they actually are.

Explanations of the unknown often become cultural rituals, and traditions are tied into theoretical frameworks that incorporate numerous individual rituals. This is human nature. It is also human nature to yield to our egos in the ways that we attribute cultural superiority over others who do not share our specific culture. Ego corrupts the actual truth. Our egos drive us to want to discover secrets so that we can be superior people. But usually this becomes merely ACTING superior.

But the explanations underlying most rituals do not really explain things as they actually are. They are typically only based on guessing at the unknown. The Chinese culture seems to me to be historically very superstitious and ritualistic. Therefore I am rather skeptical of the explanations behind Chinese rituals. There are often some truths hidden underneath the ancient information, but it is not easy to parse out. If different cultures manage to exist perfectly fine without the rituals and explanations of unknown things given by different cultures, then those rituals and explanations are likely to be unimportant outside of their specific cultural environment.

For example, if a culture is unaware that the Earth is round and is constantly spinning as well as rotating around the sun, and attributes the unknown of Heaven to the up direction, then it is easy to understand why temples are built on mountain tops, or that steeples are put on churches. But that does not really mean that god(s) or other heavenly attributes are actually in that (fixed) up direction. We know now that that up direction is constantly changing in relation to the rest of the universe, yet we persist in various cultures in assigning Heaven to the up direction relative to our own local perspective.

The pole star is the one location in the heavens (in the northern hemisphere of Earth) that seems to maintain its position while the other stars (constellations) move from season to season. It is human nature to assign special importance to the constant item within the changing unknown. But this does not mean that the pole star (or Big Dipper) has any real significance. It does not even mean that there is a real relationship among the stars that make up constellations. However, magnetic north on our planet, though it moves slowly and imperceptibly to our innate senses, seems to be a constant presence (although there is evidence for pole switching at various times in history). So, it is possible that magnetic north of Earth could be of some influence on humans (could this be the parsed out information underlying the speculations and rituals concerned with the pole star?).

Unfortunately, it is also human nature to self-deceive. We often cannot differentiate between what we wish or believe to be true, and what the actual truth is. People can come to believe many things that are not true, and have experiences that one’s brain interprets as support for those untruths. How can we really know?

If something requires belief (or the milder form of dedicated practice) before “getting it”, then how do we know that we are not just programming our minds to experience something that is not actually real? Is it good enough to think that it COULD be real? Can we trust past practitioners who have a strong belief in the rituals and practices? If it deals with the unknown, can we ever really know?

So far it seems to me that facing south is more ritualistic than it is substantive. But there could be SOMETHING underlying it. For me it is in the realm of the unknown. I admit my ignorance. However, I have not encountered substantial increases in skills or abilities, from those who follow the ritual of facing south, over those who do not. If there is a benefit, then it appears to me to be minimal.

What practices derive from gaining comfort over the unknown, and which actually utilize information about things as they really are?
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Re: Facing South

Postby Steve James on Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:07 am

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http://www.ancientpages.com/wp-content/ ... china2.jpg

Could someone translate the writing under the bowl handle?
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Re: Facing South

Postby D_Glenn on Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:03 pm

The spoon is carved out of a magnetic lodestone. Since the Chinese have south on the top of their maps, the handle of the spoon is always pointing towards the south, which is the Li Trigram. Opposite is kan/ north. East is the Zhen Trigram (on the bottom of the picture). Xun opposite in the West.
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Re: Facing South

Postby Steve James on Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:09 pm

Since the Chinese have south on the top of their maps, the handle of the spoon is always pointing towards the south, which is the Li Trigram.


Wouldn't it be the other way around? I.e., the handle of the spoon points in a direction. If we put that same device on a western compass, would the writing below read south or north?

I'm asking because of the Earth's spin --which affects the effect of the magnetic field. For ex., how do we describe the "north" pole of a planet, say Mars? If you hold your right fist out with the thumb sticking up, the thumb points north and clockwise (twisting in a light bulb) is the direction of spin. So, my question is just to confirm that, by south, the Chinese system meant the opposite of what the west calls north.

Think of it as potential feng shui for astronauts. :)

Just a clarification:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nhmJPMi4FU
Last edited by Steve James on Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Facing South

Postby D_Glenn on Wed Aug 07, 2019 3:34 pm

It’s how they carved the spoon. The handle of the spoon is the part that’s not magnetized, the head of the spoon is what’s orienting itself to the magnetic north pole. The Chinese were more interested in finding what direction was south.
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Re: Facing South

Postby Steve James on Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:03 pm

They couldn't have known which direction was "south." You mean that they were interested in (used) the direction in which the handle pointed. It can be called anything. On another note, though, the other type of compass, that uses a floating magnetized pin will point in the direction of the magnetized part. Btw, do you happen to have one of those old compasses? I'd like to see where the magnet was.

Anyway, I'm only trying to point out that, if the Chinese put the south at the top, that is the direction they mean by "to the front." I.e., if we superimpose one compass system over the other, their south points in the direction of western north. When the word for the direction was created, it was not translated into English. So, at some point, an English speaker asked "which direction is the handle or spoon pointing?" and the Chinese speaker pointed to one direction of the other. "Oh, we call that South." For feng shui, this is probably important. For doing the form, or starting the form, I'm more of the mind that it just means to the front.
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Re: Facing South

Postby D_Glenn on Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:39 pm

I don’t really understand what you’re getting at. Do a search for ‘bagua compass’. My friend had one but we didn’t mess around with the spoon. It’s kind of fragile. By design it would actually be kinda hard to have the magnetized end be the smaller handle. It wouldn’t spin as good or be weighted correctly as it’s spinning. Think a needle in a cork. One end of the needle is magnetized and points north, while the other end of the needle points to the south.

North is north, south is south. In Chinese and Western world.

South is the direction of the equator, more sunlight and heat, that’s why it’s associated with the Li Fire Trigram.

The north is colder, wetter, so it’s associated with the Kan Water Trigram.

.
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Re: Facing South

Postby D_Glenn on Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:43 pm

If you superimpose our compass over their’s, on a flat table, then north is north, south is south.
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Re: Facing South

Postby Steve James on Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:15 pm

South is the direction of the equator, more sunlight and heat, that’s why it’s associated with the Li Fire Trigram.


Okay, but South in Australia is South on a compass, and not in the direction of the equator. So. if you're in the Southern hemisphere, you should probably turn things around. No?

Think a needle in a cork. One end of the needle is magnetized and points north, while the other end of the needle points to the south.


Fwiw, a magnetized needle, even if the entire needle is magnetized --and not just one tip-- will align itself along the north/south magnetic poles. It's the effect of that alignment that humans could possibly respond to.

Bagua compass, and the South is on top.
Image

Western compass;
Image
https://proxy.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http ... vg.png&f=1

Put one on top of the other. I'm not saying south is different for Chinese. You omay not see my point, but the question is only why South is placed on top. The answer could simply be that they saw it as more important. One could ask why westerners put north on top. Again the needles of both compasses will align along north south magnetic lines, no matter where they are on the planet.
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Re: Facing South

Postby D_Glenn on Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:36 pm

They put south on top because that’s the way that they read maps. They stand facing south and hold the map out in front of them. And just like us. They like to hang maps up on the wall. It’s not a compass, it’s actually just part of the legend designating direction.

Fwiw. I always invert the Baguazhang, whether it be on my websites or on a t shirt. There’s no point in adding confusion to the western mind. Granted it’s hard to get past the different way to read maps. It still makes my brain hurt. But this idiotic notion that the Chinese South is actually North needs to go away.
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Re: Facing South

Postby D_Glenn on Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:45 pm

China is entirely in the Northern hemisphere so they had no need to adjust the Trigrams.
[edited]
The best indicator of direction is the Yang Trigram Zhen is in the east because that’s where the sun rises. The sun sets in the west and brings the night so it’s Yin and the Xun Wind Trigram because the wind always blows from the west. If the wind blows from the east that’s a bad sign and could mean a tornado or typhoon. So you could have a stick in the ground and mark the spot in the dirt where the end of its shadow first appears in the morning, then mark another spot where it last stops. Draw a straight line between those points and then draw another line in the center perpendicular to that line.
Last edited by D_Glenn on Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Facing South

Postby windwalker on Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:54 pm

D_Glenn wrote:China is entirely in the Northern hemisphere so they had no need to adjust the Trigrams.

The best indicator of direction is the Yang Trigram Zhen is in the east because that’s where the sun rises. The sun sets in the west and brings the night so it’s Yin and the Xun Wind Trigram because the wind always blows from the east. If the wind blows from the west that’s a bad sign and could mean a tornado or typhoon. So you could have a stick in the ground and mark the spot in the dirt where the end of its shadow first appears in the morning, then mark another spot where it last stops. Draw a straight line between those points and then draw another line in the center perpendicular to that line.




really is a very different viewpoint of looking at things.

There’s no point in adding confusion to the western mind.

"western mind" studying an eastern culture

Granted it’s hard to get past the different way to read maps. It still makes my brain hurt. But this idiotic notion that the Chinese South is actually North needs to go away.


whats in a name ?

;)

interesting as always
Last edited by windwalker on Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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