Excerpt from Step 5: Life plus Heart

Selection from Characteristic Representation

To many people, the body and mind rarely engage in conscious communication. The mind wanders externally in its personal and social way, while the body maintains its biological process internally. The wandering mentality arises within, but its goal is not geared toward internal transformation; rather, it facilitates the wandering process. The mind wonders along its wandering way, taking steps with no focal point. The gate of heaven remains blocked, but the gates of wondering are never closed. Finally, the life force is extinguished before connecting with the spiritual root -- the inner and unconditonal love. This spiritual root represents the cosmic light and wisdom fire, as well.

This defines precisely the meaning of Laoist fifth character. Whether the mind leaps ahead or the body marches forward, they should never be separated. The mind should exalt the sacred position of the body. Although the body is temporary and illusive to the spiritual body of universe, the mind should retain its humbleness within. The body should grind the fire down ot its root with its heavy earthly entity. Even though the mind continues to ignite the firing ball containing the conscious sparks from the sun, the body should preserve her precious holy water -- the primoridal yang Qi -- in order to unfiy the light within. The body contains the blue and creamy Qi within the black valley. The mind invites the red and golden Qi within the white Cosmos.

In spiritual practice, the body-minded action is essentially about obeying oneself first, foremost, and continuously through surrendering to one's pure intention and conscious effort. This action then represents the purest form of the integration of the body as a vehicle, the mind as conscious soul, and the spirit as the divine inspiration. The five organic and emotional Qi become spiritual and unconditional love Qi. The trinity of body, soul, and spirit will become one Qi of life force.

The meaning of this fifth character is clearly illustrated in the Tao Te Ching. It says:

"Donning the spirit and soul, and drawing them into Oneness, can this come apart?
Gathering in Qi and making the body supple, is this not an infant?
Being clear-headed and eliminating any mystic vision, can a speck exist?
Loving the people and governing the country, is this not inactive?
Opening and closing the Gate of Heaven, is this not the female?
Comprehending the four corners of the world, is this not knowledge?
(~ Lao Tzu, 10:1)

These 6 sentences unify the six realms of the world, the hexagonal prisms of I Ching's crystal structural formation. The first 3 sentences deal with the godly or masculine nature, while the last 3 sentences express the goddess or feminine nature. The duality of the triangular functioning becomes the oneness. Body and mind are one single, complete entity.

Practically speaking, this character demonstrates how to experience life consciously without separating the mental awareness from the physical operation; how to live fully without discriminating between what the mind intends and the body executes; how to interact the life selflessly by treating it with understanding and acceptance. As a result, the literal meanings of this character are:

  1. "to be with the situation of presence, not the present situation;
  2. to reach the state of longevity, not to come to grips with the boundaries of life;
  3. to enter the condition of immortality, not to be judged by the historical calculation of longevity."

To be with is to be grounded. To reach is to walk through the pilgrimage. To enter is to sit in the embryonic cosmic state of consciousness.


Our immortality enables the spiritual mind to return to its own place in the universe, its own reality. It is not about the repetition of a mental idea or a physical display. It is about the ever-present cosmic light, the forever shifting of the spiritual wind, and the eternal trust of the heartless soul. We will discuss this further by illustrating with the words of Laoism, "To die, but not be forgotten, is to be immortal." (33:2) in Chapters 12 and 13.

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