Qi or Chi

An astronomer and a flute player are talking about how they see the world.

The astronomer says “I see the world as a creative process that began with a big bang and is unfolding through time in a creative and exploratory way.”

The flute player says “I see the world in exactly the same way, and I try to play the flute as a way of collaborating with the creativity of the wind and hills and rivers.”

They go to a museum and see a Chinese landscape painting. Beneath the painting there is a description of the landscape.

The description says: “The hills and rivers, trees and stars are all expressions of a continuous creativity called qi(气).”

The astronomer says “I study the mathematical properties of qi(气).”

The flute player says “I play the musical qualities of qi(气).”

They go drink tea together and note that the tea, too, contains qi(气)

– A spiritual story from China

Central to Taoist world-view and practice is qi (chi). Literally, the word qi means “breath,” or ‘air”, but figuratively, qi is life-force/energy.

It is the vibratory nature of phenomena — the flow and tremoring that is happening continuously at molecular, atomic and sub-atomic levels.


Painting: Google Image