Tao & Tai Chi are 2 similar concepts used by ADNH theory & Drum’s Law to refer to the Absolute that other civilizations & religions call with different names such as God, Allah, Bhagavan, Elohim, Brahman, Shiva etc.
Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching said “The Tao which can be called, is not the Absolute Tao. The name that can be called, is not the absolute name”1Nguyễn Hiến Lê: Lão tử – Đạo Đức kinh.Nxb Văn học – 1993. Jesus Christ told “I and my father are one … My father is greater than me”. And the metaphor in the image “Buddha finger points to the moon“, all indicate the limitation of the senses & language applied for the recognition & expression of Tao.
“I Ching” talks about the Tao through 2 sentences in the Ten Wings: “One Yin & One Yang is Tao” & “I Ching has Tai Chi, Tai Chi gives birth to Yin Yang, Yin Yang to Four Statues, Four Statues to Eight Trigrams”2Nguyễn Hiến Lê: Kinh Dịch Đạo Của Người Quân Tử, NXB Hồng Đức.
Tao, Tai Chi on the Drum
Drum does not speak & does not write. It is a wordless sutra. It expresses Tao by just the images, figures, numbers, Biểu thị năng lượng của quái bằng số thập phân, thông qua số nhị phân. Represents the energy of the trigram in decimal, through the binary number.... More, proportions, relationships, angles & motions.
The entire drum & its diagrams express & illustrate Tao & Tai Chi.
According to the Drum, Tao is like the Sun, an infinite source of the lights both spiritual & physical shining everywhere. The Tao or Source generates vibrations, one turns into two, three & countless ones that form the infinite number of circles.
The vibrations & circles intertwine, interfere, entrain & resonate with each other to give birth to, encompass, shelter & also be the boundary for everything. Nothing can be outside Tao.
Even though, there are 16 concentric circles on the Drum’s surface, only One Hidden Circle in the very Center of the ring No. 1, where yin and yang blend & merge into an undifferentiated One.
Thus, Tao is One. Tao is the totality that gives birth to & holds all things. Tao is everything but not anything concrete. Reduced to the irreducible, Tao consists of 3 parts: Yin, Yang and Center or Tao is 3 combined into 1.
Speaking of Yin and Yang, we already know that the 14 black going out rays represent Yin in motion & are called Yang Qi. In contrast, the 14 returning figures are Yang in action & call Yin Qi. The most important point is that Yin Qi carries all the images or information of everything, which is the Bát quái Hà thư là Bát quái phối với số của Hà Thư. 8 trigrams related to the numbers of Ha Thu.... More.
Yin – Yang, Yang Qi – Yin Qi, Going Out – Returning, Qi – Information … are all Yin Yang pairs present in the Tao. Thus, Tao is the total, the synergy & the whole of all opposites & contradictions. So, is the Tao an effect or a cause?
Round No. 1 is the innermost circle. There is also a HIDDEN CIRCLE within it. The meaning that Drum wants to convey is clear, Tao is the cause or source or “I Ching has Tai Chi, Tai Chi gives birth to Yin Yang …”. Moreover, Yin coming out or Qi Yang proves that the Dao acts & its action contains the information, the intention & purpose. Thus, the Qi Yang is not unconscious but carries within it the entire information of everything. That information or knowing is often called consciousness. In short, Tao is the Conscious Energy.
In other words, the Center or the Tao is not passive but actively participates and plays a decisive role in the process of the birth of all things, starting from Yin & Yang.
Thanks to such a position & role, Tao is beyond & transcends all & everything. That is why Tao is capable to master & balance Yin & Yang, representing all the opposites but inseparable, mutual & complementary.
Tao, Tai Chi in Action
The S-law is the expression of Tao in action & covers all things that people have often talked about Tao & I Ching such as:
“One Yin & one Yang is Tao;
I Ching is Exchange, correspondence, reciprocity of Yin and Yang;
I Ching is changes, yin and yang are both dynamic & change all the time following certain orders & rules;
I Ching is unchanged with regards to the law of changes;
I Ching is cyclic & reflexive”3Nguyễn Hiến Lê: Kinh Dịch Đạo Của Người Quân Tử, NXB Hồng Đức.
The S-law is a spiral motion including golden angle spirals, which means that evolution & progress requires a returning to receive feedback, to have self-awareness, and ideally to recognize Tao.
The drum emphasizes but not solely returning, because Tao is never one-sided. Tao is inclusive & transcendent: returning to awaken self-consciousness, go out to create, and the Center to reconcile all the opposites. The goal is the Great harmony: with oneself, with others, with earth, with heaven & with Tao.
Tao of Great Harmony
The purpose of great harmony pervades the Drum through the image of heaven, earth, animals & people that form the groups & pairs moving counterclockwise around the center in a space filled with sound, light, rhythm, joy & festival spirit in every action, whether it is to work, rest, live, play, sacrifice & even to fight.