It’s interesting how modern science is beginning to understand what the Chinese have understood for thousands of years. Western science comes up with the startling theory that we are all made up of electrons and if you keep getting down to the basics of matter you get energy. And doctors find our body is wired with nerves that carry electricity throughout. The Chinese knew this thousands of years ago. They call this electrical energy chi and have created thousands of chi kung (energy work) exercises to strengthen and manipulate it.

Likewise, Bill Bryson discusses what existed before the Big Bang in his excellent book, “A Short History of Nearly Everthing”. He calls what existed before the Big Bang a “singularity”:

“It is natural but wrong to visualize the singularity as a kind of pregnant dot hanging in a dark, boundless void. But there is no space, no darkness. The singularity has no around around it. There is no space for it to occupy, no place for it to be. We can’t even ask how long it has been there — whether it has just lately popped into being, like a good idea, or whether it has been there for ever, quietly awaiting the right moment. Time doesn’t exist. There is no past for it to emerge from.
“And so, from nothing, our universe begins.”

And so, from nothing our tai chi begins.

From Chen Pan Ling’s Tai Chi Textbook:

“Tai chi chuan is one kind of Chinese martial arts. Why did we name this martial art tai chi chuan? We knew that Chinese culture was rooted in the Book of Changes (I Ching). This book discusses yin and yang and the natural phenomena of creation within the universe. We Chinese call these phenomena of spontaneous creativity Tao. We arbitrarily call that which has no name, no form, no tracks, no image to be seen Tao. From Tao beget One, One begets Two, and Two beget everything. Tao has no limits, but it is also Void (Hsu Kung). Oneness is Tai Chi and Twoness is yin and yang. Void, also called Wu Chi, changes to Tai Chi. When Tai Chi moves, it generates yin and yang. When yin and yang separate, they produce the creatures, plants, and all that form the universe.”

“From Void (Wu Chi) Comes Tai Chi.”

And finally, the void (lower case kung) is also “the emptiness into which you deflect your opponent during combat or training”.

This is the point you want to put yourself in before you start to practice. The void. Relax. Empty your mind. Find your balance point. As Master Chen says, “Void leads spirit to top of head”.

-David True