The Body is a Microcosm of the Earth is a Microcosm of the Universe

by Colin Ricketts

The blood, chi. lymph, nerve impulses, cerebral fluid, etc. of the body circulates just as the substances and energy of the Earth circulate as rain, ocean currents, rivers, wind, weather, seasons, etc. Stagnant energy leads to disease, death. Where water accumulates on the surface of the earth without outlet, eventually salt seas which support little or no life forms develop. Flowing energy is cleansing, revitalizing, refreshing. Even the shifting of the Earth’s crust that brings earthquakes and volcanic activity has the positive function of bringing new mineral nutrients up to the surface of the earth . Volcanic ash becomes very fertile soil. Likewise it is important that humans discharge emotional energies. Releasing stress and tension from deep within ourselves and bringing hidden truths to the surface have revitalizing effects on our lives. In the Gospel of Thomas, one of the hidden books of the bible, Jesus said, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

The body absorbs energy from the cosmos just as the earth does-energies of the Sun, planets, the other heavenly bodies, and perhaps even more subtle energies that cannot be easily perceived. The human body is formed from the energies of the Cosmos. We can say that the body is in fact a microcosm of the macrocosm-the Universe. We do not however experience the Universe, only our perceptions and thoughts about it. However we can experience our bodies. The Universe can be known by going inward. All the energies and forces that are present in the Universe are present in out body. Our bodies are our vehicles for knowing the underlying energetic and spiritual truths of life. In fact the more clearly you experience your inner universe-the body- in both motion or stillness, the more clearly you begin to perceive life around you as it unfold. Direct inner experience of the Self, the body/mind, leads to clearer perceptions of the energies outside the Self, the Universe itself as it unfolds around you.

Over thousands of years, Taoist have explore the microcosm of the body/mind to understand how the human experience can most harmoniously exist and evolve within the macrocosm of the Earth and the Universe. We call this huge and still evolving body of human endeavor Taoist Qigong. It is the source of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chan (Zen) Meditation, martial arts training and the teachings of numerous Taoist schools with their different emphasizes on spirituality, longevity, creativity, and healing.

Within the outer temporal ever-changing physical and energetic form of the Universe (the macrocosm and the microcosm-your body) lies Spiritual Reality.

Without going outside,
you know the whole world,
Without looking through the window,
you may see the ways of heaven,
The farther you go, the less you know.
Thus the sage knows without traveling;
Sees without looking;
Works without doing.
– LaoTsu