The Importance of Understanding the Unification of Nature(1)

The unification of everything in nature is affirmed not only from modern science, but also from the cultivation, observation, meditation, and differential thinking of the ancient Chinese philosophy and cosmology. In ancient China, the theory of “Qi monism” was one of the fundamental parts of the philosophy. According to this theory, Qi is a substance occupying the entire universe and in continuous motion. This substance can take two forms: one is the temporary structures that exist in the world in a relatively steady state; the other is the Chaos state — an energy field across structures that periodically combine and disperse. Because it is in continuous transformation and unification, Qi cannot be observed by ordinary means. The Oriental thinkers and philosophers specifically emphasized another way of learning about the nature of Qi, i.e. through the practice of meditation and differential thinking (philosophical debate). In contrast, the entire Western science originated from the “atomic theory,” originally developed by the ancient Greeks. According to the atomic theory, nature can be observed in detail in its substance, which is composed of essential particles. Hence, if any part of a space cannot be observed, it is considered an empty space. Due to the fact that modern scientific experiments confirmed the existence of atoms, neutrons, protons, and electrons, many scientists in the West believed that people could completely know about nature merely through studying these micro-particles. Since the 17th century, Western science has been pursuing the approach of “inductive reasoning”.

Through superficial observations and personal intrinsic experiences, Oriental philosophers realized the characteristic of nature’s unification. The characteristic has been confirmed repeatedly by many scientific explorations, such as the law of conservation and conversion of energy. It should not be denied that nowadays, in reality, philosophy and science are taking separate research pathways. For example, philosophers believe in the natural continuity of substances, but conservative scientists deny the existence of invisible substances; philosophers believe that substance and energy are internally unified, but conservative scientists mechanically divide the united world into physical entity and conceptual energy; philosophers believe in the internal inevitability of nature, but conservative scientists negate the cause-and-effect theory by means of quantum mechanics.

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