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The essential qi
It is the essence of things that gives life to them.
Below, it gives birth to the five grains;
above, it is the ranks of stars.
Flowing between heaven and earth:
we call these ghosts and spirits.
Stored within the breast:
we call these sages.
This qi is
So bright! As though climbing to heaven.
So dark! As though entering the abyss.
So broad! As though permeating the sea.
So compact! As though residing within oneself.
Cannot be detained through physical force,
but may be brought to rest by force of virtue.
It may not be summoned by means of sound,
but may be received through one’s thoughts.
To guard it alertly without fail,
this is called perfect virtue.
When virtue is perfected wisdom emerges
and all the things of the world are grasped.
Guanzi: The Inner Enterprise (4th c. BCE)
He energised conscious-force (in the austerity of thought) and
came to the knowledge that Matter is the Brahman... Then he went to
Varuna, his father, and said, "Lord, teach me of the Brahman."
But he said to him: “Energise (again) the conscious-energy in
thee; for the Energy is Brahman.". -Taittiriya Upanishad