9. What’s the meaning “Man and Heaven are united?”

Man lives between Heaven and Earth. Mankind is a trichotomy, comprising and unifying the Li, Qi, and Xiang. 9

Man and Heaven are united?

The human body (Xiang) comes from the sperm and egg of the parents. The body grows as it receives yang Qi and yin Qi from Qi-tien. 9, 12 The True Self (Li) is the Truth of the Void.

The human has Li, Qi, and Xiang, just like the cosmos comprises of Li-tien, 9, 11 Qi-tien, and Xiang-tien. 9, 13 Therefore, the human is a miniature cosmos.

In composition, the human body is made of matters; thus, is Xiang. The breath and energy, without physical forms, are spiritual; thus, is Qi.

The True Self, which dominates the body, is Li. The Li of a man is connected to the Li of the cosmos; the Qi of a man to the Qi of the cosmos; and the Xiang of a man to the Xiang of the cosmos.

Why Man and Heaven should remain in balance? 

The Qi and the Li should always remain in balance. In the cosmos, if the Qi outweighs the Li, the cosmos becomes unbalanced and loses its harmony.

The disharmony is reflected in irregular seasons, abnormal weather, evils in human minds, deteriorations of the society, and frequent occurrences of catastrophes.

As to a human being, if the Qi dominates the Li, the imbalance is demonstrated in one’s relentless pursuits for materialistic satisfactions, such as lust and greed; one will be confined in the never ending cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.


The components and functions
of a human body are also
connected to the cosmos.

Man and Heaven are united

The elliptical shape of the human head represents Heaven and Earth (i.e., the circular shape represents Heaven; the elongation represents Earth).

The exhaling and inhaling of the breath represent yin and yang. The eyes match the sun and the moon; their opening and closing correspond to the daytime and nighttime.

The five major internal organs – the kidneys, liver, heart, spleen, and lung – correspond to the five fundamental elements – water, wood, fire, earth, and metal.

There are exactly three-hundred and sixty-five articulations in a human body which match the number of days in a year; and twelve large ball joints which match the twelve months.

The four limbs match the four seasons. A person’s sternness and leniency match yang and yin.

Emotion wise, a person’s sorrow and delight correspond to winter and summer; anger and joy, autumn and spring.

The changes in human minds correspond to changes in Heaven and Earth. Human beings think and act based upon morality just like the laws and orders of the solar system.

In conclusion,

the human head is associated with Li, the chest with Qi, and the abdomen with Xiang. Of all beings, only mankind relates to all attributes of Li-tien, Qi-tien, and Xiang-tien.

Therefore, mankind stands in parallel with Heaven and Earth, and the three together is called “the Three Powers”. The three are related as closely as each consecutive breath. Hence,

Man and Heaven are united.

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