13. Why is there the distinction of Saints, Sages, and the ordinary among humans?

Human beings come from Heaven. (Heaven is used by Confucianism to represent Tao.) Since Heaven consists of Li-tien9, 11Qi-tien 9, 12, and Xiang-tien9, 13, so human beings possess the Li-xingQi-xing, and Zhi-xing 14 too.

Yin and yang evolve from Tai-ji. Yin and yang then evolve the four seasons, eight Solar Periods,* twenty-four Seasonal Periods, seventy-two Proper Periods, and three-hundred sixty degrees.

Every five degrees constitute a Proper Period, and the fate in each Proper Period is different, just like the celestial latitude varies with every degree.

All lives on Earth are born to different celestial latitudes and different seasons, i.e., a different fate. So everyone is subject to different gravity of materialism.

Thus all matters have distinctions of noble and common, and humans have distinctions of longevity and short-lived, rich and poor, and wise and ordinary.

Our True Selves are from Li-tien, and they are all equal. Once the True Self enters Hou-tien, 10 it disperses into three – Li-xing, Qi-xing, and Zhi-xing.

Whether one can reveal his Li-xing depends on his ability to overcome his Qi-xing and Zhi-xing.

A person’s Qi-xing and Zhi-xing are subject to the Qi-tien. The development of each person’s Li-xing is different because the Qi in Qi-tien can manifest as ascending or descending, floating or sinking, good or evil, and fortunate or ominous.

If one is born with little influence from Qi and is mildly pulled by materialism, his Li-xing can develop strongly. He will follow the role of Saints and Sages and in turn, can become a Saint or a Sage.

Saints or Sages
Can become a Saint or a Sage?

If one is born with a strong influence from Qi and is strongly pulled by materialism, his Li-xing is greatly inhibited and is difficult to develop. His Qi-xing and Zhi-xing will dominate and he will be lost in the pursuit of materialism and emotional desires, and remain as an ordinary person for all his life.

In summary,

he who overcomes emotions and desires, and restores his True Self becomes a Saint or a Sage. He who cannot overcome emotions and desires will never free his Li-xing from inhibition and becomes the ordinary.

For example, a mirror itself is clear when it’s first made. As the mirror sits, dust is collected on the mirror. If the dust is not wiped off, the mirror cannot be clear.

A man’s True Self is the mirror, and the dust is emotions and desires. That is why:

Taoism says “Cultivate the heart to refine the True Self”;

Buddhism says “Brighten the heart to see the True Self”;

Confucianism says “Hold the heart to cultivate the True Self”;

Christianity says “Purify the heart to align to the True Self”; and

Islam says “Strengthen the heart to stabilize the True Self”.

Although the emphases are different, they all refer to the restoration of the True Self.


*The days that mark the beginning of each Solar Period are the beginnings of spring, summer, autumn, and winter; the summer and winter solstices; and the vernal and autumnal equinoxes.

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