What is True Self
True self is who we really are. That’s the question which everyone of us have had in our mind, most probably more than once in our life.
Are we this physical body which enables us to live and move? No, it doesn’t seem quite true. Because if one or some parts of our body is lost, we still exist. Therefore, we are not the body.
What about our mind? When we are awake, our mind seems never stop working. Our feelings and emotions seem more real and very personal. But when we are asleep, we couldn’t detect any thoughts and feelings. Obviously we are still alive when we sleep. It seems that we are not the mind either.
What about our consciousness or the spirit? What indeed is our consciousness? That is quite a big question and is debating among different religions, philosophies, modern sciences, and practices.
In one of Dr. Pang’s early books (published in 1990s): Hun Yuan Entirety Theory (混元整体理论), he also tried to explain human consciousness and created a name for it: Yiyuanti (意元体).
What is Yiyuanti
In his book, he wrote (we try our best to translate his original scripts):
“Yiyuanti is a critical mass in the qi field of the cells merges and transforms to create a very refined entirety in the centre of brain. It contains the complete information of the universe, including human life.”
“Yiyuanti is the closest in nature to original Hun Yuan Qi (原始混元气) because of its unique purity and ability to send and receive information. It is the source of conscious, and in a high-level qigong state can it be perceived by consciousness.”
When you read Dr. Pang’s original Chinese scripts in all his books, you will notice that what he described about Qi 氣, Hun Yuan Qi 混元气, Yi Yuan Ti 意元体 is all based on materialism or physicalism, which is the largely accepted ideology in communist China, if not the only one accepted.
Based on that, it is not difficult to understand why Pang tries to explain how Yiyuanti forms and transforms, what Yiyuanti’s characteristics are, and how Yiyuanti creates our conscious world. All Zhi Neng Qigong theories are based on Materialism, a doctrine that the real world consists simply of the physical world.
Is True Self The Same As Yiyuanti
This is a good question. When we read the chapter about Yiyuanti, we couldn’t trace any actual sentence which relates Yiyuanti to true self. True self in Chinese, is translated and written as 真我.
True self is more of a Buddhist term than a Qigong term. In Buddhism, they talk about many layers of self. True self is not the surface layer, nor is it on the bottom layer. One important goal of Buddhist practice is to recognize all layers of self, and dissolve them all.
Buddhist practice is majorly focused on consciousness, and they use awareness practice. I assume that’s why people naturally related Yiyuanti to true self. However, was Dr Pang talking about the same thing as what Buddhists describe as true self?
I don’t think so. Buddhist and other traditional practices are spiritual practices. Pang’s Qigong practices and theories are not.
In Pang’s latest books published in the past 6 years (2013-2019), he rarely mentioned Yiyuanti. Instead in his most recent book- true heart philosophy, he quoted a lot of enlightened beings’ experience about consciousness and true heart (真心，本心). Maybe he intended to explore what’s beyond the physical?
How Can We Practice Yiyuanti?
If Yiyuanti were a thing, like any other physical things, sure you would grasp it and so you could practice it.
Pang described it as the closest thing to universe consciousness, which 99.99% of people never see, touch, feel or grasp. Just like what most enlightened beings explained: There’s no way to practice consciousness, unless our conscious mind has access to it.
What can we do? We can’t DO anything about it. We can only experience it once we have access to it. Right now, we couldn’t experience it because we build thick walls around us. The universe consciousness signal cannot reach us.
But we can do this: practicing to be aware of all the walls we have been building, Once we are clearly aware, we might be able to break them down. Eventually we will experience what Yiyuanti or consciousness really is.