I’ve been broadening the scope of my research lately and want to start posting more often, so I figured I’d give a short overview of a Taoist concept called the Three Treasures.
The core idea of the Three Treasures is that your existence is tied to energy which exists along different wavelengths. That’s a concept that I think would include a lot of different kinds of energy, but for now, we’ll focus on the three.
Jing is the energy that’s innate to your body in a biological sense, a much more coarse, dense, low-vibration state. It’s the root of our vitality and the physical substance out of which our life unfolds. A good analogy I’ve found is that jing is a candle’s wax and wick, or the hardware of a computer.
Qi is the more famous of the three energies, and is that which animates your body. This is what qigong practices interact with, and it is what allows movement of all kinds, ranging from the circulation of blood to the simple act of walking and breathing. Qi is the flame of the candle, or the electricity that powers a computer.
Shen is the energy of our spirit or mind, in the largest sense. Shen is the spiritual radiance that can be seen shining through someone’s eyes, the glow of loving-kindness, wisdom, and enlightenment. If jing is the wax and wick of a candle and qi is the flame, then shen is the light that brightens the room — and if jing is the hardware and qi is the electrical current, then shen is the software which lets a computer really do its thing.
The ultimate objective of inner alchemy in Taoist thought is to transform jing into qi and qi into shen, and ultimately reach a stage where they cyclically generate each other to allow for immense vitality.
I’ll be sharing methods of attaining this as my research progresses! For now, I hope you all enjoy this food for thought.
May the Tree of Life always shelter you!