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Wu Xing (The Five Transformative Moments)
Chinese Philosophy |Yin and Yang|The Bagua (8 Trigrams)|Wu Xing (5 Moments)
Developing as a separate theory to that of Yin, Yang and the Bagua, The five transformative moments descried elementally processes in nature, sometime referred to as the five elements or phases, in a comparison with other ancient systems. Wu Xing referrers more to processes of creation and destruction than irreducible elements, here wood creates fire, fire creates earth, from the ashes, metal is created form the earth, and water forms on metal as condensation. Water destroys fire, Fire destroys metal etc. Again this theory is incorporated all area of life including medicine, where the different organs are associated with these different elemental processes. Whilst a different theory it sits alongside the concept of Yin and Yang, where Fire is Yang, Water is Yin, Wood and Metal is Yin and Earth is Natural.
Although these ideas seem to modern western eyes, unscientific even superstitious, they have never the less an empirical basis, that is they are based on observation, further more the language of Yin and Yang, the Trigrams and the five moments have underpined much of the last few thousand years of Chinese thinking and are crucial to understanding its philosophy and religion, and by extension medical theory and martial arts.