The New Mindscape

Week 6

Body and Mind

While we know how body, mind and spirit interact and connect with one another, Western dualism, which is the dominant ontology in this materialist world, tends to divide our body and mind. Our body and rationality are entity that are exclusive to each other. Our world is divided into two types: materials and human consciousness, which serves as the basis of the ontology of materialist dualism. Indeed, the discourse of ontology is much more diverse. Chinese culture understands the world in a more analogical and symbolic way, which emphasizes the harmony of energies with body/mind. Yin-yang and the Five phases are important concepts in Chinese cosmology and analogical ontology. Discover more about how the operating systems in the East and West work and their effects on different aspects of life and thinking. 


Material Dualism

Our Operating System connects and activates the thoughts or objects of consciousness in our mind. Cultures shape our operating system and categorise different thoughts into an ontology – our understanding of the components of reality and their connection. This ontology of this materialist society is dualistic. It divides the world between two poles — material nature and human consciousness; objectivity and subjectivity; material body and mind; and non-human and human. Such an understanding shaped the meanings that humans give to things in the world. This video will discuss the concept of material dualism and how humans make sense of this world.  

Dualism and the body

The Western Material dualism divides body and mind into two polars. Our mind is disembodied as we perceive our thinking capacity completely separate from the material world or a reflection of the material world. You can see such separation of mind and body anywhere in our society, from your daily life to educational experience. Is body a mere medium to transport the head, which contains the most important thing? This short video will unpack how our society has instilled a dualist understanding of mind and body among us and open up the discussion about our conceptualisation of mind and body. 

The cosmic body in the Chinese tradition

While Western dualism sees mind and body two entities, other cultures deem a deep connection between the two. These cultures often align body/mind with the epic force of the cosmos. Chinese culture, especially Daoism upholds such an ontology, which often emphasizes how body is a sacred space that embodies all the human functions. It is the tradition to nurture the oneness between mind and body that extend one’s mindscape to and beyond the perception of the entire body. Learn more about the conceptualisation of mind and body in Chinese culture and extend the discourse on bringing the body into the mindscape. 

Chinese Concept of Mind

While body and mind are seen as one in Chinese tradition, the conceptualisation of the human mind per se is intriguing. In Chinese culture, xin 心 represents both “heart” and “mind”. It encompasses both the bodily part and rational mind – body/mind oneness. The ontology can be observed across Chinese tradition in spiritual and religious practice. Discover more about body/mind in the world of Chinese cosmology and analogical understanding of the universe in this video. 


Chinese cosmology (Yin-yang) is used in many body cultivation systems, such as Chinese herbal medicine, martial arts, qigong to a name a few. In contrary to Western dualism, the analogical ontology concerns with processes and patterns than with particulates and substances. It is rooted in every aspect of life, ranging from body conditions, landscapes to climate and even creation of life. It is about a delicate harmony of the energies of the cosmology. This video will dive deeper into the operating system of Chinese cosmology. 

Qi Gong Breathing: 7 Minutes to calm body and mind

Instructions on Qi Gong Breathing combined with a few simple and effective movements to calm body and mind. This Qi Gong practice involves breathing, intention and movement. If you have problems with high blood pressure, this is the simplest and cheapest way to support your heart. For the beginning stay focused on your breath throughout these 7 minutes. Once your breathing is naturally synchronized with your movements, actively look for relaxation throughout each and every movement. If you think your body is relaxed already, go deeper and try relax each organ. If you think the organs are relaxed, settle your mind. “Movement is the consequence of Qi. Qi follows intention. Intention is directed with the mind.”

Five Phases

The Five phases (五行) are another important part in Chinese cosmology. Each component is symbolized by a natural element: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. They can be mapped into Yin-yang and human body, with each carrying a specific charge and meaning. The Five Phases concerns the processes or energies. Explore the Five phases to discover more how the analogical ontology works in traditional Chinese culture. 

Five Phases Personality Types

Modern psychologist even charted the Five phases onto human personality types. The approach tries to associate the charges and energies in each phase to our personality types. The Five phases are sorted into five roles with distinct characteristics: Wood into “leader”; Fire into “inspirer”; Earth into “diplomat”; Metal into “observer”; and Water into “philosopher”. This video will briefly introduce the modern application of Chinese analogical ontology. 


Q&A on Meditation, Prayer and Motivation