“Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture (81 pieces)” is an important Book Project disseminated by Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. The setting of “Disseminating Key Concepts in Chinese Thoughts and Culture Project” aims to organize key concepts which can reflect the features of Chinese classical culture and the way of national thinking, and can perform Chinese core values, explain and translate objectively and accurately in concise language which is easy to exchange verbally. By this way, chinese voice and stories will be disseminated in international exchanges, that the condition and history of China will be known better by people in the world.
The specialists committee of the project consist of international well-known specialists and scholars. Senior adviser and Art Review Commission of America Arts Research Institute (AARI), Mr. Yu Wentao took part in the review for the final English version. With the authorization, AARI is going to publish the 81 pieces of Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture here.
Taiji (the supreme ultimate) has three different meanings. First, it refers to the origin of the world. The ancient Chinese saw it either as qi (vital force) or yuanqi (primordial vital force) that permeates the chaotic world, or as a universal principle, i.e. Dao or li(理), or as wu(无). Second, it is used as a term of divination, referring to the initial state before divinatory numbers, the odd number one (written as -) and the even number two (written as –), as applied or before the yarrow stem are divided. Divination is conducted on the basis of taiji. Third, it stands for the highest point or boundary of space.
Changes evolve from taiji, which gives rise to two primal forces of yin and yang. They in turn give birth to heaven and earth. (An Alternative Explanation of The Book of Changes)
Taiji is the overrding law of all things, as well as heaven and earth. (Classified Conversations of Master Zhu Xi)