Now I’m going to expand on what we talked about in the first lesson. But to recap briefly, the 5 elements describe the process of CHANGE, that ALL THINGS go through constantly. Each element transforms into another one in an endless cycle. Each element is associated with a certain quality. Here are some examples:
1. Life of a Tree
2. Learning to Draw
3. Falling on your Face (literally)
THE LIFE OF A TREE
WATER (spirit of beginnings and non-preference) – As a seed the plant has not yet begun life and so things are unsure. Will the seed germinate? What kind of plant will it become? And what will be the characteristics of that plant? Some plants of the same species have thinner leaves of sweeter fruit.
WOOD (spirit of growth and expansion) – The plant will grow and grow, absorbing energy and preparing to flower.
FIRE (is the spirit of energy and industry) – All that STORED UP ENERGY is expended in the creation of flowers that are meant to MAXIMIZE the chances of pollination.
EARTH (the spirit of stability and groundedness) – The plant will relax a bit after the flowers are done blooming, and steadily grow its fruit, and form its seeds.
METAL (the spirit or perfection and invention) – The seeds are spread, and a NEW (invention) set of plants are brought into the world.
The plant then either dies or goes into a dormant stage, returning to WATER.
The process (or changes) of LEARNING TO DRAW
WATER (spirit of beginnings and non-preference) – In the very first stage of LEARNING TO DRAW. The possibilities are endless. Like water the “Learning to Draw” is formless and ready ro take any shape. What will you draw? What style? Pen, Pencil, Marker, etc.?
WOOD (spirit of growth and expansion) – Soon the person will begin to GROW in a certain direction. They may specialize, growing strait up like a pine tree, or branch out and learn many different things. In this metaphor the height of the tree represents skill and the width represents breadth of knowledge.
FIRE (is the spirit of energy and industry) – Once your SKILLS have grown and matured, you will feel invigorated to create with your new-found knowledge. This fire will burn up the wood you’ve created in the previous stage. The more wood (skill built up) the greater the achievement will be here.
EARTH (the spirit of stability and groundedness) – After you’ve completed this BURST OF ENERGY you will level out, enjoying your new-found skill in a more moderate manner. You will be SECURE in your skill, knowing that you will be able to draw what you have learned WITHOUT FEAR of failure.
METAL (the spirit or perfection and invention) – But this ALAS gets BORING after a while, and you’re ready for something new. SOMETHING NEW is exactly what METAL is all about. Innovating on your style, learning a new style, creating a masterpiece that extends into to a NEW LEVEL OF SKILL, are all examples of the something NEW.
After this you will have touched upon a new level, and will be a beginner in this new level. This means that the CYCLE has come full circle back to WATER.
Ok, now FALLING ON YOUR FACE. Just to show that it can be applied to literally ANYTHING that is subject to TIME.
WATER (spirit of beginnings and non-preference) – You start to fall and at that point are just non-preferentially gathering information. Whats happening? Where am I falling? Why? Is there anything to fall on?
WOOD (spirit of growth and expansion) – You begin to gather (GROW) speed and the trajectory of your fall becomes more clear.
FIRE (is the spirit of energy and industry) – You begin to use all your MENTAL AND PHYSICAL ENERGY to effect the outcome of this fall in your favor.
EARTH (the spirit of stability and groundedness) – You realize that your efforts were not enough and you RESOLVE YOURSELF to your fate (if only in the split second before it happens).
METAL (the spirit or perfection and invention) – You’re lying flat on your face and now you are a NEW PERSON. Not just YOU, but YOU WHO FELL ON HIS FACE. You’ll have to decide how this you will react to this situation, but you will (if even very subtly) be changed by it…
This NEW YOU falls under the infinite possibilities of the WATER spirit….
In the next section we will look at each of these elements in depth. Then we can begin to explore the CREATION CYCLE (what we’ve described here) and the DESTRUCTION CYCLE, and how we can utilize these to our advantage.