Taiji (literally "great pole") is a Chinese cosmological term for the "Supreme Ultimate" state of undifferentiated absolute and infinite potentiality, contrasted with the Wuji (無極, "Without Ultimate"). The term Taiji and its other spelling T'ai chi (using Wade-Giles as opposed to Pinyin) are most commonly used in the West to refer to Taijiquan (or T'ai chi ch'uan, 太極拳), an internal martial art, Chinese meditation system and health practice. This article, however, refers only to the use of the term in Chinese philosophy and Daoist spirituality. Contents [hide]
1 The word
2 Taiji in Chinese texts
2.4 Taijitu shuo
3 Core concept
4 See also
Chinese taiji 太極 is a compound of tai 太 "great; grand; supreme; extreme; very; too" (a superlative variant of da 大 "big; large; great; very") and ji 極 "pole; roof ridge; highest/utmost point; extreme; earth's pole; reach the end; attain; exhaust". In analogy with the figurative meanings of English pole, Chinese ji 極 "ridgepole" can mean "geographical pole; direction" (e.g., siji 四極 "four corners of the earth; world's end"), "magnetic pole" (Beiji 北極 "North Pole" or yinji 陰極 "negative pole; anode"), or "celestial pole" (baji 八極 "farthest points of the universe; remotest place"). Common English translations of the cosmological Taiji are the "Supreme Ultimate" (Le Blanc 1985, Zhang and Ryden 2002) or "Great Ultimate" (Chen 1989, Robinet 2008); but other versions are the "Supreme Pole" (Needham and Ronan 1978), "Great Absolute", or "Supreme Polarity" (Adler 1999). Taiji in Chinese texts
Taiji references are found in Chinese classic texts associated with many schools of Chinese philosophy. Zhang and Ryden explain the ontological necessity of Taiji.
Any philosophy that asserts two elements such as the yin-yang of Chinese philosophy will also look for a term to reconcile the two, to ensure that both belong to the same sphere of discourse. The term...
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