Friday, October 28, 2011
The Four Stages of Life
By Adam Wallace
Qi Magazine | Issue 50 | Aug2000
There is only one certainty in life and that is unequivocally everythingmust die. Life and death is a continuous cycle, like night following day. The question is how and when will we die. Will it be natural or premature? Will it be sudden and peaceful or slow and painful?
We all pass through four stages in life which correspond to spring, summer, autumn (fall) and winter. The first stage in life is known as the ‘Child Body’. Children possess a tremendous source of Qi which can manifest itself in hyperactivity, restlessness - constantly running about, and rebelling against sleep, even when their bodies are tired. Many children possess a fairly developed ‘sixth sense’ or ‘potential’ due to their abundant Qi resources and pure minds. They may see the ‘colours of Qi’ and possess sharp intuition but sadly in most cases the parents quash these genuine experiences as imaginings so this potential is often foregone and generally remains underdeveloped.
Around puberty there are many changes internally and Qi begins to leak naturally from the body. This is known as the ‘Leaking Body’ stage. The individualis not yet aware of this as his body is creating Qi faster than it can be expended. He possesses youthful vigour, does not tire easily, and heals rapidly. This is why professional athletes are at their peak of fitness during this phase of life. The downside of this is that the individual lacks self-awareness and does not know his limitations. He feels invincible which can lead to trouble. This stage of life begins in the teens and generally ends around the thirties. In most instances if there was any ‘special’ ability it becomes lost due to a variety of factors. Firstly sexual energy is being created. The Qi behind this powerful driving force fortifies the internal body and develops the ‘potential’ if stored, but at this age it is not understood or controlled, and is easily squandered. Also the mind becomes blocked by other distractions including budding ambitions, desires, and peer pressures, etc.
During the ‘Broken Body’ stage the individual becomes more aware of his body - a certain sluggishness, and aches and pains. The body tires more easily and is more susceptible to illness as the body’s internal systems are working with less efficiency. It also takes somewhat longer to recover from illnesses and injury than before. This stage is generally from the thirties to the fifties, or sixties. On top of the gradual physical decline, the individual also has to deal with increased pressures and responsibilities, and mid-life crises.
The ultimate stage in life is the ‘Decaying Body’. Kidney Qi is weaker so there is general fatigue, sensitivity to cold weather, poorer memory, eyesight and hearing, teeth and hair fall out, and the bones become brittle (so the body can be easily injured in falls), and recovery time is much longer. The body is more prone to senile diseases such as lumbago, arthritis, bronchitis, hypertension, etc.
For the average person this cycle of life is inescapable except in unnatural or accidental death. There is no fixed age at which you pass through any given stage. It depends wholly on your Qi; Prenatal Qi (inherited from parents) and Postnatal Qi (acquired from food, water, and rest, but especially Qigong and meditation). So through the practice of Qigong and correct living, this process can be delayed and senility prevented as a youthful body is forged. Through your parents’ genes you are allotted a certain number of years of life - it is up to you how you use them.
You are as young as you look and this is wholly dependent on the condition of the internal body. If at the age of thirty you appear fifty, then you possess the internal organs and Qi of a fifty year old. Premature ageing is caused by using your Life Qi too quickly. It is the result of stress, emotional problems for extended periods of time, and excess negative Qi in the body from the build-up of toxins caused by consumption of alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and a diet of fatty foods with additives, lack of exercise, inadequate rest, and poor quality sleep.
Why practise Qigong if we are going to die anyway? We can either passively accept fate (even accelerating our own demise) or actively prolong the four stages of life to reach and enjoy oldage in sound physical health with mental faculties intact and pass away peacefully when the time is right. Which would you prefer?