Laws of Life in Taoism

Copyright © March, 1994 by Dr. Tienzen (Jeh-Tween) Gong

Abstract: What are Laws of Life? Are laws of life different from laws of physics? Are laws of physics designed to create life (Strong Anthropic Principle)? Or, life is merely permitted by laws of physics (Weak Anthropic Principle)!
These issues were discussed in detail in my book Truth, Faith, and Life. In this paper, I am going to use a slightly different approach -- the view points of Taoism. Thus, I can also make a contribution on Comparative Philosophy.

I: Taoist's laws of life and of universe

Seven laws of life of Taoism were known in China for many thousand years. They were grouped into 3 groups.

A: Laws of Yin-Yang
  1. Whatever exists embodies both yin and yang.
  2. Yin and Yang are mutually immanent in each other, that is, yang contains yin and vice versa.
  3. Any inference that some existence is 100% yang and 0% yin is false, and vice versa.

B: Laws of Mutual Immanence
  1. The mutuality of yin-yang is also mutually immanent (the second order of mutual immanence), such as: the amount of mutuality of yin-yang in one existent may be y% and thus lack mutuality in the amount of (100-y)%, and vice versa.
  2. Any inference that some existence embodies or lacks the mutuality of yin-yang in the amount of 100% is false, and vice versa.

C: Laws of Dynamics
  1. Any inference that yin and yang are embodied in any static way is false because existence (tao) is dynamic.
  2. Any inference that the amount of the mutuality of yin-yang and the amount of the lack of mutuality of yin-yang embodied in any existent are in any static way is false, because existence (tao) is dynamic.

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II: Mathematical Representation

Today most of Westerners and even most of Chinese view these laws of life of Taoism as the result of superstition and ignorance. But great treasures can and will be revealed when we transform these verbal statements into mathematical representations with a method of isomorphic transformation. Under isomorphic transformation, no substance will be added to or subtracted from this theory although the new representations will seemingly have no resemblance to the original theory.
For convenience, I am using some one-letter variable to replace those lengthy verbal terms.

From point 3 and 5, R, Y, B and G are non-existent. Thus, the term of Non-existent can be defined in terms of set representation.
Non-existent = {R, Y, B, G} ....................Equation (1)
From point 1, 2 and 4, Existent can be defined as,
Existent = Mix (R, Y, B, G) .....................Equation (2)
This Mix ( ) function is defined as such so that Existent will be neither R, nor Y, nor B, nor G.
If we define P = {Existent/time = C, C is a constant}, then P represents all static states and is Non-existent according to point 6 and 7. Thus, equation (1) and (2) become,
Non-Existent = {R, Y, B, G, P} .................Equation (3)
Existent = Mix (R, Y, B, G, P) .................. Equation (4),br> Obviously, equation (3) and (4) represent an isomorphic transformation from this 7-point theory.

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III: Color theory and Topology

With this new representation, many surprises can be revealed. First, is Non-existent non-reality? If Non-existent is non-reality, then Existent must be also non-reality because Existent is defined with and by Non-existent in equation (2) and (4). This is the paradox of Existent and Non-existent, and it is in fact the mutual immanence of Non-existent and Existent. Perhaps, all books of metaphysics ought to be rewritten.
second, these four (4) Non-existent in equation (1) form a four point boundary for all existent. This four-point boundary seems to be a bizarre boundary. Thus, there must be a new meaning for the term boundary.
From the equation above, a set of field equations can be developed to describe the states of every point (Existent) in that universe. These field equations will be quite complicate and cannot be understood by general public. The alternative is to represent that universe (all Existent) with colors, such as computer simulation.
The universe represented by equation (1) and (2) can be described with four colors [R(red), Y(Yellow), B(Blue) and G(Green)]. Thus, this Taoism theory can be best described with a color theory, and surprisingly there are three color theories already on the shelf -- 1) the four color theorem of Topology, 2) the four color theory of Elementary Particle Physics (Chromodynamics), 3) the four color theory of gene-representation.
As a coincidence, the universe represented with equation (1) and (2) (derived from only 5 points out of this 7-point theory) is also a 4-color (R, Y, B, G) universe. Obviously, any four-color theory is not ultimate theory according to this 7-point theory. Thus, Chromodynamics of elementary particle physics and life science of gene-representation can only be a snap shot (a still and static picture) of a dynamic universe according to the point 6 and 7.
In order to understand the color theory further, we must use the concepts of Topology. Topology is quite simple when those academic terminology were removed. Please put an un-opened Pepsi can, a handleless glass cup and a coffee cup with a handle in front of us. These three items are not only the models of this 7-point theory but the models of true universe.
First, please shake or kick the un-opened Pepsi can, or do whatever we please but do not break the surface of the can. Although the can will be deformed, there is essentially nothing changed, no Pepsi coming out, nor air getting in. In fact, this un-opened Pepsi can is a static system, no flows, and it is a topological ball. This cylinder can can be transformed into a ball with a continuous deformation (Topological Transformation).
Equation (1) and (2) represent 5 points of this 7-point theory, and these equations describe a four color (R, Y, B and G) theorem. The four-color theorem in Topology describes a topological ball. In other wards, the first 5 points describe a static, ball-shaped (the same as an un-opened Pepsi can) universe which in fact is a snap shot of a dynamic universe.
Second, please open the Pepsi can and enjoy it. By punching a hole on a topological ball, we have transformed this topological ball (un-opened Pepsi can) into a handleless glass cup, and a flow (force) can be created. In fact, after the punching of a hole, we are now able to drink the Pepsi which was deeply hidden before. By stretching the hole, the ball surface will transform into a plane. In fact, this one-hole-ball is a topological plane. A handleless glass cup is in fact a topological plane.
A topological plane can be either a static or a dynamic system. It is a static system when it is in the form of a glass cup and holds a can of Pepsi. It ca be and is dynamic system when someone is drinking with it.
In Topology, any finite size plane can also be covered by a four-color theorem, but four-color theorem fails to cover an infinite plane. If a universe has the shape as a Topological plane (infinite), four colors (R, Y, G, B) are not enough to describe it.
Third, when we punch another (2nd) hole on a plane, this plane can no longer be a static system. It leaks. If we stretch this 2nd hole, we will realize that we have transformed a plane into a donut. The handle of your coffee cup is a donut. The entire coffee cup is a topological donut. One part of the donut was transformed into a plane (a glass cup). Obviously, this donut (a coffee cup) can be both a static and dynamic system. Equation (3) and (4) (the representation of the entire 7 points) are in fact describing a universe which has shape as a coffee cup (with a handle).
It seems that my discussion is now far removed from our original 7-point theory. It seems that the discussion of ball-plane-donut is nothing but nonsense. But, this is the KEY to the meaning of LIFE which is the most important part of universe.
Although the unisexual reproduction (virgin birth) is a reality, the bisexual reproduction accounts for 99% of the real world. An egg and a sperm are in fact topological balls, but most lives turn into donuts (with a digestive tract). Thus, life is a ball-donut transformation.
According to the above discussion, the only way to transform a ball into a donut is by punching two holes on the ball. The first hole transforms a ball into a plane. The 2nd hole transforms the plane into a donut.
In fact, life simply just did that. When a sperm penetrates an egg, the first hole was punched. If the sperm remains a sealed ball, no fertilization can take place, in short, no life. Thus, a 2nd hole must also be punched to allow the unification between egg and sperm. Again, life is a ball-donut transformation.

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IV: Non-existent and Boundary

Why are the point 6 and 7 painting a donut-shaped universe? In order to answer this question, we must revisit the issue of meaning of boundary. In equation (1) and (2), the boundary of our universe (all existent) is portrayed as four points (four Non-existent). Now, we have many questions.
First, are those four Non-existent (R, Y, B and G) distinguishable? This question itself is contradicting with original definitions: they were precisely defined by point 3 and 5.
For the sake of shortening this discussion, I will keep this question unanswered. Thus, we open up all possibilities.

  1. All these four Non-existent are the same.
  2. They are distinguishable and all different.
  3. Some of them are the same, ....
  4. .........
For the sake of simplifying the issue, I use the first possibility (the simplest case, case A) that all four Non-existent are the same in this discussion. Since they are the same, these four points (Non-existent) will merge into one point. Thus, the universe according to Eq(1) and Eq(2) will become a ball by overlapping those four points. The entire ball surface except one point (the Non-existent) represents Existent.
Now, the first 5 points (equation (1) and (2)) describe a universe as a ball with a hole, and this hole is only a point. This one-point-hole is in fact the boundary of the entire universe.
What is this one-point-hole? It is the complement of the entire ball surface which has an infinite number of geometrical points. In Topology, this one-point-hole can be stretched, and the ball with this one-point-hole can be transformed into a plane. This one-point-hole will become the outer edge (boundary) of the plane. Thus, this one-point-hole indeed becomes infinity -- boundary of an infinite plane. Thus, this one-point-hole contains an infinite number of geometrical points. I called this one-point-hole (Non-existent) a black-point in my books. Every Non-existent is an infinity. In fact, this discussion shows the mutual immanence of Nothingness (one-point-hole) and Infinity. This is another example of the unification of zero and infinity.
although I did not define what the geometrical point is, I have defined what the geometrical hole (Non-existent) is. Every geometrical hole is the boundary of its universe and is an infinity. All Existent depend upon and are defined by these boundaries.

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V: Mutual Immanence of Arbitrariness and Absoluteness

Seemingly, I have misled everyone in the foregoing sections by saying that equation (1) and (2) describe a sealed, ball-shaped, static universe, but it turns out to be a plane-shaped and static-dynamic universe when the meaning and the reality of Non-existent are considered. A ball with a one-point-hole is in fact a topological plane.
I had no intention to mislead anyone. There are in fact only four variables (colors) in equation (1) and (2), and it in fact portrays a ball-shaped universe according to Topology. This is the result of the difference between Color theory and Field theory. In Field theory, it is quite clear that equation (1) and (2) contain only four variables. On the contrary, in Color theory there are in fact five colors in equation (1) and (2), four (R, Y, B and G) explicit ones and one hidden color.
Only in color theory, this hidden color is demanded because of a complementary rule which is the governing rule in all color theories. On the other hand, complementary rule is not required in all other physics (especially Field theories). Thus, a whole (colorless) color must exist in addition to those four colors.
So, four colors are enough to describe a sealed, ball-shaped universe, but a 5th color is needed to represent this one-point-hole (Non-existent) which is the boundary of universe.
Now, color theory is no longer as an alternate representation to other theories. Color theory is the only tool which is capable of describing the essence of nature, the Complementarity.
In this section, I started with artificially eliminating the difference between all colors (Non-existent, R, Y, B and G) by choosing the case A but reached a conclusion that not only the original four colors remain to be distinguishable but one additional color is needed because of the demand of complementarity.
What is going on here? The essence of nature cannot even be defined away. Perhaps, the distinguishable and the indistinguishable are mutual immanent; they are isomorphic. In fact, this is the case. On the one hand, these four colors (Non-existent) must be distinguishable because the existence of all Existent depend upon it (see equation (2)). On the other hand, these four (or five) colors must be indistinguishable because the existence of Non-existent (Eternity) depends upon it. In fact, Non-existent is both One and Many at the same time. Non-existent is the foundation of all realities; all Existent depend on and are defined by Non-existent. A special case of this law is that all lives must die. This is the mutual immanence of Nothingness and Infinity (the zero-infinity symmetry). This is also the mutual immanence of arbitrariness and absoluteness which is the major topic of Laws of Mathematics.

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VI: Non-existent -- the Infinite

So far, this discussion did not add any substance into this 7-point theory but in fact only discussed a portion of it. I only made some new interpretations. Nonetheless, one conclusion is quite clear at this point. This 7-point theory is in fact containing two theories -- color theory and infinity theory. Color theory is demanded by the reality of Complementarity. Infinity theory is demanded by the reality of Hole (Non-existent).
So far, I only discussed equation (1) and (2) which are the first 5 points. These 5 points describe a plane-shaped universe and needs five colors to describe it. By adding point 6 and 7, the situation becomes much more complicated.
First, P (Existent/time = C) is not a single Non-existent but represents an infinite number of Non-existent in two ways, a) there are an infinite number of Existent, so P is infinite, b) there are an infinite number of C (constant), so P again is infinite. Thus, P becomes P6 and P7, and equation (3) and (4) become,
Non-existent = {R, Y, B, G, P6, P7, W} ...................Equation (5)
Existent = Mix (R, Y, B, G, P6, P7, W) ................... Equation (6)
Equation (5) and (6) form an isomorphic representation of this 7 points. The W (white, colorless color) in equation (5) is demanded by the reality of Complementarity.
As I discussed before, with one additional puncture (hole) on a plane, a plane will be transformed into a donut. If we chose that Non-existent (R, Y, B and G) are distinguishable in the foregoing section, there are enough holes (as two holes are required) already to transform al ball-shaped, static universe into a donut-shaped and dynamic one. I did not choose this easy path but assumed that R, Y, B and G are indistinguishable. I did this for a reason.
I wanted to emphasize that P6 and P7 (Non-existent) are quite different from the Non-existent (R, Y, B and G). Every Non-existent is an infinity, but there are more than one type of infinity. One infinity can be much larger (infinitely larger) than others (see my book Truth, Faith, and Life).
By including point 6 and 7, there are enough holes (Non-existent P6 and P7) to transform a plane-shaped universe into a donut-shaped (a coffee cup with handle) universe which contains LIFE. According to equation (5) and (6), & colors are needed in this 7-point theory.

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VII: Conclusion -- Strong Anthropic Principle Prevails

My prequark Model of elementary particle is a 7 color theory which describes a ball-donut transformation. This life theory of Taoism is also a 7 color theory, and life indeed goes through a ball-donut transformation. In short, the laws of life is isomorphic to the laws of physics. Thus, laws of physics are designed to create lives. The Strong Anthropic Principle prevails.
Ball-donut transformation involves of punching two holes. These two holes are Non-existent and are boundary of all existent. These two holes are omnipresence (in life, in elementary particles and in universe), and they cannot even be defined away.

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Recommended readings:
Confucianism: the greatest religion of mankind
Taoism in the eyes of modern physicists

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