Christian Cyclopedia

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(Chinese; originally “vapor, gas”; later used in physical, metaphysical, psychological, physiological senses). 1. Concrete thing or definite object as contrasted with Tao (unitary first principle with no spatial restriction or concrete form). 2. Material force as opposed to principle. Used with regard to intangible, invisible, ineffable thing or force. Before neo-Confucianiasm, “vital force” denoting psychophysiological power associated with breath and blood. 3. Variety of meanings: vital force in operation of active (yang) and passive (yin) principles; morale; five forces (metal, wood, water, fire, soil); reality of ultimate vacuity; principle of differentiation and individuation; undifferentiated matter transcending shape and features.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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