Tai Chi Chuan and the Code of Life Book
Description - Tai Chi Chuan & The Code of Life

Tai Chi Chuan & The Code of Life for Both East & West details how to build chi, circulate and store it. In order to understand the energetic method of Tai Chi & Chi Kung, Graham Horwood has highlighted parallels from its source, The I Ching and the archetypal principles from both Eastern & Western philosophy and medicine. The text and diagrams show the synergy between the different cultures, yet show how they are all linked. This enables the beginner or the experienced Tai Chi practitioner to improve their understanding of Tai Chi. This will strengthen both the mind and body opening the gateway to the inner person.

Plus an exclusive set of Chi Kung Exercises which will augment the building, circulation and storage of chi for the healer and martial practitioner. These are accompanied by an explanation of where chi comes from and the its application for the mind and body as well as the flow in the meridians.

Review - The Journal of Asian Martial Arts

“The martial art of Taijiquan operates on multiple levels. Physically, it
helps strengthen and heal the body. Psychologically, it alleviates
stress and helps the practitioner achieve calmness of mind and mental
focus. Spiritually, it provides a mechanism to integrate breath, life
force (qi) and mind to achieve oneness with Nature and the forces in the
Universe. For centuries, this profound martial arts’ secrets were hidden
away in the esoteric teachings of Daoism, Traditional Chinese Medicine,
and Chinese classical texts such as the Book of Changes (Yijing, I
Ching).

When Taiji was introduced to the West in the mid-twentieth century,
those essential teachings needed to fully comprehend this art were
either ignored or misunderstood by Occidental practitioners. The serious
student was left to his own devices to unearth Taiji’s foundations from
the few reference books that existed. In Tai Chi Chuan: The Code of
Life, Graham Horwood has created an important and sophisticated work
that opens the mysteries of Taiji to the West. What is unique in this
book is that Horwood uses contemporary findings in DNA research and
Jungian psychological techniques in which he is adept to explain in
Western terms Taiji’s inner workings.

Carl Jung, who departed from Sigmund Freud’s school of psychotherapy to
establish his own system, rejected the monolithic emphasis Freud placed
on the effect of sexuality on the subconscious. Jung believed that just
as the human body shows a common anatomy beyond racial differences, so
the psyche possesses a common substratum that transcends all cultures
and consciousness. Jung called that substratum the “collective
unconscious.” He recognized that mankind’s conscious imagination and
actions developed from certain common unconscious archetypal images and
always remain bound up with them. These archetypes have been expressed
in the classical mythologies and enlightened texts that man created in
early historical times when the distinctions between conscious and
subconscious reality were not as ossified as they are today.

Horwood utilizes these and other Jungian concepts to plumb Taiji’s
spiritual depths that heretofore remained ensconced in the Eastern
psyche. The author thereby lets the Western reader utilize his own frame
of reference to explore this Oriental art at its core. In so doing,
Horwood synchronizes Western myths and spiritual symbols with the
parallel universe of rich Chinese motifs that are physically expressed
in the Taijiquan movements, which have been traditionally elucidated in
China by the archetypal hexagrams contained in the Book of Changes.

As observed by Horwood, the symbols of the Book of Changes are
representations of energy states that can be expressed and developed
within the Taiji postures at a cellular level. For example, as Horwood
sets forth in his treatment, the two initial moves of Taijiquan known
as “ward off” and “roll back” are represented by the Book of Change’s
hexagrams of Heaven (six yang or masculine lines) and Earth (six yin or
feminine lines) respectively. Horwood then presents numerous analogous
archetypes that are familiar to us in the West for Heaven (the Supreme
Creator, Yahweh, and Zeus) and for Earth (Earth Goddess, Sophia, Venus,
and Mother Mary). Horwood so analyzes the six other main Taiji movements.

Horwood also explains how the most recent discoveries in the field of
DNA genetic coding correlate to the Book of Change’s ancient
permutations. Remarkably, the genetic vocabulary set forth in the DNA
language unearthed by modern science consists of 64 basic combinations
of acidic positive and sugar negative ingredients that seem to have been
mapped intuitively by the creators of the 64 combinations of yin and
yang contained in the Book of Change’s hexagrams.

Horwood elucidates how practicing the eight basic Taiji postures affects
the energy meridians that correlate to the yin and yang organs of the
body as catalogued in Traditional Chinese Medicine. He further reveals
several distinctive energy work (qigong) breathing patterns with
detailed diagrams setting forth the particular acupuncture points and
meridians that are energized in the meditative practices of Taiji. These
patterns, which Horwood represents as secret Yang family teachings,
transform Taijiquan practice from an empty dance into a rich meditative
exercise that not only can be used to prolong life, but also to enrich
the spirit.

I recommend this book to Taiji practitioners of all levels. For the
novice, it provides familiar Western symbolism and modern scientific
explanations to the otherwise inscrutable physical and spiritual
components of Taiji derived from ancient esoteric Daoist practices. For
the advanced practitioner, Horwood provides multi-leveled insights that
penetrate the essence of this art form that will enhance his or her
practice and understanding of Taiji. Horwood provides all Taiji
practitioners with the psychic and physical tools needed to penetrate
deeply into and explore the realm of humanity’s collective unconscious
from which the art derives.”

REVIEWED by
Noah Nunberg, J.D.
New York Law School

Review - Steve Solomon

“I finally obtained the hard copy of your excellent book, “Tai Chi Chuan &
The Code of Life”. I am reading it with delight, as it is a superb book,
full of wisdom on Tai Chi and Eastern thought. Thank you, sir, for
enlightening those of us interested in all things Taoist.”
Steve Solomon