What are the Animal Nature, Human Nature and True Nature?








If the heart of a person reflects his Li-xing (True Character), it displays his True Nature. If his heart reflects his Qi-xing (Spiritual Character), it displays his Human Nature. If his heart reflects his Zhi-xing (Material Character), it displays his Animal Nature. The True Nature is in the domain of Li-tien (Void), and it is all good. The Human Nature is in the domain of Qi-tien (Spiritual Heaven), and it can be either good or evil. The Animal Nature is in the domain of Xiang-tien (Heaven of Matter), and it is all evil. As a man lives in Hou-tien (the space where all lives live after Heaven and Earth were created), his heart disperses into the True Nature, Human Nature and Animal Nature.


Everyone has the three Natures. The True Nature is obscure. The Human Nature is precarious because it constantly alternates among the past, present and future. Thus, there are thoughts of the past, the thoughts of the present, and the thoughts of the future. The Animal Nature is simply the desires to satisfy the sense. If one cannot reign over his Human Nature, his True Nature would be obstructed and his Animal Nature would expand to the extent that it dominates the person. Such persons would not be different from animals. If one can reign over his Human Nature, his True Nature would slowly surface, and it will not be difficult for such person to become an Immortal, a Buddha, a Saint, or a Sage.



The True Nature is “Li”; the Human Nature, “Qi”; and the Animal Nature, “Xiang.” A new born child has a bright True Self. As he starts to acquire knowledge, he acquires habits and his “Li-xing” becomes covered. The more habits he acquires, the more covered his “Li-xing” is. Eventually, he is totally dominated by his Animal Nature and becomes driven by emotions and desires.


Hence, the method and guide to practise Tao is simply to rid of selfishness internally, to establish five virtues of Tao externally, and to practise “Gong-fu” (practice of the truth) tenaciously. Once one has earned enough merits and established good virtues, his True Self will be restored to full radiance and he will display his True Nature solely, like a dirty mirror that’s just been dusted and restored to its original brightness, displaying his True Nature solely.