Concept of The Cosmos
The material world is originated from the void, the essence of the Void is Tao, and Tao is God. The non-change, the everlasting and absolute truth in the cosmos, is the law of nature in heaven, physical phenomenon on earth, true self and moral principles in mankind and rationality in matters. The change is the principle of ‘yin’ and ‘yang’. The interaction is the rules governing the changes between yin and yang, which is the manifestation of the Truth in the cosmos. The cosmos is classified into Li – tien, Qi – tien and Xiang – tien or the Heavenly world, spiritual world and material world.
The world has beginning and end just like mankind has birth and death. When the world begins, Spiritual world is created from Heavenly world, and then material world from spiritual world. When the world ends, material world will destruct first then spiritual world; Heavenly world will never destruct. Li – tien, Qi – tien and Xiang – tien are also called Heaven of Truth, Heaven of Spirit and Heaven of Matter respectively.
There are many ways to classify Heaven and it is described as follows :-
Xiang-Tien (Material World)
Everything that has matter, shape or form belongs to this space, including all items that can be observed with the human eyes. Planets, earth, mountains, rivers, humans, animals, plants and minerals, whether having life or not, all exist within this space. It is the material world and the three dimensional space.
Qi – Tien (Spiritual World)
This space consists of the gaps between matters also commonly known as the "Space" or "Heaven". The gaps between matters cannot be seen with the human eyes. However, it can be felt with other sensory organs for example, our feelings and consciousness exist within this space. Without this space, Earth will be without support, mankind cannot live, the sun, the moon, stars and planets will collapse and all matters and life cannot exist. The function of this Heaven is to control the growth and the yin and yang. This Heaven also governs the beginning and end of all matters. Heaven and hell, which are created by the good and evil of human minds, exist in this space. It is the spiritual world. It is sometimes referred to as the space with more than three dimensions.
Li–Tien (Heavenly World)
This is the void. It has no form nor shape, no sound nor scent. It is an infinite spiritual energy. It is space of pure souls. It is absolutely empty and still. It is immense that it comprises everything. It is so divine that its existence can only be recognized through supernatural inspiration. It is so tiny that it can be anywhere. It can create and cultivate all lives and matters. It cannot be observed with any scientific means nor can it be detected by any human senses, it has no beginning or end. It always exists and is always divine. It is the origin of both the material world and spiritual world, the creator of all matters and lives. When the material world and spiritual are present, it too is present. When the material world and spiritual world do not exist, it is still present. The Buddhist Sutra saying "No beginning, no end, not polluted, not purified, cannot be increased and cannot be decreased". It is the Void, yet mysteriously exists. It is the kingdom of God. The main purpose of Tien – Tao is the return to Li–Tien. This clearly states the importance of transcending the cycle of birth, death and rebirth. Confucius said "One who awakes to Tao in the morning will not have any regret even if he dies in the same night".