The truth behind CaoDai cosmology

Hum D. Bui explains what CaoDi tells us about Yin and Yang and the formation of the universe.

Before the creation of the heavens and the universe, the cosmic ether was still, quiet, and void; and at the same time a kind of primordial chaos, indistinct and shadowy with mixtures of density (which we call "the Tao" or pre-creation ether).

In this cosmic ether appeared a great source of Divine Light called "Thai Cuc" (Monad) or the Supreme Being. The Monad then divided itself into Yin and Yang, the two opposite logos: "Am Quang" (Yin Darkness) and "Duong Quang" (Yang Energy). Yin is heavy, dark, cold, dense, negative, inactive… while Yang is clear, bright, warm, pure, positive, active… Yin and Yang interacted with each other to form heavens and universes, with Yang being the origin of the invisible, spiritual aspect, and Yin being the mother of all visible, physical manifestations. Taoism refers to this as "The Tao begets One, One begets two, two begets three, three begets ten thousands beings; ten thousand beings carry Yin on their back and hold Yang in front, blending these two vital elements (breaths) to attain harmony."

Regarding the formation of the universe, the Supreme Being gave the following message: "After creating the universe, I divided My spirit and with it made all creatures, plants and materials. Everything in this universe comes from My spirit, and therefore has a life. Where there is life, there is Myself even in materials and plants. I am each of you and you are Me."
Everything in this universe are from Yin and Yang. The proportion of Yin and Yang would dictate the properties of each dimension. More advanced souls would enter a dimension which has a higher proportion of Yang and would be lighter, brighter, calmer, more beautiful, and may be called heavens. Less advanced souls enter a dimension which has a higher proportion of Yin, and would be heavier, darker, more burdensome with many cruel souls and may be called hell.

Spiritually, everything in the universe shares a part of the Supreme Being's spirit, which is called Conscience or soul in human beings. Physically, everything in the universe has a visible body consisting of a mixture of Yin and Yang, which is well demonstrated by science under the form of electrons and protons in atoms, the basic common elements of all physical reality including materials, plants, animals, and human beings. In summary, there is a oneness between the Supreme Being, the universe, human beings and every thing. The only difference is that the Supreme Being is absolutely pure, absolutely good, absolutely Yang.

Human beings, not withstanding the spiritual part from the Supreme Being, which as noted is absolutely pure and absolutely good, (and which is called Conscience), have a physical body, which is a mixture of Yin and Yang, and which human beings must cultivate in order to become more and more Yang; clearer, better, purer in thought and physically, thereby drawing closer to the Supreme Being, finally become unified with the Supreme Being. In CaoDai, this distilling process is a product of meditation, vegetarianism, moral practices, prayer, to continually raise the vibrational level of Yang.

Hum D. Bui, M.D. was born in Vietnam in 1943. He is a CaoDai scholar working with CaoDai Overseas that is in charge of spreading the faith.
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Donald Trump's healthcare failure could be to his advantage

The appearance of weakness is less electorally damaging than actually removing healthcare from millions of people.

Good morning. Is it all over for Donald Trump? His approval ratings have cratered to below 40%. Now his attempt to dismantle Barack Obama's healthcare reforms have hit serious resistance from within the Republican Party, adding to the failures and retreats of his early days in office.

The problem for the GOP is that their opposition to Obamacare had more to do with the word "Obama" than the word "care". The previous President opted for a right-wing solution to the problem of the uninsured in a doomed attempt to secure bipartisan support for his healthcare reform. The politician with the biggest impact on the structures of the Affordable Care Act is Mitt Romney.

But now that the Republicans control all three branches of government they are left in a situation where they have no alternative to Obamacare that wouldn't either a) shred conservative orthodoxies on healthcare or b) create numerous and angry losers in their constituencies. The difficulties for Trump's proposal is that it does a bit of both.

Now the man who ran on his ability to cut a deal has been forced to make a take it or leave plea to Republicans in the House of Representatives: vote for this plan or say goodbye to any chance of repealing Obamacare.

But that's probably good news for Trump. The appearance of weakness and failure is less electorally damaging than actually succeeding in removing healthcare from millions of people, including people who voted for Trump.

Trump won his first term because his own negatives as a candidate weren't quite enough to drag him down on a night when he underperformed Republican candidates across the country. The historical trends all make it hard for a first-term incumbent to lose. So far, Trump's administration is largely being frustrated by the Republican establishment though he is succeeding in leveraging the Presidency for the benefit of his business empire.

But it may be that in the failure to get anything done he succeeds in once again riding Republican coattails to victory in 2020.

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to British politics.