Monday, March 2, 2009

"The Number 108 In Tai Chi"

Last week when I went on my monthly reading-magazines-at-the-bookstore excursion, I found an interesting article in "T'ai Chi" magazine:

"The Importance Of Numbers In Tai Chi"
"Q. Why does the traditional Taijiquan always use 108 moves as its form?"

The reply given is broken down into the perspectives of: the Natural, Religious, Human Research and Discovery, and Numerology. Although the article spans about five full pages and is very detailed philosophically, not too much was of use to glean any insight for Lost answers. But some points were intriguing.

The natural perspective covered the Daosist mountain, Wu Dang Shan which has 72 peaks and 36 cliffs = 108, "the 108 of the natural earth spirits of God's creation." Daoists also believe that "the Big Dipper has 36 Tim Gang (beneficial) stars and 72 Di Sha (malevolent) stars." Since we believe that Ursa Major was in one of the episodes, that stood out to me.

The religious aspects include the mention of 108 pagodas or stupas in Ningxia (see photo above) and represents "Buddha's presence in man." And of course there are 108 prayers said on a mala (a 108 bead rosary), as also mentioned at Lostpedia.

Additionally, 108 is part of the Chinese practice of a daily routine of healthful self-message and acupressure (message areas and repetitions equal 108), and "the Chinese character for the word tea represents the numeric 108." A traditional saying states that if one drinks tea regularly, "one may live to at least 108." 108 is also believed by Chinese to stand for "mankind's quest to find significance in life while exploring its many mysteries," a sentiment that could have come from the peacefully-reformed Alvar Hanso himself. Regardless of how the number 108 is viewed, it "in all instances is always perceived as auspicious."


Ellen said...

Good research, Capcom! I like very much!

Capcom said...

Thanks Ellen! Like I said, it wasn't much help to us at this point (though the last part might be how TPTB looked at using 108 in the show) but it was kind of interesting to come upon it when I wasn't even looking for it. Another example of how Lost themes have permeated our lives.


Ellen said...

true, true!!!