nì (逆)

literally means “to oppose or be contrary, to disobey or rebel, to be rebellious;” or, in some circumstances, “to anticipate;” nì (逆) is neutral on the issue of being abstract or embodied influence on movement — it means equally ‘counter-flow’ or ‘rebelliousness,’ so that differentiation is determined individually in context; so, it refers equally to the flow of qì itself and to the impulse provided by those aspects of shén (神), which animates the specific qì we are identifying as moving in the wrong direction.

Wiseman and Ye render nì (逆) as “counterflow,” which is the result of the embodied spirit’s impulse to ‘rebel’ against some blockage, stagnation, or simply one’s interpretation of some experience, and thereby flow opposite to its natural direction; that is, ‘counterflow’ results from the embodied spirit rebelling against something and thus moving qì counter to its natural flow; in many cases, I’ve chosen to accentuate the embodied spirit’s rebellion against something it perceives as a block or stagnation, more than the resulting contrary flow. Regardless of specific translation, these ideas are intimately intermingled.

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