xiàng (象)

literally means the “appearance, shape, or image” of something (as a noun) or can mean “to imitate, or resemble” (as a verb). In classical Chinese natural philosophy, xiàng (象) refers to a symbolic image, which generally signifies some directional movement. Groups of these xiàng (象) are used to discern movements in the world, and eventually the subtle dynamics that create and manage them — the Dào (道).

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