zhì (志)

will, aspiration, ideal, ambition; be devoted to, or to remember, to keep in mind; it can also mean the records or annals that hold that memory, aspiration or ideal; zhì (志) is one of the wǔshén (五), associated with Water and which are identified with the wǔxíng (五行); indeed, since each of the five phases expresses a directional movement, the shén (神) associated with it is instrumental in implementing that movement. In that context, zhì (志) is usually translated simply as “will,” however that is simply its yáng (陽) side, where its yīn (陰) side might be expressed as “willingness.” As with the somatic qì () of the Water phase (Kidney), the yīn (陰) is the foundation of yáng (陽), or willingness is the foundation of will.

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