When you search up the word Zhen Yi in Taoism, you will usually come up with things like “the way of Orthodox unity” in Taoism, but what are the words Zhen Yi really means by itself? Just like our previous article on Quan Zhen 全真, most people who searched up the words all know that it’s a sect’s name but nothing more than that, and no one can really give you a precise and defined definition of the words by itself of what it really means. Zhen Yi is also like this, and there is a meaning to the two words in Taoism when you look at what Taoism practice is all centered around. Let us unleash the wisdom of our lineage, and bring you to see the truth beyond what’s out there on the internet.
Defining the Meaning of Zhen Yi
Zhen Yi 正一 is nothing but two Chinese words. They can mean different things when you put in a different subject. All words are only a “containers” with a bunch of specific properties, and if the properties or pattern matches, it is good to use. This is how we see everything in Taoism, as the Tao Te Ching already taught you on page one of the book. (Details on Tao Te Ching).
Zhen Yi is two words and we must know about them on their own first. The word “Orthodox Unity” is a very poorly translated word for this two words and really does not give us a good idea of what the words mean.
Zhen 正, in short, means that it is properly aligned with the intended direction and is ready to begin its process. If we decode the word strokes by strokes, it means when the proactive side has given its intention and resources, and authorize the other side to start the action. The proactive side now did their part to conclude, and authorize the other side to continue processing onward. If we put this into an example with a boss, managers, and workers as an example of the company’s operation. Then the action or pattern of Zhen is like when the boss’s intention is known by the workers, and the ideas of the boss have gone into the manager’s level, with the managers starting their job, and now the boss did their part to say “go” and authorize the managers to lead the workers to do their job.
Maybe it’s very complicated, but it’s fine, we will do one more example with the king, generals, and soldiers like in the ancient time. The king announced his intention to war through the generals and to the soldiers. Now the intention has gone into the generals’ department and gave them the power to start the war. The king then concludes his action, or speech, and give his full authority to the generals to bring the soldiers into action, then the war can begin.
What is Zhen Yi in Taoism?
Zhen is when your Yuen Sun has given the leading force through your soul, to you here in this world. Then the Yuen Sun pushes down its essence through the soul and allows the soul to start its process for you in reality. Now the Yuen Sun will conclude its intention and give full authority for the soul to you, and now the flow or delivery can begin, and you will get your essence from the Yuen Sun.
In a way, it’s like saying when your Yuen Sun can deliver to you through your soul properly, then that is the Zhen state of your system.
Yi 一 is when the two sides are linked and can start. This word of “one”, it means something started. Combined with Zhen, Zhen Yi, now you know that it means when your Yuen Sun is all ready and pumped, then it can “start” the flow and transfer things to you.
How Can One Achieve Zhen Yi?
The meaning of Zhen Yi is now defined when put into the subject of Taoism. If you want to know why we are very firm about the definition of Taoism, you can read up on “What is Taoism” and even “What is Yuen Sun” to understand about them. But in short, Taoism is about the Tao of yourself, and so that is your Yuen Sun 元神. This is your spiritual planetary body, which gives you the main direction and potentials in life, leading you to a certain direction and path.
Zhen Yi, on this subject, is to make sure your Yuen Sun can connect to you properly, and so that you can get the package from your Yuen Sun nicely and receive your potentials that you are supposed to have.
In order to achieve this, you will need to “teach” the Yuen Sun to operate in the way you want, so that it will listen to your command and adjust or push out resources for you at the right time that you want it to do so. By cultivating Taoist magic, you can do this by using something that you have built in this world, in the physical world that you live, to remote control your Yuen Sun, or to beam energies back to your Yuen Sun and “teach” it to do things according to your way, including to push elements into your soul system and such.
Teaching the Yuen Sun to work as you wanted, you are now teaching the “soul” to align itself to the Yuen Sun. You are now like a person who can “teach” your own Yuen Sun and soul to work, aligns and start this and that for you. Whereas a normal person cannot do it, because we are all born to be only driven and led by the Yuen Sun, with no authority to override its way. You can only go with its way and not change or command it.
As you can see, this is all like you are working “as” your own Yuen Sun. It’s sort of saying like your Yuen Sun is your boss, but you choose to cultivate and work as the boss, or work “for” the boss, so you can now give commands and such to the system and control what to happen in this lower level (reality). That’s what Zhen Yi means and does in Taoism, working as the “sky” element, teaching the lower systems (your soul and your body). Therefore, the name Tian Shi or Tin Si 天師 – which is translated as “sky teacher”. You can say it’s just like saying you are working “as” and “for” the boss in this Zhen Yi action or pattern. Keep in mind that we are still not talking about any specific sects of Taoism, we are just talking about the two words to their own deeper meaning.
To achieve Zhen Yi in Taoism, which is to work as your Yuen Sun and give commands to the soul to work as you want, is all about using a strong and cultivated pre-heaven energy in this world here, which can represent your Yuen Sun, and now you have to beam this energy upward, to your soul. Now the soul will start doing work you wanted, and there now you can force the soul and Yuen Sun to get aligned or adjust them according to your need. To be able to even do this, you need Taoist magic, and of course a strong altar, or else there is no way to crystallize and cultivate for the pre-heaven energies you wanted, and there is no way one can just beam things back to their Yuen Sun without cultivating for the spiritual powers, which is what we call “magic powers” in Chinese.
Benefit of Zhen Yi
Being “Zhen Yi” in life means that your potentials from the Yuen Sun can be unleashed at will, with yourself being the boss to control when to unleash and how much to unleash. Whereas in the Quan Zhen style of workings, it’s about just building a better pathway and still agrees to the Yuen Sun being your boss, so you will just sit and wait for your delivery while making sure the pathway is nice and smoothen out. The Zhen Yi path is more aggressive and proactive for sure because you can be your own boss and decide when to get what from the Yuen Sun.
Zhen Yi 正一 Versus Tian Yi (Tin Yat) 天一
Our lineage, Tin Yat is very different from Zhen Yi, but it also does what Zhen Yi (the pattern) does too. Tin Yat / Tian Yi, can be summarized in short to mean that the Yuen Sun can be connected and so things can start. While Zhen Yi needs the Yuen Sun and soul to align first. Tin Yat is a bit faster and skipped the authorizing and aligning process. Tin Yat just beams straight from the Yuen Sun and over to the body.
With Zhen Yi, the pattern, you can start the soul and internal system to do things as you wish.
With Tian Yi (Tin Yat), the pattern, you can get resources from the Yuen Sun anytime you like, and with the resources, you can do anything.
Basically, that sums up the difference between the two action. Keep in mind that we are not comparing lineages or sects here, it’s just between the two words as if they are “verbs” or patterns on their own. There is nothing here that is representing what the Zhen Yi sect is about. This is all about what the two words means only, regardless of the sects in China does what they promote or not.
The benefit of going Zhen Yi or Tian Yi (Tin Yat) compared to Quan Zhen, is that you are more of the proactive type, and get full control of what you want to happen. You can gain control over your spiritual soul better, and be able to perform magic to benefit your life more in your own favor, instead of just sit and wait for the overall package to come and be delivered to you as-is.
How to Learn
If you want to “work as your own boss” and command the soul to work, playing the role of your Yuen Sun, you might be on the Zhen Yi groove of mindset. In order to cultivate this and take control over the Pre-Heaven elements, you will need to get ordained into a lineage, and learn Taoist magic, because it is what allows you to do so. If you want to learn from home, and really get to control your own life’s pattern, then you might want to get ordained into Saam Law Tin Si Tao 三羅天師道 to get started.