When I attended sessions from many holistic healers, the concept of five element theories was often over stressed. I also heard from them various related theories and the so called deep analysis of why those five elements form the basis of the constitution of this universe. The most commonly explained five elements are Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. The fifth one is also equated to either sky or to some void space called aether. Some theories even define the sixth element as the “consciousness” or “Chetna”. Chinese five element theory, Wu Xing, that is concerned with the processes and changes identifies Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water as five elements. Greeks define basic four elements Earth, Water, Fire and Air for constitution of things on earth and the fifth one aether for all heavenly bodies. Leading from Buddhists impression of standard five called ‘Godai’, Japanese also added the sixth one as ‘nether’ representing darkness or death.
I was told by my chemistry teacher that these five elements are only the notional elements. The real elements are listed in the periodic table given by Mendeleev and then later updated till date to show 118 elements. Today, modern science recognizes many sub-atomic particles up till the recently discovered one the Higgs-boson or the GOD particle. Media advertised this discovery in a way, as if the core constituent of universe has been found. After a deeper look at the situation prevailing now, may it be the general theory of relativity, quantum theory or string theory, one can easily understand that the search for core constituents of anything or everything in this universe is far from over. Let me now try to categorize things based on the perceptions I have formed after reading a lot about modern thought processes on this issue.
As the first constituent I will put “Matter and Energy”. This is because, both are inter-convertible. As the second constituent place of this list I shall give to “Space” that was called aether in some older theories. Something, where all other constituents are suspended. It could be space between neutrons or protons or space between stars. The third place I shall give to “Time”. I believe that modern theories have given sufficient proof that time is also something that is one of the core thing connecting this universe. The fourth one I intend to give to “Dark matter and Dark Energy”. This is something we are still struggling to find, but we are sure that these are there. This is simply because we know that the mass of the universe is far higher than the mass of the matter we know. And finally the fifth place in this neo elements list, I shall give to Life or Consciousness. I consider Life or Consciousness as an entity without which this universe cannot be treated as complete. Life certainly is something that is elementally different from other elements I discussed above. Finally the new five elements list looks like Matter & Energy, Space, Time, Dark Matter & Dark Energy and Life.
This list could have been made a seven or eight point list, but to philosophically relate it to the traditional magic number five, this has been summed up as a “Neo Five Element Theory”. Please do not discard this right away. Google again, think again, debate with yourself and come-up with your own list. One can even attempt to build better holistic healing principles based on this neo-five element theory.