In Taoist cosmology, form is mystical, flux is real, everything is in constant transformation and alive with energy or life force (qi).
Stones represent the universe in miniature, or more precisely, the inchoate energies that created the universe. They also have alchemical associations with creating elixirs of long life.
Contemplating stones doesn’t make you go beyond yourself but more into Chan (Zen mind).
Stones mediate between Heaven and Earth; geology is cosmology; Chinese ‘spirit stones’ were compared to meteorites: “The essence of the Yang energy (qi) rises, floating, and becomes stars. When scattered they fall and are without shape. When they fall, there is a sound.”
“Rocks are not like stones or trees: once gathered, they gain a new lease on life.”—Ji Cheng, Craft of Gardens
A rock that had the shape of the Five Sacred Mountains was called “geological writing.”
Chinese scholars created rock gardens, contemplated rocks, and concocted poetry. Pierre Jardin is trying to integrate these vocations.