I have been engaged since 1990 in the more philosophical aspects of science. Geology being a science with a temporal dimension, I have been searching for a physical theory of time. My search has brought me to modern physics on one extreme and the Chinese neoconfucianism of the 12th century on the other. The common language to express the fundamental principles of both could be based upon the theory of chaos and fractals. The main direction of my approach is to depart from the cartesian dualism of matter and spirit. If it is assumed that fundamental particles are not material, but quantum actions or energy-time products, the neoconfucian concept of qi as the elementary constituents of the Universe could be translated in terms of modern sciences.