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Advanced I Ching: The Structure of a Well- Ordered Family
The serious student of I Ching in America is confronted with a special problem regarding the body of literature which is by no means easily resolved. When trying to delve deeper into the meaning of the hexagrams, the student finds that the vast majority of the available literature merely rewords the classic work by Wilhelm; Govinda puts it best "all the learned translations up to now pay more attention to (the) commentaries than to the structure and inherent meaning". The "learned translations" as Govinda puts it, really are a source of much of the misdirection which has kept us >from truly understanding the structural complexity of the I Ching. Most of the literature has not only reworded Wilhelm, but there seems to be an analytical void where the only things that most writers add to the dialogue, are philosophical definitions which have more to do with Taoism than with the structure of the I Ching. We find long and scholarly diatribes on predestination, time, Void, causation, and other esoterica which shed no useful or original light on the hexagrams themselves. In short, philosophy misdirects us from humble and sincere communication with the Tao via the Book of Changes.
How many books or articles have informed us of the existence of what may be called "wormholes" in the I Ching; of hidden connections and sequences that infer magical relationships between the eight members of the Taoist family? Without understanding these basic relationships, there is no way that the student can understand why the I Ching must work, why it has no choice, when properly addressed, but to work. In my years of studying the I Ching, I have found very little which substantially adds to Wilhelm, most of the questions that Wilhelm left us have yet to be answered. The most important book that I have found, and which has inspired this paper is Farrington Hook's I Ching and you. Although I have read several highly interesting books and articles on topics ranging from the Book's relationship to ancient lunar calanders, to the astrology of I Ching, Farrington Hook's work is one of the few which addresses the subject of inner structure.
In the true tradition of the I Ching the student must seek out the masters in the seclusion to which they have withdrawn. To find lessons in advanced I Ching, the student must pray and sacrifice thus attracting the masters like a magnet, by no means an easy task. The problem of not being literate in Far Eastern languages only makes the problem of research that much more frustrating. One can only wonder how many books exist in Chinese which seek to explain the inner structure. How many would show the six pointed star to be not only the focal point of Judaism, or its cousin Rastafarianism, but to be also the focal point of Taoism? This paper will give Westerners a fairly new way of approaching the I Ching, and will hopefully inspire both mathematicians and mystics alike to a better understanding of the sacred movement.
Instead of going through the hexagrams sequentially with the intent of explaining their meaning through the commentaries, I shall go through them and show their structural interconnectedness. Before setting out on this task I shall briefly discuss a few of the fundamentals upon which my analysis is based. Farrington Hook's I Ching and You is the ultimate tool for the beginner mainly because of its indexes where she presents tables categorizing the two families which together are used to construct hexagrams, the Thought family and the Nuclear. In some of the standard interpretations it has been written that when a hexagram does not change the situation is somewhat static, stillborn, and vaguely incomplete, but rarely has it been explained why. The reason is that if a hexagram doesn't change it is not truly a hexagram. In her nuclear and thought tables Farrington Hook shows that each of the 64 hexagrams is a combination or a merging of opposites. The nuclear hexagrams are based on necessity and mathematics. She shows how each hexagrams inner four lines make a nuclear hexagram. The method of making a nuclear hexagram is common knowledge. The second, third, and fourth lines form the bottom trigram, while the third, fourth, and fifth lines form the top trigram. Example- the 14th hexagram has a nuclear hexagram of 43. One of Farrington Hook's important contributions is in showing us how if we use the same procedure on the 43 that we will get either the 1st,2nd, 63rd, or 64th, hexagrams. Either the primary or secondary nuclear hexagram of every hexagram results in one of these four. The 1st and 2nd are critically important as the Father and the Mother, the 63rd and the 64th show the importance and the androgyny of the middle daughter and the middle son, whose chief functions are to act as mediators and diplomats representing Heaven and Earth.
Farrington Hook's thought families are based on the families of Heaven and Earth. The family of Heaven proceeds(changes) in the sequence Heaven(1), Mountain(52), Thunder(51), Fire(30), and then back to Heaven.The family of Earth proceeds Earth(2), Wind(57), Lake(58), Water(29), and back to Earth. I have listed these hexagrams according to their elemental manifestations which are useful images of concentration and prayer, but it is more important to the purpose of this paper to view them as members of the family thereby personalizing them. We need to know as second nature the alliances and jealousies that exist within this family and the access that certain members are afforded which other members are denied. As previously alluded to, the reader will notice that the only female in Heaven is Li(fire) and that the only male on Earth is Kan(water). These two are sent from their same sex parent to their opposite sex parent as ambassadors, and as such are given direct access to "the ear" of that opposite sex parent. Alternately, Ken and Sun are also given direct access leaving Tui and Chen apparently isolated from all parental contact. The sequential ordering of these family members unlike with the nuclear hexagrams, is essentially revealed. The combination of the necessary (nuclear) and the revealed (thought) creates the hexagrams that we receive when we throw coins or yarrow stalks. So when we receive a hexagram, that hexagram is at a triangles apex while the thought and the nuclear hexagrams are placed at the triangles base.
The hexagram which we receive by throwing coins is a merging of the cyclical(thought) and the linear(nuclear).
figure 1. When a hexagram does not change it is actually a Trigram, where we have the received "hexagram" and its thought and nuclear hexagrams. Change converts Trigrams into Hexagrams. ex. The third hexagram changes to the forty-third, the numbers on the left represent the thought hexagrams, the numbers on the right, the nuclear.
[figure omitted ]
Stagnation occurs when there is no change. When there is change, we can create Hexagrams, and the situation is dynamic and whole, it fulfills its basic potentialities. (Isn't it astonishing that you can buy thirty books on the I Ching at your local bookstore and never find the image which lies at the core of our magic?) Much has been written on the Hexagram in both Western and Eastern cultures, but for the novice it important to think of this image as the combination of complements or opposites, the trigram which points up shows us stability, its base firmly planted while the other trigram shows us instability as it teeters on its point. This paper shall now go more in depth into some of my findings, through use of the hexagram, and the emphasis on personalizing the eight trigrams, I shall show how the I Ching uses and distributes power.
The Hexagrams: Structure and Interdependency
I shall now address each pair of hexagrams (all odd numbered hexagrams are connected to their inverses) in order and discuss my observations.
Much has been written about the first hexagram, Heaven, the Father. Among the more fascinating questions about it is its order in the book. In todays world of political correctness, this ordering might imply that the I Ching is a book which favors the "Patriarchy." My research tends to show that this ordering is only one half of the balance which is seen throughout the I Ching. As the Father precedes the Mother in the 1st and 2nd hexagrams, in the 11th and 12th hexagrams, we see that when Heaven is above Earth there is stagnation, but when Earth is on top of Heaven there is peace( a more sophisticated interpretation of this relationship will come in the discussion of the eleventh and twelfth hexagrams). The thesis of this paper is that the only way to attain power is to relinquish it, a common theme in life and in the worlds great religions, shown once again in the I Ching.
The third hexagram plays no important role, it is necessary that there be "support" hexagrams for those whose parts are substantially more dynamic. Actually three is one of the more important of these "support" hexagrams in that it is the inverse of one of the most important structures in the book. The internal structure of the 4 represents one of the most important theoretical relationships within the body of a well- ordered family. Nowhere else is the primal relationship between the mother and her first child shown in so dramatic a fashion. When we set up the trigram that shows 4's internal structure, we can see perfect balance between the mother and the first son as 16 is the thought hexagram and 24 is the nuclear. The student needs to remember that Chen has no direct access to the parent (Chien) in his thought family. This is because a first born is closer to his mother than to his father. Li must have direct access to Chien as Kun's representative in Heaven, and Ken must have direct access because Chen is his mothers first born.
Psychologists can discuss the psyco-sexual ramifications and philosophers can discuss my logic and hindsight, but I am only seeking to interpret what has been revealed. In the structure of the I Ching the relationship of the mother to the first son is of the highest importance.
figure 2. The internal structure of the fourth hexagram is unique as its thought hexagram shows the first son over the mother and the nuclear hexagram shows the mother over the first son.
These hexagrams have no special importance, they represent the communication of a Lord with his ambassador. Kan goes to Heaven to receive his instructions and is sent back to Earth. Chien wonders if so much contact with his mother and sisters will feminize him. Here we begin to see the identity crisis of the mediators, those that are equally at ease in two different worlds.
These two are basically a continuation of the process observed in the 5th and 6th hexagrams. They establish first contact between the Mother and Heavens representative, Kan. It is unknown to me why the bonding of Earth and Water follows that of Heaven and Water yet the same does not happen with Fire, Heaven and Earth (13,14- 35,36). Experience has suggested that nothing in the I Ching is casual and that there is a reason for its ordering. 9&10
These Hexagrams are important for those who identify with Tui. In the 9th hexagram it is written that the third daughter shall marry the third son. This occurs in nines thought hexagram(31). The 9 is the inverse of the 10, but it is the complement of the 43. When lake has power over Heaven, to gain marriage she must relinquish this control to Sun. This may seem obscure to the reader at this time but this is one of the most important transfers of power in the entire I Ching. Tui and Chien have a special relationship which is similar to that between Chen and Kun as explained in my discussion on the 4th hexagram. The bonding of Heaven and Lake occurs in the 50th hexagram where the nuclear is 43 and the thought is 10.
figure 3. The fiftieth hexagram complements the fourth. Here the bond is between the Father(Chien) and the third daughter(Tui). These two are the families extremes the oldest male and the youngest female. Chen and Tui are the extremes among the children and because of this they have a special relationship to the parents. These combining of different types of extremes are reminiscent of the motions found in Tai Chi.
One of the most important questions that I used to ask about the I Ching related to its balance. I wondered what Sun and Ken possessed to balance the importance of Chen and Tui's connection to the Father and the Mother. The answer is found in the concept of sacrifice. Tui must have power over Heaven so that she can give that power to Sun. To attain the marriage that she so desperately craves, the 31 that is the thought of 9, she has to give up the one thing that makes her special. The same can be said about Chen, who in the 23 gives up his power over Kun to Ken to attain marriage with Sun(32). When Tui does not have power over Chien (10) she is asking for forgiveness for a serious offence, she prays that "treading the Tigers tail, it does not bite." The link between the 50 and the 4 can be further demonstrated when we consider that the thought of the 10 is the 4. The thought family proceeds: 50- 10- 4- 16- 50. In the commentary, the 4 speaks of asking too many times for the mercy which is given in the 10. This is never explained in the rewordings of Wilhelm.
Although I have briefly discussed the marital significance of the 11 and 12 to Chien and Kun, its inner structure hints at the marriage of Chen to Sun and Tui to Ken. The 11 connects two of the four marriage hexagrams. 11 gives 53 as a thought and 54 as a nuclear. They show the dominance of the first son over the third daughter, and the dominance of the first daughter over the third son. In much the same way that Kan and Li are androgynous, the same can be said of the Father and the Mother. They are partners and are almost identical. Earth over Heaven and Heaven over Earth both link 53 and 54, but in slightly different fashions. The nuclear of the 12 is 53 while its thought is 18. The 18 is the only hexagram in the I Ching whose nuclear and thought hexagrams are the same. The 18 is comprised of two 54's making the inner structure of the 11 and the 12 virtually identical.
figure 4. As with water and fire, Heaven and Earth represent two sides of the same coin. The thought and nuclear hexagrams of the 11 are 53 and 54 respectively. The thought and nuclear of the 12 are 18 and 53. 18's internal structure is composed of 54 as its though and its nuclear, this is the only place in the I Ching where this occurs.
The thirteen and the fourteen show the communication between Kun's representative(Li) and the Father. More importantly they show the jockeying which takes place to attain the marriage that occurs in the 31. Thirteens nuclear shows Sun under Heaven, remember that for Tui to attain Ken, Sun must be above Heaven. Thirteens thought shows Mountain over Heaven (26) which has as its internal structure Chen over Ken (61) in thought and Chen over Tui(54) as a nuclear. This becomes more fascinating when we look at the internals of the 14 which give Lake over Heaven as a nuclear and Heaven over mountain as a thought.
These hexagrams hold no particular significance other than that the 16 is one of the links in the thought family 50-10-4-16- 50. The fifteen is something of a failed hexagram in that it is the opposite of the 23 which brings the marriage of Chen and Sun in its thought hexagram(32).
The 17 and 18 are crucial hexagrams because they allow cross- fertilization between the first son and daughter and the third son and daughter. The 17, Lake over Thunder, gives Wind over Mountain as a nuclear(53), Wind over Mountain "echoes" back this energy in its thought hexagram, Lake over Thunder(17) . Nowhere else in the I Ching does anything like this occur. Although the 18 does not "echo" back energy, it is the only hexagram where the thought and the nuclear are the same. If we take it one step further, the 54 is a sacred hexagram because it binds the mediators fire and water as it gives 64 as it's thought and 63 as it's nuclear. This idea of its importance as a mediator is further shown by Wilhelm who points out that Chen, who here is important as the ruler of the Lake is also important because in the Lo River Writing(p.23) it is shown that Chen is the only one in the family who is three changes from both Heaven and Earth (Tui is one change from both). His importance as Kun's first son has already been discussed but his importance to Chien in this diagram is no doubt influenced by his dominance over Tui, as seen in the internal structure of the 18 (54,54). Although Wilhelm guides us to the conclusion that the first son is the ruler of the children, I have never once found a source that explained why, this has always been a persistent source of frustration.
figure 5. Chens role as leader of the children begins in the 18 where he uses his influence over Tui (the thought and the nuclear of 18 is fifty-four) to gain importance to Chien, his importance to Kun is natural and is found in the fourth hexagram. Chen links the power of the 4 and the fifty to place himself three changes from Heaven and Earth (see the section on the Lo River Writing on pp.22- 23 of this paper). The movements of Tai Chi are further shown as Chen, through the power of the 54, binds water and Fire (the thought of 54 is 64 its nuclear is 63.) Heaven, Earth, Water, and Fire all revolve around the first son.
The nine-teen and the twenty have no importance except for showing Tui's weakness and Sun's stregnth. In the thought family of Earth, Water and Wind flank the Earth and vie for influence. As it is a strong hexagram for Wind, so is it a strong hexagram for her male complement, Mountain who like Wind flanks his same sex parent, this can be seen in the nuclears of the two as Ken rules Kun and Kun rules Chen.
Twenty- one and twenty- two are similar in showing the families struggles for power. Twenty one shows Li over Chen. The twenty- second hexagram shows that Ken as Chien's other flanker rules Li. Although the situation will reverse itself in the 56th hexagram, in this situation Ken rules the family of Heaven in much the same way as the Queen is the most powerful piece on a chessboard. This begins a period where for the next several hexagrams Ken shows himself to be in ascendance.
This is a situation where Ken rules Kun and Kun rules Chen. Ken's dominance over Chen is further demonstrated as Ken must rule Kun for Chen to achieve marriage with Sun, as can be seen in twenty-three's thought hexagram(32). As was previously discussed, Chens special relationship with Kun must be sacrificed to Ken for Chen to gain that which he desires most. 32 can only be realized when Chen is the winner of the struggle which takes place inside the 4, or when 16 is more important than 24. This is the way that the Tao insures humility. Chen and Tui can never brag about their access to Kun and Chien because their lives depend on delivering these powers to their "rivals" Ken and Sun.
These are intimately connected to the preceding hexagrams as they show Ken's power over the other parent, Chien. Again this power comes at the expense of Chen. Humility is implied within the 26; as Ken reaches his height in dominating Heaven, he submits to Chen in the thought hexagram as Tui submits to Chen in the nuclear. This is the only place in the I Ching where one power rules a couple seeking marriage. There is no equivalent hexagram which shows one powers dominance over Chen and Sun (however in the internal of the 46th hexagram Sun and Chen both rule Tui. In the internals of the 26 and 46 Chen and Tui are common denominators and Sun replaces Ken in the 46.Thus the linkages between the two sibling extremes is further corroborated). Therefore for the 31 to take place it depends on Winds power over Heaven(9's thought hexagram is 31) and Kens power over Heaven with Chen playing the role of facilitator. In the sequence of the I Ching the younger siblings wed before the older(31 precedes 32) but this marriage is contingent upon the good will and the power of Chen and Sun. We can see the meaning of the Yin and the Yang throughout the I Ching as the constant sacrifice of power is used as a means of gaining more power. We must sacrifice what is most dear to us to gain that which we want most, as Tui delivers Chien to Sun and Chen delivers Kun to Ken. The I Ching is a book which almost never yields anything that we have not earned through tremendous and painful sacrifice. It would be nice if it reinforced a common misperception concerning Taoism, namely that it is not based on the either/ or paradigm which is supposedly important only in the West. The Tao is extremely demanding and only the strongest are able to live up to its expectations. Not only does one have to sacrifice what is dearest to them but they have to sacrifice it to the person that they like the least (Chen to Ken and Tui to Sun). This is reminiscent of the Biblical metaphor where Jesus unlike the tax collector came to help everyone, not just members of his own family. The twenty sixes relationship to the marriage of Tui and Ken is also implied as Wilhelm points out that the 26 is stronger than the nine because it has two dark lines restraining the light lines instead of just one as is seen in the 9.
Here we come to another of the more important of the Tao's hexagrams. These two are involved in opening some of shakras along the I Chings most important meridians allowing for the free flow of chi. These hexagrams are not only connected by the rule of inversion, they are also connected by the 55 and the 60. The thought of the 27 is 55 and the nuclear of the 55 is 28. Conversely the thought of the 28 is 60 and the nuclear of the 60 is 27. As far as I know, this is the only place where the shakras are opened in this manner. These hexagrams also represent the final rise of Ken and Tui achieved through the voluntary submission of Chen and Sun. This voluntary submission will allow for the marriage which will take place in the 31st hexagram, the beginning of the second part of the I Ching.
The importance of these hexagrams has basically already been discussed. They flank their opposite sex parents and act as Holy emissaries. They are of androgynous character because of the great amount of time they spend with their opposite sex parent and siblings. They are similar in much the same way that Heaven and Earth are similar, as was discussed in the section on the eleven and twelve. This shall be further substantiated in the section on the 63 and 64. These two as mediators also facilitate the transition to the second part of the I Ching.
Wilhelm identifies the 31st hexagram as the beginning of the second part of the I Ching. How these marriages are brought to fruition has already been discussed. It is interesting to note again the balance; in the 31st hexagram the female rules the male and in the 32nd hexagram the male rules the female. It is good for us when seeking a mate to identify with one of these four powers. Mandalas can be used for prayer as Mountain spirits can pray for Lake spirits and Thunder spirits can seduce the Wind. Such practices usually associated with paganism are vital to the success of using the I Ching. A person can find geographic locations which mirror their souls and their desires, it is important for each of us to have such a place to strengthen the energy of our prayers. There are ways in Chinese astrology to learn what power a person should associate themselves with, or one can read on the attributes of a power and see which one is closest to their own personality. Arkana publishes the most interesting line of books on the I Ching, and their book on the Astology of I Ching is extremely useful in determining a patron.
These have little importance but they are however part of Wilhelms calendar. Wilhelm identifies a twelve month calendar which proceeds in sequence of line changes. 2-24-19- 11-34-43-1-44-33-12- 20-23-2. This calendar shows the interaction of Heaven, Earth, Thunder, Lake, Wind, and Mountain. Whether this is the true calendar of the I Ching or the one adopted by the Chinese to use instead of the traditional and more accurate 13 (an unlucky number to Chinese) month lunar calendar imported with the I Ching from Tibet is unknown to me.
These hexagrams simply show the communication of Kun with her liaison in Heaven. Kun gives her instructions to Li who takes them to Heaven.
There is little of note to mention about these two. Implied within their external structure is Suns power over Li and Tui, its a girl thing. These two are linked to the 39,40-Chen over Kan and Ken
These are part of a three hexagram series which requires us to "seek the southwest". The other Hexagram is the 2. This is one of the wormholes which opens the shakras allowing for the flow of chi and travel through the body of the I Ching. The thought of the 40 is 35 and the nuclear of the 35 is 39. The thought of the 39 is 24 and the nuclear of the 24 is the 2. It always fascinated me why I have always read about "seek the southwest" but never have I read why these three hexagrams(39,40,2) are linked. Maybe all of this type of information is only available in Chinese. Maybe the writers prefer to hide their light under a bushel basket.
These are the opposite of the marriage hexagrams, and are the offspring of the 44 and the 15. Wilhelm shows that the 11,12 41,42 and the 63,64 are linked. These are perhaps the shadows of the 1,2- 31,32- and the 63, 64 (which might shadow themselves, uniting the energies of Heaven, Earth, Wind, Thunder, and Lake and Mountain)). More research needs to be done on these connections.
Like the period in the mid-twenties was for Ken, this is a period of stregnth for Tui. There is an interesting movement as Lake over Heaven(43) leads to Lake over Fire(49). Mountain over Heaven goes back in a similar sequence only the nine-teenth and the twentieth hexagrams take the place of Mountain over Water,which is a strong hexagram for Chen. Consumation is thus made dependant on Chen who uses his energy inside of the 26, the 18, and the 4, to smash the symetry which might occur between Tui's power and Ken's. Note how four and fifty almost join three pairs from Mountain and Lake over Heaven (26 & 43).This movement is the complement of the union found in the 37,38 & 39,40 where Wind rules her sisters and Chen rules his brothers
Little meaning is attached to these two. Tui's power over Earth and Earth's power over Wind must be a result of Chen's relationship with Kun as seen in the 4. Tui has gained power over Kan and Sun (both of whom flank the Earth) through the power of the only child who is closer to Kun than Kan or Sun, Chen. Chen is in Heaven because it is the place of the first son to join his father in the fields and on the hunting grounds.The 46 is also important because Chen over Tui is its nuclear and Sun over Tui is its thought (see the discussion on the 26)
The theme of Tui's rise is continued here as she rules all of her siblings who dwell on Earth. Tui rules Kan as Kan rules Sun. 49&50
Again we see Tui's power as she controls fire who controls wind. In the 50th hexagram we find evidence of her connection with the Father. This connection is derived from the fact that they are polar opposites. Chien is the first and the strongest, while Tui is the last and the weakest. The thought of the 50 is 10 and its nuclear is 43.
These represent the two sons in Heaven. Between them exists sibling rivalry. In the thought family of Heaven, Ken is next to Chien, he has his ear and his favor because Chen is aligned with his mother. Chien's other ear is reserved for the only female in Heaven-Li, who is her mothers mediator. Chen like Tui is not a mediator, he is biased in favor of his mother. Chen and Tui are extremes, they are the furthest from their same sex parent (thought familiy) and closest to their opposite sex parent (50&4), again these extrems can be seen in the Lo River Writing.
The fifty- third and fifty- fourth hexagrams are as previously described, connected to the 17th and 18th hexagrams. 17 is the thought of 53 as 53 is the nuclear of 17. 54 is the thought and the nuclear of the 18. 54 also connects the mediators Fire and Water as 63 is its nuclear and 64 its thought. According to Wilhelm, the 53rd and 54th hexagrams are also, like the 31st and 32nd, marriage hexagrams. The tension that exists between the 17, 53, 18, and 54 resembles what occurs when atoms are sent through a super-collidor. Ken, and Sun, Tui and Chen collide at accelerated speeds and the 31 and the 32 are formed as these elements are separated and reconstituted.
These only show the mediator Li giving power to Chen over Ken. 55 is also part of the conduit between 27 and 28. 27's thought is 55 and 55's nuclear is 28. 55 is connected to 60 as 60 is the thought of 28 and 27 is 60's nuclear. Thunder gains this close access to Chien(power over his flankers) through the power of the Lake(50).
57 and 58 are Sun and Tui. Their relationship has for the most part already been discussed. The bond and balance between Sun and Ken can be seen in the progression of the thought families of Heaven and Earth. In Heaven(1-52-51-30-1) Ken the younger brother precedes Chen the oldest brother. On Earth(2-57-58-29-2) The oldest sister precedes the youngest sister. But in the sequence of the hexagrams Thunder precedes Mountain(51,52) and Wind precedes Lake(57,58).
These only show Winds power over Water and Lake. 60 is related to 55, both are conduits between the 27 and 28(see 55).
These are connected to the 59 and 60 and the 27,28. 61's nuclear is 27 therefore 61-27-55-28 and 62-28-60-27.(see discussion on the 27 and 28)
63 and 64 are basically the same hexagram due to the androgyny of both Fire and Water. Li is the only female in Heaven, as Kan is the only male on Earth. These are intimately connected to the role reversals and power sharing seen in the 11 and the 12. 63 gives 11 as a thought and 64 as a nuclear, while 64 gives 12 as a thought and 63 as a nuclear. This shows how Heaven, Earth, Fire, and Water, form a group of four in much the same way as the group of Chen, Sun, Ken, and Tui. While the members of the latter grouping have mates and complements ( ex. Tui's mate is Ken, her complement, Chen) Water and fire serve as each others mate and complement.
figure 6. The logic of placing water and fire before Earth and Heaven in the thought families can be seen as Water over Fire gives Earth over Heaven and Fire over Water gives Heaven over Earth. Balance is further manifested in the nuclears as 63 gives 64 and 64 gives 63. In this way the I Ching is brought to completion.
The Lo River Writing and the Yellow River Map
The Lo River Writing and the Yellow River Map are both revealed texts which were deliverd to King Wen and Fu Hsi by myhtological beasts sent from Heaven and Earth. These texts define the relationships between the family members. In the Lo River Writing we can see forming at the center, the confict and the resolution that has been discusssed in this paper. Li and Kan are at the poles, outside of the conflict. Tui and Chen are to the east and the west; as their energies meet at the center, the power of the four and the 50 are joined. As previously discused it is the combination of these two hexagrams that places Chen, as the oldest child, three changes from both Heaven and Earth and Lake one change >from Heaven and Earth. To gain marriage Chen has placed Ken in opposition to Kun(norhteast and southwest) and Tui has placed Sun in opposition to Chien (northwest and southeast).
In the Yellow River Map which was revealed to Fu Hsi, we see the predessor of the negotiations found in the Lo River Writing. Heaven is opposite to Earth, Lake is opposite to Mountain, Thunder is opposite to Wind, and Fire is still opposite to Water, only now they are in the west and the east. Notice how Wind and Lake are nestled around Heaven, and Thunder and Mountain are gathered around Earth. Thus everyone gets what they wanted. Sun and Tui are close to Chien as Chen and Ken are close to the Earth.
figure7. In the Lo River Writing the power of the 4 and the fifty meet in the center and are joined by the 9(Wind opposed to Heaven) and the 23(mountain opposed to Earth). In the Yellow River Map all of the mates are in opposition and Wind and Lake gain Heaven as Mountain and Thunder gain Earth.
The reader may have wondered through this analysis how the wormholes and conduits that i've described can help them, or how they can be used. These are questions that have no easy answer. I was first drawn to this method because of my need to understand the I Ching on a very primitive level. I needed to be able to communicate and to understand the Tao without needing the actual text. If walking through the woods a person is inspired to communicate but doesn't have the book in their possession,it is important to be able to make something out of the cast. This can be done by simply seeing which powers seem strong and which powers seem weak and identifying oneself with a particular patron.
Secondly, through exploring the inner structure, we can become more easily convinced of the Tao's method, logic, and grace. Even if not convinced of the I Chings value as a means of divination( actually it only advises) one can't help but to admire its order and structure.
My way of approaching the I Ching is more directed towards prayer to the eight powers, which incorporates the importance of geography and nature. A person is able to find new holy grounds which resonate with the power of a persons identified spirit, whether it be the Lake, Mountain, Wind, etc. I also use the idea of resonance in my method of questioning. Instead of writing down a question in words, I use hexagrams. This method was endorsed by the Tao the first time that I used it, when I questioned 41 and received a 38 changing to 41. In this way a more accurate and meaningful dialogue can be achieved and maintained.
Undoubtedly there are many pitfalls to using the I Ching. Although answers can seem real, there is the threat that if misused we can simply be receiving answers that are being manipulated by our own chi (in the negative sense of or own desires). This is somewhat similar to people on Earth receiving the sunlight from a dead star. There is also the problem of faith and attainment. Quite often the user may notice that although the Tao sometimes promises us success, it sometimes( most of the time?) doesn't deliver. How do we account for the disparity between our magic on paper and our failures in the world? On the one hand we have our personal responsibility, failures are often the result of base disobedience. The hexagram Grace(22) speaks of form without content. When we fail to take our lives seriously, the Tao may seem to inform us, but actually we may only be engaged in a masturbatory conversation with our own chi. On the other hand we can use the example of Gradual Development(53) which relates to the Biblical story of Job. Although we seem blessed by Tao in our conversations, the Tao tests us eternally. Perhaps our ultimate reward for our faith is only to be attained in the afterlife or at some distant juncture in our lives here on Earth.
The one truth which remains constant for the I Ching, is that it is incredibly demanding. As the hexagrams that are revealed to us by tossing coins do not occur coincidentally, nor do the successes we are privileged to in our personal lives. Success only comes through gruelling effort and sacrifice. Belief in I Ching without work can become an exercise in addiction, dependency and frustration. The dangers are very real that we rely on an supernatural being to grant us miracles free of charge. Although this can happen, these miracles should never be relied upon or waited for. Without strength it is better for a person to never become involved, for as previously stated the Tao is not relativistic, it is not about contradicting the "Western" paradigm of the either/or, nor is it about eliminating the separation of the subject from the object. The I Ching as fruit of a highly civilized and advanced society recognizes the forces of good and evil. If the practitioner thinks that the I Ching is some type of escape from the morals of Western society, he is regrettably mistaken. This is a text which sees conservation as the ultimate condition of social order. The conservation of sexual and emotional energies, and of political ideology are some of the basic precepts upon which the I Ching was conceived.
In closing I would like to again address some of the implications of my analysis. In terms of the practice of magic what can we make of the wormholes which open the shakras between say the 27th and 28th hexagrams(55&60). In my opinion the possibilities are vast and uncharted. Combined with a rigorous morality, the practice of deep meditation, chanting, and Tai Chi or Chi Kung, it may be possible for us to explore the deepest regions of the human psyche, and to use our power to dramatically affect both time and space. Levitation, astral projection, hypnosis, telepathy, time travel, only Tao knows the limits.
How can we account for the seeming absence of these phenomenon in the real world where they can be tested and scrutinized empirically? Who knows, it is certainly more than possible that this power cannot be achieved by those who intend to or are willing to subject it to verification. Perhaps the age of magic is in recession, its practitioners in an era where their faith is being tested, only to realize empowerment at the proper time. Our love and belief in the sacred hexagrams in my opinion should not be subject to our successes or failures in the real world. The Hexagrams contain an internal beauty which alone engenders the deepest love of life and of humanity. Mere observation of the way Tao communicates and interacts will leave the most skeptical observer both amazed and awestruck.
Among some of the things that remain to be done are in depth studies on the five states of change; and the rules that determine which lines rule individual hexagrams. Although there are rules which give us probabilities on which lines rule, to date there are few sources which systematically explain why certain lines rule hexagrams, why certain hexagrams contain two constituting rulers, and so on. Also more mathematical work needs to be written in laymens terms to explain the ordering of the hexagrams and the links between inverted pairs and the pairs that follow them (ex. why is Ken so strong in the hexagrams 22-27? Work on the Lo River Map,the Yellow River Diagram and the Five States of Change are sure to be most revealing). Hopefully, the new waves of emigration, the opening up of China, and the potential of the internet will serve to generate new and informative research into the complexities of the I Ching.
Advanced I Ching: The Structure of a Well- Ordered Family Terrence Payne
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Published on: 2006-03-28 (44713 reads)[ Go Back ]