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Chinese Language Forums - Chinese Etymology Institute • View topic - About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby karen » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:49 pm

Tienzen wrote:If the mother tongue of our reader is Chinese languge, there is a 99% chance that he does not ever read Yijing in its entirety. Furthermore, there is a 99.99% chance that he is unable to comprehand the book of Yijing if he tries to read, although he might know every word in it. There are two reasons for this ironny fact.


My mother tongue is Chinese, and I am a preacher, studied theology for years. I did not read the book of Yijing until now, reading from your website.

Before now, I knew a lot about Yijing although never did read the book. I knew its philosophy and a lot of great sayings which are the proverbs for our daily life.

How strangely, after read the texts of the Yijing book, I am completely confused. I cannot understand any of it. Why does the line 2 (yang line) of hexagram n mean X while the line 4 (yang line too) of the same hexagram means Y? What is the reason for hexagram n to be as it is, not otherwise? I cannot get any sense out from those original Yijing texts. All I knew about Yijing is from Confucius’ sayings.

mariaC wrote:1. Richard Wilhelm viewed Yijing as a result of “Magic thinking” which is as great as the logic and mathematical thinking.
a. The Yijing text is more often than not obscure.
b. It refers to matters that are incomprehensible.
c. It suggests symbols from another time and place.
d. The language is terse and befuddling.
e. There is no unified and systematic exposition of a comprehensive world view.
f. The book is a puzzle --- even if a tantalizing one --- not only to Westerners but also to all Chinese scholars.
g. To be sure, the Yijing text is complex and obscure. Still its very abstruseness suggests an intriguing richness of multiple meanings.


Richard Wilhelm studied Yijing all his life, but he still felt that the language of Yijing is obscure and incomprehensible.

I would like to know how Confucius got his understanding from those original Yijing texts. Thus, I can follow his steps to understand those texts myself too.
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby hantze » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:14 pm

karen wrote:How strangely, after read the texts of the Yijing book, I am completely confused. ... I cannot get any sense out from those original Yijing texts. All I knew about Yijing is from Confucius’ sayings.


There is a common understanding in the past two thousand years that the original Yijing text is incomprehensible without Confucius’ commentaries.
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby kenny » Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:17 pm

karen wrote:I would like to know how Confucius got his understanding from those original Yijing texts. Thus, I can follow his steps to understand those texts myself too.



Me too.

Tienzen has showed that the hexagram system to be a language for nature laws and to be a “living-life” universe without referring to any of those Yijing texts. I have two questions.

1. Are those original texts describing a system similar to Tienzen’s sayings?

2. How did Confucius get his understanding from those original Yijing texts?
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby r.green » Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:39 pm

Wow, what a thread to follow, taking quite a bit of efforts? After spending all these efforts, I am making an outline about this thread for myself. And hopefully, it will benefit someone who spent lesser efforts than I did.

We have discussed some different views on Yijing.
1. The Western views.
a. Richard Wilhelm --- Yijing is a puzzle with incomprehensive language and images although it is filled with wisdom.
b. Carl Jung --- Yijing is a model for an illogical world. And, Yijing is the inspiration for his new concept of “synchronicity”.
c. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz --- Yijing was the inspiration for his developing the binary number system.

2. The traditional Chinese view --- Yijing itself is incomprehensive without the commentaries of Confucius.

3. Tienzen’s view --- the hexagram system itself makes contact with the modern sciences.
a. It is a language for describing all nature laws, as it forms vector space and matrix algebra.
b. It describes a “living-life” universe , as it is a cellular automaton, the foundation of alife (artificial life).


In Tienzen’s description, only hexagram system of Yijing is discussed, and the King Wen's and Duke Chou’s works are not discussed at all thus far. Therefore, two questions are asked.

Question 1. Did those ancients (King Wen, Duke Chou and Confucius) know about Tienzen’s view, that hexagram system is a language for the laws of the entire universe and describes a living-life universe?

Tienzen’s answer on this question is positive. Yes, they knew.


Question 2. If the answer on question 1 is positive, then how did those ancients reach a conclusion similar to Tienzen’s while they definitely did not know anything about the modern sciences, the vector calculus and the alife?


Now, we are at the point of waiting for the answer on question 2. Am I right?
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby david » Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:10 am

r.green wrote:Question 2. If the answer on question 1 is positive, then how did those ancients reach a conclusion similar to Tienzen’s while they definitely did not know anything about the modern sciences, the vector calculus and the alife?


Now, we are at the point of waiting for the answer on question 2. Am I right?


Yes, I think you are right. But, I would like to refine your question 2, as those three ancients were dealing three different subjects and using three different kinds of languages.

a. King Wen --- he constructed the 64 hexagrams and gave an one-line sentence to describe each hexagram.
Question:
1. What are the reasons as the foundation to construct those hexagrams?
2. What heck of those one line sentences of each hexagram are all about?


b. Duke Chou --- he wrote one line sentence for each line of each hexagram.
Question: What is this all about?


c. Confucius --- he wrote 10 commentaries on the above works (hexagrams, King Wen’s writing and Duke Chou’s writing).
Question: what is the base for his understanding of those works, while we (people after him) cannot find that base ever since? If we find that base, can we reach the same conclusion as Confucius did? If we can, then his 10 commentaries are needed no more. Am I right?

I thank that the answers of those questions will provide us a total understanding of what heck of Yijing really is.
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby Tienzen » Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:48 pm

david wrote: But, I would like to refine your question 2, as those three ancients were dealing three different subjects and using three different kinds of languages.


Indeed, they are different questions and must be addressed separately. I would like to discuss the King Wen’s works first.

First, what are the reasons as the foundation to construct those hexagrams?

I did address this question in one previous post, but I will give a brief summary here as this is the center point for the whole issue. The hexagrams are constructed with the following precise steps.

1. A creation theology --- a nature universe was created from nothingness (無 極) into a binary universe with Ying (陰) and (陽) with one stroke (一 劃 開 天).

2. The rising of a moral universe --- human is participating in the above nature universe (a binary system) to form a 三 才 (consists of Heaven, Earth and Human) universe, a ternary system which is a moral universe.

3. The conceptual representation of the above systems --- the interaction of a binary system with a ternary system form a 八 卦 (eight Trigrams) system.
Note 1: this eight trigram system is, in fact, a vector space in the modern vector calculus, although Ken Wen did not know anything about the vector calculus.
Note 2: for King Wen, these eight trigrams arose as a family. Thus, the eight trigram system was viewed as a living-life system with morality.

4. The conceptual representation of the Totality (nothing outside of this) --- 兩 之 (stacking the trigram) produces a Totality which consists of 64 hexagrams. The stacking procedure of King Wen was discussed in a previous post. I will only briefly repeat it here.
Step 1 --- self stacking, this is the Head of the family.
Step 2 --- every head produces 7 descendent hexagrams.

These two steps form a family (or a palace). Thus, there are 8 families in the Totality.
Note 3: step 1 is similar to the inner production of vectors, and step 2 similar to the cross production. That is, the stacking operation meets the operation requirement of vector calculus. Now, the hexagram system meets all requirements to be a vector field of the modern mathematics while King Wen was definitely not knowing anything the vector calculus.

Note 4: for King Wen again, this stacking operation ensures the Totality is a living-life and moral universe.

With the above procedure, the construction of the hexagram system is completed.



Second, what heck of those one line sentences [of King Wen] of each hexagram are all about?

I did discuss the concept of “association” in a previous post. As it is so important on understanding of this second issue, I will repeat it here.

When a binary system (such as, having and not-having) is associated with numbers (such as, 0 and 1), it becomes a binary “number” system. When a binary number system is associated with electric voltage, it becomes a digital signal system. When a digital signal system is associated with transistors (or chips), it becomes a digital device (TV, computer, etc.). When the 2nd law of thermodynamics is associated,
with …, it becomes an air conditioner,
with …, it becomes a car,
with …, it becomes an airplane, etc..

After knowing the meaning of “association”, we now are able to discuss King Wen’s writings. He viewed the Totality (the entire universe which encompasses both nature and moral universes) which is divided into 64 dominions, represented by 64 hexagrams. And, each dominion is associated with five subjects. Those five subjects are,
a. 卦 體 (the Body of hexagram) --- the hexagram itself, such as, Image.

b. 卦 象 (the image of hexagram) --- this consists of two parts.
i. the image is associated with a corporeal object, such as wind, mountain, water, etc.,
ii. the image gives rise to a conceptual universe, similar to Plato's forms (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_Forms ).

c. 卦 德 (the virtue of hexagram) --- this comes from the virtue of the 象, the associated corporeal object and its conception attributes.

d. 卦 名 (the name of hexagram) --- a name was given to express the image and the virtue of each hexagram.

e. 卦 果 (the outcome of hexagram) --- this is a very important concept which arises from the difference between the Possible universe and the History universe. For example, a young man and a young girl are neighbors. They form a Possible universe with two possibilities, get marry or not get marry. When one of them is married away, then this Possible universe becomes a History universe; the possibility has become a history.
Thus, the hexagram system forms a possible universe with all kinds of possibility. Yet, the most important thing for us is its outcomes, the history universe.

In King Wen’s writing, there are only finite numbers of outcomes, 吉 (good result), 吝 (not promising, having trouble), 咎 (will be sorry), 悔 (will regret), 凶 (having danger), 利 (beneficial), etc..

Every King Wen’s comment on hexagram consists of only these five subjects, and no more. With this understanding, King Wen’s writing can be understood by anyone. There is no obscured and incomprehensive language at all.


Is his comment on hexagram making sense or valid? It is a different issue and will be addressed in the future.
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby david » Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:53 pm

Tienzen wrote:Every King Wen’s comment on hexagram consists of only these five subjects, and no more. ... There is no obscured and incomprehensive language at all.

Is his comment on hexagram making sense or valid? It is a different issue and will be addressed in the future.


Now, I do know what the King Wen’s writings are all about. But I still don’t understand why the images of those hexagrams were chosen as they were, not otherwise. They were seemingly chosen arbitrary. As many hexagrams are symmetric, their images can be switched without altering the system at all.

I am also looking forward to the explanations on Duke Chou’s writings.
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby Tienzen » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:24 pm

david wrote:But I still don’t understand why the images of those hexagrams were chosen as they were, not otherwise. They were seemingly chosen arbitrary. As many hexagrams are symmetric, their images can be switched without altering the system at all.


You have hit the key point. The symmetry and symmetry breaking are the two key points of modern physics and modern mathematics. If a system is completely symmetric, then the image assignment can be switched without altering the system at all. However, if a largely symmetric system has a small symmetry breaking, the image switching scheme will not work.

The ancients did know some symmetric properties about the hexagram system. Two of them are well-known.
1. “錯”(exchange operation), the lines (yao) of a trigram (or hexagram) become its opposite. The new trigram (or hexagram) is called a 錯 卦 of the original one, such as,

Image (乾) vs Image (坤)

Image 坎 vs Image

Every hexagram has one and only one 錯 hexagram. That is, for the “錯”(exchange) symmetry, it is a perfect symmetry, no symmetry breaking. Thus, a selected way of image swapping will not change the system.
Note: it will be a good exercise for the reader to find the 錯 卦 of each hexagram.


2. “綜” (flip over operation), two “different” trigrams (or hexagrams) are related by turned upside down of each other, such as,

Image 震 vs Image

Image 巽 vs Image

The 綜 (flip over) operation for Image 乾 becomes itself, not a different trigram. Thus, Image has no 綜 partner.

You can see that 離, 坎 have the 錯 symmetry but not the 綜 symmetry. For hexagrams, there are only 28 pairs of 綜 symmetry. Thus, the 綜 is not a perfect symmetry. An image swapping operation will change this symmetry, that is, change the system.

Note: if Chinese language is your mother tongue, you have read and used the phrase 錯 綜 複 雜 zillion times. Now, you know where this phrase comes from and what it truly means.


Therefore, the image assignment to each hexagram cannot be completely arbitrary. Then, the question is, “Was King Wen’s assignment making sense and valid?” If a different choice of assignment was made, there will be a different Yijing. Indeed, it will. That is, even without changing the hexagram system, there can be many different versions of Yijing. This was, in fact, the case. As far as we know, there were three Yijing while the first two were no longer in existence.

a. 「 連 山 」 為 「 夏 」 易 --- the Yijing of Xia dynasty (around 21st century BC).
b. 「 歸 藏 」 為 「 殷 」 易 --- the Yijing of Yin dynasty (between 夏 and 周).
c. 「 周 易 」 是 「 周 易 」 --- the Yijing of Chou dynasty (around 11st century BC).


Again, was King Wen’s choice making sense?

In the book “Linguistics Manifesto (ISBN 978-3-8383-9722-1, available at amazon and Barnes & Noble)”, it states a "Spider Web Principle" --- The whereabouts to build a spider web is completely arbitrary (total freedom or total symmetry). However, as soon as the first spider thread is casted, that total symmetry is broken, total freedom no more. For spider web, the first thread decides its location, here, not there. The second thread decides the center of the web. After these two threads, the scope of the web is very much determined. In fact, this "Spider Web Principle" applies on all systems. The first choice of any system can be arbitrary, defining what this system is all about, a language, a machine or the whatnots. And, the second choice fixes the scope of the system.


So, what was King Wen’s first choice on the hexagram system?

He chose the Yang yao ( Image ) has the image and virtue of “moving forward, aggressive” and Ying yao ( Image ) has the image and virtue of “moving inward, receptive.” Thus, Image becomes Father, and Image Mother. From here, the other six trigrams are constructed, as a family.

Image 震, the eldest son from 坤, is thunder, the arousing.

Image 坎, the second son from 坤, is water, the abysmal.

Image 艮, the youngest son from 坤, is mountain, the still, stay put.

Image 巽, the eldest daughter from 乾, the wind, the gentle, all permeating.

Image 離, the second daughter from 乾, the fire, the clinging.

Image 兌, , the youngest daughter from 乾, water lake, the joyous.

In fact, the image (corresponding to a corporeal object) and the virtue of each trigram were assigned by King Wen somewhat arbitrary, trying to encompass the known nature phenomena. However, as soon as those choices were made, the images and virtues of hexagrams become derivative of those early choices by following an inheritance law. The image and the virtue of each symbol are inherited by a descendent symbol.


After knowing these principles, the reader can actually derive the image and the virtue of each hexagram yourself. Then, you can compare your findings to King Wen’s writing. That is, there is no abstruseness or incomprehensibleness at all about King Wen’s language.

However, were King Wen’s choices the best choices? This is a major issue and will be discussed in the future.
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby mariaC » Mon Sep 19, 2011 10:17 pm

Tienzen wrote:However, were King Wen’s choices the best choices?


Thanks for giving such a detailed reconstruction on Yijing. Now, the abstruseness and the incomprehensibleness are no longer parts of Yijing.

In the past three thousand years, Yijing was viewed absolute on describing the laws of Chinese universe. Now, your question “were King Wen’s choices the best choices?” is challenging that view directly. I am looking forward to your analysis of it.
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby Tienzen » Tue Sep 20, 2011 12:34 pm

mariaC wrote:In the past three thousand years, Yijing was viewed absolute on describing the laws of Chinese universe. Now, your question “were King Wen’s choices the best choices?” is challenging that view directly. I am looking forward to your analysis of it.


In order to answer the question “were King Wen’s choices the best choices?” we must know about Yijing in its entirety which consists of three parts, the hexagrams, King Wen’s writing (choices) and Duke Chou’s writing (follow-ups).

Thus far, I have discussed the way of constructing the hexagrams, from 無 極 (Nothingness) to 太 極 (the Ultimate) to 陰 陽 (Ying-Yang, a binary universe). Then, by adding 三 才 (a universe participated by human, a ternary universe), it forms 八 卦 (rising as a family, isomorphic to the modern vector space). Then with the 兩 之 (stacking) operation, it comes 64 hexagrams.

After having the hexagram system, King Wen made his interpretation of the system by providing it with 4-fold association.
1. The hexagram itself as the body (卦 體).

2. Each hexagram is associated with one corporeal object. This association creates an image and a conception (卦 象) for the hexagram.

3. One of the virtue of that 象 is selected as the virtue of the hexagram (卦 德).

The above three form a “possible universe” with many possibilities. So, the last part of the system is the concretizing or the manifestation of that possible universe to a history universe. Thus,

4. The 卦 果 (note: no one ever used this term before) with a finite numbers of outcomes, such as, 吉, 凶, etc..

These form a 4 fold-manifold universe which can be described with very complicated modern mathematics. See manifold at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifold . In common words, it is a universe having 4 sides (or 4 souls, the body 體, the image 象, the virtue 德 and the outcome 果).

Of course, this 4-fold manifold did not arise out of the blue. It starts out by associating Ying and Yang with a particular attributes, with arbitrary choices. Then, with the law of inheritance, these attributes permeate into its descendants. Thus, this 4-fold manifold structure is 100% derived from those original arbitrary choices.


The above describes the two step constructing procedure of Yijing (周 易).
a. Constructing the hexagrams. Note: the hexagram system has the potential to become many different systems.
b. Providing the hexagrams with a chosen association. This makes a set of general hexagrams to become a “particular” system.

After being constructed, a system comes alive, becoming a dynamic system.
i. The entire universe is divided into 64 dominions, represented with 64 hexagrams.
ii. Every dominion is not isolated but is interlinked to all other dominions. In fact, every dominion can become any of other dominions with some internal changes (dynamics). That is, the lines (yaos, 爻) of the dominion are the constitution of that dominion. By changing one yao, it becomes a different dominion (hexagram).

In fact, the yaos of the hexagrams are the driving force for system dynamics. Thus, the meaning of each yao in a hexagram becomes the essence for the entire system. As the attributes (body, image, virtue and outcome) of each hexagram are predetermined, the meaning of yao of each hexagram becomes the key not only for its own hexagram but for the entire system. For example,
1. Hexagram n [H(n)] with attributes X [H(X)] and hexagram m [H(m)] with attributes Y [H(Y)].

2. H(n) becomes H(m) by changing its bottom yao.

3. Then, this bottom yao of hexagram n must have the power to change attributes X to attributes Y.


If there are only two or three hexagrams in the system, to make yaos of each hexagram consistently to meet the above requirement might not be a too difficult job. But, with 64 hexagrams, the consistency requirement on the meanings of yaos of hexagrams become a mammoth job. Obviously, this mammoth job was not done by King Wen, and it was done by his son, Duke Chou (周 公). Did Duke Chou’s work meet the requirement? I will let the readers to be the judge, as you now know what Duke Chou’s work is all about.


Is there a definite procedure to do Duke Chou’s job? Yes, there is.
1. With reverse engineering --- as the attributes of each hexagram is predetermined and its yao structure is fixed, we can provide each yao a meaning, and their evolution (from bottom to top) will produce the given attributes of that hexagram. This forms the internal dynamic and evolution of that hexagram. This is not a too difficult of a job after a certain rules are set.

2. With brutal examining --- When H(n) becomes H(m) by changing the bottom yao, can that Yao change H(X) to H(Y)? For examining all dynamics of 64 hexagrams, this is a mammoth job. And, this can be a great homework for our readers.

Now, we know that yao(s) is the soul of the hexagram system. Then, did Duke Chou do a good job?
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby kenny » Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:51 pm

Tienzen wrote:In fact, the yaos of the hexagrams are the driving force for system dynamics. Thus, the meaning of each yao in a hexagram becomes the essence for the entire system.


Now, I got it. It is just a similarity operation.

Each hexagram is as a 無 極 (Nothingness) with six empty seats. When the yaos filling up those empty seats from bottom to top, that hexagram reaches its completeness for its body, it image and its virtue. This yao filling process completes the internal dynamics for each hexagram.

Then, any change of yao(s) in any given hexagram, it changes that hexagram into a new and different hexagram. The movement of the yao(s) drives the intra-hexagrams dynamics.

So, the movements of yao(s) are the driving force for both dynamics, that is, the entire system. So, without Duke Chou’s work, the Yijing would not be complete. Am I right?
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby mariaC » Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:09 pm

Tienzen wrote:Is there a definite procedure to do Duke Chou’s job? Yes, there is.
1. With reverse engineering --- as the attributes of each hexagram is predetermined and its yao structure is fixed, we can provide each yao a meaning, and their evolution (from bottom to top) will produce the given attributes of that hexagram. This forms the internal dynamic and evolution of that hexagram. This is not a too difficult of a job after a certain rules are set.


Looking forward to learning these rules.
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby Tienzen » Wed Sep 21, 2011 3:56 pm

kenny wrote:So, the movements of yao(s) are the driving force for both dynamics, that is, the entire system. So, without Duke Chou’s work, the Yijing would not be complete. Am I right?


Yes, you are right. Obviously, Duke Chou knew about this. Thus, he did his job. Confucius knew about this too.

In 系辭上 (Commentary One), chinese-culture/commentary-one-on-yijing-t114.html , Confucius wrote, "... 系辭焉以斷其吉凶,是故謂之爻。” That is, the power of yao is to tell the outcomes of a possible situation.

In 系辭下 (Commentary Two), chinese-culture/commentary-two-on-yijing-t115.html , Confucius wrote again, " ... 爻象動乎內,吉凶見乎外, ...". The yao movement in a hexagram (the possible universe) will show up as outcomes in the real world (the history universe). Again, "爻也者,效天下之動者也。(ibid)”, it says that yao is the driving force for the world.

mariaC wrote:Looking forward to learning these rules.


The outcomes of this Yijing universe are classified into a finite numbers of groups, such as 吉 (good), 凶 (in danger), 悔 (regret), 吝 (predicament), etc.. But those are based on Goodness or Evil. Thus, we must understand the Chinese concept of Goodness and Evil. Yet, we should review the entire world views on this first.

Aristotle and his followers said that happiness is good. But, what is happiness? "Happiness is pleasures," they said. Then, they distinguished between lower and higher pleasures. The pleasures of the intellect are more desirable than the pleasures of the senses. But, what are more desirable and how to determine it? Those who pursue sensual indulgences to the injury of their health may regard the sensual pleasures as the greater good and are willing to sacrifice their own health to pursue sensual pleasures. How can we provide a rational argument to persuade them that they are wrong? How can we prove to them that health is indeed a greater good than sensual pleasure?


Consequentialist distinguishes 'good as an end' from 'good as a means', or 'intrinsically good' from 'extrinsically good'. Thus, the sensual pleasures is only extrinsically good but intrinsically bad. But, how can we distinguish and define what are intrinsic and extrinsic? Goodness corresponds to a cluster of properties, none of which are necessary or sufficient for goodness.


Augustine came up a different idea. Since he with his dogmatic faith believed that God is infinitely perfect, he concluded that there cannot be any evil. He made two arguments. One, everything that is evil in our view is indeed good, especially in God's view. For example, scorpions often kill not only animals but also humans; so they are evil. But, they are good for themselves. The male scorpion is good for a female one, and vice versa. Two, he thought that every evil is the corruption of something good. But, what is corruption? How does corruption work?


Most of Chinese scholars discuss goodness and evil in terms of 性 (human nature). Mencius (孟 子, 372 - 289 B.C.) insisted that human nature is good. Hsuntse (荀 子, 335 - 238 B.C.) insisted that human nature is bad. Their doctrines are two extremes of the teaching of emperor 堯 (Yao, about 4000 years ago). Yao said to emperor 舜 (Shun), "人 心 (human desire) is unstable, 道 心 (the moral craving) is very minute". That is, the human nature possesses both seeds of goodness and evil. Thus, there is no intrinsic goodness or evil. Goodness or evil arise with an external process. Then, what is this process?


In Yijing, every hexagram has six seats which Yin or Yang sits in. And the odd number is yang, even the yin. Why? (I will explain this later). Thus, a yin yao which sits on an odd numbered seat (such as, the bottom, the third, the fifth) is not proper. Being not proper, it will not get a good outcome. Thus, the concept of goodness or evil in Yijing arises from whether the situation is proper or not.


By the same token, there are seats and a proper way of sitting in society. For example, when a general won an election to sit in president's seat, he did a good thing. If he launched a coup to become president, he has done a bad thing, even an evil thing. The president's seat is neither goodness nor evil. How a person gets in that seat determines whether that act is good or evil.

Knowing this properness to be the center point, many rules are developed. In this post, I will not list all those rules, as many other books do discuss them. And, it will be a good homework for readers. Here, I will give you some guidelines.

1. Properness --- 得 位 (seating at right seat, such as Yin yao at Yin seat) or 失 位 (seating at the wrong seat, such as Yin yao at Yang seat).

2. Neighboring influence (相 比) --- Is the neighboring yao proper? If not, it is a bad influence.

3. Any support --- Is a yao having support from bottom (乘, riding on) or from top (承, taking the baton).

These are the three basic ones. From these three, twenty more rules can be derived. Again, this will be a good homework for readers to work out by reading Duke Chou’s writing.
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby kenny » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:00 pm

Being as cellular automaton, every hexagram should be having equivalent status, that is, no one hexagram is more important than any other one. However, after the introduction of the properness and the neighboring influence rules, the status of each hexagram is obviously changed. Some hexagrams become more proper than some others. This is something very intriguing. Obviously, Duke Chou knew about this as he did his work. Are there any specific passages in the book of Yijing expressing this special fact?
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby Tienzen » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:50 pm

kenny wrote:Being as cellular automaton, every hexagram should be having equivalent status, that is, no one hexagram is more important than any other one.


This is true. But even for cellular automaton, its cells run in an ordered sequence. Although the ancients did not know the modern concept of cellular automaton, they did know that those hexagrams run in an ordered sequence, and it was discussed in 序 卦 (The sequences of the hexagrams) at chinese-culture/the-sequences-of-the-hexagrams-on-yijing-t117.html .


kenny wrote:However, after the introduction of the properness and the neighboring influence rules, the status of each hexagram is obviously changed. Some hexagrams become more proper than some others. This is something very intriguing.


I have discussed the concept of “association”. When a binary number system is associated with alphabets, it becomes a language coding system. When it is associated with electric voltage, it creates a digital world. While the hexagram system itself can be a language for nature laws, it describes a different universe when it is associated with special rules of Yijing, and these associations will determine what the heck Yijing is.

With these rules, a hierarch arises among those 64 hexagrams, and those ancients knew about it. In 系 辭 上 (Commentary One), chinese-culture/commentary-one-on-yijing-t114.html , Confucius wrote, “是 故 卦 有 小 大 ,辭 有 險 易。(Thus, the hexagrams have the difference of large or small, the outcomes have goodness or trobules)”. In 系 辭 下 (Commentary Two), chinese-culture/commentary-two-on-yijing-t115.html , Confucius wrote again, “物 相 雜 ,故 曰 文。 文 不 當 ,故 吉 凶 生 焉。(Things mixed up is called 文 [crisscrossing] , the 文 is not proper giving rise to fortune or trouble).

Thus, the ancients viewed the hexagram system as a moving and dynamic system, and the key point is the yao (爻). Without understanding the meaning of yao in hexagrams, the Yijing cannot be understood. In Confucius’ writing, the meaning of yao was repeated over and over. In 系 辭 下 (Commentary Two), he wrote, “八 卦 成 列 ,象 在 其 中 矣 ;因 而 重 之 ,爻 在 其 中 矣;(When trigrams sit in a list, there are images of the universe. After stacking them, the ‘yao(s)’ arise.”) That is, yao was not seen in the trigrams. Obviously, the term yao here is not about the ying or yang lines but is the dynamics of the hexagrams. This concept was repeated over and over in his writing.


kenny wrote:Obviously, Duke Chou knew about this as he did his work. Are there any specific passages in the book of Yijing expressing this special fact?


In 系 辭 上 (Commentary One), he wrote,
六 爻 之 動 ,三 極 之 道 也。 The movement of six yaos express the laws of three pillar (三 才) universe.

爻 者 ,言 乎 變 者 也; The yao is about the changes (dynamics) of the universe.

In 系 辭 下 (Commentary Two), Confucius wrote again, 爻 也 者 ,效 天 下 之 動 者 也。 The yao(s) are the driving force of the universe.
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby david » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:23 pm

Tienzen wrote:
david wrote: But, I would like to refine your question 2, as those three ancients were dealing three different subjects and using three different kinds of languages.


Indeed, they are different questions and must be addressed separately. I would like to discuss the King Wen’s works first.

First, ...


Now, I understand a general outline about the three Yijing authors and their works. I know that King Wen’s language describes the body, the image, the virtue and the name of each hexagram. And, I know that yao(s) are the driving force for the dynamics of the hexagram system. But, can you, Tienzen, give a deeper description about Duke Chou’s language. How does his language describe the dynamics of the system? How does his language connect to King Wen’s language?
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby Tienzen » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:08 pm

david wrote:But, can you, Tienzen, give a deeper description about Duke Chou’s language. How does his language describe the dynamics of the system? How does his language connect to King Wen’s language?


You might know about the C++ computer language. It has a general form as below.

Function (A) --- definitions and declarations
Line 1
Line 2

Line n
End Function (A)

Function (B) …

It starts out with definitions and declarations. Then, there are action lines or statements.


The Yijing language is almost exactly identical to the C++ language. King Wen’s writing is the definition and declaration for each hexagram. The Duke Chou’s writings are similar to those line statements which complete and fulfill the defined function (hexagram) with precisely six steps, while the lines in C++’s function can have different number of steps.

As Duke Chou’s writings are line statements similar to the C++’s, they are, in general, logic or action statements, such as,
If A, then B. or
If A, then Do B.

In Yijing, the “A” is a commonly accepted value (nature or moral law) or a historical story. For example, the 蒙 卦 (Ignorance hexagram, #4), chinese-culture/yijing-the-ignorance-hexagram-4-t55.html , for the bottom (first) yao, Duke Chou wrote, “初六。 發 蒙, 利 用 刑 人, 用 說 桎 梏, 以 往。吝。”

初六。 The bottom yao
發 蒙 Removing the ignorance
利 用 刑 人 Using punishment
用 說 桎 梏 Using confinement
以 往。 Using such a method
吝。 In trouble, not good.

So, the whole sentence says --- The bottom yao, "if using punishment or confinement to teach the ignorant, the result is in big trouble."

Then, six line (yao) statements fulfill the dominion (function or hexagram) of 蒙 (ignorance).
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby mariaC » Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:36 am

I know every word in the book of Yijing but was unable truly to understand its language. It is shocking to me to learn that its language is a C++ like language. With this new understanding, I can understand why the Yijing was written as it was.

While I can understand that King Wen divided his universe into 64 dominions (represented with 64 hexagrams), I still am not too clear about how those six yaos of each hexagram to fulfill its image and virtue. Can you give one example on this?
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby Tienzen » Sat Oct 01, 2011 2:42 pm

mariaC wrote:While I can understand that King Wen divided his universe into 64 dominions (represented with 64 hexagrams), I still am not too clear about how those six yaos of each hexagram to fulfill its image and virtue. Can you give one example on this?


I will use 蒙 hexagram (ignorance, #4) as one example. The Confucius’ commentaries are stripped down, and it is as below.

Image chinese-culture/yijing-the-ignorance-hexagram-4-t55.html
King Wen’s comment: 蒙 。亨 。匪 我 求 童 蒙 ,童 蒙 求 我 。初 筮 告 ,再 三 瀆 ,瀆 則 不 告 。利 貞。

Duke Chou’s comments on each yao: 
初 六。 發 蒙, 利 用 刑 人, 用 說 桎 梏 以 往 。吝。
九 二。 包 蒙 。吉 。納 婦 。吉 。子 克 家。
六 三。 勿 用 取 女 。見 金 夫 ,不 有 躬 。無 攸 利。
六 四。 困 蒙 。吝。
六 五。 童 蒙 。吉。
上 九。 擊 蒙 。不 利 為 寇 ,利 御 寇。

A. The image of this hexagram.
It is composed of Image 坎 trigram at the bottom, the Image 艮 trigram at the top. The bottom trigram is the inner of a hexagram, the top the outer. 坎 trigram represents water and symbolizes sinking or danger. The 艮 trigram represents mountain and symbolizes blockage. So, this 蒙 hexagram has two images.
1. danger existed inside while blocked from outside,
2. there are a spring at the foot of the mountain.

The combined image is that a situation of danger and blockage but has way out. This image is similar to an infant who is weak and not safe (a situation of ignorance) but has chances to grow out of it.

B. King Wen’s comment: 蒙 。亨 。匪 我 求 童 蒙 ,童 蒙 求 我 。初 筮 告 ,再 三 瀆 ,瀆 則 不 告 。利 貞。
Ignorance, good prospect, if the ignorant one begs for wisdom (not by forcing to remove his ignorance), I will teach him at his first begging. Repeated begging is no-respect, and I will teach him no more. Only sincerity is good.

Note: King Wen’s comment defines what this hexagram is all about.

C. Duke Chou’s comment on each yao.
1. 初 六。 發 蒙, 利 用 刑 人, 用 說 桎 梏, 以 往 。吝。
The first (bottom) yao which is a ying yao sits on the yang seat (odd number seat is yang). Being sitting on a wrong seat, it is not proper and is not safe. This yao shows the situation of being ignorant. For removing this situation, it is not good (吝) by using punishment or confinement.

2. 九 二。 包 蒙 。吉 。納 婦 。吉 。子 克 家。
The second yao is a yang yao which sits at the center of the 坎 trigram. The center position is the ruler. As yang is more powerful than ying, it becomes even more powerful while it sits on a ying seat (even numbered seat is ying). Thus, it is able to give a hand to the trapped first yao.
包, wrap around or take care of. 包 蒙, the ignorant one is taking care of. 吉, good. Such as 納 婦, a married woman (having protection from the family). 子 克 家, a family has able children. All those are good for breaking out the trap.

3. 六 三。 勿 用 取 女 。見 金 夫 ,不 有 躬 。無 攸 利。
The third is again a ying yao which sits on the yang seat, not good.
勿 用 取 女, this kind of woman is not good. 見 金 夫 ,不 有 躬, this kind of woman is looking for money, not a husband. 無 攸 利, will not be a good thing.

4. 六 四。 困 蒙 。吝。
The fourth is a ying yao which sits on the ying seat. But, it does not have good support from the bottom, as the third yao was not good. It does not have a helping hand (比) from above. The 比 (helping hand) is the direct neighbor. In this case, it will be the third or the fifth yao. As the same kind expels, not helping, this fourth yao is alone without help, it is trapped the most severely.
困, deeply trapped.

5. 六 五。 童 蒙 。吉。
五 (the fifth) is the king position for every hexagram. This fifth yao is a ying but sits on the king’s seat, and it is more powerful than a yang sits on it. So, when an ignorant one can reach this point, it is very good.

6. 上 九。 擊 蒙 。不 利 為 寇 ,利 御 寇。
The six is a yang yao sitting on the yang and the top seat. It is almost too powerful, and it can break all ignorance.
擊, beating or attacking. 不 利 為 寇, do not treat the ignorant one as rascal. 利 御 寇, it is good to prevent the ignorant one to become a rascal.

Conclusion: This hexagram shows that there is a “state” of ignorance in this universe, and it shows the way of dealing with this state. This example also shows how this “state” was fulfilled by the dynamics of the yaos. Starting from 發 蒙 (the initial state of ignorance), then this initial state is branched into two paths, a) 包 蒙 (protecting the ignorant one and teaching him), b) 無 攸 利 (staying away from the ignorant one. Then, the ignorant power reaches its zenith (the peak), the 困 蒙. After reaching the zenith, it weakens and becomes innocent, the 童 蒙. Finally, the ignorance can be overcome, the 擊 蒙. Thus, the “state” (dominion or function) of “ignorance” is fulfilled with this yao dynamics.
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby kenny » Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:20 pm

Very intriguing.

Can you list out the entire set of Duke Chou’s yao dynamics rules?

Can you provide the yao dynamics on all (64) hexagrams?
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby Tienzen » Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:43 pm

kenny wrote:Can you list out the entire set of Duke Chou’s yao dynamics rules?

Can you provide the yao dynamics on all (64) hexagrams?


It will be a big job to provide the detailed yao dynamics for all 64 hexagrams. I will try to do it after the general discussion of Yijing is complete. And, I will provide the entire list of Duke Chou’s yao dynamics rules at that time.
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby karen » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:19 am

mariaC wrote:I know every word in the book of Yijing but was unable truly to understand its language.


I know every word in the book of Yijing too but was unable to understand it without the answers on the two simple questions below.

Why a hexagram is as it represents, not otherwise? For example, why the 屯 hexagram (Difficult hexagram, #3) cannot be the 蒙 hexagram (ignorance, #4)?

While most of Duke Chou’s 爻 辭 (yao commentaries) become proverbs as standalone sentences in Chinese culture, why a yao has its meaning as it is, not otherwise?

After learning from this forum, I begin to have some ideas about the above questions but am still not all clear. Can you give a more detailed explanation on these?
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby Tienzen » Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:06 pm

karen wrote:Why a hexagram is as it represents, not otherwise? For example, why the 屯 hexagram (Difficult hexagram, #3) cannot be the 蒙 hexagram (ignorance, #4)?


Wow! Wow! Wow! This is almost insulting. During the past 3,100 years, no one ever asked this question, at least no one openly. Yet, this question does reach the dead center essence about what the Yijing is all about.

In my previous posts, I have made a few points.

1. The trigrams and hexagrams are,
a. binary system --- there is a mathematics theorem shows that “the entire computable universe can be described with any binary system, (0, 1) or (Ying, Yang), etc.,

b. vector space or matrix algebra (see post post405.html#p405 ) --- these are the languages for describing the nature laws of modern science.

c. cellular automaton and artificial life(see post post395.html#p395 ) --- this is the most advanced knowledge on the modern life science.


2. The concept of “association” (see post post407.html#p407 ) which will define the scope of a system, such as, with (0, 1), the binary system become a binary number system and with (0 volt, 1 volt), it becomes an electric digital system. When a binary system associates with some moral virtues (Yang = forward progressive, Ying = inward receptive), it becomes a moral system, no longer a scientific system.


3. In my previous post (post440.html#p440 ), I introduced a "Spider Web Principle" as follow.

"In the book ‘Linguistics Manifesto (ISBN 978-3-8383-9722-1, available at amazon and Barnes & Noble)’, it states a ‘Spider Web Principle’ --- The whereabouts to build a spider web is completely arbitrary (total freedom or total symmetry). However, as soon as the first spider thread is casted, that total symmetry is broken, total freedom no more. For spider web, the first thread decides its location, here, not there. The second thread decides the center of the web. After these two threads, the scope of the web is very much determined. In fact, this ‘Spider Web Principle’ applies on all systems. The first choice of any system can be arbitrary, defining what this system is all about, a language, a machine or the whatnots. And, the second choice fixes the scope of the system."

Although hexagram system itself can be a cellular automaton (Artificial life) which can begin its motion from any cell, it becomes a quite different system when it is constructed from a special beginning with some very special “associations”, see my post “The way of constructing the hexagrams” post403.html#p403 . With this special way of construction, the Yijing hexagram system is no longer a common cellular automaton, and it must begin from its starting point, the http://www.chinese-word-roots.org/k01.JPG (乾 卦). With this certain beginning and with the confinement of initial binary association, the second point has no other choice but has to be the http://www.chinese-word-roots.org/k02.JPG (坤 卦). Thus, with the “Spider Web Principle”, the degree of freedom for other hexagrams is confined with these beginning points.


4. The other hexagrams are further confined by some symmetry properties, such as, “錯” (exchange operation) and “綜” (flip over operation), see the post post440.html#p440 .

The followings are 綜 hexagram pairs.
Image (Tranquility, 泰) vs Image (Obstruction, 否)

Image (Stripping away, 剝) vs Image (return, 復)

Image (completion, 既) vs Image (incompletion, 未 既)

These pairs are confined by each other.


The followings are 錯 hexagram pairs.
Image (wind, 巽) vs Image (Thunder, 震)

Image (water, 坎) vs Image (fire, 離).


5. In addition to the above constrains, those hexagrams are further confined by Yijing’s philosophy, cosmology and theology which gave a certain order for the development of the Yijing universe, and this is explained in 序卦 (The sequences of the hexagrams), chinese-culture/the-sequences-of-the-hexagrams-on-yijing-t117.html .


With the five points above, we can see that Yijing does have an ordered developmental procedure. Why a hexagram is as it is, not otherwise, is not a totally arbitrary choice.


I did not answer your question directly. You should try to find the answer yourself, and it will be a great way for learning Yijing. If no one can get it after a while, I will answer it by then in that case.


Yet, there is another very important point. Although hexagram system does make contact to the modern sciences (as vector space or cellular automaton), it is not science at all after its choice of associations, especially on its moral choices. Yijing describes a moral universe.
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby yijing » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:31 am

This Yijing forum has made this greatest mystery no more. I would like to provide some links for allowing our readers to get a wider prospective on Yijing. And, there they are below.

Yijing at wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Ching )

Consult the I Ching oracle online (http://www.eclecticenergies.com/iching/ )

YiJing (I-Ching) Matrices (http://myweb.usf.edu/~pkho/yijing/a_yijing.htm )

I Ching, the Book of Changes (http://wengu.tartarie.com/wg/wengu.php?l=Yijing )

YiJing, Oracle of the Sun (http://www.yijing.nl/ )

Yi Jing, par Cyrille Javary et Pierre Faure (http://www.mcelhearn.com/yijing.html )

Calling crane in the shade (http://www.biroco.com/yijing/index.htm )

The Chinese Classic of Changes (http://www.rightreading.com/yi-jing/yi-jing.htm )

Why An Yijing, I Ching Welcome? (http://www.artsofchina.org/ )

Online Yi Jing (I Ching) Oracle (http://www.yellowbridge.com/mysticism/i ... wizard.php )

Transforming Energy ~ Inner Training (http://www.yijing.co.uk/ )

CHINA KNOWLEDGE - a universal guide (http://www.chinaknowledge.de/Literature ... ijing.html )

I Ching translated by James Legge (http://oaks.nvg.org/re5ra17.html )

Feng Shui and I Ching History (http://www.imperialyijing.com/ )

Bagua,the Voice of the Shaman in an Ominous World (http://www.fengshuigate.com/bagua.html )

I Ching, Book of Changes (http://www.chinapage.com/classic/iching/yijing.html )

The I Ching on the Net (http://pages.pacificcoast.net/~wh/Index.html )
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Re: About Yijing (周 易) --- The general discussions

Postby optimax » Sun Jan 22, 2012 12:03 am

Yijing is a very popular divination book in Taiwan.

Image


More info on this is available at http://www.chinese-word-roots.org/YI20001.HTM
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