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Chinese Language Forums - Chinese Etymology Institute • View topic - 易經 (Yijing) @ LinkedIn

易經 (Yijing) @ LinkedIn

易經 (Yijing) @ LinkedIn

Postby Tienzen » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:46 am

易經 (Yijing) @ LinkedIn


王紅波 (Hongbo WANG, Professeur d'Anglais at Académie de Versailles) invited me to discuss Yijing at Chinois en France @ LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?v ... -6Vu3Mcmc1 ). It is a discussing forum requiring membership. Thus, I am put most of that discussions here for anyone who is unable to open the above link.

This discussion will address the following issues.
a. What is Yijing? A philosophy? A theology? A science? Or the else?
b. How to read Yijing?
c. Is Yijing still relevant to today?

Yijing actually has three parts.
i. The Trigrams and Hexagrams: these form a special ‘science’.
ii. The Yijing ‘text’ which is a book of ‘morality’.
iii. The Western dimension: by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Carl Gustav Jung and Richard Wilhelm.

All these issues will be addressed.




@Hongbo:

Thanks for your kind words and introduction. And, thanks for the invitation.

“《连山》据传是伏羲氏或神农氏所创的易,成书于夏朝。《连山》易以“艮”卦为首,“象山之出云连连不绝”。 黄帝时代的《易》为《归藏》易,殷商朝代用以占筮。《归藏》易以坤卦为主,“万物莫不归藏于其中”。 「周易」相传为周文王所创,盛行于周朝。周易则以乾卦、坤卦为开始。”

Your above quote is exactly correct. A bit more detailed description on this is available at chinese-culture/about-yijing-the-general-discussions-t10.html and chinese-idioms/yijing-and-confucius-the-analects-t2063.html .


The two links above can be the ‘resources’ for our discussion here as they both have the original Chinese text of Yijing and my English translation. There are a few key points for the Yijing research or discussion.
One, Yijing is the frist book among the 13 Confucius canon books (1-易經, 2-尚書, 3-詩經, 4-禮記, 5-周禮, 6-儀禮, 7-春秋左傳, 8-春秋公羊傳, 9-春秋穀梁傳, 10-孝經, 11-論語, 12-孟子, 13-爾雅), that is, without truly understanding Yijing, one cannot truly understand the Confucianism.
Two, Confucius said that Yijing has four parts (or four applications), 易有聖人之道四焉 (Yijing has four applications) ,
以言者尚其辭 (as a literal work, language) ,
以動者尚其變 (as a dynamic system of both for the Heaven and for the human affairs, and the force in this dynamic is morality) ,
以制器者尚其象 (as a guideline for designing tools and wares) ,
以卜筮者 尚其佔 (as a book of oracle) 。 (See 系辭上 (Commentary One, on Yijing, chinese-culture/commentary-one-on-yijing-t114.html).

What you (Hongbo) talked about is the second one (動者尚其變). However, Confucius also admitted that he did not truly understand Yijing, and the evidences of this were very clearly stated in 論 語 (The Analects),
子 曰:“加我数年,五十以學易,可以无大過矣。”
(子 曰: “I began to learn Yijing at age 50. Give me a few more years, I will no longer make big mistakes.”)

子 贡 曰:“夫子之文章,可得而聞也,夫子之言性與天道,不可得而聞也。” (Chapter 5: 14)
(子 贡 曰: the literary work of Confucius can be understood. But his talking about the 道 of Heaven and the 性 (human nature) of man cannot be understood.)

There are some major advancements on Yijing by the Westerners, such as Gottfried Leibniz developed the ‘binary number system’ (the foundation of today’s computer technology) by using the Yijing as its base.

There are many sub-disciplines in Yijing, and we must discuss them one at a time.







@Xiaoling Fang:

“请你解释一下“以動者尚其變 (as a dynamic system of both for the Heaven and for the human affairs, and the force in this dynamic is morality) ”里面的 morality 一词。”

You have caught the ‘point’.

When I am writing in English, the meaning of every ‘vocabulary’ can be found in English dictionary. This is not the case in Chinese, as the currently market available Chinese dictionary might not be able to help you on many words in Yijing. Yet, even in English, there are still some levels. Although the meaning of the word ‘morality’ is the same for the street walking Americans and the philosophy professors, but the ‘scope’ of the understanding is completely different between the two.

At here, the morality has the ‘scope’ of moral philosophy, which is much more than a word, but is a force. The morality is not only the ‘rules’ but is the driving force for society. Going deeper, we need to know not only philosophy but also ‘theology’. In Christian theology, the ‘driving force’ in humanity is God’s ‘grace’. In Confucianism, the driving force for humanity is morality. This is a very big subject, that is, we must go slowly. If you are truly interested in this subject, please read the page at chinese-idioms/confucius-the-analects-a-new-translation-t2062.html . Just read the Preface, and it is enough for now.

“動者尚其變” is about change, ‘dynamic change’. Morality is in general immutable (not changing). Why the morality is then the driving force for ‘changing’? If you do not ask this question, I will be disappointed. Again, a big subject, go slowly.







@Gang XING: "... but when you are reading something in Latin,the English dics serve nothing. That’s the same case when we read "Chinese" ancient works, as they are not written in Chinese. Zhou Yi is even written in cinese "Greek".!"


English is not Latin by all means although it has some genealogical relations. The language in Yijing is 100% Chinese language, as it is not different from 論 語 (The Analects) or ‘many’ current Chinese essays.






@Xiaoling Fang: "而且无数事实证明,创造力一旦碰到 morality, 就烟消云散。”

“无数事实证明”, 无数 is a tall order as a universal proof. Your statement does not pass the litmus test as a scientific statement. If you have this idea, you have set a preconception, no longer objective.
“在研究中,我用ethic来代替morality。”

No, in the West, the ethic and morality is different. You can check this at Wikipedia. Basically, morality is about “should be” (a law) while ethic is about the ‘action’ (by rules). Ethic is a subset of morality, but not morality. We will go into this soon enough.


As Hongbo invited me to discuss Yijing with you all, I prefer not to use the shotgun approach, going all over the places. I will still respond to some of your impromptu questions but will like to discuss the issues with some orders. Many of you might have read many books ‘about’ Yijing (as commentaries or researches), and that will be great. But, I do not want to discuss those books, researches or commentaries about Yijing at this point. I would like to start with from the ‘original’ Yijing text. If you have not read the original Yijing in its entirety, it is available at chinese-culture/about-yijing-the-general-discussions-t10.html#p370 .


Then, the first issue will be “What the heck the Yijing real is?” A philosophy? Metaphysics? Theology? Mathematics? A book of oracle? Or, all of the above?


Yet, before we can discuss this issue, can you understand its ‘language’? For 姤 卦, what is the meaning of the word 姤? If you think that Yijing’s ‘language’ is ‘cinese "Greek"’, then learn it. If we do not know the ‘language’ of the text, there is no use of discussing any issue on it further.
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Re: 易經 (Yijing) @ LinkedIn

Postby Tienzen » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:47 am

@Hongbo: "I think it's the problème of all of us: we don't really understand ancien texts."


This is no problem. If one wants to learn Calculus, he must first learn algebra and geometry. There is no way around; cannot go over, not go under, not go around it.


Before 1930s, the students in China could recite the entire book of 論 語 before the age 10, and it would take about 10 more years for them to understand the grammatical structure of its sentences. In addition to as the backbone philosophy and metaphysics of Confucianism, 論 語 is truly the base for Chinese language, especially the Chinese grammar. Again, it is only a base, a base (a verbal type of structure), not an elaborated fine structure (such as, 尚 書, 詩 經, 騷 賦, 駢 文, ... etc.). 論 語 is only 1/20 of the size of Christian Bible. While over 50% of Americans read the Bible in its entirety, 99% of Chinese population today does not read 論 語 in its entirety. By all means, the language of 論 語 is not ‘cinese "Greek"’ but the 100% genuine Chinese language. Unfortunately, the ‘stupidity’ of those May 4th movement scholars dropped 論 語 as the backbone of curriculum for the Chinese language. Thus, 99.99% of Chinese population today knows only the ‘street talking’ Chinese language. But, 論 語 is so small a book, and its entirety can be read with one sitting, about 4 hours. Reciting it 10 times (total 40 hours), you will get a basic handle on the true Chinese language even without trying to understand its every word and every sentence. I will strongly suggest everyone to donate 40 hours for this.


Of course, the far away water is useless for the burning fire near-by. There are two way of reading the Yijing text now.
One, get a Chinese dictionary, but I don’t think that it can help much.
Two, read it side by side with an English translation. My English translation of Yijing is precise and accurate, and it is widely used by the Yijing community worldwide. It is available at the links which I provided in my previous comment. Of course, you can review other translations, and the six other best recommended translations are available at http://yigen.us/ .


After we know its language, we then need to know its ‘structure’, its “位 (得 位, 失 位)”, 乘, 承, etc..











@Yvan Razafindratandra: "I'm pretty ignorant of this issue Yiking. The only thing I understand is that this discipline is derived from a Chinese divination tradition come from an ancient shamanic funds. Nothing to do with the law or with morality."


Indeed, many people hold this view as they do not know about the subject. If I cannot show a different Yijing after our discussions, I will apologize to all of you.









@Xiaoling Fang: “我很想听听反面的所谓“科学”证据。”


For both induction and deduction, it encompasses three steps,
One, existential introduction
Two, existential generation
Three, universal proof
We will discuss this soon enough, not right now.









@Yvan Razafindratandra: "Selon moi, les mots "éthique" et "morale" ont en français exactement le même sens. Simplement l'un vient du grec ancien (éthique, avec un auteur célèbre, Aristote, et un ouvrage : l'éthique à Nicomaque), et l'autre du latin (morale). La référence à la morale était une simple traduction en latin du mot grec éthique. Cette traduction vient de Cicéron. La morale veut donc dire "ce qui se fait", c'est-à-dire les "moeurs", les habitudes."

@Xiaoling Fang: "我觉得英美国家与拉丁语国家还有有很多知识体系上的不同甚至沟壑。"


Both statements are not wrong but is not useful in scholastic discussion which goes into the nitty-gritty. We will see that the morality of the West is significantly different from the morality of Chinese. Thus, there is no reason to discuss this issue at this level. Again, we will get into the issue soon enough.


You all have good fun on the discussions or debating. I will from now not to engage in these issues which are not immediately relating to my discussion. Of course, any critique about my post is welcome, but I most likely will not defend it until at the end of the discussions if any of those critiques still stands and merits an answer.


Now, let’s find out “What the heck the Yijing real is?” I don’t want to apologize to Yvan Razafindratandra at the end of our discussions. I would like to divide Yijing into three periods (or parts).


Part one, from 「 伏 犧 」 畫 卦 (8 Trigrams) to 「 文 王 」 重 卦 (64 hexagrams, without 「 卦 辭 」), that is ‘有 卦 無 辭’. This is called「 卦 體 」.


Part two, from 「 文 王 」繫 「 卦 辭 」 and gave the 64 hexagrams 「 卦 象 」 、 「 卦 德 」 及 「 卦 名 」. This is called 文 王 演 卦. Then, 「 周 公 」 繫 「 爻 辭 」. Finally, 「 孔 子 」 作 「 十 翼 」. These 3 steps formed the second part of Yijing.


Part three, the modern understanding of Yijing by the Westerners, such as, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (from Yijing developed binary number system) and Carl Gustav Jung (on archetype, synchronicity), see chinese-culture/about-yijing-the-general-discussions-t10.html#p393 . Then, the most recently discovered ‘cellular automatons’.

The part three can come about directly from the part one, without knowing anything about the part two.


By dividing Yijing into these three parts, we can get some conclusions already.
First, the part one, 「 卦 體 」, is mathematics and is able to make connection to the modern math and sciences.


Second, although the part one was developed by 「 伏 犧 」 and 「 文 王 」, they two of course had no idea of that their invention was connected to the modern sciences. Confucius obviously sensed that there must be something more than the「 文 王 」Yijing, as he admitted that he did not understand Yijing in its entirety.


Third, it is obvious that the part two is significantly different from the part three. Then, what is it? This is the subject which I will discuss one step at a time here. See you tomorrow.


Now, we know that Yijing (of today) has three parts. Superficially, the part one is very simple.
One, 「 伏 犧 」 畫 卦 (8 Trigrams). 系 辭 下 (Commentary Two, on Yijing) wrote, "古者包犧氏之王天下也,仰則觀象于天,俯則觀法于地,觀鳥獸之文與地之宜,近取諸身,遠取諸物,于是始作八卦,以通神明之德,以類萬物之情。"
But, what the heck this means? Do you understand its language? If you do, then what was the ‘procedure’ for constructing the 八 卦? And, why is the 八 卦 able to ‘通神明之德’ and ‘類萬物之情’? If you did not ask these questions, you have read nothing, and know nothing.



Two, 「 文 王 」 重 卦 (64 hexagrams, without 「 卦 辭 」). Do you know how to 重 (stacking) the 8 trigrams and to create the 64 hexagrams? If you do not know, then the 「 文 王 」 重 卦 has no meaning to you, just a verbiage. If you are interested in knowing of how to 重 卦, go here (http://www.chinese-word-roots.org/Ijing.htm ) and it is described at ‘II: Generation of 64 hexagrams and Index table 1”, the example of every ‘mother’ 卦 produces 7 family members. Then, each family forms a ‘palace’. Thus, the 64 hexagrams are composed of 8 palaces (see, http://www.chinese-word-roots.org/Ijing0.htm ). Now, you know that how 「 文 王 」 did 重 (stacking, and producing the palaces) 卦. Then, what is the big deal about these 64 hexagrams? Of course, 「 文 王 」 gave some meanings to them, and it is the part 2. Yet, is 「 文 王 」’s work making any sense or pure nonsense? If you don’t ask this question, I definitely will. I will answer this question soon enough.


Now, let’s come back to 「 伏 犧 」’s work first. How was the 八 卦 (Trigrams) constructed? Does it make any sense? I definitely am not satisfied with the explanation of the 系 辭 下 (the 仰 觀/俯 觀 and the 近 取/遠 取). Fortunately, there is 太 極 圖 說 (authored by 周 敦 頤), “無極而太極。太極動而生陽;動極而靜,靜而生陰。靜極復動。一動一靜,互為其根。分陰分陽,兩儀立焉。陽變陰合,而生水火木金土,五氣順布,四時行焉。五行一陰陽也,陰陽一太極也,太極本無極也。… 故曰;「立天之道,曰陰與陽。立地之道,曰柔與剛。立人之道,曰仁與義。」又曰:「原始反終,故知死生之說。」大哉易也,斯其至矣!”


Do you understand its language? Is its saying making any sense? What the heck is ‘無 極’ and ‘太 極’? And, what is ‘而’? I am a physicist, not a novelist. I don’t play with words but with equations. ‘無極而太極’ is obviously an equation.
Let ‘無 極’ be the variable X, ‘太 極’ as Y, then the equation will be
F (X) = Y, F is a function, the ‘而’. That is, transforming ‘無 極’ into ‘太 極’.
Do we know what this function ‘F’ is? If we don’t, then all is nonsense. In order to giving 「 伏 犧 」’s work any meaning, we must know three things, the ‘無 極’, ‘太 極’ and ‘而’, in their precise definitions. These will be the issues for you all to discuss now if you are interested. I will talk about them tomorrow.
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Re: 易經 (Yijing) @ LinkedIn

Postby Tienzen » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:48 am

@Zhangyun Lei: "怎样用这个方程来解释 ?
無極而太極, 太極生兩儀, 兩儀生四像, 四像生八卦 ...
还有,这个方程里,是不是有一些常数呢 ?"


Good, good, very good. Now, we are talking.

Let me start with a personal story. My father was a professor at Taiwan university for 40 years, and some of his works can be viewed at http://readopac1.ncl.edu.tw/nclserialFr ... 2%E7%BE%A4 . And, he was a Yijing expert. That is, I was able to recite ‘無極而太極, …, 四像生八卦’ before age 10 and was often showing off that great knowledge at that young age to many his colleagues. Yet, after I became a physicist, those sayings are no longer meeting the standard of scientific epistemology. I showed a very simple example, as below.

Statement A: Father and mother ‘而’ baby.
The ‘而’ of this statement is clearly understood and defined. At one happy occasion, one sperm and one egg fused into one (fertilized egg), then in mother’s body, it goes through the morphogenesis ‘process’ which transformed that fused item into an embryo, then fetus, and finally a baby. On the left side of 而 is {happy occasion, sperm, egg, morphogenesis process}, while the right side is {baby}. Yet, how about the statement below,
Statement B: 無 極 ‘而’ 太 極. What is this ‘而’ all about? What is 無 極? How can this ‘而’ transform 無 極 into 太 極? What is 太 極?


If we don’t know what the ‘essence’ of 無 極 is, what are its ‘attributes’? How can we ‘observe’ and measure those attributes? In order to answering those simple questions, we must first introduce two very important modern physics concepts, the symmetry and the ‘spontaneous symmetry breaking’.


What is symmetry? If the {East, West, North, South} cannot be distinguished, there is a ‘4-direction’ symmetry. Can you tell that this special symmetry will give you some problems? That is, you no longer are able to know the ‘direction’. So, symmetry means less ‘order’ and more ‘chaos’. Then, there is Noether's theorem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noether's_theorem ) which says that every symmetry produces a conservation law.
Time symmetry produces ‘energy conservation law’.
Left-right space symmetry produces ‘linear momentum conservation law’.

Yet, conservation means, not change. Thus, now we know that,
Symmetry = less ‘order’ and more ‘chaos’ = conservation = not change


For a perfect round ball (a perfect symmetry) was rotated by a kid when we were not looking, there is no way for us to find out whether he did it or not. But, if we mark a white dot on its surface, then we will know whether it has been moved or not. This one marked dot breaks ball’s perfect symmetry. This is called symmetry breaking (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spontaneou ... y_breaking ) which gives rise to ‘order’ as we can tell whether that ball have been moved or not.


After knowing these two most important concepts of the modern physics, we can now define what 無 極 is. In dictionary, 無 means ‘nothing’, but we don’t real know its ‘attributes’. Now, is there any difference between the 無 in your hand and the 無 in my hand? If we cannot find any difference between the two, then they are symmetric, that is, indistinguishable, less order, more chaos, and is conserved, not changing. When all, all, all 無 in this universe are indistinguishable, it is 無 極, the totally chaotic and not changing.


Now, we know why 易 有 三 易 (Yi has three essences), 不 易 (not changing), 變 易 (changing), and 簡 易 (simplicity). The 無 極 is the conservative (immutable) and not changing, thus 不 易. In 「道 德 經」 (Tao Te Ching), it says, “有 物 混 成 , 先 天 地 生 。 寂 兮 寥 兮 , 獨 立 而 不 改 , (Chapter 25)”. The 混 and 不 改 are about the indistinguishable (chaotic) and immutable (not changing). That is, both the Taoism and Confucianism (Yijing) have the same idea, 無 極 is 混 and 不 改.


With the above understanding, we might still not know what the ‘essence’ of 無 is, but we do know its attributes now.
無 is a symmetry (formless and directionless, 混, orderless) = immutable (conservative, 不 改, not change, 不 易)


Thus, we can now guess what the ‘而 ’and ‘太 極’ are. ‘而’ must be a symmetry breaking process, and ‘太 極’ must be an ‘ordered’ system which comes out from a total chaotic system of 無 極.


Only after we know what ‘而 ’, ‘太 極’ and ‘無 極’ are all about, the statement “無 極 ‘而’ 太 極” can have meaning. The entire Chinese culture was hinged on one single word (而), a symmetry breaking process.


The concepts of ‘symmetry and symmetry breaking’ were fully understood in physics (mainly by the Westerners) only 80 years ago, but they were the backbone in Chinese thoughts 3,000 years ago. Not only is this a thing of great pride for Chinese people but it will be the center point for understanding both Yijing and 道 德 經. But, it was viewed as ‘stupidity’ by the May 4th movement scholars. Are you able to guess what this ‘而 ’ is all about. I will discuss this symmetry breaking process (而) tomorrow.











@Yvan Razafindratandra: "Does "nothing" mean "void", or "emptiness", or "zero" in maths? … "Do you mean the general theory of relativity or anything else?"


Excellent questions!

For man, he is a two-leg animal, but not all two-leg animals are man. Thus, ‘nothing’ is void, emptiness and zero, but not the other way around. ‘Void’ and emptiness are often defined with an envelope, that is, it is not truly a total ‘nothingness’. There is a special ‘attribute’ about ‘zero’, that is, 1/0 = infinity. So, zero has a relationship with infinity. In physics, there is a space-time ‘vacuum’ which means that no ‘particle’ in a given space, but there is still ‘energy’ in that vacuum. This is why I was reluctant to define the ‘essence’ of nothingness in my previous posts but discussed its attributes only. But, I will discuss the essence of ‘nothingness’ soon.


Yes, General Relativity (developed in 1915) had good symmetry in it. Noether's theorem (discovered that symmetry equals to conservation) was published around 1950. The true understanding of ‘symmetry breaking’ was achieved around 1970s when the Standard Model of particle physics was developed.

Furthermore, the ‘nothingness’ was an untouchable issue in physics until a decade ago. In 1948, the Big Bang cosmology was developed, but by all means that the Big Bang itself is not ‘nothing’. In 1970s, physicists wanted to push this known universe beyond the Big bang, and there was the ‘Inflation cosmology’ which speculated that the universe started from a size much small than an atom (again, not nothingness). You might all hear about the news two weeks ago that BICEP2 announced that they detected the primordial gravitational waves which is the relic right after the creation of this universe from … (perhaps, nothing). By all means, the modern cosmology can still not be able to push our understanding all the way back to the ‘nothingness’.


On the other hand, the 八卦 (trigrams, 無極而太極, 太極生兩儀, 兩儀生四像, 四像生八卦 ...) was developed more than 5,000 years ago (by 伏 犧, about 2,000 years before 文 王). So, if we say that 八 卦 is the result of ‘symmetry and symmetry breaking’ and is the result of ‘nothing’ to something transformation, we are either talking about a joke or …. In fact, this ‘無極而太極’ saying was viewed as the stupidest and the greatest shame in the Chinese history by the May 4th movement scholars in the 1930s, all the way to 1980s. Today, most of Chinese scholars do not see it as a shame anymore but are definitely do not understand the seriousness of this issue.


Is Yijing only an ancient ‘story’ (no better than the Odyssey and Iliad by Homer) or a genuine cosmology? Well, let’s see what the Yijing’s own ‘claim’ was. In 系 辭 上 (Commentary One), it said, 乾 坤 定 矣 (points to that Yijing is about the laws of the nature universe), 貴 賤 位 矣 (points to that Yijing is about the laws of the moral universe), 剛 柔 斷 矣...,吉 凶 生 矣 (points to that Yijing can predict all the outcomes between the interactions (among the nature universe and the moral universe)). That is, by all means, Yijing did not see itself to be the same level as Homer’s stories. It is a cosmology and theology. Then, is it correct, especially in comparison to the modern cosmology? So, let’s see how did it transform the 無 極 into something (太 極 or else).
.

In Yijing, 無 極 (WUji, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wuji_%28philosophy%29 ) is the state before the creation of the universe, being completely formless with the total homogeneousness and the total symmetry. Then, there is 一 劃 開 天 (one stroke created the universe). This one stroke created the 太 極 (Tai Chi, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiji ). In fact, this one stroke creates “three”, the ying, the yang and the dividing stroke. So, in Chinese theology, the concept of ying /yang and the number of 1/3 became the central pillars. As the number ‘1’ is the creating power, all odd numbers are assigned to be yang power. And, the even numbers are assigned as ying.


The above is just a theoretical talk. How can it be shown with a visible process? It is described with 羅 盤 (Luopan, Chinese geomancy campus, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luopan ) which detects the energy flows from all “directions”. The center of the 羅 盤 is a small water basin (called 天 池, symbolizing the無 極). Before a magnetic needle is dropped on the surface of the water in 無 極, the 羅 盤 does not give out a direction, that is, one is in a directionless state. When the needle (the one stroke) was dropped in the 無 極, the floating needle will point to North. With this one stroke (the needle), the direction (or universe) is created, homogenous no more, the total symmetry no more. The universe is now divided into directions, and this is called 一 劃 開 天. This entire ‘process’ encompasses 1) symmetry (the 無 極), 2) symmetry ‘breaking’, the one stroke, 3) the result, the 無 極 was divided into two parts (ying and yang), the 太 極. So, now we know what this ‘無極而太極’ means. The ‘而’ here is the 一 劃 which ‘broke’ the super symmetry (formless or orderless) of 無 極. 太 極 has a broken symmetry, that is with form and order. The further symmetry breaking (生 兩 儀, 生 四 像, 生 八 卦) creates even more forms and more orders. More details on this, please see post223.html#p223 .


Using 天 池 to symbolize 無 極 is indeed a great metaphor. But, by all means, it does not give the exact definition for 無 極. In 「道 德 經」 (Tao Te Ching), 無 does not totally mean as ‘nothing’, as it said, “故 常 ‘無’ , 欲 以 觀 其 妙 ﹔ 常 ‘有’ , 欲 以 觀 其 徼 。 此 兩 者 , 同 出 而 異 名 , 同 謂 之 玄 。 (Chapter 1)” and “有 無 相 生 (Chapter 2)”. That is, 無 is tightly bound with 有, the same as the 無 極 is tied together with the 太 極. 無 is the ‘key’ concept in Chinese culture. But, what is the ‘essence’ of 無 in Chinese culture, I will discuss it more in the future. 無 is very much different from 空 (emptiness).


Today, physics can still not discuss the ‘nothing’ to something transformation. The issue of ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’ was discussed only 10 years ago. That is, ‘conceptually’, the Yijing (a book of 3,500 years ago from China) is more advanced than the current cosmology. But, in reality, Yijing does not explain the formation of stars and galaxies, that is, there are two different kinds of cosmology. I will discuss this soon.


After knowing how ‘無 極 而 太 極’ means and does, we now are able to discuss what the heck the Yijing is. Of course, the 重 卦 (64 hexagrams) is a further symmetry breaking, thus more orders (more structures for the universe). But, why stop at one 重 (stacking only once)? Why not 重 (stacking) one more time (to 512 nonograms)? I will discuss these issues too.


Now, we understand one sentence, ‘無 極 而 太 極’. From here, we get 八 卦 simply by the ‘permutation’ of two lines (ying and yang), the 生 兩 儀, 生 四 像, 生 八 卦. Why should this simple permutation carry any significant meaning (laws or principles) of this universe? If it does, then show me. So, what is the big deal about this permutation?


Confucius himself did claim that it is a big deal. In 系 辭 上 (Commentary One), he said, 乾 坤 ‘定’ 矣 (cosmology), 貴 賤 ‘位’ 矣 (morality), 剛 柔 ‘斷’ 矣 (dynamics)...,吉 凶 ‘生’ 矣 (??? Oracle?). Today, almost every statement in the ‘physics’ of Aristotle is not correct in terms of the modern physics, but the greatness of Aristotle is still respected for his ‘historical’ contribution. Thus, if Confucius was totally wrong on the above statements, his greatness will not be challenged. But, we should still investigate whether his above statement is right or wrong. I am going to discuss the first issue today. Is the 八 卦 a meaningful ‘cosmology’?


First, we should talk about the ‘modern cosmology’ which consists of the following parts,
One, inflation: starting from a ‘matter’ (something) small than an electron to a size of a ‘pea’ in one trillionth, trillionth a second.

Two, the Big Bang: that ‘pea’ universe exploded into an inferno, then it began to cool off after 300,000 years. The lights at that point cooled to about 2.7 degree of Kelvin ‘today’. This relic of that primordial lights is called the CMB (Cosmic microwave background, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmic_mic ... background ) which is the top, top topic of the modern cosmology today.

Three, the expansion universe: after 300,000 years from the big bang, the stars and galaxies formed. The size of the current universe is about 15 billion light years across. The 99.99% of matter in the stars are hydrogen or helium, no heavy atoms at the beginning. Those hydrogen and helium are ‘fuel’ to power the burning stars. In the burning processes, the heavier atoms (such as, oxygen, carbon, iron, etc.) were produced as the ‘ashes’ of the ‘nuclear’ burning process.

Four, super novae: when the ‘fuel’ of a star burned out, it collapses into a neutron star while a big chunk of that dying star was thrown out into the ‘space’. Only the super nova chunk contains the heavy atoms (oxygen, carbon) which are the vital parts for building ‘life’. When such a chunk was caught by a young star (such as our Sun), that chunk had the chance for ‘life’ to arise. Note: the oxygen and carbon in our bodies (mine and yours) are not coming from our Sun, as its heavy atoms are not yet released. That is, both you and I were once a part (at least in the form as heavy atoms) of a star lived billions years ago.


Of course, all the processes above are governed by ‘quantum mechanics’ and ‘general relativity’ while both of them are deeply tied to the ‘symmetry and symmetry-breaking’. But, there are two important points in the above story.
First, it does not address the issue of where that ‘seed’ of inflation came from? No ‘nothing’ to something transformation.
Second, the story does allow ‘life’ to arise but no connection to life directly, let alone about the connection to humanity.


That is, the modern cosmology is purely about the ‘physical’ universe, having nothing to do with the ‘humanity’ universe.


Now, let’s see the Yijing cosmology.
One, ‘無 極 而 太 極’: 生 兩 儀 (ying and yang)
Two, 生 四 像: this corresponds to ‘four sides (四 面)’ of the universe.
Three, 生 八 卦: this corresponds to ‘eight directions (八 方)’ of the universe.

This cosmology is obviously not giving any explanation for the formation of stars and galaxies. Is this Yijing cosmology much inferior to the modern one? This can be answered by investigating what relevant issues each cosmology have addressed.
a. The modern cosmology (MC) does not address the issue of ‘creation’, from nothing to something but Yijing did.
b. The MC does not show the concepts of ‘symmetry and symmetry-breaking’ directly although its underlying laws (quantum mechanics and General Relativity) are the products of those two concepts. But, these two concepts are directly revealed by Yijing.
c. Today, all of us taking the ‘direction (right vs left)’ for granted. Yet, it was the most difficult issue in physics 70 years ago. In physics, there is CPT symmetry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CPT_symmetry ). C is electric charge conjugation, P the parity and T is the ‘time’. Under this symmetry, there was no way to distinguish the left from the right by physics laws. Fortunately, in 1950s, two Chinese physicists (T. D. Lee 李 振 道 and C. N. Yang 楊 震 寧, http://www.bnl.gov/bnlweb/history/nobel/nobel_57.asp ) discovered the p (parity) symmetry-breaking (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parity_(physics) ). They two won the Nobel physics prize on this. Only with this discovery, the left-right can be distinguished by physics law. However, the MC does not show this parity issue ‘directly’ while it is the center issue in Yijing.
d. Most importantly, MC has no ‘direct’ connection to humanity. On the other hand, humans play a ‘central’ role in this Yijing cosmology.


Confucius said in 系辭下 (Commentary Two, on Yijing), "易之為書也,…﹕有天道焉,有人道焉,有地道焉。兼三材而兩之,故六。" Again, he said in 說卦 (Explanations about Yijing), "昔者聖人之作易也,… 是以立天之道,… 立地之道,… 立人之道。兼三才而兩之,… 故易六 ‘位’ 而成章”。 This same issue, he said twice, that is, this is the key point of why 重 卦 (stacking).


Most people views the ying-yang (the 兩 儀 or 太 極) as the backbone of Yijing. They are not wrong but not exactly right neither. Without the concept of ‘三 才’, the 八 卦 Yijing will not have much ‘value’. The ‘三 才’ is the ‘soul’ of Yijing. ‘三 才’ consists of three entities (天, Heaven; 地, Earth; and 人, human). In addition to the nature and spiritual world (Heaven and Earth), man plays a major part in this ‘three part’ universe. After the formal participation of human in the nature and the spiritual world, Yijing was transformed into a book of ‘theology’ from the simple original cosmology.


In Christian theory, the key word is 信 (faith in Jesus as savior). In Buddhism, the key word is 悟 (enlightenment). In Confucianism, the key word is 參 (participation) in the ‘union’ of Heaven and Earth. Now, Christian also practice the petitionary Prayer, but it is in principle different from the 參 in Yijing. In Christianity, the petitionary prayers are begging for mercy, as the Heaven and the man are separated by the original sin regardless of the prayers or not. In Yijing, it is all about the 天 人 合 一 (the union of Heaven, Earth and man).


Thus, the 八 卦 is more than the ‘eight direction’. It represents the 三 才, the union of Heaven, Earth and Man. Then, 兩 之 (the 重 卦) formally expresses the interaction of Ying-yang and 三 才 and thus complete the system of Yijing.


Now, we know what the 八 卦 cosmology is and why the reason for 兩 之.
One, it shows the transformation (symmetry-breaking) from ‘orderless’ to ‘order (directions)’. This is as good as MC if not better.
Two, it shows the ‘place’ for humanity in this newly created order (the union of Heaven and Earth, the physical universe).


So, does Yijing only make ‘historical’ contribution (similar to the physics of Aristotle) as a great heritage treasure but without any relevancy today? I have given the answer above. Yijing is not only still relevant today but in many senses are much better than the modern sciences. Now, we begin to see what the Yijing is all about. It is,
One, a genuine cosmology: by wholly understood the concepts of ‘symmetry and symmetry-breaking’.
Two, a genuine theology: it addressed the issue of creation (無 極 而 太 極), and it connected human to that creation (including this physical universe, described by the modern cosmology).


Anything more? Definitely. There are more about Yijing, and I will discuss some of them tomorrow.


I have compared Yijing to and with the most advanced modern concepts. One reason is to examine the ‘relevancy’ of Yijing to today’s knowledge. Yet, most importantly, we truly need those new concepts to understand fully what the Yijing is all about. Let me introduce two more modern concepts, and then we can move to part 2 after this.


First, the anthropic principle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle ) which was introduced in 1973 as a check pen in cosmology. If a cosmology does not allow the emerging of life, it must be wrong as we (lives) are here. Yet, there are two versions;
the weak anthropic principle (WAP): it merely allows the rising of lives but does not compel to it;
the strong anthropic principle (SAP): it demands that lives much emerge.

The current modern cosmology which I discussed in previous post follows the WAP, as the super nova does provide the life building material (oxygen, carbon, etc.) but there is no compelling force in the theory to demand the rising of lives. On the other hand, the 三 才 of Yijing is obviously taking the view of SAP as the human is playing a part in the union of this universe.


Second, the cellular automaton (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellular_automaton ) which was introduced by John von Neumann in 1940s when he was studying the issue of ‘self-replicating systems (the artificial life system)’. There was a story about von Neumann. At his death bed, three CIA and FBI agents were there, not for seeing his last step for his life but were trying to take the ‘note’ of what he would say about the top secret on the nuclear warhead design before his last breathe. In addition to the nuclear bombs, the most important contribution of von Neumann was the invention of a new discipline (science) of ‘artificial life, the alife (formally named by Christopher Langton in 1986), see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_artificial_life .’


In 1970s, there is a very important development on alife. A great British mathematician John Conway invented the ‘game of Life (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway's_Game_of_Life )’ which plays on a ‘Go’ board (圍 棋 盤). One of the ‘species’ of the game is called glider (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glider_(Conway's_Life) , an automaton) which has the ability of ‘Self-replication’, that is, it is alive, an alife. These developments shocked the entire world about the meaning for ‘life’.


Why am I talking about these? Because, both 八 卦 (trigrams) and 64 卦 (hexagrams) are ‘automatons’ (see chinese-culture/about-yijing-the-general-discussions-t10.html#p395 ). That is, the 卦 體 (八 卦 (trigrams) and 64 卦 (hexagrams), the part 1) do carry those modern concepts.


But, one major question is whether those Yijing authors (伏 犧, 文 王, 周 公 and 孔 子) knew about these, as after all both 八 卦 and 64 卦 can be constructed simply with the permutations of two lines (ying and yang). That is, there was a big chance that those Yijing authors constructed them without knowing the true meanings of them, especially not knowing those modern concepts.


However, from the statement of ‘無 極 而 太 極’ and ‘兼 三 材 而 兩 之’, it is clear that they do have ‘some’ understanding about these modern concepts although might not be in these modern ‘forms’. Furthermore, Confucius claimed that Yijing is able to ‘通 神 明 之 德’ and ‘類 萬 物 之 情’, that is, his ‘claim’ clearly reached to the height of these modern concepts.


Of course, we can find out the answer very easy, simply by examining the texts (the part 2) which they wrote about them (八 卦 and 64 卦), especially from how they were constructed (演 卦), and this will be the part 2.


If they did understand those modern concepts somewhat, how can then anyone talk about Yijing if he does not know about these new concepts?
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Re: 易經 (Yijing) @ LinkedIn

Postby Tienzen » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:49 am

@Zhangyun Lei: "我有一个问题:现代经济学都是用数学来表达。
政治学,是不是也可以用数学来表达呢 ?"

Yes. If you are interested in it, I will discuss it later, not now.


Thus far, I have showed that 「 卦 體 」 (both the trigrams and hexagrams) have connections to the modern concepts. Then, the question is that whether those Yijing authors did understand those concepts or not. After all, those hexagrams can be constructed by two lines (ying and yang) permutations. The best way to answer this question is to see how ‘they’ did the construction (the 演 卦).


I had showed the procedure of how 文 王 did the 演 卦, forming a mother first, then produces 7 family members. And, every family forms a ‘palace’. Then, there is a genealogy which is a bit more than the simple permutation. Of course, this will not convince us that he knew about the modern concepts. In addition to produce the 卦 體, there are two more important concepts on his 演 卦. Let me give you all one example.


For playing a dice game, there are six spots for you to place ‘bets’. Before you placing the bet, all the six spots have the equal chance (1/6, a symmetry) to win. As soon as the bet is placed, your bet has only two chances (win or lose), and each chance has only two possibility (0 or 100). That is, the selection or choosing is in fact a ‘symmetry-breaking’, from 1/6 (symmetry) to 0 (if you lose) or to 100 (if you win). So, the 卦 體 has many possibilities, as cosmology, as theology, as automatons, as … . When a choice is made, that possibility-symmetry will be broken.


For “《连 山》, 艮 卦 为 首; ,《归 藏》, 坤 卦 为 首; 「周 易」, 乾 卦 为 首”, it will be easy to see that they must be different because of this symmetry-braking understanding, even if they had the same set of 卦 體. So, now we can see how 文 王 did his 演 卦. He placed his bet on two spots, the 「 卦 德 」 and the 「 卦 象 」. This ‘two’ choices will ‘define’ what the Yijing will ‘be’.


「 文 王 」演 卦 actually had two steps.
One, 重 卦, and it is a part of 卦 體. This belongs to the ‘Yijing part 1’.
Two, he wrote 「 卦 辭 」 for each 卦, which consists of five things, 「 卦 象 」 、 「 卦 德 」, 「 卦 名 」, 卦言 and 卦 果 。 This is the beginning of the ‘Yijing part 2’.


This two steps are all that 文 王 did. And, now you know what the 卦 辭 is all about, just about the 卦 象, 卦 德 and 卦 名, 卦 言 and 卦 果. In a sense, the selection of the ‘first’ 德 and 象 can be arbitrary. But, as soon as the first was choosing, the remaining might not be too easy. I will explain this with a ‘spider-web-principle’.


Where to build a spider web is totally ‘symmetrical’ (that is, no preference); America, China or France is all as good as anywhere else. So, the ‘first’ spider thread can be placed at any place. But, when the first thread is casted, its location is fixed (a huge symmetry-breaking, from anywhere to here). The ‘second’ thread is confined to the first. If the second is not connected to the first, it will not be the ‘second’ but is the ‘first’ of its own. Often, the second defines the ‘center’ of the web. Then, the third defines the size of the web.


So, while the first 德 and 象 can be chosen arbitrary, the others must be 演-ed, and this is not quite an easy task, as there are symmetries (such as, “錯”(exchange operation) and “綜” (flip over operation), see chinese-culture/about-yijing-the-general-discussions-t10-25.html#p440) in the system which must be considered. Two examples are below,
as the #41 is 損 卦 (Reduction hexagram), then the #42 cannot be anything else but must be (have no choice) 益 卦 (Increase hexagram) as the two are the “綜 卦” for each other;
the #11 as 泰 卦 (Tranquility hexagram), then the #12 must be 否 卦 (Obstruction hexagram), as they are also having the 綜 symmetry.


You can try it yourself, and it won’t be easy to make a ‘consistent’ (without contradiction) system. This part was discussed in 說 卦 (Explanations about Yijing), chinese-culture/explanations-about-yijing-t116.html . You can read it yourself. I am giving an abridged text below. And, I will discuss what all these ‘means’ tomorrow.

德: 乾,健也;坤,順也;震,動也;巽,入也;坎,陷也;離,麗也;艮,止也; 兌,說也。


象 1: 乾為馬;坤為牛;震為龍;巽為雞;坎為豕;離為雉;艮為狗;兌為羊。

There is the second way of ‘象’ in 說 卦; I am listing it at the bottom of this post for reference now. Its meaning will be explained in the future.


Now, let’s discuss how to read the text of Yijing. The following is one example.

蒙。亨。匪 我 求 童 蒙,童 蒙 求 我。初 筮 告,再 三 瀆,瀆 則 不 告。利 貞。


彖曰﹕蒙,山下有險;險而止,蒙。“蒙亨”,以亨行,時中也。
“匪 我 求 童 蒙,童 蒙 求 我”,志 應 也。“初 筮 告”,以 剛 中 也。“再三瀆,瀆 則 不 告”,瀆蒙也。蒙 以 養 正,聖 功 也。


象曰﹕山下出泉,蒙;君子以果行育德。


There are three paragraphs. The first one was written by 文 王, and it consists of the followings.
One: 蒙, 「 卦 名 」
Two: 蒙, 「 卦 德 」. In 文 王’s writing, the 卦 德 is used as 卦 名.
Three: 卦 果 (the result of this kwa), 亨, 利 貞。
Four: 卦 言 (the explanation of this kwa, often with a [historical] story), 匪 我 求 童 蒙,童 蒙 求 我。初 筮 告,再 三 瀆,瀆 則 不 告。


Often, the 「 卦 象 」 is not explicitly written out in this 文 王’s writing. It is ‘imbedded’ in the stacked hexagram by the 卦 象 of its two composing 八 卦 (trigrams).


The 彖 曰 and 象 曰 were written by Confucius. The 彖 曰 explains the 卦 德, and the 象 曰 explains the 卦 象.


Now, we know, at least, how to read the text of Yijing, knowing who said what, and what those sayings are all about. Yet, what all these make Yijing into? This is really the key issue, and I will discuss this tomorrow.


象 2:
乾為天,… 為木果。
坤為地,… 為柄;其于地也為黑。
震為雷,… 蕃鮮。
巽為木,… 近利市三倍;其究為躁卦。
坎為水,… 其于木也,為堅多心。
離為火,… 其于木也,為科上槁。
艮為山,… 其于木也,為堅多節。
兌為澤,… 為妾, 為羊。













@ Jeremie NI: “symposium on Yi Jing organized in Paris 06.06.2014 by forum member ‘Chinese in France,’ Mr. Cyrille Javary”

Thanks for the info. I am unable to attend that symposium, but by then this discussion will be over. Many of you will truly know what the Yijing is exactly. Looking forward to reports if anyone is going to attend it.




Now, we know how to read the ‘top (文 王’s)’ part of Yijing text. Then, what? What the heck is it all about? A philosophy, a science, a theology, a book of oracle, or else? We already know that 卦 體 (the trigrams and hexagrams) does connect to the modern concepts, as cosmology, cellular automatons (alife) and it can even be the vector calculus (linear algebra, see chinese-culture/about-yijing-the-general-discussions-t10.html#p405 ). But, we also know that a ‘selection’ or a ‘choice’ can act as symmetry-breaking to break the above possibilities into one ‘specific’ product (this is called the quantum-wave collapse, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave_function_collapse ). So, what did the 卦 體 collapse into after 文 王 wrote those 卦 辭? Did 文 王 knew the significance of what he had done? Confucius obvious did know.


In Yijing, ‘繫 辭’ is used in two way. It is the name for Confucius’s two commentaries, but it will be said as ‘繫 辭 上 and/or 繫 辭 下’. When ‘繫 辭’ without the ‘上, 下’, it denotes to as 文 王‘s 卦 辭. So, now we can see the emphasis of ‘繫 辭’ by Confucius.
In 繫 辭 上 (Commentary One, on Yijing), it wrote, “聖人設卦象,’系辭’ 焉而明吉凶, ... 是故君子 居則觀其象而玩其 '辭',... 聖人有以見天 下之動,而觀其會通,以行其典禮, ‘系辭’ 焉以斷其吉凶,是故謂之爻。 ...易有四象,所以示也; ‘系辭’ 焉,所以告也; ... 聖人 立象以盡意,設卦以盡情偽, ‘系辭’ 焉以盡其言, ... 以行其典禮,’系辭’ 焉以斷其吉凶,是故謂之爻。"

In 繫 辭 下 (Commentary Two, on Yijing), it wrote, “八卦成列,... ‘系辭’ 焉而命之,動在其中矣。... 爻象動乎內,吉凶見乎外,功業見乎變,聖人之情見乎 '辭'。”


I have showed that Confucius emphasized ‘繫 辭’ eight times in the above short quotes. Then, what is the ‘繫 辭’ for? Confucius said very clear; it is for ‘明 吉 凶’. Yet, what is ‘吉 凶’? Confucius said, “是故吉凶者,失得之象 也; ... 吉凶者,言乎其失得也; ... 是故易有太極,是生兩儀,兩儀生四象,四象生八卦,八卦定吉凶,吉凶生 大業。 ...” (繫 辭 上 (Commentary One, on Yijing)). Thus, ‘吉 凶’ is about ‘success or fail’, not what the current fashion meanings as ‘luck and infortune’.


With this understanding, we now know that the 文 王 Yijing is a ‘guide’ book for a successful human life. As he had selected 德 as the ‘essence’ for those hexagrams, the 文 王 Yijing is in fact a ‘book of 德 (the morality)’. Now, there are three points for this 文 王 Yijing.


One, he viewed that the 卦 體 is the ‘representation’ of Heavenly laws, from 無 極 而 太 極 (via 一 劃 開 天, the symmetry-breaking process), then to 八 卦 (as 三 才, allowing the participation of human in the union of Heaven and Earth).


Two, the ‘essence’ of the above 卦 體 is ‘德’, and thus, he 繫 辭 to make the 卦 體 becoming a system of ‘德’ (Heavenly virtues). Although this system is the reflection of the Heaven and Earth, it should be the model for human behaviors.


Three, all these ‘德’ (Heavenly virtues) are ‘不 易 (not changing, immutable)’. Every 卦 體 has a clearly defined identity and is 不 易. Every 卦 德 is Heavenly virtue (definitely immutable) and is 不 易. Every 卦 象 is heavenly ‘sign’ and is 不 易.


So, at this point, the 文 王 Yijing is a book of ‘不 易’. If anyone who mistaken it as a book of “change”, he is totally wrong. Of course, the 不 易 does encompass the 變 易 (changing). How? How is the 變 易 embedded in 不 易? Tomorrow.


Most of us heard about that 易 有 三 易 (Yi has three essences), 不 易 (not changing), 變 易 (changing), and 簡 易 (simplicity), but we all take it for granted, never care about what it means. Now, we know a bit (not all of it yet) what the 不 易 (not changing) is all about. The 無 極 is 不 易. The 卦 體 (trigrams and hexagrams) 、 卦 象 、 卦 德 and 卦 名 are 不 易. Now, let’s talk about what 變 易 (changing) is, and how does it come about from 不 易?


There are three different ways of 變 易.

One, by ‘生’ 變 (process of birth). A system was changed when new members were born (生). In this 生 process, the parents are not changed in their essences, but the total system has changed, such as, “無 極 而 太 極, 生 兩 儀, 生 四 像, 生 八 卦 and finally the 64 hexagrams.” In Yijing, this ‘生’ 變 starts from a 不 易 (the 無 極) and ends at another 不 易 (卦 體、 卦 象 、 卦 德 and 卦 名). In Confucianism, this process is called “止 於 至 善”.


Two, by ‘長’ 變 (process of completion or growth). A change happened not by getting new members but by the ‘internal’ changes of the entity itself, from one ‘state’ to a different ‘state’. The ‘completion’ has three types.
a. To 至 善. In addition to the ‘生’ 變 (from 無 極 to 64 hexagrams), the entire Yijing also has its ‘長’ 變, and it is described in 序卦 (The sequences of the hexagrams, on Yijing), chinese-culture/the-sequences-of-the-hexagrams-on-yijing-t117.html , that is, the moving (changing) from one hexagram to the next is not by a mutation but by a sequential growth.
b. To its opposite, such as, from birth to death; from 損 卦 (Reduction hexagram) to 益 卦; from 泰 卦 (Tranquility hexagram) to 否 卦 (Obstruction hexagram), etc..
c. To form a cyclic system, such as, from 既 濟 卦 (Settled hexagram) to 未 濟 卦 (Unsettled hexagram).


Three, by ‘突’ 變 (process of mutation, becoming something dramatically different from the original self). This is a very important issue in Yijing, and I will discuss it soon.


Now, in the previous example, the 蒙 卦, it has the following text which was written by 周 公. What is all this about? If you guess that it is all about the 變 易 (changing) part of Yijing, you are not too far off. It will be fair to say that 周 公 Yijing is about the 變 易, and I will discuss this tomorrow. I am listing it below for you to get a sense of it.
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Re: 易經 (Yijing) @ LinkedIn

Postby Tienzen » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:50 am

@Jeremie NI: “ I will present you to the organiser of the symposium, if you agree. I am pleased to put you in contact with him. If interested, please let me have in private your mail address.”

Yes, you can discuss my writing here at the symposium. You can reach me with the linkIn mail, or you can go to my contact page at http://www.chinese-word-roots.org/cw7.htm .

As I have showed in my previous posts, the Yijing has a very strong Western dimension, as the 卦 體 is connected to many (in fact, almost all) modern concepts, and this fact has fascinated many great Western scholars. Yet, most of those Western scholars were and are not truly understood the Chinese views, perhaps with only one exception, Dr. Richard Wilhelm who learned Yijing from the greatest Yijing expert in China at that time. But, all Wilhelm’s writings still showed only very superficial understanding on the Chinese view. After our discussion is over, I hope this fact can become clear for everyone.


After knowing the concepts of 不 易 (not changing) and 變 易 (changing), we now can understand 周 公’s work. Again, use the 蒙 example,

初六。 發 蒙, 利用刑人, 用 說 桎 梏 以 往。吝。
 象曰﹕“利 用 刑人”,以 正 法 也。

九二。 包 蒙。吉。納 婦。吉。子 克 家。
象曰﹕“子 克 家”,剛 柔 接 也。

 六三。 勿用取女。見 金 夫,不 有 躬。無 攸 利。
象曰﹕“勿 用 取 女”,行 不 順 也。

 六四。 困 蒙。吝。
象曰﹕“困 蒙”之“吝”,獨 遠 實 也。

 六五。 童蒙。吉。
象曰﹕“童 蒙”之“吉”,順 以 巽 也。

 上九。 擊 蒙。不 利 為 寇,利 御 寇。
象曰﹕“利”用“御 寇”,上 下 順 也。


Only 初 六 to …上 九 were written by 周 公. All the 象 曰 are Confucius’ writings for explaining what 周 公 talked about. So, we can ignore all the 象 曰 in this discussion. Then, what the heck did 周 公 try to say?


Now, 蒙 is a 卦, that is, it is a 德 (virtue) of Heaven. Yet, how does this 德 come about? Obviously, it is coming from the 卦 (formed by six lines, ying or yang). It is logical for this 德 grows to its fullness (completion) one step at the time, that is, from the bottom (初) line (爻) to top (上) line. So, 周 公’s saying is simply telling how the 德 of 蒙 moves from the 初 (beginning) to 上 (the completion). So, 周 公’s work is about the ‘長’ 變 (process of completion or growth) of each 卦.

This is the first time that I introduced the concept of 爻. Let me ask a question. Which comes first, the 卦 or the 爻? This is the key question in Yijing. Please do contemplate this issue. When we understand this issue, we have understood the Yijing 90%. Now, let me introduce another key concept first, the ‘位’.


系辭上 (Commentary One, on Yijing): “天尊地卑,乾坤定矣。卑高以陳,貴賤 ‘位’矣。 … 天下之理得,而成 ‘位’ 乎其中矣。 … 崇效天,卑法地,天地設 ‘位’,而易行乎其中矣。 …”

系辭下 (Commentary Two, on Yijing): “天地之大德曰生;聖人之大寶曰 ‘位’;何以守 ‘位’曰仁. … 佔事知來﹕天地設 ‘位’,”

說卦 (Explanations about Yijing): “兼三才而兩之,故易六畫而成卦;分陰分陽,迭 用柔剛,故易 ‘六位’ 而成章。 … 天地定 ‘位’,山澤通氣。”


From the above quotes, it is very clear that the key concept of Yijing is ‘天 地 設 ‘位’ and 易 ‘六 位’ 而 成 章”. That is, the entire 周 公’s work is about the 位, ‘六 位’ to be exact. With ‘六 位’, the Chinese Yijing was complete, with the following framework.
1. 無 極 (formless, orderless, a perfect symmetry)
2. Ying and Yang (太 極), the result of 一 劃 開 天 (symmetry-breaking)
3. 三 才 (八 卦), the participation of human in the union of Heaven and Earth
4. 六 位 (64 hexagrams), the 爻 moves (which generate the entire universe).

I will discuss about the ‘位’ tomorrow.


Which comes first, the 卦 or the 爻? This is a ‘loaded’ question, that is, the answer is already hinted in the question. Yet, most of people (including many Yijing experts) think that 爻 should be first, as the 卦 is composed of 爻. But, they are totally wrong, as they do not know what the heck 爻 is. I am going to use three points to show that they are wrong.

One, Yijing started with and from 無 極 而 太 極, 太 極 生 兩 儀, 兩 儀 生 四 象, 四 象 生 八 卦. The hexagrams was 重-ed by 文 王 with and from 八 卦. In the entire process, there is no 爻. 兩 儀 (the ying and yang) at this point were not called 爻. In fact, 文 王 had no idea of what 爻 was.


Two, the 卦 德 of each hexagram was derived with the 象 of (八 卦): 乾為天,坤為地,震為雷,巽為木,坎為水,離為火,艮為山,兌為澤。 In fact, every hexagram has two 卦 名, the 德 名 and the 象 名. For example, the 履 卦 (Treading hexagram), 履 is its 德 名, and 天 澤 is its 象 名. Another example, for 豐 卦 (Richness hexagram), 豐 is its 德 名, and 雷 火 is its 象 名. For 文 王, 卦 德 was derived from 卦 象. In my previous post, I showed that 周 公 had different idea about those 卦 德. As each hexagram is ‘uniquely’ described by a set of ‘ying and yang’, its 德 must manifest from them, and he developed 「 爻 辭 」 system. That is, the entire concept of 爻 was invented by 周 公, and it was of course after the 卦.


Three, let’s see what Confucius said about this issue.
系 辭 上 (Commentary One, on Yijing), it wrote, “
六爻之動,三極之道也。是故君子所居而安者,易之序也;所樂而玩者,爻之辭也。
彖者,言乎象者也;爻者,言乎變者也
系辭焉以斷其吉凶,是故謂之爻。
是故蓍之德圓而神,卦之德 方以知,六爻之義易以貢。
聖人有以見天下之動,而觀其會通,以行其典禮,系辭 焉以斷其吉凶,是故謂之爻。


系 辭 下 (Commentary Two, on Yijing)
八卦成列,象在其中矣;因而重之,爻在其中矣;
爻也者,效此者 也;象也者,像此者也。爻象動乎內,吉凶見乎外,
是故易者,象也。象也者,像也。彖者,材也。爻也者,效天下之動者也。
易之為書也,原始要終以為質也。六爻相雜,唯其時物也。其初難知,其上易知, 本末也。初辭擬之,卒成之終。若夫雜物撰德,辯是與非,則非其中爻不備。
道有變動,故曰爻;爻有等,故曰物;物相雜,故曰文。 文不當,故吉凶生焉。
八 卦以象告,爻象以情言,剛柔雜居,而吉凶可見矣﹕變動以利言,吉凶以情遷。


說 卦 (Explanations about Yijing)
觀變于陰陽而立卦,發揮于剛柔而生爻,


From Confucius’ sayings, we can see very clear that:
“八卦成列,象在其中矣;因而重之,爻在其中矣;” that is, 八 卦 fist, and 爻 is a product after the 重 之.
“是故易者,象也… 爻也者,效天下之動者也。” that is, 易 is about 象, 爻 is about 動 (move or change).
“觀變于陰陽 (not 爻) 而立卦,發揮于剛柔而生爻,” that is, 陰 陽 is not 爻, and 爻 is the result of 剛 柔.


With these three points, we now know that 卦 is before 爻. But, what is 爻? After we get this answer, we will truly understand Yijing then.














@Hongbo: “先有鸡,后有鸡蛋, ... ?”

You have brought up a very important but very misunderstood issue. First, 蛋 is at the starting point of the chicken morphogenesis while the 鸡 is at its end point, and they two form a ‘cyclic’ logic. In general, there is always a process which goes ‘before’ the forming of any cyclic logic. For example, the 太 極 (encompassing ying and yang) does form a cyclic system, but it was the consequence of another process, the 無 極. Thus, the question of which one comes first in a cyclic system itself is no longer a logic question.


For Yijing, the relation between the 卦 and the 爻 are defined in two ways.
One, historically: there was a framework of 無 極 to 八 卦 cosmology first, without 爻; no 爻 in 八 卦.
Two, theoretically: 爻 is the concept after 重 卦.


Really, what is 爻? Many people (including many Yijing experts) think that 爻 is about the Ying and Yang lines. Wrong, totally wrong. In 康熙字典 (Kangsi dictionary), it says, “爻, 交 也, 變 也, 效 比 也”. There is no hint about ying and yang. Ying and yang are 兩 儀, not 爻. In etymology, 爻 is the stacking two 乂 which means the ‘interaction’ of two forces (the crisscross), that is, 爻 symbolizes as ‘complexity’, such as, 交 也, 變 也, 效 比 也. Let me use the following example to explain the true meaning of 爻.

There are a lot of women in China, and they all are ying (one kind of the 兩 儀). But, in my home, there is a special ‘thing’, the 位. There can be many different types of 位, such as,
One ying (woman) sits at 母 ‘位’ of my home, this ying is my mother.
One ying sits at 妻 ‘位’ of my home, this ying is my wife.


When a ying or yang sits at a ‘位’ in a hexagram, it becomes a 爻. A ying or a yang roams around the street in Beijing is not a 爻 in my 卦 (my home in this case). In 八 卦, the 天地設 ‘位’, its ‘位’ is about 三 才, not ‘爻’. Only after 重 卦, the ‘位’ came about (arose). Thus, Confucius said, “因而重之,爻在其中矣, … 故易 ‘六位’ 而成章”. The yang at 初 (位) and the yang at the 二 (位) of 乾 卦 (Chien hexagram) are two different 爻s (初 九, 潛 龍; 九 二, 在 田 龍).


Without knowing what 爻 is, there is no chance of knowing 周 公’s saying which consists of, in general, four parts. Again, using the 蒙 as example.
六三。 勿用取女。見 金 夫,不 有 躬。無 攸 利。

Part one, identify the 爻 which consists of two information: 1) ying or yang, 2) its ‘位’. In this example, it is a ying (六) which sits at 三 (位).

Part two, advice: 勿 用 取 女 (don’t take her in).

Part three, reason for that advice: 見 金 夫, 不 有 躬。 Discussing this 爻’s action. This 爻 has no respect to the man she wants to be with and with the reason of not love but for money (the 金).
Note: how to tell the ‘action’ of a 爻? This is the whole issue about the 周 公 Yijing. But, this is too big an issue for the discussion of this forum. It is all about the 得 位 or 失 位, 相 比 and (乘, riding on) or from top (承, taking the baton). A brief explanation is available at chinese-culture/about-yijing-the-general-discussions-t10-25.html#p456 .

Part four, the consequence: 無 攸 利。 If one takes in this 爻, he will gain nothing, not good. The consequence is generally described with the following terms, 吉 (good result), 吝 (not promising, having trouble), 咎 (will be sorry), 悔 (will regret), 凶 (having danger), 利 (beneficial), etc..


Now, we know what the 爻 is and how to read 周 公’s sayings. With these, we should be able to understand the Yijing as it is. There are a few more issues of interest.
One, how can one tell that a 爻 is good or bad in a 卦?
Two, is Yijing complete (needs no other variables) in terms of Chinese thoughts?
Three, is Yijing still relevant to today?
Four, I heard that 楊 震 寧 said about 5 years ago that Yijing is not scientific and there was a debate followed. Anyone of you knows the details of the debate? If you do, please share it with me.


Hongbo: Thanks for invited me and gave me the opportunity of showing my two cents (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_two_cents ) on the issue. Now, you all have the forum back.
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Re: 易經 (Yijing) @ LinkedIn

Postby Tienzen » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:51 am

Hongbo: “Now in China, as well as in the world, most of time, it's on the contrary: 見 金 夫, 方 有 躬”.

How true this is! Yet, Yijing was not wrong by all means. Even now, the 不 有 躬 is in her heart while the 方 有 躬 is only on her face. I will take Yijing’s advice, 勿 用 取 女。



Hongbo: “爻”是周公发明的,那么,在A里的“三 爻 卦”是后人添加的用法?”

Yes, the development of 八 卦 did not have the concept of 爻 (complexity). In 八 卦, it does have the concept of 位, as 天 地 設 ‘位’, but this 位 is very simple, no complexity, no variation can jump out from it (the Heaven, Earth and man). There is no 交, no 比, no 變, and no 效. Only at ‘六 位’, all these 交, 比, 變, 效 came out.



Hongbo: “Yes, it's still relevant to today. Yijing gives the basic truth of the world and what is basic is always true.”

I asked this question with two levels of meanings.
One, Confucius claimed that Yijing,
a. 通 神 明 之 德’ , that is, it encompasses all the ‘laws’ of nature and supernatural
b. and ‘類 萬 物 之 情’, that is, it encompasses the laws for lives, for society, for consciousness, for intelligence, etc.
This is a claim that even the science of today cannot make. Was Confucius wrong? Almost every scientist thinks that he was, at least, too exaggerate. But, I don’t think that he was wrong (with a ‘but’). Of course, it will take more discussions to show my point. This is a big issue.

Two, many May 4th movement scholars (錢玄同、陳獨秀、胡適、瞿秋白、魯迅、郭沫若、蔡元培、吳玉章、林伯渠) saw Yijing as dog turd. Even 楊 震 寧 declared that it is not scientific.


The key problem now is that almost no one today knows what Yijing is (as it is), let alone to know its comparison to the modern science. Yet, many people talked about Yijing as a mystic knowledge. By talking about it, it makes him into a special intellectual group. But, by spreading out too many wrong info on Yijing, it does great harm to Yijing. If you think that Yijing gives basic truth, we have a lot work ahead of us.














Xiaoling Fang: “非常感谢分享。学术没有权威,无私的分享是最可贵的学术精神。”

To be honest, I do not have such a high moral desire on ‘无 私 的 分 享’. Thanks for the compliment if it is what you are thinking about. For Yijing, I do have two personal reasons to study it.
One, Yijing (as the backbone of Chinese culture) was viewed as a symbol of ‘shame’ to Chinese people by the May 4th movement scholars. It was my personal desire to find out that I am a descendant of ‘great shame’ or with the culture blood of ‘pride’. I can report to you now that Yijing is really a symbol of pride for Chinese people. This is the major reason for my talking about Yijing, not about “无私的分享”.


Two, in the process of studying Yijing, I discovered that not a single Yijing book that published in the recent years has the true understanding of the Yijing. Those wrong descriptions of Yijing made it becoming even greater shame. I thus feel morally obligated to right those wrongs, again not about “无私的分享”. But, I will take it as a compliment, and thank you.


易 有 三 易 (Yi has three essences), 不 易 (not changing), 變 易 (changing), and 簡 易 (simplicity). Thus far, I have showed,
文 王 Yijing is 不 易-Yijing
周 公 Yijing is 變 易-Yijing
What is 簡 易 then? Let’s see Confucius’ sayings first.

系辭上 (Commentary One, on Yijing):
乾以易知,坤以 ‘簡’能;易則易知,簡則易從;易知則有親,易從則有功;有親則可久,有功則可大;可久則賢人之德,可大則賢人之業。易簡而天下之理得矣。天下之理得,而成位乎其中矣。

夫坤,其靜也翕,其動也闢,是以廣生焉。 廣大配天地,變通配四時,陰陽之義配日月,易 ‘簡’之善配至德。

系辭下 (Commentary Two, on Yijing):
夫坤,聵然示人 ‘簡’ 矣。爻也者,效此者 也;象也者,像此者也。爻象動乎內,吉凶見乎外,
夫坤,天下之至順也,德行恆簡以知 阻。


For Confucius, seemingly the ‘簡’ is only the ‘德’ of 坤, as such a “simple” 坤 卦 can ‘廣 生 焉’, ‘配 天 地’, ‘配 四 時’, ‘配 日 月’, ‘配 至 德’ and ‘德 行 恆 簡’. In fact, this “天 地, 日 月, 四 時 and 至 德” do encompass the entire ‘universe’, both physical and moral. That is, with a very ‘simple’ system of Yijing, it can describe the entire universe. Let’s see how ‘simple’ the Yijing system is.

One, 無 極 (formless): this is still beyond the reach by the ‘current’ cosmology.
Two, 太 極 (兩 儀, Ying and Yang): this was the first ‘two code’ system invented by mankind. In addition to the ‘binary system’ (the key for computer), there is a ‘computability’ issue in mathematics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computability_theory ) which has a ‘two code’ theorem: “everything which is computable can be done with a ‘two code’ system, such as (0, 1) or (ying, yang). Of course, in this universe, many are uncomputable (such as love, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/top ... putability ). Can Yijing describe the uncomputable part of the universe? The answer is yes, and I will discuss it later.
Three, 八 卦 (三 材): this forms the most comprehensive ‘theology’. I will discuss this later.
Four, 64 卦 (卦 德, 卦 象, 六 位, 爻, 吉 凶, 大 業): 吉 凶 and 大 業 are the ‘phenomena’ of the entire universe.


Is the above a very ‘simple’ system, from a beginning (太 極) to the end (all phenomena, 吉 凶 and 大 業)? Not only is the above system ‘simple’ but is complete and all encompassing (computable and uncomputable).


Now, we know what the 易 有 三 易 is all about. I will discuss the end point of Yijing (吉 凶 and 大 業) tomorrow.












Hongbo: “I just want to live freely and equally, as I find no reason to feel inferior than anyone in this world.”

In 1998 (the eve before the coming of the new millennium), I was invited to give a speech with the title “創 立 世 界 文 化 新 方 向, 邁 進 世 紀 新 千 秋 --- 從 東 西 文 化 融 合 做 起” (china-studies-f22/topic-t176.html ). The following is the first two paragraphs of that speech.


“中 國 文 化, 沒 有 發 展 出 西 方 式 的 科 學, 也 沒 有 發 展 出 自 由 巿 場 的 經 濟 理 論。 在 這 世 紀 之 末, 新 千 秋 的 前 夕, 中 國 必 須 靠 「西 化」 以 自 強。 西 方 社 會 雖 有 亂 象, 但 動 亂 之 力, 不 可 能 動 搖 其 「民 主」 與 「法 制」 的 體 制。 也 就 是 說, 西 方 文 化 穩 如 泰 山。 它 不 需 要 接 受 任 何 其 他 文 化, 即 可 歷 久 長 存。 東 西 方 相 比, 東 方 已 輸 一 著。 因 而, 我 們 要 問, 中 國 文 化 究 竟 有 什 麼 長 處? 儒 家 思 想 究 竟 有 什 麼 價 值?


儒 家 思 想, 很 明 顯 的 即 非 科 學, 又 非 經 濟 學。 如 果, 其 所 標 榜 的 「仁 政 哲 學」, 必 須 由 「民 主 制 度」 所 取 代。 其 所 標 榜 的 「天 理 道 德」,必 須 由 「西 方 法 制」 所 取 代。 則 中 國 文 化, 除 詩、 詞、 歌、 賦 之 外, 已 無 安 身 立 命 之 處。 即 使 中 國 仍 在 ,文 化 已 去。 即 使 成 為 世 界 強 權, 還 是 文 化 奴 才。”


All my life, I have studied the Western knowledge (physics, mathematics and the computer language designs). That speech was the first time of my life seriously reflecting myself as a Chinese and about the value of Chinese culture in this modern world. At that time, Chinese language (especially the characters) was viewed as ‘stupid’, and the ‘old (before May 4th movement)’ Chinese culture was outdated shame (封 建 落 後). I was ready to accept those verdicts and be happy as an American. Yet, as a scientist, I would like to find it out the first hand, by myself. Thus, I dived into the research on Chinese language, especially the etymology. As a ‘language design’ expert, I discovered that the Chinese language was the ‘only’ perfect language in the world. Then, I started research in Confucianism (that is, of course, including the Yijing).


The article in the link above was the ‘beginning’ of the journey on rediscovery of both myself and the greatness of Chinese culture, and now I live free and equal to anyone in this world. I now 无 私 的 分 享 that excitement with you all.
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Re: 易經 (Yijing) @ LinkedIn

Postby Tienzen » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:52 am

Xiaoling Fang: “I am agreed with M. François Julien, that Chinese culture is about something which was forgotten in the occidental philosophie :”

“Great shame” about Chinese culture was promoted by the May 4th movement scholars (please see, chinese-idioms/part-three-the-new-chinese-etymology-t229.html ). Before 2010, the West basically does not recognize that China has ‘philosophy’, not just forgotten it about. You can google "no Chinese philosophy" (with the quotation marks).
Not to brag about myself, after my book ‘Linguistics manifesto’ were published, the situation has changed. My Yijing discussion site (chinese-culture/about-yijing-the-general-discussions-t10.html ) has over 30,000 views. My Yijing translation is the most widely used around the world (see, http://yigen.us/ ). Chinese culture is the greatest one (superior to any others) in the world. The Westerner looked down upon us with their arrogance and ignorance, before. Then, Chinese, ourselves, looked down on ourselves because of the stupidity of those May 4th movement scholars. But, gold is gold. As soon as one dusts it clean, it shines. And, this is what I am doing, dusting the gold.





Jeremie NI: “- Chinese consider their culture is open and enjoys a great capacity of assimilation. No worry to accept a western nick name
- Chinese have simply lost pride of their own culture and go after western models
- Or Chinese are very pragmatic and they use western nick name just to make communication smoother.”


Excellent observation. Mingling among Americans all my life, I have no Western name. For me at least, my name represents me (the total me, my dignity). By using a Western name, it gives out a ‘hint’ that I am not proud of my dignity (being a Chinese). Mr. Ma (before he became the President of Taiwan) had a name as ‘Andrew’. But, you cannot find it anywhere on the web now as he is now the President. The Arabs and Indians are still keeping their ‘head-dress’ in public. The Japanese and Korea woman are still proud of their culture dresses. Yet, Chinese does developed a ‘self-shame’, and I think that the May 4th movement had done Chinese in in the greatest way, demonizing the Chinese culture and Chinese soul. I have showed the West that Chinese culture is as great as theirs if not better. But, I have not been able to work on changing the souls of Chinese people. This will be my next project.












Hongbo: “因为大多数人的意见,至多只是中等智力的结果。而 真正智力高的一小部分人的意见,却有可能被忽视。… 是听大多数人的平庸意见呢,还是采纳数量很少的 高水平人士的意见呢?这个问题似乎没有办法被所谓的民主制度解决。”

You have hit the issue right on the head of the nail. Your statement can, in fact, be written as an equation. For scientists, we solve every equation by first considering its ‘initial’ and ‘boundary’ conditions.


Your equation can get a good answer with the ‘American boundary condition’. There is a major difference between Americans and Chinese. For the majority of Americans, they know who they are, that is, how much they know and how much they don’t. Thus, for those who know that they do not know enough, they will follow the knower and not acting as a smart aleck. Thus, after all, the 智 力 高 的 一 小 部 分 人 will be winning out in their 民 主 制 度. However, the Chinese boundary condition does not like that. Although Confucius said ‘知 之 為 知 之, 不 知 為 不 知’, many Chinese who are 不 知 but ‘pretend’ to 知. I have never found this type of ‘stupidity’ among my American friends. With this kind of boundary condition of ‘不 知 而 自 以 為 知’, 民 主 制 度 is not suitable in China under this boundary condition.


Hongbo: “if you are able to make them re-find their confidence to themselves, you'll be the most great person of this new century!”

I am quite optimistic simply with the statistics. If we can pull one out of one million Chinese from the poison pit of the May 4th movement, there is still a sizable army. Even if the odds go down to one out of one billion, we can still have a number bigger than the number of Jesus’ disciples. By the way, Jesus succeeded not by converting the Jews but by taking in the Gentiles.


The greatest Chinese wisdom is about the Chinese language, the only ‘perfect’ one in the world. Yet, no Chinese speaking person gives a big damn about it, as he thinks that he knows enough Chinese language (again, 以 不 知 為 知). On the contrary, the Westerners are now eating this newly understood language with earnest. Soon (in 10 years), only Westerners will truly understand the Chinese language. By then, the statistics for the Chinese converts will become impressive.









Hongbo: “易经和数学之间的关系,能否再阐明?”

I have showed before that the 卦 體 is able to make ‘connections’ to the modern concepts, such as,
One, the binary number and ‘binary code theorem (the computability).
Two, the cellular automaton (the new discipline of alife, the artificial life)
Three, vector calculus (linear algebra)


But all the above were not developed by Chinese. When 文 王 associated the 卦 體 with ‘德’, the entire system moved away from mathematics and science. The 周 易 became a book of ‘morality’. This direction, in fact, prevented Chinese to develop a true math and true science. Yet, by all means, this is not a ‘bad’ direction. It can be a very proud direction. Yet, only by understanding of what the 周 易 really is, we can understand the essence of Chinese culture. We missed out science but gained a great culture which is superior to any others. Yet, the true meaning of the 周 易 is no longer understood today.


For the mathematics, the 周髀算經 (http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%91%A8% ... 7%E7%B6%93 ) was developed about the same time of 周 易. 周 髀 算 經 did know about the Pythagorean Theorem (勾 股 定 理) but did not develop a system of ‘geometry’. It too much emphasized the 天 圖 地 方 (http://baike.baidu.com/view/348640.htm ) which was obviously influenced by the 周 易 (at least, indirectly). Its emphasis was on the calculation of pi (3.14159…), and its accuracy was 1,000 years ahead of the West. But again, no true ‘Algebra’ was developed.


Another very important math concept came out of Yijing, the abacus. In 1930s, Alan Turing developed the Turing computability theorem. That is, anything which is computable can be done with a Turing machine (the modern computer). In 1970s, it was mathematically proven that “Every Turing-computable function is abacus-computable (http://faculty.arts.ubc.ca/pbartha/p320gen/p320ho51.pdf )”. On the one hand, we (Chinese) should be proud of that Chinese invented the first computer ‘the abacus’ over 3,000 years ahead of the Western one. But, it is truly a shame that we did not make any progress after the abacus for 3,000 years.


All these have something to do with Yijing. While we are so proud of the wisdom of our ancestors, it is truly a very important issue of why we have wasted our life for 3,000 long years. This is the reason that I studied Yijing. This was the reason for me to write the article “創 立 世 界 文 化 新 方 向, 邁 進 世 紀 新 千 秋 --- 從 東 西 文 化 融 合 做 起”.













Hongbo: “Does that mean finally that the hexagramme is something decided by chance?”

Excellent question! All the May 4th movement scholars and many people today viewed it as a ‘chance’, and thus Yijing is basically dog turds (nonsense).


The short answer is that those men are all wrong. No, it is not a play of ‘chance’. The long answer is very complicated. First, we must know what the Yijing is really about. I have showed that about 70%, that is, it is still not enough to answer the question. Second, your question is about the ‘application’ of Yijing. Is that application correct? Another important question, isn’t it? Before the long answer, let me give you one example first.


As a computer language designer, I had a chance of knowing a secret project, ‘predicting’ the chance that an aircraft carrier could be sunk during a sea battle, that is, predicting the fate of a carrier during a battle. Obviously, it can be calculated very precisely with the following steps,
One, the capability of the air-defense; how many missiles can penetrate the defense system.
Two, the probability of those missiles hits the carrier.
Three, the vital spots of the carrier which will result the sink of it, when they were hit by the missiles.
Four, the probability of those vital spots being hit by the missiles.


Very easy, isn't it? No. First, the vital spots of a carrier are the topmost secrets, not even available for the friendly analyzers. Second, in addition to calculating the damage probability of our own carriers, it is very important to calculate the enemy’s probability. Of course, it is almost impossible to get those top secrets from the enemy. Knowing the secret or not, the calculation is still a must-done job. We scientists developed a genius way to do it, throwing the dices. This is called the ‘Instrumental modelling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instrumental_variable )’ which is used to estimate causal relationships when controlled experiments are not ‘feasible’. Then, the Monte Carlo modelling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monte_Carlo_method ) is now the central piece for the theoretical physics.


No, throwing dices is not about ‘chance’ but is a very sophisticated way of finding out the precise answers of many illusive phenomena. The Yijing’s method is even more sophisticated than those. Yet, if you go to the street corner to read your coming fortune by a self-claimed Yijing expert, you most likely will be wasting your money. This is another very important place that Yijing made connection to the modern science.
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Re: 易經 (Yijing) @ LinkedIn

Postby Tienzen » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:53 am

Hongbo: “And the last step of the application of Yiking is to explain the result with our actual situation, but, can everyone explain it correctly when one connect the explaination with a concrete event?”


Yijing had many applications. The well-known ones are five [醫, 山 (風 水), 命 (算 命), 相 (看 相), 卜 (占 卦)], see http://www.chinese-word-roots.org/yi20001.htm . There is not much dispute on the 醫. Most importantly, all those five are now going beyond Yijing but encompass ‘五 行’ which is related to Yijing but not directly derived from it. The Bible for the four (not including the 醫) is ‘滴 天 髓’, a big topic, not suitable for this forum. Your question of ‘actual situation’ and ‘concrete event’ is a genuine one. I will discuss it with three points.


One, even a very good science might not be able to pin point the outcome of every concrete event, such as ‘The Science of Earthquakes’ (however genuine a science it is) is still unable to predict the exact time for the next quake.


Two, the predicting sciences (such as weather prediction, earthquake prediction or the 算 命 prediction) are all about the ‘search’ in the possible ‘outcome’ space. When a storm in the Pacific Ocean, it could land in Japan, China or South-East Asia. By gaining more ‘data’, we can reduce this outcome space. The smaller the outcome space, the better the prediction. So, are 算 命 and 占 卦 making sense? We can actually analyze its procedures for being able to ‘reduce’ the outcome space or not. Basically, those procedures do reduce it somewhat. A better expert can reduce it more. But, most of the 算 命 and 占 卦 persons at the corners of a market are not truly well-versed on the subjects. So, your chance of getting something of high value from them is not good.


Three, even while most of the 算 命 and 占 卦 are nonsense, they can still have some positive value because of the placebo effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placebo ). That is, people are still comforted even by those nonsense.













Hongbo: "滴 天 髓? I really hope to hear about it!"

‘滴 天 髓’ is the Bible about 五 行 but is now used as only for 算 命. It is wrong and a waste. Before talking about 五 行, we must understand what the Yijing is first. Confucius claimed that Yijing is able to ‘通 神 明 之 德’ and ‘類 萬 物 之 情’, that is, it is a theory of TOE (Theory of Everything). Then, why is 五 行 needed? We need address this before we can truly talk about 五 行, then ‘滴 天 髓’.




Xiaoling Fang: "... 想来一定把你班上的学生也分1234..不 同 等 级 的 智 商。"

This is truly a very important issue, at least for Confucius. 子 曰 :“唯 上 智 與 下 愚 不 移。” (《陽 货 第 十 七》, #3). There are at least two points on this statement.
One, there are three kinds of people; 上 智, 下 愚 and the average.
Two, nothing can be done for the 上 智 and the 下 愚. No way to stop the 上 智 to become a wise man. No way to bring up the 下 愚. But, for the average, they can go either ways (moving up or going down).


In my view, there are three factors for these movements.
First, laziness vs diligence: knowledge is power. Gaining power requires a lot of energy. When one does not invest enough energy to gain those powers, he will stay ignorant.

Second, bad attitude one: when someone 以 ‘不 知’ 為 ‘知’, he has no desire to know better. My daughter has Ph. D on medicine, she is very professional on her subject. Yet, on other subjects (even she knows a lot), she will not argue strongly with others as she ‘knows’ that she is not an expert. By knowing that she does not know the subject, first she will not make a fool out of herself. Second, she will try to ‘learn’ it if she needs to. But, for someone 以 ‘不 知’ 為 ‘知’, he will miss both (not being a fool, and not learning).

Third, bad attitude two: when someone is very happy for a (any) answer of a question, he will miss all the chances of challenging that answer, then his ‘wisdom’ will never go beyond that happy answer. There will be no chance for him to make any ‘advancement’ on the issue.


We must first 知 of “不 知’, and so we can learn. After ‘learned’, we must challenge that what we just learned, not accepting them as happy answers.

From these three, the 学 生 can, indeed, be 分1 2 3 4 …
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Re: 易經 (Yijing) @ LinkedIn

Postby Tienzen » Thu May 08, 2014 8:06 pm

Hongbo: "so why is 五 行 needed?"

Now, we know the basic structure of Yijing as a ‘model’.
One, 無 極
Two, 太 極 (兩 儀, 一 劃 開 天)
Three, 八 卦 (卦 象, 三 才)
Four, 64 卦 (卦 德, 六 位, 爻)


The last developed concept in this Yijing system is 爻, the 爻-dynamics. Thus far, Yijing as a ‘system’, it is internally ‘consistent’. But, what is its use? Confucius said, “爻象動乎內,吉凶見乎外”, that is, Yijing is a system to ‘model’ the external world. Can it work? Can it be right? As I have not discussed what the 爻-dynamics is, we cannot really answer this question. Again, Confucius claimed that Yijing is able to
a. 通 神 明 之 德’ , that is, it encompasses all the ‘laws’ of nature and supernatural,
b. and ‘類 萬 物 之 情’, that is, it encompasses the laws for lives, for society, for consciousness, for intelligence, etc.


Is this claim correct? It obviously has some problems, even without getting into the 爻-dynamics. For 64卦 體, I have showed that it connects to the physical world as 1) binary system, 2) cellular automatons, 3) vector calculus, etc. . But, as soon as 文 王 did 「 繫 辭 」 (emphasizing only the 德), all the above (the physical nature world) are basically ‘abandoned’, and Yijing became a system of ‘morality’. So, now there are two problems.

One, very important part of Yijing (the physical universe) was not inherited by the 文 王「 繫 辭 」 Yijing.

Two, as an uncompleted system, it has difficult time to make correspondences with the external world (爻象動乎內,吉凶見乎外).


Thus, the external world must be described with a different system, a variant of Yijing, and it is 五 行. Yet, this 五 行 should and must be ‘isomorphic’ to Yijing. Then, they two should be ‘united’ in a way to perform the ‘爻象動乎內,吉凶見乎外’. This is called 装 卦 (納 金 or 納 音).


Confucius intuitively sensed that his Yijing was not complete but he did not personally develop the 五 行 as a ‘system’ while he did wrote the following,
“說 卦 (Explanations about Yijing), “乾 為 金 (父) , 巽 為 木 (長 女) , 坎 為 水 (中 男) , 離 為 火 (中 女) , 坤 為 地 (母) ,
震 為 雷 (長 男) ,艮 為 山 (少 男) , 兌 為 澤 (少 女).”


Now, we know why 五 行 is needed for the Yijing system. How to derive it? It is a big story. How to use the Yijing/五 行 system? Another big story.





Now, we know the basic of Yijing as follow:
One, the creation (cosmology): 無 極 而 太 極. As this is the ‘source’ of our existence, we must respect it and follow its ‘will’.

Two, Heaven’s will: 八 卦, 卦 means 掛 (hanging). Hanging of what? Hanging Heaven’s will (and rules) which we (human) must obey. How to hang? With 象. So, 八 卦 has 卦 象. As man must obey the Heaven’s will, man must participate in it, thus the 三 材’

Three, Heaven’s governing rules (德): the 64 掛. The 德 of those 64 卦 were derived by 文 王 via the 卦 象 of their composing 八 卦. But, no one knew how to relate those 德 to human affairs (the 吉 凶). Thus, 周 公 re-derived those 德 via a very special process (the 爻). That is, only with 爻, we are able to connect the human affairs (吉 凶) with Yijing.


I have showed what 爻 is. In dictionary, it means complexity and comparing. It came about after the rising of 六 位. Its function is for predicting 吉 凶. In 系 辭 上 (Commentary One, on Yijing), it wrote,
爻者,言乎變者也;吉凶者,言乎其失得也.
爻象動乎內,吉凶見乎外.
So, 爻 is not 兩 儀 (the Ying and Yang). It is not in 八 卦. In 系 辭 下 (Commentary Two, on Yijing), it wrote, 三材之道也。道有變動,故曰爻. This does not say that 爻 is in 八 卦. 三 材 is a special attribute of 八 卦, but it is the “道”. The 三 材 in all 8 Trigram are all 道, no 變 動. It has 變 動 only in 六 位.


Seemingly, we have good understanding about 爻 now, haven’t we? It is the last concept in Yijing. It is the connection for Yijing (as a symbolic system) to connect to the external (human) world. Yet, we do not know how to use it, the 爻-dynamics which has two parts (the external and the internal). I will discuss only the external one today.


In Chinese etymology, 贏 (winning) means 有 盈 as it sounds exactly as 盈. 祭 means (請 神 ‘即’ 位 to enjoy the offering), so it sounds exactly as “即”. See, http://chineselanguageetymology.blogspo ... sited.html . So, what is 爻? In 系辭上 (Commentary One, on Yijing), it wrote, “以 定天下之吉凶,成天下之娓娓者,莫大乎蓍龜。” That is, 吉 凶 is decided with 蓍 龜, using 蓍 草 to produce a 六 位 卦. So, the first “摇” of the 蓍 草 produces a sign from Heaven (either Ying or Yang), and it becomes the 初 “爻”. The sixth 摇, becomes the 上 “爻”. So, the external 爻-dynamics is a procedure to produce a 六 位 卦, the so called ‘起 卦’. The detailed procedure (including sincere ‘praying’) is described by many books available in the market, thus I will not repeat it here.




What are 蓍 龜?
The 龜 卜 was practiced before Yijing, and thus I will not discuss it. The 蓍 草 is just a kind of straw, used as the counting straws. After the rising of Yijing, it was used as the original way of 起 卦, and you can learn it by googling “蓍 草 起 卦”. Thus, I will not spend time on it here. Now, people use an easy way to 起 卦, such as 金 錢 卦. For truly understanding Yijing, you should want to know the 蓍 草 起 卦, as it is partly based on mathematics in comparison to the 金 錢 卦 as purely a random procedure.


起 卦 is about getting the sings from Heaven about an ‘external’ world affair of human. Yijing is a ‘symbolic’ representation of the Heaven’s virtues and rules. 起 卦 will ‘get’ a 六 位 卦, one of the 64 卦. As the 64 卦 is a system of Heaven’s rules, by 解 (analyze) that 起-ed 卦, the meaning and perhaps the outcome of that external world affair can receive signs and hints from Heaven. Now, we need to know how to 解 卦.


Yijing is based on 八 卦 and 三 材 is 道. 八 卦 ‘道’ is fixed, not change. But, after stacking to become 六 位 卦, some matches are good but some are not, such as, there is 泰 (good match) but there is also 否 (bad match). That is, during the match, 道 有 變 動, and this 變 動 is the ‘internal’ 爻-dynamics.
爻 has 剛 柔, 大 小, 虛 實, 尊 貴/卑 賤. Yang is 剛, 大, 實, 尊 貴; Ying, the others.
爻 has 君 臣; 5 (位) is 君; 2, 4, 3, 6 are 臣. 4 is close to 5, as 大 臣. 6 is about 5 (the King), as 無 位 之 臣.
Then, there are 爻 次, 爻 位, 得 位, 失 位, 中 正, 不 中 不 正, 相 比, 相 應, 承 乘, 遠 近, 往 來.


Almost all of these can be googled, and thus I will not go into them in details. The key point of these is that some good and some bad are coming out from the basic 八 卦 (道). If you do not recognize the ‘significance’ of this, you will not be able to understand what the heck Yijing is. At the beginning, someone had talked about ‘morality’ and ‘ethics’. Only at this point, we are able to address this morality issue.


@Jeremie NI:
- whats are the key messages of Yijing?
- Any impact of YiJing on the behavior of Chinese businessmen today?
- How Yijing is perceived in USA?
- Do American businessmen have intesrets in YiJing and why?

Your first question is what I am going to discuss in the next 2 or 3 posts. I will discuss the other three after the first issue is addressed.
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Re: 易經 (Yijing) @ LinkedIn

Postby Tienzen » Thu May 08, 2014 8:08 pm

We discussed the morality at the beginning of this discussion. At that time, we basically discussed it with the dictionary definition, “morality; principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior and with ethics as its synonym.”


Of course, the issue is much more complicated than that dictionary definition. The Chapter 7 of my book “The Divine Constitution, ISBN 9780916713065, http://books.google.com/books?id=8MMzPw ... CDcQ6AEwAA ) is all about ‘Moral Truths’. I will not repeat that whole chapter here but will point out only two key points.
One, all philosophers and theologians accept a notion that the matter of ‘value (moral value)’ is different from the matter of ‘fact’, that ‘ought to be’ is different from that ‘that is’. Thus, the moral is a ‘value’ system, not a ‘fact’ based system.

Two, ‘fact’ can happen without a plan or a will. The ‘value’ must be judged, that is, having a judge (the value ‘giver’). So, a thing or an event that is good (moral) or evil (immoral) is judged by the moral judge. This ‘source’ of the moral is the ‘key’ for the whole issue. In the West, this value giver is claimed to be ‘God’.


Yet, we should understand the concept of ‘goodness and evil’ first. We should review the entire world views on this.

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?


Many 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. 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 (得 位, 失 位, 中 正, 不 中 不 正, 相 比, 相 應, 承 乘, 遠 近, 往 來).


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.


Now, we know that the ‘source’ of moral in Chinese culture arose in Yijing, all about (得 位, 失 位, 中 正, 不 中 不 正). This is significantly different from the West, and it made the Chinese culture a 100% moral-centered. On the one hand, it prevented Chinese to develop the modern-science. On the other hand, it became the greatest culture in the world before the stupid smearing by the May 4th movement scholars. Please read the Preface (chinese-idioms/confucius-the-analects-a-new-translation-t2062.html#p4747 ) of 《論 語》 on this.


I will discuss what the ‘key messages’ of Yijing are tomorrow.







Jeremie NI, by asking about the ‘key messages’ of Yijing, you are obviously having paid attention about our discussion. By now, you might have sensed two points.

One, the 卦 體 (developed over 3,300 years ago in China) is able to make contact to the most advanced modern scientific concepts of today.

Two, China after all did not develop the ‘science proper’; the modern math, physics, etc., and I have attributed it to the result of 文 王 ‘系 辭' which had transformed a scientific system (the 卦 體) into a moral system. And, the entire 《論 語》 is all about the Chinese morality. (Note: if you have not read the 《論 語》 link which I provided in my last post, please do. This is the only way to find out the origin and the base of Confucius’ morality.)


With these two point understanding, we now are able to discuss the ‘key messages’ of Yijing.
First, there was a ‘creation’ which is moral with a ‘will’; 無 極 而 太 極.

Second, we (human) were and are a part of this creation and have the right and the obligation to participate in this creation, the 三 材.

Third, the ‘will’ of this creation is displayed with 象, the 八 卦 象.

Fourth, the mixing of these 八 卦 象 produces 爻 [encompassing good (goodness) or bad (evil)]. The 爻 is the ‘source’ for moral (this is significantly different from all other moral doctrines). This 爻 manifests as 吉 凶 in the real world (as 爻 象 動 乎 內, 吉 凶 見 乎 外).

Fifth, although the above processes are happening in the ‘real’ world, they can be ‘symbolically’ described with a ‘system’ (named as Yijing). As the Yijing is a ‘representation’ of the real world, can we use it to ‘predict’ the future events in this real world? The answer is yes and no, and I will discuss this tomorrow.


With the above understanding, Yijing has one and only one message, “The Heaven’s will is moral, and thus we (human) must live our lives in accordance to that morality.” This is the whole 《論 語》 is about.





Hongbo: “… 那么如何解释坤卦和乾卦两卦通常为大吉?”

Good thinking. I have showed that 八 卦 (trigrams) have 卦 德 and 卦 象, but no 爻. Thus, the self-stacking produces 8-純 卦 (the 卦 德 and 卦 象 are not changed), and these eight have ‘no’ issue of 得 位 or 失 位.

As Confucius said that Yijing is ‘通 神 明 之 德’ and ‘類 萬 物 之 情’, then can Yijing foretelling the future? Is Yijing a book of Oracle? The answer is a big No.

First, the Oracle of Delphi (the Pythia, connect with the divine as an individual) delivered oracles in a ‘frenzied state’, and that she spoke gibberish which priests interpreted as the enigmatic prophecies. This is not how Yijing works. Yijing is a symbolic representation of the ‘divine’ but it does not provide prophecies. Every 64 卦 shows one 德 of the Heaven. Some of those 德 show the negative part of the universe, such as,
剝。不利有攸往。 Not good to keep in this condition.
否 。 否 之 匪 人 。 不 利 君 子 貞 。 大 往 小 來 。
損。有孚; 元吉; 無咎; 可貞。利有攸往。
蹇。 蹇利西南,不利東北。
All those statements are not about the prophecies but are the ‘descriptions’ of the situations and are the ‘advices’ of how to act in those circumstances. Each 爻 辭 provides more detailed ‘advices’, not prophecies.

初六 剝床以足。蔑貞, 凶。 The leg of the bed is rotten, it is not good. (A flat statement, no prophecy here)

六二 剝床以辨。蔑貞, 凶。 The rotten spots are now ‘visible’, it is very bad.

六三 剝之。無咎。 Remove the rotten, will not be wrong.

六四 剝床以膚。凶。 The rotten is now touching the skin, very bad.

六五 貫魚,以宮人寵。無不利。 Recognize the problem and ask for help (same as the palace girl asking for help), will not have bad result.

上九 碩果不食。君子得輿,小人剝廬。 When the single big fruit which did not rot away same as the others, it has chance to come around (the 復 卦)

Thus, Yijing is an action ‘guidebook’, not a book of oracle or prophecy.


Second, every ‘description model’ has the prediction power. The ‘weather model’ can in general predict the weather. But, in addition to the ‘model’ alone, it needs to know many ‘boundary’ conditions. For a storm in the Pacific Ocean, its landing place is determined by many boundary conditions (where are the high pressure air masses and their movements). Without knowing these boundary conditions, a model alone cannot predict an outcome. Furthermore, a big weather forecast model is never able to predict when a nice cold breeze will blow over your face. Confucius said, “吉 凶 生 大 業。...以 定 天 下 之 吉 凶”. That is, Yijing is determining the 大 業 (the ‘天 下’ 之 吉 凶), not the fortune of any individual, similar to the weather forecast model predicts the big weather storm, not a cold breeze over your face.


Third, as such a powerful took, it must not be used casually, and foretelling a personal fortune is not a non-casual event. Yijing is only used for ‘斷’ 疑, not for fortune telling. Most of the 疑 should be 斷-ed by reasons. Only when the rational analysis fails to provide a decision, Yijing can be used for ‘advice’. Thus, there are three 不 占: 不 誠 不 占, 不 疑 不 占, 不 義 不 占。




Hongbo: "So how can we explain the 坤卦和乾卦 since they are "pure female" and "pure male"?"

In Yijing, by definition, 八 卦 are the base, the ‘units’. So, its 自 重 卦 has no ‘change’ on 名, 德 and 象; so, they are 純 卦, as 八 宫 ‘宫 主’ (see http://www.chinese-word-roots.org/Ijing0.htm ). Among those 8-純 卦, the 坤 卦 和 乾 卦 are even more special, as those two have 文 言 (special commentary by Confucius). They two are the most pure-bases in Yijing, more pure than the other 6-純 卦. How can they two of not-吉 when they are the ‘foundation’ of the whole system.

Then, there is another way of 解 卦, the ‘互 體’ which I did not spend any time on it (you could google it). With 互 體, there are changes in the other 6-純 卦 but not with 坤 and 乾. But, in terms of 算 命, getting 坤 or 乾 does not always mean 大 吉, as it depends on the issue being asked (see my next post).


Hongbo: "Another question: 不 誠 不 占, 不 疑 不 占, 不 義 不 占. Why?"
The purpose and the mission of Yijing is 斷 疑. Without 疑, why do it? It is not a ‘game’. The whole ‘essence’ of Yijing is moral. 占 for the reason of immoral (不 義) will definitely not appreciated if ‘易’ is indeed connected to the moral spirit; and more likely that 占 will be cursed. If one does not trust a medical doctor, will he take his medicine? Most likely, he will throw away his medicine. When a doctor knows that he is not trusted, will he spend his time on the doubter?
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Re: 易經 (Yijing) @ LinkedIn

Postby Tienzen » Thu May 08, 2014 8:08 pm

I have discussed the entire Confucius Yijing in detail. In fact, I have discussed more issues than Confucius knew about it himself. Let me summarize it again.

One, this universe (Heaven, Earth and men) is ‘moral’.
Two, the driving force in this universe (for 吉 凶, 大 業 and all the way to life of every individual) is moral.
Three, Yijing is the symbolic representation of this moral universe.
Four, Yijing can be used as a tool to get advice in the case of a ‘moral’ question which is undecidable with rationale. Yijing by all means is not a ‘book of oracle’, not for the fortunetelling. Confucius Yijing is a moral action guidebook.


In Confucius Yijing, the concept of 五 行 was not fully developed. The ‘current’ 起 卦 ‘算 命’ uses the Extended-Yijing (Yijing plus 五 行). As ‘算 命’ is not truly a moral question, it is a miss use of Yijing. Thus, I will not go into the details on it but just give a very brief description.


As only a moral action guidebook, Confucius Yijing is not ‘enough’ to provide any detailed calculation for any making sense fortunetelling. Thus, a lot more ‘boundary’ conditions must be added. In fact, four sets of boundary conditions are added to the 卦.
First, the 五 行; this is called ‘裝 卦’. With 裝 卦, the ‘answer’ space increased many fold. Otherwise, many different questions can get the same answer. When everyone has an identical fortune, this fortunate teller won’t get good credibility.

Second, the second boundary condition is about ‘配 六 神’ which is personal info (父 母, 官 鬼, 兄 弟, 妻 財, 子 孫). At this point, each 卦 becomes ‘personal’.

Third, selecting the 用 神, which of the 六 神 will be the dominant one in this 占. This depends on the ‘question’ being asked.

Fourth, finding out the ‘hidden’ power and the ‘世, 應’, the 忌 神, 仇 神, 飛 神, 伏 神, etc.. 世 is me; 應 represents the ‘opposite’ force.


With these four steps, the ‘answer’ space becomes very big and can be ‘personal’ and unique. That is, no two 占 can get the same answer. So, the system design was quite ‘scientific’, having detailed mathematical consideration. Will it truly tell the fortune? The seeker will definitely get a ‘moral’ advice for his question. This is all the 算 命-Yijing that I want to discuss (see http://www.chinese-word-roots.org/yi20001.htm for more). However, I will discuss about 五 行 as a separate issue (nothing to do with 算 命) later.


Then, 魏 伯 陽’s 「 周 易 參 同 契 」 took Yijing into another direction. 易 道 and 老 子 道 were significantly different. At the time of 魏 伯 陽, 老 子 道 became mainly as ‘道 功’ (綀 内 丹) which has two pathways,
a. 清 液 大 丹 (based on 既 濟 卦)
b. 金 液 大 丹 (based on 未 濟 卦, by uniting man and woman sex energies)
At this point, Yijing and 道 功 were united.


Now, we have three branches of Yijing.
One, Confucius’s moral Yijing
Two, 算 命-Yijing
Three, 綀 内 丹-Yijing
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