Monday, October 30, 2006

And so it begins

There can be no yang without yin, and vice versa. This is the basic premise. So then, why do we even have a first and second hexagram? All hexagrams come in pairs. the first yin, the second yang, the third confusion, the fourth order out of confusion, and so on and so forth, which we will get into later.

Dealing with the trigrams later, we will now do a little discussion of the lines. As mentioned previously, the lines in the first and second hexagrams, give us a hint as to how to interpret the lines in the rest of the hexagrams. For example, line one of hexagram one says, "Hidden Dragon, do not act." I also like the work of Hua-Ching Ni here, who translates it thusly, "When the potency of the dragon has not yet emerged, it is not time to try to use it." As a side note, here, I should mention, as I hadn't thought to do it, that the first hexagram, being yang, relates to time, where the second hexagram, being yin, refers to space, once again, polar opposites, though this may not be apparent at first glance. We can assume, based on the meaning of this first line, that the first line of all hexagrams following, especially those who's first line is yang, will have this flavor. or element. In the Wilhelm Baynes commentary, it is said, "...Hence it is wise for the man who consults the oracle and draws this line to wait in the calm strength of patience. The time will fulfil itself..." (This concept of time fulfilling itself will be dealt with later, first the groundwork must be completed.)

A few samples will suffice for the moment, although as time goes on, this will be dealt with at length. Hexagram three, another subject that will be dealt with in great length soon, shows the beginnings of interaction between yin and yang. Hexagram three deals with beginnings anyway, so you have this flavor throughout the hexagram; we will deal with further examples soon. But the first line here follows the flavor of premature activity. The line is translated as, "Hesitation and hindrance..." The commentary says, "If a person encounters a hindrance at the beginning of an enterprise, he must not try to force advance, but must pause and take thought..." This theme is very common in the I Ching, which describes to us where we are on the sine wave mentioned earlier. When it is not time to take action, it is time for us to prepare. Preparation is a must for any undertaking. Hexagram 26 very strongly proclaims this principle. And in hexagram twenty six line one, it is stated. "...Therefore it is better for him to compose himself and to wait until an outlet is offered." One more hexagram will suffice, for the moment only, to advance this concept of waiting for the appropriate time. Hexagram sixty three, line one, says, "He brakes his wheels..." The commentary for this line says, "...But this pressing forward at the beginning is not good..." The west has been traditionally characterized as a more yang civilization, as compared to the east, (once again, duality expresses itself even on the planet as a whole, with its corresponding civilizations.) We tend to initiate. We move, we act. Even within the United States we see on the West coast a very innovative and creative people, where on the East Coast we see a population much more steeped in tradition, and maintaining the status quo. (It's not that they don't create, and its not that the west doesn't follow tradition, it is simply the primary focus that is of concern.) As such though, the west tends to move quickly, and it has helped us in many ways, but we must understand the times and their corresponding requirements. Otherwise that which is to our advantage, can quickly be our downfall. If you want to understand a persons strengths, look at their weaknesses, and if you want to know a person's weakness, look at his strengths, for they are one and the same, and that being the case, why should we judge?

2 comments:

Michelle said...

Hi Gene,

Very timely and intetesting...my weekly reading had a changing yang line at 6 so I consulted hexagram one to gain further insight. Thanks for pointing out that association.

gener202 said...

Hi Michelle

I might point out, because it will be a while before we get to line 6, that the sixth line doesn't always follow the rule in an obvious way. For example, hexagram 53 line 6 is very positive due to the fact that the hexagram relates the necessity of going step by step, and not skipping any part of the process, then line 6 is part of that overall process. However, even here there is a hint of having gone too far. (Okay as it might be in this hexagram.) The commentary says, "The path rises high to heaven." Hexagram 62 tells us that we must stay close to our base of operations. It is only when we have mastered each step that we can reach into the clouds, and even then, if we are not careful, as in hexagram 63, there can be a precipitous fall.

Gene