Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Contrasting Yin and Yang

In the I Ching hexagram one relates to the primordial yang power and tends to describe it. It is easy to just look at the commentary on the two hexagrams to get an idea of how opposite they are. But it is necessary to go beyond the obvious to get a really good idea of just how each operates.

It is obvious that hexagram one describes yang energy and hexagram two describes yin. But the depth of difference is not apparent without some critical analysis of the text. It is more obvious that yang is strong, yin is weak, (relatively speaking). It is obvious that yang is heaven and yin is earth. It quickly becomes clear that yang is more masculine and yin more feminine. However, what makes that so? And where does heaven begin and earth depart. If you climb the highest mountain, are you in heaven? If you descend into the lowest part of the earth are you more earth? All these things have to be defined and yet they cannot be defined because yang is only yang in relation to something that is yin, And yin is only yin in relationship to something that is yang. So is the earth yang or yin? We have to be careful about precise labels. In relationship to the sun the earth would be yin, but in relationship to the moon the earth would be yang. So which is it? By itself it is nothing. It is neither yin nor yang. So we have to get beyond absolutes and think in terms of relationships.

But back to the point. There is more about yin and yang than what first meets the eye. Sometimes the commentary does not clearly make mention of certain truths but it is there if we know how to properly integrate portions of the text. So, hexagram one line one, which is pure yang, points to a situation where a situation is not ready to develop yet. Why not? It is still at its incipient stages. (Almost sounds kind of yin, does it not?) But develop it will, if we bide our time. (Bide our time) Aha! another aspect of the yang nature, time. The point is that evolution is taking place here. Something is growing, and though the "TIME" isn't right, it is evolving into that stage that is right. So what do we conclude about yang energy. First, that it is a strong, and growing force. It is the power of evolution. So what about yin? Well, let's look at the first line of the second hexagram. It says, "When there is hoarfrost underfoot, solid ice is not far off." What is happening here? The forces of involution are taking place, rather than waiting here for the draconian energy to evolve, we are watching a devolution. We are watching what once was of value, degenerate into something less useful. So we can conclude, yang energy is evolution, yin energy is involution. What are we taught in the last two hexagrams of the I Ching. First, we have number sixty three, where all the lines are in their correct place. But what happens when everything is correct? It cannot be permanently maintained. And things deteriorate until in hexagram sixty four, all lines are in their incorrect places? Evolution proceeds and the lines eventually end up in their proper places and everything is correct again. Hence we have eternal change, except that the principle, the core, never changes, (see hexagrams thirty one and thirty two.) Therefore all things in the universe are eternally in the process of either involution, or evolution.

Now note that in the first two hexagrams evolution is mentioned first, in hexagram one, and involution second, in hexagram two. But in the last two hexagrams the order is reversed. We first have involution, and then evolution. There are far reaching speculations that could go with this, but enough for now. By comparing line with line, we come up with deeper aspects of the I Ching. We also do so by analyzing its structure, and by looking deeper into the context and the sequence.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

It's been so long

It's been so long since I have done anything, I have forgotten a good portion about the I Ching that I used to know, and so I am starting over, so to speak from scratch. It is also a long time since I have posted here. Now I have my heart set on publishing a book about the I Ching, but it may take more time, even years, to publish than there is time for, not only because I am getting older, but because war between the United States and Russia is now almost inevitable. We are truly in the end times. Of course, I am sure I have also lost a lot of my readership base since I post so intermittently. I am interested in too many things, and have a hard time keeping up with half of them. Not only am I interested in the I Ching, but in Gnostic and Esoteric Christianity. In Buddhism and Hinduism. In Taoism and Tai Chi Chuan. In astrology and to a lesser extent numerology and gematria. It is so unfortunate that as humans we only have so much time because all of those subjects are extremely important and they need to be integrated, but how is that possible?

So, in the first line of hexagram one, a nine in the first, it says that a great man is still unrecognized. On one level the I Ching is talking about itself. The I Ching itself is in a sense the great man, or at least, the great teacher, the great law giver, the great dispenser of wisdom. And how much of that do we recognize even if we think we already know the I Ching. At the same time all of us probably feel that we have an area of expertise that goes unrecognized by and large. And we probably feel so rightly. For how can we get our message out to others? No matter how great or how valuable our message is the majority of the people will not be able to get to your message as they have their own area of interest, and are limited as we all are, by time. It is only when we start making effects in the outer world, ( the nine in the second of hexagram one) that people sit up and take notice. When what we produce shows itself to be of benefit. Therefore we have to be patient. And we have to study and constantly increase our own knowledge base in order to pass that knowledge, the part which is of real value anyway, to others.

If we are unrecognized, then our message is not ready to go out to the world. And in the same way, if the value of the I Ching is not recognized, it cannot be properly used. The I Ching is a deep well. It has a reservoir of knowledge and wisdom that cannot possibly be fully tapped even in several lifetimes. As such, it cannot be fully recognized even if it is partially recognized. We must each do our own work. We must 'chop wood and carry water.' And only when our necessities are provided for can we sit and take the time to intuit deep wisdom. But until the depths of the I Ching is recognized, it is only a well where one, "shoots fish." The first line of each hexagram represents a beginning step. But in the first hexagram the beginning step is the most beginning of all steps because at first we have not even recognized that there is a step to be taken. As such no important actions can be taken here because we are not even aware of our situation, and any step we take may lead to the chasm, (hexagram twenty nine). So here we do not act. Because any action would be born of naivete, and we can be destroyed by the hidden dragon.