Saturday, June 19, 2010

A3) What is Yang and Yin, as well as the hexagram? What is the I Ching?

Zhou Yi doesn’t have any word of Yang and Yin in its text but only exhibits two symbols. It is Ten Wings of the I Ching, which introduces the concept of Yang and Yin.

Yang and Yin are two phenomena, brightness and darkness, in the sky, like day and night. Yang and Yin will change like the darkness of night changing to the brightness of day at dawn, and then the brightness starting to develop, reaching its peak and then going to decline; at dusk the brightness of day changing to the darkness of night. Yang and Yin will never perish each other, like Tai Ji Tu; white has black in the center and black has white in the center, and like four seasons: the day is increasing while the night is decreasing in spring, and in winter time the night is increasing while the day is decreasing, but both won’t vanish.

On the earth Yang is converted into things of masculinity and expresses itself in the form of stiffness (or rigidity) and strength …..; in human society, justice and the male …… Yin is converted into things of femininity and expresses itself on the earth in the form of softness (or tenderness) and weakness …..; in human society, benevolence and the female …….

The hexagram is phenomena constituted by the images of eight trigrams which are hanged up side down from Heaven as the oracle. The said phenomena of each hexagram emerge according to the mutual influences and interactions between two inter-mated trigrams which are represented by the real substances or their features on the earth. Every hexagram has its particular subject and its 6 lines present six different space-time manifestations in the era or world of that subject. Thus, life on the earth filled with variety is displayed through them, and these 64 hexagrams as well as their 386 lines cover all the possible incidents of the world.

In divining, the old Yang will change to the young Yin according to the oracle within the hexagram hung from Heaven. In the real world, the old man will pass away at last; however the male mating with the female will create new life. Hence the rule of Heaven is eternal, a change with the consistent pattern, while human life will physically end up with death, although it continues in the form of generation by generation.

The I Ching converts the rule of Heaven and Nature into the norm of human beings. What is the change of human world, i.e. that which makes cycling and cycling? It is not for an eternal life but how to live continuously, i.e. people should act timely according to the environment of a hexagram where they inhabit, seek measures and make a change. i.e. a break through, in plight. The I Ching, from the perspective of human norm, does offer people the way, like a hidden dragon not taking action, otherwise the hexagram will become Gou (hex 44), wherein a crisis is emerging, and one should wait till the moment of seeing the great lord at position 2 …….. and like the haughty dragon of hex 1.6 not fighting for the leadership while all masculine lines starts changing to femininity, and it will become auspicious, ……… and like the fighting of two dragons (Qian and Kun at position 2.6) ending up while all feminine lines are changing to masculinity since masculinity is the desired end of femininity. Once people can attain the true significance of a hexagram from the holistic view of its text, from the related hexagram, from the sequence ……according to the I Ching, they will be able to know how to take appropriate actions in the troublesome life, and make life keeping on going.