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Thread: A lot going on-Taoist I Ching

  1. #1
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    Hi everyone

    I have a few minutes to post some ridiculous thing. Will try to make it worthwhile. Wish I had time to read all the neat posts that are out there, but unfortunately, I do not.

    I saw a book this weekend by Da Liu. Don't know if it is new or not, but was interesting. He sometimes writes books out the relationship of Tai Chi and the I Ching. For in truth, this is the way Tai Chi came about, by a Taoist understanding of the book. He talks just a little bit about the rising and decline of yang, and vice versa. When it comes to a taoist perspective, the meaning of the trigrams becomes all the more important. Not only the outer trigrams, but the nuclear too.

    Starting with hexagram 24, we have the image of strong energy, (the trigram chen), rising upward into an empty field. Three of four trigrams here are kun. one is chen. From a taoist perspective, this relates to the life force, or energy, or chi, rising up from the base of the spine on its way to the crown. When it reaches the top of course, it has to come back down the vessel in the front of the body, back to the tan tien, or lower mind. The place where chi is normally stored in the body, as long as the body is healthy. When we get tot the top, (represented in hexagram 1,) the energy must necessary begin to descend once again to the sea of chi. (represented initially by hexagram 44.) Hence it is said in line 6 of hexagram 24, missing the return, misfortune. The chi cannot be allowed to stagnate at the crown. Hexagram 19 refers to a further rise of the chi, and on and on until hexagram 43 and then hexagram 1, the sequence is 24, 19, 11, 34, 43, 1. The descending sequence is 44, 33. 12, 20, 23, and 2. At one and two, and at 24 and 44, there is of necessity a change in the nature of the energy. This happens automatically in any living person, but it is partially blocked by negative emotions, by tension in the muscular structure, by the breakdown of cartilege with age, by not standing straight and tall, curving the spine, and by improper diet. Foods not assimilated by the body are stored in the joints and marrow, and in the intestines if not digested properly, leading to illnesses such as cancer, and others. The art of Tai Chi, and other true martial arts, are meant to breakdown those blockages so the internal energy can flow more efficiently.

    When we look at the Yi from a taoist standpoint, the idea of lines meaning kings, rulers, officials, and common folk is not so important. However, the meanings as relating to the body are still important, and usually, the relationships between the lines also. But the emphasis is on health, healing, etc, more so than on confucian morality.

    There are basically three types of Chi Kung. Or Qigong. The first type is for health, and longevity. The second is for martial arts, to energize the muscles, to convert chi to jing and use it martially. The third type is religious. It relates to the other two, but the emphasis is on the attaining of immortality. This involves creating the "second birth." I am interested mostly in the third type, but also the second type. In a way though, they are all related.

    This is why I often say, "There are no good books written on the Yi from a taoist perspective. I am aware of Thomas Cleary's works, but it is not truly Taoist, only superficially. After glancing over Da Liu's book, I am hoping to take it from there and get a better understanding of the I Ching from a Taoist perspective.

    Gene

  2. #2

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    Hi Gene-
    If you like this he has 3 Yi books that I know of:
    Tai Chi Chuan and I Ching (1972), I Ching Coin Prediction (1975) and I Ching Numerology (1975).
    The second is a passable translation, b list, not a, sort of like Hernry Wei or Alfred Huang.
    I agree on Cleary's version (but I like his Buddhist I Ching). I don't really know of anyone else who applies philosophical Daoism to the Yi very well. But there's lots of fussing by religious Daoists on the Image and Number side of things.
    b

  3. #3
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    Hi Anonymous,


    Totally agree with you about the earlier origins of Buddhism and the Tao. In the heritage of my spiritual path (which is the same as Dao or Tao) I have learned that the Buddha received the oral tradition (an ancient Ceremony I have undergone) from Amida Buddha. He expressed what he learned as Buddhism. But then Lao Tzu too followed this path and was a master. This oral tradition really did exist - it is why the Buddha puzzled everyone by once not giving a lecture and instead playing with a flower held before his third eye. It was heart to heart communication. Only Maha Kasyapa understood and the Buddha passed the initiation on to him.

    I am told that the Confucian classics also mention this Ceremony.

    Best for your Quest

    Anita
    Last edited by hilary; February 10th, 2014 at 12:18 PM. Reason: Anita's request

  4. #4
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    A document that isn't Daoist? Isn't that like putting the horse before the cart? The Yi is the Yi. From the yi, several aspects of Chinese civilization came about. It's not that the I Ching came from Daoism, it is that Daoism came at least partly from the I Ching. Tai Chi Chuan is Daoist. It came from the I Ching, the I Ching did not come from Tai Chi. The whole concept of the Yi is the interaction between yin and yang. This isn't a simple social order thing, it impacts every aspect of reality. That includes the way yin and yang interact within the body. The internal energy circulates through the body via the microcosmic and macrocosmic orbit. The energy of the universe flows through our bodies, therefore we potentially each have the power of the entire universe. Through proper understanding of the I Ching, we can little by little, appropriate more of that into our life.

    Gene

  5. #5
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    Hi Allan,

    I understand about Jing converted to Chi. However, when a martial artist wants to activate internal power, and extend it, it is not the Chi, at least not from any teacher I have met or read from, that actually is the power, it is the Jing. When internal energy is accumulated, stored, and then released, it is the exactly correct use of certain postures that turns the Chi into Jing in order to be used in a martial context. That is why, in Tai Chi, we speak of cutting jings, interrupted jings, sticking jings, etc. It is said, we can feel our own chi but not our jing, while we can feel the opponents jing, but not his chi. I would be really curious as to how you view these things.

    Thanks,
    Gene

  6. #6

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    Hi Gene-
    Regarding: "The whole concept of the Yi is the interaction between yin and yang."
    There is also a school that thinks that the whole concept of the interaction between yin and yang came from the Yi with its broken and solid lines. After all, yin and yang are not used in the Zhouyi (except yin once as shadow). Neither are Rou and Gang (flexlible and firm), the predecessors of yin and yang in the theory. These weren't used in the Yi until the Ten Wings.
    b
    b

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