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Plutonian

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(edited the whole thing)

Could anyone share some good sources about the nature of the Four Images or Si Xiang?
 
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Liselle

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(Techy aside: if you want to shrink your images, Xenforo (the forum software) makes it really easy, bless them.

1. Click the edit button beneath your post.
2. Click the image - you'll see tiny gray handles at the corners:

1637852905355.png

3. Click and drag them with your mouse.

The full size will still be available to people: shrunken images can be clicked and opened in a lightbox where several things can be done to them.)
 

Plutonian

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(Techy aside: if you want to shrink your images, Xenforo (the forum software) makes it really easy, bless them.

1. Click the edit button beneath your post.
2. Click the image - you'll see tiny gray handles at the corners:

View attachment 4104

3. Click and drag them with your mouse.

The full size will still be available to people: shrunken images can be clicked and opened in a lightbox where several things can be done to them.)
Done :)
 

dfreed

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As you noted in your pre-edited post, Bradford Hatcher wrote about "the assignment of two of the four Emblems to Shao (or Young) Yin and Yang. The correct resolution to this is found in the discussion above, as well as in Song dynasty writings and diagrams: Shao Yin is depicted: (yin line above yang), and Shao Yang: (yang above yin)." P45.

In his same Yi, starting at p454 he gives key words, references, and associations for each of the Si Xiang, the Four Images (Hatcher's 'four emblems') including the two 'younger ones'.

These depictions of which lines are above/below are agreed upon by ZHU XI (1130-1200) who said, "the four images are the four combinations of one yin and one yang line". (Nielsen, p217-18)

Other definitions from Nielsen for the 'Si Xiang': that they are - or represent - the numbers 6,7,8,9 used in coin / yarrow stalk divination; the four types of single lines (solid/broken, changing/unchanging); and are four of thr trigrams (bagua) and their respective meanings and locations, from the houtian ('later heaven') bagua circle / arrangement of the eight trigrams:

- Name / trigram / direction / season / (no.) change state / 2-line symbol
- Shao Yang / thunder / east / spring (7) stable : yang line above yin
- Tai Yang / fire / south / summer (9) moving : yang line above yang
- Shao Yin / lake / west / autumn. (8) stable : yin above yang
- Tai Yin / water / north / winter (6) moving : yin above yin

I imagine that there are other definitions / meanings for the 'four images'.
 
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breakmov

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You can easily find information about the four images, but it is something that is based on a cycle, as you see in the image.
One way I used to get a more real (experiential) sense of the flow of the four seasons was to associate it with my breathing cycle, as a kind of meditation that becomes almost like background music that is always present.

cycle.png


Edit: I noticed that I had put in the initial picture, in the
rectangular box, the four images as if they "appear completely formed from the beginning", .... and it is not so.
- In reality they are formed in a line-by-line progression, as shown in the current (edited) picture. :)

breakmov
 
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surnevs

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Hi breaknow, thank You for sharing.
Years ago I wondered about this particular sequence ie. from Tai Yang (2 yang), Shao Yin (yang beneath), Tai Yin (2 Yin) and Shao Yin (yin beneath) *, as my logic tells me that, after Tai Yang comes Shao Yin, Tai Yin and Shao Yin. I'm not sure, but I think Bradford Hatcher got it the same way You has shown above.
The reason for my wondering is what I have found concerning the Trigrams where - again according to my logic - the sequence will be like Yang moving up signifying Spring thus: Zhen & Li then Tui & Qian (Thunder & Fire, Lake & Heaven). From here on the Yin starts moving up etc.
I never got that really clarified (it's that many years ago that I don't even remember what Bradford Hatcher answered me and in which thread to find it).
I will study your Image and maybe come back with more information, depending on it to be found.


*) see also Bradford Hatcher, YiJing, Word by Word, Vol. 1, pg. 454


Editing:

SORRY breaknow !!! I've dived deeper and Bradford Hatcher has not the same frequence as You showed (#5) but:

Tai Yin - Shao Yang - Shao Yin - Tai Yang
 
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dfreed

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.... it is something that is based on a cycle, as you see in the image.
.... after Tai Yang comes Shao Yin, Tai Yin and Shao Yin.

In terms of using the Yi, in any given reading, we only have 'moving/ changing' lines 'moving to' or 'changing to' stable, unmoving lines. Therefore, any given reading is not a continuous cycle, loop or process that goes on and on .... Instead, unmoving lines - Shao Yin and Shao Yang - remain unmoving (regardless of what they started out as).

Therefore, any graphic depicting the 'four lines' as a repetitive 'loop' does not represent 'change' as it's described in an individual casting or reading; ... though some people may find it meaningful in other ways.

(Sven, did you repeat / use shao yin twice in your cycle?)

Regards, D.
 
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Plutonian

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Thank you all for your answers.
You can easily find information about the four images, but it is something that is based on a cycle, as you see in the image.
I found this logic as well. Even if, as Dfreed puts it, it is not a loop, since at our level of change things happen in a more chaotic way, full of contingencies. Even though, spring - summer - autumn - winter is kinda "loopy", and so is the Earths orbit around the Sun, growth and decay, and all that is necessary, it is also true that we inhabit a plane of reality in which things can happen, or cannot. Unless, of course, we believe that every contingency is actually inscribed in a larger cycle, which is necessary, and in this case, everything ends up working out in a cyclic way. Following this way of thinking, we could affirm that all good leads to bad, and all bad leads to good; after joy comes sadness and after loss comes gain. Anyways, while the cyclic way of looking at it seems to me a good starting point, what really bothers me is the nature of Shao Yin and Shao Yang, as I'll explain in a moment.
any given reading is not a continuous cycle, loop or process that goes on and on .... Instead, unmoving lines - Shao Yin and Shao Yang - remain unmoving (regardless of what they started out as).
This is very accurate.
See, If you take a hexagram, lets say, Qian, and you consider it to be "a duplicated trigram", in which lines 1 and 2, 3 and 4, 5 and 6, all form three Tai Yangs, and you follow the cycle you (breakmov) depicted, then you will go from hexagram 1 to hexagram 64, Wei Ji (three Shao Yin), from there you'll go to hexagram 2, Kun (three Tai Yin), from there to hexagram 63, Ji Ji, and from there we move back to hexagram 1. As you can imagine, you could build up 16 of these cycles. If we combine the "cyclic" theory of the four images with the incontinuity Dfreed states, then we could conceive each mutation to be a jump between one of the 16 cycles to another.

1638042901858.png

The reason for my wondering is what I have found concerning the Trigrams where - again according to my logic - the sequence will be like Yang moving up signifying Spring thus: Zhen & Li then Tui & Qian (Thunder & Fire, Lake & Heaven). From here on the Yin starts moving up etc.
I never got that really clarified
So, this is basically it. This is what I was actually concerned about. I'm glad you stated this. According to logic (and many versions use this logic, which is why I'm struggling to decide which one is correct), things grow from the bottom up. Yes, this is true.
I've always had it this way, as most XX century authors did put it:
1638041239643.png
Yet, nowadays, Hatcher and Vilá, which are much newer translations, put it the other way around:
1638041314302.png
According to the logic Surnevs describes, namely:
again according to my logic - the sequence will be like Yang moving up signifying
the first system should be correct. It is also the one breakmov described in his cyclic diagram.

Yet, it seems to be rather incorrect. And this incorrectness seems to be visible in trigrams like Xun, wind, and Dui, lake. According to the cyclic viewpoint, Dui should move upwards (how a lake moves up, i do now know) and Xun should move down (and i have never felt a wind moving vertically downwards). So, the second way of looking at it, which is, according to Hatcher, found in the Song Dinasty writings, does has some sense to it aswell!

While in the hexagrams, yin and yang can follow eachother based on various considerations, here, in the bigrams, a basic rule applies, which would be: yin follows yang. According to this, if yang is upwards, and yin downwards, yang would mark the direction of the movement: to go up. And if yang is down and yin is up, it would be a downwards movement.
(I'm being engulfed by mosquitoes while i write this oh jeez)

1638041878898.png

This is only a plausible theory on why this way of looking at it could also be correct. For example, while in hexagram 24, there seems to be a sense of "moving down to the bottom line", ergo, to return, there is simultaneusly the sense of "yang entering from the bottom". So, while the "cyclic" applies to the general meaning of the hexagram: yang comes back in from the bottom and it shall grow; the other way around it seems to speak to that which is not bounded to necessary action (humans) and tell them: you should stay low, for yang is only starting to expand itself. So, go down, rather than go up.

1638042480173.png
So yeah. Thats something :brickwall:
 
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dfreed

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Even if, as Dfreed puts it, it is not a loop, since at our level of change things happen in a more chaotic way, full of contingencies. Even though, spring - summer - autumn - winter is kinda "loopy", and so is the Earths orbit around the Sun, growth and decay, and all that is necessary,

As I've said, the Yi responds to and answers the queries / questions we put to it. And it does so in a 'non-loopy' way. If you think the the 4-line loop graphic is describing the great cycles of the seasons or the universe, that's fine, but that's not what's happening in the Yi - at least not when I am interpreting a casting.

Further, this chaos, 'full of contingencies' is as much a part of the universe as are the seasons, and the earth's orbit, and the cycles of growth and decay. I can't see how you can make a distinction between the two (as you seem to be doing)?

It's as if you're saying the Yi only deals with messy, chaotic things, whereas breakmov's graphic deals with great, 'necessary' things? I hope you can understand why that seems a bit 'loopy' to me.

This is very accurate. See, If you take a hexagram, lets say, Qian, and .... you follow the cycle you (@breakmov) depicted, then you will go from hexagram 1 to hexagram 64

You are saying I'm 'very accurate' but then I feel you are misinterpreting or mis-understanding what I'm saying. I am not saying that when we do a reading that we "will go from hex. 1 to 64." I am saying something entirely differnt, almost the exact opposite!

But as I did (actually) say, everyone can interpret, or re-interpret the Si Xiang however they want to. I'd just appreciated it if you don't mix up what I'm saying here.

I've always had it this way, as most XX century authors did put it:
1638041239643.png

Yet, nowadays, Hatcher and Vilá, which are much newer translations, put it the other way around:

As I understand it (reading Nielsen) Kong Yingda (574-648 AD) - for example, in talking about the four kinds of lines - said that 7 indicates a stable or Young Yang line, which Zhu Xi (1130-1200 AD) called the Lesser Yang, which is the same as Hatcher's, etc. Shao Yang.

Hatcher also relates the Shao Yang with Spring and East, which is also what Yu Fan (164-233 AD) did when ascribing it to trigam Thunder's place in the later heaven, or houtian bagua arrrangement.

So, at least based on this, it seems Hatcher, etc. are in agreement with much earlier Yi authors and thinkers (spanning many centuries), and perhaps it's the "XX authors" who got it all mixed up (and loopy)?

PS - at least one "XX author", Richard Wilhelm, used the terms 't'ai yin and t'ai yang to describe the moon - or 'great dark' and the sun - or great light. But I didn't see where he associated these with any of the lines, moving or otherwise.

PPS - I explored the 'si xiang' or four types of two-line figures, but never found them of much use in doing divination (working with the Yi); except that they are perhaps a fanciful (or 'loopy') way of talking about the four lines, that we get when we cast the numbers 6,7,8,9 which are elemental to how I work with the Yi - since they give us our moving and unmoving lines!

So, from my perspective it doesn't really matter what you call them - shao yin or shao yang, etc. - or where you place them in a graphic, since they do what they do despite all of this. If you call a hammer a wrench, it's still a hammer; I can't see why we'd want to make the 'xi xiang' more chaotic, or loopy, or add any contingenices to something that is - at it's core - very basic, meaningful and useful.

PPPS - I think that all of us need to be aware of 'confirmation bias': where we believe something and we then look for 'evidence' - and we bend or 'warp' the evidence to suit our needs, or only look at one part of the 'truth' - to support our beliefs, regardess of how true, or real they are. I see this all the time in modern US politics, and I sometimes see it when people discuss the Yi, or other spiritual matters.

So, even though what you or anyone wants to call a line, or a two line figure does not affect how I work with the Yi, or what I think the Yi is 'saying' to us, I do appreciate a bit of accuracy, and acknowledgement that Hatcher, etc. are very much in agreement with some earlier Yi thinkers and scholars - regardess of what we 'think' about stuff.

Regards, D
 
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Plutonian

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at least not when I am interpreting a casting.
It is the underlying structure that allows the oracle to work. And you could perfectly elaborate a method that includes bigrams as means of interpretation. I don't use them for interpretation either, but I do take interest in what happens beneath the symbols and imagery. When we say "a 9 turns into a 8", we are basically following this "loopy" diagram of the 4 images, which goes like 9 - 8 - 6 - 7 - 9 ...

Further, this chaos, 'full of contingencies' is as much a part of the universe as are the seasons, and the earth's orbit, and the cycles of growth and decay. I can't see how you can make a distinction between the two (as you seem to be doing)?
Oh, no, no. It is all definately part of the same order. What I'm trying to say, is that from our limited, subjective viewpoint, many things that happen to us don't seem to be connected to a higher order of things, but they just happen. Now, I'm not saying they don't belong to a necessary cycle, I just say we might not be able (neither would it be fruitful) to know which bigger cycle each of the contingencies belongs to.

What I tried to do is take your point of view, that seemed a really logical one to me, and the "loopy" one and fuse them together, to basically say: both can coexist in a single system. It is not a closed loop, neither is it a chaotic pack of contingencies.

and perhaps it's the "XX authors" who got it all mixed up (and loopy)?
Yeah, I agree with this.
I explored the 'si xiang' or four types of two-line figures, but never found them of much use in doing divination (working with the Yi); except that they are perhaps a fanciful (or 'loopy') way of talking about the four lines, that we get when we cast the numbers 6,7,8,9 which are elemental to how I work with the Yi - since they give us our moving and unmoving lines!
Yeah, basically what I tried to say above.

So, from my perspective it doesn't really matter what you call them - shao yin or shao yang, etc. - or where you place them in a graphic, since they do what they do despite all of this. If you call a hammer a wrench, it's still a hammer; I can't see why we'd want to make the 'xi xiang' more chaotic, or loopy, or add any contingenices to something that is - at it's core - very basic, meaningful and useful.
Well, it's not just for the fun of it. It's to try and understand the inner working of a symbol. i'm not talking about which one to name yin or yang. I couldn't care less about how everyone names them. What i am interested is in which one is supposed to represent "going up" or "going down"; which one represents "increase" and which one represents "decrease", and so on and so forth. You can call them Antonia and Juanita as far as im concerned, i just want to see what you think about the direction each one of them represent, etc.
PPPS - I think that all of us need to be aware of 'confirmation bias': where we believe something and we then look for 'evidence' - and we bend or 'warp' the evidence to suit our needs, or only look at one part of the 'truth' - to support our beliefs, regardess of how true, or real they are. I see this all the time in modern US politics, and I sometimes see it when people discuss the Yi, or other spiritual matters.
And again, as much as i agree with this, i can't see why you put this in many of your responses. no one is (as far as i can see) stating the absolute correctness his or her own method or theories. I dont say "this is true and you are incorrect", i am more keen of hearing you our and considering your responses as someone who might have something to say that i dont know or didnt think about yet.

Anyways, i hope to read your opinions about this: "i just want to see what you think about the direction each one of them represent, etc", and not related to the name of each one, but to the symbol: either yang bottom and yin top is going up, either is it going down, either its increase, either its decrease, waning or waxing, etc.

j.
 

dfreed

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.... you could perfectly elaborate a method that includes bigrams as means of interpretation. I don't use them for interpretation either, but I do take interest in what happens beneath the symbols and imagery. When we say "a 9 turns into a 8", we are basically following this "loopy" diagram of the 4 images, which goes like 9 - 8 - 6 - 7 - 9 ...

.... I'm not talking about which one to name yin or yang. I couldn't care less about how everyone names them. What i am interested is in which one is supposed to represent "going up" or "going down"; which one represents "increase" and which one represents "decrease", and so on and so forth.

You said that we 'could' elaborate an interpretive method that includes bigrams (two line figures), but you don't use them yourself. So, if you don't use them, this seems like an entirely academic excercise on your part - which means that you will seriously consider the 'evidence' I laid out about Hatcher's defination of the two-line figures, as evidenced by other Yi scholars - going back many centuries.

As I said - and I think you're in agreement with me: when we do a reading we have moving lines changing to stable lines. But that's where the cycle stops, so the names or titles you give the different lines or two-line figures is rather meaningless in terms of working with the Yi, or that's what I hear you saying.

So, you or I can call and depict a cycle as the "Tony-Antonia-John-Juanita" cycle ....

OR you or I can draw it or describe it as the "John-Antonia-Tony-Juanita" cycle, and it doesn't make a hill 'o beans of difference!

But, if you think it's important to your understanding of the "underyling structure", (or which lines go up and which go down) you can make these different symbols (that are named and look like 'John', 'Antonia', etc. ....) mean whatever you want them to, and put them in any order you want to (which is exactly what you are doing here) ...

... even if it's different than what many historic Yi scholars have done. And you can still derive the meaning you find so necessary. That is all fine I think - and we seem to agree on these points.

And so, it makes no difference if we mix up the names 'shao yin' with 'shao yang' since these - as you said - are just names anyway. And it makes no difference if the shao yin is shown as yin-below-yang or as yang-below-yin, since you can have them represent, symbolically, what you want them to, regardless if you agree or disagree with many Yi scholars going back many centuries as to their actual or historic meaning.

I think I have made a very good case that Hatcher's definitions and what he's saying about the Shao Yin and the Shao Yang are 'correct', or at least that he is in agreement with earlier Yi scholars (going back long before the 'XX' authors), and Hatcher's meanings and definitions are definintely workable, in terms of actually working with and understanding the Yi !!!!

And this is especially true, since neither you nor I use bi-grams anyway - and we both agree it doesn't matter what names we give to the bigrams, or their yin-over-yang or yang-over-yin configurations (since they are just symbolic anyway)!

I therefore take what you're saying here as acknowledgement that I've proved responses, and answer, and some evidence related to what you were asking about - and you agree with much of what I've shared with you! Can I assume that's true, even if it's just a symbolic truth on my part ?

And even with all the evidence and useful information I've provided, I fully acknowledge that I don't find the 'loop' diagrams you are trying to show here all that useful (nor do I think they are helping me) in understanding 'what's happening beneath the symbols and imagery', or 'which line goes up and which goes down', or with 'the inner workings of the symbol' - and at this point I don't even know which 'symbol' or 'symbols' you are talking about, since you've mentioned so many: trigram, hexagrams, one-line and two-line symbols.

I was simply responding - with some depth and meaning - to what you were asking about.

And ... as much as i agree with this, i can't see why you put this (what I was saying about confirmation bias) in many of your responses.

I'm not really concerned about my 'many other responses'. I mentioned 'confirmation bias' because I suspect that's what I'm seeing here in this thread. But if the shoe doesn't fit you, you don't need to wear it. But it begs the question, if you agree with what I'm saying - and you acknowldge that it is an issue - why are you so concerned with how many times I've mentioned it, or that I'm mentioning it here?
 
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dfreed

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What I'm trying to say, is that from our limited, subjective viewpoint, many things that happen to us don't seem to be connected to a higher order of things, but they just happen. Now, I'm not saying they don't belong to a necessary cycle, I just say we might not be able (neither would it be fruitful) to know which bigger cycle each of the contingencies belongs to.

You are saying that 'many things' we ask the Yi about don't seem connected to a 'higher order', and you think it's not even frutiful for us to know about these bigger cycles. Therefore, it seems entirely possible to me that the Yi is not concerned with this 'higher order' or that it's not necessary for us to know about it - nor about the deeper meanings of the symbols, etc. And despite all this, we can make us of the Yi - it still answers our questions and gives us good advice, etc.

If you have an interest in finding out about these bigger cycles and deeper symbolic meanings that you think are connected to the Yi, and that's entirely fine! But remember, you started this thread by asking us:

Could anyone share some good sources about the nature of the Four Images or Si Xiang?

And that's what I responded to. And I have raised issues and asked questions about some of the things said here, because much of it feels unsubstantiated, and not in keeping with some of the 'history' that I shared here.

It seems to me that people often start with an assumption and then only look for 'evidence' that matches there already-held beliefs, and hence my comment about 'confimation bias'.

Given what you have written (and what you originally wrote), I get the sense that you have already determined what the proper order, cycle, and the correct meanings of the 'si xiang' are - and you then 'agree' with others whom agree with your pre-determined assumptions.

I may be entirely wrong however - and I am open to other possiblities.

The bottom line for me is: did you find something I shared here to be of use in understanding the 'si xiang'? And did any of it perhaps make you question any pre-determined, or biased (or already decided upon) beliefs or understandings about the 'si xiang' that you might have?

Regards, D
 
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surnevs

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Thank you all for your answers.

I found this logic as well. Even if, as Dfreed puts it, it is not a loop, since at our level of change things happen in a more chaotic way, full of contingencies. Even though, spring - summer - autumn - winter is kinda "loopy", and so is the Earths orbit around the Sun, growth and decay, and all that is necessary, it is also true that we inhabit a plane of reality in which things can happen, or cannot. Unless, of course, we believe that every contingency is actually inscribed in a larger cycle, which is necessary, and in this case, everything ends up working out in a cyclic way. Following this way of thinking, we could affirm that all good leads to bad, and all bad leads to good; after joy comes sadness and after loss comes gain. Anyways, while the cyclic way of looking at it seems to me a good starting point, what really bothers me is the nature of Shao Yin and Shao Yang, as I'll explain in a moment.

This is very accurate.
See, If you take a hexagram, lets say, Qian, and you consider it to be "a duplicated trigram", in which lines 1 and 2, 3 and 4, 5 and 6, all form three Tai Yangs, and you follow the cycle you (breakmov) depicted, then you will go from hexagram 1 to hexagram 64, Wei Ji (three Shao Yin), from there you'll go to hexagram 2, Kun (three Tai Yin), from there to hexagram 63, Ji Ji, and from there we move back to hexagram 1. As you can imagine, you could build up 16 of these cycles. If we combine the "cyclic" theory of the four images with the incontinuity Dfreed states, then we could conceive each mutation to be a jump between one of the 16 cycles to another.

View attachment 4113


So, this is basically it. This is what I was actually concerned about. I'm glad you stated this. According to logic (and many versions use this logic, which is why I'm struggling to decide which one is correct), things grow from the bottom up. Yes, this is true.
I've always had it this way, as most XX century authors did put it:
View attachment 4109
Yet, nowadays, Hatcher and Vilá, which are much newer translations, put it the other way around:
View attachment 4110
According to the logic Surnevs describes, namely:

the first system should be correct. It is also the one breakmov described in his cyclic diagram.

Yet, it seems to be rather incorrect. And this incorrectness seems to be visible in trigrams like Xun, wind, and Dui, lake. According to the cyclic viewpoint, Dui should move upwards (how a lake moves up, i do now know) and Xun should move down (and i have never felt a wind moving vertically downwards). So, the second way of looking at it, which is, according to Hatcher, found in the Song Dinasty writings, does has some sense to it aswell!

Hi Plutonian,

Like with "
the waxing and waning" I see the sequence:



yiya.jpg
Below, the number 2 equals the first Bigram above


uygy.jpg



This is how my Logic tells me that the Sequence should be. But as Bradford Hatcher got another sequence (Or, am I wrong ? See the Note on #6 ) I wonder. It's a shame that I can't remember where the posting is, where he gave me an answer when I asked about this... And should I some day stumble across it by accident I possibly can't find this thread !!!

PS: I've just edited what I mistakenly wrote to breaknov about Bradford Hatchers order of these Bigrams (#6)



 

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breakmov

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....Much has been written, and I simply cannot keep up with this pace. :(

I don't know how such a big turnaround was possible regarding the correct sequence of the 4 images, and so I think it is fair to reaffirm that the correct sequence of the 4 images is:

Tai Yang - Shao Yin - Tai Yin - Shao Yang

and correctly describes the four phases of a cycle, such as the four seasons:

summer - fall - winter - spring - summer - .....

Surnevs' reference to Bradford Hatcher shows exhaustively (pages 454 to 461) the historical associations to each of the images. The correspondence between the 4 seasons and the 4 images is the same as the sequence left in #5. :)


I leave a practical example, using the(yours) breathing cycle, to show the interaction between the 4 images and their cycle and how it describes perfectly the sequence

Tai Yang - Shao Yin - Tai Yin - Shao Yang

...notice how that old saying "the last will be first and the first will be last" applies here in the lines of this example :



example breathing.png

breakmov
 

dfreed

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.... Much has been written, and I simply cannot keep up with this pace .... I don't know how such a big turnaround was possible regarding the correct sequence of the 4 images ....

No one here disputes the 'correct' order of the seasons, that Spring is followed by Summer, which is followed by ....

However ...

One thing that seems to be at issue here is the different ways that the moving and stable lines (i.e. the 'Si Xiang' or four images, or four 'emblems) are being shown. Starting with what Hatcher tells us (and shows us):

Hatcher's four images, or emblems
Hatcher's Shao Yin and Shao Yang

So, as defined by Hatcher (and others, see below):
* the 2-line symbol depicting a Stable Yin line is called a "Shao Yin" and it includes a yin line above, a yang line below.​
* building on this, the 2-line figure depicting a Moving (or unstable) Yin line is called a "Tai Yin" and it includes a yin line above, and a yin line below. And the same applies to the Yang images/lines.​

Bringing together what Hatcher is telling us (p 45, pp 454-461, page following TOC); along with Nielsen (p217-18), I've came up with this table (from Post 4, above):
- Name / trigram / direction / season / (no.) change state / 2-line symbol:
- Shao Yang / thunder / east / spring (7) stable : yang line above yin​
- Tai Yang / fire / south / summer (9) moving : yang line above yang​
- Shao Yin / lake / west / autumn. (8) stable : yin above yang​
- Tai Yin / water / north / winter (6) moving : yin above yin​

(Here the 'order' or 'cycle' starts with Thunder / Spring, the traditional start of the Chinese solar year.)

It seems that along with Hatcher, this is also confirmed by other Yi scholars, going back almost 1,900 years (way before the 'XX authors'). From Post 9, above:
Based on Nielsen: Kong Yingda (574-648 AD) - for example, in talking about the four kinds of lines - said that 7 indicates a stable or Young Yang line, which Zhu Xi (1130-1200 AD) called the Lesser Yang, which is the same as Hatcher's Shao Yang.
Hatcher also relates the Shao Yang with Spring and East, which is also what Yu Fan (164-233 AD) did when ascribing it to trigam Thunder's place in the later heaven, or houtian bagua arrangement.​


**** What does all this mean: ****

1) It seems to be me that people's depictions of the various seasonal, yin/yang cycles are in the correct order, but they may not be using the 'historically-correct' symbols to depict these locations within the cycle; so idf true, people may need to re-consider where each symbol fits in the seasonal cycle, where it resides (high, low, middle) in the Yin/Yang 'wave', or what part of the 'breathe' it is. (People will have to check to confirm or deny).

2) My interest is primarily with using the Yi for readings, castings, interpretations - and I am less interested in the 'big picture' or the hidden meanings of symbols, etc. The information I've provided here is practical and useful. (Or ... I am interested in these big, deep meanings and cycles, I'm just finding this in other places and in other ways)

What is important to me is: looking at the 'changes' we have when we do a reading: stable remains stable, and/or unstable becomes stable.

I am not looking at the larger, big-picture 'cycles', though - as noted - these are certainly ways of depicting the four kinds of lines or the four images.

3) Since a Stable Yin Line is depicted by a Yin-over-Yang-line figure - the Shao Yin (etc.), it makes me re-think what 'stability' and 'change' mean, in terms of the Yi (or for those whom are interested in the 'big picture' - what this means for the greater Tao):

One way I see this is that stability (Shao Yin, Shao Yang) is actually made up of equal parts of light/dark, expansive/contractive, etc., but only one part is manifest outwardly (Yin or Yang above), which gives us the mistaken impression that "stability equals All-Yin or All-Yang"! - when in fact the opposite is true! And perhaps it's here where our 'intuition' and the "XX authors" get it wrong! - i.e. they/we are only paying attention to the outward manifestation, and not the whole!

And so based on this, when we have Yang-over-Yang and Yin-over-Yin (2-line) figures, these are actually showing us imbalance or instability, which then needs to resolve itself ....

- i.e. we toss coins and get a 6 and this means we have an Unstable Yin line (the yin-above-yin symbol), which needs to resolve itself in - or towards - a balanced, Stable Yin line (an '8' in terms of coins & yarrow stalks; and the yin-above-yang symbol). And once this is resolved in a given reading, the 'change' stops - it does not continue along a continuous loop or cyclic pattern.

Regards D
 
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Liselle

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Housekeeping, copied from above, to anyone who hasn't seen it:

(I realize I'm being a pill about this, but imagesaurses 🦕 make threads harder to read, and they are so extremely easy to fix.)



(Techy aside: if you want to shrink your images, Xenforo (the forum software) makes it really easy, bless them.

1. Click the edit button beneath your post.
2. Click the image - you'll see tiny gray handles at the corners:

1638118522358.png

3. Click and drag them with your mouse.

The full size will still be available to people: shrunken images can be clicked and opened in a lightbox where several things can be done to them.)
 
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surnevs

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Hi Liselle, I'm one of those dino's and I MUST try to remember this, knowing that some of my (many) images are out of proportion. Thank's for reminding !
 

Trojina

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But Plutonian's images from his first post have totally gone now.
 

Liselle

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Good point, but it's not just the images, he says he replaced his entire post with one sentence. I have no idea why.

Plutonian, that was not even slightly what I ever intended, and I hope you know that.

That was the first post of the thread, the entire foundation for it, and it's a loss to the thread that you deleted it. You have a right to, that's why there's an editing period, but still.

If you'd like to reconsider, we moderators can restore it.

(I don't understand what all of you are talking about here, I have a lot of reading to do, but it seems interesting.)
 

dfreed

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... he replaced his entire post with one sentence. I have no idea why.

.... I don't understand what all of you are talking about here,

It's clear to me, you never directed anyone to remove their entire post nor their images. I don't think that's why Plutonian did what he did. I sense he wanted to open up the discussion and not have it be about just 2 of the 4 'si xiang' - but instead make it about all four images.

So, he changed it to ...
Could anyone share some good sources about the nature of the Four Images or Si Xiang?

... and this is now what this thread is about.

I feel I've provided a good summary of some of the dicussion and issues in Post 15 above, including my take on it - though admittedly I have expounded on my own (most excellent) ideas :teapot: about what the 'si xiang' mean, and how they can be shown and used.

Regards, D
 

Trojina

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That was the first post of the thread, the entire foundation for it, and it's a loss to the thread that you deleted it.
Agreed

I also have not the faintest idea what this thread is about but I may have had more of an idea if the first post was intact
 

Liselle

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I feel I've provided a good summary of some of the dicussion and issues in Post 15 above
Okay, good, I just don't want to lose any useful information. (But I think I'd still like the original post back. Plutonian?)

It's perfectly fine for a thread to expand on its original premise or to deviate from it, it's how conversation works. As people can tell ;) I can be a fan of housekeeping, but trying to confine threads too much stifles discussion and anyway is futile - they're forum threads, not professionally edited book chapters.

Of course it can make sense for an interesting deviation to be made into its own thread, but I don't think going from two Si Xiang to four is a big deal.
 

dfreed

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I also have not the faintest idea what this thread is about but I may have had more of an idea if the first post was intact

If you look at my Post 15, you'll see a good summary of what this thread is about. Much of the rest that we've posted is expanding upon our individual ideas of what the 'si xiang' or four figures represent and how we might use them in different ways.

I believe the "original post" was about only 2 of the 4 'si xiang' images, so it may not really give you a good sense of what's being discussed (it was based somewhat on Hatcher p45).

If you have them available, see Hatcher (vol 1), p45 and pp 456-461 (and the chart following the TOC), and also Nielsen pp 217-18.

I believe this thread is confusing, in part, because some people are looking at the big picture, larger 'cycles' and deeper meanings that these four (2-line figures) might represent. And also because the term itself, 'si xiang' has multiple meanings and definitions - as discussed in Neilsen. (I'm not casting blame, here, only re-stating what we have all shared.)

D.
 

dfreed

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(But I think I'd still like the original post back. Plutonian?)

That's totally fine, but as I said above, I don't think it's going to do much in the way of 'clarifying' things - expect perhaps concerning the extended discussions about which are the correct ways of showing the four 2-line symbols. But that's been covered and repeated here, so you already have the info from the 'original post'.


But go for it .... whoever you are ....
 

Trojina

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I believe this thread is confusing, in part, because some people are looking at the big picture, larger 'cycles' and deeper meanings that these four (2-line figures) might represent.
But I think Plutonian, who as the thread starter decides what the thread was to be about, was interested in looking at the the larger cycles and deeper meanings.

I mean the person starting the thread does decide what the thread is about so if they want to explore the bigger picture why shouldn't they?
 

dfreed

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Yes! It is an excellent reference and resource for 'all things yi'

Here is the screenshot from p217, the graphic that summarizes some - but not all - of the different meanings of the 'si xiang' - the Four Images.

nielsen-si-xiang-p217.jpg

Of note to this discussion is how the stable yin and stable yang lines are depicted in col. VI, which matches what Hatcher shows us.

One of the most amazing (for me at least) things I've found in Nielsen is the many varied (dozen or even hundreds) of ways people have approached the Yi, including the vast array of interpretive and divination methods that have been thought up and used over the last 2,800 or so years! That, along with the fact that he shows that the various versions of the 'received text' contained (or still contain) thousands of comments and commentaries - and I think that the only part that was 'standardized' (more or less) is the text of the Zhouyi (hex. and line statements). My sense is that Wilhelm's and Lynn's (Wang Bi's) translations cover only a small sliver of these - whereas Hatcher instead gave us his own 'Rogue River (Oregon) Commentaries".

D
 
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dfreed

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But I think Plutonian, who as the thread starter decides what the thread was to be about, was interested in looking at the the larger cycles and deeper meanings.

But of course. I never meant to say anything differently (though I did not emphasize them in my summary). And these larger cycles and deeper meanings are discussed here quite a bit, more so than I think they were in the 'original post'.
 

Liselle

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This could not be a more naive question (again, I have no clue about anything in this thread), but looking at the table you posted, David, if 1638130278090.png is old yang or moving yang, is it meant to be the same as 1638130328163.png ?

If so, what happens when it's in hexagrams? In other words, should we think of hexagram 1 as three old yang lines on top of each other? How would that affect our interpretation of 1? What if line 1 of hexagram 1 is moving? Does that mean half of a moving yang line is moving?

I might figure hexagrams and Si Xiang are completely separate concepts, not to be conflated, except Nielsen's table seems to say otherwise by calling 1638132535957.png a moving yang line. He uses the same terminology.


(If the answer is "You'd understand this if you read all the things, Liselle," feel free to say. :paperbag: )
 

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