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Ease up on the Trigrams

confucius

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The eight Trigrams, any serious student of the Yi knows, are one of the essential elements in the comprehension of the Hexagrams. But one thing ignored by sincere students, abused by the officialized legend defended pro quo by modern ''respectable'' authorities, is that the Trigrams, far from being the original organisational system of the Yi, are in fact a derived by product which appeared in history beginning with the Han Dynasty (-210 to + 220), meaning at a period where the Canonical text was already fixed, as is confirmed by the Silk Manuscript found at Ma Wang Dui which was buried in 176 B.C and in which the Trigram names do not figure.

The fact that these Trigrams are so highlighted may well be due to the lack of endurance from those proning it : After all Eight Trigrams of three strokes are a lot easier to memorize that sixty four hexagrams of six strokes. At such a level, the fault is venial ( sinful ) but insisting, as is done by Richard Wilhelm amongst others, on explaining the entire inner core movement as being attributed to such or such Trigram found about, is perpetrating a historical counter current or, simply explained, is an elaborate discertation on the influence Shakeaspeare had on Plato !
 

hilary

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Prize duly awarded for succinct response.

The MWD manuscript isn't a good example, as its hexagram sequence is trigram-based. But more interestingly, the 'Shanghai Museum' version, from about 300 BC, has its hexagrams drawn with the trigrams somewhat separated.

So there's a sense from early on that hexagrams are made of two groups of three lines - reinforced by a frequent sense of danger at line 3, as you contemplate 'leaping the gap'. As for what characteristics might have been attributed to those three-line figures, and how they might relate to the understanding of the bagua we've inherited... surely a whole other kettle of fish.
 

confucius

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Bradford says :

You are incorrect in this matter.

Is it a koan with a hidden answer ? Your perspective should be shared for, in order to term one perspective ''incorrect'' you must have another...is it possible to share or is this a ''half empty half full argument ?
 

bradford

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I am aware that I am contradicting the tide of academics in this assertion, but it never mattered much to me that a flock of parrots were all saying the same thing. Academics are terrified of peer pressure. And again, their logic is embarrassingly faulty. They begin with the fallacious assumption that "absence of evidence is evidence of absence," but then they proceed to ignore evidence, which is largely statistical. Below are three paragraphs on the subject excerpted from my work:

The Scale of Eight is represented only by the Ba Gua, the eight three-line
diagrams. Despite the assertions made in the legendary history of the Yi that the Ba
Gua came down from ancient times, to be later combined into the sixty-four Gua,
there is as yet no strong evidence of this either in the early literature or among the
Shang dynasty Oracle or Dragon Bones. There is only the assumption that an
elemental concept (Ba Gua) must precede a compound one (Gua). But, as the text
of the Da Xiang, or Overall Image, makes delightfully clear, there is no better way
to decipher the meaning of a Hexagram text than by analyzing the relationship
between its two constituent Ba Gua. It appears unlikely that the sets of meanings
and connotations of the Ba Gua were very fully developed at the time the Zhouyi
was written. Elemental images such as water, wood and shock will appear in the
text where they might be expected. There are also certain preponderances of ideas
which occur with statistical significance in the Chong Gua, those Hexagrams
composed of three-line figures doubled (e.g. words for seems or likeness in Gua
30). Because there is neither an external reference nor an explicit internal reference
to the Ba Gua in the Zhouyi, the modernists insist that they did not exist yet. This
is another fallacy - a lot of elements and dimensions are never explicitly mentioned.
And it completely ignores another statistically significant phenomenon: there
exists a very intriguing plethora of Chinese reiteratives in the Chong Gua. These
are doubled words such as xi xi, e e, su su, suo suo and jue jue in Gua 51. There is
also the phrase Xi Kan, repeated crisis, as the Gua Ming for Gua 29. (William
deFancourt also develops this line of thinking in his "Some Thoughts on the Eight
Trigrams," in Oracle 1.4). There will be more be said on other aspects of this subject under History.

None of these examples rely upon an assumption that the Zhouyi authors were using Trigrams as a more fundamental element. However, the use of both words and metaphors in the Chong Gua (Repeated Trigrams, Fig. 23) contradicts the theory that the Trigrams were not in use or on the minds of the Zhouyi authors. Too much of the construction of the Gua Ci and Yao Ci texts can be explained by assuming the use of smaller, more elemental forms. Gua 52 is like a multiple mountain range, resembling a spine. Gua 29 uses Xi (Repeated) in the Gua Ming at 29.0 and 29.1, and reiteratives at 29.3. Gua 51 uses reiteratives at 51.0, 51.1, 51.3 & 51.6. Yao Ci 01.3 reiterates its own Gua Ming. Many of the Chong Gua use dichotomies such as going and coming (wang lai), advance and retreat (jin tui) and before and after (xian hou) to point to the duplication of Trigram forms. The use of ru and ruo (like, as if) at Yao Ci 30.4 and 30.5, to indicate
discrepancy between the real and the perceived, suggests the reflected images.

[by the time of the Zuozhuan]
The Gua are by this time being interpreted in terms of their two constituent
Ba Gua or Trigrams. This is the first historical mention of the Ba Gua and this has
led to much speculation that the Ba Gua did not even exist until this period. The
modernists even state this as though it were certain. But this is more Bifurcation
(Black and White) fallacy and the issue really needs to be held open for a while
longer. There is no reason to assume that the Ba Gua had to emerge fully formed
and fully understood in order for them to play a role in the Zhouyi's development.
There exists a whole range of gray area possibilities. A three line pattern which
repeats itself occurs in eight of the Hexagrams, the Chong (or Repeated) Gua. If
we assume that the Gua were already represented graphically, this-and-this-again
would be very hard not to notice. I have already mentioned the abundance of
Chinese reiteratives occurring in the Chong Gua at a greater statistical frequency
than elsewhere, together with the occurrence of words meaning repetition and
continuity. The consistent applicability of the Wings' Da Xiang commentary,
which uses the Ba Gua to shed light on the Gua, is another argument for the
presence of some kind of elementary thinking in the development of the Gua, or a
suggestion of their co-evolution. It may be that the Ba Gua were only noticed for
a very short time in the evolution of the text, time enough to leave traces, and
then forgotten. Even if the Hexagrams were not derived from the doubling of
Trigrams, this does not mean that Trigrams were never noticed in the Hexagrams,
or that this noticing had no consequences in the writing of the appended texts.
Certainly the function of Trigrams as an interpretive method has grown much
over the years, as evidenced first in the Zuozhuan, and this led to their eventual
codification in the Shuo Gua and their masterful interpretation in the Da Xiang.
Finally, the authors as diviners would have been well aware of the existence of a
Scale of Eight and its importance in both divination and in finding one's way
through a city. Cracks in Shell and Bone do not simply move up and down, right
and left: they move in compound directions more easily understood with the
intermediates to the cardinal points. The four directions will not by themselves get
you home. The role of the Trigrams within the Hexagrams is discussed further in
Dimensions, under Ban Xiang, the Half-Images.
 

confucius

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Most highly appreciated perspective, thank you.

As is often the case ( or always ), I readily appreciate perspectives and the labours of those able to predict the past. There are two histories as there are always two perspectives, that is a simplified law of the Tao...history, from our culture's point of view, owes its name to the latin Res Gestae, or simply ''things done''

Yet, again, the other history, and there lies our grey area perspective, with such an esoteric culture as China, may be resumed as follows :

The past left sources. These sources gave rise to myth. The historians used the sources to challenge the Myths and produced an interpretation of the past which we call history !

Here is another perspective; a bigger than life mistake I made some years back.

On an archeological site there were a multitude of Arrowheads. Some, very basic, seemed as if they were made by child-like minds ( pre-historic ); Others, highly sophisticated, no doubt were born from a long evolution...whereas in fact, the simplified refined Arrowhead turned out to be the most recent...evolution simplifies...

...that may well be one perspective with the trigrams...refinements !
 

lienshan

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The MWD manuscript isn't a good example, as its hexagram sequence is trigram-based. But more interestingly, the 'Shanghai Museum' version, from about 300 BC, has its hexagrams drawn with the trigrams somewhat separated.
http://i-tjingcentrum.nl/serendipity/archives/48-Shanghai-Museum-Chujian-Zhouyi.html

The 5th "samples of pages" (click the photo) in the link shows the Shanghai version of hexagram 31 "Lake above Mountain" at the top of the 5th bamboo slip on the photo.
 

solun

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sensing the elephant, the tao is generative. yes, it operates from a polemic dynamic, an important function in manifestation. But i don't want to get stuck holding one part of the elephant thinking it's the whole thing, the first thing, or the best thing. Cos it's a much larger entity. this refers to history and myth references - nebulous comparisons at best in the mind of man. but i do respect the work enough to say thank you for the history lessons
 

confucius

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I too am in complete awe with the extraordinary natural wisdom on the Yi and if comparison is needed I would say that I do not need proof nor confirmation of a supreme force issuying all of life's marvels. I take the Yi at face value, please myself in argumenting to provoke others to share their perspective at best, but still think nothing else man made is as intruiguing...whatever, whoever, whenever of the work's genesis
 

solun

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the Yi at face value, please myself in argumenting to provoke others to share their perspective at best, but still think nothing else man made is as intruiguing...whatever, whoever, whenever of the work's genesis

well, i suppose sharpening arrowheads is part of
a methodology, which is effective for some things
and don't think i don't appreciate it
if for you the i ching is man made, then i understand your mystery as well as any other -
a journey of self discovery whereby we imprint our own internal myth onto circumstances which we choose to either expand, refine or exalt our own identity, depending on its condition

poem unto oneself

man of gold
man of time
where am i in this rhyme of mine?

genesis is a noun - and a finite term, a face value if you will
generative is a nouny verb or a verby noun - it costs a bit more

I humbly appreciate the mystery lessons
 

solun

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here's one:

refine the notion of man-made in the context of divination

no charged opinions about divination - just as it pertains to something man made

not in an arguing mode, not in a negative sense, just trying to define or maybe refine some of our terms

you don't have to respond - but maybe just mull it over

my guess is either an impasse or an evolution - or an involution
 

confucius

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Since we are about trigrams configuration, lower line Earth, the Yin Mother; Middle line Man, the interpreter of the relationship between Heaven and Earth amongst the 10 000 things and the third line Heaven, Father and Yang.

The Yi, the Book of Transformations, is Man's observance of the interactions between Yin and Yang, Heaven and Earth, and the manifestations of these interactions. By observing the likely results, Man anticipates...to anticipate, says Confucius, is to Divine.
 

lienshan

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The Scale of Eight is represented only by the Ba Gua, the eight three-line
diagrams. Despite the assertions made in the legendary history of the Yi that the Ba
Gua came down from ancient times, to be later combined into the sixty-four Gua,
there is as yet no strong evidence of this either in the early literature or among the
Shang dynasty Oracle or Dragon Bones.
My definition of "trigrams" is "that which becomes visible when turning a hexagram upside down".

That's the pointe of the king Wen hexagram pair sequence. The four pairs, where the trigrams do not become visible, are placed at the beginning (1-2) and at the end (27-28-29-30) of section one and at the end of section two (61-62) but preceding the water-fire hexagrams (63-64) as in the first section.

Hexagrams turned upside down are known from the late Shang Sinpanmo oracle bone (page 3):

http://www.ihp.sinica.edu.tw/~asiamajor/pdf/2000b/ch 1 PRESS.pdf

And on an early Zhou pottery pat with the king Wen hexagram sequence 7-8-9-10 (9 is upside down):

http://www.onlineclarity.co.uk/friends/attachment.php?attachmentid=399&d=1184489318

My approach to the subject hexagrams and trigrams is this Zuo zhuan quote:

"Han Jian was in attendance, and he said: Tortoises are 'image' and yarrow 'number'."

I understand the quote as saying, that the T-cracks of the Tortoise divination method are images, that are symbolized by numbers in the yarrowstalk divination method. The T-cracks are placed in two vertical columns on a plastron with the vertical stroke of the T's pointing inwards; mirroring. The vertical strokes have three degrees: up, in the middle or down, which was symbolized by number six, number one or number eight. The earliest exavacated hexagram samples have four degrees and probably divided the middle degree in two; symbolized by the numbers five and seven. Most plastrons have two columns of five T-cracks numbered I II III IV V and the three pairs II III IV in the middle were probably the first hexagrams ever according to Shuo Gua: "to heaven they assigned the number III,to earth the number II; from these they computed the numbers".

Since we are about trigrams configuration, lower line Earth, the Yin Mother; Middle line Man, the interpreter of the relationship between Heaven and Earth amongst the 10 000 things and the third line Heaven, Father and Yang.
The middle line is therefore originally heaven (III).

It appears unlikely that the sets of meanings and connotations of the Ba Gua were very fully developed at the time the Zhouyi was written. Elemental images such as water, wood and shock will appear in the text where they might be expected.
I think that four trigram names are original corresponding to the original four images of tortoise T-crack degrees, while the four other trigram names are invented later on.
 
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lienshan

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Trigrams were known to the inventor of the king Wen hexagram sequence. There are only two exceptions in the pattern of less and more yanglines. The first exception is the order of the hexagrams 1 and 2; placing heaven before earth. The second exception is the order of the hexagrampairs 43-44 and 45-46; placing the trigram heaven before the trigram earth in the socalled "lake-sequence", which is heaven-earth-water-fire below lake (or above wind). That'll say the same order as the hexagrams 1-2-29-30 in the first section.

01 !!! !!! ...................... 6 yang-lines (more) # two complementary hexagrams
02 ::: ::: ...................... 0 yang-lines (less) #

03 :!: ::! 04 !:: :!: ZI ........ 2 yang-lines (less) twelve earthly branches
05 :!: !!! 06 !!! :!: CHOU ... 4 yang-lines (more)
07 ::: :!: 08 :!: ::: YIN ...... 1 yang-line (less)
09 !!: !!! 10 !!! :!! MAO .... 5 yang-lines (more)
11 ::: !!! 12 !!! ::: CHEN ... 3 yang-lines (less)
13 !!! !:! 14 !:! !!! SI ........ 5 yang-lines (more)
15 ::: !:: 16 ::! ::: WU ...... 1 yang-line (less)
17 :!! ::! 18 !:: !!: WEI ..... 3 yang-lines (more)
19 ::: :!! 20 !!: ::: SHEN ... 2 yang-lines (less)
21 !:! ::! 22 !:: !:! YOU ..... 3 yang-lines (more)
23 !:: ::: 24 ::: ::! XU ...... 1 yang-line (less)
25 !!! ::! 26 !:: !!! HAI ..... 4 yang-lines (more)

27 !:: ::! ..................... 2 yang-lines (less) four complementary hexagrams
28 :!! !!: ..................... 4 yang-lines (more)
29 :!: :!: ..................... 2 yang-lines (less)
30 !:! !:! ..................... 4 yang-lines (more)

31 :!! !:: 32 ::! !!: JIA ..... 3 yang-lines (less) ten heavenly stems
33 !!! !:: 34 ::! !!! YI ....... 4 yang-lines (more)
35 !:! ::: 36 ::: !:! BING ... 2 yang-lines (less)
37 !!: !:! 38 !:! :!! DING ... 4 yang-lines (more)
39 :!: !:: 40 ::! :!: WU ..... 2 yang-lines (less)
41 !:: :!! 42 !!: ::! JI ....... 3 yang-lines (more)
43 :!! !!! 44 !!! !!: GENG ... 5 yang-lines (more) #
45 :!! ::: 46 ::: !!: XIN ..... 2 yang-lines (less) #
47 :!! :!: 48 :!: !!: REN .... 3 yang-lines (less)
49 :!! !:! 50 !:! !!: GUI ..... 4 yang-lines (more)

51 ::! ::! 52 !:: !:: .......... 2 yang-lines (less) eight complementary hexagrams/pairs
53 !!: !:: 54 ::! :!! .......... 3 yang-lines (more)
55 ::! !:! 56 !:! !:: .......... 3 yang-lines (less)
57 !!: !!: 58 :!! :!! .......... 4 yang-lines (more)
59 !!: :!: 60 :!: :!! .......... 3 yang-lines (less)
61 !!: :!! ..................... 4 yang-lines (more)
62 ::! !:: ..................... 2 yang-lines (less)
63 :!: !:! 64 !:! :!: .......... 3 yang-lines (more)
 

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