...life can be translucent


Etymology of the ideograms Wu Wang.25


Jul 12, 2006
Reaction score
Etymology of the ideograms Wu Wang.25

The first of the two ideograms used to illustrate hexagram 25 is a very common negation and it is often encountered in the context of the Yi Jing. Its etymology, on the other hand, is not that easy to seize. Some interpreters see it as a Lame Man and using analogous sounds and similar writing style propose a similarity with another familiar ideogram: the Wu commonly used to express the Taoists Wu-Wei (Non-Action), though they do not mean the same thing.

The second ideogram portraying Wu Wang.25 is assembled with two groups on top of each other. At the bottom is a character built by combining the ideogram for the verb To Enter and the ideogram Crevice which, originally, meant To Hide, To Disappear From Sight. From there it has come to describe all that has disappeared because either lost, misplaced, destroyed or that has died. In the context of the Yi Jing this ideogram is featured most often in the Judgment formula: All Regrets Disappear. When it is encountered outside the judgment, it is always used in situations where coupled circumstances are undone.

By combining this group, the ideogram comes to represent the disappearance of what women bring: descendancy, the survival of the family name. Whence its actual meaning: Disorder, Wandering…

Wu Wang.25 is the only hexagram to be used with a negation as if, in this context, it could only be understood with the description What Is Not. Its pictorialism therefore represents the Negation of Wandering. This negative formula insists on the unstructured and troubled appearance of a natural formula occurrence whose hidden virtues escape our common sense. It could be rendered, literally, as Non-Wandering, Non-Disordered. Spontaneously is chosen in this context to underline the strategy solicitated by this perspective.




The universal focus is on expansive blending (heaven in upper = singlemindedness) operating in a context of expansive binding (thunder in lower = enlightenment)

Thus we have "with/from enlightenment comes singlemindedness"

The infrastructure is described by analogy to:

000110 = 45 congregating, celebration of 'faith'

The focus covers standing up (in a crowd) to express one's perspective regardless of, unaware of, or ignoring, the consequences.

25 shares space with 17 so see comments in 17 re this sharing.

The focus in the 'traditional' of Confucius covers 'non-wandering' and this covers eventually finding a belief etc, one stops searching etc, and prepared to stand up 'spontaneously' and express it since it 'needs' to be said - even if it appears to others as foolish, childish etc

The 'enlightenment' context focus elicits the sense of no longer wandering, no longer 'disordered' etc. this is a competive, conditional, form of hexagram that pairs with the cooperative, unconditional, form of 17 re beliefs/following etc.

Office 17622,
PO Box 6945,
United Kingdom

Phone/ Voicemail:
+44 (0)20 3287 3053 (UK)
+1 (561) 459-4758 (US).