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Former Heaven and Later Heaven Origin

lienshan

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Do you still cling to the most ancient text and just dismiss later innovations

Yes. I still cling to the most ancient text named Yi Jing, I Ching or the Book of Changes :bows:

hi Frank

That's why I've become very sceptical to the Earlier Heaven. It looks like the ancient Shuogua section 1-3 text predate the Earlier Heaven trigram sequence with more than 1000 years according to this link:

http://www.itcn.nl/downloads/louis.pdf (the Shuogua text is discussed at page 6/27) ;)

This is too the result of my own research, because the Earlier Heaven trigram sequence can be produced from a unique binary hexagram sequence of complementary hexagram pairs. I'm too sceptical to the Later Heaven trigram sequence, but give it a chance in this discussion. The Later Heaven is according to the link older than the Earlier Heaven, but is it the trigram sequence described in Shuogua section 1-3?

This question might be easier to answer today, because the Mawangdui Shuogua rule four "Water and Earth combat each other" might be the original rule, while the received rule four "Water and Fire do not combat each other" might be a revision, that have confused Yi experts for maybe 1800 years?

My point of view is at the moment: The male-trigrams are mentioned first in each of the four rules in the order Heaven, Mountain, Thunder, Water. This trigram order is too the male order of the Later Heaven, when viewed counterclockwise from the outside in. Maybe this counterclockwise desciption is the construction order, while the clockwise from the inside out view is the reading order? The reason why could be, that magic formulas never are written as users manuals to ordinary people?

lienshan
 
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fkegan

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Hi Lienshan,
Is there just one I Ching text from Shang times? What of the Chou Yi with its innovations by King Wen, Duke Chou and commentary from Confucius and many others?

My work runs on meaning found in the King Wen Sequence numbers and the interaction of Yang line patterns in the 6-place gua matrix--neither of which are primarily trigram, Shang Dynasty divination text, magic square numbers or other earlier work. Although it does explain each and every hexagram in sequence without needing to move backwards and then turn about and still come out only partially fitting everything.

However, I do agree with your last comment:
The reason why could be, that magic formulas never are written as users manuals to ordinary people?

Divination work is not explained publicly it is simply presented and therefore it is up to each of us to find the explanation of why the hexagrams are numbered as they are and why the trigrams are arranged as they are in the Later Heaven from other sources than just the traditional texts.

The development of fully developed relevant-process meaning independent of any words or numbers for the trigram line patterns (and hexagrams also) is a great innovation taking the elements, details and earlier symbolism to an entirely new and far more magical level.

It is also impressive to see how new research can be tied to ancient texts in ways unavailable to the mere linguistic scholars studying the ancient texts and their philology, philosophy, or anything else within the academic realm. Of course, what becomes the line between new development and deciphering the true ancient esoteric meaning is its own thorny issue.:)

Frank
 

lienshan

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Divination work is not explained publicly it is simply presented and therefore it is up to each of us to find the explanation of why the hexagrams are numbered as they are and why the trigrams are arranged as they are in the Later Heaven from other sources than just the traditional texts.
hi Frank

The Shuogua section 1-3 text is to me the original explanation of the trigram arrangement, but I use other ancient sources to highlight the meaning of the trigrams. My preferred source is the Ogdoad:

http://www.philae.nu/PerAnkh/Ogdoad.html

This "eight trigram" philosophy too developed in an ancient river-culture like the chinese. What I find most inspiring is the describtion of the four complementary male-female pairs:

The primeval waters (Nun & Naunet)
That which cannot be seen (Amun & Amaunet)
The infinity space (Heh & Hauhet)
Darkness (Kek & Kauket)

Amun is the most known of the eight as a god of thunder, named "the Hidden", while the complementary Amaunet is known as a goddess of the northern wind.

lienshan
 

fkegan

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Trigrams as primary...

The Shuogua section 1-3 text is to me the original explanation of the trigram arrangement, but I use other ancient sources to highlight the meaning of the trigrams. My preferred source is the Ogdoad

Hi Lienshan,
Good to see you are not just fixated upon Shang dynasty issues. Although the sole focus upon trigrams not as 3 stage gua/matrix but rather a set of 8 eludes me a bit. Is there any reason to prefer 4 pairs over any other arrangement in a situation of a pantheon of hundreds as in ancient Egypt?

The ancient Egyptians were based firmly in their river Nile and its annual floods that brought such fertility to the nearby fields in the midst of harsh desert. However, they also noticed the Nile Delta in the Mediterranean and were very involved in sea travel and trade in their time though they tended to stay up river for security reasons until Alexander re-organized them into his world.

Personally, I find more interest and intrigue in Pythagoras' work which does not claim to be the most ancient, but did involve visiting ancient Egypt and learning their mysteries. He also traveled much of the Mediterranean and included experience of a range of latitudes that with his mathematics background led to a sense of the Earth as a Globe within the Cosmic spheres of the Planets, etc. It is through Pythagoras' Tetraktys insight that I came to explain the King Wen Sequence.

Returning to the trigrams, and specifically the Later Heaven arrangement of them--Does the ancient Egyptian set of 4 pairs help explain the Later Heaven arrangement specifically?

Frank
 

lienshan

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Does the ancient Egyptian set of 4 pairs help explain the Later Heaven arrangement specifically?
hi Frank

The eight forces of the Ogdoad were equal. The eight trigrams were maybe originally too regarded as equal? This would explain the first part of Michael Erlewines wondering "The Mother and Father trigrams are not only off the angles, but not even opposite one another". The eight forces of the Ogdoad were paired in four complementary pairs of a froghead (male) and a snakehead (female). This would explain the second part of his wondering, because the trigrams were maybe originally primary regarded as four complementary pairs, opposite to one another or not?

If so, then the distance of steps between two complementary trigrams in the Later Heaven sequence is prior to their compass positions in a circle, while their compass positions in a circle is prior in the Earlier Heaven, because there are 4 steps between every one of the four complementary pairs in this trigram order.

Thunder to Wind = 1 step ...... (that which cannot be seen)
Heaven to Earth = 2 steps ..... (darkness)
Mountain to Lake = 3 steps .... (the primeval waters)
Water to Fire = 4 steps ........ (the infinity space)

I've put in the Ogdoad definitions of the four complementary pairs as I understand them.
Especially the primeval waters is impossible to understand without this information:

One of the beautiful creation legends of the Ogdoad tells, that the Island of Flame (a vulcano) rose from the Lake of two Knives (a lake nearby the temple), which created the first dawn.

lienshan
 

fkegan

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Later Heaven through other cultures...

The eight forces of the Ogdoad were equal. The eight trigrams were maybe originally too regarded as equal? This would explain the first part of Michael Erlewines wondering "The Mother and Father trigrams are not only off the angles, but not even opposite one another". The eight forces of the Ogdoad were paired in four complementary pairs of a froghead (male) and a snakehead (female). This would explain the second part of his wondering, because the trigrams were maybe originally primary regarded as four complementary pairs, opposite to one another or not?

Hi Lienshan,
I agree the essence of the Later Heaven arrangement is that all 8 trigrams are equal. There is also a parallel in both the Earlier and Later Heaven to pair the trigrams Yang to Yin or male to female. And I agree the pairs are arranged as complements to one another, although since they are connected by a clearly drawn line, I believe they are complementary across the circle.

This then leaves only the question of how are these pairs tied to one another. K'un and Ken are both Earth structures, one the whole topography of the Planet, the other the specialized potential of the Mountain. Ch'ien and Sun are both active energies though without immediate power or substance. Sunshine and Wind as two expressions of the dynamics of Solar flux interacting with Planet Earth topography.

Li (Fire) and K'an (Watery deep depths) best form a pair in terms of situation or symbolic location. The celestial realm is generally where eternal circling light or fire is seen while the earthy depths are generally associated with the opposite to that celestial realm with its eternal lights in absolute motion.

That leaves Chen (thunder or shock) and Tui (Lake or reservoir of value) placed upon the horizontal axis often symbolizing a time line. In Earlier Heaven, Li and K'an are placed there to note sun rise bringing light to the day and then K'an as the watery depths into which the sun appears to sink into as it sets into the horizon. The meaning of Chen as initiating and Tui as final resulting are well documented in the hexagrams (cf. hex 3 and hex 10 of the first set of 10).

At this point than what is different in our two approaches? Mostly only the perspective--Is the Later Heaven arrangement described by the overall meaning attributed to the trigrams? OR is the arrangement determined by the numbering and number stepping rules of various texts from various cultures?

Frank
 

lienshan

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This then leaves only the question of how are these pairs tied to one another.
hi Frank

I think that we have found two answers to the question, that Michael Erlewine originally asked:
"is this whole idea of viewing the eight trigrams as phases in a cycle simply to be discarded"

Answer one: The Earlier Heaven is a cycle.
Answer two: The Later Heaven is not a cycle.

How the pairs are tied together is another question to be discussed in another thread.

lienshan
 

fkegan

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If you start from one deeply held perspective, it remains...

Not quite Lienshan,

The Later Heaven remains a cycle just as much as the Earlier Heaven. The difference is only that the Earlier Heaven is based around the trigrams of 3 Yin and 3 Yang as primary. The Later Heaven, as we both agree, takes all 8 as equals. The placement of Ch'ien and K'un is done to emphasize and highlight that innovation with their pairing across the diameter giving more weight to the meaning emphasis.

The basic axes of the Earlier Heaven maintain their same cycle nature, only with the meaning of the trigrams being arranged rather than their number or line structure. The Chen--Tui horizontal line is a clear indication of the new meaning-based trigram arrangement tying in the first set of 10 hexagrams as the Water Cycle by the King Wen Sequence from hex 3 the first thunderstorm of the Spring rains to 10 the ultimate collection of running water into a peaceful lake being evaporated by sunshine above it.

This would also indicate that in the new system, it is the Hexagrams in their KWS that are most important and the details of the trigrams with their lines and numbers only secondary.

Frank
 

lienshan

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The Later Heaven remains a cycle just as much as the Earlier Heaven. The difference is only that the Earlier Heaven is based around the trigrams of 3 Yin and 3 Yang as primary. The Later Heaven, as we both agree, takes all 8 as equals.
Not quite, Frank

The Later Heaven is in Shuogua described in three different ways (§3, §4, §5) of which especially §3
is not a cycle but a double spiral pattern.

§3 Heaven-Mountain-Thunder-Water is the male-trigram order viewed from the outside in
§3 Earth-Lake-Wind-Fire is the female-trigram order viewed from the inside out

§4 Thunder-Water-Mountain-Heaven and Wind-Fire-Lake-Earth are the male- and female-trigram orders both viewed from the inside out counted stepwise backwards 1-4-3-2

§5 Thunder-Wind-Fire-Earth-Lake-Heaven-Water-Mountain is the socalled received Later Heaven trigram order viewed forewards from the inside out

The Earlier Heaven trigram order is a modern about 1100 AD cycle-invention not described in Shuogua.

This would also indicate that in the new system, it is the Hexagrams in their KWS that are most important and the details of the trigrams with their lines and numbers only secondary.
Maybe? It's hard to say which one is most important of two, that even the scholars can't explain ;)

We know each others view at the King Wen Sequence, so let's have a look at the lines and numbers, as they are explained in Shuogua §1 "to Heaven they assigned the number three, to Earth the number two, and from these they computed the numbers". My reading of this at least 168 BC text is at the moment:

The images come from the tortoise divination method. The image Heaven was assigned the number three, which is written as three lines with two invisible lines in between. The value of each line was computed by multiplication 3x3=9. That's the mystical way to compute, because division is the normal way to compute the value of one third. The image Earth was assigned the number two, which is written as three invisible lines with two lines in between. The value of each invisible line was too computed by multiplication 2x3=6.

The three other male-images are made of 6+6+9=21 divided with three = linevalue 7
The three other female-images are made of 6+9+9=24 divided with three = linevalue 8

I mention the invisible lines of the two numbers because they are explained later on in the §1 text in a way, that to me looks like somewhat like your explanation of the hexagram gestalts?

lienshan
 
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fkegan

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hi Lienshan,
We seem to go over and over the same ground, grinding out some agreement and then having that forgotten in the next go round. Let me try to simplify things:

If you deal only with trigrams and their number values, which are all one needs for traditional divination techniques, then they can be determined by simple natural numbers. The Unit is not a simple natural number, the first even number is two, the next odd number is three and using like 3 coins or other equivalent with only values of 2 and three the only results are the numbers 6,7,8,9.

There are many important texts, I find Wilhelm's Book II chapter sufficient, describing the Earlier Heaven as archaic, before King Wen, and the Later Heaven as also a cycle tied to the meanings of the trigrams.

The rest as they say is commentary and personal choice. :)

Frank
 

erime

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Method Finally Revealed?

Just to come full circle - to the thread that I began writing on, I believe I have discovered the true origin of the sequence, which does not require any fancy maths or contemporary symbolic manipulation. My explanation is here, but what follows is a simplified summary of the steps to whet the appetite:

1. Create a circle of the 8 visible astral bodies in order of distance from the Sun; placing them according to the order of manifestation of the 8 trigrams as they are located around a taiji symbol (this reflects the ancient Chinese astronomy '9 Sectors' diagram of 8 sectors around a central circular sector).
2. Separate the astral bodies from the trigrams associated with them.
3. Reduce the astral bodies to the 5 visible planets only; throw out Sun, Earth, and Moon, and fill in gaps with the default Earth Element: Saturn. (Note: This actually creates a more balanced 5 Elements sequence than is represented by the Later Heaven Sequence!)
4. Rotate the planet circle according to the profoundly reflected yin/yang numeric properties present in the Lo Shu. (Calibration 1)
5. Remove planets from the circle which are out of sequence with regards to distance from the Sun and replace new empty spaces in the circle with next nearest planets to the Sun. (Calibration 2)
6. Balance out the Elements of the circle via the yin/yang axis (as referenced by central Taiji) to create a harmonic ratio.
7. Lock the remaining Elements to the trigrams.

The arrival at either the Early or Later Heaven arrangements will depend on which direction one rotates the planet circle when calibrating it to the Lo Shu in step 4. I don't believe anyone can deny the profundity of this fact.

So what we appear to be seeing here is early Chinese Astronomers mapping the 8 visible astral bodies using their 9 sector diagrams, and these diagrams becoming a standard method of metaphysical enquiry in to the Universe. Focus was brought to the 5 visible planets and their profound qualitative Elemental interactions when viewed as a circular sequence (Wu Xing), which has an order based on distance from the Sun. Someone then calibrated this very simple qualitative model to the other profoundly simple universal relationships they were aware of; this time the quantitative world of 'odd' and 'even' numbers, via 'Magic' 3x3 Square (Lo Shu).

What they finally arrived at, is an elegant union between the two most profound yet simple qualitative and quantitative models of the Universe they were aware of; utilising the circular plotting, rotation, and balancing processes witnessed in nature, and thus obtained an 'organic' mathematics which we see as the King Wen Sequence.

This organic mathematical sequence would relate more to the flowing, subconscious, instinctive world of automatic breathing, blood pumping, digesting, and upright balancing, rather than the rigid, conscious, analytical world of politics and laws. It would cut through all culture to the biochemical foundations underlying our existence - the planetary and Solar debris from which we have been made - it's Elementary chemical compositions and behaviours, and it's intelligent structural relationships that have brought about all Life.
 
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Sparhawk

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Hi Erime,

Thanks for continuing this thread. I had dropped my participation here before for two reasons: 1. Micheal Erlewine wasn't interested anymore (not even in private); 2. I don't have the attention span, or the patience, to argue with those that belittle the work of others and call them "grave robbers," only because they have no access to the proper material. Nothing to do with you, of course.

Now, I'll leave you with something to ponder from Schuyler Cammann's "The Origin of the Trigram Circles in Ancient China," Bulletin of the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm, 1990. I have read this and about everything else Mr. Cammann has published (he died shortly after the publication of the above article) and I believe he puts forward some of the best and more logical explanations of the received trigram sequences.

Click on the image to read it.


 

fkegan

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King Wen Sequence is useful for many explainations of personal perspective

This organic mathematical sequence would relate more to the flowing, subconscious, instinctive world of automatic breathing, blood pumping, digesting, and upright balancing, rather than the rigid, conscious, analytical world of politics and laws. It would cut through all culture to the biochemical foundations underlying our existence - the planetary and Solar debris from which we have been made - it's Elementary chemical compositions and behaviours, and it's intelligent structural relationships that have brought about all Life.

Hi Erime,

Your rendering of what is, for you, most important for the Yi sequence is an excellent expression of your personal perspective. I have no idea what the ancient Chou knew or cared about automatic breathing, circulation of the blood, digestion (my library is small). That correspondence does express well the macroscopic/microscopic concepts of Western philosophy.

However, they do seem to have cared greatly about the natural cycles arising from effects of Sunshine upon our Planet Earth. They share with all the indigenous peoples of the Earth this realization from close observation of events and the results in terms of the crops they depend upon to survive that it is the seasons and the sunshine that determine weather, especially rain and water flow. This can be seen in hexagram 1 being Sunshine and its ancient character about sunshine powering the water cycle. And also hexagram 2 being the various levels in the topography of the Earth which determine how rain that falls upon the Earth takes various paths on its way to the lowest common denominator of sea level.

When the King Wen Sequence hexagrams are viewed in sets of 10 in terms of ancient philosophical perspectives a different sophistication and depth emerges. This allows the same analysis to apply to the entire Sequence.With the first of each set (with a number 1 in their Chinese numbering combined with the number of sets of 10, which is the Chinese numbering system) being the Monad or overall of the whole set while those numbered 2 and 3 are the set by polar opposite. For example, hexagram 2 as Planet Earth topography in 6 stages or markings from sea level to mountain top as static background. Then the other pole of that Dyad is hexagram 3 as the rain produced by the energy of spring thunderstorms. In terms of structure, that is a focus upon action at ground level (line 1) following the overall plan (line 5) solely (all other places open Yin).
It is another view. The power of the KWS is that many many personal perspectives can be expressed in terms of its ordering. In general, such power to be useful in all perspectives is the result of a symbolism based upon detailed observation of the concrete details of the world we live in. You can relate the KWS to both the workings of the human body and the planets of the Solar System because the Yi sequence describes the cycles and dynamics of our Planet Earth which includes its participation in the Solar System swirl from the Big Bang and the development of the molecules of the surface of the Earth in various stable aggregates, such as humans.

Hi Luis,
What makes material "proper"? And by implication what makes material that works to explain the King Wen Sequence in the context of the symbolism and geometry of the ancient world improper? And by the way, anything that is removed from a burial site without regard for that burial on the grounds it is considered valuable in another culture is technically 'grave robbing'. You should at least be willing to admit what you support and say they are old graves (and non-Christian if that helps you). That material retrieved is unnecessary except for those who demand concrete objects as their only means to understand symbolism. The symbolic and the concrete, if one has access to more than the idolatry of the library as Authority, is always a philosophical problem.

When you turn a discussion into nasty digs everyone gets done wrong.

Is it really so impossible to consider there are other perspectives to consider? If all the library resources and stacks of historical arguments can be shown to have simpler, more universal and more elegant explanations accessible to everyone from just the notion of hexagrams as 6-line symbols and the King Wen Sequence separate from the detail the hexagrams are arranged in tumbled pairs. The notion of sets of ten is universal from the West's decimal system to the Pythagorean notion that a complete perspective or set of 10 is formed by the holistic Monad, the polar Dyad, the process Triad and the double axes of the Tetrad.

Of course, if everyone has easy access to the underlying structural analysis of the Yi which can then be costumed by anyone in their own way not as a matter of argument but interesting discussion of how various perspectives can bring greater richness of understanding as although all humans share the same skeletal anatomy we prefer viewing costumes and poses to watching even the most extensive library of x-rays.

Lashing out at those without your notion of "proper material" brings forth replies about the difference between reading about others research and actually doing ORIGINAL research with original sources such as Taoist Gia-Fu Feng, Pythagorean computer, ancient geometry, translators of medieval Latin, ancient Pali, etc. etc.
 

Sparhawk

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Frank,

Use "cited material," instead of "proper material," if that makes you feel more comfortable and is a better use of the English from where you see it.

Other than that, thank you for making my case so clear to Erime and others.
 

lienshan

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The Later Heaven trigram order is made of the two family groups of four trigrams.

The lower males are counted counterclockwise from outside in Heaven, Mountain, Thunder, Water.

Heaven and Earth determine the direction.
The forces of Mountain and Lake are united.
Thunder and Wind arouse each other.
Water and Fire combat each other.

The upper females are counted clockwise from inside out Earth, Lake, Wind, Fire.

Heaven and Earth determine the direction.
The forces of Mountain and Lake are united.
Thunder and Wind arouse each other.
Water and Fire combat each other.

The Shuo Gua text is from the Mawangdui Yijing. The last line is contrary to the received text:

Water and Fire do not combat each other.

I think, that Water and Fire combat each other viewed on an vertical axis as in the Later Heaven order, but that they do not combat each other viewed on a horisontal axis as in the Former Heaven order. This supports the theory of Schuyler Camman.

lienshan
 

fkegan

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Frank,

Use "cited material," instead of "proper material," if that makes you feel more comfortable and is a better use of the English from where you see it.

Other than that, thank you for making my case so clear to Erime and others.

Hi Luis,
Glad to help you out with your case. And thank you for making mine as well. "Cited material" is far more understandable for me but the implication is the same. If one is limited to library references your argument follows. My intent has been to show that they are not the only or even the best sources.

In terms of Earlier and Later Heaven Origin, there are those who see them both as part of a single development and those (including me) who find a quantum leap that brought in a totally new insight leaving all the earlier techniques and sequences behind.

Frank
 

erime

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I take on board what has been said about my method, however I would like to point out that any contemporary qualitative interpretations or academic speculations don't seem to be of relevance. The processes I am outlining are purely logical steps based on basic ancient models - astrological diagrams, bagua around a Taiji, Wu Xing, and Lo Shu. No new or subjective interpretations, no new mathematical correspondences, no new natural processes assigned; just the old simple relationships. It is also important to note that the meanings ascribed the trigrams (Thunder, Lake, Mountain, etc.) have absolutely no relevance during the process. Here is an even simpler representation of the method than the summary steps I outlined above:

A) - Create a 'Planet Circle' by placing the ancient visible astral bodies in order of distance from the Sun around the ancient Taichi symbol (Sun at Pure Yang, and Moon at Pure Yin), and bring focus to the ancient 5 Wu Xing Elements astral bodies only. (Summary Steps 1-3 )

B1/B2) - Assign the ancient number sequences and yin/yang axis to the ancient astrological 9 sector format present in all diagrams, and rotate the Planet Circle in order to line up yin/yang axes. (Summary Step 4 [Calibration1])

C) - Reintroduce the 3 non-Wu Xing ancient visible astral bodies, this time placing them outside the Planet Circle, and make minor corrections to the sequence of astral bodies in the circle with regards to distance from Sun. (Summary Step 5 [Calibration 2])

D) - Create Elemental harmony either side of the yin/yang axis via a minor 'balancing' adjustment in Elemental proportions. This involves a transition across the dynamic yin/yang axis which also acts as an ancient 'passage' across the 9 sector bagua diagrams. As such no change in the sequence of Elements across the passage ever occurs. (Step 6-7)

The arrival at Early Heaven or Later Heaven after D) depends on the direction of rotation in step B) (clockwise [B1)] or counter-clockwise [B2)]).

To be even more simplistic, one can write A)-D) as:

A) Calibrate planets to Taiji by distance from Sun.
B) Calibrate Taiji planets to Lo Shu by yin/yang axis.
C) Calibrate Lo Shu/Taiji planets to astral bodies by distance from Sun.
D) Calibrate Lo/Shu/Taiji/Re-sequenced planets to Taiji harmony of quantities by yin/yang axis.

Even within the steps of the method there is a repeating theme - calibration using distance of astral bodies from the Sun (quantitative) when viewed in a line, and the yin/yang axis (qualitative) which is also a passage across the diagram. In mathematics this is what we would call a reiteration, and it is reiterations that create fractals and the natural forms they describe - leaves, seashell spirals, seahorses, clouds, trees, etc (it would be interesting to see what would happen if we continue the iterations beyond the Later Heaven arrangement).

The iterative procedure that leads to the Early and Later Heaven arrangements uses alternating quantitative and qualitative 'units' for calibration every time; linear distance and degree of yin or yang respectively, and so a cognitively dualistic approach seems to have taken place: antagonistic quantity vs quality, conscious vs subconsious, analysis vs instinct. In this way we see the dynamic movement through yin and yang within the method as well as within the properties of the diagrams being created. The whole theory has a fractal nature in this sense. Fractal representations are a property found throughout Taoist thought as most people reading this will know already.

Again, these are not things I have imposed or extrapolated from any existing information; they are basic logical conceptions which have been present even during ancient times and are not restricted by cultural interpretation. I hope this more simple representation of my method's profundity makes what I am saying more accessible and credible.

A big thank you to Frank_r; a published I-ching expert and acupuncturist who has gone through the steps I iillustrated here, and has said: "It's really fascinating what you are doing. I think it's quit complicated but I understand what you are doing". He has already seen some more profound connections within the method, and I am sure there are many more to be discovered (there are 9 'mysteries' present in the process which I have noted and elaborated on in detail in my thread, sometimes with references to supporting classical commentaries). I have notified Michael Erlewine who has expressed an interest and has told me that he will check it out.
 
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Sparhawk

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Hi Erime,

I can barely agree with anything Frank R. Kegan says, on a number of issues relating the Yi, but if the standard is to be published, the man is also a published Yijing "expert" ("I Ching Primer" Frank R. Kegan; 1979, Aries Press; ISBN 0933646038). Not only that, he was writing about the Yijing, and being published, 30 years ago. It goes to show that I personally take "published material" (and PhD's) with a grain of salt, regardless of what "he thinks" I do with what I read in my studies or the way "he believes" I use my brain regarding the Yi and my supposed lack of "originality."

In this particular subject, I took issue with Frank because he dismissed my reading recommendations, flat out, and continued to call names, without having read the material, authors that were his seniors in anthropological, symbological, semantic and philological researches. If anyone is to criticize something, the very least you can do is to read what they have to offer, no? It is that which was lacking in this whole discussion.

Now, I offered you, Erime (because I was done discussing this with Frank, a long while ago), that specific bit of information because it is possible -- and I repeat, possible; I'm not offering you certainty, or saying you are wrong, but planting a doubt -- that one of the basic premises for your theory may be wrong. That is, the use of the Lo Shu for the so translated "Later Heaven Sequence" or KWS. Or even that you could be using the Lo Shu for both sequences. My implicit suggestion is that you test your theory against the Ho Tu, at least for the KWS. I haven't done it, mind you, but, since it is your theory, I'm curious if it will click in place.

Best,
 
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fkegan

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Hi Erime,

Each of us chooses what we consider as basic. From that we build our research edifice. Whether our work is a house built upon bedrock or shifting sand depends upon what it is we take as fundamental.

I have not been able to accept any theory built upon trigram patterns or sequences as fundamental. They seem to be results of other considerations rather than anything worthy of being the origin of the King Wen Sequence. As a result I apparently upset Luis by not buying the article he referenced, though I did research the matter and found its basis not to my liking. It is like asking a Taoist to closely consider a Christian theory. Different strokes for different folks. Instead noting I have my own explanation that I enjoy, which takes up all my limited brain power, and attention span.

I note a number of problems with the 'logic' basis of your explanation. The gestalt theory of Yang and Yin is not fundamental to the development of the Chou Yi rather being part of developing commentary centuries later. Erlewine started this thread over his notion that 'pure yang' and 'pure yin' such as hex 1 and 2 and their trigrams had to be emphasized more than they are in Later Heaven arrangement. However, they aren't. Any theory which requires starting in a different place from what exists has problems.

The later Heaven arrangement and the KWS clearly have a totally and completely different basis in all particulars from the earlier arrangements of trigrams and hexagrams. Also different from later developments such as Yang/Yin theory and the gestalt perception principles. King Wen found meaning in the hexagrams and trigrams as integral images expressing symbolism independent of language or number. Similar insights are found throughout the Northern hemisphere by the 6th century BCE and known to us through astrology, Pythagorean number as well as the Yi.

The observation of planetary positions, their relative speed and thus distance from the sun is a different order of relevance, especially in ancient philosophy based upon detailed, concrete observation of the dynamics of sunshine as it affects the water cycle. It is a universal interest of many (if not all) ancient cultures and indigenous peoples though not part of any of the more modern notions which seem prominent in your assumptions.

Fractals are a very recent theory without universal acceptance as even being connected to natural reality. They can also be explained as simply the result of confusion between drawings in 2-D and actual objects in 3-D. Finding fractal notions in Lao Tzu or any Taoist sources does not seem to be based in pure logic or anything from the ancient world.

Modern folks tend to see things through modern eyes. Moving out of that context or Tao into that of the ancient world in general or the ancient Chinese perspective takes a lot of work beyond reading or playing with the patterns or diagrams. The trigrams and hexagrams themselves as graphic symbolism are the only fundamental reality that must be accepted. Before King Wen they were arranged in ways which reflect our current computer and science thinking--binary counting and sine wave or Taiji arrangements. However, King Wen clearly developed a different way of working with them. The difficult understanding is realizing this was an advance over what we still use today in our faith-based notions of science. A controversial view, but useful to winnow out theories about the Yi.

Simplicity and concrete correspondence with observed cycles and patterns of fundamental importance such as solar dynamics and the water cycle are the hallmarks of the ancient world though they are barely noticed in our modern science and 'logic' based at least through the 19th century (and still peeking through current science) on misreadings of Aristotle and Genesis.

However, I do agree with you it is exciting to find one's creative energies working out a theory for yourself that fits what you believe and seems to also work in solving major mysteries we find intriguing. There is a difference between those of us who create new work, whether ultimately it turns out to just our own fiction or universal truth and those who only read others. OTOH, Luis is a great librarian, and if he says you need to reconsider your sources from ancient Chinese texts you are in trouble with your theory.

Frank
 

solun

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I don't know what happened to merlewine on this thread, but I want to thank him in general for all the wonderful material he has made available to people through his work. I am particularly grateful for your fixed star listings. Michael, you're a gem! My birthday is the day after yours!

Anyway. About this former and later question. I in my humble innocence would think it has to do with a lack of symmetry maybe versus symmetry. The former order was ordered, the latter order isn't so ordered or is ordered in a some other orderly way. Disintegration is the order of the day. There's form and there's lack of form in short. And if you're in shorts, you had better be in form! ;)

As for mom & pop being at right angles, you know Michael, from astrology, that this is potentially a very powerful angle in terms of balancing out energies between those involved.
Could also mean that he starts this section, she starts the next quarter and in that sense they are in order.

Ta Da! probably not - but just as well could be!:rolleyes::brickwall::blush::)
 
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solun

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To elucidate, one hopes...
Time, whatever it is in totality, is in part about patterns, and so we have form.
But time and space exist within and about each other. And we have been here before lienshan, haven't we?
But I feel that time is not - eventhough it is dependent on cyclic behaviour and gear changes as it were - is not necessarily linear. We maybe shouldn't think of it solely in such a way.

Eccentricity in nature is probably the closest we humans have ever been to understanding it, being that we ourselves are abstractions of 'the divine/the greater'.

To be free of the notion of form or a lack of understanding of it - maybe a good way around this is to just let it go. Just so the notion can expand beyond it's previous limit.

"let's do the time warp again..." - Rocky Horror picture show, which I don't recommend, the picture show that is- not the time warp, which I do recommend
 
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fkegan

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The Earlier Heaven arrangement arises clearly from the trigrams built up from a central theme of Heaven Yang and Earth Yin as top and bottom. There isn't a lot of dispute about that. It is the Later Heaven and the KWS which is hard to explain using the same assumptions and premises as the Earlier Heaven. Are trigram sequences or the inherent meaning of the trigrams and hexagrams the source of the new insights of Later Heaven and King Wen.

For those who find anything more recent than the Shang techniques unproven upstart notions the answer is different than for those of us who find the quantum leap in new insight with notions of meaning inherent in line pattern intriguing and amazing.

Frank
 

solun

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If I recall, Michael was asking about Li being given the character value of 9. This I would associate with fire, but the fires of dissolution maybe??
The number nine involves the principle of inclusion and melting and psychedelia and mixing of all into one, associate that with Li/fire and you get the idea. For anyone into numerology, it's like but not exactly the same as thirteen. It's a turning point, where the nine as Li is fire, but water that is fire. The dragons change direction.

Time itself changes.

Don't tell solun to take a hike, because I am already out the door! :)
 
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lienshan

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Sparhawk

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:D, Lienshan...

You can't blame him though, that misconception has been perpetuated for over 2000 years by most exegetes, Chinese and otherwise.
 

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I can see that we are going to have to whittle things down to the meaning of 'logic' to make any headway here. If the definition of logic is different between people, then how does anyone ever decide on anything collectively? haha.

I am not seeking to make any historical statement, or to change what the I-Ching means to those who wish to throw coins or yarrow stalks, all I wish is for people to be open to the following:

When one orders the 8 visible main astral bodies around a Taiji symbol by distance from the Sun (Elemental qualities), then focuses on the yin/yang axis (rotating), then focuses on the order of astral bodies by distance from the Sun again (Elemental planets only), and then once more focuses on the yin/yang axis (balancing), one arrives at either the Early Heaven or Later Heaven arrangement depending on the direction of the yin/yang axis rotation during the process.

I don't really care about what supporting scholastic evidence there is for such a process, because, like 1+1=2, the process is the same for who ever chooses to do it; today, or 5000 years ago.

Make of this what you will.

If the logic of 1+1=2 is open to debate, then so are the sequential mechanics underlying the words we write on this forum, and then who cares about what is written on this forum at all, eh?

I have attached an image illustrating the numerical correspondences between the Lo Shu and the ancient numerical associations used for the Early Heaven sequence. I have indicated a reflected pattern (which is actually a mirror image) between the two diagrams. The circular 'sector' diagrams used for the comparison are the same as were used for ancient Chinese astronomy. If you can not see the profundity in the reflection, then I would not suggest attempting to follow my theory, however I would be surprised if an elementary school child could not detect the pattern.
 
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Sparhawk

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I don't really care about what supporting scholastic evidence there is for such a process, because, like 1+1=2, the process is the same for who ever chooses to do it; today, or 5000 years ago.

Yes, of course. However, theories based upon ancient artifacts must be considered under their own contextual temporal light. That is, you must try to project your thoughts, as much as possible, to the era in which they were conceived. Philologists do it all the time... In the case you are proposing, your claim is to have found the key to the KWS. If your claim was something like "I think I found a coincidence that fits within the KWS model" then the discussion would be of another tenor. In the first case, your claim is that you have found the thought process that produced the trigram sequences. For that, you must use some historical facts, like:

Chinese astronomy differed from that of the Western world in two important respects: (a) it was polar and equatorial rather than planetary and ecliptic, (b) it was an activity of the bureaucratic state rather than of priests or independent scholars. Both features had advantages and disadvantages; the first led to the mechanization of celestial models long before the West, but deferred recognition of equinoctial precession till later. The second ensured remarkable sets of celestial observations antedating most of those recorded elsewhere, but discouraged causal speculation, especially in the absence of Euclidean deductive geometry. In cosmology, China developed three doctrines: (a) the Kai Thien universe, a domical geocentrism not unlike early Babylonian ideas, (b) the Hun Thien universe, essentially the recognition of the primary celestial spherical coordinates, and (c) the Hsuian Yeh system, which accepted the Hun Thien as methodo- logically necessary but viewed the heavenly bodies as lights of unknown nature floating in infinite empty space. Instrumentation developed early, armillary rings being in use by the end of the - 2nd century and the complete armillary sphere by the end of the + 1st.

Astronomy in Ancient and Medieval China
Author(s): J. Needham
Source: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series A, Mathematical and
Physical Sciences, Vol. 276, No. 1257, The Place of Astronomy in the Ancient World (May 2,
1974), pp. 67-82

That is, the ancient Chinese were superb timekeepers and correlative thinkers; they had knowledge of celestial bodies and their passage in the heavens, but, at the time of the inception of the trigram circles, they had no conceptual knowledge of planetary distances. Their astronomy was as geocentric as everywhere else at that time and remained so for centuries afterwards.
 

erime

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If your claim was something like "I think I found a coincidence that fits within the KWS model" then the discussion would be of another tenor.
Well it's a pretty big coincidence (i.e. on worthy of serious consideration) that the same process leads to the Early and Later Heaven arrangements, differing only by a single rotation in the opposite direction. It's like a brightness knob on an old computer monitor - twist it one way and the screen goes white, and twist it another way and the screen goes black. The King Wen Sequence is like the monitor flashing according to some pulse of nature. Coincidence, or not,what i am putting across here appears highly likely to have been within the grasp of the ancient Chinese.

at the time of the inception of the trigram circles, they had no conceptual knowledge of planetary distances.
You say this as if it is a fact, and yet you can not truly know this... ever!

The fact that the distances do play a role to a degree that can hardly be put down to coincidence suggests that they were aware of the order of planets by closeness to the Sun, whether they thought of them as lights, deities, gems, whatever... it doesn't matter. The correlations exist, and they profoundly connect with the Lo Shu, Taiji, and Wu Xing to bring about the two trigram arrangments. And that is demonstrable as a fact.
 
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