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From GUI to GUA

hilary

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LiSe, where did you find this? Superb! At the very least, I think you must have got the explanation of those 12 hexagrams being known as the 'tidal gua'.

Let us know when you have more information/ ideas on this (I need to find an emoticon for rampant greed!)
 

lenardthefast

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LiSe,

Well, hey, hi and howdy. Great stuff! Now how am I ever going to finish this packing while glued to the cpu? You guys are gonna have to cease with this conspiracy to keep me here in California. I really must experience this new job/life situation and yet, here I am spending much-needed hours absorbing info-bit after info-bit. I do believe I am going to have one of those theraputic brainpan explosions mentioned by Hilary.

So, could you please be helpful and talk about something boring(like maybe the weather in Britain?) NOT!!!

Surely, there must exist a place within the infinity of universes available to us, where one receives a stipend for just learning!?

Thanks again, LiSe, for giving me an excuse for not filling what seems to be a never-ending stream of boxes.

Namaste,
Leonard
 

heylise

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Of course I don?t know if I am right. But it does look very convincing!

Bradford Hatcher gave me the idea. I found the following text in his book (in the part 'Dimensions', search for ?8th? and you hit right upon it). If you don?t know it: he sends it to everyone seriously interested, so ask me or Hilary for his address. This book/thesis is good!!
?Most of the elaborate associations of the Yi with the Chinese calendar first appeared in the Yiweishu in the Early Han. The development of the Shi Er Yue Gua, in the order of the 12 Moons (see Fig. 15), is attributed to Meng Xi (1st cent BCE) by Yu Fan (164-233) (Fendos, p. 406). The pairing of the 12 Branches to the 12 Lines of Qian and Kun and a system known as ?Internalizing the 12 Branches? is attributed to Jing Fang (77-37) (ib, p. 370). However, the Chinese had developed their 12-month calendar long before the Zhou Yi was composed. Further, the references to the coming of the 8th Moon at Gua Ci 19.0 (Lin is the 12th Moon, the 8th?s Inverse), the reference to the coming of solid ice at Yao Ci 02.1 (Zhi Gua 24) and the association of Gua 24 to the Winter Solstice in Da Xiang 24.X all suggest that a system of assignments was both in place and a part of the Zhou Yi and Wing composers? thought processes.?
(Gua ci is the judgment, yao ci is line-text and zhi gua is relating hex)
Obviously the Tidal Gua are very old.

Two days ago I had jumped up because of ?the 8th moon?, it suddenly explained this enigmatic sentence in hex.19.
This afternoon at 1.30 I suddenly combined things, and at 3 o?clock I had made photos and put them on my website (address see below). I had cut strips of paper and a little bamboo stick acted as gnomon.

The ancient sundial of the Zhou was a Gui, a tablet which was at one end round, at the other end straight. At the round end a gnomon casted a shadow, longer in winter, shorter in summer. Midwunter is moon 10, the shadow goes across all lines. Midsummer is moon 4, hardly any shadow.
Moon 5 looked exactly like moon 3, with one line broken by the shadow. If you make a record about which moon you are referring to, it is easier to write one of the two upside down. It stays the same picture, but the difference is easy to see. At the same time this way of writing them makes a logical sequence. The light creeps up, then the dark, and then the light again.

I knew that the character for hexagram, gua (actually diagram, it also indicates trigram etc) is a picture of a sundial (a gui) with the radical ?divining? added. On the old picture of the character it looks very much like a pile of lines. It is two times the character for ?earth?, one on top of the other, but maybe originally it was not a picture of earth. Very often characters which look like each other are later drawn the same.
The development into divining must have been very natural. A moon (month) could be indicated by a number of whole and broken lines, so it was calling for a divination method to find a moon. Finding the number of whole lines by counting pebbles or whatever, and the broken ones ditto, or some other way, but it was not difficult to devise something.
Then the next evident step is making a system together with the other combinations of lines, resulting in 64 different possibilities. So the hexagrams did indeed precede the texts, and King Wen and the Duke of Zhou (or whoever) wrote texts for existing hexagrams and lines.

LiSe
Yi Jing, Book of the Moon
http://www.anton-heyboer.org/i_ching/index.html
 

hilary

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LiSe...

...I hate to ask this, but...

...are there any surviving 'gui' sundials with six horizontal lines scored on them?...

A couple more awkward thoughts - from Richard Rutt, I have the idea that some of the earliest hexagram-like markings found have lines divided into three rather than just two.

And is it really, really natural, when you have this 12-month system that can only ever produce those 12 (or 6) signs, to think of shuffling divided lines inbetween solid ones? Isn't that terribly counterintuitive, almost nonsensical - the symbol for a time that couldn't possibly exist in the real world?

Now whatever you do, don't let me put you off your lovely idea! In fact, I'm not sure you have permission to sleep until you've overcome any objections I can come up with
wink.gif


If we're getting into 'which came first' questions, how about the idea (which I think I picked up from Stephen Karcher) that this is actually parallel evolution?

The myths, proverbs, fragments of poetry, omens, beliefs, etc, etc that make up the text come from an oral tradition we can't date - maybe some were spoken by inspired shamans over bone cracks...

At the same time, the more systematically-minded people, or the ones more concerned with long-term planning, are working out their sundials and hexagrams. All a hexagram means at this point - those 12 tidal ones, at all events - is 'this time of year (and what happens to the river then, and what the stars do, and what Yu did then...)'

Then some genius has the idea of bringing the two together... so for the first time the oral traditions are written down and anyone can consult them, and also for the first time, the hexagrams have clear meanings.

Just another story... none of us will ever know...
 

heylise

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Of course this is not the ultimate truth either. And there are also old pictures of hexagrams where the lines look like the numbers 1 and 8. And there are the bagua numbers, sequences of different numbers, not just 6, 7, 8 and 9, but also 5 and 7 and 3 or so. But they might be ways of finding lines, so they do not contradict this.

Probably the words (or parts of them) were older. My intuition also says they were. What I rather meant was the arrangement of the words: attaching them to a system of lines.

But how does someone get for the first time the idea of drawing lines above each other? This idea of a sundial might be a beginning, but I don't know if it really was. One thing stays intriguing: the picture of the sundial, with the symbol for divining added is gua, hexagram (or trigram): sundial-divining. That does connect the two. Even that is no proof though.

I will put all the different possibilities, as far as they are known until now, side by side. But for the moment I am going to enjoy the sundial-hexagrams. I like them a lot. My newborn babies - but they too will grow old and wrinkled. And maybe I will even have to bury them some day ..

LiSe
 

heylise

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This is just a story ... Imagining how things might happen ...

Gui day today ? the Shamanka is wearing her animal mask and all her feathers and bells. She will perform the ritual for the next ten-day period. The whole village is sitting in a circle around the ritual space where she will dance. Strings are attached to a long pole, horizontally shutting off one end of the dance-floor, and at every string a chicken hangs upside down. They are the payment for the gods, and also for the Shamanka, because gods and shamanka always share everything.
They need to know if the weather will be steady in the coming period. Do they have to hurry to get the harvest in? Or is it better to wait until the next period? For the crop waiting would be better ? but if a storm comes, it might destroy everything. It is an important decision.
The Shamanka dances in circles, faster and faster, shaking her bells, and also shaking the big pumpkin with beans. Big flat beans, six of them, one side painted black, the other side white. Through a hole in the pumpkin the gods make the bean fall out, one by one. Everyone watches them flying, so they will know where they fall.
Exhausted the Shamanka falls prostrate on the floor. Nobody moves, in silence they wait until she comes back on earth again. When she finally opens her eyes and raises her head, she looks around until she sees one bean. A white one, the gods are telling her to start with the white ones. She collects them all, sits down cross-legged and puts them in a line, starting with the white ones, and then the black ones. Three white, three black. Everybody smiles, they know what this means. It is the moon of spring, when the cold of winter and the hunger are over. When the rains start, and when the first fresh greens can be collected. The crops start to grow. It is usually the most happy period of the year. This means the weather in the next ten days will be fair, and the harvest can wait. The crop has another chance for growing, it will be bigger.
But then suddenly one of the chicken manages to wriggle her leg out of the string. Screeching she runs across the dancing space. This cannot be anything else than a very bad omen. Everybody is looking anxious at the Shamanka now. She sits in deep thought, trying to grasp the meaning of what happened. The beautiful picture of the spring moon is scrambled and one of the beans has even been turned over.
Very softly she begins mumbling words about storms and darkness and misfortune.

Nobody can sleep that night, and the next day they all start the harvest. Not with songs and laughter this year, but filled with fear. They never before have managed to bring it in so fast, and they are just in time. Big black clouds move in faster than they ever before saw clouds move across the sky, and within minutes the most severe thunderstorm is raging. Even the old people cannot remember such dark and awful weather. The clouds are so black and thick that it is as if the sun is down. The whole day and most of the night the earth is trembling by the thunder and the terrible rains. The next morning the sun rises bright in a crystal-clear sky. The entire village is greeting her, laughing, crying, all talking and singing.

The shamanka looks in her thoughts to the picture of the scattered beans. White-black-white-black-black-black. It engraves itself into her mind. Forever she will remember what this image means ..

LiSe
 
C

candid

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Sounds like # 36, LiSe. Thank you for an interesting shamanka story.
happy.gif
 

bfireman

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LiSe-

That is really incredible, both your story and theory of sundial hexagrams.

Now, just what are you smoking and where can I get some? (j/k!!!)

By the way, what does GUI mean anyway?

-Brian
 
C

candid

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Addendum:

LiSe,

After pondering your story awhile, I believe that's just how it has happened too. The synchronistic events happening with consistent repeatability. Stories that create and illustrate models of change, all of which are contained within a fairly simple matrix of a family: Father, Mother, 3 daughters and 3 sons.

To think that there isn?t a thing within the human experience which does not fit one of only 64 basic models of change, makes life appear quite simple. How complex it becomes when we?re subjectively involved with them though! It feels so unique and individual, but the experience is always contained within a simple archetypal story ? the dance of two trigrams ? sometimes relating to another model or example. Two hemispheres of mind speaking to one another.

Life is a marvel!

Candid
 

heylise

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?Two hemispheres of mind speaking to one another?, thanks Candid, for another beautiful image to add to my descriptions of all relations between hexagrams and trigrams. I am making several new pages for my website, and this is one of them. Another one is about all the terms the Yi uses for good and bad fortune and such.

And for Brian:
Gui (rad.32.3):
Wang HongYuan: the dial of a sundial (shows one part or section of the graduated lines on a sundial).
Wenlin: [guî] jade tablet used as sceptre by ancient feudal lords. (hist) jade tablet as symbol of power.
Ricci: tablet of jade or ivory, lower end square, upper end round, given by the emperor to new princes as sign of their authority, or as credential for messengers. Measuring tablet, 15 cun long, placed North-South, receiving at noon the shadow of a gnomon, 8 chi high, at its southern end. Ancient measure of capacity, weight, silk (100 threads of same color). Pure, clean. Name for a door with a round top.
On the oldest characters I could find, it is already written like the modern character: two ?earth? on top of each other. But the old character earth was written different, so I don?t think they are in origin the same characters.

Uff, I always should add all this information. Finding it is great, but writing it all down is tedious! Thanks for making me do it! If I had something to smoke my mind up into heaven, I'd do it right now ..

LiSe
 

hilary

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Wonderful story, thank you! It gives a whole new idea of changing lines, too.

Like Candid, I have the feeling this must be how it happened - your shamanka would tell her daughters and granddaughters, and they would have their own experiences to add. In a way, we're still doing the same by sharing experiences here. Just without the chicken
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C

candid

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It sorta gives new meaning to the Zen question: Why did the chicken cross the dancing space? hmmm *makes note - beware dancing chickens*
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wanderer

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I have been reading the lines by themselves. It seems clear to me that the bottom line has to do with the earth (feet) and the general inference of being human. And it seems clear to me that the top line has to do with our relation to God, the spirit. So that in #5 we wait in the meadow, where danger is not yet upon us and end in wait for spiritual guidance. In the middle it seems that sand, mud, and blood correspond to legs, gut, and heart, and the fifth line to nourishment (mouth).

In six, Conflict, the first refers to an incidental conflict (earth perhaps) and the top to conflict with God, but the inner lines dont seem to correspond as nicely.

In reading numerous lines only, the first and last tend to be more clear to me, than the interior lines. Do others find this to be true also?
 

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