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Harmen on trigram circles

hilary

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Here is Harmen doing his utmost to quash the fallacy about the 'Early Heaven' trigram circle being older - with lots of fascinating excursions into different kinds of trigram lore:

 

Liselle

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Am hoping this will end up being excellently timed to help with the Ideal hexagram discussion.
 

dfreed

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Am hoping this will end up being excellently timed to help with the Ideal hexagram discussion.
It's really quite simple.

Karcher swaps out the trigrams found in the Houtain trigram circle (the one on the right in Harmen's video) and replaces them with the corresponding trigrams found in the Xiantian circle, and creates a new hexagram he calls the 'Ideal' - the meaning of which has been discussed already.

In the same way that people describe the Xiantian as an earlier, or more ancient, and more perfect trigram arrangement (coming from Fuxi no less!), I believe this led Karcher to call this new hexagram an 'Ideal' one. And just as these two trigram circles are not related to one another - in timing, nor meaning, nor origin - some people might wonder (or question) why Karcher mixes them up.

Having studied with Harmen for a few years now - including how to make use of the Houtian bagua circle in understanding the trigrams - I'm pretty darn sure he'd not agree with this notion of an Ideal hexagram, nor would he want to talk much about it. But that's just my educated guess.

D.
 

dfreed

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Having been in on the original discussion, I can say Harmen is being extremely kind in how he describes it! The actual conversation gives new meaning the words daft and whack-a-doodle!
 

hilary

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I can imagine.

Regarding 'Ideal' hexagrams, I think the most relevant and interesting part of the video comes right at the end, where he says a) that he won't be arguing with experience and b) that the Early Heaven bagua has roots in Daoist practice, and not in divination. I would hazard a guess that those roots also informed Karcher's ideas about the Ideal, and learning more about them might help with understanding what it's supposed to be/do.
Having studied with Harmen for a few years now - including how to make use of the Houtian bagua circle in understanding the trigrams - I'm pretty darn sure he'd not agree with this notion of an Ideal hexagram, nor would he want to talk much about it. But that's just my educated guess.

That would be mine, too ;) .
 

dfreed

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b) that the Early Heaven bagua has roots in Daoist practice, and not in divination. I would hazard a guess that those roots also informed Karcher's ideas about the Ideal, and learning more about them might help with understanding what it's supposed to be/do.
Yep. Anything anyone gleans from Harmen's video(s) can be put to good use, including helping them understand Karcher and the Ideal hexagrams.

Karcher certainly brings mythic, poetic and perhaps Daoist notions and perspectives to his Yi studies. Last I knew, he was living a half hour car ride and then a half hour ferry ride from my home - and I've always had this idea that I'd love to buy him a coffee or a beer (or two) and discuss ... stuff. But he's not been seen nor heard from in quite a while.
 
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Liselle

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Disclaimer: I haven't watched the video yet, have been in and out of the house. ("Then why did you post?" is an excellent question. Sorry.)

Dfreed - thanks for the information. Will be nice to have it while I watch the video.

learning more about them
...was the root of my premature comment. "Ooh, maybe this will help!" Or not.
 

my_key

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For me the Ken Wen cycle depicts the interaction of the trigrams within our current state of being. Harmen links the Early Heaven cycle to deeper daoist practices and alchemy which I've always seen as connecting more closely with the purer energies of our existance. In Alchemical terms the 'gold' rather than the lead.

In the land of gold things resonate with a bright innocence and purity that is ideal and they are not contaminated by the grey, heaviness of lead. The Early Heaven cycle it seems to me does connect readily with the innocence that is brought by the soul into this world as it first inhabits the un-born child. Here is perfection made manifest - brought from a place beyond where perfection resides quite naturally: without effort.

So, from one way of looking at it, the Early Heaven world relates to pre this world - where every being is the ultimate noble one. After all the goal of our existence here is to bring heaven down to earth so the Early Heaven arrangement shows the characteristics that are necessary to promote that being achieved. To emulate the pre heaven perfection of a mythical, poetic world. King Wen's sequence narrates the post heaven set up after we have stepped out of Paradise and follow the path first walked by Adam and Eve.

As Harmen says it doesn't really matter whether the chicken or the egg came first what matters is that these wonderful sequences are both in our awareness and can nourish and support each other and be used in unique ways by whosoever wants to engage with them.

As always, I have very little, if any, footnotes or references to support this point of view. So I'm sorry once more to disappoint those eager for another reference to search on Google. I did, though, surprisingly, find Harmen's video a compelling watch and would have liked a few more 'Don't Panic' moments to lighten and punctuate the serious stream of quotes and references.

...or it may be nothing like this at all.

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Just checking................definitely not one single, solitary footnote or reference as far as the eye can see.

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Still none.:teapot:
 

hilary

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No, but you do have a teapot.
 

dfreed

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what matters is that these wonderful sequences are both in our awareness and can nourish and support each other.
I was witness to the later part of the original thread (in another forum). Harmen was trying to correct misinformation about these two trigram circles. In summary:

* The Xiantian trigram circle is much newer than the Houtian; the first is from around 1,000 AD, the later one is from around 300 BC.

* The Xiantain circle did not give rise to the Houtian. The two are unrelated.

* The Houtian is directly related to the Yijing, while the Xiantian is not, though he does suggest it is related to Daoist Alchemy and is used by some acupuncturists. I did not hear him say anything about the circle or these uses of it being deeper or purer, only that the circle has no early (pre-Song era) connection to the Yi.

* There are many things people attribute to the Xiantian: that it's earlier, older, purer, it represents the universe before we entered it; or that it came from Fuxi - an early, very important ancestor, etc. These and more are the things people say about or attribute to the Xiantian, but I didn't hear Harmen say these things, nor say they are real.

Harmen makes use the Xiantian in his hexgrams / trigrams course - which I've taken.

In his usual way, he would not tell any of us to stop using the Xiantian - if we found it useful in our Yijing practice (it might be a different matter however, if we asked for his advise about it). But as far as I can tell, he did not talk about each of them nourishing and supporting the other. If that's how any of us wants to use them, that's another matter - and is acceptable.

I don't intend to start an argument, but I feel it's useful to clarify what he said and didn't say, given the level of misinformation he is trying to address in the video.

Best, D.
 
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hilary

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I think you'll find My_key was aware of all that, and is moving the conversation along to the question of the qualities of the diagram and what it represents, not its antiquity.

Personally, the Early Heaven bagua has never really grabbed me. It reminds me too much of the people who rearrange the Sequence of Hexagrams to get it 'right', by which they generally seem to mean something they can fully understand and describe.
 

dfreed

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... moving the conversation along to the question of the qualities of the diagram and what it represents
Yes. I was only trying to clarify which parts of the 'question of the qualities' is Harmen's and which is My_Key's:
* Harmen said the Xiantian bagua circle is tied to Daoism, and Daosist practices. And he said that in the end it doesn't really matter which of these two trigram circles came first; it's about how we use them and what meaning we ascribe to them.​
* My_Key says the Xiantian circle is tied to deeper daoist practices and alchemy, and these are connecting more closely with the purer energies of our existance. And he said that what matters is that these wonderful sequences are in our awareness and can nourish and support each other and be used in unique ways by whosoever wants to engage with them.​

I'm fine with this level of clarity and I am fine with what My_Key is saying, and I have no need for sources or references about this. I just want to be clear about whom is saying what.

I know next to nothing about the 'early heaven' bagua circle, except what it looks like, and that Daoist may use it, and the fact that Karcher makes use of it. I certainly can't speak to its depth or purity, or how anyone else uses it in understanding the Yi. Sigh, if only I were a Daoist .... :oops:
 
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my_key

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No, but you do have a teapot.
Teapots are vessels of great magic and wonder and should be included in every foot note. Hmmmmm ..... maybe they are already and we just can't see them.
I think you'll find My_key was aware of all that, and is moving the conversation along to the question of the qualities of the diagram and what it represents, not its antiquity.
Thanks Hilary. Yes I was aware of all that and I have no attachment to which is the chicken or which is the egg. I posted my post not to denigrate Harmen or his scholarly approach but to offer a perspective on the relationship that could well exist between the two cycles in a wider picture of life the Universe and everything.

Just because Harmen doesn't think that a connection is so doesn't make it impossible to have an esoteric based connection between the two. Not much of any esoteric practice was written down in the early days it was all done by word of mouth and ritual. As he said the Alchemical texts that he did refer to (can tong qi) make for difficult understanding of the cycle other than it probably isn't earlier then King Wen sequence.

Like David I know little about Early Heaven Cycle so hope there are some scholarly types or people who have a greater experience with its usage, in divination or elsewhere, who can contribute here with some more insights.
 

dfreed

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.... but to offer a perspective on the relationship that could well exist between the two cycles in a wider picture of life the Universe and everything. Just because Harmen doesn't think that a connection is so doesn't make it impossible to have an esoteric based connection between the two ....
.... I am fine with what My_Key is saying, and I have no need for sources or references about this. I just want to be clear about whom is saying what.

I have no issues with 'what might be'. It would be grand if you explore and look for connections between these two bagua circles, as Stephen Karcher has done. Some people may be interested in what you find out about the xiantian as well. (I have done a bit of exploring myself with the Houtian bagua circle.)

However, I want to be clear, I am talking about what I heard Harmen say, not what might be - and he did not ascribe qualities such as depth or purity to either bagua, nor talk about their connectiveness. And though you didn't mean it like this, I just don't want to see in six months from now someone saying: "Harmen sees a deeper and more pure connection ...." That would not be fair to Harmen, nor the rest of us.

Best, D
 
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