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King Wen Sequence Explained

fkegan

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Greetings All,

I have posted a complete explanation of the King Wen Sequence of the I Ching hexagrams in a new page accessible from my website page on the Flux Tome Perspective Upon the I Ching: www.stars-n-dice.com/fluxtome.html or directly www.stars-n-dice.com/tetraktys.html .

The difference between my explanation and the others about is that mine is not based upon the King Wen Sequence being set up as 32 pairs by line structure. It does not put the hexagrams on a number line, or in a circle or along a curve of any kind. It does not assume there is anything unique to any Chinese commentary or mathematical system.

Instead, my explanation is based in the philosophical framework of the Pythagorean Tetraktys or the view that a complete analysis of any subject can be made in ten specific points grouped into a 1- Monad, 2-Dyads or linear polar opposites, 3 stages of process or narrative, and 4-Tetrad of perpendicular double dichotomies.

That a single Sequence fits the 32 pairs by line structure and the Pythagorean decad analysis of the Tetraktys, and all the other mathematical and philosophical conjectures folks have developed is simply a testament to the mystic poetry of the King Wen Sequence which works from whatever perspective one might choose to employ.

The benefit of the Tetraktys matrix to explain the King Wen Sequence is that it is so absolutely and totally philosophically satisfying. It has no issues of how well does it fit the algorithm, are these math or landscape points the truly right ones. It just fits into place seamlessly. However, try it out yourself and see what you find.

A bit of background on my perspective and its development:

In the late 1970's I had the opportunity to teach an astrologer friend of mine in Belgium the basics of the I Ching. In the course of our hours of study, it suddenly occurred to me that it was now quite simple to repeat the original insight of determining the meaning of each hexagram from just the line pattern of Yang and Yin lines.

The fundamental principles to achieve this clarity about the hexagrams is to make a change in perspective from the standard view of hexagrams being composed of independent Yang and Yin lines. Instead the principle is that the gua (hexagram or trigram) is a gestalt matrix whose background state is the set of Yin line places. A trigram or hexagram is thus a matrix background which is represented graphically by all Yin lines.

The individual hexagrams are formed as the open space between the pieces of the Yin lines is either filled in as a Yang line or left open to remain gestalt background called a Yin line.

The meaning of the individual line places are illustrated and explained by the Pythagorean Eidos (dot-patterns on the dice cube) from first sprout or root to structure or stem, to passion or line of development, to 4-heart or soul of inner space, to 5-complete individual organization and Self, to 6-the flower or seed pod that opens the transition to the next situation.

The meaning of the hexagram arises from 2 simple principles: There is a natural structural motion from line 1 up through line 6 (the Yin process). There is a a specific dynamic from a Yang line place toward an open Yin line place.

Putting these together one can understand and explain the meaning of each hexagram. One example--hexagram 3, the first and 5th line places only are Yang. The only focus is upon the beginning and the overall organization, everything else is background. This is the situation of the first application of the chisel to carve the marble sculpture. The artist has the overall plan in mind and the chisel point has begun the transition from mental image to concrete reality. Difficulty at the beginning or Strikes.

After working on my Flux Tome perspective, publishing several books on the topic, and reading the Pythagorean Sourcebook and Library by Guthrie (ISBN 0-933999-51-8) I realized that the brief comments in Wilhelm hex. 11 and 41 about the King Wen Sequence being in sets of 10 which is the same decad arrangement of the Tetraktys.

Looking at the hexagrams ending in 1 (1,11,21,31,41,51 and 61), starting with hexagram One Ch'ien I saw even its Chinese ideogram name referred to the concrete imagery of the water cycle. Those first 10 hexagrams are each composed by trigrams which illustrate the water cycle from their traditional nature images: sunshine, earth topography, thunder, rain, mountain, wind and finally lake.

The water cycle starts with and is fully energized and explained by the action of sunshine to produce clouds that form water that flows over the earth until it reaches the sea.
The big twist is to read the King Wen sequence like a poem, that is to not get hung up with the rhymes or line value pairs; rather to keep to the philosophical matrix taking hexagram one alone as monad, two and three as polar opposites of the Planet Earth topography and the thunderstorm energy that strikes and starts the rain fall.

Then the Triad narrative process of hexagrams 4-5-6 beginning with the energy given to rain falling upon a mountain to produce artesian springs or rushing torrents; central core of the water vapor in the clouds that will eventually fall over the Earth topography and pick up that energy of elevation--and finally the rain water falling through the sunshine, no longer controlled by that energy and now controlled by its elevation over the topography.

Then the final Tetrad of the double dichotomy of perpendicular axes- 7 and 8 as water absorbed into the earth and 8 water flowing along the topography. And 9 the weather systems in the atmosphere that control the motion and elevation of the clouds finally ending the entire set of 10 with the low point of the topography that fills with water where it sits quiescent under the sunshine ending one water cycle and starting the next.
Q.E.D.

Check it all out for yourself through www.stars-n-dice.com.

Dr. Frank R. Kegan :bows:
 

frank_r

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Hello Frank,

Here a message from another Frank R. I read your article about the tetraktys. Very interesting piece of writing. I'm a acupuncturist in that way I use the Yi and also study acupuncture. You gave me some things to think about.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Frank R
 

fkegan

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King Wen Sequence and T'ai Chi symbol

Hi Frank r,
A bit of a mirror experience for me- Frank Raphael meets Frank r. :) I noticed your posts on other threads, so I am a bit prepared for the meeting.

I had been working on trying to make my perspective more intelligible to those in Yi studies from the Chinese philosophy perspective without much success until I got into a long discussion on the Exploring Divination group Sequence of the Hexagrams thread by the time of post #93 et seq I found myself piecing together the equivalent of the Tetraktys interpretation from the Chinese numbers and the T'ai Chi symbol.

Frank
 

frank_r

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Hallo Frank,

About your writing about the Tetraktys: In an other thread you wrote that 1 is not a real number in many systems.

So the circle is one. and dualty is placed in the circle, dualty is two. And then the three circle's in the big one is three.This you call harmony. The the tai Qi figure is four.
With all of this you don't count the big circle. Why not in philosofical sense?

And what kind of figure you would take as 5 and 6.

And do you make a connection with the numbers and the hexagram. Like one is the whole hexagram. 2 are the two trigrams, 3 are the 3 duograms, four are the four nucluer trigrmas, 5 are the 5 nucleur duograms and 6 are the 6 lines?

The last couple of weeks I'm facinated especially with the connection between 2 and three. From dualty to triality. Als the poem about one,two and three and the 10.000 things.

All the best from another Frank
 

fkegan

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Counting numbers and philosophical sets

Hallo Frank,

About your writing about the Tetraktys: In an other thread you wrote that 1 is not a real number in many systems.

So the circle is one. and dualty is placed in the circle, dualty is two. And then the three circle's in the big one is three.This you call harmony. The the tai Qi figure is four.
With all of this you don't count the big circle. Why not in philosofical sense?

And what kind of figure you would take as 5 and 6.

And do you make a connection with the numbers and the hexagram. Like one is the whole hexagram. 2 are the two trigrams, 3 are the 3 duograms, four are the four nucluer trigrmas, 5 are the 5 nucleur duograms and 6 are the 6 lines?

The last couple of weeks I'm facinated especially with the connection between 2 and three. From dualty to triality. Als the poem about one,two and three and the 10.000 things.

All the best from another Frank

Hi Frank r,

First and foremost--it isn't that ONE isn't a real number it is ALL Number, Cosmic Unity, everything together within one great circle---However, you can not count pieces or parts of an integral unit. Thus, counting can only start with 2 where you have two pieces you can count. Counting is a lesser things than realizing the overall unity. Like the standard spoof of LSD--"hey, man, everything is part of the same thing."

One is the unit that defines the magnitude. Number is a set composed of units, the units are real, but you only count numbers which only come into notice as multiples of the unit. All are real numbers, one is just the number that defines the dimensions you are using--is it one orange, one fruit, one object, one weight? That is the unit that then determines all counting. If you have one orange, you still count it as one, after you determine your unit is one orange and not fruits or half-pounds. It is a philosophical distinction not a number thing.

Two is the first even number and since it can be split into two equal halves, they can be counted. They also can be used as a pair where the individual qualities of each half dissolve into the background of the pair. That is why they are Yin (gestalt background) and why Yin is called feminine and evil, since the background which folks ignore is where things can appear out of the blue and scare you when they demand attention (no longer background).

Duality in the Pythagorean diagram is drawn as two circles, each half the radius of the original circle inscribed in the Monad or defining unit or big circle. This diagram is also the tai Qi figure, only without the painting in of two colors over this schematic.

Three is drawn in the Pythagorean harmony figure as a third half-radius circle drawn to accentuate the center of the original Monad, rather than to accentuate the pair of perpendicular bisectors of the radius to that Monad. In Chinese tai Qi equivalent, the triad is represented as the process arising in the eyes, or pair of beginning points, expressing itself in the pair of swirls and producing the final product of the tai Qi diagram as a whole. Three is first Yang number, that is the gestalt image that can be seen in contrast to the Yin background.

The tai Qi figures first appears in the duality, in schematic or implicit underpinnings. It next appears in the Triad as the actual figure as a total gestalt. This is the philosophical Yin and Yang in actual geometrical figure--the background schematic and then the focus complete drawing.

The one produces two and together they produce the three--The one outer circumference contains the two halves which make up the total symbol. All different ways to express the same philosophical process through the same graphic, looked at in different ways.
The three brings forth the 10,000 things or you can relate anything and everything to this diagram.

The Tetrad perspective is the double dichotomy, where the two swirls and the contrasting two eyes, all within the one overall circle. In the West, it is Cartesian Axes, in China everything is shown along a single diameter, no perpendicular bisector.

Pythagorean Pentad and Hexad are the Pentagram or 5 pointed star and the Solomon Seal, those are figures based upon inscribing a regular pentagon and hexagon into the circle.

In Chinese terms, the 5 is represented by 4 corners and center. The sets related to the hexagram would be whole hexagram, two trigrams, three line pairs, larger numbers would be more arbitrary.

The interaction of 2 and 3 is the number representation of odd and even, yin and yang. The coin toss method of casting oracle is based upon three coins forming a background of two coins upon which the overall value of the line appears as a gestalt image of the contrasting third coin.

What have been your thoughts upon the connection of two and three?

The frank best to you Frank r.

Frank
 

fkegan

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New Page added to my website

Hi Frank r, and everyone

Just a note to say that I added another new page to my website: http://www.stars-n-dice.com/gia-futext.html

This page is just the text of Gia-Fu Feng's Taoist translation of the I Ching from 1974 which he and I worked on that summer at Stillpoint.

It is a Taoist translation with a few subtle difference from the Confucian/ German Protestant perspective of the Wilhelm. E.g. The judgment for hexagram One, 4 oracle slogans found in many hexagrams: Supreme Success Perseverance Furthers in the Wilhelm becomes Primal Bliss Fruitful to have Zest in Gia-fu's text.

Frank
 

frank_r

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Hallo Frank,

My thought about the two and three lately are connected with acupuncture. one is related to Shen which is housed in the Heart and is seen as the spirits.
Therefore what you wrote about unity is also the Shen in acupuncture, related to Dao.

With two there is the division and is related to the Soul and this has a relation with Te, which has a relation with the 5 spirits which are housed in the Heart(Shen, but this is not the same as the first one I metioned, Hun(Ethereal Soul) in the Liver, Po(corpural soul) in the Lung, Yi(Intention) in the Spleen and Zhi(Willpower) in the Kidneys).
The deepest level is here the one between water(kidney) and fire(heart). Here is a good and a bad, here is dualty.

Then three is related with the 8 winds -the 8 trigrams- the qi that is making live possible.
On this level the so called Triple Heater Energy is working. That is the concept of triality in the body. That everything has three parts. Heaven- Man and earth.

When there is a connection between this 2 and 3 there are 8, on the deepest level or 12, on the more daily superficial level, ways of energy.

So this connection of 2 and 3 is the road to your so called authentic self. From the three you come in the 10.000 things.

All the best from Frank
 

toganm

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Hello Frank,
My thought about the two and three lately are connected with acupuncture. one is related to Shen which is housed in the Heart and is seen as the spirits.
Therefore what you wrote about unity is also the Shen in acupuncture, related to Dao.
Agreed.
With two there is the division and is related to the Soul and this has a relation with Te, which has a relation with the 5 spirits which are housed in the Heart(Shen, but this is not the same as the first one I metioned, Hun(Ethereal Soul) in the Liver, Po(corpural soul) in the Lung, Yi(Intention) in the Spleen and Zhi(Willpower) in the Kidneys).
If you see 1 as Shen then 2 is to me Po and 3 Hun. Suwen Chapter 8 places Heart as the first official followed by Lung and then followed by Liver.

Qi, 氣 which has the number 3 is governed by Lung which has the second position. But number 3 also represents Hun which is housed by the liver that is in the third position. and qi has the primitive form (气), meaning to pray, to offer a prayer or to demand
something. Normally this offering of the pray is done in a temple.

The ancestral qi, zong qi (宗氣), is accumulated by the lung. The character for zong (宗) is a temple for sacrifice to the ancestors, an ancestral hall.

Hun is what is believed to leave the body after death and what can be called upon in prayers. The wandering,roaming ghosts (you hun 游 魂) are usually the trouble makers as hun that roams about aimlessly, is because they have nobody to perform the pacifying sacrificial rites for them.

Therefore the nourishment and maintenance of life after death is through the worship of ancestors.
The deepest level is here the one between water(kidney) and fire(heart). Here is a good and a bad, here is dualty.
On the prenatal level yes but on the post natal level it is between liver and lung ( or Hun and Po). Hun wants to liberate and liberation is possible through death while Po wants to enjoy th earthly things;life

Then three is related with the 8 winds -the 8 trigrams- the qi that is making live possible.
On this level the so called Triple Heater Energy is working. That is the concept of triality in the body. That everything has three parts. Heaven- Man and earth.
No Triple heater does not belong here in my opinion.
When there is a connection between this 2 and 3 there are 8, on the deepest level or 12, on the more daily superficial level, ways of energy.
Hmm. you can not just use 2 and 3 to create 8. Yes 3 and 8 are related but it is only through the number 4 which represents time. Then one can reach 8 which is 2 times four or twelve which is 3 times four.
So this connection of 2 and 3 is the road to your so called authentic self. From the three you come in the 10.000 things.
Well, 3 is 1 actually, hence through 3, myriad things are born and through 3 one is related to the origin, 1. And as 3 the number of qi is governed by Lung, in a way, it is the connection to the ancestors, hence the lineage therefore one's authenticity.

All the best
Togan
 

fkegan

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King Wen Sequence Explained fully in Flux Tome context

The complete Flux Tome explanation of the I Ching (Flux Tome) is now newly rewritten and online, including the penultimate explanation of the King Wen Sequence from either Tao Te Ching poem 42 and/or the Pythagorean Tetraktys. In total the Flux Tome page on my website http://www.stars-n-dice.com/fluxtome.html now includes:

These six independent insights packed into this unique development:

1. Hexagram meaning from the set of Yang lines only.
2. Conceptual ideograms in simple American terms as a dialect of ancient Chinese.
3. Correspondence of the 360 degrees of the Zodiac to the line judgments of hexagrams 3 to 62.
4. The King Wen Sequence explained by Pythagorean Tetraktys and Lao Tzu poem 42
5. Structural interpretation of I Ching Oracles from The Oracle Book.
6. Integrated Stars-n-Dice perspective reviving the Global Awareness of the 6th Century BCE

Or for the entire Stars And Dice Perspective... http://www.stars-n-dice.com/stars-n-diceprocess.html
or just the website home page: http://www.stars-n-dice.com/index.html
Not totally complete (neither am I) but at least explicit and accessible to the open mind.

Dr. Frank R. Kegan :bows:
 

frank_r

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Hello Toganm,

Nice to hear from you again.

If you see 1 as Shen then 2 is to me Po and 3 Hun. Suwen Chapter 8 places Heart as the first official followed by Lung and then followed by Liver.


Qi, 氣 which has the number 3 is governed by Lung which has the second position. But number 3 also represents Hun which is housed by the liver that is in the third position.

I was playing with numbers what came in my mind when I was reading the article that Frank Kegan wrote. So I didn't think of the numbers regarding the Suwen.


I took the translation from The Secret Treatise of the spiritual Orchid from Claude larre and Elisabeth Rochat de la Vallee out my bookshelve to study this chapter again.)beautifull book I think).

Yes and regarding to this I agree of course.

For the Po and the Hun I normally think of 3 Hun - the Hun of the vegetable world, the Hun of the Animal world and the Hun of the Human world.
With Po I think of 7 po´s - the 5 senses,, the arm and legs as one and The Animal Soul as one together 7. Also the numbers 3 of The East and 7 in the West in The Lo Shu.

No Triple heater does not belong here in my opinion.

Hmm. you can not just use 2 and 3 to create 8. Yes 3 and 8 are related but it is only through the number 4 which represents time. Then one can reach 8 which is 2 times four or twelve which is 3 times four.

Well, 3 is 1 actually, hence through 3, myriad things are born and through 3 one is related to the origin, 1. And as 3 the number of qi is governed by Lung, in a way, it is the connection to the ancestors, hence the lineage therefore one's authenticity.

I was thinking here that the triple Heater was the pool where the energy is starting and where the Chong Mai, Ren Mai and Du mai are starting. Also the idea that you get in the yin earth points this energy from this 3W pool. For instance from Ki3, Le3, Lu9, Ha7 etc. here you get this energy of the three. In a way this also the connection with the ancesters not from a Lung perspective but now from a 3W perspective.

Regarding to this, this was the first time there was a exchange of energy possible.)the 3 is actually one, yes) Here is the first time there is real Qi, the idea of three, trigram, what Elisabeth Rochat is also calling the 8 winds the possible ways how Qi is possible. So with the creation of three there is all life possible.
So with making the trigrams you come to 8 trigrams, the 8 extra ordinary meridians.

And 4 there is the dimension of time yes. Four as being the four season as expression of the year the post natal sequence.

All the best from Frank
 

fkegan

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Hi Frank r,
I guess this thread has moved on to another subject...

Frank
 

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