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the significance of the decads?

petrosianii

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Can someone explain the significance of the decads? I keep getting people responding to my posts and using the concept of the decads. "This hexagram is the last one in the third decad of..." whatever. Apparently, it's an important concept in the hexagram sequence.

Thanks :confused:
 

fkegan

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The idea is that the King Wen Sequence is established in 6 sets of 10 with a final four hexagrams. Each decad is set up with the first hexagram, ending in 1 as the overall or total expression of the set, the Monad. Then the hex ending in 2 & 3 are the Dyad, the whole set in terms of polar opposites. Then the Tryad of hex 4,5,6 or the beginning, middle and final product of the process of this set or the decad overall and final the Tetrad or double dichotomy of hex 7 & 8, then again hex 9 & 10 as the final completion of the whole set.

It is simplest in the hexagrams 1 to 10 which are the physical water cycle with hex 1 being an ideogram of sunshine burning off swamp mist to form clouds to water the fields. And then hex 10 the Lake or Sea collecting all the waters flowing through the rivers and once again being evaporated by sunshine.

My take upon this perspective as explanation of the King Wen Sequence through the Pythagorean Tetraktys is in my signature.

Frank
 

hilary

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The decades also describe the ideal, formal shape of a human life, according to Scott Davis. And - there are certainly some structural regularities (eg with arrangement of trigrams and nuclear hexagrams) that suggest the authors of the sequence were aware of dividing it into decades.
 

petrosianii

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So, why is it important?

So, why is it important for one to understand the monads, decads, tryads, tetrads - for I Ching interpretation?
 

Sparhawk

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So, why is it important for one to understand the monads, decads, tryads, tetrads - for I Ching interpretation?

Well, I'm sure there will be digression but, IMO, it isn't... Furthermore, not all systems or tools of interpretation are really necessary for all people. For that I mean that, for all the similarities we have as human beings, every mind is different. Some minds are geared more towards image interpretations, some others towards text semantics, some others towards a combination of both, etc. This is something that's been around since, at least, the Han times. Many have tried to make it a scholarly dichotomy but in reality they are just different paths to the same goal.
 

hilary

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Well, I'm sure there will be digression but, IMO, it isn't... Furthermore, not all systems or tools of interpretation are really necessary for all people.
No dissent here - not a bit.

I think it's good to have a range of stuff in your interpretive toolkit, though, and maybe to have that extend beyond the ways of thinking (visual/ logical/ verbal...) that are normally comfortable for you. But the essentials are very, very simple. (Though we all disagree beautifully about what they are.)
 

Sparhawk

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Certainly! I'm a "tool junkie" myself. I love learning about them. I believe though, not to be overwhelmed by the amount of information, that such pursuits are better fitted for those with a few years of 'hard-knock' interpretations. There are things you must find by yourself--and I can't stress enough the "yourself" in this, really. You must have your own epiphanies. Your own "aha moments," mano-a-mano with the hexagrams and the text. That is the litmus test of the Yijing. If one passes that test and is still interested in the Yi, it is more than likely that one will dig deeper and deeper into other aspects of the classic. Well, at least that's my own story... :D
 

fkegan

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decads and Pythagoras

So, why is it important for one to understand the monads, decads, tryads, tetrads - for I Ching interpretation?

As has been noted, there is an open question on the matter of how to interpret the Yi. One school sticks to the traditional commentaries and the Confucian-based association of Yang and Yin to dualistic relationships like King/minister or husband and wife.

Another set believes the Yi is all about your personal relationship to your own oracles primarily with the question of what is your own context and what is the hard structure of the Yi being too abstract.

I am a strong advocate that there is a universal set of principles which are expressed through the various techniques developed by various peoples in various times and cultures. This overall structural approach leads to new insights about the Yi which gives the ability to understand the skeleton as it were over which the details of the Yi oracle are hung like the flesh, skin and costume of actors in a poetic drama.

There are two major ways to look at the King Wen Sequence. The first is to note that each even number hexagram is a reverse of the structure of the odd number hexagram before it. This fits into the yang-yin pairs perspective which many have tried to use to explain the KWS without ever coming to a complete explanation of every single hexagram.

The alternative perspective of mine is to use the Pythagorean formula (called the Tetraktys) in terms of the entire set of 10 hexagrams is made up of a monad or hexagram which explains the entire set of 10 overall and ends with the number 1 (1,11,21,31,41,51,61though its set is just four). Then comes the Dyad, or that overall theme in terms of polar opposites ending in 2 and 3. This breaks up the pairs, as the pair to hex ending in 3 is its preceding hex ending in 2, while its following even hex ending in 4 is part of an entire different set, the Triad or beginning, middle, end process perspective. This leaves the final set the Tetrad which is a double dichotomy of hex ending in 7 & 8 as one pair while hex ending in 9 & 10 as the final pair, with the tenth hexagram ending in 0 being the final quiescent state of the whole decad.

The first decad refers to the water cycle and it is quite literal with the traditional nature imagery of the trigrams illustrating in detail each position of the hexagrams through the monad, dyad, triad, and tetrad. I go over it in detail on my website on the page: http://www.stars-n-dice.com/fluxtome.html
Frank
 

petrosianii

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huh?

Frank, I appreciate your detail and thoroughness. I get the monad concept. However, you said

Then comes the Dyad, or that overall theme in terms of polar opposites ending in 2 and 3. This breaks up the pairs, as the pair to hex ending in 3 is its preceding hex ending in 2, while its following even hex ending in 4 is part of an entire different set, the Triad or beginning, middle, end process perspective. This leaves the final set the Tetrad which is a double dichotomy of hex ending in 7 & 8 as one pair while hex ending in 9 & 10 as the final pair, with the tenth hexagram ending in 0 being the final quiescent state of the whole decad.

I don't get it. I did look at your website; I still didn't get it, even after reading it.
 

petrosianii

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WHen you mentioned the sort of "conservative" vs. "liberal" schools of I Ching interpretation, however, I really can identify with that. not so very different than the fundamentalist (or conservative) bible theologians versus the liberal theologians. The one side interprets very strictly, very literally; the other, very loosely, liberally.

Me personally/ I go for the liberal camp...:)
 

petrosianii

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dohp!? I think a light bulb just went on!

1-10 is a decad. 1 is the monad of the decad. 2,3 is the dyad; 4,5,6 = tryad; 7,8,9,10 = tetrad! These ten numbers (corresponding to 10 hexagrams), when looked at like this and stacked upon one another, form a kind of triangular structure - I guess that's your Pythagorean Tetranolkyo...thingy or whatever its called???! Oh. I get it.

My problem? I'm terrible with numbers. Though I have multiple degrees in philosophy - number theory, philosophy of mathematics, and advanced logic - these were my three weakest subjects!! I'm totally right-brained (or is it left-brained? I forget). Arts and Letters, that's my specialty. Numbers? Well, I can barely count my change at the grocery store!

So, 1 is beginning of decad. It's the creative embryo, the generative force, or what have you, of the entire decad.

3,4,5 form the tryadd. 5 is the middle of the decad; also the middle of the tryad. So, theoretically, it's like the center, or the heart of the decad. Or, perhaps another way to describe it: Use Hegel's Dialectic of Thesis, Anti-Thesis, and Synthesis.

On this account, #1 is the Thesis of the entrie first decad. 10 is the Anti-Thesis. And 5 is the Synthesis?

Also, 4 is like a "sub" Thesis. 6 is a (sub) Anti-Thesis. And 5 is a (sub) Synthesis.

Do I have that right?

Damn! That's pretty friggin cool! That just might open up to me a whole new level of intepretive ability! Thanks Frank! Thanks Hilary!

I'm going to study this a bit more in depth, for sure. [bow]


"Once you know, then you're free."
 
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fkegan

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Not quite clear to me what you don't understand. It seems the Pythagorean notions of Dyad or polar opposites, Triad or process from beginning state, middle potential to final product and Tetrad of double dichotomy like the Cartesian axes is eluding you. The first set of 10 is the most concrete being all about the water cycle interaction of sunshine energy and Planet Earth topography which acts as an exemplar for the later more abstract sets.

If you have specific questions, hopefully I could help, but overall it is a different Tao than most of what one accepts as the context of either current math/science assumptions (binary rather than gestalt issues) and Yi assumptions based upon the training for the Imperial civil service exams on the Confucian classics. It is a major innovation to tie the Yi to Pythagorean metaphysics.

Frank
 

fkegan

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Tetraktys as Yi decad

I appreciate your enthusiasm and star bursts of insight though your counting is going a bit too quickly--though I agree when the light bulb lights it is exciting...

Thinking in terms of the triangle of 1 dot atop two dots atop three dots atop 4 dots which is what one sees if you Google Pythagorean Tetraktys, The entire 'thing' as it were is the set of 10 hexagrams which are then analyzed in terms of the 4 sets of perspectives monad through tetrad.

The hex ending in 1 is the monad or entire enveloping circle that contains the whole 'thing' in a single image. Very simple with hex 1 whose ancient ideogram is a drawing of a ray of sunshine burning off swampy mist to make cloud to water the fields with rain--the entire water cycle in a nut shell.

The Dyad is the pair of hex 2 vs. hex 3 as polar opposites. Hex 2 in this sense is its drawing of 6 yin lines, that is the various elevations of Earth topography which determine where rain will collect upon plowed fields, where it runs off where it forms a creek, where creeks join up into rivers and where rivers will collect in the sea (or lake). This is the negative pole in that it is all structure and potential.

Then its polar opposite is hex 3 the spring thunder that causes clouds to form rain. This is the positive pole because it is all energy up in the sky with no topography involved.

hex 4-5-6 are the triad of process with hex 4 the spring water that forms at the base of the mountain or the motive power of elevation to move water along.
Hex 5 is the middle stage of the process of the water cycle which is water up in the sunshine or in the heavens which forms clouds that further form up into rain.
And the final product is hex 6 or water falling as rain through the sunshine or sky where it will become flowing water along the Earth topography to complete the water cycle.

The Tetrad double dichotomies first pair along the earth itself Hex 7- water fallen into the topography of the earth where it either remains or runs off vs hex 8 where the water flows over the earth following the elevation of the topography.

And finally, the vertical pair first the energetic hex 9 which is the wind over the sunshine or the weather systems that sweep over the land as we see in the high clouds determining where water vapor will form clouds and rain or just scurry by..

and at last hex 10 where the water has collected in a quiet lake or sea with sunshine evaporating vapor to start the cycle all over again.


These philosophical perspectives allow for some amazing insights into hexagrams with the overall matrix then applied to sets 11 as the realm of societal relations completing in hex 20 or the clear example visible to all showing what the state of societal relations are; 21 as abstract ideals such as justice or karma completed in hex 30 of the regular motion of the sun through the heavens setting the timing of everything and completing the first half of the Yi.

The second half begins with proper courtship in hex 31, then human aspiration toward the Divine in 41 and the Divine present in human life in 51. That completes 6 sets of 10, the final four are overall archetypes, shown in the structure of hex 61 inner, then outer in 62 and the final two are completing and initiating.

That is the perspective.
Frank
 

petrosianii

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Ok. Now I understand! Thanks so much Frank. I can definitely see how locating a received hexagram in its place in the Tetraktys sequence would enhance one's readings.
 

petrosianii

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I like your comment, Luis. It makes a lot of sense I also agree that nothing I've found has helped me interpret the I Ching more than the "school of hard knocks!"
 

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