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Thread: Where does the Yin Yang symbol come from?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 1970
    swamp in river delta in Holland


    Quote Originally Posted by meng View Post
    Guess I see the universe as analog, more like the beating of a heart.
    I guess what I meant with math was not clear. I didn't just mean the numbers, I meant the balance in everything. Matter and space and time, they are all interrelated, nothing stands on its own, with its own rules, limited to itself. No size or weight or speed or whatever is alone, it is part of many different things. The structure of one thing can be recognized in other things as well. Even love can be found back among the stars and planets. Even inanimate things attract or repel each other. We might call that a primitive form, but is it? It might all be the same rhythm which resonates through all.
    'There's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.'
    < Leonard Cohen >

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    neegula (April 18th, 2010)

  3. #12
    meng Guest


    LiSe, perhaps it was I who wasn't clear. I was agreeing with you and with Robert, particularly that you both pointed out that the math concepts you both referred to were not "dry" math.

    I merely elaborated on what I perceive to be the opposite of dry.

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    robertluoshu (April 17th, 2010)

  5. #13

    Default Art and the Symbolism of the Compass

    As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.
    Albert Einstein

    God forbid that Truth should be confined to Mathematical Demonstration!
    William Blake

    Math is not everything, for sure. But the early Chinese revered Math as represented by the Tai Chi symbol, which is symbolic of gnomon Math.

    The compass can represent anything to anyone, it can simply be a toy to draw circles with, however, for these genius artists, the compass had special meaning.

    The compass in the following art is associated with Math as a symbol that:
    • establishes order over the cosmos to promote the evolution and prosperity of humankind
    • serves as a foundation of the conclusions attained through science and philosophy

    Great artists such as Durer, Michelangelo, Kircher, Da Vinci and Brammante were also mathematicians. Plato had been quoted as saying that if one did not know geometry, they were not welcome to the inner circle. Durer and Da Vinci shared the philosophy that without the aid of arithmetic and geometry art could not attain perfection.

    Let the art speak………..

    The significance of the compass (Math) to these artists is elegantly demonstrated.

    Albrecht Durer’s Melancholia I has a 4x4 Magic Square to emphasize the concept of numbers (arithmetic), just as the scales and hour glass signify the importance of weight and time measurement. Geometry holds the compass as the set square sits at her feet.

    In all the art examples shown here, the compass (Math) is prominently featured.

    The point to all of this is to demonstrate that throughout time Math has always had the highest respect from the great sages, visionary artists and architects. This ideology can be traced back several thousand years to the Chinese reverence for Math from old Chinese texts (Chou pei suan jing and the Yi Jing) and funerary art.

    The Math symbols from this old established (Chinese) tradition are the:

    Math was a language that any evolved culture from any era would be able to understand and implement for society’s benefit. The tradition was kept alive because of its practicality and was forever recorded in history with its symbols and art.

    And the gnomon was the king.
    Last edited by robertluoshu; April 19th, 2010 at 08:25 PM. Reason: many

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    pantherpanther (April 18th, 2010)

  7. #14
    meng Guest



    You're no doubt familiar with this 2.2 commentary from Wilhelm?

    Straight, square, great.
    Without purpose,
    Yet nothing remains unfurthered.

    The symbol of heaven is the circle, and that of earth is the square. Thus squareness is a primary quality of the earth. On the other hand, movement in a straight line, as well as magnitude, is a primary quality of the Creative (1). But all square things have their origin in a straight line and in turn form solid bodies. In mathematics, when we discriminate between lines, planes and solids, we find that rectangular planes result from straight lines, and cubic magnitudes from rectangular planes. The Receptive (2) accommodates itself to the qualities of the Creative (1) and makes them its own. Thus a square develops out of a straight line and a cube out of a square. This is compliance with the laws of the Creative (1); nothing is taken away, nothing added. Therefore the Receptive (2) has no need of a special purpose of its own, nor of any effort" yet everything turns out as it should.

    Nature creates all beings without erring: this is its foursquareness. It tolerates all creatures equally: this is its greatness. Therefore it attains what's right for all without artifice or special intentions. Man achieves the height of wisdom when all that he does is as self-evident as what nature does.
    I wonder if you'd care to comment on it.

  8. #15


    Quote Originally Posted by meng View Post

    You're no doubt familiar with this 2.2 commentary from Wilhelm?

    I wonder if you'd care to comment on it.
    Hello Meng,

    I am not qualified to comment on Wilhelm's commentary - am not familiar with his writings or the Hexagrams. And I do not know anything about the Yi either.

    I'm just a boring Math guy............

  9. #16
    meng Guest


    Hi Robert,

    Sorry to put you on the spot, thanks for answering.

    That 2.2 commentary has interested me for a long time, and though I'm the opposite of you in math aptitude, lol, I find the commentary actually folding (or unfolding) a single line into the three dimensional world which we perceive around us: the means of being dimensionally actualized or realized.

    I see that as an example, or possibly just an interpretation, of what you've been saying.

  10. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 1971
    tilburg - Netherlands


    If looking into math and dimensions. Than we all are familiair with the first four. The point, the line, 3d space and time this are the first four dimensions. We all know this and we are familiair with the math of these four dimension, whole are pollitics, health system, economics are based on these dimensions and the theory and math that are comming from this. This is all part of the Physical matrix.

    But we evolved further and also are understanding math of the 5th and 6th dimension. the 5th dimension is where there are definitions like scalar field http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scalar_field,
    hyperspace http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperspace,
    zeropoint http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-point_energy,
    toroidial field http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aharono...%93Bohm_effect, comming from.

    Translated to daily live situations is this 5th dimension, the field that all the redlights are producing. We all know the rule to stop at red and drive at green, in a way this is the field that we all have agreed to follow. In a way it is the dimension of love, that we cann live together without chaos. The free electrons in this hyperspace fields are regulated and moved by something. This is the Energetic matrix.

    Then the 6th dimension is the yin dimension of this 5th dimension, it is the holy geometry behind this field. It are the computers that regulate all the redlights. But it is also what Robert mentioned; The Lo Shu, He Tu, The Fushi and King Wen Sequence, the holy geometry of Da Vince etc.
    What Bruce is saying when he is pointing at 2.2., is the importance of this holy geometry. And there is nothing yinner than 2.2.

    It is also the theory of TCM(traditional Chinese medicine) and Ayurvedic medicine. Then the normal meridian system is 5th dimension and the extra ordinary(Wonder) meridian system is 6th dimension.

    The first 6th dimension are the dimensions of matter, and the last 6 of energy. The first 6 are more of the west the last 6 more of the East. The Yi gives insight in dimension 7 till 12.

    The man behind this theory that went further where famous man like Einstein and Schrödinger http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erwin_Schr%C3%B6dinger stopped is called Berkhard Heim.

    Last edited by frank_r; April 18th, 2010 at 02:59 PM.

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    robertluoshu (April 18th, 2010)

  12. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Las Vegas--rolling a pair of dice


    As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. Albert Einstein
    Hi Robert,

    This is one of my favorite quotes from Einstein! I think of it along with this talk before the Prussian Academy of Science with the Title "Is the Universe Euclidean?" To which Albert answered that it was a CHOICE physics could make, and since everyone at that time had studied Euclidean Geometry it made more sense to choose to see the Universe as Euclidean and the let physics concepts of time, space, etc change as required by observed data. Fascinating thinking.

    I prefer the straight stick to the gnomon. However, all that truly matters is to set one up so the sun casts a shadow as it moves through the day and the year. That is the observation that matters for each of us and then we can make our own art in images, words or equations from there. This is the essence of all I Ching and other human mapping or science or many other insights.

    Hi Meng,

    The quote you cite from Wilhelm is reasonably straightforward. It is quite similar to remarks in Aristotle and fits to basic observation. Upon the Earth, as Robert has shown in great detail, things are measured in terms of right triangles or other things based upon perpendiculars or T-squares. Thus, the Earth is often symbolized by the square, such as the four corners of the Earth and other allusions.

    Everything we observe in the heavens appears to be traveling eternally in cycles or circles or orbits. Therefore Heaven has a circle for its symbolism. Thus the circle of the Zodiac, the ecliptic,
    the crystal spheres, etc. etc.

    The sundial, the vertical stick, etc enables us upon the Earth to observed the eternal motions of the sun, etc as they travel through their cycles or circles.

    Frank R,

    The three dimensions of Euclid (space) and that of the mechanical clock (time) are what were essential to tracking observations for publication in physics journals in the early 20th century when Einstein dealt with such things.

    Back in the day, when I was developing an Open Systems Thermodynamics based upon insights in footnotes in Teilhard, I used the fifth dimension for local organization or what he called Complexity. That left the sixth dimension for relevance of the relationship of each frame of reference or entity to the Universe overall or the Divine.

    Nice to see such concepts are still in play.

    I Ching hexagram meaning from line structure
    and King Wen Sequence Explained: www.stars-n-dice.com/fluxtome.html
    Learn astrology meaning of signs, houses, planets from just the dot-number patterns on the dice cube:http://www.stars-n-dice.com/learnastrology.html
    New Yi Oracle Perspective:http://www.stars-n-dice.com/vaginaliching.html

  13. #19

    Default Art and the Symbolism of the Carpenter's Square

    Astronomy is the secret science of the priest-kings.
    -Hellmut Wilhelm

    The priest-king was a sage who could prognosticate or divine the future through the use of math, astronomy, and the Yi Jing. The tools of the sage were the compass and carpenter’s square.

    The Chinese character gong was understood as an image of a person with a compass and carpenter’s square and is said to have the same meaning as wu – the spirit intermediary or shaman.

    Divine Symbolism

    There is a divine sage-like significance with Chinese symbols and characters incorporating the carpenter’s square and the compass. These were math symbols that also represented the square and the circle, symbols of divine wisdom and symbols that could describe the universe.

    When the Chinese character for compass is combined with the Chinese word for carpenter’s square, a new word is formed, kuei chu: to establish order, the moral standard, the way things should be. This was a major theme in funerary art in the royal tombs of the Han dynasty, over 2,000 years ago.

    These are the symbols of Fu Shi (the discoverer of the Hexagrams) and Nu Wa.

    The Chinese developed the theme of the square and the circle for many thousands of years in their art, architecture, and ceremonial artifacts.

    Here are some examples of the use of this Chinese character and the carpenter’s square in early Christian art.



    The math instruments: the carpenter’s square (gnomon) and the compass, were the basis of astronomy, the calendar, and the Yi.

    Tracing the sun’s annual movement (the solar cycle) by use of the gnomon is symbolized by the Yin Yang symbol of the Yi Jing, also known as the Tai Chi symbol.

    In summary, the carpenter's square and the compass must have had divine significance to the early Christian church as the church borrowed these sacred symbols from the early Chinese.

    Understanding the math of the gnomon will lead to a better understanding of the Yi.
    Last edited by robertluoshu; June 2nd, 2010 at 04:03 PM. Reason: many

  14. #20
    Join Date
    May 2006
    southwest mountains of Colorado


    This is an old thread that I missed, and I also might have missed a better comment than this:

    The Yin-Yang symbol, called the Taijitu, is not as ancient in China as it is in the west, where it's found in Celtic, Roman and Etruscan iconography. It seems to have been introduced in China by Lai Zhide during the Ming Dynastry to substitute for the black and white concentric circles in Zhou Dunyi's Taijitu http://www.hermetica.info/Taijitu.jpg which is how the Yin-Yang interaction was represented prior to that.

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