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Thread: This system

  1. #11
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    Thanks, Brad. That's what I thought about the history, though I didn't know about the 6th member. But that reminds me... I dimly remember Margaret Pearson saying something about yin and yang being part of a trio to start with. Do you know anything about that?

    Ernobe - thank you for adding the signature and 5 element thread - I'll head over there for 5 element discussion.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by hilary View Post
    . I dimly remember Margaret Pearson saying something about yin and yang being part of a trio to start with. Do you know anything about that?
    In Chapter 42 of the Daodejing, Laozi mentions Yin and Yang as integrated by Qi. It's his only mention of Yin and Yang and it's as part of this trio. My unpoetic literal rendering:
    "The myriad beings carry the shadow and embrace the light
    Blending (these) vital breaths to make harmony"
    萬物負陰而抱陽,沖氣以為和。
    (Why can't I post the Chinese anymore?)
    Of course Yin and Yang don't appear in the Zhouyi either, except Yin is shade in 61.2. It plays with binary opposites of course, but not in a way that reflects or even anticipates later metaphysical Yin-Yang philosophy. I also don't think that's what the graphics of the Gua are about.
    Yin and Yang and the Five Movements didn't get put together and didn't get any traction in the culture until the 3rd Cent BCE, when Zou Yan (305-240) started the Yin-Yang School.

  3. #13
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    Even by the second century BCE the five-phase theory wasn't predominant
    in Chinese metaphysics. According to the Huainanzi (Ch. 3, tr. Graham),
    this is how it all came to be:
    When Heaven and Earth were not yet shaped, it was amorphous, vague, a
    blank, a blur; call it, therefore, The Primal Beginning. The Way
    began in the tenuous and transparent, the tenuous and transparent
    generated Space and Time, Space and Time generated the Ch'i. There
    was a shoreline in the Ch'i; the clear and soaring dissipated to
    become Heaven, the heavy and muddy congealed to become Earth. The
    concentration of the clear and subtle is easy, the concretion of the
    heavy and muddy is difficult; therefore Heaven was completed first
    and Earth afterwards.
    The superimposed quintessences of Heaven and Earth became the Yang
    and the YIn, the concentrating quintessences of Yin and Yang became
    the Four Seasons, the scattering quintessences of the Four Seasons
    became the myriad creatures. The hot Ch'i of the accumulating Yang
    generated fire, the quintessence of the Ch'i of fire became the sun;
    the cold Ch'i of the accumulating Yin became water, the quintessence
    of the Ch'i of water became the moon; the overflow of quintessences
    of sun and moon became the stars. Heaven received the sun, moom and
    stars, Earth received the showers of water and the dust and dirt.

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to bradford For This Useful Post:

    hilary (January 7th, 2018)

  5. #14
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    Sorry about the Chinese characters that aren't. Making those work broke a bunch of vital forum functionality - I never did find out why.

    Thank you for quotations.

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