Friday, July 3, 2015

Wang Fu Zhi and Yi Dao

One of the principles of Yi Dao is that there is no pure Yin or Yang in the observable universe. The metaphor used is that of a barrel of pure alcohol. 

When a barrel of pure alcohol is opened it absorbs water from the air and dilutes itself, instantly lowering its purity. This principle is why I maintain that there is no such thing as a pure trigram manifestation in the observable world. As soon as a pure principle is present in the world it is mixed with other elements in the environment. 

I was reading a fascinating article by Jeeloo Liu the other day, Is Human History Predetermined in Wang Fuzhi's Cosmology? (Journal of Chinese Philosophy 28:3 (Septermber 2001) 321-337).

On page 324 I found this passage that is strongly reminiscent of my own view:

" theory, yin and yang are different kinds of qi and cannot be confused as one, even though in reality, yin and yang coexist in all cases. In Wang Fuzhi's cosmology, these two forms of qi mingle in every material object and nothing can be said to be pure yin or pure yang. Wang even argues that what the Book of Changes (Yijing) calls the pure yang and pure yin, the hexagram of Qian and the hexagram of Kun, are actually the mixture of six prominent yang with six hidden yin, and the mixture of six prominent yin with the six hidden yang, respectively. If even the purest yin and yang are mixtures of the two forms of qi, then nothing can be said to be solely yin or solely yang."

Thus Wang Fu Zhi posits that there are entities in the world that are nominally pure Yang and pure Yin, but in fact have the hidden seeds of their opposite. Yi Dao pulls things back a little further, with the position of Qian and Kun as entities that precede and produce reality, but are not present in it. As soon as the pure essence of Qian and Kun touch reality they break up and mix, becoming the parents of the six child trigrams.

First Draft of the Forest of Changes Completed Last Month

I finished the first draft of the Jiao Shi Yi Lin (The Forest of Changes) last month and now I am working on editing and proofing the work. It should be coming out in print within the next year. You can find a sample chapter on as well as here at the Amazon where I will be publishing it using the print on demand technology of CreateSpace:
The Forest is an unusual work, full of odd corners and popular legends, threads of Confucian orthodoxy cheek by jowl with the gayly dyed fabric of Chinese merchant superstitions.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Long time no see, but the Garden of Changes project is underway

All my life I have loved Chinese culture, and particularly the Yi Jing (I Ching).

After many years of not reading Chinese and bewailing the decisions that ended up with me fluent in Russian and ignorant of Chinese I finally decided to undertake the study of Chinese. That was in 2000. Now my knowledge of Chinese is still weak as a kitten, but I don't have the sense to refrain, and I'm translating the Jiao Shi Yi Lin into English (typically translated as the Forest of Changes, my translation is known as the Garden of Changes).

The 4096 verses of the Garden expand from the 64 base texts of the Yi Jing. The work was written in the Han Dynasty, and is rich in historic and literary allusions.

I started work in earnest on the project in January of 2014.

As part of Yi Dao Morning Reading I receive a text from the Yi Lin every day. This I translate, on some days doing some additional verses.

The project will take years. I haven't  determined how many years it will be. I plan to publish it as a Kindle eBook when it is completed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Yi Dao Reading for the Ten Days 27 Nov - 08-DEC-2012

Study Text from the Zhouyi 36:2 (Gua 36, Yao 2).

Lun Yu from 5:10

Gan Gong Li from 198

Da Zhuan 10

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Zhouyi Dao Reading Texts for 21-Nov-2012

Decade 17-27-NOV-2012 Meng, Judgment

Morning and Evening Reading Texts for 21-NOV-2012

Da Zhuan 1:9:5
Kongzi, Lunyu 4:19, 20, 21
Li Ji Tan Gong Yi 171 - 174

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Yi Dao Daily Reading for 20-NOV-2012

Decade 17-27-NOV-2012 Meng, Judgment

Morning and Evening Reading Texts for 20-NOV-2012

Da Zhuan 1:9:4
Kongzi, Lunyu 4:16, 17, 18
Li Ji Tan Gong Yi 168 - 170

Monday, November 19, 2012

New Format for Daily Readings

Yi Dao continues, the rhythm of readings and meditations flowing on through eternity. The texts intertwined over the figures are like the leather bindings. In time they are lost, and the bamboo slips that are the figures themselves are rearranged, but never wholly lost. We are, however changing the Order's publication of the Zhouyi lesson text for the day. That will now be issued daily in the Temple of the Singularity (in SL and/or RL), but there will be only one public text published every ten days.

The text for the first decade then is Meng, Judgment, drawn on Saturday last. That will also be the Gua I represent in the Order for the next cycle (and I haven't made up my mind quite how long a cycle will be. Could be ten days, could be 10 thousand years).That is the 'lot' of the Prelate, who at present is the only knowing member of the Order.  He plays the fool, for Meng is the youthful fool, similar to the one you see in Tarot decks, (only fatter, and in a robe). Now I am the only knowing member of the Order, but there are three people who have been presented Yi Dao circlets for various reasons. Each of them is entitled to the honors of the 64 Gua, the second tier of the Order's hierarchy. But they don't know that they are in the Order, and may never know. And, as far as I know, none of them have memorized the Gua, so they cannot occupy the ritual place of on of the 64 Gua. The remainder of the places in the Order are open, and eventually will be assigned. There is one other special set of Gua that is unusual. It is the Dragon and Phoenix Yao, the 'extra' Yao that are read when Qian becomes Kun or Kun Qian. I will speak more of this in future entries.

Decade 17-27-NOV-2012 Meng, Judgment

Commentary on the readings: 君子以非礼勿履。

Morning and Evening Reading Texts for 19-NOV-2012

Da Zhuan 1:9:3
Kongzi, Lunyu 4:13, 14, 15
Li Ji Tan Gong Yi 165 - 167