Sunday, September 30, 2012

Shuo Gua Zhuan 說卦傳 (8)

說卦傳   第八章


Shuo Gua Zhuan    Chapter 8

Qian can refer to a horse; Kun, a cow; Zhen, a dragon; Xun, a chicken; Kan, a pig; Li, a pheasant; Gen, a dog; Dui, a sheep.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Comments welcome but no links

If anyone wants to comment on my postings, as long as they are done in a civilized manner, the comment is welcome and there will be fruitful discussion. Putting links to another website will not be allowed unless it is a third party website and the materials are relevant to the discussion.

Joseph Yu

Shuo Gua Zhuan 說卦傳 (7)

說卦傳  第七章

  乾,健也﹔坤,順也﹔ 震,動也﹔ 巽,入也﹔坎,陷也﹔離,麗也﹔艮,止也﹔兌,說也。

Shua Gua Zhuan   Chapter 7
 Qian is the symbol of vibrancy; Kun, submissiveness; Zhen, initiation; Xun, penetration; Kan, entrapment; Li, brilliance; Gen, termination; Dui, joyfulness.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"Not Simplistic" Does Not Mean "Unchanging"

Some scholars in the past advocated the three meanings of the word Yi 易:

(1) Simple 簡易
(2) Not simplistic 不易
(3) Changing 變易

I combined the first two into one as they are talking about almost the same thing. The idea of Yi is simple because it reveals the nature of the Universe, something we can see and understand. However simple, it is by no means simplistic. That is why Shao Yong spent his whole life studying the Yi and his fervent love for Yi made him unaware of the heat in summer and cold in winter. This shows that Yi is not simplistic. One will need an untiring effort to understand the real meaning of Yi. Besides, one has to shake off arrogance and prepare room for other ideas which are simple at first glance but not simplistic as you need to go deeper with no ends.

Some people misunderstand that the second meaning is "Unchanging". Well, things change with time and space. Even truth is not an exception. What is true in one place may not be so in another place. What is true today may not be so tomorrow. There is no "unchanging truth". For example, Newton's laws are considered truth but Einstein's relativity principles show that they are not applicable in certain domains.

If you want to learn Yijing, shake of your ego and distance yourself from arrogance. When you think a bottle is full and that it cannot take anymore, then it is just an empty bottle.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Shuo Gua Zhuan 說卦傳 (6)

說卦傳   第六章

  神也者,妙萬物而為言者也。動萬物者,莫疾乎雷﹔橈萬物者,莫疾乎風﹔燥萬物者,莫熯乎火﹔ 說萬物者,莫說乎澤﹔潤萬物者,莫潤乎水﹔終萬物始萬物者,莫盛乎艮。故水火相逮,雷風不相悖,山澤通氣,然后能變化,既成萬物也。

Shuo Gua Zhuan Chapter 6

When we mention spirit, we are referring to what makes everything wonderful. Among all that can set things in motion none is as fast as Thunder. What can spread all things is not as effective as Wind. What can dry all things is not as parching as Fire. What can please all things is not as enjoyable as Marsh. What can moisten all things is not as enriching as Water. What can bring all things to a stop which is another beginning is not as powerful as Mountain (Gen). This is the reason why water and fire complement each other. Thunder and Wind do not bring confrontation. Mountain and Marsh share the same flow of qi. In this way, transformation is ongoing and successfully forming all things.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Core Idea of Yi 易

The core idea of Yi is to change. In my translation of Shuo Gua Zhuan Chapter 3:


Recollection of the past is natural. Anticipation of the future is artificial. Therefore, Yi is against pre-determined fate.

Confucius clearly pointed out that the past cannot be changed. It is natural to know that history is history that cannot be changed. However, when we look into the future, we can anticipate what is coming but we can change the outcome with our effort. The two words andare antonyms. The images are going with the current and going against the current. Although the words and have the same pronounciation in Cantonese, they are two entirely different words and cannot be mixed. Making such a mistake will end up having your buttocks beaten by your primary school teacher.

To say that "Yi is to know the future" is misleading if not ignorant. To "know" the future implies that the future cannot be changed. It is very pessimistic and non-constructive. It is simply against the concept of Yi - to change the future.

We can anticipate what we will encounter in the future but it is up to us within the limits of our capability whether to change the outcome or not. If what we anticipate to encounter is good, then we can make the best use of what we have to optimize the result. If what we encounter is difficulty, then we can change the path and the strategy to overcome the difficulty and get our desired outcome.

To anticipate the future is not the same as to know the future. This is not just a matter of translation, it is a matter of understanding the Yi.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Shuo Gua Zhuan 說卦傳 (5)

說卦傳   第五章

   萬物出乎震,震東方也。 齊乎巽,巽東南也,齊也者,言萬物之潔齊也。離也者,明也,萬物皆相見,南方之卦也,聖人南面而聽天下,向明而治,蓋取諸此也。 坤也者地也,萬物皆致養焉,故曰致役乎坤。兌正秋也,萬物之所說也,故曰說﹔言乎兌。 戰乎乾,乾西北之卦也,言陰陽相薄也。坎者水也,正北方之卦也,勞卦也,萬物之所歸也,故曰勞乎坎。 艮東北之卦也,萬物之所成, 終而所成始也,故曰成言乎艮。

Shuo Gua Zhuan   Chapter 5

The creator emerges from Zhen. He puts everything in order at Xun. The beauty is displayed at Li.  Hard work is done at Kun. Joy is found at Dui. At Qian, fighting for accomplishment goes on. Exhaustion is found at Kan. At Gen, the work is complete and everything comes to rest.

All things emerge from Zhen and Zhen is the east. All things are displayed in an orderly* way and Xun is the southeast. Li means brightness. All things come forth to embrace each other. It is the trigram of the south. The sages face the south to listen to all the happenings under Heaven and rules with brilliance. The idea originates from this. Kun is our earth that breeds and nourishes all living things. This is why Kun is where untiring services are manifested.  Dui is mid-autumn that is the season of joy. Therefore it is said: Dui is hailing in happiness. Fighting goes on at Qian which is the trigram of the northwest. This is because yin and yang compete to govern. Kan, being water, is the trigram of the north. It is the trigram of hard work done with accomplishment. It is where all things come to rest. Hence the saying is to repose in exhaustion at Kan.  Gen is the trigram of the northeast. It is where all things come to completion. What is the end breeds a new beginning. Therefore it is said completion is in Gen.

* Orderly way here means nicely presented in a clean and pure manner.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Shuo Gua Zhuan 說卦傳 (4)

說卦傳   第四章

雷以動之,風以散之,雨以潤之,日以烜之,艮以止之,兌以說 之,

Shuo Gua Zhuan   Chapter 4

Thunder initiates motion, wind disperses the seeds, rain moistens them, the sun warms everything up, what symbolizes Gen stops the movement, Dui displays the joy, Qian puts all things in order, Kun keeps them in storage.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Shuo Gua Zhuan 説卦傳 (3)

說卦傳  第三章



Shuo Gua Zhuan  Chapter3

Heaven and Earth occupy determinate positions. Mountain and Marsh communicate with their qi. Thunder and Wind excite each other. Water and Fire interact but do not shoot at each other. Among the eight trigrams, there is mutual correlation.

Recollection of the past is natural. Anticipation of the future may be artificial*. Therefore, Yi is against the idea of pre-determined fate.
* Note: What we do may be against the current to affect the natural outcome in the future. This is the positive meaning of "Yi 易".


Monday, September 10, 2012

Shuo Gua Zhuan 說卦傳 (2)

說卦傳   第二章

  昔者聖人之作易也,將以順性命之理。 是以立天之道,曰陰與陽﹔立地之道,曰柔與剛﹔立人之道,曰仁與義。兼三才而兩之,故易六畫而成卦。 分陰分陽,迭用柔剛,故易六位而成章。

Shuo Gua Zhuan    Chapter 2

When the ancient sages wrote the Yi, they had in mind the conformity with the nature and the way of life of Man. Therefore, yin and yang were to establish the way of Heaven. Softness and stiffness were to establish the way of Earth. Benevolence and righteousness were to establish the way of Man. Each trigram embraced the three qualities – Heaven, Earth and Man and is repeated to form a hexagram. Yin and yang were distinguished to be represented by soft and rigid lines occupying designated positions to produce a hexagram.


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Shuo Gua Zhuan 說卦傳 (1)

Shuo Gua Zhuan is one of the Ten Wings to supplement the Yi Jing. It becomes an indispensable tool in the study of Feng Shui and divination. I will translate this wing to the best I can in simple English as a prerequisite to other subjects in Chinese metaphysics.

說卦傳  第一章



Shuo Gua Zhuan   Chapter 1

In the old days, when the sages revealed the Yi, they respectfully sought help from Spiritual Intelligence and developed the rules of manipulating the yarrow stalks. The number 3 represents Heaven with 2 the earth. All other numbers are then derived from these.

How the yin and yang change are observed and the trigrams are established, based on the strength and weakness, the full and divided lines (yao) are developed. With the harmony from ethics and reasons from righteousness, when reasons are exhausted and the nature of life lifted to the highest, this is the mandate from Heaven.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

One or Two things about Date Selection

Those who play mahjong (a game similar to card game played by four participants but using a special set of tiles instead of cards) know how important luck is. I play this game a lot and I recorded all the results in the past several years. This provides good statistics to analyse how the luck cycle runs.

First I look at the stems and branches of the month and day together with the hours during which the game goes on. I am surprised to find that the so-called beneficial and harmful elements do not affect the game at all. The colours of the clothing also have nothing to do with inviting good luck or bad luck.

Next I use the QMDJ charts to see what happens. Well, this is more complicated as it also indicates the directions and whether to take offensive or defensive strategies. However, it is quite difficult to apply the technique for a game like mahjong. You have only 25% to select the seat and may be 50% to be assigned the seat you want. Whether you should be offensive or defensive depends on the cards and situations that cannot be predetermined. In this case, date selection is of no use at all.

I seldom use date selection unless I have to do something important and that date selection can help. I select the date and time to sign a listing agreement with a realtor to list a house to sell or to lease and I am more than satisfied with the results. I picked a date to open an account to trade stocks and shares and it proved to be good. However, I do not pick a date to actually buy or sell as I think other factors are more important for such actions. Luck is not everything.

I picked (among several convenient days) the date for my son's wedding. Well, it turned out to be raining for the whole week except that day and there was no unexpected interference. Everyone was happy to enjoy the occasion. That is all. All other things about the marriage depend on other factors. Date selection is not to be praised for success or condemned for failure.