Comments On I-Ching
3rd October 1999
Of the sixty four hexagrams, the first hexagram, Ch'ien is the most important. I will only talk about it. The others are more on philosophical aspect in general. My understanding of I-Ching is when our fertilized egg has reached sixty four cells, it has life. If we dissect the cells, the whole will die. When they reach thirty two cells, we can separate them into thirty two individual cells, each can multiply and grow into a baby. In the animal world, the maximum is thirty two cells when they have life. Also it takes six days to multiply from a fertilized egg into sixty-four cells (God created the earth in six days).
The original sixty four hexagrams have no words. The old sages transmitted to their disciples personally. Later people like King Wen, Confucius etc wrote down their comments about the hexagrams.
Ch'ien -- The Creative
The Creative is strong.
The Creative works sublime success,
Furthering through perseverance.
Great indeed is the sublimity of the Creative, to which all beings owe their beginning and which permeates all heaven.
The clouds pass and the rain does its work, and all individual beings flow into their forms. Because the holy man is clear as to the end and the beginning, as to the way in which each of the six stages completes itself in its own time, he mounts on them toward heaven as though on six dragons.
The way of the Creative works through change and transformation, so that each thing receives its true nature and destiny and comes into permanent accord with the Great Harmony: this is what furthers and what perseveres.
He towers high above the multitude of beings, and all lands are united in peace.
The movement of heaven is full of power.
Thus the superior man makes himself strong and untiring.
Nine at the beginning:
a) Hidden dragon. Do not act.
b) "Hidden dragon. Do not act." For the light-giving force is still below.
Nine in the second place:
a) Dragon appearing in the field. It furthers one to see the great man.
b) "Dragon appearing in the field." Already the influence of character reaches far.
Nine in the third place:
a) All day long the superior man is creatively active. At nightfall his mind is still beset with cares. Danger. No blame.
b) "All day long the superior man is creatively active." One goes to and fro on the right path.
Nine in the fourth place:
a) Waving flight over the depths. No blame.
b) "Waving flight over the depths." Advance is not a mistake.
Nine in the fifth place:
a) Flying dragon in the heavens. It furthers one to see the great man.
b) "Flying dragon in the heavens." This shows the great man at work.
Nine at the top:
a) Arrogant dragon will have cause to repent.
b) "Arrogant dragon will have cause to repent." For what is at the full cannot last.
When all the lines are nines:
a) There appears a flight of dragons without heads. Good fortune.
b) "All the lines are nines." It is the nature of heaven not to appear as head.
On the Hexagram as a Whole
a) 1. Of all that is good, sublimity is supreme. Succeeding is the coming together of all that is beautiful. Furtherance is the agreement of all that is just. Perseverance is the foundation of all actions.
a) 2. Because the superior man embodies humaneness, he is able to govern men. Because he brings about the harmonious working together of all that is beautiful, he is able to unite them through the mores. Because he furthers all beings, he is able to bring them into harmony through justice. Because he is persevering and firm, he is able to carry out all actions.
a) 3. The superior man acts in accordance with these four virtues. Therefore it is said: The Creative is sublime, successful, furthering, persevering.
b) 1. The sublimity of the Creative depends on the fact that it begins everything and has success.
b) 2. Furtherance and perseverance: thus it brings about the nature and way of all beings.
b) 3. The Creative, by positing the beginning, is able to further the world with beauty. Its true greatness lies in the fact that nothing is said about the means by which it furthers.
b) 4. How great indeed is the Creative! It is firm and strong, moderate and correct, pure, unalloyed and spiritual.
b) 5. The six individual lines open up and unfold the thought, so that the character of the whole is explained through its different sides.
b) 6. "In his own time he mounts toward heaven on six dragons. The clouds pass and the rain falls." All this means peace coming to the world.
On the Lines
On nine at the beginning:
a) Nine at the beginning means: "Hidden dragon. Do not act." What does this signify? The Master said: 'This means a person who has the character of a dragon but remains concealed. He does not change to suit the outside world; he makes no name for himself. He withdraws from the world, yet is not sad about it. If lucky, he carries out his principles; if unlucky, he withdraws with them. Verily, he cannot be uprooted; he is a hidden dragon.
b) "Hidden dragon. Do not act." The reason is that he is below.
c) "Hidden dragon. Do not act." The power of the light principle is still covered up and concealed.
d) The superior man acts in accordance with the character that has become perfected within him. This is a way of life that can submit to scrutiny on any day.
Being hidden means that he is still in concealment and not given recognition, that if he should act he would not as yet accomplish anything. In this case the superior man does not act.
On nine in the second place:
a) Nine in the second place means: "Dragon appearing in the field. It furthers one to see the great man." What does this signify?
The Master said: 'This means a man who has the character of a dragon and is moderate and correct. Even in ordinary speech he is reliable. Even in ordinary actions he is careful. He does away with what is false and preserves his integrity. He improves his era and does not boast about it. His character is influential and transform men.'
In the Book of Changes it is said: "Dragon appearing in the field. It furthers one to see the great man." This refers to a man who has the qualities of a ruler.
b) "Dragon appearing in the field." The reason is that he is not needed as yet.
c) "Dragon appearing in the field." Through him the whole world attains beauty and clarity.
d) The superior man learns in order to gather material; he questions in order to sift it. Thus he becomes generous in nature and kindly in his actions.
On nine in the third place:
a) Nine in the third place means: "All day long the superior man is creatively active. At nightfall his mind is still beset with cares. Danger. No blame. "What does this signify?
The Master said: 'The superior man improves his character and labors at his task. It is through loyalty and faith that he fosters his character. By working on his words, so that they rest firmly on truth, he makes his work enduring. He knows how this is to be achieved and achieves it; in this way he is able to plant the right seed. He knows how it is to be brought to completion and so completes it; thereby he is able to make it truly enduring. For this reason he is not proud in his superior position nor disappointed in an inferior one. Thus he is creatively active and, as circumstances demand, careful, so that even in a dangerous situation he does not make a mistake.
b) "All day long he is creatively active." This is the way in which he carries out his undertakings.
c) "All day long he is creatively active." He moves with the time.
d) The nine in the third place shows redoubled firmness and is moreover not in a central place. On the one hand, it is not yet in the heavens above; on the other hand, it is no longer in the field below. Therefore one must be creatively active and, as circumstances demand, careful. Then, despite the danger, no mistake is made.
On nine in the fourth place:
a) Nine in the fourth place means: "Wavering flight over the depths. No blame." What does this signify?
The Master said: 'In ascent or descent there is no fixed rule, except that one must do nothing evil. In advance or retreat no sustained perseverance avails, except that one must not depart from one's nature. The superior man fosters his character and labors at his task, in order to do everything at the right time. Therefore he makes no mistake.'
b) "Wavering flight over the depths." He tests his powers.
c) "Wavering flight over the depths." Here the way of the Creative is about to transform itself.
d) The nine in the fourth place is too rigid and not moderate. It is not yet in the heaven above, neither is it any longer in the field below nor in the middle regions of the human. Therefore it is said: "Wavering flight...." To waver means that one has freedom of choice, therefore one makes no mistake.
On nine in the fifth place:
a) Nine in the fifth place means: "Flying dragon in the heavens. It furthers one to see the great man." What does this signify?
The Master said: 'Things that accord in tone vibrate together. Things that have affinity in their inmost natures seek one another. Water flows to what is wet, fire turns to what is dry. Clouds follow the dragon, wind follows the tiger. Thus the sage rises, and all creatures follow him with their eyes. What is born of heaven feels related to what is above. What is born of earth feels related to what is below. Each follows its kind.
b) "Flying dragon in the heavens." This is the supreme way of ruling.
c) "Flying dragon in the heavens." This is the place appropriate to heavenly character.
d) The great man accords in his character with heaven and earth; in his light, with the sun and moon; in his consistency, with the four seasons; in the good and evil fortune that he creates, with gods and spirits. When he acts in advance of heaven, heaven does not contradict him. When he follows heaven, he adapts himself to the time of heaven. If heaven itself does not resist him, how much less do men, gods, and spirits!
On nine at the top:
a) Nine at the top means: "Arrogant dragon will have cause to repent." What does this signify?
The Master said: 'He who is noble and has no corresponding position, he who stands high and has no following, he who has able people under him who do not have his support, that man will have cause for regret at every turn.'
b) "Arrogant dragon will have cause to repent." Everything that goes to extremes meets with misfortune.
c) "Arrogant dragon will have cause to repent." In time he exhausts himself.
d) Arrogance means that one knows how to press forward but not how to draw back, that one knows existence but not annihilation, knows something about winning but nothing about losing. (example PAP and Lee Kuan Yew)
It is only the holy man who understands how to press forward and how to draw back, who knows existence and annihilation as well, without losing his true nature. The holy man alone can do this.
On all the nines changing:
a) When The Creative, the great, undergoes change in all the nines, the world is set in order.
b) When The Creative, the great, undergoes change in all the nines, one perceives the law of heaven.
This hexagram tells us about the great man and world peace. I think most true Taoists follow the advice of this hexagram, so they did not act; and they were mostly unknown.
My explanation: hexagram has six lines, so six is an important factor. The peak can be reached at the fifth line; this show we can be active at the government stage, not the king, president or head of country stage. Flying dragon without head is telling us the head of country has to be non active. Since history, the head of country is always active, so the sad ending of each dynasty. The sage-king is a man of inaction. (Confucius always mentioned sage-kings, he was wrong.) 2nd Aug 2001 - God created the universe in six days. This can be explained by the fertilization of the egg by a sperm. After six days, the fertilized egg has life. If you divide the cells, they die. The total number of cells should be 64 to tally the number of hexagrams in the I-Ching.
This hexagram is talking about the sage-king, the development he has to go through. Once he has established himself as Sage King, then there will be world peace or GREAT HARMONY.
15th Nov 2001 - The ruler of the hexagram is the fifth line. This is the active ruler and must be below the rightful supreme leader at the sixth line at the top. Therefore the top position is meant for spiritual leader who cultivates himself, family towards the country prosperity and the world peace. He has to be a man, married with at least a son. His main duty is to meditate and eat vegetarian or fruitarian food. If I am this person, that means I have to be the president of Singapore. Therefore Lee Kuan Yew and the PAP have to topple to make way for me. Any person blocking my ascend will be punished. When this can happen, you have to see for yourself. Before that people will attack me for revealing the Truth [see my religious articles in this website].
Edited on 6th June 2008
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