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The Yijing or Iching (also known as the Book of Changes) goes back 5,000 years and was conceived by Fuxi, a prominent king, to express the concept of yin and yang. It was not finished until 2500 years ago when Confucius added the commentaries. Together they form the bedrock of chinese philosophy and wisdom.
What is the Yijing?
Impermanence is an underlying theme with the Yijing. Everything changes hence nothing is fixed.
It encompasses the meanings of change, constancy and ease.
Everything is in a state of gradual change, the seasons, even huge mountains are constantly changing.
Constancy refers to fixed principles and laws in spite of change.
An example of constancy is the definite rising of the sun from the east and setting in the west.
Finding the constant amidst change is the process of simplifying or making easy, a complex situation. This is the point of the yijing.
The Taiji (diagram above representing yin and yang) is at the root of yijing philosophy. All things and phenomena in the world are dual in character and can be represented as male or female.
In the yijing, one straight horizontal line represents yang (male) and two short lines/one broken line represent yin (female).
Ba Gua or 8 Gua
Inherent in yin is a bit of yang and inherent in yang is a bit of yin. This is the root of flux. Both energies are constantly increasing and decreasing.
Taiji is divided into yin and yang. If you divide yin and yang, you will have four possibilities, yin-yin, yin yang, yang yin and yang yang,
If you were to further divide, you will get eight possibilities, yang yang yang, yang yang yin, yang yin yang,yang yin yin, yin yang yang, yin yin yang and yin yin yin. Each gua has its own name and its own meaning.
The Bagua is only the tip of the iceberg of the Yijing. Once you have mastered the eight gua, you can put two sets of bagua together like a multiplication matrix to form the 64 gua.
The significance of the 64 Gua is profound as many parallels have been drawn between the 64 gua and the binary code, the positions of the planets, even the events of a man's life.
Why that is so is a mystery but it is amazing how the principles of the yijing cna apply to business, people, rules, change, mathematics, phenomena, divination and even logic.
The Yijing is a vast topic worthy of study as it is valuable both to a man of the world and a man out of this world. Paradoxically, a trader can use the yijing to get ahead of the market and a philosopher can use it to further detach from the world. A great tool both mundane or spiritual, it helps to simplify the complexity of life, accept and appreciate the ebb and flow of time.
This introduction to the Yijing was written by Sonia Ong, a metaphysician, astrologer and reiki healer.