Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Deeper implications of the Yi

The Da Chuan / The Great Treatise, just like the other Wings, are written for experienced Yi students, scholars, experts and masters. The excerpts taken from the Da Chuan / The Great Treatise [W/B] depict the links of the Book of Changes with that of Tao, are meant for earnest students who have studied the Yi for a decade or more, but do not have this translation of the Da Chuan. It also serves to refresh memories.

Others who do not have the requisite Yi knowledge and/or experience should just read the Da Chuan and the other Wings like any other story book and not delve into these writings until they are ready to absorb the wisdoms contained therein. Otherwise they can easily find themselves confused as the Ten Wings contain deep insights of the ancients and the cosmos. With this adequate warning in place, one feels comfortable to proceed further to remain blameless.

Chapter IV Deeper implications of the Book of Changes:

1. The Book of Changes contains the measure of heaven and earth; therefore it enables us to comprehend the tao of heaven and earth and its order.

2. Looking upward, we contemplate with its help the signs of heavens; looking down, we examine the lines of earth. Thus we come to know the circumstances of the dark and the light. Going back to the beginnings of things and pursuing them to the end, we come to know the lessons of birth and of death. The union of seed and power produces all things; the escape of the soul brings about change. Through this we come to know the conditions of outgoing and returning spirits.

3. Since in this way man comes to resemble heaven and earth, he is not in conflict with them. His wisdom embraces all things, and his tao brings order into the whole world; therefore he does not err. He is active everywhere but does not let himself be carried away. He rejoices in heaven and has knowledge of fate; therefore he is free of care. He is content with his circumstances and genuine in his kindness, therefore he can practice love (ren).

4. In it are included the forms and the scope of everything in the heavens and on earth, so that nothing escapes it. In it all things everywhere are completed, so that none is missing. Therefore by means of it we can penetrate the tao of day and night, and so understand it. Therefore the spirit is bound to no one place, nor the Book of Changes to any one form.

Those interested can read the accompanying commentary and explanations to each paragraph in the W/B translation. This chapter contains certain insights which can be found in the Tao Te Ching, Zhuangzi and the Confucian four books.

Perhaps those who truly understand Chapter IV of the Da Chuan could perceive the changes deeper than most. The rest as usual is up to the earnest and sincere.

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