Friday, March 24, 2006

Collective wisdom on the Zhouyi and Tao

Perhaps everyone can read and understand a text differently, be they masters, adepts or students. Although some rely mainly on teachers - humans or divinities – we still need to study and learn on our own to extend our knowledge and/or to deepen our cultivation. During this time of self study, it would be beneficial to learn from the collective wisdom of sages and the wise. Lest we presume we know better than the distinguished philosophers, the wise and Daoist adepts down the centuries, on the profound subjects of Yi and Tao studies. Some of these collective wisdoms are contained in the Ten Wings of the Zhouyi.

Those involved in Daoist and Yi studies may like to know about or study this technical aspect on the link between the holy sages, Zhouyi and Tao:

In ancient times the holy sages made the Book of Changes thus:

They invented the yarrow stalk oracle in order to lend aid in a mysterious way to the light of the gods. To heaven they assigned the number of three and to earth the number two; from these they computed the other numbers.

They contemplated the changes in the dark and the light and established the hexagrams in accordance with them. They brought about movements in the firm and the yielding, and thus produced the individual lines.

They put themselves in accord with Tao and its power (*De), and in conformity with this laid down the order of what is right. By thinking through the order of the outer world to the end, and by exploring the law of their nature to the deepest core, they arrived at an understanding of fate.
[Shuo Kua / Discussions of the Trigrams – Book II - W/B]

Extracts of the ensuing explanations given by Richard Wilhelm depicts his understanding of the Chinese spiritual world:

The original purpose of the hexagrams was to consult destiny. As divine beings do not give direct expression to their knowledge, a means had to be found by which they could make themselves intelligible. Supra-human intelligence has from the beginning made use of three mediums of expression—men (or women), animals, and plants, in each of which life pulsate in a different rhythm. The Book of Changes is founded on the plant oracle as manipulated by men (or women) with mediumistic powers.

In addition to its use as an oracle, the Book of Changes also serves to further intuitive understanding of conditions in the world, penetration to the uttermost depths of nature and spirit. The Book of Changes is in harmony with Tao and its power [*natural law and moral law]. Therefore it can lay down the rules of what is right for each person. The ultimate meaning of the world—fate, the world as it is, how it has come to be so through creative decision [Ming]—can be apprehended by going down to the ultimate sources in the world of outer experience and of inner experience. Both paths lead to the same goal.

Yet occasions had arisen across the WWW, where pedant scholars, deviant teachers, and New Age authors indiscriminately disagree to such collective wisdoms passed down the millenniums, otherwise they could not benefit from proffering their differing and misleading views or practices. Meanwhile hopefully those earnest and sincere continue their learning from the ancient sages, the wise and the heavenly immortals in search for collective wisdoms and excellence, which perhaps is important to our Yi and Tao studies and practice.


Sharrhan said...

Hi Allan,
I love your blog; it feels like a welcoming haven, in the midst of a sea of new age and other rather disappointing Internet offerings. Lu Dongbin is my Lineage Master and I work almost exclusively with the 'Secret of the Golden Flower' teachings. I find your insights thoughtful and inspiring.

Allan said...

Thank you, sharrhan.

You are welcome to share your experiences and insights of the Far Journey.