Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Notes on Hexagram 19 Lin / Approach

In the sequence of the waxing and waning of Qian and Kun (or the Moon), Lin / Approach come after the hexagram Fu / Return. While Fu represents the eleventh month, Lin represents the twelfth (January-February). The sole light line of Fu has moved up to the second line while another light line has joined at the bottom. Thus Lin comprises of the lower trigram Dui and the upper trigram Kun.

The Judgment

Approach has supreme success. Perseverance furthers. When the eighth month comes, there will be misfortune.

With the passing of the winter solstice and the approach of spring there will be much work to do and hope for advance. When there are things to do, one can become great. The work has to be completed before the eighth month arises and the light lines go into retreat.

The Image

The earth above the lake: The image of Approach. Thus the superior man is inexhaustible in his will to teach, and without limits in his tolerance and protection of the people.

The earth moves downwards while the lake moves up. The moisture from the lake fructifies man’s inner being. [W/B, I & III]

One has seen neidan diagrams in some commercial websites and in a book which could have wrongly depicted the sequence of the waxing and waning of Qian and Kun. The commercial ‘neidan’ websites have depicted fourteen sequences (sic) while the book places hexagram Fu / Return at the bottom with hexagram Gou / Coming to Meet on top of the head.

However if we refer to the Earlier Heaven sequence, we can see that Qian is placed in the South and Kun in the North. Therefore one suggests that the correct depiction should be Qian on top of the head and Kun at the bottom of the body when one sits and forgets. This would also tie in with the meaning of Ru Ding (Furnace and Cauldron) and the other meaning of ‘top of the head’. Since Heaven is on top and Earth below and not as depicted in the particular book and the commercial websites.

If we follow the Earlier Heaven sequence and place Kun at the bottom, Fu / Return will then be at the sacrum while Lin / Approach will be at the kidneys. This seems to make more sense since the trigram Dui represents a lake and the moisture from the kidneys rises because of the heat (from the fire) and fructifies man’s inner being when we meditate using the backward flow or Circulation of the Light.

Therefore we need to discern whenever we study ancient thoughts and/or practice breath control meditation, lest we are inadvertently led astray. After all the Neo Daoists and Neo Confucians know what they were on to when they tied in their neidan practice with the Book of Changes (Zhouyi). And quite a number of them went on to become Heavenly immortals.

Those who are unfamiliar with the twelve monthly hexagrams or the Sovereign hexagrams can read more about them and their sequence in Steve Marshall’s website, Yijing Dao.

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