Thursday, October 12, 2006

Qian / The Creative

Of the 64 hexagrams, the most commonly quoted by the Chinese are Qian and Kun, since these two hexagrams pervade many important things in Chinese culture such as the meaning of heaven and earth, light and dark, creative and receptive, yang and yin, firm and yielding, dragon and mare, father and mother. These two hexagrams also feature in Chinese martial arts and neidan practice for the advanced practitioners. Because of their importance, much has been written by the ancients and the wise on these two hexagrams. This may explain why the ancients placed Qian, as the first hexagram of the Zhouyi with Kun, second, since they represent Heaven and Earth respectively.

Qian represents the fourth month (May-June) of the Chinese calendar, the beginning of summer. Qian comprise of six light (or unbroken) lines and each line can be taken to represent a dragon that mounts up to heaven.

If we follow the Xiantian (Earlier Heaven) diagram devised by Chen Tuan, Qian would be on the top of the head (Ru Ding) with Kun at the bottom of the body. Qian / Heaven would be the location where the embryo emerges into emptiness. It is also the place where the hair stands on end during meditation. Initially neidan practitioners will sense the Qi moving across this part of the head. At a later stage, they may see a brighter light when the Qi and the light pass through this point, although 'there is no longer, a head or tail’.

The Judgment in Hexagram 1 Qian says: The Creative works sublime success, furthering through perseverance. And the Image says: The movement of heaven is full of power. Thus the superior man makes himself strong and untiring.

At this peak, the Junzi, Neidan adept, or Kung Fu master would have made himself or herself strong and untiring, furthering through perseverance. No one can see this since success is sublime.

No different from what Lu Dongbin has said – ‘This marvelous magic cannot be fathomed. But when the practice has started, one must press on from the obvious to the profound, from the coarse to the fine. The beginning and the end of the practice must be one.’ And similar to what Ziyang Jen Ren said – ‘If one cultivates one’s action while mingling with the world and is still in harmony with the light, then the round is round and the angular has angles; then he lives among men, mysterious yet visible, different and yet the same, none can compass it; then no one notices our secret actions.’ [Secret of the Golden Flower – W/B]

Can we really see what Heaven and the celestial beings do? Nothing seems to be done yet everything gets done. That is Qian / The Creative which works sublime success.

From the return of the first light line in Fu / Return, the light has continued pushing out each dark line, replacing them and has now reach heaven. Finally with the six light lines in place, the waxing of the moon is at its peak (full moon) and will soon start to wane. Qian will change to Gou shortly. Such change is only natural and expected.

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