Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The sage in Hexagram 28 Da Gou / Preponderance of the Great

The twelfth prophecy of the Ma Qian Ke had indicated the appearance of a sage. If Yijing aficionados cannot perceive the sage in Hexagram 28 Dao Gou which accompanied the prophecy, do not get too upset since it could be way over your heads. When even past top eminent scholars of ancient Chinese philosophy – the Chinese mentors of both James Legge and Richard Wilhelm - have had failed to discern the sage in the Hexagram, this phenomenon – like the closure of Heaven and Earth - will certainly prove too deep and profound for many Yijing scholars and experts. Therefore there is no necessity to worry too much about your own capability in the study of the Yijing. Just plod on with sincerity since only the entire sincere can achieve the ability to divine like a spirit (Shen) down the ages. For sincerity is the Way of Heaven.

Also how many would be able to discern the profound knowledge of Laozi, Confucius, and Mencius of the Book of Changes where these ancient sages indicated that there is No Tao all under Heaven whenever heaven and earth close? Few will really comprehend what this phenomenon actually means, even though the modern world has been experiencing the absence of Tao since 15th September 2008 – the collapse of Lehman. This is also way above the heads of Yijing scholars and the experts, and the neidan adepts too. (Refer to various blogged articles on this particular phenomenon over the past three years, if interested.)

Thus far, Zhuge Liang has had seen the sage in Hexagram 28 Da Gou as depicted in the twelfth prophecy of his Ma Qian Ke. My perceiving of this sage is only circumstantial because of my interpretation and commentary of Zhuge Liang’s accredited 12th prophecy, therefore following his guidance.

However, more than two and the half millennia ago, the great ancient sage, Confucius has already known that the Junzi depicted in Hexagram 28 Dao Gou represents a sage? How?

In the Doctrine of the Mean, the Master said: ‘The superior man accords with the course of the Mean. Though he may be all unknown, un-regarded by the world, he feels no regret.It is only the sage who is able for this.’ [Chapter XI paragraph 3 James Legge]

In Book II of his Yijing translation, Richard Wilhelm mentioned that ‘the whole range of ideas contained in the commentary on the Great Images places it on proximity to the Great Learning and hence in very close proximity to Confucius as well.’ How right were his mentor and him when he wrote that down?

Yi aficionados would note that the Great Image in Hexagram 28 Dao Gou as translated by Wilhelm / Baynes while implying the same meaning is worded differently from James Legge’s translations of the Doctrine of the Mean and of the Book of Changes.

In the W/B translation it reads: Thus the superior man, when he stands alone, is unconcerned, and if he has to renounce the world, he is undaunted.

If we compare that to Legge’s translation it reads: The superior man, in accordance to this, stands up alone and has no fear, and keeps retired from the world without regret. [Refer to Xiang Zhuan of Hexagram 28 Da Gou at]

If those interested check the Chinese in both the Doctrine of the Mean and the Great Image, they will find therein the repetition of almost the exact words. This means that Richard Wilhelm and his mentor, Lao Nai-hsuan, were correct with the comment on the close proximity of the Great Images, known as the Third Wing, to Confucius. It also means that Confucius knew about the sage in Hexagram 28 Da Gou / Preponderance of the Great. Although the sage phenomenon escaped the grasps of the personage who embedded the words of Confucius in the Great Image of this Hexagram and also the eminent mentors of both renowned translators. Otherwise we could have learnt more about it from the ancient sage himself. The personage and the eminent mentors of the translators are without blame since this phenomenon also goes beyond their own comprehension.

This is why the self-taught like Confucius before us need talent and virtue to know the Yijing. Since sometimes we may need to provide ‘national service’ for Yijing aficionados across the world!

Hence my detailed cryptic commentary on the yet-to-unfold 12th prophecy in the Ma Qian Ke ascribed to Zhuge Liang would probably unfold exactly as indicated, especially on this verse:
The sage arises from Xun to bring salvation.’


Allan Lian

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