Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Note on Hexagram 24 Fu / Return

On May 1, 2006 I have provided simple notes on Hexagram 24 Fu / Return and since regular readers could be a bit more familiar with the Circulation of the Light and the Book of Changes (I Ching / Yijing) what with the several articles written on the subject matter and of neidan (inner alchemy) over the years, it could be the right time to delve deeper into the meaning of its Judgment.

The Judgment of Hexagram Fu says:

Return. Success. Going out and coming in without error. Friends come without blame. To and fro goes the Way. On the seventh day comes return. It furthers one to have somewhere to go.

The Judgment informs Yijing aficionados and/or neidan adepts of the magic and phenomena of Tao. That is why the ancient Circulation of the Light meditation begins with Hexagram 24 Fu where the (single) Light line at the bottom starts its ascent and fills up the five dark empty spaces (lines) as it goes up to Heaven – represented by Hexagram 1 Qian / The Creative Heaven. (Refer to the Circulation of the Light and I Ching articles.)

Perhaps after reading this article, Yijing aficionados and scholars may obtain a better understanding of the Book of Changes and its relationship with Tao. While the sages and the wise already told us about that in the Ten Wings, what is written in this article could be an eye opener for many especially those deep thinkers still trying to figure out the level of spiritual clarity (Shen Ming) of the Holy Sages who wrote the Book of Changes.

If pedant wannabe scholars are still ignorant on wherefrom Laozi got the term, Tao, it is not by coincidence that he obtained it from the Judgment of this Hexagram. And please do not show up your ignorance and/or indolence on public online Tao Forums by claiming that there is no link whatsoever between his Tao Te Ching and the Book of Changes. And that there is no documentary proof in the four Confucian books of Confucius having studied the Yijing – probably influenced by the late Professor Homer H. Dubs 1928 well written but specious article. (See my review dated October 7, 2012 on his article, “Did Confucius study the Book of Changes?” if interested.)

Do they understand what the Tao Te Ching says? Have they studied the Book of Changes for decades? Is the Doctrine of the Mean not one of the four Confucian books?

Hopefully the undergraduates of Harvard University would not go the way of these “lost generations” of Western students and “scholars” who continue to propagate misleading statements on Tao and on the Book of Changes. If American and European undergraduates want to study Confucian and Daoist ethics to become better persons in life like what those from Harvard are currently doing, please study the Book of Changes. Since the Confucian and/or Daoist ethics are in the main derived from this ancient Chinese Classic.

The Tao Te Ching is written for top or first class scholars of Tao and not for any type of scholars. If someone does not practise the dual cultivation of human nature (Xing) and fate (Ming), how much can they know about Tao and the delights and magic of Heaven?

If they only have elementary knowledge of the Book of Changes, what do they really know about its embedded wisdoms and the profound Tao? If they do not cultivate virtues or ethics as taught therein by the Holy Sages, they might as well be reading “dead” books.

Confucius had made comments on certain lines of several hexagrams of the Book of Changes. If Yijing scholars worth their salt understand why this great ancient sage made those commentaries as he did, then they could be onto something very deep and profound.

In Chapter 40 of the Tao Te Ching, Laozi said, “Return is the movement of Tao”. Is this statement not the same as “To and fro goes the Way” in the Judgment of Hexagram Fu / Return?

And penetrating the Book of Changes could be something like this:

“In Return if you have success you would be going out and coming in without error, similar to the ancients. Much later, friends come without blame. To and fro goes the Way, act at the right time. On the seventh day comes return - if not that is it. It furthers one to have somewhere to go – it furthers because it can be a matter of life and death.” (Judgment sentences in italics.)

Now that I have explained the Judgment to proficient top scholars of Tao who may or may not have witnessed the eternal phenomena, can any other reader get anywhere anyway with the experiential and yet cryptic explanation on each of its sentences? (This statement is also in reply to the comment from a female reader in the previous article.)

Do Yijing aficionados see how deep and profound the Holy Sages were when they wrote the Book of Changes and the Judgment(s)? It could be one of the reasons why Confucius held King Wen and his son, the Duke of Zhou, who wrote the Judgments to their Zhou Book of Changes (Zhouyi) in such high esteem.

That is why I verily agree with Wang Bi, the whiz kid, that this ancient Classic is also a Book of Wisdom! It probably depends on how much Yijing aficionados and/or neidan adepts know about Tao and the Book of Changes. If Wang Bi did not have such a short life, probably we could have learned more about Tao and the Book of Changes from him. But then again, he could be revealing too much of Heaven’s secrets! And that is not the way.

Apart from making the explanations cryptic, one still has to withhold the Heaven’s secrets. This is in line with the established order and one’s writings would therefore not transgress Heaven’s laws and get punished for nothing.