The answers to many questions


Various sights at a gua structure

This text – individual opinion of the "iczin.narod" site author.

The first thing I want to do is to say that hexagrams will ever become doubled trigrams! Hexagrams as trigrams appeared from Supreme Ultimate (Taiji). It presupposes independent (within due limits) trigram, tetragram, pentagram and hexagram techniques. It happened so that trigrams technique developed in feng shui, hexagrams in I Ching, others techniques were not developed.

Not going into details, I want to tell that trigrams are eight samples which made them in-demand in "Wind and Water" and hexagrams are sixty four insights that are enough for divination purposes of the "Book of Changes". Pentagrams as thirty two methods can be to some extent interrelated to thirty six Strategems but the system itself is lost.

Hexagrams themselves can be perceived in different ways.

At first, hexagrams can (and should) be understood as code (or scheme) of the whole situation. Traditionally they are perceived as correlation of a few potencies at the given moment.

The traditional sight on hexagram structure
The the example of traditional sight on hexagram structure

All these representations are based on perception of combinations of several concepts and their components during the moment of time.

All these perceptions are based on combination of a few concepts and their constituents at the given moment.

Changing of hexagram with "old" lines
Resulting Hexagram Main Hexagram Relating Hexagram
Пример гексаграммы со «старыми» чертами correspond Пример старой гексаграммы supplementary Пример «помолодевшей» гексаграммы

"Old" (changing) features let trace dynamic hexagram changes.

In such a way the tendency of the situation development while hexagram is "getting younger" is observed. Mostly (by default) an old hexagram denotes the present moment and a young one for probable situation which will take place on condition everything coincided with described.

Generally speaking, both hexagrams everything depends on the question. For example, if you ask "How were things developing?", then both hexagrams will reflect the past.

At the same time, hexagram is a ratio of certain forces. Old features are inside some force. Then an assumption about the force responsible for the change is possible.

Time factors
Initial hexagram "Old" hexagram "Young" hexagram
Фактор «вертикального» времени в гексаграмме Пример гексаграммы со «старыми» чертами = Пример старой гексаграммы Фактор «горизонтального» времени в гексаграмме Пример «помолодевшей» гексаграммы

Thus, a temporary factor in horizontal direction (further "horizontal time") is applied when speaking about hexagrams.

Besides, if all old features are defined as "Yung" and young as "Yin", then we will get "hexagram of activity" which will be nothing but feature of influence responsible for change.

Getting hexagram of activity
Initial hexagram "Old" hexagram "Young" hexagram Hexagram of activity
Пример гексаграммы со «старыми» чертами = Пример старой гексаграммы >>> Пример «помолодевшей» гексаграммы == Пример гексаграммы «активности»

If hexagram-situation is influenced hexagram of activity with the same name then the situation will become younger till "Carrying out", as all Yang features will change. The apogee of such a process occurs when the "Creativity"- situation is influenced by "Creativity"-activity.

One more hexagram interpretation is worth mentioning. Perhaps it is the most ancient. It dates back to the times when aphorisms were thought to be connected with hexagrams. Linguistic research proves the fact that the most ancient version of "Book of Changes" had only four aphorisms to each hexagram (instead of six as it is now). Now it testifies to the fat that hexagrams perceived as integral state had their own life cycle. It means that each hexagram had four stages of development – "starting", "developing", "complete" and "degrading". Aphorisms referred not to features but to these stages of the situation development. This fact transformed into the phrase "firmness is favorable on starting stage".

This understanding led to such perception of time and it was not dynamic, i.e. perhaps the thing was about ancient attempts to develop a system from hexagrams to oktagrams but this task is beyond one's strength till now.

There is also an opinion about hexagrams without features. It is possible when considering "old-young hexagram" changes. Sometimes the hexagram look itself becomes not so important. The most attention is paid to the meaning hidden in the hieroglyphic name of the hexagram. Thus, ancient names of hexagrams contained basic and at the same time volumetric combinations fixed with the help of schematic images of examples of situations corresponding to hexagram character. For example, the main feature of dragon is variability and it so happened historically that hieroglyph "changes" ("I" in "I Ching") originated from pictogram that means "dragon". Thus, if we trace the development of hieroglyph "Yi" ("changes"), then we link this hieroglyph with dragon’s changeability.

Along with "horizontal", there is also "vertical time" that is presented from top to bottom in hexagram (reverse to hexagram structure given from bottom to top, i.e. from future to past).

To finally confuse you, I will make one more reservation. There are techniques in which two opposite things occur when temporary vector is vertical: it is directed to bottom for the whole hexagram but for trigrams that are part of it vector is to the top. The hexagram is built from past to future of all potencies (i.e. starting with the most "future" feature of hexagram). Thus we get that even if we know past of all potencies, the past of the whole situation is unknown till the moment when the future of each potency is clear though the whole future will become known on the first stage of building up.

Such a strange thing is explained simply – by search of causes of current situation in future. There is a simple example: I should go to the shop to have something to eat later. This way the future reason (wish to eat) results in present outcome (going to the shop). Such a sequence of reason-outcome can be called subjective while usual – objective.

"Book of Changes" has only one hexagram that keeps to "objective" reason-outcome connection and it is "Purity". The rest presuppose "subjective" sequence. System of changes as divination book presumes the following question scheme: "what should I do to get the desired?". It means that it brings the reason (desired) to the future and the outcome (actions to achieve desired) places in present.

Let’s come back to building up hexagrams. Perhaps perception of hexagrams as specific history of changing the situation with the course of time is possible. I.e. hexagram is fixation of six successive states united under one concept (e.g. morning + afternoon + evening+ night= day). The difference between hexagrams in this case is the difference of successive changes (for example):

  • rainy day + rainy day + rainy day = flood,
  • hot day + hot day + hot day = drought,
  • hot day + rainy day + hot day = norm,

Thus with help of only two states and their sequence we can define some different, quite real scenarios.

Such an interpretation of hexagrams is possible because if the hexagram is affected by fivefold "horizontal time", then we will see that each feature has had six states and step by step the features have been united into a hexagram. This way we will get a hexagram of separate "point".

This way we do not perceive the situation of relations of some potencies but a separate attribute of this situation. Emphasis is made not on relations but on changes with the course of time. In this case there can be no old features as development is successive and linear.

In some sense such apartness from outer world (lack of information) can seem as regress (if we look at the situation on the whole) but it is not true. Further development of this situation allows generalizing the whole world to one predictable outer factor. In this case knowledge is 100%.