"The alchemy of trigrams"
Nov. 25, 2019
Years ago a good friend, Martin, posted in Clarity:
"1: The lower trigram is a source of power or force, it's the 'engine' or the 'horse'. The upper trigram guides that power or force, it's the 'steering wheel' or the 'rider'."
"This fits with the traditional meanings of the lines. The lines of the upper trigram, 4, 5 and 6, represent the ruling classes, the government (ministers, king and sages) while the lines of the lower trigram represent, broadly speaking, the working classes, the people."
(Because I really liked his idea, I put it in my trigram files, where I found it back now.)
"2: Process, transformation. The bottom trigram transforms into the top trigram. The inner trigrams (lines 2,3,4 and lines 3,4,5) represent intermediary stages in this process.
In hexagram 50, for example, wind transforms into fire.
But wind cannot immediately turn into fire. It first has to become heaven and then lake. There is only one way of doing it."
"What I find interesting about this way of looking at hexagrams is that every hexagram becomes a kind of alchemist recipe that tells you how you should proceed if you have the 'substance' that corresponds to the bottom trigram and want to make the 'substance' that is represented by the top trigram.
There is always a way - for every pair of substances - but there is only one way, one procedure."
("Proceed" sounds as if it happens in a time sequence. I myself rather think it is like the sea, where it looks as if the waves move, but in reality it is a rhythm of rising and falling water.)
And, this is really very very interesting (IMO), the unique procedure automatically pops up as a consequence of how the substances are coded as trigrams. I.e. if you know the trigrams that correspond to the two substances (the one that you start with
and the one that you want to make) you also know the trigrams that represent the procedure. These are the inner trigrams.
I think there is a lot of 'hidden' knowledge here, a complete esoteric science .. (jumps up and down) okay, I will stop now.
I love his idea, but I think it does not "turn into" fire, it adds Fire, becomes one Wind-Fire energy in hex.50.
There is Wind to Heaven, the spreading force of Wind contracting itself, towards the point of creation of Heaven. Then Lake: this creation is limited (or opened) to contact, it cannot stand alone, it is about interaction. Finally, with Fire, it manifests itself as
order, a state, a fundament which gives people a structure for living together and in safety – the complete hexagram 50.
The intermediate trigrams don't have the bottom and top line of the hexagram, the pure earth and heaven lines. They are human: what you make, what you do, what a human can bring about. The work of the alchemist.
Above wood there is fire: the cauldron.
The noble one (the alchemist)
corrects (the order of Fire) the situation (the space of Lake)
to solidify (laws of Heaven) fate (Wind).
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