Tag Archives: Book of Changes

I Ching Diary: nourishment and fellowship

I Ching Hexagon 27 nourishment

Garbage in, garbage out! This is the message of Hexagram 27 (頤/yí), which refers to nourishment of both the physical and spiritual kind. Combining the lower trigram for quake or thunder (震/zhèn) with the upper trigram for mountain (山/ shān), it represents nourishment, swallowing, and the corners of the mouth. Indeed, with four broken lines in its center, the hexagram even looks like an open mouth.

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I Ching Diary: incomplete

Incomplete

My final consultation of the Chinese New Year Holiday produced the final hexagram in the I Ching. Paradoxically, hexagram 64 doesn’t mark a successful conclusion of a mission or task. Quite the reverse in fact. Featuring the trigram representing fire above the one representing water, it literally means “not yet crossing the ford” (未濟/wèijì) and by extension “incomplete” or “not yet completed”.

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Steadfast in virtue

子曰:「南人有言曰:『人而無恒,不可以作巫醫。』善夫!『不恒其德,或承之羞。』」子曰:「不占而已矣。」
Confucius said: “Southerners have a saying: ‘A man who isn’t steadfast isn’t fit to be a shaman.’ This is so true! The Book of Changes says, ‘if you’re not steadfast in virtue, you will suffer disgrace.’” Confucius added: “Not even a divination will be of any use for a person like that.”

This is, shall we say, a rather cryptic passage that is open to multiple interpretations. It also features one of the one of the very few references to the Book of Changes that can be found in the Analects in the form of a quote from Hexagram 32 (constancy or steadfastness). Continue reading Steadfast in virtue