The present work is a translation of Part 2, Section 10, of the book “Tratado I Ching — El Canon de las Mutaciones — “El Séptimo Tiempo”” by Ricardo Andreé, privately published in Santiago, Chile, in 2004 (no ISBN but Mr. Andreé’s books can be purchased at http://www.iching.cl/). This section is named “Tiempos” (Times) and deals with the proper timing of Yijing answers.
The Copyright of the original Spanish text is held by Ricardo Andreé, Santiago, Chile., 2004.
The Copyright for this English translation, as well as all the included graphics, is held by Luis E. Andrade, NJ USA., 2010.
When we talk about “Times” , according to the I Ching we refer to a number of factors: subject; object; motion; cause; effect; situation and temporal status. But an hexagram also includes a “calendar time” when the goal is to determine the start and end of the “time” and, more important, it helps direct the correct action at the appropriate moment. Let’s read what’s written under “Later Heaven Sequence” or “Inner World Arrangement” in the chapter about “Discussion of the Trigrams,” there it says:
All living things come forth in the sign of the Arousing. The Arousing stands in the East.
They come to completion in the sign of the Gentle.
The Gentle stands in the Southeast. Completion means that all creatures become pure and perfect.
The Clinging is the brightness in which all creatures perceive one another. It is the trigram of the South. That the holy sages turned their faces to the South while they gave ear to the meaning of the universe means that in ruling they turned toward what is light. This they evidently took from this trigram.
The Receptive means the earth. It takes care that all creatures are nourished. Therefore it is said: “He causes them to serve one another in the sign of the Receptive.”
The Joyous is mid-autumn, which rejoices all creatures. Therefore it is said: “he gives them joy in the sign of the Joyous.”
He battles in the sign of the Creative. “The Creative is the trigram of the Northwest. It means that here the dark and the light arouse each other.
The Abysmal means water. It is the trigram of due North, the trigram of toil, to which all creatures are subject. Therefore it is said: “He toils in the sign of the Abysmal.”
Keeping Still is the trigram of the Northeast, where beginning and end of all creatures are completed. Therefore it is said: “He brings them to perfection in the sign of Keeping Still.”
The commentary of Master Wilhelm adds: “here the course of the year and the course of the day are harmonized. What is pictured in the foregoing passage as the unfolding of the divine is here shown as it appears in nature. The trigrams are allotted to the seasons and to the cardinal points without schematization, by cursory allusions that result in the diagram shown above. Spring begins to stir and in nature there is germination and sprouting. This correspond to the morning of the day.”
Huo Tian Bagua / Later Heaven Order
Also called here the “Microcosmic Rose”
Here is the cycle of a year and the completion of a day. In its ascendant circular movement, the time commences in Chen, at the Orient (East). This isn’t a synoptic map, therefore it should not be confused with a cartography exclusively Chinese and applicable only to that region of the world. This is a cosmic order that has no possible alteration, remaining immutable before any climatic changes or geographical coincidences. The incomprehension of this order and the lack of a mystic experience, something necessary to comprehend the “why” and the “for what” of the inalterability of this order, have caused subjective interpretations, such as the change or alteration of the original figure according to geographical hemispheres. We’ll say that Spring is a state of cyclical energetic renovation that occurs at an extra-terrestrial level and is directly related to the evolution of the planet. Summer is established in the astronomical South, the one that is placed above in the Microcosmic order, and correspond with the period when the solar dilatation surround the planet, determining its high and low energetic processes. Autumn is in direct relation with the Spring, as a polarity, and is placed due West, both in the Earlier and Latter Heaven sequences, and is related to the transfer of solar energies to telluric energies. Winter is found in polarity with the sun, due North and below, and acts by oppositional momentum, attracting and concentrating the primordial energies in the heart of the planet; is when the telluric energies are activated and the vitality that comes from below makes its effects felt. In this order, the signs Ken, Sun, Ch’ien, and K’un accomplish fundamental transition roles; without them, the polarities would eliminate all vestiges of life. For this the Mother and the Father act as central spirits just as the action of the sun ceases and the telluric energies predominate. Once more, let’s clarify: the Micro order is observed from the Macro and builds upon the degree of influence of the sun, putting the South at the point where the solar energy is at its climax; the North, where it is declining. Ken and Sun have responsibilities which less drastic but always very balancing.
It is in this light that we must understand the circle: if in the designation of the rotation a year we find that it coincides with the cosmic spring and the weather season indicate the same month, this should not lead us to confusion. Obviously it is easier to explain to a South American that summer is in January than to a European that in that month is planning for snow. The same happens to places where the seasons are two and not very different among themselves, or even worse when it applies to a country with different climates in different regions due to its large size.
There are several ways to properly address this relationship of time measurement, all very valid especially if practice gives them a grip that does not part from the core of this teaching. We will discuss the most common and perhaps the most flexible and suitable to be used.
We have obtained a hexagram with changing lines, therefore a Principal and a Tendential (Derived). The first thing to do is locate the point where we are: that is, whether the query is carried out under the trigram Li, Tui, K’an, Chen or Sun, K’un, Ch ien, or Ken.
Once established this referential base, we trace a path that starts in the Lower Trigram and culminates at the location of the Upper Trigram.
The above example uses H14.The Lower Trigram is also called the “Beginning Trigram”
The Upper Trigram
is also called the “Coordination Trigram”
First and fundamental rule: the Yijing would never show the future without first addressing the passage of time through the present point or date of consultation. Therefore, if the path of the Principal Hexagram does not pass through the point of consultation and is left behind it, it means that the main Hexagram is referring to a Past Time. If it were the Tendential sign which resolved the point of reference, it means it is the Tendential that is in effect in terms of “time,” plus the “subject” is still in a “psychic past.” Why would the I Ching respond in the past something to do with the here and now? First, because the past can never be far away, no exceeding a year; second, because the effects do not end with the culmination of the cosmic time; third, because the person has not surmounted that previous state or insists on making it a priority, or the Master simply wants us to learn from recent past actions and situations. The worrying thing is when the two signs, or all of the Hexagram, are left behind the point of reference: in that case it is an attachment to the past, or stupidity, or an atrocious insensitivity that is not allowing the consultant to proceed forward. This is called “Psychic Past.” In any case, a measurement must be carried out only under a preliminary consultation: In what time or condition I find myself? That is, under the “General Diagnostic.”
It may happen that a sign culminate when another begins, this reflects a correct harmony. It is also possible that both signs run parallel, in which case the Principal maintains its status and the Tendential acts as the Ascendent. Sometimes those parallels talk about very different situations in the same person. The worst that could happen is that it give times of very short duration, separated by several Trigrams and also in the past: that is a chaotic picture of a totally unbalanced mental state and a troubled spirit. A beautiful chart is when the Principal starts almost right at the time of the consultation and its Tendential is coordinated perfectly with the Principal, so that the person gets almost everything in the future, a sign of good balance and inner harmony.
Once the time has been established we proceed to measure it. The rotation of the circle has a duration of 24 hours, so that from Chen, the dawn, we’ll assign each Trigram 3 hours, being the initial sign the hours of 5 to 7 hours; Sun from 8 to 10 and so on.
The same applies to the year: it has, in this static measurement, 360 days and 24 hours, the division of which time gives each sign 45 days, so we will assign 45 days periods to each Trigram to facilitate the calculations. Obviously when dealing with precise calculations are taken into account minutes and seconds and leap years, which lengthens the year to 365 days. This subtlety is not useful for a simple case of orientation. If in the example above, where the Principal Hexagram went from Ch’ien to Li, we will proceed to count the signs, including the sign Ch’ien, that enclose the set time: in this case 6 Trigrams. Multiplying this amount by 45, which are the days of each sign, gives us 270 days. Because each line that makes a Hexagram is a particular time, we’ll divide 270 days by 6 times and obtain what is the length of time for each line, which in this case gives again the original 45 days; this way you can clarify exactly when the movement was or should be.
This is one of the basic movements of the Microcosmic Rose. The Macrocosmic Order (t.n.: this refers to the Xian Tian Bagua or Earlier Heaven order.)has different movements. Another movement of the Later Heaven Order works with the polarity of the semi-signs, which has been called “retrograde motion.” The principle states that every manifested element has an root cause; moving back to the root we can then understand the effects up to their most plausible conclusion. The other aspect that should be taken into consideration is that a Hexagram, in fact, does not remain static, and which in practice is moving. The movement never ceases. Change is life. The objective movements of each sign are marked by the role of the Regents; each subjective or particular line signal the movements of the same name. However, the 64 signs spin in circles, this spin is objective, that is, symbols do not move according to our cosmos but on the contrary, our cosmos moves by the great cosmos of the signs. This is why the sages teach the Book of Changes, because these writings contain the formula to harmonize our existence with circular movements of the 10,000 things contained in the 64 figures. It is very important to keep this in mind: it can change the outlook on life and the world of a sensitive and attentive student.
The upper trigram of a Hexagram tend to go away, to leave, is the oldest, is where time is closed. If, following the previous example, taking the Upper Trigram Li, we obtain the oldest source, which comes from below and disappear before our eyes. Said Trigram contains the information of the objective future, the natural tendency of the sign. Locate it in the Post Order (Huo Tian Bagua/Later Heaven Order) and extend a line to its polar complementary Kan, immediately jump to the next sign–that is, Ken–, and join Ken to its polar complementary, K’un. Of these two Trigrams, the oldest is Ken, because it comes from the retrograde motion of Li to Kan, that is, it is the Kan seed of the polar sign that is now manifest. K’un, as a consequence, is the newest trend and stays below as the lower Trigram. Thus the hexagram K’un-Ken (H23) is the objective future trend in the circle of 64 signs.
If the student wants to know the objective past, he/she must perform the same operation but this time with the lower trigram. In this example Ch’ien is still moving within the sign, so it gives it a bigger time coverage. It comes from the immediate past, both semi-signs have their origin in the past because, as stated earlier, the Microcosm turns after the Macrocosm and Man walks behind his Microcosm. Ch’ien has as polar complementary, in this Order, the semi-sign Sun; we extend a line to Sun and jump back a Trigram, that is, a jump from Ch’ien to Sun to Chen. Join Chen with its polar, Tui, and separate them as a Hexagram. Chen comes previously to the polar semi-sign (Sun) of the Trigram Ch’ien in force, is therefore the oldest in the past time and Tui the youngest, thus leaving Chen up as the upper Trigram and Tui as the lower Trigram (Tui-Chen, H54).
There exist several working instances where both Circles unite, but there is no known reason for creating whimsical and pre-established Hexagrams. Micro and Macrocosm are always overlapping in two invisible circles, where the internal, Micro, rotates in the direction of time and is conditioned by the energy and motions of the Macrocosm. That the Earlier Heaven Order and the Later Heaven Order coincide in perfect harmony always in the life of a human being is simply impossible; those who achieve it in a minimum percentage transcends, die physically and could perhaps break the deepest cycle of “Cause and Effect.” For this reason it is useless to work with the union between the two Heavens in a mechanistic way, it isn’t real.
Xian Tian Bagua / Earlier Heaven Order
Also called here the “Macrocosmic Rose”
Total Man V1.0
Much like Don Quixote and his monomania with knights and chivalry novels, my non-fiction “monomania” is with the Yijing (or “I Ching,” as popularized by the Wilhelm/Baynes translation and the Wade-Giles transliteration of Chinese). I read extensively on the subject and I know for a fact that I’ll never exhaust it in a lifetime. The thing is, for those reading and still stuck in the conceptual visualization of the Yijing as the exotic Oriental version of the Tarot and a hippie Ouija board, the classic is so much more than an usable oracle that the exegesis inspired by it, over thousands of years, is only second to the Bible (although, if I request a recount, it would most likely come up in first place). Unfortunately, most Western media, and users, focus only in the oracular usability of the classic and, because of it, it is often derided and belittled as quackery. Well, their loss, not mine.
In the meantime, my so called “monomania,” takes me to the most varied reading paths. Hard to believe for most, I know. See, serious students of the Yijing can find many parallels between the inherent imagery of the classic and subjects that, at first sight, seem unrelated to it. One of the cornerstones of Chinese philosophy is “correlative thinking” and, although it runs against the grain of Western philosophy and its use of logics and analytics, its metaphorical toolbox is a spring of ideas and associations. Carl Jung, to name just one philosopher (yes, philosopher), realized the truth of its potentiality and applicability in Western thought. As the classic, and its exegesis, becomes more available to Western philosophers and writers, its use in metaphorical comparisons and the pursuit of meaning is slowly becoming commonplace. One such writer is the psychologist Stan Gooch. In the early 1970’s he published “Total Man, an evolutionary theory of personality” and, in part of it, he touches on the Yijing. The book has fourteen chapters divided within six parts. Part five, “The Rise to Tyranny of Western Consciousness,” includes Chapter 11, “The Momentary Universe,” which talks about the Yijing from a Jungian perspective.
I had to chuckle at this statement in said chapter:
Of course, the disclaimer was perhaps needed as part of the natural Western defensiveness against all things outside “rationality and logic” and as a service to the those readers that would automatically take exception to such concepts. Such disclaimers are chicken soup for their sensitive souls, in my opinion. Finding comfortable shelter while confronted with incomprehensibility.
The chapter is actually very good and goes on to explain some points of view on synchronicity.
What I really like to quote though is not directly related to the Yijing. I comes from the preface and I think it is a handy way to put things in the proper perspective, specially for those attached to “rationality and logic” that think they can make a “science” out of everything that can find its way towards an empirical explanation:
The book is out of print and hard to find, cheaply. A good read, nevertheless.
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