of the I Ching
Fu Hsi (2852-2738 BC), the legendary rule of China, was created with
the creation of the Trigram as well as the inventor of fishing, trapping,
cooking, the calendar, angular measurement and writing. During the Hsia
Dynasty, the trigrams of Fu Hsi were combined into the sixty-four hexagrams,
and brief divination texts were added. This became one of the first
books, called the Lieu Shan, or Manifestation of Change in the Mountains,
and was consulted with the yarrow oracle (Yarrow was considered to be
a sacred plant beause it grow only in sacred places). A new form of
the divination text renamed the Kuei Tsang, or Flow and Return to Womb
and Tomb, was used during the Shang Dynasty. King Wen (1184-1135 B),
also known as Ji Chang the marquis of Western Bo and the founder of
the Chou Dynasty was another important contributor int he evolution
of the I Ching. While in prision, he wrote new divination texts for
the hexagrams of the Kuei Tsang, and arranged them in their present
order. This work is known as the Pem Ching and consists of the Kua (hexagrams)
and Thuan (Judgements). Later, King Wen's son, King Wu and his brother
Tan, modified Pem Ching by adding the Hsiao (Lines). This completed
the version of the I Ching as it survives to the present day.
The I Ching has became a valuable method for Chinese philosophers to
explain their thoughts and theories. Confucius was quoted as saying:
'If many years were added to my life, I would give 50 to the study of
the Zhou Yi and might thereby manage to avoid great mistakes."
In Chinese society, it is often eblive that those who sought to establish
themselves never failed to rely on the guidance of the I Ching. Chinese
histories provided the following examples of those that take advantage
of the I Ching:
- Li Jing, a famous general who helped establish the Tang Dynasty.
- Zuge Liang, a great strategist of the 3 Kingdoms period.
- Zhang Liang, a famous strategist who played a key role in the founding
of the Han Dynasty.
- Ziang Ziya, a strategist who helped establish the Zhou Dynasty.
Description of the Bagua (Eight Trigrams)
- I Ching is predicted by using 6 coins (usually) to get the arrangement
of one of the 64 arrangements. In each of these there are 2 types
of answer which is positive & negative (‘yin’ & ‘yang’ or the tho
opposites). Then it can be divided into 6 more different types of
interpretation depending the situation.
- The interaction of the Yin and Yang gives rise to all changes. Yin
and yang are not merely opposite states but can be complementary in
nature. This is called the unity of opposites.
- Only when one understands the relationship between opposites of
the hexagrams will one see the original meanings. Because of this,
many people misinterprets the hexagram due to their lack of thorough
understanding. If one thinks only of gain and ignores the possibility
of failure, he will run into trouble. If one thinks only of living
and ignores risks to life, regret will be too late. If one knows only
how to move forward and not backward, he will reach a dead end. Sorrow
and happiness, poverty and wealth, Yin and Yang will transform from
one into the other under certain conditions.
Relationship between Bagua and the
Practice of Martial Arts
At the simplist level, Bagua Palms makes use of the geometric frame
work of the I Ching as a memory aid for the complex movements, attack
and defenses of this style. For example, most styles of Bagua has 64
different techniques (Palms).