Trigrams and Hexagrams|
The Trigrams, then and now, and the Chakra Chart
The foundation for the 64 Hexagrams of the I Ching is established in the meanings and metaphors
of the 8 Trigrams. We exist in an infinitely large sphere of awareness. That sphere can be divided and
separated into as many contrasting parts as our minds can imagine. The classic distinction of duality is
one example. Yang and Yin, good and evil, good fortune and misfortune, light and dark are all metaphors
for the image of duality imbedded in our collective consciousness.
Our universe manifests based on creative interpretations of contrasting elements. Since the original
meaning of the 64 Hexagrams originated through observation of the reality manifesting from this duality,
the 8 Trigrams were imbued with its metaphors. This then divided our sphere of awareness into eight
contrasting archetypes. As outlined in the Bollingen translation:
"The Creative is strong. The Receptive is yielding. The Arousing means movement. The Gentle
is penetrating. The Abysmal is dangerous. The Clinging means dependence. Keeping still means
standstill. The Joyous means pleasure."
|"The Creative is heaven (the father)...|
|The Receptive is earth, the mother...|
|The Arousing is thunder, the dragon (the oldest brother)...|
|The Gentle is wood, wind, the eldest daughter...|
|The Abysmal is water, ditches, ambush (the middle brother)...|
|The Clinging is fire, the sun, lightning, the middle daughter...|
|Keeping Still is the mountain, it is a bypath (the youngest brother)...|
|The Joyous is the lake, the youngest daughter; it is a sorceress…|
It means smashing and breaking apart..."
For reasons outlined in the next chapter "The Inner Circle and Constructive Relativity", I have
chosen to change the base metaphor of Yang and Yin, thereby allowing for a reinterpretation of the
8 Trigrams. I believe our universe was formed as a direct result of Creative Spiritual energy choosing
to experience itself through as vast and varied a set of opportunities as is possible.
The most natural set of contrasting elements resulting from that model are Yang as Creative
Spirit, or Creative Awareness, and Yin as the manifestation of Spirit, or what we are aware of. Imagine
sitting across the room from a very attractive person. From your perspective you are Yang, aware of
the other person's presence. They are Yin, what you are aware of. If you are fortunate enough for them
to notice you, then from their perspective they are Yang, aware of you. You are now Yin, what they are
aware of. Both Yang and Yin at the same time, the universe takes on a natural balance of creative
witness and appearance, what is witnessed.
Representing this new balance, the attributes of the 8 trigrams are revealed. Chi'en becomes
Creative Spirit and K'un the manifestation of Spirit. This is the first level of contrasting elements. With
the potential now created through manifesting awareness, energy to experience becomes possible.
Therefore the second level of contrasting elements is Chen, the Power of the new experience contrasted
with Sun, Development, or what manifests from that power over time.
Next comes K'an, the divine Path resulting from creative power experienced over time and Li,
the Awareness of that Path. The final 2 Trigrams resulting from the new model are Ken, the Present
Moment experience of the Path, and T'ui, the natural Joy arising from the freedom to create a Present
Moment based on a template of truly positive, reinforcing and furthering creative energy.
(Please see "The Trigrams - The Eight Aspects of Creative Spirit.)