“The Tao produced One; One produced Two; Two produced Three.
From these three, all mankind descended.”
~Lao Tzu in Tao te King, 600BC.
All religious and esoteric traditions, philosophies and sciences try to describe the same world, and my goal was to find the shared pattern below all these. But, it’s not necessarily easy to find these patterns, the vocabularies are usually very different. The logic in Taoism seemed to be very different from the European tradition, where we had seven as key value they had eight, why? There were many questions like that. My first article on Taoism: Tao – The Equilibrium of Yin and Yang.
Especially I Ching was fascinating with their trigrams and hexagrams. It was a very stringent logical system, although the reasons was elusive. It was very different from anything else in the rest of the world. The big question was how it had been created and what the logic behind them was. Was it possible to connect it with European or Indian esotericism, with Kabbalah or astrology?
Some years ago i found out why we used seven and they used eight, it was quite easy when I first found out: Outside China we count the seven inner planetary bodies except Earth, the Chinese includes the Earth. Here we have the eight bodies to the left and the seven bodied projection to the right, where the Sun and Earth are projected into the same point.
I was fascinated by the The Book of Change, called the I Ching, that is one of the world’s oldest works of literature. In my Dark Night of the Soul I used it to solve some difficult questions and I was surprised how precise its advices was, even though it was an old old system. I was then ‘told’ that it was nearly as good as when it was created.
I studied the text and found out that it was kind of teaching or rule book for a civilization, and it was the guiding book for the development of the Chinese civilization. I Ching was both appreciated by the Confucians and Taoists alike.
All civilizations are in danger of decadence, of the powers of Yin or Ahriman in Anthroposophic vocabulary, but I Ching is a guide for a society to keep the society in balance. This is the reason behind the longevity of the Chinese civilisation, but at the price of stasis, nothing new happened, but it was a perfect first class for new souls. As there isn’t coming many new souls into humanity any longer, they had to break the stasis, and that was what the culture revolution of Mao did. One kind of materialism is replaced by a new materialism, a cultureless materialism, where people can begin to find their own path.
The creation of the eight Pa Kua or trigrams at the root of the sixty-four principles, hexagrams, are ascribed to the legendary Fu-Xi, who ruled during the third millennium BC.
Tao gives birth to One,
One gives birth to Two,
The Two gives birth to Three,
The Three gives birth to all universal things.
All universal things shoulder the Yin and embrace the Yang.
The Yin and Yang mingle and mix with each other to beget the harmony.
This reminds very much on the creation story around the Three Logoi. Here a drawing of the creation:
Steiner uses the following symbols for the Three Logoi (The Logos Walks the Earth):
First Logos gives the idea, Second Logos gives life and Third Logos gives the resulting form.
The trigrams are build from below, where the lowest line represents the First Logos, the middle line the Second Logos and the top line the Third Logos. Here another representation of the development of the trigrams, and related to western symbolism.
From Xìcí 繫辭 “Appended Judgments” commentary to the I Ching (tr. Wilhelm and Baynes 1967:318-9):
Therefore there is in the Changes the Great Primal Beginning.
▪️ This generates the two primary forces.
▪️ The two primary forces generate the four images.
▪️ The four images generate the eight trigrams.
▪️ The eight trigrams determine good fortune and misfortune.
▪️ Good fortune and misfortune create the great field of action.
See also Wikipedia: Taiji.
Here’s how the children was created (from the Book of Change):
The Creative (☰ Qian) is heaven, therefore, it is called the father.
The Receptive (☷ Kun) is the earth, therefore, it is called the mother.
In the Trigram of the Arousing (☳ Zhen,) she seeks for the first time the power of the male and receives a son. Therefore, the Arousing is called the Eldest Son. [The highest spiritual principle in man, Atma.]
In the Trigram of the Gentle (☴ Xun) the male seeks for the first time the power of the female and receives a daughter. Therefore, the Gentle is called the Eldest Daughter. [The lowest principle in man, the physical.]
In the Trigram of the Abysmal (☵ Kan) she seeks for a second time and receives a son. Therefore, it is called the Middle Son. [The second lowest principle, the etheric.]
In the Trigram of the Clinging (☲ Li) he seeks for a second time and receives a daughter. Therefore, it is called the Middle Daughter. [The second highest principle, Buddhi.]
In the Trigram of Keeping (☶ Gen) Still she seeks for a third time and receives a son. Therefore, it is called the Youngest Son. [The third highest principle, Manas.]
In the Trigram of the Joyous (☱ Dui) he seeks for a third time and receives a daughter. Therefore, it is called the Youngest Daughter. [The third lowest principle, the Astral.]
The trigrams have names from their position in the family, and the oldest son and daughter corresponds to the First Logos, the middle son and daughter corresponds to the two personalities of the Second Logos and the youngest son and daughter corresponds to the Third Logos.
Buddhi is the Middle Daughter, and that is right, Buddhi is the feminine power of the trinity, Sophia or Isis.
The Father is heaven and the Mother is Earth, and the hexagrams describes the path humanity follows from Earth to Heaven, all inclusive.
In the Taijitu Shuo version of Taoist cosmology, the Two give birth to the Five Agents or Elements, whose various combinations generate the ten-thousand things.
The five Agents or Elements in their primary sequence: Wood (木) → Fire (火) → Earth (土) → Metal (金) → Water (水)
Elements and family members inserted into the figure of the Alchemist Mountain:
The paths from darkness to light.
It’s like the second and third triangle in the Kabbalah Tree of Life.
Interestingly enough the Fano Plane reminds about the Deathly Hallows from the Harry Potter books.
The Three Pure Ones
“Heavenly King of the Chaotic Never-ending Primordial Beginning”) at a time of pre-Creation when the Universe was still null and the cosmos was in disorder; manifesting into the first of the Taoist Trinity, Yuánshǐ Tiānzūn. Yuánshǐ Tiānzūn oversees the earliest phase of Creation of the Universe, and is henceforth known as Dàobǎo (道寶) “Treasure of the Tao”.
In One produces Two—Taiji produces Yin Yang, Yuanshi Tianzun manifests into Lingbao Tianzun who separated the Yang from the Yin, the clear from the murky, and classified the elements into their rightful groups. Therefore, he is also known as Jīngbǎo (經寶) “Treasure of the Law/Scripture”.
While Jīng in popular understanding means “scriptures”, in this context it also mean “passing through” [the phase of Creation] and the Laws of Nature of how things are meant to be.
In the final phase of Creation, Daode Tianzun is manifested from Língbăo Tiānzūn to bring civilization and preach the Law to all living beings. Therefore, He is also known as Shībǎo (師寶) “Treasure of the Master”.
Transformation of Yin to Yang – TAO
The dark side is the universe not yet conscious in God, in Tao, where the white is transformed darkness.
The body lies in darkness, the spirit in light, but the spirit is weak, and the body is strong. The soul permeates both body and spirit and is the driving power in the development, is TAO, the Logos.
Various Sources on I Ching
The Gnostic Book of Changes is a well researched book on I Ching, usable as introduction and as reference book. It can both be read on the site or downloaded as pdf-file.
In Chapter 3 he describes the structure of the I Ching Oracle with tender care, making much of the above easier understandable.
From his book:
In the Hexagram as in the Star of David are Heaven and Earth meeting.
Café au Soul have a well made site for using the I Ching Oracle.