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The Tao Of I-Ching
Chapter One Raising The Veil Of Mystery 17

the symbols of Yin and Yang, but before the symbols there is the 

observable actuality.

First, the sun and moon are alternating qualities that follow each 

other in a circular path. The sun rises and comes to its zenith, and 

begins to decline. It disappears below the horizon, and the moon

appears. The moon is followed by the sun, and then follows the sun 

again. First one dominates, then the other.

There is also the opposition of the sun and moon in their qualities. 

The sun is huge, yet distant beyond imagination. Its tremendous energy 

brings the warmth and light that is responsible for all life on earth. 

The moon is smaller even than the earth, yet it is closer to the earth 

than the sun, so it raises powerful tides in the oceans and also — as

scientists are beginning to study — in the tissues of all living things. 

The moon is dark and has no light, yet it shines brightly and dimly 

and brightly again with the light of the sun. The moon changes the

quality of the sun through polarization. Together, the opposing qualities 

of the sun and moon create a complex and always changing series of 
Figure 1-la
influences on the life of our planet.

As we observe the interaction of their opposition, we come to 
any serious interruption.
There was a gradual evolution and three
another perception — that their contrasts and the contrasts of similar 

energies here on earth are what make our life. Thus we can say that different I Chings have been developed. In the Hsia Dynasty (

they not only oppose each other, but also complement each other.
2205-1766 B.C.), the Tui trigram ( 10, which was the image of 

lake, was doubled and became the first hexagram in the series of 64. 
To understand this, we need only consider a photo. It is shades 
This arrangement was called Lien Shan (A iii ). In the Shang Dynasty 
of light and darkress. Take away all the darkness, and what do we 

have? Take away all the light, and what do we have?
( 0 1766-1150 B.C.), the trigram Kun ( h fF ), which symbolizes 

The study of the I Ching considers all the things we experience, the receptive earth, was doubled and became the first hexagram. This 

arrangement was called Kuei Tsang ( f ). Finally, in the Chou 
do, say, feel, and deal with, and finds this same contrast of qualities. 
Dynasty ( 
Without it, there is nothing. With it, anything in our world may be 1150-249 B.C.), Chien (~F ) the symbol of creativity 

seen and described. Our world and life are based on the activity and and heaven, was doubled to make the first hexagram. This arrangement 

was called Chou I (l MA ). Since written language was not well- 
changes of complements.
developed during the Hsia and the Shang Dynasties (in fact, records 
But this only happens because within the changes there is always 

constancy. To imagine this, think of a light burning brightly forever, were kept on tortoise shells) knowledge of the Lien Shan and Kuei 

with no shadow. This is one kind of constancy. It is easy to imagine.
Tsang was largely extinct by the time of the Chin Dynasty. What 

remains today is the Chou I, which we call the I Ching, or simply I.
Now imagine a light fluctuating with darkness forever in a way that 
The Chinese character for the word I is created by combining the 
has no pattern and no order. We might perceive this, yet the perception 

would have no meaning. Just as we might act, yet never know the symbols for the sun ( 0 ) and the moon ( ), and this combination 

meaning of our acts if there were no stable conditions to reflect that
presents the most fundamental perception of Chinese philosophy 

towards experience and life. Later we will see these formalized into
meaning to us.

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