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The Tao Of I-Ching Chapter One Raising The Veil Of Mystery 31
30



Chinese Name
Symbol Order
Sharp
If we are familiar with the binary system of enumeration, we may 

recall the eight trigrams simply by reading off the numbers 0 through 7 

Three Continuous 1
using the 0 to represent a Yang line and the 1 to represent a Yin line,
Chien

or vice-versa. For example:

Kun _ Three Broken 8
β€”
Tui is the same as 001 or 1

4
Chen
Upwards Cup 

Kan is the same as 101 or 5 

Ken - - Overturned Bowl 7 

All eight are written as follows:


Li
Empty Middle 3 

Trigram Symbol Binary System Decimal System
Order

Kan_ i
Full Middle 6 


Chien 000 0 1
-
Deficient Top 2 Tui - 

Tui 001 1 2

Broken Bottom 5
Sun


Li - - 010 2 3

In another method, we can look at the four fingers of our hand, 

and imagine a set of trigrams, one on the upper and one on the lower Chen 011 3 4

joint. 
Note that each set is symmetrical with of Yin and Yang reversed, 

and that the order of one to eight follows that derived with the Sun β€” 100 4 5

rectangular bars as shown in figure 1-4e.

Kan 101 5 6




Ken 110 6 7



Kun 7 8
111 



(Note: Normally, binary and decimal numbers are read from right to left. However, 

I recommend reversing the order of reading to avoid confusion. Always read from

left to right to derive the eight trigrams. For example, "001" is read Yang, Yang, 

Yin,orβ€”,β€”,--.)


Finally, if we take our Tai-Chi symbol and rotate its center a little 

to more visibly symbolize the intermingling of Yin and Yang, we can 


read the eight trigrams in it by taking eight sections as shown in figure 

Figure 1-4e
1-4f.





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