In a changing and unpredictable world, no classical text is more rewarding, or more challenging, than the ancient Chinese I Ching or Book of Changes. This classic presents itself as a book of divination and invites dismissal on such grounds amongst educated Western circles, including even the great British sinologist and advocate of Chinese science and technology Joseph Needham. It is, however, the most modern of practical handbooks, being a remarkably wise and profound guide to that nagging imperative of contemporary personal and political life – self-organisation.
This truth only grows as political authority shifts from West to East, as economic productivity travels from America to China, as industrial technology grows robustly throughout Asia and shrivels in the developed economies and as health and well-being wisdom is found more surely in Asian therapeutic traditions than in contemporary share market driven medical innovations.
Indeed, the I Ching is not only the source of a profound personal, social and political wisdom but also of a scientific genius that is holistic and organic and that led the world for several millennia until the rise of Anglo-American power over the past two hundred years. Moreover, this scientific culture promises much for the future of a troubled global community. It contrasts with the culture that has turned contemporary life into one large uncontrolled and poorly understood scientific experiment, where the casino of the marketplace has ceased to respect the ecologies of life.
"I Ching" states: "I" is aligned to Heaven and Earth. Thus it encompasses the Tao of Heaven and Earth. It explains not only the observable world, but also the unobservable world of spirits. It embraces the law of beginning, end and regeneration of all phenomena and matters. It knows that all matters are formed by spirits and vitality, and the soul governs the changes of the matters.
The generic term "soul" is actually comprised of "Hun" (the Spirit of Consciousness) and "Po" (the Spirit of Sense). The soul is the pivot of a man's life or death. When the human body grows, the soul disperses into the nerve endings to form the "Hun" and the sensual organs to form the "Po". The "Hun" consists of three components: the first component is the "Sheng-hun" (the Spirit of Growth), the second is the "Jue-hun" (the Spirit of Awareness), and the third is the "You-hun" (the Spirit of Thought and Inspiration). "You-hun" is what most people refer to when they speak of soul.
Plants, vegetables, trees...etc have only the "Sheng-hun". Animals and all living beings visible to the eyes other than human beings have the "Sheng-hun" and "Jue-hun". Human beings have all the three, "Sheng-hun, Jue-hun and You-hun". Hence the soul of a human being is complete with conscience knowing what is right and what is wrong.
The "Po" in the sensual organs, that is; the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind, generates the six senses. The six sensual organs then generate the seven emotions of happiness, rage, sadness, joyousness, love, hatred and lust. These are the seven components of the "Po". When one deals with other people and attends to various daily chores, his "Po" generates desires and emotions and is expended by converting into physical energy. That also depletes the souls to the extent that it cannot be restored to its original True Self and cannot return to God's kingdom.
While the True Self is the essence of the human life, the "Hun" and the "Po" are the human life. That is why all Saints preached the doctrine of practising both the True Self and the life. The "Qi" (spirit) of "Hun" and "Po" is just like an invisible bond linking the soul and the body. They function as a medium synchronizing the soul and the body. The "Qi" of "Hun" and "Po" is called the "silver ribbon". When the True Self resides in the body, one is alive. When the True Self departs from the body, one dies. When a person is alive, his "Hun" resides in the liver and his "Po" resides in the lung. When the "Hun" and "Po" reside in the body, one is alive. When the "Hun" and "Po" leave the body, one dies. The "You-hun" is the seed for the cycle of birth, death and rebirth.
When a person dies, his "Sheng-hun" stays at the funeral hall while his "Jue-hun" stays at his grave. His "You-hun" reports for judgement. It is the "You-hun" which becomes a human or ghost, a Saint or a Sage, the good or the bad, or an animal. The True Self is the first to enter the body before birth and the first to leave the body upon death.
At the moment an infant gives his first cry, the "Hun" enters his body. When the "Hun" enters the body, the True Self is connected with the "Qi" of "Hou-tien" (the space where all lives live after Heaven and Earth were created); the "Hun" is then dependent on the body to manifest itself. If the "You-hun" does not enter the body, even with the True Self, the infant cannot live. That is why infants must cry at the time of birth in order to live.
The "Po" depends on the coagulation of vitality and the "Qi" in "Hou-tien" for existence. It takes forty-nine days after birth for the seven components of the "Po" to become fully established. Similarly, the seven components will not totally vanish until forty-nine days after death.
The True Self cannot be created or destroyed. It cannot be contaminated or purified. It cannot be enhanced or degraded. The True Self cannot be drown in water, nor burned in fire. The True Self resides in a different body for every life, just like one moves from a house to another; the True Self does not change. The True Self always resides in the Right Portal.
The Right Portal is also known as The Third Eye, The Divine Eye or The Narrow Gate in the Bible. Unite the True Self and life into one, you will realize the mystic nature of the Right Portal, says Heaven.
Author: T.A Chew
Reading the I Ching
Reading the I Ching – what’s the mystery? Strange patterns of broken and unbroken lines, the tossing of coins and seemingly obscure meanings all add up to reading the I Ching, which translates as ‘Book of Changes’.
I have used this oracle many times and find it is best suited to ‘deep’ questions. You will get answers to ponder on and think about – simple yes or no answers are not what you get with the I Ching!
The authors of this ancient Chinese oracle are believed to be Fu Hsi, King Wện, the Duke of Chous and Confuscious. It was written and formulated over 5000 years ago. It is still widely used which would indicate there must be something to it!
The basic concept of reading the I Ching consists of eight trigrams (trigram: three broken, unbroken or mixed lines).
Each of these lines has a name, an attribute, an image and a family relationship link. The I Ching, as we know it, has 64 hexagrams consisting of two trigrams put together, forming six lines. Are you confused yet? Don’t be – it really is very easy to use! Before going any further, it would be wise to invest in a book on the I-Ching to have pictures of your 64 hexagrams at your side.
To consult the I Ching have your book of hexagrams ready, a pen, paper and three coins of the same type (pennies are considered to be the luckiest coin). Heads on coins represent Yang, that is, a solid line, and tails represent Yin, a broken line.
Pick up your coins, hold them in your hands and concentrate on your question; it can be about anything! When you have your question clearly in your mind, toss your coins. Remember you will be tossing them six times to get your hexagram.
Now for the fun part! When reading the I Ching, the first toss of the coins represents the bottom line, and you build up your hexagram like a ladder.
•Two heads = a solid line
•Two tails = a broken line
•Three heads = known as a ‘changing’ solid line (more on that below)
•Three tails = a ‘changing’ broken line.
Back to the changing lines! Reading the I Ching is all about change and that is the one thing we can be sure will happen during our lifetime. If your hexagram has changing lines, you need to create a new hexagram by changing the ‘changing’ line into it’s opposite. The answer to your question can be taken from the two hexagrams read together. I Ching aficionados differ on the 2nd hexagram meaning. Some feel it shows new possiblilities or avenues for your question. Others say it shows the eventual outcome. Go with your instinct on this one.
When you have your hexagram built, that is the answer to your question, you can look up your hexagram in one of the many excellent books available. Below is a general daily version of a I Ching throw. Enjoy.....
Astoria Brown Psychic Readings