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Ruling lines in the Yijing

To: alt.magick
From: Blazin' Tommy D. (
Subject: Re: Ruling lines in the Yijing (was:Re: i ching by wilhelm) 
Date: 2002-10-15 06:03:55 PST 

Trigrams represent the basic elements quantified in terms of heaven and
earth - every reference to these things are expressions of observation.
It's irrelevant when the expressions are/were invented (brought into
popular use) they cannot precede the things they represent. The only
relevancy is that minority rules in trigrams works and that yin and yang as
an elegant form of classification works. The rest is pedantry. 

[X] wrote in article
> On Fri, 11 Oct 2002 19:32:13 +0800, syho 
> wrote:
> >
> >
> >the governing/ruling line(s) is the key and the hint of how and why ancient 
> >people set the name for the hexagram.
> There's no evidence for that at all, and even a superficial
> examination of the text will show this idea to be groundless. Many of
> the hexagram tags (title characters) are repeated in "incremental
> repetition" throughout a hexagram. 
> The concept of rulers is to do with the structure of the actual
> six-line figure, relying self-evidently on the philosophy of yin-yang
> and trigrams. Despite the traditional view that King Wen combined the
> trigrams when imprisoned at Youli to form the hexagrams, and some
> recent rather specious interpretations (in my opinion) of neolithic
> burial sites, there is no evidence that trigrams came before
> hexagrams. 
> Trigrams appear first in the Warring States period, and the story that
> King Wen "combined the trigrams" came later, from Sima Qian (145-86
> BC). The hexagram tags were in existence prior to this, so the ruling
> lines can have played no part in determining the tag. The philosophy
> of yin-yang itself does not appear before the 4th century BC, and
> although it is perhaps implied in the very appearance of hexagrams it
> is not a confirmed fact that yin-yang had anything to do with the
> original thinking behind the creation of the 64 diagrams (any more
> than yin-yang had anything to do with binary notation, for instance,
> despite the fact that Shao Yong's Song dynasty 'Xiantian' arrangement
> of the 64 hexagrams is binary... similarly Shao Yong's work was not an
> attempt to create binary notation but to provide a logical order for
> the hexagrams based on a six-fold iteration of yin and yang. A work of
> sheer brilliance that rightly impressed Leibnitz who independently
> discovered the same principle hundreds of years later in the form of
> binary notation). 
> I don't recall ruling lines being indicated in the Mawangdui silk
> manuscript (168 BC) either.
> >
> >syho
> >
> >
> >On Fri, 11 Oct 2002 04:04:20 +0000 (UTC), [X] wrote:
> >
> >>
> >>As for the origin of the concept of ruling lines, Wilhelm-Baynes gives
> >>the impression that it comes from the Tuanzhuan: "The ruler of the
> >>hexagram can always be determined from the Commentary on the Decision
> >>[ie the Tuanzhuan]." (p364, Wilhelm-Baynes 3rd edition [penultimate
> >>paragraph of Book II].). But in fact the Tuanzhuan doesn't mention any
> >>individual lines and this may be a mistranslation by Cary F Baynes
> >>from Wilhelm's original German. A look at the 1924 Jena first edition
> >>will solve that. I don't know when or by whom ruling lines were first
> >>identified.


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