The history of trigram circles: facts, sources and their interpretation

A video about the distorted view that exists of the history of the two most important trigram circles.

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2 Responses to The history of trigram circles: facts, sources and their interpretation

  1. Simon Abbott says:

    Interesting stuff, Harmen. If, necessarily perhaps, a little laboured at times. A quick insight into the XianTian Bagua being developed out of Daoist nei dan can quickly be gained from the ‘Dragon Tiger Classic’ or ‘Cultivating Stillness’ both beautifully translated by Eva Wong and published by Shambala.

    These are thankfully less deliberately confusing or ridiculously esoteric than other works and describe the importance of the Moon’s cycle in the waxing and waning of yang and its relevance to nei dan practice. Xiantian is fundamentally grounded in the progression of yin and yang (and the represents the journey of the Sage back to perfect balance before what in the West we might call “The Fall’ – or the coming into the phenomenal and illusory world so beautifully portrayed by HouTian Bagua).

    The fact that the XianTian Bagua is so closely allied to Yin and Yang in itself an indication of it development as being later that HouTian, since yin and yang is a much later concept? Is it not? I cannot recall exactly when, to be frank.. But I believe Margaret Pearson’s work has revealed this..

    Anyway, enjoyable video. Thank you! It certainly produced some insights for me! I constantly regret not being a reader of Chinese…translating for me is an arduous task..

    • Thanks for your comment, Simon. Does Eva say anything about the history of the Xiantian Bagua? I would be interested to know her take on it. Regarding yin and yang: just like you I also thought that the concept of yin & yang arrived quite late – somewhere in the Han dynasty, or the Qin dynasty at the earliest. However, the Shifa manuscript already refers to this concept, so it isn’t *that* late. And the Shuogua, as well as other parts of the Ten Wings, also refer to it. I have to rethink my own ideas (and assumptions) about the value and usage of yin and yang in the history of the Yijing. In any case, the text of the Zhouyi, the core text of the Yijing, does not explicitly mention it.

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