Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The wisdom of Can Tong Qi (周易參同契) - Chapter 3


易者,象也。懸象著明,莫大忽日月,窮神以知化,陽往則陰來,輻輳而輪轉,出入更卷舒。易有三百八十四爻,據爻摘符,符謂六十四卦。晦至朔旦,震來受符。 當斯之際,天地媾其精,日月相擔持。雄陽播 玄施,雌陰化黃包。 混沌相交接,權輿樹根基。經營養鄞鄂,凝神以成軀。眾夫蹈以出,蠕動莫不由。

My rendition of chapter three of Can Tong Qi (周易參同契)

“I” is a signification system to organize the signified
Sun and Moon being the most important signified
Sun contains the yin essence of the five elements whereas
Moon contains the six yang sounds of the system
Six segments of five days each make 30 days and repeat themselves in cycles
Exhaust the power of the "mind" (神) to effect change
Yin follows Yang, hub and spokes cause wheel to turn, in and out, roll and unroll
“I” consists of 384 yin or yang lines, eight lines makes one symbol resulting in 64 hexagrams
During the time of Sprouting (hexagram), this is the time of the Thunder (trigram) to perform the symbolic act of yin and yang union
During such time, Heaven and Earth mate, Sun and Moon embrace, Male spreads its seed that Female receives into its yellow belly.
Chaos meeting with chaos, a strong foundation will be built up
Nourishment will spread to the farthest edge
Focus your mind to establish the embryo -
Every man has this potential
But the uninitiated don’t know how to materialize it

Paul's comment: I Ching's Sprouting hexagram consists of Kan (water) and Zhen (Thunder). It is used to signify the time when Yin and Yang meet. Time-wise it is signified by Zi hour (子時), the two hours between 23:00 and 01:00. However it is signified, it is the time when chi in the DanTian (丹田) gives the practitioner a strong enough signal to do the microcosmic circulation, with the mind totally involved in the signification system of a union between Yin and Yang. The circulation part is physical, the signification part is spiritual. Both are necessary for true Taoist alchemical practice.

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