Deeper Implications of the Book of Changes
1. The Book of Changes contains the measure of heaven and earth; therefore it enables us to comprehend the tao of heaven and earth and its order.
The Book of Changes contains the measure of heaven and earth
The measure of heaven is the standard or scale with which celestial images (phenomena) or that which is above can be assessed.
This is a direct reference to the zodiac through which the stars, constellations and the moving lights can be observed, measured and comprehended.
The measure of earth is the standard with which worldly forms and effects can be assessed.
This is a direct reference to the astrological houses through which the worldly circumstances and influences of celestial phenomena can be seen to manifest, and can be measured and understood.
That the Book of Changes contains these measures of heaven (zodiac) and earth (houses) is an affirmation of the astrological nature of the changes.
therefore it enables us to comprehend the tao of heaven and earth and its order.
The Tao of heaven and earth (zodiac and houses) is the way of heaven and earth, or the balance of heaven and earth, or the essence of heaven and earth.
Its order refers to the sequence of change and the relationship between the changing circumstances of the light and the dark.
It is the astrological nature of the changes that enables us to comprehend.
Through this astrological nature we can find personal relevance and meaning within the scheme of the universe.
2. Looking upward, we contemplate with its help the signs in the heavens; looking down, we examine the lines of the earth. Thus we come to know the circumstances of the dark and the light. Going back to the beginnings of things and pursuing them to the end, we come to know the lessons of birth and of death. The union of seed and power produces all things; the escape of the soul brings about change. Through this we come to know the conditions of outgoing and returning spirits.
Looking upward, we contemplate with its help the signs in the heavens
Looking upward we see what is above and search for meaning.
The signs or lights in the heavens are the stars, the constellations, the zodiac and the moving lights.
That we contemplate with its help the signs in the heavens (what is above) could more technically refer to the passage of the heavenly lights through the lines or degrees of change or the zodiac (the measure of the heavens).
looking down, we examine the lines of the earth.
Looking downward we see what is below and examine the effects and implications.
The lines of the earth are the astrological houses or the lines dividing the earth into houses of relevance which represent the spectrum of human experience and its challenges.
Thus we come to know the circumstances of the dark and the light.
By coming to know the circumstances of the dark (earth-below) and the light (heaven-above) we can see the relationship of the signs of the zodiac to the astrological houses, or the relationship of what is above to what is below.
By using these measurements we can further observe and comprehend the circumstances of the moving heavenly lights in the heavens or zodiac and through the earth or houses.
We see what is above and below and what is changing.
In this way we come to understanding and wisdom.
Going back to the beginnings of things
What is the beginning of things, if not the beginning of life?
Individual life begins with the first breath when we are separated from our mothers and become unique life forms, influenced by what is above and what is below.
This marks the beginning of personal relevance and of one’s personal experience of change.
This is a direct reference to the horoscope or map of one’s nature and destiny.
From the beginning of life one’s nature and circumstances can be observed and the implications understood.
and pursuing them to the end
What is the end if not the end of life or death?
It is the end of our relationship to change and relevance.
we come to know the lessons of birth and of death
What are the lessons of birth and death if not the lessons of life?
Observing the balance of heaven or the horoscope at the beginning of life, or the beginning of movement we see the starting point.
By pursuing the moving lights or changes to the end (death or return to stillness) we come to know the lessons of life.
We are born full of potential.
We live and act out our life creatively increasing activity to its maximum or the prime of life.
We begin to age and lose energy until we return to stillness at death.
By following the moving lights across a lifetime from beginning to end studying the Sun, Moon and planets and their transits around the horoscope) we come to know the celestial implications of life and destiny.
The union of seed and power produces all things;
This refers to the union of darkness and light, earth and heavens, woman and man, and of the yielding and the firm, gives birth to life and living beings.
Woman and man unite and a life is created.
A child is born.
This is indeed a new beginning.
the escape of the soul brings about change
That the soul escapes from the mother (two souls in one body) and gains its own life, and initiates the beginning of change.
Life is change.
The beginning of life is the beginning of change.
In time, at the end of things or death the soul escapes from the body to return to stillness.
This is the end of life and it marks the end of change.
The study of heavenly phenomena and worldly circumstances from the beginning of change to the end, is the same as the study of the horoscope at birth and followed across a lifetime to death.
we come to know the conditions of outgoing and returning spirits.
Outgoing spirits refers to spirits that are active and involved in life, becoming more active.
Returning spirits refers to spirits letting go of their activities and involvements in life or dying and returning to stillness.
There is a great wheel of life and prayer.
Souls go out into life and move around the wheel.
Souls can also return or go back to the centre when attachments to the outer wheel and activity ceases.
This wheel of life is the changes (I Ching) and one can use its help to go out and to return in.
The soul comes into life at the great beginning and goes out as far as is desired.
It then returns to the centre of stillness at the end of the changes, or at death.
3. Since in this way man comes to resemble heaven and earth, he is not in conflict with them. His wisdom embraces all things, and his tao brings order into the whole world; therefore he does not err. He is active everywhere but does not let himself he be carried away. He rejoices in heaven and has knowledge of fate, therefore he is free of care. He is content with his circumstances and genuine in his kindness, therefore he can practice love.
Since in this way implies by contemplating life in this manner or from this astrological perspective of change
man comes to resemble heaven and earth,
one finds that heaven and earth are within and that we are made in their image.
What is above (heaven, light, creativity) and what is below (earth, darkness, receptivity) are within us and in the same proportions as they are without.
he is not in conflict with them.
By contemplating the relationship of heaven to earth we come to know ourselves.
We align our being with what is above (heaven and light) and what is below (earth and darkness) and their interrelationships.
We align with the ways of heaven or moving lights and with their corresponding effects on earth and its darkness.
In this way one is not in conflict with what is above or what is below.
His wisdom embraces all things,
From this contemplation one’s understanding comes to embrace or include all things.
It includes the lights in the heavens above and their phenomena.
It also includes the forms on the earth and their changes.
It includes what is above and what is below.
One’s wisdom thereby leaves out nothing as irrelevant.
Everything is embraced or made personally relevant.
Is this not the definition of wisdom?
The word understanding comes from “standing under” the heavenly lights above.
and his tao brings order into the whole world;
Ones conscious integration of the changes between heaven and earth brings the order of the celestial lights into the world of darkness.
therefore he does not err.
Because one has taken into consideration the heavenly lights above and their effects on the earthly world below, one will be in harmony with the changes in life.
One can see what is past and what is coming, and can understand the implications now, in the present moment.
Because one can do this, one can be properly aligned to life.
By not deviating from this alignment one will prevent errors in judgment and subsequent mistakes.
He is active everywhere but does not let himself he be carried away.
One bases one’s actions on the relationship of the heavenly lights to the earthly darkness.
To be active everywhere in astrology implies that one is living one’s horoscope fully.
Each planet, sun and moon (moving lights) are coloured by the images in the heavens (zodiac – animal signs) and directs its energy into the affairs of the houses on earth.
The twelve houses represent the spectrum of individual experience or the layers of human life.
The hexagrams and the lines also contain the measure of heaven and earth, through which the heavenly lights move and have their being.
The moving lights (planets, sun and moon) represent different frequencies and cycles which, in astrology, refer to different human functions or levels of consciousness.
The Sun represents one’s confidence, will power and sense of purpose.
It also signifies movement into the future.
The Moon represents one’s habits, feelings and instincts.
It signifies one’s memory of the past, the capacity to reflect and the ability to nurture.
Mercury represents ones ability to perceive, make sense of things and coordinate the senses, their functions and the objects of each sense.
Mercury is the water ball, or waters of the mind.
Venus represents one’s magnetism.
It reveals how and what we are attracted to and repulsed from.
It also signifies love and hate, lust and satisfaction, as well as envy and contentment.
Venus is the metal ball.
Mars represents the use of force and energy.
It reveals one’s desire for experience and the manner in which one does things.
It often shows disruptions of energy through anger, aggression and impatience.
Mars is the fire ball.
Jupiter represents the assimilation and understanding of one’s experiences.
It is the planet of opportunity and good fortune.
It rules abundance and expansion.
Jupiter is the wood ball.
Saturn represents self discipline and restraint.
It signifies the factors of age, responsibility, accomplishment and respect.
Restraint and crystallization are modes of its expression.
It is the judge of what we have done with our time.
Saturn is the earth ball.
One is alive and active on all levels but one has perspective and celestial guidance.
One is aware and aligned to change.
One is alert to the moment and ready to adjust appropriately to the demands of others and of the time.
One will not be carried away into personal indulgences or outer circumstances.
Because one has aligned oneself with heaven, lifted one’s action to the level of the gods, and applied them to the affairs of the earth, one will know what to do, exactly when to act and exactly when to stop.
One will not be carried away or deviate from one’s true path.
He rejoices in heaven and has knowledge of fate, therefore he is free of care.
He rejoices in heaven.
One celebrates the heavenly lights, the stars, the constellations and the moving lights.
One is glad for one’s relationship to these lights and for their direction and guidance in one’s life.
And has knowledge of fate
One knows about the effects of the heavenly lights upon the dark and receptive earth and its affairs.
One knows what has happened and what will come and understands why.
One is aware of and aligned with the standard and the measure of heaven and earth.
Why should such a one worry?
One becomes free of care.
He is content with his circumstances
One has accepted the circumstances of one’s relationship to heaven and earth.
One has come to terms with and accepted one’s horoscope.
and genuine in his kindness,
This presents a qualification of one who has become content with one’s circumstances or is at peace with one’s horoscope and character.
Such a one will not make excessive demands and will sincerely help others in their circumstances.
Perhaps it will help them to find contentment.
Is this not true kindness?
therefore he can practice love.
Are these not the prerequisites for love?
This is a profound statement, in that it suggests that love can be practiced and is a way that can be learned.
We are all so busy dealing with the effects of the heavenly lights on our worldly life.
Most of us are carried away in the process.
Who is then capable of practicing love?
Only one who has integrated the relations of heaven and earth in one’s life.
4. In it are included the forms and the scope of everything in the heavens and on earth, so that nothing escapes it. In it all things everywhere are completed, so that none is missing. Therefore by means of it we can penetrate the tao of day and night, and so understand it. Therefore the spirit is bound to no one place, nor the Book of Changes to any one form.
In it are included the forms and the scope of everything in the heavens and on earth
The forms and the scope of everything on earth – on earth, shapes take form.
This is a reference to the astrological houses or the spectrum of human experience.
It manifests below but is created from above.
In the heavens phenomena take form.
This is a reference to the heavenly lights – the stars, constellations, animals of the zodiac,and the moving lights which include the Sun, Moon and its phases and the celestial orbits of planets.
The heavenly lights, the moving lights and the earthly forms represent the scope of everything in the heavens above (light) and on earth below (darkness).
so that nothing escapes it.
When one has considered all of these factors, what else is there to consider?
Everything has been included.
Nothing has been overlooked.
In it all things everywhere are completed, so that none is missing.
The cycle of the zodiac or the year with its seasons are completely represented.
The cycles of the moving lights are completely represented.
The cycles of the earth or day is completely represented.
The sixty-four hexagrams are the measure of heaven and earth.
They measure the phases of change in all phenomena and forms in the year or zodiac, the month or moon phase, and the day with its hours or houses.
Each cycle is complete in itself.
Nothing is missing.
Therefore by means of it we can penetrate the tao of day and night, and so understand it.
Through using the sixty-four hexagrams we can penetrate to the essence of day and night.
We can perceive the spectrum of human experience within a cycle of twenty-four hours or twelve astrological houses.
In this way one can understand the essence of the day and its implications.
In a similar manner the sixty-four hexagrams can penetrate the Tao of day and night across the four seasons of the year, or zodiac, and come to an understanding of it.
Likewise the sixty-four hexagrams can penetrate the cycle of the moon phases from the dark new moon to the light full moon, and come to understand it.
The same holds true for the cycles and relationships of the planets.
In all things the book of changes is applicable, and leads to understanding.
This is the summary of the deeper implications.
Spirit is beyond the places of the hexagrams and not attached or bound to them.
Spirit is everywhere, transcendent and eternal, within everything and beyond it also, but not bound by it.
The book of changes is not bound by any one form.
It will apply to the earth as the cycle of the day and the night.
It will apply to the moon and its phases.
It will apply to the sun and the seasons of the year.
It will apply to the planets and their movements.
The hexagrams will apply to all forms as they go through changes, and because of this understanding can be achieved.
In the Sequence of Later Heaven the hexagrams were applied to numbers and their patterns.
The hexagrams can also be applied
to the genetic code and DNA
to the chemical table
to the squares of a chess board
to the symbols of Braille and Morse code
to the structure of the Chinese language
The book of changes sits at the very source of language.
It presents how the spirit manifests in form and comes to understanding.