Tao of the Light and Dark
1. That which lets now the dark, now the light appear is tao.
What is it that lets the spirit manifest into form?
That which lets the dark earth rotate and the light sun appear is tao.
The ways or phases of this relationship are expressed by the sixty-four hexagrams (Book of Changes).
From studying the hexagrams we can penetrate the essence of change and develop true understanding.
2. As continuer, it is good. As completer, it is the essence.
Tao allows cycles to continue.
Life goes on. This is good.
Spirits go out.
Tao also allows cycles to complete.
Living things have so much time and then they return to the essence.
This is the essence.
3. The kind man discovers it and calls it kind. The wise man discovers it and calls it wise. The people use it day by day and are not aware of it, for the way of the superior man is rare.
The kind man discovers it and calls it kind.
One perceives it as one’s essence.
The wise man discovers it and calls it wise.
The wise man is one who is aware of the changes.
Such a one also perceives it as the essence.
The people use it day by day
Everyone has their essence and it guides them through the changes, day by day.
and are not aware of it,
Most people are not aware that they are being guided, nor are they aware of the changes (sixty-four hexagrams) which lead to true understanding and practical guidance.
for the way of the superior man is rare.
There are not many who consciously follow the way of the superior man
or the way of the natural changes.
4. It manifests itself as kindness but conceals its workings. It gives life to all things, but it does not share the anxieties of the holy sage. Its glorious power, its great field of action, are of all things the most sublime.
It manifests itself as kindness but conceals its workings.
The manifestations of the spirit show as kindness but its workings are veiled or hidden.
The changes in life are hidden.
The hexagrams cannot be seen in nature but they can be used to come to kindness and true understanding.
It gives life to all things,
The escape of the soul brings about change.
Our spirit goes out into life and creativity
And returns to the stillness (receptivity) or Tao
Through death or awareness.
but it does not share the anxieties of the holy sage.
Why should Tao worry. It is the essence of change.
It knows the balance of the seasons, the moon phases and the hours of the day.
It knows the beginnings and the endings and that all things are cyclic and they follow the laws of change or the ways of the sixty-four hexagrams.
In knowing this, and being one with the essence of change,
What is there to worry about?
Its glorious power,
It creates the light. (Stars, constellations, zodiac and moving lights)
its great field of action,
The great field of action is the heaven and the earth.
It is the light of zodiac and the darkness of the astrological houses.
The sixty-four hexagrams contain the measure of the zodiac or seasons and the measure of the earth or days.
This is indeed a great field of action
are of all things the most sublime.
This is the essence of understanding.
That light is created and darkness receives it or is enlightened.
The images in the heavens and the lines on the earth.
The zodiac signs and the astrological houses.
The sixty-four hexagrams in the heavens.
The sixty-four hexagrams on the earth.
Changes are present everywhere,
But most people are not aware of them.
They are subliminal to outer consciousness.
Of all the things that can be known
They are indeed the most sublime!
5. It possesses everything in complete abundance: this is its great field of action. It renews everything daily: this is its glorious power.
It possesses everything in complete abundance
Why look anywhere else for understanding?
Everything is contained within the changes; the lights in the heavens, the forms on the earth, and everything in between.
What is above: heavenly light, the stars, constellations, the zodiac, and the moving lights.
What is below: earthly darkness, with its shapes and forms and the changing cycles of light and dark across a day.
The changes contain all changes: heavenly, earthly and in between.
This is the essence of change.
Everything is included.
Nothing is left out.
this is its great field of action.
It includes the scope of everything in the heavens and all ways on earth.
A field of action that includes everything, all actions and all movements, is truly a great field of action.
It renews everything daily
The cycle completes and restarts every day.
From midnight light is born. It will increase until noon.
From noon darkness increases. It will increase until midnight.
It begins every experience in life daily, and then it ends, and then it starts over again.
A new day with all of its changes and potentials is born again.
Everything is renewed daily.
If one lives in the moment, everything is experienced daily.
Without going out of the door one can know the ways of love.
this is its glorious power.
It gives light and then it takes it away and it renews the process daily.
What could be more glorious? Or more powerful?
That one can understand the phases of the day or astrological houses is part of this glorious power.
6. As begetter of all begetting, it is called change.
As begetter of all begetting, it is called change.
Light is the creative power and creates everything.
The creator of this light is called change.
The book of changes is the record of these changes and gives advice on their implications.
It is a cosmological, astrological and spiritual treatise.
It presents the way of change.
7. As that which completes the primal images, it is called the Creative; as that which imitates them, it is called the Receptive.
As that which completes the primal images, it is called the Creative
This is a reference to the images of the trigrams.
In the sequence of Earlier Heaven the primal yang line began the cycle of light ascending after the winter solstice.
The light increases until the three lines of the trigram are all solid or light.
This is the hexagram of the creative.
It also refers to the images of light in the heavens.
The light increases all morning until it reaches its creative peak at noon.
The images of the trigrams were considered to include the heavenly images.
The heavenly lights are completed by manifesting on earth.
This is the way of the creative. Light creates life.
as that which imitates them, it is called the Receptive.
The shapes on the earth imitate the heavenly lights.
That we are made in the image of our creator and that we manifest the images in our own lives, is considered to be the way of the receptive.
This is a reference to how we live up to or try to imitate our stars.
(“The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings. “ Shakespeare, Julius Caesar (I, ii, 140-141).)
We are a sign of the zodiac and imitate its characteristics.
We have all of the heavenly signs in our horoscope.
We also have all the lines of the earth, or the astrological houses in our horoscope.
From this we can observe or learn our character and our destiny ….
Who we are, where we come from and where we are going.
8. In that it serves for exploring the laws of number and thus for knowing the future, it is called revelation. In that it serves to infuse an organic coherence into the changes, it is called the work.
In that it serves for exploring the laws of number
In the time of Earlier Heaven (Fu Hsi) the changes were not related to numbers, or the seeming so-called laws of numbers.
As explained in the previous passages, they referred to the ways of heaven and earth.
From this, in itself, how to live successfully could be determined.
The phenomenal universe of nature is subliminal to and transcendent to the language of numbers.
The language of numbers is an abstraction or mental concept, while the ways of change are experiential and the opposite of abstraction.
The mind likes to think that it is real but one picture is worth a thousand words, and one action is worth a thousand pictures.
Upon what then is change dependent?
It is dependent on the ways of heaven and earth and the ways of the creative and the receptive.
These are experiential realities.
Abstractions could be considered a deviation from the experiential norms of change.
In the time of King Wan and the Duke of Chou, numbers were added to the changes.
It was made to appear that numbers were the validation of the changes and that the earlier ways of natural perception were flawed or incorrect.
The opposite is actually true.
Natural perception provides the validation of, and the standard for assessing abstractions.
It is the changes that can validate a sequence of numbers.
Numbers do not validate nature.
It must be said that the introduction of numbers and abstract thinking to the changes, although not naturally aligned, brought many new insights and concepts to the changes.
This ushered in a new era of considering the changes abstractly. This era enhanced mathematical conceptions but diminished the association to nature.
The ways of nature were minimized against the oncoming tide of mathematical deduction.
One would be wise to remember that it was not mathematics that gave validity to the changes as in the Sequence of Later Heaven, but the changes as in the Sequence of Earlier Heaven that gave an apparent validity to numbers.
In this way it can be said that the changes did indeed serve the interest of exploring numbers.
It becomes perceivable that the laws of number were given preference over the laws of nature and the ways of change.
This is equivalent to the student presuming he is better than the master.
This distortion or bias has predominated the use and development of the I Ching for over three thousand years.
This distortion or deviation from the standard of nature could be considered as the source of modern mathematically based science and its aftermath of pollution on the planet.
Going against the experiential way of change as presented in the time of Earlier Heaven, reveals a disrespect for the actual balance of nature.
It also reveals a disrespect for the ancestors from whom the changes came.
The changes originated in the time of Earlier Heaven and not from the works of King Wan and the Duke of Chou in the time of Later Heaven.
King Wan and the Duke of Chou are like the students who built themselves up at the expense of the original master Fu Hsi, who in turn became marginalized as the legendary emperor of an imaginary time.
and thus for knowing the future
First it is the natural way of change that allows for knowing the future.
This implies knowing when the light reaches it maximum and also when the darkness will increase and the crops will have to be harvested so that one could better survive the difficulties of the cold harsh winter.
Knowing the future includes the use of astrology and the chances of tuning into the future.
The so-called laws of number are being given an association to the changes, but without the changes and the ways of nature as the base, numbers would just run on and on.
Numbers are an abstraction or concept, but the ways of change are alive and experiential.
This represents a significant difference.
Much has been learned about mathematical patterns within the changes.
These patterns of mathematics may alter or provide for different perspectives, but the ways of change and nature, with its heavenly lights and earthly darkness is the essential standard.
Mathematical considerations can be contemplated or thought about, but the natural ways of change can be experienced!
This would be the equivalent of trying to learn martial arts from a book without the guidance of a master.
it is called revelation.
They can be used as an almanac to live by. In this way the changes can and do reveal the future and they are referred to as revelation.
In that it serves to infuse an organic coherence into the changes, it is called the work.
That the changes are an expression of the ways of nature, studying them becomes the work to understand and align with nature.
The organic coherence is the essence of the changes,
The infusion of an organic coherence into the changes became necessary to validate the mathematical concepts.
It was not necessary to infuse anything into the changes as they already contained the measure of heaven and earth and its order.
The work is to use the changes to understand our own personal organic coherence in nature.
Who am I?
Where do I come from?
Where am I going?
What needs to be done?
Will I succeed?
What is my destiny?
9. That aspect of it which cannot be fathomed in terms of the light and the dark is called spirit.
This affirms the natural perception of the changes in terms of light and darkness.
It bypasses the concept of numbers completely.
Everything is fathomed or understood through the light and the dark.
What cannot be understood in this way is called spirit.
Spirit is beyond change, even though it permeates change.