Monday, June 17, 2013

483: The Yi Ching continued


The Yang and Yin conception of the ancient Chinese has exercised a dominating influence upon all Chinese thinkers, with the sole exception of Lao-tze.

Lao-tze's  Tao-Te-Ching, his book on the Tao, that is the Path or Method, the Word or Reason, the Logos, that was in the beginning 

and on Te, virtue, stands alone in the whole literature of China, propounding an ethics that repudiates all self-assertion, closely resembling the injunctions of both Buddha and Christ.

We are told that Confucius visited Lao-Tze, who, being by half a century his senior, must then have been about eighty years old. 

To evaluate this story historically, Lao Tze  is said to have lived at the same time as Confucius (551 - 479 BCE.), but recent scholars place him about two centuries later.

Anyway, while Confucius propounded the maxims of justice, the old philosopher urged the principle of good-will toward every one, saying: 
" Recompense injury with kindness." 

Confucius, unable to fathom Lao-tze's meaning, replied: 
"With what then will you recompense kindness? Recompense injury with justice  and punishment, and recompense kindness with kindness." 

Lao-tze propounds the gist of his ethics in §49 of the Tao- Te- Ching, where he says : 
"The good I would meet with goodness. The not-good I would also meet with goodness ; for thus I actualize goodness. 

The faithful I would meet with faith. The not-faithful would I also meet with faith ; for thus I actualize faith." 

Lao-tze objected to the very basis of Confucian morality. Confucius expected to make people good by teaching them propriety; 

if they were but respectful to parents and superiors, if they brought sacrifices to the shrines of their ancestors, and observed the appropriate rules and ceremonies, mankind would become moral. 

Lao-tse exhibited an undisguised contempt for externalities and ancestor-worship. He demanded purity of heart, emptiness of desire, and a surrender of all self-display, in imitation of the great Tao (Path), which serves all without seeking its own.

As you'll understand  we are facing here two important chapters of Chinese philosophy: Lao Tse and Confucius.

But it is not the right time for that now, because I have offered myself a nice summer break. However, I can not leave you without guidance during such along period.

So, I have made something for you, a present based on Chinese philosophy. You can use it every day to fathom Chinese wisdom and see what awaits you.

I also made another model for those who have another taste.

Let me explain what it is and how to use it. In both displays you see the 6 lines of the hexagram. You formulate your question, for instance, "What will be the future of The Philosophy Class?"

Then you click the lines of the hexagram beginning  with the bottom one and then up one by one. Like this.

Let's check what this hexagram means.

Some final technical remarks. The hexagram and the background are NOT linked. I have done this on purpose. It allows you to delete that background and only keep the hexagram.

When you click the background you''ll receive a notecard with instructions and some links to good Yi Ching sites.

Then you click the lines of the hexagram beginning with the bottom one and then up one by one. Like this.

.
herman Bergson clicks the hexagram symbol and gets the following hexagram

____  ____
____  ____
____  ____
____  ____
____  ____
____  ____





Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
An Introduction to Chinese Philosophy - Karyn L. Lai, Oxford 2008
Chinese Philosophy, P. Carus, 1902
A Brief History of chinese Philosophy. D.T. Suzuki, 1914


[13:18] herman Bergson: wow....that is amazing....
[13:19] Merlin: The receptive?
[13:19] herman Bergson: the Second hexagram :-)
[13:19] Debbie DJ: earthly complaine :::
[13:19] herman Bergson: Yes..
[13:20] herman Bergson: it is K'un
[13:20] Debbie DJ: lol... spooky effects
[13:21] herman Bergson: It is random not a prefab
[[13:21] herman Bergson: well
[13:21] Debbie DJ: Docile earthly compliant ox?
[13:21] Qwark Allen: what it meant?
[13:21] Qwark Allen: didn`t got it
[13:22] .: Beertje :.: it's a;; Chinese to me :(
[13:22] .: Beertje :.: all
[13:22] Debbie DJ: What a cool present Herman...
[13:22] herman Bergson: An interesting hexagram for the future of The Philosophy Class
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: seems interesting
[13:23] herman Bergson: When you click the background you''ll receive a notecard with instructions and some links to good Yi Ching sites..
[13:23] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:24] herman Bergson: You just sit still now for a moment so I can send you both displays...
[13:24] Qwark Allen: and the hexagram? you send it?
[13:24] Qwark Allen: or we come here to do it?
[13:24] Merlin: There is a place in SL with an I Ching which you can consult and it gives the meaning too
[13:25] Pumpernickel Barthelmess: did you know that the i ching is on the ROK flag?
[13:25] Pumpernickel Barthelmess: check it out
[13:25] Merlin: TY Herman
[13:25] .: Beertje :.: thank you Herman
[13:25] Abinoam: thank you, it's a lovely gift!
[13:25] Qwark Allen: nice ty
[13:25] Qwark Allen: :-)
[13:25] herman Bergson: They are Copy / Transfer so you can give them to anyone you like..
[13:26] Qwark Allen: ::::::::: * E * X * C * E * L * L * E * N * T  * ::::::::::
[13:26] Qwark Allen: thats
[13:26] Pumpernickel Barthelmess: nice
[13:26] Lizzy Pleides: fantastic!
[13:26] herman Bergson: like Qwark can give them to Gemma who had to leave :-)
[13:26] Debbie DJ: Well conceived, and what a nice idea. Thanks Herman
[13:26] Debbie DJ: *•.¸♥MwAHh♥¸.•*
[13:26] Nasty Calamity: thanks herman :) I salute you with my toilet plunger
[13:26] Qwark Allen: oki
[13:26] Pumpernickel Barthelmess: lol
[13:26] Qwark Allen: i will
[13:26] Abinoam: lol
[13:26] herman Bergson: Thank you Nasty !
[13:26] herman Bergson: Well....
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: gotta try this out later
[13:26] herman Bergson: my friends...
[13:26] Bejiita Imako:
[13:26] Qwark Allen: indeed
[13:26] herman Bergson: this was again an educational and delightful year with you all...
[13:27] herman Bergson: Thank you all for your interest and participation....
[13:27] Merlin: I think that place I mentioned is here.... Irvine (212,160,22)
[13:27] Qwark Allen: i bet this will be the first talk when class come back
[13:27] herman Bergson: and just know that the blog is visited ten thousands of times by all kind of people all over the world...
[13:28] Lizzy Pleides: Thanks to you, Professor for being here and teaching us
[13:28] Abinoam: Indeed.
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: YAY! (yay!)
[13:28] Debbie DJ:  :**:. .:**:. .:* APPLAUSE!!! *:. .:**:. .:**:.
[13:28] Debbie DJ:    ***APPPPPPPLLLLAAAUUUSSSSEEEEEEE***
[13:28] Debbie DJ:                      ¸. *´¨)     F*ckn Awesome!
[13:28] Debbie DJ:             ¸. ´ ¸. *´¨) ¸. *´) ¸. *¨) ¸. *¨)
[13:28] Debbie DJ:             (¸. ´ *(¸. ´ *(¸. ´ *(¸. ´ *(¸..
[13:28] Debbie DJ:    Applause! «´·.¸¸.•.¸¸ YAY¸¸.•.¸¸.·`» Applause!
[13:28] herman Bergson: So again...thank you all and class dismissed
[13:28] Qwark Allen: been really awesome, thank you hermann
[13:28] Nasty Calamity: claps wings together
[13:28] Pumpernickel Barthelmess: thanks
[13:28] herman Bergson: See you all again in September..
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: been nice for sure
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: many interesting subjects
[[13:28] Bejiita Imako:
[13:28] herman Bergson: ohh..I forgot...
[13:29] Debbie DJ: I would say its been enlightening, fun, and comfortable since the new chairs came ;) 10/10 for hard work Herman
[13:29] herman Bergson: you might have some questions left about the lecture of today :-)
[13:29] Qwark Allen: ehehe yes, they look great
[13:29] herman Bergson: Thank you Debbie :-)
[13:29] Qwark Allen: gd work
[13:29] Bejiita Imako:
[13:29] Merlin: yes we didn't have the usual discussion today
[13:29] herman Bergson: Well..vacation for you all then:-)
[13:29] Debbie DJ: When does class resume?
[13:29] Qwark Allen: Hooooooo!!!!!!!   \O/     \O/     \O/
[13:29] Qwark Allen:                                |         |          |
[13:29] Qwark Allen:                              / \      / \      / \
[13:30] Abinoam: :D
[13:30] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:30] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:30] .: Beertje :.: lol Qwark
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: hehehe
[13:30] herman Bergson: First week of September Debbie....
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: oki
[13:30] Merlin: Well I dont live by the school calendar anyway
[13:30] Debbie DJ: wow -
[13:30] Qwark Allen: i bet with you all, will be a fast time
[13:31] herman Bergson: I do Merlin..did it all my life :-)
[13:31] Qwark Allen: summer allways go fast
[13:31] Qwark Allen: AAHH!!!
[13:31] Abinoam: Wishing you all a great summer.
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: hehe yes
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: will have a great vacation myself
[13:31] .: Beertje :.: thank you Herman
[13:31] herman Bergson: Yes great summer to you all:-)
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: same to u
[13:31] Qwark Allen: hope to see you all next week at sl10b
[13:31] Pumpernickel Barthelmess: thanks for the lecture Herman
[13:31] Qwark Allen: going now there to finish some stuff
[13:31] Debbie DJ: I expect to see lots of tanned fit people in 3 months ;)
[13:31] Qwark Allen: have fun till then
[13:31] herman Bergson: My pleasure Pumperrnickle
[13:32] Bejiita Imako: cu Q
[13:32] Abinoam:
[13:32] Bejiita Imako:

482: The Yi Ching continued


As we all know, religion plays an important role in the development of philosophy and science, in our Western philosophy a well known fact.

The developments were either dominated or obstructed by the Church or science tried to free itself from understanding reality, based on religious ideas.

When we think of China we hardly can associate it with some religion, like India can be associated with Hinduism or Arabic countries with the Islam.

Maybe some of you think of Buddhism in relation to China. One reason why we may have trouble to connect a religion with Chinese culture, may be due to Confucius. His attitude towards religion is a kind of agnostic and you just don't discuss it.

Of course there were religious concepts is Chinese metaphysics too.The insufficiency of the dualism which finds expression in this contrast of the Yang and Yin principles, must have made itself felt very early, 

for the Chinese philosophy, as it appears in all the classics, exhibits a decided tendency towards monism. The Yang and Yin are thought to have originated in a process of differentiation from the T'ai Chi, which is "the grand origin," the source of existence . Its symbol is a circle.

Monism means, a philosophy which assumes just one origin of existence, the existence of only one higher entity, unlike a polytheistic philosophy, which assumes the existence of multiple gods.

The T'ai Chi is not mentioned in the body of the
text of the Yi Ching, but is commonly believed to be implied in its secret teaching. This opinion appears to have been established as early as the time of Confucius.

In modern usage the term Tai Chi is now commonly understood, both in the West and in mainland China, to refer to the martial art and exercise system. What is now known as "T'ai Chi " only appears to have received this appellation from around the mid-1800s.

About 230 CE wrote the Chinese scholar Wang Pi: "Existence must begin in non-existence, and therefore the Grand Origin produced the two elementary forms. 

T'ai Chi is the denomination of what has no denomination. As it cannot be named, the text takes the extreme point of anything that exists as an analogous term for the T'ai Chi."

In the diagram to my left behind me the inscriptions in the two large black and white rectangles immediately above the circle read from the right to the left " yin " and "yang,".

If we fold the diagram in the middle we find that the yin and yang differentiations of the great origin cancel one another and the whole world sinks back into nothing, into black.

This symbolizes the omneity of the zero, which will illustrate what Chinese thinkers mean when they speak with reverence of the great nothing, of emptiness, of non-action, of non-existence.  To them it represents the omnipresence of the Deity in the All.

These ideas are formulated by Chou Tze (1017 - 1073 C.E)and his disciple Chu Hi (1130 - 1200 C.E.). The latter wrote a treatise on "The Immaterial Principle (Li) and the Primary matter (K'i)".

As Chi Hi writes: "The great extreme is merely the immaterial principle or  heaven, earth, and all things ; speaking of it with reference to  heaven and earth, then the great extreme may be said to exist within heaven and earth. 

Speaking of it with respect to the myriad of things, then amongst the myriad of things 1 each one possesses a great extreme. The great extreme is not an independent separate existence; 

it is found in the male and female principles of nature, in the five elements, and in the myriad of things. . . . Should any one ask, what is the great extreme ? 

(…)The great extreme is the immaterial principle of the two powers, the four forms, and the eight changes of nature ; we cannot say that it does not exist, and yet there is no form or corporeity that can be ascribed to it."
This is a reference to the Yi Ching.

Here we say again, that almost every culture in its metaphysics creates a believe in an uncaused cause a T'ai Chi. Next step is to personalize this uncaused cause.


Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
An Introduction to Chinese Philosophy - Karyn L. Lai, Oxford 2008
Chinese Philosophy, P. Carus, 1902
A Brief History of chinese Philosophy. D.T. Suzuki, 1914

The Discussion

[13:23] herman Bergson: Thank you :-)
[13:24] Debbie DJ: Neat. It has a lovely symmetry about it.
[13:24] Bejiita Imako: yes as symmetric it can be
[13:24] herman Bergson: yes..this male - female principle as the origin of everything....
[13:24] herman Bergson: We have Adam and Eve for that
[13:25] Urbanium: Hello everybody!
[13:25] Abinoam: Hi Urbanium
[13:25] Bejiita Imako: hi Urbanium
[13:25] herman Bergson: Have a seat Urb :-)
[13:25] Urbanium: thank you
[13:25] Debbie DJ: In some ways the idea of yin and yang is embodied in set theory - when you select something it leaves the rest of the universe behind.
[13:26] herman Bergson: What do you mean by that Debbie?
[13:26] Merlin: Oh Deep Debbie
[13:26] Bejiita Imako: hmm
[13:26] herman Bergson: Thought so too Merlin :-))
[13:26] Debbie DJ: Well, when the fire is burning, it is not not burning.
[13:26] Merlin: It is just turning ONE into TWO
[13:27] Debbie DJ: when you think of you, you have to think of not(you)
[13:27] Debbie DJ: i need a BAR (logic negation) here ;)
[13:27] Merlin: hehe Is that a bit of maths Debbie?
[13:27] Merlin: lol
[13:27] Abinoam: lol
[13:27] Bejiita Imako: ehehe
[13:28] Bejiita Imako: complex
[13:28] Merlin: Use != in LSL
[13:28] herman Bergson: Not sure how you relate this to the Yin Yang dualism,, Debbie
[13:28] Debbie DJ: When you study set theory, the universe is defined as everything. when you remove an element, the universe is changed.
[13:28] herman Bergson: It is...
[13:28] Debbie DJ: ok, just an observation
[13:29] .: Beertje :.: true
[13:29] Merlin: It is just a matter of creating a division
[13:29] Merlin: But the number two is the first that is greater than one
[13:29] herman Bergson: Well my observation today was that it is hard to pinpoint a religion on Chinese culture
[13:29] Merlin: and the first that becomes useful
[13:30] Merlin: and as we see with binary once you do that you can create all the numbers
[13:30] Debbie DJ: true merlin.
[13:30] herman Bergson: And tho there is buddhism, this may be due to Confucianism
[13:30] Abinoam: yes, i like that
[13:30] Debbie DJ: And also true Herman.
[13:30] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:30] herman Bergson: We'll meet Confucius in coming lectures....
[13:31] herman Bergson: and even more interesting is the position of Lao Tze...
[13:31] herman Bergson: And what is interesting tools that there was a kind of believe in a personalized god in those days....
[13:32] herman Bergson: around 1200 CE....
[13:32] herman Bergson: and a monism....
[13:32] herman Bergson: but christianity never became popular in China
[13:32] .: Beertje :.: why not?
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: not their culture?
[13:33] Bejiita Imako: maybe
[13:33] herman Bergson: One of the reasons was that the Chinese have a deep respect for their ancestors and their philosophy.....
[13:33] Abinoam: europeans never conquered china the way they did, say latin america or africa.
[13:33] herman Bergson: The missionaries didn't show such respect at all.....which was rather offending to Chinese culture
[13:34] herman Bergson: Indeed Abinoam...
[13:34] Merlin: Well good for the Chinks then
[13:34] Merlin: (oops)
[13:34] Abinoam: hoorah!
[13:34] Urbanium: yes, but did they ever show any respect?
[13:34] herman Bergson smiles
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: hehehe
[13:34] herman Bergson: who Urbanium?
[13:35] herman Bergson: Christian missionaries?
[13:35] Urbanium: yes
[13:35] Merlin: I think I know what Urb is saying there
[13:35] herman Bergson: good question :-)
[13:35] Bejiita Imako: aaa
[13:35] Abinoam: in china, or in general?
[13:35] Urbanium: in general
[13:35] .: Beertje :.: qwark!
[13:35] Debbie DJ: If humans are inherently good (ref H. Bergson) did the Chinese philosophy achieved this objective for 5000 years?
[13:35] herman Bergson: well...you can fill in the picture yourself....
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: QWARKIEEE!
[13:36] Bejiita Imako:
[13:36] Qwark Allen: ˜*•. ˜”*°•.˜”*°•   Helloooooo!  •°*”˜.•°*”˜ .•*˜  
[13:36] Qwark Allen: Hey!
[13:36] Urbanium: yes, I think so
[13:36] Abinoam: some certainly did. there are wonderful stories of missionaries helping the peoples of latin america, helping preserve their heritage etc
[13:36] Abinoam: not all missionaries were jerks
[13:36] Abinoam: pardon my language
[13:36] herman Bergson: Every religion that claims to be the true and only right religion has a destructive side with respect to other ideas
[13:36] Urbanium: that's new to me
[13:37] herman Bergson: That might be true certainly Abinoam....
[13:37] Abinoam: read Bartolome de las Casas book in which he condemns the violence of spanish conquistadors. and he was spanish himself
[13:37] Urbanium: yes? wonderful
[13:37] Abinoam: and a priest, if i'm not mistaken
[13:38] Debbie DJ: One should be fearful of men with guns bringing their gods to you..
[13:38] herman Bergson: You always find individuals opposing to certain kinds of violence also if they belong to the violent party
[13:38] Abinoam: yes, debbie!
[13:38] Qwark Allen: ahahah yes debbie
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes
[13:38] Bejiita Imako: very true
[13:38] herman Bergson: Quite a habit these days, Debbie :-)
[13:38] Qwark Allen: belive or die!
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:39] herman Bergson: Hey Qwark :-)
[13:39] Qwark Allen: :-)
[13:39] Debbie DJ: My god is good - or ill kill you.
[13:39] Abinoam: lol
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: thats how muslim extremists do
[13:39] herman Bergson: yes, very weird behavior of the homo sapiens...
[13:39] Abinoam: yes, sadly that's what it often comes down to
[13:39] Urbanium: the thought that they would fight for god
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: jihad and similar
[13:39] herman Bergson: especially because such god as are only the product of his imagination
[13:39] Debbie DJ: worse than that - my money is good or ill kill you.
[13:39] Urbanium: like in the Old Testament
[13:39] Bejiita Imako: and these damn suicide bombers
[13:40] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:40] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: so tragic everything
[13:40] Qwark Allen: buy or die!!!
[13:40] Abinoam: god is just a personification of their own interests and needs
[13:40] herman Bergson: What I said at the end of my lecture....
[13:40] herman Bergson: it is amazing how the need is felt toe explain the beginning of exiastence....
[13:40] Qwark Allen: for sure consume is the new religion
[13:40] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes'
[13:40] AbinoamAbinoam nods
[13:40] herman Bergson: Like the Chinese did by calling it T'ai Chi
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: sort of
[13:41] Abinoam: yes, about tai chi...
[13:41] Abinoam: i wanted to ask
[13:41] Qwark Allen: ehheeh look the huge consume temples, and how people are devoted to consume
[13:41] Abinoam: does the modern tai chi have anything at all to do with the classical?
[13:41] Debbie DJ: Its our brains - we need to rationalize our existence
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: and Apple is their god
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: lol
[13:41] Merlin: Well some Christians seem to think the whole of christianity depends on accepting Genesis
[13:41] herman Bergson: No Abinoam.....
[13:42] herman Bergson: the modern T'ai chi is actually called T'ai Chu ch'uan...
[13:42] Abinoam: right
[13:42] Abinoam: so it's a totally different thing
[13:42] herman Bergson: which means something as "the omnipotent fist"
[13:42] Abinoam: ah yes, i read that somewhere
[13:43] herman Bergson: it was around 1850 or so that some official at the court witnessed a demonstration of martial arts....
[13:43] herman Bergson: which had no specific name...
[13:43] Abinoam: i see. how interesting
[13:43] herman Bergson: and he seemed the have used the expression ...
[13:43] Bejiita Imako: aaaa ok
[13:44] herman Bergson: something like...the T'ai chi of the fist or so
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: i guess what we call tai chi is not at all related to that tai chi u name here
[13:44] herman Bergson: Correct, Bejiita
[13:44] herman Bergson: For your information....!!!
[13:44] herman Bergson: I have decided that the next class will be the last one before the summer break :-)
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:45] Qwark Allen: AAHH!!!
[13:45] Qwark Allen: ok
[13:45] herman Bergson: I just want a nice long vacation :-)))
[13:45] Abinoam:
[13:45] Debbie DJ: Oh cool... I'm on holiday the week after for 3 weeks:)
[13:45] herman Bergson: and I guess ..you too :-)
[13:45] Qwark Allen: you deserve it for sure
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:45] Urbanium: I would like to join the class
[13:45] Abinoam: sweet. and when will we resume?
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: will have my vacation in July
[13:45] Qwark Allen: a pitty my rl got to busy at class days
[13:45] herman Bergson: You are most welcome Urbanium...
[13:45] .: Beertje :.: i want a long vacation too..but the question is do I GET it?
[13:46] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:46] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:46] Abinoam: lol
[13:46] Urbanium: thank you
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: hehe
[13:46] Debbie DJ: Well, I guess you will be reading Chinese by the end of the Vac Herman?
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: lol
[13:46] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:46] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:46] herman Bergson: Could be indeed Debbie :-)
[13:46] herman Bergson: I already once did....
[13:46] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:46] Bejiita Imako:
[13:46] herman Bergson: worked my way through Elementary Chinese part 1 and 2 many years ago :-)
[13:47] Qwark Allen: very nice
[13:47] Abinoam:
[13:47] Qwark Allen: so different language
[13:47] Debbie DJ: Debbie bows respectfully...
[13:47] herman Bergson: But I admit...I have to brush up my grey cells again:-)
[13:47] Bejiita Imako: very different
[13:47] Abinoam: yeah, not an easy language to master
[13:47] Qwark Allen: if you have in mind language, make influence in the way you think
[13:47] herman Bergson: Actually I was studying Japanese....
[13:48] herman Bergson: and because I knew a lot of Kanji I wanted to know how Chinese was
[13:48] Qwark Allen: good stuff
[13:48] herman Bergson: It is fascinating
[13:48] Abinoam: excellent
[13:48] Qwark Allen: japanese is not easy also
[13:48] Bejiita Imako: japanese i have easier get words  from, with Chinese its just different sounds, cant make any words out of it at all
[13:48] Debbie DJ: I struggle with new languages ;(
[13:48] Urbanium: they have 3 alphabets
[13:48] herman Bergson: I cant speak Chinese at all...way too difficult
[13:49] herman Bergson: yes Japanese use the Kanji and the hiragana and for loanwords the katakana
[13:49] herman Bergson: that is a big difference with Chinese....
[13:49] Bejiita Imako: one of the few things i know in Chinese is Wo Ai ni wich means same as Ai sshiteru in japanese = I love you
[13:49] Abinoam: aww
[13:49] herman Bergson: In japanese you have conjugations of verbs...
[13:50] Debbie DJ: Neat Bejiita ;) Love you too - lol
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: haha
[13:50] herman Bergson: Well...before we end up in a language course here..:-)
[13:50] Bejiita Imako:
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: (jumphugs Debbie)
[13:50] Bejiita Imako: hehee
[13:50] Qwark Allen: heheheh
[13:50] herman Bergson: Let me invite you for next Thursday and thank you for your participation of today :-)
[13:51] Abinoam: thank you herman, good stuff
[13:51] Debbie DJ: Thanks for a great lecture Herman.
[13:51] Urbanium: sorry, Professor
[13:51] .: Beertje :.: i will be here next thursday it 's way too interesting:)
[13:51] Bejiita Imako: hmm getting more and more interesting this stuff
[13:51] Urbanium: how can I join the group?
[13:51] herman Bergson: just a moment and we'll fix that Urbanium :-)
[13:51] Urbanium: thank you :)
[13:51] herman Bergson: Class dismissed :-)
[13:51] Abinoam:
[13:52] Qwark Allen: AAHH!!!
[13:52] Debbie DJ: welcome urbanium..... to our class ;)
[13:52] .: Beertje :.: well we have a lot to think about again
[13:52] Qwark Allen: today i have to finish everything for sl10b buildings
[13:52] Urbanium: thank you very much, Professor
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: ok
[13:52] herman Bergson: Welcome to the group Urbanium :-)
[13:52] Qwark Allen: a lot of things there very interesting
[13:52] Urbanium: thank you
[13:52] Debbie DJ: Go for it qwark - when does it open?
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: nice Urbanium
[13:52] Qwark Allen: this saturday
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: aaa yes
[13:52] .: Beertje :.: can we have an LM Qwark?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

481: The Yi Ching continued


Let's have a closer look at the Yi Ching today. Behind me you see the table of the 8 trigrams or "Kwa". Apart form some legends there is nothing known about their real origin, but they seem to date back to 3322 BCE.

The ancient kwa-philosophy, as we  may call the system of comprehending things as permutations of the two principles Yang and Yin, plays an important role in the thoughts of the Chinese people.

With its help the origin of the world is explained, rules of conduct are laid down and a forecast of the future is made. 

As to the original meaning of the kwa-philosophy, we have positive evidence of its mathematical character, not only in various suggestions of Chinese traditions, but also and mainly in the nature of the kwa themselves. 

This is a remarkable feature of the Yi Ching, because contrary to, for instance Pythagoras, who associated metaphysical meanings to numbers, the Chinese thinkers didn't do anything with the mathematical depth of the Yi Ching.

The oldest mention of the Book of Permutations is made in the official records of the Chou dynasty, which succeeded the Yin dynasty in 1122 B.C.

One version of the Yi Ching is ascribed to Wen Wang, 1231-1135 BCE.), and his son Cheu Kung (1169-1116 BCE.), while the rest belong to later periods, containing expositions ascribed to Confucius.

In the Yi Ching we find the eight trigrammatic kwa combined into groups of hexagrammatic kwa, resulting in eight times eight or sixty-four permutations, every one of which has its peculiar name and significance.

An explanatory text is added to the sixty-four permutations of the kwa hexagrams, consisting of seven lines. 

The first line, written by Wen Wang,  applies to the hexagram as a whole, and the remaining six, written by Cheu Kung, have reference to the six sundry lines of the hexagram, counting the lowest line as the first and the topmost as the sixth.

The full lines represent yang, Kiu, which means 'nine' and the broken lines represent Yin, Luh, which means "six". In some translations they are referred toas SIX and NINE.

And here we run into one of the many enigmas of the Yi Ching. There is no explanation for the fact that the Yi Ching only uses 64 hexagrams.

One of the arrangements of the hexagrams that are met within all the larger editions of the Yi Ching, consists, as can be seen in the diagram behind me, of a square surrounded by a circle. I displayed this diagram behind me.

In the square the sixty-four permutations of the hexagrams are arranged in the order of what  may be called their natural succession, 

that is to say, on substituting for broken lines zero (o), and for full lines the figure " 1," we can read the hexagrams as a series of numbers from o to 63,., written in the binary system.

Just read the top-left one, six broken lines, so "000000", then next reading from top to bottom "000001", then "000010" and "000011", which is in our decimal system 0, 1, 2, 3. A binary system!

There is another arrangement of the hexagrams. This one is ascribed to Wen Wang, who I mentioned before. The mathematical order is lost, but a new meaning is added: the idea that the one hexagram changes into its counterpart.

Beginning from the right on the bottom line the design exhibits in the even columns the inverse arrangement of the kwa of the odd columns, with this exception, that whenever an inversion would show the same figure, all the Yang lines are replaced by Yin lines, and vice versa.

It stays a mystery to me, why the Chinese philosophy stayed focused on these combinations of lines and their interpretation for centuries.

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
An Introduction to Chinese Philosophy - Karyn L. Lai, Oxford 2008
Chinese Philosophy, P. Carus, 1902
A Brief History of chinese Philosophy. D.T. Suzuki, 1914


The Discussion

[13:20] herman Bergson: Thank you :-))
[13:20] Qwark Allen: ::::::::: * E * X * C * E * L * L * E * N * T  * ::::::::::
[13:21] Qwark Allen: ,aybe a exemple of someone that traveled back in time
[13:21] Gemma Allen: amazing
[13:21] Qwark Allen: °͜° l ☺ ☻ ☺ l °͜°
[13:21] Qwark Allen: lol
[13:21] Qwark Allen: indeed
[13:21] Debbie DJ: The concept of the code was way before its time...
[13:21] Bejiita Imako: haha yes maybe they are from the future and made a time machine
[13:22] herman Bergson: Yes Debbie.....these bars....why these bars....
[13:22] Debbie DJ: This is a number system in its own right.
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: indeed i mean this must be 1000s of years before even the jaquard loom, the worlds first machine using binary codes
[13:22] Bejiita Imako: the predecessor to all computers
[13:22] herman Bergson: ok...ful and broken ..Yin and Yang...
[13:22] herman Bergson: Well let me astonish you...
[13:23] herman Bergson: Next time I"ll tell you that Leibniz himself knew the Yi Ching....
[13:23] Debbie DJ: its just used as 0 and 1 though - the base 2 system. The yin and Yan
[13:23] herman Bergson: That was around 1700!
[13:23] herman Bergson: Brought to Europe by the jesuits
[13:23] Gemma Allen: ah
[13:24] Debbie DJ: the table is confusing - only 8 conditions are coded
[13:24] herman Bergson: From our perspective the Yi Ching is not really philosophy...
[13:24] herman Bergson: tho the texts are on ethics and social ideas
[13:24] herman Bergson: But just imagine....
[13:25] herman Bergson: when you look at the table in front of you....
[13:25] Merlin: I find it difficult to know which things are original and which have been added later
[13:25] herman Bergson: the period named "Renaissance"...
[13:26] herman Bergson: for almost a millennium the Chinese thinkers did nothing else than commenting and interpreting the Yi Ching...
[13:26] herman Bergson: Around 1650 in Europe evolved the scientific mind and method....
[13:26] Debbie DJ: That begs the question - where did it come from?
[13:26] herman Bergson: That never happened in china
[13:27] Merlin: Which millennium do you mean Herman?
[13:27] Merlin: I am thinking about the burning of the books
[13:27] herman Bergson: from 960 to 1900 Merlin
[13:27] Merlin: oh, recently then ... OK
[13:28] herman Bergson: What I try to do here is to understand Chinese philosophy....
[13:28] Gemma Allen: it is definitely different
[13:28] herman Bergson: and it fills me with amazement....
[13:28] herman Bergson: yes Gemma....that might even be an understatement
[13:28] Gemma Allen: it takes a whole different way of trying to think about it
[13:28] herman Bergson: But there may be some clue....
[13:29] herman Bergson: philosophy is not something that floats around in thin air through the ages....
[13:29] herman Bergson: it is part of society....
[13:29] herman Bergson: so maybe there is an explanation for the differences from a social historical perspective
[13:30] Debbie DJ: The universe is a very random event from our perspective. Re-arranging molecules, or living harmoniously are only aspects of civilization.
[13:30] herman Bergson: the extreme conservatism of the Chinese....for instance
[13:30] herman Bergson: That is the point Debbie....the randomness.....
[13:30] herman Bergson: but yet too..the differences where it leads to
[13:31] Debbie DJ: I think of us as a collection of bugs spinning wildly in a backwater of space ;)
[13:31] Gemma Allen: ♥ LOL ♥
[13:31] Bejiita Imako: hehehe
[13:31] herman Bergson: If evolution is just a random process.....could we say ..scientifically Europe happened to struck gold while China stayed asleep?
[13:31] herman Bergson: and then I am talking about 1600 -1800 period
[13:31] Debbie DJ: Is it gold? we face resource depletion, and cancer?
[13:32] AbinoamAbinoam nods
[13:32] herman Bergson: Wait Debbie.....
[13:32] Debbie DJ: ;)
[13:32] herman Bergson: Here we must be accurate....
[13:32] Lizzy Pleides: and many positive things too debbie
[13:32] Merlin: I dont think Cancer is because of modernity, it is evident because we live longer
[13:32] herman Bergson: I am NOT talking about economics....Did that three projects long already :-)
[13:32] Abinoam: Western epistemology may be all wrong, anyway. Who's to say the West has been awake?
[13:33] herman Bergson: I talk about the increase of human knowledge about his reality
[13:33] herman Bergson: Well Abinoam....
[13:33] herman Bergson: the answer could be...
[13:33] Debbie DJ: There I must concur herman
[13:33] herman Bergson: if survival of the fittest is the rule...
[13:34] herman Bergson: then the one who developed a cure and medicine for many diseases is the fittest....
[13:34] Bejiita Imako: ah
[13:34] herman Bergson: which is the result if the increase of human knowledge about his world
[13:34] herman Bergson: which is the result of our epistemological approach of reality
[13:34] Debbie DJ: Survivial in the LONG TERM.... dinosaurs did 600 million years. Were 100000 years old only
[13:35] Lizzy Pleides: interesting thought, Herman
[13:35] herman Bergson: The Dinos died because of major natural disasters....we can easily too...
[13:35] Gemma Allen: true
[13:35] Debbie DJ: and we've burned half the fuel already...
[13:35] Abinoam: China had paper, silk and gunpowder long before Europe. And Chinese traditional medicine is said to be doing wonders. I'm not sure there's evidence Europe is the fittest compared to other civilizations.
[13:35] Qwark Allen: ehehehe, or maybe not
[13:36] Abinoam: It's just... different, I guess.
[13:36] Gemma Allen: in their own way of thinking they have accomplished a lot
[13:36] Bejiita Imako: ├┐es so true
[13:36] herman Bergson: there is no problem in accepting that others are in some respect equally fit, Abinoam....
[13:36] Gemma Allen: the great wall is an example
[13:36] Gemma Allen: an amazing feat
[13:36] herman Bergson: we don't own all wisdom in this world...
[13:36] Debbie DJ: Philosophically speaking - there is no one correct way of behaving as a society
[13:37] AbinoamAbinoam nods
[13:37] herman Bergson: but the knowledge we have developed isn't bad
[13:37] Abinoam: I agree with that, yes.
[13:37] Bejiita Imako:
[13:37] herman Bergson: Well Debbie....
[13:37] herman Bergson: we discussed that before....
[13:37] herman Bergson: when I pointed at societies that never use violence, never go at war...
[13:38] Debbie DJ: well, remind me?
[13:38] Debbie DJ: yes.
[13:38] herman Bergson: I'd say that such societies are preferable to all humans
[13:38] Debbie DJ: so - is our method - scientific analysis - able to ensure a good life sustainebly?
[13:39] herman Bergson: that is an interesting question.....
[13:39] Debbie DJ:  ✧✩**✩✧ G I G G L E S ✧✩**
[13:39] Debbie DJ: It keeps me awake...
[13:39] herman Bergson: I don't think the solution will come from science...
[13:39] herman Bergson: unless you mean we all need to use valium :-)
[13:40] Gemma Allen: not strong enough
[13:40] herman Bergson smiles
[13:40] Bejiita Imako:
[13:40] Debbie DJ: hah hah. I hope that eastern philosophy may shed some light on balance, not hectic consumerism.
[13:40] .: Beertje :.: to begin with it will do
[13:40] herman Bergson: The solution must come from how we use our brain, I think...
[[13:41] herman Bergson: A better understanding of the dynamics of that machine
[13:41] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:41] herman Bergson: or to put it in an historical perspective...
[13:41] herman Bergson: Aristotle already knew....
[13:41] herman Bergson: virtue....
[13:41] herman Bergson: we should learn and focus on our virtues :-)
[13:42] Abinoam: yes!
[13:42] herman Bergson: justice, honesty and so on
[13:42] Bejiita Imako: indeed we need more of that
[13:42] herman Bergson: this means ...global education....
[13:42] Debbie DJ: Fairness, a principle of sharing things...
[13:43] herman Bergson: A lot of sh•t in this world is the result of lack of education....
[13:43] herman Bergson: exactly Debbie
[13:43] herman Bergson: Like in the Middel Ages....
[13:43] Debbie DJ: lack of, and mis - education ;)
[13:43] Gemma Allen: Yes-ah!
[13:43] Gemma Allen: it still is
[13:43] herman Bergson: the illiterate masses were easily aroused to burn a witch or going on  a crusade...
[13:44] Bejiita Imako: education is important indeed so that people really know how things really are and work
[13:44] herman Bergson: But not education to get a job to earn as much money as you can...
[13:44] herman Bergson: not that kind of education
[13:44] Debbie DJ: A major source of current mis-education is irresponsible commercial advertising.
[13:45] herman Bergson: yes Debbie....consumerism...
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: yes
[13:45] Debbie DJ: So, as consumers of education - we do need to beware ;)
[13:45] herman Bergson: Education to learn to see the Beauty and the Good in life
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: making us buy lot of stuff as soon new things come out even we have already working things of same type
[13:45] Bejiita Imako: or other stuff we really don't need at all
[13:45] herman Bergson: But...people...this is far away from our subject...:-)
[13:45] Debbie DJ: exactly Bejiita
[13:46] herman Bergson: Chinese philosophy
[13:46] herman Bergson: Point is...those Chinese were very well educated...at least the leading class
[13:46] Qwark Allen: eheheh they are the new consumers now
[13:46] Debbie DJ: It is interesting to compare though...
[13:46] herman Bergson: just like in Europe
[13:46] Lizzy Pleides: of course only the leading class
[13:46] herman Bergson: Looking at the meaning of the Yi Ching for them.....
[13:47] Debbie DJ: That was true in Europe - only the leading class.
[13:47] herman Bergson: one way or another it didn't ignite the flame of Enlightenment like happened in Europe
[13:47] Debbie DJ: Maybe they were too relaxed?
[13:47] Debbie DJ: life was too good.
[13:48] Gemma Allen: or the opposite too hard
[13:48] herman Bergson: I really would read about an explanation for that Debbie...
[13:48] herman Bergson: for yes they had gunpowder..
[13:48] herman Bergson: and yes they used it for firearms...
[13:48] herman Bergson: they were not stupid....
[13:48] Abinoam: Did they have anything comparable to witch hunts and that sort of madness? Maybe they didn't need the sort of enlightenment Europe did?
[13:49] Debbie DJ: what would be interesting is to compare the european dark ages to what china was doing ...
[13:49] Abinoam: Yes
[13:49] herman Bergson: I dont know Abinoam....but witches....interesting...maybe we'll find something like that in literature....
[13:49] herman Bergson: but I doubt it...
[13:50] Lizzy Pleides: we have to confess that european culture and education is still an example in the world today
[13:50] herman Bergson: There is no need for any Enlightenment.....but where it happened in this world, it had major consequences :-)
[13:51] Debbie DJ: the time scale issue is one that is hard to grasp.
[13:51] herman Bergson: Well Lizzy....
[13:51] herman Bergson: the basic ideas that everyone should be able to read and write and learn other languages...yes I agree with you
[13:52] herman Bergson: and based on what one reads learn to shape a personal opinion about things as phase 2
[13:52] herman Bergson: and have the freedom of that opinion...!
[13:52] Lizzy Pleides: true
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: aha
[13:52] Debbie DJ: The western freedoms are indeed great.
[13:52] Bejiita Imako: :
[13:52] Bejiita Imako:
[13:52] AbinoamAbinoam nods
[13:53] Debbie DJ: But there is much to still learn.
[13:53] herman Bergson: Well... along way to go still....
[13:53] Lizzy Pleides: that doesn't mean that the western way is the best for the whole world and all cultures
[13:53] herman Bergson: Thank you all for your participation again....
[13:53] Gemma Allen: ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:53] Debbie DJ:  :**:. .:**:. .:* APPLAUSE!!! *:. .:**:. .:**:.
[13:53] Debbie DJ:    ***APPPPPPPLLLLAAAUUUSSSSEEEEEEE***
[13:53] Debbie DJ:                      ¸. *´¨)     F*ckn Awesome!
[13:53] Debbie DJ:             ¸. ´ ¸. *´¨) ¸. *´) ¸. *¨) ¸. *¨)
[13:53] Debbie DJ:             (¸. ´ *(¸. ´ *(¸. ´ *(¸. ´ *(¸..
[13:53] Debbie DJ:    Applause! «´·.¸¸.•.¸¸ YAY¸¸.•.¸¸.·`» Applause!
[[13:53] Lizzy Pleides: thank you!
[13:53] Qwark Allen: ::::::::: * E * X * C * E * L * L * E * N * T  * ::::::::::
[13:53] .: Beertje :.: thank you Herman
[13:54] Gemma Allen: see you next week
[13:54] herman Bergson: behind me those three doors...
[13:54] Debbie DJ: thanks herman ;)