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Author Topic: “A Song on Observing the Yi (Changes)” by Shao Yong. 《觀易吟》邵雍  (Read 159 times)

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Offline Dao

Hi All,

Article by Howard Choy: https://howardchoy.wordpress.com/


“A Song on Observing the Yi (Changes)” by Shao Yong. 《觀易吟》邵雍
February 8, 2019

Many Chinese metaphysics practitioners have quoted this poem by Shao Yong since it touches on the practices like Feng Shui 風水, Bazi Suanming 八字算命, Qimen Dunjia 奇門遁甲 and Ziwei Doushu 紫微斗術, etc. There are few English translation availabal on this poem so I decided to have a go with my limited scholarship and understanding, your comments are welcome.

《觀易吟》邵雍
“A Song on Observing the Yi (Changes)” by Shao Yong.

一物其來有一身,
A thing has a body in itself,
一身還有一乾坤。
A body also has its own Taiji.
能知萬物備於我,
To know how myriad things are prepared for me,
肯把三才別立根。
(I) need to know the division of San Cai at its root.
天向一中分體用,
Heaven faces one-center to separate the Ti Yong
人於心上起經綸。
Man relies on his heart to raise the Jing Lun.
天人焉有兩般義,
How can heaven and man have a different meaning,
道不虛行只在人。
The Dao is not an empty journey it depends on man.

Translator’s notes and commentary:

1. A “thing” 物 here refers to matters in the universe.
2. A “body” 身refers to its qi 器, or its vessel/container.
3. “Taiji” is translated from the Trigrams Qian and Kun, meaning Yang and Yin.
4. “San Cai” 三才 refers to the trinity of Heaven, Earth and Man.
5. “Ti Yong” 體用refers to the concept of “principle and function” or the “body and its usage”.
6. “Jing Lun” 經綸refers to theory and classification in Chinese thoughts, it can also mean silk-threading or to a clever statecraft.

The first two lines of the poem can be expressed with the concept of “One item one Taiji” 一物一太極, in the sense that everything has its complementary opposites, so we need to decide what constitute one “item” or one “thing” under consideration, before we can look at its Taiji or Yin and Yang.

In the third and fourth lines, Shao Yong is talking about the San Cai in the six Yao lines of a Hexagram when casting the Yijing with a question in mind, by dividing the six Yao lines into 3 pairs of Heaven, Man and Earth, thus help us to decipher the meanings of a Hexagram to answer the questions we asked. (Refer Illustration)

The fifth and sixth lines are about the concepts of Ti and Yong (Principle and Function) in Heaven and Jing and Lun (Scripture and Classification) in Man.

According to Shao Yong, one principle (or one body) has many functions (or applications), the ancient Chinese viewed the world from the centre looking out, he puts himself in the middle of the Bagua or the eight directions looking outward, to strive for a unity of Heaven and Man. For this reason, he needs to establish a center in a chosen “item” or “thing” to differentiate, but the two are not separate, they are held together as complementary opposites in a Taiji.

The same applies to Man on Earth, theories and classifications (or clever statecraft) come out from Man’s “Xin”, or his heart/mind, by the way he observes and thinks looking at the near and the far, the large and the small, and thinking in a causal and correlative way at the same time, to find his efficacy. The unity of heaven and Man can be achieved by combining the “Li” 理 in Heaven and the “Xin” 心 in Man.

The last two lines referred to the idea of the unity of Heaven and Man and the path to the Dao depends on the “Xin” of the Man and not on the numbers, symbols and images casted in the Yijing or other “Shu Shu” 數術” or “Numbers and Methods” in Chinese numerological metaphysics. Contrary to most people’s understanding, Shao Yong towards his later years, put his emphasis on the Xin (heart/mind) and not on the Shu (numbers and symbols), but he also acknowledged that they go together like Yin and Yang, to Shao Yong the idealistic and the materialistic are two sides of the same coin.

When Plum Blossom Divination 梅花易數was being promoted to the general public, the earlier practitioners shrewdly changed the last two lines to advertise their exclusive knowledge and lineage:
From:
天人焉有兩般義,
How can heaven and man have a different meaning,
道不虛行只在人。
The Dao is not an empty journey it depends on man.
To:
仙人焉有两般话,
There are no two sayings for theImmortal and Man,
道不虚传只在人。
The Dao is not an empty transmission it depends on Man.







Online Tientai

Hi @Dao ..
Very nice Poem ..
Very deep, profound and meaningful... !!

Quote
The last two lines referred to the idea of the unity of Heaven and Man and the path to the Dao depends on the “Xin” of the Man and not on the numbers, symbols and images casted in the Yijing or other “Shu Shu” 數術” or “Numbers and Methods” in Chinese numerological metaphysics. Contrary to most people’s understanding, Shao Yong towards his later years, put his emphasis on the Xin (heart/mind) and not on the Shu (numbers and symbols), but he also acknowledged that they go together like Yin and Yang, to Shao Yong the idealistic and the materialistic are two sides of the same coin.

.. I think Shao Yong.is promoting the dual school of "Nature and Number" ... and supports his theory  Shu (numbers and symbols) in all life ...
..
Thanks for this poem ...

Online Tientai

...
One more information about Shao Yong ...
..Ssu Ma Kuang (a close friend of Shao Yong) edited the Tai Xuan jing by Yang Xiong (written in 10 AD). Influenced by the Base 3 number system found in the Tai Xuan jing, probably drawing on this association and the realization of a base 3 system employed in the Tai Xuan jing Shao Yong then set the Hexagrams of the I Ching into a binary sequence (the Fu Xi Ordering). This in turn influenced Leibniz and his thinking on binary arithmetic, and in turn the language of modern computers.

Another  approach, of Shao Yong was the Xiangshu Xue (象數學, "image-number study")  which was based much more on iconographic and cosmological concepts. An approach to I Ching divination known as Mei Hua Yi has been attributed to him.
...
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 09:56:54 PM by Tientai »

Offline Dao

Hi Tientai, All,
Thank you very much!..
I found some informative pages about 'xin' heart..
http://www.academicjournals.org/article/article1379496939_Li%20et%20al.pdf
Best Regards                                                                                                                                         
 

Online Gmuli

Interesting to mention that Xin/Heart is one of the Stars in QMDJ.
Its very metal in nature, though(as its belonging to Qian 6 Palace/Trigram)

In the physical body the first organ that forms is the heart and it starts beating long before the brain has started forming. So Heart as Qian seems to make sense in some situation...

So we gets very related to the situation when the Source will be Fire and when it will be Metal.
(later heaven/earlier heaven etc.)
Interestingly while Jing Fang hasn't assigned Fire to Qian, Dui is with Ding stem there(Ding = Yin Fire = Heart).
However, in its native Palace Xin/Qian are hosts for Xu and Hai.
And Hai, of course is lead by Ren.
That seems to make full circle as Qian gets Ren stem assigned in the traditional way.
Still Xu is Storage/Tomb of Fire, also representing the physical heart.

In QMDJ that star is viewed(among many other things) as representing healing and Western Medicine, while Chinese Medicine would often be viewed as represented by Yi stem on the Heaven Plate.
Its considered connected strongly to the military and in many questions very beneficial.


« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 08:59:15 AM by Gmuli »

Online JLim

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Thank you for sharing the article!
Interesting to mention that Xin/Heart is one of the Stars in QMDJ.
Its very metal in nature, though(as its belonging to Qian 6 Palace/Trigram)
Or Tian Xin (Heavenly Heart) to be more exact.  :)
In QMDJ that star is viewed(among many other things) as representing healing and Western Medicine, while Chinese Medicine would often be viewed as represented by Yi stem on the Heaven Plate.
Interesting.
Its considered connected strongly to the military and in many questions very beneficial.
Yes, because it's associated with the Qian 6 Palace.  So it's also connected to the capable leader.

Online Gmuli

Quote
Or Tian Xin (Heavenly Heart) to be more exact.  :)

All Stars are Heavenly, aren't they?
Same as all Doors are Doors...

So for QMDJ star it would be very surprising if it wasn't Tian Xin. : )

Online JLim

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That's correct, Gmuli

Offline Dao

Hi All,
Thank you for participation and commentaries...

人於心上起經綸。
Man relies on his heart to raise the Jing Lun.

Beside Nature & 'Shu', It seems than 'Xin' 心 in man will be a key in divination or CM...
not only the organ etc.. but the 'heart/mind'; to have an open heart to see the divine spark in each person like in every atom of the universe, life is One... Taiji, San Cai, multiplicity...

All the best

 :-*


Online Gmuli

Hi All,
Thank you for participation and commentaries...

人於心上起經綸。
Man relies on his heart to raise the Jing Lun.

Beside Nature & 'Shu', It seems than 'Xin' 心 in man will be a key in divination or CM...
not only the organ etc.. but the 'heart/mind'; to have an open heart to see the divine spark in each person like in every atom of the universe, life is One... Taiji, San Cai, multiplicity...

All the best

 :-*

Xin seems to be what we call "Primal Soul", that is the egoic body.
In my view the correct translation for that in western terms is not heart and it isn't mind either. Its ego.
There is much more to the Soul then that and at higher steps on the path more then that will anchor in the heart.

Until then it sparks from there, but its position moves back to above the head, as there isn't enough light in the etheric part of the person(etheric body) to sustain it long term. When the space for it is created(heart and throat chakra have merged together) that part of the Soul comes down and stays.

Depending on the source/school/understanding we can view that it anchors in the heart or that it anchors in the thymus gland.


Offline Dao

Hi Gmuli, All,
We are swimming between languages, cultures and so.. that why at the end, I prefer to be simple...

Vedanta Tradition: Atma- Vijnana
Annamaya kosha
Pranayama kosha
Manomaya kosha
Vijnamaya kosha

Anandamaya kosha
- 1 orb: Brahman
- 2 orb: Prakriti
- 3 orb: Subtil Prana
- 4 orb: Ahamkara (ego)
- 5 orb: Chitta
- 6 orb: Atman

All the best

 :)

Online Tientai

[Hidden post: You need login to forum to see it.]
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 07:09:20 PM by Tientai »

Offline Dao

Grateful Tientai for your time & translation!... "the view of Wild Crane old mans book on Heart 心 ... for Divination purposes .. "




Online Tientai

The great Master Shao Yong perhaps is influenced from his Parents ..!!
They were followers and believers of Buddhism. ..
Perhaps Shao Yong inherited parental  "Heart 心" .. to be meant Compassionate Heart..!!!
...
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 04:31:36 PM by Tientai »

Offline Dao

"Heart 心" .. to be meant Compassionate Heart..!!!

Hi Tientai, All,

Interesting document!... xin 心

The Global Value of Mencius’s Ideas on Moral Feeling and Reason: Reinterpreting the Feeling of Compassion From the Perspective of the Philosophy of Emotion Liu Yuedi - Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, Chi
Read more: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/892e/2b9cfd846c11e471bed71274f1e17dfe6332.pdf

p.1: "Mencius’s ideas on moral feeling are reflected in his concept of siduan 四端, literally meaning the “four original sources.” Mencius stated: “The feeling of compassion (ceyin zhi xin 恻隐之心) is the original source of  humanity  (ren  仁)(...)

Best Regards

 :)
« Last Edit: March 16, 2019, 06:00:13 PM by Dao »

 

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