Shuo Gua (Explanation of the Diagrams)—Yijing

From the Classic of Changes, the Yijing (I Ching or Zhou Yi), we present two translations of a fundamental section on the mythical and metaphysical origins of the eight trigrams and the sixty-four hexagrams.

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In ancient times the holy sages made the Book of Changes thus: Their purpose was to follow the order of their nature and of fate. Therefore they determined the tao of heaven and called it the dark and the light. They determined the tao of the earth and called it the yielding and the firm. They determined the tao of man and called it love and rectitude. They combined these three fundamental powers and doubled them; therefore in the Book of Changes a sign is always formed by six lines.

Original excerpts from the Princeton University (Wilhelm/Baynes) and from the Columbia University (Lynn) editions of the Changes.