OldDog

Yijing and Daoism

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What is the relationship between the Yijing and Daoism, in general?

 

This may seem like an odd question but one that I need some guidance on. Somewhere ... and I can't recall where but pretty sure in was in TDB ... I think I recall someone stating that the Yijing was really not a Daoist writing. This statement ... or my misinterpretation of some statement ... has been stuck in the back my head and been haunting my study. 

 

I have always considered the Yijing as part of the greater idea of daoism. Is there any basis for thinking it is not? What is the generally accepted sense of positioning the Yijing relative to Daoism?

 

Any guidance, greatfully appreciated.

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From what I've learned, the Confucians took great interest in the Yijing and wrote many of the more well known commentaries upon it. I am unsure, or cannot recall at the moment, sources prior to Wei Boyang that discuss trigrams/hexagrams in context of Daoism. These are questions I am interested in too and know of others who have had greater interest in them than I, so I like this thread topic.

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1 hour ago, OldDog said:

Somewhere ... and I can't recall where but pretty sure in was in TDB ... I think I recall someone stating that the Yijing was really not a Daoist writing. This statement ... or my misinterpretation of some statement ... has been stuck in the back my head and been haunting my study.

 

Ah - that might well have been a topic of mine. :blush:

 

I think it was this one: 

Some answers were given there. It is important to realise that Taoism has a long history with many paths and bypaths. So for one type of Taoist the I Ching might be a crucial part of his practice and for another type of Taoist it might by a silly superstition.

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Here are some of my observations on the matter. They are not well thought through.

 

From I Ching we learn that there are two primary forces, Heaven and Earth. Heaven is the creative force, Earth is the responsive force. Heaven is the realm of beginnings. Earth is the realm of manifestations. Thus change begins in Heaven and manifests itself on Earth. Change, while unmanifested in Heaven, is small. Change, while manifesting on Earth, is large.

 

In TCM there is the concept of "Golden Time." This is essentially that period when illness is small and thus can be managed. This is akin to the change that is unmanifested in Heaven above. Once illness takes hold in the manifest world it becomes much more difficult to treat. This is akin to the change that is manifested on Earth.

 

In Taoism there is the concept of Wu Wei - essentially thoughtless action. By thoughtless I don't mean rude or inconsiderate. Rather I mean natural, non-contrived, without motive or agenda. This is essentially action springing from the Creative, from Heaven. This form of action carries the greatest power since it derives from the ultimate source and flows naturally through its entire life cycle. It does not fight the change taking place. Rather, it is the change taking place.

 

I hope this makes sense. I'll see if I can clean up these thoughts later.

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4 hours ago, wandelaar said:

I think it was this one: 

 

Yes, thank you, I recall that discussion. The questions are very similar. I sometimes have a hard time locating threads I visited with particular content. Where you asked about Yijing in relation to Laozi and Zhuangzi, I had posed a more general question relative to daoism as a whole. The answer may very well be the same. 

 

I have been working on deeper readings and understandings of all three (Yijing, Laozi and Zhuangzi). I understand that the Yijing as we know it today is not the same as would have been avaiable in the time as Lz and Zz. Hence references to the Zhouyi.

 

I am trying to gain an appreciation for the interconnectedness of these early sources. Each represents a particular line of development in thought. But their relationship to each other is not often clear. My sense is that they represent individual instances on a continuum that today we call daoism in a general sense. So, I guess what I am looking for is connections based on content rather than just a historical timeline. 

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3 hours ago, Lost in Translation said:

 

In TCM there is the concept of "Golden Time." This is essentially that period when illness is small and thus can be managed. This is akin to the change that is unmanifested in Heaven above.

 

I am glad you pointed this out. I think I was generally aware of the TCM concept but had not really matched it to the more generalized notion of emergent change under heaven and earth. I think 'Golden Time' is a powerful image that really cements the concept.

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In the Tao Te Ching it is mentioned that it is best to solve problems before they appear. (I don't remember the exact chapter.) This is the more general form of the principle. 

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Ch 63

 

...

Deal with the difficult while yet it is easy;
Deal with the big while yet it is small.
the difficult (problems) of the world Must be dealt with while they are yet easy;
The great (problems) of the world Must be dealt with while they are yet small.

...

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