Cyclical Time in Chinese Thinking

By: R.C.L.

A Compendium of Ancient and Modern Wisdom Revealing the Meaning and Significance of the Myth of Science.

The final concept of cyclical time in Chinese thought follows the Moon-Jupiter year, the twelve year cycle. The Chinese observed that people born in the same lunar year share certain collective characteristics that repeat after the Jupiter cycle of twelve years.

The twelve basic archetypes of cyclical Yang time relate to the twelve signs of the western zodiac. They follow both the lunar month and year over twelve years. In precommunist China the Emperor gave audiences according to the theme of the month. Today we can include this Chinese wisdom by having monthly talks, experiencing the difference of personal choices, and the time meaning of the month.

A summary of the Chinese conception of the cycle of twelve is shown below. On the far left column the equivalent western zodiac symbol is shown. Next the realm structure is shown; after that the functions. The fourth column shows the Chinese name given for each of the twelve. The year of the dog is shown on top with the structure of Body-Thinking. In the next column the hexagram traditionally assigned to each of the twelve is shown. On the far right is shown examples of the years which apply to each of the twelve signs. The years of the dog, for example, is in the years 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, etc.


METHODS/EXPERIMENTS: If you participate in a School of Wisdom or other group, try having monthly talks on the theme of that month. Observe the characteristics of the twelve time zones of the year and see if there are any correspondences or "fractalcalities" to the meaning posited in the Chinese system. Determine which animal you are according to the Chinese system and the year of your birth; try the same for your family and friends. Do you notice any type of similarity among people born in the same year? You may want to try reading some of the books written on Chinese Astrology, but at the present time there is little material of quality available in English on this Chinese tradition.

The relation of the I Ching to the 12 comes from the movement of the sun and the moon through the zodiac in the course of the year. The moon goes through 12 cycles in the course of the solar year from which our 12 months are derived. Based on this basic time rhythm a myth of the twelvefold Zodiac has developed in all cultures of the world. This is discussed in Chapter 6 on Time Cycles. The chart shown on the next page shows the relationship of the 6 lines of the I Ching hexagram and the twelvefold Zodiac. It also shows the progression of the Sun and Moon, Yang and Yin, up through the two sides of the 6 lines to form the 12 points. The correspondence of the hexagram to the Chinese zodiac shows another way to use the I Ching to change from consciousness to awareness.

hexagrams.gifThe cycle of twelve also appears in what is known as the "Cosmic Year", the longest time cycle known to Man, the 25,000 year progression of the vernal equinox. This is the time frame for the overall evolution of the human species. It is discussed further in Chapter Six under Historical Time Cycles. The six lines of the hexagram can also be understood in the context of human evolution. This is shown in the following chart.

Each hexagram is structured like the Cosmic Year. The six places correspond to the positions of the full moon, the clear vision, between waxing and waning. The steps are explained in many ways. For our purposes we start with Yang, the Sun, Seated in Dragon (Leo) and leading up to Dog (Aquarius). The Aquarian Age is the age of the Human, where the Earth Self merges with the Higher Self in communion with Tao, the Great Singularity.

dragon.jpgrabbit.jpgIn the first step you awake to your DRAGON, you vocation, your question, your participation in the cosmic work of the spirit, or as the Native American's call it, your "medicine". For this you have to leave your family and personal history, changing your dependencies into material for self actualization. The CAT does not care for the past family, only the future one.

tiger.jpgsnake.jpgIn the second step you have to find friends in the TIGER study groups and separate your spiritual way from the quest for survival (SNAKE). You look for those people who make it possible for you to pursue your spiritual way without looking for profit.

horse.jpgox.jpgWith the honest HORSE you transcend your group and make your achievements useful to others. You do so by establishing a style of livelihood, of wealth, which allows others to strive like a BUFFALO to participate in spiritual life.

rat.jpgsheep.jpgNow with the RAT you must stand up for your truth by organizing your whole life around your vocation. You blend your material and spiritual life by the GOAT Ò the lunar capacity to seize the moment, the opportunity. By receptivity to the times you make useful to others what is meaningful to you.

monkey.jpgpig.jpgThen you must get into revelation by understanding the comical aspects of all religious traditions, like the eclectic MONKEY in a supermarket of new age publications. The purpose of your search for revelation must be to heal others, to bring them to their wholeness. This requires unconditional service symbolized by the PIG. This understanding of the PIG explains the statement found in hexagram 61 - Inner Truth - "Pigs and fishes. Good fortune."

dog.jpgrooster.jpgThe highest achievement is no longer self-centered. You are in civilization and in spirit, a part of the New Earth in the sign of the DOG Ò Aquarius. You are, like the DOG, completely faithful to your path and to sacred history. You transcend your ego by announcing your truth in society like the ROOSTER without regard to the practical consequences.

How does the I Ching fit fractally into the Wheel? As we have seen, there is a striking similarity between the I Ching and the genetic code, the 8 trigrams to the 8 codons. This can be understood as recursive self similarity over scales. There is a basic identity between the genes and the hexagrams because their numeric structure is the same.

stop.jpgMartin Schoanberger, a German scientist, recently discovered that the two Codons which contain the genetic-chemical message "to stop" have the same numeric structure of hexagram 63, After Completion. All lines in this hexagram are said to be in their proper place. 

go.jpgMoreover, Schoanberger discovered that the Codons which, so to speak, act to say "Go" on a genetic level, correspond to the opposite hexagram 64, Before Completion.

These two genetic combinations and hexagrams seem to be connected together under the influence of the Circuit Attractor / Consciousness, shown in the hypercube as North and South: and . Thus for consciousness you have to start from an understanding of the whole, the Wheel, and then turn to a single problem. In effect the mind has to be made holistic, balanced, put into equilibrium. This is accomplished for instance by PrimaSounds with its tuning to 12 hertz, or by a good night's sleep with its full sequence of REM dreams. The Circuit Attractor with its conscious memories is then integrated into Being, leaving you free to act anew.

ichingspiral.jpgThe Wheel is fractal, true for the three levels: Micro, Macro and Mesocosmos. The outer trigrams form the space square (discussed in detail at the end of Chapter 8), the inner trigrams form the time spiral. The placement of the outer and inner trigrams and their relationship to the Wheel and all 64 hexagrams is shown in the chart on the following page. The time spiral can be understood as an analogy to the atomic structure discussed in Chapter 7. The innermost circle - Awareness corresponds to the nucleus of the atom. In chemistry the number value of the nucleus, from 1 to 92, determines the quality of the atom, what type of element it is. The next seven circles shown in the chart correspond to the seven electron shells of the atom and the seven circles of the Wheel.

As shown above, the hexagram formation starts in the East and moves counter-clockwise to the South East. It is moving from Creativity in the center of the Earth, up through the seven atomic shells.

In the square chart of all 64 hexagrams the pakua hexagrams form the diagonal. We can regard them as the attractors of the mind. They are reached in Indian terminology by the opening of the Chakras. Thus the Creative must go to the center of the Earth. The aim is spiritualization. Making up ones mind is to decide from the present hexagram (or if there is a changing line, to decide from both the present and the future hexagrams) by oracle, thinking or vision. Changing one's mind is to go from one hexagram to another, following the twelvefold structure. But merging with the center is effectuated through the pentagram, the five hsings, experienced fractally through PrimaSounds.

METHODS/EXPERIMENTS. The correspondence of the six lines of the I Ching hexagram with the twelvefold structure of the Chinese Zodiac can be experienced directly by contemplation of the following personal questions:

  1. Dragon: At what time did you have a revelation of your vocation, your "medicine"? Cat: What are the negative aspects of your parents and how do you still have them? How can you change the negative to positive?

  2. Tiger: What is your spiritual path? Snake: How do you separate survival and your spiritual work or path?

  3. Horse: Are you strong enough to meet people outside of your group? Buffalo: Have you enough wealth, riches, to fulfill your spiritual potential?

  4. Rat: What truth do you personally stand up for? Goat: What occasions or opportunities do you seize?

  5. Monkey: What is your revelation? Pig: How will your revelation heal others?

  6. Dog: How do you get into the "flow", the Tao, the spirit of the times? Rooster: How can this flow vitalize your profession?

Last Modified on July 7, 2010 3:08 PM | Edit

Community Forum

Please join us in open discussions on this or any other topic, in the School of Wisdom. The Community Forum is a place to share your ideas and recieve answers to questions. ...read more
Print This Page |

Site Navigation