Sat, 08 May 2021




From I Ching to archetypes to Self-knowledge

From I Ching
As in other contexts mentioned, the Chinese calendar is a lunar calendar in which the beginning of the year is sanctioned by the passage of thirteen moons (the passage of new or black moons is considered).

The Book of Changes (I Ching), as an oral tradition, even precedes the formation of the Chinese calendar: it was initially a system of knowledge based on space-time coordinates and on an affirmative or negative oracular response in which the broken line represented the no and the whole line represented the yes, in a way that is completely analogous to the divination system of the Mongolian and Tibetan shamans (to which it is connected) and to that of the Pythia or the Sibyls in the Mediterranean world. The basic cycles of the Chinese calendar consist of sixty years. The Chinese were pragmatic and the lunar system refers to the space-time condition on earth, to the seasonal cycles that affect all living beings; the movements of the planets are not taken into great account because the "here and now" aspect is privileged, of the present conditions in which we find ourselves immersed.

Commentaries from the Book of Changes:

The commentaries are by Lao Tze with Taoism and by Confucius and / or his disciples, around 600 BC. Some Buddhist influences can also be recognized in the I Ching.
According to Chinese philosophy, negative aspects should not be disregarded but to give the right answer it is necessary to have a discriminating attitude. This behavior is representative of evolution. According to the Chinese and Indian criteria (especially in the Taoist and Advaita system) it is necessary to live one's nature by freeing oneself from superstructures such as cultural and social influences. Zen itself urges us to pursue authenticity rather than perfectibility.
In this regard, I recall an ancient popular proverb: "The best is the enemy of the Good".

How to read the Book of Changes:

The Book of Changes is a book of knowledge and should be read as a "novel" in which the characters are made up of the hexagrams themselves. Allowing oneself to be pervaded by the images evoked without attempting an analysis is the best way to approach it; the text must be understood both by means of rationality and by means of intuition, that is, using the mind with its logical and analogical part, namely Yang and Yin.
Our study leads us to analyze all the expressive modes of the mind until we come to understand that the observer is no different from the one who is observed (and this is corroborated even by the recent discoveries of quantum physics).

Formation area of the Book of Changes:

In the initial period of the formation of the Book of Changes matriarchy was still in force and traces of it can be found in it, for example in the hexagram "Il Farsi Encounter" in which we see the woman taking the initiative in approaching a group of men.
In Greek culture we witness the struggle between Venus, representative of feminine charm, and Minerva, who represents intelligence in her feminine qualities.
At the time of the foundation of the Chinese empire there was already the patriarchy that will arrive in Europe with the Indo-Europeans, ousting the matriarchy (see studies by the Lithuanian archaeologist Marija Ginbutas), whose last vestiges can be seen in Crete and Sardinia, places inhabited by the last matriarchal enclaves.
The typical deities of the matriarchal period are the chthonic deities (of the earth and underground) while those relating to the patriarchal period are the "celestial" deities who "virtualize" the very concept of divinity, for example the god of the Jews (which is then the same Archon of Christianity and Islam).

In the Indian zodiacal system and in the Book of Changes the masculine and feminine principles are considered equal except for a slight accent in favor of patriarchal culture; as an example we take the concept, present in the Book of Changes, according to which the Earth without the fertilization of Heaven could not produce its fruits. However, it should be noted that Devotion is the main quality of the Earth and Knowledge is the quality of Heaven. The two aspects must be integrated as they constitute a single reality.

We recall here that Greek and Latin are languages of Sanskrit derivation; likewise Greek philosophy represents a speculative aspect similar to that of Indian philosophy (see Socrates and Plotinus). In fact, the Greeks are of Indo-European origin (this civilization found its most evolved affirmation in the Indus Valley and the Sarasvati (the latter river now dried up) and extended to Persia). Another Indo-European population were the Hittites, who invaded Mesopotamia and surrounding areas.

Some philosophical considerations

We can say that perfection in form is a convention and as such "perfectible"; the perfection for the Chinese and the Indians resides rather in the Absolute, in the inner consciousness, in the phase that precedes every attribute or identification. Hence the concept of indefinable and ineffable truth that can only be evoked and experienced in the dissolution of the individual subject into the universal subject.
Existence is an expression of the Absolute, which is neither understood nor described, but within the dualism it appears in the form of empirical knowledge of a subject who knows the object.

Our present research is based on the knowledge of the practical aspects of this dual manifestation, except denying it from time to time to remind us that it is not the ultimate truth, this path is not learning to know what we are intimately, Absolute Consciousness, but it serves above all to "detoxify" from the externalizing tendency and from all that it produces (the sense of identification with the form and the name) because we want to give less value to this specific aspect. In reality we analyze the outside (that is the recognizable aspects of the mind) only in order to be able to recognize its non-substantiality.

Reincarnation and Buddhism

Reincarnation according to the Buddhist concept is not a personal one. The meeting of Yin with Yang leads to physical and psychic manifestation without this formative path being tied to the Existence of an individual ego; it is rather an expressive mode of consciousness that assumes a certain appearance and identity on the basis of the psychophysical characteristics it encounters.
In other words, the individual ego is only a mental tendency, a thought, an identifying capacity, which has no substance, in short, it is a reflection that is formed in the conscience. Therefore, according to the Buddhist criterion there is no individual self that reincarnates but only a sequence of thoughts and mental tendencies that find expression in a sort of evolutionary continuation.

For this reason, Self-realization is indicated as a "rediscovering" the true original nature, what one has always been, and not the achievement of something that is obtained from scratch, this knowledge of Self is at the same time imponderable, indefinable and all-encompassing. The set of all that is and is not. While believing in a dual state (god and soul, creator and creature, me and the other, etc.) means fixation on a mental frame and therefore corresponds to the "death" or oblivion of the Self. Here we set the example of the examination of an organism, not taking into account (in a holistic sense) the vital whole, which is like dissecting a corpse to understand its functioning. But the understanding of what life is can only come from direct experience and not from a sterile analysis of the corpse.

Consciousness "is", it is not consciousness "of", and we are that pure and absolute Consciousness.

Paolo D'Arpini


Date: 3 March 2021Author: Paolo D'Arpini
Credits Publisher: Fonte: from-i-ching-to-archetypes-to-self.html


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