Master Hua-Ching Ni on Hexagram 63 of the I Ching


In The Book of Changes and the Unchanging Truth (1990/1994), Master Ni gives a more or less extensive comment after each hexagram. These comments are covering much more ground than the interpretation of the hexagrams themselves. While within the hexagrams, Master Ni explains each hexagram and its structure in a short prelude following the specific ‘Guidance’ of the hexagram—which is more or less the same across interpretations—, and while he also comments on each line specifically, he goes farther than all other known I Ching scholars in that he offers this additional material as well, and it’s a wealth of wisdom, presented in simple and clear language.

The perhaps longest of all of them is the one for Hexagram 63 (After Crossing the Water); it covers twelve pages and is entitled ‘The Universal Life’. I have read it several times during the now 16 years I am working with this I Ching edition, and every time, I discover something new and worthwhile. So it was the case today when I perused it just another time.

This is a quite uncanny text. In the first three paragraphs, Master Ni speaks about balance between the material and the spiritual sphere. Indeed, today it can be easily observed in modern society that there is a form of extremism in both groups, the materialists and the spiritualists, so to speak. While the first group is in the majority, this doesn’t mean that the spiritualists are voiceless. They aren’t, and often they are as extremist as the materialists. Their usual rhetoric is that material things have no value, that money is an invention of the devil, that material prosperity betrays a cunning, deceitful mind, that riches corrupt people, and so on and so forth. The rhetoric of the materialists is much simpler, it simply says without much ado that all is matter and always remains matter, whatever one does ‘spiritually’; and that because all is matter, there is no afterlife, there are no psychic powers, and there is no soul.

To make an exception to my usual review work, I will start not at the beginning of this comment, but quite in the midst of it, because in that passage, it’s about something really fundamental, namely the origin and potency of the universe. What is the origin and potency of the universe? Before I continue I may give a short explanation, again in form of quotes, how this comment was written. It was namely exceptionally not written as a comment put up by Master Ni but as a conversation among astral beings. This is how Master Ni introduces the discussion:

Hua-Ching Ni
Several million years ago, astral beings lived on energy islands in space. Some of these islands were close to our / solar system. Over a long period of time these beings witnessed the small planet Earth becoming a balanced field of different energies that radiated from far and nearby stars and plants. After some time, this balanced planet became a place on which a new specimen of life could thrive and propagate. The appearance of this new specimen, which was highly intelligent and which had a perfectly shaped physical body, gave astral beings such great joy that they came to Earth to play with and teach these human beings. To their astonishment, the astral beings realized that this new species grew so quickly in intelligence that the original balance and well-being of individuals could no longer be maintained. Extreme tendencies became more and more prevalent. As humans became increasingly superficial, they eventually lost the spiritual essence of their lives. This improper development caused the astral friends great concern, and most of them stopped visiting the Earth as often as they used to. One astral family, however, could not bear to see the darkening of the human race. In order to help mankind rediscover its original balance, integrity and clarity, this family decided to take upon itself the task of enlightening their human friends. (…) For six thousand years, these astral beings had many human lives. (…) The time came for the great meeting. Although all the astral beings lived in different places, had different kinds of lives and different appearances, a strong summons was simultaneously felt in each of their hearts. One by one, they all came to Kun Lun mountain in the Western region of China where gatherings of immortal astral beings often take place. They all arrived on time and quietly refreshed themselves. Although they recalled who they had been and the work they had performed on Earth, they had completely awakened from their experiences of human life. Their total integrity was restored. Before returning to the Divine Immortal Realm, however, each of them offered some insight on what they had witnessed in the human realm. What follows are their conversations, as reflected in the mind of one of their human friends. We should regard it as advice the immortals have offered to us.’ / 613-615

Now, after this introduction what kind of text we are facing here, and how it came about, Master Ni quotes the speech of Hsin, from the Northwest of Kun Lun.

Hua-Ching Ni
Hsin, from the Northwest of Kun Lun, said: There is some dispute among modern minds as to how the world began. Those who hold the view of idealism believe the world was created by God. Those who hold the view of materialism believe the world is based on matter. However, long ago some ancient achieved human beings discovered that the origin and potency of the universe is chi. The first stage of pure existence is neither mind nor matter, but chi. Mind and matter are merely different expressions of this primal chi. Existence is not a matter of different origins, but of development. Thus, existence can be developed as mind and matter. Mental energy is a more highly developed stage of chi derived from grosser, material energy. It is the essence of the external material shell. However, essence cannot be without its gross base. The origin of chi has no form. It is the original form of everything. Thus, the origin of the universe cannot be defined as being either material or mental, it is simply chi. Disputes between materialists and idealists, therefore, have no basis, / but are merely limited points of view. Insisting on such partial views becomes the source of disintegration for human society. Standards for evaluating success and achievement in the world today may stress material progress, but if material progress goes against human nature, then imbalance occurs and a crisis will develop. In any age, the principle of balance should be the highest guideline. It should also be applied to general religious practices. Religious life has many different levels: social, personal, emotional and spiritual. Fundamentally, if one is to avoid the downfall of human nature, one must become aware enough to rise above all doctrines that damage the original naturalness and oneness of human nature. Only the unspoiled, natural followers of the ancient Universal Way can maintain the direct embodiment and fulfillment of truth in their lives. If one seeks individual realization of everlasting spiritual life, the methods still exist. The path of total integration is not only valuable for spiritual, mental and physical health and development, but it can also prepare one for high achievement. Actualization of such achievement has been proven by our ancient human friends who achieved themselves through these truthful methods. /619-620

Glossary

* I Ching or Book of Changes is the oldest of the Chinese classic texts. A symbol system designed to identify order in what appear to be chance events, it describes an ancient system of cosmology and philosophy that is at the heart of Chinese cultural beliefs. It is based on the alternation of complementary energies called yin and yang, which are developmental poles that by their alternation trigger inevitable change. It is also based on the old integrative philosophy of the five elements that is part of many other esoteric science traditions. The philosophy centers on the ideas of the dynamic balance of opposites, the evolution of events as a process, and acceptance of the inevitability of change.

The I Ching consists of 64 hexagrams. Each hexagram or kua is an energy pattern that is a unique mix of the two base energies, yin and yang, represented symbolically by lines. Yang is represented by a solid line, yin by a dotted line. Each hexagram is composed of six lines, and two trigrams consisting of three lines each. The lower trigram deals with matters that are in their beginning stage, from the start of a project until about half of its realization. The upper trigram deals with the culmination and the end of processes or projects, positively or negatively.

The I Ching has been a book for divination and relief, and for spiritual learning for many great and famous people such as Confucius, Hermann Hesse, John Lennon, Carl Gustav Jung, and many others. I personally consult the I Ching on a regular basis since 1990.

Bibliography

Hua-Ching Ni
The Taoist Inner View of the Universe and the Immortal Realm
Santa Monica: Seven Stars Communications, 1979, 1996

Hua-Ching Ni
The Power of Natural Healing
Santa Monica: Seven Stars Communications, 1991, 1995

Hua-Ching Ni
The Complete Works of Lao Tzu
Tao Teh Ching & Hua Hu Ching
Santa Monica: Seven Stars Communications, 1991, 1995

Hua-Ching Ni
Life and Teaching of Two Immortals
Volume I, Kou Hong
Santa Monica: Seven Stars Communications, 1992

Hua-Ching Ni
Life and Teaching of Two Immortals
Volume II, Chen Tuan
Santa Monica: Seven Stars Communications, 1993

Hua-Ching Ni
Internal Alchemy
Santa Monica: Seven Stars Communications, 1992

Hua-Ching Ni
Nurture Your Spirits
Santa Monica: Seven Stars Communications, 1990

Hua-Ching Ni
I Ching, The Book of Changes and the Unchanging Truth
Revised First Edition
Santa Barbara: Seven Star Communications, 1990

Advertisements