Chapter 10. Bagua, the trigrams

Qián, the creative

Depends what the question is. Otherwise, it’s all settled. Aspect of nature? The firmament. Planet? Neptune. Never mind that the firmament is related to Neptune only logically, I mean associated only in the abstract. This is what you get when everything is assigned to only one of eight fundamental principles of reality. * The philosopher was a flautist who played a pastoral piece featuring the bleating of sheep. No, those weren’t wrong notes; have faith. The piece became cerebral, like a comet, whose earthly influence was mental, at best, but it was creative especially when his father rode into the pasture on a horse. * A heavenly force pervades the air like thunder, the ground like water. His father is a lord of Tiān and charges into his dreams mounted in full battle armor on a lathered stallion before he wakes up sweating.

Duì, the joyous

The lake reflects perfectly from the green shore the sun setting after dinner with a glass of wine and a loving partner. Sheep graze on the slope. The dirt of the day washes away.

Lì, the clinging

He may have no choice but to fight or to relinquish supremacy. His heart is a fire burning as a sun to shine on his people. He moves swiftly for surprise is both joy and dread.

Zhèn, the arousing

Thunder may tell an emperor whether forests will burn. An earthquake may tell him whether a tsunami will swipe at the coast. Chaos is always waiting at the borders outside the gates. A good emperor never waits for bad signs.

Xùn, the gentle

Geese are riding the winds, heavy hounds of the air, too fat, too lazy to fly. Only honking and the goose in front keeps them aloft. Defenseless, each goose never admits the need for force.

Kǎn, the abysmal

Water rat holds its breath in the water of drunkenness, expecting enlightenment, gets euphoric, adrenaline, carrying a lotus blossom in its teeth, the teeth of hope.

Gèn, keeping still

Raging storms leaves the mountain even more impressive. The monkey descends from the forest and can no longer be swayed by ridicule. He can’t be debased. He holds the key to his own integrity and can’t be tempted to sell it for money or glory.

Kūn, the receptive

Mongoose in his burrow is a hornless dragon, like the tiger, unafraid of snakes. Teeth, claws, and the dark earth protect him. Being in balance and ready, always limber, he heeds the call of the earth.