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Yijing 易經 "The Book of Changes", or Zhou Yi 周易 "The Changes of the Zhou"
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This is the most commented book of the old classics, said to be a composition of the mythical ruler Fuxi 伏羲, King Wen of Zhou 周文王, Duke Dan of Zhou 周公旦 and even Confucius. But instead, we can divide the text in the "original" listing of the 64 hexagrams and their respective line statements and the later "wing" commentaries. The main part with the listings can also be called "Changes of the Zhou", because it is the Zhou people's manual for the divination with milfoil stalks (shi 蓍). The former dynasty, the Shang 商, instead used heat crackings on oracle bones to divine. Its modern shape is very near to the original that must have been composed during the late Western Zhou Dynasty 西周.
Each of the hexagrams is composed of two of the Eight Trigrams (bagua 八卦). Each hexagram is named after its main fortune character, commented by a short statement (guaci 卦辭). Every single line of it, broken or solid (called "six" liu 六 and "nine" jiu 九 or "female" yin 陰 and "male" yang 陽), is commented by a line statement (yaoci 爻辭). The statements begin bottom to top, counting as "beginning" (chu 初), two, three, four, five and "upper" (shang 上). The sequence of the 64 Hexagrams was not always the same. The commentary is very abstract and made room for occult prognostication, numerological and cosmological speculation and political and moral philosophizing during the Han Dynasty 漢 and the Song Dynasty 宋.
The ten "Wing Commentaries" (Shiyi 十翼) are products of the Han Dynasty and interprete the hexagram and its statements in a lexicological, symbolistic and philosophical way. These commentaries are named:
Changes of the Zhou (B) 31. Xian (Influence)
Swamp (above) Mountain is Influence; the Trigram Dui above, and Gen below.
Xian indicates, that there will be free course and success. Its advantageousness will depend on the being firm and correct, as in marrying a young lady. There will be good fortune.
The Tuan Commentary says: Xian is here used in the sense of gan (xian plus heart), meaning influencing. The weak trigram above, and the strong one below; their two influences moving and responding to each ofther, and thereby forming a union; the repression of the one and the satisfaction of the other; where the male is placed below the female; all these things convey the notion of a free and successful course, while the advantage will depend on being firm an correct, as in marrying a young lady, and there will be good fortune. Heaven and earth exert their influences, and there ensue the transformation and production of all things. The sages influence the minds of men, and the result is harmony and peace under all the sky. If we look at those influences, the true character of heaven and earth and of all things can be seen.
The Great Symbolism says: A mountain and above the marsh form xian. The superior man, in accordance with this, keeps his mind free preoccupation, and open to receive others.
The Great Treatise, 1st part
The sages set forth the diagrams, inspected the emblems contained in them, and appended their explanations; - in this way the good fortune and bad were made clear. The strong and the weak lines displace each other, and produce the changes and transformations in the figures. Therefore the good fortune and evil mentioned in the explanations are the indications of the right and wrong in men's conduct of affairs, and the repentance and regret mentioned are the indications of their sorrow and anxiety. The changes and transformations of the lines are the emblems of the advance and retrogression of the vital force in nature. Thus what we call the strong and the weak lines become the emblems of day and night. The movements which take place in the six places of the hexagrams show the course of the three extremes. Therefore what the superior man rests in, in whatever position he is places, is the order shown in the Book of Changes; and the study which gives him the greatest pleasure is that of the explanations of the several lines. Therefore the superior man, when living quietly, contemplates the emblems and studies the explanations of them; when initiating any movement, he contemplates the changes that are made in divining, and studies the prognostications them. Thus "is help extended to him Heaven; there will be good fortune, and advantage in every movement." (2)
Treatise of Remarks on the Trigrams
Anciently, when the sages made the Book of Changes, in order to give mysterious asistance to the spiritual Intelligences, they produced the divining milfoil. The number three was assigned to heaven, two to earth, and these came the other numbers. They contemplated the changes in the divided and undivided lines, and formed the trigrams; the movements that took place in the strong and weak lines, they produced the separate lines. There ensued a harmonious conformity to the course and to virtue, with a discrimination of what was right, and effected the complete development of nature, till they arrived at what was appointed for it. (1)
Qian is the symbol of strength, Kun, of docility; Zhen, of stimulus to movement; Xun, of penetration; Kan, of what is precipitous and perilous; Li, of what is bright and what is catching; Gen, of stoppage or arrest; and Dui, of pleasure and satisfaction. (7)
Qian suggests the idea of a horse; Kun, that of an ox; Zhen, that of a dragon; Xun, that of a fowl; Kan, that of a pig; Li, that of a pheasant; Gen, that of a dog; and Dui, that of a sheep. (8)
Qian suggests the idea of the head; Kun, that of the belly; Zhen, that of the feet; Xun, that of the thighs; Kan, that of the ears; Li, that of the eyes; Gen, that of the hands; and Dui, that of the mouth. (9)
有天地，然後有萬物；有萬物，然後有男女；有男女，然後有夫婦；有夫婦，然後有父子；有父子，然後有君臣； 有君臣，然後有上下；有上下，然而禮儀所有錯。夫婦之道，不可不久也，故受之以恆；恆者久也。物不可以久居其所，故受之以遯； 遯者退也。物不可以終遯，故受之以大壯。〔下篇一〕
The orderly sequence of the Hexagrams
Heaven and earth existing, all things then got their existence. All things having existance, afterwards there came male and female. the existence of male and female there came afterwards husband and wife. husband and wife there came father and son. father and son there came ruler and minister. ruler and minister there came high and low. When high and low had existance, afterwards came the arrangements of propriety and righteousness. The rule for the relation of husband and wife is that it should be long-enduring. Hence Xian is followed by Heng. Heng denotes long enduring. Things cannot long abide in the same place; and hence Heng is followed by Dun. Dun denotes withdrawing. Things cannot be for ever withdrawn; and hence Dun is succeeded by Dazhuang.
Treatise on the Hexagrams taken promiscously
Above the Jin the sun shines clear and bright,
but in Mingyi 'tis hidden the sight.
Progress in Jing in Kun encounters bright;
Effect quick answering cause in Xian appears;
While Heng denotes continuance for years.
Translated by James Legge; transcription modernized
lay a significant role during the first half of the Tang period, they became an important political power after the An Lushan rebellion. The first eunuch influencing a Tang emperor was Emperor Xuanzong's 唐玄宗 eunuch Gao Lishi 高力士. Under Emperor Dezong 唐德宗 eunuchs like Li Fuguo 李輔國, Dou Wenchang 窦文場 and Huo Xianming 霍仙鳴 even obtained the command over the imperial guards (shencejun 神策軍), controlled the palace secretariat (shimiyuan 樞密院) and even destinated the throne succession: Chou Shiliang 仇士良 chose Li Ang 李昂 (posthumous Tang Wenzong 唐文宗). On two occasions state officials sought to destroy the eunuch power: The first plot was in 805 when Wang Shuwen and Wang Pi and famous scholars like Liu Zongyuan and Liu Yuxi tried to overcome the eunuchs. The eunuch Ju Wenzhen called some military commissioners for help and suppressed the uprising of the state officials (known as the "two Wangs and eight directors", Er Wang ba sima). Thirty years later, Li Xun and Zheng Zhu stood up against the eunuchs under Wang Shoucheng who had assassinated the emperors Xianzong and Jingzong. But the eunuchs took Emperor Wenzong as a host and stayed untouched in their powerful position (the so-called Ganlu incident of 835).
In 845 the great persecution of Buddhists took place (following the reign period called the Huichang persecution, Huichang fei Fo). The economic activities of the rich monasteries, luxury within the cloister's walls as contrasted to the fiscal austerity of the central government, the fact that many people tried to escape taxes by submitting them to the clerical orders, the fact that monasteries - although rich land-owners - were not tax-liable, and the rise of Daoism and Confucianism (the forerunner of Neo-Confucianism, Han Yu) lead to this organized proscription of Buddhist clergy and their possession under Emperor Wuzong. Already Emperor Xuanzong had undertaken persecutions against Buddhists.
The permanent struggles among the military commissioners resulted in significant rises of the taxes, and because many peasants had leaft their homelands, the burden for the remaining landlords consequently rose. Except the extremely high land and production taxes, the rising salt price - as a state monopoly becoming almost the only source of revenue for the Tang state - caused many peasants to take part in the popular uprisings that shook the Tang empire the 850es on. Although officials like the Hanlin scholar Liu Yunzhang 劉允章 criticized the socio-economic situation during the reign of Emperor Wen 唐文宗. The first rebellion to shake late Tang China was the peasant uprising of Yuan Chao 袁晁 in 762-763 in the lower Yangtse era, just after the suppression of the An Lushan rebellion. In 859 Qiu Fu 裘甫 lead a peasant rebellion in the area modern Zhejiang. Qiu saw himself as delegate of the Heaven, proclaimed his own reign eras and had casted coins, but his revolt was soon suppressed by Tang generals. Of slight difference was the rebellion of Pang Xun 龐勛 in 868 that started as a kind of desertion of Xuzhou 徐州 soldiers garrisoned in Guizhou 桂州 that wanted to return home after a overdue end of military service. The court allowed their return ex post, but when they could not enter the town of Xuzhou, the soldiers staged a rebellion and were soon joined by numerous peasants. Tang armies were able to suppress the unrest only a year later. These few rebellions had been locally restricted and were soon pacified. Not so the uprising of the salt traders Wang Xianzhi 王仙芝, Shang Rang 尚讓 and Huang Chao 黃巢 in the region of Henan in 875. These three rebels were able to field a peasant army that was far larger and stronger than the rebellions before. Within a few months they controled the whole northern region, conquered Luoyang 洛陽 and the capital Chang'an 長安 and even advanced far into the south to Guangzhou 廣州. In 881 Huang Chao proclaimed himself emperor of a Qi Dynasty 齊, Emperor Xizong 唐僖宗 had fled to Chengdu 成都 in Sichuan like Emperor Xuanzong 唐玄宗 some 125 years before. Remaining Tang troops under Zheng Tian 鄭畋 and Zhu Wen 朱溫 (later called Zhu Quanzhong 朱全忠) and Turkish troops under Li Keyong 李克用 liberated Chang'an and drove the rebels back to the east. In 884 Huang Chao was finally defeated. The victors of the sucessful suppression of the Huang Chao rebellions were the warlords that now started to take over the power of the central government, the mightiest among them being the Shatuo Turk Li Keyong, Zhu Quanzhong, and Li Maozhen 李茂貞. All of them were military commissioners in absentia and held important posts in the official bureaucracy, the Southern Court (nanya 南衙) that stood in competency to the inner northern offices (beisi 北司) that were controled by the eunuchs (huanguan 宦官). The eunuchs had managed to destinate the imperial succession since almost a century, and the eunuch Yang Fugong 楊復恭 now installed the young Li Ye 李曄 as emperor in 888 (posthumous Tang Zhaozong 唐昭宗). In the struggle for power, Li Maozhen and the eunuchs abducted the emperor, but their clique was defeated in 903 by Zhu Quanzhong who brought back the emperor, executed the eunuchs and transferred the capital to Luoyang, Chang'an was burnt down. This event reminds the end of the Han Dynasty 漢. Zhu Quanzhong had assassinated the emperor, installed Li Zhu 李柷 (posthumous Tang Aidi 唐哀帝) and murdered the highest Tang officials at Baima Station 白馬驛. In 907 he forced Emperor Aidi to abdicate and founded his own dynasty, Liang 梁, by historians called Later Liang 後梁, with the capital at Kaifeng 開封.
To the other local military commanders, the Tang emperors had to pay a high price for their loyalty: they were allowed to establish their own troops, to collect taxes and to install their own sons as hereditary successors in their military position. The central government was unable to prevent