Tag Archives: 1. Chien (The Creative)

Ch’ien – The Creative Heaven





The Creative

The first hexagram is made up of six unbroken lines. These unbroken lines stand for the primal power, which is lightgiving, active, strong, and of the spirit [the creative spirit, starry heavens, beyond the sum of the force of all stars, the might of all orders of galaxies, superior to anything conceivable, worlds of infinite force, pure light, pure beauty, pure might, unconquerable, and initating].

The hexagram is consistently strong in character, and since it is without weakness [it is completely consistent and self-evident, without defect, without a break, powerful and infinitely potent, the hexagram stands for its unbroken, untainted, complete and holy-whole force], its essence is power or energy. Its image is heaven [the starry heavens denote and signify at the same time, they are a type and a token, they represent, they symbolize, and they are both traces, and essences].

Its energy is represented as unrestricted by any fixed conditions in space and is therefore conceived of as motion [force opens the gates of space and time]. Time is regarded as the basis of this motion [time is a first degree force coming from force, space opens thus].

Thus the hexagram includes also the power of time and the power of persisting in time, that is, duration [duration is the strenght of force, or its determined potency].

The power represented by the hexagram is to be interpreted in a dual sense—in terms of its action on the universe and of its action on the world of men [here the young race of man is trying to create a cosmography to relate to heavens in proportion and reflect the order on Earth, as well as expressing the cosmic impulse of the creative heavens through its totality].

In relation to the universe, the hexagram expresses the strong, creative action of the Deity [the One, Monad, E Pluribus Unum, as Above, so Below]. In relation to the human world, it denotes the creative action of the holy man or sage, of the ruler or leader of men, who through his power awakens and develops their higher nature [Hsing – from the Book of the Golden Flower, the individuated man and woman pitched to the creative forces of heaven, Chuang Tzu and the “companion of heavens”, the one moving in line with the rhythm, gathering greatness to lightly move amongst the world, everything perfectly at ease, completely evident, without hindrance]


THE CREATIVE works sublime success, furthering through perseverance [as the water is shaping the rock, as the bird flies through the air, inexhaustible perseverance of the creative forces of heaven]. According to the original meaning, the attributes [sublimity, potentiality of success, power to further, perseverance] are paired. When an individual draws this oracle, it means that success will come to him from the primal depths of the universe and that everything depends upon his seeking his happiness and that of others in one way only, that is, by perseverance in what is right [all is furthering for the right man and woman at the right time, through effort and perseverance, they gather, further and dissolve in harmony, all in accord with the expression, finding a way to live by being in accord with the creative forces of heaven, whenever they are wronged, congested, ignorant, deluded, depitched, disharmonious, detunes, the ever-spring of heavens does not stop, they stop expressing its spirit]

The specific meanings of the four attributes became the subject of speculation at an early date. The Chinese word here rendered by “sublime” means literally “head,” “origin,” “great.” This is why Confucius says in explaining it: “Great indeed is the generating power of the Creative; all beings owe their beginning to it. This power permeates all heaven.”

[sublimity and subtletly, strenght within is like a blade, it is never drawn, and is mild and at ease, it is generous, yet it demonstrates through weighted wisdom and force that is resolute, to return to itself, the Jade dagger is a ceremonial artifact, and it represents devotion to tradition and heavens it never symbolizes strife, it is the purity of its balance, and a focused resolution, subtlety is impartial and just, well discerning and measuring, consulting the Heavens to reflect them on Earth, attempting to understand Heaven and laws of Heavens and Earth, and in accord and harmony and changes, adjust accordingly]

For this attribute inheres in the other three as well. The beginning of all things lies still in the beyond in the form of ideas that have yet to become real [thus all ideas – not in the colloquial sense – but as Divine forces of motions that are contained before the Creative Force initiates motions through force, phenomenal diversity leads to their multitudes. Perfect ideas descend from Creative Heavens,] .

“3:23: The Master, speaking with the Grand Music Master of Lu, said, Music can be understood in this way. The players first in unison, then freely harmonizing, playing separately or carrying on from one another, and thus the piece is completed.”[1]– Master Kong, Confucius

[1] 3:23, Burton Watson, eds. The Analects of Confucius (Columbia University Press: New York, 2007), p.30

But the Creative furthermore has power to lend form to these archetypes of ideas [through divine proportions stemming from perfection the forces and ideas are delineated by form, thus a Cosmos – or an order]. This is indicated in the word success, and the process is represented by an image from nature: “The clouds pass and the rain does its work, and all individual beings flow into their forms.”

Applied to the human world, these attributes show the great man the way to notable success: “Because he sees with great clarity causes and effects, he completes the six steps at the right time and mounts toward heaven on them at the right time, as though on six dragons.”

The six steps are the six different positions given in the hexagram, which are represented later by the dragon symbol.[Chinese astronomy and the Spheres? Cassiel and the Dragon for comparison]

Here it is shown that the way to success lies in apprehending and giving actuality to the way of the universe [tao], which, as a law running through end and beginning, brings about all phenomena in time.

All ends and beginnings are the same in eternity
All ends and beginnings are the same in eternity, noumena penetrates oroboros and infinite “As” and “Bs” denoting the measure of time

Thus each step attained forthwith becomes a preparation for the next. Time is no longer a hindrance but the means of making actual what is potential. [All time furthers the man and woman of heavens, for they are in accord, they are ‘called and respond’, ‘they call and receive’, the numinous infinity calls below to the world of time and space, phenomenal]

The act of creation having found expression in the two attributes sublimity and success, the work of conservation is shown to be a continuous actualization and differentiation of form [renewal, refinement, continuity]. This is expressed in the two terms “furthering” (literally, “creating that which accords with the nature of a given being”) [a potency of actualization of harmony, expanding the sphere of harmony and in accord becoming rounded at each instance of being, through multiple changes and renewals] being and “persevering” (literally, “correct and firm”).

“The course of the Creative alters and shapes beings until each attains its true, specific nature, then it keeps them in conformity with the Great Harmony. Thus does it show itself to further through perseverance.”

In relation to the human sphere, this shows how the great man brings peace and security to the world through his activity in creating order: “He towers high above the multitude of beings, and all lands are united in peace.”Another line of speculation goes still further in separating the words “sublime,” “success,” “furthering,” “perseverance,” and parallels them with the four cardinal virtues in humanity.

To sublimity, which, as the fundamental principle, embraces all the other attributes, it links love [understood as ‘humane feeling’, perhaps ‘humaneness’ – love follows humaneness and is a close term- difficult to define, Confucius avoided defining humaneness, it may be something akin to realizing Hsing – Divine nature, but it is still ambiguous].

To the attribute success are linked the mores [tradition, hierarchy of accord, free people that agree on hierarchy of merit, service, religious, societal order, piety with social mobility, as human being are not equal in qualities – the differences result in hierarchies based on justice, when no is one really left out, all are embraced, and one is harmonious with the position on the ‘Earthly theatre’, at the same time as people and their merit and abilities changes, they are allowed to ascend and descend in social ranks] which regulate and organize the expressions of love and thereby make them successful. The attribute furthering is correlated with justice, which creates the conditions in which each receives that which accords with his being, that which is due him and which constitutes his happiness. [Justice is regulative, in essence it is the distribution of force based on deep laws; – as an idea-force, it is a reactive way of restoring harmony when injustice – disharmony is encountered] The attribute perseverance is correlated with wisdom, which discerns the immutable laws of all that happens and can therefore bring about enduring conditions. These speculations, already broached in the commentary called Wên Yen, later formed the bridge connecting the philosophy of the “five stages (elements) of change,” as laid down in the Book of History (Shu Ching) with the philosophy of the Book of Changes, which is based solely on the polarity of positive and negative principles. In the course of time this combination of the two systems of thought opened the way for an increasingly intricate number symbolism.



The movement of heaven is full of power.Thus the superior man makes himself strong and untiring [alike to heaven].Since there is only one heaven, the doubling of the trigram Ch’ien, of which heaven is the image, indicates the movement of heaven. One complete revolution of heaven makes a day, and the repetition of the trigram means that each day is followed by another. This creates the idea of time. Since it is the same heaven moving with untiring power, there is also created the idea of duration both in and beyond time, a movement that never stops nor slackens, just as one day follows another in an unending course. This duration in time is the image of the power inherent in the Creative. [by observing the law of causation, one sees the events emerge in time, and thus penetrates into their laws]

With this image as a model, the sage learns how best to develop himself so that his influence may endure. He must make himself strong in every way, by consciously casting out all that is inferior and degrading [all base and uncouth things that are discordant with the reflections of the law of heaven, airborne thoughts sour high above like a falcon and after seeing they incarnate the observations in the man or woman, despite obstacles that attempt to fix in irrelevant things  and thus emanating it in speech, action, deed, thought, stance, perseverance whenever possible – aspiration to fix the movements of the mind via a reference, or a system of co-ordinates; what is inferior or degrading is developing bad habits, including mental ones, thus correcting oneself, and making amendments whenever one fails is of due importance].

Thus he attains that tirelessness which depends upon consciously limiting the fields of his activity. [the restrictive responsibility of mind is giving more to focus and concentration, when activity is well-shaped, diamond-like clarity is born]


Nine at the beginning means:Hidden dragon. Do not act.

In China the dragon has a meaning altogether different from that given it in the Western world. The dragon is a symbol of the electrically charged, dynamic, arousing force that manifests itself in the thunderstorm. In winter this energy withdraws into the earth; in the early summer it becomes active again, appearing in the sky as thunder and lightning. As a result the creative forces on earth begin to stir again.Here this creative force is still hidden beneath the earth and therefore has no effect. [one touched by the dragon-lightning is aroused to action as a hero or a sage, as if receptively receiving force and shaping it] In terms of human affairs, this symbolizes a great man who is still unrecognized. Nonetheless he remains true to himself. [inner truth is always more important, then dispersing it to four winds by unconscious, mindless activities, it is the the foundational strenght, it is easy to compromise it by exposure, retain!] He does not allow himself to be influenced by outward success or failure, but confident in his strength, he bides his time [misfortune motions of the external should never influence inner composure]. Hence it is wise for the man who consults the oracle and draws this line to wait in the calm strength of patience. The time will fulfill itself. [perseverance of an action, event wanes and becomes powerless if it is baseless, and is continuously renewed if it is a part of expression of force and laws, what appears to be permanent in human eyes is but an illusion, the motion of the starry heavens is pursued regardless] after the One need not fear lest strong will should not prevail; the main thing is not to expend one’s powers prematurely in an attempt to obtain by force something for which the time is not yet ripe [neither one is prepared to handle it and it might result in misfortune, nor are the circumstances present to accommodate the event].Nine in the second place means:Dragon appearing in the field.It furthers one to see the great man.

Here the effects of the light-giving power begin to manifest themselves. In terms of human affairs, this means that the great man makes his appearance in his chosen field of activity. As yet he has no commanding position but is still with his peers. However, what distinguishes him from the others is his seriousness of purpose, his unqualified reliability, and the influence he exerts on his environment without conscious effort [purpose is to be dicovered by True Will, the latter is to be sought for to accord with the expressive forces of Heavens, The Will of thrprisee One is one, it is the movement of Divine ideas, the expressions are different amongst the world of man and woman, according to individuation and discovered purpose, one becomes a master in the field of his inner work]. Such a man is destined to gain great influence and to set the world in order. Therefore it is favorable to see him.

Nine in the third place means:All day long the superior man is creatively active.At nightfall his mind is still beset with cares.Danger. No blame.A sphere of influence opens up for the great man. His fame begins to spread. The masses flock to him [be warned, if one loses his inner composure, sanity and is pulled into schemes of the other or uncouth, vulgar, base and low things, one with gain negative audience, and thus be scorned, according to the measure of assessment of others]. His inner power is adequate to the increased outer activity [all is well rounded and the inner is in accord with the outer] . There are all sorts of things to be done, and when others are at rest in the evening, plans and anxieties press in upon him. But danger lurks here at the place of transition from lowliness to the heights. Many a great man has been ruined because the masses flocked to him and swept him into their course [what seems to be proud to others, may often be protectiveness, assume a humble and soft outward disposition, so that you will avoid being judged as an arrogant, but retain the course and persevere in it, along with strenght]. Ambition has destroyed his integrity [ambition is that force that pulls beyond one’s strenght and measure, whether good or ill-willed, and damages the structure of one’s aspirations, works and deeds, soaring to high, we fall upon ground and ruins of our works] However, true greatness is not impaired by temptations. He who remains in touch with the time that is dawning, and with its demands, is prudent enough to avoid all pitfalls, and remains blameless.

Nine in the fourth place means:

Wavering flight over the depths.No blame.A place of transition has been reached, and free choice can enter in. A twofold possibility is presented to the great man: he can soar to the heights and play an important part in the world, or he can withdraw into solitude and develop himself [both paths are firm and correct, according to measure and proper assessemnt of times and changes]. He can go the way of the hero or that of the holy sage who seeks seclusion. There is no general law to say which of the two is the right way. Each one in this situation must make a free choice according to the inner law of his being. If the individual acts consistently and is true to himself, he will find the way that is appropriate for him. This way is right for him and without blame.

Nine in the fifth place means:Flying dragon in the heavens.It furthers one to see the great man.

Here the great man has attained the sphere of the heavenly beings. His influence spreads and becomes visible throughout the whole world. Everyone who sees him may count himself blessed. Confucius says about this line:“Things that accord in tone vibrate together. Things that have affinity in their inmost natures seek one another. Water flows to what is wet, fire turns to what is dry. Clouds (the breath of heaven) follow the dragon, wind (the breath of earth) follows the tiger. Thus the sage arises, and all creatures follow him with their eyes [a failed sage deserves the mockery of hells, a true one is perfectly at one with Heaven, a companion]. What is born of heaven feels related to what is above. What is born of earth feels related to what is below. Each follows its kind.


Letter 7
to eustathius, On music
… knowing this <one> thing, that great natures produce great evils
when corrupted, and the greatest enterprises are in all cases the most
harmful when they go to the bad.

– Iamblichus of Chalcis

Nine at the top means:

Arrogant dragon will have cause to repent.

When a man seeks to climb so high that he loses touch with the rest of mankind, he becomes isolated, and this necessarily leads to failure [ignoring co-dependence, community, one builds a mental tower above, although he is a prisoner of his own making, he separates himself and falls into wicked things: delusion, ignorance, anger, he starts to detest his friends, community, other species]. This line warns against titanic aspirations that exceed one’s power. A precipitous fall would follow.When all the lines are nines, it means:

There appears a flight of dragons without heads.Good fortune.When all the lines are nines, it means that the whole hexagram is in motion and changes into the hexagram K’un, THE RECEPTIVE, whose character is devotion. The strength of the Creative and the mildness of the Receptive unite. Strength is indicated by the flight of dragons, mildness by the fact that their heads are hidden. This means that mildness in action joined to strength of decision brings good fortune.