Online Journal devoted to the I Ching and Taoist Inner Alchemy
I cannot come to peace with using the name of Union as it has commonly been translated. The English word "union" is very cognitive and conscientious; it is more mental when a physical relationship should suffice. Whether it is combined with un-and -ion, or unite or unity, "union" is too arbitrary or forceful to me for the transliteration of the Chinese character Bi. Especially in modern day economic and political usage, the word "union" is applied between labor and management, established legislations and acclaimed rights. Union is a body away and aside from the political lobby and capitalistic alloy, working with labor and its established, earned, and contributed rights. It is not a neutral or free word anymore.
In Chinese, the character of Bi for the Water over Earth hexagram is the perfect expression of the divine creative female power below, over, and through undivided and unquenched masculine fire. The single yang line of the upper Water trigram holds the entire five creative threads and matter, matrixes, and lines to the point that this line itself is the dotting eye of God -- the first visible light of the universe, and the most expressed joy in our eyes.
By inverting or flipping the Army (Shi, hexagram 7) of the universe, signified by the teacher of love and the power of grandmother, Bi makes blood and water the same fluid, a tear and oil the same expression, dew and a view the same image, light and blue the same distance. When blood combines with water, the flesh is alive. When a tear speaks for the heart -- through silent joy and a salient agreement -- no external force is needed to unite or tie. No extra effort is required to bind or bond, mind or mount.
Oil is produced from the soil boiled and anointed from living flesh, decorating the engulfing tear with refinement, and lubricating the skin with a smooth touch. This oil is the expression of the water of love, the harmony of balance, the integrity of truth, and the accord of oneness. The power of water welcomes the dew babbling the daily news, and it hosts all those that are pure and tranquil in a thoughtless and dreamless state. The joy of sweat enjoys the juicy, sweet, and jubilant swift by weeping the sad and bitter life out of tears and sweeping the habitual residue away from the deer. So fast and yet tender, you cannot detect it; so pure and yet unrefined, you cannot describe it; so powerful and yet subtle, you cannot fathom it. So present and yet firm, you cannot but feel your rock-like strong bones.
Due to its political tier, the word "union" cannot take on the role of tears - though sweat may qualify some of its firing processes. Equally, the main concern here about the Bi hexagram is not how water originally landed on our planet, but the fact that it is the first major portal opening for the Moondial I Ching in the southwest. It is due to this earnest demand, not that we have to change its historical name in the Chinese language or English translation. We have to pay special attention to both the planetary function of the Earth and, accordingly, to the precept and concept of our conceivable birth and weightless ascension through this hexagram and its power vortex rooted within the universal vault.
With this concern, we have to understand how the Angelic Mother conceived the spirit into her flesh. Four possibilities could have occurred at the beginning: being barren, a human figure, a human-animal form combined, and twins. It is my best understanding at this point that the southwest portal, where Bi stands, holds the divine barren state so that the three other portals can complete the animation, twin, and sibling conceptions.
The word animation is used here for a mixed breed between humans and animals. Many mythological creatures like the centaur have recorded this horrible event. And even once in a while, human offspring would resemble this result. The twins can be either identical or fraternal. And the siblings can be one at a time or part of the twin set. It is fact now, that throughout human history, only the siblings of boy/girl and brother/sister survived collectively as a union or team. None of the three other outcomes - whether twins such as boy/boy, girl/girl, or half human and half animal -physically exist now. We humans eliminated them to the degree that gay or lesbian situations repeat psychically or somatically but not officially or socially as the party and journey of same sex twins.
After contemplating this for over two months now, I have to put on paper what I have digested. It is my best understanding that in the Moondial I Ching, the southwest portal holds the barren state and all possibilities. The southeast portal deals with the animation of the human-animal combined conception due to the fact that the southern portion of the Moondial deals mainly with the vegetation cycle on Earth and a bit with the organic or animal cycle. The northeast portal opens for the concepts of twins, the identity of fellowship, and the sameness of humanity. And the northwest portal finalizes the sibling state as we humans have sustained to the present day. The lovers are brother and sister, parents are the determining siblings, and grandparents are the leftover siblings.
If we divided
the entire human population in half, males and females would share equal
but opposite values, and everything would boil down to incestuous sibling
copulation as we live now. This answers why we spiritually
call each other brother and sister between males and females beyond the
skins race and attractive lace. According to the original
explanation in the oldest existing Chinese dictionary, Bi means
"thickness", as two people come to terms with one another.
So which is the thick, blood or milk, the common ground or love, race
or gender, politics or religion, light sky or blue space?
The sub-character bi means spoon or utensil, to serve food from a bowl onto a dish or shovel it into the mouth. Resembling the elbow and its grasp, Bi depicts the relationship between an arm and its hand; the fingers and a utensil, physically; a thought and its extended target, consciously; and blood and kinship, ancestrally. This calls to mind a time I literally ate with my fingers in a Nepalese restaurant. One of these two sub-characters could be me, or my mouth, or my hand and fingers, the other part could be the power and need to stretch myself out to fetch the food and dish it into my mouth. It makes my fingers feel very useful and humble, rougher and more raw than the biting drawer that is my jaw, and more practical than my imagination.
At one point in civilization, one of our biological ancestors, mental inventors, polite activists, or finger-extendedness, thought that it would be more powerful, far reaching, healthy, and polite to use a tool, instead of the fingers or hands to eat. First of all, it is very lonely to talk to yourself all the time, or just to be alone by yourself without interacting with others, whether humans or animals, thoughts or feelings, food or ideas, friends or relatives, fingers or bones, grasping or comfort. So this union business, more political in recent history than ever, made me suspicious in choosing it as the name for the Water above Earth hexagram.
The next word, as a sign from God and His gospel, was twin. The concept of twin has two genetic backgrounds, fraternal and identical. And it stretches further into three folds biologically: boy/boy, girl/girl, or girl/boy. Then the word sibling is more qualified here, because sibling can be any of the three. Stretching backward further, what is the oldest team unified to complete the human gene pool? It is the Angelic Mother and her holy or immaculate conception.
the concept of the Godhead, the almighty crown and single light beam.
This is used to justify my understanding of the fifth solid line of the
Bi hexagram. Stretching my mind into the furthest distance,
space enfolds me, and time encapsulates me. The womb enlarges
me, life engages me, a friend enmeshes me, parents enforce me, a sibling
engrosses me, my mentor enlists me, a fellow enjoins me, a lover entrances
me, an enemy entraps me, an official envelopes me, a hospice entombs me,
rebirth enwombs me, and reincarnation enwraps me.
Having thrown away sibling, womb speaks for motherhood, seed talks to sprout, line defines facts , and beholder looks at withholder for the stronghold where the firm holder sleeps with a worm folder. When the image and feeling of beheld, mentioned by a spiritual brother, holds my deeds into sleep and folds my needs inside the Bible, Isaiah points me to the daughter of Zion, the city of David , the virgin of light, the grail of heaven, and the womb of the universe.
Finally, eight days before my deadline (Sept.22, 2006), firmament landed in my heart. Then God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from waters. Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven." (Gen.1:6-8)
spirit hovers over water, joy leaps over tears, enlightenment smiles above
dust, the firmament affirms its conferment where the fire all over me
amends me like a lamented lament. This is the real power of the
Bi hexagram, and this is the true, literal declaration of flatland,
holographic sphere, universal plasma, and the most sacred contract inside
the most powerful concrete through the unbreakable contrast. Other words
may flow afterwards, such as welkin, empyrean, air, ether, infinity, space,
universe, azure, or cerulean.
When endless words carry an endless stretch of our over stretching body, the temple rings with wind chimes and laughs with misty light. Many words have come to my mind and my life over the past three months, but nothing is as firm as the powerful stronghold of firmament. The entire universe is affirmed with the fermenting sphere and ether to lure us into the subtle clues of God and His makers. I am sure of His glue now the power of beholding the withholder around the stronghold; the power of the firmament.
Next article you can access in this issue: I Am A Boat