Online Journal devoted to the I Ching and Taoist Inner Alchemy
Linguistic Image: Ding - Caldron
BY PURPLE YANG
Fire over Wind hexagram is the last hexagram in the Moondial. Unlike revelation in the Bible, which plays the movie or DVD filled and recorded in the cosmos and screened and flashed upon the inner eye and heart of John, the hexagram of Ding or Caldron as Chinese has applied is about creative invention, innovative procedure and technological advancement. It is about going back home, the heart of universe, not through mental images but with mechanical technologies, not with visions and hopes but with spaceship and satellite. It is about landing on God's right feet with thrusting and dusty power manifested originally in the universe but applied in reversed order, opposite direction, introverted stance, in contrast to chronological order, instinctive act, and extroverted glance. It is the homecoming party with computer gadgets, and digital equipments, and satellite-televised live performance. It is about the first and final glow of universal power and its look: holding with dualistic manner and matter the indestructible light and power of central creation, the eye of God.
This eye of God is the immortal being sitting and shining in the middle of nowhere, above the branched cross of Divine Pedals, Diverted Sprout, Divorced Result, where the dualistic process, evolution and involution, creation and destruction, is mutually present in the suspended hoop of that pendulum swing. The dot in the middle of the linguistic construction is the look of Sun, the image of glory, and the fine display. While the woody branches or logs or petals are the holding ground, standing feet, embracing arms, and flying wings.
Now visualize that you are holding the best and highest creative product in your hands above your chest, with legs and body trunks as the containing box, visual display, and advertising logo. What is inside the logo is nowhere to go, and what is around the logo is the never-ending letting-go. You are the God, the present, the merchandise, the magic tool, and the magic show. You are selling yourself and your life produce in the same hand. You are displaying your soul-wrapped spirit inside flesh-mapped skeletal trunk. You are presenting yourself and spirit with the same manner and bliss. You are what you are, and you are the being of all that are coming to be.
This performance begins from the vision quest, takes along the journey of dedication, requires long and enduring repetition, and finalizes with unbelievable, breathtaking, and soul-igniting elevation. It is the most fashionable show and daunting display, where it challenges the tradition, breaks through the reality, unlocks the rule, and extent the map. This map is bigger than finger-tap, more marvelous than actual marble, more magnificent than magnified glass, and more magic than any major required plus minor fulfilled. It is a mixture between flesh and clay, muscle and fabric, organ and mineral, and bone and stone. It is the only human magic power that differs from other animal kingdom, and earthly products or heavenly dusts as well.
Ever since human collected the shells and made use of woody or earthy materials, the first major technological advance, besides inventing fire, was to make use of clay as pottery, like dish or wok. When the fire was once burning high, something out of raw clay or cinnabar was melting out like fat oil out of screaming meat. This was a terrifying moment and equally exciting monument. The first extraction from God's created and earthly molded result began. This extraction was steel, which was a stealing process from mother earth's distilling makeup as a result. The reddish, greenish or bluish cinnabar was no longer its raw appearance. There was juicy oil and rich substance inside. When the fat-oil gushing material is cooled down and dried into a cold object, our ancestor had the first technological display: Ding or Caldron. This story was very much like the super glue accidentally discovered by the lab-technicians working for 3M Company. This event was similar to the superconductivity application right now, whether we will make use of this God's chilled heat, like Ding or Caldron, today or a hundred years from now, it makes no difference in the overall human conscious excitement.
Slowly our ancient chemists or mechanical technicians were able to extract further silver and gold out of steel, and on and on until 83 basic elements were tabled inside the chemistry chart. And we are still neither happy nor content with what we have. Like little kids who are playing one toy for a second and moving onto next, and next, till one day, we grownup kids would burn the surface of earth's atmosphere into a hot caldron. Excitement then produces the far-reaching reward and advancement to the degree we are stressed and stretched out of solar system.
So, initially Ding or Caldron in the ancient Chinese history was treated as F-19 or the most advanced spaceship American obtains today. Ding was sacred and powerful, like the best wish granting to a heart-devoted fish, or the most priced object available to surprise innocent heart and supervise trickery mind. The Chinese had cherished this event so much that even till today, the idea and concept of Ding was still honored and worshipped. Whether we use campfire or bonfire to burn the whole meat on top of it, gas stove to bake the turkey, or microwave to heat up a TV meal, Ding was forever genetically the same in this technological fashion.
At a time, like we use electrical chair to execute a criminal, or chemotherapy to scorch diseased viruses, Caldron was used for both daily meal and special ceremony, both animal meat and human flesh. The emperors used Ding to boil the dare and disobedient citizens. Religious figures applied Ding as their own body trunk to ignite the passion within their conscious wind. Just like in the early history where we invented the rope for both bridging the distance into a walking line, binding different components into a chained but concrete object, or hanging a dare's throat above his or her dangling feet, we humans have always been exited in trying the most updated technical equipments for both rewarding practice and punitive control. Deep inside, it is all about flipping the hand and turning the head. It is about the magic power of our hand, which is God's charged palm and Goddess's milked psalm.
Under this mentality, Ding or Caldron was used in its equal fashion as tabernacle, Teepee and altar. Ding or stove, Caldron or wok, altar or chimney, they are all the altars in our kitchen practice; otherwise, we still enjoy the raw food and fresh meat. The practice of Ding is thus multiple, and single, to demonstrate our magic power upon the stage of holy altar. Of all the things we have consciously invented, vigorously processed inside factory or lab, body or mind, and desperately displayed in expos or expeditions, the ideal of Ding is always the same: the magic performance combined between idea and dream, wish and reality, human and tool, mind and heart, display and distance.
truly and really happened, that is, nature's maker is more natural and
ever-lasting than manmade, which concludes in the top line's description,
where the Ding is either molded or decorated with a piece of jade
of that naturally fossilized blue green alga. In a long run, man has to
return to nature to find replacement, and nothing of manmade, and equally
the body of flesh and the mind of reasoning, can replace the natural marble
or jade. The inventive Chinese mind stopped here, and never developed
externally or scientifically onward or afterward. What has, instead, developed
is the inner alchemy using body as a caldron to cook life ingredients
as diseases and refine seasoned materials as memories. Ding thus
becomes symbolically a stove, a jar, or an altar to elevated the passion
of heart above thoughtful worms of windy instrument. In Chinese culture,
wood products is more emphasized than stone products, even though stones
like jade are carved and smoothed into various objects. Wood products
consciously resemble the muscular fibers or ligaments. Doing so one's
raging passion and uncontrollable mood would be refined into seasoned
stones: wisdom words. Ding finalized as the worship of heart, freedom
of traveling along magic displays of elevating the body above the clouds
and mind away
Overall, Ding is about mapping the mass, whether physical or conscious, to the degree it is a controlled display and contrasting liberation. Ding stood in front of an emperor, on top of the platform, as the most auspicious objective altar. The fire and smoke and smell and everything else together displayed through such an atmosphere where human and nature were boiling and toiling, cooking and booking something that was looking and hooking the entire image of universe into a single eye-catch, or simple heart-snatch. When the letter "I" is abstracted from the looks, only booked magic performance is on stage, so that Magi and map, magnetic field and mad feeling, magic work and majestic look unify together as one entity, single object: the magic before Magi, and magnet on top of Mercer. The power of M is on, whether for invisible display or visible play. The gold forged into staff and crown will invite you into a magic land, which is the homeland secured from the heart of universe.
The magical Ding has a crossing sign that sings the blossoming rings. The crossing sign is called the heavenly laboratory, while the blossoming rings are described as earthly assembling factory. The heavenly laboratory is God's signature, so that nature speaks on behalf of black and white, and all the waters fermenting all the matters. When the heavenly laboratory becomes the God's testing lap, his nap snaps at your thinking map as well as your whining tap so that His victory can snap at your victimized clap. The cap that zaps at your feeling hap taps you happily until all the apt test refines into apple taste, so that you as an apple seed can fall upon gravitational call, roll as a rotational ball into a snow land.
In this manner, the magic Ding is happy king, napping ring, strapping ping, mapping wing, and daggling string. The string calls the light, so that wing can speak to the barbecue, reflecting that a barber is very cute. The cute image is the accurate power of ping that is pinpointing you precisely and pink-heading you decisively so that ring can find its angle and king can locate his point.
By the time the point appoints the joints to bend the ring and suspend the king, ping snaps at the King's forehead, all the disappoints will disappear like suspended arrow heads.
On the opposite side, the earthly factory provides all the satisfactory so that heavenly laboratory can cook the gold dish and hook up with light fish. When earth-made is jade, manmade is the honey maid soaked by money paid. When you may your maid, the aid is a spade, so you will be afraid of maid trading what has been decade.
Between laboratory and factory, there is a history producing mystery. When the history tells a story to make you feel sorry, you begin to worry about all the boring work, which is in essence the laboring work. The labor rates the factory with all the facts activated upon victory, oratory precedes the predatory. The monitory role rules the military roll so the repertory work can do the refectory roll.
Trick and treat is now and forever the best expression this Ding hexagram since without the trickery mind built inside us as well as universe, there would not be joyful and enjoyable treat, which is magic, the other side of mystery boiled from misery.
Magic displays the mystery; magic work is the mysterious look; majestic look is God's book upon Goddess's cook. Is our look the book of God or the hook of magician?
Next article you can access in this issue: Fire Keeper