The Eight Trigrams or The World View of Ancient Chinese?

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The Meaning of The Eight Trigrams

The Eight Trigrams (Chinese: 八卦, or Bagua) is the symbol which is used widely in the Chinese Taoist. It includes eight terms closely connected to each other. In fact, each small symbol consists of three lines, and each line can be “broken” or “not broken”. The “broken” lines refer to Yin, on the other hand, the “unbroken” lines represent Yang.

Generally, each factor in the Eight Trigrams symbolizes for one fundamental element in the universe. They are the heaven (Qiuan), wind(Xun), water(Kan), mountain (Gen), earth (Kun), thunder(Zhen), fire (Li), and lake (Dui). According to the philosophy of Taoist, they are connected to each other under the discipline of Yin and Yang. And they played the significant role as the foundation of our world.

In reality, the Eight Trigrams relates to the philosophy of the Supreme Ultimate (Chinese: 太極) and the Five Elements. People apply the rule of the Eight Trigrams to astrology, astronomy, geography, Feng shui, etc. Additionally, the Chinese Yi King book also replied on the philosophy of the Eight Trigram about the interaction and countervailing. In Yi King, there are 64 hexagrams. These hexagrams are created by the combination of eight pairs from the Eight Trigrams.

The Eight Trigram in Taoist. (Source: The Epoch Times)
Eight Hexagrams in The Bagua (Pa Kua)

 As mentioned in the above paragraphs, each factor in the Bagua represents each fundamental element in the universe. For each signal, the hexagram reflects an element respectively.

Number Chinese Name Signal Element
1 Qiuan Sky, Heaven
2 Xun Wind
3 Kan Water
4 Gen Mountain
5 Kun Earth
6 Zhen Thunder
7 Li Fire
8 Dui Lake

 

The combination of eight parts from eight hexagrams results in 64 hexagrams. They are typical for the phenomenon in the natural and social life.

According to the ancient Chinese philosophy, the first version of the universe is the Supreme Ultimate. Then, the Supreme Ultimate changed and divided into Yin and Yang. After the appearance of Yin and Yang, the sky/heaven started to exist, followed by the earth. Next, the heaven and earth kept on changing and creating five materials: metal, wood, water, fire, and ground. These five factors perpetually changed. Then, they created next eight kinds of stuff: sky, earth, thunder, wind, water, fire, mountain, and lake. In short, through this movement, the world has harmonized everything gradually. Lastly, the final eight factors are represented in the Bagua or the Eight Trigrams.

Therefore, we can consider the Eight Trigrams as a message from ancient people in whereby mentioned the history of the universe and its rules that balanced our world. As a result, we can apply it for understanding about the universe and natural as well as social world.

 

The Usage of The Eight Trigrams in Daily Life

Over such a long time, people have applied the discipline of the eight trigrams to some aspects such as astrology, astronomy, Feng- shui, geography, fortune telling, etc. In this article, let us consider the usage of the eight trigrams for some popular fields.

 Feng-Shui

In Chinese language, Feng-Shui itself means “WindWater”- two elements in the Eight Trigrams. In Feng-Shui, one of the main principles is Yin & Yang and the Five Elements.

For example, the Eight Trigrams has a significant influence on Feng-Shui, especially Feng-Shui in the construction. Based on the principle of Yin & Yang and the Five Element, the Feng-Shui masters will decide which orientation is the best suitable for the destiny of the owner’s house. Besides that, the Feng-Shui masters can also advise how to decorate the rooms to harmonize with nature and attract good energy and fortune.

The usage of the Eight Trigram in Feng Shui. (Source: Harmonious Design)

Nowadays, Feng-Shui still plays an important role in consultancy and construction design. An interesting fact that, in some Asian countries, choosing a suitable day and time for starting the construction is extremely vital for both the constructors and the owner of the project. They believe that the good start date for construction basing on the rule of Feng-Shui will bring good energy and fortune to them. This rule is not only for the human beings, but also applied for the dead ones. They suppose that a suitable buried day will be helpful for the rescue of the dead’s soul and preventing the bad luck for the dead’s family and relatives.

In short, the Feng-Shui is one of the most popular aspects which apply the principle of the Eight Trigrams widely.

 

Fortune Telling

Fortune telling is one of the most popular fields that based on the discipline of the Eight Trigrams. It shows the prediction of one’s life in the relationship with other people, or one’s career path, etc. People also call it the Chinese horoscopes that give information about human’s destiny.

In reality, the ancient Chinese people had used the Eight Trigrams to make predictions about human’s life for ages. They could do this because the Eight Trigrams itself symbolized for time, so did the 64 hexagrams. Each hexagram includes the forecast about the past and the future. Thus, if someone understands the Eight Trigrams, they can know the history in the last 500 years and the next 500 years.

 

The Role of The Eight Trigrams in Modern Lives

In globe, people have studied about the Eight Trigrams and there is no signal showing that this trend will stop. The reason is clear that the Eight Trigrams is one of the most ancient and greatest Eastern philosophy. It reflects the worldview of ancient Chinese people and their belief in the human fate.

Moreover, the Eight Trigrams has proven the positive effects on human life since thousand years ago. Obviously, its usage in Feng-Shui, astrology, astronomy, fortune telling, geography, etc has shown practical influence for a long time. Therefore, people still keep on making effort to be fully aware of this ancient philosophy. Finally,  they can achieve a better consciousness of the world, the daily life and the meaning of human beings.

In conclusion, the Eight Trigrams looks like the gem in the museum of the Chinese philosophies. Through the presence of it, we can understand more about the worldview of ancient Chinese and Chinese culture.

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