Friday, December 21, 2018

What is the Yi Fa Society?

The Yi Fa Society is a "Secret School" founded on ancient formulas for the teaching of a complete system of inner alchemy.  It provides a complete curriculum of training taught over various levels, with both practical and philosophical teaching material.  It utilizes a complete system of Qi Gong (Yi Fa Qi Gong) for the cultivation of consciousness, and trains its members in the secrets and symbolic language of the I Ching. Its 8-level curriculum allows students to progress in understanding and self-transformation.

The structure of the Yi Fa Society emerged from a series of revelations which came as a result of a twenty-year study of the I Ching.  The I Ching is the foundational text of all Chinese spirituality; a three-thousand year old book that has been in continuous use since its creation, the oldest book of such kind in the world.   Used by most as a mere fortune-telling device, sages throughout history have understood it to contain a profound system of metaphysics, and the keys to understanding reality itself.   It also contains within it a system for personal transformation through a process of "inner alchemy".

The I Ching provides the symbolic basis of the system of meditation and inner-alchemy known as Qi Gong, but this too has usually been misunderstood by laymen as a mere system of health-exercises.  Thus, the Yi Fa Society has designed a new set of Qi Gong practices, known as Yi Fa Qi Gong, which are meant to use the principles of the eight elements (the four celestial and four terrestrial elements) to establish a progressive set of teachings by which its members can develop inner transformation, leading to what the I Ching refers to as the emergence of the "Superior Individual", the higher or true self, through the establishment of the True Will (that is, our fundamental natures).

The Yi Fa Society's system of teachings are done in eight levels, each of which provides a graduated series of secret practices and teachings that build on the former levels. It is not tied to any specific religious teaching, but rather to the perennial philosophy of enlightenment; although it makes use of symbols and concepts that have come into common use in Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism (as all three were influenced by the symbolism and philosophy of the I Ching).

Where to Begin?

If you are interested in joining the Yi Fa Society, please contact me here, on Facebook, or Google+ to receive an application form.  Likewise, please write if you have any questions.

The foundation of the Yi Fa is found in the I Ching.  This book provides the foundation for the entire Yi Fa curriculum, and while there are many worthwhile versions of the I Ching in publication today, the specific teachings of the Yi Fa are best expressed in the book "The Magician's I Ching", where the teachings of the I Ching as a system of divination, decision making, and tool for transcendence are explained in straightforward terms specifically designed for western readers, and for those who plan to actually use the I Ching as a system for self-transformation.

(if you are interested in joining the Yi Fa Society and working its curriculum, which is a complete system of esoteric training, please contact me!)

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Hexagram #12 and the Mulberry Buds

After posting the video commentary to Hexagram #12, where I had recited the text of the hexagram as it appears in The Magician's I Ching, someone presented me with an interesting question:

"What happened to the roots of the mulberry tree in line 5? Anyway, I am surprised that your version is so much different from the original text, that's all."

I felt that it was important to present an answer to this, for those who are students of the Yi Fa Society or readers of my book.

For a start, line five, in the original text, doesn't refer to any 'roots'. It refers to the flower-buds of the Mulberry tree. This is a reference to fortune, patience, and constancy.

So for those who know what the reference to the mulberry tree means, the meaning is in the line I quoted. For those who don't know what the reference to the mulberry tree means, the meaning is in the line I quoted.

"Bao" refers to the calyx or bud of a flower. Xi in this case (to tie) refers to a silkworm, which will make its cocoon next to the flower bud of a mulberry tree.

In other words, it is a stuckness that must be done, to follow one's true will. When the flower bud unsticks, naturally, in the flowering moment, then the silkworm's cocoon opens as well, and the silkmoth will be freed. The Superior individual must remind himself constantly, to create constancy and patience, to bring an end to corruption.

As far as the absence of the analogy in the text, the questioner actually gives a perfect example of why I kept it out. Trying to explain this analogy which is so out of western culture would have required too much room for this type of text, and leaving it as it was for some kind of academic precision in the blind dumb service of sinology would only have created something impractical for actual use for most readers.

Again, those who UNDERSTAND the meaning of the mulberry in this line would understand the line as I wrote it. Those who don't know the existence of the symbol would receive the meaning without the symbol present, and avoid confusion. The only ones who would be distressed by the line as I presented it are people who know, but do not understand.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

The I Ching, Reality and Rules For Living

There is no one formula for what to do in life.
But there is a path to work out what to do in each moment.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

How Do You Develop Wisdom?

There is a common misconception that age brings with it wisdom.  That is not true. Even experiences are useless to wisdom, without consciousness. There are great many people in the world who are no wiser at 80 than they were at 18.
Someone who lives an unexamined life is a child forever.

So what does develop wisdom?

It is true that Time brings wisdom. But this requires not just to go through time without any consideration. You have to understand and consider time.
Considering the nature of time and one's place in it and going through it is one part of the process to develop wisdom.  This is part of what is developed through the study of the I Ching.

But this alone is not enough.

There are three other factors that are essential to the development of wisdom:
The first is an attention and awareness of your Self. Most importantly, recognizing your own imperfections. It is through time that we can measure these imperfections, so that we can work on them, and through time track our improvement.

The second is the Will. Will is the raw determination to change yourself. Self-inquiry is useless if you consider yourself but make no effort to transform yourself.

The third is concentration, Attention. This is only available through disciplined training. If you practice discipline in developing your ability to be actively conscious, the Will can then be accurately applied.

Without an understanding of time, you cannot measure the self.
Without the will, you cannot take action to transform.
Without concentration, you cannot apply the will effectively.

If you  have all of these, you can know how and where to work on yourself, and take note of your ability to change. This is how you develop wisdom.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

An Excerpt From a Level-4 Yi Fa Text: Advanced Commentaries

II. The Vast in the Small

People want to imagine a top-down vision of reality, where there is some "higher" and "greater" true reality, and their everyday ordinary world is just some pale shadow of the real thing.

This perspective on reality will lend itself to escapism. Even many models of creation, like the Qabalistic Tree of Life or the older Taijitu Tree of Life, give one the impression that our material world is at the "lowest" point and everything else is higher (and thus it is suggested, more important).

But imagine if you held those models upside-down! The World of 10000 things is the final, most completely diverse manifestation of reality.

In fact, the idea of 'up' and 'down' is factually irrelevant; there is no level of reality that is "more real" or "less real" than another. But what is true is that the root of creation begins with the simplest form, and grows in complexity into the final form. 

Consider the Taijitu: the simplest forms are Wu and Wuji, which are both types of emptiness. Emptiness is present in all levels of creation. Emptiness by definition cannot be either small or large; you can find conceive of emptiness as the tiniest gap or the largest expanse, and without anything else present (to provide boundaries for it) you cannot really consider it to have 'size' at all. Thus Wuji is "boundless".

Then there is Taiji, the ALL. The Taiji must emerge out of Wuji, as it is a more complex thing; Taiji is all that exists and all that is empty at once.

Then there are the two poles: Yin and Yang. These must emerge from the Taiji, because again they are more complex and diverse. The Sixiang emerge from Yin and Yang, the Bagua from the Sixiang, and the World of Ten Thousand Things from the Bagua.

So where could you go that is not part of the World of Ten Thousand Things to find the Bagua? Where could you go apart from the Bagua to find the Sixiang? It is like if you had an object: to find molecules you would have to look inside that object; to find atoms inside that molecule, to find electrons inside that atom, to find quarks inside that electron. You can't go looking for the building-blocks of reality by ignoring the very small, because it the more fundamental things are the smaller things that make up the more complex forms.

The Qabalists have a saying about Kether and Malkuth (the highest and lowest points on their tree of life): "Kether is in Malkuth and Malkuth is in Kether". It is the same in the Taijitu: The Taiji can only be found within the Hexagrams, and the Hexagrams are found within the Taiji. There's no place you could look for the Taiji, nowhere to "seek out the Tao", except within the Yi Fa (the manifested reality); and at the same time, you cannot find the Ten Thousand Things except within the Taiji.

It is the same way with yourself: people want to escape their material existence to seek out some kind of "higher plane" but you cannot find any such "higher" plane. You can find the vastness of reality only by going within, not by escaping to some other place. When the Celestial Eye is opened, what you see are vast universes: those universes all exist in the Yi Fa. In fact, they all exist within your own body, and your body exists within them.

So understand that the vastness of what you will begin to experience is not some other world, it is in fact the hidden interiors of this very Manifested Reality. It is within you.

(if you are interested in joining the Yi Fa society to work through a structured curriculum of spiritual/esoteric Cultivation training for self-transformation,  please contact me for an application)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

On the Origin of the I Ching's Lines

How did the lines of the I Ching get the text they did?

1. Often considerations have to do with the nature of the line, especially if its the only line of its type (yin or yang) in the hexagram.

2. The position of the line determines its overall role; so for example the first line is always about beginnings, the sixth about endings, in some sense.

3. In terms of the specific examples, they are often taken out of either common folk stories/sayings, or from events in the pre-zhouyi history (especially events relating to the royal lineage of Zhou, or sometimes of the Shang dynasty they eventually deposed).

But there is also an esoteric aspect that frequently emerges.

Look at a line and its text. Now consider this in the light of three different trigrams:
1. The trigam that line is found in.

2. The trigram that would result when that line changes.

3. The Nuclear trigram that rules it (generally the lower nuclear for lines 1-3 and upper nuclear for lines 4-6, but in the case of line 4 it can sometimes be either).

Studying the qualities that these trigrams have (the elements they are associated with, the qualities of nature they are associated with, and the qualities or spiritual concepts these represent), you will find that the line's text relates to aspects of those three trigrams.