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!)

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

On the Nature of Nuclear Hexagrams

Nuclear Hexagrams are a frequently-misunderstood mystery of the I Ching.  In The Magician's I Ching I attempted to give a brief explanation of how to understand them.  They can be understood as "nuclear hexagrams" because they are the hexagram the exists inside the "nucleus" of a hexagram: the lower trigram of a nuclear hexagram consists of lines 2, 3 and 4 of the original hexagram, and the upper trigram consists of lines 3, 4 and 5 of the original hexagram.

So for example, Hexagram #19:

has as its nuclear Hexagram #24:

I have seen some people mistakenly look at nuclear hexagrams in an I Ching casting as if it was some additional part of the divination process on its own, as if there was some random element to it which contributed to the 'fortune telling' itself. But the nuclear hexagram is static, every hexagram only has a single nuclear (though in the cases of Hexagram #1 and Hexagram #2, they are their own nuclear).
In fact, Nuclear Hexagrams are part of a system of clusters or connections between hexagrams.  On the cover of The Magician's I Ching, you can see this pattern depicted artistically:

The nuclears show you groups of common hexagrams which can be understood to interact in special ways. Their main practical use is for the purpose of contemplating the mysteries and deepening one's understanding of the I Ching as a whole and of the individual hexagrams. The relationship of the hexagrams connected by their nuclear provides important insights.

Let's look, for example, at the hexagrams that have Hexagram #23 as their nuclear:

Hexagram #23 is "Shedding".

In this set of four hexagrams with #23 as their nuclear, for example, you can see the pattern that starts first with the effort of beginning, with Hexagram #3, "challenge":

Then as you build up, it leads to bringing things together, with Hexagram #8 "Union":

 After this, you move to reaching beyond the level of the foundations to be able to discover the greater mastery that is more than the sum of its parts, with Hexagram #20 "Contemplating":

And finally, to the state of making advance to a new level, with Hexagram #42 "Gaining":

So to put it another way, looking at it (for example) in the context of Cultivation: first the initial enthusiasm in the face of a vast undertaking, then the hard work of mastering the basic forms of the exercise, then when that is mastered of understanding what lies beyond the mere technical practice and exploring the essence, and then the genuine growth.

This needs to begin with Shedding (#23); you can almost imagine the "landslide" of Shedding, and following that landslide the tiny sprout of #3 breaking out of the shifted ground, then the hard work of growth, then the bearing fruit, and finally the harvest.
But it is also true that the nuclear governs at each step; as you move from one step to the next there needs to always be a process of shedding off some of what you are doing to make room for the next stage of growth.

In your own I Ching studies, first you need to study and learn the basic meanings of each hexagram by itself. But once you're ready to go deeper, studying the nuclears and the connections between the hexagrams and their nuclears will be of great use for developing a larger understanding of the greater mysteries of the I Ching.