Hexagram #49 — Revolution

In revolution, the sun of the self is truth: This is creative, developmental, fruitful, and perfect. Regret vanishes.

EXPLANATION: Revolution means riddance. The reason for riddance is obsolescence. As for the qualities of the hexagram, above is Lake ☱, joyous, and below is Fire ☲, luminous; joy is based on illumination, while illumination controls joy. In joy, there should be no delusion; in illumination, there should be no obscurity. Producing joy from within illumination, having illumination within joy, therefore it is called Revolution.


This hexagram represents refining yin energy; it follows on the previous hexagram Exhaustion. In Exhaustion, joy is produced from the midst of danger; this is how to take the true yang in Water ☵, to get out of danger. However, even if you can take the true yang in Water, if you cannot restore the true yin in Fire ☲, the gold elixir will not crystalize, and you will not attain joy. So this path of producing joy from within illumination is indispensible. Producing joy from within illumination is the working of refining yin energy. Refining yin energy means refining one's own personal desires to become unselfish.

Humans are the most conscious of beings, born with the true energy of the patterns of yin and yang of heaven and earth. When they are first born, they unconsciously follow the laws of the lord; completely good, with no evil, the true essence is bright and clear, the open awareness unobscured. Emotions do not stick in their hearts, wealth and poverty do not disturb their minds. Wild beasts cannot harm them, weapons cannot get at them, water and fire cannot overcome them, life and death cannot burden them. When hungry, they simply eat; when cold, they just put on clothes, without thought or reflection; their capacity is originally clear.

Then when people reach the age of sixteen, yang culminates, producing yin; as they deal with things based on acquired conditioning, they develop characteristic temperaments and intellectual knowledge. At this point, only sages of superior wisdom granted by nature, when they are not opposing nature in the primal state and when they serve nature in the temporal state, are able to preserve primal reality and not be damaged by acquired conditioning. Among mediocre and lesser people, rare are they who are not ruled and manipulated by acquired conditioning; after this, a hundred anxieties confuse their minds, myriad affairs belabor their bodies, they take the artificial to be real, abandon the true and enter the false. As the days and years go by, they become estranged by habit from what is close by nature, and the quality of clarity is damaged. The new piles up and becomes old, the pure becomes defiled. This is where the pollution of obsolescence and defilement comes from.

If we look into the source of the pollution of obsolescence, stagnation, and defilement, we see it all comes from having a self. Once one has a self, an ego, the mind of Tao is obscured and the human mentality arises. Illuminating of what one should not be lluminated, enjoying what one should not enjoy, one goes to any lengths following personal desires.

So, Revolution simply means overthrowing the ignorance of the self to restore illumination. But if one wants to overthrow the ignorance of the self, it is necessary that the self, first be illuminated. Once the self is illuminated, one can be sincere in revolution, and the ignorance (darkness) of the self can be overthrown. Therefore, in the path of revolution the sun of the self is truth. The sun is an image of illumination, understanding; truth means sincerity. If one does not understand, one cannot be sincere; if one can illuminate, one will be sincere. With illumination and sincerity, as the first thought is truthful, one will be able to overthrow and revolutionize the self. Therefore revolution contains a path of creativity and development. -- Liu Yiming, The Taoist I Ching


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Hexagram #49 Revolution







A japanese fire festival, representing
internal illumination.




Monkey from Journey to the West is drawing
a circle around Sanzang to protect him
from wild beasts. The Golde Elixir is symbolized by a circle.






An immortal riding a carp,
by Kawanabe Kyosai







The sun as the self, by Andrea de Pascalis