Natural Selection and the Chinese Book of Changes = I Ching = Yi Jing
The Chinese Book of Changes, I Ching, Yi Jing, uses long yang element lines and short yin
element lines to generate stacks of lines called trigrams that are combined into 64 stacks of
six lines called "hexagrams." On this site we are using a system that distinguished between
the first, second, and third lines of the trigrams. According to our system, the first line is
either yang or yin in a way that distinguishes self and social, the second line is yang or yin in a
way that distinguishes whole and part, and the third line of the trigram is yang or yin in a way
that distinguishes flux and fixed.
Heaven is the source, the generative trigram made up of the long top yang line of the
observing and creative self, the long middle yang line of the boundless whole and the long
bottom yang line of energy and flux. In evolution, Heaven is the creativity of genetic drift, the
infinite flux that makes the improbable probable. When the middle line of the Heaven trigram
breaks, it generates the yin line of the Flame trigram. The flame trigram is natural selection
When the bottom line of the Flame trigram breaks, the trigram passes into maladaptive
expression and entropy, the mutation is dissipated into extinction. The only way to save the
mutant gene is to generate a new long top line that isolates it, preserves it in the genetic
material of a distinct species. It is now isolated in the realm of the Mountain trigram. Even so,
it will eventually become extinct unless a long middle line is formed from the broken yin line
that saves the gene as the representation of a paradigmatic point, and adaptive peak within
the Wind trigram.
Water Pit maintains the these adaptive beaks by carrying them on its feedback mechanisms
of corrective feedback into manifestation as the three broken yin lines of Earth, of measurable
expression, of phenotype. The phenotypes that survive, those not burned away by flame, will
reproduce in the long bottom lines of the Thunder trigram and be collected in the long middle
lines of syngamy and recombination, becoming part of the collective gene pool that is the
Heaven ____ mutates into _____ Flame and becomes extinct in __ __ Thunder but
____ __ __ __ __
____ _____ _____
is preserved in __ __ Lake, in recombination, in hybrid gene pools of _____ Heaven as
(some genes) ______ _____
(are retained) ______ ______
boundless mutability and endless flux.
mutated genes of Flame _____ are broken away and isolated in the species of ______
__ __ ___ __
______ ___ __
Mountain and some become set points of adaptive peaks of ______ Wind, which are
maintained by regulative feedback from ___ ___ Water Pit that generate the
measurable phenotypes of ___ ___ Earth that are measured by input to ______
___ ___ __
__ ___ ___ __
Mountain and the set points of _______ Wind which are orderly systems in __ __
___ __ __ __
Water Pit out of the gene pool of __ __ the collective recombination that is Lake
as one manifestation of the boundless variability of _______ Heaven.
Recombination ___ ___ as Lake, gives off numerous expressions ___ __
________ ___ __
as Thunder and as measurable phenotype ___ ___ as Earth,
maintainted by the feedback systems of ___ ___ Water Pit,
subjected to screening by ________ Mountain and extinction and competitive
selection by ________ Flame.
Thus, we have six cycles: The cycle that maintains the stable, from measured Earth, to
Mountain input, to Wind set point, and Water Pit regulative feedback.
The cycle that maintains flux, from variable and mutagenic Heaven to natural selection by
Flame to extinction in maladaptive phenotypes of Thunder and the reproduction and retention
of some genes within the recombinant gene pool of Lake, subject to further mutation by
The cycle that isolates by mutating Heaven into the natural selection and extinction of Flame
and conserving and isolating some of Flame into Mountain and screening it into the adaptive
peaks of Wind till it is mutated back to Heaven again.
The cycle that recombines and brings together by expressing the genotypes of Lake as the
maladaptive expressions of Thunder and the measurable phenotypes of Earth that can be
regulated and ordered by Water Pit and recombined within collective systems of Lake.
The cycle of the larger whole in which the improbable set points of Wind are set apart from the
mutations of Heaven and are ordered by the feedback systems of Water Pit and recombined
and collected into Lake for further mutation by Heaven.
The cycle of the smaller part in which the maladaptive expressions of Thunder become the
measurable phenotypes of Earth and are screened by isolation in Mountain and competition
and extinction within Flame till all is dissipated in the entropy of Thunder, which yet provides
the energy dissipative structures that generate further energy dissipation.
These notions are reflected in the Early Heaven sequence of the trigrams which starts with the
Heaven trigram at the top and proceeds to Wind, Water Pit, Mountain, Earth, Thunder, Fire,
Lake and back to Heaven. Thus, mutations in Heaven make possible the genetic set points of
Wind that maintain order through the corrective feedback of Water Pit and input and analysis
and isolation of genetic information in Mountain, resulting in a measurable phenotype in Earth.
This phenotype includes various expressions, even maladaptive expressions in Thunder, that
are screened by competition, extinction, and natural selection in Flame, and the genes that are
survivors collected and recombined in the gene pool in Lake and further increased by
mutation and genetic drift in the Heaven trigram. For examples, see below:
In the system shown above, the six corners of the octahedron (each vertex) are either yin or
yang lines. The Flux corner, here split open, is the long bottom yang line of the trigram and
the Fixed corner (vertex) (central axis of the flattened octahedron) is its broken bottom yin line
opposite. The Self Vertex, on the left is the long top yang line of the Flame, Heaven, Mountain
and Wind trigrams land the Social Vertex (on the right side of the chart) is the broken top yin
line of the Water Pit, Earth, Thunder, and Lake trigrams. At the top of the chart is the
Boundless Whole Vertex. This is the long yang middle line of the Heaven, Wind, Lake, and
Water Pit trigrams. Is opposite is the Bound Part Vertex, the broken middle line of the Flame,
Mountain, Earth, and Lake trigrams.
The edges of the trigrams form a sequence in space, transcendent, local and individual,
manifest and measurable, finally collective; a sequence in time, causal, conserved (timeless),
historical effect time, developmental evolution time; a sequence in form from ground through
action and process to form and structure to final purpose and completion. Ideal genetic set
points control regulative feedback with measurable phenotypic results that can generate input
that can be isolated and stored and the information can be compared against set points that
operate thermostat like controls. The set point is Wind, the feedback is Water Pit, the
measurable results are Earth, the input and analysis is Mountain.
Heaven is the mutation of these genes and Lake is their collective gene pool and
recombination and Thunder is their maladaptive expression and Flame is the competition and
extinction and natural selection that frees them of the unfit.
Above is the expression of these relationships in respect to the Greek Gods, the trigrams of
the I Ching and the Personality Disorders of the DSM IV and the writings of Millon.
HEAVEN TRIGRAM opposed to EARTH
TRIGRAM and FLAME TRIGRAM
opposed to WATER PIT TRIGRAM and
THUNDER TRIGRAM opposed to WIND
TRIGRAM and MOUNTAIN TRIGRAM
opposed to EARTH TRIGRAM
HEAVEN TRIGRAM = _____________
EARTH TRIGRAM = _____ ___
Here are flattened octahedra showing the sequence of the I Ching Trigrams, as
discussed above. In this representation, the Heaven face of the octahedron is
the opposite of Earth, Flame of Water Pit, Mountain of Lake, Wind of Thunder.
Heaven is Source, Wind is Ideal, Water Pit is Order, Lake is Mixed, Thunder is
Above is the development of this notion in terms of the personality disorder described in the DSM IV and
the works of T. Millon. The Thunder trigram is the borderline and histrionic disorders, Earth is the
depenedent, Water Pit is the compulsive and masochistic, Lake the depressive and avoidant, Heaven the
schizotypal, Wind the paranoid and schizoid, Mountain the narcissistic and negativistic, and Flame is the
sadistic and antisocial. The right hemisphere of the cerebral cortex is at the top and the left hemisphere at
the bottom, the frontal lobes are to the left and the parietal occipital and temporal lobe association areas
are to the right. The amygdala and limbic areas are at the outer corners and the basal ganglia and striated
bodies are at the center. Zeus represents the narcissistic function the frontal lobes and Hera the paranoid
and motor function inhibiting complement. Aphrodite is the borderline somatosensory parietal cortex and
Ares is the amygdala influenced motor cortex in an antisocial mode. Athena is the paranoid and action
inhibiting functions of the right frontal lobe and Hephaestus is compulsive response of the adjacent right
motor areas. Poseidon is avoidant aspects of the temporal lobe and hippocampus and Demeter is home
and place fucntions of the right parietal. Hestia is the left temporal lobe and language recognition and
Hermes is Broca's area and speech. Apollo is the left cingulate and connections to reward centers and
Artemis is right cingulate and connections to deeper brain centers, including those associated with sleep.
This brain based system is one manifestation of the sequence shown above.
This is a chicken and egg situation in which it is impossible to say which came
first, the cycles of nature symbolized in the Early Heaven sequence of the
trigrams of the Chinese Book of Changes, or the Brain relationships and
processes that we use to understand and interpret these sequences.
Relationships reflected in ancient myths, like those that support the trigrams of
the I Ching, the notions of the Greek Gods on Mount Olympus, etc., etc.