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The Enlightenment of Yi - Summary

The Enlightenment of Yi breaks new ground as renowned Chinese academic, Dr Kaiwan Gan, adds scientific underpinnings to the study of ancient Chinese philosophy. He traces the origins of Yi and the concept of equal and opposites ?the yin and the yang - delving deeply into the thinking that grew out of China’s great philosophical past and developing a deep, and what will surely be an enduring analysis. Dr Gan explores in detail what may be seen as the more esoteric principles that form the foundation of what he calls ‘Yiology? He explains in concise terms concepts of Hetu and Luosho, tai Ji, five elements, heaven stem and earth branches and the eight trigram. These are matters poorly understood in the West and have eluded many who have attempted to understand how Chinese philosophy emerged and the impact it had throughout all of Chinese Society.

The book explains important yiological principles including those of yin and yang dualism within tai ji, the tai ji principle of life, the tai ji principle of periodicity, the principle of balance in five elements and importantly, the principle of universal conservation. Dr Gan examines the relationship between time and space, energy and mass, ’nothingness?and existence and how such ideas meld perfectly with the Laws of modern science. These ideas expounded clearly and unequivocally will provide great insight for readers.

In addition Dr Gan has examined modern scientific approaches to analysis and experiment and shows how modern science and ancient philosophy can interact to the benefit of both. In so doing he has placed yiological concepts within a framework understandable by modern science. He applies a clear mathematical model to such concepts as the properties and application of the sixty four hexagram, yet has succeeded in keeping such sections readable for the mathematician and non-mathematician alike. He also explores the origins of the Chinese calendar and how it grew from the scientific understanding of the ancient scholars. This provides an example of the astronomical insights understood by the ancient Chinese who centuries before Copernicus knew the inclination of the earth and its pattern of orbit round the sun for example within fractions of a degree.

Dr Gan takes us on a journey through time and space exploring not only the immensity of the universe but the minuteness within atomic structures. The concept of equal and opposites, of yin and yang working together in harmony and the impact such concepts have on a philosophy of modern life is the central core of the book and when we see how Dr Gan has applied a scientific logic to what are mostly philosophical concepts we know that we have discovered something special.

What is Yi-jing?

The Yi Jing or I Ching is known in English as the "Book of Changes". It has been used in China and the East for well on three thousand years both as a divination tool and as a philosophical text for seekers of wisdom.

The Yi Jing or Book of Changes comprises sixty-four figures known in English as "hexagrams". Each of these hexagrams has a name in Chinese, for example JIA REN, FENG or JUE. Each of these 64 hexagrams is said to represent a particular life situation or phase, and the full sixty-four are held to stand for all the possible situations in life.

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