I Ching

Of the five classic Confucian texts, the Christian world is probably most impressed by the so-called Book of Changes. The idea of Yin und Yang was introduced as an appendix in about the 4th century BC and represents two complementary forces or principles which define all aspects or manifestations of life. The term «complementarity» also causes us a few problems with the related colours. In addition to these two famous pairs — Yin and Yang mean literally «the dark and the light side of a hill» — another 64 symbolic groups of six have found their way from the Book of Changes into Western thought. In each case, they consist of six continuous or subdivided lines. An attempt is made in our illustration to place both complementary principles within the Chinese tradition of colour and seek a systematic order. (Detailed text)

Date: 7th or 6th century BC

Bibliography: Richard Wilhelm, «I Ging Das Buch der Wandlungen», translated from the Chinese and explained, Diederichs, München 1967; Katya Walter, «Chaosforschung, I Ging und genetischer Code», Diederichs, München 1992.