SDCF I-Ching Study Group: Season 2

From Rutt’s “Appendix”…

  1. Historical Progressions
  2. Moral Implications
  3. Philosophical Interpretations

The ‘Ten’ Wings consist of eight documents:

  • Tuanzhuan, on the hexagrams;
  • Daxiang, also on the hexagrams;
  • Xiaoxiang, on the line oracles;
  • Dazhuan, or Xicizhuan, the “Great Treatise”
  • Wenyan, on the first two hexagrams;
  • Shuogua, mostly about the trigrams;
  • Xugua, on the order of the hexagrams, and
  • Zagua, a second list of hexagrams

  • Tuanzxhuan and Dazhuan are each divided into two sections, making ten wings all told.
  • Daxiang and Xiaoxiang are amalgamated into one, Xiangzhuan, which is then divided into two sections.“
  • (For convenience, I will use the collective term when ambiguity is not at issue.)
  • “Wenyan is sometimes placed before Dazhuan.”


From Redmond & Kon, “Teaching the I Ching”, chapter 4…

Redmond & Kon’s chapter ”The Ten Wings” (pages 141- 157 of Teaching the I Ching) posits two different topics of philosophical interest which they think the classic commentaries raise. I suggest that we follow their twofold agendas (not rigidly, necessarily) and also the pattern they use to group the wings in making their arguments. This gives us a clear structure and a methodology with a credible pedigree.

We can reserve their chapter for “in house” use, adopting their (seemingly rational) schedule without insisting on becoming unnecessarily involved with their particular goals; this will provide us with the option of using whatever material from their chapter we may find useful, without encumbering KTK’s presentations and to avoid possibly leading the other participants into get tangled up with the details of the authors’ specific agenda.

(I suggest we do make the whole “appendix” of Richard Rutt’s translation of the I Ching (i.e., a complete translation of the Ten Wings) available for any interested participants to read individually as we go, however.)

The first leg of the argument in chapter four involves three pieces of text that were, they think, “crucial in the transformation” of “the original oracles into a system of signs for moral and metaphysical discussion.”

The three are the Tuanzhuan (#1), the Xiangzhuan (the name they use for the combined wings Daxiang (#2 of our original list) & Xiaoxiang (#3 of the same original list), and the Wenyan (original #5).

This means that we can handle those texts originally listed (by Rutt) as #1-3 and #5 in one long session (March 12– our first “study session”). We would then be postponing presentation and discussion of the dense, lengthy (and probably particularly important) Great Treatise (the Dazhuan, originally Rutt’s wing # 4) until the next week (March 19), which might appear to be hopping around a little, but I think that’s ok— recall that in some reckonings, the Wenyan already came before the Dazhuan, so we really are just following an alternate iteration which happily dovetails nicely with the argument in Redmond & Kon’s chapter 4, and which has a historical precedent of its own.

The second leg of the argument in chapter 4 of “Teaching the I Ching” involves the “Great Commentary” and all the remaining texts (Shuogua, Xugua, & Zagua). Succinctly stated, this argument assumes that ”the transformation from divination to philosophy was never a replacxement of one mode of knowledge with (another), but was…”the culmination of pre-Imperial scholastic studies of the Yi— a process of deliberate synthesis.

We’ll keep you posted on the latest events, updates and news.