Interesting to have dug an old article by Roger T. Ames, “The Great Commentary and Natural Cosmology, Int. Commu. Chin. Cult  2(1):1-18, dated 5 March 2015, that kept me pondering on the aspect of “The Great Commentary” YiJing 易經. What exactly are all these that plenty of people simply called it YiJing 易經?
ZhouYi 周易 can be categorically divided into YiJing 易經 and YiZhuan 易傳. The former as in the “Classics” or Jing 經 relate to “Divination” ZhanBu 占卜 while the latter as in the “Commentary” or Zhuan 傳 relate to the “philosophical view” of the later dynasty.
The Ten Wings 十翼 or “The Great Commentary” DaZhuan 大傳
These commentaries were categorised into the “Ten Wings” 十翼, “wings” being the meaning of “elevation to a higher pedestal of knowledge” typically means you ought to fly in wisdom after knowing these commentaries. The Wings comprises of:
The Yi of “Flux, Transformation and Unchanging” BianJian BuYi 變簡不易
Taking a script out of “The Great Commentary” DaZhuan 大傳, it says:
“Thus the closing of the swinging gate is called kun 坤; the opening of it is called qian 乾. The ongoing alternation of openings and closings is called flux (bian 變), and the inexhaustibility of the comings and goings is called continuity (tong 通). When something is manifest, it is called an image (xiang 象), and taking on physical form it is called a phenomenon (qi 器). To fashion and make use of these things is called emulation (fa 法). Putting them to good use in everything that is done so that all of the people can take advantage of them is called spirituality (shen 神)”
As one can see, YiJing 易經 is just not simply talking about “changes”, instead it explains about the beginning 乾 of the end 坤 and the end 坤 of the beginning 乾 of things 易:
Li,Qi and Xiang 理氣象
Often than not one would like to bastardize YiJing 易經 with other Neo-Confucius classics such as that Qi 氣 is unexplainable without the “logic” or rational behind that is called, the principle 理. It is not wrong to assume such but the actual meaning of the Heaven and Man comes together, TianRen HeYi 天人合一 has been misunderstood without the element of “manifestation” 象, owing to a political and intellectual confrontation between the school of rationalist 理學 with that of the imagery 象學 during later Song dynasty. Truly speechless when one quote the YiJing 易經 and not referring to it as this book is just not about being a normal book, reading it requires technique.
Heaven Round Earth Square 天圆地方 or The Other Way Around?
When you google this “Heaven Round Earth Square” 天圆地方, you will be served with plenty of articles pointing the geocentric approach of early astronomer looking above the sky as a “globe” and the earth reaching the furthest horizon as a “flat disc” and truly, “flat earth” proponent is never a modern phenomenon and for such reason, you get “Heaven Round Earth Square” 天圆地方. To further emphasise on such, examples were also given such as the Temple of Heaven 天壇 in the Forbidden Palace was round instead of square, the Chinese coin which is round having the centre as earth is punctured square and so forth, yet why the LuoPan or ShiPan is designed in such that the Heaven Dial which is round is inside the Square Earth plate? Earth containing the Heaven? Absurd.
Modern science had found it to be in the contrary. In fact, “Heaven is square, Earth is round” 天方地圆, taking into consideration of a spherical earth and the colossal of the multiverses and the question remains to be true, as who is correct? Let’s dug up YiJing 易經 and see what it says? “Heaven Round Earth Square” 天圆地方 in YiJing 易經 has to be given the perspective of “Flux, Transformation and Unchanging” BianJian BuYi 變簡不易.
Taking the arrangement of the Early and Later Heaven BaGua, isn’t the Heaven is Qian and the Earth is Kun implying Heaven is Li, Fire and Earth is Kan, Water? In YiJing 易經, the 5 elemental shapes prescribed that fire takes the shape of Round and Water takes the shape of Square? Thus, Heaven is square, Earth is round” 天方地圆?
Conclusion, it is very interesting to look at YiJing 易經 not from a fixed perspective but from the myriad angles of “Flux, Transformation and Unchanging” BianJian BuYi 變簡不易 and you will be dwarfed by the revelations it portend. For the readers information, these opinions were not new. It has been mentioned many times especially in the Chinese language forums for quite a number of donkey years. It is just too bad that the English forum has yet to catch up with it... This is for reading pleasures and had nothing to do with anyone or any matter whatsoever. It is only a point of view and should you disagree, it is an honor for you just to disregard it. Otherwise, a SHARE and a LIKE are some valuable and appreciative gestures you can shower us in return. Thank you.