1,3,5,7 and 2,4,6,8

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    I’ve been trying to figure out the significance of the trigrams 1,3,5,7 and 2,4,6,8 for many years. I’ve looked for patterns in the symbols, trained neigung elements based on theories, you name it. This is my latest guess at what it is all about.

    It really comes down to the Single and Double Palm changes. In the single, there is 1 thing. That is, the body tends to organize any and or all of the neigung elements so those elements are expressing the same pattern. This is fundamental to 1,3,5,7 and symbolized in the yang lines of heaven, ☰. The whole body is integrated, coordinated, and all parts are expressing the same thing in the same way.

    In the Double Palm Change, there are two pieces. Somehow or in some way, you’ve split the body or body part or neigung element in half. These are symbolized in the yin lines of earth, ☷. What’s interesting about 2,4,6,8 is the interplay between the two pieces: how each is interacting with the other and how. In 2,4 ,6,8 the two pieces are doing opposite things. So, if you are pulsing for example, one piece is opening and the other is closing. If they were both closing or both opening, we would be in the 1,3,5,7 paradigm. In 2,4,6,8 pardigm they are doing opposites, but something really interesting happens – the opposites combine and interact with each other.

    So, performing the Single Palm Change, you might have the whole body close, then open. But, when you perform the Double Palm Change, one side may be opening while the other side is closing. Circles and spirals actually work better, but you can do it with just about anything and I suspect that 1,3,5,7 just means doing a whole bunch of different neigung elements in unison and 2,4,6,8 expresses doing a whole bunch of opposites.

    Watch the video BMP Module 7 video lesson 4. At 47 seconds to 1:08, Bruce is illustrating 1,3,5,7 with twisting. Notice both hands are doing the same thing. It doesn’t matter whether it is from the pinky or the thumb. Which ever he choses, he twists both hands the same.

    At 1:11 he starts illustrating 2,4,6,8. He doesn’t explain it great but notice that he says “where one hand moves the other hand”. That’s the key! The interaction between them. That’s 2,4,6,8.


    Hi Jim,

    As usual your thoughts are very interesting.
    You’ve made this Forum valuable.

    But it looks like this Forum is slated to disappear.

    Today I’m moving to Vancouver, WA—
    plenty of Tai Chi in the Portland area,
    but I’m not aware to any bagua people there.

    We can still keep in touch by email.
    Let me know when your book is published.

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