What does Gen stand for?
Gen stands for our ability to disengage. Through letting go of what has become obsolete we can focus on what is essential, concentrate our energies and make room for the new. Disengagement harmonizes and focuses our actions and results in reorientation and new beginnings. Gen invites us to honestly examine our possessions, feelings and/or thoughts regarding their validity, and to permanently let go of what is old or outdated.
In the classics of Traditional Chinese Medicine we find the following descriptions for the functional circuit large intestine (see King Wen’s Later Heaven: the large intestine is associated with Gen):
The large intestine is responsible for free passage. Change and transformation are coming from it!
What a tremendous duty for the large intestine! While heralding the teachings of the right path, the large intestine carries along residual waste. The passing and elimination of waste goes beyond substance: emotions, thoughts, relationships are also changing and must go their natural way. They, too, must be discarded if they have become worthless for us.
Only if man properly digests influences and eliminates useless parts, change and transformation can happen!
Phase Element Metal
Where does Gen emerge from?
Within a hexagram Gen emerges either from Zhen or Kun (exception: the hexagram begins with Gen / Gen is the lower trigram). The red arrows indicate that a (solid) yang line is added to each previous trigram. Yang symbolizes energy, activity. Any clear disengagement gives us tangible results: deep transformation and reorientation.
Gen emerges from Kun, the Earth
Kun stands for a thorough inventory. We may note things which are unnecessary ballast, which block our efforts and consume our energies. When Gen evolves from Kun, we can confidingly let go of ballast and entrust ourselves to earth’s gravity. This way we not only release muscles and tendons, but our entire being.
Examples for hexagrams where Gen emerges from Kun → here.
Gen emerges from Zhen, the Thunder
An initial decision (Zhen) results in disengagement and dissolving (Gen): the old is smoothly transmuted. While the old (the withered, the past structure) may firstly still persist, it later on dissolves slowly, with the new structure already growing. The old is overgrown by the new, it is absorbed and / or integrated – just as it occurs in nature (see picture).
Examples for hexagrams where Gen emerges from Zhen → here.
What does Gen develop into?
Within a hexagram Gen develops either into Sun or Kan (exception: the hexagram ends with Gen / Gen is the upper trigram).
Gen develops into Kan, the Water
Kan develops when a (broken) yin line is added (dark arrow; yin symbolizes receptivity). Gen‘s disengagement opened a path for us to reconnect with our spiritual self: our own inner, intuitive wisdom, collected all along our path to here and now, ready to nurture us.
Examples for hexagrams where Gen develops into Kan → here.
Gen develops into Sun, the Wind / Tree
Sun develops when a (solid) yang line is added (red arrow; yang symbolizes energy, activity). Initial disengagement (Gen) results in forward thrusting growth (Sun). We disengaged, we released unnecessary ballast, we concentrated our energies. This way we drew the bow. Until our arrow, Sun, is shot off: unstoppable, unrelenting, heading for our goal.
Examples for hexagrams where Gen develops into Sun → here.
Phase Element: Metal
Functional Circuit: Large Intenstine (LI)
Disengagement; transformation; harmonization
To hold still, to persevere; a meditative state
Interpretation: to enwomb, to keep under control; good framework (eventually perceived as constraining); completion towards the outside; delimitation, self-protection
- I Ching Study Guide – Introduction
- THEORY: History, Terms, Objectives
- PRACTICE: Using the I Ching for Divination
- Structure of a Hexagram
- Trigrams and their Meaning
- Frequently Asked Questions and Application Tips