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The I Ching and Science

If we assume that Reality has an underlying common structure or template, which is in part at least (if not in whole) ultimately accessible to the human mind, or at least the human intuition, then it follows that it should be able to map both the discoveries of science and the insights of esotericism onto a single archetypal template. This is the old "hedgehog" dream of a single metaphysical "theory of everything", a universal map or paradigm or diagram or schema or dialectic or dynamic, as proposed by Proclus, Judaic and Hermetic Kabbalah, Blavatsky, Ouspensky, Ed Haskell, Arthur Young, Ken Wilber, and many others, including (more tentatively) myself :-)

In this regard, the I Ching, with its precise mathematic binary configuration of yin and yang lines and 64 hexagrams, so unlike the usually arbitrary nature of many esoteric systems (e.g. astrology and tarot, in which one could probbaly develop an infinite number of possible archetypes), is a popular paradigm, which is often matched in terms of correspondences with both genetics and quantum physics.

Two of the most elaborate and detailed example of such a synthesis can be found in the work of external link Tony Smith; for example the page on external link I Ching, Genetic Code, and Hyperdimensional Physics

On contrary position is given by Arvan Harvat who in an email in response to a query on the I Ching and DNA says:

Look: there are I Ching-mathematics-astronomy-genetics-....correspondences galore, virtually a jungle of ideas. There is absolutely no way to extract anything tangible & sustainable from the mess. The articles I found intriguing, to a degree, are American magus's John Oposopus (Bruce McLennan, American mathematician) and Wikipedia link Ralph Abraham. The DNA is, I suppose, from Tomshinsky ( You got these linx at: (McLennan is here: and algebraic efforts here: )

But, IMO, there is no way one could get anything similar to the Western approach that gave birth to modern exact sciences. It is, I admit, possible to look at I Ching in a Pythagorean way; a sort of super-mathematical structure that gives us the access both to the the sensible & the supersensible worlds.
Just, I think that at this level of understanding, I Ching is more poetic than mathematical/exact.

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page content by M.Alan Kazlev and Arvan Harvat
page uploaded 11 November 2005, last modified 19 November 2005