Tai Ji Quan

Practice is Repetition and Persistence

Repetition and Persistence are necessary for a successful practice; a practice that transforms you. In the following we explore the symbolic representation of this principle. Note that if you're not already at least a little familiar with the traditional Symbols of Change 卦 then this page might be hard to follow. Also, each symbol links into its page in the Hexagram Navigator, allowing you to explore its logical properties.

Repetition here is symbolized by - this is the Spark doubled, a repeatedly arousing energy, the shock resounding through heaven and earth... A single Spark in the base would represent the initial interest in the practice, the first inkling of potential. But that must be revisted again and again, made strong in the mind, , for the practice to develop and evolve. Thus: = v .

With the same energy above and below, there is no resonance. Repetition, the doubling of the Spark, is such a dynamic symbol that this is the only stillness in its energy. In the algebraic language, we represent the lack of resonance thus: r() = .

Persistence is in the symbol , the lake in the mountain, openness towards the completion of a cycle [1]. This is the spirit required to raise half a block from its base resting state up by two steps. Consider the following sequence:

which is animated as

In symbols: = >> 2, persistence is raising half a block by two steps.

Notice, also, that raising the resting half block up by one step creates the directed intent of the San Ti posture:

 =  >> 1.

That is the first step, directing the intent, is the start of practice; and persistence in directing that intent is required to make the second step.

In contrast to Repetition, Persistence is completely resonant, in symbols: r() = .

This allows us, should we wish to, to say: ~r() = r() - the resonance of Repetition and Persistence are opposite.

When we further consider the difference between Repetition and Persistence, we have the equation:  x  =  - that is, the energetic difference between Repetition and Persistence is Completed Harmony - every line correct and resonant. This makes them an extremely auspicious pairing - of the 4096 possible pairings, only 64 have this property. We can use this relationship to create a structure, as shown below, showing the context of the connection between Repetition and Persistence, their relation through Harmony.

The Harmonization of
Repetition and Persistence

In the algebraic notation, this is sub(, ). For an explanation of the construction and use of this structure you'll want to look at the example cube here and then read the paper The Yijing as a Symbolic Language for Abstraction.


[1] Readers familiar with the traditional interpretation will notice that this deviates from the normal use of the symbol. In fact, in my algebraic approach to interpreting the symbols I find that I need to swap the traditional meanings of and . This is largely because of their relative places in the rotation sequence as described above.