June 05, 2011

Yin and Yang and DNA

I wrote previously about the relationship between the formation of the eight trigrams in the Book of Changes, which form the 64 hexagrams, and the DNA sequence. At the time I did not have a reasonable explanation to hand, but I’ve since found this one, which puts it in better perspective.

Although the trigrams can be understood through exercises, and can help you to understand your states of consciousness, they can not help you with existential decisions and choices. This requires the doubling of the trigrams into inner and outer worlds. Now six lines are used to create a Hexagram. There are sixty four possible combinations of six yin or yang lines (two to the eighth power). For example, one possible combination is a hexagram known as PEACE where the top three lines are all yin, and the bottom three all yang, Heaven below the Earth:

                    ___   ___  6
___ ___ 5 Outer Trigram
___ ___ 4
_________ 3

Inner Trigram _ 2 _ 1

The lower Trigram shows the attitude to your inner world, the upper your attitude to the outer-world. The Chinese sages who created the I Ching understood the duality of life and its existential problems. They knew that it in order to change your external situation -- your outer fate -- you had to change your inner mentality. Since the I Ching was created as a kind of pragmatic guide, they knew that the Trigrams would have to be doubled to reflect the dynamics of the inner-outer worlds, of external situation and internal attitude. The system of 64 hexagrams which make up the I Ching resulted from the necessity of doubling the eight combinations of three.

In a dramatic example of the fractal recursive nature of reality, nature follows the very same system to create the genetic code. The eight trigrams correspond very closely to the DNA and RNA code of our genes. This is the genetic code which is responsible on a cellular level for all self organization, growth and reproduction in life.

RNA DNA Yin Yang

DNA is the blueprint for every protein made in every cell. It is the Yin, spatial structure which stores the information. RNA is the reverse copy of DNA which carries out DNA's instructions for protein production. It is the Yang, active catalyst which actualizes in time the information in the DNA. The DNA and RNA have eight different base combinations, each made of three chemicals, just like the trigrams made of three lines. The chemical "triplets" as they are called, combine in double triplet code, just like the hexagrams. The maximum total combinations of DNA/RNA triplets is thus 64, just like the I Ching. The 64 triplet combinations control the twenty amino acids and other cellular generative-structural activity.

Hexagram 42Out of the combinations of the 8 triplets or trigrams, the 64 "words" of the genetic code of life are formed. All life, from bacteria to Man, is directed on a cellular level by the same language of the 64 Codons of RNA and DNA, based on the doubled triplet, or Hexagram. For example in genetics one of the 64 three letter Codons is: T.A.G. - C.T.A. (Thymine, Adenine, Guanine - Cytosine, Thymine, Adenine). The first gene detected by Watson was equivalent in structure to the I Ching hexagram number 42: Increase.

….….. As we have seen, there is a striking similarity between the I Ching and the genetic code, the 8 trigrams to the 8 codons. This can be understood as recursive self similarity over scales. There is a basic identity between the genes and the hexagrams because their numeric structure is the same.

Hexagram 63Martin Schoanberger, a German scientist, recently discovered that the two Codons which contain the genetic-chemical message "to stop" have the same numeric structure of hexagram 63, After Completion. All lines in this hexagram are said to be in their proper place.

Hexagram 64Moreover, Schoanberger discovered that the Codons which, so to speak, act to say "Go" on a genetic level, correspond to the opposite hexagram 64, Before Completion.

Extract of article by: Arnold Keyserling & R.C.L taken from: School of Wisdom.

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