I have to admit, I didn’t see it at first. How could there possibly be a connection between two utterly dissimilar entities? The I Ching is an ancient method of divination utilizing chance and the human condition, whereas Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA for short (can you imagine having to type that long name over, and over, and over?) is genetic material present in all life forms. One is a mathematical construct of the mind; the other, a physical construct of the universe. There is nothing that would tie the I Ching with genetic material. Nothing.
Nothing until the I Ching is closely studied and compared with DNA, whereupon I could begin to see the parallels within the structures upon which they are formed.
Believe me, it took a long time for me to grasp this concept because I kept getting lost in the higher levels of complexity that is wrapped around just about any written work I could find on the subject due to the fact that the authors of these types of subjects are not simple Tao Babes like me. They are Tao Masters and PhDs; highly erudite, advanced folks. These types of people don’t really write in the kind of language we normally use to discuss anything interesting.
They take the most interesting subjects and make them BORING AS HELL to have to wade through!!!
(OK, end of rant. Back to the subject at hand). It was only when I took Lao Tzu’s advice to keep it simple stupid did I finally figure it out. Well, ok, he didn’t say exactly that, but I know he said at some point in his life, to someone, somewhere, to keep things simple. It just seems to me that this is what he would say if he was around and I could ask him for advice. To simplify the matter, I am going to break it down to two basic components: form and function.
First of all, there is an easily visible PATTERN to their forms. Both DNA and the I Ching use a basic set of patterns to build up their forms and functions. Think of the pattern as a set of blueprints or a recipe to replicate something. These patterns can be mapped using templates that allow us to make analogies and create metaphors using symbols, letters, and numbers which represent objects, ideas, and relationships—metaphors that our minds can grasp and make sense out of.
Let’s start with the form pattern for DNA:
Since there are only four DNA base pairs, we could have used anything to represent them, but it was easier just to use the first letter of each of the base pairs to represent each base: A for Adenine, T for Thymine, G for Guanine, and C for Cytosine.
Combine the four letters and a single set is created. Combine the sets into a grouping of three sets and you get a codon (4 x 4 x 4 = 64). There are 64 combinations that can be created for each codon group. We take these codons and attach them to a double helix shape and voila, we have mapped the basic DNA structure.
Now remember, the Universe has to create an entire world of diversified life forms, from plankton to oak trees—from humans to dinosaurs, and it must do so using only those four measly nucleotides, grouped into 64 possible combinations.
How does DNA do this? It does so via a process which has been described as “Complexity from Simple Rules” which is the process of generating infinitely complex structures based on an extremely simple equation involving complex numbers. In other words, within the presence of complex patterns there is a good chance that a very simple process may be responsible for it.
This very simple process is called the Mandelbrot Set and was discovered in 1979 by a mathematician named Benoit Mandelbrot. It is represented by this simple formula: z -> z² + c .
This discovery was so amazing that Science writer Arthur C. Clark credits the Mandelbrot set as being “one of the most astonishing discoveries in the entire history of mathematics.”
From this simple equation, we can get incredible formations that can be seen in living entities like this closeup of a cauliflower.
It can produce these seemingly random dots on this leopard’s fur coat.
Even the clouds in the skies follow the Mandelbrot Set, containing within its patterns, a degree of order.
In life forms, it reveals a process whereby the replication of genetic material is used to pass genetic information onto future potential offspring. The replication of the pattern is almost identical each time it is replicated—almost but not quite, so that from the tiniest variation arises a multitude of random-looking replicas.
Now we look at the I Ching hexagrams:
The I Ching hexagrams also follow a pattern. This pattern starts off with two lines, one broken (yin) and one unbroken (yang).
Combine three of these lines in any combination and we get a trigram. This is trigram Tui – The Joyous
Combine two trigrams into one set and we get a hexagram. This is hexagram 31 – Hsien – Influence
Square the 8 trigrams with themselves (8 x 8) and we get the full I Ching set comprising of 64 hexagrams.
OK, so we have established the basic forms of the I Ching and DNA. Onward we march.
To simplify this even further, I will compare them side-by-side so we can more easily see the parallels.
1. They are both Containers – Their forms serve a very important function, that of containing very specific and replicable information. DNA contains genetic material and the processes by which to form the biological, physical body of not just humans but everything alive. The I Ching contains the philosophical and psychological processes by which to form the changing and transitional states of the human mind and spirit. This also includes the changing transitional state of the Universe, because the human mind is the microcosm of the microcosmic universe. In the modern world, we have been taught to value that which is quantifiable and therefore believe that the physical realm is all there is, but in reality, we need both the body and the mind and spirit to be a complete human.
2. They both communicate using Binary Computer Language – Remember the principle of simplicity in complexity that I talked about earlier? Well, this is part and parcel of the same thing. The unit of information in bits contains a simple choice between two opposite but complementary numbers: zero or one, yes or no, absence or presence. This is basic binary mathematics, and also the language of the universe. Since both DNA and the hexagrams can be broken down into binary sets, they are using the same language pattern. Remember, there are only four combinations of Yin and Yang: resting yin, moving yin, resting yang, and moving yang. If Yin can be represented by 0 and Yang by 1, the only possible combinations would be 00, 01, 10, 11. These four choices align with T, C, G, and A.
So what? You may say. Just because they use the same alphabet does not mean they understand each other and can correlate with each other in any meaningful way. Well, that is true. I am fluent in English as well as Vietnamese. Both use the alphabet system, but the two languages are worlds apart. The alphabets are put together to create a multitude of phonemes which hold different meanings depending on which language is used. In this case, they use the same alphabet but the alphabets synthesize into two different languages.
This is not the case with DNA and the I Ching.
The two not only use the same alphabet, they actually speak the same language and if they were to exchange information, would understand each other perfectly. This is because they both use mathematics to encode and exchange information, and math is universal.
Martin Schönberger, a German scientist who wrote the book The I Ching & the Genetic Code, recently discovered that the two Codons which contain the genetic-chemical message “to stop” have the same numeric structure of Hexagram 63 – After Completion, and the Codons which, so to speak, act to say “Go” on a genetic level, correspond to the opposite Hexagram 64 – Before Completion.
In the DNA they serve as punctuation between code sequences. In the I Ching, we have hexagrams # 63 and # 64, which serve the same purpose.
3. They both have a Duality Process . DNA is the blueprint which tells the cells how to create proteins, whereas RNA is the reverse copy of DNA which carries out DNA’s instructions for protein production.
This corresponds with the Yin (the yielding), which ‘yields’ or delivers the information and the Yang (the firm), which ‘firms up’ or utilizes the information and causes changes.
It amazes me that it took me so long to understand how it all fits in together, but the process of remembering is arduous and uneven, the dots often too far apart to connect without the intermediary dots that have yet to appear. The picture formed is fuzzy at best, but it is still in the process of forming. What gets me excited is that this picture has two anchor points (among many) going from the I Ching and connecting directly with DNA.
This is why I am belaboring the similarities between the two and feeling my way around in order to prove HOW the I Ching and DNA are intricately tied together. WHY it is tied together is a big question which requires extensive elaborations, and I have spent two days working on this comparison posting so I will get into the detail of the WHY in my next posting.
Until then, au revoir, my friends.
(continue to DNA and the I Ching: The Integration)
Schonberger, Martin. The I Ching & the Genetic Code. Aurora Press. November 1992.
“WHY it is tied together is a big question which requires extensive elaborations, and I have spent two days working on this comparison posting so I will get into the detail of the WHY in my next posting.”
Hey, I am having a hard time finding the next posting since you don’t have a chronological listing of your postings anywhere.
I love your site and we overlap quit a bit in the topics we cover.
By the way, have you heard of Grover’s algorithm and theories regarding its relationship to life?
Let me quote:
“The origin of the genetic code is a major area of study. Patel (2001) has argued that the code contains evidence for optimization of a quantum search algorithm. The replication of DNA involves matching up unpaired nucleotide bases on an unzipped DNA strand with complementary free b/aes from the environment. This is accomplished by a DNA polymerase enzyme that envelops the reaction region, and moves along the strand, sucking in nucleotides at random and forging the links one by one. All else being equal, there is a 0.25 probability that the correct base will be sampled at each stage (there being four varieties of bases). Patel points out that a quantum search algorithm will improve the sampling efﬁciency by a factor of 2. Grover’s algorithm (Grover, 1996) in the theory of quantum computation is directed toward searching for a target amid an unsorted database of Nobjects, and achieves a √ N improvement in efﬁciency over a classical search. If Q is the total number of sampling operations, then Grover’s algorithm …
which has the suggestive solutions:
Q = 1, N = 4 (8)
Q = 3, N = 20.2.
The universal genetic code is based on triplets of nucleotides of four varieties that code for 20 or 21 amino acids. The fact that these three numbers all come out of Grover’s algorithm is either a happy numerical coincidence, or it implies that life uses some form of quantum information processing at the sub-cellular level. Patel (2001) has argued that the nucleotide bases can remain in a quantum superposition for long enough to participate in the replication process.”
Click to access does_quantum_mechanics_play_a_non-trivial_role_in_life.pdf
Thanks for visiting my blog. I took a look at your website as well, and we do indeed talk about many similar things. It’s always nice to meet up with fellow travellers on my path towards enlightenment.
This post, if I remember correctly, was the initial post which got me to thinking about the interconnectedness of everything. I have since delved much further into this subject, but due to the nature of blog postings, which don’t allow for long, in-depth analyses of subject matter, I decided to present it as part of a book I am writing about the matter. That way, if folks wanted to read more about what I am writing, they can download the book, instead of reading chunks of information, one blog posting at a time.
Thank you so much for pointing out Grover’s Algorithm. I will definitely check it out, as it looks to be quite interesting and very relevant to my research.
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This is great. Very thorough! Have you looked into the work of Terence McKenna on this subject — you have captured some of what he is suggesting:
I will be sharing your insights with our graduates at the Institute of Integral Qigong and Tai Chi (IIQTC).
Looking forward to your next post on this!
Dr Jahnke — Roger
Great post. Nice to see a new generation of interest and respect for that Oracle.
You rock TaoBabe…
Hi! My name is Adi, it will be nice to contact you on private.
I have a 17 years old girl who suffers from an undefined neurodegenerative disease, by now she can hardly walk and can’t talk at all.
We are in a long journey in the search for the miraculous
However, bI am interested to know if you can help me in turning several hexagrams into the specific related DNA codes?
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interesting stuff! thinking about the 64 codon-hexagram similarity led me to some Web surfing, including your blog. from Adenine’s chemical properties, my loose understanding of yang, and a crude set of digrams from the 8 trigrams, I guessed that Adenine was yang yang (11), and Thymine/Uracil was yin yin (00); but I had C and G reversed due to guessing. had not realized I Ching divination rituals derive numbers for yin and yang that correspond to the structure of the DNA base pairs until I saw the link below:
just a thought: from what I researched, RNA is a reverse copy of DNA only in the sense that it is complementary and antiparallel (and with Uracil exchanged for Thymine) to the DNA strand, but for codon purposes it’s the same sequence–just as each strand of the DNA double helix is complementary and antiparallel to itself (each DNA strand containing the same information for cells division, but just in reverse). so I think your Duality Process for DNA/RNA is incorrect with respect to hexagram coding. the binary code in the DNA should be the same as in RNA. for example, AUG (Methionine) is a common start codon for RNA, so the I Ching hexagram would be (top to bottom) A, yang yang (11), U, yin yin (00) and G, yang yin (10), or 110010.
note: my statements above about RNA production and DNA replication were wrong.
(a) DNA replication, and (b) RNA transcription and translation involve (a) DNA polymerase building complementary DNA strands, and (b)(1) RNA polymerase copying the DNA (‘sense’) coding strand by transcribing the codons from the complementary DNA (‘antisense’) template strand into messenger RNA (mRNA), before (2) relaying the information via transfer RNA (tRNA) for amino acid/protein synthesis within the ribosome.
the codons of the DNA coding and mRNA strands are equivalent (except for T/U), so the Duality Process might refer to the anticodons of tRNA; however not to the codons of the DNA coding or mRNA transcription strands, e.g. the start codons ATG/AUG, or the stop codons TAG/UAG (‘amber’), TAA/UAA (‘ochre’), or TGA/UGA (‘opal’). either the DNA coding strand or the mRNA strand is sufficient to express genetic binary code.
Greetings! My friend Heath loaned me I Ching and the Genetic Code in the mid 90’s. At that time, I did not have the basic foundation to fully grasp it’s implications. I Googled it last night looking for a copy and your blog post was a few links down the page. I read it and was absolutely floored! In fact, I signed up for WordPress with the express purpose of giving you some feedback. I have a theory(impossible to prove until the human genome project is completed) regarding genetic memory and the I Ching. Are you familiar with this concept? In short it means that our DNA contains all the knowledge of our ancestors. Some would say this is equivalent to the concept of the Akashic record, purportedly an account of all the events that have ever occurred in the universe. I have a theory that with full access to the DNA and divination techniques utilizing the I Ching it might be possible to access this information. The DNA spiral, kundalini, the prevalence of serpentine imagery in all parts of the world throughout history…I feel it is calling us to know and the fully awaken. I highly recommend The Cosmic Serpent by Jeremy Narby for a more in depth exploration of this subject. Love and light to you.
Never would have made this connection. Fascinating. The learning continues.
This relationship is also explored in the Gene Keys: https://www.amazon.com.au/Gene-Keys-Unlocking-Higher-Purpose/dp/1780285426
Great blog, I found this page in looking at the I-ching/DNA connection, I am researching coronavirus and its clear its much more political and complex than advertised. I found myself asking “what is a virus” in the context of our DNA being a living supercomputer. Junk DNA my ass… A virus could be liquid crystal quantum portal for all we know. It seems our understanding of virology is built on flawed fundamentals and pandemics are a cycle every 11y during solar minimums when our ionosphere opens to exomaterials aka panspermia, these horizontal gene transfer events appear to be our way of evolving with universal condition changes. Our groups research on covid19 indicates all acute and long term symptoms can be explained by serotonin release in the body due to radiation attack on gut-brain-immune connection, you can check out more on my blog. I would love to throw some ideas around and can connect some dots for some of the questions you ask here, please shoot me an email: email@example.com
This is eerie. Tonight I got the intuition that the I-Ching mirrors the genetic code somehow when I saw a Tang Dynasty depiction of Fuxi and Nuwa intertwined in a way that resembles the DNA helix. I had not made the connection between the 64 hexagrams and the 64 codons, however. But because of the image, I searched for “DNA I-Ching” and came to your post.
It’s perhaps noteworthy that the serpentine appearance of Fuxi and Nuwa recalls the Greek cadeuceus, which is associated with Hermes. Hermes was also the god of science, writing, art, etc., in a role analogous to Fuxi.