17 May 2012

Word Cloud of I-Ching

Using Word Cloud programs on I-Ching text reveals the key teachings. It is simply that following righteousness brings you harmony and great fortune or blessings.
What are the more important thing, the ideas, or words in an article? How fast can we pick them out? The answer is quick simple. Run a Word-Cloud program to visually show them.

There are two word-cloud program that I know will work well for Chinese documents.
  1. http://timc.idv.tw/wordcloud/en/
  2. http://www.tagxedo.com/
Tagxedo provides the user greater control over the analysis and display. I will begin with Tagxedo. 

Since I-Ching was written in Chinese. It is best to use the original Chinese document for analysis. The I-Ching document that I used contain only the original Zhou Yi 周易 text. All other text from the later addition of 易传 such as 彖, 大象, 小象. 文言 included  the usual I-Ching are removed. As an example, the first hexagram Qian contains the following text:

  1乾: 元 亨 利 贞
  潜龙,勿用。
  见龙在田,利见大人。
  君子终日乾乾,夕惕若,厉,无咎。
  或跃在渊,无咎。
  飞龙在天,利见大人。
  亢龙有悔。
  用九:见群龙无首,吉。

I ran the Tagxedo program with the following setting: Classic.


Classic uses the counts of the words/phases as the size of the words. 

The words and counts are shown below:

The Word Cloud is:

Here is one from http://timc.idv.tw/wordcloud/zh/#file on the same I-Ching text file:

When I play with options to shrink or expand the words and gaps, I occasionally get a different word-cloud as follow (with the 无咎 missing):


What are the key concepts from I- ?
Here they are:

  1. 吉 ji:  福也 Good Fortune or Blessing. 
  2. 无咎 wu jiu.  No fault,  no disaster or no sins. 
  3. 亨 heng. smooth flowing. no obstruction.
  4. 利 li beneficial or advantageous. More precisely, harmony or peace with righteousness. It is order with the laws.
    (See. 《易·文言》:“利者,义之和也;贞者,事之干也。”
    《子夏传》云:‘元,始也;亨,通也;利,和也;贞,正也。’” )
  5. 贞吉 Pure and Good.
  6. 有孚 Have Integrity, trustworthiness.
  7. 利贞: 和谐贞正。Harmony and righteousness.
  8. 凶 disaster.
  9. 元 great beginning.
It is very clear from the word analysis that I-Ching is telling about how to attain Good Fortune or Blessing, to live without faults, to move smoothly even over obstruction, be in harmony, by following righteousness, to be pure and just.

There are other powerful words too, be a gentleman 君子, do great projects by crossing great rivers 利涉大川.

To know more on I-Ching, see Ancient Chinese Wisdom.

Lim Liat(C) 17 May 2012
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