FW: [PD] interpretation of Li K'an icon

Nicholas Colvin colvin at dvida.net
Tue Oct 21 03:25:29 CEST 2003

Forgot to send to list:

I like your design, but I'm not sure about attaching too much meaning to
it. I like to think of Pd as a blank slate, with no preconceptions. I do
not agree with some that the icon needs to be as bare and uninviting as
the interface of the program, but attaching too much symbolism may cloud

Anyways, I've attached a slight variation of one of your modified,
rectangular yin/yang. I removed the color, for just the reasons above
and to give it a more neutral look


-----Original Message-----
From: pd-list-admin at iem.at [mailto:pd-list-admin at iem.at] On Behalf Of X.
J. Scott
Sent: Monday, October 20, 2003 8:07 PM
To: pd
Subject: [PD] interpretation of Li K'an icon

Hey all,

I just realized that it may not be obvious to everyone the detailed
symbology of the red and blue icon I presented.

The trigram against the field of red fire is Li, which represents fire,
sun, and lightning as well as clarity, conscious thought, and

The trigram against the field of blue water is K'an, which represents
moving water like rain, clouds, springs as well as a dangerous
difficulty, depth and the profundity of mystery, in other words an
exceptional challenge which brings growth.

The hexagram formed by the two, fire above moving water, is interpreted
as follows, and I believe you will see it is obvious that it is the
hexagram that best forms pd:

> Before the End comes progress. But if the young fox,
> having nearly crossed the stream, gets his tail wet,
> there will be no advantage.
                     -- translation from
                       "The Illustrated I Ching"
                        by R. L. Wing

This is the ancient origin of the term "getting your tail wet". It means
that to succeed at something that is a difficult challenge, it will not
be easy. You must completely immerse yourself in the moving water, the
difficulty that pd represents. Only by wilfully embracing the struggle
of exceptional difficulty can one emerge, wet, on the other side of the
river. Having mastered the challenge, one is ready to proceed to the new
land that awaits you, strengthened by the enlightenment and new powers
that your struggle has birthed.

This, is the message of pd and the only way to master pd -- to struggle
and to become immersed. Getting the tail wet, fooling around here and
there, will bring no benefits because the necessary price has not been
paid. But for every prize of such power as pd, there is a worthwhile
price that must be paid.

I believe that the excerpt from the I Ching I have quoted makes a
beautiful motto for pd itself.

-- X. J. Scott

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