Book of Changes, first semantic lexicon

Semanticus F. Alpaerts suggests in De Denkbeeldige Ruimte (1980) that the I Ching or Book of Changes, originating from mythical antiquity, is the first semantic lexicon of mankind. In this Chinese classic, unquestionably one of the most influential books in the world’s literature, 64 chapters are coded with a double triplet line code called hexagrams.

Alpaerts used the Wilhelm (1971) translation to show a possible connection between the code lines from the I Ching and the codon encoding in the Semantic Colour Space. The open (- -) and closed (—) lines from the I Ching correspond with respectively the 0’s and 1’s from his semantic coding system. This way he could associate the concepts described in the 64 chapters of the I Ching, with the eight primary colours and their combinations (8×8) from his classification. Later, his hypothesis was confirmed by a comparative research he conducted on the similarities between his keyword-colour classifications, in which the concepts from the I Ching form an important part, and the empirical data from sociologist Eva Heller’s word-to-colour association study (Alpaerts, 1993).

The following list includes I Ching chapter titles with links to pages in the DSD (between brackets: if the title is not in the DSD, a synonym), chapter numbers, digital coding (hexagram), and colour combinations.

chapter titlechaptershexagramcolour combination
creative heaven1111:111YL:YL
the receptive2000:000BL:BL
difficulty at the beginning3010:001GR:BK
youthful folly (inexperienced, foolish)4100:010BR:GR
the fight6111:010YL:GR
the army7000:010BL:GR
the all-encompassing8010:000GR:BL
the taming power of the small (newborn)9110:111WH:YL
standstill (stagnation, blocking)12111:000YL:BL
fellowship with men (together, community)13111:101YL:RD
great possessing (imperium)14101:111RD:YL
rage (rancor, attack)16001:000BK:BL
correcting (addressing)18100:110BR:WH
nearing, rapprochement19000:011BL:PL
viewing (perception)20110:000WH:BL
biting through (stick-it-out)21101:001RD:BK
adorning (embellish)22100:101BR:RD
splitting apart (slivering)23100:000BR:BL
the turning point24000:001BL:BK
the taming power of the great (steering)26100:111BR:YL
the corners of the mouth, providing nourishment (feeding, grooming, open mouth)27100:001BR:BK
great exceeding (overloaded)28011:110PL:WH
the abyss29010:010GR:GR
the clinging, fire (flame, attach)30101:101RD:RD
influence, wooing (courtship)31011:100PL:BR
duration, constancy32001:110BK:WH
the power of the great (powerful)34001:111BK:YL
darkening of the Light (hiding)36000:101BL:RD
polarising (contrasts)38101:011RD:PL
increase, beneficial, useful (growth, functional)42110:001WH:BK
resoluteness, determination43011:111PL:YL
gathering together, massing (assemble)45011:000PL:BL
pushing upward46000:110BL:WH
oppression, exhaustion (depletion, sucked out)47011:010PL:GR
the well48010:110GR:WH
revolution, moulting49011:101PL:RD
the cauldron (terrine)50101:110RD:WH
the arousing, shock, thunder51001:001BK:BK
keeping still, mountain (still, not moving)52100:100BR:BR
development, gradual progress53110:100WH:BR
the marrying maiden (concubine)54001:011BK:PL
abundance, fullness55001:101BK:RD
the wanderer, travelling (wanderlust)56101:100RD:BR
the penetrating, wind57110:110WH:WH
the joyous, lake (gay)58011:011PL:PL
dispersion, dissolution, (scattering)59110:010WH:GR
limitation, moderation (delimitation, restriction)60010:011GR:PL
inner truth61110:011WH:PL
preponderance of the small (unremarkable, incompetent)62001:100BK:BR
after completion63010:101GR:RD
before completion64101:010RD:GR
Defeat, battle, thief, crime, and danger, cultural differences in concept allocation

Some of the differences in concept allocation are suggestive of real culture differences; for example: concepts like defeat, battle, thief, crime, and danger are all bad-strong-active (Osgood’s 3-factors) for Americans, Belgians, and Finns, but for the Japanese defeat, thief, crime, and danger are bad-weak-passive and battle is good-weak-active.

Osgood (1964)

Fight-or-flight response and neurotiscism

The visceral brain is responsible for the fight-or-flight response in the face of danger. Neurotic individuals are easily upset in the face of very minor stresses. However, emotionally stable people are calm under such stresses because they have lesser activation levels and higher thresholds.
(Eysenck, 1990).

Into battle with goalkeeper Jorge Campos’ outfit

Mexican goalkeeper Jorge Campos designed his own goalkeeping kits for the national team.

The outfit in yellow-on-green in combination with the associated hue red-5, with angular, oblique shapes makes him ready to win the battle.

images from:

The supernatural sword

The magic sword is a powerful weapon found in many myths around the world. Dating back from the middle ages and earlier, it is associated with knights and saints using supernatural powers to fight demonic monsters or enemies. In the Semantic Colour Space, this construction situates itself as follows: White-on-blue or Yellow-6 : sword, supernatural, holy, knight and hero.

Black-on-red or Green-4 : demonic, destructive forces depicted by dragons, serpents, griffins, and the weapon itself as a means to kill, to destroy.

Book Cover Tales From Camelot Series 6: Excalibur, Paul Green.

Excalibur, in the Arthurian tales, is the magic sword of King Uther Pendragon, King Arthur’s father. In the account of the Sword in the Stone, Arthur obtained the British throne by pulling a sword from an anvil sitting atop a stone that appeared in a churchyard on Christmas Eve. The act could not be performed except by “the true king”, meaning the divinely appointed king or true heir of Uther Pendragon.

In the account of the Lady of the Lake the sword Excalibur came from the lake. And when Arthur was dying, he ordered Bedivere to throw the sword back into the lake. He ignored this command at first, but did so anyway, and an arm clad in white brocade took the sword to the bottom.

White-on-green: the swan (lady of the Lake), fertility.

King Arthur Asks the Lady of the Lake for the Sword Excalibur, illustration by Walter Crane
Ridder Soler de Vilardell doodt een griffioen met het beroemde zwaard. Bas-reliëf bij de poort van Sant Iu van de Kathedraal van Barcelona

Vilardell’s legendary sword is one of the strongest medieval legends in Catalan courtly literature, comparable to the famous Excalibur from the Arthurian tale. The bearer of the sword is said to be invincible. There are mentions that knights are said to have killed a great serpent and a dragon with the sword.

The saint story of St George defeating the dragon with his sword or lance is related to the myths described above. The Christians turned it into a moral battle between good and evil.

The yellow-6 hero with his sword fights against the green-4 dragon. The keyword ‘fight’ is classified under yellow-on-green.

heraldisch wapenschild van Kagran, Wenen.

i.Michiels, red.