The eight evolutionary forces at the root of the I Ching or Book of Changes reveal principles that capture nature’s movement toward renewal. Each offers a type of virtue to be emulated to understand how experience guides us to develop our authentic nature or Te. "Nature embodies Tao because nature reveals the purity of the Way."
The masters observed a Creative principle at work in life. Since Thunder appeared when the seasons changed, it embodied the shocking elements that arouse the Creative out of dormancy. Fire, like passion, has a synergistic connection to whatever keeps it burning. It captures the self-actualizing principle that connects all living things to an inner sense of direction.
Inspired by a sense of peacefulness reflected in the Joyous Lake, they observed how satisfaction and dissatisfaction move like ripples upon the surface of life. Satisfaction offsets a desire for the endless change that can arise from being discontent, while dissatisfaction becomes the hunger pain that prods us toward necessary change.
The Wind portrays the penetrating effects that cyclically transform the earth for rebirth. When we close to the evolutionary forces of life, the Abysmal Water rises to release us into the great river. The Mountain is stationary and suggested the virtue of keeping still, where we are made supple and strong. The Mountain can represent the hardened perspective that keeps us a prisoner to the past or the heights that we climb to obtain a wider view. All signs of the Creative recede below the Earth at the onset of winter’s incubation. Gestating in the womb of the Yielding Earth, the Creative is reborn.