Reversing Kan with Li
“Reversing Kan with Li ” ( 坎離顛倒 Kanli Diandao ) is a term of the science of the Golden Elixir ( 金丹 Jindan ). Kan and Li are two of the basic Trigram Figures ( 卦象 Guaxiang ) established by the Book of Changes ( 周易 Zhouyi ). According to the arrangement of the Post-Existent ( 後天 Houtian ) Eight Trigrams ( 八卦 Bagua ), the trigram Kan is situated in the north, a Yin direction in nature, while the trigram Li in the south, a Yang direction. However, in terms of the trigram nature established in the Book of Changes, Kan has a “boy middle” and is a Yang trigram, while Li has a “girl middle” and is a Yin trigram. It is obvious that the Yang trigram is not arranged in a Yang direction and the Yin trigram not in a Yin direction, but quite on the contrary. Besides, according to the Figure of Hexagrammatic Lines ( 爻象 Yaoxiang ), Kan, a Yang trigram, comprises more Yin Hexagrammatic Lines than Yang Hexagrammatic Lines (one Yang Hexagrammatic Line lies in the middle and two Yin Hexagrammatic Lines on its upper and lower sides), while Li, a Yin trigram, comprises more Yang Hexagrammatic Lines than Yin Hexagrammtic Lines (one Yin Hexagrammatic Line lies in the middle and two Yang Hexagrammatic Lines on its upper and lower sides). Here we also find “reversion”. Daoist Inner Alchemy ( 內丹 Neidan ) borrows from the trigram figures in the Book of Changes. It regards the descending of the heart-Yin and the ascending of the kidney-Yang as the harmony of water and fire. One goes up while the other goes down until they meet. This meeting, in nature, is to “fill up Li with Kan”, i.e., to take out the Yang Hexagrammatic Line in the middle of the trigram Kan to fill up the Yin Hexagrammatic Line in the middle of the trigram Li. Hence inner elixirs come into being, which lays a foundation for the production of Golden Elixirs in the Elixir Field ( 丹田 Dantian ).