Back to index 'Origins of characters'

CENTER

     Zhong1 means center, to be in the center, middle, among, medium, halfway. Pronounced as zh˛ng: to hit the target, to be struck. It is a picture of a banner (maybe an arrow) in the middle of a circle. 

      When the master of archery was teaching the sons of Kunti, he told them to shoot a bird on a high rampart. He asked them one by one what they saw when aiming the arrow. 
     One saw a rampart with a bird, another only the bird. But Arjuna saw only an eye. He never missed his target because he was one with it, he was in the center. 

     In the Yi it is part of the name of hexagram 61, but in the other hexagrams there are only six places where it occurs, and two of them refer to the sun in the center of heaven: noon. Three are 'moving central' in 24.4 and 42.3 and 4. Lines at the 4th have to do with choice and deciding. Moving central can be 'going halfway', 'avoiding any excess', but also 'moving in the center'. In 3.3 'center of the forest' is its most simple use.   
     Moving in the center is being one with what one does, or following the 'road of the mean', a combination of 'being one with what one does' with 'avoiding any excess'. 

     China is 'The middle kingdom': the country situated in the center of the earth. For every people the own country was always the center of the earth. 


To index 'Origins of characters'