jì (紀)

as a verb: to write down or record; to arrange or put in order; as a noun: an historical period of twelve years, and by extension an ordered historical record, annal, or chronicle; also institution, laws and regulations. Jì (紀) is used fairly frequently elsewhere in Neijing, including in the titles of of Suwen chapters 66 and 71 — “Heavenly Source of Jì (紀) (天元紀)” and “Six Sources of Upright Jì (紀) (六元正紀),” and in Suwen, chapter 56 and Lingshu, chapter 76, which present aspects of the ‘basic Architecture’ of the channel complexes. So, jì (紀) is an important idea for describing both how an individual’s essence and one’s personal history expresses somatically.
According to Shuowen, this character comes from (糸 sī) ‘silk thread’ and 己 (jǐ), meaning ‘self.’ The left portion (糸, sī-‘silk thread’) is familiar to us from jīng (經) and luò (絡). Shuowen also notes “己 may have depicted thread on a loom; an ancient meaning (of 己) was ‘unravel threads’, which was later written jì (紀).
Karlgren offers several characterizations — to unravel threads; arrange, regulate, law; to record, year, age, dynasty, so jì (紀) seems to convey the sense of the ‘rules’ of one’s being that regulate one’s life over time, which are recorded in the channel and vessel movement.
Thus, I’ve rendered jì (紀) as “the threads of oneself,” which exhibit and express how each individual lives his or her life.

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