The Iron Law of Six
The Zhouyi (or Yijing) identifies ultimate cosmic law with the order of time — which is the eternal in change. It consists of hexagrams — figures of six lines — because decimated duplication produces the endlessly recurring sequence of six phases, in the cycle 1, 2, 4, 8, 7, 5. As explicitly acknowledged in the Ten Wings of the Zhouyi, this six-step cycle is diplo-triadic. It consists of two trigrams, or twin triangles, with each set of pairs summing through addition to the number nine. Notably, exponential growth and rigid cyclicity are integrated in the abstract model of time. The ‘byte’ (2^3) still defers to its final authority in advanced modernity. That is the robust, arithmetically indisputable foundation of The Iron Law of Six.
“If you would promote a law, first submit yourself to it.” There is perhaps no antidote to moralism sounder than this. How, then, to make of The Iron Law of Six an overt, private fatality?
Consider this (utterly crude) convergence upon the same problem. In an age of unprecedentedly scrambled attention, “deep projects” tend to get lost. Nothing that is not built into the order of time will get done. (Some very relevant neuro-psychological background can be found here.)
Submission to the order of time is thus indispensable to any real power of execution. That time repeats is the only basis upon which to build anything new.
Formulated in the mode of Time: A User’s Guide, this is the Outsideness protocol:
(1) Acknowledge time as that which repeats each day, in a double triad, providing six slots. Submission to the Law necessitates that each of these slots will receive explicit attention.
(2) Initiation, proliferation, and compression compose a triad that instantiates a ‘Darwinian’ machine. Apply it to everything.
(3) Compile a list of everything that you are serious about doing. Economize by cycling it through the triad. Recognize, realistically, that anything which cannot be allotted a slot — i.e. a systematic call upon daily attention — will most probably not ever happen. If your work requires that you work on more than six projects at a time, which is to say some series of projects that cannot be bundled, culled, trimmed, and synthesized in rigorous conformity with The Iron Law of Six, then you are almost certainly attempting the impossible.
(4) Make a rhythm of innovation. To each thing you would have made real, a Time Shrine.
(5) Seximalize your life with extraordinary harshness (if you would achieve extraordinary things).
(6) Only then, when diplo-triadic order exercises sovereign authority over your every moment, confidently promote The Iron Law of Six.