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The Yi Jing is formed into two cannons. The upper and the lower.
Hx. 1- 30 suposedly dealing with more spiritual issues and the other being concerned with the affairs in the world so to speak (hexagrams 31 ? 64).
I generally just try to ?feel? for the application of the answer to my question ignoring this completely.
So if I get an answer to a query I try to feel whether it is giving an ?inner world /spiritual? response or whether is answering in a more practical vein.
I would love to know how others deal with the problem of how to find the level of the answer.
Hi Kevin, I think knowing the level of the answer is really crucial in understanding Yi's response. I think I used to confuse myself by asking a fairly mundane question and then interpreting the answer maybe too loftily - if you know what I mean. Now I think I recognise more when I get a literal practical answer.
For example, the other day after a job interview i asked Yi was i going to be offered the job - no hidden depths in the question - just "is it mine" I got 60 lines 3 and 5. I immediately understood line 3 as saying to me, 'you didn't follow the rules, so no, you won't'. As I had asked a basic and literal question I understood the answer on that level.
Now if you look at that line in say Carol Anthony she'd probably go on about 'the ego in relation to the sage'(or something similar - not got book to hand) All or most of her interpretations of the lines concern our relation to the 'Sage' or the 'Way' - which is fine but I think Yi can answer us on many different levels and to always interpret the answer in terms of spiritual development is as limiting as to always interpret on a literal level.
In the example I gave, I interpreted the rules not being adhered to as those of the company i applied to - not any universal rules.
Of course there are times we might ask a basic question and the Yi directs us to something more
than we asked, and I think we usually know when that happens intuitively - or we just don't understand it (and post here for help).
Thats what is so great about Yi. I think you actually can ask pretty mundane questions and get straight answers. Once i asked if it was worth going to a particular shop - I got 'there is no game in the field' - turned out the shop was closed for a while. Or you can ask much deeper questions and get very profound answers.
I guess I think of it like having a conversation with someone. People normally respond in their answer to the level of the question. If I ask you a practical question, 'do you know of a good plumber' you'd be engaged with my plumbing needs rather than my recalcitrant ego and spiritual development.
But I think its a really important point you've raised. I personally often feel most interpretations spiritualise too much - they should just leave it out and let the image speak for itself as the image can be understood on myriad levels - thats why images are used, not words. (well i know they are in words, but the words make a picture to be understood many ways)
Oops that was nearly a rant - anyway in answer to your question I think I go by the level of the question I asked, and like you, gut feeling. I never knew the first 30 hexs were related more to spiritual issues though ?
Damn good question! I am a baby here, and knowing this I am sure I many times have much too rigid an interpreation of my divinations. What I try to do is be as specific as possible in my question and try to limit as much as possible what I am trying to ask. If I am seeing advice on a more spiritual vein, I will phrase my question as such to the greatest possible extent. Then, I will try to view the divination in light of the question as much as possible. The problem is, I do believe that yi will respond however it damn well wishes to, and if I am interpreting a divination in the rigid box of how I think it should be viewed in relation to the question, and the yi is speaking on an entirely different level, well then I just entirely missed the point!!! I dunno, I just try to trust that in time and with more practice I can get more tuned into these kinds of things. I do keep a jouranl and reflect on it now and then, which helps to see bigger patterns that one is able to when focusing just on one single divination alone. Peace - Brian
Do I know that problem!!!
When I write a commentary to a line, I try to find first the deepest level, and then I have to write it down in such a way that it is practical and at the same time the depth does not get lost.
I love to do it, it is like a meditation and very mentally rewarding. But sometimes it makes me a bit desperate. The sentences become common, and nothing else is in there anymore. Or they are so deep that I hardly understand it myself anymore. Which is always a sign that I am talking nonsense and have to stop for the time being.
I never noticed anything about the two parts being of a different spiritual level. But on the website of Danny van den Berghe is a very convincing ?sequence of the hexagrams? which looks like you are right. www.ping.be/icrea/
I think you've caught the balance really well LiSe, I think you succeeded in allowing through multi level meaning in your interpretations - which must have been veerrry hard.
Its almost like you wrote it without imposing yourself upon it, so the real stuff/essence of the images shines through. We all know Yi better through you
I agree with Brian; damned good question.
Near the end of a Ching class I was giving last Saturday, I did three readings/interpretations for students. One gentleman had asked what to do about his obsessive compulsion to gather all kinds of useless junk. His wife just sat there nodding with a pleaful expression. He drew 22. I used Wilhelm as the initial reference. When we got to line 4, there was a hushed melodic laughter from the crowd at the appropriate relevance of the words, and of the irony involved that the answer he was receiving was indeed the white horse referred to in the change line. This then led us to the very topic you've raised here. Is it deep and profound, or simple and practical?
Awhile back here I tried unsuccessfully to express the idea that the more frequently we inquire of Yi, the smaller the circle gets. The thought is still perfectly clear in my own mind. I?ve just not found a way to make it cogent in words, but it completely relates to your question. Its much like dissecting something. We remove the frog?s leg to examine it closer. Then the foot. Then the toes. (do frogs have toes?) Each time, the smaller part is brought to full-screen in perceived relevance. We wind up reading so into the smallest detail of the smallest part that we completely lose sight of the whole frog.
I think you?d agree that each smallest part contains the same Tao as the whole. Hamlet spoke to only a skull ? but also to the entire spirit of man.
Take care. Nice hearing from you.
Thanks all? that helps? seems I am not alone
I believe the Wings are also divided in a similar way? which might be why the large and small images are put together but the two wings that contain them are split 1-30 and 31 ? 64.
Alfred Huang splits his Yijing so and gives the reason which I quoted from him? he says?
?The Upper Cannon contains thirty gua [1-30]? The cannon begins with the interplay of heaven and earth; ends with the ceaseless cycle of darkness to brightness, as in sunset to sunrise; and sheds light on the yang aspect of natural phenomena, the Tao of Heaven?
?The Lower Cannon contains thirty-four gua [31 ? 64]? (which) represent the endless cycle of human affairs from Already Fulfilled to Not Yet Fulfilled. This Cannon sheds light upon the yin aspect of natural phenomena, the Dao of humanity.?
Maybe I am missing something here as I see things of heaven and of earth in both parts as well as in the way a reading is viewed in the light of a question.
Louise: Thanks - Those two moving lines together make the reading a little difficult... However the resultant Hx.11 seems to put a very positive light on it all? were you just getting a wrap on the knuckles along the way? ;)
Candid: What an excellent example? I suppose it is both deep and practical on occasion? I?m not very good at getting the practical out of my readings at times? Wonderful to know you are teaching the Yijing? Now, I wonder which London Bus goes to Arizona?
Bfireman? Yup Journals are excellent things? Sometimes I make a decision (as part of the question) as to which Ying I will read first or about the way I might perceive the answer? I find this helps. about being a beginner? I?ve been a beginner for 25 years?
Heylise? Yup I know the bit where I get so deep it all melds and there is nothing of sense left? I can talk rubbish long before that though (giggles) I like the idea of doing a double commentary on each line? I will try that? thanks.
PO BOX 255,
+44 (0)20 3287 3053 (UK)
+1 (561) 459-4758 (US).