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IMHO I don't think it's unethical at all to ask such questions. Why should we not know? If we know we can behave in a correct manner. Besides, you're not casting a spell on someone to make them act against their will! And the Yi does answer such questions. Maybe the person you asked about is considering working on some problem there is between you. That's 18.
Best for your Quest
> Do you beleive it's possible, or even ethical, to ask Yi
> how someone else feels about us? I suppose this question
> comes back to another, which is: What is the Yi? Who/what is
> being asked a question?
> The other day I asked how seomone felt about me THAT DAY,
> and received 18 Unchanging. The nature of the question
> created some tangles in my interpretation: Is the Yi just
> speaking back to me, or was my question actually answered?
> How do others handle this?
The I Ching is like all other specialisations in that it is a filter and as such is a pool of meanings. As a WHOLE it is applicable to any moment, any question. You can access the pool of meanings proactively, through the use of generic questions about a situation, or reactively through the use of random access to the pool of meanings.
The pool of meanings are like colours and as such represent HARMONICS of the WHOLE, IOW PARTS. At ANY moment, and so for ANY question, all parts are applicable with certain parts more 'in tune' with the moment than others such that you can string the parts into a sequence of 'best fit' to 'worst fit' for any moment BUT since these are all parts so any of them will give meaning to a situation in that the WHOLE is applied in the derivation of meaning.
A reactive approach means that the hexagram derived may not be the 'best fit', it could even be the 'worst fit' BUT it will still generate meaning through the reflections upon what that hexagram represents. (The main thing here is you MUST have a question in that the I Ching overlays that question to derive meaning).
A proactive approach means you can get closer to the 'best fit' BUT to do that involves your active participation of your consciousness-nature in the derivation process but at a generic level (as in http://pages.prodigy.net/lofting/lofting/proact3.html ) such that there is a slight loss in 'objectivity' - that said you can always get someone else to share in the question answering ;-) Note that the questions in the above link are but a small representation of what is possible to ask, as long as the ordering and generic form is kept constant (as in we move from general to particular), also note that the format allows for working with changing trigrams to generate hexagrams.
Our consciousness-nature is parts-oriented, it communicates through linking parts (as in the spoken/written word), whereas our species-nature is WHOLES oriented, it communicates immediately, holistically, through the use of instincts/habits.
Our consciousness-nature is LOCAL in thought and so focuses on a particular, a hexagram (or more so a dodecagram (2^12 = 4096 possible fixed expressions) compacted into a hexagram with changing lines (4^6 = 64 hexagrams with changing lines)). The particular hexagram is treated as if a WHOLE rather than recognised as a PART of a whole. This can be 'confusing' at times if one is not aware of the differences between consciousness-nature and species-nature ;-)
In the 3000 years since the development of the original I Ching we have come some way in understanding our internal mental operations at a general level and so are in a position to map-out what is happening in the derivation of meaning from such specialisations as the I Ching (for the Science see the IDM material - http://pages.prodigy.net/lofting/idm001.html where the common themes in such specialisations as the I Ching, MBTI, and the types of numbers we use in Mathematics, are shown to be determined by the dynamics of our neurology)
Thus one is free to (a) approach the I Ching as a 10 century BC 'oracle' independent of the species/brain and as such reflecting some form of 'magic' or resonance with the 'spiritual' or (b) approach the I Ching from a 21st century AD perspective of the IC as a filtering system for deriving meaning where that system reflects the generic properties of our species-nature. (b) puts us in the position of learning the parts to 'refine' the whole, a process done through our use of the skills of our consciousness-nature in working on details.
Based upon the Science perspective (and one does need to understand the Science of one's Art as one needs to understand the Art of one's Science) we can assert that the I Ching is 'hard coded' into our species-nature, it is not something derived from the Chinese, it is something which developed out of the Chinese culture (and so a specialisation and so a unique language to describe reality through the specialist filter) that reflected in their map-making the generic properties of the species (and so a generalisation - the focus on 'objects and relationships' that all species-members use to derive meaning at an unconscious level that our consciousness then relabels to fit a specific context)
In summary, EVERY trigram or hexagram or dodecagram (depending on what scale you wish to use in analysis) is meaningful for ANY moment, ANY question. The distortion of the whole that is the I Ching by the local dynamics reflected in the question will ORDER trigrams or hexagrams or dodecagrams into a sequence of 8 or 64 or 4096 meanings sorted from 'best fit' to 'worst fit'.
The 'trick' is to find the 'best fit'. From there you can derive the probable order of hexagrams (if the 'best fit' is X then the 'worst fit' would be NOT-X (IOW its opposite)). With this information one can derive the sequence of hexagrams from best to worst and analyse 'details' if need be.
The random processes do not ensure regular 'best fit' (or close to) results as can the generically determined processes but the random processes can act as a source of introducing an aspect of a situation not considered in one's reflections upon a question - where our high precision focus in consciousness makes us miss the forest for a particular tree ;-)
Hex 18 is about Repair rather than Decay. It's actually a very positive Hexagram, but it will stay unchanging until the repair is undertaken. Below is my interpretation of Hex 18 - I hope it helps.
<FONT COLOR="0000ff">Key Characteristics: Challenge, Rejuvenation, Correction.
Overview: Another name for this hexagram is ?Decay?. I prefer the name ?Repair?. The name suggests a negative hexagram. This is not the case. It can be a very positive one, depending on how you respond to the advice given. It suggests that there is a defect caused, not by external circumstances, but by some failing within you. This suggests that your current situation has arisen because of your lack of effort in attending to details. If that is so, then you are in the ideal position to apply the necessary effort to correct the situation. It advises that you spend time considering the causes of the difficulties. Then, spend time changing the way you behave. Then, spend more time ensuring that your conduct does not slip back into old ways.
Outer World: The current difficult situation that you face in your dealings with the world is not caused by external factors. It is caused by a defect or defects in your own personality, which you can correct. You may be confused; you may be dishonest; you may be indecisive. It is of the utmost importance that you accept that you are the cause of your current difficulties. If you can accept that, then you will realise that because you are the cause of the decay, you can also be the cure.
Inner World: There are certain deficiencies and weaknesses in your character, which you are in an ideal position to correct. In fact, you are the only one who can do this. No one else can change you. In all areas, be gentle but firm with yourself. It will take time. You may fail in particular instances. Be self-forgiving and try again. You?ll get there. Discover what you truly believe in, and then live it, whatever the cost. Don?t blame anything or anyone for where you are today. If you accept total responsibility for where you are, you will discover that you are in the driving seat of your life. In fact, you always have been.
Relationships: In personal relationships, it is you who is at fault. Let others help you demolish the wall that you have been living behind. It may have protected you from pain; but it has also protected you from joy.
General: In order to gain the help of the Creative, be honest with yourself, but forgive yourself when you slip, as you will. Always remember, you aren?t perfect. If you were, you wouldn?t need to be here. Your greatest ally is your body. When you want to do something, feel what your body is telling you. Comfort - do it. Discomfort - don?t.</FONT>
> Chris, if I understand you correctly, you are saying that at
> any given time the Yi is giving us a slice of the picture of
> what is going on, so it's possible to access the slice that
> is about the other person? Does this put your view into
> laymans terms? If this is what you meant, I believe I am
> agreeing with you also!
The slice your consciousness 'sees' is the one set resonating by interaction, and that includes the imaginations possible given our consciousness. We each have an I Ching as a filter with which to interact with reality such that we have our personal level of consciousness-nature interacting with our more holistic species-nature and IT interects with the other person's I Ching etc etc. This dynamic can then be represented in the expression of a hexagram as the 'best fit' together with all the other hexagrams in a string format, 'ending' with the 'worst fit' hexagram for the situation.
> Now, what about this business of an unchanging 18. Does
> anyone have experience with this? I searched the site, and
> could only find 18 as a second hexagram to learn from, but
> no remarks about 18 unchanging.
The I Ching as we know it is made-up of 4096 parts (dodecagrams, 12-line symbols). These are *static* symbols and their relationship to a context is reflected in the WHOLE we call a hexagram - In other words the realm of expression is focused on including dynamics, the explicit expression of 'change' and as such is a realm one level 'up' from the realm of parts used in that expression.
There is a pattern here in that the relationship of hexagrams-with-changing-lines (64 of them) to dodecagrams (4096 of them) is the same as the relationship of T'ai chi to yin/yang, in other words the relationship of the whole (T'ai Chi) to its parts (yin/yang).
At ANY level of analysis, the method we use as a species ensures that the detail level is the parts level to the level above that is the wholes level. Thus 64 *static* hexagrams reflect the *parts* level of 8 *dynamic* trigrams, IOW trigrams with moving lines. We could, if we wished, introduce changing lines into the dodecagram level and so dodecagrams become wholes for 4096^2 forms (thats over 16 million, 4096 variations per dodecagram form). This level of analysis would give us finer and finer distinctions BUT we would also discover an interesting property of this methodology of continuously cutting, the number of 'stable' forms diminishes the more we cut.
Thus at the level of dodecagrams, these parts will reflect only 64 'static' hexagrams and as such stability is at 64 to 4096, or 1 in 64. If we zoom-in to the dodecagram levels we find only 4096 'static' forms in 16+ million - 4096 to 16+million is 1 in 4096. If we zoom-up to the trigram levels, there are only 8 'static' forms reflected in 64, 1 in 8 (the repeated trigram hexagrams), thus the more details we seek so the more unstable the unchanging, 1 in 8 moves to 1 in 64 that moves to 1 in 4096 that moves to 1 in 16+ million and so on, eventually you hit a continuum where no more differentation, and so no more cutting, is possible. (If you apply this analysis to your brain and its operating frequencies you would move from registering 1 to 2 to 5 to 10 to 20 to 40+Hz activity as you moved 'down' the brain from forebrain to spinal chord. Reality is at a different speed to us, to our consciousness, such that we use 'gears' to slow reality down to what our consciousness can deal with).
Thus the more we cut so the more 'change' is manifest where this expression stems from a basic property of complexity/chaos theory: the more cuts the more boundaries, the more boundaries the more dynamic the system becomes - you always find instability on border areas, move inland and you move to stability but cut too much and there is only borders, no 'inland' ;-)
From the level of hexagrams being treated as if WHOLES, so discovering an unchanging hexagram is rare - 1 in 64 - and this tendency of 'unchanging' hexagrams to be rare will attract attention (our pattern matching skills at work) such that the rarity is symbolised as going 'against' the flow of things and as such reflective of the state best described by hexagram 39.
Hexagram 39 is not just about the negative aspects of dealing with obsticles, but also the positive aspects in becoming an obsticle oneself where we fight against the 'mindless' flow of the universe to establish a root sense of identity. (hexagram 39 manifests a context of self-restraint (that when doubled reflects a discerning mind, quality control) - and so not 'moving with the [mindless] flow' - and out of this restraint develops a sense of control.)
These GENERIC properties of hexagram 39 can be applied to any considerations re issues of, the costs and benefits of, the unchanging in a universe of change (as can the more 'hidden' characteristics of hexagram 38 where we use reflection to 'hide behind' and so 'go against the flow').
From my "Hexagram Notes" page (still being fleshed-out - http://pages.prodigy.net/lofting/icpoints.html - it is one large page at the moment but give it some time to 'grow' ;-)) we have for hexagram 39 the current observations:
Trigrams : self-restraint (bottom), control (top) : with/from self-restraint comes control. [water over mountain]
In the binary sequence hexagram 39 pairs with hexagram 53.
This pair reflects an overall focus on maturing, be it standing one's ground against the 'mindless' flow of reality (hexagram 39) or in the form of a developing relationship that has taken many years (hexagram 53). Both acts require self-restraint as a core behaviour and so the focus on the 'aged' and the associated difficulties faced. Hexagram 39 has an edge of integrating, both in dealing with a forest of barriers that need to be bypassed, whereas hexagram 53 favours more a focus on differentiating, like the maturing of a fine wine.
In the binary sequence hexagram 39 opposes hexagram 38.
In this pairing we see that just as hexagram 39 can stand its ground against the flow, so hexagram 38 stands its ground through pretence, to appear to go with the flow by letting others see themselves in one, where one acts like a mirror and so oppositions can be delt-with. The reflective nature of the trigram of lake in hexagram 38 is complemented by the restraining nature of the trigram of mountain in hexagram 39.
Thus reviewing hexagram 18 from a 39 perspective, as an unchanging form, can mean an unchanging 18 is an expression of the determination in standing one's ground, in setting one's example of correcting corruption and to do that requires one to 'go against the flow', to be eternally vigilant and to maintain the integrity of 18 by avoiding change in 18.
On the other hand, the general tendency in people to prefer the ground state, to conserve energy rather than expend it, means that the unchanging form of a hexagram, as in an unchanging 18, can reflect an unchanging nature of 'error correction' such that it itself becomes corrupt, out springs neglect, in that we just 'go through the motions', nothing is really 'cleaned-up' and such the 'flow is blocked'.
> I'm lost. Why would I/should I view 18 through a 39
> perspective? And I'm sorry but I just don't follow what is
> your view of 18 unchanging? I think I am just not as
> academic in my understanding.
If you go back and read it all again you will eventually discover that my comments were about attitudes to ANY unchanging hexagram, not just 18. The 38/39 pair cover aspects of going against the flow of things. When working with changing line hexagrams there are 4096 possible expressions, only 64 of which are 'unchanging' and as such are open to interpretation as being 'against the flow'.
To fish-out the general properties of being 'against the flow', both con and pro, refer to hexagrams 38 and 39 where they focus on exactly that.
The *particular* aspects of 18 not changing, based on analysis of the general comments on any hexagram not changing (as sourced from 38 and 39), were given at the END of the email, here is a copy:
"Thus reviewing hexagram 18 from a 39 perspective, as an
unchanging form, can mean an unchanging 18 is an expression
of the determination in standing one's ground, in setting
one's example of correcting corruption and to do that
requires one to 'go against the flow', to be eternally
vigilant and to maintain the integrity of 18 by avoiding
change in 18.
On the other hand, the general tendency in people to prefer
the ground state, to conserve energy rather than expend it,
means that the unchanging form of a hexagram, as in an
unchanging 18, can reflect an unchanging nature of 'error
correction' such that it itself becomes corrupt, out springs
neglect, in that we just 'go through the motions', nothing
is really 'cleaned-up' and such the 'flow is blocked'."
When I say 'reviewing hexagram 18 from a 39 perspective' perhaps I could have worded it better as 'reviewing an unchanging hexagram 18 from a 'going against the flow' perspective etc etc
If my chunk sizes are too big at times I apologise - just my nature ;-) - so either (a) do as you did, ask for a 'please explain' or (b) read the email a couple times with a break in-between, our subconscious can do wonders in interpretations ! ;-)
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