...life can be translucent

Four things I learned about Yi last year

Last March I explained how I don’t know the first thing about Yi (namely, why these line-patterns mean these words).

I’m happy to report that I still don’t, and I’m still lit up with curiosity and fascination for this strange and beautiful old creature we call Yi – and I think there’s something to be said for this state of mind. There is so much to learn it’s ridiculous.

Here are some things about Yi I did learn – or fully appreciate – in 2015.

Trigrams really are pictures

If you start by seeing the yang lines as heaven-force and what acts and the yin ones as earth-space and what’s acted on, a lot becomes clear. I mentioned this in the video clip about xun in this post.

The Yi is literature (also, the Sequence is amazing)

That means it’s an exquisite creation as a whole, with internal structure and correspondences and unfolding themes. I’ve always known this, of course, but last year I kept being reminded of it. There was Gert Gritter’s beautifully elegant discovery about the Sequence, and I also re-read Scott Davis’ The Classic of Change in Cultural Context which is full  of fascinating Sequence insights. Another ‘discovery’: the Sequence is more amazing than I ever imagined. Here are some examples.

(If you’re a Change Circle member you might have seen my long article about every Sequence pattern I know of and how they might be used in readings.)

The ‘literary’ quality is there on a small scale, too. Here’s an example from last month, about ‘theme and variations’ patterns created from simple omen words.

These things have just been sitting there waiting for someone to notice them for a couple of thousand years. All we need is the curiosity to start looking, and they become visible. (That’s something I’ve (re-)learned: to see what’s there, look.)

There’s a reason why we ask Yi for predictions

That’s a weedy sort of subheading, but I can’t quite bring myself to write ‘there’s nothing wrong with asking for a prediction’ – there still is. But there are times when the question we’re truly asking is ‘What will happen?’ Here’s a post about that.

And when facing a decision, it’s best to start by simply asking for advice

– rather than getting too clever and doing loads of readings about options. Here’s a cautionary tale – and its moral:

“Moral (maybe if I repeat myself enough I’ll remember this for next time…): when asking Yi’s help with a decision, ask the simplest, most open question first. Something like, ‘What’s the best way to do this?’ is fine. Absorb this answer into your thinking; use it to think up options. Then, if you even need to, ask about those.”

Sorry, there is no prize for recognising why I chose the following image to illustrate this post.

stream under mountain

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