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14.1...negative or not?

clarissa

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I've read through all the threads dealing with this line...and I'm still wondering...

14.1 means the beginning of great possession. If this is the case, how can this be a warning to stay away from something as I see some have suggested. It seems to be rather...a very delicate position...where things can go easily wrong etc. However, does that mean that we shouldn't pursue it? Both Bradford and Wilhelm seem to be saying...yes, it's OK...but be careful because you could easily screw up.

Also, the relating hexagram is 50...which is all about (as I understand it)...spiritual transformation. 50.1 seems to be about getting the bad stuff out so that the good stuff can go in, no? If so...then isn't 14.1 perhaps about being careful what goes into the pot? In other words..by all means...put something in...but make sure it's something good. Do it right from the beginning, be careful...and all will be well.

Thoughts?

I'm asking because I've seen a few people here suggest that 14.1 means to stay away from something...and if you're at the beginning of great possession..why would you want to do that?
 

bradford_h

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14.1 isn't so much negative as about negativity itself.

Having no commerce with trouble.
To never be wrong
Is a hardship, but otherwise not a mistake.

It's a good line for the phrase "get a life (of your own)"

Wealth is in your attitude, especially in a constructive attitude. If you resist everything that's imperfect, much will pass you by, and much will remain uncorrected.

Your last line shows a good understanding of this "- why would you want to do that?"
 

clarissa

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I just found this from Hilary. This is what I'm thinking:

"I think this is the beginning of great possession, and great possession is a synergistic creation. Whatever you join with and put into the Vessel here will be part of the transformations to come and will be multiplied exponentially. Keep the harmful things out of the pot, though, and nothing can go wrong. So the hardship and challenges that follow are not a mistake, either."

So, this isn't something to be avoided. I think it's about going forward with caution...and CARE.
 

clarissa

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Bradford,

Thank you for your comments. Yeah, I just didn't understand why this line would be a recommendation NOT to do something. In other words, to stay away from trouble by *refraining* from doing something. I don't see that at all here. I see...do/go ahead/etc...but with caution and care...because that's always important at the beginning. Am I on target?
happy.gif
 

bradford_h

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Hi again.
I think it's saying: If you're too much of a perfectionist, or too picky or too critical you get really diminished returns. Sort of like the person who worries himself sick about the healthfulness of his food. These diminishing returns, an economics concept, actually subtract from great wealth. I think this line suggests finding a happier medium. Something that doesn't involve "screwing up your eyes at every evil you can find".
And I think this is a case where the Wing commentary gets it spot on - "The big domain of first nine is a lack of commerce with trouble". Big whee! How ya gonna spend that?
So, technically, you make fewer mistakes, except the big one of letting the world pass you by, or tossing out babies with the bathwater (see the Fan Yao, 50.1), dumping it all if there's any imperfection.
Of course we don't want to compromise important ethical principles. It's just that the one who is too inflexible winds up compromising himself for the sake of principles which are supposed to serve life.
 
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bruce

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Never looked at line 1 that way before, Brad. Never saw that the 'no faults' or 'no association with what is harmful' followed by being aware of the difficulty of association with what is harmful, and still proceeding to associate: one remains (still) without blame.

The net gain will surely not increase if one does nothing with what they've got.
 
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micheline

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to me, 14.1 has always represented the honeymoon phase of any worthwhile endeavour.

There is a time at the beginning of many ventures when everything is rosy and untouched by the problems/situations which inevitably may come, no doubt will come.
BUt a honeymoon is to be enjoyed..you dont waste it worrying about what may be cookin' down the road.
 
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bruce

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Hi Brad,

Quick question on 14.1 (been thinkin? on it). Could you see this as practice for potential but as yet undeveloped talent?
 

bradford_h

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Hi Bruce
Not sure where you're going with this.
Could you elaborate or be more specific?
 
B

bruce

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Sure.

At the beginning of a great possession it is always risky to venture out. I?m equating this to someone learning to play an instrument. (or learning to dance, or fly a plane, or whatever that requires talent) Hence the idea of practice. It?ll probably sound bad to go for that high note the first time you try, but there?s no blame, and likely even some gain.
 

bradford_h

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Venturing out is a good way to put it for this Gua.
Big discouragements would want avoidiing or you'd just want to dump it all and start over (Fan Yao 50.1). Consistent with the text you'd want to wait before forming any fixed rules and principles. Give realism a chance, yet be a little kinder than reality on yourself.
Great possession is as much about owning your own power to give and take value as it is about any sort of objective value learned from outside you, so you learn about your own levels of interest and appreciation as driving forces in learning your talent, and also about what distractions you can discount.
 
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bruce

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?Great possession is as much about owning your own power to give and take value as it is about any sort of objective value learned from outside you?

This reminds me of 16.3, and I can see how it applies here in 14, as well.

A little funky side note: This afternoon I?m going in to record a solo I recorded previously from home. The old recording had some magic (mojo) that I?m concerned I won?t be able to duplicate. There?s licks there that I know for a ?fact? I don?t know how to consciously play. I was torn whether to try and learn the solo note for note, or just let it fly and see what happens. I asked about it a few days ago, as it?s oddly important to me to have this recording come out great. I got 27.6-24. Stay open to receive, stay close to my core, but also nourish myself with practice. Later I asked for more input and received 14.4,5,6-5. Then a day later on the matter 50.1,4,5,6-5, and this morning 16.3-62. (I said it was important to me! lol)

The messages all have a consistent theme of being open to inspiration, but also taking responsibly, and that required conscious effort ? practice. See where I?m coming from now?
biggrin.gif
 

clarissa

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Bradford, if you don't mind...I'd like to ask you about 45.6. Do you agree with Wilhelm that this is about sadness due to being misunderstood? You commentary seems to suggest this as well....but not as directly. What IS this line about?
 

luz

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Bruce,

I hope you practiced enough!!!!
Good Luck!!!
happy.gif
 
B

bruce

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Thanks, Angel. I did learn to play a couple things consciously that I played by accident last time. lol ..that sounds really strange. But I didn?t drill myself to learn it note for note, either, cuz then there?d be no mojo. It don?t mean a thing if it ain?t got that swing ? doo wah doo wah doo wah!

Off to Never Land to see what happens...
 

luz

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Well, let us know how it went!

Hope you still had your mojo... lol
 

bradford_h

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Hi Clarissa-
I see 45.6 as trying to find secure emotional states in a world that's changing constantly (Fan Yao 12.6). If we're going to be emotionally involved with the world then we're just on a roller coaster if we count on the world being predictable or on the responses to our actions that we expect, or even on things being stable in one direction of change. Things like gratitude and plucky realism and wonder at the changes and appreciation of diversity are ways around this. We can only be secure if change and surprise do not upset us. It's that or be upset half the time.
 
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ewald

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've been pondering an alternative translation of the Chinese of 14.1:
<blockquote>Not associating with violent bandits is wrong.
Hardships lead to being without fault.</blockquote>
This would mean that avoiding dangerous people is throwing away a chance to hone one's character. For perfection one needs to go through hardships and difficulty.

Ewald
 

hilary

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Huh? Oh, I see - reading fei as 'bandits' instead of 'absolutely not', and repunctuating?

Looking forward to comment from Brad...
 
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bruce

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I?m beginning to wonder if translation isn?t as nebulous as interpretation.
 

lightofdarkness

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14 Line 1
"Devoid of the ability to properly communicate is a hindrance but not harmful. It just makes work that much harder. No blame."

The bottom line emphasises a 'beginning' or a 'coming to something', return, etc and covers an inability to communicate whilst under the 'influence' of 14 in general.

IOW the perseverence of heaven (bottom trigram) is encouraging one to go on regardless of any personal 'hinderances'.

Thus the overall 'vibe' of perseverence and eliciting a sense of direction covered in 14, setting down the way things will be (and so profit from that action) is not threatened by an inability to communicate properly - things will just take longer, showing the power of 14-ness in that it can deal with hurdles.

That said, since 32 describes the skeletal form of 14, and so sets-down a basic infrastructure associated with commitment etc - what does 32.1 say?

32 Line 1
"Deep Duration. Testing . Danger. No direction advantageous. [At this time a deep commitment can be dangerous. Non-involvement in any direction is advised.]"

Implicit in this is that the skeletal form of 14.1 covers issues where something 'demanding' needs to be avoided at the moment, one is too 'green' if you like or in some way 'hindered' - e.g. not being able to communicate properly - essential for some form of *deep* commitement - IOW we can still develop even if suffering some hinderance but lets not get too carried away to begin with. (and so the 'warning' vibe in 14.1)

Since these form a pair, we can read this in reverse where 14.1 is a source of analogy to describe, in vague, under-exaggerated terms, the skeletal form of 32.1

Chris.
 
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ewald

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Or perhaps "violence and badness" or "hurtfulness and badness" instead of "violent bandits."

This line (14.1) apparently can be translated with a moralistic streak ("Don't even associate with harmfulness!") or without ("No need to avoid badness at all cost, it can make you grow").

Whenever I notice moralistic aspects in a translation, I start to look for alternative ways of translating. I think that insight in the flow of the Dao, while perhaps only intuited (didn't Daoism come later?) by the people who set up the first version of the oracle, must have been the basis of it all. A moralistic attitude stops the flow (52.3), so I'm not so sure that moralism was a significant aspect of the original Zhouyi.

I tend to think moralistic interpretations where added by Confucianism, and later accepted by Wilhelm (and particularly Balkin). But they go against the grain.

Ewald
 

lightofdarkness

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If you extract the pair of 14 and 08, their common ground is a core that is passive in 08 (attracting) but active in 14 (determining).

From the trigram perspectives 08 reflects through devotion to another/others (earth) comes control (water, top). - devotion to the 'ruler' gives control to the ruler.

In 14 we have through devotion to self (heaven) comes the setting of direction, the assertion of an ideology, a 'way' that can generate profit etc.
Thus the positive element in 14.1 as well as a negative element.

The guidance factor in 08 is passive, in 14 it is active. In 08 line 1 reads:

08 - Line 1
"To be capable of unity requires sincerity. This may be all one has at the start."

BOTH 08.1 and 14.1 emphasise some 'hinderance', some difficulty at the beginning (hinderance being an aspect of the line position controller - hex 24 - where in return we experience distractions that take us away from the path and we have to keep coming back)
 

hilary

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I'm not sure the traditional view of 14.1 is really all that 'moralistic'. If you tip rancid flour into your mixing bowl to start with, no amount of industry and skill is going to produce a good cake. Not 'moral', just practical.
 
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ewald

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But isn't hai about all kinds of things that are negative, and subject to moralism?

5045.gif

injure, harm, hurt, damage, destroy, kill, violate, detriment
 

lightofdarkness

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I think 14.1 emphasises the point that despite hinderances you CAN make a good cake. It is not the materials that have 'problems', it is the cook; there is some personal issue that acts to hinder the expression of 14-ness (where 'you' are the centre of things actively) BUT despite that hinderance things will work out - it will just take time; and so "no blame".

Same issue for 08.1 where all one has is sincerity and so one exploits what one has.

In 14, being a poor communicator but practicing 14-ness will 'refine' those communication skills.

The 08/14 pair (binary sequence opposites) focus on characteristics of line position 5 and so cover issues of governence - direction setting, controlling etc.

An active line 5 reflects the attraction of people to the court. A passive line 5, and so all else active, sets a core centre that directs and so is explicit in expression, setting down the way things will be etc.

ROTATE the hexagrams and we move into the quartet of 07,08,13,14 - derive their skeletal forms gives us the quartet of 41,42,31,32 and so we move into a dynamic of an octet with pairs of 07/41, 08/42, 13/31, 14/32 as well as 07/13, 08/14, 41/42, 31/32 ....
 

lightofdarkness

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injure - a hinderance
damage - a hinderence
hurt - a hiderance

IOW the GENERAL 'vibe' is of hiderance of some form to the one 'emmersed' in 14-ness. (kill etc would be examples of an extreme 'hinderance' ;-))

One can usually get over/around/under a hinderance OR one can be a hinderance (as we see in 39) - IOW i can be harmed OR do harm - CONTEXT decides. The context here is 14 and so one being the centre, the active determinor of 'what will be' - as compared to the passive form in 08.

Chris.
 

hilary

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How do you mean? How is 'don't mix with what can hurt you' moral advice at all?
 
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ewald

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I guess you could read that first sentence without projecting morality in it, but it does have a ring to it of "stay away from bad friends" (in my ears, at least ;-).

However Wilhelm/Baynes has "There is no blame in this," which clearly sounds like a moral judgment to me, and so does Bradford's translation "To never be wrong" (to a somewhat lesser extent, though).
 
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bruce

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Ewald, just for what it's worth, Brad and I had a little go-round on the whole morality issue. Like yourself, I'm resistant to being told what is good or bad, right or wrong. Brad pointed out the difference between morality and ethics, and I've since been able to distinguish the difference.
 

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