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23 - Joint effort.

larsbo_c

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You may have discussed hexagram 23 many times before.
But for me hexagram 23 is still the most difficult of all to translate, except for lines 5 and 6 which are actually very easy.
Maybe a common effort can crack the nut?

剝 Karlgren's dictionary 1228a: cut, flay, peel, to pluck, lay bare, to ruin, break.
The main problem is bo 剝. It seems the most original or central meaning is a bit obscure to us.
Bradford and several others suggests it means decomposing or decay which I agree to. The right part of the character is a knife radical. However, the meaning is surely not to cut but to whittle (cut thin layers off) just like decaying rotten wood peels off. Maybe the common basic meaning of this character could be something that comes off in thin layers. The glosses in Karlgren nearly all suggests that small bits come off until ruined or layed bare.

In this thorough article Harmen Mesker has effectively shown that there is nothing useful to find in the other editions. He also points out, that he doesn't see a context.
You will also find some very good ideas in Bradford Hatcher's translation.
and Lise Heyboer's translation.

I put characters and glosses at this link.
I myself suggests the context of 23 could be the common theme "to care for" or "take care of" i.e. when something is week or decaying you need to help or remedy in different ways before it breaks down or other things get affected.
I also propose that a context could be found in seeing a common developing thread of six increasing levels up through the lines; starting basic and ending extreme. Fifth line full and positive.

My translation of

Line 5: 六五 貫魚以宮人寵無不利
[If] a string of fish is given as a favor to the people of the palace, [then] none [of them] will not be of help [to you].

Line 6: 上九 碩果不食君子得輿小人剝廬
A large fruit not eaten. The wise person acquires a carriage, the small man’s house falls apart.

The fifth line is about taking care of people in a lower position (weaker). You may get loyal allies in return.
The sixth line is about making use of a large nice fruit before it decays. And the last part describes what happens if things are allowed to decay.

I believe it is fairly easy to establish the glosses of the title line and lines 1-4. But as we agreed in the IMHO thread academic reading skills and good dictionaries can't stand alone in order to understand such an ancient text where the number of comparable texts are very limited.

If you would like to contribute to solve the problems of these five lines you can post these lines from your favourite translation or give us you own ideas, conception or divination experiences of this hexagram, maybe a common effort can crack the nut.

Please just lay forward what you yourself feel is right. I suggest we don't comment too strongly on other members' posts. I think more ideas will come to light that way.

There will surely be more than one conclusion among us. If it works out I will put my own conclusion here.
 
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H

hmesker

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In this thorough article Harmen Mesker has effectively shown that there is nothing useful to find in the other editions.
That is funny. I thought I showed the opposite.

He also points out, that he doesn't see a context.
I didn't "point that out". All I said was, "The contexts for which these line texts are meant are not explicitly indicated". But implicitly they are, which is what I worked out in my conclusion. You obviously don't agree with that conclusion and choose to ignore it altogether. Which is a good example of the "if you don't like it you pretend it isn't there" politics that seems to prevail in the new age corner of the Yi world. You have decided (not discovered, only decided) that the variant texts are not useful in the study of the Yi, therefore everything that might prove otherwise can only be ignored. But numerous examples exist which show that the variant texts can be useful. But that is not what you want, because your ideas about the Yi are already fixed, aren't they? You have a problem with lines 5 & 6 of H23, I offer a possible solution but you don't like it, so you just say that the variant texts aren't useful. You could also mention why you choose to ignore it, and why you don't agree with my findings. That would be more interesting and fit your scholarship.
 

rosada

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Is it possible to consider an idea without activating it? It seems just in trying to discuss 23. Splitting Apart, we are experiencing the essential isolationist nature of the hexagram - which makes it very difficult unless people are particularly mindful of the potential for misunderstanding.

I see 23 as marking the limits of individual consciousness. Further understanding requires co-ordinating with group consciousness. Therefore receiving this hexagram indicates the need to review the troops, unravel glitches, bring everyone up to speed and create an atmosphere conducive to harmony and sharing before it will be possible to experience greater awareness.

I see hexagrams 1 - 16 as defining one day or one lifetime, 17 -18 time between lives or just a good night's sleep, 19 - 22 a repeat, a chance to experience the same situations only this time with the benefit of past experience.
23. the awareness that even though one may continually review and repeat, we are not making any improvement.
24. Noting there will only be more problems of a similar nature ahead, there comes the time to pull back, simplify, get one's bearings, be on solid ground.
25. Fresh start.
26. Now this time, instead of blindly doing what ever one's animal instincts suggest, the intention is to study and learn from the experiences of others. No need to reinvent the wheel.
27. Awareness comes of what is nourishing and what is drivel.
28. At this point nothing more can be learned without further experience.
29. Taking what one has learned - the value of sharing - and going out into the world.
30. Connecting with those one can share with.
31. Being receptive.
32. Without losing sense of self.
33. Letting many things pass before..
34. Presenting one's own ideas.
35. Then the ideas are well received.
36. But no need to hog the light.
37. Everyone in the family needs to be heard.
..and so forth.
rosada.
 

ginnie

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Very interesting, Rosada.

I just the other day had a hex 23 experience that was interesting and corroborates exactly what you said, above. I may write it up and put it on this thread or somewhere else; I don't know. I always thought hex 23 meant the end, the collapse, until I had this particular experience. :)
 

ginnie

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mindful of the potential for misunderstanding.

I see 23 as marking the limits of individual consciousness. Further understanding requires co-ordinating with group consciousness. Therefore receiving this hexagram indicates the need to review the troops, unravel glitches, bring everyone up to speed and create an atmosphere conducive to harmony and sharing before it will be possible to experience greater awareness.

rosada.

What Rosada wrote corresponds with my experience of getting H23 as the relating hex exactly.

I wanted to return something for refund that was valued at approx. $600.

I asked Yi if I should send it by FedEx. I got 37.1.3.5 > 23. I thought the H23 meant my package might get lost. I did not send the package that day.

I called the company and spoke to the woman in charge. She said to send it through the post office with no signature required. I asked Yi if I should send it through the ordinary postal service, but I got H29 unchanging, so I decided not to send it that way.

Since the people at UPS wanted $44 to send my package, I took the package over to FedEx and checked the box on the form saying "No signature required," since the woman had wanted that.

Walking away from the FedEx store, I noticed on the paper that the clerk had changed my instruction to "Direct Signature Required," which meant anybody could sign, which is not the same thing.

Going back to the store, I asked the clerk why she had changed my instruction. She said that they cannot leave a package valued at over $500 outside on somebody's doorstep. I began to wonder (and worry) about why the other woman had made this "no signature" request in the first place.

I faxed the woman at the company the day before the expected delivery and apologized to her for the glitch.

The morning the package was to be delivered, I called the company and the woman was there. I told her that my item was already on a truck and it would be delivered to her later that day, and I was glad she was there. Then she said she'd put a note downstairs on the door for the FexEx man, because they were upstairs and sometimes they couldn't hear the doorbell.

They cannot hear the downstairs doorbell when they're upstairs. I could never have known that, and if I had not pursued this like a fiend, the FedEx man could have rung and rung and they wouldn't have heard the bell.

Going back to H37.1.3.5 > 23: First of all the Hex 37 refers to FedEx. I didn't realize at first what group or family it was referring to.

Line 1 means they have a whole set of rules and regs.
Line 3 means they enforce them strictly, which is a good thing, better than if they were lax.
Line 5 > 22 was what gave me confidence that if I wrote letters and faxes and made telephone calls that I'd get my refund, despite that H23.

I think this examples corroborates what Rosada wrote exactly.
 
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rosada

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Fabulous Ginnie! What you wrote has made my day and given my life meaning!
We are sitting here in a motel in the middle of the desert because the person who was supposed to FEDEX the car part didn't check " airmail overnight delivery" and sent it by truck instead. By the time we recognized there had been a mix up we had already lost a day.
You were so smart to consult and follow the advice of Master Yi!
Rosada

p.s. Very interesting the I Ching chose "Family" to designate the FedEx folks. Guess that means theirs no point in blaming anyone person here, we're all family...
 
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ginnie

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You're welcome, Rosada. Regarding your glitch: Everything happens for a reason (they say) . . . :bows:;):bows:
 

ginnie

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Very interesting the I Ching chose "Family" to designate the FedEx folks.

When I first got this response from the Yi, I was running various possibilities through my mind and never once did it occur to me that the H37 was referring to the FedEx company. Now I'll know for the future that it can also mean a company, group, or organization.

If we name a person or a company or any entity in our question, then the main hexagram often is directly connected to that named entity. This only became clearer to me just recently.

And your post about H23 is just mind-blowing, Rosada. Knowing that as one individual we don't have a leg to stand on, as the expression goes, we reach out to others with goodwill and every expectation that things will work out well for us. We communicate. We state our case. We give people the benefit of the doubt and say directly what we need. Lo and behold, the result is that we survive the undermining forces said to be present in a H23 situation. :)
 

rosada

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Yes to things happening for a reason, even if the reason is just so I learn one line of the I Ching - which I guess is no small achievement.

Another "reason":
By being "stuck" here we have avoided a major freeway traffic jam in Santa Barbara (our intended destination) and a power outage in Santa Cruz (our alternative). So learning "Whatever is, is best..."
:cool:

BTW, I like your technique of checking out 37.5 > 22.
r.
 
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larsbo_c

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Complete translation

Hexagram 23

Title line: 剝不利有攸往
[When something is] decaying there will be nothing useful in having a goal [with it].

1. 初六 剝床以足蔑貞凶
Decay in the bed causing the feet [of the bed to rot] away. [We must] correct [what is] bad.

2. 六二 剝床以辨蔑貞凶
Decay in the bed causing the frame [of the bed to rot] away. [We must] correct [what is] bad.

3. 六三 剝之無咎
To let it decay is not a mistake.

4. 六四 剝床以膚凶
Decay in the [entire] bed causing damage to the skin [of the person lying in it].

5. 六五 貫魚以宮人寵無不利
[If] a string of fish is given as a favor to the people of the palace, [then] none [of them] will not be of help [to you].

6. 上九 碩果不食君子得輿小人剝廬
A large fruit not eaten. The wise person acquires a carriage, the small man’s house falls apart.


Progressing context:
The overall context of hexagram 23 that I propose is to take care of weak things so they can still be useful.
This can apply to all but line 3 where the decay is too serious and we must let things go their way.

Line 1
Describes light decay.

Line 2
Describes worse decay.

Line 3
Describes too advanced deterioration, we must let it decay, all things have their time.

Line 4
If we keep letting things decay around us without action it will eventually affect us in a bad way, in this case rot reaching the body.

Line 5
It pays back to be ahead of things, i.e. to care for things before a bad situation arises.

Line 6
Two clear images of what happens if we care or we don’t.

There are plenty of examples for this use of yi 以 in Pulleyblank’s grammar.
Mie 蔑 as "away" is obviously well placed here if you compare the glosses and the context.
Ban 辨 is not found anywhere as a gloss related to parts of a bed, but technical terms like this are rarely found in dictionaries because the comparable text material of this period is too limited. There is of course not much writing about bed parts on bronzes and bones. Ban 辨 means two sides, I think it is highly probable that it refers to the frame of a wooden bed.

:) Please refer to the pdf file for further explanation :)
 
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fkegan

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Hi Larsbo,

Gia-fu Feng's Taoist translation of this hexagram is on my website page noted in my signature.

Personally, I have found the line structure of the hexagram gives a context that illuminates all the translation details.

Hex 23 has only the one Yang line in the 6th place, so it symbolizes the situation where all that is focused upon is the transition to the next. The knife is being used to separate the useful parts of the raw produce. The import of the hexagram is about producing that useful product and discarding (or cutting away) the rest you won't need anymore.

As hexagram numbered 23 it represents the active expression of this set of 10 beginning with hex 21 which is all about justice or how Divine principles are manifest in human life. In this case, hex 23 is using tools to make things not as they happen to be in nature, but as you want them to be and thus making the Next situation better.

Taking this context may help to illustrate what connotations and implications of the Chinese words work best to express the meaning of this hexagram. Overall:
When something in its natural state is rotting, it can not be left as it is. You have to cut out the still useful parts and get rid of the rotten.

Each of the individual lines has a different import, since that symbolize how this
overall situation is changing as that line changes. Each of the lines other than 5 and 6 changes by bringing into focus something that interferes with the clear transition to the next. Five at least brings support in that transition and Six actually accomplishes it.

Frank
 

charly

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About H.23 I always subscribed LiSe «Stripping», now I see that Schuessler gives for BO / BAO: to peel / to skin / to pluck / to undress, Sears : to strip / to skin / to make bare / to peel / to shell [peas].

Maybe «TO PEEL» is also a good alternative.

This hexagram is full of sexual connotations. I have a greek connection:

Aesop's Fables
The Man and His Two Wives

In the old days, when men were allowed to have many wives, a middle-aged Man had one wife that was old and one that was young; each loved him very much, and desired to see him like herself.

Now the Man's hair was turning grey, which the young Wife did not like, as it made him look too old for her husband. So every night she used to comb his hair and pick out the white ones.

But the elder Wife saw her husband growing grey with great pleasure, for she did not like to be mistaken for his mother. So every morning she used to arrange his hair and pick out as many of the black ones as she could.

The consequence was the Man soon found himself entirely bald.

Yield to all and you will soon have nothing to yield.

From: http://www.pagebypagebooks.com/Aesop/Aesops_Fables/The_Man_and_His_Two_Wives_p1.html

Charly
 

larsbo_c

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Line characteristics

Hi Larsbo,
Personally, I have found the line structure of the hexagram gives a context that illuminates all the translation details.

Bradford Hatcher’s chapter on Yao Wei, line characteristics, is highly interesting, I agree with this view of the lines. A few examples here for the body:
Line 6: Head, Ears, Crown, Topknot, Tongue, Horns
Line 5: Shoulders, Neck, Arms, Jaws
Line 4: Trunk, Torso, Heart, Belly, Abdomen
Line 3: Thighs, Hips, Loins, Waist
Line 2: Calves, Legs, Knees
Line 1: Feet, Toes
The ideas on page 27 are good examples but they should not only be applied as interesting statistic occurrences of characters like zu 足 or zhi 之 because this can be done without an actual obvious and logic context. They should in my opinion be used to judge translations. The old bibles were in Latin because it secured a monopoly for the priests, not because it was necessary. The bible was meant to be read by anyone, and now the academic bible translations reveal the stories in a very simple and logical way. Likewise I believe a translation of the Zhou Yi should make sense to the average reader before we accept it. In my opinion the line characteristics should be the first test a translation of any hexagram should pass.

Try to find both the progressing qualities and context that makes sense to you in these further examples of translations of the original core part of hexagram 23:

Bradford Hatcher:
0. Decomposing. Not worthwhile to have somewhere to go.
1. Depriving the bed of its legs. To dismiss (such) persistence is unfortunate.
2. Depriving the bed of distinction. To dismiss (such) persistence is unfortunate.
3. Curtailing itself is not a mistake.
4. Stripping the bed for its flesh. Ominous.
5. A stringline of fishes. By way of the palace inhabitants’ sponsorship. Nothing cannot be turned to advantage.
6. The ripest fruit is not eaten. The noble young one gains ground. As the common people tear down their own shacks.

Shaughnessy (Mawangdui edition)
Flaying
0. Flaying: Not beneficial to have someplace to go.
1. Flaying the good together with the legs; determination about the military is inauspicious.
2. Flaying the good together with the dividers; determination about the military is inauspicious.
3. Flaying; there is no trouble.
4. Flaying the good together with the skin; inauspicious.
5. Strung fish; eating the palace men's steamer; there is nothing not beneficial.
6. The stone fruit is not eaten: The gentleman obtains a chariot, the little man flays a gourd.

Richard Kunst
0 Flay. Not favorable for having somewhere to go.
1 Flay a ewe starting with the legs. Ominous in an exorcism determination.
2 Flay a ewe starting with the knees. Ominous in an exorcism determination.
3 Flay it. No misfortune.
4 Flay a ewe starting with the skin (of the upper body).
5 The strung together fish are eaten. The palace people (harem) will be favored. There is nothing for which this is not favorable.
6 The large fruits are not eaten. A noble gets a carriage. A small man tears down a hut.

Wilhelm
0. Splitting apart. It does not further one to go anywhere.
1. The leg of the bed is split.
2. Those who persevere are destroyed. Misfortune.
The bed is split at the edge. Those who persevere are destroyed. Misfortune.
3. He splits with them. No blame.
4. The bed is split up to the skin. Misfortune.
5. A shoal of fishes. Favor comes through the court ladies. Everything acts to further.
6. There is a large fruit still uneaten. The superior man receives a carriage. The house of the inferior man is split apart.

Gia Fu-feng
0. Eating away. Not fruitful to take action.
1. Eating away at the bed at the legs, collapse. Zest. Calamity.
2. Eating away the bed at the frame. Collapse. Zest. Calamity.
3. Eating away. No blame.
4. Eat away the bed to the skin. Calamity.
5. String of fishes to favor the palace consorts. Everything furthers.
6. A great fruit not eaten. Gentleman receives a carriage. Petty man's house is eaten away.

Richard John Lynn (based on Wang Bi commentaries).
[Peeling] signifies decay.
0. It would not be fitting should one set out to do something.
1. The bedstead has suffered Peeling to the legs; so does constancy meets with destruction. This means misfortune.
2. The bedstead has suffered Peeling to the frame; so does constancy meets with destruction. This means misfortune.
3. This one does the Peeling in such a way that it is without blame.
4. The bedstead has suffered Peeling to the skin. This means misfortune.
5. As if they were a string of fish, here the court ladies enjoy favor, so nothing done here fails to be fitting.
6. Here the biggest fruit is not eaten, If it be a noble man, he shall obtain a carriage, but if it be a petty man, he shall allow Peeling to happen to humble huts.

Harmen Mesker: Partial translation found on webpage:
(0)?
(1) By cutting wounded at the foot. Insignificant, contemptuous divination. Misfortune.
(2) By cutting wounded at the kneecap.
(3) Cutting it. No mistake.
(4) By cutting wounded at the jaws. Misfortune.
(5) ?
(6) A large fruit is not eaten. The junzi obtains a carriage. The xiaoren cuts the radish.

Kerson Huang
0 Loss. Do not go anywhere.
1 Hitting the bed with the foot. The dream bodes ill.
2 Hitting the bed with the knee, The dream bodes ill.
3 Hit it. No fault.
4 Hitting the bed with the shoulder. Misfortune.
5 Using a eunuch as servant. No objection to intimate trust.
6 Refusing a fat plum. The gentleman gains a carriage. The common man loses his house.


Condensed version of the translation earlier in this thread:
Decay.
0. [When something is] decaying there will be nothing useful in having a goal [with it].
1. Decay in the bed causing the feet [of the bed to rot] away. [We must] correct [what is] bad.
2. Decay in the bed causing the frame [of the bed to rot] away. [We must] correct [what is] bad.
3. To let it decay is not a mistake.
4. Decay in the [entire] bed causing damage to the skin [of the person lying in it].
5. [If] a string of fish is given as a favor to the people of the palace, [then] none [of them] will not be of help [to you].
6. A large fruit not eaten. The wise person acquires a carriage, the small man’s house falls apart.
 
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fkegan

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Hi Larsbo,
Historically, the Latin translations of the Bible were commissioned to extend readership beyond those who read Greek (or Hebrew) and at the time Latin was the general language of the Roman Church, even their mass was in Latin. The notion every person should read the Bible for themselves comes centuries later after political and religious changes that no longer accepted the notion of one interpretation determined in Rome for all.

However, the notion that all translations of the I Ching should be judged by how simply the line judgments read to the average reader avoids a number of logical steps and makes a number of doubtful assumptions, especially in light of hex 23 that is all about a situation which has gone too far in its current trend and the sole focus is what will come Next (only Yang line in the 6th place of transition to the Next).

The moving lines allow any Oracle hexagram to become any other hexagram as the resultant. The next situation for hex 23 can be any hexagram. How that change is accomplished is a more important context for any Oracle than the first impression in the words of any commentary that is based upon line positions as body imagery at least for the first 4 lines.

Take for example line 4. When it changes, hex 23 becomes hex 35. What translation makes simple sense to the average reader how such total misfortune of decay of the bed reaching to the occupant's skin becoming the successful prince rallying an army for his King?

The sole focus upon the Transition to the Next, in the timing of hex 23 that is about Justice or Karma in terms of Next consequences, is not about misfortune. It is about the need to salvage what is still good from what has rotten. It is about the black banana that needs the black peel thrown out and the overripe banana made into banana bread. The hexagram is about the current situation has gone too far and cannot continue as it is. The lines are about ways to make that Next situation through changing focus. The line commentaries for the first 4 lines only refer to how this situation has run off the rails.

Line 4 is about developing focus in terms of the heart or soul that will support the transition to the Next. Thus Oracle hex 23.4>>35 is about figuring out the new idea or clear focus in your soul that will solve the decay and turn that energy of ferment into Progress or the new initiative of hex 35 serving the King.

Not clear you can expect to get all that out of the translation of the words of any commentary. Few commentaries include the change in hexagram that results as that line moves. The line commentaries are essays upon that specific line in light of the structure of that hexagram overall. How the line commentaries fit into divination use of the I Ching is a more complex question that isn't close to being resolved by how easy the translation is for the average reader.

Part of the wonder of the Yi Oracle is that it works for divination for many, many folks regardless of the translation they use. The more one studies that reality, the more mysterious it is how it works. However, all that is totally different from the quibbles about translating this Chinese term by that English word and even more different from what the Oracle is describing or what would be the most useful text for any one person to use.

Frank
 
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larsbo_c

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Part of the wonder of the Yi Oracle is that it works for divination for many, many folks regardless of the translation they use.
Frank
So how about if I make my own book with 64 verses and call it I Ching, would that work? The differences between the examples in my post are great enough to take that view I believe, they could absolutely be completely different texts. But we had that discussion before. Take Willowfox, she is without shred of doubt inventing her interpretations, and other members here seem to love it. It's just so silly, but she could use any translation and still make certain people happy. (Sorry Willowfox, but that's how I feel).

Zhuangzi:"Words are not just blown air. They have a meaning. If you are not sure what you are talking about, are you saying anything, or are you saying nothing?"
Translated by Gia Fu-feng
 

fkegan

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Hi Larsbo,

The core of the I Ching is its 64 hexagrams, not the words of text used to illustrate the hexagrams. When you expect the whole meaning of an Oracle to be clearly expressed in the text of the commentary you have already missed the point completely.

How folks come to the interpretation of Oracles that works for them is its own complex and mysterious exploration. The relationship between text or words and meaning is also a strange narrative that changes over time.

Expecting an I Ching text to have the clear meaning you assume to be in Bible translations is also its own complex and thorny subject.

Hex 23 with one Yang line in the 6th place is relatively clear and simple. Why traditional commentary invokes different imagery for the first 4 lines than for the final two is a matter of historical scholarship of the available texts.

Perhaps you would prefer to start with Poem 1 of Lao Tzu in terms of your Gia-fu study: "The name that can be named is not the eternal name."
However, it is all that is available at the moment. The problem is not that some other text embodies the eternal name or essence of the Tao, words aren't the pure vehicle of meaning.

Personally, I consider the line structure of the Yi to work so well since it symbolically relates to the way the brain synapses deal with meaning. Converting that meaning into words is an entirely different part of mental function.

Looking for the perfect translation of ancient commentary is a worthwhile project. The only limitation is expecting other folks to agree your result has any special value to them.

Frank
 

larsbo_c

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The core of the I Ching is its 64 hexagrams, not the words of text used to illustrate the hexagrams.
Frank
So I see that you consider the core text written 2800 years ago to be the first commentary of the hexagrams. Actually I think you are right :), I just don't think you, I or anyone else can fathom the complexity of it. Not even in trance, or approached from the subconsciousness. Thats why I think nobody can add or change anything themselves, it would be inferior.
I think it is a text, written by one author, that is so universally flexible that it is able to span over the gaps between the possible number of combinations. I also believe it can be translated. I seems to me it was written in plain daily-life Pre-Classical Chinese.
 

larsbo_c

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23,4>35

Take for example line 4. When it changes, hex 23 becomes hex 35. What translation makes simple sense to the average reader how such total misfortune of decay of the bed reaching to the occupant's skin becoming the successful prince rallying an army for his King?
You got a bad translation on that one I'm afraid :(
My own proposed translation and interpretation is that we should not let things decay so it will affect us in a bad way. Then after this should follow something logic: The message of the lines are often very different, even in the same hexagram. But there is a common thread. Actually the title line of 35 has been a problem to me for long time, I can easily see the thread in the six lines; it is about moving forward, progress with your important tasks in life. The title line should be the overall meaning of progress, that works just fine with the warning of 23 line 4: If we don't move forward things may decay around us.
But yu got me started about the translation of title line of 35......hope to be back soon with a translation :)
 

fkegan

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King Wen Sequence number and Yang line pattern describes hexagram meaning...

So I see that you consider the core text written 2800 years ago to be the first commentary of the hexagrams. Actually I think you are right :), I just don't think you, I or anyone else can fathom the complexity of it. Not even in trance, or approached from the subconsciousness. Thats why I think nobody can add or change anything themselves, it would be inferior.
I think it is a text, written by one author, that is so universally flexible that it is able to span over the gaps between the possible number of combinations. I also believe it can be translated. I seems to me it was written in plain daily-life Pre-Classical Chinese.

Hi Larsbo,
I see from your second post that you have your own translation to go with your own notions of what the I Ching is all about. You have somehow convinced yourself that the 4th line text that in Wilhelm refers to decay being unstoppable, really means don't let decay get to you. Is that derived from any of the Chinese terms, or just appears in your own mind? But that is your own private domain, so I won't comment further upon it. Let me limit myself to what we have both written about.

I have NEVER commented upon any original or core text, all my comments are about how the text or words are secondary illustrations to the meaning of the hexagrams, contained in just two aspects of the hexagrams themselves. First, meaning can be found in the numbering of the hexagrams in the King Wen Sequence. Second, meaning can be found in the positions of Yang lines in the overall 6 place gua or form or matrix of the hexagrams. No text, no words required, just positions or numbers within the symbolic matrix of the hexagrams.

My Flux Tome page on my website in my signature explains more fully my views. Though I find generally those focused solely upon the words find anything else incomprehensible. And of course if everyone else has a bad translation whenever it disagrees with yours there isn't much room for discussion, is there?

Frank
 

charly

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I have NEVER commented upon any original or core text, all my comments are about how the text or words are secondary illustrations to the meaning of the hexagrams, contained in just two aspects of the hexagrams themselves. First, meaning can be found in the numbering of the hexagrams in the King Wen Sequence. Second, meaning can be found in the positions of Yang lines in the overall 6 place gua or form or matrix of the hexagrams. No text, no words required, just positions or numbers within the symbolic matrix of the hexagrams.
...
Frank:

I agree with you that the hexagrams, somebody thinks the trigrams, were before any kind of text, even before chinese script itself, maybe not the drawn lines we know, maybe another shape, maybe marks on the sand, maybe beans, cowries or scraps, surely prehistoric.

But the received text also exists, the Zhouyi also exist, and I believe that must be translated unit by unit if not word by word, without interpolations nor interpretations. A plain text, later we can add all the interpretations and insights we want.

I wonder for wich reason could a diviner wish to put a context in a written text that lacks of it- And that lacks of it due to the meticulous work of ancient editors?

All the best,

Charly
 

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Endless fun. Translating the Yijing turns out to mean...

translating ancient Chinese (with all the fun of divergent source texts, disputed variant characters, and a severe shortage of contemporary texts for comparison)
- which is inextricably joined with a pattern of solid and broken lines in a single organism
- and is part of a venerable tradition that has governed how it's understood in divination for a good while - and since it's been working for all that time (witness the fact that no-one threw it out and got a new oracle), there must be something in the tradition...
- and is an oracle, which means we all have our own experience of what it says with these words.

Have I missed anything out?

The action of 23, purely from the point of view of experience... something is being cut away from the surface. (Relationships, idea of self, concepts, purpose, possessions...) How painful the process is depends on how attached you are to the 'something'. It's true that in fact you no longer need it, but you might feel otherwise. ('Flayed' can describe it pretty well.)

Also - surprisingly often, 23 comes up when I am, as I think, all ready to take the initiative and start something fresh. The warning is - no, not so much, actually you are all ready to reproduce the same thing all over again. 23, not 24, nor yet 43.

Lars - wooden beds? Had they been invented?
 

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Also for Lars - I think maybe you have a problem with line 6. Junzi gets a carriage. Small men 剝 a hut. It looks a lot like a parallel construction with a transitive verb in both cases. Since this is line 6 we can expect things to be different, and the normal action of the hexagram to have changed, so you have a case for saying it turns into a transitive verb here but wasn't one before. (I think maybe it becomes progressively more transitive - not a grammatical concept, I know... - on its way up the hexagram.)
 
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meng

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Also - surprisingly often, 23 comes up when I am, as I think, all ready to take the initiative and start something fresh. The warning is - no, not so much, actually you are all ready to reproduce the same thing all over again. 23, not 24, nor yet 43.

This is why 23 means more than just flaying away something to me. It isn't just a warning, it's advise to look deeper into the matter, to see past initial impressions.

PS: I also disagree with rotting or decomposing as a meaning, or saying no, which are covered in 18 and 12. Cutting off what has rotted, yes - but not for it's own sake, for the sake of what lives beneath it.
 
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larsbo_c

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Also for Lars - I think maybe you have a problem with line 6. Junzi gets a carriage. Small men 剝 a hut. It looks a lot like a parallel construction with a transitive verb in both cases. Since this is line 6 we can expect things to be different, and the normal action of the hexagram to have changed, so you have a case for saying it turns into a transitive verb here but wasn't one before. (I think maybe it becomes progressively more transitive - not a grammatical concept, I know... - on its way up the hexagram.)
Thanks for your comment Hilary. Grammatically you can't put a finger on this construction, it is very straight forward.
bo can in Classical Chinese easily be a causative verb meaning to cause a house to decay (by a fool neglecting maintance).
Varieties in line six are usually just different ideas about what to call the junzi and xiaoren. Some disagree about 碩果 a large fruit or ripe fruit. Ripe makes sense, but the word clearly means large.

I was thinking the same thing about the bed myself a while ago, but the Kang was a later invention. In this period there could be heating of a clay bed, but much simpler than the kang. If people slept on the floor it wouldn't have been called a bed, and I can't imagine any other material for a bed than wood. There are hardly any pictures from this period at all, I doubt if there is any of a bed, and I believe no remains of wood beds are found. So we have to rely on text material which I couldn't find, but I will keep looking :)

The best arguments are probably that the character for bed 床 chuang has a wood radical (爿+木 is the original form but not in my font). The wood 木 radical is of course an indication of a wooden thing, but furthermore pan 爿 means half a treetrunk or half a bamboo, which both resembles a crip or bed. There can be absolutely no doubt the word means bed, and the fact that both parts of the two characters are wood makes is highly probable that a bed was made of wood opposed to clay for a heated kang-bed.

About an early clay bed:
"The Kang is likely derived from the concept of a heated bed floor called a 'huoqiang' found in China in the Neolithic period, according to analysis of archeological excavations of building remains in Banpo Xi'an. The bed at this excavation is made of 10 cm pounded clay on the floor. The bed was heated by 'zhidi' which is simply the process of placing an open fire on the bed floor and clearing the ashes before sleeping."
 
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Sparhawk

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Some disagree about 碩果 a large fruit or ripe fruit. Ripe makes sense, but the word clearly means large.

No real disagreement between ripe and large as it relates to fruit. They all start small and grow larger to ripeness. A large fruit in that context, is a ripe fruit...
 

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Lars - wooden beds? Had they been invented?
Hilary:

I get a quote that I was looking for from long time:

Speaking of H.57, Stephen Field says:

Hexagram 57. XUN Kneel
He knelt (5) at the bed, and used a combination of diviners and sorcerors. Auspicious. No misfortune...
___________________________
(5) In ancient China people slept on mats, and beds were only used for convalescence. In this text a healing ceremony is being conducted. The character xun depicts two people kneeling, perhaps before an altar. By extension it means "humble, yielding."
From:
Recovering the Lost Meaning of the Yijing BA GUA
© 1999 Dr. Stephen L. Field
at: http://www.fengshuigate.com/bagua.html

Maybe instead of a bed could be a table? Or maybe a wooden building, the bedchamber?

yours,

Charly
 

charly

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No real disagreement between ripe and large as it relates to fruit. They all start small and grow larger to ripeness. A large fruit in that context, is a ripe fruit...
Luis:

I believe that it means LARGE. What if the fruit is LARGE but UNEDIBLE? Maybe UNSEASONED, maybe ROTTEN?

abrazo,

Charly
 

Sparhawk

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Luis:

I believe that it means LARGE. What if the fruit is LARGE but UNEDIBLE? Maybe UNSEASONED, maybe ROTTEN?

Charly,

If that "straight translation" of the character works for you, is fine with me. I think is reasonable. My point is that "ripe" and "large," in the context of a "fruit" are NOT mutually exclusive. Actually, my belief is that where the text refers to "largeness" it is actually referring to a fruit that is ready to be consumed and thus "large" for its species (there are no fruits am aware of that shrink in size as they mature to reach ripeness...) That the text further goes on to say that it is not consumed, even though is ready (and "large") is the crux of the interpretation of that sentence, albeit always contextually with the question.

Un abrazo,
 

larsbo_c

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Sorry I messed up this sentence about the bed. I edited the original post also:

The best arguments are probably that the character for bed 床 chuang has a wood radical (爿+木 is the original form but not in my font). The wood 木 radical is of course an indication of a wooden thing, but furthermore pan 爿 means half a treetrunk or half a bamboo, which both resembles a crip or bed. There can be absolutely no doubt the word means bed, and the fact that both parts of the two characters are wood makes is highly probable that a bed was made of wood opposed to clay for a heated kang-bed.
 
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