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7.5

dobro p

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I've drawn 7.5. I compare different translations to get my own idea what a line means, but this one's giving me some trouble, because the different versions are so...well, diferent. I've got a problem with two things - the second line of the text, and the interpretation of the last three lines of the text.

* The (first and) second line -

Karcher: "The fields possess wildfowl.
Harvesting, holding-on-to words."

Legge: "...birds in the field,
which it will be advantageous to seize (and destroy)"

Shaughnessy (Mawangdui): "In the fields there is game; beneficial to shackle prisoners"

Some translations favor 'vermin' over 'wildfowl', but I'm not bothered by that. It's the holding-onto-words/seize and destroy/shackle prisoners discrepancy that I'm wondering about. I've got one Chinese text, which uses 'words'. Does anybody here know if there's a Chinese version that has something other than 'words' for this character?

* The last three lines - most interpreters read the middle of these three lines, the one about the 'younger son carting corpses' to indicate a negative situation which is echoed in the inauspiciousness of the last line. But Karcher's most recent Yi (2003) doesn't see it as negative, but as part and parcel of an overall military campaign - 'carting corpses' is just something you have to do when you wage war. What's your take on it?

Now, Karcher's interpretation is fine, but it also raises (for me, at least) a huge question about that very important word in the last line - CHEN - which is so variously translated: determination, correct firmness, trial, etc. Is it possible that its meaning back in the days when the Yi was emerging was something along the lines of 'mulling an issue and consulting the oracle', and that later the Confucians hijacked it, and shifted its meaning to the far more formulaic 'correct firmness'? The first would indicate putting yourself in relationship to the spirits/Spirit, and the second would be more along the lines of codified morality.
 

arien

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Hi Dobro, yes, quite a complex and intriguing line

Hexagram 7 is about gathering your troops and getting to war, so if the 2nd line shows the general in the middle of his men, here the war is already ocurring, and what is needed is a sensible yet firm use of all resources

Re: "holding-onto-words/seize and destroy/shackle prisoner", I'd just forget all translations and look at the chinese. From Brad's matrix "worthwile to control (restrain) words (gossip)". Makes sense in the context of a war, a general cannot let gossip and rumors spread among the soldiers and ruin their moral; I imagine that to have quite a devastating effect (actually thats a weapon used even today, didnt the us spread fliers and that kind of stuff on iraque?) sometimes propaganda is a very effective means of breaking the enemy's moral. In general, where there is a lot of people involved, there is also the need to control words to some extent (politics also springs to mind)

Re: elder brother commands militia, younger brother carts the corpses, I agree with karcher,
I see it as meaning that in a war, everyone has to play a part; even the little boy can participate by driving the corpses' cart. I dont see it as negative per se, its just the way things are, people read corpses and imagine a bad augury, but this is war, isnt it?

Re: zhen, Im not the best person to discuss this, but so far my comprehension of it has grown along the lines of LiSe's comments on "divination and repentance". Something like the oracle saying "I've given you my advice, but now its up to you to follow it". That is the determination: the willingness to carry Yi's advice (or maybe the determination to look for such advice, if the etymology is shells and divine, like paying for the divination).

In this line, though, determination is unfortunate (zhen1 xiong1), which Im quite lost with. One would expect that in a war, determination (if that's an acurate translation for zhen) would succeed, specially since everyone is playing their part. Maybe it means just that it MAY have pitfalls, this line changes to 29, so there is a lot of danger in the background. (Blind) determination may not be the best way to succeed
 

bradford_h

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Hi Arien-
Consider this on Zhen as a problem in the Militia: War is the dao of abnormailty.
Zhen, as that which persists, leads to predictibility. That will get you killed in battle. Tactics and strategies need to get more subtle and intricate. In this case you can even learn tactics and strategies while being invaded, make it a war game. This requires experience. Inexperience will not take advantage of the opportunity.
As to the word Yan (words, talk) this is managed into code and propaganda. "Loose lips sink ships."
No time to be candid and truthful.
b
 

arien

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Brad, those are really clarifying thoughts, I feel Ive progressed a lot in understanding this line.
Thanks
 

heylise

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Agree with Brad on zhen. Sometimes setting a course and stick to it is not good.

Zhen is not divine and money, but divine and cauldron, the same cauldron as the ding of hex.50. The original characters for money (cowri shells) and cauldron were very different, but later they resembled each other more and more, and finally looked the same.

The corpse being carted is the corpse of king Wen. He died just before the planned attack, and then his son Wu decided to cart the corpse along in the army, so everyone would keep faith in the enterprise (or the enemy keep fear). See "The Mandate of Heaven" by Marshall.
Maybe that has to do with the words? Not giving the secret away? And the game in the field might be spies from the enemy, who might hear something.

LiSe
 

heylise

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The money was a picture of a cowri shell

Zhen is a 'ding'-cauldron with 'divine': a picture of a crack in a tortoise-shell
LiSe
 

bradford_h

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Hi all-
just two more quick notes
In spite of Gua 07 being applicable to lots of other areas of life, all of its metaphors should be undestood first in terms of bing fa (arts of war).
More on younger brother - he will do exctly as is expected of him. He'll use the game for target practice instead of learning to strategize. That of course is part problem, and why he takes orders. Big brother has been around and learned the "crafty surprises" that win battles.
 

midaughter

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I would be very interested in the question that received this hexagram and if these answers, including mine, were accurate.

This hexagram is difficult because most of us are not engaged in war or giving military or strategic advice. The line statements regarding corpses/King Wen I regard as historical only.

Wilhelm and Ni mention the image of the hexagram as a volcano-pressure from within that will blow up if not controlled. This idea is borne out by the inner hexagram of Thunder beneath the earth-a potentially explosive situation.

The fifth line does not control in this hexagram and denotes that the fifth line gives responisbiity to another-the subordinate second line. In this way an opportunity for 'victory' exists.

The fifth line also points to a great opportunity and this is probably its practical application. Seize the day, ACT!

Overall the hexagram deals with having difficulties and nothing seems smooth and there are many obstacles. You must act according to the fifth line.
 

bradford_h

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Another thought on The Army
As an outspoken antiwar activist in the US since the sixties, I've pondered this one a bit, and come to a degree of comfort with what the Yi is describing as something very close to the modern Swiss Army (complete with corkscrew on the knife and policy of neutrality). I think it's also compatible with the intent of the US second amendment and the strategy which first won the US independence (before it went official in its genocide on the indians) . But it's quite a different thing than the modern saber-rattling standing armies and the two should never be confused. As such, I translate the Hexagram name as The Militia instead of The Army.
b
 

dobro p

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Arien - "In this line, though, determination is unfortunate (zhen1 xiong1), which Im quite lost with. One would expect that in a war, determination (if that's an acurate translation for zhen) would succeed, specially since everyone is playing their part."

Yeah, exactly. I'm starting to think that the overall meaning of 7.5 is 'go for it - it's time for war', so I don't understand the 'determination unfortunate'in the last line if 'determination' has a meaning that approximates 'applying what you think is right'. That's why I'm considering shifting its meaning to something like 'doing oracle work on the issue', because then the meaning of 7.5 would be something along the lines of 'Go for it. Limit talk. Everybody plays their part - experience and talent in charge, and inexperience carrying out necessary tasks. Wondering about it isn't the thing to do now.'

Sunpuerh - yes, seize the day, act! That's what I'm thinking.

I drew both 7.4 and 7.5 two days ago for my daily consultation. It wasn't in relation to a specific question, but was a response to a general request for guidance. I find that what I draw this way reflects what's going on in my life at the moment - the most important issue or 'contour' of my life. Four days ago, our apartment was broken into and some things were stolen. Bad enough, but we've got reason to believe that the thief might be back. As I write this, much better security measures are being installed.

So what the Yi seemed to be saying at the time with 7.4 and 7.5 was something like:

You're at a disadvantage for the time being; give it a rest.

...moving into:

Go for it - act! Take the necessary steps.

I'd like to thank everyone for weighing on this one. I've got a better global understanding of 7.5 now, although I still have a major question in my mind about zhen.

Bradford - by the way, thanks for the email. (I tried to reply to you via email, but my email program's not working.) It was invaluable - is that your own lexicon you've built up?
 
Y

yellowblue

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Hi Dobro,

I'm out of my league here, but in practical terms, and in experience my take on 7.5 is simply this:

There is an exclamation or enunciation of facts -- it becomes obvious what you're up against. It, at this point in the situation, is critical to use strategy (older=more experience=thinking through) vs acting rashly(younger=less experience=reacting).

Ever played "RISK"??? It's all about utilizing resources and strategics... utilizing different resources at different points, regrouping and reorganizing after setbacks or victories.

I've gotten this hexagram so many times in the last year it's unreal. It interlaps over a "team" involvement and goals to personal goals.

For myself, line 1 is about being prepared mentally and physically. (preparing against fatique and emotional (and thus physical) stress as well as having your ducks in a row before you start.

line 2 is being centered, seeing offensively as well as objectively, a physical, mental and spiritual balance. with that you are relatively safe and receive the blessings of this position.

line 3 carrying corpses=dead weight. if it is gone, whether it was at one point of value or was detrimental, if you insist on letting it bog you down it will ruin your chances of overcoming and advancing to victory. even though it is difficult to do, you have to cut it loose...if it was dear to your heart you must relinquish it for the moment. if it was something you wished to be free of, don't hold on to it fearing it isn't gone.

line 4... in a position to relax

line 5 as stated above..

line 6... to maintain victory don't hold to that which vascillates but don't be quick to cut off...be certain of loyalties, then hold on to what holds to you and rid yourself of what isn't true.

This has applied for me in both group and one on one situations. It was for me a hard line to take but necessary and sometimes I carried corpses.

Maybe not applicable but this is simply my experience.

Deb
 

dobro p

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Oh, and yes, I'm giving serious consideration to interpreting zhen as either 'applying what you think is right' or 'firm correctness' as well.

'Applying what you think is right is unfortunate' could mean: 'don't go into this with a preconception of how to proceed - that leads to a bad result'.

'Firm correctness is unfortunate' could mean: 'Look, this is war. All bets are off. Sticking to a principled approach leads to a bad result.'

The first cautions against preconceptions, the second cautions against being a nice guy.
 

bradford_h

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Hi Dobro
It's a lexicon I've built up from a dazen Chinese dictionaries, a hundred Yijing translations and a thesaurus to fill in the logical gaps. The Matrix entries are just a piece of it. Since it's a topic, here's the full glossary entry for Zhen1:
zhen1 0346 834g 154+2 01.0 (a, the) persistence, determination, resolve, resolution, stamina, focus, loyalty, fidelity, devotion, firmness, steadiness, holding power, staying power, constancy, consistency, steadfastness, commitment, survival, perseverance, truth, loyalty, purity, virtue, rectitude, ethic, (moral, ethical) integrity, firmness of word; a divination inquiry; (to be) persistent, determined, resolved, resolute, focused, loyal, firm, steady, constant, consistent, steadfast, committed, dedicated, sustained, true, real, correct, straight, genuine, earnest, tested, tried, certain, chronic; (to) persist, resolve, stand fast, keep going, continue, focus, test, try (out), examine, observe, verify, correct, resolve a doubt, settle a question, inquire by divination, forsee; steadfastly, clearly, truly, unmistakably, really; (In earlier Shang times Zhen1 meant to divine, especially with a good auspice, and this implication still exists in the Zhouyi in places. By the Zhou it meant to test, try out, or correct (the verb true). The common thread is to discover and track that which persists through the changes)
 

dobro p

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The majority of the definitions in your post fall into the 'persistence/constancy' group; a minority seem to center on the 'divination/resolve a doubt/try out' group.

Then you say this: "In earlier Shang times Zhen1 meant to divine, especially with a good auspice, and this implication still exists in the Zhouyi in places. By the Zhou it meant to test, try out, or correct (the verb true). The common thread is to discover and track that which persists through the changes)"

So - the Shang favored the 'divination' meaning, and the Zhou the 'try out' meaning, both of which seem related.

So, where did the 'rectitude/constancy' idea emerge? Confucians again?
 

heylise

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When you ask the gods for an answer, you have to follow it. Nowadays we would say: once you have let your conscience speak, or something like that. This necessity to follow the advice of the gods is the constancy and the being true.

But there are circumstances when it is better to get no advice at all, but to be alert for every tiny change, and to be free from any preconception, able to react immediately and completely.

This is not the only instance where it says 'determination wrong, or bad, or shame, whatever. It can even happen within two lines of the same hexagram (right now I have no time to look where).

BTW: maybe the thief could be the 'birds in the field' (the game is wildfowl). Many languages refer to people as birds: in Dutch a 'strange bird' is a weirdo. I think in times of war, expressions like this will be even more common: not calling things by names, in order not to make them known too much.

LiSe
 

dobro p

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Yeah, my grandfather used to refer to guys as 'birds' sometimes. A guy in prison is a jailbird. And British women are 'birds' and American women 'chicks' to some people. When I'm foolish, I'm a turkey.

For me, the birds in this line in the Yi can be anything you're trying to catch in the context of organized force. It could be the thieves in the situation I've described in this thread. It could also be some of the very angry and violent feelings I've had toward the thief since it happened. But most likely, it's simply 'something to be caught and gained'. Domestic security, perhaps.
 
C

cheiron

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7.4 is an interesting line for me.

Before this line we have had the first three movements of the inner world or lower trigram:
1 ? The need to get things organised.
2 ? Everything centred and in good order but not yet time for action ? The ?militia? ready to go as was King Wen?s army at the fords of Feng (Marshall ? The Mandate of Heaven).
3 ? Too soon to act ? Acting now would just give you a lot of body bags to bring home.

Then comes this first line in the outer world trigram:

Here everything is ready. However there is a need to rest, let things develop on their own a little, to let things settle more before the time of action in line 5.

However following Karcher 2002, ?Legions on the left resting without fault. Not yet letting go the rules indeed.?

Left referring to the secondary position, the inferior or not at the head of?

Do we see here a time where the organised militia is set to one side temporarily? They are ready to act but here is a time when they are temporarilly removed from the central focus of thought by the commander / politician / tactician?

I imagine here the commander metaphorically turns their back on their force and studies the potential field of action. A time when he/she looks at other options as well. The militia may not have to be used ? it is a time for careful thought and a hiatus after the preparation.

The line when transforming on its own gives Hx.40 ? I think this gives a little more insight into the potential of this time.

--Kevin
 

midaughter

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In the context of your question, Master Ni says of looking for thieves in the specific guidance section of his book-"They can be caught."

I found him useful when my car was stolen-Hexagram 14. "They are right under your nose!" yes, neighborhood kids.

Go for it!

Sun
 

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