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Art and Hexagram 58

afterwards

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"What is the most profound and beautiful thing I can study through art?" I asked the oracle.

Oh joyous, smiling lake!

This was an interesting response, and as has been discussed before on the forum, 58 is a nuanced judgement.

What I'm getting from this is that, really, it would be misleading to get lost in "forms and appearances." If that's the case, maybe art--visual art and creation--isn't so important (necessary). Instead, it's more "profound" to remain open to all the "life" that comes toward me, rather, to pay attention to all the senses, and pass that on (whatever that is: energy, life, sensation) to all people. In that way, "art" is essentially an opportunity for exchange, and as someone recently mentioned in a post about hex 58, the response really points out that it is about the process, as opposed to the outcome.

But then, I'm absolutely relying on commentaries, and not the actual judgement and image.
THE JOYOUS. Success.
Perseverance is favorable.

The image of THE JOYOUS.
Thus the superior man joins with his friends
For discussion and practice.

Is it really telling me to find others with whom I can work around, and exchange ideas, and in that way form a group or an exchange that leads to new developments and insights in my art? (I get the impression, at least recently, that the oracle is urging me to find groups, to connect with others, to build more relationships, and I wonder if this hex is pointing me in that direction. I'm reminded of a Malcolm Gladwell book, but exactly which one escapes me, where he discusses how the best art comes from these movements of people, schools of art, connections, groups and salons where exchange and a certain kind of competition leads to innovation in the arts.) (The gods reward innovation!)

Is the response a kind of dismissal of the very question? It might even be saying, the process should be about joy, and through a kind of exchange with the senses and other people, and perseverance (oh how this word is critical in the art world) you can exchange something profound and beautiful with your friends, and with all people. But, but, it's really practice that you should focus on. Because practice is making art without worrying about the outcome--it's about persevering as a learner, completely open.

It's seems like I'm supposed to discuss this response, too, and I hope you might have some insight, or clarity into this hexagram. Or perhaps an opinion on commentaries? Should I even read them before processing the judgement and image? Do you have a favorite commentator?

Also, thanks for having me--I just discovered the forum!
 

1eleven

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Communicating shared experiences.

I'm not sure about the question asked, though. You could 'study' anything and anything can be profound and beautiful based on perspective... what will you do with what you study is really the question that comes to mind.

Jon
 

afterwards

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Hi Jon, it sounds like you're affirming my thoughts on process--that where I go is about simply going, or put another way, painting is about the act of painting.

--

At this point, I think that the response is a lot less ambiguous than I suspected. Continue, continue, continue--that is persevere--as Michelangelo once wrote to a student, "Draw, Antonio; draw, Antonio; draw and don’t waste time.” Which is an apt reference because the context is that of sharing work. The student Antonio was sharing drawings with the master, and asking for advice.

So, simply: Continue, join with others in exchange, and practice. Joy is the root of inner profundity and outer beauty--it is inner strength expressed as outer gentleness.

Perhaps my initial confusion or resistance was a matter of not really understanding the profundity of joy. In that case, this is a very specific response for me!
 

1eleven

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Hi, and thank you for your follow up. All too often, people post for results simply wanting a straight answer and don't want to put in the work. You have all the answers (and only you) - sometimes they just need to marinate a bit.

Beautiful posts and reference to Michelangelo - it's a pleasure to have you here.

Jon
 

1eleven

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"Dui is the simple nature of pleasure - an exchange with nature. When ordinary happiness is found, it can expand and turn into the more profound feeling of joy... it's delicate and not to be won by force.

It's generally auspicious and associated with a light-handed approach to things. It is not how you find pleasure, but how you express it that will determine longevity of your happiness.

Good for travel, vacations, education, romance, examinations and artwork.

Bad for marriage and family matters.

It tells us that pleasure is not the outcome of effort or a sensible goal in life. It even goes so far as to say, that if we make personal pleasure our goal, we will find only danger and loss and yet Dui is not pessimistic. Instead, we are told that the secret of pleasure is that it is found in the simple, ordinary appreciation of life as-it-is."

- CHANGING, Zhouyi: The Heart of the Yijing
Liu Ming
 

afterwards

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Ah, that's an awesome quotation.
Recently, I was asking about jobs and networking, about figuring out what I want to do next (as I seem to be stuck in a moment of transition, and instead of doing what I need and want to do, I've been taking steps to the side, and postponing the decisions and work that need to be done.) The response to my question was basically, if you seek associations with other people as if you were just going after success, then you're really on the wrong path.

Like this reference, if you make joy your goal, you're lost. If you make "success" your goal, you're lost.

It's an interesting connection that I'll have to think about.

And I definitely appreciate this in relation to art--I have to be sensitive, and the quality of my sensitivity as an artist (which is the expression) determines "the longevity of my happiness," or the quality of the joy. And the secret is appreciation of life as it is. Things as they are.

So, that's great, thank you Jon.

Btw--I appreciated the copy on your website. I needed to be prodded (although I am really focused on this now) to figure out why it is that I've been stuck for a few years, so that I can figure out what I want, and do the work to make it happen. But I'm also caught in my own thoughts about the possibilities open to me--so, thank you for reminding me that I really do have a blank slate, and the possibilities are infinite.

Thank you,
Will
 

1eleven

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Hi Will,
I'm glad you gained something from the quotation I shared above.

Thank you for your compliment on the copy on my website - my site is also a blank slate at the moment and in the process of being re-invented. I'm glad to see it served you well and prodded you to focus further.

I believe you already know exactly what you want.

A few questions for you to think about:

How do you want to use the rest of your life?

And what are you waiting for to go away before you act?


Jon
 

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