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‘The disaster of disentangling
Maybe someone tethered a cow –
Travelling people’s gain,
Hexagram 25, line 3
‘People in harmony at the outskirts altar.
Hexagram 13, line 6
‘The vessel with upended feet.
Fruitful to get the blockage out…’
Hexagram 50, line 1
Oh good grief, no, pigs are not the same as herons. What dozy twerp came up with this 'nothing set in stone to tell you what the word means' idea?I thought, what if here - in this reading - 33's name Dun/Pig is a 'loan word' for Heron (i.e. nothing set in stone to tell me what the word means)?
Ah. That one.The oracle is alive, and there’s nothing set in stone to tell us what its words mean.
By the way, you could pause after changing lines 3 and 4 and look at the relating hexagram.
Yes, thanks, both good points. (And I did look at the related trigram (zhi bagua?) Earth - changing from Mountain with 33.3.)nothing is set in stone to tell you what the images mean. A pig is a pig is a pig (unless it's a retreat), but what's the significance of the pig? What does it represent?
Who was yet another Christian missionary, albeit one with a fairly advanced and liberal conception of his mission, with his proud boast that he never converted a single Chinese in all his years in the country ... I don't think he ever made bishop! But it just goes to show, missionaries come in all shapes and sizes ...I recommend picking up Wilhelm/Baynes, for instance, to use in parallel.
Next thing I want to do when I have a moment is read about herons. I don't know a single thing about them. (Though I did quickly compare to . )I know I will never look at a siege of herons in the same way again
Good point!Who was yet another Christian missionary, albeit one with a fairly advanced and liberal conception of his mission, with his proud boast that he never converted a single Chinese in all his years in the country ... I don't think he ever made bishop! But it just goes to show, missionaries come in all shapes and sizes ...
I tend to agree with you about Rutt. And I think Wilhelm did think (or he considered) that his translation would be used for divination.I don't think Rutt - as Christian bishop and missionary - ever intended his work to be used for divination.
.... I recommend picking up Wilhelm/Baynes, for instance, to use in parallel.
I remember Redmond once made a joke about reading the Chinese classics in the original, saying that nobody can really understand them unless they already know what they mean before they start. He meant, of course, that the Yi is so obscure and difficult that people usually come to it with all sorts of ideas based on the tradition and use those ideas to decode it. Rutt really does try to come at it without those ideas, and the results he produces shows how difficult his endeavor is.As Rutt says in his intro. to his book, which he titled: Zhouyi - A Bronze Age Document, Translated with Introduction and Notes ....
" ... the Book of Changes is to be explained in the light of its own content and of the era to which it belongs ….’ When Richard Wilhelm wrote these words in 1923, he believed they described what he had done in his great German translation. Yet within ten years archaeology and philology had shed new light on ancient China, revealing that what Wilhelm had produced was a Book of Changes smothered by philosophical theories that were unknown in the (Zhou) era to which it belongs ...."
So, I can agree that Rutt may have not intended his translation to be used for divination, but he did intend for it to be a translation of the Zhouyi from a pre-Confucian era. And the fact that we can use it for divination and as an oracle I think speaks more to the nature of oracles (and their use), and less about what Rutt intended his translation to be used for.
If by 'enthusiastic' you mean that I make use of the trigrams, and that I find them useful, then yes, you are right. And there is a very long tradition of trigram use with the Yi and within divination in general, going back at least 2,400 years. So people have been enthusiastic about it long before I was.I know you're enthusiastic about using the trigrams to interpret the Yi ....
That is not what Rutt says. He wrote:Rutt rejects that approach, with a lot of skepticism about whether the trigrams even really existed before the Han ....
I am not sure what 'assumption' you're talking about? If it's the assumption that the trigrams came before the hexagrams, or that the hexagrams came first - than either way, it does not affect how I work with the Yi, nor does this have anything to do with why I work with the trigrams, or any other parts of the Yi.If you start off with that assumption, it's going to affect the way you translate.
I have no idea what you're talking about?Why would you see something that you don't think exists?
Whom is the 'you' you are talking about? Is it me? Or is this the plural 'you', as in "if we don't believe that there are patterns ..."?If you don't believe that there are patterns and relationships between the hexagrams, you aren't going to see them. So you end up with all these wildly divergent ideas between different translators about what the text means.
What 'tradition' are you referring to here? Is it the one Hilary mentions above, where "The oracle is alive, and there’s nothing set in stone to tell us what its words (images, patterns, relationships) mean"? That 'tradition'?The great thing about the tradition is that it provides a common language, a common understanding of what the hexagrams mean. Yes, ... Hilary says, a squealing pig can mean different things to different people, ... but the underlying symbol is the same, there is a common reference. If no-one can agree on whether it's a pig in the first place, it tends to devolved very quickly into some kind of epistemological anarchy, a tower of Babel where no-one is speaking the same language.
That one.Or are you talking about the authors who do - or don't - see these patterns, and therefore they have wildly divergent ideas of what their texts means (along with wildly divergent text)?
I am still not sure of the point you are making? That there are a wide range of translations and/or interpretations of the Yi? We are in agreement on this point. Otherwise, it still feels like you're taking shots in the dark - or trying to pin some inappropriate use of the Yi to me, or questionable translations to some others because they focused on the Zhouyi.Look at the way Rutt, Fields and Shaughnessey translate 52. Gen, for example. They all start off determined not to be influenced by the traditions, but just to look at the text itself, the pure, unadulterated, Bronze Age Zhouyi. And they come up with three completely different results, all equally plausible. And no mountain in sight in any of them because, well, you can't trust the Shuogua, that's some late Warring States aberration.
David, I really think I explained what I meant quite sufficiently well. And I'm pretty sure we've had this argument elsewhere, and I'm not sure we should be clogging up blog posts with this protracted debate. But I'll give it one last shot.I am still not sure of the point you are making? That there are a wide range of translations and/or interpretations of the Yi? We are in agreement on this point. Otherwise, it still feels like you're taking shots in the dark - or trying to pin some inappropriate use of the Yi to me, or questionable translations to some others because they focused on the Zhouyi.
So okay. You are looking at one hexagram translation out of 64 for your 'evidence'. (And out of all I said above, this is the only thing you're going to focus and comment on?) Setting the similarities to current US politics aside, if we look at the wide range of translations that don't try to make the Zhouyi be the Zhouyi - Wilhelm, Barret, Hatcher, etc, we still get a wide range of interpretations - and perhaps an even wider range of commentaries.
I have never read Fields or Shaughnessey's translations (I'm waiting for inter-library loan to start up again to check out Field), but even with Rutt, I do not get the sense that he based his translation of the bronze-age Zhouyi on something he read in the Wings.
Also, in another thread - the Image in Divination, I get the the sense that you like and use the Images - the Daxiang - from the Wings Commentary (and you consider them part of the Yi), but here you are calling into question the Shuogua, another commentary from the Ten Wings - because they talk about trigrams?
And if this is the basis of your argument, then you better get out the lighter fluid and start up the Yi book burning, because we also find the trigrams used and talked about in three or four other Wing's commentaries, including the Daxiang - heck, even Wilhelm, Barret, Karcher, and Hatcher use the Trigrams (or the Images), so your bonfire of questionable translations just got really big!
If you look at many of the threads here they are about the wide range of possibilities: how to interpret the Yi; which 'parts' of it to use; the wide range of translations, both of Yi text, and of individual words (some of which have changed many times over the centuries). You seem to touch on this, often when you quote the experts or modernist - but then out of all that, it seems you now want to find fault with me for using Rutt and / or the trigrams?
Finally, the main point I am touching upon still holds true: that there is - and likely has always been - a wide and very creative range of ways the Yi has been interpreted and used - and this is the 'tradition' that I am trying to be part of. E.g.
"The oracle is alive, and there’s nothing set in stone to tell us what its words (images, patterns, relationships) mean"? - Hilary Barrett
"To make all variations equal the text of one tradition (i.e. the received text) betrays the overall tradition." - Adam Schwartz
So you've decided not to engage anymore. That is quite okay. And you may decide not to read this, however ....Because I'm getting a bit bored by it. With all due respect, I don't think I'm going to engage with you on this topic further. Thanks for your inputs.
"The oracle is alive, and there’s nothing set in stone to tell us what its words (images, patterns, relationships) mean."
- Hilary Barrett
"To make all variations equal the text of one tradition (i.e. the received text) betrays the overall tradition."
- Adam Schwartz
PO Box 6945,
+44 (0)20 3287 3053 (UK)
+1 (561) 459-4758 (US).