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hilary

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Reflecting stories

Mirror reflecting a window
How lucky we are that scholars have dug out some of the ancient stories ‘behind’ the Yijing – stories its authors would have known naturally, but that can require some real ingenuity to ferret out nowadays.

Hexagrams 55 and 56, Abundance and the Traveller​


Hexagram 55 is Abundance, and Abundance, Feng, is also the name of the garrison where Wu gathered his allies and watched the heavens for signs of his mandate to march on the Shang. (S.J.Marshall was the first to unpack this.)

Hexagram 56 tells some of the story of King Hai, the nomadic ruler and ancestor of the Shang, who pastured his flocks at Yi, seduced the king’s wife, and lost his flocks and his life there. (Kunst pointed to this one, and Stephen Field goes into detail.)

55 and 56 are a pair of hexagrams – turn 55 upside-down, look at it from the opposite perspective, and you’re looking at 56.

paired with​

The same is true of these two kings’ stories.

When Wu looks around him at Feng, everything he sees is his: his subjects, his garrison, his responsibility, his command, his allies, his resources, even the signs of his mandate in the skies above. And it keeps growing – more allies, more heavenly signs, more weight of responsibility – so that he has to act.

When Hai looks around at Yi, not much he sees is his. These are not his people, the queen is not his wife, this is not his culture or his rules, and pretty soon those will not be his flocks, either.

The Zagua, describing the contrast in this pair, says,

‘Abundance has many causes; few connections for the Traveller.’

– shorthand for the complete contrast between the two stories.

Hexagrams 35 and 36: Advancing, and Hiding Brightness​

paired with​

The Oracle of Hexagram 35 says that kang hou, 康侯, receives a gift of horses. For Wang Bi (translated by R.J. Lynn), kang hou was a ‘marquis of peace and prosperity’; for Wilhelm, a ‘powerful prince’. But thanks to the discovery of a Zhou dynasty bronze vessel whose inscription records rewards given to Marquis Kang for his loyal service, we know this hexagram refers to a specific individual.

Kang, the brother of Wu, gave devoted service and was rewarded: the gift of horses, the fiefdom, and his achievement memorialised in shining bronze.

Meanwhile in the paired hexagram, 36, line 5 reminds us of Prince Ji, who also gave devoted service, but in the time of the Shang – and had to hide his true nature, to go to extremes to avoid recognition.

‘Advancing means daylight, Brightness Hidden means punishment.’

says the Zagua, summing it up. You could say Hexagram 35 is about the importance of making the most of opportunities, and 36 is about hiding your light under a bushel (amongst other things), but the pair in combination, showing the very different experiences of two equally good and loyal people, seems to have more to say.

Trigram note…​


Both these hexagram pairs include the trigram li, fire and light, and in both it looks like the position of the hero. Kang’s light shines out over the earth; Ji’s is buried and hidden for now. Wu’s light emerges into thundering action; Hai’s burns quickly over the mountainside and dies away.

More?​


As usual when I notice something like this in the Yi, I went looking to see if it’s part of a bigger pattern that I’ve missed. This time, the answer is it might be, I can’t tell.

There are two different leaders’ experiences dealing with ‘Demon Country’ in 63.3/64.4, but they don’t seem to characterise the whole hexagram in the same way that Jizi ‘owns’ Hexagram 36.

I wonder whether there might be a similar story-pairing in 39/40, though. Hexagram 39, Limping, evokes Yu the Great, the limping hero who conquered the Flood. And Hexagram 40 seems to be telling the story of some other hero, one we can no longer recognise, whose success comes not through decades of toiling in the mud, but the swift flight of arrows.
 

Trojina

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I wonder whether there might be a similar story-pairing in 39/40, though. Hexagram 39, Limping, evokes Yu the Great, the limping hero who conquered the Flood. And Hexagram 40 seems to be telling the story of some other hero, one we can no longer recognise, whose success comes not through decades of toiling in the mud, but the swift flight of arrows.


Reminds me I've always ben half aware of/felt there was a persona in 40 just not an embodied one in the way there is in 39.
 

hilary

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Interesting.

LiSe looks at line 6 and sees Arjuna. I look at line 3 and hear Dionysus and Xanthias arguing about whether Xanthias or the donkey is carrying the baggage. Stephen Field spins all the lines together into a story of a hunting party ambushed by bandits. Maybe we all have the same feeling that we ought to know the story?
 

Trojina

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Mmm although the stories that are there don't quite make it through to me so not sure I need 'the' story exactly. My take is currently that whilst 39 person shows heaviness of embodiment with all the slowness and obstacles that entails, 40 is the, well as you said, the one we cannot see or don't recognise, perhaps not embodied, perhaps on a much faster lighter frequency, such as an ancestor for example.

Whichever way we personally envisage the one having the story we can't see in 40 there is nonetheless as you say 'another hero' there.
 

my_key

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Interesting.

LiSe looks at line 6 and sees Arjuna. I look at line 3 and hear Dionysus and Xanthias arguing about whether Xanthias or the donkey is carrying the baggage. Stephen Field spins all the lines together into a story of a hunting party ambushed by bandits. Maybe we all have the same feeling that we ought to know the story?
In the Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna is counselled by Lord Vishnu (in the guise of his charioteer) with new perspectives that is hoped will bring change to the stance Arjuna is taking over his moral dilemmas towards entering into battle. The outcome hoped for through the all encompassing dialogue they have together, may be not so much to get Arjuna to fight but to get him off from sitting on the fence.

The 39 / 40 pair begins at 39.1 where limping along is not going to help you so the process has begun to dissolve those difficulties and culminates in 40.6 where things can now be seen clearly, there is no longer a negative hold over you, and you can shoot for any moon you want to aim for.

I'm not familiar with the Dionysus and Xanthias story however, if I've interpreted your snippet correctly, to mean the arguement being based in something like "Are you are still carrying the baggage even if you are sat on a donkey while doing it?"

39.4 - ‘Going on, limping - coming back, connection.’
40.3 - ‘Shouldering a burden while also riding in a carriage. Invites the arrival of robbers.
Constancy, shame.’

Here midway in the journey between 39.1 and 40.6, the 40.3 / 39.4 axis in the pair ( inner world to outer world threshold) does seem to be acknowledging the dangers of being stuck sitting on that fence. You may think it's safe sitting perched on high, resting your damaged foot, however your foot is still hurting and you are doing nothing to make it better in the long term by sitting on that fence - you'll still be limping (have to carry on carrying that baggage) when you get down from your high horse (gayly mixing my metaphors here :)). What's more sitting up there for too long is not going to be beneficial and you will get your comeuppance if there is no softening of your attitude ( the 'coming back connection' in 39.4) - have no doubt about it!!

Another story for 39/ 40 pair ?

Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.
Up Jack got, and home did trot,
As fast as he could caper,
He went to bed to mend his head,
With vinegar and brown paper.

...or maybe not.
 
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hilary

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The specific Arjuna story LiSe found is here -
It's about shooting a bird on a high rampart.
I'm not familiar with the Dionysus and Xanthias story however, if I've interpreted your snippet correctly, to mean the arguement being based in something like "Are you are still carrying the baggage even if you are sat on a donkey while doing it?"
Exactly that. I'm sure it had them rolling in the aisles in 405BC.
 

dfreed

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Hexagrams 35 and 36: Advancing, and Hiding Brightness.

I often start by looking at the trigrams to see if they show me an overall theme for the hexagram - e.g. its 'story'.

Hex. 35 and 36 both have the trigrams Li - light, and Kun - the accepting Earth - and they are both the inverse and reverse of one another. So, the related stories or themes of each can be seen and understood in how the trigrams Light and Earth interact with one another:

Hex. 35: Our inner, caring nature and our ability/desire to be 'of-this-earth' (Earth) manifests (outwardly) in ways that give us clarity, protection, and allow us to work with and rely upon one another: Flame, wood and wind all work together - and are co-dependent upon one another.

Hex. 36: Our inner clarity, sense of safety, warmth and co-depending upon one another (Fire) manifests - is made real, in ways that are caring, and 'of-this-earth'.

... Hexagram 35 says that kang hou receives a gift of horses.

Hex. 35: 'Marquis of Kang given horses. They multiplied. He mated them several times a day.'

I can see (imagine) this as an example of the Earth / Flame relationship in Hex. 35: trigram Earth takes what it (he/she) is given and makes and multiplies something useful from this.
And here:
Kang multiplied his received gift of horses, which he then used as war horses to lead and advance his troops into battle. At least four of 35's lines are about how he did this, and/or are about how we can consider 'advancing' or moving forward in whatever situation we queried the Yi about:​
35.1 Advancing with brandished weapons.​
35.2: Advancing forcefully.​
35.4: Advancing, hands folded like mouse’s paws.​
35.6: Advancing horns. Use for attacking a city.​
In the first two (35.1, 35.2) we are told that this way of advancement is auspicous: perhaps advice to proceed with some boldness or sense of clarity. In the last two (35.4, 35.6) we're told that this way of advancing is not good: perhaps, that we are either being too passive (mouse with crossed paws), or too aggressive - or we're pretending to be something we're not (advancing with horns, whereas horses don't have horns!).​

Jizi's tale in 36 feels different to me. I get the sense that it is about Line 36.5, but it's not a desciption or story about the entire hexagram:
With the fifth moving line, 36's trigram Earth is joined by trigram Water (pit, abyss) - which is zhi gua 63's upper trigram: here Jizi's caring and his way of being in the world (upon this earth), is supported by his willingness to let himself be exposed (Kan, water). Borrowing from Richard Rutt:​
Jizi ... was a minister of the last Shang king. Though he suffered for protesting against the king’s wickedness, he survived till the dynasty fell .... However, as a loyal Shang subject he was not able to give homage to the Zhou king. (So here he exposed himself - faced the abyss - twice: once in protesting the evil Shang king; and again by not giving homage to the new Zhou rulers.)
But with the favorable augury (omen or meaning) of this line ... he and his followers went on to settle in P’yongyang, north-west Korea (now North Korea's capital) .... (And) His admonition of the Shang king is likened to the warning cry of a pheasant.

In both cases (and with all the gua), I feel we can understand and get sufficient meaning from the hexagrams without ever knowing - or fully knowing - the 'back stories'; though the stories and their details are often helpful and interesting.

'Advancing means daylight, Brightness Hidden means punishment’ says the Zagua, ....

I am already suspicious of the Tenth Wing, Zagua, and what it says here about Hex. 36 confirms my suspicions!

Hex. 35 does have trigram Li / Light above, which I can see / understand as daylight, when the Sun is seen above the Earth.

However, Zagua's 36: 'Brightness Hidden means punishment’ - that's just wrong - or at best only describes one aspect of 36:

* Hex. 36 reads: Favourable augury in hardship: that in times of hardship, we can retreat within; we can rely upon our inner light and resources (Li, below). But there is no 'punishment' here!

* The lines of 36 are a mix of favorable, unfavorable and mixed (or neutral or undetermined) ways of being. However, I don't see 'punishment' as the overall meaning / theme of 36 or its lines - except possibly 36.3: 'crying pheasant*: shot at hunt ... catching the headman of the band ....'

(* 'crying pheasant' is Richard Rutt's name for 36. But even if you replace it with 'brightness hidden', for me it still has the same feeling and meaning.)

This leads me to believe (an idea shared by others) that Zagua - with its many out-of-order and reversed pairs, and four hexagrams that are not paired at all - was never meant to be a summary of the hexagrams' meanings, but was meant as a mnemonic: a device such as a pattern of letters, ideas, rhymes, or associations that assists in remembering something.

Best, D
 
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Liselle

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I look at line 3 and hear Dionysus and Xanthias arguing about whether Xanthias or the donkey is carrying the baggage.
I think this is where it comes from, per Wikipedia and here
(It is funny. This is undoubtedly the oldest humor I've ever read. :lol: )

ARISTOPHANES
"FROGS"​

[The play opens on a street leading to Hades, with a door in the centre of the backstage area. Enter Dionysus, appearing as a middle-aged man with a noticeable paunch, wearing a yellow tunic and over that a lion skin. He’s carrying a huge club, one commonly associated with Hercules. On his feet he wears soft leather lace-up boots. Behind him comes his slave Xanthias riding on a donkey and carrying a huge amount of luggage. Xanthias notices the audience]

[...]

XANTHIAS [striking a heroic tragic pose]
Alas, for my neck beneath this triply damned yoke.
I suffer all this pressure and can’t tell my joke.

DIONYSUS
It’s an outrage, sheer insolence, that I,
Dionysus, son of Winejar, have to walk like this,
sweating along so he can ride at ease
without a care and carrying no load.

XANTHIAS
What!?
Aren’t I carrying the load?

DIONYSUS
How can you be?
You’re riding on your ass.

XANTHIAS
I’m loaded down.
All this stuff . . .

DIONYSUS
What do you mean by that?

XANTHIAS
What I just said carries lots of weight.

DIONYSUS
Isn’t the donkey carrying our load?

XANTHIAS
No, no way. Not the load I’m holding.

DIONYSUS
How come?
How can you be carrying anything at all
when someone else is carrying you?

XANTHIAS
I’ve no idea.
But my shoulder’s falling off.

DIONYSUS
All right, then.
Since you claim the donkey’s useless to you,
why not take your turn and carry it?

XANTHIAS
What a wretched life!
I should have gone away to fight at sea—
then I’d be free and I’d have told you straight
what you could do with that ass of yours.

DIONYSUS
Get down, you useless idiot! We’re there—
by the door I’m aiming for, my first stop.
 

dfreed

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Hexagrams 55 and 56, Abundance and the Traveller .... turn 55 upside-down, look at it from the opposite perspective, and you’re looking at 56 ....

I see these more as offering different - and complementary perspectives ('stories', meanings, advice); but not necessarily opposing or opposite ones.

55/56 - Maxwelton Store: one of the near-by beach walks I like to take is at Maxwelton beach. Across from the car park is a home which at one time included the Maxwelton store.

This was a one-room, family-run market which had the basics that the summer beach sojouners might need: soda, candy, canned goods, ice, ice cream bars, pasta .... So, whenever kids needed to buy an ice cream after swimming, or a family needed a box of Craft Mac-n-Cheese, they could walk down and get it from this store.

This was the 'soujorners' store' - a local place - simliar to (and serving) the wanders' summer beach homes and cabins (the camps and campfires) of 56. It served a different - but definitely a more limited, but still very useful - purpose compared to the larger, more Abundant markets that were miles away.

Best, D
 
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angelatlantis14

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Hi Hilary,
I found your comparison between 55 and 56 very intruiging - now that you have written it out it seems quite obvious, but I must confess it never came to me on my own how the mirror structure is there!
To me this will be helpful in further interpretations since these two are actually hexes that I have some difficulty with :))
 

dfreed

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The Zagua, describing the contrast in this pair, says,

'Abundance (55) has many causes; few connections for the Traveller (56).’

– shorthand for the complete contrast between the two stories.

I do not agree with the Zagua's summary / descriptions of these two hexagrams, and nor do I see them as 'complete contrast'.

First, looking at two other translations, they are very different:

Feng (55) tells of trouble;
Lu (56) can boast few friends.

(from the Chinese Text Project, the translation is Legge's)

and ....

Feng is much hindered,
Lu wants for kindered.
(from Rutt)

But even setting aside how different these translations of are 'Feng' are .... I don't feel that 'abundance has many causes' is an accurate nor complete 'handle' or summary for Hex. 55 - it may include some aspect(s) of hexagram 55, but it's far from complete.

And Fu means, 'few connections for the traveler' or that it 'can boast few friends'? For me that does not come close to describing Hex. 56 Fu, 'Sojouner'.

I can see where 55 - Thunder risen above Flame (poss. the Sun) - has a great deal of energy and movement to it; whereas 56's Fire above Mountain - where ancsestor Li has taken up residence in the many campfires lit by wanders - has a much more localized, contained feel.

However, these do not feel opposite or even in contrast, in the same way as dark/light, on/off, cold/hot, etc. It's more that I seem them as serving different roles / functions and having different (but not opposing) meanings.

Best, D
 
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my_key

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'Abundance (55) has many causes; few connections for the Traveller (56).’

Feng (55) tells of trouble;
Lu (56) can boast few friends. (from Legge )

Feng is much hindered,
Lu wants for kindered.
(from Rutt)

Hi David
Here's a perspective for consideration.

A 'soujourner' is a person who resides temporarily in a place.
A 'traveller' is a person who is travelling or who often travels.
They are two different ways of being and it helped me when I got this difference clear in my head.

A 'Sojourner' is one who has a tempory state of residence, therefore there are few connections with your abode or surroundings and few friends or family around you for support. So he may live with a longing for a different relationship with all that is around you.

A 'Traveller' has made a choice of lifestyle and is motivated to travel from a sense of longing to see what's on the other side of the hill or from a sense of curiosity or adventure - and even necessity. Think of the Native American Indian Tribes who travelled from place to place, moving with the cycle of the year, moving to where the good hunting would be and taking all that they needed with them as they travelled. Their temporary residence was a byproduct of their travelling and clearly one of choice.

They were at one with their travelling whereas a sojourner is not at one with his surroundings or where he is residing: he is not at peace. He is a stranger in a strange land. For this reason I see Lu more as Sojourner / Sojourning than Traveller / Travelling - like Rutt and Karcher do.

Abundance can arrive with us in many ways and for many reasons. The trouble with it is because our glass is so full with fullness that there is no room for anything else to fit in. So the fullness can easily cloud our perspective of what is really important in our life. We just have to look at all the unhappy film stars, pop star and celebrities who have been given materially 'everything they could ever wish for' and yet still lead very troubled lives and then turn to alcohol, drugs or any number of other hinderances in an attempt to mask the horror of their life. These forays into self-soothing strop them from finding a balanced / happy / fulfilled way of living. As such Abundance can have 'many grounds for sorrow': i.e. it does not guarantee happiness.

As for why 55/56 could be seen as opposites: One perspective might be that Hex 55 relates to being at the end of a journey, supposedly having all that you need. Hex 56 relates to having nothing that you need where you live. Simply put this pair could be the opposition of 'what you have' against 'what you don't have'. Even showing the difference of what it is like when your glass is full against when it is empty - or some such similar thing.

Of course, the Sojourner does find motivation to part his tempory residence through realising that even after smashing the place to smithereens and burning it down - thinking this will solve his problems all in one go - he has not met his needs. He still ends up weeping and moaning in misery. So his only answer, is to set off for another temporary residence where he might be able to find the nourishment (Hex 57) that he is missing and needing at this time.

As before, I'm not looking to convince you about any of this. I'm just sharing another facet of what works for me regarding the Zagua and this pair of hexagrams.

Good Luck
 
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dfreed

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A 'soujourner' is a person who resides temporarily in a place.
A 'traveller' is a person who is travelling or who often travels.

The translation I often use right now is Rutt's and he titles 56 'Sojourner'. I understand the distinctions you are making, however, my image of fires residing on a mountain - and the trigrams Li, Flame above Mountain - work and fit here, regardless if these fires belong to travelers, wanderers, hobos, gypsies, indians, Mongolian herders, or sojourners.

As for why 55/56 could be seen as opposites: that Hex 55 relates to being at the end of a journey, supposedly having all that you need. Hex 56 relates to having nothing that you need where you live.

I do not see nor feel this distinction, nor that this makes them 'opposites'. And I have no associations of 55 being about either the end of a journey, or that it is 'supposedly' about having all one needs.

Both hex. 55 and 56 include the trigram Li, Light, and the both have the nuclear (inner) trigrams Lake and Wind. And borrowing from Wilhelm's discussion of 55 ....

The nuclear trigrams are the Joyous, the Lake; and the Penetrating, the Wind. Hence wind and water ... are together here and all this points to ....

So I think that 55 and 56 have much more in common than they are opposites, and it makes me wonder if these shared elements are what, in large part, makes them a pair.

Wilhelm goes on to say that 55 has 'great' power because it includes Thunder. But that does not make 56 it's opposite, only that 56 includes “keeping still and adhering to clarity.”

When I think of these wanderers / travellers / sojourners, etc., I don't assume that they have 'nothing they need where they live'. Why would I assume that? In fact, often the exact opposite is true! And as you said of many American Indian tribes, their 'having enough where they are' is a function - the result - of their travels, their 'wanderings'.

So his only answer, is to set off for another temporary residence where he might ... find nourishment (Hex 57) that he is missing and needing ...

Well no, that's not 'his only answer' - especially if he is not in need of nourishment in the first place; or he didn't get Hex. 57 as part of his response from the Yi! Instead, I assume that the Yi's 'correct' response is found in the text and hexagrams and trigrams that we 'receive' in a reading.

And consider ... if you and I were to assume that the Zagua offers us correct hexagram summaries / meanings, is it so far-fetched to think that it also offers us a correct (or revised?) sequence?

... So then 56's wanderer or Native American (or whomever he or she is) would have to first 'go up' (to Hex. 30) in search of nourishment, and if he still wasn't satisfied, he'd then have to 'go down' (to Hex. 29)!

... all this must be true - and is a part of our wanderer's divination - because the new, improved 10th Wing sequence is (drum roll) .... 62 followed by 61 followed by 55 followed by 56 followed by 30 followed by 29! Or is the 'sequence' of the Zagau not correct? or ... does it just has another function or meaning and we just haven't figured it out yet?

And even here, Li, Hex 30 doesn't just 'go up' nor is it just 'directed upward' (Wilhelm)! Yes, it does have upward movement - flames rise up- but we should also think of it's constituent trigrams as meanings or as associations with clarity and safety and 'adhering to clarity' (Wilhelm), and it is also 'auspicious for raising cows.' (Upwardly mobile cows?)

So, 'going up' or 'directed upward' just doesn't cut it for me - though as part of rhyming verses, I can see how 'directed upward' might help me remember Hex. 30 ... and - as was true in Ancienct China - this could help me pass a civil service exam, but it might also make me a piss-poor diviner!

I'm just sharing another facet of what works for me regarding the Zagua and this pair of hexagrams.

And I am sharing why it doesn't work for me. As I said, I often do not find that the Zagua accurately or fully describes or summarizes the hexagrams - but it sometimes expresses one aspect of them, or gives us the meaning of one line within the gua). And it is out of order - literally.

Given all of these oddities and inaccuracies, I'm heavily leaning towards the explanation I've heard before, and I shared above - that the Zagua may be meant as a mnemonic - a rhyming memory device ....

I took a few of the lines from the Zagua and 'translated' them using Google. I know this is a piss-poor and very inaccurate way to translate, but I found it telling that all the lines I looked at end in words which rhyme:

35 Jin, zhou
36 Ming yi, zhu
48 jing tong rr kun xiangyu
47 Xian, su

55 - Feng, duo gu
56 - qin gua lu

Again, this is not conclusive (and I am not relying on it, nor do I know Chinese pronounciation), but given what others have already said about the Zagua, it is revealing - and perhaps we can think of this as circumstantial evidence.

Best, D
 
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Trojina

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I see these more as offering different - and complementary perspectives ('stories', meanings, advice); but not necessarily opposing or opposite ones.


I think a misunderstanding has occurred and from this the rest of your arguments have issued

When Hilary said

55 and 56 are a pair of hexagrams – turn 55 upside-down, look at it from the opposite perspective, and you’re looking at 56.

In this particular sentence she is referring to the structural forms of the pair. That is physically, on paper, where the lines are. If you draw 55 and turn it upside down you get 56. So if you look at 55 from the opposite end you get 56. So this is fundamentally the same hexagram upside down and hence, yes an opposite of kind as all pairs are. Here they are the reverse of one another. That's not something one can debate really. This is it one way up, turn it upside down and it's 56. All pairs are as two sides of the same coin, hence the word 'opposite' might be used in reference to that, the opposite side of the coin/of the pair.


The Zagua summarising this reverse pattern/opposition says as quoted from the blog

‘Abundance has many causes; few connections for the Traveller.’

It's brilliant I feel in that it says so much in so few words. Personally I think to spend time arguing about it being wrong is like saying the I Ching is wrong, the structure is wrong, that 55 isn't 56 upside down and viceversa and that one feels one has a better idea.


Now in those few words of the Zagua lie so much that we can expand on endlessly in our readings of course. Well expand upon with all kinds of other meaning but the beauty here is I feel in how it captures essence. Yes I could well expand on how I feel 55 is the other side of the coin from 56 and I'm sure I have many times but I feel this is beautiful the way it captures essence

‘Abundance has many causes; few connections for the Traveller.’



And then Hilary goes on to explain and describe how this can look. She says



When Wu looks around him at Feng, everything he sees is his: his subjects, his garrison, his responsibility, his command, his allies, his resources, even the signs of his mandate in the skies above. And it keeps growing – more allies, more heavenly signs, more weight of responsibility – so that he has to act.

When Hai looks around at Yi, not much he sees is his. These are not his people, the queen is not his wife, this is not his culture or his rules, and pretty soon those will not be his flocks, either.

That seems fairly clear as an expansion on the Zagua.

And let's not forget, as you seem to have forgotten/missed David, this isn't actually the main point of the blog. Hilary is talking about heroes in certain pairs in the hexagram stories. So she's talking about how the hero in 55 and 56 are effectively the same consciousness/both 'good people' having a totally different experience. That's what she says in reference to the 35/36 pair and also opposites, draw them and reverse them to see.

You could say Hexagram 35 is about the importance of making the most of opportunities, and 36 is about hiding your light under a bushel (amongst other things), but the pair in combination, showing the very different experiences of two equally good and loyal people, seems to have more to say.

Okay so she's talked about the heroes in the 55 and 56 pair (not forgetting, as you may have done, they are a pair and so inherently the other side of one another, the other side of the coin from one another) and she's talked about the heroes in the 35/36 pair.

She then, and this is the main point of the Blog, looks at the limping hero in 39 and wonders where the hero in 40 is ? There's no named hero there and yet she wonders if there is one


I wonder whether there might be a similar story-pairing in 39/40, though. Hexagram 39, Limping, evokes Yu the Great, the limping hero who conquered the Flood. And Hexagram 40 seems to be telling the story of some other hero, one we can no longer recognise, whose success comes not through decades of toiling in the mud, but the swift flight of arrows.

So the point of the Blog is leading up to a question mark over whether there is a hero in 40 who we don't see. Maybe he's lost in time or maybe he's not there in person but it certainly feels like there could be a hero there. So it's an open question, an idea.

Forgive me if this post sounds patronising, as if explaining, but I've written because it appears to me that your disagreements with the blog aren't actually with the blog. The blog isn't saying what you think it's saying and so you are arguing with a blog that hasn't been written.
 
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my_key

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And I am sharing why it doesn't work for me.
That's perfectly fine for me and I see nothing amiss in what either of us have done. You see some of the Zagua interpretations as not conclusive I see them as adding another layer of understanding to the interpretation of I Ching. I do agree though that capturing the essence of the hexagram goes a long way in understanding.
 

dfreed

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In this particular sentence she is referring to the structural forms of the pair.

And perhaps you misunderstand me. I have no heartburn with the structural form of the Zhouyi or the hexagrams; but I think that Hilary, myself, and others are talking about purpose and meaning, and not how the hexagrams are constructed.

Hilary talks about an 'opposite perspective' and about a 'complete contrast' and what I'm saying is, I see different and varied perspectives - and not juyst ones that are only opposite or are completely contrasting. My understanding of what these hexagrams mean, what they are showing us / telling us may well be different than what others think - but that doesn't mean I'm more (or less) correct, nor that mine are the only perspectives.

It is simply how I understand and see the hexagrams and the Yi, and it is therefore valid.

Personally I think to spend time arguing about it ... is like saying the I Ching is wrong, the structure is wrong, that 55 isn't 56 upside down and viceversa and that one feels one has a better idea.

And yet here you are, spending time arguing with me!

I assume the purpose here is to share ideas, perspectives, reflections, stories; even if they are in contrast to what others say - and that's what I've done. If it helps ease your criticism of me - or your attempts to make me wrong - then I'll confirm, what I've said in this thread is what I think, feel, perceive .... It's not an attempt to make the Yi 'wrong'. As someone already said of the hexagram pairs - they offer us a different way of seeing the situation.

Now in those few words of the Zagua lie so much that we can expand on endlessly in our readings ....

Well there you go - that's why you make extensive use of the Zagua and why you think it captures some kind of 'essence'; and I've already shared why I don't agree with this. In essence, I'm Hex. 30's "directed upward" to your Hex. 29's "directed downward"!

- or perhaps I'm George Burns to your Gracie Allen? Or - speaking of contrasts - maybe in this scenario you're Sigourney Weaver's Ripley and I'm the Alien!
 
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Trojina

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And perhaps you misunderstand me. I have no heartburn with the structural form of the Zhouyi or the hexagrams, but I think that Hilary, myself, and others are talking about purpose and meaning, not how the hexagrams are constructed.

In the particular sentence you quoted, that kicked off your initial post here, as I explained, she was referring to the structure when she used the word opposite. I think you missed that. To quote it again

55 and 56 are a pair of hexagrams – turn 55 upside-down, look at it from the opposite perspective, and you’re looking at 56.

You argue against that and yet there she is simply talking about the structure which one cannot argue with. One cannot argue the fact that 56 is 55 upside down and 56 is 55 upside down, it's just as it is and yet that's the point of departure for your whole argument about 55 and 56 not being opposites because xyz.

It is simply how I understand and see the hexagrams and the Yi, and it is therefore valid.

I wasn't saying your view of hexagrams wasn't valid....once more you are arguing against things that haven't been said.

And yet here you are, spending time arguing with me!
There's no 'yet'. The point is you are arguing about something in the blog that hasn't been said whilst missing the main point altogether.

I assume the purpose here is to share ideas, perspectives, reflections, stories; even if they are in contrast to what others say - and that's what I've done. If it helps ease your criticism of me - or your attempts to make me wrong - then I'll confirm, what I've said in this thread is what I think, feel, perceive .... It's not an attempt to make the Yi 'wrong'. As someone already said of the hexagram pairs - they offer us a different way of seeing the situation.
I made the points I did because I thought you were missing the point of the blog entirely and that was partly because you hadn't realised that first sentence your quoted was dealing with the structure of 55/56 rather than Hilary just making a senseless statement 'they are opposite' as you seemed to think she had.

What you've said isn't in contrast with what others have said, that's my point. It's more like you haven't even seen what they've said. If you are only arguing against what you imagine they've said it's like talking to yourself.

So I think that 55 and 56 have much more in common than they are opposites, and it makes me wonder if these shared elements are what, in large part, makes them a pair

Well no they are a pair because they are structurally a pair. Obviously pairs, being 2 sides of the same coin, are dealing with similar themes or dynamics so to speak. They are sharing a space but from a completely different angle as Hilary showed in 35/36 where you have honour/loss of honour (my words) and no I wouldn't confine meaning to those words I'm trying to convey how pairs can share a territory so to speak and be very opposite ways of experiencing that territory.
 
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dfreed

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In the particular sentence you quoted, that kicked off your initial post here, as I explained,

Well then, perhaps I miss-quoted Hilary, and I apologize, and I'll correct that here: one of the main points I am responding to is:

The Zagua, describing the contrast in this pair, says,
‘Abundance has many causes; few connections for the Traveller.’
– shorthand for the complete contrast between the two stories.

And if you actually bothered to read what I wrote than I have to assume you'd know that! So clearly, you are not really interested in anything I've said here - and yet, you want to find fault with it!

... just shows you can't have bothered to read what I said.

If you are going to argue with me, and claim that I'm wrong, and find fault with what I said (which is exactly what you are doing) ... than I'd prefer it if you actually repond to, refer to, or quote the main ideas I'm sharing - and not just rehash what you think Hilary said, or obsess about some minor things that are not at all about what I am actually saying!

... but you are correct: I'm not particulary interested in you telling me - again - what Hilary said, and what you think she meant, and how you think I didn't understand what you think Hilary meant!

And what? You don't like Gracie Allen or George Burns? (Or the cleaver way I made them out to be like the contrasting hexagrams in the Zagua?)

And ... it seems to me that you are making yourself out to be the Defender of the Yi Realm, and are taking offense at any slights you feel have been directed at the Master Diviner - and that is exactly like:

Ripley (when the Alien Queen threatens Newt - i.e. Hilary and/or the Yijing): Get away from her, you bitch (or bastard)!

Or ... if you instead want to talk about, or question, or take issue with some of the real points I'm making here (as someone else here has done), then I may (maybe, possibly) decide to respond to you.
 
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Trojina

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‘Abundance has many causes; few connections for the Traveller.’
– shorthand for the complete contrast between the two stories.

Yes there is a contrast. In 55 he is at the centre of everything and has much and in 56 he is not.


Well then, perhaps I miss-quoted Hilary, and I apologize
You didn't misquote her you just misunderstood her IMO. It's not a crime, I was just pointing it out seeing as you've written several posts now telling us how 55 is not the opposite of 56.

If you are going to argue with me, and claim that I'm wrong, and find fault with what I said (which is exactly what you are doing) ... than I'd prefer it if you actually refer to, or quote the words I wrote - and not just rehash what you think Hilary said.

If the focus of my post is basically that what you are discussing/arguing against isn't much what the blog is about then I'd refer back to what the blog actually does say, naturally. After all the thread is about the blog therefore I think referring back to it makes sense.


And what? You don't like Gracie Allen or George Burns? (Or the cleaver way I made them out to be like the contrasting hexagrams in the Zagua?)
I don't know who they are.


And ... it seems to me that you are making yourself out to be the Defender of the Yi Realm, and are taking offense at any slights you feel have been directed at the Master Diviner - and that is exactly like:
No, not the case here at all. I wouldn't say this was a slight and I have never said it was. I have called it a misunderstanding. I don't believe in 'Master Diviners' at all and I can't see how the points I made have anything much to do with defending the 'Yi realm'.

Ripley (when the Alien Queen threatens Newt - i.e. Hilary and/or the Yijing): Get away from her, you bitch (or bastard)!
These references are lost on me. I have no idea who Ripley is, or who Newt is or the Alien Queen. I haven't used any words like 'get away you bastard'.. You quote all these names assuming it's general knowledge who they are.

But ... if instead you want to talk about, or question, or take issue with some of the things I actually said (as someone else here has done), then I may (maybe, possibly) decide to respond to you

Well I mean we are in the Blog thread after all so naturally I'm more interested in what the Blog said than what you said.

You simply misunderstood the main point of the blog is what I was saying to you. All your points about 55 and 56 may be worthy but as I said they seem to be mounting a case against things that weren't said in this blog.

It's fine not to respond to me, in fact we should end this conversation as we are hijacking the thread.
 

dfreed

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It's fine not to respond to me, in fact we should end this conversation as we are hijacking the thread.

As in, you've gotten your last shots in and now you suggest that we (or I) should now stop!

That's fine, but if you actually want to really and honestly respond to what I'm saying, please start with this post, which is where I think I first entered the thread - and I'm more than fine with starting over with anything you have to say about it!

And now we should stop.
 

Liselle

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Apropos of not much, is Hai a hero? He behaves pretty badly in 56. But I don't know much about him.


Also not sure about this:
One perspective might be that Hex 55 relates to being at the end of a journey
55 is about the Zhou gathering at their garrison city Feng in order to attack the Shang, right? Probably many of them had to make a journey to get there, but 55's about what happens once they get there, isn't it? It seems more like the beginning of something (Zhou dynasty), not the end.

Maybe another way to look at it, based on something else Hilary says a lot, 56 is about passing through, moving through, not staying. The Zhou conquering the Shang is more like moving to. They stayed.

Like the difference between us taking a vacation somewhere (56, moving through, visiting), and relocating for a job (moving to, "conquering" in a way - 55?). In both cases you're the new one, the out-of-towner, so you have to work on fitting in.

Seems that's where 59.5 comes from, according to this in Wikipedia.
"Dispersing sweat, his great proclamation. Dispersing the king’s residence, Not a mistake."
Shang officials were released without charge with some later working as Zhou officials. The imperial grain store was opened immediately after the battle to feed the starving population. The battle marked the end of the Shang dynasty and the beginning of the Zhou dynasty.
(from the Wikipedia article)

So that's a contrast: the Zhou did a good job of fitting in, Hai didn't.
 
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Liselle

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Interesting side trivia, 55 and 59 are complements.

|:||:: :|::||
55.........59

55.5: "A thing of beauty is coming. There is reward and praise, good fortune."
Maybe 59.5 is the reason that's possible, because they did a decent job of conquering.
 

hilary

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Apropos of not much, is Hai a hero? He behaves pretty badly in 56.
Maybe more of an anti-hero? Though Wu was a villain for some people because of his disrespect for his deceased father.
Interesting side trivia, 55 and 59 are complements.

|:||:: :|::||
55.........59

55.5: "A thing of beauty is coming. There is reward and praise, good fortune."
Maybe 59.5 is the reason that's possible, because they did a decent job of conquering.
Complementary hexagrams, complementary line by line? Interesting thought. Well, keep going, only another 191 to go...
 

my_key

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55 is about the Zhou gathering at their garrison city Feng in order to attack the Shang, right? Probably many of them had to make a journey to get there, but 55's about what happens once they get there, isn't it? It seems more like the beginning of something (Zhou dynasty), not the end.
I've looked at the hexagram judgement across many translations over the years and they all seem to talk of the arriving at a destination or some sort of culmination. This is a place where things ust naturally come together. Books I have to hand say 'the king is present' (Rutt) or 'the king attains abundance' (Wilhelm) or 'the king reaches his point' (Huang) while Karcher in his own inimitable fashion states ' he receives the mandate'.

The ancient stories are not what always attract me to find meaning in the hexagram. From my perspective hex 55 is not just about the arrival at the garrison. There has to be an arrival, for sure, but what is it that arrives? The hexagram outlines the process of working concertedly to recognise, manifest, share and maintain the good fortune for as long as you can. The noble one has to be discerning to identify the distractions that will take him off the path of abundance and nip them in the bud.

Maybe the story for 55 is arriving in the kitchen and making a pot of tea. Filling your cup to the brim you then have to walk to your favourite chair with the intent of keeping as much tea in your cup as you can. Just the motion of your walking can be enough to create numerous splashes on the floor. Luckily there is plenty in the cup when you sit down to dunk your favourite biscuit.

I can certainly work with the image for 56 of B&B at Bognor Regis.

Take Care
 

dfreed

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I've looked at the hexagram judgement across many translations over the years and they all seem to talk of the arriving at a destination ...

Reminds me of .... Be Here Now

"... 'arriving' - in, at, to - the present moment"

See also 37, 45, 59.
 
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my_key

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I don't know where or what (or whom?) this is? Best, D.
B &B = Bed and Breakfast and is a shortened term used in UK(and I thought world wide) for a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and breakfast.

Bognor Regis is UK town blessed with a veritable cornucopia of seaside delights.
 

Liselle

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I've looked at the hexagram judgement across many translations over the years and they all seem to talk of the arriving at a destination or some sort of culmination. This is a place where things ust naturally come together. Books I have to hand say 'the king is present' (Rutt) or 'the king attains abundance' (Wilhelm) or 'the king reaches his point' (Huang) while Karcher in his own inimitable fashion states ' he receives the mandate'.
It's funny, I think I can recognize this as a reaction, without necessarily thinking it's what 55's about. The thing people sometimes do of thinking that arriving somewhere is the culmination when it's really not. What would be examples, I don't know, getting accepted to college? Making the team? Convincing your amour to marry you? Peak moments, but then you have to do the thing (get decent grades, stay in shape, take care of your marriage, whatever).

Maybe I'm confusing 55 with 63, or maybe there actually are some similarities but I'm confusing them. Maybe they're both about a transition. 63 crosses a river, 55 sets out to conquer, transfer power, begin a new dynasty, etc. 55's about receiving a mandate to do something, like conquer the Shang. 63 doesn't mention a mandate per se, but as Hilary puts it, it's about keeping beginner's mind. Not arriving somewhere and thinking you're done when you're not.

(My second-guessing-of-self demon has spotted an opening now. :lol: )


What you're saying here, maybe. There are distractions (signs and omens, Wen's death, visitors, broken arms...) - maybe not to be ignored so much as heeded and/or managed properly. E.g. in 55.1 you have time for this, but only so much.

(I like the teacup analogy. :teapot: )
The ancient stories are not what always attract me to find meaning in the hexagram. From my perspective hex 55 is not just about the arrival at the garrison. There has to be an arrival, for sure, but what is it that arrives? The hexagram outlines the process of working concertedly to recognise, manifest, share and maintain the good fortune for as long as you can. The noble one has to be discerning to identify the distractions that will take him off the path of abundance and nip them in the bud.

Maybe the story for 55 is arriving in the kitchen and making a pot of tea. Filling your cup to the brim you then have to walk to your favourite chair with the intent of keeping as much tea in your cup as you can. Just the motion of your walking can be enough to create numerous splashes on the floor. Luckily there is plenty in the cup when you sit down to dunk your favourite biscuit.
 
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Liselle

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Could 63 be about maintaining and not slipping backwards, and 55's more about taking some big action?

"Already across, creating success" (63) vs. "Abundance, creating success" (55).
63 "merely" needs constancy, but 55 needs the king.
63 "yields a small harvest." 55 says "abundance."
Big themes in 55 are relegated to lines in 63:
55 - sacrifice in the Judgement; 63 - line 5.
55 - about a conquest; 63 - conquest in line 3.

63 seems smaller all around...
 

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