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Can Yi comment on the past?

O

ole

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When one is wondering: did I do the right thing? - is it then possible to ask I Ching: How would the best approach have been?

I haven?t heard anybody talk about using I Ching this way and I am currious to hear what your viewpoints are about this.
It opens up a new possibility: to use I Ching as an aid to cast light on situations in the past.

Have just tried it out. After a meeting, I was in doubt if I should have given my critical thoughts towards X voice. Asking I Ching for the best approach, and 53 "Gradual advance" (53,5) seems to indicate that it was not totally off track not talking about it.

If f.ex. someone blames me for some something I have done, I could consult I Ching, to see if it supports my choise of action or agrees with my friends viewpoint.

Of course it can lead into a lot of: what If I had married X instead of Y?, which might not be productive, I dont know.
 
J

jesed

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Hi Ole

Just in case the commentarie could be useful

Yi Jing can even tell you about your past life... (of course, if you beleive in reincarnation)

But the real question is: what is the real fruit of asking that?

You can make Yi Jing a mirror that enlights you so much, that you stop see and live reality

Best wishes
 

lightofdarkness

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The Yi can comment on anything. The temporal focus being on:

What WAS/IS/WILL BE (yang bias) or what COULD HAVE BEEN/IS NOT/COULD BE (yin bias)

The questions approach allows for the use of 'what if' in that one can change things around and so use the I Ching as an aid in understanding in general and so play with the imagined and real.

See:

http://members.iimetro.com.au/~lofting/myweb/lofting/icplusProact.html

The point here is on identification of context, what is 'pushing' or what WAS pushing or what could be pushing.

To get details about a hexagram derived from "what would have been if I had married X" use the XOR details to give you a summary of that hexagram's properties and methods where the summary is made through analogy to all of the other hexagrams (reflecting the 'all is linked together' nature of the IC as a whole)

For comments/access_to the XOR details see the table and associated links in the XOR section (scroll down the opening page) at:

http://members.iimetro.com.au/~lofting/IChingPlus
 

lightofdarkness

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... one of the properties of consciousness is that of imagination. From a development perspective what imagination allows us to do is to adapt to context PRIOR to actually experiencing it. This is VERY efficient in that it allows for one to fit in to a context quickly due to having 'theoretical' knowledge beforehand - we have a rough idea about what to expect (this dynamic is reflected in such activities as imagining an image - your visual areas of your brain will 'light up' since at the base level of neurology there is no distinction of real or imagined) -- there are some 'issues' of course in that imagination does not come with a built-in understanding of basic physics etc so our imaginations can 'run wild' at times and so a need for education etc. to 'fit in' to the paradigm of the collective (that can be imagined!)

The interactions of consciousness and the universe, and so the ideal vs the material, allows for the development of a hybrid reality.- a 'small world' network as we interact with local context. (geneotype (possible expressions) and context give phenotype, actual expression))
 

void

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Hi Ole, thats an interesting question. I've never much gone into asking the Yi what would have happened if I had done x because I don't want drive myself nuts with self recrimination - then again I guess alot could be learned if you approach from a 'what would have been the best way to do this' angle. I have on occasion asked if I am truly at fault if someone has blamed me for something and I find the Yi pretty straight forward and useful in response to that kind of question.

Synchronistic for me that you bought this up as only today I have been wondering about a decision I made some time ago, what it had led to, and how differently things might have worked out if I had not taken the course I did. Wasn't beating myself up over it, just wondering how and if I could have done it better. Never occurred to me to ask the Yi about it - I suppose I thought whats done is done - but for my own learning it might be useful to ask incase I come to such a pivotal moment again - to be really aware of what led me to one decision over another - did I follow anothers lead - or did I trust my own judgement.

That kind of questioning might be useful if you find you always follow a pattern of behaviour - to help make you aware of it.

Usually though I limit questions to what is concerning me now and immediate future. This is because I find consulting the Yi really exhausting, somehow quite an intense activity, thats why I'm amazed when people ask 6 questions in one sitting, they must be young and full of beans I guess
 

hilary

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I've never tried the 'What if I had...?' approach, either - I agree it sounds like a shortcut to extreme nuttiness. But asking about the past is absolutely possible and potentially very useful indeed. Why things worked out as they did, what was really going on. Also, asking about something you already understand tolerably well is a good way of studying Yi.
 
O

ole

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Yes, I also agree that there is danger of getting nuts if asking to much: "what had happened if (...I stayed with my former girlfriend, etc.)".

Void wrote: "That kind of questioning might be useful if you find you always follow a pattern of behaviour..", and I am thinking in those lines.

I find this kind of question might be useful to get some insight into "why" also.
I have found that I seldom get clear answers to questions starting with "why...".
Seems to me that the answers in I Ching are all pointing towards the correct behavior/attitude in a situation, not towards the reason why things became like they are.
Asking "what should I have done" could indirectly answer questions of "why"; if my behavior was very different from the advice I Ching gives, the reason why things went bad could be because of that...
I Ching might not have a written answer among the 384 possible lines that can describe *why* X got angry of me. But it probably contains an advice that would have helped me in this (or a similar) situation.

I remember one of my friends asking "why does X withdraw from me". The answer was puzzling - it was all about harmony and peacefull action. It kept giving these kinds of answers, and we almost gave up on I Ching that night.
It seems to me that I Ching was maybe giving directions and was actually answering the question: "which behavior would have been appropriate?".

BTW she also asked "Why did X react the way she did" and I wonder if this kind of question is not even further away from what I Ching is capaple of answering, as all the answers are about advices or warnings.
But maybe the answer to "what should I have done" could *implicit* give the answer to why the other person reacted like she did.
 
J

jesed

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Hi Ole

Yi Jing actually was telling your friend why X withdraw from she/he... X was serching for harmony and peace.

Yi Jing is very capable to asnwer "why" things happened... you see.. some people say Yi have 64 combinations for answer (because there are 64 hexagrams); another peoples say Yi have 384 combinations for answer (because there are 384 individual lines).

Actually, if you count previous calculations and posterior calculations of an hexagram casted by yarrow sticks, Yi Jing has 11,520 combinations.

Best wishes
 

lightofdarkness

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16+ million and counting - depends on the level of recursion. 64 hexagrams is different to 64 hexagrams with changing lines, the latter reflects the compression of symbolisms of 4096 into 64 - the 4096 can represent the compression of 16+ million etc - the issue is in dealing with so much, there can be too much noise.
 
O

ole

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Today I tried a "why" question, which as I have said, I never have felt have given me meaningful answers.
Afterwards I tried to ask a question in accordance with how I think questions are best formulated so that meaningfull answers are recieved: "In that situation, what would have helped me?"

Asking "why"-questions are to me like if I asked a friend: "Why do you think I am not getting anywere in my life" and he aswers: "Get your ass moving!" Implicit he IS answering my question: "you are too lazy!". But if I knew that it was only in my friends language to tell me what to DO, I could just as well word my questions to fit those answers.

My question was:
"Why did I feel so bad during the meeting yesterday?"
I got 42,1,2,5 > 4.

Line 1: Beneficial to begin a new undertaking. Supreme good fortune. No blame.
Line 2: Someone increases him. (...)
Line 5: If you are sincere...supreme good fortune.

I could look at the answer in different in two different ways:

1. 4: "Youthful folly" speaks for itself :)
and it talks about increase,a new undertaking,that someone increases me and it suggest a sincere attitude.
At the meeting, I actually felt negative inside towards some development that took place. And also I felt negative in general towards an inapropriate "expansive" mood among the participants (Increase).

2. I could also take it as suggestions to what my attitude should have been in that situation - that I should have been more engaged,allowed others to "increase me" and have shown more sincerity.

After doing this cast, I felt unsure about the meaning of it, so I did one more, and asked in according with my "rule": "What could have helped me in this and similar situations?".

I got 58 (no changing lines).
THATS a clear answer TO the question, i.e.: Be open, interact, express yourself, be responsive.

P.S. From this I can then deduce the "why(I didnt felt good)": I was NOT open, interacting and responsive to the others.
----
A further idea: When I get a non-changing hex. I sometimes look at the core hex. as a hidden possibility of growth. The core hex. for 58 is 37:The Family. And yes - what I missed in the situation was the feeling of being connected to the group. As an experiment I checked which lines had to move to get from 58 to 37.
Then I get 58,2,3,4,6. - and actually what these lines are saying is almost the same as my first cast: 42,1,2,5.
Do you think that this strategy with not-changing hexagrams are far out?

Ole
 
J

jesed

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Hi Ole

Just in case the commentarie could be useful

1.- One have to put any theory or interpretation methodology face to reality (as you had do). So, if reality shows you it works, then it works...

2.- Now, traditionally. The way to know the cause of any given situation is not asked like "why X happened", but it is derived mathematically from a Diagnosis question of the present situation.

3.- I had found that methodology of yarrow sticks is not complete showed in any I Ching book (excepted Ricardo Andree's). The meth is not only how to cast an hexagram, but how to find mathematically from the hexagram casted a) Objective situation, b) Subjective situation, c) causes d) effects, e) tendencies f) Frame time in calendaric g) ascendents h) hidden tendencies i)relationship among a microsmical aspect with macrocosmical realm j) Gates of spiritual development withing that situation

4.- The reason why those aspects of traditional methodology is not showed in I Ching books is: a) many studies had not access to traditional sources; b) I Ching had forbidden people within traditional sources to teach those aspects, until last 6-8 years ago.

5.- Why I Ching had forbidden teach those aspects? because it wasn't Time for open-teaching of that until the Time I Ching is living nowadays. I Ching teaching to western world has it own Way, and gradual development.

6.- In traditional teachings, nobody can teach anything about I Ching (neither a particular aspect of I Ching) if he/she hadn't receive the Seal for doing that from Masters (confimed that Seal with I Ching itself). In this particular case, the Seal for made public this post indicate that one have something to say, but many won't believe this words; even so, I must follow what is my seal: even if I could find humiliation for posting it, the goal for doing it will be reached.

Best wishes
 

jte

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Ole, some input on your original question - I sometimes ask follow up questions to the Yi along the lines of "How well did I follow the advice you gave me". The answers are relevant, so I believe the Yi is accepting the questions.

However, on occasion I've gotten answers that seemed to indicate I shouldn't ask these kinds of questions too often. My take on this is that it's important to remember to use these kinds of questions (sparingly) as a learning tool only and to not let them become a crutch or sounding board for insecurities through overuse/overreliance on the Yi.

My two cents,

- Jeff
 

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