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Do you think the Yi knows it all, or only what WE know?

pedro

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Sorry to start all this threads, but Im going on weekend, and wont be able to post, so I thought I'd leave this for you to chew over the weekend


I've had faith in the infallibility of the Yi for a long time. But recently, by using it way too often on a recent situation in my life, I found some evidence of a different behavior. Sometimes, it would only go so far with the answers as to what I already knew, or sensed intuitively, and then I also noticed that asking the oracle, imediately AFTER I have been given another piece of information by something that happened, would then provide a much more profound answer, as if by taking knowledge of something more, I had given the Yi new material to work upon...

This has made me dubious if its not just what I know, even if at a deep level, that unconscious level where allegedly we already know it all, that the Yi can bring to the surface with the answers...
But then again it has predicted events accurately more times than I can remember, so its divination use and effectiveness remain intact by this doubt of mine. Its on the more elusive questions, for instance those dealing with other people's feelings, that I seem to notice this more. It seems what I know, even if subconsciously, makes a difference, and when I get knew data, I throw the coins again, cause I know something more will come out.

In any case, I never doubted of the close interaction between the mind of the questioner and the outcome of the Yi, and this doesnt in any way change my relationship to it, as I havent had nothing but good answers (I mean, even the bad ones were deserved). If these answers come from the universal tao, or from my soul, or whatever, is mainly irrelevant.
But what do you all think?
 
C

candid

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Hi Pedro,

I think the Yi is sometimes almost too human. Its answers have the dimension of a wise and thoughtful person, not just a text of applicable principles. Its this living human characteristic that keeps me intrigued, not just its precise solutions to my puzzles.
 

midge

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Hi,

I often get a sense that the answers are actually pitched to a level I can understand, as if someone were gently steering me in the right direction even tho I'm miles from the path. If I insist, I often get hex. 4 (lots and lots of times actually), which pretty much sums up the relationship with the Yi for me. Total personification, or what?
 
C

candid

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Sure seems it, midge. I know what you mean about being 'pitched' on the level we're tuned into. It applies as a ball being thrown to or a frequency I'm tuned into. Personification indeed.
 

kts

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I've just been told off by I Ching. Because of a question based on negative thinking, I got H27 with moving line 1 'You let your magic tortoise go'. I said 'I know I'm not perfect', and got the reassuring H53, moving line 5, leading to H52. Perhaps that meant 'Now give it (or me?) a rest; but I blundered on and got H27 --> H23 again. When I questioned why I got this again (I was only trying to say 'Thanks for listening'), the final answer was H6 [Conflict/Arguing], moving lines 2 and 3, leading to H33 [Withdrawing], withdrawing with dignity from a rather troublesome and wearying follower. It feels as if there really is someone at the other end getting tired of the conversation. I actually (re)learnt something about myself from this.
 

kts

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I learn how prone I am to concentrate on what I haven't got, or can't do, rather than what I have got. It's to do with jealousy of someone else's success.
 
C

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Kts - That's a very brave admission. Something we all struggle with from time to time. Thanks for sharing it openly and reminding me of it also.
 

kts

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Thank you, Candid. You probably wouldn't have to be a genius to guess it's a relationship issue - wanting something that's not available quite as I would like it.
 
C

candid

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Kts - Might it be helpful to consider the nourishment themes in 27 and 5? 53 is gradual growth and we need nourishment to do that. Our roots must be as great as our branches. The roots feed the whole tree, do they not?
 

gene

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Hi Kts

It may be that the I Ching was recommending you meditate on and chew the message that was being delivered before you asked another message. It appears to me that the I Ching can indeed chew us out at times, but it also appears to me that it can be very forgiving in the long run. A lot depends on our intent. If the sage withdraws, it is usually only temporary. Just give it some time and yourself some time to reflect on the message, and when you consult again, make sure it is for continuing education, and not a rehash of all that has gone before.

Gene
 

kts

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Thank you Candid and Gene. I'll reflect and chew on your messages too. I did ask another question over the weekend about my proper way forward in this relationship (taking a long time over the casting, trying to be as calm as possible - I almost went to sleep) and got H54, moving lines 1 and 4, resulting in H7 (a hexagram I'm getting a lot recently).

But my main reason for posting in this particular area was the perhaps hoary old question of where the answers come from. I know some correspondents on these pages have come to the conclusion that this is an unanswerable question, if you are assuming the reply comes from a source distinct from ourselves.
 

kts

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i.e. Can 'the sage' get angry, frustrated, tired, just like a human parent?
 
C

candid

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Kts, According to Wilhelm in 4, "If mistrustful or unintelligent questioning is kept up, it serves only to annoy the teacher." This annoyance could be seen as frustrated. In 2 he says: " In the top place the dark element should yield to the light. If it attempts to maintain a position to which it is not entitled and to rule instead of serving, it draws down upon itself the anger of the strong.

I don't really know where the answer comes from but I believe we all belong to the source. Who can define the source? The only name it has is the one we assign it.
 

pedro

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I am more and more convinced that the answers come from ourselves. If one draws often, one sees a much more obvious connection to the state of mind. On the other hand, it can give some brutal answers, whether we want to hear them or not, so it doesnt necesarly try to please us.
Again I think it all comes from within us.
But then I also believe we all have buddha nature, and so all the true answers are inside ourselves already. Not our conscious rational (error prone) ansers, but the god like answers (the truth) of the sage we all are deep down. So it doesnt really matter, provided it works.
 

uselesstree

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Hi all

At some level the question of where the answers come from gets stuck right here, the I Ching or the questioner. The Hindus say that the deepest center of the self (atman) is the deepest center of the universe (brahman), the Buddhists say that all things share Buddha nature, even some of the deepest Christian thinkers say that there is no intellegence, power or even existence but that of God. That being said, the source of wisdom in the I Ching IS THE ONLY SOURCE of wisdom, or wisdom itself. Therefore, the wisdom of the Ching is our own wisdom which is the wisdom of the cosmos, or nature, or what ever you want to call it.

Personality is, IMO a kind of trancendent quality like being itslef, all things share it at the foundation of their being so the Ching has personality, just as we all have it and manifest it in our own way.

Jung seems to believe that the answers have to do with the "unconcious of the questioner". This implies, or may imply, that it is we who know. This misses the point. If there is only one Tao which is at the heart of the tenthousand things (the unconcious of things so to speak) than when we inquire of the Ching we are sharing in wisdom AS SUCH.
 

lindsay

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Dear Uselesstree,

The question about ?where does the answer come from? can appear very large or very small.

Very large if one chooses to address it philosophically as a problem of epistemology, one of the most arid and tiresome academic disciplines of 20th century philosophy. How do we know what we know? Where does knowledge come from? Of what does it consist? When is something the case or not the case? And so on.

Will it surprise you there is no general agreement on these issues? No need to mull over general Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, or Jungian concepts ? there are hundreds of others, and no consensus even within each school.

So if we can?t figure out how humans know what they know, and whether it?s true in any real sense, how can we ever understand how the Yi knows what it knows?

This is where the question ?where does the answer come from? becomes very small. The amazing shrinking issue. A lot of people, perhaps most, approach the Yi pragmatically. ?I don?t know how the Yi works, but in my experience it gives meaningful answers.? Who can argue with that? Where do the answers come from? Who cares, as long as they are useful.

Some people say it is natural for man to think in anthropomorphic terms; that is, to imagine abstract ideas and forces in human form. That?s the way our brains work, the way we are most comfortable thinking abstractly as a species. So we have gods and goddesses, spirits and ghosts, angels and devils. They are all more or less just like us. And so, similarly, is the Yi.

I have heard people argue whether the Oracle is male or female. I say, how are you most comfortable visualizing the Yi? Well, that?s exactly how it is!

On a basic level, when reading the Yi, the result is more important than the process. On a higher level, perhaps, the result may be less important than the process ? I think wise Cheiron said something like that once. Either way, it doesn?t matter much how the Yi works. It simply does.

Lindsay
 

binz

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Hi all,

just catching up on the last 5 days posts after a long weekend off and wanted to give a general comment. Re this thread, and also all the discussion on how Jesus became so wise. It seems to me like we are in dangers of losing priorities here.

All the talk has been about the how, I feel it would be much better to spend that time and energy contemplating the advice given by Yi, Jesus, dreams, and any other inspirations that we see as relevent to our lives, rather than how the wisdom was got. Wisdom is wisdom, however it is arrived at doesn't matter, it is still wisdom.

While the background is interesting, let it not get in the way of the meaning.

You can't hear honey over the sound of a rabbit.

Binz
 
C

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Its in our human nature to ask questions and to seek and interpret the answers. We are discussing where the answers come from. It seems logical to me that answers come from the same place as the questions.

?It just is,? has got to be one of the most difficult concepts for our human species to see and accept. And yet, while it seems difficult to me, its the purest and simplest of explanations I can manage.

I believe that its our peculiar bent to activate personal agendas, but I don?t believe the Universe has one. While it has no agenda of its own, it does reflect our own agenda back to us ? a sort of Devine mirror. Isn?t that what our images of sages and saviors are? And demons as well? They are us, but we are not them. They, like Yi, are only reflections of our own agendas.

The battle for understanding is between what is and what we want it to be. If we didn?t want there would be no question, and therefore, no answer.

Perhaps the real question might be: Where does our need for significance come from?
 

lindsay

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Yes, Candid, I think you are right about the "real" question. Puzzling, isn't it, that we seem to have this driving need to find meaning in things? Is it a futile desire, some sort of evolutionary animal trait wildly out of line with the conditions of modern life? Or is it perhaps our best trait, the foundation of our "spirituality"? I honestly don't know. But it isn't hard to see how the Yi fits into this obsession with finding the meaning of life, is it?

Lindsay
 

lenardthefast

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We toss the coins, the hexagram forms, sometimes leading to another, other times not. The whole process would seem to be totally a matter of the merest chance, and yet, due to the specifics within the hex which speak so pointedly to the questions we ask, we know that chance is not involved. IMHO,we have seen the sage and he/she is us.

Although the question "where do the answers come from" is intriguing, I believe if anyone here knew the answer, they wouldn't have the need to ask the questions. So, ultimately, we wind up debating an issue far beyond our ken. I personally have enough of a problem understanding the symbology given in the answers.

My personal 'belief' is that the answers come from the same place as the questions, but its a far cry from that 'belief' to empirical proof. So, I spend the time pondering the answers. Eventually, if I live long enough and focus enough attention, I will KNOW where the answers originate.

Or not....


Namaste,
Leonard
 

uselesstree

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Hi

I think the original question "Do you think the Yi knows it all, or only what WE know?" implies the question of where the answers come from. If the Ching knows then the answers come from it, if we know then the answer comes from us.

I don't think my statements above bespoke an epistomological line of reasoning (I am a philosophy major btw). I think that they rather reflected a metaphysical speculation on the nature of wisdom which we ascribe to the Ching if we are inclined to think it has anything to offer us about life.

Nor does it suprise me that there is no general agreement as to the answer. I tend to think of philosophy as more an art than a science. The answers given by philosophers are, IMO, like the expressions of musicians. There are lots of ways to play music, lots of styles and genras. No one would seriously say that music is aiming at any sort of "answer", rather, it is a practice of interpretation of feeling within certain more of less universal principles (harmony and such).

Lindsay says" "A lot of people, perhaps most, approach the Yi pragmatically. ?I don?t know how the Yi works, but in my experience it gives meaningful answers.? Who can argue with that? Where do the answers come from? Who cares, as long as they are useful." Whether this is the case or not, (I imagine that it is the case), Pedro's question was asked. Lindsay's response to my speculations would seem to indicate that the original question is irrealavent or at least unanswerable in any ultimately meaningful sense since there is no way that we can know if our answers to such questions are "true". Futher, if the only thing that matters is whether the answers the Ching gives are useful then it doesn't matter if it, or we know.


Lao Tzu says that those who say don't know and those who know don't say. Given that he said this, following the logic of his statement, he must not know if what he says is true because he said it. I think we speak not to arrive at answers but for the same reason that birds sing.

Why do birds sing? There are lots of ways to answer that question and I'm not sure we would ever know the right answer from all the rest. The biologist will get one kind of answer based on what she wants to know. the poet another, the theologian another. If the answer that any of these or others give doesn't seem important or useful to someone, it will have more to do with what that person wants to know (or doesn't want to know) than the "rightness" of the answer. I gave my answer believing that the original question was a sincere one. I don't think it was right, or wrong, it is simply mine. I think the answer of how the Ching knows is important to someone who asks the question and some one asked.

As I read over this post it occurs to me that I might sound somewhat defensive and I want to assure that this is not the case. I do how ever wonder why it would be important to point out that it doesn't matter how the Ching knows or doesn't know if some one thought it important enough to ask the question.

Peace
 

lenardthefast

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Hi ULT,

Aha! A question I can answer! Birds sing to mark their territory and to attract mates. Thats a lot easier than where the answers come from.

Namaste,
Leonard
 
C

candid

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Lindsay, its like one piece of an assembled puzzle asking another, "how do we fit in?"

No, not hard at all to see how Yi fits into this curious obsession. Its probably this curious energy that wrote the book in the first place. Questions/answers, two sides of the same coin. Can't have one without the other. Without them where would we be, except just being? Dogs already do that, but then so do Buddhas.

I think that without this sort of interactive mental phenomenon, we get bored. The mind is a restless beast. Beating it into submission doesn?t produce healthy results either. So instead, we create a controlled field of activity. By understanding the elements at work outwardly we can apply them inwardly, and receive our just rewards.

I think it was you who once brought up the subject of whether Greatness actually exists. The Great Man was, I believe, your application. Well, I still haven?t figured that one out for myself. I know the ?image? of the Great Man exists, but whether greatness is a definition which fits into anything other than our own perception, I?m not convinced of. Neither can I perceive greatness not existing. How could I, when its the process of perceiving that creates greatness in the first place?

I think we?ve created this life each lives, and now we must live with our creation, for better or worse, till death do us part. And, I think Yi helps us to do that.

Candid
 

binz

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"just being? Dogs already do that, but then so do Buddhas. "

hmm, could 'our' dog be a buddha! I do wonder sometimes whether he is spending all day comtemplating / meditating on life etc - or if he's just lazing around. He does have a serene knowingness about him.

and if they are the same, is the happiness of a wet dog the same as the happiness of a wet Buddha?

maybe that's a question without an answer

Binz
 

heylise

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Hi Uselesstree, I loved your mail "sharing in wisdom AS SUCH." and it fits beautifully with your name. A tree not getting chopped down because it is useless.

I flagged it because I wanted to answer, but somehow there was never enough rest during the past days.

Hope I can find the peaceful moment to peace something together. Doing my best to be as useless as possible.

LiSe
 
C

candid

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Uselesstree, I'm a bit confused over your statements:

"Jung seems to believe that the answers have to do with the "unconscious of the questioner". This implies, or may imply, that it is we who know. This misses the point. If there is only one Tao which is at the heart of the tenthousand things (the unconscious of things so to speak) than when we inquire of the Ching we are sharing in wisdom AS SUCH."

Our unconscious is the same as THE unconscious. How does Jung miss the point but your ?unconscious of things so to speak? differ?
 
C

candid

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PS: I've never thought of Jung's unconscious mind as referring to something unique to any individual. I don't believe he did either. His references point to the collective unconscious, "AS SUCH," not to the individual unconscious. As far as I know, there is no such thing as the individual unconscious mind. In Jung?s context, he?s always referred to it as collective.
 

heylise

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I understood Uselesstree?s words as referring to a deeper unconscious as the collective unconscious of man, and much much deeper than personal unconscious.
To me it feels as if at the base of everything, living or not living, is a structure, which is the universal tao. Maybe both words are not quite right, unconscious or tao. This structure or pattern or fabric or web is universe itself. The word cosmos means fabric, if I am right (and Jing means warp!).
The Yi has the same basic structure as we have, but it is more visible as structure. In living creatures it hides behind the way things look.

Yesterday I read that hexagram 63 had sometime long ago (in the WangJiaTai GuiZang) the name ?Spider?. So when one gets 63, one is, or should be, like a spider, with one?s own web in universe.

LiSe
 
C

candid

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LiSe, if you're correct, I'm incorrect. I've just never heard of any other definition for the unconscious mind other than the collective unconscious mind. Since it was Jung who coined the term, I thought it a little funny that uselesstree would say that Jung missed the point, and then redefine the word according to his own definition.
 

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