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EARTHQUAKE!!!

cal val

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Well how interesting this should follow very closely behind LiSe's discovery of the glowing fumes and spider in the Yi.

I've discovered an earthquake in the Yi. While re-reading my brand new copy of the Wilhelm/Baynes version of the Yi in conjunction with S J Marshall's "The Mandate of Heaven", I re-read Hexagram 51 and discovered I was reliving the Northridge earthquake ...the epicenter from which I was living a short 13 miles when it hit. For those of you who don't know, it is considered to be one of the ten worst earthquakes in the last century.

After re-reading 51, I immediately did some research and corresponded with Mr. Marshall and then Hilary about my conclusions. Hilary encouraged me to post to the forum for possible additional input from any of you who might have researched the possibility.

Below is an edited conpendium of excerpts from my correspondence with both.

I have no doubt now that, IF Wilhelm's translation in the judgment is true to the Chinese sources he referenced, Hex 51 is actually the account of an earthquake. Having lived my whole life in Southern California and been there, done that far too many times, I only too well recognize the description of an earthquake and the terror it produces.

Earthquakes are, without a doubt, the worst natural disaster a person can endure and create the greatest 'outside' terror a person can know. There have been many arguments among people across this country as to whether a tornado or an earthquake is the worst. I recently spoke with a man who believed that tornadoes were the worst until he experienced an earthquake in Oakland, California. He is now unshakeable in his belief that earthquakes are, by far, the worst. There is warning with tornadoes. There is a weather pattern that develops before a tornado develops and touches down. You can see a tornado coming, and either move out of its path or find a safe shelter. There is no way for a person to anticipate an earthquake. It hits you where you're standing...or sitting...or lying. During the Northridge quake in 1994, the thundering of the ground ("It is symbolized by thunder, which bursts forth from the earth...") woke me just a scant few seconds before the shaking started, and I was still struggling to get out of my bedroom when the shaking peaked (both peaks - there were two peaks in the Northridge quake.)

"...and by its shock causes fear and trembling." I truly thought I was going to die. I've never been so frightened in my life.

Further, I wonder about the understanding of the mechanics of earthquakes in this statement, "A yang line develops below two yin lines and presses upward forcibly. This movement is so violent that it arouses terror." That's a simple and perfect description of how a thrust fault works. Did they intuit it? Or were they digging at fault lines back then, like geophysicists today, to observe how earthquakes work?

I'm certain the thunder mentioned in 51 is not the thunder of a thunder storm. Besides the fact the words say "...thunder which bursts forth from the earth..." (not the sky), you can't hear thunder in a thunderstorm from 30-33 miles away (or 50-70 as Hilary suggested in her correspondence), but you can hear the thunder of an earthquake from 30-70 miles away ("Let the thunder roll and spread terror a hundred [li] around..." You can hear it (and feel it) from 300 miles away if the magnitude of the quake is great enough -- earthquakes along the coast of California are often felt as far away as Las Vegas, Nevada.

Thunder is not shocking. You always see the clouds building, then lightening, so you expect it. In fact, usually the lightening appears well in advance of the thunder, where the thunder of an earthquake just barely precedes the quake and then accompanies it. Earthquakes are ALWAYS shocking.

Additionally, there's no real threat of death with thunder. The chances of getting struck by lightening are remote. There is a very real threat of death with earthquakes. The second it starts the threat starts because you don't know if it's going to get stronger and how much stronger or if it's going to stay weak or how long it's going to last...the element of the unknown is much much higher with an earthquake than with thunder.

There are many strong quakes in China. China is one big fracture zone squeezed between three different plates, the Pacific plate, the Indian plate and the Philippine plate, accounting for about 53 - 54% of the world's earthquakes. The quakes there are strong because they're relatively shallow. And the Shang and Zhou dynasties just happened to have been situated on a very active seismic belt...talk about \newurl(http://kepu.jsinfo.gov.cn/english/quake/outline/otl02.html,"living on the fault line."}

I think, because of the frequency of the quakes there, it would be near impossible to pinpoint the date or the quake referenced in 51, but I'd be interested to learn whether anyone has tried...and if they've succeeded.

There may be a clue as to when the judgment of this hexagram was written using the information in the following links. Having not done the extensive research so many others have and being at a loss for a wealth of reliable resources here, living in a small town in the South with very limited resources outside of those that support Christianity, I have no idea how reliable the information I've found on the net is.

HOWEVER, I think I've found evidence of a connection between the vessel mentioned in Hex 50 and the sacrificial spoon and chalice mentioned in Hex 51, in the first KNOWN seismograph. Further description of the seismograph and its inventor, Zhang Heng, and his time, the Latter Han dynasty are mentioned in this article - http://www2.vuw.ac.nz/asianstudies/publications/quarterly/98aprila.html.

Look at the shape of the dragons? They look rather like spoons don't they? In fact, if the person who recreated the vessel based on Zhang Heng's written description had designed the dragon wings so that they are opened in flight, extending out from the body and curling upwards at the outside edges, then the dragon could indeed by used as a spoon or ladle. Is it possible Heng got his idea watching and hearing the spoons hanging from the cooking vessel rattle during a quake?

Could it be that domes, much like the dome in this seismograph, covered cooking vessels just as lids cover pots and pans today? And could it be that the dome is the chalice referenced in the Wilhelm translation? Those of you who know Chinese might know if it's possible. In a strong enough quake, certainly spoons hanging and domes covering would shake and fall from the cooking vessels. The vessel may even overturn (50/1) in a strong enough earthquake. Is the Chinese character for ball close enough in appearance to that for spoon for this misinterpretation to have resulted?

Further indication that Hex 51 is about an earthquake is the fact it's paired with its opposite, Hex 52 "Keeping Still" What could be more opposite of being shaken as if in a martini blender than keeping still?

Earthquake and terror references in the changing lines of Hex 51:

Line 1 -- Fear and trembling, then laughing words. "Fear and trembling engendered by the shock" is replaced by "laughing words when the ordeal is over and he experiences relief." So true. When the shaking starts, one goes straight to intense fear because one does not know whether it's going to get stronger or subside in strength. Once the shaking stops, there's a huge sense of relief...sort of. If one has experienced a number of earthquakes, then one becomes very alert to the possibility it was merely a foreshock and a bigger one could be close on its heels.

Line 2 - "Shock comes bringing danger a hundred thousand times." You lose your treasures and must climb the nine hills. Do not go in pursuit of them. After seven days you will get them back again."

A large quake is always followed by aftershocks. They are initially very strong and frequent and gradually decrease in size. It was about a week after the Northridge quake before people dared venture back into their yellow-tagged homes (green tag on your home meant safe to re-enter, yellow tag - proceed at your risk, red tag - do not enter!). I suspect there was a place nine hills (nine was a lucky number in ancient China) from the town or city this particular quake hit where the inhabitants stayed until the aftershocks subsided enough they felt safe to return for their belongings. The Red Cross shelters in Los Angeles stayed in operation for about a week after the Northridge Quake.

Line 3 - "Shock comes and makes one distraught. If shock spurs to action, One remains free of misfortune."

This and the next line are about the adrenalin response to sudden shock known as "fight or flight" -- the tendency to either react in a problem solving mode...or become paralyzed with fear. This is the former response -- take action and solve problems, save lives, etc.

Line 4 - " Shock is mired." This is the latter response -- "paralyzed with fear" mode. Movement is crippled.

Line 5 - "Shock goes hither and dither. Danger. However, nothing at all is lost. Yet there are things to be done." Wilhelm says, "This is not a case of a single shock but of repeated shocks with no breathing space between. Nonetheless, the shock causes no loss, because one takes care to stay in the center of movement and in this way to be spared the fate of being helplessly tossed hither and thither."

And there you have it. Earthquake safety advice for riding out the aftershocks. Earthquakes toss one, helplessly, hither and thither unless one can hold onto something stable for support.

Line 6 - "Shock brings ruin and terrified gazing around."

Earthquakes bring ruin and terrified gazing around. Their power and the destruction they can do is absolutely awesome and terrifying.

"Going ahead brings misfortune if it has not yet touched one's own body but has reached one's neighbor first. There is no blame, (but) One's comrades have something to talk about." If one regains his presence of mind before his neighbors and has the good sense to run for the (nine) hills while his neighbors have lost their composure and are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, then, unfortunately, they'll talk about him, but he's not to blame for his sensible actions.

This, I suspect, is just an observation of human behavior in this particular situation. Maybe the author of this judgement, himself, ran for the nine hills and is explaining his position.

Hexagram 51 is about a sudden catastrophe...something that hits us suddenly and shockingly...an earthquake, a car accident, 9/11...not about something we see coming...like a thunderstorm. And I'm certain now the historical event recounted in 51 is an earthquake.

Sincerely,

Val
 

hilary

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Nice one, Val
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For us it's completely obvious that something is either an earthquake or thunder. They might sound similar (do they?), but so do a good few other things. And things with unrelated causes, for us, are unrelated.

Zhou China was different, of course. I think 51 is about the single phenomenon of the 'thunder-earthquake'. When it comes predictably in spring, it wakes the plants and starts new growth. When it comes unseasonally and shakes the earth, it is a sure sign that the ruling dynasty has angered heaven, and there could be worse to come.

Question - does anyone know when and where the idea originated that thunder was something that stayed in the earth over winter, and rose from it in spring? It's part of traditionally commentary on 51 and 24, but where did it start life?
 

cal val

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Hilary...

The sounds are different. The thundering in the earth is a controlled sustain sound...that one hears approaching...very ominous. The thundering in the sky is more of a free form sound with cracks and booms of varying lengths and volume. The difference could be perceived as the earth creating restraints for the thunder, and the heavens giving it uninhibited free rein. The difference could also be perceived as the difference between life and death.

You asked, "Does anyone know when and where the idea originated that thunder was something that stayed in the earth over winter, and rose from it in spring? It's part of traditionally commentary on 51 and 24, but where did it start life?"

Excellent question which I have been pondering.

Given the premise that the ancient Chinese associated the thunder that accompanies the shaking of the earth that takes life with the thunder that accompanies the rain that gives life, I notice a strong similarity in this particular concept of 'return' to the 'formula' for immortality that I've discovered in my research on the Egyptian emerald tablet(s). The formula is not a simple return, however. There are several stages, and immortality is achieved by returning, through death, to the oneness from which one came...completing the circle as it were.


To illustrate that concept in the Yi, I found the following in the article, "The Chinese View of Nature" by Fabrizio Pregadio in one of the links I provided in my new "emerald square" thread:

"As does the Yijing, several other early texts describe form as a threshold between the Dao and the objects or the "ten thousand things." The shift is always described as taking place in stages, one of which is the emergence of form. For instance, in the famous Zhuangzi passage where Hui Shi complains for Zhuangzi's singing and drumming shortly after his wife had died, Zhuangzi hints to the series of "alterations" (bian) from absence of life to pneuma (qi), then to form, and finally to life. Death, says Zhuangzi, is only the natural continuation of this process:

I peered back into her beginning; there was a time before there was a life. Not only was there no life, there was a time before there was a form. Not only was there no form, there was a time before there was no pneuma. Mingled together in the amorphous, something altered, and there was the pneuma; by the alteration in the pneuma there was the form; by alteration of the form there was the life. Now once more altered she has gone over to death.

(Zhuangzi jishi, Zhuzi jicheng ed., 18.271; trl. Graham 1981, 123-24, slightly modified)"

This passage certainly gives me a new and different view of Hex 30.2, and might also explain the ancient concept of thunder returning to the earth in Winter and rising again in Spring.

Val
 
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chuko_kungming

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Very interesting research,Val!

With my minimal knowledge,maybe I can contribute something towards your research on earthquakes.

My first omen of a major earthquake was the one that hit Kobe,Japan back on 20 Jan 1995(predicted date).However it was represented by a different hexagram (not #51).But that incident badly affected the world financial markets.

My second omen is more revelant to your research,as I had obtained hexagram #51 with the bottom and top lines changing and a resultant hexagram #15.(The casting of yarrow stalks was done in 1999 prior to the events.)

According to my records,the following disasters occured during August/September 1999:

Aug 17--Earthquake in Turkey 14,000 dead and 27,000 injured.

Sept 7--Earthquake in Athens,Greece.

Sept 8--Unusual loud thunder in the vicinity of my house.

Sept13--Earthquakes hit Northeast and East Japan.(Richter Scale 5.1)

Sept14 & 15-- Heaviest typhoons hit Hongkong and Florida from East coasts.

Sept21--Earthquake in Taiwan (R.S. 7.6) 2,000+ killed and several thousands injured.

All these disasters occured within the time frame indicated by the omen.

Hilary,please let me attempt to answer your question on the thunder trigram.Thunder stands below Earth in the Hex #24 Return (Dec-Jan..winter in the northern hemisphere)which can be interpreted as thunder stayed within earth during winter.

In the River map(Hotou-Earlier heaven) and Lo writings(Loshu-Later Heaven)arrangements,the trigram thunder stands in the northeast(in between winter and spring) and in the east(spring)respectively.As most predictions and fortune telling are based on the later heaven arrangements(relevant for Earth matters),the thunder trigram represents Spring.

Thunder started life when the Receptive seeks for the first time the power of the Creative and receives a son.Therefor the Arousing is called the eldest son.(Shuo Kua)
 

hilary

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I expect I'm just first in the queue, Chuko, to ask you this question:

How did you determine 'the time frame indicated by the omen'?

About thunder in the earth... you think this idea derives from the trigram system? And I think you must be right. That would (in my book) make it younger than the ideas of the Zhouyi. And that would make some sort of sense, since the oldest source of spring we know about is the rain dragon who spends the winter in the mountain lake...

Val, I would certainly agree that 24 has a lot to do with a 'returning' spirit. Quoting Stephen Karcher - I know, I know, not your favourite Yi author, but the only one I know of who talks about this...

"Literally, Stripping [Hexagram 23] represents the first burial or exposure of the corpse to animals and elements, when the flesh is rotted or stripped away. During this period the soul would be fed and guided in the underworld... The bones were then gathered or disinterred, rubbed with red ochre and put into a vase or urn that served as the spirit-home, the equivalent of the spirit tablet in the Ancestral Temple. At this point, the soul would be ready to return, to re-enter the human community and, through the image, the spirit could begin to act as guide, mediator and benefactor."

And have you looked at the Dazhuan, chapter 4, of late? It has a lot to say about this connection - and I think it uses that same bian word for the transformations.
 

heylise

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I think you are right. I also think the idea of thunder coming from the earth might be very old. They had so many earthquakes, where thunder comes out the earth, they probably did not make a difference between the two kinds. (Not between blue and green, not between goats and sheep. Then why between two thunders)

Still reading, searching for the characters ..

LiSe
 
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chuko_kungming

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Hilary,
Great wisdoms and the ways of life are contained in the ZhouYi(R.Wilhelm`s translation).

In our rush to accelerate our own learnings,or to indulge ourselves by buying easier or simplified versions,we may have lost out on the true meanings and wisdoms contained in the Yi.

The Yi leads us to the Light,not darkness.(Judgments on Hex #24 as compared to Hex #23?)We just follow its guidance and act accordingly to the circumstances(Hex #2).(All three Hexagrams indicate time as well.)

I am a bit more fortunate than some of you in that the Yi communicates with me and on occasions,I get confirmations of the omens from divine spirits(Buddhas,Taoist Gods and Immortals).My close friends usually jokingly refer such omens as fax messages(fax machines were still in vogue then) from Heaven to me.

One has spent many years of reading,researching,(practising of virtues)and constantly analysing the predictions to come up with a formula for the timing and occurence of the omens.The difficult part is what event(s) will actually happen.Some are quite easy to know,like falls of leaders(one of our country top leaders or President Clinton at that time of his impending impeachment,Clinton survived,but that leader fell).But others are a bit more tricky.

For example,I could not accurately predict the event of 9/11 even though I sold out my stock investments one week before it happened.The Hexagram obtained was #2/5 changing to #8.Actually I did not analyse it even up to today as one was not holding too many shares then.(Too lazy and late to do it now.)

My first ever omen was on the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.The predicted date was on the dot,3rd August 1990.

By coincidence,my "latest" omen was on the official start and ending of the US-Iraq war.And the peaceful period that follows from early May until mid June for the world financial markets.A good time for investment in stocks and shares.

Since then one have received another from the Yi and I am still analysing it.The omen covers a time period after mid June.Lets see whether one can interprete it and post the omen in your forum shortly.

By the way,some of you may have missed out something on the messages passed by the Yi,namely on Hex #24 and Hex #2.Perhaps,you should reread the Judgments,on the return of the Light and the return to nature or your natural self.(There may also be joyous news from Karl by yearend?)

Lastly,maybe we should not forget the wisdoms of the Yi which also teaches the four Cardinal virtues as shown in Hex #1(Book 3).As well as the calender months (time) in the Ta Chuan(Book 2).When one is ready,one will be taught by the Yi.Just go with the flow.
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cal val

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Hilary...

I read Chapter 4 of the Dazhuan. I see. Yes!

Thanks.


Val
 

cal val

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Luis...

Incredibly beautiful for such a practical devise isn't it?

Zhang Heng was a fascinating man. He also theorized the earth was spherical, not a cube, and he "threw a net over it" ie., created longitudinal and latitudinal lines.


Val
 

soshin

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I probably lost a good friend of mine who lived close to Phuket, Thailand. He settled there in 2001, built a house on the beach, and now all is gone. He was out in the sea swimming when the waves came on 10:30 Thai time on 26th of December, according to his Thai wife. His body was not found yet, and they are hoping he is in a hospital and survived. The communication with her is extremely difficult, only SMS works sometimes. I got a call with this information a few hours ago from his parents. His Thai wife and his 6-month old child survived, this is a christmas miracle, although the house they lived in was totally destroyed. She was able to flee to the top of a small hill nearby.

I asked the Yi about that and got 51.2>54. It leaves me with a little hope that he is still alive.

Please join me in a prayer for him and the many hundred-thousand unknown people who are suffering now in this region.

Thank you and Namaste,

Soshin
 

martin

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51.2 indeed gives hope, Soshin. Amazingly direct answer, by the way.
 

kevin

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51.2 > 54 Does indeed give hope. It also carries a message of wisdom.

(Line 2 carries the message of a great loss which does indeed return)

I have lit a candle for your friend and his family.

In spirit

--Kevin
 

gene

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Hilary

And others.

Whether anyone literally thought thunder resided in the earth in the winter I don't know. I prefer to think of these things as allegories though. The trigram for thunder, Chen, indicates strenuous activity. In the winter the earth is cold, and cold contracts, and tends to freeze action. In the spring when things begin to thaw, the active principle becomes alive once again. In the first hexagram, the prototype for all yang that follows, the first line says, hidden dragon, do not act. The dragon was in many ways a symbol for strong power and activity. In the early stages, (winter), it is hidden (within the earth). Its power is not yet manifest. And in the first line of hexagram 2, It says "When hoarfrost in on the ground, solid ice is not far off." The yin power is cold, and therefore contractive, and freezes into inaction. It receives, rather than acts.

I am curious about the weather in other parts of the world. In the town I grew up in, as a child, the thunder and lightning used to come in the spring to early summer. And it was mostly sheet lightning. Never touched the ground at least in the city. As I got older, each year, the lightning came a little later til it was a summer and early fall phenomenon, and the lightning got much more dangerous as there were many, many strikes hitting the ground right outside the house, and elsewhere in the city. The weather seemed to become much more violent.

At any rate, this is how I see this phenomenon.
Gene
 
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candid

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An Indonesian woman asked if her friend escaped death. I drew 20, and saw this as her friend escaping to a high place. It's very possible that "climb nine hills" in your 51.2 may give insight into your friend's escape, Soshin. Agreeing with Martin and Kevin to keep hope alive.
 

soshin

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I am very happy now. My friend and his family is alive and relatively well. He has gotten several cuts and small wounds, but generally he is ok. He were down there on the Main Road of the village he lives in, and as the Yi said, he was able to escape upstairs into a concrete building which withstanded the masses of water.

He wrote an email four hours ago, which reached me now. He is very happy to be a survivor, but many of his Thai friends have lost their life or at least their home.

He was deeply moved by the attitude of the Thais in the face of this disaster. When he walked to the place where his house used to stand, he met a local fisherman who said:"I have lost my boat, I have lost my house, - can I help you?"

The Beach of Khao Lak, where he lives is one of the most seriously hit places around. At least 400 lives were lost only there, and several hundreds are missing with little hope.

Thank you for the "good vibes" and the helpful postings and PM's you sent, Martin, Kevin, Candid, Gene and Val.

Namaste,

Soshin
 

martin

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That's great Soshin! I hope that others who are still missing also survived.
 

kevin

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So very sad and pleased.

I am now looking at that reading again...

Peace friend

--Kevin
 

bradford_h

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Hi-
Are you folks aware that Sumatra has given us much, much worse than this quake?
75,000 years ago its supervolcano Toba blew and killed 90% of the humans on earth.
Nasty neighborhood.
 

soshin

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Here is a photo of the building on which he managed to survive: Nine hills can look like this:

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soshin

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He will fly home tomorrow morning Thai time with his little son, so I understand better the 54.2 message. His wife has to stay, because she holds no European Passport.

But he want to go back in about two weeks after seeking medical attention here in Vienna to start again and help to build their home new.

The picture above was sent to me by email from an Internet Cafe close to Phuket Airport and gives an Idea about the might of 51 under some special circomstances.

Soshin
 

soshin

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Kevin, my friend!
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The candles in London, Vienna and elsewhere seemed to help! Looking forward for your re-reading of 51.2>54. Thank you!

There are so many others out there, the teethless Langkawi fisherman, the Sri Lankan farmers' widow, the German 9 year old twins from Khao Lak who are waiting for their parents, the women who owns the tiny foodstall in Bandar Ace, Sumatra.

Let's keep our candles burning.

Namaste,

Soshin
 

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