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meng

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Controlled neurotic states: Secrets of Divination
hero's gateway through the unconscious

So, at the suggestion of Listener, I'm starting this thread, which may go absolutely nowhere, but what the hey.

I guess a place to start could be:

Do you believe in magic?
Do you employ magical belief in your divination practices?
Care to share?

What ceremonial rites do you perform, as part of your Yijing divination practice?

What cultural symbolism do you cross-associate, with your Yijing divination practice? i.e. mythology or texts.

What religious forces (or what might be defined as such) do you employ or tap into, in your Yijing divination practice?

What particularly defined psychologies are most at work, in your Yijing related thoughts and divination practices?

Or anything else you may wish to share about magic and or your divination practice. If you perceive there's no magic at all at work, please share that, and why that is your position. Anything at all, really.

I understand that your beliefs and such may be too private to simply lay out on a table for all to see. I'm not going to say very much about my personal practices, on this thread. To me, those practices are very subtle, not made of gross matter, and so I treat them delicately. But, any thoughts you may have to share on these sorts of things, please do.

Bruce
 

hilary

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You know, this is absolutely 100% on-topic for 'exploring divination', isn't it? Let me move it over there.

Oh, and what do you mean by 'magic', as something to believe in?
 
M

meng

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By magic I'd mean beyond natural explanations, but that's just what it means to me.
 

wealth

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I believe in magic, yes. Do I cast spells, no.

Magic for me is more connection to the divine rather than love spells and the like.

I ask the divine (God in my case) to help me and He does or does not. Divination for me, then, is a way of connecting to God or his messengers for the answer--or pointers--for whatever question I ask.

I do not have any particular other than using a mat--a bamboo sushi rolling mat--and throwing the coins. There are small points here and there I do, like keeping asking the question every time I throw the coins and waiting until I feel ready to throw them.
 
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luz

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By magic I'd mean beyond natural explanations, but that's just what it means to me.
Magic for me is more connection to the divine rather than love spells and the like.
The mere act of throwing coins while asking a question is an act of magic, so to speak.
 
M

maremaria

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Once, a Greek poet, Giorgios Seferis, was asked about what have influenced him. He replied: "Don't ask me who's influenced me. A lion is made up of the lambs he's digested, and I've been reading all my life."

Its not easy to make fine distinctions and put them into categories. Like I said in the other thread is everything and nothing specific.
 

martin

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I don't often consult the Yi but when I do I don't have the feeling that I engage in some kind of religious or magical or supernatural or esoteric or shamanic or or or .. practice.
It's as normal as, say, phoning a friend. Part of life like everything else.
And ceremony, well, I nearly always use an online oracle, and I just click that <profanity> mouse! Perhaps a bit more thoughtfully than on other occasions, but there is not much ceremony there I'm afraid. :D

If this sounds rather blasphemous :mischief:, of course I know, it's all supernatural and even 'holy' in a way. But to me it's not like the natural is here and the supernatural there. I'm not aware of any 'great water' that I need to cross to get from the one to the other or back. Maybe a little stream sometimes, I do get my feet - or tail? - wet once in a while. But that's all. :)
 

sparhawk

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Once, a Greek poet, Giorgios Seferis, was asked about what have influenced him. He replied: "Don't ask me who's influenced me. A lion is made up of the lambs he's digested, and I've been reading all my life."
Ha!! I love that! :D
 

mudpie

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I am with Martin, in that I don't see any separation between the natural and the magic.

I truly cant comprehend the argument on the other thread...because to me , everything in this world,without exception, is a "story" with multilevel meanings. That is why fiction novels, film and theatre are so enticing, enthralling. Even the I Ching would not be meaningful at all if it did not speak to everyman(everywoman).

The magic of divination is to me about the bridge it creates between levels of being and understanding. The beauty of it is that I dont even have to consciously understand all the levels of meaning, nor even to explore them consciously, if I dont choose to. I can just move with the immediate response and take it literally, or dwell with the reading and consciously explore the emerging of the "sub-conscious"

Either way, I do this with an absolute trust in the process, understanding that by engaging the I Ching, I have engaged deeper levels of KNowing. It helps me to dance with Life:

"Reasoned knowledge proceeds one step at a time, and the results of one step can, and often do, overturn the results of the previous step - hence those moments when when we think too much and cant firmly decide what to do. Reasoned knowledge proceeds from information of which we are consciously aware-- ony a partial sampling of our total knowledge.

Intuitive knowledge on the other hand proceeds from everything we know and everything we are. It converges on the moment from a rich plurality of directions and sources -- hence the feeling of absolute certainty that is traditionally associated with intuitive knowledge." Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art by Stephen Nachmanovitch

By the way, I always thought "improvisation" was random...but this book has helped me to see it is NOt random at all, it is the result of very fine, second to second, listening with the "inner ear" to ALLOW the perfect beauty of the individual Flow ...which has a very intricate design.

"As our playing, writing, thinking, speaking, drawing, or dancing unfold, the inner unconscious logic of our being begins to show through and mold the material. This rich deep patterning is the original nature that impresses itself like a seal upon evrything we do or are"

Sorry to quote so much, but this guy says so beautifully what I intuitively know but couldnt find the words for. Maybe that is what the Yi does for me too.
 
M

meng

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For me it's 29.

Magic can only be experienced in a state of madness. And like the danger of making a face and having it get stuck like that, deliberately experiencing too much madness for the sake of magic can get you stuck like that. On the other hand, if you're always trying to play it safe, you may never take that step beyond your comfort zone.
 

dobro p

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One problem with this thread is that 'magic' needs to be discussed and defined. What do you mean by magic? Meng's definition 'beyond natural explanations' isn't very useful, I think. That sounds like 'if it can't be explained the way things are normally explained, then it's magic'. So you say 'the sun rises in the east' and I say 'the planet spins into the light zone' - does that mean I'm talking magic? Nah.

For me, magic is a ritual action designed to achieve outcomes in the physical world by manipulating forces and centers of energy in the non-evident world, usually by using analogy.
 

martin

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For me it's 29.

Magic can only be experienced in a state of madness.
I don't know, I think you can only experience magic when you are utterly sane. :)
But it's true that getting into a state of 'madness' may help if your mind & heart are too closed. It can open the gate to the magical.
It can also close the gate of the looney bin behind you though. :D
 

martin

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One problem with this thread is that 'magic' needs to be discussed and defined. What do you mean by magic?
Perhaps what we are talking about is not magic per se, but more a certain openness to the unknown, or the miraculous? Or to what Seth and Jane Roberts called 'unofficial reality'? I like that term.
 
M

meng

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Is effectual prayer magic? Can it rightly be called a reasonable and sane thing to do?
 
M

meng

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Can expecting to receive a wise and usable answer from throwing three coins be considered a sane thing to do?
 
M

meng

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Sane

1. mentally balanced: mentally healthy and able to make rational decisions

2. reasonable: based on sensible, reasonable, or rational thinking

Magic

1. conjuring tricks: conjuring tricks and illusions that make apparently impossible things seem to happen, usually performed as entertainment

2. inexplicable things: a special, mysterious, or inexplicable quality, talent, or skill
watched the dancer's feet work their magic

3. supposed supernatural power: a supposed supernatural power that makes impossible things happen or gives somebody control over the forces of nature. Magic is used in many cultures for healing, keeping away evil, seeking the truth, and for vengeful purposes.

4. practice of magic: the use of supposed supernatural power to make impossible things happen

As I see it, magic is contrary to sanity by definition. Expecting a miracle is insane, for example. Even hope borders on insanity, since it's based on what isn't yet real.
 
M

meng

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How about a fisherman's lucky hat, a golfer's lucky socks, or a salesman's lucky tie? Sane behavior?
 

martin

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It's contrary to the official definition of sanity in our society, yes, but does that make it not sane?
In some other cultures using magical healing methods is considered perfectly sane.
And what would people of those cultures think about open heart surgery or taking blue, white and purple pills everyday?
Madness! :)
 
M

meng

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If we can't talk about definitions in terms of "official" definitions, then there's no point in trying to talk about things like sanity and magic. I mean, we need some common reference point, right?

That magic practice is common to other cultures, does that make it any more explainable, and thereby any more sane? No, it simply means other cultures have no issues about using magic. They have no need to rationalize it.

Modern science being seen as magic (by, say, primitive cultures) makes a great point: there are explanations for magic, but if we knew what they were, might it no longer be magical?
 
M

meng

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So what I'm saying is, insanity is the window into what we don't yet know. Somehow I felt that divination should fall in there, somewhere.
 

martin

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If we can't talk about definitions in terms of "official" definitions, then there's no point in trying to talk about things like sanity and magic. I mean, we need some common reference point, right?
I think the most important reference point of sanity is inside. I mean, we can feel if we are balanced or out of balance. I don't see much need for external official criteria, unless somebody is so far off that he/she can't feel that he/she is off anymore, perhaps.
 
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sparhawk

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Please allow me to say that "sanity," like pretty much everything else, is contextual to the culture that defines it as a rule-of-thumb for measuring behavior. Thus, we cannot, without prejudice and misconceptions, judge other cultures take of it. We can, however, attune ourselves to cross-cultural experiences and come to appreciate what their concepts are. Arrogance and attribution of "weirdness" has never helped anybody not bent on creating conflict.

So, I pretty much like Bruce's take. It keeps an open mind..., without our brains falling out. :D
 

dobro p

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As I see it, magic is contrary to sanity by definition. Expecting a miracle is insane, for example. Even hope borders on insanity, since it's based on what isn't yet real.
You've posted various dictionary definitions of magic, but you haven't plumped for one yourself. What do you mean by 'magic'. You started the thread. Ante up.

DEPENDING ON YOUR DEFINITION OF MAGIC, magic isn't insane if you've experienced it as real in your own life. If you are au fait with miracles, if you've experienced them, then expecting a miracle is not madness, but sanity. If you have experience of miracles, then it would be insanity NOT to expect them to happen.

Meng, you're employing the word 'insanity' in a particularly narrow and less than useful fashion here. Check what Luis has to say about sanity - it's culturally determined on the one hand. But it's also a personal decision - check what Martin says. For example, a lot of people would think that my tossing three coins and reading an old Chinese book in order to find more meaning in my life is insane. I tolerate those people's ignorance, because *I* know I get meaning out of it. *I* know (that in this instance at least lol) my socially unusual behavior is sane. So, if they don't like it, screw 'em. :)

Luis, Martin and I are three of the sanest people I know online. You can trust us and a lot of what we say. Except for Luis sometimes lol.
 

dobro p

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Can expecting to receive a wise and usable answer from throwing three coins be considered a sane thing to do?
"1. mentally balanced: mentally healthy and able to make rational decisions

2. reasonable: based on sensible, reasonable, or rational thinking

According to both definitions you posted, expecting to derive usable meaning (and possibly high-level meaning - wisdom) from consulting the Yi using the coin method is a sane thing to do, if that in fact is your experience. If you get meaning out of consulting the Yi, then it's sane. (And if you get meaning out of consulting the Yi, then it would be insane to say that Yi consultation isn't sane.)

If the Yi works for me, then it's rational and sane to use it.

But this thread's chasing its tail unless we really decide, as a group, what 'magic' and 'sanity' mean to us. The words are too vague. Until we arrive at a group decision about how we're going to define the terms, the discussion in this thread is just mud wrestling. You're kinda cute in the speedo and the mud though.
 
M

meng

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The idea I've presented isn't complicated, it's just a way of seeing.

Thanks for your time.
 

Trojina

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I have to say sanity/insanity is by no means always culturally decided unless you are using them as purely descriptive terms - which seems to be the case here.

I see insanity as psychosis. Schizophrenia is schizophrenia whatever country you are in and there is some fairly good evidence for it having a strong hereditary link. IOW it is an illness affecting the thinking. Yes there are plenty of cases where people have been labelled 'schizophrenic' when they were not just because they acted outside norms but still it is considered a condition in its own right with recognisable symptoms. And there are other kinds of mental states that can make one temporarily or more permanently psychotic. Severe depression and manic depression for example can i think lead to some kind of psychosis.

Psychosis is where one is totally out of touch with reality and I don't think its an especially magical experience as it often involves a great deal of suffering.

If you use sane/insane as purely descriptive terms ie you are not making reference to any recognisable set of symtoms then its so personal a definition that it is not very useful as a base for general discussion.

In any case to define sanity as 'reasonable or logical thinking' is clearly inadequate since most people make decisions each day not based on logic at all - that hardly makes them insane.

Oh incase anyone should say this is 'cold water' pouring or something it isn't. I was just waiting for someone (else) to point out that 'insanity' isn't just a descriptive term. It s also a medical/legal term for someone who is not accountable for their actions since they know not what they do.
 
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martin

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I have to say sanity/insanity is by no means always culturally decided unless you are using them as purely descriptive terms - which seems to be the case here.
Yes, agree, it's what I meant when I wrote "I don't see much need for external official criteria, unless somebody is so far off that he/she ...".
Not that it's always easy to decide what is cultural and what is 'real'. For a while the idea was fashionable that it was all cultural. If I remember correctly the author of "The myth of mental illness" believed that.
Would be nice if it were true. If you are insane, you only need to change location and you are healed. :)
 

martin

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I found a link to the article "The Myth of Mental Illness" by Szazs (the book with the same title was published later).
It's rather dense (or is it just me? I'm not very clear headed today, cough :rolleyes:) but perhaps interesting for those who are not familiar with his views.
http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Szasz/myth.htm
 

Trojina

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Yes I think it was Laing who for a while proposed schizophrenia was an entirely sane response to an insane environment. He showed conversations in Sanity Madness and the Family to illustrate how he thought the way families treated an individual made them 'mad'. For example a child says he likes to do a, b or c and the parents talk over her and say she does not like to do a,b and c and so on so all the time her identity is negated so she fragments herself to cope.

Well I think theres much evidence that stressful family background increases chance of schizophrenia but I think eventually Laing himself backtracked on saying all mental illness was totally socially created. I think this was after a period where he had to actually work with a group of schizophrenics very closely

I think we may be off topic though and be headed back to open space
 
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