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Hexagram 15 - The Greek War Horse

my_key

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An interesting spin off for me from the Three Pots thread was @ IrfanK's Jesuit diversion to Hex 15 Modesty, leading to comparison with Meekness - which is not about self denial or being lesser. I don't think it's even about being cute or adorable or being small or unassuming - and certainly not weak or spineless.

Greek War Horses were “meeked” to stay in battle rather than flee at the first sound of loud canons. The origin of the word meek in Greek is “praus” and describes the innate nature of these strong and disciplined horses. It means “controlled strength.” The Greeks selected the wildest horses and then brought them in for training. The training broke some of the horses, who were directed into being burden carrying beasts of labour. Those highest spirited wild animals ,who excelled in the training, kept the wild power of their inner spirit at the core of their being but now had it under control: waiting patiently to be brought forth when it was needed in the heat of battle. Coming to the fore in a heart beat.

A war horse never ceased to be determined, strong and passionate. However, it learned to bring its nature under discipline. It gave up being wild, unruly, out of control and rebellious. Once trained, it would now respond to the slightest touch of the rider, stand in the face of cannon fire, thunder into battle and stop at a whisper.

Aristotle saw the praus man as one who has the virtue of the mean between two extremes. It's something like having the wisdom to select the right response for the right reasons in the right way at the right time. The truth we hold in our strong centre when we are meek or humble or modest allows us to face the battle of life in a focussed and deliberate way, without being blown off track or blowing up.

We stand confident in our inner power remaining true to ourself - our deepest spirit .

Hence the Oracle of 15
‘Integrity creates success.
A noble one completes it.’


and The Image
‘In the centre of the earth there is a mountain. Integrity.
A noble one reduces what is too much and increases what is diminished.
Weighing things up to even out their distribution.’

( compare this with Aristotle - 'one who has the virtue of the mean between two extremes')

It could even be that the lines in Hex 15 speak of the stages of the training and the subliminal changes that need to happen at each stage of the process of 'meeking'. Wasn't there a Bing Crosby / Bob Hope film 'The Road to Integrity' ? (one for the oldies!!!)
 
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IrfanK

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Hmmm. I had a gnomic little friend called Dave, an Australian, who while he was a scoundrel and rogue in many aspects of his life, did at least have a great gift for dealing with horses. He spent a lot of time with young wild horses that he rounded up, training them. I remember spending a week or so with him. We were just going to finish up dealing with one horse to go home for a well deserved lunch, but ... the horse decided that it was too scary to cross this tiny little creek. He stuck his feet in and wouldn't budge. I was tired and said, C'mon, let's go home, we can come back to him another day. Dave gave me a look. "If we give in to him, he's gonna think that whenever he's nervous about something, he can do what he wants." And so there we were, pushing and prodding, thwacking with a small twig with leaves on, it made a bit of noise but didn't really hurt the horse. And it took about three hours, but he finally crossed. He had an absolutely ridiculous look on his face, both astonished that he hadn't come to any harm, but also proud of himself at his courage, cocky with it. So Dave made him cross backwards and forwards maybe a dozen times. By the end, he was positively enjoying himself, showing off, flicking his tail and neighing as though to say "Poo! Creeks are nothing." As Dave said, the horse has to learn that if I tell him it's safe, it's safe. We didn't get lunch until about five in the afternoon.
 

my_key

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@IrfanK I like that analogy of the gnomic methods of horse training. Indeed a true case of the meek shall inherit the creek !!!:)
 
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my_key

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I've been looking more into 15 and whether the name Qian has been assigned really does the essence of the hexagram justice. The most common are mainly Modesty and Humility which I have always felt come up short.

Diving into the encyclopaedic work of Bradford Hatcher there are a whole heap of more colourful descriptors that add other layers of texture. Restraining Oneself ; Holding Back; Being Centered, Moderation; The Middle Way; Highness in Lowness; Adapting to the Flow; The Emptied; Fair Just Apportionment to name but a few. These all seem to me to carry that flavour of 'controlled strength' that are embued in the Greek War Horse through their training.

It is interesting, too, to read that Bradford also held views that there is more to this hexagram than mere 'Modesty'. It holds within it's lines more the sense of a quiet confidence in a mature inner strengh (power) and being true to your self. Not backing down from any situation - knowing it for what it is and dealing with it in a genuine way using an appropriate level of response - and being able to 'call a spade a spade' when required. His words follow:

"Modesty is a little weak here as the Gua Ming, even though, ironically, this is the best translation of the word Qian as used in several of the lines. Several of the lines describe what is wrong with our conventional understanding of modesty, especially the disingenuous self-effacement. This understanding is confirmed by the Mawangdui Gua Ming, also Qian, which toadies and sycophants would use to describe themselves as Unworthy. Humility is weaker still, this coming much closer to the subject of 62. Honesty would be a better gloss for the core meaning of the Gua, and "tell it like it is" or "call a spade a spade" a better description. In the Da Xiang many translators drift towards saying the objective is to make things equal, to level things out. This is incorrect. The objective is to know them for what they are, to give a fair assessment. There is in this Gua a little bit of holding back or conservative reluctance to go too far in assessing things. Note that the unbroken line is back of center, suggesting reticence."
 

my_key

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According to Bradford then, Modesty (and certainly not Humility) is not an accurate representation of the qualities of Qian although it is the best translation. So lets jump on the back of the meeked Greek War Horse and go for a linguistic ride. The super power of the War Horse is 'praus' or meekness in English so I wondered what it would translate to in Chinese. Would it also be represented by Qian or some other term?

Using Google translator 'praus' is translated to 温顺 Wēnshùn. So with a gentle pull on the reins I direct the War Horse towards our next battle in MDBG. Any Chinese speakers can please correct me if any of what I say next is incorrect.

温 Wēn: Translates as meaning 'lukewarm'.
Cantering on from this a decomposition shows a 'water' radical (on the left hand side and the 2-box like character on the right means 'to feed a prisoner' which when we gallop on a bit further we see the 'sun' atop a 'bowl'. Uncle Hanzi even equates the roots of Wēn to 'compassion'.

顺 Shùn: Translates as meaning 'obey, submit to, go along with'. Other definitions in CC-Canto show as 'to arrange' or 'to make reasonable'.
We settle back into a steady trot and find another decomposing body. On the left the 3 lines representing 'stream, river; flow; boil' and on the right a symbol representing 'page, sheet, leaf'.

So it appears that 'praus' could be about 'submitting to the lukewarm'.

'Lukewarm' that quality which is neither hot nor cold and very loudly resonates with the Aristotlean view that the praus man is one who has the virtue of the mean between two extremes.... not to mention the wisdom in the Image of Hexagram 15. Attaining and maintaining 'lukewarmness' can be seen as an act of compassion towards self and others. Think how when in an out-of-control, boiling rage hurt can be inflicted on both parties engaged in the arguement. By attaining the lukewarm state all the extreme tensions are released and this release of tension 'feeds our internal prisioners': perhaps just through realising there is another way other than riot.

Now the real bonus for our prisioners comes when a free will choice is made to submit to being lukewarm all the time. How empowering is that? Being a free flowing stream rather than a raging torrent of wild power. In lukewarmness there is a gentle, controlled power with which we can write the words on our next page in a compassionate way and each time we write we choose the most beautiful calligraphy we can.

This foray has been fun for me to do. I am wondering whether to suggest renaming Hex 15 as 'Submitting to Lukewarmness'... but I am in two minds. Even as I type this I have images of Christopher Biggins playing the character Lukewarm in the British sit-com 'Porridge' based in the fictional Slade Prison. Interestingly Lukewarm got this nickname from working in the prison kitchen and always preparing tepid food for the prisoners. Food for thought, indeed !!!
 
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my_key

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The basic idea...
  • the name of the hexagram in the received text means modesty/ humility/ meekness - emphasising the worth of other people rather than one's own.
This quote is taken from the other thread and in it Hilary also talks of the 'rat' or 'hamster' that inhabits this world, however my thoughts remain on The Greek War Horse so I'm going to leave our rodent friends quietly playing in the corner for now.

This post from Hilary became the nucleus for my next piece of meandering, so I'm grateful for her posting it. There is certainly an element of 'emphasising the worth of other people rather than one's own' that is woven into this hexagram and I'm sure Hilary could write much more on hexagram 15 beyond these few brief words. From a 'War Horse' perspective I can see that this is perhaps not so much about 'emphasising' other people's worth but more one of confidently being aware or your own worth; your own strengths and your own weaknesses.

Sitting on the back of a 'War Horse' we can ride into battle astride the qualities of 'controlled strength'; 'lukewarmness' and 'a willingness to submit'. We know who we truely are and trust in our abilities. We therefore become liberated to act from our own true authority. We have no need to act in a false way. We can be our original self: real and genuine. Sitting atop the 'War Horse' we are standing within our place of power where the natural qualities, the essence of this position is 'Modesty' and 'Humility'.

It is because this condition /quality of being comes to exist in us that 'a noble one completes it' and has the inate wherewithal to see things through to completion - in no way fearing what the battle may bring. Equally from a place of confident authority ('controlled strength') there is a deep knowing of how to repond appropriately to each situation encountered - a mighty dash forward or a holding back on the reins (cf. 15 image), a twist, a turn, even a standing up on hind-legs (a la Mr Hamster - who just wouldn't stay quiet in that corner) to come crashing down if that is the appropriate response; maybe as the last resort.

It is, perhaps, from this position of knowing our own value and worth that we can give full regard to the value and worth of other people. From a place of 'Meekness' there is no inherent need to emphasise the worth of other people, and if we set out with an intent to emphasise their worth this could be viewed as a false act. Rather, I see this is as by quietly, gently, confidently being the 'praus' man then our actions beome those of the 'role model' and the manner in which we compassionately treat and respectfully respond to the other person 'feeds their prisoners' and in so doing their own value and self worth is emphasised for them, within them.

For these, and many other reasons, I have become more aligned with Bradford Hatcher's naming of the hexagram as 'Authenticity'.

One last paragraph, for now. I wondered what Mr Wilhelm had to say on the matter especially as he named the hexagram 'Modesty'. Reading his text I was drawn to line 5, where man and heaven intermingle. At this line position, representing characteristics / qualities like structure, leadership, organisation, identification and real purpose he writes:

Six in the fifth place means:

No boasting of wealth before one's neighbor.
It is favorable to attack with force.
Nothing that would not further.


Modesty is not to be confused with weak good nature that lets things take their own course. When a man holds a responsible position, he must at times resort to energetic measures. In doing so he must not try to make an impression by boasting of his superiority but must make certain of the people around him. The measures taken should be purely objective and in no way personally offensive. Thus modesty manifests itself even in severity.
So even in the severity of War, and perhaps, especially in the severity ofWar, having the qualities of a 'praus' man filled with 'controlled strength' allows the War Horse to bring mutual gains to the outcome of any battle.
 
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dfreed

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Stephen Field titles Hexagram 15 'Wed-Wing' and says:

"Your plea is heard. (For our lord) there will be completion."
(parenthesis are mine).

If this was the Yi's response to a yes/no question, I'd say the answer is a resounding YES! ... but digging more deeply:
* here we have Mountain as the inner (lower) trigram; Earth as the outer/upper.​
* the Wed-Wing is a mythical bird with only one wing, so it needs to 'wed' or pair up with another in order to fly somewhere / anywhere besides in just a circle!​

Altogether: we start with inner stillness and a strong sense of self and we can then join with others to create (and complete) something useful - to act in ways that are 'of this earth'.

This might be describing war horses (or horses in general), or dogs, or herons .... But most strongly for me it describes the qualities of being in relationship with or co-depending upon one another, as a (war) horse is with its human rider; or a retriever with her hunter, or newlywedded 'wed'-wings with one another.
 
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my_key

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This might be describing war horses (or horses in general), or dogs, or herons .... But most strongly for me it describes the qualities of being in relationship with or co-depending upon one another, as a (war) horse might be with its human rider; or a retriever with their hunter, or (perhaps newly-) wedded, wed-wings.
Hi David
I'm not familiar with Field's translation so I'm unable to reply here from a place of personal experience. I know that LiSe also makes reference to this bird and it's calling (giving voice) rather than seeing the animal as a rat or hamster as some others do. As I parked the hamster I'm going to park the bird.

One thing that leaps out from your final paragraph is your use of the phrase 'co-depending upon one another' which is, to my way of looking at it totally at odds with the 'War Horse' analogy.

A person who is codependent with another is one who has given away their power to this other. They will plan their entire life around pleasing the other person, who is normally the enabler and effectively keeps that person's prisoners locked up rather than feeding them. At best I could stretch to the quality in the relationship between horse and rider as interdependant. This type of relationship involves a balance between self and the other, so that the physical and emotional needs of both are met in appropriate and meaningful ways.

However, the 'War Horse' stands entirely in a world of 'controlled strength'. Free from outside control. He submits, from a free-will choice, to the instructions of his rider, which is completely different to being subjected to another's authority .i.e forced or coersed. Although he submits to an interdependent relationship, the War Horse has the quality of independence: he is free, he is liberated and knows himself at a deep level of understanding. All the highs and lows in his character have been leveled - he is no longer the wild, uncontrolled spirit; he is no longer timid or fearful of battle. Therefore he oozes meekness, modesty and humility through his skin. These qualities course through his veins. He is the very embodment of these degrees of excellence: key facets of the Middle Path.

This authentic state, I'm sure, is not arrived at overnight in any person and takes much hard work and training which allows for the ongoing feeding of the prisioners we all have trapped inside us.

As Wilhelm comments:
'The wealth of the earth in which a mountain is hidden is not visible to the eye, because the depths are offset by the height of the mountain. Thus high and low complement each other and the result is the plain. Here an effect that it took a long time to achieve, but that in the end seems easy of accomplishment and self-evident, is used as the image of modesty. The superior man does the same thing when he establishes order in the world; he equalizes the extremes that are the source of social discontent and thereby creates just and equable conditions.
 
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dfreed

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A person who is codependent with another is one who has given away their power to this other.

The idea of or phrase 'codepending upon one another" I defined when I said it is "the quality of being in relationship ...."

In my view - in what I can even see as a spiritual, or even shamanic view - we are all 'co-depending' - by which I mean we all co-exist and we are very much dependent upon others for our existence. And even the 'War Horse' does not stand outside this web of co-existence - of co-depending upon or with others.

I am not talking about a War Horse, or any entity being in a 'codependent relationship' or that a War Horse is only strong because of his (or her) 'codependence' on steroids .... I mean it in the most positive, life-affirming way possible.

Yesterday I did a reading using the T'ai Hsuan Ching oracle (also called the Elemental Changes, or the Canon of Mystery, or more simply, The Mystery). One of the verses I received from Tetragram (four-line figure) 13, Tseng, or Increase is:
Jagged peaks do not collapse when the lean on their foothills.

... this reminds me that even mountains - and war horses, or any of us - co-exist, and are co-dependent upon our 'foothills', or upon others; or as a well-known stateswomen said, "it takes a village" to make a War Horse what (or who) it/he/she is.

I do see how the notion of co-existing and co-depending upon one another - which is what I'm seeing in Hex. 15, the Wed-Wing, and the War Horse - might be mixed up with the negative idea of 'a codependent relationship' - but I hope I've made it clear that's not what I'm talking about.

D
 
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my_key

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David
Thank you for clarifying your view point. I'll just add that however you use the word 'co-dependent' it represents for me an unhealthy relationship; interdependent is healthy. Modesty, humility, meekness all exude healthiness.
 
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dfreed

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I'll just add that co-dependent is an unhealthy relationship; interdependent is healthy.
I get that. Mine is not a classic nor psychological definition of 'codependence' - it is more of a gut response, which is why I described it in more detail. It is, in fact, about being 'inter-dependent'.

Besides 'Wed-Wing' I also like Bradford Hatcher's 'Authenticity' for Hex. 15.

Barring sainthood or attaining Buddha-hood or God-consciousness, I think that ultimately we are all codependent - in both good and bad, positive and negative ways, even the War Horse. And that's why we have Buddhas and shamans (and horse trainers, riders, and vets) - and it's why we make use of oracles like the Yi, Tarot, and the T'ai Hsuan Ching.

D
 
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dfreed

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PS - all this talk about 'codependence' reminded me:

We must be willing to be completely ordinary people, which means accepting ourselves as we are without trying to become greater, purer, more spiritual, more insightful. If we can accept our imperfections as they are, quite ordinarily, then we can use them as part of the path. But if we try to get rid of our imperfections, then they will be enemies, obstacles on the road to our 'self-improvement'.
- Chogyam Trungpa

To be a spiritual warrior, one must have a broken heart; without a broken heart and the sense of tenderness and vulnerability, your warriorship is untrustworthy.
- Chogyam Trungpa
 

Trojina

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Interdependence is one thing and codependence is quite another.
 

dfreed

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Chalk and cheese.

What about ash and cheese: "Vegetable ash helps to neutralize the surface pH of the cheese."
Or ... interdependence and ' depending upon others' .... (You say potato, I say potato ....)

There are lots of different ways - and vantage points - from which we can look at co-existence and "co-depending upon" .... My sense is, this is what diviners, shamans, and curanderos (Span. 'healers') do .... and I assume that even some shamans are 'dependent upon' certain plants and chemicals (peyote, psilocybin, acid, DMT, ayahuasca) to achieve their trance-like states.

Best, D
 
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dfreed

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... the word 'co-dependent' - it represents for me an unhealthy relationship; interdependent is healthy.

My_key: yesterday, I was reading the introduction to Prof. Michael Nylan's 'The Elemental Changes' one of two books she's written about - and with translations of - the T'ai Hsuan Ching oracle, or as it is referred to by some, The Mystery. In it she says:

" .... an important truth found in the Confucian Analects: the individual can only realize her innate human potential if she learns how to join with other (human) beings in creative and harmonious union."

For me this goes beyond the idea (and definitions) of interdependence versus codependence. Instead we can simply be two people - or beings - joining together, so there 'will be completion' - as 15's Judgment says .... and I believe in the Bible it says 'when two or more are gathered ..." so we can include more than just two - the family, neighborhood, town, community, clan, village, etc. - in our joining and completing.

Here, the focus is on joining with others "in creative and harmonious union"; and we need not be overly-concerned with how perfect / imperfect / independent / interdependent / co-dependent we are - or how we are with one another.

One example / model we're given is the Wed-Wing birds (each with only one wing): two, imperfect, ordinary, beings join together so they can move in a direction of their own choosing, and not simply be caught in an endless flight that keeps bringing them back to the same place (which feels like a kind of addiction to me).

And I can see extending this model to the mythic Greek War Horse: no one here - the horse, her ancestors, the trainers, the warrior riders and their ancestors, the farmers who grew the horse's feed, nor the plowed Earth in which it's grown - are required to be great, or perfect, or immortal, or even mythic; they (and we) can just be who and what we are.

If there's any 'requirement' at all, perhaps it is that we try (or seek) to be Authentic - as Bradford Hatcher suggests. And in the spirit of what I meant by 'co-depending upon' - Jagged peaks do not collapse when they lean (up)on their foothills (the Mystery).

Best, D
 
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my_key

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Hi David
With your most recent post (#16) you have kind of dazzled me with your headlights and I'm not at all sure what your message is. I don't want to put words into your mouth or make assumptions so would be grateful if you could boil this all down to a couple of sentences or a few bullet points that clearly condense the essence of your meaning here.

With respect to you other post
What about ash and cheese: "Vegetable ash helps to neutralize the surface pH of the cheese."
Or ... interdependence and ' depending upon others' .... (You say potato, I say potato ....)
Yes it is good to have diversity and different ways of saying thing. Remember though however you pronounce 'potato' it remains one and the same thing.
Are you saying that Greek War Horses were gelded - or castrated - against their will? That certainly seems like making another being - or person - do something against their will - and in direct opposition to their 'true, wild nature'; it makes their 'training' feel like a forced codependence - an actual physical manipulation or mutilation.
Focussing on the word 'meeked', you have picked up here on only a very, very, very small part of what I wrote in my original post. I'm normally in the habit of saying what I mean and not saying what I don't mean. So, I'll invite you to read again the paragraph from which you lifted your quote, and any of the other passages I have written here if you need to. Then I'm certain you'll be informed enough to answer your question for yourself.
There are lots of different ways - and vantage points - from which we can look at co-existence and "co-depending upon" .... My sense is, this is what diviners, shamans, and curanderos (Span. 'healers') do .... and I assume that even some shamans are 'dependent upon' certain plants and chemicals (peyote, psilocybin, acid, DMT, ayahuasca) to achieve their trance-like states.
There are many different vantage points to look at the meanings of co-dependence, interdependence and now co-existence. My preferred vantage points when it comes to word meanings or usage is a dictionary or thesaurus.

Coexistence is again a word not to be confused with co-dependence or 'co-depending upon'.
Co-existence - the state of being together in the same place at the same time. For me healthy co-existence, one of mutual support and respect, would equate to interdependence.

I'm not sure why you have raised the topic of shamen again, however I will reply to your comment.

Your sense is what exactly? That they 'coexist' or that they are 'co depending upon' ? Two different things entirely.
You are of course entitled to your sense of things, however it is clear that my sense does not resonate with your sense.

Your assumption that "some shamans are 'dependent upon' certain plants and chemicals .... to achieve their trance-like states" is more clear. I'm sure they are and agree with you. However, by extension this is the same as saying 'a surgeon is dependant on a scalpel to do open heart surgery' or 'a blacksmith is dependent on a forge, a hammer and an anvil to make a horseshoe'. This is not co-dependency: they are simply using the tools of their trade.

What a man does, in part of his life, does not define the whole of him. Nor does it mean that when he co-exists with a chemical, a plant, a scalpel or an anvil for a short period of time to achieve an outcome that he is co-dependent or 'co-depending upon' that thing. The shaman like the surgeon or the blacksmith uses a tool to achieve an end product - no more, no less.

Just to finish, in my experience shamen are among the most independent people I have met. They welcome, and thrive in, environments of interdependence and are able to co-exist with many things that others would not welcome into their space. They would be very low on my list of people that exhibited co-dependent tendencies or were 'co-depending upon' anything else. You may of course be basing you comments on the shamen you have met and as such I will happily accommodate your right to have these views.
 
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Trojina

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Off topic for a second I'm keeping these as great ways of avoiding having to spend time in any thread restating what I actually said when someone takes it that I said something completely different. I've personally spent hours in threads here over the years writing "I didn't say that I said...." and then rewriting what I already said.

Irfan used this as a great alternative in another thread which is brilliant

"I don't recognize my own ideas in your restatement of them."

That's a keeper, a real time saver.


This is also very good from Mykey in the last post, also one to keep up my sleeve

I'm normally in the habit of saying what I mean and not saying what I don't mean. So, I'll invite you to read again the paragraph from which you lifted your quote, and any of the other passages I have written here if you need to. Then I'm certain you'll be informed enough to answer your question for yourself.
 

dfreed

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Irfan used this as a great alternative in another thread which is brilliant

"I don't recognize my own ideas in your restatement of them."

Thanks for sharing this. I too will keep it in mind when someone misinterprets my ideas and words, or is simply trying to find fault with me regardless of what I'm saying.

(And I will now return to the topic at-hand.)
 

dfreed

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With your most recent post (#16) you have kind of dazzled me with your headlights ... so (I) would be grateful if you could ... clearly condense the essence of your meaning here.

What I am doing is simply offering another 'model' or way of understanding Hex. 15, via the image of a Wed-Wing bird and via the different examples I presented above.

Looking back at post 16, I don't see it as being 'brilliant', but as being meaningful and appropriate to our discussion of Gua 15. It is not meant to be more correct, nor better than what you're understanding is, only another view - another way of looking at and understand Hexagram 15.

It's what we all do, all the time in this threads - we take an idea and 'run with it' - we 'bounce ideas' off of what others have said; we ask questions, and even disagree - and we sometimes go off course, or far afield - like when someone talks about a made-up trigram arrangement, and people ending up talking their dreams, or about Ifa, an African oracle. (And when I see and hear some of this, it reminds me of the phrase, 'herding cats' - which can be maddening at times, but is not at all wrong.)

Focusing on the word 'meeked'

I realize that in discussing your word 'meeked' I was not really getting to the point I was trying to make, so I have deleted it from post 15, above.

But what you've said made me curious, so I looked up the word 'meeked'. As far as I can tell the word does not exist in the English language (at least in the dictionaries I looked at): we have 'meek' (and meekly, meeker, meekest) - but no 'meeked'.

Despite you making use of a made-up word, I believe I can make sense of 'meeked'. However, as we both know, words (in both English and Chinese) have multiple meanings and also their meanings change over time. So assuming 'meeking' is related to 'meek' ...

... 'Meek' can also mean "deficient in spirit and courage"; or "... not strong"

... and these accurate, by-the-dictionary meanings can entirely change the image I - or anyone - might have of the Greek War Horse.

So it seems we are both guilty of being less than accurate in our choice of words, or of making use of made-up words and phrases like 'meeking' or 'co-depending upon'.

I have a proposal then: perhaps we can both agree that when we're talking about the Yijing and oracles and divination, that our discussions often delve into more mythic, or archetypal, or even spiritual (or historic) realms, and that we can both be excused using less-than perfect and exacting English (or Chinese, or Greek or Latin) when we try to explain what we mean.

As to my use of the inexact phrase 'co-depending upon' - I have explained what I mean many times, and most simply and directly when I said it is "the quality of being in relationship ...." Therefore, I'm not sure why you or anyone else is spending so much time being stuck on it? (Or is there perhaps some other agenda here?)

So, I'm offering a simple fix to a simple problem: the next time you read my phrase 'co-depending upon' you can simply replace it with something like - 'the quality of being in relationship' and see if that helps you understand what I'm saying - so you wont' keep being dazzled or blinded by what I'm sharing. Or, you can just by-pass that part, and take in the other stuff I'm sharing.

PS - if I wanted to quibble about accuracy, I would point out to you that Greek war horses did not "stand in the face of cannon fire" since cannons weren't invented at that time, and didn't come into use until many centuries later (around the time of the Mongolian invasions of China, Europe and the Middle East I believe). But since I'm not being picky - and I get what you mean, even if you are not being accurate - I'll let it slide - this time! :duh:

Regards, D
 
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dfreed

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I'm not familiar with Field's translation so I'm unable to reply here from a place of personal experience.

My-Key, in case you are interested, here's Stephen Fields' 'notes' about the Wedwing - or what I sometimes spell as Wed-Wing (highlighting is mine):
15. Qian, The Wedwing -​
The graph of Qian contains 言, the “speech” element, on the left and the jian 兼 phonetic (a hand holding two arrows) on the right. Its ancient meaning is “respectful” or “modest.” However, the context of the lines require that the hexagram designate an animal of some kind, especially lines 2 and 6, which depict a “calling” or “crying” animal (see Hexagram 16.1, the “trumpeting elephant”; and Hexagram 36, the “calling arrow-bird”).​
Kunst interprets qian as a type of rodent, based on the Mawangdui manuscript whose qian graph has the “mouth” 口radical rather than the “speech” element.​
The more likely possibility is the graph with the “bird” radical, which is the name of a mythical bird called the jian 鶼, or biyi’niao 比翼鳥 “wedwing bird” (Li Jingchi 李鏡池, “Zhouyi jiaoshi” 周易校釋; Kunst, “Notes,” 15.1). The description of the bird first appears in the Classic of Mountains and Seas, purportedly written by Yu, the Great.​
There is also a record in the Yi Zhoushu 逸周書, the Lost Book of Zhou, that wed-wing birds were presented in tribute to King Cheng, son of King Wu (ch. 59, “Wang Hui Jie” 王會解).​
The wed-wing had only one wing and could fly only if it bonded with its mate. For this reason, in later ages it became a symbol of wedded bliss.

And this is the same info. I have about the Wed-Wing, which I am now sharing.

Respectfully, D
 

hilary

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Normally, we have a rule here about not discussing members' behaviour in the public forums. It helps to avoid flame wars. But this is one of those rare occasions when such discussion is called for, and we have the 'Moderation' forum for that. I've moved a bunch of posts from here to there (click to visit the thread). We can discuss ad lib, and delete the thread once the issue is resolved.
 

my_key

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Hi David
I have written some further observations in the Moderation thread and do hope that you will read the post there.
I reply here to your post #20, as an act of continuity and context for the my comments.

Please take these as observations of things you have said, clarification of inexactitudes as well as offerings of my perspective. I offer all this not in an attempt to persuade you away from the path you are walking but more for the benefit of people who may come to this thread in the future.
  • Simply offering another 'model' or way of understanding Hex. 15. If that is your intention then that is to be welcomed: it did not feel as simple as that to me. However, this is your word and I will trust you know and honestly speak your own words.
  • Your comment on my making up the word 'meeked' is entirely false. 'Meeked' can be seen as the simple past tense and past participle of 'meek'. It appears in dictionaries and is used prodigiously in the context contained in many of the articles I have read on Greek War Horses. I will not provide any references for you as you can easily do some more thorough research for yourself.
  • Your understanding that we are 'both guilty of being less than accurate in our choice of words' is not shared by me. I do not allow others to place guilt on me.
  • I am very happy when 'less-than perfect or exacting English' is used by anyone. It is not something that needs to be 'excused' in my world. What I do not like to leave unchallenged is when a word is used, either intentionally or unintentionally, that conveys a message that is not true to it's meaning - i.e there is an unnatural twist or a misdirection being conveyed in the message. This can lead to confusion and even chaos and it benefits all from swift correction, especially in an open forum such as this.
  • For the reason just stated I see no 'problem' in what has happened, certainly from my vantage point. I will not by-pass or overlook what I see as a clear misdirection with words and even more so if it is 180 degrees out of kilter to normal everyday usage. That being said you are perfectly entitled to hold an meaning that you like. However, it may benefit your communication with others if you declare this up front. It is to your credit that you have shone a light to your sense an understanding of a number of words in this thread. That has helped me andno doubt others to see what you are saying and meaning.
  • Further to this another important point for me is this. If the error has been made in all innocence then most people would welcome an opportunity to become better informed. If done consciously then it is a different matter completely and only the holder of the off-set understanding can choose how to take things forward from the challenge. Accept the error or hang on and build a case justifying that they are right. I will add here that if there is anything that you find completely out of order with this or any of my previous posts then please feel free to report them. I welcome impartial peer appraisal as it is only through feedback that we can learn of and from our mistakes.
  • With respect to your comment about Greek War Horses not having to "stand in the face of cannon fire". From what I can gather that is clearly an anachronism and my mistake. I am glad that you were 'not being picky' about that one! Of course, there is a twist in your comment. Perhaps, if you were truely 'not being picky' you could have decided not to mention my faux pas at all. I accept fully though that it is totally your right to choose whether to draw attention to this or not and the manner in which you do so.
I have said all I want to in this reply. I hope my observations have been helpful for you. I do appreciate that little, or nothing, of what I have written here may resonate with you. That is ok from my perspective. I am not seeking agreement but more a clear voicing of my words, thoughts and beliefs in response to yours. So in closing I again invite you to accept what I have written in the manner it is offered.

Good Luck
 
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my_key

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Before I set of exploring a bit more I'm just going to simply recap one perspective that stands out for me in the above musings. Using the themes developed in this thread I get a kind of picture developing that whatever the Hexagram name might be it's characteristics, quality, essence (call it what you will) entails the training, developing and harnessing of a core, innate spirit to provide for / within a person an approach to life, people, events etc the ability to manifest a 'controlled strength' that allows a walking of a middle way - not ruled by ego and better equipped to respond equitably and respectfully to situations rather than react in an unfair, unjust manner; displaying at all times a humane and compassionate nature. That is modesty, authenticity, humility or meekness in a nutshell: 'power with' rather than 'power over' or 'power under'.

Further insights into Hexagram 15 could come through use of Stephen Karcher's toolkit using his concepts of the Ideal Hexagram and the Shadow Hexagram. Both concepts are explained on Karcher's website so let's take a canter down the path of each concept individually and see where they lead.

First the Ideal (Karcher's words):
The Ideal gives insights into the potential of the situation and represents the most effective way to think about the entire situation.
The Ideal of Hexagram 15 is Hexagram 42 'Augmenting /The Blessing' (aka Increasing)

The qualities of 42 are increase, expansion, developing, and the like, which are steeped in the hexagram meaning of 'the beginning of decline'. This conveys an idea that first you have to give something up, that is of low status, in order to create space for something to grow in that space vacated. Later you will be better positioned to receive something which will bring with it a greater richness or value. This concept is clearly expressed in Hex 42 Image
The superior person follows the good when he sees it,
And corrects his fault when he finds it. (A Huang)
So you could say that the most effective way of looking at Hex 15 when you receive it is that it is drawing your attention to the potential that could be unleashed through behaving in positive ways and correcting your shortcomings when you recognise them.

This for me aligns very well with what has been written in earlier parts of this thread.

Now turning our attention to the Shadow. Karcher says of the Shadow:
The Shadow gives pointers to a necessary transformative potential that is, for the moment, shadowed and unavailable but will manifest spontaneously if you do not seek it out.
The shadow site of Hexagram 15 is Hexagram 50 The Vessel.

Hexagram 50 has a meaning of 'grasping renewal' with the ultimate wisdom given in the Image of
The superior person rectifies his position,
And fulfils the will of Heaven. (A Huang)
So nestling within any Hexagram 15 reading is a potential for personal transformation; an establishing of a new changed you. This change though manifests spontaneously as a 'will of Heaven' and the more you try to fulfill this change through your own conscious actions, or thoughts or words or behaviours the farther it will move away from you. It seems to be a case of just go about your day to day business and 'Do you know what you?' you might well win the lottery too. This personal transformation is elusive like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and you will only find your treasure if you do not even try looking for it in the first place.

That old War Horse one day realises that because of everything he has had to contend with; all the ups and downs; all the internal riots and the low points - somewhere while he was looking the other way he has been gifted with the quality of 'controlled strength' and all of the many blessings that that brings with it.

"Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth" Matthew 5:5

If you have reached this end point in the thread, thank you for accompanying me along the way. I hope you have found it as insightful as I have, or at least gleaned something new about the I Ching. It would be great to hear what thoughts you may have on any of the content - favourable or unfavourable.

This thread all started with a comment by IrfanK about how highly in esteem the early Jesuit priests held Hexagram 15. Maybe this thread opens some doors into understanding why that might have been so.

...and, of course, as always, it may be nothing like that at all.

Good Luck
 
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my_key

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I thought I had finished with this thread....but it appears that it had not finished with me.

I have been increasingly drawn in the last week or so to looking at and reflecting on the themes, progressions and messages in each of the lines in Hex 15. So having made some intelligible sense of the lines individually and as a collective whole it appealed to me to round this thread off by sharing my current thoughts and understanding. My hope is that they will be intelligible for others too.

Firstly though, it's time for the War Horse symbolism to be put out to grass and to now view the lines from a perspective of humanity.

In that regard, the key human qualities at the core of Hex 15, which I will call 'Authenticity', are benevolence and equanimity. Benevolence - the quality of being humane i.e. having or showing compassion. Equanimity - calmness and composure, even, or perhaps especially, in the most trying of circumstances.

The lines appear to me to comment on how to maintain a balanced attitude to life, the universe and everything and how to regulate that balance by turning down or turning up the volume of a troublesome personal characteristic that is part of a unique self. Yi never advocates getting rid of that part of you in its entirety, more like supporting those extreme parts to grow / transform into healthier versions. It encourages you to grow and warns you of potential pitfalls as you increasingly choose to speak freely from your heart.

I have leaned heavily on many commentaries to reach these conclusions, so will not be assigning translations or references to what follows: these are just the final filtrations of many hours of musing.

The themes and patterns shown via the contributing / interacting hexagrams in the progression of Authenticity are:

1. 36: Brilliance Injured

2. 46: Growing Upward

3. 2: Responding

4. 62: Little Exceeding

5. 39: Hardship

6. 52: Keeping Still

(These are hexagram names assigned by A Huang. They seemed most apt as a collective.)

15.1 – This line looks to be a statement of the fundamental underlying truth of authenticity. For many, the true self has been hidden away for safety behind the numerous masks of the false self. Authenticity peels away those masks and is rooted in your truth. This deeper truth can be encountered in any situation when the trappings of old wounds are negated and the spark of authenticity becomes ignited. When that spark of deep inner truth is lit everything is nourished and in that moment life can be lived and experienced to the fullest

15.2 – A person who connects deeply with their inner truth (authenticity) will walk in harmony. Authenticity will resonate beneficially outwards from them; showing in the manner in which they speak and otherwise conduct themselves.

15.3 – A person who embraces authenticity is firstly honest, open and respectful of themselves. From here they are able to acknowledge their strengths and their weaknesses. This is the basis of their personal power that allows them to live life to the full. They have no doubts about who they are. They are content in knowing their power and quietly go about their business whilst fully appreciating that there is no room for complacency in their life. These qualities are noticed and admired by others.

15.4 – When authenticity is embodied, even just for the tiniest moment, it only adds to itself and grows. There is no desire to walk anything other than the Middle Way, neither seeking to take power from or give power to others. Authenticity manifests easily and naturally in the world around and about, perfectly aligning with and displaying itself as ‘proper conduct’.

15.5 – Being authentic means that you implicitly trust in yourself to be able to follow and maintain your own path, wherever it may lead you. Walking an authentic path may be difficult especially when your neighbours may not see your words or actions in the way you do. Listening to them will not enrich you in any way and may even be hurtful for you. Remember, though, you are living your truth and they are living theirs. Meekness (authenticity) is not about cowering in the face of onslaught – allowing others to rob you of your power. Standing in your power you are able to remain calm and centred without prejudice or favour. Defending yourself appropriately is a vital aspect of that power. So, if necessary, skilfully wield an axe in the way you see most fitting to counter or overcome any, if not all, disempowering or otherwise unfavourable circumstances encountered.

15.6 – This line position represents the culmination of the process where the qualities of authenticity have embedded themselves fully into your persona. They have become firm and stabilised. When authenticity is truly embodied, rather than directing any of your energy towards correcting others, you now prefer to turn your attentions inwardly. You focus your complete attention on noticing and correcting your own flaws and shortcomings. Here, at last, is the golden opportunity to, out of choice, shine compassion onto yourself and to nourish and feed your remaining trapped prisoners.

To attempt, in closing, to bring this together in some way:

Authenticity is not an intellectual quality or something that can be attained through intellectual endeavour. It is gained through emotional endeavour, and grows as a felt sense. Starting from deep within it percolates and spreads upwards and outwards until it can be tangibly felt in ourselves and our conduct. Others around us feel and see it too. It is an essential quality that everyone recognises on some level and seeks to attain for themselves. Authenticity cannot be captured or stolen. Equally, a false portrayal of authenticity cannot be maintained forever and will at some point be seen for what it is. Authentic authenticity is organic and it’s growth proceeds at its own pace.

It is entirely wrong to confuse Meekness with weakness, just as it is wrong to say woundedness and strength cannot be bedfellows. Emotionally wounded people can be strong and the embracing or displaying of their strength in positive ways becomes the bedrock in their path towards emotional healing. As emotional healing advances so does Authenticity blossom. The prisoners are taken off starvation rations: becoming fed and nourished. The need for riot and chaos lessens and their world becomes more expansive; filled with benevolence and equanimity. Being Authentic, more so than just a clear manifestation of emotional healing, when embodied, even for a short while, can be seen as a major achievement in the Great Work of healing the soul.
 

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