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Hexagram 30 and renunciation

arien

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Have you guys ever noticed that hexagram's 30 name (li2) is the same character used by chinese buddhists to represent one of the 10 perfections, and indeed one of the most (if not only) effective ways to detachement and realisation: renunciation (pali: nekkhamma, chinese: chu1 li2 "produce depart")?
(of everything that is against OUR personal purpose, and quite willingly and happily so!)

I mean, I knew about the ethymology, the bird and the net, "catching the bird" (LiSe's?), and all that, but I never thought that the bird was ME instead, and the objective was not to get caught!!
This collects on the other meanings, like the fire element, brightness, intelligence, exchange (in general but also between two people), the middle path, etc, yet thinking of it as renunciation, "dont let yourself get caught by the net", has unveiled a whole new perspective for me

would love to hear your opinions...
 

bradford_h

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Hi Arien-
Part of the richness of our understanding of the Gua name Li2 comes from it's association with a second term Li4 introduced in the Tuan Zhuan. Interestingly, this second term has a strong affinity with another Buddhist conception - Conditioned Arising. It's this term that gives the association of "clinging" in addition to "individuating" or "departure."
Just to provide some glossary background:
li2 3902 23f 172+11 12.4 (to) rise, arise, radiate, diverge, separate, contrast, depart, differ, digress, part, get distance, distinguish (from, out of); articulate, leave, spread out, stand out, move on, abandon, choose (one), decide, part, cut, divide, distribute, arrange, set out, pass on, pass through, hang down, hang from (s, ed, ing); (to be) distinct, different, diverse, diversified, divided, separated, off, away (from), distant, apart (from), without; pendant, dependent, dispersed, independent (of); (a, the) arising, rearising, departure, removal, distinction, divergence, division, separation, distance, difference (from); radiance, display, fire, flame, firelight, highlight; net; vis a vis each other; a bird, esp. an oriole (colorful conrast); figure ground relationships; the root of the English word
li4 3914 878a 198+8 30.T (to be) contingent, conditioned, conditional, dependent, depending, reliant (on, upon); attached, assigned, joined, conjoined, fastened, tied, connected, clinging (to); mutual, interconnected, interdependent; graceful, beautiful, refined, well-proportioned, good, elegant, radiant, handsome, splendid; (to) rely, depend (on, upon); cling together, join, conjoin, fasten, attach, connect (s, ed, ing); (a, the) dependence, conditionality, conditioning, reliance; antelope
 

bradford_h

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Oops- Chopped off an important sentence on Li2:
The root of the English word Existence is to stand out or to stand forth, figure from ground, Oriole from gray winter bush.
There are of course paradoxes here with the Buddhist and Yixue interpretations. Dobro should like this.
b
 

dobro p

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(grin)

Have you ever noticed how the word 'bear' can mean 'carry', 'endure' or 'an animal you don't want to anger'? Could what Arien's question highlights be an instance of that?

Anyway, I don't see much renunciation in 30, but I can see the connection with conditioned arising really clearly. In fact, I think the two sort of illuminate each other.
 
T

tashij

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I let go, I turn aside, I put down all agreeable or painful memories relating to what I have done or would have wanted to do in the past, relating to all the episodes of my past activity. I let go, I put down what I have been or would have wished to be in the past. I let go, I put down the impressions that I have felt, I discharge and strip myself of them.

I let go, I put down all that preoccupies me now, all that relates to my present activity and to that which would be able to touch me in activites of other people: my ambitions, my fears, everything that my interest carries me towards.

I let go, I put down all cares concerning the future, the projects of spiritual or material order: desire for success, fears or failures whatever they may be, all certainties, all doubts as to what I will be or to what will happen to me tomorrow or in the distant future.

David-Neel and Lama Yongden, la Connaissance Transcendante, Adyar, Paris, 1958
 
C

candid

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So by putting down the unessential the essential can shine through clearly, ie: clear light?

I've never been completely clear (no pun intended) on 30.
 

dobro p

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"So by putting down the unessential the essential can shine through clearly, ie: clear light?"

Yeah, I think you've got that right, but I don't think that's what 30 is about.

For me (FWIW, IMHO) 30 is about clinging (the way fire clings to wood, the way a cow 'clings' to the person it follows) in a way that generates radiance. I think fire's the key here. What really interests me in this thread is the idea of conditioned arising that Bradford mentioned. I'm thinking the Buddhists got it right. Radiance sounds good, but clinging's dependent. So what we got in 30 is radiance, yeah, but it's more along the lines of intensity, and not so much along the lines of illumination.
 

dobro p

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See, radiance can be heat. Radiance isn't just light.
 
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candid

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Thanks, Dobro. I've had the clinging fire and docile cow part. Hadn't thought much about radiance in terms of heat, though its natural since fire gives off radiant heat. I can't say I've ever been clear on LiSe's "To catch the bird of brightness" though, or on Brad's "conditioned arising."
 
C

cheiron

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For me Hx 30 is most about clarity of understanding or a clear perception like a flame. Yes, lots of intensity.

And yes there is clinging there for me too.

A flame clings to the wood that feeds it. So there is an extra message here for me there not to forget to tend the fire.
 

bradford_h

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Hi all
The constraints of one's own mindset are a big part of Gua 30's meaning. The Chinese terms ru and ruo (seems like, appears that, as if, so..., such...) appear a lot in the text, much more than anywhere else. Solid truth is uncertain like in Heisenberg, and much of it is relative to the state of the one perceiving.
b
 

bradford_h

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Hi again
Radiation is also branching out, evolving, diversifying, individuating, emanating, as well as shining outward. Apparently this is not just a "word mystery" in English as the Chnese term also has this full range of meanings.
Oddly though, the root of the words radial/radical means roots, not branches. Maybe that's the anchor to the source of existence, the food chain, the cow, that keeps things from just flying off.
b
 

dobro p

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"Oddly though, the root of the words radial/radical means roots, not branches. Maybe that's the anchor to the source of existence"

Roots cling.

Candid: 'Conditioned arising' is a pretty interesting idea. Time spent with Buddhists is seldom wasted.
 
C

candid

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Brad, that's great, thank you!

Dobro, odd you should say that. I've rejoined communication with some Buddhists, and in that context, yes, I think I see now what you're saying. Let me share three sentences that were a gift to me from a Buddhist monk just yesterday in response to my question of the term 'reduction':

"Pleasure is a reduction of suffering.

So, for example, if you had stood up for a long time, and then you sat down, you would experience pleasure.

The pleasure we find in relationships is simply reduction of the suffering of loneliness."

Is this an example of 'conditioned arising?' If not, help me out here.
 

bradford_h

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Dobro-
"Time spent with Buddhists is seldom wasted."
Especially when you get around Buddhists who can laugh and you can do your doubletake on the whole Suffering misconception.
 
C

candid

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Brad, I'm not new to Buddhist thought, nor the whole annalistic idea. Personally, I never bought into it entirely. What does interest me though is how and why things work the way they do.
 

bradford_h

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Hi Candid-
Buddhism is such a shape shifter you almost need to qualify Which Buddhism you're talking about. And even then you need to distinguish whether you're talking to a believer, a scholar, a monk competing for favor in the monastery, or an enlightened person. My own perception of the suffering thing may be a little unreliable because I sort of beg the question and assess a teacher's degree of enlightenment by how good their sense of humor is. I don't have much Use for nihilism, which is not to say it aint so.
Personally I'm sort of a mix of Chan & Theravada, and consider the Buddha to have been a pantheistic psychologist and an organic life form.
 
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candid

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Brad, I agree, humor is a great distinguisher in discerning all faiths. Nihilism is to me incredibly vain, misses the point entirely. What I do like and relate to is the whole equanimity/balance/center-path thing. Maybe that?s because its most like my own teacher, Yi. I?ve also witnessed believers who are white supremacists and Nazi-like. Each claims by virtue of the scriptures, theirs is the true path. Its the one who laughs at ?true path? that I usually will listen attentively to. Being entirely present in now is a basic premise that I seek to follow, as is fostering compassion for all sentient beings.
 
Y

yellowblue

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hi,

30 is all about conditional circumstances... here the circumstance cannot exist without a counterpart. but the counterpart isn't permanent, so how does illumination (or whatever) continue?

whatever phase this circumstance, situation, whether it is love or survival, or faith it is dependent on a counterpart to illuminate or radiate, heat or light... and because of the variables a defined form isn't possible.

it's about living in the here and now and adapapting to what is "present".

if you can't adapt and are dependent on a specific source, that source will exhaust itself as the wood that feeds and keeps a fire alive eventually does, or erosion regarding the roots that depend on the soil for its nourishment...

instead we must be adaptive to keep the illumination alive.. be open to variety to keep whatever it is burning... don't rely on limited resourses... catching the bird of brightness is granting freedom, allowing the illusive allows continued radiance.

the key here seems to be adapt, adapt and adapt or die out... overcome codependency, be open to what seems to be outside your limited view on what is nourishing. comply to the resources at hand.. the form may change but will continue.


Deb
 

bradford_h

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Candid-
Here's one to ponder-
Remember when Abraham was asked to slay his son Isaac to prove his faith? When the story was written
Isaac meant "laughter".
 

arien

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Hi again Brad, thanks for the perspective on li4, thats one for my list of fave characters
happy.gif

I realise now from yours and Dobro's words, that there is not really a distinction between clinging, or conditioning (habit), and renunciation, at least from the point Im after.
I used to think of renunciation as a bad thing, something really unpleasent I should postpone until, say, a couple of millions more lives.
Yet this misconception came from not really realising WHAT to renounce. I (we) need not abandon anything that pertains to us. Only what we cling to (or what pulls away from our true direction)
Then it becomes something natural, something desirable, because we realise that we'll be having much more from this abandonment, that we have from the grasping.
Most of the times our clinging is what prevents us from getting our wishes fulfilled in the first place (thinking of chasing stray horses...)

Anyway, Im really gaining from all you guys perspectives, I'm still digesting this thread and I'll get back on you all as soon as I have a chance
 

arien

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Just a quick one on Buddhism, its usually said that the Buddha only talked about one thing, and yet its such an obvious thing that its surprizing how its so easily forgetable. I mean, that desire, or actually craving, is the root of pain, and that we can only find happyness in the abandonment of craving (not of desire, that took me a while to realise, true innocent desires should be fulfilled), that seems easy to accept. It can be cause and consequence (pleasure is the absence of pain, as Candid ilustrates with the sitting man, but also eliminate the cause of pain and you have pleasure again).
Yet, thinking in practice, that this means not wanting anything, and just loving what I have, seems a little derrotistic in this day and age. If taken in litteral terms no one will achieve anything, and thats about the cornerstone of ocidental society.
Yet that is not the message. We should achieve everything, but never let ourselves be slaves of things, or slaves of our craving for them.
We can have all sorts of egotistical wishes fulflilled, if we wish and fulfill them in a non-egotistical fashion.
And as we stop wasting energy in unwholesome states of desire, we gain an enormous potential to pursue our true desires, our actual dreams
 
C

candid

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Brad, good thing the entangled goat showed up. Sacrificing laughter ought to be a sin, but I never got the feeling Isaac was worried. More like: wtf you think you're doing, Pops?

Ever read Deut 14:26 account of the tithe? Sounds Isaac inspired.

Deb, good thoughts to ponder. Kind of like catching the bluebird of happiness?
 
C

candid

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Arien, the monk's point was not that pleasure is the absence of pain, just a reduction of same. That's what I found intriguing: there is no difference between them other than by degree.
 
T

tashij

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arien's thinking is similar to a tantric's approach. don't disagree with anything he says. this very well could be a solid gold method.

candid's point is more in line with the pali teachings, where even pleasure is a canker hiding a festering craving. the thinking that, as long as there is an "I" to have a "true desire", there will be a lurking canker. an unhappieness that can come up and grab you by the tail. i cant disagree with that either. (similarly, as long as there is an "i" to renounce, one also can run into problems.)


the ultimate, so far, what i understand, is bodhicitta. true bodhicitta;

(transliteration)
chang chub sang cho rinpoche;

when one transferrrs to the state of bodhicitta, one can do almost anything. manifest in any way; having, not having, laugh not laugh, do not do.....

at least this is what i have understood up to now.....
 
C

candid

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Tash, ah, but that is what I found interesting, there was no canker in his phrase or in the spirit in which he spoke it. Had there been that fatalistic overtone, I'd have not even have paid attention. His point is that everything experiential is made of the same 'stuff', no matter whether we call it suffering or pleasure. And to that I can agree. Eating is a reduction of hunger as increase is a reduction of decrease. No wonder one should take neither to heart.
wink.gif
 
C

cheiron

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Hi Folks

I am trying to get my head rond all of this. Seems many of you have learning in other fields I do not have. So I am learning - Thanks

Meanwhile Deb has set me off trying get to grips with Hx.30 in these terms. Thanks Deb.

I will post my homework when it is done.
happy.gif


--Kevin
 
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tashij

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kevin, agree with you about deb's post, reading her post has been very helpful to me. just got 30 yesterday, right before reading arien's post, interestingly enuf, about my ex boyfriend, who i was missing very very much. doing better today, anyway. funny, then i open my email and get a marraige proposal from my young lama friend in india. hahaha! happy new year everyone.

cherrio all.
 

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