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But if I understand correctly, Bradford doesn't seem fond of too much pig-metaphor:Tactical or Strategic Withdrawal sums up 33's core meaning better than Retreat, even though Retreat is the best translation of Dun in most of the lines. For any problem we encounter there is an optimum Distance from which it may be successfully addressed.
Dun is movement in search of that optimum distance.
It does seem to all hang together, though, doesn't it? "Pig omens...are a sign of wealth and good fortune... Here the wealth comes through retiring" (Karcher) - Dun is a search for the optimum distance from trouble (Hatcher) - the peak of successful retreat (33.6) is called "rich," tying back into pigs = wealth...Now, as to the Pig or the Piglet as Gua Ming, this is an artifact of academia, where polysemy ["the coexistence of many possible meanings for a word or phrase" [Google/ http://english.oxforddictionaries.com/polysemy)] in the classical Chinese language is not officially recognized. The solution to the problem it poses simply requires getting some distance from the academic world, just as the little pig will try to get distance from you and your butcher's tools.
Hi, Michael:I'm pondering another Karcherism ...
... I am unable to find any little piggies in other translations I have looked at or in the chinese text. Obviously we are walking now in the realms of myth and Karcher's poetic license.
I'm looking for a bit of help and was wondering whether anyone is able to give me any pointers on where I might be able to follow Karcher's pig themes for each line...
All the best,
Hi, Liselle:... you can see people do catch them by their tails.
Hi, Liselle:That's what I thought, too.
What am I asking you to do? Nothing that you don't want to do. Contibute or not contribute the choice is yours.@my_key
My Key, I have a question: what is it that you're asking us to do here? What are your expections? Are you only looking for us to agree with Karcher and/or find his 'pig' text and imagery correct, or come up with ways that it makes sense? Or can we participate even if we question, or we don't agree with his interpretation or the language he is using?
I'm a bit suspect that what you're looking for here is agreement, not necessarily a more honest critique or study of his 33 interpretion. But, I could very well be wrong, so I'm curious to know your thoughts.
- here from Bradford's book is 61's pig reference using the right side of 33's character:The word Dun, is a compound character: it includes the semantic character for road or foot or road-foot, AND the phonetic character for pig, which means - as I understand it - 'we take the root word/meaning road-foot, and we pronounce it like we would the word 'pig' and in pronouncing it this way we give it a new (but related) meaning: to hide, escape, leave' (which are all ways that the feet might act when escaping on a road).
I see your point... then again if line 1 of this imaginary hexagram mentioned "boat" or "deep" or something ocean-related (like 33.1 mentions "tail"), or if the hexagram overall was about the vast unknown or something which could easily be associated with an ocean, much like "retreat" could be associated with a pig....And imagine if the word 'Ocean' he gives here were also the name of a hexagram, and we then applied the 'Karcher treatment' to it:
.... we'd end up with the sacrifice of sheep to what? - to please the water gods? And we'd end up with the mythical 'ocean of sheep', a place where the 'Great Stream of existence' flows into
Yes, but not all pigs are that big.This gets to a few points:
My first experience (one of only two) with a pig was maybe 40+ years ago when I visited an organic farm in the Trinity Alps in far northern California. One day I helped the owner of the farm load his male pig into a pick-up truck, so the pig could be taken off to be mated! This was a very large animal, maybe 300-400 pounds, and it was a very dangerous operation for three much smaller people to try and coax a very unruly, and much larger male pig into a place where he did not want to go!
And believe me, there was no pig-tail-pulling involved here- and yes, in this instance if there were any tail-pullling it would be an absurd, nonsense thing to do!
No idea. It's just that the following are all true:The second point is, when I look at the 'grabbing pigs by the tail' YouTube videos, I realize that people try to grab a lot of creatures by the tail as a way of getting a hold of them - dogs, cats, chickens, fish, sheep (do they have tails?), so I don't know what particular significance this has to pigs or to Hex. 33. (And again, we don't find any 'pigs' in the original text of the Yi, and it's a tail being withdrawn, not a pig's tail!)
Of course not, but I don't see what this has to do with anything. (Edit - see below for how pigs' tails can be a danger to them that has nothing to do with humans.)And further ... do we really think that the Universe, or god, or the gods, or evolution, or the great spirit created the tails of pigs (and other creatures) for the sole purpose of having them serve as handles for humans (as the YouTube videos seem to imply)? Or, is it more likely they are intended to serve other purposes, like providing balance, or for swatting insects, or for feeling or grabbing?
But the whole I Ching was created for humans, by humans, right? Of course it's "about us." Horses aren't meant to be dolled up, either, but still we have 22.4.And I can't help but think that applying pigs and their tails to 33 is similar to this: we make the meaning of the tail and maybe the meaning of the pig and of the hexagram, much more limited and self-centered, so it becomes about us - and our desire to pull the tails of other creatures, as seen on YouTube?, instead of having a much deeper and broader meaning, sans pigs.
What is that, please?(And besides all this, I have a different understanding about 33, which includes - but is not limited to - the idea of escape and retreat.
Thanks! So according to Field, line 1 has to do with danger from fellow pigs, and nothing to do with pigs trying to escape humans trying to catch them. This puts David's comments in a new light (what he said about pigs' tails not being put there for humans to use as handles). Sorry, @Freedda.This is from Fielding's "Book of Zhou Changes":
Hi Michael:Thanks everyone.
...@charly & @radiofreewill : Useful insights from line translations of texts I am not familiar with, plus the additional meat on the bone around the pig perspective as it wallows in the sauce of each line.
Any other porcine or non-porcine contributions, serious or not so serious, gratefully received.
Of course a modernist translation far from the mainstream traditional school. May you enjoy it.
Hi David:And to me it this seems based on pure speculation - so it fits right in with Karcher's mythic fantasy world (a.k.a translation).
All the best,
Hi David:My opinion and understanding are not based at all on a modernist vs. traditionalist view...
Brad, of course. I owe him gratitude for the good hours passed reading his generously free books.... "You can recognize them by their translations, which are populated by such bizarre entities and activities as: dancing elephants, grunting hamsters, ripping rats ... feigning birds, rewarded piglets, ... and, above all, twitching and tittering captives everywhere ...
Your use of the phrase "time to move" is interesting here, since one of the Chinese glosses for the Hexagram is Shun Dong or Responsive Movement, movement in synch with rhythm or timing. In the Da Xiang is the only place in the Yi where music is mentioned. There is even a vestigial remnant in the old pictogram of an elephant swaying to music as if dancing. I think you may want to really focus on the timing here and be ready to move when you get a clearer signal.
Seconding Blue Angel's comments. Even the etymology of the character 豫 implies the rhythmic swaying of an elephant to music. 16 is getting with the rhythm of things. It's glossed as Shun Dong, responsive movement, in the commentary on the Judgement, moving with the time or timing of things, 'getting with it.''
Many videos out there of elephants dancing:
The sacrifice and the slaughterings can be a two way thing. The little piggies start to be less than cute about 2.20 into the clip; the sacrifice comes a little bit later near the end.I never put slaughterings in my translations if I can avoid it.
I'm no expert here, however my understanding is that the Yijing started from a place nestling in shamanic divination and intuitive readings taken from the shells of slaughtered turtles. Most cultures, maybe even all, looked to increase the power of the connection to the spirits / gods through sacrifice and ritual. Human sacrifice was common - the Aztec culture was built on it - as this provided the best 'quality' of blood and life force for connection to the natural and, if that was what floated your boat, the darker forces whizzing around in the cosmos. Pigs, I guess, because of the esteem in which they were held in ancient times were a natural substitute.I don't see why a divination book would mention that practice so much
One of my original concerns was that Karcher's perspective was a one man band playing gobbledegook from the roof tops. For me the postings of Bradford, Charly and Radiofreewill show this not to be the case. There is a body of learned work supporting his perspective and we are not starting with 'one person's made up myth'. I would agree with you that at times, especially in Total I Ching, there is a lack of explanation about some of what he says. Although for me Karcher has gone some way to filling that gap with the postings on his website https://ichinglivingchange.org/. Not surprisingly, I will disagree with you when you say that Karcher has done 'a huge disservice to the many of us whom look to him as a Yi author and teacher'. Some of the best teachers I have had have left me having to deal with confusion from their out of the left field and not wholy accurate teachings........we're starting with one person's made-up myth, and then people are trying to apply rationale and reason to that myth. It may work for you and for others, but it simply does not work for me.
I think too that Karcher has done a huge disservice to the many of us whom look to him as a Yi author and teacher: he's created these confusing and sometimes inaccurate personal myths (however much he bases them on ancient riturals or history) without really explaining what he's done.
Well...yes.... 'The pig involved is a sacrifice to the Ghost River and the hidden powers of Earth' ... or a 'suckling pig taken by hand - a pig offered for sacrifice' (all things he menions in discussing 33) ...
Hi Michael:... Slaughter, ritual and sacrifice is embedded in our ancestral DNA, so I would expect any divination book rooted in the early cultures to be well populated with such references.....and to be honest a bit disappointed if it didn't...
I can see how you are thinking. As cultures develop there is certainly a trend towards obscuring their barbaric roots of man's inhumanity to man. The softening / obscuring eventually transforms to the place of focussing on the positive rather than the negative, so focus on feasting and celebration rather than sacrifice over time is only to be expected and welcomed. After all the society is becoming more refined, more cultured, more sophisticated, more civilised.I believe that they would have preferred, in rites that involve offering gifts for obtaining blessings, that it would remind them more the aspect of enjoyment than that of suffering. So I prefer «feast» or «celebration» instead of «sacrifice». (1)
I would agree. Oral to written to increasing sophistication is the historical path for most cultures. Human and animal sacrifice is definitely something that is jettisoned along the way.My working theory is that with the rise of the Zhou, there were major shifts in cultural and spiritual (religious) practices, like using yarrow stalks instead of bones, and the existence of written divination manuals (e.g. the Yi) instead of just an oral tradition. I have been also wondering if there was a lessening of human and animal sacrifice.
I think you are right. Because the reference has been softened and is not sacrifice explicit or clear that it belongs to a ritual associated with sacrifice then, to my mind, there is a danger of the connection being lost and the richness of the origins of the work diluted.I think we see this reflected in the Yi as well: there are lots of lines about sacrifice and offerings, but I think there are fewer times when these are spelled out for us - such as when the Yi mentions cattle, or larger animals or two rice bowls.
Yes, I agree. I don't think the mindset around sacrifice today can be connected completely to the mindset of sacrifice in those early times. The idea of a sacrifice these days is more in the line of giving up something, especially something of value, in exchange for other considerations either for yourself or for others. Not so much of the blood, guts and killing things appear in the sacrifice these days.I'm a bit suspect of translating the types of and reasons for sacrifices and offerings we find in the Shang, Zhon and in the Yi, into our modern ideas of what sacrifice or offerings mean (such as giving up smoking or serving one's country with military service). I just don't think that the ancient peoples came from the same 'mind set' and certainly not the same culture, so it's likely we're not doing them now for the same reasons as back then - which was usually to seek blessings or direction from one's ancestors. Something to ponder I think.
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