...life can be translucent

Menu

Hexagram 33 - The Land of the Pig?

my_key

visitor
Joined
Mar 22, 1971
Messages
1,502
Reaction score
278
I'm pondering another Karcherism. He names Hex 33 Retiring with the follow on name of Young Pig (Total I Ching). I have traced the character 遯 (dun4) to links with pigs / boar and sacrificial ceremony. Huang mentions the pig and sacrifice in his description of the ideograph and LiSe's translation of this as hexagram as 'Save Your Bacon'. So the pig is in residence and so far so good!

Now, moving on to the line translations Karcher brings the pig theme to the fore.
line 1 - make the pig sacrifice.
line 2 - (no pig comparisons)
line 3 - pig bound for sacrifice
line 4 - a fine pig
line 5 - celebration pig
line 6 - rich pig

However, 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.

Many Thanks
 

Liselle

Supporter
Clarity Supporter
Joined
Sep 20, 1970
Messages
6,930
Reaction score
619
I have none of Karcher's books (yet), but there's this online, apparently a joint venture using a form of his I Ching. The Image section on that page mentions the pig, and there's also a pig-infused discussion of the hexagram name, Dun, under "Voices of the Mothers."

The line texts there don't mention pigs, but there's this from the Dun section: "Pig omens in general are sign of wealth and good fortune to come. Here the wealth comes through retiring."

Maybe Karcher sees the lines as a story of a pig? From danger of being caught by the tail (line 1) to successfully avoiding capture (line 6)?

Hatcher says this, here:
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.
But if I understand correctly, Bradford doesn't seem fond of too much pig-metaphor:
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.
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...
 

charly

visitor
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
2,219
Reaction score
75
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...
Hi, Michael:

I believe that Karcher knows about what is he speaking, even if it is not always easy for we to understand it. I have a custom when I do not know what's the meaning of a living being, like persons, amimals, plants, I first try seeing if it fits to me.

Here: Who is the pig or the piglet here? (1)
Maybe ourselves. Of course, sometimes it will be not conducent, it will not be easy to understand.

If it happens I have another resource: look for it in LiSe page, for dun4:

The pig is there. foot on the road + meat + pig, (meaning suckling pig)
dun4 means to run away, maybe for one's life, not to become bacon [see LiSe].

I will see what are we doing in H.33.

Meanwhile, I believe that the pig of H.33 was a modernist invention, useful to see Rutt:

Rutt_H33_Pig.jpg
Available in Google Books:
https://books.google.com.ar/books?id=-thcAmNtt-gC&pg=PA326&lpg=PA326&dq=hexagram+33+pig&source=bl&ots=aYUlDyNRvm&sig=ACfU3U2nUR-NxfRDnI8zLm_uNLttuVp0Tg&hl=es-419&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi8s9LP5OjoAhVqHLkGHUUhAS4Q6AEwA3oECAwQKw#v=onepage&q=(33) Pig&f=false
(to be continued)
All the best,

Charly
_________________
(1) Rutt says that may be a young pig instead of a piglet, but he is not sure.
Ch.
 

charly

visitor
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
2,219
Reaction score
75
Following the piglets:

There are piglets in Gotshalk (1)

All the best,

Charly
_____________________________
(1) Richard Gotshalk ; «Divination, Order and the Zhou Yi», University Press of America, 1999.
Ch.
 
Last edited:

bradford

visitor
Joined
May 30, 2006
Messages
2,626
Reaction score
144
Most authors who see this are academics who belong to the "modernist" school and believe they are returning to the original meanings of the characters at the time the Zhouyi was written. Or at least they derive ideas from there. Or find some pig-like meaning in the character etymology. The list of translators who see something here is long, and includes Freeman Crouch, Fu Youde, Kerson Huang, Kunst, Rutt, Shaughnessy, Whincup, Titus Yu, LiSe Heyboer, and Richard Gotshalk. These all have pig in the Gua title. You can find these authors in my Yixue Bibliography. https://www.hermetica.info/YixueBib.htm
More can be learned, however, from watching a pig behave in retreat-like contexts, or talking to a rural vet.
 

Liselle

Supporter
Clarity Supporter
Joined
Sep 20, 1970
Messages
6,930
Reaction score
619
Thank you, Bradford. Just searched YouTube for "catching pigs" and "pig evading capture" and yes it seems they are very agile, quick, and hard to catch.

Here's one where they're only catching piglets to wean them (i.e. there are no dead or overly-terrified pigs, at least as far in as I watched):

At the 30-second mark, you can see people do catch them by their tails.
 

Liselle

Supporter
Clarity Supporter
Joined
Sep 20, 1970
Messages
6,930
Reaction score
619
Here's another, showing how quick they are. (At least it's only 2 men vs. 1 pig, instead of a 20-child mob...)

 

charly

visitor
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
2,219
Reaction score
75
... you can see people do catch them by their tails.
Hi, Liselle:

Like it! Maybe that's the reason why 33.1 begins saying:

遯尾厲
dun4 wei3 li4
FLEE TAIL DANGER
Flee! Tail endangered​
Of course, the piglet is hidden, say implicit.
Then, if we are the piglets, our tails are in danger!
Or else other's tails. Nobody's safe!

Possibly more tranquilizing, taking (tun4, piglet) as the protograph of (dun4, run away) : «Piglets tails in danger». Here piglets are explicit, we are hidden.

There are endless alternatives. Taking (tun4, meat + swine) as a methaphor meaning muddy or nasty all the sequence acquires a disreputable sense, but that's another story! (1)

Fat_Rich_Pig.jpg
Fat, rich pig?

All the best,

Charly
______________
(1) From CJKV-English Dictionary:
«豚狗, túngǒu : Pigs and dogs—usually with bad connotations, such as (a) Used as a metaphor for someone(thing) brainless and stupid, and (b) A humble reference to oneʼs own sons. [source(s): Gakken](Charles Muller)»
I've said you, Nobody's perfect!
Ch.
 
Last edited:

charly

visitor
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
2,219
Reaction score
75
That's what I thought, too.
Hi, Liselle:

Pigs are endangered people becase humans are dangerous people. Say not only dangerous for animals, plants, Earth planet but also for ourselves.

Pigs are not stupid, it's a slander forged by humans. They are intelligent, warm, loving people. Of course people that look like pigs seem ugly, brutish, dangerous ... Maybe a projection ...

People_like_Pigs.jpg
See here:

All the best,

Charly
_____________________________________
P.D.:
Of course, tun also means DOLFIN: «白鱀豚 baijitun, (Lipotes vexillifer) A freshwater dolphin found only in the Yangtze River in China which is probably extinct since circa 2006» [ source:Glosbe https://glosbe.com/en/zh/Yangtze Dolphin ] Another loving creature.
Ch.
 
Last edited:

my_key

visitor
Joined
Mar 22, 1971
Messages
1,502
Reaction score
278
Thanks for the responses everyone. I have a lot to digest here before giving considered replies.
I can answer David though
@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.

Best, David
What am I asking you to do? Nothing that you don't want to do. Contibute or not contribute the choice is yours.
What are your expections? As outlined in my first post - 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. Beyond that just contributions from other people exploring divination. It's a great way of learning I find.
Are you only looking for us to agree? No. Participate in any way you like.

Not being an academic, my thoughts when making the post were around looking for the validity of Karcher's text; exploring where the pig references in each line were coming from and maybe what the lines were saying, and to promote other interesting dialogue around the hexagram and the lines. When you drop a stone in a pond who knows how the ripples will form and how far they will go.

That's it really!
I hope that has satiated your curiosity.

Take Care.
 

Liselle

Supporter
Clarity Supporter
Joined
Sep 20, 1970
Messages
6,930
Reaction score
619
David, if we wanted to read more about all that, do you have suggestions? Sounds like you've found some good references.

But :tongue: - I'm not convinced a hexagram which at least obliquely seems to include a pig, and a line which unequivocally says, "Retreating tail, danger," and a video which shows that pigs' tails are indeed used to catch them, qualifies as "nonsensical," exactly... which of course doesn't mean the pig metaphor should be carried to an extreme.



Illustrating this part of what you said -
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).
- here from Bradford's book is 61's pig reference using the right side of 33's character:

33's Dun: 遯
61's Tun: 豚

33-dun.jpg

61-tun.jpg

So is this what you and your sources mean - do I have this the slightest bit straight in my head - that when the left-hand part is added to 61's tun to make 33's dun, it no longer means "pig"? It loses the "pig" meaning altogether and becomes something else entirely?



What I thought was a connection between "rich" in 33.6, and pigs meaning wealth in 61 - I don't actually see that in Brad's Book 2. The character for "lucky" and "fortunate" in 61 is ji2 吉, and the one in 33.6 for "fertile" and "resourceful" is fei2 肥. Wilhelm says "cheerful" in 33.6... I mean, a pig who has successfully escaped would probably be all of those things (rich, lucky, cheerful), but...

(Why am I even trying to talk about Chinese characters, for heaven's sake :rolleyes: :rofl:)

33-6-fei.jpg
 

Liselle

Supporter
Clarity Supporter
Joined
Sep 20, 1970
Messages
6,930
Reaction score
619
I wonder if it makes any sense to think about a pig trying to escape merely as a metaphorical image, without thinking 33 is literally about pigs?

Which I've never done, and therefore, I suppose, have trouble imagining that anyone would - I mean, when I get 33, I don't think somehow an actual pig (or pork, or bacon), are somehow involved in my situation. I'm reasonably sure that's not what LiSe, for instance, is trying to say when she calls 33 "Save your bacon." It's a metaphor, grounded in the character and references to tails and so forth.
 
Last edited:

Liselle

Supporter
Clarity Supporter
Joined
Sep 20, 1970
Messages
6,930
Reaction score
619
Thanks for the "Hacking" site link. Whoever wrote that did a good job explaining.

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
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....


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!
Yes, but not all pigs are that big.

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!)
No idea. It's just that the following are all true:
  • a pig exists as part of the old character
  • a pig has a tail
  • people are known to grab them
  • a danger-associated tail is mentioned in line 1
Maybe that's all coincidence, maybe not, I don't know.

It seems different from if 33.1 happened to be, for instance, the line about making hair grow (22.2). Then there'd be no even remote possible connection between the pig in dun and the creature in line 1, since pigs don't have hair (not that kind, at least; they have bristles).

Also pigs have curly tails, which might be more grabbable than cat or dog tails. They might make better handles. I've never held a pig by the tail, but it wouldn't occur to me to carry a cat that way even if he was anesthetized. From the video it looks like this is standard procedure for small pigs. (P.S. Maybe it shouldn't be, maybe it's bad for the pig and people should stop, I don't know. I actually can't imagine how it's not bad for the pigs, but apparently people do it and maybe 3,000 years ago people cared even less about animal welfare than we do now, for all I know.)

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?
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 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.
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 also of course it has broader meaning. The whole oracle works that way, doesn't it? The people who wrote it were closer to their metaphors back then, is all - if we wrote an oracle today we might use "airplane" instead of "horse," for instance, but it would be just as much a metaphor.

I agree with you the idea of a tail can certainly be independent of any particular species, but I don't see how it hurts anything to imagine pigs especially since it's a pig who's hidden in dun for whatever reason, not an otter...

(And besides all this, I have a different understanding about 33, which includes - but is not limited to - the idea of escape and retreat.
What is that, please? ❓
 
Last edited:

Liselle

Supporter
Clarity Supporter
Joined
Sep 20, 1970
Messages
6,930
Reaction score
619
This is from Fielding's "Book of Zhou Changes":
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.

Maybe what's in common is just the idea that pigs' tails can be a danger to them of some kind, and they'd better make sure their whole selves, tails included, are a safe distance away. There might be a tendency to think if your front half is safe, so is the back half, which might not be true.
 

my_key

visitor
Joined
Mar 22, 1971
Messages
1,502
Reaction score
278
Thanks everyone.
@bradford: Seeing a dozen or so scholarly dudes using the pig analogy reassures me that Karcher's translation is not a complete flight of fancy or if it is others have bought a ticket for the same flight. (
no pun intended)
@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.
@Liselle : Loved the pig vids and I sometimes wonder too what the hell I'm doing tripping my way through Chinese characters. For me I took from the rodeo video the picture of what it might he like for a person if they tried to chase the pig rather than withdraw. Once that piggy is hog-tied life seems a whole lot less frantic and manageable.
@Freedda : The Hacking Chinese link was new learning for me and you've kept the whole walk into Pig Land grounded through your perspective . For me the richness of the image is enhanced by the pigginess rather than a more dour one of tactical or strategic retreat from 'hostile forces' per Wilhelm. The idea of the sacrifice having to give up something, perhaps something which is considered valuable, also shines more brightly for me in Pig Land. Maybe there is a synthesis of the two here that is more meaningful than each perspective standing in splendid isolation. However, as you so rightly say though everyone is entitled to there own perspective.

One thing I did come across in my internet meanderings was this book pdf. It appears on Bradford's bibliography with a comment along the lines of good idea badly executed, but as the pigs were to the fore in this translation of Hex 33, which the author only names as Dun, I thought I'd add the line translations.


line 1 - Your pig's tail is injured; you should not go.
line 2 - Bind the pig with ropes made from ox's hide and the pig will not be able to set itself free.
line 3 - A bound pig will fall ill and its state will become more and more serious. But it is auspicious to take male or female slaves.
line 4 - A fat pig is lovely. It is auspicious for gentlemen but not auspicious for common people.
line 5 - Praising pigs portends auspiciousness.
line 6 - It is only beneficial to raise fat pigs.

The thread contributions had been really rich for me. You could say I'm happy as a pig in sh*t. They have helped me make a deeper assessment of Karcher's lines without taking them at face value and avoided me from buying a pig in a poke. Each of us in our own way are just taking our pigs to market and getting total agreement is only likely to happen on the day that pigs fly.

May your days be as a pig in clover in these troubled times.

Any other porcine or non-porcine contributions, serious or not so serious, gratefully received.
 

charly

visitor
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
2,219
Reaction score
75
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.
Hi Michael:

Thanks for the concepts.

Given that Richard Gotshalk's translation is little known and hard to find, I post his commentaries and textual notes on H.33:
.
Of course a modernist translation far from the mainstream traditional school. May you enjoy it.

All the best,

Charly
 
Last edited:

charly

visitor
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
2,219
Reaction score
75
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).
Hi David:

Even traditionalists like Tuck Chang(1) can get sense from the little pig:


Dun1.jpg

Dun2.jpg

[About the 5th line:]
Dun3.jpg
Dun4_Unveiling.jpg

Source: Tuck Chang: «Unveiling the Mystery of the I Ching»
Link: http://www.iching123.com/33_text.htm
All the best,

Charly
_____________________
(1) Aka tuckchang in Clarity forum.
https://www.amazon.com/-/es/Tuck-Chang-ebook/dp/B01N9M657L
Ch.
 
Last edited:

charly

visitor
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
2,219
Reaction score
75
My opinion and understanding are not based at all on a modernist vs. traditionalist view...
Hi David:

I see that you put in the same bag every translator mentioning pigs, be in translation like Karcher, Rutt, Gotshalk, Field, etc. or in commentary like Tuck Chang!

Not many people are prejudiced only against pigs. Much people are prejudiced also against all sort of animals, peoples, ideas ... (1)
... "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 ...
Brad, of course. I owe him gratitude for the good hours passed reading his generously free books.

Maybe he has strong convictions against modernists and some people from the academia. Maybe some personal enmity with Gao Heng. Nobody's perfect!

I personally agree with his repulse of slaughtering captives. I don't see why a divination book would mention that practice so much.

People didn't have to be a diviner to imagine that most of the soldiers caught in battle were beheaded and got their ears cut off. But the winners were not always so bad: the officers were first questioned. (2)

I never put slaughterings in my translations if I can avoid it.

Best wishes,


Charly
___________________
(1) They don't remotely think that themselves can become pigs like Ulysses' companions or Chihiro's parents.
(2) Women spoils of war were taken as slaves and could even become concubines, but that's another story.

Ch.
 
Last edited:

Liselle

Supporter
Clarity Supporter
Joined
Sep 20, 1970
Messages
6,930
Reaction score
619
Brad isn't against all animals. Or all old pictograms, it seems. Unless, as David wondered, he's changed his mind since then.
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:
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=elephant+dancing+to+music
 

my_key

visitor
Joined
Mar 22, 1971
Messages
1,502
Reaction score
278
I never put slaughterings in my translations if I can avoid it.
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 don't see why a divination book would mention that practice so much
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.

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. Somewhere along the line, maybe in the Daoist and Confucian commentries, there was a distancing from the bloody original connections of the book: less shaman more morals - a bit like a Bowdlerised version of a Shakespeare play. However, we remember these ancestral connections in innate ways and for some of us the calling of curly tails, tied pigs, fine pigs, celebration pigs and rich pigs may be greater than for others, however we cannot extract ourselves from the lineage of divination and sacrifice being natural bed-fellows.

I would love to read more of the Richard Gotshalk translation if you are able to say where I might find it.

.......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.
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.

Maybe the modernists are tapping into their innate connections and sprinkling their work with left - brain reasoning based increasingly on historical 'evidence' rather than than fantasy. When Karcher proclaims 'this is a poetic rather than a historical translation.'' it seems to me to be something for him to be proud of: the world would be a duller place without art, poetry and all that right-brain stuff.

Again, I'm not looking to moving you away from your perspective just offering you a wider perspective of mine.
 

Liselle

Supporter
Clarity Supporter
Joined
Sep 20, 1970
Messages
6,930
Reaction score
619
... '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) ...
Well...yes.

Maybe there's a difference between making 33 all about pig-mythology (which I agree causes my head to spin), and using some lightly-held idea of a pig or some other animal and its tail.

Something along the lines of, "Okay, Yi gave me 33.1, so Yi's saying my situation is somehow like a pig/ other animal with a need to keep his tail / back end safe from something," and then see what that might remind me of in my situation, and really not immerse myself any farther.

I mean, the point is using the imagery to understand our reading. The imagery isn't an end in itself.

For all we know, Karcher goes way overboard as an effort to get us partway there, if you know what I mean. How to explain... it's important to connect with the imagery, but that can be hard. A lot of us aren't very poetic. (Some people are, of course, and do this more easily.) So Karcher swamps us with it to the point where we can't fail to notice. Doesn't mean it's necessary to stay way over on that end.

This might be a better discussion with some line or hexagram where the imagery itself isn't so debatable (whether a pig is even there or not, per your information on compound characters).

And of course it would help if he explained better. But we don't know why he didn't. Maybe he explained exactly as much as he wanted to. Poets don't explain their poems, after all, just because a lot of us are bewildered.

This has the side effect of causing many to abandon poetry as hopeless, but the poet isn't writing for them I guess.
 
Last edited:

Liselle

Supporter
Clarity Supporter
Joined
Sep 20, 1970
Messages
6,930
Reaction score
619
This might be why Hilary always says use several books, not one by itself.
 

charly

visitor
Joined
May 9, 2007
Messages
2,219
Reaction score
75
... 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...
Hi Michael:

I agree with you, but my reasoning is that:
  • Be nobles or comonners, all the people shared the same beliefs about the eficacy of rites.
  • Everyone was frequently exposed to bloodshed shows be ritual sacrifices or corporal punishments
  • Court diviners as well as popular fortune tellers or shamanic performers were most aware of the dangers attached to their professions. They they were always risking their necks.
  • All they knew that serving a lord was as dangerous as living with a tiger. Everyone feared that their lives were f_cking short and they were probably trying to maximize their chances of surviving and reaching longevity, if not eternity.
  • Why would they want a book, born as an instrument of their profession, to permanently remind them of the fragility of their lives of which they were already aware?

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)

Why worry now that we are still alive? Even the deceased ancestors were only afraid of not being fed, for not to speak on other indulgences like carpe diem?.

All the best,

Charly
______________________
(1) It reminds me Tony Saroop's «Kings have the JOY of cutting off heads» translating a sequence of the Changes, inspired, I belive, in Rutt.
Ch.
 
Last edited:

my_key

visitor
Joined
Mar 22, 1971
Messages
1,502
Reaction score
278
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 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.

Rather than advocating that sacrifice remains mainstream in the translations, I was more thinking with my comment, especially my disappointment, that there would be a greater authenticity to the book, any book really, where the roots are mentioned and acknowledged rather than being ignored and not mentioned at all. Kings do gain the priviledge of cutting off heads much like victors write the history, so I think I am attempting to stand up for the little men who may be losing their heads through being fed one particular narrative down their throats before the axe bears down on the chopping block.

"Lest we forget" is a good maxim to hold close to the heart especially as the reasons you stated are so valid.

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 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.

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.
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.

(Get ready, brace yourself because I'm going to mention the dreaded K word again.)
Karcher has kept those origins alive and undiluted. His work may not be appreciated or understood by all but to my mind it is important that he has recorded what he sees as the early spiritual / shamanic beings and pathways. He raises curiosity in some and confusion in others. It sounds to me like that's balance.

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.
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.
 

my_key

visitor
Joined
Mar 22, 1971
Messages
1,502
Reaction score
278
More ponderings on Hex 33 in relation to the theme of sacrifice i.e. giving up something, especially something that has become valued, in exchange for other considerations. Here we use withdrawal to sacrifice a part of ourselves in exchange for a new power.

In a microcosm of a sequence of 3 hexagrams 32, 33, 34 we have begun stepping out from ' 'Persevering' where at the end we have engaged in some transformation and realised at 32.6 that there is something about the way we are behaving, acting, feeling, thinking that no longer serves us. Hex 32 'means lasting' i.e. persisting and Carl Jung stated that what we resist not only persists, but grows in size. So to escape the growth of the thing that is no longer serving us we are advised to step back from it and no to no longer resist it. Resist what? Not just resisting it but maybe resisting the fear of life without it ( better the devil you know!) or trying to hold back the full pain of the dis-ease. We have become trapped by our resistance and the more we resist the more we are likely to project the consequences of our resistance in harmful words or actions towards ourselves or others.

Hex 33 'means withdrawal' and Hex 34 'means you must first still yourself'. So somewhere in Hex 33, as it is coupled with Hex 34, is a hidden drive towards giving something up that has been serving us. The hidden drive comes from the nuclear hexagram 44 where rather than taking control (doing things how we always have) we are urged to step away; allow room for the mysterious dark lady who is going to give a natural birth to the new. Heaven over Mountain: Still the old inside (mountain) to allow the influx of creativity(heaven) into the new space provided. (There are even themes of Buddhist thinking of attachment and non-attachment weaving in and about my mind as I type this.)

Then at the other end of the process we have to make sure we don’t get ahead of ourselves: we need to keep on focusing and being aware as we stop withdrawing and learn how to live safely with our new powers in Hex 34.

(This post has been officially designated a pig-free area.)

....or maybe its nothing like that at all.
 

breakmov

visitor
Joined
Sep 13, 2017
Messages
51
Reaction score
29
hi everyone, it's the first time i'm writing despite being an anonymous user of this forum for many years. i'm using an online translator, so i'm sorry if you can't figure it all out.

I live in the north of Portugal and here, when I was little, it was always a tradition to raise and kill a pig to help feed the family.

I found all this exchange of opinions about the association (or not) of hex33 with the term pig very interesting.

I leave here the description of the typical behavior of a pig, before the slaughter, while everything is prepared (take into account that between the pig and the owner there is a relationship of trust created with the daily interaction in feeding and care of him:

1-the pig hasn't eaten since the day before
2-when the time comes we have to get the pig out of the pigsty with the help of food
3- we have to behave in a normal way so that the pig doesn't suspect what will happen because pig is a very smart and determined animal.
4-the pig invariably always realizes that something strange is going on.
5- after 30-40 minutes we still walk with the bucket of food, but the pig still hasn't left the pigsty and hardly eats even though he is hungry.
6- we have to surround the pig and make it come out of the pigsty.
7- the pig stops trusting the owner and goes against all the owner's intentions. If we pull in one direction he focuses in the opposite direction.

For my part I consider that the association of pig with hex33 is valid, just consider the relationship of the owner and the animal before the slaughter and the pig behavior during the preparations. I can also easily imagine in China a millenary tradition of the slaughter of the pig to help feed the family.



cheers to everyone,

breakmov
 

Clarity,
Office 17622,
PO Box 6945,
London.
W1A 6US
United Kingdom

Phone/ Voicemail:
+44 (0)20 3287 3053 (UK)
+1 (561) 459-4758 (US).

Top