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I ching translation

lagunader

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I find the Brian Browne Walker I ching exceptional,both simple and clear.Has this been anyone else's experience?
 

bradford_h

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Hi Lagundar
He might have some insights and expressions that you find useful, but you shouldn't call it a translation. He doesn't understand the Chinese text.
 

lagunader

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Thanks Bradford.
I find using several texts most helpful,would you share your preferences(besides Willhem ).
Lagunader
 

bradford_h

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Hi again Lagunader-
Yes - using several texts is indeed the best way to go. The three old standards, Wilhelm, Legge and Blofeld. And newer ones Cleary (the plain or Buddhist versions), Huang, and Lynn.
I still don't regard Karcher's books as translations, although his work can be useful.
I have a big bibliography at my site
http://www.hermetica.info/F-YiBib.htm
And two translations of my own are available free at the main page. Check out LiSe's site too
http://www.anton-heyboer.org/i_ching/yi_index.html
 

pakua

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Hi Brad,

I see the Cleary Buddhist version mentioned from time to time, but not the Taoist version. Is it inferior?
 

bradford_h

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Hi Pakua-
He did four translations, and tweaked three of them to accord with the perceptions of the commentator he was translating. I compared all four, sentence by sentence, to the Chinese text. The Buddhist translation somehow rang truest, even more than his plain one.
There are many forms of Daoism, and most bear little resemblance to the teachings which attracted me (Laozi and Zhuangzi). My "what the...?" reaction to That part of the book I tried to keep separate, so that I could really see the translation. But yes, I found it inferior as a translation to his others.
 

Grandma

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I assume then that the Reifler (sp) you would also consider in the same vein as the Walker, Bradford?
I like the Legge, it seems so under the radar tho.
Sometimes the Blofield scares me.
 

cguleff

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Susan,

I don't necessarily want to break in on Bradford's discussion, but I found some objectionable passages in the Reifler version and stopped using it long ago. I would prefer the Walker version any day. Of course, that's my opinion, perhaps there are others who like it.

I'm just curious . . . "What have you seen in Blofeld scares you?"

Thanx,
Chris
 

bradford_h

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Hi Susan-
Same category for Reifler - an interpretation (which is what he calls it), not a translation, and no indication that he knew any Chinese.
I had to force myself to read everything in print twice, so I wouldn't miss anything. But that took lots of years. If you have limited years to invest, I would just concentrate on reading the best studies and translations you can find.
 

Grandma

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I don't have a Blofield on me right now. I'll get one at the library and tell you. In general just the wording. I do think it's good tho, I do realize it's better than Reifler. He (Reifler) was good to get to a familiarity with the ic lines, but some of his are scary too, I guess I mean dramatic--like 50.4 in Reifler "you have been given too grat a responsibility, youhave neither the personality nor the experience nor the strength to fulfill it."
I apologize also if I am off topic. But what did you find objectionable in Reifler?
I used in the years I became familiar w/ the ic, Wilhelm, Legge, Blofield, Reifler, and Anthony.
Bradford, how long have you been studying the ic, and did you ever study formally with any one.
Actually same questions for alot of others on this
site, alot have people have here have a deep knowledge of the ic.
 

bradford_h

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Hi Susan-
I hope some others answer this too.
For me, 38 years in English, only 10 in Chinese.
My reading list is the bibliography on my website.
Self-taught. Not a Lot of professional divination experience. Mostly saw the Yi as a manual, like a taxonomy of human experience, or a catalogue of attitudes. A psychology book.
 

Grandma

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Bradford,
That is very impressive. I assume you learned Chinese formally? Or are you self taught in that also.
I only recently have seen it as a pschology book (although it does "tell the future") and that has been very helpful for me. Someone was saying it's like having a conversation with your loving grandmother and that has also heped me to view the answers in their conversational aspects and be less "scared" when I get certain hexagrams or changing lines. Also reigning in how often I use it and what I ask or don't ask about has also helped me.
Do you do this work w/ the ic as part of your formal occupation, or is it a hobby? How has the knowledge of Chinese helped you in your studies?
 

bradford_h

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Hi Susan-
No- self taught in Chinese too. I live in the Colorado mountains - no Chinese nearby except working in restaurants, and they're all afraid of computers and scholarly things. But I tried to seek help. So I just read, don't speak or write. Just got a tall pile of dictionaries and looked up each of the characters fifteen times. It's a full-time hobby, but studies range much broader than Yijing. Vocation is (very) part-time architect & planning consultant.
 

Grandma

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That's an interesting comment about the Chinese people living near you. Why are they afraid of scholary things and computers?
So then you got a chinese language ic and some dictionaries and went from there?
Do you throw hexagrams for yourself? or have you stopped doing that, and if you do how often do you?
 

bradford_h

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They're just simple restaurant people.
Not all Chinese are philosophers.
My granddaughter wants to be a Chinese waitress.
She thinks it's just really pretty makeup.

At this stage of study you have hexagrams hiding behind every damn bush, ready to jump out at you.
You don't need to go seeking them - they offer themselves as explanations and observations for your daily affairs. No, I only throw coins when I'm really puzzled about something, rarely more often than monthly.
 

bradford_h

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Susan-
Forgot-
Unlike the Laozi, where there are lots of different versions out there, there's really only one "standard" version of the Yijing in Chinese, assembled by Li Guangdi for the emperor Kang Xi, and published in 1715 with a bunch of classical commentary as the Zhouyi Zhezhong. There's also an old silk text with lots of differences, including the sequence and half the hexagram titles, caled the Mawangdui Yijing.
So I really only had to read one thousand-page Chinese book - but I had to read it a whole lot of times.
 
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hmesker

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.....and not to forget the Fuyang Yijing and the Chujian Yijing, all versions that differ from the text we used for hundreds of years. That is what fascinates me: the fact that there were different texts, more or less the same but with intruiging differences. And they were all called Yi. No wonder that the Han emperor called for a standard text. But will the real Yijing please stand up?


Harmen.
 

bradford_h

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Hi Harmen-
I imagine that a lot of the same forces we have today drove diversification of Yijing and Zhouyi versions - like people out to make a buck by capitalizing on the Yi's popularity, or scholars trying to be immortal by attaching their contributions to a deathless work. Plus they had lots of opportunity for forgery and pseudepigrapha in the years following the burning of the books, when these other editions were buried.
But just like the Zhouyi Zhezhong attempted to synthesize a version from the best established textual traditions at that time, I have to suspect that Emperor Wu Di and Dong Zhongshu, although they obviously had Confucian agendas, still had to select the most reputable and widely accepted version of the Yi to canonize in 136 bce. To do less would be to show great disrespect. They could do anything they wanted with the Wings, but not with the Zhouyi. That's just an assumption, but it does give me a level of comfort with the received text.
 

cguleff

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Susan,

I no longer have a Reifler edition, but I remember one passage that stated that if you obtained that changing line in a reading, you would never achieve enlightenment. That seemed rather high-handed to me -- anyone consulting the I Ching over a period of time is likely to come up with that line in a reading at some point. Besides, I believe that "enlightenment" is always possibile for any human being wishing to lead a more spiritual and less material life.

I've been reading about and consulting the I Ching for about 30 years, but I am not an expert or a scholar. Mine is an intuitive approach in which I use translations and commentaries to as a starting point. However, I respect and am impressed with the scholarly and technical methods used by some of the contributors to this site, and have learned a lot from their comments.

Chris

BTW, Bradford, I'm also in Colorado.
 

bradford_h

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Chris-
Then please accept an invite to visit if you're ever in this remote SW part of the state. I don't go to Denver very often.
brad
 

lagunader

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To all of you...I am truly enjoying all of your comments...Like Cguleff,I take an intuitive approach, but am very impressed with the in depth knowledge that Bradford and other scholars have.
Wish some of you decide to go on to the chat side , so folks like my self can sit back, learn and enjoy !!
 

lightofdarkness

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The majority of the comments here are on the TRADITIONAL and so a 'small world' I Ching where universals have been described by analogy to local history/myth. From that have come local INTERPRETATIONS that often have issues in that they have been limited by using the traditional as a 'root'.

The point here is that there is no need whatsoever to understand chinese to understand the universals, it is just the 'luck of the draw' that the *representation* system derived in China is the easiest to use in analysis of the archetypes.

Each of us can create their own IC and each would be different LOCALLY but the universals that seed those local descriptions would still shine through.

Those who attempt to translate the traditional IC are taking that particular work as the 'gospel' when in fact it is not, it is but one of MANY attempts to express the underlying, species-wide, universals at work in all of us.

Step out of the traditional box and into the 'bigger' but 'vague' general box and a LOT of material comes into view. THEN go back into the traditional if you want to understand the uniquely 'chinese' elements in the IC, and so the local context, but there is no requirement at all to fully understand chinese or the local context.

The core universals are derived from recursion of a dichotomy (any) such that we can 'see' the IC in anything and so use it as a filter with which to 'see' reality:

http://members.iimetro.com.au/~lofting/IChingPlus

Since our brains operate using a core dichotomy so the IC is 'encoded' into our brains - as all languages are.

Chris.
 
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hmesker

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Hi Bradford,

<blockquote><hr size=0><!-quote-!><font size=1>quote:</font>

But just like the Zhouyi Zhezhong attempted to synthesize a version from the best established textual traditions at that time, I have to suspect that Emperor Wu Di and Dong Zhongshu, although they obviously had Confucian agendas, still had to select the most reputable and widely accepted version of the Yi to canonize in 136 bce. To do less would be to show great disrespect.<!-/quote-!><hr size=0></blockquote>
Personally I am not convinced that they selected 'the most reputable and widely accepted version', I do not think that was one of their criteria. As Michael Nylan says in The Five Confucian Classics (p. 48-49),

(...) The very attempt to establish a single authoritative edition of each of the Five Classics tended to spawn multiple versions of them, each claiming to be authoritative. Clearly, if the imperial house was to retain, let alone increase, its control over the dissemination of learning in the empire, it would have to take decisive measures to determine which of the variant editions of the Five Classics and attached interpretive traditions to authorize for teaching in the Imperial Academy.
Attempting to curb an increase in variant editions, many Han emperors extravagantly rewarded scholars who carefully "preserved the [approved] interpretive lines." Such measures failed to stem the interpretive flood, for the most vociferous of the polemicists, it was widely rumored, were daring enough to bribe the imperial librarians to tamper with the Five Classics texts themselves. Accordingly, the Han emperor in AD 172 ordered a definitive edition of the Five Classics to be carved on stone tablets at the Han capital, outside the Imperial Academy, so that students and teachers would have a Standard to consult for ready reference. Cai Yong, heading the team of scholars, may have labored eight full years (175-83) on that first set of Stone Classics. His efforts hardly brought an end to doctrinal disputes, however, as is obvious from the following lengthy yet partial list of later Stone Classics carved for precisely the same purpose:

1. an incomplete set on which Hantan Chun worked for eight years (240-48)
2. a set associated with Xi Kang about AD 260
3. a Western Jin (265?) set of unknown date
4. a Northern Wei (386-534) set of unknown date
5. a Northern Zhou set (completed 581)
6. the Tang Stone Classics (833-37), with repairs and supplemental stones made during the periods 874? 907? and in the Ming (1368-1643)
7. a Five Dynasties set carved in Chengdu (begun in 938)
8. a Northern Song set carved in 1040-61
9. a Southern Song set carved in 1135?10. a Qing set carved in Peking during 1791?

Even carved into massive stone steles erected in the capital within sight of the imperial palaces, the texts of the Five Classics could not be fixed or the scholarly debates halted.


If at the time of 'fixing the text' there is talk of bribary and several versions claiming to be authorative, and in later centuries there were still debates, how can we be sure that the version we have today is the most reliable one? The version we have today already contains characters that differ from a prior Yi version because of taboo characters (names of the reigning emperor where not allowed in texts), as Ed Shaughnessy noted in one of his articles. Also, if there really was 'a reputable and widely accepted version of the Yi', how is it possible that at three different places there are found three different versions of the Yi? Statistically this does not hold up.

It took several debates to arrive at the authorative versions of the Five Classics. I found the following paragraph amusing to read (Nylan, p. 46):

When such debates proved too divisive for the court, the throne would summon scholars to resolve inconsistencies and contradictions within the Five Classics. Indeed, successive courts under successive dynasties convened multiple court conferences whose sole aim was to resolve problems in textual interpretation. Sadly, such court conferences seldom functioned as cooperative exercises by literati well schooled in patterns of deference. One Eastern Han history, for example, shows a classical master, Dai Feng, engaging in the very sort of aggressive competition that violated Confucius's dictum "Gentlemen never compete." At a court audience, Dai Feng refused to take his assigned place. When the emperor asked him why Dai replied, "None of the Academicians is my equal in explicating the Classics, yet they are ranked above me." The emperor responded by testing those present on problematic passages in the Classics. Finding that Dai did, in fact, know more than the official Academicians, the emperor raised him to a higher office. As it was the custom in court academic conferences that those who could not offer a satisfactory explanation of problematic passages had to cede the mats they sat upon to those with plausible answers, one court conference ended with Dai Feng sitting atop a pile of more than fifty mats taken from eminent scholars whom he had bested.

Imagine Dai Feng sitting on top of more than fifty mats. Must have been a funny sight.

Best,

Harmen.
 

lightofdarkness

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Jerryd -

How do you see it as 'commercial'?

na, a public service announcement - no commercial element at this time ;-) More .org than .com

Chris.
 
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hmesker

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But the amount of 'public service announcements' on this board, with loads of links to your website, make it more look like a religious proclamation. And these days religion = commerce
.
 
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bruce

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?New? and ?improved? are still the most persuasive words in advertising, except to antique collectors, anthropologists, and other niche markets.

What is it about the wheel that has endured for so long? Could it be that it just works?

 

lightofdarkness

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Harmen,

religion has no science behind it. ICPlus has loads of it in the form of IDM and its reference material re neurology.

The traditional IC has more of a 'religious' element in it as the continous promotion of that partial material as if the only material.

The amount of references, quotes etc of the 'traditional' IC on this list outweights my material and as such shows the degree of fundamentalism present - as you show in you attack upon something you obviously dont understand nore consider trying to - a common behaviour in fundamentalism ;-)

Because you are so rooted in the traditional material does not mean you know what you are dealing with from the position of the 'big picture' - you may imagine your position is the only 'real' one but I assure you you are mistaken.... and that is unfortunate in that if you bothered to take the time to understand the Science etc your world would open up a bit.

Chris.
 

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