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Imagery in the structure

hilary

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Yes - it's what I learned from Bradford to call dabagua - 'big eight images' ie a giant trigram. Each of these hexagrams can actually be understood as a magnified version of the original trigram. For 62: a perilous transition, moving through.

Huh - only just noticed - a couple of the characteristics of kan according to the Shuogua, ambush and bows, actually show up in the line texts of 62. I wonder if the same is true of the other 7...
 

moss elk

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What got me thinking about this is looking back at the 29 and 62 situations in my life, then I saw the super pattern.

I have the sense that the 62's were more dangerous than the 29's,
and think that is why the advice is to duck, fly low, small things...
as opposed to powering through with sincerity.
 

hilary

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For the sake of completeness -

The other dabagua: 1, 2, 19, 20, 33, 61, 34.

Do they have imagery from the relevant trigram in the Shuogua?

1 and 2 don't... nor do 19 or 20. 33... well, xun is said to be 'advance and retreat', I suppose, though that would be a better fit for 20.3. Dui has sheep and breaking through, which fits with 34. Li has nothing in common with 61.

So that was an anti-climax. Never mind. The Shuogua tradition doesn't generally seem to have much overlap with the rest, does it?
 

Freedda

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Good morning all. Here is the view from my ferry commute this morning. The days are getting shorter; a month or two ago the sun would have already come up over the Cascades, but today it is just showing some of it's color ...


... which leads me to Mountain ....

One idea I have in working with the Yi (which is not really a theory or a believe) is that it may offer different layers of meaning, understand and advice: we have the oracle and image text, we have meanings associated with the trigrams, and the gua names ... and to this we are adding the imagery of the hexagrams themselves - as in how they look and feel to us.

So, thinking about Gen, Mountain (Stillness), what came to mind for me is hex 23, which - after the fact - I realized doesn't fit the dabagua model (of doubling the trigram lines), but it still very much looks like a big, tall mountain to me!

So delving in - and here I'll also say that besides looking up the hexagram number (so I could see if it is one of the dabagua), and also having my associations with the trigrams, I don't know this gua's name, nor the oracle or image text, which I think puts me in a good position to explore the imagery - at least without feeling I need to tie all the various modalities together (which I often try to do).

Here we have a solid line above five broken ones. One thing I once read about this gua is that it looks like a 'shaky' or unstable mountain. But that doesn't really work for me, in part because (and here's where I'm getting away from the imagery and relying on some past associations), the broken, or 'Rou' line is associated with matter and substance (as in Earth's three rou lines), but also with flexibility. So, one meaning or message from the image of 23 could be:

'If you are willing to be flexible, you can have a wider view of things' ... or something like that.​

And, looking at trigram Mountain and also this big, tall mountain, the center is hollow, a place where things can accumulate - and maybe even get stuck? - and maybe this is why mountain can be associated with being conservative and unmoving. Which, for our big, tall, hollow 23, could be:

'I have accumulated a lot of memories, ideas, outlooks, and ways of doing things; and I don't want to (or can't?) let them go ... so I will do things as I always have ...'​

Or ...

... and at some point, I'll go take a look at the Yi's text to see how it compares to what I've seen here. Best, D.
 

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moss elk

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I'm looking at Gen, 52, and 20 now.
Screenshot_20190805-105145.jpg

Screenshot_20190805-105240.jpg

Screenshot_20190805-105343.jpg



I think that 52 is in 20....
Observation does require Stilling in order to really be in the moment and see what is happening. Stilling the mind from the entertainment of preconceived notions.

I'm reminded of the story of the silkworms on the mulberry tree...
everyone is panicking. "oh no! disaster, they will eat the berries...then the princess comes along without the preconceived notion of what is happening...Stops and Takes a good look... and Now we have silk."
 
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hilary

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Freedda, is that your photo? It's lovely.

I somewhat envy you being able to look at a hexagram with 'clean' eyes, not knowing what the text says. I will say that yes, 23 looks like a giant mountain, and seeing that picture in it is a completely authentic approach. Also what you've seen chimes in interesting ways with what the original authors saw in the same picture.

Moss Elk - yes, I agree. Seeing is like a magnified version of being Still - clear of preconceptions and also of the desire to jump in and Do Something About It (whatever 'it' is): washing hands, not making the offering.
 

Freedda

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Freedda, is that your photo? It's lovely.

I somewhat envy you being able to look at a hexagram with 'clean' eyes, not knowing what the text says. I will say that yes, 23 looks like a giant mountain, and seeing that picture in it is a completely authentic approach. Also what you've seen chimes in interesting ways with what the original authors saw in the same picture.
Thanks Hilary. Yes, that is a photo I took this morning about 05:45 on the ferry ride over to 'America' - as we call going across to the mainland (which is a bit silly, considering we have a naval base and a Walmart on the island!)

At times I've envied others who know instantly what a hexagram is just by the mention of it: the order of the lines, it's trigrams, it's name, and the text. But I also think that sometimes not knowing allows a bit more 'beginner's mind' - to look at things in a fresh way. (Which also may be why I was drawn to Harmen's 'let's keep the books (Yi) closed' approach - at least as a pedagogic method of learning the trigrams.)

But ... I 'm now also interested in looking at what the Yi's words are for this Gua!

Best, David.
 

my_key

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I think that 62 looks like a supersized or amplified trigram of Kan.
Kan doesn't shy from the dangers, filling the gaps or taking the risks. Like the middle son it has an element of being buffered protection to promote success.

The top 2 heaven lines of 62 are both passive / receptive as are the bottom two lines. In the middle ground, action is taken by man in respect of his connection with earth (4) and heaven (3). Hence an offering needs to be made. One which is not an over extension of yourself spiritually (3) and needs to be small and grounded based on outcomes of the recent past (4).

So make an offering and you will succed. The proper place for this offering is neither above nor below but based within where courage needs to be found to face the fear.
 

moss elk

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Kan doesn't shy from the dangers, filling the gaps or taking the risks. Like the middle son it has an element of being buffered protection to promote success.
Right. that's why I said 29 powers through.


courage needs to be found to face the fear.
Right, with the exceptions of lines 1& 2, which clearly refer to danger. and advise to not act or to seek only small gains.
 

moss elk

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Next I'll look at Li, 30, and 61.

Ever notice how a flame is hot around the edges, top & bottom, but your hand could safely pass through the middle?
______ ouch/hard/hot
___ ___ no ouch
______ ouch/hard/hot

Screenshot_20190805-133609.jpg

Screenshot_20190805-133808.jpg

Screenshot_20190805-133859.jpg

Fire Illuminates,
30 sees clearly, & radiates that light.
61 is so intense that it penetrates to see the inner truth of another,
And so intense that it even sways pigs and fishes.

In a famous letter of 1813, Thomas Jefferson compared the spread of ideas to the way people light one candle from another: “He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lites his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.”
 
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Freedda

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Another image that comes to mind is Hex. 24, which looks like a really deep lake to me. Again, I'll say that I don't know it's name or what the lines and text say - and I know it's not 34, the 'dabagua' of trigram Dui, which is associated with Joy, Lake, Satisfaction, among others things.

For me one of the reasons that the trigram Dui/Lake is associated with joy and satisfaction, is because of its top, broken 'rou' line, so that its happiness comes from being open to the world, to its surroundings and environment, and perhaps to possibilities and outside influences.

So here, with 24, we have a really deep lake and also a really, really 'open' one. It makes me wonder, is it perhaps too open, or too accepting, or available, or perhaps that being that open requires a certain skill, attitude, outlook ... so that one is not overwhelmed by what one is letting in?

Another association for the trigram Dui which Harmen has mentioned is that of a wound at the surface (depicted by the one rou line at the top - so perhaps this is someone or some thing that is wounded or broken, but only at the surface. And here with 24, with its five rou lines, could it be that the wound or 'brokenness' goes much, much deeper?

Perhaps then, we have a Janus * situation: that for us to be open to deep, profound joy we may also need to be open to a deep hurt or wounding - or at least open to those possibilities.

* Janus being the two-faced Roman god of gates, transitions, duality .... perhaps also meaning something with two seemingly contradictory sides (e.g. joy and a wound).


Best, D.
 
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hilary

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Well, since there's no sign of forum migration yet (waiting and wondering if he'll get round to it today is interesting) I might as well distract myself with something actually to do with Yi...

Next I'll look at Li, 30, and 61.

Ever notice how a flame is hot around the edges, top & bottom, but your hand could safely pass through the middle?
______ ouch/hard/hot
___ ___ no ouch
______ ouch/hard/hot
Yes, and also how fire clings to its fuel:
______ flame, moving, acting
__ __ fuel, being acted on
______ flame, moving, acting

Fire Illuminates,
30 sees clearly, & radiates that light.
61 is so intense that it penetrates to see the inner truth of another,
And so intense that it even sways pigs and fishes.
Hm - sometimes 61 is simply ultra-vivid inner experience, 'inner knowing'; it doesn't necessarily 'get' anyone else. I seem to remember Brad describing it as possibly solipsistic.

So it can also be that 61 multiplies fire's insight all the way to mad-scientist level.

Then there's the relationship part - lots of lines talking about connecting, pairing, counterparts - and the shape of the thing, lake reflecting into inverted lake. Perhaps 61 can also be magnified clinging? Lovers in their own little world? As Donne said to the busy old fool, unruly sun: 'To warm the world, that's done in warming us.'


Another image that comes to mind is Hex. 24, which looks like a really deep lake to me. Again, I'll say that I don't know it's name or what the lines and text say - and I know it's not 34, the 'dabagua' of trigram Dui, which is associated with Joy, Lake, Satisfaction, among others things.
Like a deep lake, not like a really far-reaching (or really remote) thunderbolt?
...Another association for the trigram Dui which Harmen has mentioned is that of a wound at the surface (depicted by the one rou line at the top - so perhaps this is someone or some thing that is wounded or broken, but only at the surface. And here with 24, with its five rou lines, could it be that the wound or 'brokenness' goes much, much deeper?
This isn't reminding me of anything in 24, but the name of 34 can actually be translated as 'Great Injury', and I have seen a reading or two where that fitted.
 

Freedda

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.... Like a deep lake, not like a really far-reaching (or really remote) thunderbolt?

This isn't reminding me of anything in 24, but the name of 34 can actually be translated as 'Great Injury', and I have seen a reading or two where that fitted.
Hello Hilary. A 'really far-reaching thunderbolt' did come to mind, but that was not what the imagery (how it looks) was drawing me to.

And the really deep lake doesn't 'remind me' of anything in 24 either - because I don't know what 24 is or means. I was trying to stick with the 'imagery in the structure' though I was cheating a bit with my knowledge of trigram associations.

Best, D.
 

Freedda

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Hex. 27 - Thunder Mountain Turtle

... and my 1st real post in the new forum! (and I hope I've done my bad translations not so badly.)

Starting with the trigram Li, Fire, flame, clarity, arising ... one assocation with this trigram is that of the turtle, with it's two hard outer shells - above and below - protecting the turtle's soft insides. It denotes protection, and protecting that which is within us.

The Chinese character for turtle/tortoise is 'Gui' so here we have the species Li Gui, or Fire Turtle (or the Flaming, or Clarity turtle). Looking to the related hexagram, Li, 30, we have the same species but here it is 'chong li gui' or the repeating or two-fold fire turtle.

And looking at the related dabagua, Hex. 61, we have another species, a larger gui, sometimes called Xun Shang Dui Gui, or the 'Wind Above Lake' turtle.

And finally, that brings us to the last of the Yi tortoise species (I think?), the Thunder Mountain Tortoise - Zhen Gen Gui. This species is bigger than Li Gui, but it also has half-as-thin a shell, at least in proportion to what's inside.

What could this mean? That here we have a thinner shell to protect what is inside, even though this larger species resides on Thunder Mountain!? This thin shell reminds me of the phrase 'the veil between the worlds grows thin' which is how I've heard the time around Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead (in Mexico) described, also known as all hollows eve, or halloween!

Here is when the veil between the worlds of the living and the realm of dead is thin - almost a mist - and beings/souls/people can more easily pass between one realm and the other. So here, with our Thunder Mountain turtle, perhaps the shell is thinner and what is inside can be more easily exposed and seen?

If we turn 27 on its side, it reminds me of a gate, but one with bars or slats that can be seen through - those inside can look out and those outside can look in. But unless the gate is opened up (perhaps when the first or sixth line is moving) you can't really cross over to the other side.

Or at least that's one way of looking at it. (And at some point I'll come back and read up on what the dabagua mean for all of these.)

Best, David.
 

Liselle

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Now that we have diagrams (yay 🎊), here are all the 🐢s on display.

Trigram li
|:|

Hexagram Li
|:||:|

Dabagua, 61
||::||

Thunder/Mountain turtle, 27
|::::|
 

hilary

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(Wait, you mean we can talk about the Yi in the new software too? I had no idea...)

Bradford has pointed out that there are lines about turtles - those things with hard outsides and soft insides - in hexagrams 27,
|::::|
41,
||:::|
and 42
|:::||.

I will leave it to David to name these particular turtles, since he's on a roll.
 

jukkodave

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Has anyone noticed the contradiction in the Li Trigram
|:|
The hottest part of a flame is the centre.
By that reckoning Li should have its central line as the unbroken line,
:|:

Dave
 

hilary

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Yes, if it portrayed what a thermometer would report, passing through the flame. But that's not what it shows. It's how a flame looks - bright on the outside, darker in the centre - and what it does - active flames clinging to the fuel as they burn it.

(Thinking of strong lines as acting and broken lines as 'acted on' is a generally useful way to imagine trigrams.)
 

Liselle

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Have had the very silly thought that 27-turtle is the way he is (huge tummy, thin shells) because he eats too much, hence the Image's admonishment to be "discriminating" about that.

61-turtle is too barricaded in her shells, and needs to 62 a bit?

30 is two turtles clinging to each other...

(Sorry. We will blame over-indulgence on the delights of the new forum. :geek:)
 

Freedda

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The trigram Li has always reminded me of two coals glowing in a hearth - and that's how I remember that it's Li, Arising, Fire, Clarity when I see it. And that is where we get the popular expression,

'bringing coal to Zhungeer' (coalfield in Inner Mongolia, China)​

As to 41 and 42, these two other turtle species, here we have ...

41 - Gen Dui Gui or Da Tun Gui - Mountain Lake Turtle, also known as Big-rump Turtle ... and
42 - Zhen Xun Gui or Da Tou Gui - Thunderous Wind Turtle, also know as Big-head Turtle ...

And for both: 'Somebody grants (one) ten matched pairs of tortoise shells. One cannot refuse' ... in both 41.5 and 42.2

And 42 brings to mind ...

Bittersweet by Big Head Todd and the Monsters (live at Red Rocks, 2008)
A little light looks through her bedroom window
She dances and I dream,
she's not so far as she seems
Of brighter meadows,
melting sunsets ...

Best, D.
 
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hilary

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41 - Gen Dui Gui or Da Tun Gui - Mountain Lake Turtle, also known as Big-rump Turtle ... and42 - Zhen Xun Gui or Da Tou Gui - Thunderous Wind Turtle, also know as Big-head Turtle ...
:rofl:
 

Freedda

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But no easy or clear translation for 'big head todd' ....
 

jukkodave

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Yes, if it portrayed what a thermometer would report, passing through the flame. But that's not what it shows. It's how a flame looks - bright on the outside, darker in the centre - and what it does - active flames clinging to the fuel as they burn it.

(Thinking of strong lines as acting and broken lines as 'acted on' is a generally useful way to imagine trigrams.)
There were of course no thermometers thousands of years ago. So only had the flames of fire itself to look at and as the "fire", that we refer to when we say lighting a fire, burns differently itself depending on what the fuel is, than the flame which is rather more consistent in nature then the fire of Li can only refer to the flame, if one is considering a consistent image.
A flame itself looks very much hotter at the centre than it does at the top.
Active flames clinging to the fuel as they burn it are altered by the type of fuel and so in that context would be an interaction between fire and something else, so not fire itself.
A fire flickering would have a cooler part at the top of the flame so could not be represented by a "hot" line at the top.
The heat of fire is about as Yang as it gets so logically should be represented by 3 unbroken lines. But that is already taken by Qian representing "heaven", of which thereis no earthly manifiestation so there is no "image" of heaven,
By the same criteria the most fluid and flexible yin quality is probably water, so should be represented by Kun, but that is assigned to Earth, which as the "pair" of Heaven has a different manifestation than the physical manifestations of the other Trigrams.

But if how something "looks" is the criteria then that means that the Trigrams, represent onthing but appearances and illusions.
Surely it is the "real" nature of Li that would be the manifestation that produces a possible image.
If is just the appearance of how something "looks" then that must mean that there is no "truth" to the representation of Li, and consequently the other Trigrams.
The possibilities and consequences of which I have already presented in some detail in other threads.

The following is an alternative representation of Hexagram 50
1565470321194.png
In this instance 9 in the second and 6 in the fifth.

The "circle" and the "cross the we use to represent moving lines are probably arrows representing the direction to move in order to change to the different type of line, which look very much like circles and crosses as they get closer and closer together..
The above representation fulfils all the requirements of representing the qualities of the lines and the moving lines representations show the direction of movement, relative to the symbol.

Tha advantage over the symbols of lines and unboken lines is that they represent the two "facets" of Yin and Yang and demonstrate that both are the "end", the extreme, of that particular facet, and that neither represent a true state in themsleves but are reresentative of being "relative" to something else and with tendency to change, which is of course what the Yi is, a book of "change".

The advantage of the above symbolism is that it is much easier to see the lines as representations of being "acted on" and in that sense the symbolism of the above method is better than that if broken and unbroken lines.
The "lines" in the above representations reveal that neither the symbol for a Yang line or that for a Yin line is a definite thing in its own right but is realtive to the other.

The advantages of the above representation are not present in that of broken and unbroken lines, which do however have the advantage of being slightly easier to scribe. Though one could use a a diamond ofr the 9's and a half diamonf fro the 6's which would be easy to scribe.

Only if there was something of instrinsic imporatnce and significance in broken and unbroken lines would that representation be the only one to use.

But is would take a large stretch of imagination to suggest that the above symbolism represents a cauldron.
Though, interestingly, the Trigram Li "looks " more like a flame shape than with broken and unbroken lines, it shows that the "image " itself is entorely dependent on the symbols used and only if it could be shown that the use of broken and unbroken lines was the only way to represent a Hexagram could we derive any sort of imagery from the "look" of a Hexagram.


Dave
 

Liselle

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Dave, who knows, if you came up with a new version of the I Ching, or indeed a whole new oracle, maybe it would be better than the I Ching as we know it. You are certainly free to try, and you could start up a blog of your own (here's one) and invite people to read it.

But I, for one, am not much interested in re-doing the trigrams and hexagrams. If that makes me a troglodyte, so be it.
 

Liselle

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Actually, I'll correct myself. There's surely no such thing as a "new version of the I Ching." It would be a new oracle, period.
 

jukkodave

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Dave, who knows, if you came up with a new version of the I Ching, or indeed a whole new oracle, maybe it would be better than the I Ching as we know it. You are certainly free to try, and you could start up a blog of your own (here's one) and invite people to read it.

But I, for one, am not much interested in re-doing the trigrams and hexagrams. If that makes me a troglodyte, so be it.
Its not a new "version" of the Yi. Its just a different way of presenting a set of symbols used to represent something.
The Yi is not in the symbolism, its in the meaning. Which can be represented by any symbolism, unless there is evidence that the "symbols" that we use today are the only ones that can be used because they are meaningful of some deeper significance.
Still seems to be the same confusion that asking questions and presenting very realistic possibilities is somehow presenting an idea that it is a specific way.

I am asking if there is any hard evidence to show that the symbolism of broken and unbroken lines, regardless of the history of what has been recieved, which may not be the only possible way to represent the lines and the ways they change, as China was most certainly not a homogenous country thousands of years ago and would most likely never have had a single version of the Yi, and so the very real possibility exists that what has been received is only one way of symbolic representation.

If broken and unboken lines a "representative" symbols for Yin and Yang then it doesnt matter what symbols are used, one could use a star and an apple.
If broken and unbroken lines are representative of something else then, unless we can say defonitively what they are then it cant be said that specific symbols are the only ones that can be used.
Either way, unless there is a definite and explcit part of the Yi that says one can only use broken and unbroken lines because they are the only valid representations of whatever they portray, one can use any symbols at all.

Using a different set of symbols changes nothing about the real meaning of the Yi, it only cahnges how things "look". It only changes the image. Which is significant to the thread.

If there is no evidence that the lines are the only way to represent the meaning of the steps of a Hexagram then there is no "image" that can follow, as one could use any symbolism at all and the "image " would be completely different for the Trigrams and the Hexagrams.

Just because we have all come to accept that one world view does not make it correct or the only way to view it.
Perhaps there is more than just the surface "look".
Just to make it clear - only asking. Is it a possibility.

There's surely no such thing as a "new version of the I Ching." It would be a new oracle, period.
The "oracle" of the Yi wouldnt change just because one used different symbols, any more than it is "changed" by different translations. The symbols of the words dont change the Yi, the symbols of the lines dont change the Yi. The meaning is the same regardless of the "symbols" that are shown to represent the surface "look".

Using my symbolism, if you draw the Hexagrams below in my way instead,
Hex 27
|::::|
looks very much like a seed, which grows so as to nourish.
Hex 23
|:::::
looks very much like something striking down to cleave what is below apart.

Just to give a couple of examples.

Perhaps my symbolism is better than what we have recieived. In those cases at least. But if it doesnt work for all the "images" then it cant be very good. But wait a minute. The broken and unbroken lines dont work for all the images.
That would suggesthen that the symbol is not able to represent the real maning of a line. How could it. If the meaning of the line is capable of containing the entire realm of human experience it would be rather naive to think that it could be represented by an actual symbol. The symbols only point in the direction of the meaning.


Dave
 
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moss elk

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Its not a new "version" of the Yi. Its just a different way of presenting a set of symbols used to represent something.
The Yi is not in the symbolism, its in the meaning.
That is a false statement.
The book (Yi) is both the meanings and the symbols.
When you alter it, you destroy it.

Perhaps my symbolism is better than what we have recieived.
No, most definitely, it is not.

If you haven't figured it out yet, the symbols were based on observation of natural phenomena that exist both within and external to human beings. If you want proof look between your legs to see a yang line.
 
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hilary

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But if how something "looks" is the criteria then that means that the Trigrams, represent onthing but appearances and illusions.
Surely it is the "real" nature of Li that would be the manifestation that produces a possible image.
I think you've homed in here on the difference between your approach and the Yijing. The Yi is quite simply and directly based on human experience. How we live things, how they look, what they are for us.

In this world, the origin stories for trigrams all say that people looked at the world around them and perceived the patterns. There is no origin story that says Fuxi closed his eyes to shut out the world and thought hard about the real nature of things in order to calculate the correct patterns.

Note: I'm not saying these origin stories are historical truth. I'm saying that they neatly illustrate people's understanding of what kind of thing trigrams and hexagrams are. In this understanding, appearances are not illusions; they're our lived reality.

Another obvious example is the trigram xun, :|| , which as we all know 'represents wind or wood'. Why two different things for this one trigram? Looking at this logically, it seems quite arbitrary. OK, so wind and roots both have the more abstract quality of 'penetration', but then so does water. You could even say light does, too, along with anything else that travels in waves. There's no rational, logical reason to lump these two together.

Instead, there are generations of people asking, 'Is it windy today?' and looking outside to observe.

Liselle is quite right: it sounds as though you want such a different oracle that you will have to build a new one. (This is a real suggestion: plenty of people have done it. It could be a fascinating project.)

Now we've established the difference in perspective, please will you let this thread be for people who want to explore the imagery contained in solid and broken lines? You can start a new thread for new ways of drawing hexagrams.
 

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