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44bob123

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The recent bickering in various forums remind me of the heated debates between the "Image and number" and "Meaning and principle" schools in Yijing history.

The Yijing is a composite work beginning with the original mantic text. Then follows various additions from Yin and Yang philosophy, Ba Gua, Taoist, Confucian and Neoconfucian schools plus other odds and ends. Added to this we have incorrectly copied text as well as terms that we aren't sure of. All in all a complete hodge podge.

The reason that it nevertheless works is because we use it to access our unconscious. It is our unconscious that talks to us. It is not a sacred text , and like that earlier period in history, we can add or change any of it. Whether you want a Chris Lofting, Frank Kegan or New Age version doesn't matter as they are all equally valid. Change the text if you feel it make more sense. After all, you want the easiest route into your unconscious wisdom.

Dao is impersonal. The book is not a being. It really doesn't have your interests at heart. That is simply anthropomorphism. The Yijing may seem more "refined" than the Tarot or Numerology, but all three are effective ways into the unconscious. Jung was interested in all three as well as astrology.

I think the purists who quibble about the meaning of phrases are going down a cul-de-sac. We are getting in touch with symbols from the unconscious, not the OED.

The Surrealists played some interesting "games" to contact the unconscious which resulted in some amazing creativity. We need to "play" with the Yijing not be obsessive with it. So feel free to "cut and paste" !

Bob
 

bradford

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lalala.gif
 

44bob123

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Bradford, not sure of what to make of your reply.

Read a book about the Jewish community in London recently. The men would wake up early so they could go to the synagogue before work. They argued and debated with passion, because they believed that truth only came from dialogue.

Are you saying we should regard the Yijing with the same attitude that fundamental Christians hold towards the Bible ? Once people thought the earth was flat, few do now. Similarly what we believe about divination, philosophy, spirituality and our own psychology will continue to evolve. All our knowledge is really in the form of metaphores, as we can never have absolut truth.

Bob
 

sergio

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Hi Bob'
Thank you for presenting your point of view.Believe it or not it is highly controversial to express such refreshing and conciliatory views in this forum lately as you can see from the reaction of one of the senior members.
Anyway,there was a great article in Midaughter's forum from Glenroy Wolfsen saying that the i ching is a text designed to expand conciousness.Please if you have a chance to read it do so .Great reading.
Sergio
 

bamboo

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Hi Bob,
You put it beautifullly. As a study, I find it very helpful to learn as much as possible about orignal chinese figures. It adds more to the pot, or caldron as the case may be. BUt in regards to divining, I concur with your view 100%. To study is human, to play is [to] divine!
 

Sparhawk

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IMHO, the Yijing is a vast topic of discussion. In my experience, I would say that most are very happy to explore the divinatory aspect of it and will only reach for it: a) when there's a need; b) just "to play with it"; c) or to offer free advise, mostly unsolicited, to those stuck in the mud of it (while waist deep in it themselves, but intention is what counts, no?). Now, is that the only aspect of the classic we call the Yijing open to discussion? No, it isn't.

I'd say that people participate and engages in what they find interesting. The forum is open to everyone to read and opine, with the amount of interest and passion each wants to bring to it. People obsess about different things, which isn't always a bad thing. A healthy measure of "obsession" is always needed to engage in and finish a doctoral degree, for example. But again, not everybody has a PhD (I don't). Still, an obsession that calls someone to seriously study a subject can't be a very bad thing.

Anyone can "play coach" in front of a big screen, remote in hand, while watching a football game, but, the real action is left to the few on the other side. To chide and deride the real coach and a couple of players for their failures is OK. To throw the whole sport out of the window is kind of silly, IMHO.
 

44bob123

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It felt I had been reprimanded by the venerable sages for not understanding the real essence of the Church of the Yijing, so I'm very grateful for the positive responses. (Yes I do suffer from a lack of self-confidence).

I did a quick reading today using Hulskramer's version. I quite like his style.

52: Stand up straight and calm down mentally. If you look past comings and goings, you cannot go wrong.
Line 2: You see others running towards the abyss and that is painful. Don't worry about the foolishness of others. Leave everyone to his own process. Amen

Thanks to one and all. Tacta alea est. Bob
 

Sparhawk

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It felt I had been reprimanded by the venerable sages for not understanding the real essence of the Church of the Yijing, so I'm very grateful for the positive responses. (Yes I do suffer from a lack of self-confidence).

Now, now, there's no need to call me names; let's be civil... :D

Perhaps MY problem with your opening message was that I didn't understand what drove you to voice it. Still a bit confused, mind you. Were you bothered by anything in particular? You don't like some spirited discussions? Do you dislike people that view the Yijing in a different light from yours? I don't think there is anything erroneous with your statement, per se, but, just as you were recently advised:

52: Stand up straight and calm down mentally. If you look past comings and goings, you cannot go wrong.
Line 2: You see others running towards the abyss and that is painful. Don't worry about the foolishness of others. Leave everyone to his own process. Amen

A big "Amen," yes.
 

bradford

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Bradford, not sure of what to make of your reply.
Bob


What would be the point of articulating a response to that? After all, there is no meaning in anybody's creative expression beyond what you yourself bring to it. You would receive just as much new information from talking into a mirror. The point of view you expressed is beyond ever-so-fashionably Deconstructionist and relativistic - it is Solipsist and Narcissistic.
Of course we use projection, and that's a significant part of the divining process. But for my part I will continue in my delusion that the authors of the Zhouyi actually had something to tell us, and that this has stood the test of thirty centuries. So what if their thoughts were multidimensional, multivalent, and beyond your cognitive skills? They are not beyond mine. I'm going to show some respect for their words of wisdom. Then, once I have some kind of sounding board that isn't made up entirely of my own fantasies and preconceptions, then I'll bounce some ideas and questions off of it.
Cut and paste that.
 
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44bob123

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Looks like we're at cross purposes Sparhawk. The Yijing reading was in answer to the question, "What should I make of Bradford's response ?". I apologise if you thought it was directed at you.

My position on the Yijing is that I use it to try and keep in tune with the "flow". I don't consult it that often and use other methods as well. I get great pleasure in reading about the history and ideas related to the Yijing. In reality I probably know a lot about little. What seems to have provoked my ire is feeling that some of the discussions revolve around the intricate meaning of words / ideas, when in reality, we're dealing primarily with symbols which are amorphous, imprecise and extensively rich in meaning. Not only that, but a common symbol will activate different nuances in different people. Here I mean internal archetypal symbols which are activated by the simpler external images and concepts.

We can't do without academia and it has an important role, but life is to be lived (playfully), is it not?

I think it was Wang Bi who said we should strive to get from the words to the images, and then from the images to the ideas. I think once we've reached that level of maturity, we can throw the book away as it has done its job.

Bob-the-beginner
 
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Sparhawk

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What seems to have provoked my ire is feeling that some of the discussions revolve around the intricate meaning of words / ideas, when in reality, we're dealing primarily with symbols which are amorphous, imprecise and extensively rich in meaning. Not only that, but a common symbol will activate different nuances in different people. Here I mean internal archetypal symbols which are activated by the simpler external images and concepts.

There are as many realities as there are people. There isn't an all encompassing "in reality" as an extension of the self. Can be shared, yes; one can be persuaded, perhaps; but under normal circumstances, they cannot be forced upon others. So, why can't "intricate meaning of words & ideas" be discussed, even when there's disagreement? I mean, short of slapping each other in the face over it... :D

We can't do without academia and it has an important role, but life is to be lived (playfully), is it not?
You must be kidding me. See, for me, that's all play!! Really. And if I can discuss it with others, all the better.

I think it was Wang Bi who said we should strive to get from the words to the images, and then from the images to the ideas. I think once we've reached that level of maturity, we can throw the book away as it has done its job.
Oh, that's the dream of every Yi "diviner". Still, I haven't met a single one that has reached such a goal. I quoted that same thing from Wang Bi, some months ago, in another context. Somewhere in the archives...
 
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meng

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I think once we've reached that level of maturity, we can throw the book away as it has done its job.

Oh, that's the dream of every Yi "diviner". Still, I haven't met a single one that has reached such a goal.

Not so, my friend. 32 years ago, I not only threw it (it being W/B) away but ripped it apart page by page. It had done it's job for some 10 years. But, just because I no longer had it in writing didn't mean I stopped contemplating Wilhelm, and his bias, which I could no longer be satisfied with. 20 years passed before I'd inquire of it again, and I did so with a renewed mind and renewed resources. I had become more mature - which really meant I realized I knew practically nothing. And so, I took it up again, as a beginner.

I cheer Bob's essential creative and personal approach to interpreting symbolism of everything in life, Yijing included. No one says it needs to be followed according to the earliest known intended meanings. However, I'm extremely grateful that the brainiacs argue the finite details of translation, so that I may greedily benefit from what results from those threads. It doesn't take a thing away from my creative ability, it just gives me richer colors and notes to create with.
 

Sparhawk

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Not so, my friend. 32 years ago, I not only threw it (it being W/B) away but ripped it apart page by page. It had done it's job for some 10 years. But, just because I no longer had it in writing didn't mean I stopped contemplating Wilhelm, and his bias, which I could no longer be satisfied with. 20 years passed before I'd inquire of it again, and I did so with a renewed mind and renewed resources. I had become more mature - which really meant I realized I knew practically nothing. And so, I took it up again, as a beginner.

:D I doubt Wang Bi had man-handling books in mind. :rofl: But I suppose you had real good reason to do that, perhaps religion related (if I have paid some attention to bits of your life story over the years), perhaps I'm wrong. Regardless, that you found your way back is telling. The good thing about the study of the Yijing is that one doesn't really have leave anything behind to get close to it.

I cheer Bob's essential creative and personal approach to interpreting symbolism of everything in life, Yijing included. No one says it needs to be followed according to the earliest known intended meanings. However, I'm extremely grateful that the brainiacs argue the finite details of translation, so that I may greedily benefit from what results from those threads. It doesn't take a thing away from my creative ability, it just gives me richer colors and notes to create with.

Well, I find very interesting how we interpreted the same posting differently. You were definitely more positive than I and managed to salvage the message about "symbolism of everything in life," with whom I don't have an issue with. Me, the first thing that flashed in my mind reading it, was the contemplation of someone venting his frustration over his witnessing the arguing of those finite details that, mind you, do not dominate this site in any way, shape or form. I couldn't help but ask myself: Why wouldn't those "finite details" be worthy of discussion and even argue over them?
 

fkegan

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The reason that it nevertheless works is because we use it to access our unconscious. It is our unconscious that talks to us. It is not a sacred text , and like that earlier period in history, we can add or change any of it.

Hi Bob,

You raise a number of questions though you give only a partial notion of any answer to any of them. The Classic of Change (I Ching) is clearly a sacred text in traditional China. Whether we individually wrap our copy in silk or pull its pages apart is a matter of personal relationship to the sacred.

There is a larger question about what is the relationship of divination to objective texts or techniques. No one stays with Yi divination unless they have found their personal oracles meaningful. What makes them meaningful and how does that meaning arise is generally the issue.

You seem to assume that there exists an "unconscious" that is capable of answering questions connected to Yi oracles. This is a traditional liberal-objective-scientific view that claims dominion for "modern science" to everything objective and allows the personal or individual to have another private realm that deals with stuff like divination.

There is remarkably little empirical evidence for this academic dissection of what belongs to one realm or another. The whole notion of the academic (the view of Plato's Academy as the superlative form of education) is an ideal of the medieval Scholastic University which is proving itself ever more obsolete in contemporary life.

Along with all the views of the various ways to interpret the many commentaries, there remains the universal constant of actual Oracles for real live individuals. Traditionally, it was assumed the line patterns were too difficult to interpret and therefore only the words of the commentaries were accessible. My own work is based upon the simple insight that given a few fundamental insights, the line patterns speak for themselves and are totally able to explain through their symbolism the Yi Oracle answer to your personal question. Not as a reflection of anything "unconscious" but as a simple description of universal Flux in terms of individually relevant focus upon some parts while letting the rest melt into the general context or background.

However, stepping out of one's implicit assumptions and unexamined context is a difficult achievement. As a fish swims in water, humans dwell in their Tao. What does a fish notice of his wet environment? What do we notice in our own terms rather than what we have been told should be important to us?

Frank
 

44bob123

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Meng, I think that is one of the points I was trying to articulate,
".....it just gives me richer colours and notes.....".
ie If the mind is a cauldron, trying to fill it with as varied a mix as possible: experiences, pictures, poetry, images, music and text. The richer the mix, the more the mind can answer appropriately. My hangup, if you like, is that spending time quibbling over the meaning of a few words is like putting the mind on a diet.

If I said the reading I've just obtained to the question, " Should I also ditch the Yijing? "is, "Three wheels on my wagon, but I'm still rolling along". Your mind would instantly make connections between the two. If it was a real example there would be significant meanings. All I'm trying to emphasise is the unbelievable creativity of the mind if it kept well-fed.

Regards to all compadres

Bob-need-some-food
 
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meng

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:D I doubt Wang Bi had man-handling books in mind. :rofl: But I suppose you had real good reason to do that, perhaps religion related (if I have paid some attention to bits of your life story over the years), perhaps I'm wrong.

Actually, it was a precursor to exploring a different path. I needed to "put a scratch in the record", so to speak, needed to force the hand of destiny to change the course my life was going in; primarily to be less "self" oriented and more family minded. The Yijing is a wonderful tool for self discovery, but it can also create strong narcissistic tendencies, whether it manifests as fierce individualism or slavish obedience to ill conceived dogma. The middle way isn't necessarily the easiest path, but I think ultimately it is the truest.
 
M

meng

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Meng, I think that is one of the points I was trying to articulate, ie If the mind is a cauldron, trying to fill it with as varied a mix as possible: experiences, pictures, poetry, images, music and text. The richer the mix, the more the mind can answer appropriately. My hangup, if you like, is that spending time quibbling over the meaning of a few words is like putting the mind on a diet.

If I said the reading I've just obtained to the question, " Should I also ditch the Yijing? "is, "Three wheels on my wagon, but I'm still rolling along". Your mind would instantly make connections between the two. If it was a real example there would be significant meanings. All I'm trying to emphasise is the unbelievable creativity of the mind if it kept well-fed.

Regards to all compadres

Bob-need-some-food

I agree completely with you here. The mind is a solution seeking/creating devise. But, we do need to credit the Yi with more than being an ink blot for our amusement. There's just too much order and consistency there to be dismissed or dissed as insignificant or unnecessary.

Those, such as myself, who lack the aptitude, interest and patience for agonizing over such details, are plain lucky to have individuals here who actually know what they're talking about. Let them disagree and sort it out all they want to. I'll be around to pick the cherries. :mischief:
 

44bob123

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Bradford, you may feel an especial affinity with the Zhouyi, just as my wife has a reverence for the Bible. In both cases the meaning of the text is mediated by both the conscious and unconscious mind. To clarify "unconscious", I include the personal, the collective and the unknown "other". I tend to use Jungian models as I'm not up to date with the latest cognitive psychology models.

You find the text meaningful, so do I. This is because we both have minds "tuned" into the text by culture, education and experience. Others are not so lucky and the text will not resonate with them.

If you read up on the sociology of knowledge and modern psychological theories you will see that we approach knowledge in pre-determined ways. Crudely simplified as the brain being programmed, both hard ware and soft ware, to make patterns and sense out of all inputs. What inputs we cherish is to some extent a matter of choice.

Respectfully Bob
 

larsbo_c

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I agree and I don't

There is a very interesting point to the beginning statement of this thread, namely that nearly everyone in this forum, and nearly everybody else who used the I Ching for divination, seems to find useful answers in it.

But the translations are so very different. If you have ever seen Kerson Huang's "translation" you don't know if it is sad or hilarious, nevertheless I am sure some think it it useful. Other attempts are much more valuable. But still very very different.
Someone asked in a previous thread why there are none of the hot shots from the famous universities that made a translation. The answer is simple; they can't make a perfect or nearly perfect work, they'd be out of a job in no time if they did.
I believe there is a way to translate it, working hard to clarify a system to determine a context that will make a coherent translation. Whether I succeed or not; there is still thousands of people finding their own translation useful.
I believe most is fooling themselves. It's human nature to bet, gamble, get married and do other foolish things and many people want to find a short cut to decisions in life that doesn't involve critical or realistic thinking.
Many others have a translation that is working with a fair percentage of understandable hexagrams and lines. I think many can actually get good answers from just the general picture in a hexagram. Something sounds negative or positive or points in a general direction, like "33 retreat" is pretty hard to get wrong.
Divination means to ask God right? Maybe the ancient Chinese asked Heaven, I myself believe that’s where we get the answers from. But if you feel you get useful answers based on Kerson Huang's translation, you are either making it up, or asking your sub consciousness.
 
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bradford

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Chinese words are like the clown cars of the language world. You pop one open and all these funny little meanings pour out and run around doing wacky stuff. Plus, they all belong there and it just wouldn't be a clown car with only one clown - even a perfect one.
For that reason, there can never be a perfect translation. This is why I can only call my own main rendition a "sample" translation. And even my Matrix version, which can literally spin off a thousand legitimate ways to translate each line, is seriously incomplete. The best we can hope for is to pick the most comprehensive and representative words and then build up a rich set of connotations in our minds. This last part is really the only way to take care of the multivalent words like Heng and Zhen.
 

larsbo_c

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Chinese words are like the clown cars of the language world. You pop one open and all these funny little meanings pour out and run around doing wacky stuff. Plus, they all belong there and it just wouldn't be a clown car with only one clown - even a perfect one.
For that reason, there can never be a perfect translation. This is why I can only call my own main rendition a "sample" translation. And even my Matrix version, which can literally spin off a thousand legitimate ways to translate each line, is seriously incomplete. The best we can hope for is to pick the most comprehensive and representative words and then build up a rich set of connotations in our minds. This last part is really the only way to take care of the multivalent words like Heng and Zhen.
lalala.gif
 

bamboo

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There is a very interesting point to the beginning statement of this thread, namely that nearly everyone in this forum, and nearly everybody else who used the I Ching for divination, seems to find useful answers in it.

Divination means to ask God right? Maybe the ancient Chinese asked Heaven, I myself believe that’s where we get the answers from. But if you feel you get useful answers based on Kerson Huang's translation, you are either making it up, or asking your sub consciousness.

and what would be so wrong about asking your sub-conscious? Genius is a product of the sub-conscious. the sub-conscious is Hermit, holding the lantern , and he will shine it on what ever you need to know. To get hung up on literal translation might be fun, but I seriously think it hinders divination purposes. YOur subconscious knows what your conscious mind knows and knows how to connect it meaningfully to other throughts, fragments, symbols. The intellect functions as a light bulb, not as an agent of wisdom.

I would suspect that those completely attached to literal meanings rarely use yi as divination, and that if they do, they spend days pondering what Yi has said. scratching their beards, and poring over their texts with flashlights into the wee hours.

Me, I use it in Kmart, with the selling of stocks,when choosing a hairdresser and yes, yes, yes, I have often used it to tell me about other people. If you think I have been deceiving myself, well, all I can say is that the joke is on the purists...because I have gotten valauble answers for 20 years, answers that never led me wrong, that made proven sense, that accurately guided me to information I needed to know and to actions I needed to take, and not to take. NOt saying I always like what I hear, I dont try to con my intuition or manipulate answers to what I might wish they were.

I dont know of any other kind of divination tool which is both an on-the-money elementary primer, as well as an ancient tool of profound wisdom.....and it has no bias....it doesnt clam up snobbily to newcomers using a bubble-gum translation any more than it withholds its wisdom from an academic stuffed shirt. The Yi is hands down an EOE, all are equal in its eyes, it has got something good and accurate to give to the least of its brethren. And who benefits more from divination? : the literalists, or those willing to give their imagination free playful reign.... to receive the intuitive information which is gentle, having a gracious hospitality for candlelight and a penchant for playfully hiding from the glare of a pointed fact-seeking pointy-nosed intellect. (The yi even has a line for that kind of intellect probing: 21.2)

All that said, I do have to concur that the richer the text and the more studied the meanings, and the richer the intellect, will yield a level of reading much higher, richer and ponderous. still, at the moment of divination, one must courageously disengage the brain and trust the subconscious. other wise you might as well be talking into a mirror, espousing your own knowledge, and missing the magical alchemy of the actual reponse



ahhh, my friends, unless you can become like little children, you cannot hope to enter the Kingdom of God.:bows::D The camel with his big GUT gets through the eye of a needle easier than a man attached to a shitload of books gets into the kingdom.
 
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bradford

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I would suspect that those completely attached to literal meanings rarely use yi as divination, and that if they do, they spend days pondering what Yi has said. scratching their beards, and poring over their texts with flashlights into the wee hours.

I think there's a really good observation in that. There are actually two sides to the problem - knowing what the Yijing is trying to say all by itself and 2,relating what you get from the Yi to the specifics of your question. Sometimes those are completely unrelated, as with the case where all you needed was to see the number seven. The narrowest of scholars might see the Yi neatly dicing reality into 64 fairly distinct parts, and can see the fine distinctions between 15 and 62, or 5 and 39. But even those 64 categories each has a potentially infinite amount of content. For me, even though I have very specific ideas about what each text is saying, it is another task entirely, and a harder one, to narrow it down further in the framework of a question. But at least that process isn't confused by having huge blurred areas between the hexagrams themselves. It's equally important to not get too narrow or specific about what each hexagram means, long before the question is ever asked, just as the modern academics are getting way too narrow specific in their glosses of the individual words. This is especially common when someone's understanding is based on a bad translation of a hexagram name (like Opposition for 12). This is of course where reading lots of other texts and interpretations comes in handy. The decades spent in building an understanding of the Yi are a little like building a house. My main concern is that beginners will start out sloppy and all over the place when it comes to meanings that go way far afield from the text and wind up spending years getting increasingly incoherent. They've built the thing on a useless foundation. The words of the text don't need to account for the entire foundation, but any good foundation will be able to account for all of the words of the text.
Of course there are a couple of beginners on this thread that think it best that I mind my own damned business here. But to the extent that they are already set on their course, it's not really them I'm trying to warn. It's the other novices who are ready to throw in behind a dumb idea, who should at least get a chance to hear another side of things.
 
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rodaki

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all this reminded me of a question I posed to Yi once, about how myth relates to reality (and by myth I mean the fantasy way of linking tangible and intangible, written as well as personal or childlike myth) . . I got 42 unchanging which I'm still figuring out . . Obviously the playful, imaginative way exceeds hard facts but in an enriching way . .
I agree with Bradford on the importance of valid foundations, it's the same way in art . . painting or in music improv. A novice starts by throwing ideas off the top of their heads but you can't go on on that alone cause it becomes too mushy . . you need to go back and build solid knowledge . . the only thing is though that often, in building the knowledge we might forget how to play . . I think it's a fine balance
 
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meng

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Speaking only for myself, incorrect and incomplete understanding of the Yijing has led to some desperate predicaments, and it can never be said that I lacked creative cognitive skills. I've had many :duh: moments, years later, when I had come to understand the fuller meanings of those earlier misinterpreted readings.
 

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I talked to a guy at a dinner party a few years ago, a phsyciatrist. He knew many Chinese classics and also I Ching, I said thats my favorite classic! he told me it had helped him once he was very much in doubt about a woman he had known for a while. He asked if he should marry her and then explained in detail how he had ended the relationship because he got 31 no lines. He felt it just spoke directly to him in terms he understood deep in his heart. He explained the comments made by some hippie translator with a large ego, and no skills in translating. I told him 31 is usually understood to be an encouragement about marriage and he suddenly became very pale. Fortunately he had a very nice wife :)
 

Sparhawk

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I'm very puzzled by several things in this thread:

  • there are those that, though patently unprepared, want to chuck the book but still stick around here;
  • those that think that discussing details of the text from all levels of engagement, including serious philological talks, is to put ourselves in some sort of "mind diet" and a waste of time;
  • those that chide others because they read too much and are attached to books;
  • those that believe the key to understanding the Yi is a degree in Chinese and East Asian Studies.
A little surprised by some of the statements that implicitly devalue others' efforts to approach and understand the Yi, thus taking the position of believing their own approach is the correct one and even thinking "divination" is all that is worthy of discussion about the classic.

Really? Is that so? If anybody has something to share that's on topic of a thread, should it be kept at some sort of imaginary "level of understanding" not to sound too "academic" or too "dumb" and thus avoid embarrassing themselves by approaching either end of the spectrum? Feels like an unwelcome environment for open discussions when a person is looked down if they depart from some sort of middle path that exists only in other minds. Is that the attitude this forum is adopting or will all sorts of valid and on topic opinions be respected?
 

bamboo

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I'm very puzzled by several things in this thread:

  • there are those that, though patently unprepared, want to chuck the book but still stick around here;
  • those that think that discussing details of the text from all levels of engagement, including serious philological talks, is to put ourselves in some sort of "mind diet" and a waste of time;
  • those that chide others because they read too much and are attached to books;
  • those that believe the key to understanding the Yi is a degree in Chinese and East Asian Studies.
A little surprised by some of the statements that implicitly devalue others' efforts to approach and understand the Yi, thus taking the position of believing their own approach is the correct one and even thinking "divination" is all that is worthy of discussion about the classic.

Really? Is that so? If anybody has something to share that's on topic of a thread, should it be kept at some sort of imaginary "level of understanding" not to sound too "academic" or too "dumb" and thus avoid embarrassing themselves by approaching either end of the spectrum? Feels like an unwelcome environment for open discussions when a person is looked down if they depart from some sort of middle path that exists only in other minds. Is that the attitude this forum is adopting or will all sorts of valid and on topic opinions be respected?

I dont see it that way at all....I thought the discussion was about divination!!! My post was strictly speaking about divination, the need to allow the moment of divination to be unburdened by too much thought...it was not a critique of study or of book lovers ( I am one) or a criticism of studying the Yijing texts. I think bob's original statements were misunderstood.
 

bradford

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I dont see it that way at all....I thought the discussion was about divination!!! My post was strictly speaking about divination, the need to allow the moment of divination to be unburdened by too much thought...it was not a critique of study or of book lovers ( I am one) or a criticism of studying the Yijing texts. I think bob's original statements were misunderstood.


But where does the unconscious get its information? Is there some Platonic World of Ideas that it goes to? Is there a shelf in the Hall of Akashic Records containing the Ultimate Unabridged Dictionary of Signs and Symbols and its companion, The Complete Encyclopedia of Myth and Fable? If all this knowledge is inherited, then where is it stored? Very few people have bothered to research what Jung actually meant by either the Collective Unconscious or Archetypes. He was not off the deep end with some New Age theories when he used these terms - he was talking about inherited neurological processes, innate tendencies to sort experiences according to certain specific types that had proven survival value, particularly social roles and situations and useful sense metaphors. These processes do not come with inherited content, like a picture of a perfect mother or trickster or hero. They are fleshed out in the process of growing up or individuating. In other words, they are largely the results of learning, unconscious at first in the formative years and then increasingly in the more conscious processes of self-education. The general pool of information that Divination draws from, whether this is done intuitively, unconsciously, deliberately or intellectually, is the same network of memory connecting different areas of the human brain, and ultimately all of these methods are subject to the same fundamental rule of data processing: Garbage In, Garbage Out.
So what is the role of someone with lots of experience relative to either the well-meaning novice or the one who disingenuously announces himself as a novice while overconfidently spreading misinformation? What is our responsibility in mediating Garbage In for others? There are lots of educational theories about what to do when little Johnny is telling you that two and two is five. There aren't many cases where calling him a fool is warranted , but I'll admit to being a little tactless in this regard. Do you tell him he is wrong in front of all his little friends? Do you praise him for "being close" to preserve an artificial sense of self-esteem? Or do you tell him "close enough" since everybody will always have calculators? My problem is knowing how much harder it is to unlearn than to learn so I like to challenge misinformation as it's getting shared.
 
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Sparhawk

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the need to allow the moment of divination to be unburdened by too much thought...it was not a critique of study or of book lovers ( I am one) or a criticism of studying the Yijing texts. I think bob's original statements were misunderstood.

I certainly agree with that. For all the hoarding of books I spoil myself with, I only use one translation at the time and only from two or three translators I find comfortable with. The part of me that "interprets" Yijing answers got hard-wired very early in my relationship with it. No amount of study or reading has ever burdened or obscured my interpretations (which doesn't mean I am correct in them, mind you). I had the "luck" of using and reusing, ad nauseam, the same translation in Spanish, for about 20 years, because I didn't had the means to buy any more books. It was when I emigrated and only in the past 15 years, that I started to seriously study the Yijing as a literary classic and being able to find and buy the material necessary to indulge my curiosity. Would my "indulgence" ever be a burden to my interpretive skills? No at all. The knowledge acquired in studying, and the skills necessary to interpret the Yijing as an oracle, reside in different parts of my mind. And that is, IMHO, the distinction that must be made between the Yijing as an oracle and the Yijing as a literary classic. They not only can, but must be separated in practical use.

As for Bob's statements, well, he has affirmed my interpretation of them in further comments made in the thread.
 

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