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justin farrell

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I have recently started using an additional interpretive tool to make sense of my readings. It was something that I read about in Stephen Karcher's Total I Ching, and I have found it very revealing.

If you are not familiar what Karchers means by Interconnected lines the basic idea involves seeing each hexagram as one half of its pair - hexagram 3 is paired with hexagram 4 for example. Whilst that is something most people working with the I Ching will already be aware of, he goes one step further and interconnects each line with the interconnected line in its paired hexagram - line 5 in hexagram 3 (Zhun), for example, is interconnected with line 2 in hexagram 3 (Meng). When you think of a pair being the same as its partner, except turned upside down, this makes sense.

Looking at the text from the two interconnected lines, we can then see the direction in which a situation is developing, or where a situation developed from. Or in other words the first hexagram in the pair "inspires" the second hexagram, and the second hexagram is the "manifestation" of the first. Karcher also recommends we look at the step of change for each interconnected line in the pair - so the 3.5 changes to hexagram 24, and 4.2 changes to hexagram 23 - which produces a new pair (23/24). This shows the context within which the two interconnected lines relate.

This is a very condensed explanation of how I understand Stephen Karcher. There is a great deal more to it - like what happens when a hexagram does not change it line position when turned upside down, for example; and what is this thing he calls a "Zone of Radical Transformation". I am sure there is a great deal more for me to learn.

I wanted to ask how other people have found this technique - did you find that it added an extra dimension to your readings? Or if you haven't used this technique before how does it sound to you? It took me a long time to get my head round it, but as I persevered, I did get the sense that I was starting to understand the I Ching at a deeper level.

Justin Farrell
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justin farrell

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I use it since several years, though differently from Karcher. No 'manifestation' or 'inspirator', just a way to understand a line and a hexagram better. The lines make a kind of pattern of a square.
Thanks LiSe, I've just tried adding the Fan Yao to the pair of interconnecting lines that I originally mentioned above. It seems to bring additional focus to a reading. So rather than seeing the relationship between a pair such as 23 and 24, I am instead looking at a more specific relationship between the lines 23.2 and 24.5. This seems to tell me a bit more about the original pair of changing lines (ie 3.5 and 4.2), and how they apply to a particular reading.

That is very helpful. Thank you.

Justin Farrell
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peter2610

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Justin Farrell said:
I wanted to ask how other people have found this technique - did you find that it added an extra dimension to your readings? Or if you haven't used this technique before how does it sound to you? It took me a long time to get my head round it, but as I persevered, I did get the sense that I was starting to understand the I Ching at a deeper level.
There are a number of similar options that you can explore to deepen your understanding of any given reading. The 'interconnected lines/inverted line-text' is an effective technique along with the Zhi Gua and, as you later mention, the fan yao. When faced with one of the eight symmetrical hexagrams, without any inverted form, I sometimes use the corresponding line in the Cuo Gua (opposite polarity gua). You might also wish to explore Sequential or Transitional hexagrams - if say, you receive Hex 3,2,5 > 19 you would extend your interpretation by modulating to the Zhi Gua, in accordance with the first changing line, from hex 3 to hex 60. You would then consider your next moving line, 5th yang, within the context of Hex 60 (ie. 60,5)
You might also wish to explore the parallel nuclear progression. Volumes have been written about nuclear hexagrams, but I have found the following system to be both effective and reliable. In the example given here, the nuclear sequence would be Hex 23,1,6 > 24 - this is a very useful tool that I often find brings greater clarity than the initial hexagrams. I wouldn't recommend that you jump into all these techniques at once; explore them cautiously and find what works best for you. You should hardly ever have to apply all of these to a single reading.

These various methods of adding to the overall picture of a reading all work in the same way, that is, by correlation. They reveal diverse aspects of the one core convergent meaning at the centre of the reading with which they share a unifying, synchronistic interconnectedness. It is important to avoid approaching these aspects in a 'western' manner by trying to apply linear causality to them - it doesn't work like that. Just as an archetype represents a convergence of meaning with disparate, causally unrelated outward manifestations, so the underlying meaning at the core of any given reading can be seen as the unifying convergence of all its separate aspects. It isn't a linear process, it's a synchronistic one.

Hope this helps,

Peter
 
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bradford

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The only truly striking one I've noticed is 41.5 <> 42.2.
Are these said to be only between odd>even pairs (as in 63>64, which are structurally significant as inverses and opposite), or is a connection also asserted between even>odd pairs (as in 62>63), which are normally not structurally related?
 

sparhawk

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Who is your question for, Brad? Peter or Justin? You mean 41.5<>42.2 as Qian Yao?
 

bradford

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Who is your question for, Brad? Peter or Justin? You mean 41.5<>42.2 as Qian Yao?
I suppose it's for whoever supports Karcher's assertion that this is a useful algorithm. I haven't followed his recent work. I don't know the term Qian Yao, only Qian Gua as Inverse Hexagram pairs, but I spoze that would be how you might say it.
 

sparhawk

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I suppose it's for whoever supports Karcher's assertion that this is a useful algorithm. I haven't followed his recent work. I don't know the term Qian Yao, only Qian Gua as Inverse Hexagram pairs, but I spoze that would be how you might say it.
Actually, I was using LiSe's term for the relationship you pointed at (see diagram above). As for Karcher, well, sometimes he's a perissology sinner...
 

justin farrell

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You might also wish to explore Sequential or Transitional hexagrams - if say, you receive Hex 3,2,5 > 19 you would extend your interpretation by modulating to the Zhi Gua, in accordance with the first changing line, from hex 3 to hex 60. You would then consider your next moving line, 5th yang, within the context of Hex 60 (ie. 60,5)

These various methods of adding to the overall picture of a reading all work in the same way, that is, by correlation. They reveal diverse aspects of the one core convergent meaning at the centre of the reading with which they share a unifying, synchronistic interconnectedness.
Thanks very much for suggesting all the new interpretive techniques, Peter.:) It's quite facinating how we can expore a reading looking at such co-relations. I suppose the difficult part is working out how a correlation between lines of different hexagrams translate into a new perspective on a reading. What it means in reality.

For example, what we can learn about a reading by examining the hexagrams second changing line, applied to the resulting hexagram (ie the resulting hexagram from the originals first step of change)? In the example you gave, this was the examination of 60.5 from the orginal of 3.2,5>19. At the moment this doesn't make sense to me, but I realise that sometimes these things can take time to understand. Until this happens I find it best practice to keep an open mind.:bows:

Thank you again for the information. It is much appreciated.

Justin

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justin farrell

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The only truly striking one I've noticed is 41.5 <> 42.2.
Are these said to be only between odd>even pairs (as in 63>64, which are structurally significant as inverses and opposite), or is a connection also asserted between even>odd pairs (as in 62>63), which are normally not structurally related?
Hi Bradford - thanks for your question:). I understand the theory to be saying that interconnections between lines just exist between odd>even (structually related) pairs. Personally, it doesn't seem to make sense to say there are interconnections between even>odd pairs simply because their structures are not related in that way. Having said that, I am only just starting to explore interconnections so I don't have enough experience to definitively exclude anything.

In terms of the observation you made about a lack of striking examples of interconnections, what I have found is that although the texts of two related lines might not correspond overtly, this seems to change once we apply them to the background situation of a reading. Something seems to come out of the mix between the two lines and the situation that makes a lot of sense. Again this is something that I am just starting to explore, but so far the results have been quite encouraging.

Justin
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peter2610

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Hi Justin,

Justin Farrell said:
At the moment this doesn't make sense to me, but I realise that sometimes these things can take time to understand. Until this happens I find it best practice to keep an open mind.
Thanks for your reply, and, yes, it is best to develop these techniques cautiously and steadily, through practical trial and error.
These techniques only work in the context of an actual reading. It is the central, subjective meaning or essence of the answer that provides the unifying factor that connects the various components. That's the whole point.
You won't make much sense from trying to link the line-texts directly from, say 3,2 to 60,5 straight from the book, without the intermediating factor of a contextual question/answer. That would be attempting to apply the linear-causality that I mentioned earlier - it ignores the correlative factor.

Just as when you receive a hexagram with, say, three moving lines, you will seek to link or correlate them to the one core meaning of the answer, so these additional techniques simply extend the same principal. The line-texts of the I Ching are necessarily metaphorical and convergent in meaning, that is why they sometimes appear to be ambiguous and/or abstruse. Sometimes the meaning of an answer is blindingly obvious from just a single line-text or hexagram, but when it isn't we can induce the meaning of the answer from its various correlative factors - and the more of them available, the more certain our conclusion. The I Ching is a book of latent, potential meanings which crystalize in the context of a synchronistic event.

The sample reading I gave, Hex 3,2,5 > 19, came from a situation in which I was undertaking a long fast in order to heal a serious illness. I was, for the duration, confined to bed; unable to stand or walk. Certain members of my family, who don't subscribe to naturopathic healing, quite understandably put me under a lot of pressure to abandon the fast and go into hospital. As the days turned into weeks this pressure increased and my resolve was tested.

Hexagram 3, Difficulty, describes a condition in which horses and wagons part, people scowl at each other etc. - progress is hampered and one's purposeful direction is in danger of falling apart.

Second yin: Difficulties pile up. Horse and wagon part. He is not a robber; he wants to woo when the time comes. The maiden is chaste, she does not pledge herself. Ten years - then she pledges herself.
This line describes the increasing difficulty of the situation. My inner resolve (second yin) to hold with my belief and higher goal (fifth yang) of natural healing, came under increasing pressure from some of my family to abandon the fast. This pressure is represented by first yang. To quote Wilhelm's commentary: "Its [second yin's] normal connection is with the nine in the fifth place, with which it has a relationship of correspondence. But this relationship is disturbed by the influence of the nine at the beginning, which stands below and through its importunities causes doubt and uncertainty." That should be fairly self-explanatory. My family wished me no harm, they were not 'robbers' but 'the maiden was chaste' - I refused to commit myself to their request, I was in it for the long run.

Fifth yang: Difficulties in blessing. A little perseverance brings good fortune. Great perseverance brings misfortune.
Wilhelm: "An individual is in a position in which he cannot so express his good intentions that they will actually take shape and be understood. Other people interpose and distort everything he does. He should then be cautious and proceed step by step. He must not try to force the consummation of a great undertaking...it is only by faithful and conscientious work, unobtrusively carried out, that the situation gradually clears up..." The situation was reaching a climax. The pressure from certain members of my family (father and sister) was now extreme. They neither understood nor trusted the principles of naturopathic healing. Although I could hold inwardly (second yin) to my beliefs, I was unable to convince or prevail over others (third and fourth yin). To quote Wang Bi: "He should keep his intention firmly fixed on second yin and not let others drive a wedge between them."
The line-text was suggesting that, rather than a sweeping confrontation with those who disagreed with my intentions, I should proceed with 'little perseverance' day by day, holding to my inner belief and not seeking to overcome or convince others.

The direction of this reading should be fairly clear by now. But let's imagine that I needed further clarification. Let's look at the inverted line text, LiSe's Qian Yao, for fifth yang. The Qian Yao is 4,2: "To bear with fools in kindliness brings good fortune. To know how to take women brings good fortune. The son is capable of taking charge of the household." I certainly don't think of my family as fools, but in this context their lack of understanding of my intentions meant that their outlook was compromised. "To know how to take women..." - handling my sister is not easy at the best of times, but I managed. "The son is capable of taking charge..." - I was to lead the direction of events with my own self-belief.
This line was urging me to bear with the misunderstanding of others in a kindly way, but nonetheless continue on my path. It simply represents another aspect of the core meaning of the overall reading.

If we consider the Sequential Hexagram, following 3,2 we now have 60,5: Sweet limitation brings good fortune. Going brings esteem.
A situation of potential conflict required that I impose restriction/limitation firstly on myself, if I were to impose limitation on others by not complying with their demands. The situation required moderation, self-control and quite perseverance rather than a frontal assault against those who disagreed with my intentions. A yang line in a yang position, fifth yang abides in the central position of the ruler and does not violate the mean. To quote Wilhelm: "If we seek to impose restrictions on others only, while evading them ourselves, these restrictions will always be resented and will provoke resistance."
By employing the sequential line-text we have accessed another aspect of the overall reading. I usually only employ sequential hexagrams when I receive three or more changing lines; the results can be quite stunning but I would recommend that you don't use this method until you are confident and fluent with linking the meaning of the zhi gua and/or fan yao to your changing lines.

Finally, the whole of the above situation is beautifully and succinctly described in the parallel nuclear progression 23,1,6 > 24. I'll leave it to you to look up the line-texts and Wilhelm commentary but you should find that it summarizes the situation precisely.

I hope this somewhat lengthy reply has helped by providing you with a working example of these extended techniques. As I mentioned previously, approach them gradually and incorporate the ones that work best for you. If possible, start by always linking the meaning of a changing line to both the overall context and its zhi gua and/or fan yao.

Peter
 
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peter2610

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The only truly striking one I've noticed is 41.5 <> 42.2.
Are these said to be only between odd>even pairs (as in 63>64, which are structurally significant as inverses and opposite), or is a connection also asserted between even>odd pairs (as in 62>63), which are normally not structurally related?
I've only ever utilized the inverted line-texts from structurally related pairs of inverted/opposite hexagrams. My interpretation of the method developed, not from Karcher, but from Wilhelm's commentary to 44,3 in Book Three.
Apart from the occasional use of the Karcher-Ritsema translation with concordance as a useful reference text, I usually give Karcher a very wide berth.
 

sparhawk

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Apart from the occasional use of the Karcher-Ritsema translation with concordance as a useful reference text, I usually give Karcher a very wide berth.
:D IMO, there's a good reason Ritsema decided to review his translation, before his death, and republish it under the Ritsema/Sabbadini name. I don't think Karcher left the Eranos Foundation in pristine terms after, well..., hearsay and water under the bridge, as they say. :)
 

heylise

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...In terms of the observation you made about a lack of striking examples of interconnections, what I have found is that although the texts of two related lines might not correspond overtly, this seems to change once we apply them to the background situation of a reading. Something seems to come out of the mix between the two lines and the situation that makes a lot of sense. Again this is something that I am just starting to explore, but so far the results have been quite encouraging.
Justin
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One of the most clear ones was, for me, this "mirror":


33.2-44.2-34.5-43.5
33 Withdrawing ("Saving your bacon"), is about pulling back in order to hold on to your own values, your own possessions, your own life. Not fleeing or in defense, but protecting your genuine being.
33.2 Shackle it using yellow ox hide. Under no circumstances will it be capable of getting loose.
Having something: HOLD ON to it. (hold on to your own rich mind)

34 Great Vigor, how to use - or not use - your strength. To BE strong and powerful instead of using strength or power.
34.5: Losing sheep at Yi. Without regret
Having something: not regret loss (shackle not) LET GO, or let go all fears of losing it.

43 Resolution, holding up your seal, ‘self-determination’, which is the attempt to maintain integrity and continue development. The authority of being unique and true to it.
43.5: Amaranth land. Very resolute. Move central. Without fault.
Obtaining something: go for it (get a hold on it) GET GRIP

44 Giving Birth, Creation is the outcome of an encounter. Man needs challenges in order to establish a civilization or shape a culture. Do not assimilate this challenge and use up its power, but respect it in its singularity, so creativity can emerge.
44.2: Fish in the wrapping. Without fault. No harvest performing the Bin rite. (be careful what you absorb)
Obtaining something: enjoy but do not shackle it. LEAVE FREE (not fearing loss)

All about HAVING, POSSESSING, how to handle it. Not especially the 'things' you possess, but the WAY YOU POSSESS, YOUR RELATION WITH 'HAVING'.

The term qian yao is one I made myself, to indicate what I meant with the connection between the lines of a pair ( like 33-34). Hexagrams 1, 2, 29 and so on still make pairs: each with itself. So 1.1 is connected with 1.5, 29.3 with 29.4.
 
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heylise

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In this picture (from the website of Steve Marshall) I added the (fan yao-)line between two pairs (3.2-60.5). The pairs are just one drawing of a hexagram, but one can look from the right or from the left. Bottom right are 63 and 64. But bottom left are 30 and 30. Both ways of looking at it show 30.
 

justin farrell

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If we consider the Sequential Hexagram, following 3,2 we now have 60,5:
Hi Peter
Thanks very for sharing your reading to illustrate these interpretive techniques. I am also glad the situation worked out well for you in the end.:)

Personally, the way I see interconnections between hexagrams and lines is centred on the principles of yin and yang. So when I look for an interconnection I try to understand how the two sides of the equation relate - which is the yin and which is the yang, and most importantly why they are divided in this way. As we know, something that is yin is only yin in relation to that same things yang, and vice versa.

In the case of a hexagram pair, a situation (such as that described in an I Ching reading) may be opened up to our understanding through being analysed in terms of two polarised halves - one hexagram of the pair representing the yin and the other the yang. Whilst we can understand the reading in terms of the actual hexagram and line cast, we can understand even more by contrasting this with the paired hexagram and its lines on the other side of the divide. The contrast seems to add a new dimension to the reading which gives us additional clarity.

I suppose the way we see polarities of this sort in the I Ching is virtually unlimited. It depends on our abilities to make valid connections and understand the precise way in which they are connected. I suspect there is a lot of scope for error when we engage in this process. Some connections that we try to make may not be valid - and likewise some connections may be valid, but are not necessarily seen or understood by any given person.

This is where our own individual judgement comes in - do we really understand how something connects, or are we just going along with it? In the example of the "sequential hexagram ... following 3,2 we now have 60,5" that you mention, I do not understand or see how this connects. That is not the same thing as saying that it does not actually connect. But in terms of using it as an interpretive technique, I would be reluctant to base my interpretation for a reading on it until I understand more. :bows:

But I do appreciate that you recommend caution when trying to integrate a new technique like this into pratice. And sometimes it does pay to go along with something on a "working" basis so long as we understand the limits of what we actually understand - or in other words, to experiment with it and look carefully at the results. After all, I feel this is how we learn and advance.

Thanks again, Peter, for your input.

Justin
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sparhawk

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Justin,

Curious, are you trying to integrate line relationships into a piece of software?
 

peter2610

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Hi Justin,

Thanks for your reply. Not wishing to labour the point about Sequential Hexagrams but feel I might have unintentionally given you an incorrect overview. They only really come into their own when you have a reading with three or more moving lines. With each moving line you modulate to a new hexagram, rather like a key-change in music, but the sequence always resolves in the original Zhi Gua. They provide a parallel counterpoint of meaning to the line-texts of the original hexagram, the Ben Gua.
The reason I gave an example containing only one Sequential Hexagram was for the sake of brevity and I can see that, taken in isolation, this does not provide a very clear description of their function; indeed to suddenly jump to just a single Sequential Hexagram from the Ben Gua could easily appear as somewhat odd, but it was used purely as an illustration.

In his book "The I Ching Handbook" Mondo Secter gives a very detailed description and example of their use. He calls them 'Transitional Hexagrams' and if you Click Here you should be able to access the relevant section (p.64). He articulates very lucidly on their application and how to compare the two parallel sequences of line-texts.

As I mentioned previously, all of these methods are best approached gradually,on a trial and error basis and I was rather hoping that you might actually try out this method a number of times before reaching a conclusion. However, if a particular technique simply makes no sense whatsoever then far be it for me to continue to advocate its use. I wish you all the best with your future exploration of the I Ching.

Peter
 
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heylise

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I think there are two different things discussed here. The interconnected lines have to do with fan yao and pairs. The sequential hexagrams like Peter describes them are the 'Steps of Change'.

Personally I never use the latter, but almost always the first. I think the fanyao and pair are part of the structure of the Yi. Even if you don't use them, they are there, in the lines and hexagrams that you cast.
The steps of change are "in between" the hexagrams, not part of the original ones. They are a road which you can follow from one to the other. But it is not the only road, there are several. If you start with the highest line instead of the lowest, you go along another road, which is not less a road between the two. It is your own choice which road you take. Like going from one city to another, you decide which other cities you pass. Travel over Paris when you go to Italy, or over Berlin? Or maybe fly...:rolleyes:

The fanyao cannot be changed, there is one single fan yao for every line. There is only one other hex in every pair. So there is a totally different feel to the two ways.
 

justin farrell

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However, if a particular technique simply makes no sense whatsoever then far be it for me to continue to advocate its use.
Hi Peter
Thanks for clarifying this technique further. Your first explanation should have been sufficient for me to understand had I given it a fair try out - which I have now done. I also followed the link that you provided which was really helpful.

I was very impressed with the results that I got when I did finally give it a go. And yes, it does make sense to me now - especially, as you say, on readings with more than three changing lines. I suppose this is why it is so important to keep an open mind about things. I certainly hope to make use of it in the future.

Thanks again for sharing the advice. It has been much appreciated. I am sorry that I misunderstood what you were originally saying. :bows:

Justin
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justin farrell

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Justin,

Curious, are you trying to integrate line relationships into a piece of software?
Hi Luis

Its not a project that I am working on specifically. Its early days for me in terms of exploring the interconnections between lines and hexagrams. I think Stephen Karchers Total Software would have some pretty good features in this regard. Interconnections are something that I am finding facinating though, so maybe it would be something for me to consider in the future.

Justin
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