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Introduction to Daeluin's methodologies for working with the Yi

Daeluin

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Greetings all, my name is Sebastian. I post here under the alias Daeluin and on the reddit I Ching board under the alias az4th.

It was brought to my attention that I may work in ways that are unfamiliar to some, and so a post illuminating such ways and works I use would be helpful to reference to from a link in my signature. So that is what this is.

My aim is to follow principle. I work with the principles of daoist cosmology, and Ni Hua Ching's work The Book of Changes and the Unchanging Truth has a very thorough introduction to how daoist cosmology unfolds from the root into what becomes the 8 trigrams and 64 hexagrams and on into the ten thousand things. From Chinese Medicine to Chinese Astrology to Internal Alchemy to Music and so on, we may find that these same principles are shared between all these systems and form a methodology that may be depended upon. The 8 trigrams and 64 hexagrams form a basis for understanding these principles.

Some choose to work with the original Zhou Yi text from the Zhou Dynasty before the work began to become the philosophical basis for principled Daoist and Confucian practices. I believe that is wonderful, however I do work from the philosophical perspective, and this has been part of the core of my studies, from the classics on Internal Alchemy to Tai Chi to Astrology.

As such, I find great benefit from some of the commentaries that work with the philosophy and principled structure of the lines. These works for me are:

The Taoist I Ching, a commentary written by Liu Yiming (Qing Dynasty, 1734–1821) and translated by Thomas Cleary. This may also be found in The Taoist Classics Volume Four, which includes the I Ching Mandalas. This main work includes translations of several of Liu Yiming's commentaries on the I Ching, and often takes the perspective of finding spiritual balance within the energetic principles of Internal Alchemy. As such it can be too much for some to work with comfortably, and the translation itself has received criticism for being hasty. Certain key translations, like essence for jing (vitality) as well as xing (nature) can lead to confusion if one is not aware of how to tell them apart from the context and so on. However it remains an excellent text for those seeking spiritual transformation that follows a spiritual master's deep comprehension of spiritual principle.

The Yi River Commentary on the Book of Changes, a commentary by Cheng Yi (Song Dynasty, 1033–1107) translated and edited by L. Michael Harrington. I find myself continuously surprised and enlightened by the depth of comprehension and insight into the principles of the Yi within this work. Sometimes where other translations and commentaries hint upon a concept, it may remain uncertain why for example there is no blame to be found within a certain action. Cheng Yi, via Harrington's careful and concise translation, gives a highly detailed commentary to work from for each line statement. I highly recommend this work for those seeking a most thorough commentary to work from and meditate on the implications of.

The Classic of Changes, a commentary by Wang Bi (Three Kingdoms, 226-249) translated by Richard John Lynn. Wang Bi shares a brilliant wisdom with us from a Daoist and Confucian perspective, and here we may find remnants of Eastern Han philosophy within his work. Given his age of death, yet important political roles and depth of wisdom, it seems likely he was exposed to very mature and highly developed philosophical concepts during his education. I particularly appreciate how his commentary frequently gives very clear attribution to the forces the lines exert upon each other, as this helps to comprehend why the line statements and interpretations suggest the things they do. This may be the oldest available commentary that is able to tap somewhat into the perspectives of the Han era philosophical school of thought on the Yi. Highly recommended.

The Astrology of I Ching, a work that includes partially translated commentary from the He Luo Li Shu work by Shao Yong (Song Dynasty, 1011–1077). This is a work designed to take a BaZi astrological chart and use it to derive a hexagram line that depicts the course of one's life and so forth. Translated by W. K. Chu, with editing and commentaries by W. A. Sherrill, this English version has poorly westernized calculations and somewhat incomplete or modified translations. However, I find great insight into the principles of the I Ching within the line commentaries as descriptions of people's trajectory through life. Sometimes the depth of these perspectives is able to offer quite an epiphany when it comes to understanding difficult principles. Not necessarily recommended but I do draw from it from time to time when I am looking for something more.

A Companion to Yi Jing Numerology and Cosmology, Chinese Studies of Images and Numbers from Han (202 BCE - 220 CE) to Song (960 - 1279 CE), by Brent Nielsen. This is an invauable resource for tapping into information on the many scholars and schools of thought during this extensive time period, for those interested in digging a little deeper. It reads more like an encyclopedia than a traditional book, but is full of information difficult to find in English. Especially related to intricate calendar systems and philosophical usage of numbers like those behind the calculations found in the yarrow stalks method.

Modern commentaries tend to lack a consistent grasp of principle when compared to these works, in my experience, but I do quite appreciate some of the perspectives that modern commentaries can lend to an image of change. There are some I use but I won't mention them here as they are typically much more conventional.

When it comes to translations, I like to work with the likes of Stephen L. Field, Richard Rutt, Lars Bo Christensen for the more historical/scholarly perspective, as well as any number of translations I might pull off the shelf.

I also learn quite a bit from the following work:

Forest of Changes, translated by Christopher Gait. This Jiaoshi Yilin is of uncertain exact attribution, but seems to be give or take 0 BC. Gait also provides some wonderful footnotes detailing historical accounts critical to deciphering the poems. When it comes to multiple changing lines, or unchanging hexagrams, it may become more challenging to interpret the reading. There are 4096 potential results for a divination, and this work shares a poem for each of them. These poems bring quite the illumination to work from, as we are reaching back yet further into the philosophical period, and certain patterns become clearly represented in terms of the nature of how the I Ching was used in this period.

This begins to get into how my methodology differs from modern conventional practices.

For example, the common interpretations for hexagram 1 or 2 unchanging, are simply of the heavenly yang energy, or of the receptive yin energy. But from a glimpse at the poems of hexagram 1 and 2 unchanging in the Forest of Changes, we see that hexagram 1 unchanging is depicted as a chaotic energy with no way through, and hexagram 2 is depicted as an open road that poses no obstacles to moving forward.

These are very clear and key principles that we may work from to understand how to work with the nature of changing lines.

I made a couple of posts about how I examined parts of the Great Commentary, the DaZhuan, to discover a concept of active and passive yin and yang. The idea is fairly simple, but opens things up quite a bit when it comes to interpretation. In our divination we get a 6 7 9 or 9 for each line.
  • 6 is active yin
  • 7 is inactive yang
  • 8 is inactive yin
  • 9 is active yang
The basic idea is that when yang is inactive, it is like concentrated strength, but that when it is active that strength begins emanate. And that when yin is inactive, it is gathered in upon itself, and when it is active, it opens up and becomes diffuse and receptive.

This further steps into the question regarding the probability of the yarrow stalks, as well as the notion of changing lines.

  • Why is there a lower probability for yin to change to yang within the yarrow stalk method than for yang to yange to yin?
  • When we get a 6 or a 9, does that indicate that the line is absolutely changing polarity, or is something else going on?
I find that both of these questions can be answered to my satisfaction in the same way. The second question becomes a more relevant issue when we consider that some line statements do not seem to be indicating the type of polarity shift that we would consider from strictly looking at a change that was considered to be absolute.

Take hexagram 24, line 1 - if we are given this line, a 9 for position 1, well that would indicate that this line is changing from yang to yin by modern convention. However, the line statement suggests a return from not far away. Cheng Yi explores this dynamic here, and the advice seems to be more calling to attention the need to return from an errant way back to the central way of things. This would suggest that the change indicated by a 6 or a 9 is not absolute but is active and at the mercy of the proclivities of the type of change described by the hexagram. Indeed if we continue to explore the many lines we can see this type of advice very clearly, and all manner of deepening of understanding is offered for us to gain insight on.

So if we are working with this idea of changes that become active but do not necessarily change, then what of unchanging divinations?

Here we might work with the above principle and declare that these lines are all in their passive, inactive states, and thus offer a different type of interpretation.

In both cases the Forest of Changes gives ample support to this theory. For hexagram 24 line 1, changing to hexagram 2, we get a reading that indicates someone who is unable to reverse the folly of their ways, very much at odds with the conventional interpretation of the line statement of being able to return from not far away:

Reason cannot overcome emotion,
And the desire for selfish plotting.
Greedily seeking profits produces danger,
Breaking horns, breaking necks.


For unchanging 2 we have all the yin lines in their inactive state, and we are given this reading:

No wind, no rain,
Bright daylight.
A good day to go riding,
Galloping down the wide road.


It is the image of a hard packed road that poses no obstacle to forward moving. Whereas if all the yin lines were open and actively changing to yang, we might predict some element of active receptivity. 2 changing to 1:

The northeast wind blows,
And myriad living things awake.
The east wind brings them to maturity,
And the leaves and flowers spread forth.


And so there is an element of fertility to be found here within active/open yin.

For hexagram 1 unchanging, we might expect to see the effect of a type of energy that is all condensed and concentrated upon itself, but what does that mean for a reading?

The road ascends the stony cliffs,
The Hu people's language is just as rugged.
The interpreters seem deaf and mute,
There is no translating it.
Seeking an audience but it is not granted,
Seeking accomplishments but not acquiring merit.


A bit chaotic. Without this perspective of inactive and active lines, it doesn't make sense. With this perspective, it does. For all yang lines active and changing to yin, we might expect to see something a bit extreme. 1 changing to 2:

Courting disaster and inviting trouble,
Fury descends on our country like poisonous stingers.
My arms and legs hurt,
I cannot sleep.


And indeed we do.

The pattern fits, but only from the perspective of active and passive states of change.

Now that we have explored the idea of active and passive states of change, we can reflect a bit more on how active and passive yang and yin are different.

For me the simplest and clearest example is one of fertility. Yang fertility involves projection, penetration, thrusting forth, and then it is spent, done, and it retires. Yin fertility involves opening, receiving, growing, incubating, birthing. It is not always ready to receive and takes time to transform yin into yang, where yang is ready to spend itself again and again.

Thus we may see that active yang transforming to yin is like energy being used to change something. I walk all day and become tired. I unleash a burst of emotion and cause a chain of events. And yin transforming to yang is our taking in of something enough that it begins to create a phase that relates to a new strength or activity or life.

It is clear there are many ways that yang may change to yin, and yin change to yang, and there are all explored within the I Ching.

In any case I haven't got it all figured out, but here is where I am and this is the type of reflection I do.

Hopefully this post is able to serve as an explanation of my process and methodology and an introduction to the works I learn the most from. Thanks for reading, and blessings to your change.
 
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Thomas6

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As for the usage of "Forest of Changes"we can translate the Fuxi's trigrams to King Wen's.
☱☰☴
☲X☵
☳☷☶
This is the so-called Fuxi's trigrams diagram.

☴☲☷
☳X☱
☶☵☰
This is the so-called King Wen's trigrams diagram. For example,
☰ mapped to ☲,
☴ mapped to ☷,
☶ mapped to ☰ and so on.

Actually, ䷀ in Iqing is mapped to ䷝ in Forest of Changes.
So ䷀ in Forest of Changes mapped to ䷳ in Iqing.
䷁ in Forest of Changes mapped to ䷸ in Iqing.

Conclusion: Foxi's and King Wen's trigram digrams may be created in a same era.
 

Daeluin

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As for the usage of "Forest of Changes"we can translate the Fuxi's trigrams to King Wen's.
What is there to tell us to do so?

Forest of Changes is Han.
The Xian Tian Tu originated in Song.

Why would a Han era manuscript need to be translated to a much later Song arrangement of the hexagrams?

Even if the Xian Tian Tu does indeed come from the Shougua and all records of such a diagram were destroyed until it was recreated by Shao Yong, why would we translate the Forest of Changes to a new sequence? Is there something that tells us it was intended to be interpreted this way?

The hexagrams in the Jiaoshi Yilin are not given as numbers, but as their names. Why would:
乾之:乾:道陟石阪,胡言連蹇。譯瘖且聾,莫使道通。請謁不行,求事無功。
refer to a hexagram other than 乾 ?
 

Thomas6

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乾之:乾:道陟石阪,胡言連蹇。譯瘖且聾,莫使道通。請謁不行,求事無功。
Is it the representation of 乾? So, you need to throw all the book about original Iqing. "道陟石阪" should be translated as "climbing on steep slopes"and"請謁不行" should be translated as "cannot to meet somebody" simply
 
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Thomas6

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離之離:時乘六龍,為帝使東。達命宣旨,無所不通。
So, Your 離 represent "driving six dragons"? "時乘六龍" is a original text for 乾 in Iqing.
 
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Thomas6

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甲子甲午坤乾見,乙丑乙未嗑井連.
丙寅丙申家人解,丁卯丁酉損咸先.
戊辰戊戌履謙是,己巳己亥壯觀焉.
庚午庚子恆益在,辛未辛丑訟夷聯.
壬申壬寅師同出,癸酉癸卯漸妹添.
甲戌甲辰蹇睽到,乙亥乙巳晉需天.
丙子丙午頤大過,丁丑丁未隨蛊堅.
戊寅戊申豐渙好,己卯己酉節旅田.
庚辰庚戌泰否卦,辛巳辛亥有比連.
壬午壬子巽震會,癸未癸丑困贲前.
甲申甲寅未既濟,乙酉乙卯遁臨錢.
丙戌丙辰艮兌現,丁亥丁巳豫畜眠.
戊子戊午屯鼎內,已丑己未妄升天.
庚寅庚申離坎聚,辛卯辛酉孚過先.
壬辰壬戌大畜萃,癸巳癸亥訣剝前.

Do you know how hexagrams mapped to the Chinese Ganzhis(干支)? As you see above. The period it emerged in is Ziue/Dang(隋、唐) dynasty roughly.
According to the formula above, it can be reduced to:
甲子䷁䷗ 丙子䷚ 戊子䷂ 庚子䷩ 壬子䷲ 乙丑䷔ 丁丑䷐ 己丑䷘ 辛丑䷣ 癸丑䷕ 甲寅䷾ 丙寅䷤ 戊寅䷶ 庚寅䷝䷰ 壬寅䷌ 乙卯䷒ 丁卯䷨...辛巳䷍ 癸巳䷪ 甲午䷀䷫ 丙午䷛ 戊午䷱ 庚午䷟ 壬午䷸ 乙未䷯ 丁未䷑ 己未䷭ 辛未䷅ 癸未䷮...
it just likes your Xiantian diagram. No need any diagram of Shao Yong(邵雍).
 
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Daeluin

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Do you know how hexagrams mapped to the Chinese Ganzhis(干支)? As you see above. The period it emerged in is Ziue/Dang(隋、唐) dynasty roughly.
This is very interesting.

According to the formula above, it can be reduced to:
甲子䷁䷗ 丙子䷚ 戊子䷂ 庚子䷩ 壬子䷲ 乙丑䷔ 丁丑䷐ 己丑䷘ 辛丑䷣ 癸丑䷕ 甲寅䷾ 丙寅䷤ 戊寅䷶ 庚寅䷝䷰ 壬寅䷌ 乙卯䷒ 丁卯䷨...辛巳䷍ 癸巳䷪ 甲午䷀䷫ 丙午䷛ 戊午䷱ 庚午䷟ 壬午䷸ 乙未䷯ 丁未䷑ 己未䷭ 辛未䷅ 癸未䷮...
it just likes your Xiantian diagram. No need any diagram of Shao Yong(邵雍).
I saw in Ni Hua Ching's The Book of Changes and the Unchanging Truth there were some diagrams of the GanZhi's, one of which matched this pattern more or less:

PXL_20220515_213546754.png

So I updated this chart to include the hexagrams:

ganzhi-yijing-web.png
I created it as an svg file, which is zoomable to any scale. But this website doesn't support/allow svg.

Very very interesting that the 'xiantian' pattern is revealed like this pre Shao Yong's work.

I'm curious where this sequence / poem comes from. I like it and will study more.
 
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Daeluin

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離之離:時乘六龍,為帝使東。達命宣旨,無所不通。
So, Your 離 represent "driving six dragons"? "時乘六龍" is a original text for 乾 in Iqing.

Yes this text from hexagram 1 appears in the Forest's hexagram 30 unchanging.

And yes, I can indeed see Li as responsible for driving the 6 yang dragons of heaven - much as in the concept of the big bang. Or in the nature of the 'firing process' to arrive at completion of refinement of yang.

What I sense here is the concept of the xian tian energies coming through into hou tian.

I'm still exploring, will post more as I find greater clarity.
 

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What I sense here is the concept of the xian tian energies coming through into hou tian.
I think it is just a brilliant idea for preventing someone to read it. So, after two thousand years, 乾 in Forest of Changes still represent "rock slopes" but have not any other views.
 
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Thomas6

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I'm still exploring, will post more as I find greater clarity.
I think that any books of changes is cannot translated from chinese. I have a divination that:
What 's the result about I try my best to beat Bruce Lee(李小龍)?
I get a 乾.
No matter what the result is. 乾 represent 龍. but 龍 is not equal to Bruce.
 

Daeluin

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I think that any books of changes is cannot translated from chinese.
And yet hexagrams are their own language, and a language of interconnected principles.

So they may be reasoned out, just as any have done before.

I am not Chinese and have discovered much. Clearly I am limited by much as well. And still something carries over.

In the west I see most people stumble over this concept, and even in attempting to describe the phenomena we fumble. But it is when we are finally able to come to a place looking at how all is connected and connecting within change that we become able to see the forest within the trees.

People are more likely to get what their western minds find within it, but some do learn to see between the lines.

I think it is just a brilliant idea for preventing someone to read it.
I have read that some ideas became threatening to the state, so were destroyed or manipulated or replaced. This would indeed be a brilliant way of hiding a poignant secret. Perhaps if the Fu Xi diagram did exist prior to Shao Yong then it was kept alive in this way. Clearly there is something beneath the surface here.

So, after two thousand years, 乾 in Forest of Changes still represent "rock slopes" but have not any other views.

And yet it is 52 unchanging in Forest that speaks about the stillness represented by the mountain hexagram.
 

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And yet it is 52 unchanging in Forest that speaks about the stillness represented by the mountain hexagram.

艮之:
艮:君孤獨處(chu),單弱无輔(fu),名曰困苦(ku)。
It is "艮之艮" in Forest of Changes by Song(宋) dynasty and Yuan(元) dynasty.
add "輔心湧泉,碌碌如山" at the end of the sentence by Ming(明) dynasty.
But actually, 泉 and 山(mountain) are not rhyme in ancient Chinese language.
 
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Daeluin

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@Thomas6 So far in my readings, it is always the original sequence and not the decoded one that reveals meaning to me. Sometimes it is confusing, but it can be worked out according to my methods of determining whether or not the line should actually be allowed to change. Doing the same with the decoded version does not meet with the same uncanny resonance, though I cannot discount that there may be another way of working with that correlation. I just am working with the one that actually leads to clarity.
 

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