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Is The I Ching Often Wrong or Misleading?

cssslw

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Hello, friends:
I am interested in your opinions about I Ching accuracy. I have found that the I Ching is seldom correct when asked for advice about a future event or present situation. In fact, its usually not even remotely close. I know apologists will say that it was really answering another question than what I asked, or perhaps, I simply didn't like the response I was given. Those answers are a cop-out. I've checked the I Ching replies against many different translations, and I've really applied critical thinking, and either the I Ching purposely misleads, or is far too cryptic for modern use, or is, as I have noted, just plain wrong most of the time. Being careful to avoid confirmation bias, what is your assessment, as to why the I Ching is still so popular despite its poor efficacy. Thank you very much.
 

lindsay

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Csslw, yours is an important question - or rather two questions: (1) Is the Yi an accurate source of information? and (2) if it isn't, why do people continue to use it?

It's hard to talk about this issue abstractly, because everyone's experience is different. Can you offer us a specific example or two where the Yi has let you down?
 

ewald

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In my experience, the Yi is usually correct when I ask it to clarify my current situation (which is what I usually do). I even have the impression that I'm getting what I most need from it every time.
But then, I'm using my own translation of it. ;)

I have little faith in asking the Yi about the future, though. But the few times I did, it was correct.
 

Trojina

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Hello, friends:
. Being careful to avoid confirmation bias, what is your assessment, as to why the I Ching is still so popular despite its poor efficacy. Thank you very much.

Well I think the answer lies with you. Why are you still asking this question ? If your decision is made why concern yourself with why others use it ? Sounds like a roundabout way of asking us to convince you that it works. Why do you want convincing ? Why not just write it off ?

I'm doubtful of your use of the term 'cop out' . Cop out of what ? Of answering you in a way that satisfies you ? Sorry feel no obligation to explain myself. :)

BTW in an old archive somewhere I recently read there was some kind of conference Hilary was doing, readings by phone in a group or something and because she couldn't do everyone she asked Yi whose readings she should take. She said she was surprised how often the Yi said it was a bad idea to do a reading for that person.

(Apologies if I got this wrong Hilary, but i did read it through to check, now I can't find it - it did seem strange)

Anyway maybe consulting the Yi isn't a good idea for everyone. If its not working for you don't use it, try something else.

BTW your questions assumes agreement of the poor efficacy of the Yi, I wonder if you might have come to the wrong place - I mean if we thought it was so useless we wouldn't be consulting it and talking about it - would we ?
 
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crystal_blue

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Hi, Cssslw.
- :)

Being careful to avoid confirmation bias, what is your assessment, as to why the I Ching is still so popular despite its poor efficacy.

It gives people an abstract system to think about, a way to compartmentalise their experiences and place them in a context; for some people, the more contradictions there are, the more one is compelled to resolve said contradictions.
 

Tohpol

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Hello, friends:
I am interested in your opinions about I Ching accuracy. I have found that the I Ching is seldom correct when asked for advice about a future event or present situation. In fact, its usually not even remotely close. I know apologists will say that it was really answering another question than what I asked, or perhaps, I simply didn't like the response I was given. Those answers are a cop-out. I've checked the I Ching replies against many different translations, and I've really applied critical thinking, and either the I Ching purposely misleads, or is far too cryptic for modern use, or is, as I have noted, just plain wrong most of the time. Being careful to avoid confirmation bias, what is your assessment, as to why the I Ching is still so popular despite its poor efficacy. Thank you very much.


The future is about possibilities, so asking the IC what the future holds on some issues, I suspect is trying to force reality into one possibility when this is not the natural order of things. The IC doesn't work that way. It could be said to be holographic, holistic, timeless, non-linear and fluid - just like reality, if we could but build enough awareness to experience it.

For example, if I asked: "Will I win the lottery next week?" For me, this is very materialistic question if the intention is soley for my own benefit. The IC may well reflect that intent with an answer that can thus stimulate reflection. Or, if I was asking in order to seek funds to benefit others, with an intent that was altruistic, then the IC may well be more "accurate" based on the current possibilities of the moment. The latter intent is more in keeping with the principles of the IC: knowledge that is shared and inclusive stimulating growth and creativity.

So, maybe it can only give you probabilities based on the current mental, emotional intent that to a degree creates certain reality pathways. (This is why pop prediction is never reliable because reality is fluid ). Our choices based around our own inner knowledge in conjunction with the tried and tested wisdom distilled into the IC can guide us in directions that can be for our highest good. That isn't always pleasant however. It also requires that we learn from the past and do the work. Then the relationship with the IC, like most most systems of genuine knowledge, suddenly becomes alive; there is a connection like a light switch being turned on.

Topal
 
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bruce_g

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Yi is always spot on. Sometimes I'm just too dimwitted to get it.
 

Sparhawk

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I'm with Lindsay, when he says "It's hard to talk about this issue abstractly, because everyone's experience is different"; and with Bruce above.

IMO, I'm afraid that what you describe is a disconnection between the querent and the oracle. Both Steve Marshall and Allan Lian have recently written about the Yi "talking to you" or the absence of a dialogue thereof. Personally, I like Allan's take. Steve Marshall is perhaps more pragmatic about it but I do not disagree with him. In Allan's archive look for the obvious entries...

My personal belief is that there must be a strong and yet subtle connection between the Yi and the querent, otherwise, even if it is in a Western translation (or a hundred of them) what you receive from the oracle is gibberish akin to a dead and long forgotten language. You may be able to learn that language but most deem the task too daunting and unworthy of the effort.

Luis
 

rosada

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I think we've all had those experiences where we could make no sence of the responce, or the actual outcome was totally different from what we thought the I Ching had predicted. We just haven't had that happen so often that it's caused us to doubt the value of consulting the oracle. Obviously Csslw is at the exterme end of the curve. Perhaps the answer lies within you, Csslw, perhaps you should ask yourself, "Why am I still drawn to this book, even when I don't get 'results?'" Perhaps as you notice what results you do get, and recognize that said results are of value to you on some level, then you will open a door for greater awareness of the benefit you are getting. Perhaps at this point the only benefit you are getting from consulting the I Ching is that for a small amount of time you have calmed your mind, have been able to let go and let God as they say. Perhaps this tiny moment of time out is letting a new perspective take place in your thinking - even if it doesn't come from the words you read on the page. Only you can say why you continue to consult the I Ching even though you feel dissatisfied with the answers you receive. One could likewise ask, "Why is prayer so popular despite its poor efficacy?" Probably because people feel better when they pray, even if God doesn't grant them their wishes. Likewise, note if you feel better when you consult the I Ching. If you do, honor that, even if you don't understand the words. If however you don't feel better, well then, don't do it. Take up crossword puzzels or jogging. Whatever floats your boat.
 

nicky_p

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Hi cssslw,

Lindsay has suggested that you actually asking 2 questions with this but I'm not sure? Are you critiquing the IC on it's fortune-predicting ability or the advice that you're being given? I think Topal has given a very good answer on the prediction side of the argument but I've sometimes wondered at whether the 'advice' I've been given is reliable - whether the outcome of this advice is what I see as good for me or what someone or something with higher intelligance/foresight/benevolence etc deems is good for me. If things always run smoothly how am I ever going to learn anything about myself or about other people or about the world in general? I've found that a quick fix seldom satisfies so while there's a base part of me wanting this situation to be sorted now, stamping it's feet like a spoilt little child, it might not be that this is the best possible outcome.

Just a thought
Nicky
 

Sparhawk

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BTW, let's state the obvious: nothing last for 3000 years and more, accumulates more literature and commentary than any other classic-- with the exception, perhaps, of the Bible--, have cemented dynasties, etc., by being "wrong"... :D

L
 

cssslw

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I Ching Efficacy

Hi, folks:
Other than Trojan's hostility, I appreciate very much people taking the time to express themselves. Your points are well taken. Why am I still drawn to the I Ching despite not yet receiving accurate or helpful answers? I think, because I want to experience the spiritual guidence and peace of mind I read many of you reporting with the I Ching. I am very open to the I Ching's tradition and wisdom, I just wish it were more open to me.
 

cssslw

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I Ching Methods

Hi, again:
I just thought of something. I have only consulted the I Ching via the internet-on this site. Perhaps, this is not how it should be done, and I might get better results if I actually toss the reading, or have Hilliary do it?
 

Sparhawk

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Hi, again:
I just thought of something. I have only consulted the I Ching via the internet-on this site. Perhaps, this is not how it should be done, and I might get better results if I actually toss the reading, or have Hilliary do it?

LOL! No wonder... Please, get up close and personal with the Yi. Although not necessary, get some old Chinese coins and consult the Yi until your palms are stained with copper. It may not work but I hear copper is good for arthritis... :D

L
 

pargenton

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computerized reading can be too fast

I agree with sparkhawk

computerized reading can give instant answers;
I would not suggest them for a beginner, one of the keys, at least IMHO, is letting the mind settle down and thoughts slow down; So at least in the beginning I suggest to follow a ritual (burn incense, sit down 5 minutes thinking about the question, take a cup of tea, walking meditation, whatever works for you).
And then consult Yi with coins, and allow yourself time to understand the answer.


Bashir
 

Trojina

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Then again it is common that if one asks the same question over and over, especially re relationships, one can get hopelessly confused.

Looks like you started 4 or 5 threads here about the same relationship - well nothing wrong with that in itself but it would have made you only more confused. I'm guessing the advice you had on all these threads is what you think was wrong ?

Well people don't check previous threads they just respond to the cast you come up with so if its a traditionally'good' one someone will say what a great relationship you are going to have etc etc even though previous readings on the same topic might have advised something else altogether.

If thats why you think the I ching was wrong, because something didn't work out and someone here said it would - then thats not alot to do with the efficacy of the Yi - repeated questioning on same topic eventually just gives confusion.
 

Tohpol

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BTW, let's state the obvious: nothing last for 3000 years and more, accumulates more literature and commentary than any other classic-- with the exception, perhaps, of the Bible--, have cemented dynasties, etc., by being "wrong"... :D
L


The IC is way ahead of the Bible on that score, the latter being gradually corrupted to leave largely the most hateful propaganda, distortions and gibberish used for nothing more than mass control.

The IC on the other hand would make a wonderful replacement. I wonder what the world would have been like if The Book of Changes had been the front runner to influence humanity...

Topal
 

Tohpol

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...repeated questioning on same topic eventually just gives confusion.

Yes. And this is somewhat linked to the concept of free-will. I think IC is VERY big on free-will. For this reason again, there are only choices and so it can only suggest possible outcomes rather than give neat little black and white answers that would actually prevent us making an informed decision. If we seek answers that make us feel better but take us away from own ability to find truth then we need only go to a psychic.

Personally, I haven't found "peace of mind" with the IC - quite the opposite. It's made me work and dig deep.

Topal
 

crystal_blue

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The IC is way ahead of the Bible on that score, the latter being gradually corrupted to leave largely the most hateful propaganda, distortions and gibberish used for nothing more than mass control.

The IC on the other hand would make a wonderful replacement. I wonder what the world would have been like if The Book of Changes had been the front runner to influence humanity...

Then the IC would have been corrupted instead.
- ;)
 

bradford

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Hello, friends:
I am interested in your opinions about I Ching accuracy. I have found that the I Ching is seldom correct when asked for advice about a future event or present situation..

That's a fun question, but I need to turn it around and ask you:
How accurate is your understanding of what the Yijing is actually saying?
And how well do you understand that the Yi might not be about prediction?
Are you basing your readings on the Chinese text? Or a single translation?
Are you looking at new age gimmick books?
You can follow this forum for a while and see pretty clearly that different folks,
all with years of experience with the oracle, might have wildly different and even
diametrically opposed interpretations of a particular line.
 

rosada

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Is the I Ching Often Wrong or Misleading?

What a fabulous question!!!!

"Is the I Ching Often Wrong or Misleading?"

Certainly, if it is alive, the I Ching has a different and unique connection with everyone It speaks to. It stands to reason that those who would regulrly post on this site would have a high degree of feeling connected to the IC, but of course the I Ching can have relationships that are not so ..hmm..fully committed, shall we say? Anyway, from now on I intend to encourage everyone who consults the I Ching to begin by first asking the I Ching to reveal itself - to confide the rules of this road so to speak.

I asked the I Ching for myself, "Is the I Ching Often Wrong or Misleading?
I received: 1.1.5.6.>32.

...Guess I'll stay around a little longer.
 
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cssslw

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Rosada, Bradford, you make excellent points-very thought provoking. Trojan, thank you for your insightful comments. I don't think asking about a relationship over a long linear period of time should excuse consistantly poor, or wrong advice from the I Ching. If I inquire of a calculator the answer to a math problem, its not going to pick and choose if its going to give me a purposely misleading response. If the I Ching is truly an oracle it will give an accurate reply. If an all-knowing I Ching it gives incorrect and/or misleaing advice to a mere mortal looking for help, than that would make it less than ethical.
 
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bruce_g

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Hi Christopher,

Yijing is a little more complex than a calculator. Calculator logic is linear, Yijing logic is circular, or at least in part. It's like comparing a Rubik's Cube to the order of planetary systems or microbiology. The universe isn't symmetrical.

However, as Brad pointed out, there is an order to the Yi, but that takes investment on the user's part to learn the fundamental dynamics within that order. Still, it will never be as simple as painting by numbers. Cognition requires the use of imagination/intuition as well as logic.

Probably more than anything, Yijing requires willingness to adjust your perspective on the matter in question. One thing I've never known the Yi to do is pander to my whims or weakness.
 

Trojina

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Rosada, Bradford, you make excellent points-very thought provoking. Trojan, thank you for your insightful comments. I don't think asking about a relationship over a long linear period of time should excuse consistantly poor, or wrong advice from the I Ching. If I inquire of a calculator the answer to a math problem, its not going to pick and choose if its going to give me a purposely misleading response. If the I Ching is truly an oracle it will give an accurate reply. If an all-knowing I Ching it gives incorrect and/or misleaing advice to a mere mortal looking for help, than that would make it less than ethical.

You speak as if the I Ching were a recalcitrant school child or an under performing employee - as if it better damn well justify its poor efforts so far :rofl: . Its about as far from a calculator as its possible to get, (do calculators have their own discussion forums ??) - and while it serves us it isn't some dumb servant duty bound to please

If you still want to communicate with it then I think you may need to reconsider what it is.

Hopefully the posts here have provoked your thoughts as you said they did ? Have they ?

Do you still think the Yi is like a calculator ?
 
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Trojina

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Of course I think its common in the course of getting acquainted with the Yi to feel exasperation with it sometimes, I know I have and sometimes still do. But if you are still engaging with it you'll possibly end up having a long and fruitful relationship with it - :D - the point is it is a relationship IMO. I never had a relationship with a calculator .

Perhaps you have always asked questions that are very close to your heart so you cannot clearly discern between what you want and hope and what the Yi is saying. If you continue it might help if you try asking about things that have less importance for you and see how that turns out - just as a learning experience ?
 

cssslw

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Trojan:
Thank you for your comments, and I'm sorry for being curt with you before. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to offer positive ideas for me to ponder. I am still drawn to the I Ching. Perhaps, because as a future physician, I'm very result centered. In medicine, treatment needs to be consistent and repeatable. Cures can't be fickle-working sometimes, and not others. I just wonder if the I Ching "decides" to give accurate, helpful answers sometimes, but not others- and if so why? Is the I Ching arbitrary, or ethically motivated? There's nothing I'd like better than for the I Ching to be understandable and dependable. I'll take your advice and keep trying. Thanks, again.
 

rosada

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Another suggestion for getting into the I Ching, cssslw: I've been trying to relate the hexagram lines as we discuss them over on the Memorizing thread to events in my life each day. That is, I watch each day for some example of the line to emerge. At first it was a stretch to make connections, now I see them easily. It's made my life much more interesting and I think I'm getting more out of the I Ching studying it this way than from asking it questions. Kinda like sitting back and letting the Master show you what he wants you to know, rather than bombarding him with questions about things you think are important which may not be "important" at all.
 

mudpie

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FWIW, I think it is jack Balkin, author of Laws of Change, who writes in his introduction something to the effect that, in his opinion, the I Ching is not an all-wise Seer,Divine Other, generating perfectly accurate responses to our questions.........Instead, it generates a random response , the value of which is only ascertained when we allow it to ignite our own intuitive connection to the response. This works for me although I dont see responses as "random" so much , but rather as being intimately connected to us -our question/our psyche-soul - at a given moment in time.

I feel the most impassioned (and talented) I Ching readers/users tend to think in imagery, and have a comfort level in navigating through the realm of images, and making connections between sub-conscious and conscious mind.

One might liken the Yi response to night-time dreams. Very often we can make no sense of them, and yet if you become willing, open, and diligent to exploring your dreams, you find that the images start to make sense, and to convey messages which are 100% right-on to what you need to know/do/understand.

After using the Yi for a period of time, you start to develop a "short-hand" with it, a rich caldron of imagery connected to each hex/line. BUt I must say, right from the start, it started talking to me with amazing efficacy
 

Trojina

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No need to apologise Csssiw, i think you were only being curt in response to my curtness in the beginning anyway :)
 

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