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Karcher's Total I Ching - Myths for change, questions

antonioacuna

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Hi,

I am new at this, so I felt I should go ahead and start up by commenting on this book I just got, and also ask a question.

I have other books by Karcher's, most of them very good, although I think too pregnant with info (his I Ching classic can be hard to stomach with so many possible meanings and correlations) nonetheless I have read this new book and found it very nice, yet I am lost in several issues, if anyone here has the book and can clarify them, I will be grateful.

Issue 1- The book is not clear in instructions, it brings about a series of devices (mirror hexagram, nodes, etc) yet it fails to explain how to obtain them or clearly how they come about. A very specific notation system is used (i.e. 40:41 6:7...) yet no explanation of how to read this clearly is given, anyone knows about it that can bring some light to it for me?

Issue 2 - In hexagram 40 (which is also used as an example in the book) the first changing line is stated as initial nine, yet the initial line of hexagram 40 is a six!, any ideas on this?

Antonio
 

hilary

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Hi Antonio,

Things may - or may not
- get clearer for you if you have a look at this thread where Karcher demonstrates some of his 'pair' ideas in action. Since I do find myself wishing he'd 'shown his workings' more and given more examples in the book, this is a help!

Issue 1 - does '40:41' actually appear anywhere? If it does, I don't know what this means. If it doesn't, I think this is just his way of referring to pairs of hexagrams (eg 41:42). The idea is that you don't so much receive Hexagram 41 as you receive the 41 aspect of 41:42. (And likewise you receive the 41 line 1 aspect of 41,1/42,6, for instance.) I think.

Issue 2 - It's a mistake. Like printing #45 in the place of #16 in my I Ching with Concordance was a mistake. Do you suppose there is a living to be made as an I Ching specialist proofreader? There's obviously a gap in the market...
 
S

stephen

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A response to Pedro (from previous thread)

Dear Pedro:

You say: ? I don?t see the connected line as relevant to the question (even because the meaning can be quite opposed, say, 24.1 and 23.6).

Well, I do not see 23.6, the ripe fruit uneaten and the Junzi?s cart to carry it away as opposed to 24.1 and the return to the way after the experience of death (not distancing the return). Rather I would see the ripe fruit as the fruit of the whole process of stripping the corpse of the old, a fruit that is carried into manifestation as a return to the Way. Notice that the ?mediating? figure is 2, the Dark Animal Goddess and the great Field of earth. The fruit of the experience of being stripped is ?planted? in the earth of the Valley Spirit. This is ?not distancing the return,? and it is how the inspiration, the ripe fruit of the painful experience, can manifest. I think this is an example of how working with the matrix of the Pairs and the mediating figures often challenges our ideas of what may seem opposed and encourages us to see ways in which the Primal Powers, present in every pair, can be held in one thought. ?One yin, one yang, that is the Way.? Hold the two in one thought and there is an epiphany. To me, that epiphany, the sudden arrival of shen, or ?bright spirit,? is what an omen is all about.

You also say that I said the ?before-in-sequence hexagram represents what is NOT relevant.?

No, if anything, I said what I call the Shadow Site represents a counterforce, a drag that will seek to interfere with the movement of the basic images, a sort of trap. I think what you call the before-in-sequence hexagram is the ?inspiring? side of a Pair. What I am trying to do here is to get you to ALWAYS think of any hexagram as ?paired,? that no hexagram exists without its pair. So you would START with the Pair:

23:24 Stripping the Corpse and Return of the Spirit
Stripping means something is rotten. Returning means the way is reversing.

The Pair or Paradigm is a model of thought and action that holds inspiration and manifestation, yang and yin, in a single effective image elaborated in the transforming lines of the figures and their interconnected omens. This is stripping away the old and a reversal and renewal of the time. It embodies a site of radical transformation at the limits of the world, a paradigm of passing through the Tiger?s Mouth to the primal power of Earth, an experience of death and re-birth. Carefully consider your place in and relation to this model. Hidden Possibilities: 2, the primal power of realization.

Let your thinking BEGIN with the interconnection, and feel out how it works in the specific situation, aided by the crossline omens and their mediating figures. It is not ?a step one should have done already,? as you say, but an image of the continual interaction of the two powers, here portrayed through one of their many sets of interlocking qualities, ?inspiration,? the inner image given by the Dragon (1), and ?manifestation,? the realizing power given by the Dark Animal Goddess (2). Everything we know or experience is a product of the interaction of these two primal powers, the ?two-leafed gate of Change.?

Best wishes

Stephen
 
S

stephen

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Dear Antonio

I am really sorry not to have been able to include more examples. A sort of workbook or study guide is in process, but if you work through the Layout with any reading you have, (do this by hand ten times, the astrologers say, and you will know how to erect a chart) I do think it comes clear in the end. Have patience and read carefully. This is difficult and challenging stuff, in its way, and it asks us to think in a new fashion. The point is to begin to see how the ?numbers? are carrying some real significance with them. I always use this method with one eye on the ?myth-images? of the figures that are being arranged by the numbers.

The series of numbers you refer to comes at the bottom of every Pair/Paradigm section as a sort of shorthand for the explanation set out in the second paragraph of the section. It is a quick guide to seeing the ?mediating pairs? or karmic nodes involved, arranged in numerical order so that you might use them to take a look at relevant ages and see where they ?cluster? (or don?t). Once you pick up the ideas and the mythic images associated with the action of the Pairs, this can save you a lot of pencil work.

The notation is what I, and a lot of others, I think, use to record a reading:

41, 9/1, 9/6 > 8 simply means hex 42, with changing lines at the first (9/1) and the sixth (9/6) places produces (>) hex 8 as Relating Figure. The sign (>) simply means leads to or produces. In the example you give I use it to indicate a crossline omen: 41.1 > 42.6 means the line 41.1 ?crosses or interacts? with the line 42.6 of its partner in the pair. I suppose the real indication would be (), for it is an interaction, constantly moving back and forth diagonally across the inner matrix of the Pair, but that would be even worse, neh?

Best wishes

Stephen
 

antonioacuna

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Dear Stephen,

Thanks for your reply, I Have enjoyed your books for a while now, and they take a place of prominence on the I Ching corner of my bookshelf, admittedly, your work is very scholarly, and it takes a while to click on some of the ideas, but they are profound (specially your Classic I Ching).

After I placed the post I went back and re-read and began to understand. I still don't get pages 62 and 63 (thresholds ,centers, etc), at least I don't get yet what you try to communicate on those pages, I do get the point of the lines (1-6) being inner, outer, etc, but not where exactly you want to take it to in these pages. Thanks for the clarification, they make a huge difference, I posted a message in another section of the site, including some of the things I felt were missing or got me lost. Like how to read the decades from the nomenclature you use in the paradigms page, but I guess I will get there...many thanks again, a workbook is in progress?! that would be nice :)
 
S

stephen

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Hi Antonio

This means that at certain points the lines of a pair create two of the symmetrical figures (1:2, 27:28, 29:30, 61:62) as Mediating figures. This "irregularity" can occur across the inner matrix at lines 1:6 6:1, 2:5 5:2, or 3:4 4:3 - inj other words, at limits (1 and 6, the very limits of the world), as an exchange between the inner and outer centers (2 and 5), or at the threshold of manifestation, the "human world" represented by line 3 and 4. To me, when one of these irregularities occurs, it means our "material," the problem we are asking about, is being pulled back and through an interchange between two of the great transformative sites in the psyche. The pages you refer to try to describe how we might imagine these "zones of local transformation." In any case, they indicate that there is the possibility of radical change and renewal in the situation you are confronting.

best wishes

Stephen
 

anita

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Dear Mr. Karcher

Since we're on the subject of hex 23 line 6, I would really appreciate your insight on 23 line 6 changing to 2. This is the answer I received to the future of a relationship. I have not seen him now for 9 months but we're still in touch and still very much committed to each other.

To me it seems like the bad times are over (23-6)and to to make the future bright I need to allow him to lead and be devoted. It also seems to me that the 'fruit' is a result of the good seeds planted in the past of the relationship. And because I have been 'correct' -- faithful, there will be success. Is that right?

Much thanks

Anita
 
S

stephen

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Hello Anita

I mostly prefer to do consultations in person, so I can feel the physical presence of the person asking and we can set up some sort of a field between us. But I would offer this: to me, 23.6 is connected with 24.1: the ripe fruit carried away from the stripping of the corpse of the old life or old relationship leads to a return to and of the Way. It is carried by the Junzi, the ideal of the Realizing Person. Your continuing involvement suggests that you are not keeping this return at a distance - you are taking it to heart. Whatever the old relationship was, it has passed through the Tiger's Mouth, where the corruption has been eaten away, and is now planted in the fertile field of the Dark Animal Goddess. I do not feel that you have to be receptive to him, necessarily, as you both have to be open to whatever comes out of the new field opened between you. "First you lose the Way, then you find it." And "It is advantageous to find a Lord," that is, a real, new ruling principle that would guide you both. But have no fear - it will emerge. "Trial: you are safe and secure." If you want to look at some of the things that were/are being stripped away, look at the nodes and any experiences relevant to the relationship you might have had at ages 3:4, 19:20, 27, 35:36 and, if you are under 50, see something from the site 51:52, the Great Operators who rouse the new by killing and sacrificing the old, as calling out to you now.

best wishes

Stephen
 

anita

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Thank you so much Mr. Karcher. It is a great privilege to get words of wisdom from someone like you. Yes, there has been much to change and it is good that this change will come.

Much appreciated.

Anita
 

anita

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Dear Mr. Karcher,

It's quite enlightening that all the hexagrams you've mentioned have come up at various stages in this relationship. Even 24 right now. Would you say that the top line of any hexagram leads into the bottom line of the next hexagram in sequence as does 23 to 24?

Best for your Quest

Anita
 

hilary

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Hi Anita,

I think that Stephen has retired to his desk for the time being - mind you, he keeps saying that and then being pulled back into the discussion, so I could be wrong!

Anyway, I think what he might say (!!) is that the top line of an odd-numbered hexagram leads into the bottom line of the even one that follows it, or shows the inspiration for it. So when you look forward from the 6th line of the inspiring hexagram to the first line of the manifesting one, you might be looking at more practical ways to respond to its challenge, or a way in which the emotional patterns of the 6th line could work themselves out.

This would only work in this way for inverted pairs of hexagrams, though, like 23 and 24 or 25 and 26. (Not so much for 29 and 30, perhaps. I don't think there is a 'rule'...??)

And of course in the 'paired lines' idea this would be equally true of line 5 in the first hexagram of the pair with line 2 of the second, etc, etc. But sometimes I think there is a strong sense of a continuing narrative between last lines and first lines, so perhaps that's something extra.

About 23,6 - I think this is another of those readings talking about how important it is to make real change. The noble one gets a cart and really moves herself. Small people stay where they are and 'rearrange the furniture'. Have you thought any more about physically moving to be with him?
 
S

stephen

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Hi Anita

I will stick my nose in one more time. Yes, the top line of an odd-numbered hexagram "pairs" with the bottom line of the one that follows. This is what I call the inner exchange or motivating power between the two, expressed as the mediating pair they generate. In the case of 23:24, this inner power or motivation that drives the Pair as a whole is expressed as 2: the primal power of earth and the return to and through it. Remember here that 23 is stripping the corpse of a dead person or dead idea and 24 seems to point at the return of that departed spirit to the world, in a new form. This passes through the inner field of earth: it is a death and rebirth experience.

The top line of the second (even-numbered) hexagram is crossed or linked with the bottom line of the first (23.1 and 24.6, for example). They show a direct exchange of energy and information with a "distant Pair, an entry and exit from the Pair in question, its "outer connection". With 23:24, this outer connection is 27: the Tiger's Mouth. This indicates that the overall action of 23:24 is directly connected with the major sacrificial site, where the old is passed through the Tiger's Mouth and the corruption (gu) is "eaten away," a metaphor for what happens in the earth or the tomb. This I call the "exchange" in contrast to the inner motivating power. So 23:24 "exchanges omens" with 27, while it is "motivated" by 2. If you feel into the mythic images involved, seeing the stripping and return of 23:24 as passing the individual through the Tiger's Mouth to connect with the power of Earth and the Dark Animal Goddess, seems to me this is very interesting. Add that 2 and 27 are major transformative sites on all levels and you have a sort of deep picture of the archetypal power and background of the Pair and thus of the experiences you are going through.

With this in mind, we can also read across, move back and forth between 23:1 and 24.6:

The inspiration to "strip the bed" (allusion to the "water-bed" on which a corpse is placed) in 23.1 connects with the return of a powerful old delusion (24.6). This is the block to "manifestation" that must be stripped away by passing it back through the Tiger's Mouth.

hope this helps

best wishes

Stephen
 

anita

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Thanks Hilary and Stephen,

Hilary, the idea of moving physically to where he is is very much a concrete possibility. Amazing, isn't it?

Stephen, thank you once again and sorry if I'm disturbing you with my queries, but I have learned so much from you. Thank you for taking the time to explain.

Best for your Quest

Anita
 

hilary

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Since we already have a thread here that centres on Stephen's work, I thought I would respond to Steve Marshall's remarks on it over here. (Trying to save LiSe's 'Square Games' thread for the purpose she intended it.)

Steve wrote:

<BLOCKQUOTE><HR SIZE=0><!-Quote-!><FONT SIZE=1>Quote:</FONT>

Mr Karcher uses phrases like the "Steps of Yu" as a buzzword. Until I showed the connection between hexagrams 43/4 and 44/3 and the myth of the "Walk of Yu" in 2001, no-one had made any connection between the Yu the Great and the Yi. It was entirely my original thought, which I discussed with Prof Anne Birrell, author of "Chinese Mythology", who added her weight of agreement to the connection I made (which is the entire subject of chapter 14 of Mandate of Heaven).

Now Mr Karcher peppers his language with such phrases, using them inappropriately, and destroying the very fine and accurate meaning I gave it. Similarly for many other "lifted" motifs he now uses. I doubt Mr Karcher has any real idea what the Steps of Yu involve, I doubt he has attempted to walk them as a ritual act, it's just become in his hands a random ingredient for a symbolic gumbo he serves up every time he opens his mouth on the oracle.<!-/Quote-!><HR SIZE=0></BLOCKQUOTE>

My thoughts:
If you read any text at all on the assumption that its motifs have no substantial meaning - whether this is buttressed by academic consensus, or by your personal assumptions about the author - then you will be lucky to find anything in it of worth. If you start out with the opposite assumption, all kinds of possibilities open up.

I see no destruction when original discoveries are developed in new ways. The Mandate of Heaven and Total I Ching stand side by side on my desk, and apart from the faint wisps of smoke arising from the former, there are no ill-effects.
 

hilary

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Concerning 54/5 and 11/5... I hope I didn't imply that I had finished learning from Mandate...
Where will you be publishing this review?

I assume that the 'people' you're not gratified with are Stephen, and you know that I disagree with you radically about his book. It bears considerably closer study than you've given it - have you read or used it, beyond your initial flip-through in the bookshop?

But I do, in fact, grasp the importance of references and sources: apart from sheer curiosity, I want to know the status and details of an association before I use it as part of the framework of a reading. There are associations and interpretations in Total I Ching I'm not comfortable adopting, simply because I don't know what they're based on. (If I took the time and trouble to read through all the other books and articles in its Bibliography, I could doubtless find out.)

I'm not assuming modesty - more inclined to agree with Isaac Asimov, who once wrote that he'd realised he was only capable of the false sort, so had given up all pretence. I hope you didn't feel I was implying conceit on your part - I didn't intend to. Apologies if that was what came across. I do feel that you would like to 'own' the knowledge you've uncovered and control how others develop it. (This would be a good moment to correct me if I have this wrong.)

I'll put a link here over on the '63' page, to avoid taking over three threads with one conversation.
 

cal val

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Steve...

For what it's worth, I absolutely crystal-clearly see your point about turning theory into fact. One of the things I enjoy and appreciate about "The Mandate of Heaven" is that at no point in the entire book do you lose sight of the difference between myth and fact. I appreciate that you explore the possible "reasons" behind the myths and that you maintain throughout the book that you are proposing theories, very plausible theories based on exhaustive research, but theories, not facts, nonetheless. A good example would be that in your exploration of "no skin on the thighs" you presented several very well researched possible meanings including the possibility that it meant no hair on the thighs, the hair having been worn away, or the condition we call hemiplegia today.

Further, in your chapter, "Battling in the Wilds" you present a very beautiful...and rather sad interpretation of the lines of 53 finding a correlation between them and Ode 181 from the Shijing. You also went to great effort estimating the time of the Battle of Muye. The presence of the migrating geese in the lines of 53 piqued my curiosity. Having spent the last three Autumns in a wetlands area of the Atlantic Flyway, I've had the good fortune to be able to observe at least a small part in the journey of migrating Canadian geese, so I did some additional research...thinking it might further corrobate your evidence pointing to the time of battle at Muye. I'm wondering if the different places they alighted in hex 53 weren't different places on their migratory route. In China today, wild geese from all over the world winter roughly around the 28th parallel where a wetlands preserve has been designated for their winter home at Poyang Lake in the Jiangxi Province.

I've found little information so far on the migration habits of the geese who winter there, and I've discovered that Canadian geese have varied their migration pattern considerable over the years. So...dead end there...ahhhh shucks. Nonetheless, if I'm reading your maps in "The Mandate of Heaven" correctly, the bride in 53 was at about the 34th parallel. I'm near the 36th parallel and the geese left here about a week ago. First frost was yesterday, 11/26.

To anyone who cares to help...I would really like to read both Ode 159 and 181 in English. I've searched for both on the net without luck, and I'm in a small town with a very meager public library in the Chistian Coalition South. Enough said? So...I would really love some guidance.

Thank you.

Love,

Val
 

cal val

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LiSe...

I'm personally not all that hot on the mythical aspects of the YiJing myself. I get very excited when the various scholars here present evidence resulting from historical and archaeological study that make less the obscurity of the hexagrams and lines. But that's just me.

A lot of people thrive on the mythical properties of the lines...on interpreting oracular language. And there's room in this world for both "supporting evidence" and mythical images (and all the shades of grey between). From what I've read here in the forum, Stephen Karcher appears to be one of those who thrives in the mythical.

I also (obviously...*grin*) prefer the direct route to the circuitous in terms of communicating information. Again, there's room in life for both routes...and all the greys in between. Stephen (obviously...*grin*) prefers the circuitous route.

What works for each of us is based a great deal on the nurturing influences of our environment and also on the vast differences in how our individual brains process information. Because of my preferences, I'm just as confounded by Stephen's posts as are you (and it appears several others), and, as a consequent have decided not to bother with any of his "post-Ritsema" works. I prefer AH HA moments to head-scratching moments. But other people, who process information differently than I do and/or prefer the mythical approach, seem to have little or no problem with his work. Hilary is one of them.

Nonetheless, I feel his thoughts on pairs is something for me to explore further, and I find it's not much different an approach than your recent exploration of the square games in the hexagrams...your square games, of course, taking it a step or two further. Yours is another concept that I'm following with great interest. And I loved Mick's post presenting the lines in question for analysis. Thank you Mick...*grin*...you saved me a little work.

Love,

Val
 

cal val

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Oh and one more thing, Steve...

I find your input about the pairs and squares very interesting and especially helpful considering your work and study in sinology and the YiJing. Thank you. I'm throwing it all into my ding.

Speaking of dings...Happy Thanksgiving to those who are celebrating Ding Day in the US. Today I have the good fortune of being in the very place, Virginia, where my ancestors first came into this country in 1632 and where so many (including one of my ancestors' brothers) died of starvation and exposure in the first harsh winter here and where everyone who survived or came after celebrated their bountiful harvest in the years that followed.

Today, Thanksgiving Day, I am preparing and enjoying a meal in tribute to the ancestors who paved the way and inviting the spirits of my ancestors to join me. Should be fun. They were a colorful lot...*grin*

Love,

Val
 

heylise

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159, Minnow-Net

"The fish in the minnow-net
Were rudd and bream.
The lover I am with
Has blazoned coat and broidered robe."

"The wild-geese take wing; they make for the island.
The prince has gone off and we cannot find him.
He must be staying with you.

The wild-geese take wing; they make for the land.
The prince went off and does not come back.
He must be spending the night with you."

"All because he has a broidered robe
Don't take my prince away from me,
Don't make my heart sad."


181, Wild-Geese

The wild-geese are flying;
Suk, suk go their wings.
The soldiers are on the march;
Painfully they struggle through the wilds.
In dire extremity are the strong men;
Sad are their wives, left all alone.

The wild-geese are flying;
They have lighted in the middle of the marsh.
The soldiers are walling a fort;
The hundred cubits have all risen.
Though they struggle so painfully,
At last they are safely housed.

The wild-geese are flying;
Dolefully they cry their discontent.
But these were wise men
Who urged us to toil,
And those were foolish men
Who urged us to make mischief and rebel.

Arthur Waley, the Book of Songs, Shijing
(cubits: cubit-square frames held the earth in position when the walls were being built)
 

cal val

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Dear LiSe,

<BLOCKQUOTE><HR SIZE=0><!-Quote-!><FONT SIZE=1>Quote:</FONT>

(cubits: cubit-square frames held the earth in position when the walls were being built)<!-/Quote-!><HR SIZE=0></BLOCKQUOTE>

Straight, square, great.

The symbol of heaven is the circle, and that of earth is the square. ...a square develops out of a straight line and a cube out of a square.

Thank you so much for posting this. I love it. It feels as if someone going off to war today could have written it. Eastern thought may be different from Western, but the feelings are all the same. Is there a follow-up...or an "answer" to ode 181, where the bride speaks of the wild-geese from her perspective back in the village?

Love,

Val
 

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