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King Wen sequence the Holy Grail?

Leerling

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Two questions about the role of the King Wen sequence of the hexagrams:

Do we really need the King Wen sequence to use the I Ching as an oracle ?

Would Taoist philosophy profit from an explanation of the King Wen sequence?
 

bradford

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It's there to confuse, rather than clarify, being 55% order and 45% chaos.
There is meaning in the placement of the first two and last two guan,
and in the alternate pairs, 1-2, 3-4 ... 61-62, 63-64.
But there is no meaning in the pairs 2-3, 4-5 ... 60-61, 62-63 except what pareidolia provides.
These are just randomly scrambled, even though patterns may be hinted at in true random numbers.
This has kept three millennia worth of OCD scholars off the streets and occupied.
But I think it's best that people either just give up on this quest, or use the pareidolia as an exercise -
the practice is essential to the divinatory process anyway.
If you really need order that's actually there, you can find all you need in the Xian Tian (early heaven) arrangement.
 

Leerling

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In a topic about a book on the meaning of the I Ching you wrote:

From perusing what was available in the "Look Inside" feature, it looks to me like the author really doesn't know what science is. Neither does he know that Yin-Yang theory didn't come along until at least five centuries after the Yijing was first created and should therefore be treated as an afterthought rather than fundamental or foundational. But obviously he isn't alone in not knowing that.
Can we use that as an argument that the King Wen sequence could not possibly have been based on the Yin- or Yang-character (as we now see it) of the lines in the hexagrams? And is that also the current opinion of most historically informed I Ching scholars?
 

bradford

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They had the line types back then, except the broken ones looked more like ba, the number eight.
They still had structural relationships, like those that formed the meaningful pairs and in Gua symmetry, etc. They just weren't yet associated with ideas of Yin and Yang, or Gang and Rou (firmness and flexibility). The only place Yin appears is in 61.2, the crane calling in the shade. The term Yang isn't seen until the Ten Wings. The academics like Kunst and Shaughnessy would concur. True believers in many traditions in China might not.
 
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Leerling

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I am no true believer. I rather like to know how the I Ching as we now know it historically came to be, and how the psychological effects of its use as an oracle and book of wisdom come about.

Is the traditional correspondence between the images (Heaven, Lake, Fire, Thunder, Wind, Water, Mountain, Earth) and the trigrams also older than the Yin and Yang theory?

And is this book relevant ?

Richard Rutt: The Zhou Yi: A New Translation With Commentary of the Book of Changes.
 
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bradford

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The Bagua (Trigrams) were around from the beginning, but their associations were a lot simpler in the beginning. The meanings evolved over the centuries. There's a chapter on the small symbols, starting on p. 443 of my Volume One. (I have four free books at the link below if you didn''t know about it)
A lot of people respect the Rutt book, especially academics, and think he was on the right track.
I personally think he represents all that's wrong with academia. His work with the Ten Wings, however, is pretty good.
 

tacrab

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It seems that everything hinges on dating. Archeology keeps disrupting our assumptions.
Bradford, could you explain your reservations about Rutt?
 

bradford

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It seems that everything hinges on dating. Archeology keeps disrupting our assumptions. Bradford, could you explain your reservations about Rutt?
I go on an extended rant on the subject in my introduction, particularly under "Problems with Academia," citing the numerous logical fallacies in play. I won't re-rant all that here.
 

Leerling

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I go on an extended rant on the subject in my introduction, particularly under "Problems with Academia," citing the numerous logical fallacies in play. I won't re-rant all that here.
Did you get any response from the academic world? It's difficult for me as a newbie to come to a conclusion in this matter on the basis of one side of the story only.
 

tacrab

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Given your interests, I recommend spending time looking around Biroco's site https://www.biroco.com/yijing. He has links to many articles, and reviews many books. Steven Moore's Trigrams of the Han might be of interest to you, and there are numerous articles in the Journal of Chinese Philosophy on details about the structure of the Yi..
But don't expect to come to "a conclusion"!
 

bradford

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Did you get any response from the academic world? It's difficult for me as a newbie to come to a conclusion in this matter on the basis of one side of the story only.
Mixed responses. Some appreciated it. Some thought it too polemic. Some were defensive. Many didn't understand that by refuting the premises I wasn't trying to "disprove" the conclusions - only to call them into question, so people wouldn't feel obligated to believe in them. I fear most academics these days aren't required to study logic.

You should study both sides, of course, but I would read the Kunst and Shaughnessy dissertations before I read Rutt or Gotshalk. They are all found here: http://www.hermetica.info/YixueBib.htm
But even if you like what they have to say, bear in mind the true believers quit learning the moment they commit.
 
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Leerling

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Mixed responses. Some appreciated it. Some thought it too polemic. Some were defensive.
You should study both sides, of course, but I would read the Kunst and Shaughnessy dissertations before I read Rutt or Gotshalk. They are all found here: http://www.hermetica.info/YixueBib.htm
What I can find on the site is the following:

Kunst, Richard Alan. The Original Yijing: A Text, Phonetic Transcription, Translation and Indexes, with Sample Glosses. Doctoral dissertation in Oriental Languages: University of California at Berkeley, 1985. 690 pp.
(BH- The most useful of the modernists)
(RS- Excellent analysis of the early Changes with a great deal of material on later Yijing scholarship)
(Digital Library: The Original Yijing - Kunst.pdf)
(Digital Library: The Original Yijing - Kunst (OCR).pdf)




Shaughnessy, Edward Louis. The Composition of the Zhouyi. Doctoral dissertation in Chinese Studies: Stanford University, 1983. 382pp.
(Digital Library: The Composition of the Zhouyi - Shaugnessy.pdf)
(Digital Library: The Composition of the Zhouyi - Shaughnessy (OCR).pdf)

But there are no actual links...

But even if you like what you have to day, bear in mind the true believers quit learning.
The problem is rather practical - my study of the I Ching is meant to be only a side-project. :blush:
 

hilary

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Do we really need the King Wen sequence to use the I Ching as an oracle ?
'Need' is an awkward word. It certainly vastly improves the quality and depth of readings, makes it much easier to connect and relate to what the oracle's saying. But yes, you can do helpful readings without looking at it. (Not sure why you'd want to, though.)

It's there to confuse, rather than clarify, being 55% order and 45% chaos.
There is meaning in the placement of the first two and last two guan,
and in the alternate pairs, 1-2, 3-4 ... 61-62, 63-64.
But there is no meaning in the pairs 2-3, 4-5 ... 60-61, 62-63 except what pareidolia provides.
These are just randomly scrambled, even though patterns may be hinted at in true random numbers.
Er... if you limit yourself to looking for a connection between 2-3, 4-5 etc you're unlikely to find one, I agree. However, if you start looking on a larger scale... especially if you look at groups of 10 hexagrams and think 'onion'...

For instance, consider the component trigrams of 25-26, and of 33-34.
Then consider the component trigrams of 27-28, 31-32. (Next layer under the skin.)
29-30 are at the centre. Also at the end of the Upper Canon. Also a trigram echo of the end of the Lower Canon, 63-64.

Next, have a look at the distribution of the word xu, 'taming' (as in the names of hexagrams 9 and 26) throughout the book. (Bradford's book is probably the easiest way to do this.)

and so on...
You could also look at 53-62, or even 49-58.

There are also a few apparent references to the Sequence in the text itself. Scott Davis points some out in his book, but once he's shown you what to look for it's not too hard to find more. (And yet I'd looked at the book for decades without ever seeing this. It really is a matter of what you're willing to look for.)

(Shameless plug: I'm currently working on a Sequence course to be made available to Change Circle members. Part 1 is on its simple use in readings, looking at just one step at a time. Subsequent parts will get into these outsize onion-patterns and how they might be used in divination.)

The problem is rather practical - my study of the I Ching is meant to be only a side-project. :blush:
Well, let us know how that works out for you... :mischief:
 

Leerling

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@ hilary

Thank you!

My current position on the use of the I Ching as an oracle is similar to the Introductory Remarks in the The I Ching Handbook of Edward A. Hacker:

https://books.google.nl/books?id=cJfm_FO_TEAC

As to the history of the I Ching I still have a lot of reading to do.

Apart from the I Ching as an oracle I think it should be possible to work out a mathematical "system of the world" on the basis of the hexagrams. Such a thing would (probably) be useless for the purpose of divination, but I'm just curious to see in how far the system of hexagrams could have been used to develop a kind of protoscience (if one wanted to).

Two questions:

1. Is it possible on this forum to directly post the symbols of the hexagrams and trigrams.

2. Is there a place on this forum or elsewhere where mathematical approaches to the I Ching can be discussed and developed, and would receive a fair amount of encouragement and/or criticism?
 

svenrus

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:rolleyes: :cool: :brickwall: :bag: ..................................

01.jpg02.jpg03.jpg04.jpg ............................
 

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svenrus

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Hi Leerling, if it could be of your interest I can try to upload the eight trigrams and the sixtyfour hexagrams on my homepage for Cut'Past, yet I don't know if useable as You are only alowed to upload five pictures in one reply.... (?)
 

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tacrab

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Leerling, it all starts with questions.
You will wake up ten years later, surrounded by stacks of books.
You are already hooked!

I am with Hilary as to order. I think there's more there than meets the eye.
 

Leerling

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Leerling, it all starts with questions.
You will wake up ten years later, surrounded by stacks of books.
You are already hooked!
Maybe - time will tell. :D

I am with Hilary as to order. I think there's more there than meets the eye.
You have to mention them in some order, so maybe it's partially random. I don't yet know what to think of it....
 

svenrus

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Leerling, sorry, You are right, it don't work in here. Sorry for not testing it proberbly before post it.

And I can see that it isn't possible to Cut'nPaste directly in here from a list with the hexagrams....


:duh: :hissy: :deadhorse: :brickwall: :eek: :confused:
 

hilary

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I don't know how to add a font to the editor... not actually sure where the font file would need to be for that to work... (but probably on the computer of everyone who viewed the page, to start with!)

Images... they are actually all on this site in the directory https://www.onlineClarity.co.uk/images/gua

Hexagrams are 1.gif, 2.gif etc.

Trigrams are heaven.gif, earth.gif etc

Mathematical I Ching thoughts could still go in 'Exploring divination' even if you're not thinking too directly about divination, so more people will see them. If you develop something on your own website, you can put that in your signature (of course) and post it to 'I Ching News'.

Tacrab is right. Better just give in and buy another few bookcases now.
 

Leerling

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Test:

Talking about this hexagram 25.png etc. Talking about this hexagram 25.png etc. Talking about this hexagram 25.png etc. Talking about this hexagram 25.png etc.

Talking about this hexagram 25.png etc. Talking about this hexagram 25.png etc. Talking about this hexagram 25.png etc. Talking about this hexagram 25.png etc. Talking about this hexagram 25.png etc.

Talking about this hexagram 25.png etc.

That seems to work well. :)

The link https://www.onlineClarity.co.uk/images/gua gives "Whoops! Page Not Found". No problem, I will draw some pictures of hexagrams and trigrams of different sizes to use in the texts. :cool:

----------------------

How can that be?! :eek: In the preview the hexagrams were exactly right, just as I wanted them! :confused:
 
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svenrus

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Try to transform the format of the picture to xx.jpg indstead of xx.png (I think only jpg is allowed in uploading pictures here ?)

(You can use this freewareprogram for doing that: https://www.getpaint.net/index.html )
 

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