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Memorizing the I Ching Hex.3

rosada

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3. Judgement

Difficulty at the beginning works supreme success.
Furthering through perseverance.
Nothing should be undertaken.
It furthers one to appoint helpers.
---

Memory tips:
Note how the first three hexgrams all contain referances to "success".
Both hexagram 1 and hex 3 use the verb "works"
All three hexagrams mention furthering through perseverence.

Hex. 3.'s admonition, "Nothing should be undertaken", appears to be an elaboration of 1.1, "Hidden dragon. Do not act."

"Difficuly at the Beginning....It furthers one to appoint helpers" sounds like an advertisment for a cleaning service or one of those business that helps you organize your closets.
 

ewald

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It's interesting that Wilhelm says that nothing should be undertaken, yet that perseverance is furthering. Instead of "nothing should be undertaken," I think the Yi is actually saying "No use to have a goal to move to."
 

nicky_p

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Wilhelm also talks about birth with this hexagram which sits nicely with me.

The birth could be of children, ideas, projects - none of which are an easy thing to get started. It seems to me that the advice of 'nothing should be undertaken' is along the lines of 'don't push too hard - work with the natural responses of the body' (in the birth of children). The helpers are like the doctors and midwives or work collegues that get on board for the project and help bring it to fruition. In this way success is achieved and shared by all and not just the individual.

For me, success always seems to taste sweeter when you've had to work hard for it and have a good team to share it with.
 

Trojina

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I don't trouble myself that much with Wilhelms or anyone elses wording, well to the extent that one has to get the general gist of things. I lean more on what I've experienced having thrown the Yi for many years (not literally thrown, lol). I do find discussion of wording interesting and enlightening but I have to say Ewald it seems to me you usually disagree with Wilhelms wording only to replace it with something which is as far as i can see pretty much more or less similar. "Nothing should be undertaken" is not so far from "No use to have a goal to move to" is it ? In other words projects cannot be signed and sealed, they're still in the birth canal, or even the womb.

Personally my experience with this hexagram is one of a fair amount of difficulty getting things going at all. This hex really seems to stress the need for competant help, like perseverence without guidance is just not enough. Theres alot about helping, receiving aid and assistance in the lines too. Without it the new situation can just die through the difficulties. My most recent experience receiving 3 was about a new friendship which I was finding hard to practically cope with, the person being chaotic, bad time keeper etc (though very nice:) all the time obstacles arising to give me great inconvenience, like change things at last minute, making me wait and somehow things just not working out. Receiving 3 unchanging summed it up really, profusion, chaos, death. Like a plant has alot to get through before it can grow, even if theres lots of perseverance conditions have to be right too.
 
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bruce_g

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ewald said:
It's interesting that Wilhelm says that nothing should be undertaken, yet that perseverance is furthering. Instead of "nothing should be undertaken," I think the Yi is actually saying "No use to have a goal to move to."

I'm with Nicky and Trojan on this one regarding birth. Pappa heaven and Mamma earth have started something here, but as yet "it" has no form or name. There is definitely a goal to move toward: giving birth to that bouncing baby 4.

“Nothing should be undertaken” I take to mean, don’t try to induce labor or speed up the process. With the right help (doctor, nurse, council, nutrition, etc.), birthing arrives on schedule.
 

rosada

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Difficulty at the Beginning works "supreme success." Hex.1 and hex. 2 used the term "sublime success." I think of "sublime" as being beyond man's comprehension, a seamlessly fit of yin and yang. Intension and manefestation appearing in perfect symultaneous syncronicity. How can this happen? Because it is happening for the first time, it's the first meeting of light and dark, nothing to compare it to, no resistance. The second day is Difficulty at the Beginning Day. Difficulty because now we have old experiences, old intentions, old memories to compare to. But by persevering we FIGURE OUT how to persever. This figuring out creates a bit of disunion between intention and manefestation - a brief nano second for being aware of choices (choices being: do it like we did it yesterday or do something unlike yesterday. This choice did not exist before today.). This bit of disunion between time and space is the Difficulty at the Beginning. We arrive on the scene slightly out of sync with our intention, so we don't immediately recognize where we are or what we've intended to do here. As we persever, that is, continue to pay attention, things come into focus. We need not undertake anything in hopes this will speed the process up. I think of opening the refridgerator and pulling out a bunch of stuff and trying to figure out how you can put it together to make dinner. You just sort of stare at it till you realize, "Hmm..eggs, onions, tomatoe sauce, guess we're having an omlet tonight."

People arriving.
Later
 
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ewald

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“Nothing should be undertaken” can be understood in several ways. When one reads that freshly, one will be inclined to think that it means: don't do anything, sit still. That however doesn't make sense in the context of Wilhelm's 3.0, so when one has gotten accustomed to the text, most will probably interpret it differently, in the way that Bruce describes.

"No use to have a goal to move to" however means something different from both of these interpretations. This is not about doing something, but about sticking to a goal, or plan. In Trojan's example, a goal was a particular time things were supposed to be happening. The timing changed, because the friend made Trojan wait. It was for Trojan no use to keep to the goal of a particular agreed time. Perhaps Trojan thought all he or she could do was wait and don't undertake things, but in fact it was probably also possible to do something else (undertake something) and make the friend wait.

Other example where one can actually undertake something, but where it's no use to have a goal to move to: Let's say one is driving to a particular place one has never been to before, using a description of the route. One misses a turn and gets lost. Now one cannot stick to the route description any more, using this goal/plan has become useless. One can however still undertake things: drive aimlessly hoping that things will get alright, ask the way, check signs, check whether one has gotten to the original route, pull over and have something to eat.

I think that when I have disagreed with Wilhelm on this forum, there always really was a difference worth mentioning. When Modesty got 39.1 and 39.4, Wilhelm's text made him wonder whether the Yi was saying to "just stay and wait." My translation would not have brought up that thought. Where I disagreed about 2.0, Wilhelm's rendering suggests one should follow someone, mine does not. I think "Wavering flight over the depths" is markedly different from "Something stirs in the depths."
 

Trojina

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I see what you are driving at Ewald, no pun intended, but the things is I always have included all those ways of understanding "nothing can be undertaken". After all i don't think using the Yi totally relies on precise definition of wording if you you are also using your intuition and your previous expereince. With regard to my 3 answer and the situation with the friend you misunderstood entirely, but then I did not state the question so not your fault. It had nothing to do with waiting for a friend on any particular occasion but an overall series of occurences like that happening and my wondering if I could go on with a person who tends to behave like this all the time. 3 unchanging for me meant we would forever be stuck at the beginning stages of knowing each other because difficulties of birthing the situation were too great.

With regard to interpreting 39 for Modesty it seemed to me you disagreed with me then simply paraphrased what I had said. I did not say just wait, I said approach from another angle...(off topic sorry) you pointed out 39 was not about 'obstruction' but 'trouble'...well to me more or less amounts to the same thing unless we're really into word play.

Seems to me thats what your're doing with 3 here. Besides which if one is asking about a goal then that is what one is focused on, why suddenly diverge to other unrelated goals ? If the situation had been as you described with the friend I just would not be interested in making her wait, what would be the point of that :confused: this is clearly a long term character trait of this person so I'm not going to expend huge amounts of energy to change her behaviour....I have not seen your translation, is there a link to it here ?
 

ewald

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Trojan - Perhaps you have come to see those meanings after some experience with the text, however I as a translator have to be precise about words.

Perhaps if you have worked some time with hex 39, you come to see that the "obstruction" of Wilhelm is not actually blocking things, though this word does imply blockage. (Hexagram 12 is about obstruction.) 39 is about unpleasant difficulties, so "trouble" is a translation that much clearer conveys what this is about. For someone who sees Wilhelm's text for the first time, it is not clear enough. Strictly speaking, it is wrong. Similarly for what we discussed about 3.0.

I do think people are actually inclined to take incorrect decisions based upon Wilhelm's rendering of 3.0, and 39.4. I have run into that while investigating line texts on this forum. For 3.0 and 39.4 people may decide to do nothing based upon Wilhelm, while that is not what is called for.

I'm not aware of having paraphrased you regarding Modesty's situation. I'm not sure whether you are talking about my previous post in this thread, but I quoted part of a sentence from Modesty.

My translation is not yet publicly available. I'm still working on making it more clear, and occasionally correcting the translation. Anyway, this is my current rendering of 3.0:
Difficulties.
A source of fulfillment.
It is beneficial to persist.
No use to have a goal to move to.
It is beneficial to appoint marquis.​
 
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bruce_g

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Ewald,

You appear to make the incorrect assumption that I derive all meaning of 3 solely from Wilhelm. I derive some core value of it from Wilhelm but most from observing the time surrounding receiving 3 over the last three and a half decades. Add to this some simple logic concerning the chaos of new beginnings, and voila: a reasonable understanding.

My confidence in rigidly adhering to literal text translation has reached an all time low.

In a conversation with a friend yesterday, she expressed anger over something which happened. I reflected on it and said: a “door kicking coyote”. Now along comes a group of etymologists some 3,200 years later and argue the literal meaning and value of “door kicking coyote”. One insists the term is referring to a coyote getting kicked by a door. Another asserts that a coyote is kicking a door. A third one, the least learned among them, says, “maybe she was mad?”
 

rosada

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3.0
The Image
Clouds and thunder.
Thus the superior man
Brings order out of confusion
...

I'm seeing "Nothing should be undertaken" as an admonition that at the beginning we still are unclear what is happening, or what path is going to open up. Remember those 3-d pictures that were so popular a few years back? You had to look at a bunch of dots, and if you held the card at just the right distance from your nose, a shift would happen and you would see a figure. Likewise, I think hex 3 is saying "Now all you see is confusion, wait till you see the pattern." Although it may only be a brief moment before you get your bearings, hex. 3 is pointing out this is a crucial moment here at the beginning, so important it merits its own hexagram. Another example of where it might have been better to pause at the beginning: The other day I visited a friend and jumped right in lending a hand folding all the laundry on top of her washer - only to then learn those were the dirty clothes waiting to be washed...

"It furthers one to appoint helpers." Finding proper friends and helpers seems to be very important to the Yi. It is mentioned repeatedly and especially here in the first hexagrams. In fact, seems like hexagram 3 is mostly about choosing one's support group in life. And it's not just about appointing helpers who will help you DO something, but about those who will SEE you as being something.

I was thinking how hex 1 and hex 2 talk about "sublime" success whereas Difficulty at the Beginning only works "supreme" success. Seems to me "sublime" is something so perfect, a match of yin and yang so seamless that conciousness does not exist. The bolt of lightening in hex. 3 is man's conciousness entering the scene, but the very act of entering disrupts the divine balance - and now man must do what he can to see what the Sublime, but he will not be able to anymore than you can remember a dream after awakening. Yet one can be "supremely" successful at least in trying to recreate it - but it still wont be sublime. Like the presence of an observer changes the behavior of the observed. Or what was observed is no longer seen the same way once you are in the picture. Example might be of a child watching a play and thinking the witch and Cinderella are real. So real that the child runs up on stage to meet them, only to find her world rocked like a bolt of lightening when she enters the stage and discovers they are just actors. The vision is no longer sublime, but seeing the new reality will bring ORDER OUT OF her CONFUSION of make believe.
 
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Trojina

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I see your point but think maybe you place a bit too much faith in the idea that substituting one word for another similar one is going to make much difference to practical interpretation. A 'trouble' generally is an 'obstuction' of some kind, or a least an occurence the person views as an obstruction. Also reading Wilhelm on 39 he never advises desisting, to the contrary he says "...in such a situation it is wise to pause in view of the danger and retreat. However, this is merely a preparation for overcoming the obstructions".

Re the paraphrasing in Modestys thread I just thought you disagreed with my wording (when I used the word 'obstruction', you said 39 is not obstruction) then went on to give a fairly similar interpretation (to mine) to Modesty - no problem with that just illustrates my doubt about you saying a Wilhelm word is 'wrong' yet substituting a similar one and overall coming out with the same interpretation for practical purposes. Hmm still I appreciate as a translator precision with word meaning is very important for you :bows:
 
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bruce_g

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Rosada,

I like your ideas on 3, and especially on Sublime (seamless) and Supreme (best that we can do).
 
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bruce_g

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trojan said:
maybe you place a bit too much faith in the idea that substituting one word for another similar one is going to make much difference to practical interpretation. A 'trouble' generally is an 'obstuction' of some kind, or a least an occurence the person views as an obstruction.

Agreed!
 

ewald

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Bruce - I'm not aware of making that assumption, actually. But to say you're not influenced by Wilhelm would be beside the truth.

I'm not even aware actually of having said anything about where you derive meanings of hexagrams from. I can understand that it does something to your feelings when I critisize Wilhelm's text, but I'm not aware of me having addressed you in this. If I did, please quote me.
 

ewald

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Trojan - I do think it makes a difference, so that is where we disagree. I like clarity and making things clear, be it in text, photography or the structure of a website. The most used version of the Yijing, Wilhelm's lacks clarity. With some perseverance and some experience you'll get a grip on it, but I think lots of people do get turned off by its vagueness.

Also, I do think that with a more accurate translation than Wilhelm's, there's more to be learned from the Zhouyi core text. I'm not satisfied with Wilhelm's text or with the many derivates from it. A significant part of its wisdom does not get conveyed in these.

I think you're being too lenient if you think "obstruction" is fine in 39. Hexagram 12 is about obstruction, 39 isn't about the same thing. An obstruction blocks, and elicits frustration, trouble doesn't block, it elicits aversion.

But my sense is that the actual words don't really matter to you and Bruce, as you're both long time diviners. To me the actual words do matter.
 

Trojina

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Ewald I like Clarity too its a great forum;) Seriously though yes I like clarity too but if you insist on clarity to the extent where you actually limit meanings for the sake of it then in my view you limit the speech of the Yi, you limit what it can say.

Also I'm afraid i will never take kindly to anyone 'telling' me that 12 is this or 39 is that.
I will take on board their view, maybe find it interesting, maybe learn hugely from it, but hey I'm not going to disown *** years of experience where I've seen countless answers played out before me in my life and those around me because someone who translates Chinese tells me this is this and that is that and that all these years I've been wrong.

I guess its important to differentiate in how one is interested in the Yi. If you are interested as a scholar, a historian, a translator that is one thing. It is an academic interest. But if one is using Yi as applied divination to everyday life then how helpful is it to declare categorically this or that is the 'wrong' word, ( especially if its on a thread where someone wants help with a problem.) Words are tools, they are the things I use to say my meaning, they themselves hold no especial power other than as emblems.
(er well apart from mantras etc)

So no I can't take your word for what is the 'right' word because I don't always take a translator of Chinese as way ahead of me or anyone else in understanding the Yi. I say this because you are tending to state your views as undeniable facts and as far as I can see no translation is 'the' ultimate truth, just another translation to help us a bit more, which is not to denigrate your work I hope you understand.
 

rosada

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Thanks Bruce, you are a helpful friend. For future readers - I've been tinkering with that post so much I may have already erased that one thought that was useful. Aw well, the Difficulties at the Beginning...
 

Trojina

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Your laundry example really tickled me Rosada, have you really ever done that ? I have a sneaking suspicion you have !

Anyway re 3, I find this a sticky hexagram personally, though I received an answer I found interesting the other day where I asked a kind of retrospective question. I was dwelling on a long term relationship I had between ages 16-30. There is much I regret about this relationship, its one I really feel I 'got wrong' and could've done much better and feel sorry to the man who I was involved with. I asked if i could ever put all this right somehow, this was a question which even as I asked made little sense as it kind of hovered in time, (the time is gone to do this) yet it made sense to me emotionally. I received hex 3, lines 2,4,5 and 6. This made immediate sense to me as a kind of story reminding me of what had happened for me, making it easier to be more understanding to myself. A story in that as a young girl I did not know where to go and he was there so I took his help as I was indeed in 'distress'. It was not really the best help for me in the long run, leading to line 6, but thats what i did at the time, its what 'maidens in distress' just tend to do, lol, or did back then anyway. 3 summed up the whole chaotic profusion of being 16 and being very confused and taking the help that came, which was not all bad, and how that led to that 38ness between us.

I notice how often I get the lines in 3 when there is someone around whom I want to help me or appears to be helping me. I think there must be alot in 3 about choosing your helpers very carefully.
 

ewald

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Well Trojan, you may want me to shut up, but I'm posting my differences with Wilhelm on this thread because Rosada asked for it. This subforum is about Divination discussion, so what's the problem with that?

You don't like to be told what something means that you have your own long time views about, but do you think I like to be told that there is little difference between two words when in my view the difference even crosses two hexagrams? Aren't you accusing me of something you do yourself as well?

I can understand that you don't think it's appropriate to discuss differences between translations in the Friends forum, however in the thread we're referring to, Modesty himself posted the Chinese characters of 39.4. Apparently, he thought it interesting to discuss.
Anyway, with differences between translations it is unavoidable that such differences pop up in threads in the Friends forum.
 
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bruce_g

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ewald said:
Bruce - I'm not aware of making that assumption, actually. But to say you're not influenced by Wilhelm would be beside the truth.

I'm not even aware actually of having said anything about where you derive meanings of hexagrams from. I can understand that it does something to your feelings when I critisize Wilhelm's text, but I'm not aware of me having addressed you in this. If I did, please quote me.

"That however doesn't make sense in the context of Wilhelm's 3.0, so when one has gotten accustomed to the text, most will probably interpret it differently, in the way that Bruce describes."

It does nothing to my feelings when you critisize Wilhelm. Can you even recall the last time I quoted Wilhelm? A year? Two? Maybe more.
 
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mudpie

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I am so grateful to Ewald for this discussion, as I have always been confused by 39 and the answers have never seemed "right on" when I use the old interpretation of 'obstruction, back off', etc . FWIW I am grateful to have this more literal understanding and , for me, a new way to look at it..thank you

Altho, I am also of the mind that literal interpretation is not the be-all, end-all...I appreciate having the breadth of both literal and creative translation
 

ewald

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Bruce - This is about this you said:
“Nothing should be undertaken” I take to mean, don’t try to induce labor or speed up the process. With the right help (doctor, nurse, council, nutrition, etc.), birthing arrives on schedule.
It is my impression that many people arrive at that meaning for that sentence in 3.0, after some experience with it. That is what I wanted to convey. Do you think that is not the case?
 

Trojina

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Ewald I don't recall ever saying I want you to 'shut up'. I don't want you to shut up at all.
I was disagreeing with you that it makes much difference by altering the wording of Wilhelm in the examples you gave in practical divination. Thats just my opinion.

Anyway Rosada is relying principally on Wilhelm here so as we go through you'lll be able to tell us where else he got it wrong too, and I will be interested to read it ! Seriously.
 
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bruce_g

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Bruce - This is about this you said:
Quote:
“Nothing should be undertaken” I take to mean, don’t try to induce labor or speed up the process. With the right help (doctor, nurse, council, nutrition, etc.), birthing arrives on schedule.

It is my impression that many people arrive at that meaning for that sentence in 3.0, after some experience with it. That is what I wanted to convey. Do you think that is not the case?"
___________________________________

I honestly don’t know what many people do. I only paraphrased the way I interpret those words. I believe (though I’m too lazy to go looking for it) that the particular quote was something from one of your posts - you quoting Wilhelm.

For the record, I still think that Wilhelm expresses the spirit of meanings better than any others I know of. That book has mojo/magic, it evokes the powers of the elements and makes them speak. It isn’t important to me if the exact semantics are correct or not, and as far as I can tell, no one has the definitive translation. The letter of the law isn’t as important as the spirit of the law, except to the scribes. Not that that's a bad thing! But when the scribes dictate to the tribe how it is to be interpreted, it robs the tribe of the spirit.
 
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bruce_g

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In spite of some likely prejudice from some in this group, the Bible, if read and understood in the spirit, is a wonderful selection of symbolic poetry; much of it contains the very same lessons taught by our own beloved Yijing. The problem is that, letting people decipher its mysteries for themselves was replaced with the King James “translation”. From there, a few adventurous souls sought to liberalize it, and in doing so only watered down the stone – “white washed tombs”, I believe it was called.

Ewald, I’d like to get close to the literal meanings of the text; please don’t misunderstand me, and I do appreciate what you do. I offer to you some opposition concerning your method. No malice intended.
 

heylise

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I think you're being too lenient if you think "obstruction" is fine in 39. Hexagram 12 is about obstruction, 39 isn't about the same thing. An obstruction blocks, and elicits frustration, trouble doesn't block, it elicits aversion.
I think one of the main meanings of 39 is precisely being in a situation which elicits frustration. The core meaning is like being lame. What one experiences often in dreams, every movement dificult and slow.

Brad has 'impasse' for 39 , which I like a lot. And a whole bunch of meanings, of which obstruction is one. But when you look at ALL of them, and I think that should be done when you try to translate Chinese, then it comes closest to this hindrance thing.
Just a few I found myself: lame. crippled, feeble, slow, difficult, hard, trouble, danger, haughty, lofty.

For 12, Pi, he has 'separating', but I don't think that entirely covers the meaning. I think 'worthless', and 'not' come a lot closer. I disagree with 12 having obstruction as main meaning. It can be the result though of worthlessness or something being wrong.
12, Pi: go against, oppose (heaven’s will), bad, obstruct, wicked, evil, clogged, stopped.

LiSe
 
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bruce_g

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Have to say one other thing about my relationship to the Wilhelm. There are a couple of hexagrams that I believe he missed the bigger picture. 4 and 44 come quickly to mind. His male-superiority/female-inferiority bit is another area that fails to express the intended symbolic meaning.

RE: 12, using trigrams (which I do), heaven moves upward while earth’s gravity pulls downward. The two primal forces look away from each other. Just the opposite of 11.
 

ewald

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Thanks Trojan and Bruce for clearing that up.
 

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