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Memorizing the I Ching

rosada

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Lately I have been making a real effort to memorize the I Ching and have gotten such worthwhile results that I am inspired to focus even more energy on this endeavor. Specifically, I have experienced since I have gotten several dozen of the verses "by heart" (cool phrase) that now from time to time through out the day these phrases will occur to me when the outer situation aligns with them and thus it is as if I can hear my heart talking to me. For example, I may see her curtains drawn and be wondering if my neighbor is home and the thought occurs to me, "A tied up sack" (hex. 2.4). Later I learn that she was indeed at home at this time, but sound asleep after being up all night the night before. So the point is, by having memorized the I Ching, appropriate answers can come to one - without ever having to toss a coin!

So I am proposing that we help each other memorize the I Ching by discussing the hexagrams in order, one line each day.

Today we begin with Hexagram One, The Creative.

Now Wilhelm calls hex. 1, The Creative, but other authors have given it other titles so perhaps someone would like to post other names. "Dawn" might be another useful discription of hex.1 energy.

"The Creative works sublime success."

Just looked up "sublime" in the dictionary. it means rare, grand, noble, The Ultimate.

I get a visual in my mind of Key LIME Pie, the ultimate dessert.
Under the pie is a blue ribbon. SUB lime SUCCESS.

"Furthering through perseverance"

Wow, so this is what IC considers the Numero Uno thought to know in life. And indeed, isn't this about the most widely known thought from the I Ching? I mean, even people who have never heard of the I Ching recognize "Perseverance Furthers" as a Wise Saying.
Somebody ought to put it on a t-shirt.
--

Okay, anyone else want to add some comments about these lines? Perhaps you recall a toss where this answer came up? Or perhaps you could make up a question where this would be an appropriate answer? Have you a deep philosophical insight or a joke or a song you could share? The main idea is to contribute a comment that will be useful in helping us memorize this Judgement.

Tomorrow we'll tackle The Image.
 

rosada

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The Creative - The Image

The Image in The Creative is made up of the trigram Ch'ien, HEAVEN, below and then again the same trigram, Ch'ien, HEAVEN above.

"The movement of heaven is filled with power."

"Since there is only one heaven, the doubling of the trigram Ch'ien, of which heaven is the image, indicates the movement of heaven. One complete revolution makes a day, and the repitition of the trigram means each day is followed by another. this creates the idea of TIME." (For more of this discussion of the Image, see Wilhelm, pg.6)

Movement: An act of moving, CHANGE OF POSITION.

Heaven: Supreme HAPPINESS, BLISS

Filled: To put as much in as can be held.

Power: The ability to ACT EFFECTIVELY.
....
Random thoughts..

I was originally intending this thread to be mainly just hints for MEMORIZING the I Ching, but I've come to realize that not only will it be pretty valueless to just know the words but not their meaning, but also, it is easier to remember the phrases when we have more understanding of their meanings. So I've decided I will also add a bit of my opinion as to the meaning of these hexagrams. Please understand that I am only sharing my own thoughts which may not gibe with the more informed opinions of others and indeed I hope that others will share their insights especially when there is a differing point of view.

"The movement of heaven is filled with power."

Religious leaders often tell us that in and of ourselves we are powerless. So isn't it interesting that one of the first lines of the I Ching tells us where the power is? The power - that is, the ability to act effectively - is in "the movement of heaven", or in "the change of direction", of "happiness". Is this the I Ching telling us the ability to act effectively comes with our ability to change our direction? To follow our Bliss?

Further observations... This opening clue also seems to point to the potentials of astrology. That is, it seems to suggest that by recognizing what the flow of time is and aligning with it we too become powerful. Think of the expression, "Seize the day". I visualize a man grabbing hold of the sun and being lifted along with it as the sun rises.
 
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bradford

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Hi Rosada-
This subject came up somewhere else once. I can't remember if it was Clarity or elsewhere. I was a bit of a wet blanket then as well as now because it's a question of best allocation of time for what you get in return. I've sort of accidently memorized the Yi just because I've read it all so many hundreds of times. And yes, I no longer need to look things up, and the readings jump out from behnd every rock.
But the problem with doing it th way you're going about it is that you wind up just memorizing a translation, not the Yijing. And no translation (not even mine) will give you more than a fourth of the meaning of the Chinese. With the same amount of effort you could probably study the Yi in Chinese and get ten times the benefit.
 

philippa

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Hmm. Memorizing the Yi in Chinese, for someone with little Chinese, is a STEEP learning curve.

I learnt to recite poetry out loud as a kid. In fact, saying the text in Chinese (in my case, Cantonese) can be quite rhymic and pleasant to the ear. But that's assuming you're registering both the sound of each character and the associated meaning(s) in your head. That's hard.

Perhaps the alternative is to find one translation that works for you from a poetic level in terms of the "meter", maybe? Would that help?

Philippa
 

rosada

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That's a very intriguing observation, Bradford. Are you volunteering to lead the workshop? I'm sure there would be many interested readers. I certainly would be interested!

Meanwhile, I'm just going to persever with memorizing Wilhelm. ..

To complete the Image:

"Thus the superior man makes himself strong and untiring."

I guess the idea here is that since day follows day and it's a great life if you don't weaken, one ought to do all one can to keep physically fit to survive the adventure.

I wrote out all the Images on 3x5 cards and considered where in the house one might post the messages as appropriate slogans. The Hexagram 5 Image ("Thus the superior man is joyous and of good cheer") fits well over the breakfast table. Hexagram 13, Fellowship with men, could hang in the laundry room where one, "Organizes the clans [sorts the socks] and makes distinctions between things."
Anyway, the Image for Hexagram could go by the exercise videos or jogging shoes as it reminds us, "The superior man makes himself strong and untiring."
...

Philippa! How about setting the I Ching to music?
 
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lightofreason

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philippa said:
Hmm. Memorizing the Yi in Chinese, for someone with little Chinese, is a STEEP learning curve.

I learnt to recite poetry out loud as a kid. In fact, saying the text in Chinese (in my case, Cantonese) can be quite rhymic and pleasant to the ear. But that's assuming you're registering both the sound of each character and the associated meaning(s) in your head. That's hard.

Perhaps the alternative is to find one translation that works for you from a poetic level in terms of the "meter", maybe? Would that help?

Philippa
you dont need the chinese. You can use emotions if you wish - the focus on feelings allows for context to then push the feelings and elicit a hexagram 'experience' - as covered in the Emotional IC pages and 'consultation' method:

http://members.iimetro.com.au/~lofting/myweb/EmotionalIC.html

To start off, just focus on A/B answers, avoid the 'changing into' to start with. Then recognise the gerund labels f(-ing) of hexagrams - these reflect the dual nature of a hexagram representing a being (A box) or a doing (TO box) etc

From there comes basic aspects associated with any language and that includes nominalisation/denominalisation (A to TO or To to A)

THEN comes finer details using the XOR material (http://members.iimetro.com.au/~lofting/myweb/introXOR.html )

LOTS of details etc in that we can get the IC to describe itself through use of XOR.

Chris.
 

bradford

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These are the CD's I have of music based on the Yijing

Frank Steiner Jr, I Ching Symphony
Uakti, I Ching
RichardWarner, Quiet Heart, Spirit Wind
Sesia Nagruniowa, I Ching
Elodie Lauren, Tronik Involutions
David Kempton, The Primary Trigrams of the I Ching
I Ching (group), I Ching and I Ching of the Marsh and the Moon
Yarrow, I Ching Primary Trigrams
 

dobro p

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"That's a very intriguing observation, Bradford. Are you volunteering to lead the workshop? I'm sure there would be many interested readers. I certainly would be interested!

Meanwhile, I'm just going to persever with memorizing Wilhelm. .."

lol

Dentless.
 

bradford

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dobro said:
"That's a very intriguing observation, Bradford. Are you volunteering to lead the workshop? I'm sure there would be many interested readers. I certainly would be interested!
.
I thought that the whole point of writing a book was that that could do all of the long drawn out teaching stuff in your place. I must have misunderstood :duh:
 

Trojina

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LOL this thread is tickling me. The one thing you've mastered in this lifetime Rosada has to be perseverence, you don't need Wilhelm to tell you that (only kidding)

I inadvertently have memorised all the hexs and lines, not deliberately but it must have sunk in during the 100,000 tosses or so i may have made in this lifetime. But I haven't memorised wording, like Brad said there wouldn't be much point as you would just be memorising someones translation. Besides which over a long period you find remembering is automatic.

However i can't say remembering is always a great aid to understanding. Very useful yes, the brains way of compartmentalising information into manageable chunks for interpretation and digestion of data that might otherwise overwhelm.....but the danger is if one consciously tried to remember the Yi Jing like information for an exam one might then easily bypass new info coming in because then one might think "ah done that, know that, this means that, a means this, b means that, its all sorted..." which of course it never really is is it ? Its more dynamic than that isn't it since it involves an interaction, you, the Yi and the rest of the world. But you know that so um I'm wondering why you want to memorise ? Must be you think it will be an aid your own understanding, you are already finding that by the sound of it.
 
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bruce_g

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Completely agrees with Trojan.

I made a concerted effort to ‘sink’ a complete version of Yi into my head. Pull the floaters into the herd, so to speak. I did this through a simple meditation exercise. Each breath was a hexagram, in order. What this did, in addition to aid memorization of hexagrams, was that it provided timing (good ole Ti Ming) and rhythm to the memory work, making it fun, so that rather than forcing an answer to come (within the time span of one breath), it had to come by itself, without effort.

But even after all that, I still get 38 an 39 mixed up. :p
 
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bruce_g

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Realized I should qualify what exactly was memorized with the exercise. Obviously, there’s not much time for a whole lotta text, so an image, key phrase, anything which appears during that number. Then, letting it go with the out-breath, drunking up the next hex. with the next breath, etc. The images could change each time around, but also are there consistencies.

Since I can't maintain steady nothing-ness for very long, the exercise gives something interesting on an intuitive and natural level.
 

rosada

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Yes, Trojan, my motivation here is not merely to memorize the words, but to actually experience each line of the I Ching. When we were doing the "I Ching on the I Ching" thread, even though we were supposedly making up a story, I found that what ever line we were focusing on ressonated with events going on in the real world. So now I am looking to discuss each line not as a make believe story, but as a real comment or guide on our lives here and now, one day at a time. What I am trying to say is, that I expect as we focus on each of these lines in order with only the concious intention of commiting the lines to memory - that is, programing them into our unconcious - we will find that we see our lives taking the shape of the path deliniated by the order of the hexagrams. Thus, today our study is of hexagram 1.1, "Hidden dragon. Do not act." As we focus on this idea I am expecting we will see lots of examples in our daily lives of hidden dragons not acting and perhaps more importantly, that tomorrow when we focus on hexagram 1.2 "Dragon appearing in the field" we will understand or see how the conciousness of "hidden dragons not acting" automatically leads to conciousness of "Dragon appearing in the field." An example of this would be someone we are thinking about today showing up tomorrow.
So anyway, yes, as you deduced, my goal here is not just to memorize, but to experience and to understand. So I hope readers of this thread will not only post helps for memorizing, but also any experiences, questions, jokes, tips or stories that will result in our feeling a year and a half from now that we have actually lived the I Ching Journey.

Hexagram 1.1
Hidden dragon. Do not act.

Well, this is an easy line for me to remember because I made up a joke about it. "What advice did his mother give him that disuaded John Kennedy Jr. from a career in the theatre?" As to what it actually means, I think of it as encouraging one to be aware, perhaps to make plans. As hex 1 is the image of Day, 1.1 could mean the time just before dawn, the state of conciousness just before we are fully awake. If I got this in a reading I would think the I Ching was advising me to make a plan, or to focus on what I wanted to see manefest.

Hex.1.1 changes to 43, which suggests to me the easy access to the unconcious at this time.

If Hex 1.1 were a song, what song would it be? Morning Mood by Greig? (G E D C D E G E D C D E G E G A E A G E D C)
 
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rosada

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Somehow missed reading your post Bruce. Am I understanding correctly that you reviewed each hexagram in order on the inhale and then let it go on the exhale? I can see how that would make an almost musical experience.
 
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bruce_g

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Hi Rosada,

Yes, that's basically it. Learning the Yi isn't only learning the meanings of each hexagram, it's also experiencing the flow of the sequence, the transition from one to another.

I was asked only this morning about this process for those who have not yet learned all of the hexagram names. To avoid competitiveness - which only serves to pull away from the meditative state - if a breath goes by without the next sequential hex. arising, simply let it go and catch the next one which comes to mind in sequence. If nothing more than a name or feeling arises with the next breath, fine. It's not a competition. Letting go of a thought is as difficult as attracting it to you, through this exercise, so there is detachment from the thought or image as well as association with the thought or image: being only the observer.

Obviously, this is different than the focused task of memorization, but I thought it may be worth sharing anyway. It’s a nice groove, once comfortable in it. And it’s more on the experiential side of Dao than on the analytical side of familiarization with the Yi, though it accomplishes both.
 
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rosada

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1.1 Hidden dragon. Do not act.

I've seen many interpretations of this line, but this morning I woke up with one of my own:
Perhaps the I ching is telling us how to handle the very tricky situation of starting anything new, any untried situation where we don't know who the players are or what we're getting our selves into. The first law of thermodynamics (I think) is that every action causes an equal and opposing reaction. Therefore perhaps the I Ching is advising us here at the beginning to keep one's intention ("dragon") hidden and to do nothing that would arouse the inevitable opposition.


Flip side of 1.1 is Hexagram 44, the image of desseminating commands through out the universe. If we remember that the opposite of 1.1 is spreading the word, perhaps we can more easily understand 1.1 as keeping mum. The judgement for 44 is "The maiden is powerful. One should not marry such a maiden." For 1.1 could this be the caution that the unconcious is powerful and one should not foolishly energize it.

(Okay, Bruce, exhaling now and on to 1.2)

1.2 Dragon appearing in the field.
It furthers one to see the great man.

Possible interpretation:
Even without saying or doing anything, your intention starts to manefest. You recognize these manefestations. Respond to the best.

Similar sayings:
"When the student is ready the teacher APPEARS."
"Follow the lead that comes to you."
"Speak of the devil and he appears."
..
 
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sparhawk

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Although memorizing the Yi may help you keep Alzheimer's at bay, the benefit of such an enterprise is doubtful. I must agree with Brad on this issue of we, as Westerners, trying to memorize a flawed translation (and all translations are flawed, on any field or subject). On the other hand, it beats Scrabble as entertainment... :)

Cheers, gang,

Luis
 
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bruce_g

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Luis, hey, stranger!

Yes, I suppose it's all entertainment, isn't it? Mind candy, through the looking glass, digging into archaic texts and symbols, finding secrets, speculating, imagining, using oracles. Perhaps it’s quality entertainment, however, as opposed to reality TV or watching sports. Or, maybe it’s just the same, and it only depends on what one is entertained by.
 

rosada

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Dear Luis,

Oh dear, please don't let the word "memorize" create an obstacle! How about, "Read with intent to understand and recall"? Or how about just read to "acquaint" ? The I Ching specifically promises man's character will be strengthened by "acquainting" one's self with the wisdom of antiquity. (hex 26 Image)

Whatever, yeah, several folks have commented they don't feel much enthusiasm for memorizing Wilhelm. I choose Wilhelm for my text because I wanted this exploration to be a Group Mind Creation and so wanted everyone to have at least one text in common. Wilhelm is accessible to everyone for free here at Onlineclarity.com. But if you have quotes from a different translation, perhaps your own, that you feel are preferable or worth reading, please post them.

Anyway, as Bruce suggests, let's have fun with this.
 
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Trojina

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Rosada was wondering if you had consulted the Yi about your endeavour here ?
 

sparhawk

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[highlight]Perhaps it’s quality entertainment, however, as opposed to reality TV or watching sports. Or, maybe it’s just the same, and it only depends on what one is entertained by.[/highlight]

Right on, my friend. After all, sex is overrated and we don't need "rhino horn's shavings" and/or "protection" to learn the Yi... :mischief: Forget about TV: 500 channels and nothing on... :)

Carry on, Rosada.

L
 
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bruce_g

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LOL! I wonder, does it really get any deeper than American Idol?
 

rosada

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1.2 Dragon appearing in the field
It furthers one to see the great man.

"Dragon" easily translates to "Intention", but what exactly is "the field?" Specifically, what is our field as we study the I Ching together? At first I thought this might pertain just to our own individual lives, with the idea that we might post our own personal stories as we study these lines. Then Bruce and Luis mentioned television, and the day they did I happened to be watching a Bob Dylan video on television - which could be interpreted as "seeing a great man" - and so I thought perhaps television would serve as our mutual "field". But that wasn't entirely satisfactory because of course, we didn't all have access to the same video. Then yesterday Confucius moved his thread to this Discussion area. Wow, what a fitting manefestation of a Dragon appearing. So I think we are seeing this website could be our mutual "field' when we are awake. I say "when we are awake" because last night I had a very vivid dream which suggested to me that there is indeed a Field of Dreams we all can share.

!.3 All day long the superior man is creatively active.
At night his mind is still beset with cares.
Danger. No blame.

I think of this as The Chore Line. It seems as if when ever I get Yanged up enough to actually do something, all the chores I've been putting on hold start screaming for attention. Because I'm inspired and want to actually get to the new creative project, I seem to be able to power through them, but somehow this seems to send out a signal, and even after I've completed the jobs in frount of me, each job leads to another and at night MY MIND IS STILL BESET WITH CARES, and there in lies the DANGER that one may feel responcible to solve all the world's problems before living one's own life. Is I Ching telling us there will be NO BLAME if we just kindly say good night?

The flip side of 1.3 is 10. Treading's image says the superior man discriminates between high and low, and thereby fortifies the thinking of the people. Perhaps this tells us that the superior man knows which cares to care about, and how to not sweat the small stuff.

----
Hi Trogan,
You asked if I had consulted the I Ching before starting this thread. Yes, I asked a couple of questions. First, What would it benefit me to memorize the I Ching? I received 63. Wilhelm makes the comment that hexagram 63 means "making firm". That made sence, so then I asked how I might go about this and got 57.1 changing to 16. Now 57.1 sounded like the need for being organized and 16 sounded like a group effort, so here we are!
 
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bruce_g

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Rosada,

Just so you know, I’m completely serious about your !.3. All this talk lately about etymology, pictures vs. word constructs et al; this is, to me anyway, a wonderful example of how a symbol of a certain dynamic (thus a picture) combines with word construction. !.3 – sheer genius. The most wonderful part for me when I first read it was that, it was the Dao which gave the simplest and purist meaning to 1.3, and arose unconsciously through you. I liked your words which followed too, but it was as though they only described the essence: !.3

Maybe I’m just nuts, but from here on, I’ll think of 1.3 as meaning !.3.
 

rosada

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Thank you, Bruce! I wasn't happy with what i posted yesterday so I went back to edit it. Your encouragement caused me to leave 1.3 alone. It's hard to know if one is channeling or blathering without friends to give feedback. Anyway, I did re figure 1.2, if you care to re-read the post.
 

rosada

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1.4
Wavering flight over the depths.
No blame.

Okay, we've left the shoreline (chore line) and must now navigate by inner pilot. It's The Free Will Line! Yea!

Anyone have any tips for how to remember these exact words? Personally, after Bruce's kind post, I am QUAVERING, out of my DEPTH and too scared to type. Who could BLAME me?
 
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bruce_g

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rosada said:
It's hard to know if one is channeling or blathering
You mean there's a difference? Mmh, 'gifts of the holy ghost' has been known to utter complete nonsense too, but to someone it is their revelation.
 
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bruce_g

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Rosada,

That’s the thing about memorizing someone’s translation/interpretation of I Ching: it is someone else’s. The truth of it needs to become ones own truth, and I believe that only comes from personal practice, impartation and revelation. Logic, memory or text are only the highway entrance signs.
 

martin

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Funny, it seems that it is not entirely clear what this dragon in line 4 is really doing.
Legge has him 'looking as if he were leaping up".
LiSe feels (if I understand her correctly) that he dances as if flying: " 'Dance' is foot + pheasant-feathers: dancing as if flying."
She writes that Brad relates it to "a shamanic feather dance, a rite of passage, the "leap of faith" from aerodynamic theory to real flight."
And what does Wilhelm think? Ah yes, wavering flight over the depths ..

Wilhelm - it's like he arrived a bit late on the scene, after lift off. And then the question is perhaps if the beast is going to crash or not.
Others arrived earlier. Lift off has not yet taken place and it seems to them that the beast is rehearsing it or something. :D
 

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