...life can be translucent

Menu

Multiple moving lines - Part 2

dobro p

visitor
Joined
May 19, 1972
Messages
3,043
Reaction score
3
Another idea: 'the number of moving lines in a hexagram indicates the relative importance or signficance of the resulting hexagram in the present situation'.

So, if you've got two moving lines, you can consider the resulting hexagram as a minor aspect of the present situation, but if you've got four moving lines, you absolutely must take it into consideration. If you've got five or six moving lines, then the primary hexagram is more like a springboard that leads you immediately to a focus on the resulting hexagram - the rhythm of the situation is iambic, in other words.

Which would mean that it isn't just an issue of multiple moving lines; it's an issue of *any* moving lines, and where you put the stress. There are seven possibilities: no moving lines means you put all the stress on the one and only hexagram. One moving line means you put almost all the stress on the primary, with just a hint of the resulting hexagram being present, etc. This approach simplifies everything, because the more moving lines you have in a hexagram, the more difficult it is to read. (I find three about my upper limit for useful understanding - it just gets too complex with four or more moving lines.) Which means that the meanings attached to the individual moving lines become less powerful, or less signficant, the more moving lines there are.

I know, I know - I'm simplifying a complex situation. But what I'm reaching for is a simplification that *balances* the complexity so that it can be more usefully handled, so that you could say: "Well, it's a complex situation and it's difficult for me to see it simply and clearly, but I do have an idea about where it's headed."
 

martin

visitor
Joined
Oct 2, 1971
Messages
2,705
Reaction score
0
Till somebody clearly proves me wrong I will stubbornly adhere to the view that changing lines are simply not valid when you get more than one line.
Having said that I must admit that I usually read all the changing lines that I get. But that is because I have a very curious nature, not, repeat not, because I believe that they are valid.
 

dobro p

visitor
Joined
May 19, 1972
Messages
3,043
Reaction score
3
"Till somebody clearly proves me wrong I will stubbornly adhere to the view that changing lines are simply not valid when you get more than one line."

Well, on the one hand, nobody can prove you wrong, but they can appeal to common sense.

But I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean that when you get more than one changing line, you look only at the primary hex and the resulting hex and ignore the individual meanings of the changing lines?
 
E

ewald

Guest
I've got a similar experience as Dobro, that with 4 or more moving lines the individual lines are usually not all clear. I find that in that case there will be one or more that I don't find applicable.

With one changing line I tend to find the meaning of the changed hexagram of only theoretical importance, but with two I usually find it meaningful to the situation.
 

martin

visitor
Joined
Oct 2, 1971
Messages
2,705
Reaction score
0
Yes Dobro, that's what I meant.
My experience is that the two hexagrams usually give a very clear message and that the changing lines (if there are two or more) only confuse the issue.
 

hilary

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 8, 1970
Messages
14,220
Reaction score
170
Hm, Martin, what would constitute proof? I'm not at all sure I could provide it - but I do know I've never found any part of a reading that didn't tell me something worth knowing, at least if I paid attention.
 
C

candid

Guest
Martin,

Because something isn't clear doesn't make it not exist. It only means we haven't dialed it into focus clearly. If your mindset is that only one line applies, you will only find meaning in one line, to the exclusion of all other moving lines.

It's like saying of the guitar, I don't understand this chord or that scale, therefore it has no value. Every chord and scale has more than one line, all notes having equal value, but at a different frequency. But not every note in the chord or scale fits every song.

Recognizing value in multiple lines requires a flexible mind, and understanding the common dynamic of opposites. IE: If you do this, you will get burned. If you do not do this, you will not get burned. Two lines pointing to the same truth, each from a different perspective.

Besides, if you believe or see that one hex. transforms completely into another, how can you possibly eliminate any change which has made it so? That makes no sense at all, logically.
 

lindsay

visitor
Joined
Aug 19, 1970
Messages
617
Reaction score
0
On the other hand, a creative mind can find significance in anything. Isn't Andy Warhol famous for painting portraits of Campbell soup cans?

The historical record and Chinese tradition supports Martin. All the most ancient readings involving moving lines from the Zuozhuan (our oldest source) identify a single moving line called a "base" line. This is also true in other ancient sources like the Guoyu. An attempt to reconstruct the most ancient methods for determining the "base" line is to be found in the Nanjing Rules from Gao Heng's circle. But the most definitive or classical method for finding the "base" line are summarized in Zhu Xi's Rules from the twelfth century. This is the method still most used in Chinese yarrow-stalk Yijing divination.

In short, reading more than one moving line is pretty much outside the Chinese tradition of Yijing divination.

Keep in mind that Chinese divination was a live performance. The diviner had to deliver an analysis quickly on the spot - he did not have the luxury of sitting around thinking of all possible connections. He did not always get it right. There are ancient examples of people reinterpreting oracles in the light of subsequent events, showing where critical clues were missed.

This hit-or-miss technique is still typical of most Asian fortune-tellers. In 1993 the Italian Asia correspondent for Der Speigel, Tiziano Terzani, traveled throughout Asia investigating fortune-tellers, and wrote up his results in the entertaining book 'A Fortune-Teller Told Me' (1997). Terzani did not find any Yijing readers, but his quest did uncover a host of popular divination practitioners that used surprisingly similar methods. It is fascinating to read exactly what these diviners are expected to do, and how to tell a good one from a bad one in Asian terms. Absolute accuracy is not a must!

Just a blast from the past --

Lindsay
 

bradford_h

visitor
Joined
Nov 16, 1971
Messages
1,115
Reaction score
1
Lindsay-

In spite of this
"All the most ancient readings involving moving lines from the Zuozhuan (our oldest source) identify a single moving line called a "base" line. This is also true in other ancient sources like the Guoyu."

Attempts to grapple with multiple Yao are in evidence at least since the early Han.
The Yi Lin or Forest of Changes even provides a text for all 4096 possible castings of the stalks.

It is equally plausible that multiple Yao readings are not in evidence (in what few fragments of pre-Qin texts that we have) for no other reason than their complexity.
 

dobro p

visitor
Joined
May 19, 1972
Messages
3,043
Reaction score
3
"In short, reading more than one moving line is pretty much outside the Chinese tradition of Yijing divination."

So, let's see...should that mean that I shouldn't read multiple moving lines? No, I think that's bad thinking. Things evolve. Modern surgical practice is way better than it was in the Middle Ages. Should we not use modern methods just because things were simpler back in the day?

For me, it's like this: a changing line is a fact of the consultation, plain and simple. It would be like giving birth to a child and choosing to ignore its gender, choosing to ignore something very obvious and important that's going on. A changing line is like a light that comes on in the hexagram - it attracts attention. The question is what to think when lotsa lights come on at the same time. Like someone suggested here, multiple lines are like a chord. But whereas a musical chord is immediately understandable, three changing lines are not. And when they move in different directions, it's a bit of a discordant chord. Each one of those changing lines is happening, each gets 'heard' by the interpreter, but you've got to find a way to 'hear' them all together as well as individually. I'm starting to think that the way to 'hear the chord' is to look at the shift from primary to resulting hexagram. And more than that, it might be that the number of changing lines is an indicator of the importance, the weight, the proximity of the resulting hexagram in relation to the primary.

I know that these are just dry ideas at this point, but by thinking out loud and getting responses from all of you, it'll help me look at meanings in the Yi in a new way, and maybe I'll start to see things more usefully as a result.
 

dobro p

visitor
Joined
May 19, 1972
Messages
3,043
Reaction score
3
Also, there's this, and I'd like your thoughts on it.

If you go into a consultation saying: 'Right - changing lines will mean that the resulting hexagram comes into the picture,' then the oracle will take that into consideration.

In other words, the intelligence behind the oracle immediately clocks the 'rules and understandings' you've set for the consultation, and adjusts accordingly.
 

martin

visitor
Joined
Oct 2, 1971
Messages
2,705
Reaction score
0
Are multiple changing lines valid or not?
It's of course very difficult to prove or disprove anything in this area. As Lindsay said, "a creative mind can find significance in anything".
It can see Zaphod Beeblebrox (from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) in a Rohrschach blot.
Is Zaphod really in that blot and is one of his lines, err heads, really drunk?
What is "really"?

Apart from that, I believe that whoever/whatever it is that communicates through the Yi (and other oracles) adapts to the user.
It/he/she tries to get a message across, that is all that counts. If the user is focused on lines it will speak in lines. For a user who is more attuned to hexagrams it will speak more in hexagrams.
And it will of course also take into account the understanding of the user and the meaning that he or she has come to associate with the lines and hexagrams.
I think that an oracle behaves in the same way as human beings that are eager to communicate. If one language doesn't work we use another language. We will use any means at hand to reach the other.

So, if it's true for me that multiple lines can be neglected, it may not be true for you. And the other way around.
 

cal val

visitor
Joined
Apr 30, 1971
Messages
1,507
Reaction score
1
"In other words, the intelligence behind the oracle immediately clocks the 'rules and understandings' you've set for the consultation, and adjusts accordingly."

Such hubris. Do you REALLY believe YOU set the rules?

Love,

Val
 

martin

visitor
Joined
Oct 2, 1971
Messages
2,705
Reaction score
0
Candid,

You wrote "if you believe or see that one hex. transforms completely into another, how can you possibly eliminate any change which has made it so? That makes no sense at all, logically."

I don't discard the changing lines themselves, I only discard the text of these lines.
I don't know enough about the history of the Yi to be sure about this, but I suspect that the text of every line was originally written under the assumption that that line was the only changing line.
If that is true (and again, I'm not sure) you cannot find the meaning of a change that involves multiple lines by combining the commentaries on each individual changing line.
A change that involves (say) line 2 and 4 is a new gestalt. That gestalt is not "line 2 + line 4", "line 2 or line 4", "line 4 after line 2" or ....
It's like a child. If you want to know the child studying the parents (2 and 4) is not enough.
 
C

candid

Guest
Val, I interpreted Dobro?s statement not as setting the rules but as defining the parameter. If I?m correct about his meaning, I agree with him. How do you put the universe into a wine glass? With the limits set by the glass. Without localization, all the truths in the world will have no meaning.
 
C

candid

Guest
Martin, I doubt the inventor of wheel had low profile radial tires in mind. Not meaning disrespect to the origins of the oracle, but frankly, they have little relevance to Yi?s teaching in my life. If the Yi was discovered/developed in 1945, or 2003, and it worked as it does for me now, it would still be as helpful, though perhaps not as precious.

I?m a real believer in whatever works for you. If accounting just one line of multiples provides you with satisfying results, that?s what matters, imo.
 

pam

visitor
Joined
Feb 2, 1971
Messages
56
Reaction score
0
I agree with Martin's assessment - the I Ching speaks to the user and tries to get the message across the way the user is able to understand it. That's why it is important to remember what the I Ching said about a situation and then what happened - the same or similar result will hold true the next time you receive that answer. This does not mean, however, that it is entirely different in meaning for each user - only that through your level of experience with it, you will receive the answer that hopefully you can understand. Obviously, the answer to a question about an affair will have one meaning for the person in the affair who is enjoying it and doesn't much care about the consequences, and another meaning for the person who is an affair and wants it to result in a permanent relationship. The person who may be the one being cheated on will see an answer in an entirely different light. Yet each might receive the same answer to questions about the affair, depending how the question is put.

As for getting more than one line - I use the I Ching to buy stocks and if I only get one to three lines, I can see the movement of the stock in those lines pretty clearly (up, down, up or whatever). More lines and I take the the view of whole hex to whole hex, whatever direction that would be. So in that instance, Dobro's interpretation would be correct that the more moving lines there are, the less significant each line is.

I sometimes don't take the lines into account at all though because if the message is urgent, and I know what the individual hex means as far as stock movement, the two I end up with will have the message and the lines will not be part of that message. Case in point: I asked if I should short Apple ABOVE 37.50 today and got 51 - 35. The first line would be a good indicator (shock, then laughing) and the top line would be a negative indicator (shock & ruin etc) which might have been interpreted as the stock will go up greatly from there and I will be shocked and lose money OR that I will initially lose a bit and then make progress on my short. However, what it was saying was that the Yi was shocked at my suggestion that it would go ABOVE 37.50. It only got to 37.46 in the morning. The next question I asked was could I short at 37.40 and got 55 - 16. This was a yes, but the abundance part was a warning that THERE IS NOT MUCH ABUNDANCE in doing so. The way I have always seen 55 - 16 and the way it turned out today (maybe stated as 'your enthusiasm over this is too abundant. cool it - it's not that great'). It only dropped .47 from 37.40 down to 36.93. Then it proceeded to climb back up to 37.50 exactly. (I guess this was the shock, then laughing). It never went over. So ignoring the second hex would have been foolish - Progress resulted in the stock returning to 37.50 AFTER a shock of dropping. This is why I keep notes.

Good discussion, though.
 

cal val

visitor
Joined
Apr 30, 1971
Messages
1,507
Reaction score
1
What you do, Dobro, is set up strict limitations... not rules... in an already limited and terribly flawed and corrupted framework, corrupted by all the authors and editors who have used the book and changed it over the years to advance their own agendas, filling it with judgments and silly little augeries. And the Yi answers your questions without prejudice... without judgement... the best it can... within that framework. You're not making any rules... you're only limiting your opportunities by disregarding some of the possible avenues the Yi has used to answer you.

Last night I went out to celebrate with friends and family to a wild sushi bar... loud rock & roll music, disco lights and 10s of thousands of multi-colored miniature lights hanging from the ceiling. Sushi chefs and waiters in bright colorful hapi coats leading the customers in the chicken dance or making them dance on their chairs, singing along with Tom Jones, wearing Groucho Marx glasses/nose/mustache to bring the check, etc. etc. etc. I drank much Sapporo and sake, ate much spicy octopus, eel, etc., sang, hugged and kissed my friends and family... a lot, did the chicken dance... and the twist and the mashed potatoes too... and danced like John Travolta on my chair.

And when I finally climbed into bed, I asked the Yi what they thought of my evening of uninhibited revelry. They answered 26 to 23. Forget the freakin' lines. Not a single one of those lines has anything to do with what I did and felt last night. You'd have to really stretch... to the point of distortion (like so many people do) to get any relevance out of any one of them. They don't offer further insight into the answer. They don't offer ANY insight into the answer. The answer can be found in the two-word titles of the two hexagrams.

<CENTER>self-restraint...stripped away</CENTER>

Yeah dawg! I fell asleep content.

Love,

Val
 
C

candid

Guest
Of the 448 illuminations, 384 of these are the change lines. I?m at a bit of a loss to understand their riddance, avoidance or minimalization.

Val, your comments are especially confusing to me. On one hand you hold the Yi up as the infallible work of your personal gods. Then on the other, you discard more than 85% of its content? Maybe there?s a secret I haven?t yet discovered, that you, in your vast experience with Yi, have. Do share your reasoning.
 

lindsay

visitor
Joined
Aug 19, 1970
Messages
617
Reaction score
0
I think there is also a question of granularity in this matter. The more digging one does by using all the moving lines, the nuclear trigrams, the nuclear hexagram, the steps of change, the fan yao, the pairing in sequence, and so on -- the more pixels one gives to the picture. But sometimes a very sharp image is not necessary, in fact confusing. One only needs to see the outlines, the shadows of change, for many purposes.

I also think constructing a coherent and accurate picture with intense granularity by using the full Yijing palette requires, well, "powers". I am speaking here of powers of intuition and clairvoyance. Most of you will not agree with me, but I do not think a very good diviner is just an ordinary person, even with the Yi and a bookcase full of commentaries. The Yi is not a cookbook. Not everyone has or wants the necessary powers, but without them, the degree of focus is limited. But I am quite sure everyone can see something, enough perhaps, to impact life in a positive way.

Lindsay
 
C

candid

Guest
Lindsay, well said.

There are times when a flash glance tells everything I'm looking for, and more information can cloud the sense of clarity and certainty. In fact, that is why I don't apply nuclear tri/hex's, fan yao, pairing or steps: not that I feel they aren't legitimate, but they spread the focus that 'works best for me' too widely. A case of TMI, for 'me'.

I really like your pixel analogy.
 

jte

visitor
Joined
May 31, 1972
Messages
724
Reaction score
1
"And when [the chaning lines] move in different directions, it's a bit of a discordant chord. "

Do love that metaphor.

"Each one of those changing lines is happening, each gets 'heard' by the interpreter, but you've got to find a way to 'hear' them all together as well as individually. "

Or not. Sometimes it does help to look at them together, but I don't think it's *always* necessary for an interpretation (is all I'm saying). I could be wrong and just seeing less than I would be/should be, though.


Candid - I think Val's point is that sometimes (but perhaps not usually) the most relevant answer to your question, the part that "really clicks" is in a detail of the text such as a phrase in a commentary or, as in her examples, in the way the Hex titles relate. I've definitely noticed this phenomenon myself.

As for personal "gods" well, two words: Chung Fu. =)

- Jeff
 

dobro p

visitor
Joined
May 19, 1972
Messages
3,043
Reaction score
3
Yeah, Lindsay - that says something really useful about the Yi, and something really useful about the reader.

Val: as to the utility or otherwise of moving lines, see what Candid and especially Lindsay have to say just above this post. As for my hubris, nah... Do you use the coin method? As soon as you decide which side of the coin is yin and which is yang, you're laying down the 'rules' or 'parameters' within which the oracle will respond. It ain't hubris. You don't like my choice of words, but I think you understand the idea I'm expressing. BTW, were you hungover after all that imbibing of fermentatious beverages?
 

heylise

Supporter
Clarity Supporter
Joined
Sep 15, 1970
Messages
3,079
Reaction score
8
<BLOCKQUOTE><HR SIZE=0><!-Quote-!><FONT SIZE=1>Quote:</FONT>

Candid: Recognizing value in multiple lines requires a flexible mind, and understanding the common dynamic of opposites. IE: If you do this, you will get burned. If you do not do this, you will not get burned. Two lines pointing to the same truth, each from a different perspective.

Dobro: But whereas a musical chord is immediately understandable, three changing lines are not. And when they move in different directions, it's a bit of a discordant chord.<!-/Quote-!><HR SIZE=0></BLOCKQUOTE>

By combining those two views, you get the harmonious chord. As long as you see the lines as predicting an inevitable future, they can discord totally. But seen as guidelines, as information about the best course of action, they meld together in a harmonious plan.

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

Martin: I don't know enough about the history of the Yi to be sure about this, but I suspect that the text of every line was originally written under the assumption that that line was the only changing line.
If that is true (and again, I'm not sure) you cannot find the meaning of a change that involves multiple lines by combining the commentaries on each individual changing line. A change that involves (say) line 2 and 4 is a new gestalt. That gestalt is not "line 2 + line 4", "line 2 or line 4", "line 4 after line 2" or ....<!-/Quote-!><HR SIZE=0></BLOCKQUOTE>
My idea is, that every line has its place in the hexagram, and a meaning derived from that place. E.g. 5th line is the ?emperor?, so in hex.1 the ruler of the situation is the dragon flying in heaven. Line 1 is the lowest rank in hierarchy, it is the dragon under water.

Added to this local meaning is the hexagram this line changes into. For the flying dragon hex.14: the ruling power of line 5 and ?Great Possessing? together, really like flying high.
But because the Yi is a complete structure, 2 lines changing together have, apart from their individual meanings, also a meaning from that resulting hex. So hex.1 lines 3 + 4 have a meaning like hex.61. It is not information anyone can ?think? about when casting a hexagram, because through all this thinking you?d miss the answer. But intuition can go quite far. In the case of 1 changing to 61 it is not very difficult: the two ?man? lines in creativity change ? you need Inner Truth to create anything worthwhile. Which is reflected in the Junzi creative in the day, anxious in the night, and the dragon dancing.
And when hex.1 changes to 34, the two top lines, the ?heaven? or mental lines change, and for this change one needs Great Vigor. The combination of the flying and the overbearing dragon.

LiSe
 

lindsay

visitor
Joined
Aug 19, 1970
Messages
617
Reaction score
0
Brad -

I've been thinking about your post above concerning ancient readings, and I've come to the conclusion there is something fishy about the castings in the Zuozhuan. How could they all possibly end up with only one moving line by using known casting methods? I was confusing this result with the result of simplification methods (like Zhu Xi's), which are designed to identify WHICH of the moving lines is relevant. Zhu Xi's method presupposes that multiple moving lines will be cast, that all should be used to determine the relating hexagram, but only one yaoci is truly significant in interpreting the reading. But all (except one) of the Zuozhuan castings end up with no moving lines or a SINGLE moving line, and that single line is used to determine the relating hexagram. This sounds impossible to me using any yarrow-casting methods I've heard about.

Naturally, aside from raising a very odd and puzzling issue about the Zuozhuan readings, this pretty much cancels out my point that ancient Chinese readings involved using only one moving line. It isn't a question of using one moving line, but of getting one moving line as part of the casting technique. I wonder how they did it? Or maybe, as you suggested, the readings have been simplified for the sake of the story.

Lindsay
 

lindsay

visitor
Joined
Aug 19, 1970
Messages
617
Reaction score
0
Sorry, folks, just one more point in my imaginary conversation with Brad . . .

It just occurred to me that the Zuozhuan readings with their single moving lines cannot possibly be simplifications of more complex readings.

To use the Mingyi example, let's say the annalist knew that the reading was hexagram 36 changing to hexagram 15. The only way that can happen is if Line 1 (and only Line 1 moves). The reading could not have been different (involving more moving lines) or the resulting hexagram would have been different.

Obvious, huh? That means, in short, either (1) the Zuozhuan readings are totally bogus, invented to serve the story at hand, or (2) they involved a casting technique that somehow always returns either a single primary hexagram or a single moving line. In case number (2) we have a big mathematical mystery on our hands.

Or maybe the whole thing involves a scribal error. A breakdown at the Bronze Age Kinko's (for all you monarchists, Kinko's is a big US chain of copy shops).

Lindsay
 

martin

visitor
Joined
Oct 2, 1971
Messages
2,705
Reaction score
0
Lindsay,
I don't know if this is what you had in mind but here is an old method that produces only one changing line.
The hexagrams are created by choosing or calculating the trigrams (not by casting), only the changing line is determined by a random method.

I didn't try it myself, so I don't know what it's worth.
 

Clarity,
Office 17622,
PO Box 6945,
London.
W1A 6US
United Kingdom

Phone/ Voicemail:
+44 (0)20 3287 3053 (UK)
+1 (561) 459-4758 (US).

Top