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Neither Three nor Four

yly2pg1

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There is a Chinese saying derived from Yi text:



The zhendic gives the following meaning:
dubious;
shady;
neither one thing nor the other;
neither fish nor fowl;
nondescript

"Three" and "Four" refer to the line position at 3 and 4 respectively.
Until today, i am still having difficulty to understand why line 3 and line 4
is selected instead of other line postions. Why not we have "neither two nor five"?
 

bradford_h

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My first thought was of Zhuangzi's story of the monkeys and the chestnuts.
But I do't see any connection to the Yi.
 

hilary

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Well, if it were to do with lines 3 and 4, it might be because they mark the threshold between inner and outer trigrams. Neither three nor four - not exactly thinking about it, not exactly doing it?

(Are there more texts connected with (in)decision in positions 3 and 4 than elsewhere?)
 

freemanc

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I don't have a reference for you, but my nose tells me this harkens back to numerology or a casting oracle other than the Y.

Also, I wonder if someone who has Chinese could look at it for homophones or near homophones. Might be an appalling pun.

Also, my cursory Google suggests that it is a very well known saying.

FC
 

yly2pg1

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Hm...

All men are brothers, Hmesker!

Zhuangzi'story?... is it that zhao1 san1 mu4 si4. Three in the morning, four in the evening?
 

yly2pg1

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If you are looking for a classic where Yi is in action, do not forget the book The Romance of Three Kingdoms. Most Chinese knows the stories well, especially the figure Gong3 Ming2. (I notice this name is also used by someone in this forum).
 

yly2pg1

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Back to the saying "Neither three nor four".
Freemanc is right. It is a popular saying. A daily verbal usage! Most dialects i know of use the same saying, not to say Mandarin.

I find this saying in Yi books (in Chinese versions). No much explicit explanation is made. That is why i post my question here. Thanks to Hilary! Your view are very much accurate as i could so far figure out from the books i have!
 

jerryd

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As a complete outsider to this conversation I suggest you look at it from a polite logical perspective, Instead of saying to someone "You are completely wrong so make another decision." the wise teacher said:
"It is neither three nor four" so in mind mind I must think again to come to the answer required.
Or to put it in another way; it is not (either) and it is not (or), so there is at least one other choice! What is it? Is this a Zen thing for the modern scolar? Just to see it from a nieve students perspective, I offer this as food.
 

bradford_h

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Hi Hilary-

This is one place where the Xi Ci Zhuan or Da Zhuan is right about the Zhouyi. From 2.9:
"Line 2 is frequently praised
Line 4 is frequently cautioned - for immediacy ....
Line 3 is frequently adverse
Line 5 is frequently effective"

This is based on line position only (Yao Wei)
Correctness and correspondence are statistically irrelevant.

Also, Line 6 is frequently scolded for going too far

Y-
Or four in the morning, three in the evening.
Yep, that's the story
 

yly2pg1

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A translation i like in Zhuangzi:

Life has a limit,
but knowledge is without limit.
For the limited to pursue the unlimited is futile.
To know this and still pursue knowledge
is even more futile.
In doing good, avoid fame.
In doing evil, avoid punishment.
Thus, by pursuing the middle way,
you may preserve your body,
fulfill your life,
look after your parents,
and live out your years.
 

yly2pg1

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Is this a Zen thing for the modern scolar? Just to see it from a nieve students perspective, I offer this as food.

I am not sure?

But your metaphor is inspiring, really!
 

lightofdarkness

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In the hexagrams, lines 3 and 4 represent MAN, as compared to 1&2 representing EARTH and 5&6 representing HEAVEN.

The dynamic of HEAVEN/EARTH is one of stimulus/response. With MAN comes mediation and so a middle state - not this, not that - since to assert THIS or THAT one is no longer mediating.

In line positions, 3&4 is manifest in hex 62. The focus is on the use of rhetoric to keep the collective together - as such the collective is not together, nor is it apart, it is not this, nore that. The rhetoric focuses on issues of unconditional loyalty - to be 'one of us' or not to be 'one of us' - the emphasis is on the action.

Chris.
 

martin

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I once had a puppy that had a very funny gait. It was often not clear if it was walking on four legs or three or perhaps even less (it fell on its little nose occasionally, so that would be one or zero).
Could it be that bu san bu si originally referred to the gait of animals, or toddlers maybe?
I don't know chinese, does bu san bu si mean the same as the Indian neti neti (neither this nor that)?
It sounds funnier somehow.
 

jerryd

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I am wondering if we are not trying to understand this puzzel out of context. If this is in reference to lines 3 and 4 of any Hex it is generic and its meaning is lost, or If it is refering to lines 3 and 4 of a specific hex it will to me place reference back upon the immediate question and questioner, asking them to clarify in their mind the need for asking the question.
It may also reflect the idea that (neither 3 nor 4} can be accepted as stand alone lines and must be considered as a true pair, confined in the central or heart of the 6 line Hexagram. As they are brother and sister,from the sameness of the totality of the whole. This allows them also to be sisters or brothers or mirrors,identical but different if you like. yin,yin or yang,yang.

I am convinced in my mind If I read a statement such as (neither 3 nor 4} and give it meaning without knowing first the reason it(the statement) is made, all els is pure conjecture. It does however have meaning to anyone who finds meaning within it for the moment and makes them just like all lines in any Hex we use for devination.

I do not take credit for knowing only for mediating what was given to me last night while upon reflecting on this as I fell asleep.
 

yly2pg1

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does bu san bu si mean the same as the Indian neti neti (neither this nor that)?
It sounds funnier somehow.


It is common to refer to gay/lesbian culture as bu san bu si. Something like "just do not get into mind"?
 

yly2pg1

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it might be because they mark the threshold between inner and outer trigrams. Neither three nor four - not exactly thinking about it, not exactly doing it?

The dynamic of HEAVEN/EARTH is one of stimulus/response. With MAN comes mediation and so a middle state - not this, not that - since to assert THIS or THAT one is no longer mediating.

But after mediatng, MAN is not able to assert, and not able to overcome the threshold in order to take action ... so MAN refers to Zen master, Jerry ...
 

lightofdarkness

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...but MAN likes mediating, and so if there is nothing around to mediate, will create something.... with YANG collectives so the mediation industry develops full of laywers, auditors, psychotherapists ;-)

The focus overall is mediation stemming from the dynamics of exploitation/protection - gets into the images of the Tarot - the Magician is in the middle as a conduit of the powers of heaven and earth. The Fool is coming out of the middle with self-confidence exaggerated, all is mediatable ... hubris rules. ;-)
 

yly2pg1

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Chris,

HUMAN has a role between HEAVEN and EARTH to receive data from the earth reality, process it (mediation) and to chart his life course (which is made up of a series of decisions). Every time the process will encode our brain (or leave a trace mark). The more we repeat this, we are creating universes of our own in our brain (we call this HABITs). When more and more people share our HABITs, it become a NORM. So a NORM is a pool of shared universe across a huge group of people (the small world network - a PROTOCOL).

But, in certain earth reality (e.g. gay/lesbian culture), the data do not synchronise well with the MAN's existing protocol. The protocol just repels the data!!!

So come the word bu san bu si.
The data just cannot be processed!
 

yly2pg1

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The focus overall is mediation stemming from the dynamics of exploitation/protection - gets into the images of the Tarot - the Magician is in the middle as a conduit of the powers of heaven and earth. The Fool is coming out of the middle with self-confidence exaggerated, all is mediatable ... hubris rules.

Just for funs
:
Magician is at the place of Line 4?
Fool is at the place of Line ???
 

lightofdarkness

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(1) the issue with homosexuality is that, in a way, it does not exist. What DOES exist is a strongly developing consciousness that can be at odds with what is inbetween the legs - our consciousness can be 'different' from our speciesness. As such a conscious state can feel as if in the 'wrong' body.

THis issue gets into the recent 'disputes' about marriage - to the traditionalists marriage is related to gender, what is in between the legs is more important than what is inbetween the ears!

WIth the advent of consciousness and genetic engineering etc so 'natural' childbirth is superceded or complemented by 'alernative' methods, where those methods have emerged from the activities of consciousness - natural selection gives way to conscious selection.

Overall, we have a lot of thinking to do! ;-)

(2) For tarot associations see:

http://www.ozemail.com.au/~ddiamond/taro.html

Chris.
 

jerryd

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Mischeviousness does not necessarly need to be limited to MAN. Is seems all societies have addressed it self to an idea not well founded but alomst totally accepted that, God is a male (yang)intity. Now this is I think a presumption which is totally unfounded in any way except by a concensus opinion. Genetically speaking MAN is neither,(either)3 nor 4(or),(he)[loose defination]it is a nondiscript all knowing all powerful spirit entity and is suppose to grant a human soul eternal life upon the meeting of conditions.

Metaphorically this is a great story line, in reality it is creating myrh by default..

Even the ancients in China had recognized the factual only proven today that there lies within us all a (3Yin) and a (4Yang) component in all beings, female or male. Our recognition of this and what we do with it is choice not necessity. It is dependent, in my observations, on socal independence, or a lack of it, which is generated by circumastnce in out social family upbringing. No Blame.
If Seeking outside the square a Protocal which feels comfortable and is desireable, While It is productive for growth, No Blame. Intellectualizing while seeking is a confusing way in which to justify this search, sometimes it is covered with insensitive humor hideing embaresment during the seeking out. I have spiraled through many layers of growth and deteration only to find my self where I am today. A male MAN, the fool to some and an enigma to others and an individual to most. We are all an implement of discovery for another in some way.

If in fact MAN (Zen Master) having nothing to meditate on creates something, is there blame?
It is prehaps no worse than mental masterbation. And less distructive than causing war, so if it is a worry to meditate on the importance of a navel, the blame lies in a lack of understanding of others, not the one meditating. Neither 3 nor 4.
A position of (7)[Nervan] if added and if subtracted the (1)[Ch'ien]Heaven, position, consequently leaving it someplace beyond and in between still unknown to most living souls save those who have reached beyond and returned.

Aside, few if any cultures atribute Female status to the Devil or Satan.
 

lightofdarkness

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In the traditional IC there is a focus on the distinctions of

HEAVEN, EARTH, MAN. We could be politically correct and try and replace MAN with some other term, but I am sure the females here understand what is being represented in that, with consciousness so the male can exist in the female as the female in the male.

In trigrams the focus is on HEAVEN-EARTH-MAN. In hexagrams this comes in two forms:

HEAVEN
HEAVEN
MAN
MAN
EARTH
EARTH

OR

HEAVEN
MAN
EARTH
HEAVEN
MAN
EARTH

In the 'derived' triadic model of things (three types of lines) so the ordering is rigidly maintained across all 81 symbols, 3 sets of 27, as HEAVEN, EARTH, MAN. (and so 3 sets of 9 within the 27, 3 sets of 3s within the 9 - all ordered HEAVEN, EARTH, MAN)

Mischeviousness is indicative of some form of intent and that is associated more with MAN than Heaven/Earth - unless one is anthropomorphising ;-)
 

jerryd

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Thank you for this clarification of what I think I may have ment to say Chris.
 
C

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Jerry,

?Aside, few if any cultures attribute Female status to the Devil or Satan.?

Oh there are some, even in contemporary cultures. Today?s culture is expressed largely in music. ?Black magic woman? and ? Evil woman? being just two examples from the 70s/80s. Maya the temptress is an example of a more ancient devil woman. However, as with all myths of evil deities, Maya has an essential creative aspect.

Maya
 

pakua

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And don't forget Eve, who caused Adam's downfall. Even Buddhists were afraid of women and of being led astray by them.
 

jerryd

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Ah yes well I do stand to be corrected and thank you for pointing this out. About the she devils in our midst.
 

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