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Oldest Known I Ching-Guicang studies and comment, recent milifoil study

midaughter

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The discovery in 1993 of a new divination manual in a Qin period tomb
near the old capital of Chu in Jiangling, Hubei, has stimulated new
research in ancient Chinese divination?a field once dominated by
studies of Shang period oracle bones and the Yijing (accepted by many
to be of an early Zhou date). This new manual (consisting of 394
bamboo strips and fragments representing two copies), is now
identified as the Guicang mentioned in later texts. Like the earliest
layer of the Yijing, it consists of hexagrams, the names of the 53
different hexagrams, and an omen text. Unlike the transmitted version
of the Yijing, the hexagrams are represented by an ancient numbering
system found also on earlier bone, bronze, and bamboo texts. Even
more startling, the mythological and historical events used as omens
in the text are completely different from those in the Yijing.

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The Structure and Schools of the Guicang

Xing Wen, Peking University

The Guicang, which might be translated as "The Book of Concealment,"
was attributed as a divinatory classic of the Shang Dynasty in early
China, and thus supposedly pre-dated the better known Zhouyi or
Yijing (The Book of Changes). However, the scattered citations of the
Guicang in received tradition which were edited as "reconstituted
redactions" (jiben), have been considered forgeries for centuries.
This misunderstanding ended with the discovery of bamboo slip
versions of the Guicang from a Qin tomb in 1993.


In this article the author states that the reconstituted redactions misrepresented
the true textual structure of the classic. He also analyzes connections
between different schools of the Guicang and the extant Guicang
chapter divisions and hexagram names. Besides exploring textual
characteristics of early Chinese divinatory classics, He discusses
the reconstruction of a critical edition of the Guicang and how best
to read the text.


These abstracts taken from the 2003 papers presented at the AAAS society. Unfortunately the society does not have copies of the complete papers. The Guicang has been considered an earlier version of the I Ching.
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Some Observations on Early Milfoil Divination

Stephen Lee Field, Trinity University

My analysis will begin with a look at a bone inscription dating from
the late Shang or early Zhou, unearthed at the Zhou homeland of
Qishan. It contains a six-digit numerical string, followed by a
sentence of six Chinese characters. Apparently the record of a
milfoil divination, the sentence is most likely either the diviner's
counsel based on the number cast by milfoil, or an omen text cited by
the diviner which corresponds to that particular number. In order to
further anchor this text in the early development of milfoil
divination, I will compare it to fragments of the Guicang found in
the Qin tomb at Wangjiatai.
 

midaughter

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Val, thanks very much for the information. I think Lise has done us a great service.

Sun
 

midaughter1

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http://www.onlineclarity.co.uk/I_Ching_community/messages/48/1038.html?#POST9842
Dear Val,
In reading these comments at the url above I would like to point out the difference between a scholarly work and commentary. Scholarly works have a narrow focus, relate to concrete findings-artificats, manuscripts, and writings for example. So, for example in interpreting an ancient Chinese manuscript if one mistakes the character for fox for that of the ox, the sun for the moon, or water for plow (just examples) the mistake can be independently verified. Authors of this type include Richard Rutt and David Keightley.
Commentary, on the other hand is an interpretative work. Commentary uses scholarship as scholarly works are fundamental but it also uses the intangibles-experience, insights, intuition and so forth.I write in this vein. Authors of this type include Martin Palmer, Eva Wong
 

midaughter1

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Was Lao Tzu influenced by the Guicang rather than the Zhouyi? Chinese thought on the subject:

L£õ Shao-gang

(Institute of Ancient Books, Jilin University, Changchun 130012,
China)

Abstract: This paper points out that the ideology of Lao-zi was originated from Guicang but not from Zhouyi. The author states three
evidences for his viewpoints:

`1.there are more aspects putting the hexagram of¡¡ Kun£¨¡¶À¤¡·£©in the first place while putting
¡¡ Qian£¨¡¶Ç¬¡·£©in the second place (which follows the order of the hexagrams' order of¡¡Guicang) in¡¡ Lao-zi, but not in turn (which is in conformity with the hexagrams' order in¡¡Zhouyi). [the Guicang places Hexagram 2 and Hexagram 1-this is called 'putting mother first.']

2. Lao-zi's dialectical thinking mode belongs to a mode different from that
of the ancient Text of the Zhouyi. ¡¡ [dialectical materialism is still a hot topic in China]

3.,¡¡Lao-zi's view on the universe's generating & producing differs from that of¡¡Zhouyi's ancient Text too.¡¡
 

midaughter1

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.


"Later texts who called the Guicang "Return to Womb and Tomb," "Concealment, " or simply "Return." the original text was said to be less than five hundred characters. Since Chinese texts are entitled after the first line of the writing, we can speculate that the Guicang begins with Hexagram twenty-four, Return. " Taken from the 'new texts' page of midaughtersiching.

Based on these two sentences, Lise finds my entire website to be 'wrong'. What is wrong with these sentences, first of all? If Lise is thinking of becoming an I Ching critic I would say, don't give up your day job. Sorry, but sometimes its appropriate to say something when someone is being spectacularly unfair. No one leaped up to say her site was 'wrong' when it was the book of the returning moon.
 

heylise

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Uff, I cannot find back the post with the context of this remark.

I did not say it was 'wrong', based on these two sentences. I said many things were not facts, and on your website it is (or was then) not clear what was fact and what was your own idea. This remark was just an example, and maybe not a good one.

'Own ideas' are great, and that was one of the reasons I also said your website was beautiful and interesting. I just wanted to warn people not to take everything for granted.
If you make clear what is your own idea, and what you have from other sources, then there is no problem at all. And there is no need to do so for every single item, just somewhere visible for the visitors, so they know what they can expect.

But if you don't, everything is fine too of course, but then some people might make remarks like I did.

Hope you go on with your beautiful and interesting website, because that's what it is.

LiSe
 

hilary

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Someone should maybe say that... actually when LiSe's site was the Book of the Moon, someone did leap up to tell her it was wrong, or something along those lines. She changed it.

In Yi-land, where we all get so passionately involved in our personal theories, I think this is something a bit out of the ordinary.
 

midaughter1

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Dear Lise, Val, Hilary, et al.:
Thanks for your kind comments, Lise-perhaps I took the wrong meaning. Commentary by its definition contains speculation, interpretation, and theory. Formal scholarship, by its terms, is limited to concrete evidence-authentic historical writings, characters as in Chinese characters,ancient tables of eclipses and archeological findings carefully interpreted.

The theory that the female diviner clans (there are direct quotes from K. C. Chang, a formidable scholar now deceased) that these distaff clans existed during the Shang Dynasty and I have placed a long quote by him on my site. I placed this clan in the I Ching via Tui because of the association of Tui with the White Tiger and the West in WB, the old commentaries symbols they both use plus other uncanny parallels of the WB text and the record of the life of Consort Hao. It didn't too far fetched to theorize that line 5 of Hexagram 63 might relate to her ( Hexagram 63 iscalled the 'Wu Ting hexagram'-Wu Ting was her husband)

I really don't know what type of concrete evidence would ever be found. Surely there is no Roseatta stone of the ancient I Ching. It would be a wonderful discovery to find a chart saying each and every ancient personage who is written about and has contributed to the I CHing but not very likely. I have divined the matter and so it stands.

Today in the I Ching world ancient women are still to be discovered, their contributions acknowledged. If there were ancient woman diviner clans as both KC Chang (and Joseph Needham also said in 1966) the idea more likely should be WHERE do they fit into the I Ching not IF.

My site has many more theories (such as Lao Tzu being descended from this lineage). But who can be offended by a theory? There was one self-styled critic who said I should make it clear where it was a theory. I thought the suggestion reasonable so I put more if's on the site he then criticized me for saying there were too many if's. This type of criticism is not sincere just meant for audience, meant to say the critic is so much better than the person he denigrates.

Only time will tell and we can hope further discoveries will shed some light on things. To simply deny the ancient women of the I CHing out of hand is close-minded.

I think more important on my site is the association of the I CHing with both esoteric Taoism and Buddhism that needed to be explored by someone with experience . The oldest explanation for the orgins of divination have always been attributed to the nagas-the holy beings from another galaxy had only been mentioned in passing by Master Ni. In studying with the Tibetans I found much more to add on this subject. In popular lore the nagas became dragons but the original legend-that Fu Hsi and Nu Wa were nagas had never been articulated.

Hilary I think Book of the Moon became the Sun a very long time after the site was published. I believe SM showed LISE the character for Return. I knew myself (by just reading HExagram 24) it was the sun and not the moon-I felt that she would eventually as part of an unfolding process figure it out for herself. What is need for angry finger-pointing?
I appreciate her approach to the I Ching-elegant and artistic.

I did notice in arguments over my site that a couple of guys decided to pretend they didn't they didn't know the difference between formal scholarship and commentary in order to be offended-I think there is among a few fellows out there a lot of jockeying for position and status, basically pack behavior and more than a little fear of strong women-all that mushiness! that untrustworthy intuition! cheekiness yet! there won't be any women in the I Ching until WE say so!
 

hilary

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A small thing: there's no sun or moon in #24 (only feet and things): this is about the character for Yi itself - possibly my favourite part of Steve's book (which is indeed younger than LiSe's site).

I think it's time I revisited your site
 

sparhawk

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

I believe SM showed LISE the character for Return.<!-/Quote-!><HR SIZE=0></BLOCKQUOTE>

See, here is the problem with no spelling things out properly. If I didn't know Steve Marshall, a dirty mind like mine can get the wrong idea about LiSe's choice for entertainment...


Seriously though, I find your site very, very interesting. But my personal reasons are that I see lots of speculation (read educated guesses if you wish) extrapolated from a number of facts. I have a very speculative mind myself and I find resonance in some of your theories.

I believe that what Steve Marshall tried to say to you and the rest of the audience, if he is one of the 'guys' you are referring to, is that an unsuspecting beginner reader of the Yi can wander into your site and, in the way it is laid out, take all that's written there as proven facts.

BTW, in my opinion, Stephen Karcher latest book is also presented this way. This doesn't mean I dislike it.

Luis
 

midaughter1

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Dear Luis and all: I really think SM believes all commentary to be a 'travesty' He has said of Martin Palmer (Shamanic I Ching and other books on the I Ching)Thomas Cleary(he may have a point about Cleary not giving any reasons for his theories) and I believe, Eva Wong-all them to be travesties. He never explains his travesty conclusion which leads me to believe the idea has an emotional rather than logical basis but its o.k. by me.
If there is any writer I would emulate, it would be Eva Wong-she intergrates her writings with her personal practice as she points out in the Dragon and Tiger Classic., She says it fills in the gaps where the classical text is difficult to understand.
Thanks for your ideas-In the 2003 edition, I have considerably edited the text to make it clear that these are educated guesses in part but much based on some very good, hard findings of others-I just bring them all together, what Arthur Koestler (Darknesss at Noon) would call intellectual history. I could not resist bringing together the Tomb 5 papers, KC Chang and Joseph Needham together with the I Ching. This ancient lady, keeper of the sacrifices is in the Yi somewhere one would think. The theory that Consort Hao fits into Hexagram 58 is mine.

I don't know how a newbie would be so greatly harmed by this theory. If newbies were that delicate we have to warn them quite a few I Chings, probably the majority of them.

My site makes clear this is a tribute to Master Ni and Geshe Kelsang Gyatso and their spiritual teachings. The majority of what I have written about is spiritual practice which is an underpining of much of I Ching text from ancient times. I don't know of any I Ching person who would be qualified to critique me in this area.

I do know that Master Ni is the Eldest Son as this has been confirmed to me from utterly reliable associates of his and the idea that Hexagram 51, in addition to other things, is the embodiment of the Pace of Yu, still done by Master Ni every year and that the 'thunder' in terms of the ceremony is clairvoyance, the thunder being the voice of god. And does Master Ni send clairvoyant messages to his students? Yes, that how he interacts with us. So my other premise of I Ching thought is that clairvoyance and intuition count for a lot. That is why I have been writing so much on the Li School and Cheng I-because its my school too.

[for Hilary-I know there is no image in the hexagram dealing with return, she looked at the ideogram. The wording of the hexagram places it with the Winter Solstice, a time when the sun returns. PS, don't worry I am not too hard on her]

If you have to unlearn anything, its not what I teach- leaving the ego-the anger, the desire to social status,the greed, the cruelty behind. [Its always a strange contrast between the one who has studied the Yi for many years and hasn't internalized the fundamentals of training the mind.] Most of us know we should work on our character all the time and try to be a source of nourishment to others. Anyone who makes fun of this sort of goal is ignorant.

But, anyone, I feel it a great thing for anyone to point out a factual error at my site-what are friends for?

One more thing, I think you, dear Luis, have some issues with me. Why not resolve them with me if they still exist? I am not going to bite.
 

cal val

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LiSe...

Love the whip. Looks to be a tad longer than mine. Love to know where you got it. I'm thinking of upgrading.

Love,

Val
 

sparhawk

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Wow LiSe! You've just made my Saturday!


L
 

sparhawk

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

One more thing, I think you, dear Luis, have some issues with me. Why not resolve them with me if they still exist? I am not going to bite.<!-/Quote-!><HR SIZE=0></BLOCKQUOTE>

And then they say that American English is not an inferred language...


You've got me there Mary. I have a short term memory problem. Please refresh my memory in what is it that I some issues with you. You are too much on the defensive side and are seeing things that are just not there and I certainly didn't say nor meant.

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

If you have to unlearn anything, its not what I teach- leaving the ego-the anger, the desire to social status,the greed, the cruelty behind. [Its always a strange contrast between the one who has studied the Yi for many years and hasn't internalized the fundamentals of training the mind.] Most of us know we should work on our character all the time and try to be a source of nourishment to others. Anyone who makes fun of this sort of goal is ignorant.<!-/Quote-!><HR SIZE=0></BLOCKQUOTE>

What can I say about that without falling into a similar sort of character judgment? As for the making fun part of it (which on my part is never about personal goals), sorry, cannot help you there. I would refer you though to reread a bunch of Daoist texts, unless you are turning confucian all of a sudden.

In any case, you've got my address if you think that I really have issues with you.

L
 

midaughter1

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Dear Luis, Lise, Hilary and Val: Let me point out, Hilary, that Hexagram 24 by its wording, not it images refer to return of the sun and Winter Solstice. Don't worry, I am not going to be too hard on Lise-I liked her resonance with the moon actually.
Regarding your idea about misleading the newbie-I really think that most I Ching commentary is wrong and its a wonder the newbie manages to get past it. If they can do that those hardy souls can hardly mislead by an idea that there were ancient women diviners.

Much of what I have written has not remotely been touched upon by the 'critics'. The idea that Hexagram 51 is a representation of the Pace of Yu and that Master Ni today fills the role of the Eldest Son in the ceremony today is an idea that he presented in an oblique way in his book. He has confirmed to me that 'thunder' is indeed clairvoyance and found as a secret meaning of the hexagram so I do not find that interpretation of Hexagram 51 a theory. Many times in dream interpretation the Yi has told me 51:3 (she speaks with 'thunder'-a clairvoyant sign.

I have made it clear that I am a member of the Cheng I school or the i-li or simply 'li' school. That school values intution and close contact with the nature in order to reveal the pattern or li. The school uses esoteric symbols and values clairvoyance, even honors it.

Rather than misleading the newbie who will have to unlearn things I would point out that if one has to unlearn anything it would be to unlearn anger, greed, the desires for status, to hurt others and so forth and that one should help and nourish others. Anyone who thinks these are laughable goals for any person in serious study of the I Ching is ignorant.

If anyone sees where I have made a factual mistake on my site or where I have mislead someone in any way, do me the kindness of telling me. I certainly do not take offense at helpful actions; I become concerned when we don't treat each kindly and with respect.

Luis, I have long felt that you have some issues with me that might be best addressed by you, I do not bite.

Wishing all you the most abundant blessings for the New Year, I am,

Yours,

Mary
 

sparhawk

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At least I read replies before serving a second helping of the same, albeit slightly polished, message... Even so, I hardly ever repeat myself.



L
 

midaughter1

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Sorry, Hexagram 18, according to Ni, someone has placed a curse on my computer-it is crashing and sending messages that I thought were deleted. Hence, I said everything rather twice. Today it is warmish and sunny but a little windy in Florida and I have been scouting the water for my crabbing brother. I liked Lise (I mean I like the dudette now) but when she thought the moon was her close companian, we had an affinity.

I wonder how she came to think of me as a lawyer since I have done many jobs mostly on the water and the jungles of Guatemale and Belize in order to study the Yi > The law part helped me to learn HExagrma 10, the tiger's tail is often the government who wants to destroy the largest city water front park

-I am resuming the boat journey so I should be saying adieu-sheepshead are in spawn, we cook the filets with white white and herb dressing and cream of mushroom soup. the fish is very fresh. This gives me a perspective too as well as what has been said here-its fun once in a while.

Best

Mary

PS Luis, I don't believe you, stated simply.
 

midaughter1

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Return

Return leads to self -knowledge. It also speaks of returning back to one's inner light finding in the depths of one's soul, in the depths of the mind finding the the Divine One. Knowing this, One is to know one's self in relation to the cosmic forces. Return also means the return of understanding after an estrangement...Book III, the Commentaries.

]
 

heylise

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This is the character 'YI'. The 4th, 5th and 6th are oracle-bone characters, the 6th is Eastern Zhou and the last one is modern.
Yi is an ancient sacrifice to make the sun return after a period of covered sky. So it is not a lizard, not the moon with rays, but the sun emerging from behind a cloud.
I am trying to find out what the first 3 characters are. Obviously pouring from one vase into another: exchange. They are probably forms which are older than the 4th, but there is an interesting feature to them: compare the right side of the vase, just the side with handle and liquid, with the 4th. As if the character has been reduced to the 'picking up and pouring', the essence of exchange.
Nowadays yi is still used a lot in China, almost every trade company has it in its name. "Exchanging, trading".


At left is gui, the first character of the name of hex.45. Its meaning is 'return to your home', like the maiden who goes to the home which will be hers. It is often used for dying: returning home.
The GuiCang is a divination manual, it resembles the YiJing very much, but it is older. This Gui is the same character.
The part at left is (probably) buttocks or testes, it is also part of 'shi', hex.7, and there its meaning is 'military'. The right part, fu, looks like a broom, but its meaning is 'lady of nobility', so probably it is some kind of ornamental attribute. Maybe indicating her rank or descent.
It gives a nice image for 'marrying': a procession from her home to his, he with his attributes and she with hers.

The other character, also pronounced fu (fu4), is an image of a city, with a foot going from it (not towards!). It means to return to the way you use to go, to resume or carry on your own cycle. For sun and planets: going their own orbit.

LiSe
 

arien

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Wow LiSe, thats fantastic!! Ive never seen the pouring water version, and I do agree it makes the yi character appear in a whole different light... Just curious, you dont mention the source for these first two characters... may I ask where theyre from?

Also, in order for me to understand, did you pair up gui and fu in the bottom part because thats the way to write "Guicang"? (I get the "gui" but I fail to understand the "cang")
 

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Aaah - I see what you mean about the handle! I wonder if the ancient Chinese were into visual as well as verbal puns?

When you say '45', do you mean '54'?


Very interesting that the foot in 24 is definitely going out away from the town. Perhaps this explains the countless times Yi answers 'Is he/she coming back to me?' with 24, especially 24,1, and he/she keeps on going away.
 

heylise

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You're right about 45, should be 54!

Arien: Harmen Mesker found the characters 2 and 3 in the Hanyu Da Zidian, a big Chinese dictionary. He had an article about it on his website, but I cannot find it anymore.

The first character is mysterious. I scanned it from some source, but which?? Probably the 'Grand Ricci', a huge Chinese-French dictionary with all (or at least almost all) old Oracle Bone characters. It has no explanation of them, like Karlgren's GSR has, but there are many more than in Karlgren.
But I cannot find it back at the entry of 'yi', and I have been searching at other yi+radical entries, but found nothing.
I stored it as 'yi-change', so it definitely was the right character. When Harmen sent the other two, I found it back, and I have been annoyed since about not finding the source back.

The character for cang (or zang) is not in the above post. But there was a mentioning of the 'return' having a connection with 24, so I showed that this return was a different one, the same one as in hex.54.
I put the two 'returns' on one picture for the simple reason that it was easier uploading.

Anybody wants to know a character, just ask.

LiSe
 

heylise

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When the Yi answers 24 to 'will he/she return?', I always think it is saying "Go on, follow your own road. Don't bother about what he/she does, then you will be doing the right thing, and the chance of him/her returning might actually be possible".
I don't think the Yi ever tells the future. It just tells you how to create your own best future.

LiSe
 

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