...life can be translucent

Menu

Ouroboros Bagua

IrfanK

Supporter
Clarity Supporter
Joined
Dec 15, 2011
Messages
556
Reaction score
348
The other side of this coin could be the deep significance of what you do choose to fix and preserve in writing. Why do you do that?
Kunst or Shaughnessey, I forget which, suggested that the Zhouyi was probably first written down late in the Zhou dynasty, when it was unstable and under threat. His idea was that it was only when a body of knowledge was under threat that people would feel a strong need to transcribe it, to preserve it. I dunno. It's an interesting idea, but I can think of other reasons. It could also have ritual significance, it is now fixed, it exists independently of the experts who use it. Or maybe somebody didn't like the idea that there were all sorts of variant versions floating around, so we need an authoritative version.
 

my_key

visitor
Joined
Mar 22, 1971
Messages
1,808
Reaction score
555
Quite possibly true. But also, it just wasn't automatic or natural for all knowledge to be recorded in writing. Even much later, in Europe, up until after Gutenberg, a book was a rare and valuable possession. A prosperous middle class family might have owned a family bible, which would have been extremely expensive, and probably no other written materials. Instead, people generally memorized texts, including quite long ones. And the people who could memorize long texts were highly valued and played a special role in society. (You can read about this in the histories of Homer's Odyssey, which wasn't written by a guy called Homer -- in fact, almost certainly wasn't written down at all for a long time).

The idea that knowledge exists "in the public domain" is pretty recent.
Indeed. The oral traditions did reign for many centuries and orators were held in high esteem for their skills and memory. The technical revolution of printing has led to vast changes in the availability and the price of knowledge since the 1400's and now physical books are on their way to being obsolete.

Good luck with your memorising of the Wilhelm text.
 

my_key

visitor
Joined
Mar 22, 1971
Messages
1,808
Reaction score
555
The other side of this coin could be the deep significance of what you do choose to fix and preserve in writing. Why do you do that?
One of the spoils of war is that the victors get first dibs on what is recorded for posterity in their books of knowledge.
In the UK some guy went around, I think in the 50's, writing down the words and music to 100's of traditional folk songs as all that existed were held in the memories of old folk who were by the nature of things dying and taking the traditions to their grave.
 
Last edited:

hilary

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 8, 1970
Messages
16,586
Reaction score
2,013
True. But in China, the oldest surviving 'books of knowledge' are divination records on oracle bones: more like the minutes of the oracular meeting, so both humans and spirits know what was agreed.
 

my_key

visitor
Joined
Mar 22, 1971
Messages
1,808
Reaction score
555
True. But in China, the oldest surviving 'books of knowledge' are divination records on oracle bones: more like the minutes of the oracular meeting, so both humans and spirits know what was agreed.
Clear contracting that is solidly fixed and recorded. Good business practice, and the ability to hold people to account then are other reasons for writing things down. A bit like The Doomsday Book or Magna Carta.
 
Last edited:

IrfanK

Supporter
Clarity Supporter
Joined
Dec 15, 2011
Messages
556
Reaction score
348
True. But in China, the oldest surviving 'books of knowledge' are divination records on oracle bones: more like the minutes of the oracular meeting, so both humans and spirits know what was agreed.
Ya. Maybe writing it down wasn't so much a record of the ritual, but more part of the ritual.
 

hilary

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 8, 1970
Messages
16,586
Reaction score
2,013
Ya. Maybe writing it down wasn't so much a record of the ritual, but more part of the ritual.
That's exactly what Mark Lewis says in Writing and Authority in Early China. (I got through its first couple of chapters while on holiday.) You could keep records on clay, silk or bamboo; carving into bone (and storing stacks of shells and scapulae) would not be a sensible way of going about it. He also mentions bronze inscriptions as having similar thinking behind them: you write what happened inside the ritual vessel, so it will be communicated to the spirits with each offering.
 

my_key

visitor
Joined
Mar 22, 1971
Messages
1,808
Reaction score
555
That's exactly what Mark Lewis says in Writing and Authority in Early China. (I got through its first couple of chapters while on holiday.) You could keep records on clay, silk or bamboo; carving into bone (and storing stacks of shells and scapulae) would not be a sensible way of going about it. He also mentions bronze inscriptions as having similar thinking behind them: you write what happened inside the ritual vessel, so it will be communicated to the spirits with each offering.
Reminds me of the archeological finds at the Roman Baths in Bath. Objects were thrown into the Sacred Spring as offerings to the goddess, Minerva. These included many messages, including curses, that were inscribed on lead sheet that had been rolled up and then tossed into the spring where it was thought the goddess lived.

The spring pre-dates the Romans for the origins of the sacred rites and rituals performed there.
 

lucky69

visitor
Joined
Aug 27, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
As for the 'ouroboros bagua', I would really like to know where it comes from. Did the person who showed it you invent it himself, or come across it somewhere?
He has a notebook in which the first page is filled with the image of Ouroboros Bagua I've shown you. The other pages contain the explanation of 64 hexagrams written in English from right to left as follows:

firm and correct , advantageous , penetrating , originating and great is what represents Qian
. throne the as
. deep the in hid lying dragon the see we , Nine first the In
. doing active for time the not is It
It . field the in appearing dragon the see we , Nine second the In
. man great the with meet to advantageous be will
the all vigilant and active man superior the see we , Nine third the In
dangerous is position The . apprehensive and careful still evening the in and , day
. mistake no be will there but ,
leaping were he if as looking dragon the see we , Nine fourth the In
. mistake no be will There . deep the in still but , up
sky the in wing the on dragon the see we , Nine fifth the In
. man great the with meet to advantageous be will It .
There . limits proper the exceeding dragon the see we , Nine topmost the In
. repentance for occasion be will
there , heads their without dragons appeared there If : Nine the of use The
. fortune good be would

I wonder why those words were written from right to left. And he answered that it is the way to understand I Ching more deeply in English. That’s all details I got from him.
 

hilary

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 8, 1970
Messages
16,586
Reaction score
2,013
Thank you for taking the trouble to write all that out!
And he answered that it is the way to understand I Ching more deeply in English.
I'm afraid this is twaddle of the first order, though, which makes me a good bit less interested in his new bagua. I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. Much more interesting just to have conversations with the I Ching itself.
 

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