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Plant Oracle

taobabe

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Hello Clarity World

This is my first post, so I would like to say 'Hi!' and to wish everyone much light and life. To try and avoid triviality, I would also like to post a question that I hope can be answered by someone who has traveled the path longer than I have managed to do myself. I would love to gain new insight into an old question of mine. I also want to apologize in advance, if this is a question that has been asked multitude of times over, but I could find no thread on this, and so am risking the wrath of the community by asking this question.

If the I Ching is based upon the Plant Oracle, (and the I Ching has stated definitively, that there are three mediums of expression—Men, Animals, and Plants, with Chance thrown into the mix as the fourth medium for individual and specific circumstances clarification), then what Oracle would the Men Oracle and the Animal Oracle be based off of? I am assuming that 'Men Oracle' actually refers to the 'Human Oracle', as I find it hard to believe that any Oracle would limit itself to be specifically designated for males only.
 

pocossin

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Welcome to Clarity, Taobabe. Please, what do you mean by 'plant oracle'? What is the Chinese name of this text? From a quick check, the only thing I found is "The Druid Plant Oracle". Is that what you mean? Heaven, Earth, and Man are correlative, so there is no need for multiple texts. "Man" means human, not just male, and refers to both genders. The human self is a mixture of yin and yang, with one or the other predominating, depending on time and circumstance. The closest Chinese book to a 'plant oracle' is the tai xuan jing, Michael Nylan's Elemental Changes. It is based on 81 stages of plant development. Nylan is a feminist, and likely you would enjoy her feminist humor that occurs subtly throughout the book.
 

taobabe

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Hi pocossin,

Thanks for your response. I found this information from the Shuo Kua - Discussion of the Trigrams, in the I Ching Book of Changes translated by (Richard Wilhelm) when I was doing more in depth research on chance and how it affects divination and the human consciousness. In my copy of the I Ching, this idea is found on page 262 and 263. Here is the direct quote:

"The original purpose of the hexagrams was to consult destiny. As divine beings do not give direct expression to their knowledge, a means had to be found by which they could make themselves intelligible. Suprahuman intelligence has from the beginning made use of three mediums of expression—men, animals, and plants, in each of which life pulsates in a different rhythm. Chance came to be utilized as a fourth medium; the very absence of an immediate meaning in chance permited a deeper meaning to come to expression in it. The oracle was the outcome of this use of chance. The Book of Changes is founded on the plant oracle as manipulated by men with mediumistic powers." ~ Richard Wilhelm

This information, I am afraid, may have been lost in antiquity. Still, I hope to find it some day, perhaps through in depth understanding of the Druidic traditions, because from my understanding, this is perhaps what a Druid would utilize when doing divination work. I will definitely look into the Druid Plant Oracle to see if it is what the Shuo Kua is indicating, as per the ancient source for the I Ching's existence. This depends on how far back the Druid Plant Oracle was found. Unfortunately, the I Ching and its hexagrams were thought to pre-date recorded history, so its roots are hidden in shadows as well.

Much appreciate your thoughts on the matter

Taobabe
 

pocossin

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Thank you , Taobabe. In "Suprahuman intelligence has from the beginning made use of three mediums of expression men, animals, and plants" I understand 'men' as visions and dreams, 'animals' as scapulae and plastra, and 'plants' as yarrow.
 

taobabe

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Thank you for your insight. I will continue to research the matter. :)
 

charly

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... Here is the direct quote:

"The original purpose of the hexagrams was to consult destiny. As divine beings do not give direct expression to their knowledge, a means had to be found by which they could make themselves intelligible. Suprahuman intelligence has from the beginning made use of three mediums of expression—men, animals, and plants, in each of which life pulsates in a different rhythm. Chance came to be utilized as a fourth medium; the very absence of an immediate meaning in chance permited a deeper meaning to come to expression in it. The oracle was the outcome of this use of chance. The Book of Changes is founded on the plant oracle as manipulated by men with mediumistic powers." ~ Richard Wilhelm
...
Much appreciate your thoughts on the matter

Taobabe
Hi, TB:

As far as I remember the Shuo Gua didn't speak of men, animals and plants but of HEAVEN (or Sky), EARTH and MAN:

Sky / Heaven: SHADY - SUNNY
Earth: GENTLENESS - FIRMNESS
Man: BENEVOLENCE - RIGHTEOUSNESS

Maybe PLANT ORACLE was inspired in the sequence where the Shuo Gua speaks about the Changes (YI), how it was based on ACHILLEA (1) and in NUMBERS (two and three).

BONE DIVINATION (scapula or tortoise) was not based on numbers but in images (crack's shape).

I believe that the ideas in the text you've quoted are that:

• The Changes belongs to a PREHISTORIC TRADITION of yarrow / bamboo stick divination (PLANT ORACLE).

• It doesn't come from SHANG'S BONE DIVINATION, reserved to royal court, althoug maybe it has taken some JARGON from it's oral practice

• The Changes also responds to a NEW TRADITION OF HUMANISTIC PHILOSOPHY and has not only the quest for FATE PREDICTION but also the question about HOW TO BEHAVE.

The MEN's oracle is the one for HUMANENESS, the MORAL side of fate / destiny.

I like very much your site.

All the best,


Charly
_______________________
(1) shi: achillea, the plant used for yarrow divination.

yarrow.jpg

Source of the picture: http://www.soap-diy.com/forum1/thread-1863-1-1.html
Ch.
 
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