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bruce_g

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So I was thinking, how the urge to preach I Ching has become faint over the last three or so years. There's no more sense of mission, only the necessity in the moment. This started me thinking, what was my mission in the first place, and how did (or still do - gods help me) the Yi come to play in this battle for rightness and soul winning? I'm drawing a blank on it.

What does come to mind is 26. In the present, 26 holds the means to accomplish "the mission", though I've no idea what mission it is. Going to look at the lines in 4 and 26, because they feel connected. The question is an open one, as though saying "You see my question about missions and such. Please show me a clear picture." So I draw two models:

Hex 4, lines 1 and 3, changing to 26.
Hex 26, lines 1 and 3, changing to 4.

4.1 Develop the ignorant, but don't persist.
4.3 No benefit taking a whore as a student or wife.

26.1 Harvest to stop at danger.
26.3 Refine pursuit. Probing leads to harvest.

Anyway, do you have a sense of mission with the Yijing? If so, what is it? How do you go about implementing the mission? Plus any other thoughts you may have on it...
 

rosada

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Worthy question, Bruce. I also have been wanting to ask people here, how do you go about sharing the I Ching? Particularly I feel sad, really feel I've failed, because I have not been able to interest my father in this work. Dad is a world class historian and math professor. You would think he would take to the IC like a duck to water. But no, he can't get past the idea of it being fortune telling, and his stye is to research and know everything scientifically. I don't know how people who have no instinct for the I Ching or Astrology stay sane in this crazy world!
 

rosada

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Okay, I just asked, What is the best way for me to introduce people to the I Ching? I received 31:

Influence
The superior man encourages people to approach him
By his readiness to receive them.

---
Causes me to ask myself, am I really ready yet to receive any inquiries? If someone were to show a genuine interest, could I explain the basic steps to them, do I have an I Ching I would be willing to part with if I thought it would spark a fire? Hmmm..not sure I'm ready.
 

Sparhawk

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4.3 No benefit taking a whore as a student or wife.

Well, I suppose not, but they do have other uses... :rofl:

Seriously though, regarding your question, talk about synchronicity... Just last night I had an old friend asking me: what's be best argument you can provide to convince somebody to spend time and energy studying and learning about the Yijing?

Now, for me this isn't just anybody; the man is a philosophy and comparative literature professor in Uppsala University in Sweden. He's from my native country but has been living in Sweden for some 30 years. I have a lot of respect for the man, both as a friend and as a brilliant mind. So, I was a little intimidated to come up with some brainy explanation of "why" he should. I decided to be candid about it. I explained that I could not provide an unbiased opinion because I've been studying the Yi since I was about 13 and that I could not imagine my life without the Yi around and that curiosity was for me the hook. I then said that the Yi has a very didactic aspect which is its oracular use and that I understand it takes a special personality to interest oneself in metaphysical studies. Fortunately, in his mature years he has developed a taste for such studies, so that helps.

I also explained that it virtually takes more than one life (granting such a possibility) to study the Yi in great depth. He replied: well, then what's the point of somebody having about a quarter to a third of a life left dedicating time to the Yi? I replied with Confucius's metaphor (apocryphal as it may be) of him wanting to have more years to study the Yi and also told him about the superstition that says that one should not approach the Yi before the age of 50, so, why not?

He was convinced enough after that to buy Wilhelm's and download Bradford's translation.

The funny story about Bradford's site is that I started chatting with him about Kabbalah and Sephiroths and he was asking me for materials in English. It was then that I referred him to Brad's place and he was so impressed with the scope of Brad's work on the Yi that he started asking questions about it. Cheers to Brad for that!! :)

Luis
 

Trojina

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I don't think I ever had any sense of mission with the I Ching. I think someone will come across it if they need to. Also I'm not sure everyone will have a resonance with it or that it will be appropriate for them. I guess thats stems from my seeing the Yi as a being like any other possessing a certain vibrational quality (cue Luis - vibration ;) ) that not everyone will get along with. I also think there are times we instinctively put it down for a year or two for that same reason. Similar i guess to how some time periods we are very in tune with certain friends and other times we are so out of synch they can offer us nothing.

Theres definately a sense relationship between us and the Yi, but i don't think everyone is drawn to that relationship.

Interesting question though, one I hadn't thought about for a long time. Occasionally when someone is telling me their dilemmas and problems I think it a pity they don't consult the Yi, but i find if I bring it up they kind of politely dismiss it.

Synchronistically Rosada I was talking to a friend about how you apply the Yi to everyday life and she was drawn to that - I think many more people would use it if they understood what great practical use it can be. If they don't think of themselves as spiritual types they can dismiss the Yi as all too lofty for their concerns - or just plain irrelevant I guess.

(BTW Bruce, also synchronistically (and off topic) a discussion of the word spiritual has come up at least 3 or 4 times in my life the last few days. Seems its a word that gets in the way and puts up barriers, ie healers find using the word 'spiritual' a great obstacle for them )
 

hilary

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That's a good and timely question.

I have an allergy to missionaries of all kinds (political, scientific, religious, new-age-y, whatever), but I do have a desire to give more people access to Yi. (You might've guessed?) Which, as Rosada says, means getting past the amazingly robust 'fortune telling' prejudice. 31 - woo, and make space for the unique nature of the person you're talking to?

Naturally I spend quite a lot of time thinking about how to go about this, and whenever I get new ideas you will be the first to know. :) It's one thing to reach people who are searching Google for 'I Ching' (though not a foregone conclusion, as my Google ranking's going down the chute); another to reach people who are searching for the I Ching without having heard of it.

Then it all gets put into proportion for me by Judy Tretheway, who emailed to ask my help gathering ideas and materials to teach I Ching groups in high security prisons. She's been doing this with Qigong for 9 years - voluntary work, of course - and she's just starting with Yi. My idea of voluntary work involves entertaining some kind elderly ladies and gentlemen, fetching and carrying and washing up. I am pretty much in awe.
 
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bruce_g

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Thanks for sharing your own personal thoughts and experiences with this. 31- Woo. Very nice.

There's a subcategory to this I should have mentioned, though perhaps it's better to introduce now. In my original thought r.e. mission to preach, I was not only meaning the whole IC, but also using its contents to illustrate from. I have a friend in Phoenix with whom there's an intuitive connection on a philosophical level, and distinctly eastern in spirit. In discussions with him, the teachings of Yi naturally come to mind. Yet since he is not familiar with the Yi, it is usually necessary (largely due to his open curiosity) to delve into the Yijing work itself. Somewhere along the line I can become ambitious about 'turning him on to the Yi' - hence a sense of mission arises.

Also, it is not only promoting the work itself which qualifies as evangelical, but the value of its lessons and applications. This was the larger context I was referring to. Helping others is missionary work (as with the Judy Tretheway example). It is this sense of mission which, for me, has become diminished. There's seems left only the faintest calling, and to be candid, I find it a great relief.

I forgot to mention, after I posted this thread last night, I tossed the coins on the matter. 14.4 - 26
 
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hilary

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Nice one. There are other things to do in life than beat the drums.

For me it's not particularly about what Yi might 'teach', nor even about Yi itself. More about helping people feel connected and at home in their lives - with roots, or with a Well, not stranded on the surface. It's just that I came across this uncannily talkative old book that does the job beautifully.
 
B

bruce_g

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Nice one. There are other things to do in life than beat the drums.

For me it's not particularly about what Yi might 'teach', nor even about Yi itself. More about helping people feel connected and at home in their lives - with roots, or with a Well, not stranded on the surface. It's just that I came across this uncannily talkative old book that does the job beautifully.

I think it's to do with seasons. Spring announces itself with blaring trumpet flowers and the beating of rain. Summer goes about the work of growing and nourishing. Autumn fades with a different color, and leaves behind its fruit. It's all miraculous, and completely natural.
 

hollis

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What does come to mind is 26. In the present, 26 holds the means to accomplish "the mission", though I've no idea what mission it is. Going to look at the lines in 4 and 26, because they feel connected. The question is an open one, as though saying "You see my question about missions and such. Please show me a clear picture." So I draw two models:

Hex 4, lines 1 and 3, changing to 26.
Hex 26, lines 1 and 3, changing to 4.

4.1 Develop the ignorant, but don't persist.
4.3 No benefit taking a whore as a student or wife.

26.1 Harvest to stop at danger.
26.3 Refine pursuit. Probing leads to harvest.

Anyway, do you have a sense of mission with the Yijing? If so, what is it? How do you go about implementing the mission? Plus any other thoughts you may have on it...

Hi Bruce, I don't understand,

Did you 'throw' 4 to 26, or were you meditating on it?

Also, I have been thinking about line 3 in hexagram 4 for a while now. for me there is a different take on it than the whore or gold digger.

Say there is a woman who is a real social light. One day she meets a Daoist immortal in a gold statue. She gives up all her party ways and shaves her head and lives on beet greens. She leaves all her friends and tries to cultivate her chi. But all she succeeds in doing is miss her own happiness.

The YiJing does not want students like that. The Yijing would rather have her keep her social life, it does not require her to give up who she is, o r what she fundamentally is. It may be that someday she does shave her head and live on beet greens, but it would come from a real place in her, not out of awe, throwing herself away at the feet of the idol.

Just a few two cents which I am sure, Bruce, that you already have thought about, in relation to missionary zeal.
Hi everyone. Love hearing your stories, Luis, Hilary, Trojan.

I never have considered preaching YJING, but after reading about prisoners getting the book, I am almost ready to, lol!
 
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Sparhawk

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I never have considered preaching YJING, but after reading about prisoners getting the book, I am almost ready to, lol!

Actually, it can be seen as coming around, full circle, back to the prisons. King Wen metaphor and all... :D

L
 

hilary

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That's a great thought!

Hollis, I like your take on 4.3. I think the common element between yours and Bruce's is that a 'man of bronze' isn't made of real, supple flesh and blood. In search of security, or perfection, or novelty, or whatever, she's so taken with the shiny promise that she can't see the reality.
 
B

bruce_g

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Hi Bruce, I don't understand,

Did you 'throw' 4 to 26, or were you meditating on it?

Also, I have been thinking about line 3 in hexagram 4 for a while now. for me there is a different take on it than the whore or gold digger.

Say there is a woman who is a real social light. One day she meets a Daoist immortal in a gold statue. She gives up all her party ways and shaves her head and lives on beet greens. She leaves all her friends and tries to cultivate her chi. But all she succeeds in doing is miss her own happiness.

The YiJing does not want students like that. The Yijing would rather have her keep her social life, it does not require her to give up who she is, o r what she fundamentally is. It may be that someday she does shave her head and live on beet greens, but it would come from a real place in her, not out of awe, throwing herself away at the feet of the idol.

Just a few two cents which I am sure, Bruce, that you already have thought about, in relation to missionary zeal.
Hi everyone. Love hearing your stories, Luis, Hilary, Trojan.

I never have considered preaching YJING, but after reading about prisoners getting the book, I am almost ready to, lol!

Hollis, the reading wasn't drawn, except by intuition. It's just what came to mind. I do readings this way for myself often, just by contemplating things.

Hillary's correct, we're saying the same thing about 4.3. The whore, rather than recognizing her own worth, sells herself short by giving herself over to an idol. If you've ever been on the idol side of things, you know it fruitless.
 

martin

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bruce_g said:
Anyway, do you have a sense of mission with the Yijing?

Umm, no. :) But I don't think I ever had a sense of mission with anything else either. I don't see the point, really.
If I am - let's say - a Buddhist and you are a Hindu or an atheist we may have a very interesting conversation about our differences and what we have in common. We may even have a heated debate.:hissy: But ultimately your religion or the lack of it is probably as good (or bad) as mine. Why would I try to win you over?

My ways are my ways, your ways are yours. Hopefully my ways are good for me. They might drive you nuts, though, or even kill you.:eek:
Who am I to decide what is good for you?
 
B

bruce_g

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Umm, no. :) But I don't think I ever had a sense of mission with anything else either. I don't see the point, really.
If I am - let's say - a Buddhist and you are a Hindu or an atheist we may have a very interesting conversation about our differences and what we have in common. We may even have a heated debate.:hissy: But ultimately your religion or the lack of it is probably as good (or bad) as mine. Why would I try to win you over?

My ways are my ways, your ways are yours. Hopefully my ways are good for me. They might drive you nuts, though, or even kill you.:eek:
Who am I to decide what is good for you?

Hi, Martin. Thanks for chiming in.

(said with a friendly, small, devilish grin) Aren't you defending your ideology even now? Isn't there even the slightest bit of mission involved in that? Come on now.... we're all only human. Religion? I haven't mentioned religion; though it's almost implied with a grand sense of mission.

Plus, though you do not seek to convert others to your beliefs, don't you ever seek to be understood by others with different beliefs? You may not ask someone to swallow the whole pill, but aren't ever tempted to give them a taste? For their own good, naturally.
 

martin

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Try to give them a taste? Oh yes, sure, if (I think) I have a bottle of good wine. :) But is that already mission-ary?
Of course it's a gliding scale, but the word 'mission' involves more, I think. A longterm commitment to the task of convincing (many) people that this is really excellent wine .. something like that?

But now I'm beginning to wonder, do I have no mission at all in life?
What about a lifelong commitment to the task of convincing at least a few people that _I_ don't taste so bad after all?
Hmmm, well, you can't blame me, even Jesus tried to do that. :D
 

martin

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Hex 26, you said?

"Not eating at home brings good fortune."

:)
 
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bruce_g

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Try to give them a taste? Oh yes, sure, if (I think) I have a bottle of good wine. :) But is that already mission-ary?
Of course it's a gliding scale, but the word 'mission' involves more, I think. A longterm commitment to the task of convincing (many) people that this is really excellent wine .. something like that?

But now I'm beginning to wonder, do I have no mission at all in life?
What about a lifelong commitment to the task of convincing at least a few people that _I_ don't taste so bad after all?
Hmmm, well, you can't blame me, even Jesus tried to do that. :D

lol

My original comments did encompass the broader sense of the word, you're right. And then I went to the sliding scale, correct again. Blame it on white dog, that rascal.

Not only don't I blame you, I don't blame myself. I think one can not entirely eliminate any single aspect of human behavior (i.e. any hexagram) and yet be whole. But we can modify each behavior to better serve the whole, and at least part of that alteration has to do with the demands of the time we're in. For example, it's as foolish for a young man to forgo the world and seek the things of an old man, as it is for an old man to run after the world and seek the things of a young man. "Times change, and with them their demands".

Btw, you've been laying low. I hope all is well with you.
 

martin

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Thank you for asking, Bruce. :) I'm okay, just very busy with other things.

I think one can not entirely eliminate any single aspect of human behavior (i.e. any hexagram) and yet be whole.

Agree. And I do like the 'missionary' or 'preacher' in myself and others. No blame. :) He is just not very visible in my case. Some hexagrams stay in the background ...
 

lindsay

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Some people say missionaries work hard to convince others in order to deny their own doubts. If I convince you that I am right or know something good, then it must be true, no?

Lindsay
 

mudpie

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Hmmmm, interesting topic. It has never ever occured to me to think of the use of the Yi in anything like a missionary way. Most people who know me have absolutely no idea about my secret love affair. Of course there are those in my life who DO know, but only because it is something so active in my life that I have mentioned it offhandedly...the way you you might refer in a conversation to the words of an important friend ..but then I quickly move beyond it, and I dont think I have ever had anyone say to me: What do you mean by I Ching ? It seems to go over their heads and I let it. I have never been anxious to share about it.
In fact once in a group situation, I unthinkingly said " Well, before I came here, I asked the I ching about......" There was such a strange silence after that that I think I became even more determined to keep my coins close to my chest.

And then of course there are those family members and some very close friends who have attempted to get me to drag the Yi out like some clever parlor game for group entertainment. That always seem a little cheap and tawdry to me, although on occasion I have done readings in such a setting, feeling like the strange family gypsy pulling out her trusty crystal ball. One family member asked me to ask Yi if he would ever get married. The Yi told him "yes" in a so-to-speak way (hex 53 and some lines) and although it seemed so unlikely that he would ever get married, he eventually did a few years later. And one nephew of mine, age 22, seemed so enthralled and fascinated by the whole Yi realm that I actually bought him a text for a christmas gift. He never mentioned it again, except to thank me for the gift, and I assume the book sits on a shelf somewhere in his home, unused, but waiting to be rediscovered -like the board game Jumanji - when he eventually hears the call of a thundering drum beat so loud that he cant ignore it. And then he will see the old book, take it down, dust it off and say, hmmmm, maybe I will try this...... (and there I suppose is my missionary work....!)

it is by attraction not promotion that the Yi wins its followers
 
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bruce_g

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Some people say missionaries work hard to convince others in order to deny their own doubts. If I convince you that I am right or know something good, then it must be true, no?

Lindsay

Howdy, pardner. Sure! Conviction requires reenforcement. Certain religious groups don't call themselves "the army of God" for nothing. Recruitment affirms their cause.

Lindsay and Listener...

But that's an extreme example, don't you agree? What about the subtler senses of mission? Let's push it a little far in the other direction by saying, are you open and willing to share what you know about Yijing? Isn't that also a mission?
 
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bruce_g

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Gawd, I can't believe I'm listening to Lawrence Welk, and liking it! :eek: Big hair, Engelbert Humperdinck singing Country Road :rolleyes:. Be afraid. Be very afraid. :bag:
 

Sparhawk

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it is by attraction not promotion that the Yi wins its followers

Well said. That's what I tried to communicate to my friend. Without some sort of calling or perhaps some playful curiosity, few would take up the study of the Yi. Actually, very, very few take up the study or use of the Yi beyond its oracular usefulness. Most stop there.

L
 

freemanc

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You know this thread has come close to a sort of deconstruction of the idea of "missionary zeal"-- let's go ahead and go there. A number of writers have expressed being repelled by missionaries and marketing people and bullies and hustlers of various stripes, which endears you to me a lot.

The appeal of "this talkative old book" is precisely to people who loathe being hustled with a slick pitch. It is exactly the opposite of a slick pitch. It is sketchy, messy, it has holes, asymmetries, impasses, (aporia in lit-crit speak) -- sometimes it doubles back on itself, sometimes it switches registers from nuts-and-bolts particularities to broad, even cosmic generalities. Lovely and profound insights are mashed together with random noise, numerology, poetry, and politics. It is a ragged, beat up old woman of a book, and there is scarcely a single symmetry in it that hasn't been systematically and deliberately broken.

And it does make a perfectly terrible parlor game, doesn't it. You drag out these books and coins and writing material and it looks like you're writing a draft of a damn book. Meanwhile the girl you are trying to impress has left with someone else.

This lack of slickness and this disinclination of the Oracle to cooperate with being packaged in a nice slick systematic package is beautiful to me.

I listened once to a tune ascribed to King Wen on a sort of zither called a Qin. It amazed me: it was just like the I Ching -- immensely refined and yet made of ragged, ancient tatters--ragged, bent notes, fragments of abyssal antiquity collaged together. It is, to use a Neil Young title, indeed a ragged glory.

The Y suggests to me that there is somewhere in the world, at least sometimes, another modality of persuasion besides the slick hustle. Like the metaphor of the sweet, fragile and yet indomitable smell of bananas in Gravity's Rainbow, which perhaps have a salvific power in the war's kingdom of death. Persuasion by means of helplessness, by its very lack of power, by messiness, by complexity, by inner truth.

I would save the world, but I am intensely particular how I would save the world. I wouldn't kill a kitten to save the world. I believe this querulous old woman of a book indeed has an agenda. It is also trying to save the world, precisely by being magical, oblique, logical and yet poetic, by being complex and complicated, by being terribly personal, and by going around quietly talking to some book-people one at a time or, like us, a few at a time.
 
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bruce_g

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It's interesting to me, the auto-inclination to hear my question in such an extreme way (i.e. slick pitch), even though I keep trying to pull it toward a more subtle view of mission. Even the word “preach” can include the softer implication of “teach”, and softer yet, “share”.

One thing I notice about the class structure of Chingers: the elite tend to be very private, and perhaps stingy with how much of themselves they decide to share. This comes with the encouraging words of “those who speak do not know, those who know do not speak”, and other sagely sounding lyrics. But I’m not so sure of any of that, which is why I’ve been asking these questions, of you and of myself. I know in later years I’ve become more private, more discreet, more cautious, but I’m not at all sure that those things are especially virtuous. I think I’m just getting older. That’s why I ask these questions. I’m not sure of virtue, but I am sure of what I like, accept, don’t like and don’t accept. I’ve knowingly cut a lot of people out of my life these last couple of years. I have no regrets for it. I don’t offer my help to others nearly like I used to. Am I becoming selfish, or maybe aloof? God, I really hate aloof. Jaded Buddha’s don’t cry, they don’t feel, and the really cool ones don’t even need to think. They’re above it all. What about active compassion? Do you have a mission which affects others?
 

willowfox

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Does the Sage have a mission?

Yes, the sage has a mission, the mission is self enlightenment not to broadcast to all and sundry.

The dedicated student also has a mission to seek enlightenment from the sage, to go seek for themselves the knowledge that they are searching for.

There is already one person on this forum who preaches his version of the I Ching, doesn't that really turn you off of missionaries and their zeal to conqueror.
 
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bruce_g

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Yes, the sage has a mission, the mission is self enlightenment not to broadcast to all and sundry.

Thanks for responding to this. The Sage's mission is to enlighten only him/herself?

The dedicated student also has a mission to seek enlightenment from the sage, to go seek for themselves the knowledge that they are searching for.

Please explain this enlightenment.

There is already one person on this forum who preaches his version of the I Ching, doesn't that really turn you off of missionaries and their zeal to conqueror.

No, not really. It used to bother me though. It's his message, it's his voice. Not going to debate it, but neither he nor it bother me. I've learned some interesting things from him. He makes me think. I like that.

When an evangelist comes to my door, I engage him, her or them cordially. They don't bother me, I guess cuz I see their heart's in the right place. Besides, they're usually running for their parked car after two minutes with me. I enjoy discussing the Bible, but I guess they don't like what I say. That's their right.
 

dobro p

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Yes, the sage has a mission, the mission is self enlightenment not to broadcast to all and sundry.

Wouldn't know it reading your posts lol. The not broadcasting to all and sundry I mean. But even I have faith that you're working on self enlightenment. I mean, there's nothing better that you can be doing right now, right?

The dedicated student also has a mission to seek enlightenment from the sage, to go seek for themselves the knowledge that they are searching for.

Well, that makes me feel better. I'm reinforced in my direction.

There is already one person on this forum who preaches his version of the I Ching, doesn't that really turn you off of missionaries and their zeal to conqueror.

There's a lot more than one on this forum who does that. Who preaches his version of the I Ching, I mean. Some have louder voices, some have quieter voices, but there's not one person who posts on this site whose voice doesn't betray or bear the fingerprints/footprints of a personal viewpoint. Just cuz certain people here don't 'preach' their viewpoint doesn't mean they've escaped it. And when someone here *is* insistent or repetitive or strident, it doesn't mean they're all that different from you or me. If somebody pisses you off, it's just an indicator that you're on the same level, right? It wouldn't bother you otherwise.
 

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