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Primary and relating hexagrams

Leracy

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Could I just check something please? When I get a reading with changing lines, creating a second hexagram, I'd kind of assumed that the first one is leading to the second. However, today I asked what I could expect in a particular situation and I got 35 - 5 => 12.

35 is 'Progress' and 12 is 'Standstill'.

For this particular situation, it strikes me that the status quo is standstill and it would be very nice to think that there would be some positive progress in the near future! So this interpretation is back to front from how I normally read things.

Could anyone clarify this for me please - ie how to interpret the 'order' of the two hexagrams?

Thank you very much

Ann
 

dobro p

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Thinking of the primary and relating hexagrams as sequential steps in time is only one way of looking at it ('first comes the situation imaged by the primary hex, and then afterward comes the situation imaged by the relating hex').

Here are some other ways of viewing the two hexagrams:

* The primary images the inner, deep structure of a situation out of which the outer, more ordinary-world situation (relating hex) emerges. In your particular consultation, this would read something like: "The standstill you are experiencing is arising and emerging out of an inner condition of progress. Accept it."

* The primary is the background to the situation (that out of which the present situation is arising) and the relating is the focus of the answer. In your case, this would read something like: "This condition of standstill arises out of a general background of progress. Looks like a swing of the pendulum is at work."

* Both primary and relating image one thing, modifying each other. "You are progressing through standstill. No change for the time being, but you're working your way through it."

And which one is right for you? Mmmm...you decide. :D Really. Everybody on this board has different ways of interpreting the relationship between the two, and people like Hilary, who are really deft with the Yi, like to consider all possibilities as a way of inviting real insight to arise.
 

willowfox

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I asked what I could expect in a particular situation and I got 35 - 5 => 12.

You can expect things to go well, there maybe a few hiccups but just continue on your course. Now Hex 12 suggests that at a later date, after everything has been successfully done, things will deteriorate concerning this situation and it is advising you to do nothing and just bide your time until the problems go away or are sorted out. Life is about circles and this is what your answer is about, first the good luck, then the bad and eventually back to the good again, just one big wheel that keeps on turning.
 

Trojina

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.

35 is 'Progress' and 12 is 'Standstill'.

For this particular situation, it strikes me that the status quo is standstill and it would be very nice to think that there would be some positive progress in the near future! So this interpretation is back to front from how I normally read things.

Could anyone clarify this for me please - ie how to interpret the 'order' of the two hexagrams?

Thank you very much

Ann

Like Dobro said people (often) see the relating hexagram quite flexibly according to how it strikes them at the time and here I think i would go with your interpretation. The fan yao(the same line in the relating hex ie 12.5) of 35.5 is 12.5 which talks about still having causes for concern but getting out of stagnation with a bit of energy and 35.5 seems to encourage forging ahead without too much worry over loss or gain. If you read 12.5 you may find that has a bearing on things too.
 
H

hmesker

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Please bear in mind that according to some experts the second hexagram originally wasn't used; see Nielsen, A Companion to Yi Jing Numerology and Cosmology, p. 20-22. In old texts the second hexagram was only mentioned to mark certain lines in the first hexagram (the lines we nowadays call 'moving'), it was not used in the interpretation of the answer and it did not have any symbolic/metaphorical meaning.

In other words, you do not really have to do anything with the second hexagram. When I tell this to my students who already have some experience in using the Yi in the traditional way they often sigh with relief - it makes working with the Yi so much easier and more comprehensible. Often the 2nd hexagram contradicts the first one and you are left in doubt what to do. But the first hexagram is the answer you get, that's the one you should focus on.

If you want to work with the 2nd hexagram as well, you could see both hexagrams as two sides of a coin - they can work at the same time, and the moving lines make it spin. Which side will end up? You decide.

Harmen.
 

Leracy

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Thank you all for your replies, which I very much appreciate. They all make perfect sense and I will continue to ponder that particular reading in the light of what you have all said. Actually, what was more important to me was sorting out the relationship of hexagrams, and you've all been so helpful.

Thank you again
:bows:
Ann
 

lienshan

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Hi Ann

A have a little "funny" illustration of what Harmen tells: a 60x80 acryl painting:

http://www2.mandala.dk/photos/66/2866-Approved-album-6

Two months ago a woman asked me, if a man she had met was "serious"? I asked the Yi
and got 28.5 => 32 ... but expressed my reading for the first time as a painting instead
of using words ... the problem is how to show the changing line and I used the old Shang
number 5 (looks like a butterfly) and number 6 (looks like a reversed V)

lienshan :D
 

dobro p

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Please bear in mind that according to some experts the second hexagram originally wasn't used

Well, that puts me on the spot. On the one hand, I"m a big fan of stripping the oracle down to the essentials and freeing it of all the stuff that's been added over the years - that's why despite all the interesting stuff in the I Ching, I use only the Chou oracle. (I even ignore the Da Xiang, because although the images in it are based on the oracle's trigrams, I think they have essentially very, very little to do with the meaning of the hexagram - they're a useful portrait of an evolving/evolved human being, but shed little light on the hexagrams they're attached to.) But on the other hand, I've found the relating hexagram as an extremely useful device for dealing with multiple changing lines. I mean, how DO you deal with multiple changing lines in a useful way? So, when there are a lot of changing lines, I just ignore them and focus on the primary and relating hexagram, as an aid to simpler interpretation.

But you know, I think there's truth in the thing you describe. It makes sense to me that it's only the primary hexagram that images the situation being inquired about, and despite its convenience for me, it makes sense to me that the whole concept of the relating hexagram as being part of the message is a later addition, one of the later additions that takes away from the utility of the original. Hmm... I mean, think about it. If you draw Hex 1 with changing lines 2 and 5, the relating hex is 30, which means that each and every time you draw 1.2.5, the relating hex is 30, that 30-ness is built into 1.2.5, and nothing else is built into it. But you know, I can see a lot of 55 built into 1.2.5 and I can also see a lot of 34 built into 1.2.5 and I can also see a lot of 61 built into 1.2.5, and I can see... just about any other aspect of the oracle in any other aspect of the oracle.

I think you've changed the way I do things.
 

willowfox

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Please bear in mind that according to some experts the second hexagram originally wasn't used;

But there are still a lot of experts who do use the 2nd Hex.

I see it as part and parcel of one's answer, so it needs to be taken into account or at least thought about.
 
H

hmesker

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So, when there are a lot of changing lines, I just ignore them and focus on the primary and relating hexagram, as an aid to simpler interpretation.

That's a good way to use both hexagrams, I think. After all, it is not what you use but how you use it.

I think you've changed the way I do things.
That was not my intention, I just wanted to show that working with the second hexagram is an option, not a must. Everyone can choose his own path in this, as Willowfox shows:

willowfox said:
I see it as part and parcel of one's answer, so it needs to be taken into account or at least thought about.

If your happy with that choice then stick to it. But it's only a choice, and you have the choice to choose otherwise. Working with the second hexagram is a technique which you can apply or not. It is not a necessity.

Harmen.
 

hilary

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That's quite a thought. (And I can see how it could come as a relief, just as 'the second hexagram doesn't have to mean the future' can come as a relief.)

Question: what does count as a necessity for you? What are the bare bones of a reading without which you wouldn't feel as if you'd read the answer at all?

(Things I couldn't do without, assuming there are lines changing: two hexagrams, all the changing lines. Things that fill in the framework but aren't really 'bone' in the same way: trigrams/ Image, Sequence, Pairs, zhi gua for each line, nuclear hexagrams, line pathways...)
 

Sparhawk

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Let's see what Bent Nielsen has in his "A Companion to Yi Jing Numerology and Cosmology" and then let's draw some sort of informed consensus:
Bian Zhan (變占) Alternation divination; also known as "line alternation divination"
(
爻變占). The term bian zhan refers to the divinations based on changing and unchanging lines recorded in the Zuo Commentary and Discourses of the States. These divinations are generally introduced with the formula "meeting Hexagram1 之 Hexagram2". Traditionally, zhi 之 has been interpreted as a verb meaning "to go to", so the formula has been understood as "Hexagram1 going to (i.e. changing into) Hexagram2." Consequently, Hexagram1 was called 'the original hexagram' and Hexagram2 became known as the derivative hexagram. Following this interpretation, Zhu Xi attempted to reconstruct how the result of a divination was arrived at in the Zuo Commentary and Discourses of the States. According to Zhu Xi, if no lines were changing, The Deciding Remarks (Tuan Ci) of the original hexagram should be consulted; in the absence of two hexagrams, the lower trigram was to be considered the original hexagram (which Zhu referred to as "the oracular trigram", Zhen Gua) and the upper trigram "the derivative hexagram" ('the remorseful trigram', Hui Gua). If one or two lines were changing, The Line Remarks (Yao Ci) of the original hexagram should be consulted; in the case of two lines the uppermost line was the more important. If three lines were changing, The Deciding Remarks of both the original hexagram and the derivative hexagram should be consulted. If four or five lines were changing, The Line Remarks of the lines that do not change should be consulted; in the case of two lines not changing the lowermost line was the most important. Finally, if all six lines were changing, The Deciding Remarks of the derivative hexagram should be consulted, and, in the cases of Qian and Kun, The Line Remarks to the '7th line' should be consulted. There is no textual evidence in The Zuo Commentary and Discourses of the States for divinations where two, four or all six lines are changing.

-----
here goes a section where an alternative milfoil method, by Gao Heng (1900-1986) is discussed and don't think is too relevant to this topic.
-----

Independently, Shaugnessy [1983] and K. Smith [1989] have convincingly demonstrated that the traditional interpretation of the formula "meeting Hexagram1 之 Hexagram2", treating zhi 之 as a verb meaning 'to go to', is grammatically unsound. Zhi 之 is rather to be understood as a particle indicating possession: "Meeting Hexagram1's Hexagram2." It seems that prior to the custom of referring to the individual lines of the hexagrams as '9 in the 2nd [line]' or '6 in the 3rd [line]', a specific line in a hexagram, e.g. the first (bottom) line, could be indicated by juxtaposing two hexagrams that are identical except for the first line. For example, the Zuo Commentary, 5th Year of Duke Zhao: "Meeting Ming Yi's [36] Qian [15]" indicates the first line of the Ming Yi hexagram, The Line Remarks of which is quoted subsequently. That this is the correct interpretation of zhi之 becomes obvious when the formula is slightly changed as in the 29th Year of Duke Zhao where 'Hexagram1 之' is replaced by the third person possessive pronoun
qi 其 'its'.

Thus the formula "meeting Hexagram1 之 Hexagram2" is the way an individual line in Hexagram1 is referred to in the Zuo Commentary and Discourses of the States.

Bent Nielsen's
"A Companion to Yi Jing Numerology and Cosmology"
Copyright 2003

 

dobro p

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You know, just as there often isn't just one meaning for a term in the Yi, there also isn't just one way to interpret. But common knowledge assumes that there IS one correct way of interpreting - I mean, check out the Shared Reading forum any day and you can find somebody who's a) having relationship problems and b) claims to need help interpreting what the Yi gave them and c) expects the relating hexagram holds a ton of meaning in the reading.

Instead of ignoring the issue or pretending that one way is better than the other, I Ching books ought to map out the major interpretation strategies in the 'How To' section of the book. If I put something like that in a Yi that I was having published, I'd also add the instruction: "Pick one of these strategies and then stick to it. That way YOU know how to interpret and the Yi knows how you're going to interpret."
 
H

hmesker

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Instead of ignoring the issue or pretending that one way is better than the other, I Ching books ought to map out the major interpretation strategies in the 'How To' section of the book. If I put something like that in a Yi that I was having published, I'd also add the instruction: "Pick one of these strategies and then stick to it. That way YOU know how to interpret and the Yi knows how you're going to interpret."

clap.gif


HM
 
H

hmesker

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Question: what does count as a necessity for you? What are the bare bones of a reading without which you wouldn't feel as if you'd read the answer at all?

Personally all my personal readings are based on the trigrams and lines relationships and hardly anything else. Without that I would have nothing to work with. The text has a less important part, but I expect that will change in the future when I have gained better insight in the structure and language of it.

idea.gif


Harmen.
 
M

meng

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I don't know what I do. That is, there is no system. I'm looking for an answer. A lot of times it's very obvious, even right in front of my nose. So there's no need then to go rummaging around in attics and basements for that answer. But if I don't get it, then I'll dig around some more: hmm, the relating gua, this line, that line, the relationships of components, the fan yao... the reading I got about this last time. Under the bed isn't the first place I'd look for lost keys, but I'd look there eventually.
 

Trojina

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The relating hexagram is a result of changing lines right - so whats the point of changing lines if they don't change into anything. What you'd have is a dead end hexagram, the lines looked like they were changing but had nowhere to go,lol

Its beyond me why anyone would feel relief at not using the relating hexagram - if its that much of a burden why consult at all ? Of course anyones free to drop anything at all in their divination, lines, text, but I'm puzzled why some think its such a fab idea. Take it to its furthest point and one could just not consult, lol or just toss coins for yes/no answers-

Personally I mostly need my secondary hex so I'm keeping it. :D

What puzzles me when people say they don't use text is i wonder how they formulate the meanings to themselves ? We think largely in words don't we ? To what extent I don't know but somewhere along the line we will be internally telling ourselves what our answers mean. For that we have to use words - which will be our inner 'text' - so how can one really undertsand an answer without words ? Even if you look at trigrams, 'mountain', 'fire' you still label that with words in your head....
 

dobro p

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I don't know what I do. That is, there is no system. I'm looking for an answer. A lot of times it's very obvious, even right in front of my nose. So there's no need then to go rummaging around in attics and basements for that answer. But if I don't get it, then I'll dig around some more: hmm, the relating gua, this line, that line, the relationships of components, the fan yao... the reading I got about this last time. Under the bed isn't the first place I'd look for lost keys, but I'd look there eventually.

Your approach is the real thing, and if you check out my post to Hilary that I'm going to do next, you can find out why I think so. I see a parallel between the way you interpret and the way a buddy of mine approaches the mixing of raw tracks in his recorded music projects - he doesn't have a system (I know this, cuz I've asked him) - his approach is to 'keep turning knobs and making adjustments until it sounds right'. Okay, that sounds pretty haphazard, but he's got a ton of experience and his mixes wind up sounding VERY good, so his approach not only works, but it's g-o-o-d. But he has no system. System-free. He just keeps looking for the answer. Applause.
 

Sparhawk

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The relating hexagram is a result of changing lines right - so whats the point of changing lines if they don't change into anything. What you'd have is a dead end hexagram, the lines looked like they were changing but had nowhere to go,lol

Well, there is no blame in the observation and we are all in good company if we go along with many of the things Zhu Xi thought of. The argument is based on how to read what the ancient records have for even more ancient recorded readings and is something even native Chinese speakers have a problem with. I am pretty sure that Zhu Xi sourced his conclusions on the same texts that both Shaugnessy and K.Smith have and perhaps even more documents we don't know about. So, the discussion is semantic in nature as far as I'm concerned. In the end, I don't think there is a wrong way to interpret an answer, using any available methods, if it makes sense to the reader.

In any case, just to clarify the observations mentioned by Harmen and that I quoted, the formula "Meeting Hexagram1 之 Hexagram2" appears to have been a way to put emphasis on particular lines, the same way we today use "64.1," for example. What Harmen mentions about the non use for the 'derivative hexagram' (please correct me if I'm wrong) is based in that in those same records there is no specific discussion of them as part of the prognostications. Regardless of that fact, IMHO, the absence of "a specific discussion" doesn't deny the possibility that the overall prognostication was perhaps the product of a more holistic approach rather than based on what is specifically recorded. Furthermore, I'm inclined to believe that perhaps this is the argument that crossed Zhu Xi's mind when he proposed his methodology.
 

dobro p

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Question: what does count as a necessity for you? What are the bare bones of a reading without which you wouldn't feel as if you'd read the answer at all?

(Things I couldn't do without, assuming there are lines changing: two hexagrams, all the changing lines. Things that fill in the framework but aren't really 'bone' in the same way: trigrams/ Image, Sequence, Pairs, zhi gua for each line, nuclear hexagrams, line pathways...)

This thread has had a huge effect on the way I deal with the Yi. Reading your question, the thing that struck me was in connection with the interpretive techniques you listed - that's quite a list, isn't it? And the thing that struck me was this: interpreting is a difficult thing, it's the opposite of clear and straightforward, you're always reaching for or casting about for or straining to hear the meaning in what can be rather obscure imagery. Interpreting is very intuitive work, right? Alright, so what happens if intuition doesn't come up with an answer? What happens if the imagery yields no clear interpretation? Well, in a situation like that, humans look for help, they reach for a tool to help them get what they want. "Give me a clue." And that list you created is a list of interpretive tools which can generate clues and hints that just might spark something like intuitive insight. Or... (are you sitting down?) it just might make interpretation a really mechanical exercise that uses little or no intuition at all, a really mechanical application of concepts that you know already and which does no work of 'reaching upstairs', a really mechanical approach that actually doesn't invite the wisdom of the soul or higher mind but shuts it out.

Okay, I understand that people are different and therefore they'll have different approaches and no one approach is right. And I understand that this oracle business is fun, and it's important not to impinge on somebody's good time. But even if I honor people's fun and freedom to choose their own approach, I think it's still a valid point that all those 'tools' you described can in some cases be nothing more than mechanical props and aids to a lazy approach to interpreting, cuz real interpreting is actually often hard work.
 

dobro p

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The relating hexagram is a result of changing lines right - so whats the point of changing lines if they don't change into anything.

They don't NEED to change into anything. It can all be an image of the present moment, which of course contains the past that it arose out of and a tendency toward something in the future. But the hexagram and lines you draw can be nothing more than a snapshot of the situation you're enquiring about. "Well, it looks like this..."

What you'd have is a dead end hexagram, the lines looked like they were changing but had nowhere to go,lol

They would be changing, but you wouldn't know exactly where they're going. I don't know how well you know my use of the Yi, but I've been going on for a long time here, again and again, about how using the Yi as a crystal ball to predict the future is a second-rate use of the oracle. A lot of people disagree with me, and that's okay, but if you take that idea at face value, you'll understand why I think it isn't important for a hexagram to be going anywhere. Right here and now in the present moment, that's where you and I are. It's enough.

Its beyond me why anyone would feel relief at not using the relating hexagram - if its that much of a burden why consult at all ?

The relief for me is in seeing an approach that simplifies interpretation and makes it more genuine. And why consult at all? Well, for the reason we all consult - to get more information about a situation than is apparent to the senses. I still get important information about the non-evident contours of a situation by concentrating entirely on the primary hexagram - it tells me all sorts of things that I'm not seeing all on my onesie.

Personally I mostly need my secondary hex so I'm keeping it.

You do that. It's working for you. It's the structure that you've set up in your interpretive approach and both you and the Yi know what that structure is and so interpretation takes place using it. Sweet.

And I'll tell you something else too. I can't stop noticing the relating hexagram when I consult - too many years of conditioning for that. But I'm now going to stop assuming it's really part of the picture. I'm going to challenge it. For instance, this morning I drew 44.1.2, and up until now I'd assume that 13 was also part of the picture. Well, maybe I don't need to consider 13 at all! Maybe I only have to consider resisting temptation by putting the brakes on and avoiding the temptation to go get the answer out there somewhere. See what I mean? I'm not saying 'Don't you agree?' I'm saying 'Do you understand what I'm talking about now?'
 

dobro p

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Apologies to Ann for hijacking her thread. It's like the whole community's dropped by her place to have an animated discussion of Yi technique lol. "Is there any more of that coffee, Ann? It's great!" Sorry.
 

Sparhawk

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Okay, I understand that people are different and therefore they'll have different approaches and no one approach is right. And I understand that this oracle business is fun, and it's important not to impinge on somebody's good time. But even if I honor people's fun and freedom to choose their own approach, I think it's still a valid point that all those 'tools' you described can in some cases be nothing more than mechanical props and aids to a lazy approach to interpreting, cuz real interpreting is actually often hard work.


I certainly agree with the "hard work" part and, by extension, I don't think there is anything lazy about sitting down (or walking around for days with a hexagram in your head that sticks and repeats like a bad commercial jingle...) using all the tools available to interpret an answer. It may appear to be so, but there is nothing mechanistic about interpreting a Yi answer, no matter how mechanical some of the interpretive tools are. In the end, it is your own mind that draws an interpretation. If anything, the availability of all those tools, add to the workload rather than subtract from it. That is anything but laziness...
 

dobro p

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Yes Luis, but I can sort of disprove what you're saying as being true all the time by referring to my own interpreting which I do on this site: I often take about one minute to read a question in this forum and then about one minute to apply my knowledge of the Yi to an interpretation. There's very little work involved, and it's always 'easy'. Sometimes it's inspired, but sometimes I think it's just a mechanical application of my knowledge of the Yi's symbols to the situation being enquired about. Maybe sometimes those snapshot interpretations of mine are accurate, or maybe sometimes they're just mechanical and lazy. See what I mean?
 

Sparhawk

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Yes Luis, but I can sort of disprove what you're saying as being true all the time by referring to my own interpreting which I do on this site: I often take about one minute to read a question in this forum and then about one minute to apply my knowledge of the Yi to an interpretation. There's very little work involved, and it's always 'easy'. Sometimes it's inspired, but sometimes I think it's just a mechanical application of my knowledge of the Yi's symbols to the situation being enquired about. Maybe sometimes those snapshot interpretations of mine are accurate, or maybe sometimes they're just mechanical and lazy. See what I mean?

Ha!! Now you see why I usually stay away from the Shared Readings section of the forum... :rofl: This is a cool discussion though... :D

I came to that same conclusion quite a few years ago as I think it is a disservice to the querents, and even disrespectful, to shot-from-the-hip with statements like "the Yi is telling you this or that" and openning the field for others to provide their own grains of salt to the soup, just because of that: using mechanical, first-thought-in-my-mind, kind of answers. In the end, the result is a very salty soup and thus inedible... :D
 

dobro p

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Yeah, I've tried prefacing what I say when I interpret here with 'the Yi seems to be saying'. I think I need a more honest preface. Maybe 'applied to your situation and question, the symbols in this line seem to mean something like this...'
 

martin

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Or... (are you sitting down?) it just might make interpretation a really mechanical exercise that uses little or no intuition at all, a really mechanical application of concepts that you know already and which does no work of 'reaching upstairs', a really mechanical approach that actually doesn't invite the wisdom of the soul or higher mind but shuts it out.

Yes, I think if the answer is not immediately clear and you try to milk the cow with all those tools you are on thin ice. I rarely do that. No milk in the first seconds, then OK, no milk, forget it!
But that's maybe partly because I'm not a serious user of the Yi. Blush. :)
 

Sparhawk

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Yes, I think if the answer is not immediately clear and you try to milk the cow with all those tools you are on thin ice. I rarely do that. No milk in the first seconds, then OK, no milk, forget it!
But that's maybe partly because I'm not a serious user of the Yi. Blush. :)

Nope, it means you cow is useless!! Have a BBQ with it and invite friends. I'll bring the wine... :rofl:
 

martin

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Nope, it means you cow is useless!! Have a BBQ with it and invite friends. I'll bring the wine... :rofl:

Oh, no, milk or not, I still value the cow! I love her! :hug: Apart from that, I don't eat meat. Is a soya meat BBQ okay for you? :D
 

dobro p

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Well okay, while we're chowing down on Martin's cow, I'd like to take advantage of this tasty moment to offer this morsel: I'm not saying that fast interpretations are flawed. A doctor with years of experience can diagnose some cases instantly, and that diagnosis is accurate and trustworthy.

Nope, what I'm saying is this: all these interpretive tools make it easy for interpretation to be mechanical and lazy, rather than inspired and/or the moment of realization that comes of genuine, sincere struggle with a question you really want some light on.

BTW, the idea to make lunch out of Martin's cow was rather inspired, I thought.
 

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