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Synchronicity and the I Ching

d_squared

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~ @ ~

I first came across the term synchronicity many many years ago while reading Carl Jung's preface for Wilhelm's book on I Ching . The story about the golden scarab, which Jung related in this book preface to explain his newly-formed concept , did not do much to further my understanding of the subject . I thought no more of it at that point. A short time later, during the few weeks when I was working on my I Ching computer program (called E-KING), something had happened which soon changed all that .

One day while having a shower in the bathroom I left the radio switched on . After some music the broadcast turned to an interview with a local wild-life expert. One of his comments stuck in my mind. He said all species ,big or small, have their own significant role to play in nature. According to him they all help to maintain the fine natural balance in our environment , and we human beings should overcome our fear of creatures such as snakes, spiders and scorpions, and should refrain from mindlessly destroying them . As I stepped out of the bathroom, my eyes right away spotted a tiny white scorpion crawling on the floor . Very rarely did I see any insect inside my living quarter, let alone a scorpion . Heeding the wild-life expert's advice, instead of stomping on it out of my habitual aversion to creepies and crawlies, I trapped the scorpion using a small glass and promptly released it in the back garden .

After this little episode, synchronicity became one of my leading interests, especially as I found out later that Carl Jung had thought synchronicity has a lot to do with how the Book of Change works .


All of my I Ching research , at the beginning, was done relying on books written in English . Even though there is a wealth of literature on this subject in my native tongue , I had no access to it at the time while still eking out a meager existence in a foreign land . My first I Ching computer program, done in English, was completed in the early nineties . Subsequently, for many years , I carried the thought of coding a Vietnamese version, but unable to act on it due to lack of expertise . In those days, computers did not lend themselves easily to non-profitable languages .

Nearly two decades later, the wind of fortune has changed, at a personal level as well as on a worldwide scale . The treasure of my ethnic heritage has become partly accessible online. Software tools have also grown so smart to the point of being almost self-driven . It seems everything I needed to accomplish my pet project has finally come within reach, so in 2014, I sat down to code an I Ching computer program for Vietnamese (EKING-VN).


Learning a new tool (PureBasic), I carefully followed the examples given in the instruction manual, starting with the simplest:





Looking at this screen display, I recognised it as having the form of an I Ching trigram . It followed quite naturally that by simply adding three more items to the menu bar, I would have a very germane hexagram design for my new project:




After several weeks, my program was ready for a road test . I purposedly selected hexagram 9 (Small Capacity) for a trial since this hexagram has the same layout as my intended software menu . My program displayed the correct commentary text for hexagram 9, but failed in its attempt to paint the hexagram form . It kept showing this instead:



which is hexagram 14 (Great Possession) .

My inexperience had introduced a software bug which lifted the desired figure for hexagram 9 up by one line . After fixing this error, it then occured to me that there is no particular reason to stick to the form of hexagram 9 . In fact why not consult the I Ching for a most auspicious symbol for my new program, I asked myself. Using my trusted coins I seeked the most appropriate answer. The resulting coin throw was this : 1 3 3 1 2 3
And the corresponding hexagram is, you would never guess it, 14 :




Of all the 64 possible hexagrams, it just had to be number 14. My software is firmly ( and greatly) possessed..
In my mind eyes, Dr Carl Jung appeared to grin from ear to ear , his synchronicity idea emphatically vindicated once more .

Since then I never had to wonder any more about my program menu design.



My EKING-VN software for Windows-based computers has gone through several revisions since 2014. The latest can be downloaded from here:

EKING-VN-v2.1.ZIP
https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqlT81ICDn2ei0sm32AIeDCzDmYO


There is also an equivalent English version:
EKING-en-v2.1.ZIP
https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqlT81ICDn2ei0moMSqdQzASIDbj



 

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Freedda

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From Wikipedia:

'Synchronicity holds that events are "meaningful coincidences" if they occur with no causal relationship yet seem to be meaningfully related.'

My experience has been that sometimes I find synchronicity in my dealings with the Yi and sometimes not, but it certainly does happen. But I definitely find it in almost all other aspects of my life as well. So, I suppose then that finding it with the Yi is not all that special really - just part of the overall magic of life.


Best, David.
 

svenrus

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"Learning a new tool (PureBasic), I carefully followed the examples given in the instruction manual, starting with the simplest......" I have downloaded the Trial version and searched without luck for an Instruction-manual. Does this come with the payed version or: where to find it ??
Beautiful program You've made by the way.
 

d_squared

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@Freedda
Yes, life is indeed full of magic, or rather: filled with so many things we don't understand . To most of us the Yi dwells in a kind of magical land, but I have a feeling that some Chinese sages of old had got it down to a science . They just did not reveal the full formula .


@swenrus
Hi, your feedback is much appreciated.
I learned PureBasic mostly using the trial version. There is in fact no shortage of free PureBasic manuals and users' guides on the net . It has been a few years, so I can't remember exactly which one did I use and where it came from , though most probably I had started out with this :

http://purearea.net/pb/download/PureBasicBook.pdf

There is a more comprehensive Reference Manual, which is also freely available online. No need to pay any money to obtain full documentation . I myself got the paid version of PureBasic , and thought it was a fantastic bargain to gain access to not just one but several compilers which can be used to port the same program to different types of computers (Windows, Mac OSX, Linux etc.) . As a matter of fact , I made the most of my small investment and, with just a little bit of extra effort, was able to materialise a couple of apps to run on OSX machines as well :


EKING-en-OSX-v2.1,ZIP
https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqlT81ICDn2ei0h378D4WZZQEsoG



EKING-vn-OSX-v2.1.ZIP
https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqlT81ICDn2ei0rIoIYeHgKARb6b



 

svenrus

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Hi d_squared,

Thank You very most. This pdf-book is the best way for me to deside whether I should invenst in and use this program.


 

d_squared

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Hello everyone,
My interest in the Yi has got a boost lately, so have made some effort to update my home grown E-KING program to include the progression of hexagrams for cases of multiple moving lines .

English version for Windows:

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqlT81ICDn2ekRWM1G2Kj_e-N8RI?e=2luzvI



Vietnamese version for Windows:

https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqlT81ICDn2ekRbaUD1USvRnd8Qh?e=gX4v8N


This latest effort also contains minor cosmetic changes and fixes for typo errors which somehow were missed for years ..
 

d_squared

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How to understand the Yi

Like other challenging endeavours in life, my studies of the Yi have gone through many ups and downs over the years . More often than not, I have had to place the Book of Change back on the shelf, realistically admitting that there was no meaningful change in my study progress . One time, long ago, in moments of frustration I have posed this inevitable question to the Yi itself:

" How to understand the Book of Change ? "

Below are the responses I received, after casting my trusted I Ching coins :




The hint given by the Yi was "Inner Truthfulness" , hexagram 61 with two moving lines giving rise to hexagram 6 . By changing just one moving line at a time, it can be seen that there is a progression from hexagram 61 to hexagram 59 first, then onto hexagram 6 :





The nuclear hexagram which underlines hexagram 61 is hexagram 27 , "Taking Nourishment" :




The clues offered by these hexagrams include "sincerity, perseverance and proper nurturing of aspiration …" . The way I read it, in order to tune in and really understand the Yi , one needs to maintain an attitude of truthfulness within, somehow withhold or at least suppress all personal prejudices and limiting pre-conception which are in this context nothing but powerful blinkers and filters obstructing clear vision. It is of course not easy to remain steadfast and clear-headed against the incessant whirlwinds of life, and there is a strong tendency to falter and deviate from one's true purposes. When that happens the effort to understand the Yi becomes scattered and ineffective, and the end result could well turn out to be undesirable disputes or even messy litigation, as hexagram 6 indicates. True knowledge of the Yi seems to be a pretty rare fruit, which undoubtedly requires careful nurturing and selective cultivation . This is probably what hexagram 27 wants to show.

Overall there is a good degree of synchronicity here between my needling question and the spontaneous answer offered by the Yi . At least that's how it occurs to me .


Looking at hexagram 61, I also had an impression of an opening on a stone wall, a window , an aperture through which light can shine . To me it also appears to represent a frame, a mold into which one can pour ideas, thoughts to form definite shapes, concepts, theories ... Without such a framework perhaps all our thinking would be in vain, scattered and dispersed into thin air, like clouds in the sky ....
 

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d_squared

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Version 2.7 of the EKING software (with the new progression-hexagram feature, posted back in July 2019) has been found to have some bugs, therefore I have removed it from Microsoft OneDrive cloud shared storage . Below is the replacement (version 3.1)

for MS - Windows :

EKING-en v3.1 (English)

EKING-vn v3.1 (Vietnamese)



for Apple MAC - OSX :

EKING-en-mac v3.1 (English)

EKING-vn-mac v3.1 (Vietnamese)



This latest version has bug fixes, plus some graphic enhancement to illustrate how a hexagram is built during coin casting .
 

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