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The Oracle and the Unconscious

ChrisLef

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As a therapist I spend an awful lot of time contemplating the concept of the unconscious and over the past 35 years of using the I Ching I've come to the conclusion that a lot of what the Oracle says to us via the hexagrams given is actually directed at unconscious elements within us that we're unaware of (well, by definition). This is the reason why some replies to specific questions sometimes (often?) appear to not make any sense. This 'handle' (to the Ting) has led me to stop asking specific questions - these days I simply ask, often on a daily basis, 'what do I most need to know now?' I get the sense, most of the time, that a conversion is happening between the Oracle and a part(s) of me that I have little or no access to, complexes, sub-personalities, ancestral entities or spirits, and perhaps other unknowns. My background is very Jungian so the concept of the unconscious I subscribe to is that it goes wide and deep. I had a conversion with my own therapist from many years ago (who I still maintain a friendship with) and we were wondering what % of the average person (their drives, behaviours) is unconscious and settled at about 80%. I think the terms 'unconscious' and 'subconscious' aren't strict definitions, they are as malleable as, say, the term 'archetype'. Some approaches see it as 'computer-like' with programs dictating our behaviours (it's a useful analogy, to be fair) but I feel the I Ching has taught me that the unconscious is something way beyond my ego-complex. Often, taking into account dreams along with the hexagrams I receive, I get the distinct feeling that I'm in room listening to the 'adults' speaking, and I barely understand the conversation, but pick-up snippets of insight. This, I think, is difficult for a lot of people - as is the whole concept of the unconscious self - because it implies a lack of control. Carol Anthony's key-phrase for Hexagram 50 is: "Acceptance of one's fate and of being guided". The grown-ups are talking to each other through the Oracle, and all I can do is watch and wait :D I thought I'd share this because last night I put myself to bed after a pretty hectic day and half an hour later I was wide-awake and positively buzzing. From experience I know it's best to get up when this happens and do some work. But I asked the Ching what was going on, why couldn't I sleep and got hex 51 as a reply. Then I asked for an elaboration on that reply and was given Hex 34, lines 1, 5 & 6 moving changing to Hex 44. Okay, I thought to myself, the archetypes inside me are having a party and there's not much I can do about it. Might as well read a book....!!! Interestingly, I feel fine today after a couple of hours sleep (finally). Perhaps respecting the adults in the room discussing you helps after all.
 
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Henry Zahir

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As a therapist I spend an awful lot of time contemplating the concept of the unconscious and over the past 35 years of using the I Ching I've come to the conclusion that a lot of what the Oracle says to us via the hexagrams given is actually directed at unconscious elements within us that we're unaware of (well, by definition). This is the reason why some replies to specific questions sometimes (often?) appear to not make any sense. This 'handle' (to the Ting) has led me to stop asking specific questions - these days I simply ask, often on a daily basis, 'what do I most need to know now?' I get the sense, most of the time, that a conversion is happening between the Oracle and a part(s) of me that I have little or no access to, complexes, sub-personalities, ancestral entities or spirits, and perhaps other unknowns. My background is very Jungian so the concept of the unconscious I subscribe to is that it goes wide and deep. I had a conversion with my own therapist from many years ago (who I still maintain a friendship with) and we were wondering what % of the average person (their drives, behaviours) is unconscious and settled at about 80%. I think the terms 'unconscious' and 'subconscious' aren't strict definitions, they are as malleable as, say, the term 'archetype'. Some approaches see it as 'computer-like' with programs dictating our behaviours (it's a useful analogy, to be fair) but I feel the I Ching has taught me that the unconscious is something way beyond my ego-complex. Often, taking into account dreams along with the hexagrams I receive, I get the distinct feeling that I'm in room listening to the 'adults' speaking, and I barely understand the conversation, but pick-up snippets of insight. This, I think, is difficult for a lot of people - as is the whole concept of the unconscious self - because it implies a lack of control. Carol Anthony's key-phrase for Hexagram 50 is: "Acceptance of one's fate and of being guided". The grown-ups are talking to each other through the Oracle, and all I can do is watch and wait :D I thought I'd share this because last night I put myself to bed after a pretty hectic day and half an hour later I was wide-awake and positively buzzing. From experience I know it's best to get up when this happens and do some work. But I asked the Ching what was going on, why couldn't I sleep and got hex 51 as a reply. Then I asked for an elaboration on that reply and was given Hex 34, lines 1, 5 & 6 moving changing to Hex 44. Okay, I thought to myself, the archetypes inside me are having a party and there's not much I can do about it. Might as well read a book....!!! Interestingly, I feel fine today after a couple of hours sleep (finally). Perhaps respecting the adults in the room discussing you helps after all.

Is it fair to ask why do you want IT (the UC) to be beyond your ego-complex? Is there salvation from this meaningless existence? Is becoming a hero the appropiate finality to this brief moment of lucid dreaming? 51 is shock. 34 is the power within the shock. It is contained inside a belief of spiritual nature. Healing. Very interesting insight you shared, thank you.
 

ChrisLef

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Even if I didn't want it (the u/c) to be beyond my ego, that's the way it is for me, and always has been. I don't feel I was presented with a choice. Like someone who goes to AA - wasn't my problem particularly - I accepted at some point, after repeated batterings from life, the whole concept of an invisible force or perhaps 'higher power' because it was the only approach that made sense of me and who I was/am. That at least gave me a sense of purpose, something to work with. I've also seen this working as a process of healing in the people I've worked with, of which there have been quite a few now. Hex 15 and it's 'humbling' comes to mind.
 
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Henry Zahir

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Even if I didn't want it (the u/c) to be beyond my ego, that's the way it is for me, and always has been. I don't feel I was presented with a choice. Like someone who goes to AA - wasn't my problem particularly - I accepted at some point, after repeated batterings from life, the whole concept of an invisible force or perhaps 'higher power' because it was the only approach that made sense of me and who I was/am. That at least gave me a sense of purpose, something to work with. I've also seen this working as a process of healing in the people I've worked with, of which there have been quite a few now. Hex 15 and it's 'humbling' comes to mind.

The way it "IS" for you is paradigmatic, right?iit comes from keen observation and positive knowledge (positive as in results seeking), where behaviourism still lurks its ugly face and cognitive psy. has many things to learn fom forgotten practices like Gestalt. The whole Idea of something engulfing it all, including us, is tempting. What meaning could have an existence as lifeform or human in this scheme?

I want to add something which could be a starting point for analysis. Math has an impact on I CHING. It looks the other way around but when we see the methodical work of tracking astronomical events, we are talking about human minds dedicated to a higher cast knowledge, bringing it to the elites for their use. Can you see why they needed heroes like we need today?
 
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Herny Zahir

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I want to add something which could be a starting point for analysis. Math has an impact on I CHING. It looks the other way around but when we see the methodical work of tracking astronomical events, we are talking about human minds dedicated to a higher cast knowledge, bringing it to the elites for their use. Can you see why they needed heroes like we need today?

We could surely need a hero for more openess to explore the intuitive realm of future seeing. There could be a lot of resitant to accept new ways. Math and IA is leading the way.
 

blewbubbles

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ChrisLef I perceive that studying the Yi is a lifetime's occupation, just as living is a lifetime's occupation. I am always happy when a hexagram speaks directly to the object I'm placing before it, and when it forms a direct, immediate and clear analogy with concrete considerations in my life. It gives me confidence in the idea that there is a subconscious mind, sharp, intelligent, and aware, to tap into. But when I receive images, suggestions, and advice that seem to appear from a void, unrelated, confusing, and contradictory, I become aware of something in myself which is asleep, unaware, simply put unconscious, or non-thinking. I am always happy to find such an image, because it moves the stuff which otherwise remain static and unquestioned in my mind. Simply put, it wakes me up.
I'm deliberately making a distinction between subconscious and unconscious. I think subconsciously a child may be born and possess the power of speech, but it would remain unconscious of it until the moment of realisatione, which is the same as making a positive connection in yi studies when you realise that the languages has been there, but that you are only able to speak it now. This is what makes the yijing quite remarkable in my opinion. It is like life, concrete real, and full of mystery.
 

ChrisLef

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ChrisLef I perceive that studying the Yi is a lifetime's occupation, just as living is a lifetime's occupation. I am always happy when a hexagram speaks directly to the object I'm placing before it, and when it forms a direct, immediate and clear analogy with concrete considerations in my life. It gives me confidence in the idea that there is a subconscious mind, sharp, intelligent, and aware, to tap into. But when I receive images, suggestions, and advice that seem to appear from a void, unrelated, confusing, and contradictory, I become aware of something in myself which is asleep, unaware, simply put unconscious, or non-thinking. I am always happy to find such an image, because it moves the stuff which otherwise remain static and unquestioned in my mind. Simply put, it wakes me up.
I'm deliberately making a distinction between subconscious and unconscious. I think subconsciously a child may be born and possess the power of speech, but it would remain unconscious of it until the moment of realisatione, which is the same as making a positive connection in yi studies when you realise that the languages has been there, but that you are only able to speak it now. This is what makes the yijing quite remarkable in my opinion. It is like life, concrete real, and full of mystery.
Yes, I completely agree. The distinction between unconscious and subconscious is an interesting one too. I'm a jungian and tend to see the unconscious as a progression of layers leading up into consciousness ('The Well' comes to mind). These days I rarely ask specific question and go with 'What do I most need to know now'? The answer usually relates to a number of things going on for me.
 

rosada

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Interesting the very first activity the I Ching recommends after the advice to keep still, is to watch for the hidden dragon - hero! - to appear. (1.1, 1.2)
 

marybluesky

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I'm not a therapist like you (although I'm interested in psychology/psychanalyse as hell) however I've done some studies in the field and am familiar with the terms to some extent.

My relationship with the I Ching is very intuitive and depends on the situation. That said, while I read some casts quite "literally" and consider them to be indicating concrete things in real world, more often than not I refer the words and symbols to more "abstract" elements like what happens in the psych.

As you know Anthony I guess you may have come across James DeKorne website. His psychological approach isn't appreciated by everyone but I find it quite interesting - besides the collection of others' translations and commentary off course.
 

ChrisLef

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I'm not a therapist like you (although I'm interested in psychology/psychanalyse as hell) however I've done some studies in the field and am familiar with the terms to some extent.

My relationship with the I Ching is very intuitive and depends on the situation. That said, while I read some casts quite "literally" and consider them to be indicating concrete things in real world, more often than not I refer the words and symbols to more "abstract" elements like what happens in the psych.

As you know Anthony I guess you may have come across James DeKorne website. His psychological approach isn't appreciated by everyone but I find it quite interesting - besides the collection of others' translations and commentary off course.
 

ChrisLef

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Yes, I think Jim Dekorne's website one of the most valuable resources on the Web, and we've talked via email a few times. It's worth downloading a pdf of it in case copyright issues lead to it being removed. That was an initial fear of his, although it's been up and running for quite a while now. It also took me into Gnosticism which - as a symbolic system - is fascinating. Anthony's 'Guide to the I Ching' is a book I recommend to those who're just starting with the Oracle. I also find the later collab with Hannah Moog ('Oracle of the Cosmic Way') really insightful, but a difficult version to get into initially, it's so densely populated with ideas. I think the translation/interpretation which most fascinates me now is Karcher's 'Total I Ching - Myths for Change'. It's really worth a look at, as is 'Mothering Change' on the web.
 

my_key

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Interesting the very first activity the I Ching recommends after the advice to keep still, is to watch for the hidden dragon - hero! - to appear. (1.1, 1.2)
James Campbell of Hero's Journey fame reasons that every myth or legend ever lived displays the same patterns that surround the hero and that they just need time to unfold in the context of that myth.
 

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