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the philosophy of the Yi

dobro p

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Does the Yi have a philosophy? Does it have assumptions or standards or perceptions or 'understandings' that it operates on? Maybe. I'll start.

I think the Yi counsels non-action a lot more than it counsels doing something about a situation. I don't know if this is based on an understanding that non-action is superior to doing, or whether it's just the wisdom that knows that when we do something, we often screw up. Or something else? Thoughts?
 

Trojina

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Does the Yi have a philosophy? Does it have assumptions or standards or perceptions or 'understandings' that it operates on? Maybe. I'll start.

I think the Yi counsels non-action a lot more than it counsels doing something about a situation. I don't know if this is based on an understanding that non-action is superior to doing, or whether it's just the wisdom that knows that when we do something, we often screw up. Or something else? Thoughts?

It could be merely an impression that it counsels non action more than action or that when action is appropriate we kind of translate it to non action possibly becuase we can't understand the kind of 'action' its meaning. Someone could go through and see what lines they feel counsel action or non action if they had really bad insomnia it would be therapeutuc.....

Ok well 1.1 is non action yes ?
1.2 well if it has to be defined in action/non action terms I'd say its action here ?
1.3... now c'mon Dobro you bought the topic up :rofl:

I don't know about general philosopy but it could be true we screw up more by interfering with the flow of things maybe, not tuning in to right timing, trying to get things how we want them, get results etc maybe 'screw up' is the wrong phrase I guess action just creates more friction, more happening more potentials for error ? We can equally 'scew up' by non action i suppose but the thing is we won't know so much about it, like I'll never know what I missed if i didn't do it the first place.

Actually I tend to think we mistakenly assume counselling of non action a fair bit....perhaps secretly thats what we want ..its usually easier anyway
 
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Trojina

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Also theres many lines that might entail doing or non doing say like 24.1. You may return by doing nothing or you may return by doing something that connects you back or away from wherever you were heading to
 
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diamanda

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Philosophy (from an online dictionary):
1. A belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school
2. The rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics
3. Any personal belief about how to live or how to deal with a situation

When i said that the I Ching is also a philosophy, i said it more in the sense of
'ethics' (see 2 above) and mainly about 3 above. I used one word too many
('philosophy') and i now regret having used such a controversial one ;). What i
wanted to say was 'way of life'. Which of course is always a matter of personal
inclination, preference, choice, etc.

I never got the impression that it's mainly about inaction. i've never counted the
odds of action/inaction lines, but i never felt it to be imbalanced (of course this
is my personal view, and no idea how it tallies up with lines statistics). Perhaps it
has something to do with the fact that the majority of people will ask a question
only when they are in serious doubt about something? In most cases doubts in
themselves indicate that the person already knows that a specific course is not
exactly right. Hence a lot of advice on inaction. If one has something in front of
them, which is clearly a winner, and they feel great about, they won't sit down
to cast will they? Well, not as a rule, i wouldn't think so. As an exception of course
they would, and i've done so quite a few times :) and it's a great feeling to get a
clear 'go ahead' and 'just do it'.

Trojan i couldn't agree more that the I Ching also teases etc and can feel so much
as if you're actually talking to an actual person (please everybody take this phrase
with a pinch of salt); and like you i also feel the same in that it seems to me that
it's very much about correct timing. The good old saying about the wisdom to know
when it's time to act, know when it's time not to, and the extra special wisdom to
be able to tell the difference!

Of course, the I Ching 'is' so many things all at once, and it's not only about
timing, as we all know. It's also about 'what is right'. And although philosophers
have been arguing for centuries on 'ethics', even on what 'ethics' means, i think
that the I Ching is spot-on on having captured the very basic essence of what
makes a better human being, and what is 'good', in its most spiritual as well as
practical form. The very meaning of 'good' has been so belittled in many ways
over the centuries; it gives me hope to no end that one of the oldest books of
the planet shows so unshakably that 'good' actually means to promote life itself,
and is thus the best road one could ever take.
 

rosada

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For starters i say the I Ching teaches that energies change in a predictable sequence and that by recognizing where things are at any given point, it is possible to know what is going to happen next and it is also possible to align with the changes in such as way as to improve one's own chances for success or at least to lessen the possibilities for misfortune.
Further, the I Ching strongly recommends aligning with others who's values you admire and yet at the same time not giving up your own will to slavishly follow another. The I Ching recognizes that group effort can accomplish way more than the lone individual and much of it's teaching is geared to helping one find their place in the group. As to promoting non-action - and it often does seem Yi is advising, "If you have to ask, don't do it." - I think what the Yi is saying comes down to the belief that if one has clarity about a situation, very little needs actually be done at any given moment to properly nudge things to the next plateau. Interesting that we as we start this discussion we are on 46. Pushing Upward over on the Memorization thread, which is all about making progress one small step at a time.
 

martin

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I'm not sure if it counsels non-action more than action. Would have to go through all the judgements and lines, like Trojan suggests. Later perhaps, I don't have insomnia at the moment. :D
But I think the I Ching often does counsel action at the right time. And non-action at the right time. Timing is all important. Ti Ming, says Meng. :)

Maybe (again I'm not sure, would have to go through all ..) it also counsels what Daoists call wu wei, doing by not doing? Wu wei is neither action nor non-action and more subtle than action or non-action at the right time.
It's like the 'third force' of Gurdjieff's Triamazikamno, law of three, that we tend to overlook when we think in opposites that exclude eachother, action and non-action in this case.
 
M

meng

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I think self doubt and resulting inhibition is far more responsible for inaction than the Yi is. If I ask a question while doubting myself or my judgment, doesn't it seem natural that that's how I'd interpret Yi as pointing to? Kinda repeating what Trojan has said.

This is why I frequently challenge what appears to be Yi's wise advise not to act, and it's why I persist in seeing the positive in "negative hexagrams". It makes more bumps in the road, that's for sure, but it also amps up the personal learning curve.

I've always found God/truth/Atman/Yi/Whatever to be bigger than my puny guilt trips and needless self-doubt. Inhibition is a preexisting condition, and I believe we drag that into our interpretations too often.

But does Yi have a philosophy? I think Yi is philosophy-less, but it connects as a psycho-cybernetic course corrective co-pilot - which links us to auto-pilot - helping us go to where we really (and often secretly) want to go.
 

bamboo

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it could be true we screw up more by interfering with the flow of things maybe, not tuning in to right timing, trying to get things how we want them, get results etc

it is also possible to align with the changes in such as way as to improve one's own chances for success or at least to lessen the possibilities for misfortune.
- I think what the Yi is saying comes down to the fact that if one has clarity about a situation, very little needs actually be done at any given moment to properly nudge things to the next plateau.

I think these thoughts are the crux of the Yi's truth in my experience. Except I changed Rosada's word 'belief' to 'fact'. The tao is very patient;

"life is what happens when we are busy making other plans" as john lennon said. we can take a million and one actions to bring about what we think we want, and we can even succeed, but getting back to the question in the original thread, does it "feed our soul" or truly further us in any way? When aligned with the tao, action seems to happen through us, not because we have decided to act.

In the other thread, when it ws questioned as to whether some oracles feed the soul, even though they appear to "work," I thought about vision boards. Vision boards do "work." I've made vision boards of things/situations I wanted, and when the "stuff" appeared in my life exactly as I envisioned it, sometimes it was like ashes in the mouth, or just hollow victory, and sometimes made more complications for me than I could have imagined.

But there have been a few times, when a vision seemed to spring from within - when images and ideas came to me in unasked-for ways, or just in a place of not-needing/openness. I'd find myself attracted to certain pictures, hanging them on my fridge, finding a scrap of paper while walking and picking it up....these visions often also came to pass in physical world, but instead of feeling hollow, they felt like doorways to expanded life, more opportunities.

Somehow when the "spirit' is involved, things/events/actions seem rich and joyful, like part of a great river running through things. Conversing with the Yi is like a way to get into the river, sometimes a suggestion to let go, and sometimes an affirmation that I am moving well. And also the nudge to "be with" the things we might call "negative" ...because tao has no judgement. 24.6 is as much a part of life as 19.1.

somebody please remind me of that next time I get 24.6:eek:
 

rodaki

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and another two cents here . .

Seems to me like straightforward non-action is impossible in terms of the i ching (book of changes and all), rather feels like different forms of action to which we might be unaccustomed . . Still have trouble understanding how can I 'disperse' (59) or what kind of action is implied in limitation (60) or decrease (41). . but that also reflects my preference of active doing, action coming from one source and aiming directly towards one thing . . Anyway I got a lot of warnings lately about a specific issue and still, when I asked what would be damaging in its terms I got 52 (Keeping still) so I guess that says something . . go on acting BUT in what way?
 

jilt

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I don't know the yi is philosophy-less as Meng said. That could very well be so. What emerges form the yi when you get to learn it is its shapelessness. It speaks about change and processes, and philosophies are very time-bound. I have the feeling that the yi "adapts" to any creed, way of philosophy that is emergent at that time. The wisdom from the yi lies in rocognizing underlying patters in the flow of events.
But you could say the the Yi is made up from very carefull observations. And just as in Greek philosophy "panta rei" (everything flows) is called philisophy, perhaps yi is also philosophy. We humans need thought, a theory, words, concepts, scemes to make an observation meaningfull.
 
M

meng

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It speaks about change and processes, and philosophies are very time-bound.

This is how I see it too. The name is Book of Changes, and changes are driven by the time and the context within the time. What applies at this moment may not apply later, and contexts within the same time will determine different courses of action, including the action of no-action.

Yijing's fluid paradigm is inclusive of all times and contexts, and sans relative information, could not be called a philosophy. It calls things as they are, shows how things work. I think whatever altruistic philosophy that is seen is purely in the mind of the beholder. But isn't that an amazing thing, to understand how nature and providence work! What an incredible gift to our species!
 

martin

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Jilt said:
I have the feeling that the yi "adapts" to any creed, way of philosophy that is emergent at that time. The wisdom from the yi lies in rocognizing underlying patters in the flow of events.

Yes, the Yi seems to exist 'before' philosophy. Like the root of a tree exists 'before' the branches and the leaves. Because of that the Yi can adapt to or branch out into different philosophies, different worldviews.

Still, the Yi does have a recognizable identity. Perhaps not so much as a philosophy, on the level of thinking about life, but on the level of feeling. The Yi has a 'soul', an atmosphere, a feeling tone of its own. Or, if you like, a 'vibe', a frequency, a color.
I guess that's one of the reasons why some people take to the Yi and others don't. The Yi, on the soul level, may or may not be compatible with your soul.
It's the same with religions and spiritual traditions. Some people take to, say, Vedanta, others to Zen. What is the difference? There are 'philosophical' differences and we can talk about that till the moon falls on the earth. But in a sense it doesn't really matter because the decisive factor is how it feels and not how it thinks. :)
 
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diamanda

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It all depends at the end of the day on how one defines 'philosophy'. The word means 'love of
wisdom', and its target is human nature. Some of it may refer to specific times and places,
but the majority of philosophies over the centuries do strive to be 'timeless' and are concerned
with the essence and unchanging fundamentals of human nature.

So, to go back to Dobro's original question,
"Does it have assumptions or standards or perceptions or 'understandings' that it operates on?",
in combination with the definitions of philosophy,
1. A belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school
2. The rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics
3. Any personal belief about how to live or how to deal with a situation

i would say that i can definitely see standards in the I Ching, and beliefs, which are accepted as
'authoritative', it does speak a lot about ethics, and tons of beliefs on how to live and deal with
situations. The only ingredient missing to make it a full-blown 'philosophy' is the use of a critical
and systematic approach, but thinking back to many people who are considered philosophers, and
bringing their writings to mind, not all of them used this sort of critical and systematic approach.
The I Ching may not be a philosophy in the more scientific sense of the word, but it has so many
elements of a philosophy, as a firm set of beliefs, and a way of life, that are hard to ignore.

Some examples of beliefs/standards/ethics which are permeating the whole of the I Ching:

-- Prefer good over evil (as to what is evil, very numerous lines describe it in great detail)
-- Good will always triumph over evil in the end
-- Keep your dignity
-- Avoid anger, agitation, restlessness, conflict
-- Study and learn and think
-- Be nice to yourself first, and be nice to others too
-- Stay away from inferior people as much as possible
-- Make sure you have nice people around you
-- There is a time for everything, recognise which one it is, and enjoy/endure/do/be
-- When it is time to act and work, do it with all your energy
-- We can influence many outcomes, but not all
-- Everything changes, nothing remains static
-- Modesty is one of the highest virtues
-- Mistakes should be corrected and not repeated

And i'm sure there's tons more. Of course it's a personal choice if someone decides to follow
this way of life as well as using the I Ching as an oracle, and/or meditation method, and/or
friend, etc etc. As Martin said, it depends on each person's compatibility with the I Ching,
as well as how many sides of it a person decides to identify with and endorse. I don't think
there is any 1 word which could describe the I Ching. It's definitely not only an 'oracle'.
 

gene

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The ultimate in non doing is being, "the receptive." We have to act to get things done, but we have to be "receptive" to the results. Therefore, it is really two sides of the same coin. We plant the garden, the universe makes it grow. We nurture and sustain, as does the earth, the receptive, and we see the results that happen without our conscious action. Non action does not mean doing nothing. It means simply doing our duty, and let the chips fall where they may. We see this most clearly in hexagram 26, where, in line two it says, "...does not count on the harvest while plowing..."

Another way of putting this is that the principle of the universe is non manipulation. When we manipulate, we get manipulated. It is foolhearty to believe we can control anything. We can only do what it is our duty to do. When we manipulate, we are coming from fear. We fear we cannot control things. (Sometimes our manipulation works, but only for the time being, and eventually will boomerang on us. If not in this lifetime, then another. As Yoda said, in, I think, revenge of the Sith," train your mind to let go of all that you fear to lose...It is only when we let go of our fear that we can count on the universe to do our bidding, not because we contrived it, but because we simply did our duty, while not counting on the harvest.

This 'non action" business is very deep, and in the deeper levels goes well beyond my understanding, but it is important to note this one lesson, it is by not doing, that we do. It is by not plowing that we plow. Our conscious minds are not the source, the source is deeper, and if we try to control with our conscious mind, ultimately, we cannot. We can only count on a power higher than ourselves.

Gene
 
M

meng

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Some examples of beliefs/standards/ethics which are permeating the whole of the I Ching:

-- Prefer good over evil (as to what is evil, very numerous lines describe it in great detail)
-- Good will always triumph over evil in the end
-- Keep your dignity
-- Avoid anger, agitation, restlessness, conflict
-- Study and learn and think
-- Be nice to yourself first, and be nice to others too
-- Stay away from inferior people as much as possible
-- Make sure you have nice people around you
-- There is a time for everything, recognise which one it is, and enjoy/endure/do/be
-- When it is time to act and work, do it with all your energy
-- We can influence many outcomes, but not all
-- Everything changes, nothing remains static
-- Modesty is one of the highest virtues
-- Mistakes should be corrected and not repeated

I don't see these as Yi's beliefs and standards, I see them as the beliefs and standards as they appear to be supported by the Yi, even or especially by Wilhelm. I'm not criticizing the beliefs and standards, though; they appear to be useful ones. But they severely limit the Yi's depth and potential, imo.
 
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diamanda

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Hi Meng,

I actually didn't have Wilhelm in mind; only the translation of hexagrams and lines.
I can't think of a single line or hexagram which would contradict these standards.

You're right, if these were the only aspects of the I Ching, they would indeed present
us with limited scope and potential. But of course they are not. These are just a small
part of the whole indescribable experience that the I Ching has to offer, and i only
mentioned them as an answer to Dobro's question.
 

jilt

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Hello Diamanda,You are right with your considerations, I wasn't thinking at all. basically there are polarities like: does it hurt or does it heal, succes or failure and blame or praise. The Yi is coming from a society that values honour above guilt. Only in hex 18 guilt is prominent as the drive to reorganize, make things "right".
The yin-yang duality is of course philosophy, the 10 wings for sure.

bert.
 
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shawn

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The additional 7th line texts for hexagrams 1 & 2 are unique, and suggest the culmination of pure firmness and pure flexibility, so I've thought of them as possibly embodying any overall themes the work might have.

Line 1.7 (dragons without [or modestly hiding, as lore goes] heads) suggests to me that power in its fullest (or purest?) manifestation exists for others' benefit. The most powerful dragon, ultimately, is also the most self-effacing. Power used to others' exclusion, or disproportionately to the need, tends to backfire (line 1.6, also 36.6), maybe the humble dragon avoids that kind of fall? Gene said it very well above:
....
Another way of putting this is that the principle of the universe is non manipulation. When we manipulate, we get manipulated. It is foolhearty to believe we can control anything. We can only do what it is our duty to do. When we manipulate, we are coming from fear. We fear we cannot control things. (Sometimes our manipulation works, but only for the time being, and eventually will boomerang on us. If not in this lifetime, then another. As Yoda said, in, I think, revenge of the Sith," train your mind to let go of all that you fear to lose...It is only when we let go of our fear that we can count on the universe to do our bidding, not because we contrived it, but because we simply did our duty, while not counting on the harvest.
....
The other side of the coin, line 2.7, (advantage in everlasting perseverance/uprightness) illustrates virtue as a choice (instead of saying "act this way," it states that acting a certain way is beneficial). This is underscored in 17.6 by the bad end met by an unquestioning follower, and in 32.1 where deepened [ingrained] adherence to constancy--or routine for its own sake--causes misfortune.

The use/misuse of power, and the existence/lack of a moral compass, hinge on our choices regarding the 'truth' of a situation, and I think the next two hexagrams (Difficulty, Ignorance) introduce a third 'tenet' if you will: That we are individually responsible for our state of knowledge/awareness. Some lines I find relevant (which may rely to a degree on personal interpretation):

3.2: In difficulty, as if turning back (re-ordering our concepts based on new information)
3.3: Hunt for deer without forethought... the noble youth's discernment (the natural consequences of ignorance)
3.4 and 3.6: Chariot and horses likewise arrayed (high expectations, attainable in 3.4 but ultimately not met, in 3.6)
4.0: First question is answered, subsequent questions show disrespect (responsibility for acting upon new information)
4.2: Contained ignorance (awareness of the limits of knowledge)
4.5: Childlike ignorance is auspicious (always room for improvement)

Additionally, 5 & 6 begin with "have trust/truth," which I read as an exhortation to pay attention to the realities of a situation. Hope that wasn't too dense, thanks for a fascinating topic. :D
 

gene

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I am not sure how you all do these quote things. When I hit "quote message in reply," it seems nothing happens. Any help would be appreciated.

Quote

“The other side of the coin, line 2.7, (advantage in everlasting perseverance/uprightness) illustrates virtue as a choice (instead of saying "act this way," it states that acting a certain way is beneficial). This is underscored in 17.6 by the bad end met by an unquestioning follower, and in 32.1 where deepened [ingrained] adherence to constancy--or routine for its own sake--causes misfortune.”

This is a most interesting interpretation of 17 line 6. As a rule, I would interpret it the opposite way. But there is an element of justification for the interpretation above. I suppose it depends on which way the character in line two and three decide to go. If they make the right choice in whom to follow, a more positive interpretation incurs. If not, the interpretation above.

Fortunately, we have a "more sure word of prophecy" within the text of the I Ching itself, and can depend on its counsel and advice.The question is do we follow it, and do we understand it?

hexagram 32 line 6 can also, once again, be interpreted as someone who acts from anxiety and fear, and is in a perpetual state of hurry hoping desperately that he/she can control his/her environment well enough to make it work positively for them. Such a person must learn that he/she cannot control anything, and must simply live according to the dictates of his/her own heart without worrying about the consequences. It is only when we give up worry and fret that the universe freely bestows its gift of wealth and abundance upon us.

These things well should teach us that the I Ching is truly a living entity. The more we learn and the more we grow the more we recognize this spiritual truth. And the more we understand it, the more we understand the I Ching is not JUST a philosophy, but a living spirit that can show us the way out of darkness and ignorance, (hexagram 3 and 4), but also nourish us, and help us through struggles, (hexagram 5 and 6)

Gene
 

martin

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Do you have the feeling that the Yi has its own 'spirit', so to speak?
For me the Yi and what speaks through it are two different things. The Yi has a color, a feeling tone, an identity, a 'soul', but what speaks through the Yi, when it is used as an oracle, seems more universal.
More like a crystal that has no or very little color of its own, it's transparent. It's alive, knowing and caring, but I don't have the impression that I'm communicating with a source that is specific for the Yi.
 

Sparhawk

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Hmmm... Surprised that, 20 messages into a thread about whether there is philosophy or not in the Zhouyi that nobody has mentioned the ethics of Junzi, Daren and Xiaoren. The metaphors are certainly there and they seem to predate the Confucian school (and others) by a long time.
 
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meng

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Hmmm... Surprised that, 20 messages into a thread about whether there is philosophy or not in the Zhouyi that nobody has mentioned the ethics of Junzi, Daren and Xiaoren. The metaphors are certainly there and they seem to predate the Confucian school (and others) by a long time.

Diamanda mentioned ethics. Which I'm fine with, as the ethics are conditional, as always, upon context. What I'm not in agreement with is that these "things" stand on their own, the way a banner waves or a church steeple stands. When the mores change, the ethics change with them; and that, to my thinking, does not a philosophy make.
 
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meng

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The Junzi, since you mention him/her, is in touch with the time. Particularly the time that's dawning.
 

Sparhawk

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Diamanda mentioned ethics. Which I'm fine with, as the ethics are conditional, as always, upon context. What I'm not in agreement with is that these "things" stand on their own, the way a banner waves or a church steeple stands. When the mores change, the ethics change with them; and that, to my thinking, does not a philosophy make.

When context is mentioned in connection to the Yi my mind automatically thinks "oracle". Indeed, is all about context there and indeed the Zhouyi was a divination tool much before thinkers picked it up to build philosophies around it. However, a distinction must be made between the oracular use of the classic and its text as a literary work. The latter is as static and devoid of present context as they come. Much more so for a literary work as old as the Zhouyi. As such, it indeed stands on its own, is static, and the ethical metaphors offered in the text in the persons of those three characters can be the foothold of whole philosophies, as demonstrated by many schools of thought over the centuries.

I also think that, as a mirror, we as individuals, will find our own resonance with the text and its built-in ethics. Perhaps that personal resonance can be construed as context. Is that what you have in mind?
 
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meng

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I'll have to defer on the static literary Zhouyi work. So I guess I am speaking of the oracle, because there's nothing static in my view of the Yijing. There is no fixed set of rules other than alagories we draw from natural and cyclical phenomenon.

By context I mean that literally, not merely personal resonance. There is no answer without there being first a question. There are only matters of natural facts. That's why I said "it calls things as they are, shows how things work."

I'm not saying this is how it is, but I do not perceive this fixed-in-stone ethical standard anywhere in the Yi, other than the way we may apply what is already evident in nature.
 

heylise

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IMO the 'ethic' in the Yi is very practical. If an action brings good things about, your survival, your prospering, a job, love, happiness, then it is 'good'. It is the ethic of nature and the law of nature. Not sure if that is something you can call ethics. It is a kind of very high level (or maybe deeply-rooted) common sense.
Stealing seems to be profitable, but thieves never have such happy lives, so it is not good. Same goes for many actions which only have short term advantage. I think what we call ethics, and which seems made up of rules of behavior, is originally a set of jungle-rules. Hexagram 10, about treading, talks about tigers. Not what you’d literally meet in society, but the same rules which applied to meeting a tiger still apply to modern day life.

This is why I don’t think you can make a list of beliefs/standards/ethics of the Yi. Yi is very opportunistic. What is good at one moment is not good at another moment. So it gives the underlying original rules, not the ethical behavior which has been derived from it.

One hexagram can give the opposite advice of another hexagram. Even two lines in the same hexagram do that occasionally. Things which are good in a 17-time can be wrong in a 55-time.

If there is any philosophy in the Yi, I think it is a philosophy of timing. No idea if that does exist?

Read Meng's post after writing this one
. Same thought!
 
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meng

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Just to play devil's advocate a moment, what fixed ethical standard is attached to 25.3? I see it as survival skills (both for the citizen and the wanderer), not as a model of ethical conduct. In another time, place and circumstance, the same conduct would be considered less than optimal, and to those who determine ethics, highly unethical. Didn't they have a lost and found back then? chuckles
 

Sparhawk

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So I guess I am speaking of the oracle, because there's nothing static in my view of the Yijing. There is no fixed set of rules other than alagories we draw from natural and cyclical phenomenon.

That's what I thought you meant and we agree on that.

I'm not saying this is how it is, but I do not perceive this fixed-in-stone ethical standard anywhere in the Yi, other than the way we may apply what is already evident in nature.

This was my reason for introducing the Junzi and Co. in the conversation. I would say that if any philosophy can be derived from the Yijing, as it has been, it would be rooted in the exemplary actions of those characters. Perhaps it wasn't the intention of the compilers and it was only a collage of plain narratives of omens and oracular and historical events, but the unentioned consequence is that the ethical actions (ethics as defined above) of those characters have been used for philosophical purposes.
 

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