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Tips for writing your own I Ching

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rosada

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Like many posters here at onlineclarity, I too have attempted to write my own personal version of the I Ching. I always start with great enthusiasm but then I get lost or lose interest and then when I come back to it, nothing I've written makes any sence. I wonder if anyone has any suggestions for how to tackle the project?
 
P

peace

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Hi Rosada:

I have another point of view.
Our own versions are based on our own perspective.
Reading other interpretations helps with the blind spots we have.
You may want to ask if writing your own is useful for you?

Just a thought.
Rosalie
 

dobro p

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Hi Rosada

Here's how I approached it: I do a toss every day. So every day, I worked on and wrote up only those hexagrams and lines that I drew in the consultation. It was manageable that way, and interesting, and organic (because I was working on the material that was most timely). And because I did it on my computer, it was easy to rewrite bits when I drew the same line further on down the road - that's how I dealt with the 'nothing I've written makes any sense' problem. The final stage was to be part of onlineclarity, for two reasons: offering interpretations for others is good practice, plus people here come up with ideas that I wouldn't have thought of otherwise.

Oh, by the way, I also use the Yi for guidance in regard to the writing. So if I can't figure out a meaning after working on it for a while, I'll ask the Yi for input.

Good luck with it.
 
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ewald

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I started my project of writing my own I Ching by compiling meanings of the individual hexagram lines. I compared various translations and tried to distill the overall meaning. After I had been using a website that had the Chinese text for a while, I started to realize that I wasn't so sure that the I Ching translations I had been using were correct. I then decided to make my own translation of the core text of the I Ching (the Zhouyi).

I'm not a sinologist. However, I haven't found that to be a big problem. Important is using good dictionaries - grammar doesn't seem problematic. Most important is examining and reexamining the puzzles that the line texts are. By using web technology, I was able to make things easier.

After using several online Chinese dictionaries, I eventually settled on mostly using AC Muller's and Richard Sears'. For characters not in these, I use CEDICT. Other dictionaries I've used are LINDICT and the compilation made by Bradford.

To decide on the meaning and translation of the Chinese text, it is important to be able to check out various contexts. The context in the particular line, in the hexagram, or in the entire text. The meaning of a character or combination of characters as it is used elsewhere in the text. To help with this, I created a set of private webpages, that help me with checking out various contexts. Also, in these webpages I am able to check out the dictionary meanings of characters very quickly, doing away with the time consuming task of looking up characters.

I put the texts in database tables that are accessible through private webpages. I can easily add a new set of texts, so if I decide I want to have a particular kind of notes separately available, I create one, accessible by clicking a drop down box. I also have some electronic versions of other people's translations in my private database for quick access.

To decide on the meaning of hexagram lines, I use the hexagram index to this forum a lot, which is no surprise, as I made it myself;-) However, I'm mostly relying on just my translation of the original Chinese.
 

freemanc

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Rosada,

I want to really encourage you to write your own I Ching book.

I did. I started with a pile of notes and then hit a line of thinking that spoke to me (the so-called "Modern School" based on archaeology), and ended up making a book. www.chameleonbook.com

It started out as a bunch of notes I wrote, sort of a divination crib book, that got progressively overwritten with a different translation and a different commentary. Then I realized a bunch of stuff I'd written was elegant clear, beautful, and wrapped the Yijing up in a pretty bow... and was mostly wrong. I realized a few things. Then I did a bazillion edits that added, or rather recognized, a bunch of complications.

Anyway, I think I have a few helpful pieces of advice:

When you are writing from the heart, really write from the heart. When you are doing scholarship, really do your scholarship. In either case, be as honest and careful as you can.

Make up a "game" that really speaks to you, and play it with great care.

If you aren't basically having a lot of fun, quit writing. There is just no reason to be a hero that way. Also, it may mean that your brain is trying to tell you that you're barking up the wrong tree.

(For myself, I almost always had a great time writing The Chameleon Book.)

Use lovely materials. Pretty blank books and so on. My first drafts were in pencil in giant hardback sketchbooks. (They came to look like a blurry grey warzone after a while.) It was a real pleasure to feel I was chiseling the text into existance with a pencil.

When you read something you wrote and it is terribly wrong don't be sad or humiliated. Be filled with gladness, because you had to write that awful thing to gain a flash of insight. Then try to pin down that insight, if you can.

best of luck!
FC
 

lightofdarkness

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Use something like the Species I Ching as a template. It ties to generic feelings.

http://www.onlineclarity.co.uk/I_Ching_community/messages/92/805.html

Since the basic categories of feelings 'map' to the basic categories of the IC so from the general of those feelings will emerge a particular that, upon close scrutiny, will be found to represent the qualities of the IC.

For a more refined focus on emotions see the Emotional IC preamble:

http://members.iimetro.com.au/~lofting/myweb/EmotionalIC.html

(note that the negative of 'anger' is also the positive or assertion of self, self respect etc etc - and so the 'light' of heaven can also be the blinding, burning, light of the competitive ;-))

You do NOT need to refer to chinese etc etc to get the generic qualities; and review the line comments not as 'changing lines' but as comments on finer details working through the hexagram bottom to top, raw to refined.

For finer details on a hexagram's overall meaning note that it is described by analogy to all of the other hexagrams - the IC can describe itself - so that feature can be used as you develop your own IC.

Since your emotions come out of fight/flight, where that dichotomy is hard-coded into your brain, so the self-referencing of that dichotomy will elicit the same generic qualities as 'yang/yin'. The use of YOUR emotions will then make it all 'personal' as your experiences 'seed' the representations.

Chris.
 
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rosada

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Wow! I feel I've hit the jack pot here! Thank you so much for your encouragement and ideas!

Rosalie - I followed up on your suggestion that I ask the I Ching how writing my own might be useful. i think I got a very interesting answer because it seemed to address how the I Ching is useful period:

Question: What is the usefulness of the I Ching?

Answer: 59.5 Dispersion - 4. Youthful Folly

(Plugging in the words of Wilhelm)

59.5...a great idea provides a focal point ...a stimulating idea is a true salvation in times of general deadlock...It gives the people a rallying point.

and then

4...At the first oracle I inform him.

--
Isn't that a cool explaination of what the I Ching does? And I also read this as suggesting that writing my own IC would provide me with a focal point.

Further playing around with your observation that reading other's interpretations is so helpful for overcoming blind spots, I am thinking now about what we might do as a group project when our current "I Ching on the I Ching" cycle completes itself. Insidentally is everyone aware of that thread over in the Divination zone? I think the last 3 of 4 entries have been inspired. I had never really appreciated what a wonderful line 41.5 is and Jerryd's post really did it justice. And Nicky's and Megabbobby's (before and - especially !- after) and Void's = Poetry! Anyway, I'm thinking next cycle we could try taking one line per day and everyone who feels to contributes everything they know about that one line.
Anyway, thank you for this "great and stimulating idea", Rosalie!

Dobro - Thank you for such practical suggestions. Did you ask the I Ching the same question every day, like "What hexagram(s) should I study today?" or did you just make a point of asking at least one question a day about anything?

After reading Megabbobby's entry for 41.6 I am thinking it would be interesting to ask the I Ching to tell me about the day's news. I could do the toss before reading the paper and then see if there would indeed be a story to match the oracle.

Freemanc - I hope everyone visits your Chameleon.com site. What a beautiful accomplishment! Your explanation in the intro of the myths and how it all fits together provides an essential piece of the puzzel! The suggestion that I use aesthetically pleasing materials and make a point of only working when I am enjoying it makes total sence, as does seeing this as a game that may be serious, but it is meant to be played! Thank you!

Chris - Thank you for all your work and your observation that one can ask the IC to discribe itself. I think I got proof you are right with the "What is the use of the I Ching?" question. I am also getting value from your insights that the lines go from raw to refined.

I just now asked IC how I should approach writing my own interpretation and got 2.1.2.3.4 - 34! Receptive to Great Power!

Okay, think I'll get Receptive now and let the games begin!
 
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rosada

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Ewald! Just now reading your link suggestions!
Your "hexagram index to this forum" is exactly what I'm looking for. DUH!
THANK YOU!
 

dobro p

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Gee, Rosada - lots of ideas in this thread, yes?

"Did you ask the I Ching the same question every day, like "What hexagram(s) should I study today?" or did you just make a point of asking at least one question a day about anything?"

Most often it's been an open question, cuz those are the questions that net me the best results with the Yi. ("What do I need to know now?") Occasionally I've had an issue on my mind at the time I've consulted the oracle, and I formulate a more directed question. (eg "What do I need to know about applying for the university teaching job?") I've never asked the Yi what hexagram I should study, because I've always assumed that the hexagram I draw in response to my open question is exactly the hexagram I should study lol.
 

bradford_h

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When I stared to work on this (back in the mid-seventies) I found my own best discipline to do one hexagram a day. I just did them in the binary or Xian Tian order. I'd read everything on that Gua in about a dozen different versions, make notes, go thru the day and then write. The day will often be full of experiences relevant to the energy you've summoned.
One annoying problem with this is that you learn and grow so much in the process that you have a different style by the time you get to the end, so you have to go back and redo the first parts.
Also, you really get to see the true meaning of "Changes" in the book's title. You never get to the "final" draft.
 

dobro p

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"One annoying problem with this is that you learn and grow so much in the process that you have a different style by the time you get to the end, so you have to go back and redo the first parts."

Ex-ACT-ly. Which is where the computer comes in.
 
P

peace

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I also like to ask a question and then work on reading lots of interpretations on each line and also doing the step method -

I've been frustrated lately because I haven't had the time to do this over the past few months and it doesn't work for me to do a few minutes here or there. I find I need a good hour or two - at very least.

If anyone has suggestions how to do this quicker -please let me know. I miss spending the time so much!

Thanks,
Rosalie
 
R

rosada

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Hi Rosalie,

Well..how about you choose a hexagram for us to really dig into here on line and invite everyone who feels to, to post what they know about it.
I nominate 42, Increase. That's the hexagram we're on over on the I Ching on the I Ching thread and since no one has been inspired to write lately, we probably could use a little group discussion. Plus it's a nice hexagram. That is, we can all focus on it without manefesting the group grumblings we've had when everyone was meditating on Hostility (or whatever that hexagram was)!

Rosada
 

lightofdarkness

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Rosalie seems to be experiencing 03! 42 and 03 form a pair in the binary sequence. 03 is unconditional. 42 is conditional.

The overall focus in this pairing is on attaining a 'new' level. As hexagram 03 focuses on pulling things together to 'sprout', so hexagram 42 focuses more on a point of differentiation, the act of particular augmentation that also reflects a 'new' level.

The mud from which 03 has emerged (27-ness) is best described by analogy to the under-stated qualities of hexagram 20, admiring (passive motivation - setting an example, being an example)

The mud from which 42 has emerged is best described by analogy to the under-stated qualities of hexagram 08, unifying, passive attraction (as the court/king does by existing)

At the LOCAL level the focus is on an octet of hexagrams with THUNDER as base. The association is between hexagram 42 and 51, where the exaggerated sense of 'enlightenment', of sudden awareness etc (51), is reflected in a more balanced format through the process of augmentation (42).

In this thunder sequence hexagram 03, the focus on sprouting, difficult beginnings, 'opposes' hexagram 21, the focus on problem-solving. More so, the exaggerated sense of chewing over a problem is reflected in a more balanced format in the process of sprouting, 'natural' getting over of difficulties.

The 48-ness of 03 is described by 11 - a focus on mediation, on being in the 'middle', the position of the surface as a border of within fromn without - IOW this is where 03 gets its source of nourishment, its foundations that feed the infrastructure (27-ness) etc.

The 48-ness of 42 is described by 26 where its source of nourishment is in holding firm to core traditions etc and from there 'augmenting'.

etc etc etc
 

lightofdarkness

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Rosalie, I have put up a 48-ness thread that covers all hexagrams. You may find it useful.

http://www.onlineclarity.co.uk/I_Ching_community/messages/92/6134.html

It all comes out of research into the methodology used in creating the binary sequence that structures the hexagrams. In that method we find that all is connected such that one can use the IC to describe itself. In this particular example we are extracting the qualities of 48 that are present in all hexagrams. That quality is then described by analogy to a particular hexagram in the set of all hexagrams.

This has nothing to do with asking questions of the IC, these links are PART of the IC and what ICPlus has identified is the method used to extract these details.

Chris.
 
R

rosada

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Dear Chris,
Thank you for your ideas. They sparked me to come up with even more! Rather than bother you with it, I just put the questions to the I Ching and just for fun I looked up the answers using the "The I Ching on The I Ching" the group has been writing together over on the Divination discussion board. As it turned out, although ours is a work in progress and we've only filled in the individual lines up until 43.0, even so, my reading directed me only to lines we'd already completed.

OMG! Turns out a weird message someone left weeks ago was exactly what I needed to read today!

Give it a try folks! If your I Ching reading is for any hexagram between 1 and 42.6 you will be able to get a personal reading from the group by going to the "I Ching on the I Ching" thread over on the Divination discussion board.

If you have not already done so, please consider adding your interpretation to a line on this group I Ching. The Idea (I think) is to develope a Group Story by each of us taking a turn filling in a line. The trick is to work the classical meaning of the line into the evolving present time story. Even if you can't think of a great fit for the line I hope you will at least add to the story. You can always comeback and edit your own contribution later, but only if you get your name on a space now.

(hmmm, I wonder if life is going to be like that in the future?)

Thanks for these charts, Chris! Amazing how they fit information into your brain so quickly. Like a Mandala.

Hey, Rosalie,
Maybe that is what you are intuitively looking for? Something like an I Ching mandala that would put the info into your brain just by looking at it, rather than having to do a 2 hour word search? Is there by chance a mantra associated with each hexagram? Should be...

Rosada
 

rosada

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Progress report...
I've come up with a plan of studying the hexagrams in order, one line a day. It is my intention that by taking them just one line at a time I will be able to not just understand the I Ching, but also to be able to memorize it.
Each day I write out the line I am learning on a three by five card. In this way I can carry just this one card about with me and refer to it through out the day. When something meaningful happens that seems to connect with the line, I jot it down on the back of the card. At the end of the day I try to sum up the line in my own words. The neat thing about this card method is that not only can I carry the card with me, but also, if I don't like what I've written, I can just rewrite the card, I don't have to tear out a whole page.

Usually at the end of the day I am starting to see the next day's line manefest - as if I am seeing that one line is not totally separate and distinct from the next, but one"s conciousness, point of view, evolves into the next.
I study one line each day for 6 days. At the end of the 6 days I give it a rest for one day and then Return, as prescribed in hex. 24.
I am seeing meaningful enough results that I have done this every day for a month. We shall see.

I have also made cards to help me memorize the key advices of each of the hexagrams, that is the Images. For a while I had them posted about the house. For example, on the mirror in the bathroom I posted, "The superior man refines the outward aspect of his nature" on the breakfast table, "Eat and Drink! Be joyous and of good cheer!" and in the bedroom, "The superior man at nightfall goes indoors for rest and recuperation."
This was definitely a fun game and got other people in the house to take an interest in IChing.
 
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