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Underlying principles connected to the Yi 14.1.6>32

hmesker

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Harmen, thank you for digging into this. When I asked, I didn't know it would be so complicated.
I'm always slightly jealous of people who think they can translate the Zhouyi without any knowledge of its language and its history, or the structure of early Chinese texts in general, simply by copy & paste characters in (often modern) online Chinese dictionaries. Ignorance is bliss and the Dunning-Kruger effect (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect) is often strong in them. Something like that is for instance happening in the comments to this post https://www.yjcn.nl/wp/book-review-1-edward-shaughnessy-unearthing-the-changes/#comments
 

Liselle

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Am wondering what the robber thinks about having inspired a whole line of research. Lol.
 

my_key

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And if I use that to find the meaning of the name of H14, as a general meaning for the complete hexagram, I would translate it as 'great achievements'.
My experience with Chinese text is very very limited so I do not feel qualified to comment on that aspect, however I would like to make an observation on the English.

Achievement can be seen as not only the thing that is done successfully but also the process of achieving something. So there may be a take here in Hex 14 on the process in us where the great is being made manifest to produce a particular outcome, rather than a focus on greatness of the outcome. So maybe something like 'the Great in us manifests' could be a loose meaning for the context of the hexagram.
 

Trojina

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Harmen

And if I use that to find the meaning of the name of H14, as a general meaning for the complete hexagram, I would translate it as 'great achievements'.
But it isn't great achievements because most of the time when one casts 14 it is not about great achievements. I've yet to see a 14 cast that meant 'great achievements' I'd think much more 42 or 35 for that.

So I can't argue about it in terms of translation but in terms of meaning I think 'Great Possession' is better. Many have commented on how often they cast 14 when they feel they have nothing at all, when they feel poor. Often this cast shows actually you do 'have' a great deal but 'great achievements' that doesn't work for me because I don't think 14 is very much about achievements and unless you are someone who's life is full of 'great achievements' then it's meaning is limited whereas 'Great Possession' is so much more inclusive of ways of having.
 

Freedda

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I'm always slightly jealous of people who think they can translate the Zhouyi without any knowledge of its language and its history, or the structure of early Chinese texts in general, simply by copy & paste characters in (often modern) online Chinese dictionaries. Ignorance is bliss ...
And I am a bit jealous - but also very very thankful - of those of you who do delve deep into the language and history.

As to the 14.6/16.4 kerfuffle, I get where you were going with all that.

And 'kerfuffle' - derived from the Chinese combined character (found on both on bronzes and oracle bone castings) which means 'a three-legged turtle whose top and bottom shells are interchangeable' - or it means 'ignorance is bliss'.


D.
 

svenrus

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I'll take my shot on the question asked to I Ching

Out of a naive observation of the ancient Ideograph (#21) where on top are the sign for The great Man ie. the Sage/Dragon and underneath the sign for a hand over the sign for meat. Meat being the subject in the hand of the Sage leads me to see that the underlying principle connected to the Yi lies in the hand of the Sage. Naive ? Yes ! But to get an answer of this rather unimportant kind of question asked I needed to look at it in a naive way. The underlying principle lies in the hand of the Sage('es)

First I would have drawn that conclusion out of seeing the Sage holding the Moon (the light in the night) in his hand as seen in Alfred Huang's translation, but I don't think it matters whether it's meat as pointed out earlier in this thread or the Moon because meat (or Moon) are the subject asked for...
 
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Liselle

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Freedda

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Huh. Maybe there are two "kerfuffles"? I always thought it meant "a fuss."
Yes, sorry, my attempt at humor - it does mean 'commotion or fuss, especially one caused by conflicting views' or 'a state of noisy, confused activity' and as far as I know it only means these things, and not 'ke - fei - lu' or some such silliness.

D.
 

hmesker

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But it isn't great achievements because most of the time when one casts 14 it is not about great achievements. I've yet to see a 14 cast that meant 'great achievements' I'd think much more 42 or 35 for that.
You are letting your experience with the oracle decide what the name of the hexagram means to you and I understand that. I wonder though, might it be possible that you never had a 14 cast that meant 'great achievements' to you because you didn't know that 'great achievements' might be a possible valid translation of the name? Isn't it possible that H14 means 'Great Possession' to you because the translations that you value say that the name means 'great possession'? Otherwise said, would H14 still mean 'great possession' to you if you used a translation that does not translate the name as such (like for instance Richard Rutt or Alfred Huang). Experience with the oracle alone cannot tell you what the name of a hexagram means, at least not in a general sense that should work for every user of the book. Your statement "But it isn't great achievements because most of the time when one casts 14 it is not about great achievements" might be true for you but might not necessarily be true for other users of the book. For me H14 can be about 'great achievements', and I also see it as (part of) a valid answer to the question that iams girl asked to the Yi, about the underlying principles of the Yijing.

So I can't argue about it in terms of translation but in terms of meaning I think 'Great Possession' is better.
It might be a better fit for you considering your experience with the oracle. My experience has taught me that the actual translation of the name, or any other part of the hexagram does not really matter, but what does matter is how I approach it. If 'peanut butter' would have been a valid translation of the name of H14 I am able to make that useful in the practice of divination as well, just as 'great possession' or 'great achievements'. But my quick research has taught me (so far) that 'great achievements' might be a valid translation of 大有. So I will stick to that until I have good reasons to change my mind.

Many have commented on how often they cast 14 when they feel they have nothing at all, when they feel poor. Often this cast shows actually you do 'have' a great deal but 'great achievements' that doesn't work for me because I don't think 14 is very much about achievements and unless you are someone who's life is full of 'great achievements' then it's meaning is limited whereas 'Great Possession' is so much more inclusive of ways of having.
I find that interesting because you say that the user does not experience his situation as 'great possession' ('they feel poor') but according to you the Yi tells him/her that there is actually 'great possession' . Likewise I could say that the user does not experience 'great achievements' but the Yi could tell him/her that there are 'great achievements'. (It seems to me that it all boils down to perspective.) Just as your life does not have to be full of 'great possessions' to make this hexagram meaningful you could also say that your life does not have to be full of 'great achievements' to make use of this possible meaning of the name.

What is important and relevant to me though is that (as far as I can see) there are no texts where 大有 means 'great possession' while we do find texts that use the phrase as a reference to great achievements or great deeds.
 

Trojina

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You are letting your experience with the oracle decide what the name of the hexagram means to you and I understand that. I wonder though, might it be possible that you never had a 14 cast that meant 'great achievements' to you because you didn't know that 'great achievements' might be a possible valid translation of the name?
Possibly but 'achievements' isn't a great word in English for 14 IMO unless it's specified in what sense you mean it and if you had to explain how you meant the word you may as well use a better word. 'Achievements' tends to refer to actual rewards/gains of status or power, qualifications gained, career moves, changes made for the better and acknowledged by others.

I think of 14 as blessings, all that we have all that is gifted us. In English 'achievements' is quite a narrow word IMO given it is generally something recognised by others. There can be personal achievements of course but we don't speak of our emotional or spiritual or personal lives in terms of 'achievements'. We don't measure our inner wealth in terms of achievements.

There a quote from Neitzsche I came across in Brad's work that I always think of for 14


"From the sun did I learn this, when it goeth down, the exuberant one: gold doth it then pour into the sea, out of inexhaustible riches, - So that the poorest fisherman roweth even with golden oars ! For this did I once see , and did not tire of weeping in beholding it."

It is not an achievement to blessed with sight or blessed with the sun it is simply wealth we have. We don't earn these riches nor achieve them they are freely gifted to us.



Isn't it possible that H14 means 'Great Possession' to you because the translations that you value say that the name means 'great possession'? Otherwise said, would H14 still mean 'great possession' to you if you used a translation that does not translate the name as such (like for instance Richard Rutt or Alfred Huang). Experience with the oracle alone cannot tell you what the name of a hexagram means, at least not in a general sense that should work for every user of the book.
No experience cannot tell anyone the name of a hexagram nor should it or we could have it mean anything we liked. But a long time feeling 14 in my life in all sorts of ways ? - No sorry I can not call 14 'Great Achievements' not unless achievements are defined as blessings and wealth of all kinds which of course they aren't. Achievements are those things that you attain for yourself . Would you want to make the name of 14 limited only to those things one attains for oneself through merit or work ? 14 is far more than that isn't it ?


We are looking at it from completely opposite ends of the spectrum, you're a translator I'm not so it's natural we'll be placing a different emphasis on criteria for naming 14. I don't think a hexagram can be named according to experience, that way would lie chaos.


Your statement "But it isn't great achievements because most of the time when one casts 14 it is not about great achievements" might be true for you but might not necessarily be true for other users of the book. For me H14 can be about 'great achievements', and I also see it as (part of) a valid answer to the question that iams girl asked to the Yi, about the underlying principles of the Yijing.
I don't take iams girl's answer as an answer to anyone but her so I can't follow that line ….. but sure
14 could mean great achievements as one aspect of it's meaning but it does not cover all the having, the blessing and gifts of 14. I think it's a word it's quite narrowly in English. For example someone might suffer a bereavement and cope very bravely and they might do very well but this is not generally referred to as an achievement. Someone might possess great skill or great beauty but we don't call that an achievement but a gift, a blessing. If you call it 'great achievement' then you take away the whole generous free gifting giving fullness of the hexagram, you're narrowing it down to something someone earned. But you do not always have to earn the wealth in 14. We do not earn or achieve the sun we are gifted with it.



It might be a better fit for you considering your experience with the oracle. My experience has taught me that the actual translation of the name, or any other part of the hexagram does not really matter, but what does matter is how I approach it. If 'peanut butter' would have been a valid translation of the name of H14 I am able to make that useful in the practice of divination as well, just as 'great possession' or 'great achievements'. But my quick research has taught me (so far) that 'great achievements' might be a valid translation of 大有. So I will stick to that until I have good reasons to change my mind.

Okay. I appreciate your efforts. For now I want to stay with Great Possession or Big Having or Wealth or along those lines (no pun intended)



I find that interesting because you say that the user does not experience his situation as 'great possession' ('they feel poor') but according to you the Yi tells him/her that there is actually 'great possession' . Likewise I could say that the user does not experience 'great achievements' but the Yi could tell him/her that there are 'great achievements'. (It seems to me that it all boils down to perspective.) Just as your life does not have to be full of 'great possessions' to make this hexagram meaningful you could also say that your life does not have to be full of 'great achievements' to make use of this possible meaning of the name.
I didn't say the user doesn't experience his situation as great possession I only said 'often' does not experience it as such. We can't know fully how people experience this hexagram of course.

I see what you mean that Yi may tell you something is an achievement even if you don't think of it that way but the problem with that for me is simply 'possession' or 'wealth' or 'having' do the job better.

I also note how much of Yi helps by reminding us that it is not achieving things in the eyes of the world that matter. I think of all the answers where we receive help at times of obscurity, 36, 2.3, 12.4, 6.3. I think of Yi as very much an oracle that helps and guides in times of obscurity and does not follow the ways of the world notions of what success and achievement really are.

What is important and relevant to me though is that (as far as I can see) there are no texts where 大有 means 'great possession' while we do find texts that use the phrase as a reference to great achievements or great deeds.
Yes as I said we are coming at Yi from very different perspectives so aspects that are paramount to you may not be to me and vice versa.


I will allow you to call 14 'Great Achievements' but I cannot at this present time follow suit. :bows:

ETA

If you believe 14 to be called 'Great achievements' do you also think the hexagram is about earning those achievements ? You see all achievements have to be earned that is the nature of them. Blessings and gifts and havings of all kinds do not have to be earned. I mean sure at times 14 might refer to an earned wealth but it isn't always earned is it ? There's nothing written for the hexagram about earning is there ?
 

iams girl

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From readings posted on this site from a hexagram search and my own experience, 14.1.6>32 seems to be about facing the truth (=underlying principle?) that compels one to make difficult, even altruistic, choices (=offering in the image?) such as giving up one’s pride, giving up a relationship. Having the "great possession" of what it takes to do the right thing seems intertwined here in "great achievements." Some hopefully tactfully copied bits as examples from comments in 14.1.6>32 threads:

"Knowing what is wrong is the first step to getting better" (Reading Circle, member forum)

“in line 1 there is a warning that you need to start with a clean, clear relationship free of anything that could prove harmful, and line 6 is a very strong promise that this is a Good Thing, meant to be"
(Reading Circle, member forum)

“Embrace what is good for you, release what hurts you.”

“sometimes a higher purpose is served through suffering..”
(Shared Readings, public forum)

“[one] is determined to walk on Heaven's Highway -- that is, correcting [oneself] as [one] goes”
(Shared Readings, public forum)
 
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Liselle

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For me H14 can be about 'great achievements', and I also see it as (part of) a valid answer to the question that iams girl asked to the Yi, about the underlying principles of the Yijing.
Whatever becomes of our friend 14, I just read Wilhelm on 32 with this reading in mind, and I wonder if it sheds some light? (This will be clumsy. I'm not a good explainer, and I'm making guesses about applying Wilhelm to a rather lofty reading: not a great combination of things!)

Judgement commentary (underlining and notes added by me):
Duration is a state whose movement is not worn down by hindrances. It is
not a state of rest, for mere standstill is regression. Duration is rather the self-
contained and therefore self-renewing movement of an organized, firmly
integrated whole
[1], taking place in accordance with immutable laws [2] and
beginning anew at every ending. The end is reached by an inward
movement, by inhalation, systole, contraction, and this movement turns into
a new beginning, in which the movement is directed outward, in exhalation,
diastole, expansion.
[3]
Heavenly bodies exemplify duration. They move in their fixed orbits [4], and
because of this their light-giving power endures. The seasons of the year
follow a fixed law of change and transformation [5], hence can produce effects
that endure.
So likewise the dedicated man embodies an enduring meaning in his way
of life, and thereby the world is formed. In that which gives things their
duration, we can come to understand the nature of all beings in heaven and
on earth.
[6]
Image commentary:
Thunder rolls, and the wind blows; both are examples of extreme mobility
and so are seemingly the very opposite of duration, but the laws governing
their appearance and subsidence, their coming and going, endure. In the same
way the independence of the superior man is not based on rigidity and
immobility of character. He always keeps abreast of the time and changes
with it.
[7] What endures is the unswerving directive, the inner law of his
being, which determines all his actions.
[1] The I Ching, in construction, is organized and firmly integrated?

[2] Permanent "laws" of heaven, not the changeable laws of men (that is, Yi is divinely inspired, see Hilary's hexagram 11 reading)?

[3] Could we see the Pairs in this? A pair of hexagrams, as a unit, might be seen as two opposite movements combined, like inhalation/exhalation, expansion/contraction. At the end of every Pair, another one "begin anew." And the entire Sequence "begins anew" at the end - 63 followed by 64, completion followed by incompletion.

[4] Yi has predictable, repeatable patterns, like the orbiting planets?

[5] The web of things in Yi that ties it together? The Pairs, plus the Sequence (plus things like the Sequence-based Shadow hexagrams, the complements, and so forth)?

[6] We can apply the workings of the I Ching to our lives? Maybe akin to "as above, so below" from astrology?

[7] The I Ching was written 3,000 years ago, but its principles are enduring, and we can apply them to the current time? (E.g. Yi can talk to us about our computers.)
 
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iams girl

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Hilary says 'Great possessions gained' and although that follows the Chinese sentence nicely it does not seem right to me because to my knowledge the verb was not put at the end of the sentence. Wilhelm translates 大有得 as 'He achieves great things' but that doesn't sound right to me either - in order to say that we would have to change the sentence to a standard Subject-Verb-Object structure (with the subject missing but being implied): 得大有 '(he) obtains/achieves great things'. In the sentence of H16.4 得, the verb is at the end which changes the meaning. If we keep the standard SVO pattern then 大 is the subject, 有 is the verb, and 得 the object: '(the) great will have achievement' or something like that. And if I use that to find the meaning of the name of H14, as a general meaning for the complete hexagram, I would translate it as 'great achievements'.

Hi Harmen,

I appreciate seeing the characters of 14 more closely linked to original meaning, thank you.

I have to agree with others that the word "achievements" still seems limited, though, with so many yang lines in the picture, but am not coming up with a different word on my own. Would you have any more information on the actual character for "achievement" that might help broaden the scope of it's meaning?

My_key's word "manifestations" seems like it comes closer. Or, conceptually, what Trojina brought up by Nietzsche, even the poor making their way in the blessing of the golden light of the sun.
 

Liselle

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I feel a little bit responsible for this :bag:

Harmen did say...

I'm gradually working my way through 10 now so everything I say about 14 at this point is preliminary.
and
my quick research has taught me (so far) that 'great achievements' might be a valid translation of 大有. So I will stick to that until I have good reasons to change my mind.
To paraphrase Orson Welles, Harmen will sell no hexagram before its time... (and he has so far resisted all pleas to clone himself, or to go without sleep).
 

hmesker

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Possibly but 'achievements' isn't a great word in English for 14 IMO unless it's specified in what sense you mean it and if you had to explain how you meant the word you may as well use a better word. 'Achievements' tends to refer to actual rewards/gains of status or power, qualifications gained, career moves, changes made for the better and acknowledged by others.
...all of which I find great associations for H14, although I don't see 'achievements' as something that should always be ackowledged by others. That I am able to read Chinese Yi related texts after more than 30 years of studying the book might seem stupid to some ("it took you 30 years!?") but I see it as a personal achievement. In any way I don't see anything bad in the word 'achievement'.

I think of 14 as blessings, all that we have all that is gifted us. In English 'achievements' is quite a narrow word IMO given it is generally something recognised by others. There can be personal achievements of course but we don't speak of our emotional or spiritual or personal lives in terms of 'achievements'. We don't measure our inner wealth in terms of achievements.
To me this sounds like a Western (and modern) perspective of the word 'achievement': in (early, ancient and modern) China 'achievements' are very important, your whole life was considered a list of achievements (and failures), and when you died your achievements were engraved on your tomb stone. If achievements were important in early China it doesn't strike me as odd that a hexagram would talk about it.
You think of 14 as blessings, all that we have, all that is gifted us. Which is a really great interpretation of 14. I try to think, how would this have worked in early China? Blessings and 'what is gifted us' came from a source, like the ancestors, or spirits, gods. But they didn't give away blessings etc. for free: only when you had shown yourself worthy by doing certain deeds or having accomplished certain tasks you were blessed or given rewards. In other words, to me blessings & rewards are connected to achievements and this is what H14 might be about: certain prerequisites or attitudes that are necessary to get what is given at the end of the hexagram, at the 6th line.

You say, "we don't speak of our emotional or spiritual or personal lives in terms of 'achievements'", but that doesn't hold true for me. I consider every step towards positive progress an achievement, every decision that I make for the better is an achievement to me and I am not afraid to see them as that as I have no negative connection with that word whatsoever.

It is not an achievement to blessed with sight or blessed with the sun it is simply wealth we have. We don't earn these riches nor achieve them they are freely gifted to us.
Which might be the reason why I don't connect these things to H14, because I don't see them as 'great possessions', nor do I see them as 'achievements'. But I can understand that these are your personal associations with H14 based on your experience with the oracle.

Achievements are those things that you attain for yourself . Would you want to make the name of 14 limited only to those things one attains for oneself through merit or work ? 14 is far more than that isn't it ?
To me the concept of 'achievements' is broader than 'those things one attains for oneself through merit or work'. If I am able to step out of my comfort zone, if I am able to see a situation from another person's perspective, if I can step away from automatic prejudice - I consider all of these 'achievements'. Not achievements in the sense of 'look how good I am', but as stepping stones that have taught me something valuable and meaningful.
In other words, I don't see the idea of 'great achievements' as a limitation of the meaning of H14, far from it. It opens up another field of meanings, that's all.

14 could mean great achievements as one aspect of it's meaning but it does not cover all the having, the blessing and gifts of 14.
Indeed it doesn't but to me these are concepts that are not connected to my idea of H14.

I think it's a word it's quite narrowly in English. For example someone might suffer a bereavement and cope very bravely and they might do very well but this is not generally referred to as an achievement. Someone might possess great skill or great beauty but we don't call that an achievement but a gift, a blessing. If you call it 'great achievement' then you take away the whole generous free gifting giving fullness of the hexagram, you're narrowing it down to something someone earned. But you do not always have to earn the wealth in 14. We do not earn or achieve the sun we are gifted with it.
Yes, but these are your personal associations with H14 and these associations don't 'work' for me. You say, "For example someone might suffer a bereavement and cope very bravely and they might do very well but this is not generally referred to as an achievement." It might not be called an 'achievement' because it isn't clear that a certain goal has been met - what you describe is an attitude to cope with a difficult situation. For 'achievements' (especially in the Chinese sense of the word) you have to acquired something - a goal, a realization, a new situation - which brings us back to the meaning of 'possessions'.

If you believe 14 to be called 'Great achievements' do you also think the hexagram is about earning those achievements ? You see all achievements have to be earned that is the nature of them. Blessings and gifts and havings of all kinds do not have to be earned. I mean sure at times 14 might refer to an earned wealth but it isn't always earned is it ? There's nothing written for the hexagram about earning is there ?
I do think that H14 might describe what is needed to make the achievement a reality instead of merely a desire. Considering that achievements were very important in early China (as can be seen in the many bronze inscriptions that tell about achievements of the owner of the object as well as achievements of former family members and kings) I can read the line texts as related to that concept.
 

hmesker

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Would you have any more information on the actual character for "achievement" that might help broaden the scope of it's meaning?
No :) This idea of 'achievement' is not (only) based on the single character you 有 but on the occurences of dayou in other texts, as I hopefully explained in my post about the meaning of dayou, with relevant quotes and everything.
 

hmesker

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(and he has so far resisted all pleas to clone himself, or to go without sleep).
I have already been cloned twice and I am not going to do it again.

(I'm a triplet.)
 

Liselle

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I have already been cloned twice and I am not going to do it again.

(I'm a triplet.)
Yes, I know! You showed us once the deleterious effects cloning has had on you. However, the instant this procedure is perfected... :mischief:
 

iams girl

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You think of 14 as blessings, all that we have, all that is gifted us. Which is a really great interpretation of 14. I try to think, how would this have worked in early China? Blessings and 'what is gifted us' came from a source, like the ancestors, or spirits, gods. But they didn't give away blessings etc. for free: only when you had shown yourself worthy by doing certain deeds or having accomplished certain tasks you were blessed or given rewards. In other words, to me blessings & rewards are connected to achievements and this is what H14 might be about: certain prerequisites or attitudes that are necessary to get what is given at the end of the hexagram, at the 6th line.
That helps with understanding both achievements and possession, thank you.
 

iams girl

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Liselle, nice lay out of so many foundational properties in hex 32 also btw.
 

Trojina

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...all of which I find great associations for H14, although I don't see 'achievements' as something that should always be ackowledged by others. That I am able to read Chinese Yi related texts after more than 30 years of studying the book might seem stupid to some ("it took you 30 years!?") but I see it as a personal achievement. In any way I don't see anything bad in the word 'achievement'.
Not bad just a bit too narrow for the name of hexagram 14. But thinking of 14 as achievements does add an extra layer of meaning yes.



To me this sounds like a Western (and modern) perspective of the word 'achievement': in (early, ancient and modern) China 'achievements' are very important, your whole life was considered a list of achievements (and failures), and when you died your achievements were engraved on your tomb stone. If achievements were important in early China it doesn't strike me as odd that a hexagram would talk about it.

When you translate characters into English you surely have to take into account the use of the word in English now otherwise you'd be giving a false idea. For example the use of the word 'grace' for 22 is no use given the meaning of the word in modern English. Also 'humility' gives too narrow an idea for 15.

So yes I'm offering the western modern perspective because that is the language you are translating the words into and surely it matters that the word you use gives a close feel as possible for the wealth of meaning the hexagram contains. Even if their questions were based on concrete ideas of what were successes and what were failures fortunately we have gone beyond that, we understand 14 in a broader sense than 'no baby not fortunate' etc

I guess it depends on what the aim of translation is. If it is of most importance to get to the sense of the hexagram name as the ancient Chinese would have understood it then I'm sure 'achievements' might satisfy. But if the aim is to find the words now, in modern English, that comes closest to the whole spirit of the hexagram so it brings us closer to understanding our answers then I feel 'achievements' may obscure the meaning of 14 rather than illuminate it.

But you yourself have said I think that your interest in your translation work is purely to reach the sense of the name as it would have been meant then not as it might be of use to us now in our actual readings. I think this is as it should be since I don't think it can be possible to do both fully at the same time. So I'm not saying 'achievements' isn't the closest word, I wouldn't know, I'm only saying in terms of interpretation, in modern English, 'achievements' narrows meaning because all achievements are by definition earned. If earning is a big part of 14 then I'd think again, doesn't Lise have a hand holding a sheaf of wheat, must look.

Ah I see you go on to this concept of earning below.

You think of 14 as blessings, all that we have, all that is gifted us. Which is a really great interpretation of 14. I try to think, how would this have worked in early China? Blessings and 'what is gifted us' came from a source, like the ancestors, or spirits, gods. But they didn't give away blessings etc. for free: only when you had shown yourself worthy by doing certain deeds or having accomplished certain tasks you were blessed or given rewards. In other words, to me blessings & rewards are connected to achievements and this is what H14 might be about: certain prerequisites or attitudes that are necessary to get what is given at the end of the hexagram, at the 6th line.
Ah this is where our fundamental understanding of 14 differ then. I see the blessings in 14 as all that is gifted, all that we can be grateful for including our senses which we don't earn, beauty of the world which we don't earn, love and care which as infants we don't earn. We are hugely blessed every day with things we have not earned. I wonder if anyone were to look back on their life and say what their greatest blessings were they would not refer to things they have earned, their achievements, but all those things that came freely and abundantly anyway. Beautiful days, happy times, love and friendship. One might say one earns friendship but one really could not say friendship was an achievement, at least not in the modern western use of the word


So I would say although you may be right about the idea of blessings in early china it doesn't follow that now for us 14 only contains that which is earned. Maybe you aren't saying that but a name of a hexagram is quite important. Also surely there is early Chinese poetry that speaks of the blessings and glory of beauty in the world ? None of the beauty of the earth was earned which reminds me of the 'Consider ye the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: yet I say unto you Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these' (Jesus)

Searching randomly in the Book of Songs 164

The flowers of the cherry-tree,
Are they not truly splendid ?
Of men that now are,
None equals a brother.
Well neither cherry trees nor brothers are earned. But if brothers were earned you must have pleased the ancestors given you bought 2 along with you at the same time :D I assume they are brothers they may have been sisters.

And speaking of sisters another problem with 'achievements' is of course in early china women weren't achieving a whole lot except marriage and children so in a sense I feel women are excluded from the whole achievement thing. That was the case in early china and though it is not the case now I would still say in general, women, for many reasons, are less achievement orientated than men.

But none of this matters if you are purely seeking for the word that most nearly translates from the original Chinese. That's enough work for one man. What I'm saying is as a word to be used for name of 14 name in books from which people do readings/interpretations etc it falls a bit short IMO but I do appreciate that's not your goal anyway. You are giving it to us as it is, your findings to which us as common or garden diviners, can refer to and make use of as we feel fit. And we do make use of it, of that you can be sure.

You say, "we don't speak of our emotional or spiritual or personal lives in terms of 'achievements'", but that doesn't hold true for me. I consider every step towards positive progress an achievement, every decision that I make for the better is an achievement to me and I am not afraid to see them as that as I have no negative connection with that word whatsoever.
Well you may think of these things as achievements, they are, but I still feel 'Great Possession' has a far wider application as a title than 'Great Achievements' for all the reasons I have said. I look out of my window and can see a big sky, the light, the sun in the trees, beauty everywhere. To me this is Great Wealth and I earned none of it, I achieved none of it, it was gifted to me at birth.



Which might be the reason why I don't connect these things to H14, because I don't see them as 'great possessions', nor do I see them as 'achievements'. But I can understand that these are your personal associations with H14 based on your experience with the oracle.
Oh I think they are more than personal associations I mean every translation I have come across conveys 14 in this sense. For me 'achievements' doesn't cover all those blessings and havings that come freely. But you have given me another way of thinking about 14 so thank you for that. And also our achievements do arise from the blessings we have received. For example you are able to translate because you were blessed with education at some point in your life, someone taught you to read. You took that blessing and made more blessings although now I'm going into the realm of 42

Going back to the original question iams asked well the I Ching is a blessing gifted to us (it's just wrapped up in rather a complicated bow :mischief:)



To me the concept of 'achievements' is broader than 'those things one attains for oneself through merit or work'. If I am able to step out of my comfort zone, if I am able to see a situation from another person's perspective, if I can step away from automatic prejudice - I consider all of these 'achievements'. Not achievements in the sense of 'look how good I am', but as stepping stones that have taught me something valuable and meaningful.

Yes I see all that but it just isn't how the word is generally used in modern English. I wouldn't deny these things are achievements when you think about it but the wealth of realising, having awareness of and gratitude for blessings and gifts one already has in fulness is also there in 14.

In other words, I don't see the idea of 'great achievements' as a limitation of the meaning of H14, far from it. It opens up another field of meanings, that's all.
Yes that's true it does open up an additional realm of meaning.


I should add I don't want to derail the thread. I wasn't following it really but was just responding to what Harmen said so feel free to take it back on track.
 

my_key

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You think of 14 as blessings, all that we have, all that is gifted us. Which is a really great interpretation of 14. I try to think, how would this have worked in early China? Blessings and 'what is gifted us' came from a source, like the ancestors, or spirits, gods. But they didn't give away blessings etc. for free: only when you had shown yourself worthy by doing certain deeds or having accomplished certain tasks you were blessed or given rewards. In other words, to me blessings & rewards are connected to achievements and this is what H14 might be about: certain prerequisites or attitudes that are necessary to get what is given at the end of the hexagram, at the 6th line.
The idea of blessings being bestowed and having to show worthiness through thoughts or deeds to attain an associated reward makes a sensible context for a lot of the discussions in this thread. In the light of this, the Possessions v Achievements situation reminds me of the good old spiritual maxim " We already are what we want to become." Perhaps in this context we could say 'have' rather than 'are'..... or even 'we already possess what we want to achieve'.

So the underlying principles connected to the Yi (14: 1,6 >32) could be something like:

The Yi is a nexus where the wealth of the Sage can be shared. The changes offered to you by the Sage may not seem natural at first, but rest assured even if hardships occur (and they most likely will), hard work and determination will bring assured success. Maintaining relationship with the Yi will deepen your understanding of the guidance of the Sage and so bring your blessings to the fore allowing them to have a greater influence and bring with them more power into your life.

Or maybe it's nothing like this at all.
 
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Freedda

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Someone asked what are the Yi's underlying principles, so I will speak in the yi's voice to answer:

What are my underlying principles? The diviners and shamans have gathered, and they have - on their own, without my interference - come up with a part of the answer:

What a great achievement we have here: that the Yi can offer up such different realms of meaning.

And whether we call this a great possession, or a big domain, it means we have the power, means, abilities to live here, to belong here on this spot on earth.

But make no mistake, no life is without trouble and we all make mistakes - even (Y)I. And to wish otherwise is not wrong, but be forwarned, so you won't spend too much time seeking a worry- and trouble-free life: such a life is not without its own worries and troubles.

So, you might ask, what is so great if I can't grant this one, simple, worry-free wish?

My 'greatest acheivement' then (which you can call an 'underlying principle' if you'd like) is this: nothing cannot be turned to advantage; ergo, all of us can find our homes between heaven and earth, and among the myriad beings.

And if I can help at all in making that real, I certainly will.
 
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Freedda

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martyjones said:
... Are there principles or not. Where would I find them laid out in the I Ching.
Welcome Marty. The idea of 'underlying principles' was put forth by one person here, so I suggest you look back through the posts to find out what they meant by that term. Another person, Iams Girl, decided to ask the Yi about these principles and that's what started this thread.

As to these 'principles' you'll find here a range of interpretations/understandings/beliefs, and even people who question that these principles even exist. Which is all valid of course.

I've provided a (dare I say brilliant) interpretation above. And others may have their say as well. And if you're somewhat familiar with the Yi, you could offer up a reading of what you think 14.1.6 > 32 means as well. (or ask again about the principles in Shared Reading portion of the site).

I'm not sure how familiar you are with the Yi. If you are a relative newbie like me, you may have jumped into the deep end of the pool so to speak, which could be confusing, and there are other parts of this web site that might better suit you, such as the lessons and learning materials, the free reading generator, and the Shared Readings section where you can post your questions/queries and your understanding of them - and others are free to respond. But you're of course free to decide what works for you.

Best, D.
 

russell

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I'm always slightly jealous of people who think they can translate the Zhouyi without any knowledge of its language and its history, or the structure of early Chinese texts in general, simply by copy & paste characters in (often modern) online Chinese dictionaries.
Harmen, what do you think of Gregory Richter’s translation? And have you seen The Basic Yi Jing, Oracle of Change by Dany Chin and Budhy Chen? I always thought that if I made my own “translation” it would follow this kind of format, a word-for-word interlinear-type translation followed by one in natural English which I would hope nailed the meaning. But of course it would be one of those copy and paste translations because I do not know any Chinese; I would basically be putting my own spin on Richter, which I sort of do in my head as it is.

When you publish your translation, do you think you might do it in this kind of double format? Just curious about what you think of the concept. And hoping that it is what you do. Together with all your word and grammar commentary.
 

hmesker

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Harmen, what do you think of Gregory Richter’s translation?
It is not bad but a bit behind the times considering what we know now about the text and its history. I would also have liked to see his motivations for certain choices that he made. In his introduction he says about the Judgment text of hexagram 1, yuan heng li zhen 元亨利貞, "I prefer to assume that the passage is syntactically and semantically coherent." I think, if that is important to you then why translate the second line of hexagram 2 as "Straight, square and great"? That is not at all "syntactically and semantically coherent." Translating pan huan 磐桓 from H3.1 as 'stone pillars' is weak considering there are better alternatives. His translation of 輿說輻 from H9.3 as " The cart casts off spokes" shows that he did not really research the background of this phrase (see https://www.yjcn.nl/wp/hexagram-9-line-3/). I object to the usage of 'if' in his translation - nowhere does the text talk about 'if'.

And have you seen The Basic Yi Jing, Oracle of Change by Dany Chin and Budhy Chen?
One of the authors, Denish Dutrieux (†2010) sent me their translation in 2009. It has similar 'flaws' as Richter's translation - it mentions 'spokes' in H9.3, and H2.2 is still "Straight, square, great". I have seen worse translations but I would not recommend it because it does not really add to your understanding of the Yi and its text (and I think we should stop translating fu 孚 as 'captives'.)

I always thought that if I made my own “translation” it would follow this kind of format, a word-for-word interlinear-type translation followed by one in natural English which I would hope nailed the meaning. But of course it would be one of those copy and paste translations because I do not know any Chinese; I would basically be putting my own spin on Richter, which I sort of do in my head as it is.

When you publish your translation, do you think you might do it in this kind of double format? Just curious about what you think of the concept. And hoping that it is what you do. Together with all your word and grammar commentary.
No, I don't think I will do that. I don't see any value in a word-for-word rendition alongside the actual translation.
 

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