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What is resonance? (from the blog)

hilary

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I imagine anyone who’s lived with Yi for a while has also got used to the idea that the world around them gives them signs, and often these signs resonate strongly with readings. I had a ‘big’ Hexagram 10 reading a few years ago, and saw tigers everywhere. (Pictures of tigers, I mean. This is rural England, and there are – fortunately*– limits to synchronicity.) You might have Hexagram 53 and hear the migrating geese flying overhead. Dreams and readings speak together, too: you might dream of losing your bag on the train and cast Hexagram 40 line 3. You might have the feeling that all these things – readings, dreams, the waking world – are made of the same resonant stuff, and all play the same chord together.
What got me thinking about this now was the experience, a few days ago, of*being*the resonant stuff used to play the chord. I was talking through a reading with a client, about the ‘king in his temple’ – that phrase that appears in hexagrams 45, 55 and 59. As I try to make that concept easier to relate to, I often add another image, like ‘bringing the king into the temple is like completing an electrical circuit, so the current can flow.’ But on this occasion, for no particular reason I was aware of, I said instead, ‘It’s like putting the key into the lock.’ And the reading’s owner visibly jumped, because she’d dreamt the previous night that she was trapped in a confined space, handed a key and told that only she could unlock the door and release herself.
Hearing the chord played is one thing; being played like an instrument myself is another.

So I thought to ask Yi about the whole thing. What is*resonance?

Yi answered with Hexagram 58, Opening, changing at lines 2 and 5 to 51, Shock.

Isn’t that a beautiful reading?

58, Opening: the hexagram of communication, of exchange. Inner and outer lakes: the inner conversation of the heart, the outer conversation with the world, and the constant circulation between those two –
‘Lakes joined together. Opening.
A noble one joins with friends to speak and practise together.’
(It seems to me the ‘friends’ in question might just as well be dream teachers or migratory geese.)
And our experience of resonance in 51, Shock, the hexagram of repeated thunder: that moment of abrupt realisation, and re-realisation – this is speaking to me. The matrix of our usual comfortable assumptions about how the world works breaks open. Inner and outer shocks echo one another; this wakes us up; we jump.
Thunder resounds through the lake and its surface vibrates: lines 2 and 5, the lines at the surface of inner and outer lakes, are moving. Yi paints us a moving picture of resonance as it happens.
That means the two lines’ individual steps of change are the two hexagrams combining thunder and lake: 17, Following, and 54, the Marrying Maiden.
I was actually half-expecting to receive Hexagram 17 in response to this question, because I’ve seen it describe the phenomenon of synchronicity a few times before. There is a current flowing through things; if we’re aligned with this we experience the alignment as synchronicity. 58.2 shows Opening’s way of Following:
‘True and confident opening, good fortune.
Regrets vanish.’
This is one of several places in the Yijing where fu*– truth, confidence, trust – stands in contrast to regrets. Regrets mean separating myself from the present moment, wishing I were in some fictional realm instead; fu*means full presence. Naturally, regrets vanish in the presence of trust. Here’s resonance at work: opening and following, experiencing the deep rapport with what-is we call synchronicity. Total participation.
And… there is also line 5, joined with Hexagram 54:
‘Trusting in stripping away,
There is danger.’
Interesting, that resonance also comes with this health warning. What might be stripped away? Hexagram 54 – the hexagram for the girl who’s married off as a second wife, and has no say in the matter herself – suggests it’s self-determination.
I think this is a recognisable danger – something we can do with both readings and signs, and especially with the combination of the two.
‘I was going to fly to visit my mother for her 90th birthday, but a bird crashed into the window, so I knew I shouldn’t risk it.’
‘It’s true he never contacts me, but I saw a pair of swans dancing together in the park today. That’s the universe giving me a sign that our love is forever. And driving home, I happened to look at the clock in my car just when it said 11:53!
And so on. If we place our trust in signs, human discrimination, intelligence and good old-fashioned common sense (which, as my mother’s mother used to say, isn’t common) may be stripped away. There is danger.
Of course, this line only observes ‘there is danger’; it doesn’t say this means disaster. Sometimes in the Yijing it’s worth persisting despite danger. Very occasionally, the marriage of Hexagram 54 can lift you to a higher level of being, to participate in something greater than you would ever have attained alone. So perhaps trusting in what strips away autonomy is a way to become a ‘bride of creation’. (Or perhaps it isn’t.)
 

hilary

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Lovely and very interesting character! (Been looking it up - the etymology seems to be a 'heart' signific and phonetic 'falcon' - which is bird+cliff+person. Which brings to mind this girl.)

Is it the same idea? Answer, echo, respond, grant, comply... hm, maybe it is...
 

radiofreewill

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Nice pencil sketch of resonance!

If Tzu-jan is the substance of Wu-wei,
And Wu-wei is the activity of Tzu-jan,
Then Resonance must be Wu-Wei's ballet.

The wiki for Ganying includes a section on the Yijing that cites 'To take a maiden to wife brings good fortune' from Hexagram 31 ('Wooing') and also uses the 5th line in Hexagram 1, to illustrate resonance.
 

hilary

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Fascinating reading, thank you!
 

thisismybody

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Great question, Hilary! I love these kinds of readings.

Hearing the chord played is one thing; being played like an instrument myself is another.
Funny how you were reminded that there's no out there, and that the Tao is not restricted to a single person experiencing psychic accord (or as you say "resonance") with reality and the universe. You co-created that moment as vehicles for the Tao to express resonance or the underlying oneness of creation. Beautiful indeed!

58.2>17:
Here’s resonance at work: opening and following, experiencing the deep rapport with what-is we call synchronicity. Total participation.
58.5>23:
So perhaps trusting in what strips away autonomy is a way to become a ‘bride of creation’. (Or perhaps it isn’t.)
I've been working on how the Yi describes sexuality for someone I love. Hexagram 58 has been my focus. I found a thread on 58.1.5.6, which has helped me solidify some ideas I've had and fill in some blanks to why I kept drawing 58 over and over again. Anyway, not to be cryptic, but here's the thread...http://www.onlineclarity.co.uk/friends/showthread.php?432-Taking-the-Oath-58-64
"...to take this oath is to place trust in people who would strip away your self-determination. The whole idea of putting your moral choices unquestioningly in the hands of a master/guru - it's always going to stick in my very Western craw...

This is 58's 54 - opening yourself like the Marrying Maiden, who loses control of her own destiny. Dangerous? Of course. Necessary? Sometimes. To see the hopes it holds out for anyone who can trust in the stripping away, read the fan yao, 54.5. Such trust may be the only way the Maiden can enter into the higher and more complete levels of experience offered by marriage.

I've seen Hexagram 54 once before in association with accepting a 'master', though in a very different tradition.

The decisive choice in taking the oath is to give away your own independence. That's the message of line 5. It means deliberately becoming like the Marrying Maiden, the Pure Little Girl who is not yet an adult woman, who is without power to determine her own life course." - You
The choice between how we experience resonance and what we allow it to do for us seems to be between line 2 and line 5. What decides whether we experience it in a participatory way and as something worth following, or in a way that robs us of our autonomy? Maybe that is based on something simple like, are we centered? What do we place our trust in? The power that resides within, or something outside of us?

58.2 - centered in truth and confidence. As you said, fully present. Centered. 58.5 - trusting without truth and confidence. Not centered. Seeking for something or someone to tell us what to do, just as you explained 58's 54.

The Yi never fails to amaze me at how astute it is. Synchronicity comes as a reminder at how interconnected all of life is. It can be used as an indicator that we're aligned within and without, but it should not be followed like a religion or made into a science. Someone on this forum loves this quote by Alan Watts: "Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth." We shouldn't try to bite our own teeth anymore than we should work to place our power outside ourselves. The resonances we experience cannot be defined or quantified. Resonance is something to take in, to sit and resonate with, and not to define or to be defined by. Slippery idea. I tried.
 

hilary

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Ah, yes, thank you for digging out that thread. I still think it represents the dangers of 58.5 painfully well. 'Allowed' to take the oath... brrr.

But yes, the whole question of where the dividing line lies between 'being guided' and 'forfeiting autonomy' - or sanity - is a slippery one indeed.
 

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