Tuesday, February 28. 2012
Thursday, June 2. 2011
In this article no in-depth explanation of Chinese characters, hardly references, just an interesting story. There is a fascinating link with hexagram 29 and a passage from the Mozi 墨子. The name of this hexagram, kan 坎, means 'pit, hole in the ground, trap'. But used doubled (kan-kan 坎坎) it is an onomatopoeia for the sound of drumming, as in the poem Fa Tan 伐檀 in The Book of Odes:
Often when a character is doubled it is a representation of a sound. We find this doubling in the third line of hexagram 29:
Something which produces a kan-kan sound is approaching.
The trigram Water is associated with danger, and with the ears, with listening. All these elements of
...can be found in a passage from the Mozi, which describes an alarm system to discover enemies who are approaching a city through underground tunnels. It can be found on p. 799 of Ian Johnston's translation.
Ralph Sawyer describes it like this:
Mo-tzu's counter-methods were premised upon intensively observing the enemy's activities from high lookout towers in order to detect any evidence of excavations, such as new earthen mounts or sudden turbidity in moat or river water. These visual efforts were to be supplemented with a virtual network of listening wells positioned every five paces around the wall's interior, excavated to a minimum depth of fifteen feet or three feet below the water line. Guards, whose task was facilitated by large earthen jars fashioned specifically for the purpose with thin leather membranes stretched over the mouths, were posted at the bottom to carefully listen for any indication of enemy tunneling. Once detected, these multiple wells would allow a fairly accurate determination of the tunnel's location preliminary to mounting countermeasures."
The drum in a pit, listening for approaching danger - it all fits the imagery of hexagram 29 pretty well. We can even find it in the text of hexagram 29:
The drums are sounding, meaning that enemies are approaching! The lord has to inspire confidence in his people and his army to defend the city. The central offering in the city has to be protected. Proceeding the enemy (as Mozi suggests) is helpful.
The sound that the digging soldiers produce enters the pit through the drums. Danger is coming!
The sound the drums make signifies danger. (As an oracular omen this means only small results can be achieved.)
The enemies are getting closer, and have reached the drum pits which are close to the city. (see for 'nearing' as a meaning of 枕 the 漢語大詞典, Vol. 4, p. 880).
A description of the type of vessel to be used (I translate 納約 as 'to cover' because 納 can mean 'to wear' and 約 'to tie up') and what to do with it.
The drums do not sound, so nothing is wrong.
I don't see how the sixth line can be linked with all this, and no doubt I am translating the texts in a direction which fits my purpose. Nevertheless I found it a very interesting connection which gives additional meaning & interpretation to hexagram 29 when you receive it as an answer from the Yi.
The Mythbusters have tested the Chinese invasion alarm in one of their episodes.
Sunday, March 21. 2010
Asking many questions to the Yijing is most often not very helpful and does not bring any positive progress to your situation. If you don't give yourself the time to understand the first answer from the Yi, then there is no use in asking again - and again - and again. If the root is not properly planted the tree will not grow. The same goes for all the systems that can be applied to extract meaning from the answer, adding information to information. They also form a terrific fire exit if you don't (want to) understand the first answer. But it doesn't make the answer go away, it only obfuscates it. Therefore, "too much is less than enough".
Saturday, March 20. 2010
This is a teaser; the explanations will follow later, although some of the Laws are obvious, in my opinion.
Tuesday, January 19. 2010
This is a message of a former student of mine. Anyone interested in his proposal should contact him directly.
Contemporary I Ching
Jan Enuma is forming a study group of I Ching adepts, who are interested in a present-day approach of the I Ching, which goes beyond restyling the language of the old Classic. Renť van Osten in Germany and Chris Lofting in Australia are examples of this approach. At the moment Jan is preparing a comment on Lofting’s book “The Emotional I Ching”.
Jan adds the following. The emotional element regards the nature of brain processing a particular hexagram. Both afore mentioned writers stress the Ordnung and Structure of the I Ching. There is no other change than according to these rules. And what to think of coincidence, synchronicity and resonance? What sort of world view fits this approach, and what are the differences with the Classic’s worldview? In Lofting’s book and his internet pages there are no references to “myths, legends or other 10th century BC perspectives, nor the use of random or miraculous methods of hexagram derivation”. No room for sinological, historical or exegetical deliberations. Lofting’s method is based on pre-language images, derived from human discernment along lines of differentiation and integration, much like yang and yin, but more abstract, less particular, but fitting the whole human race.
If the Classic is a template, it means other I Chings with particular backgrounds can be compared with it or with Lofting’s general domain model of differentiation/integration, as long as these models correlate with each other, meaning they are all based on 64 hexagrams. This promising possibility of comparison has been worked out for classification of psychological typology, but could also stretch out to sociology and political economy, and e.g. Spiral Dynamics.
Anyone who fancies a well prepared adventure into terra incognita, with according perseverance (Lofting’s translation of Heaven as an inner hexagram) should contact Jan: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, January 10. 2010
In China a centuries old system is known to calculate life hexagrams from the Yijing. Using your birth date, time and place as a starting point it gives information about your character, your stronger en weaker points, and it provides insights in your path in life.
This system is known as Heluo Lishu 河洛理數, ’The Numbers and Principles of the He and Luo river documents’. Originating from the xiangshu 象數 branch of Yijing application it combines the hexagrams of the Yijing with the Stems and Branches of the Chinese calendar and the wuxing 五行 (Five Elements).The relationship between these parts shows the dynamics of someones personality and life path. The Heluo Lishu system was introduced by the authors Sherrill & Chu in their book The Astrology of I Ching, but this book contains serious mistakes and misconceptions that can lead to a wrong outcome.
This online course explains in eight lessons how you should calculate and interpret a life hexagram. There are more courses and also software programs about this subject, but they all use Sherrill & Chu’s book as base, which of course leads to certain consequences in the outcome. Because the original Heluo Lishu document forms the basis for this course the mistakes from The Astrology of I Ching are avoided. The original manuscript gives additional ways to interpret a life hexagram which are not mentioned by S&C, and by using a selected set of websites you can avoid some difficult calculations, making it easier to obtain a life hexagram.
We designed a special classroom on internet for this course. Through this virtual space the student acquire the lessons on a weekly basis, as well as assignments and tests to check the progress. There is a discussion forum to talk with the other students and ask questions to the teacher, and once a week there is the possibility to chat with the teacher.
The course contains the following eight lessons:
Startdate: around March 15th 2010
Price: € 90,--
How do you apply for this course?
I hope I can welcome you as a student!
Saturday, October 24. 2009
Wednesday, October 21. 2009
In January I am starting an online course about Heluo Lishu 河洛理數, a form of astrology which takes the bazi 八字 from your Chinese horoscope as a starting point and turns them into hexagrams of the Yijing which tell about your personality and your life. Although the basic material is ready I am still investigating several facets of this system, looking for information about its background and observing how others use and interpret it. This leads to interesting and instructive findings - especially about how you shouldn't do it.
Continue reading "The Fall of Man"
Wednesday, October 7. 2009
If I lived in or near London I wouldn't want to miss this: Steve Marshall is starting a I Ching study group. See for more details his website. If you have any chance to join, please do so because it will definitely be a worthwhile experience. Steve is very knowledgeable, his ideas are thought-provoking, his insights stimulating. And a study group in itself, with regular meetings, can be very rewarding. So don't miss this!
Monday, September 7. 2009
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Foreign visitors: Click on the category 'English' below to see all the English messages in the weblog.
Many people (including me) have problems viewing the Chinese characters on my site. Even Firefox, which is the best browser for it, does not always do the job right. To help visitors viewing the articles I have converted some of them to pdf format, which can be viewed with Acrobat Reader. If you see this icon
the beginning of an article, you can view that article as a pdf by clicking on the icon.
Disadvantage of these pdfs is that you cannot click links, or images
for enlargement. So keep it alongside with the original web article and
you should do fine.