Michael Sternbach

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  1. Perspectives on chance related to the I Ching

    My sense of what is happening when I am doing a n Yijing consultation is that I connect to that intuitive part of me which has access to the answer and also seems to know exactly when to let the coins go.
  2. What is the most essential habit?

    Go easy on yourself. Some just can't relax without that kind of environment.
  3. Dharmakaya / God?

    Yes, the descriptions of Dharmakaya surely have a lot in common with the conceptions of God, Dao etc. in other metaphysical systems. I have always maintained that there is something like an objective metaphysical reality which underlies all legitimate systems, although perception/interpretation/emphasis varies according to cultures, religions, schools, individuals. To say otherwise is to state that one particular system is right, whereas another is essentially flawed, which, in my view, is the height of human folly. However, you often need to look deep in order to identify the common denominators between them.
  4. Perspectives on chance related to the I Ching

    Not to my knowledge. What would matter most is the experimenter's focus on the number. Decorating a room with it would be conducive to that, but it is really the mind of the individual involved which is key, IMO.
  5. Perspectives on chance related to the I Ching

    That sounds a lot like C.G.Jung's interpretation of what was going on as acausal but meaningful synchronicity.
  6. What is the most essential habit?

    Posting on TDB?
  7. Hi

    Hi Tombartifacts, Welcome to TDB! How do you like Lara Croft?
  8. Spiritual value Bagua.vs Tajiquan?

    Scientifically speaking: What you are saying here is equivalent to waste matter discharged from the body of an adult male of the species Bos taurus.
  9. Spiritual value Bagua.vs Tajiquan?

    The post you are quoting is about three years old, and according to Freeform's profile, they visited TDB the last time about two months ago, so I it may be better you PM them with your question.
  10. different kabala trees

    Yes, it's hard to be definite about anything without even having looked into the books. That may indeed be what the author means, however, as the occult sciences of the Western tradition all go back to more ancient cultures especially of the Middle East, as does Kabbalah, I find aforesaid distinction rather confusing. Just bear in mind that one of the oldest and most influential Kabbalistic books, the Sepher Yetzirah, already refers to Astrology (i.e., its star signs and planets). There is indeed something like an academic standard to distinguish 'Hermetic Kabbalah' from 'Jewish Kabbalah'. I am not sure what exactly 'Christian Kabbalah' is supposed to mean, although it goes without saying that most Renaissance Hermeticists were operating in and referring to a Christian context. I suppose it's hard for anybody to draw clear lines between Kabbalah and Christianity, even just considering how much Kabbalah is interconnected with the Bible (Old and New Testament). Mutual influences between Kabbalah and Christianity are not a relatively modern European development. So I think the author may be trying to draw artificial lines, and his obvious closeness to Crowley may indeed hint at an anti-Christian agenda.
  11. different kabala trees

    What I gather from reading the author's summaries on Amazon is that he deeply abhors the 'Christian' interpretation of the Kabbalah, which (according to him) served as the basis of the 'occult Kabbalah'. Huh? I have been reading about the Kabbalah (including its history) for decades, but I have never come across a distinct Christian interpretation as such! Also, it should be remembered that the Kabbalah has always been an occult science, right from its beginnings! It's correct that the Kabbalah was re-interpreted by Christian neo-Platonists/Hermeticists like Pico della Mirandola and Johannes Reuchlin during the Renaissance. The result is most accurately referred to as the Hermetic (not Christian or occult) Kabbalah. And later attempts to superimpose the Tarot on top of the Tree of Life by French and English occultists of the 19th century should be seen as a further development of that. Lest anybody thinks that the aforementioned author's aim was to explore the authentic original Jewish Kabbalah (in the way of Gershom Scholem), it's telling that - having refuted the abomination of the 'Christian' Kabbalah - he comes up with his own version of an 'occult' Kabbalah, including yet another attempt at syncretizing Kabbalah and Tarot (in his second book)! Which makes me wonder, is he even aware of how much Christian symbolism there is in Tarot itself?! Also, he explores the relationship of his 'corrected' Kabbalah to Magick - hey hey, Aleister Crowley says hello! To me, all of this sounds a lot like somebody trying to sell his personal pet theory, trying hard to make it look different and profound and original. This is not to say that those books may not have some interesting ideas in them (how could I know, I haven't read them). But based on what the author shares in his summary, this is nothing more than another version of what has come before and been reiterated a number of times. Possibly, uncle Al would have applauded the author for cleansing the Kabbalah from anything Christian, though...
  12. What do you do when the hexagram doesn't seem to apply?

    I am aware of the advice found in some Yijing versions (e.g., Blofeld's) to consider every word of the answer in regards to the exact phrasing of the question. But that strikes me as an awful mental strain, blocking the intuitive approach that is required. IME, the Yijing often enough paints a picture of the overall situation, regardless of the exact question. So I prefer to avoid asking my question in an overly specific way in the first place. Wandelaar, if you are sure that the issue you were inquiring about has been settled for good, even though what the Yijing seemingly addressed was a definite possibility, then maybe the (probable) future has been changed? Perhaps even as a consequence of your changing awareness regarding it, due to the reading?
  13. What do you do when the hexagram doesn't seem to apply?

    Sorry, my Dutch is a little rusty... As far as online versions, my favourite one is: http://divination.com/iching/lookup/ And here I don't read anything about a special opportunity presenting itself. The gist of the texts is a warning of obstacles and how to deal with them. Sounds like it might have to do with potential long-term consequences of the decision in question.
  14. THROWING the I Ching?

  15. THROWING the I Ching?

    I am glad you liked the article. And you have summarized it rather nicely.