Daeluin

Probability of Change

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May I share one remarkable synchronicity. I did a reading for my daughter and family about making a decision about a dog they had acquired to be a companion to their other one. It was untrained and causing numerous problems. They didn't know whether to persist or not. The casting gave understandable allusions to both if it was kept or if they passed it on, to consider. It helped them to crystallize their thinking and decision making, bringing to light unconsidered possibilities and views of the overall situation. They decided to give it to someone on bigger property and "Larry" and the  new owners are very happy. They weren't "told" to do it by some "mumbo jumbo" but assisted as a good counselor would, helping to see the possible aspects and changes around the issue. 

Anyway, on the way home shortly after leaving their place and doing the casting, a car was in front of me with the license plate "Two Dogs".

I have never seen before or after such a number plate. :) It can be explained as just a coincidence. Perhaps. But when such things happen often around the intentional us of the Yi you do begin to wonder.  I wasn't looking for it. 

Edited by Anzhi
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10 hours ago, zafrogzen said:

 

Synchronicity makes more sense when it is viewed from the standpoint of dependent origination -- where everything is seen spontaneously arising in the present moment and each of us is dependent on everything else for our existence. In that case, cause and effect is not so simple and straightforward as our linear models presume. The I Ching can be a vehicle for developing intuition and insight into this Great Mystery but it is not for everyone.

 

As for the original thread. I sensed the probabilities with the yarrow method were skewed. I didn't know exactly how, but it didn't feel right. If I understand this thread correctly the probabilities in the coin method are evenly balanced while the yarrow (and marble) method are skewed towards yin. Why that is better or more realistic is not so clear. It seems to me that if yin and yang are equal and in balance, as in the yin/yang symbol, then they can revolve and change from one to the other. Otherwise, if one was more likely than the other, we'd eventually end up, as suggested here, with one side only (Yin).

 

Be that as it may, the three coin method has worked really well for me over the years. Almost any method could produce good results if persisted in long enough but using three pennies is very simple, direct and aptly symbolic.

My take on it is that the Yin and Yang are not equal in that sense. That sort of equality necessarily means stagnation and lack of movement. The Yang is higher greater and more active than the Yin, which is submissive by definition. The Tai Chi symbol is perhaps best thought of as mobile with the small spots growing and lessening in turn. I regard the unequal probabilities as better reflecting and corresponding to this movement and change within life. All energy we know flows via differentiation.

Edited by Anzhi
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8 hours ago, Anzhi said:

My take on it is that the Yin and Yang are not equal in that sense. That sort of equality necessarily means stagnation and lack of movement. The Yang is higher greater and more active than the Yin, which is submissive by definition. The Tai Chi symbol is perhaps best thought of as mobile with the small spots growing and lessening in turn. I regard the unequal probabilities as better reflecting and corresponding to this movement and change within life. All energy we know flows via differentiation.

 

So true! In the "real world" we see this everywhere. For example: In the atmosphere, areas of high pressure always flow into areas of low pressure with the 'intention' of achieving equilibrium. At first pass, one would think this would mean the entire atmosphere would eventually achieve the same, monotonous pressure. But that does not happen! Areas of low pressure inevitably grow into areas of high pressure through external forces acting upon them. One can imagine the same with Yang and Yin. Yang naturally 'wants' to change to Yin, and external forces inevitably 'push' Yin into forming Yang. It's an imperfect description but I think it conveys the message well enough.

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Was just talking about this over dinner last night. 

 

The seeming fact that nature is always moving toward balance, always balancing... yet never quite in balance.

 

If perfect balance were ever achieved, this implies no motion, static perfection... but life is never static, ever flowing and fluid.  The key for me is to be present and aware, in this manner I can ease into the flow toward balance without straining or excess.

 

I find oracles to be incredibly helpful in bringing wider awareness and presence to the conditions of a question or situation.  My usual method is the old Norse Runes and Animal energies, though recently the I=Jing has been pulling me with some gravity.  It's just such a huge platform, it's daunting to begin... and my willpower for surmounting huge things diminsihed sometime ago along with my desire to free climb every vertical rock face I encountered... lol!

 

I've never considered oracles to be a source of 'giving me the one true answer that I should follow, or else' however.  Much like has been described here, I find oracles offer me the great benefit of wider, alternate perspective of the conditions I'm considering.  Perspectives I may never have encountered if left solely to my own devices.  Though no matter what the oracles relate... it's still me, engaging in the process, only now from the benefit of a wider platform... how I use that is still open to the flow... not constricting and absolute.

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Great topic :)

 

Everyone gets better results with different methods. Most of the people i know that work with the i ching prefer the coin method. Personally i like the stalks - i never seemed to get consistent accurate readings with the coins, it was always hit or miss but when i started using the stalks it was crazy how accurate and specefic my readings come. Almost scary! My friends do seem to get those specefic readings from the coins though. It could possibly be how tuned in to the reading you are. That is another reason i like the stalks because it draws me in and allows me to concentrate on my question for a longer period of time. ( takes quite a while) another reason they used the stalks, i read, is because they viewed the yarrow as sort of a spiritual connector into things like the i ching

 

The imbalance makes since to me too, i could be wrong but the way i have always seen it, is we are in a post heaven state so there is imbalance everywhere, but the pre heaven state would be the perfectly balanced yin and yang. Since the ancient chinese were so obsessed with numerology i doubt they created the stalks system to be imbalanced mistakenly. Hope to hear more :)

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If Yang/Odd/ is imbalanced and Yin/even is balanced then both are contained not only within the probabilities of three coins but also in the arrangement of the I Ching itself. "Old Yin" and "Old Yang" which change into their opposites express that back and forth between imbalance and balance. I can"t see how it is "stagnation" when every "casting" and every situation is different. If in the case of the yarrow stalks, it's skewed (imbalanced) towards Yin then that, according to earlier comments in this thread, is what would result in stagnation eventually or only Yin--although personally I can't see that happening in practice, so either method  is probably fine.

Edited by zafrogzen

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It should be possible to run a simulation on a computer where the hexagrams change according to the moving lines. In the long run we can then look which hexagrams turn up more often then others. If the hexagrams have an objective meaning, than the world would have to be a different place depending on whether the yarrow-stalk method or the coin-method is correct. I don't see how both could be correct, unless the hexagrams don't have an objective meaning. But in case the meaning of the hexagrams is largely subjective or intuitive the problem doesn't arise.

Edited by wandelaar

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2 hours ago, wandelaar said:

If the hexagrams have an objective meaning, than the world would have to be a different place depending on whether the yarrow-stalk method or the coin-method is correct. I don't see how both could be correct, unless the hexagrams don't have an objective meaning.

 

My personal view on this is: hexagrams don't have objective meanings; hexagrams derive their meaning from the context in which they arrive, connected to the person who consulted the Yi. Often people come to me and say "I consulted the Yijing today and I got hexagram 48!" and then they wait for my response. But my response is often (...) because without any context, without any information about why the person consulted the Yi I can't say anything about the hexagram: a hexagram has many aspects/meanings and I don't know which ones are relevant to the person. 

 

I also think that yarrow and coins, or any other method can be valid at the same time. Every method that serves as a random token generator works, and every method has its consequences. Some time ago I purchased trigram dice. I was not satisfied with the consultation method for these dice that was promoted on internet so I made my own version (in this video - in Dutch - I explain my method). The consequence of this method is that the chance of getting the symmetrical trigrams Heaven, Earth, Water & Fire is higher than the chance of getting the other four trigrams. That is why I call these dice 'Neidan trigram dice' because the trigrams Heaven, Earth, Water & Fire play an important role in Neidan Yijing usage. Several people questioned the validity of my method: if the probability of the trigrams is not equally balanced the method was flawed, they said. However, if imbalance would 'break' the method then the yarrow stalk method would also be flawed.

 

But in the end the hexagram itself is not so important, what is more important is how you deal with it and what it means to you. In my view every hexagram applies at every moment in time; every hexagram contains the other 63 hexagrams. Every hexagram can advance you in your situation, every hexagram can give you what you need at that very moment. Here in the West we often think we must choose: it should be either this or that and you can't have both. A similar attitude is seen with the application of the trigrams: many users know the qualities of the trigrams and think they should always choose between them, especially when certain associations seem contradictory. On a forum a member was confused that trigram Lake meant 'happiness' and 'broken, smashed' and she wondered how to choose the right association. I said, why not use them both? She thought that was impossible because the two associations seemed to contradict each other. So I gave her an example. On that forum I asked the administrator to implement the option to type Chinese. She did that which made several members happy. But the side effect was that other parts of the forum stopped working: the new feature broke the forum. So you had both qualities of Lake at the same time. One quality does not have to exclude the other.

 

The same goes for the methods of obtaining a hexagram. The method itself is not important. What is important is how you use the answer of the Yi to your advantage.

Edited by Harmen
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6 hours ago, Harmen said:

hexagrams derive their meaning from the context in which they arrive, connected to the person who consulted the Yi.

 

Would you call this synchronicity?

 

6 hours ago, Harmen said:

In my view every hexagram applies at every moment in time; every hexagram contains the other 63 hexagrams.

 

You seem not to place much importance on changing lines ... or am I misunderstanding ... leaping to a conclusion that isn't there. What part of the I Ching text should one focus on when consulting on a particular hexagram result? 

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20 minutes ago, OldDog said:

What part of the I Ching text should one focus on when consulting on a particular hexagram result? 

 

I look at the dominant changing line first. Then I visit the text, image, any other commentary, and all changing lines as a whole. Lastly I review the specific trigrams followed by the nuclear hex. Afterwards I move on to the second hex and do the same, minus specific changing lines.

 

 

Sometimes it may take hours or days to fully absorb a reading. 

Edited by Lost in Translation
Fixed autocorrect mistake
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9 hours ago, Harmen said:

hexagrams derive their meaning from the context in which they arrive, connected to the person who consulted the Yi

 

Yes, there's only as much meaning as one can draw from it. Sometimes a throwing doesn't have much meaning for the situation I'm consulting about. This is especially true when I'm feeling insecure and keep pestering the I Ching on the same issue. It's amazing how often I throw hexagram #4 Folly at such times.

 

How it is consulted is only important insofar as it influences the resulting readings, which is why I like a "balanced" method like the three coins. Some people just randomly open the book to any page. Whatever works.

 

Intuition is not an exact science, so it's important to retain some skepticism and look at the entire picture before acting on it. My intuitive faculty has developed over the years, particularly from meditation, but it is still not 100% reliable. What's so great about the I Ching is the wisdom to be gleaned from it along the way. That stays with me.

Edited by zafrogzen
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3 hours ago, OldDog said:


Would you call this synchronicity?

 

Hmmm.....not really, no. I'll quote a piece of text that I am working on for a new website:

 

Harness the Power of Chance
To Find the Best Path for Change

 

Coincidence. Influences of chance and unintended incidences: we experience it every day. Most of the time we let it pass like meaningless curiosities that don’t have any impact on our lives. But what if we could turn chance and coincidence into meaningful principles and use them to our advantage whenever we want?

 

There is a force in the universe that is pervading everything ‚Äď every living matter, every substance and object is affected by it. This force is not a power in the absolute sense of the word. It is more of a quality or condition that manifests itself whenever two or more events coincide, a collision of attributes that form a single entity, a resonance of the similarities that the conglomeration of events have in common. And yet it acts as a force, as it is capable of facilitating awareness and change towards every partaker that is in need of it.

 

The famous psychologist Carl Jung tried to give it a name and called it ‚Äėsynchronicity‚Äô. But the principle, the force that I described, is not constrained within the framework that Jung defined, a framework that requires ‚Äėthe presence of an active archetype‚Äô and¬† ‚Äėemotional patterns‚Äô (C.G. Jung, ‚ÄėA letter on parapsychology and synchronicity: Dr. Jung‚Äôs Response to an Inquiry‚Äô, in: Spring, 1961, pp. 50-57.) The force of meaningful chance expands beyond this idea of ‚Äėsynchronicity‚Äô and can work at every time, every moment and within every circumstance, no matter the emotional state and situation of the person who wields it to his advantage. The power of chance is that it will manifest itself whenever the person who experiences it is in need of it. Even more, it is available whenever it is required and it can be manifested whenever you choose to do so.

 

It does not wait, it does not linger, and it does not judge: it adapts and shapes itself instantly according to what is needed at the very moment you apply it. It is the most objective counsellor you will ever find. It sees through the biased fabric of conditioned behavior, it reveals the limits of pattern-driven thoughts and exposes the source of restraining fears. And it is there for you when you need it, without exception.

 

The power of chance: an all-encompassing quality of the resonating strings in our universe.

 

***

I hope this answers your question.

 

Quote

You seem not to place much importance on changing lines ... or am I misunderstanding ... leaping to a conclusion that isn't there. What part of the I Ching text should one focus on when consulting on a particular hexagram result? 

 

I teach the following steps of interpretation in this order:

  1.  interpret the trigrams
  2. interpret the baoti, the 'encapsulating trigrams' and how they influence the nuclear trigrams
  3. if there are moving lines look at how they connect the changing trigrams with the changed trigrams and interpret what this means to you
  4. interpret the general value of each moving line
  5. if there are 3 or more moving lines you can make one or more trigrams of them to find the 'energy' (bad word) that is out of balance
  6. read the necessary text, Judgement or line text (not the Image text) and interpret them as addition to your hexagram interpretation.
  7. DON'T read the author's commentaries or interpretations - stick to the original text of the Yi as close as possible (emphasizing 'as possible')

I do use moving lines but probably not like most users do.

Edited by Harmen
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31 minutes ago, zafrogzen said:


Yes, there's only as much meaning as one can draw from it. Sometimes a throwing doesn't have much meaning for the situation I'm consulting about.

 

Wait. How is that possible? How can an answer of the Yi not have meaning for your situation? An oracle answers your question/situation in a way that will have meaning to you. If it wouldn't do that it would be a stupid oracle.

 

That you have trouble finding that meaning is an entirely different matter. And when that happens things get....interesting. What prevents you from seeing the message that is intended for you?

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I find the phrasing and approach of the question influences and predetermines the set of possible answers.  Whether it be scientific inquiry, or an oracular seeking; how we phrase and shape a question, reflects what assumptions we harbor and what projections we are seeking to experience and thus heavily influences, and to an extent, predetermines the set of potential answers derivable.

 

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10 minutes ago, silent thunder said:

I find the phrasing and approach of the question influences and predetermines the set of possible answers.  Whether it be scientific inquiry, or an oracular seeking; how we phrase and shape a question, reflects what assumptions we harbor and what projections we are seeking to experience and thus heavily influences, and to an extent, predetermines the set of potential answers derivable.

 

 

That is why it is best not to ask questions to the Yi.

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45 minutes ago, Harmen said:

That you have trouble finding that meaning is an entirely different matter. And when that happens things get....interesting. What prevents you from seeing the message that is intended for you?

 

That's what I said --

1 hour ago, zafrogzen said:

there's only as much meaning as one can draw from it.

 

You seem to imply that there's some meaning apart from what I find there, yet different folks find different meanings in the same thing, because the meaning is in their minds, no where else. "Meaning" by it's very nature is referential and subjective.

Edited by zafrogzen
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5 minutes ago, zafrogzen said:

You seem to imply that there's some meaning apart from what I find there, yet different folks find different meanings in the same thing, because the meaning is in their minds, no where else. "Meaning" by it's very nature is referential and subjective.

 

True. And yet there is not only meaning that you see, but also meaning that you do not see. At least that is what I sense when you say, "Sometimes a throwing doesn't have much meaning for the situation I'm consulting about." You say "it doesn't have (an appropriate) meaning" where I am inclined to say "you don't see (an appropriate) meaning". It is my believe that every answer of the Yi can be related to the situation that is under investigation, that every answer of the Yi is meaningful at that very moment. That is what oracles are supposed to do: give answers to questions and/or situations.

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56 minutes ago, Harmen said:

There is a force in the universe that is pervading everything ‚Äď every living matter, every substance and object is affected by it. This force is not a power in the absolute sense of the word. It is more of a quality or condition that manifests itself whenever two or more events coincide, a collision of attributes that form a single entity, a resonance of the similarities that the conglomeration of events have in common. And yet it acts as a force, as it is capable of facilitating awareness and change towards every partaker that is in need of it.

 

Bold emphasis is mine.

 

Let's see if I can unpack this correctly. Are you saying that we (you, I, everyone) become one with our environment, in effect creating an 'us-environment' that possesses a mutual resonance linking us to the environment and vice-versa, and in the process this 'us-environment' allows us access to extra sensory awareness in the form of synchronicity, or intuition - whatever you choose to call it?

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1 hour ago, Harmen said:

How can an answer of the Yi not have meaning for your situation?

 

Someone had suggested that the oracle may not answer the question posed ... but the answer would be to a different form of the question or a related questiin ... as if the oracle was sensitive to and responding to the situation rather than the question posed.

 

Does that make sense? Is it a fair way of looking at unexpected results?

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12 minutes ago, Lost in Translation said:

Let's see if I can unpack this correctly. Are you saying that we (you, I, everyone) become one with our environment, in effect creating an 'us-environment' that possesses a mutual resonance linking us to the environment and vice-versa, and in the process this 'us-environment' allows us access to extra sensory awareness in the form of synchronicity, or intuition - whatever you choose to call it?

 

What you describe comes close to how I see it although I would not speak of an 'us-environment' nor of 'extra sensory awareness'. The latter is not really needed as long as you are willing to accept that something that is not willfully or purposefully generated but happened out of mere chance and is perceived/experienced by you can be given meaning that can be beneficial to you. You use coincidence and randomness to your benefit. The Western attitude is 'this event happened by coincidence and is therefore meaningless.' The Chinese attitude is 'this event happened by coincidence and therefore has meaning.' 


Random events like omens and portents are in itself meaningless. But you can give them meaning and by doing so you use them to your advantage. Last year I saw an episode of a reality program in which the main person told about his life. While he was talking a butterfly flew through the window. He got emotional because the butterfly was an important sign that connected with his deceased mother. After I watched the program I cycled through the city. Suddenly a butterfly flew by. I could have ignored it but 1. I had seen this program and 2. it was November, a time in which I had never seen a butterfly. So I chose to give it meaning.

The Yi works not so much different from this, in my opinion.

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15 minutes ago, OldDog said:

 

Someone had suggested that the oracle may not answer the question posed ... but the answer would be to a different form of the question or a related questiin ... as if the oracle was sensitive to and responding to the situation rather than the question posed.

 

Does that make sense? Is it a fair way of looking at unexpected results?

 

Not in my book, no. I have read this in numerous Western books about the Yi and I find it a really misleading and dangerous statement that is completely alien to the ancient Chinese. If the Yi would not answer the situation that was addressed to it the book would already been burned a long time ago. Oracles are meant to answer your question, that is what they do. Al these kind of stupid rules like "you have to concentrate", "you have to phrase your question carefully", "you should not be disturbed during the process" are Western inventions that are very convenient fire exits in the case you don't like or understand the answer: "Hexagram 29, 6th line moving? Yikes! But wait! I didn't really focus on my question that was clumsy phrased anyway so I'd better consult the Yi again." Or "Hexagram 6, Conflict? I don't have a conflict at my work. Sure, I don't like my boss but to call it a conflict.... I avoid confrontations with her anyway. Ah, I think I got it. It doesn't refer to my work but to the quarrel I had with my boyfriend last night! Of course! That must be it!" etc.

 

In early China the kings employed diviners who interpreted the oracles regarding important matters of the state. What would happen to such a diviner if he said to the king, "I can't tell you if you will win the battle tomorrow but let's talk about your mother-in-law"?

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1 hour ago, zafrogzen said:

 

That's what I said --

 

You seem to imply that there's some meaning apart from what I find there, yet different folks find different meanings in the same thing, because the meaning is in their minds, no where else. "Meaning" by it's very nature is referential and subjective.

 

And you seem to imply that an Yijing reading is something akin to an inkblot test.

 

In my view, the kind of meaning (or information) we are talking about is out there in what Jung called "psychoid space", contained in its archetypes - and conveyed to you by the throwing of the coins (or whatever method you use) which provides you with archetypal patterns.

 

Sometimes the message is easy enough to understand, sometimes it's more concealed - but may get clear in retrospect.

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58 minutes ago, OldDog said:

 

Someone had suggested that the oracle may not answer the question posed ... but the answer would be to a different form of the question or a related questiin ... as if the oracle was sensitive to and responding to the situation rather than the question posed.

 

Does that make sense? Is it a fair way of looking at unexpected results?

 

30 minutes ago, Harmen said:

 

Not in my book, no. I have read this in numerous Western books about the Yi and I find it a really misleading and dangerous statement that is completely alien to the ancient Chinese. If the Yi would not answer the situation that was addressed to it the book would already been burned a long time ago. Oracles are meant to answer your question, that is what they do. Al these kind of stupid rules like "you have to concentrate", "you have to phrase your question carefully", "you should not be disturbed during the process" are Western inventions that are very convenient fire exits in the case you don't like or understand the answer: "Hexagram 29, 6th line moving? Yikes! But wait! I didn't really focus on my question that was clumsy phrased anyway so I'd better consult the Yi again." Or "Hexagram 6, Conflict? I don't have a conflict at my work. Sure, I don't like my boss but to call it a conflict.... I avoid confrontations with her anyway. Ah, I think I got it. It doesn't refer to my work but to the quarrel I had with my boyfriend last night! Of course! That must be it!" etc.

 

In early China the kings employed diviners who interpreted the oracles regarding important matters of the state. What would happen to such a diviner if he said to the king, "I can't tell you if you will win the battle tomorrow but let's talk about your mother-in-law"?

 

Rereading OldDog's post, I don't think he meant that the Yijing could give replies that are totally off the mark. However, as I experienced myself on some occasions, the answer may address important aspects of the situation at hand quite beyond what has been specifically asked. That's why I like the suggestion above not to ask particular questions in the first place, but rather let the Yijing comment on a given topic as it will.

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5 minutes ago, Michael Sternbach said:

 

 

Rereading OldDog's post, I don't think he meant that the Yijing could give replies that are totally off the mark. However, as I experienced myself on some occasions, the answer may address important aspects of the situation at hand quite beyond what has been specifically asked. That's why I like the suggestion above not to ask particular questions in the first place, but rather let the Yijing comment on a given topic as it will.

 

Ah yes, I see what you mean. His post triggered one of my pet subjects, hence the way I responded.

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