Daeluin

Probability of Change

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I find this good read on the major significance of the Ta Chuan, part of the Ten Wings. It is where the rich description of the yarrow method is found.

"...Edward Shaughnessy in his retranslation of the¬†Great Commentary¬†based on the Mawangdui materials echoes Peterson‚Äôs evaluation of its importance in observing that ‚Äúthe worldview of its¬†Xici¬†or¬†Appended Statements¬†Commentary‚ÄĒintegrating man and nature through the medium of the¬†Yijing‚ÄĒis arguably the most sophisticated (it is certainly the most subtle) statement of the correlative thought that has been so fundamental to all of China‚Äôs philosophical systems.‚Ä̬†Shaughnessy is not exaggerating when he says that ‚Äúindeed, so central has the¬†Yijing¬†been to Chinese thought over these two millennia that a history of its exegetical traditions would require almost a history of Chinese thought.‚ÄĚ

The¬†Yijjing¬†as a text is itself an object lesson in the worldview that it attempts to present. That is, when we reflect on the nature of particular ‚Äúevents‚ÄĚ within this process worldview, the relationship between these particular foci and their fields lends itself to a holographic understanding of world systems..."¬†


https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40636-015-0013-2

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11 hours ago, wandelaar said:

 

Taoism doesn't need the I Ching. Lao tzu and Chuang tzu don't recommend it.

 

Seems to be rather strong statements. What is the basis?

 

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12 hours ago, wandelaar said:

@ zafrogzen

 

Taoism doesn't need the I Ching. Lao tzu and Chuang tzu don't recommend it.

 

Laozi + Zhuangzi = daoism? I think the compilers of the various Daozang ťĀďŤóŹ editions would not agree. There is more to daoism than Laozi & Zhuangzi.

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1 hour ago, Harmen said:

Laozi + Zhuangzi = daoism? I think the compilers of the various Daozang ťĀďŤóŹ editions would not agree. There is more to daoism than Laozi & Zhuangzi.

 

Correct. ;)  I wouldn't say "Laozi + Zhuangzi = daoism" but rather: Just Laozi + Zhuangzi = also a (perhaps minimal) form of daoism.

Further see:

 

Edited by wandelaar

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4 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

 

Correct. ;)  I wouldn't say "Laozi + Zhuangzi = daoism" but rather: Just Laozi + Zhuangzi = also a form of daoism.

Further see:

 

 

Thanks for the clarification. The Yijing is not a book that is part of the foundation of daoism and with respect to that I agree with you that daoism in its earliest form can easily do without it. That goes for humanity as well. We don't need the Yi. Nevertheless there are times when it is a welcome tool.

 

About that thread you mentioned: it seems to me that some users of the book have expectations of what the Yijing should do or tell; expectations that do not correspond with its original usage and content. The Zhouyi itself does not talk about change or any inherent philosophy. It is best to read this core text without any commentary and let the Yi speak for itself. Originally it was a book of divination and nothing else.

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In reference to the OP. I started out using three common American pennies. I liked the symbolism of heads (yang) and tails or yin (a temple). After several years I decided to use the Yarrow stalks instead, since I thought it might be a more authentic method. Yarrow is easy to start from seeds but it also grows wild here on the Northern California coast so it was nice to be able to go out to gather and dry my own. I like the ritualistic flavor of handling the stalks but was disappointed in the results compared to the coins. I could see that the probabilities were skewed differently but didn't see any logic in it. Still don't. The coins work way better for me. The longer I've been consulting it (over 50 years) the more right-on the results have gotten. http://www.frogzen.com/uncategorized/lines-in-the-dust/

 

That's not to deny that the yarrow stalks don't also work well, but that's no reason to look down your nose at us common coin throwers. No one here has come up with a good explanation for the skewing of the probabilities in the yarrow method to favor yang changing to yin, or why that is any better. It might have been started by some grumpy old recluse who didn't have any coins but plenty of yarrow, and it just caught on.

 

If older means better then we should all go back to using turtle shells which were supposedly the first method to be used. One method I read about was using a live turtle on a special layout and noting where it walked. Whatever works!

 

BTW I threw it for this discussion and got one of my least favorites -- #54 the Marrying Maiden. I usually take that to mean my way is not the favorite, first choice, and anything I do or say isn't going to go over well.

Edited by zafrogzen
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18 minutes ago, zafrogzen said:

I like the ritualistic flavor of handling the stalks but was disappointed in the results compared to the coins. I could see that the probabilities were skewed differently but didn't see any logic in it. Still don't. The coins work way better for me.

 

I've worked with the I Ching for twenty years but it is only in the last 2-3 years that I have begun learning it in earnest. I use both yarrow stalks (actually just BBQ skewers) and coins, and I find each serves a different purpose. If I want a quick response, perhaps a full reading in under fifteen minutes then I use the coins. I usually jot those readings down on scrap paper and toss them in the recycling bin afterwards. For serious readings I use the sticks. Those are the kinds of readings that I write in my journal and spend hours going over every aspect of them. The yarrow method is more immersive and since it enables me to create trigrams for each line I can analyze and cross analyze the results in ways that I cannot with coins.

 

Of course there are also online I Ching software. As cheesy as it sounds I also use those but typically only if I want a very quick yes/no style answer in under five minutes.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Lost in Translation said:

For serious readings I use the sticks. Those are the kinds of readings that I write in my journal and spend hours going over every aspect of them. The yarrow method is more immersive and since it enables me to create trigrams for each line I can analyze and cross analyze the results in ways that I cannot with coins.

 

That makes sense. Truthfully I never spend more than 15 minutes on a reading but I do write them down because that makes them easier to remember. In retrospect a few of those turn out to be especially significant and meaningful, and they stay with me. I can remember specific readings from many decades ago that I'm still mulling over.

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On 6/9/2018 at 10:21 PM, Lost in Translation said:

That comment bothered me too. I geeked out and created a spreadsheet that starts with 1 million yang lines and calculates the changes over 50 iterations using the yarrow stalk method and the coin method. After about 30 iterations the yarrow method settled on a steady 75% yin lines and 25% yang lines ratio. The coin method settled on a steady 50%/50% split. (I can send you the spreadsheet if you like. PM me.) From this it looks like the percentage of change simply determines the ratio of yang vs yin in a moving system over time and does not determine the aggregate total. In other words the universe will not decompose into pure yin. :D

 

That said, the yarrow stalk method does suggest that the universe is composed predominantly of yin, whereas the coin method suggests yang and yin are perfectly balanced.

 

Here are the actual final numbers.

 

Yarrow Stalks  
   
Probability  
Yang changing to Yin 18.75%
Yin changing to Yang 6.25%

 

Iteration 50
Yang Lines 250,000
Yin Lines 750,000
Yang changing to Yin 46,875
Yin changing to Yang 46,875
Total Lines 1,000,000
Percent Yang 25.00%
Percent Yin 75.00%

 

You'll notice that the ratio of actual Yin to Yang lines are 3/1 (e.g. there are 750 thousand Yin lines and only 250 thousand Yang) but the conversion ratio is the exact inverse (e.g. Yang changes to Yin three times as often as Yin changes to Yang). This aspect creates an interesting (and elegant) balance: The number of lines (Yin or Yang) that actual convert to their opposite is equal for both Yin and Yang (e.g. 46,875).

 

This tells us that the conversion from Yin to Yang and back again is perfectly balanced. One will not overpower the other. And this also tells us that reality is 1/4 Heaven and 3/4 Earth. The work of the Creative is not equal to the work of the Receptive in terms of raw numbers, but "a little bit of Heaven goes a long way" so it's sufficient to get the job done.

 

 

 

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