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I-Ching

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Sadurian Mike
746096.  Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:16 am Reply with quote

A topic far to huge for me tackle in its entirety right now, but hopefully this should be a starting point to a fascinating and ancient divination system.

Also known as the "Book of Changes", it uses trigrams and hexagrams to make predictions and philosophical statements, in much the same way as the Western Tarot.*

One accessible QI point about I-Ching is that the South Korean flag, the Taegukki, uses the trigrams for Heaven, Water, Earth and Fire surrounding the Yin and Yang, thus containing the elements supposed to have made up the universe.




*And about as realistic, in my opinion, but it is still interesting.

 
'yorz
746100.  Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:31 am Reply with quote

I've known people who wouldn't leave their house without consulting the Book.

 
Sadurian Mike
746106.  Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:58 am Reply with quote

To be fair, there are people who do the same with newspaper astrologers.

All the same, I-Ching does seem to be a bigger deal in China than horoscopes are in the West. I wonder if it benefits from its very age?

 
Jenny
746107.  Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:01 pm Reply with quote

There's an online version.

The interesting thing about the I-Ching, to me, is its moral seriousness. You aren't supposed to ask it trivial questions, and its answers aren't from the point of view of what is most expedient to do but what is morally right, that the 'superior person' would do.

 
'yorz
746113.  Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:26 pm Reply with quote

It seems 'cold' to do it that way. Nothing can erase the memory of Noud van den Eerenbeemt (writer on Tarot, witchdraft, flying ointment etc, worldfamous in the Benelux in the 60s) reading my I Ching, whilst Aus der neue Welt was filling the air, as well as the scent of drying cannabis leaves that hung in festoons from the ceiling.
Yesterday, when I was young.....

 
Spud McLaren
746114.  Fri Sep 24, 2010 12:28 pm Reply with quote

Good call, Mike, wish I'd thought of it.

As you say, as a tool for divining the future the I-Ching is likely to be as useful as a pair of peep-toe wellies. It is fascinating, though, and a mark of the Chinese character that, when constructing the hexagrams, some of the lines can be classed as changing lines. These allow more than one reading from essentially the same data, sometimes radically different.

Another interesting nugget is the difference in approach between East and West when it comes to consulting the I_Ching - westerners tend to flip a coin to get a hexagram very quickly, where Easterners use the traditional yarrow stalk method, which is tedious/meditative (depending on your outlook).

Possibly the most interesting thing about it, though, is that Joachim Bouvet, a Jesuit priest who had spent a lot of time in China, showed it to Gottfried Wihelm Leibnitz. Leibnitz discovered that, if if you substitute a 0 for a solid line and a 1 for a broken line, the hexagrams became a new way of expressing the numbers 0 to 63 - the basis of the binary system. Had it not been for Bouvet's intervention we may have been unable today to be communicating by Internet, as it is unlikely that computers, if invented, would be as advanced.

 
exnihilo
746126.  Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:13 pm Reply with quote

Sadurian Mike wrote:
To be fair, there are people who do the same with newspaper astrologers.

All the same, I-Ching does seem to be a bigger deal in China than horoscopes are in the West. I wonder if it benefits from its very age?


Are horoscopes notably younger? I see from the ever reliable WikiPedia that the I-Ching was codified about 2,000 years ago but is believed to be as much as 3,000 years older still in origin. We know that astrology formed a part of "Western" cultures from broadly proximate times, certainly as regards the newer date and almost certainly for the older one.

 
Spud McLaren
746127.  Fri Sep 24, 2010 1:25 pm Reply with quote

Sadurian Mike wrote:
All the same, I-Ching does seem to be a bigger deal in China than horoscopes are in the West. I wonder if it benefits from its very age?
I think it has benefitted more from not being denounced and its practicioners persecuted by the state religion, unlike horoscopes and other forms of fortune-telling in Europe & America.

 
zomgmouse
746216.  Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:31 pm Reply with quote

The I-Ching was used as a semi-major plot device in Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle.

 
Spud McLaren
746339.  Sat Sep 25, 2010 9:26 am Reply with quote

It also features in Herman Hesse's The Glass Bead Game, which is where I first heard of it.

 
Frances
764634.  Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:04 am Reply with quote

I tried it, but the answers were always so vague and indeterminate that they made little sense; 'If you work hard, you should succeed' was the core of one answer. Very deep.

 
Celebaelin
764639.  Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:13 am Reply with quote

It also figures quite prominently in the wackier end of Jungian psychology.

http://www.carl-jung.net/iching.html
http://www.schoolofwisdom.com/history/teachers/richard-wilhelm/carl-jung-on-richar-wilhelm/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synchronicity

 

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