Below is a pdf document introducing an original new method for incorporating Heaven Earth and Man into your I Ching / YiJing Readings. The formatting doesn’t work properly from the document onto an html page so the pdf will have to do. You can either browse through it here on the web page or download it and read in your browser or any other pdf document reader. Enjoy!
An official rides on a deer’s back and points at the clouds with his index finger. This means to have an ambition for things that are not presently available or obtainable.
A fawn follows its mother. To advance smoothly in officialdom.
The Chinese character for “literature” is on a flag hanging from a lookout post. This means the information one is anxiously expecting will be coming soon.
A man stumbles and falls on thorns, his passenger helps him get out. People help those who help themselves.
The image is the sun obscured by threatening clouds.
The symbol is a time when Yin and Yang have no interrelation.
Jou Tsung Wa The Way to I Ching Divination
Continuing the Yi series of late, this Cast was more specifically about the United States, how best should she proceed forward as a Union?
The previous reading was about USA’s geopolitical dynamic and yielded: 42 Increase leading to 39 Impasse with Nuclear 23 Splitting Apart. The Reading suggested that an excess of outward-oriented expansiveness (Increase) has brought the US to an Impasse which will demand a period of introspective ‘putting one’s own house in order.’
This reading seems to relate quite well with that by indicating that the internal dynamic in the Union is untenable with bad relations throughout, between one party and the other, the States and the Federal Government, the Government and the People. What is required is a Fresh Start (24) so that proper equilibrium, which exists already within as revealed by Nuclear 63, can be reestablished. The Changing Lines in L2 and L4 create unbalanced trigrams in both the lower/inner and upper/outer realms, and recommend either going it alone altogether (L2) or delaying or not entering into this unfortunate marriage / Union (L5) which is no longer benefiting the lives of its citizens. This indicates that some States may opt for secession in order to break away from the Union.
The 24 Reform/Start Over process might involve a Constitutional Assembly which could attempt a more perfect Union along the lines of Hexagram 63 wherein all lines are in their proper places, something not the case with 54 even though 63 comes out from within it. This latter contradiction, or irony, suggests to this interpreter that the underlying fundamentals are excellent but the Union as is currently configured and run has become what is essentially a bad marriage, making it high time to start over (24). Quite possibly the first step is with divorce to end the unhealthy dynamic after which there could be assemblies to find a way forward, albeit going it alone is always an option.
(As always, the complete document is found in the pdf, also it is better laid out there.)
1. An official holds a small box. People adhering to the same principles will map their plans together.
2. A person pushes a wooden car. This means to seize an opportunity.
3. There is a deer and a coin. This is a good omen about wealth or a job, and one should act without hesitation.
As with all these YiJing Readings at this point, am attaching the pdf below with the full text and proper formatting.
As with all YiJing Readings published here, the front page presents the Hexagrams and basic Reading. Then what follows is background material that led to what was presented on the front page.
This particular Reading features a more prominent use of a recently developed method which incorporates Daoist Three Treasures (Heaven, Earth and Man) into the mix. I have read that one of the reasons the 6-line Hexagrams were developed was to give more of a Heaven, Earth Man feeling to the Readings but they do not come up in the text. Some will say that the top line is Heaven, the bottom line Earth and the middle line Man in any given Trigram. Of course a typical Hexagram features two trigrams, one above the other, and indeed four when the nuclear (inner) trigrams are included from lines 2,3,4 and 3,4,5 respectively. (In this reading that gives Hexagram #23.) But of course Heaven Earth and Man chart a different course and traditionally are arranged in couplets: top two lines are HEAVEN; bottom two lines are EARTH; and the middle two lines are MAN, whose function is to join them together.
I will soon publish a short paper on Heaven Earth and Man explaining the method used to incorporate them into a Reading, and after that possibly a full article on them, since they are a fascinating, very old insight or way of viewing reality coming to us from deep antiquity. They can be used for artistic, architectural and indeed societal design. In any case, in this Reading they ended up having quite a bit of input as the first page’s Judgment reveals….
Following the State Visit of Chinese Premier Xi to Moscow
Window of the hexagram#63 After Completion/ Finished
A man stands on the bank watching a boat approach: this means to receive timely assistance. [Allies]
There is a pile of coins symbolizing riches and wealth.
The rain is following. To receive favors.
Two children walk in the rain. One is young, but successful in one’s career. [Promising future]
There is a document as an omen of luck. [Treaties]
(From I Ching Way to Divination by Jou Tsung Wa)
It takes too much time and is technically very hard to format this type of document with hexagrams and many different fonts into a WordPress post, so it is offered simply as a pdf which can be read from the web page itself as is, or simply downloaded and read in a browser or document reader.
This throw was done in response to the recent substantive developments in the geopolitical sphere which have personally found (too) engrossing the past couple of years (and indeed is part of the reason am not composing so much these days).
Am generally leary of buying into Good Guys versus Bad Guys narratives because the truth is always far more nuanced and mixed. However, sometimes things are somewhat clear that way with one side generally in the wrong (or off balance, or making poor decisions etc.) and the other side generally in the right (or in balance, or much more skillful etc.). Also, it is often helpful to look at things from one side, or at least try to see how they perceive the situation rather than trying to impose one’s own view in every situation.
Conspiracy theorists have been having a field day the past few years. Indeed, the more our governments operate from behind closed doors and are beholden to shadowy national and international power networks behind closed vaults and answerable to noone, the more conspiracy theorists there will be given that the doled out narratives clearly lack explanatory power. The theories may mainly be wrong, but there are good reasons for their being put out there. Put another way: they used to put on a better show – making conspiracy theorizing less needed.
This throw was more specifically about the emerging Russia-China Alliance following Xi’s State visit to Moscow last week which seemed to mark the ending of one long-term development (the formation of their symbiotic alliance) and the beginning of another (the emergence of a new multipolar world order). It is asking for an evaluation of the Russia-China side and thus from the perspective of their narrative which of course is quite different from the West’s narrative. Simply put, the Eurasian side’s narrative is that the Western hegemony has pushed their own ‘rule of law’ on the Rest of the World in morally inconsistent and self-serving ways starting several wars causing widespread death and destruction. In short, the Western powers, led by the ‘US Hegemon’ are unaccountable bullies who have gone too far.
In Ukraine, they spent years putting in place a puppet regime following a manufactured coup in 2014, then they spent years building up an army in Ukraine with Western funds and training whilst conducting bad faith negotiations with Russia and then in February 2022 started escalating their shelling around the city of Donetsk prior to a military advance into the territory to sieze it against the wishes of the Russian-speaking inhabitants who had been conducting a resistance for several years in the absence of a successful negotiated settlement. At this point in Frebuary 2022 Russia finally stepped in having spend almost a decade trying to negotiate a peaceful solution. The Russians have a particular word they use when describing Ukraine and the Western states which translates as: ‘agreement-incapable.’ From their point of view, there is nobody there to negotiate with any more.
So as always there are two sides, each with their own story. The ‘West Side Story’ has something to do with Russia’s desire to recreate the old communist USSR by gobbling up previously possessed countries like Ukraine. But this query is not about the West’s side for which will offer a separate one soon. This throw yielded a surprisingly clear result despite it suggesting a second cast to evaluate the leadership quotient presented in the first; hopefully the second one about the West will as well.
Presentation: these readings are not yet in an ideal form in that they combine final pronouncements with background notes and textual references which all make sense to the author but might not be so easy to wade through for the reader. The idea is to make Judgments that are more specific to the query than those found in the 2-3,000 year old text and yet base those query-specific Judgements on those same texts and commentaries. I haven’t found the right mix yet, so they are all a work in progress. Basically, though the first page is the summation or conclusion of the Reading showing the Hexagrams, Image, Judgment and sometimes a little poem tying it all together. Subsequent pages show textual excerpts, analysis of the trigrams and a personally developed Heaven Earth Man (the Three Treasures) method – a slightly confusing combination of quotes and notes. After reading through all of that, the first page should make much more sense and be all one needs to read if one wants to refer back to it in future.
The Yi has been examined and commented upon by thousands over millenia and in many ways is the Asian equivalent of the Bible, albeit not surprisingly very different in style and content. Hexagrams accumulate personal and national associations over time but it takes a while to acquire such relationships let alone derive meaning from reading solid and broken lines arranged vertically in threes and sixes. It’s a symbolic language combining mathematics, intellect, metaphysics, doaist esoteric practices, shamanic style intuition and confucian overlays developed steadily over three or more millenia.
The classic commentaries combine daoist and confucian principles and insight, so contemplating them in relation to any given query can be a positive learning experience which is why I continue to enjoy consulting it. Only recently have I started making queries about world events. I thought the results would make little sense but am finding the opposite. This is actually not surprising since the Yi’s voice is that of a sage giving advice to an Emperor. As such, it relates well with large-scale affairs of state especially, it seems, geopolitics where long-term interests play out slowly over time.
I do intend to continue more with the blog which has generally been on pause – now also on substack called Random Ruminations – but lack a clear sense of direction these days being torn between tracking world events – pandemics, wars etc – and beginning to go deeper into bedrock Buddhism. Am not qualified nor sufficiently informed to write about the former and need to do some more research to have anything substantive to offer about the latter. Am currently reading and working through some of the original Theravadin materials especially the Anapanasati sutra (Mindfulness of Breathing) and related Foundations of Mindfulness. Soon I hope to be able to have something helpful to present.
I find with all Buddhist-related material that we still have translation problems in that there is often quite a large gap between the experience and the verbiage even though the latter has become much more familiar and ‘user friendly’ the past few decades. This is not due to a failure on the part of the teachers so much as it being part of a cultural exchange process playing out over decades, indeed centuries. I intend to have something original to contribute to that ongoing process even though, as with the Reading below, everything presented will be grounded and thus frequently reference very old, traditional materials.
My style is always to write a little too much, both with this introduction and also with the Reading below. But those familiar with the Yi but who don’t often use it for macro analysis might find this approach interesting as well as different. Others may also find it interesting despite the unfamiliar symbols and arcane references.
This blog now continues after a one-year hiatus. Nothing much will change. It will still be experimental although this year intend to dive more into current affairs and events, albeit still usually with some sort of contemplative perspective. Am no journalist or political partisan and do not intend to become one, but news and politics will sometimes feature.
This first post is just to share a couple of Yijing readings done on Lhosar in Tibetan which is the traditional Buddhist (and generally Asian) lunar New Year, known by many in the West as ‘Shambhala Day.’ Because the lay-out is difficult in this blog interface, I simply paste in the pdf’s for those interested. I found these readings a little difficult to interpret this year but perhaps I can adjust them as events unfold. Some might call that cheating, but the main value I find in the Yi is that it’s deep-rooted daoist wisdom helps unpack or reveal the underlying patterns in play. If you can see those patterns well, then whatever future later arises is a natural unfolding of those patterns. So reading the future boils down to reading the present. As it should be. Psychics have an altogether different approach. I am not one.
The first pdf uses a time-based calculation including year, month, day and hour in this case the New Moon in Mexico at 01:05 AM on February 20th 2023. The third pdf uses the same time-based method but shows the results for Kiev, Moscow and Beijing for those interested. There is no commentary prepared on that page. The second pdf is a cast done in the early AM of Shambhala Day and is the author’s personal reading for the year, albeit given the heavy influence that world affairs have these days the reading features both a ‘world’ and a ‘personal’ perspective on the result.
The Yi is a personal hobby. Am not an advanced practitioner of the art and do not share every reading here on the blog. But given this is a New Year set of throws, I thought them appropriate to share.
“Asked why he decided to paint landscapes, Guo Xi answered: “A virtuous man takes delight in landscapes so that in a rustic retreat he may nourish his nature, amid the carefree play of streams and rocks, he may take delight, that he might constantly meet in the country fishermen, woodcutters, and hermits, and see the soaring of cranes and hear the crying of monkeys. The din of the dusty world and the confinement of human habitations are what human nature habitually abhors; on the contrary, haze, mist, and the haunting spirits of the mountains are what the human nature seeks, and yet can rarely find.”
“The angle of totality”
With his innovative techniques for producing multiple perspectives, Guo was aiming for something he called “the angle of totality.” Because a painting is not a window, there is no need to imitate the mechanics of human vision and view a scene from only one spot! Guo is particularly concerned with the effect that distance has on viewing a landscape, and how detachment and nearness can change the appearance of a single object multiple times. This type of visual representation is also called “Floating Perspective”, a technique that displaces the static eye of the viewer and highlights the differences between Chinese and Western modes of spatial representation.
Unlike the aspiration central to Western landscape painting – to paint a particular location from a fixed standpoint, Chinese landscape painting aimed to incorporate the essence of thousands of mountains, the accumulated sights of a lifetime into one composite landscape. Thus, to look upon a landscape painting in the Chinese tradition was to feel connected to the full scope of places and living things.
The relationship between humankind and the mountain being sought in Guo Xi’s painting is one of compatibility, participation, and interconnectedness. According to Guo Xi’s own words, cited by his son in his treatise “The Lofty Message of Forests and Streams”, “The mountain lives only in the act of wandering. The mountain’s form changes with every step. A mountain seen up close has one aspect, and it has another a few miles away, and yet another one from further away. Its shape changes with each step. The front view of a mountain has one view, another view from the side and another from behind. Its appearance changes from every angle, as many times as it does the point of view. So, it is necessary to realize that a mountain combines in itself several thousand shapes.” These comments suggest that the mountain is only conceivable from multiple standpoints, as if one were wandering through it. If we look carefully at the bottom, middle, and top sections of Guo Xi’s painting in this way, we will see an illustration of shifting perspectives, a typical feature in Chinese landscape painting. The bottom three boulders with accompanying trees seem to be viewed as if we are standing above them; the middle register looks as if we are viewing it straight on; and the top portion, the regal summit, seems to be viewed from below. We are constantly adjusting our eyes to take in a fresh point of view. Guo Xi called this exercise “viewing the form of a mountain from each of its faces”. The viewer thus becomes a traveller in the painting, which offers him the experience of moving through space and time.