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 answerable to noone, the more conspiracy theorists there will be given that the doled out narratives increasingly lack explanatory power. The theories may mainly be wrong, but there are good reasons for their being put out there. Or put another way: they used to put on a better show – making conspiracy theorizing less needed.
This throw was 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 that of the West’s. 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, often even deliberately causing war with widespread death and destruction, such as in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and more. In short, the Western powers, led by the ‘US Hegemon’ are unaccountable bullies who have gone too far in suppressing others’ autonomy and freedom to pursue their own destinies.
In Ukraine, the neocon-controlled West 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.
Addendum April 19 2023:
Just read this article published on the same day as the above Reading: https://foreignpolicy.com/2023/03/23/xi-putin-meeting-china-russia-undeclared-alliance/ It concludes:
“Since Xi and Putin are not just the current presidents of their two nations but leaders whose tenures effectively have no expiration dates, the United States will have to understand that it is confronting the most consequential undeclared alliance in the world.”