Thursday, August 22, 2019

What Story is the I Ching Telling You?

There's really only one story that actually matters: the story of the journey of transformation.  All good stories are variations on it.

All hexagrams of the I Ching have within them a story of transformation. Each one tells its own little story. And when you combine them with other hexagrams in permutations, it's telling another story.
And when doing a casting its doing a very specific little story of transformation with regard to the one question you might have at this time.  While the whole King Wen sequence tells one great big story.

There were two schools in the period after the School of Yin and Yang, after Confucius, up to the Han Dynasty. These schools were rivals, I've spoken of them before. From that school of inner alchemy, there was a division into two forms of interpretation: Image and Number, and Meaning and Principle.

Image and Number focused on the line structures, trigrams, positions of things, mathematics of the I Ching, the elements, the cosmology. All of that was the focus of the School of Image and Number.
The school of Meaning and Principle looked at it a different way, saying that what mattered was the spiritual/philosophical teaching in the I Ching and that this was found by considering and interpreting the text, rather than the image or the mathematics/cosmology.

I've commented on the imperfection of both of those schools before.

Regardless, the value of what came out of the school of Meaning and Principle was a different approach to looking at groups of hexes, not based on their structure of lines and trigrams, but in terms of the text and grouping various hexagrams based on their common themes.  In other words, to look at the stories they tell.

If you do this in combination with the structural elements of the hexagrams, this is the best way to apply your studies in I Ching structure and cosmology to a more grounded and human element of connecting to that personal story of what one must do on a journey of transformation.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

The I Ching, Cosmology and Gender

In my latest video, I talk about the nature of gender according to the I Ching and its cosmology. I know this is a contentious issue, and the answer the I Ching's cosmology provides probably won't quite satisfy anyone.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Time Travel of the I Ching

Enter the stream of the I Ching through its symbols.

The I Ching shows that time is like a forest, full of change.

The present is just the place you are at in the forest.

All the steps you took through this forest up until now have put you on this point in the path.

The direction they lead you in points toward where on the path you are heading; this is the future.

If you want to change the future, change it before it happens.

If you want to change the past, change your response to the choices you made in the past.

Friday, July 5, 2019

I Ching Hexagram Commentary #13 - Fellowship

Here is the latest I Ching video. If you are interested in deeper teaching on the I Ching as part of an ongoing program of spiritual cultivation, please consider contacting me about applying to the Yi Fa Society.

Monday, June 3, 2019

What is "Virtue" in Cultivation?

There are two forms of Virtue: Virtue can mean "force" or "power", in the sense that 'virtue' relates to the word 'virility'. This power depends on one's ability to impose his force on the world.

In the most obvious sense, Virtue is the physical force that a person can impose on his surroundings. This includes his physical strength and health, but also things like his intellect and wit.

But these things are limited. Even in one's prime, there are limits to what a person's physical strength or vigor can accomplish. Even at the peak of one's intellect, there's limits to what one can manage to achieve through the mind.

And over time, these forces reach a peak and then ebb. Even someone who has made a great effort to develop physical strength, or speed, or endurance, will find that over a few years those things will weaken and fade, ravaged by time.  And even the sharpest mind will find that over a few decades, their intellect will weaken too, the mind will become less sharp, forgetfulness will increase and mental exhaustion will develop.

The second kind of Virtue is one's spiritual strength.  This is developed by accumulating Virtue through practice, and then applying that inner Virtue to emanate Virtue in the outer world. This force does not ebb, it only gains. It cannot be dulled by time or the ravages of age.

Inner Cultivation is not easy; it takes more work than building up the muscles or even sharpening the mind. But it is also a power that endures.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

VIDEO: "Healing Magic" vs True Health

The following video is not on a topic I cover very often. Most perceptions of Qi Gong as being "for health" as a primary purpose are utterly wrong, and I don't want to encourage these perceptions. But then again, most people's perceptions of health and of what spiritual or alternative-medical practices are capable of doing for their health are totally wrong as well!

So, here I set the record straight: