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.

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