I Ching

I Ching

Light spills in through the upper floors of the library, creating an I Ching pattern.

Whenever I'm under pressure (like now, with the thesis), I start looking for signs in everything around me. My iPod's shuffle function, random conversations, the weather, my dreams (my brother kills the prime minister by leaping out of a snuff box dressed in highwayman gear - what does it mean?), anything. Call it aleatoric hermeneutics or whatever.

So I looked up the I Ching pattern I found this afternoon, and guess what it means?
64. Wei Chi - Before Completion

-- -- above Li The Clinging, Flame
-- --
----- below K'an The Abysmal, Water
-- --

The Judgement

Before Completion. Success.
But if the little fox, after nearly completing the crossing,
Gets his tail in the water,
There is nothing that would further.

The Image

Fire over water:
The image of the condition before transition.
Thus the superior man is careful
In the differentiation of things,
So that each finds its place.

Changing Lines

Changing yin at the bottom means:
He gets his tail in the water.

Changing yang in the second place means:
He brakes his wheels.
Perseverance brings good fortune.

Changing yin in the third place means:
Before completion, attack brings misfortune.
It furthers one to cross the great water.

Changing yang in the fourth place means:
Perseverance brings good fortune.
Remorse disappears.
Shock, thus to discipline the Devil's Country.
For three years, great realms are awarded.

Changing yin in the fifth place means:
Perseverance brings good fortune.
No remorse.
The light of the superior man is true.
Good fortune.

Changing yang at the top means:
There is drinking of wine
In genuine confidence. No blame.
But if one wets his head,
He loses it, in truth.
I get it. I do, really.

UPDATE: Actually, hang on. In Chinese one reads right to left, so this I Ching can also mean...
63. Chi Chi - After Completion

-- --
----- above K'an The Abysmal, Water
-- --
-- -- below Li The Clinging, Flame

The Judgement

After Completion. Success in small matters.
Perseverance furthers.
At the beginning good fortune,
At the end disorder.

The Image

Water over fire: the image of the condition
In After Completion.
Thus the superior man
Takes thought of misfortune
And arms himself against it in advance.

Changing Lines

Changing yang at the bottom means:
He brakes his wheels.
He gets his tail in the water.
No blame.

Changing yin in the second place means:
The woman loses the curtain of her carriage.
Do not run after it;
On the seventh day you will get it.

Changing yang in the third place means:
The Illustrious Ancestor
Disciplines the Devil's Country.
After three years he conquers it.
Inferior people must not be employed.

Changing yin in the fourth place means:
The finest clothes turn to rags.
Be careful all day long.

Changing yang in the fifth place means:
The neighbor in the east who slaughters an ox
Does not attain as much real happiness
As the neighbor in the west
With his small offering.

Changing yin at the top means:
He gets his head in the water. Danger.

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Blogger suttonhoo said...

very cool.

I'm thinking only the third or fourth line is changing -- depending on which way you read it -- if that sun flare is the change bit...

gorgeous shot, too.

best of luck with your thesis!

(I'm going to go look up aleatoric hermeneutics now...)

March 14, 2007 4:13 am  
Blogger Mikkel said...

Superstition is bad luck.

March 14, 2007 5:25 am  
Blogger mrtn said...

Oh, right, I didn't see the sun flare. I didn't think there were any changes. Well, it doesn't change the meaning that much.

Aleatoric hermeneutics: I just totally made that up on the spot.

Mikkel: You are teh funny!

March 14, 2007 8:47 am  
Blogger Mikkel said...

BTW, all the amazingly good pictures you have been taking lately are making me look bad. Please go back to fuzzy snapshots from literary cocktail parties.

March 14, 2007 3:47 pm  
Blogger mrtn said...

making me look bad.

Surely that's not possible?

More coverage of the literati will follow, though, after I complete my MA thesis.

March 15, 2007 10:10 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Richard Dawkins could use some of that old I Ching...

March 15, 2007 5:40 pm  

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