HieroniMusing originally posted 8/15/01
The Chinese Code of 10,000 or 64
The Chinese book of Change or I Ching, escaped the savage book burning crusade in 213 B.C., under the dictates of tyrant Ch’in Shih Huang Ti , and fortunate for the world, for in it we find the common roots of the dominant Chinese philosophies of Taoism and Confucianism. From the late 3rdcentury, until almost the ending of 220 AD, formal esoteric schools were devoted to the study of the I Ching, but it was only when the scholar Wang Pi (226—249 A.D..D.) wrote his commentaries, that it finally blossomed, unencumbered in society, by suspicion that it was only an oracle and thus unreliable. It was elevated from a contested book of divination by then at odds with the more politically connected thought of Yin/Yang ( the school of absolute dualism) and the magic schools it generated, to being appreciated as a Chinese classic of great wisdom.
In what is still considered by most, the best English translation of Richard Wilhelm’s German Translation from the original Chinese, (1967, Princeton University Press) and which I first began using in 1975, the author, R. Wilhelm summarizes the entire purpose of the I Ching in these words. The Chinese were “seeking a way to express the world into a number symbol system. The Hexagrams and the lines in their movement and changes, mysteriously reproduced the movements and changes of the macrocosm.”
Heaven On Earth
Throwing yarrows sticks to derive the hexagram, was itself an application of the principals of the vibrational world and word, though unseen, but which is known to be active. The yarrows stalks were prized for their sacred nature in healing. ” The nature of the Yarrows stalks,” writes Wilhelm, “ is round and spiritual. The nature of the hexagrams is square and wise. The meaning of the six lines change, in order to furnish information.” Thus as divining sticks, they themselves were considered receivers of some sort of subtle energy, representing heaven and the spirit, useful in making the invisible world, cognizeable. Divnation systems of all sorts work, because infact the coherent nature of light is all knowing, it is hologorpahic movement. Being multidimensional, refractive, it reflects into conscious mind, that which is potential, the yet to become. Spirit seeks to inhabit in a rythmic and patterned fashion.
In all, 64 hexagrams represent the Chinese version of the universe’s 10,000 variants. Lines are considered either at rest or in motion. They represent natural forces that are either building up or breaking down or standing still. The building depends on the principles of light and the breaking down, on the power of darkness, not in the sense of good and evil alone, but reflecting rather, that natural forces of the material and immaterial world, are “ the expanding and contracting phase of the underlying life energy. “ These,” writes Wilhelm, “are the ebb and flow in the great ocean of life.”
Interpreting Patterns – Key to Seeing the Future
The pattern in which the stalks or coins tossed fell, reflected the answer to the supplicants inquiry. The I Ching Hexagram, in response to any given question, “enabled the person to survey the condition of things making even the unconscious man conscious.” Seeing man as a microcosm of the macrocosm, the I Ching made the laws of heaven and earth knowable, observable, tangible. The I Ching, acting as a computer for information, made it possible to see what had otherwise been unseen. Learning to properly center one’s intellect and will, in order to ask the most advantageous question, produced an “emotional life of harmony.” Finding in the words, “wisdom, love and justice” an ultimate formula for the I Ching’s endurance, Richard Wilhelm shows how the Chinese realized that one can indeed, shape the world with loving intelligence, know what is best for both earth and heaven, the living and the dead, the born and yet to be born.
Synchronicity —Taking the Mystery Out of Magic
In short, there are numerous ancient software programs or mystery traditions, that translate what could be called, as it is in computer software terminoloyg, the its and bits into images, sounds and meanings. The I Ching, translates what is invisible into a visible model. It takes abstract or as yet unmanifest events or current tendencies and shows their potential outcomes. It enables one to peer into the future, and as yet unmanifest situations It allows us to peer in on the spirit world, which underlies and interpenetrates the physical.
Jill Zohara Meyerhoff Hieronimus