I Ching, Yijing or Zhou Yi
"Oracle of the moon": © 2000 LiSe

  Yi Jing, Oracle of the Moon

Multiple moving lines

In Onlineclarity was a discussion about multiple moving lines and the difficulty many people experienced by making sense of so much information. Hilary’s article:  Clarity (Hilary) asked the Yi Jing itself for a solution, and it came up with 58, changing into 8.

Here is my view on the problem. Not only about these two hexagrams, but on all lines, whenever.

I think the Yi answers that the multiple moving lines are very important. One can exchange with the oracle – hex.58 – in a rewarding way, without needing any lines or difficult explorations:

58 is about information, joy together, exchanging insights and learning and all these things. ‘Studying’ the Yi. But hex.8 is very different. It is also about contact, but the contacts in a group where everyone is dependent on each other. They need the group to survive, and it is not a group that one makes, it is the group one is born into, or maybe married, or any other reason. Not a personal choice. A ‘Bi’ is a group of 5 families, a unit. Living in a group does not make life easy. One needs the group, and at the same time it can be utterly frustrating.

The judgment of hex.8 is very interesting. Literally it says: Source, oracle-consulting-with-yarrow-stalks, eminent, long range, determination. Wilhelm translates: Inquire of the oracle once again Whether you possess sublimity, constancy, and perseverance. He changed the source to ‘once again’, which is probably right, but it is not the only way of translating it, and in this case I think it should be ‘source of oracle-consulting with yarrow’, and that the result of doing so yields important and long-ranging answers. The character ‘determination’ or perseverance is the answer of an oracle or of the gods.

One cannot get an answer and then not do what the gods say. It sounds ancient Chinese, but even today, when you get a shock from the answer, you do what it says, because you feel it inside: your gods tell you. If it is just an interesting answer and nothing more, you can do something different, because then there are no gods involved.

The multiple moving lines are the group, they turn the question into something like real life, where one has to cope with many different people, all with their specific character, with good and bad traits. The lines are the group members. A leader, who can be a good one or a tyrant, a mother, a neighbour, a nasty little boy next door, a brother or sister to share play or secrets or fights with, a son or daughter, a husband. Together they make up life.

The lines are not an undifferentiated bunch, they have structure, like a group has. The bottom line is about the impulse to act, and the potential of acting. The commoner and the worker. Your responsibility towards your body, like instincts and your ability to survive. The dragon which is still under water, the hoarfrost which will eventually become icet. Line 2 is the official, the one behind the locker who is often the only contact with the government. The brother who helps, the thoughts about a problem (the official who makes contact with your own inner king), social activity, education, assertiveness.

Line 3 is the local leader: a boss with very personal wishes, your feelings, emotions, psychological state. Your ability to oversee simple situations and to analyse them. Your feeling of responsibility and fear to fall short. Line 4 is the minister. He should be free of personal wishes because he is the direct assistant to the overall leadership. He makes the decisions and choices, he is your intellect and knowledge and experience.

Line 5 is the king, he is higher than rationalism, he is your wisdom, charisma, leadership. Like line 2 he too is about contacts, but on another level. Not based on interest, advantage, feeling good together and other earthly goals, but concentrated on ideals and mental interests, on the common good. The top line is the sage, the mystic, your possibility to find sources of meaning, like mythology or religion. It is (or should be) completely free from anything personal or temporal. It goes beyond normal-size life and reaches into universe.

When the lines have a structure, one cannot miss any one of them. It would feel as an essential loss. In real life one also cannot remove an aspect, or even reduce all to just one way of dealing with a person or a situation or whatever. The result would be very reduced too. One cannot make a choice (4) without instinct (1) or emotions (3). No contact (2) without a universal spirit (6) or universal mind (5). Every single thing one does cannot miss any of the other aspects.

In hex.58 lines 1, 2, 4 and 5 are yang: action and thinking; 3 and 6 are yin: listening and contemplating. But that is the structure of 58. In order to become the living group of hex.8 special emphasis lies on lines 1, 2 and 4. Line 1: Inner contentment, not needing anything from outside, is the base of freedom. You find your power within yourself. Making a real good contact with others is only possible when this inner freedom exists. (If one needs advice about how to stay free, then read the hex. it changes into: 47)

Line 2: Deep and relaxed exchange makes all heaviness go away. Talking or even only feeling the others presence puts everything in perspective. A shared heavy heart weighs only half as much, a shared happy one is twice as happy. (changes into 17, about how to resonate with others, or with the Yi Jing in this case) Line 4: Talking turns very easily into a discussion. Stay calm and relaxed. Don't expect to be put in the right, agreeing is not necessary for a good contact. One can like a person without liking his convictions. Stay curious and positive towards ideas different from your own. (changes into 60, about respecting everyone’s rhythm and pitch, including your own)