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

  Yi Jing, Oracle of the Moon

Chance + danger: Crisis

  Years ago, long before I ever dreamed of translating Chinese, I came across a little column in a glossy. It was about a Chinese word, weiji: crisis, which was a combination of two characters: wei, danger and ji, chance. It was a very enlightening way of seeing crisis, and it aroused my interest in a language in which this was possible. And when I got Ritsema-Karcher's I ChingI realized it could indeed be done: translating.

  In the Yi I never came across this crisis, but slowly I worked my way through the Yi, and close to the end, in hex.59, I came across a word meaning chance. In 59.2, the 4th character is usually translated as support or bench.

  The character shows only wood and table, it looks alike in full-form and in simplified. But the simplified one can also indicate another character in full-form, and in the three (traditional, full-form) Chinese Yi's in my possession there is indeed this other character. It is ji1, in Mathew's nr. 411, and in Far-East Dictionary nr.2605.

  It is an interesting word. It is an image of a lom, maybe the ffirst 'machine'' of the world. The meanings encompass both what a loom does and the possibilities of weaving something, making something work and the pivotal point where it starts to work.
"Machine, the key to things, cause of the change of things, opportunity, ingenuity,  endowment, spirit, strategy, inspiration, threshold, 'is different', the moving power of, the workings of things, the pivotal juncture, the inherent mechanism, the organic potential".... For example: TianJi is the influence of heaven, the bent of a man; XinJi is powers of the mind, devices of the heart. Another meaning is opportunity, chance. So 59.2 is: A flood - flee to an opportunity. Or: A flood - grasp every tool you have to make a change. In the MawangDui YiJing there is another character, jie1, a flight of stairs, or 'to rely on'. The meaning: flee to something you can climb on. The chance everyone looks for in a flood, or when running from a pack of angry dogs.

  Maybe the whole sentence, huàn bēn qí jī, is 'disperse (and) go to your moving power'. Then bēn qí jī might be something like grasping your power of pulling yourself out of danger. When everything is in chaos, then your can only rely on your survival instincts, your 'luck', your own wits, 'something' inside yourself which makes you find a way out.

  Fanyao is 20.2: Contemplation with a narrow view. Harvest: woman's determination.  If you can see only a small part of something and it is not threatening, then refrain from action.