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I Ching Update

The first part of Logbook2 is about "The Many" blundering into certain failure even when forewarned by "The One." The second part is about "The One (me)", blundering into certain failure even when forewarned by "The Many (I Ching)."

The I Ching, is an ancient representative of the Language System of Man: a collective work of many men - including Confucius - with considerable wisdom. In fact, some of the original material for the I Ching was found inscribed on oracle bones thousands of years old. The author of the version I used claimed I Ching assumed its present form a century before Confucius, about 600 BC.

Freddy, however, insists the I Ching took on its present form in 1951 when the Chinese version, translated into German by Richard Wilhelm, was translated into English by Cary Baynes. I agree, but hasten to add Cary Baynes, Richard Wilhelm, his father, and the dozens of Chinese philosophers who contributed to the book, are all men with considerable intellect. That's what makes the I Ching so valuable and interesting. It is a composite literary work with a unitary function. Almost as valuable as a dictionary.

The modern intellectual might suppose I Ching is a collection of interesting Chinese sayings, kind of like fortune cookies on Confucius jokes. Throwing the coins is just a fun way to dig into what would otherwise be unreadable pontificating. Each hexagram description is sufficiently multifarious as to be applicable to just about any situation. Reading them, one could probably find something in the cryptic advice pertaining to any past\future situation.

That's reasonable. In fact, from our modern logical vistas, it's the only reasonable way to view the I Ching. But perhaps our modern logical vistas are not entirely complete. Hmmm?

I have just reviewed the messages from the I Ching recorded in my log books a decade ago. On rereading them, the eerie thread of real prediction becomes even more disturbing, at least to me. I dug out the book again and reread the comments. There was quite a lot I missed, back then, equally exact and to the point. With hindsight, the predictions were even more excitingly correct.

I also read adjacent comments to see if any of them would have made as much sense. They didn't. Take "10. Treading," for instance. If six is in the third place, the man meets misfortune. If nine is in the fourth place, "Its quality is the exact opposite of that of the foregoing line," and good fortune results. I read over "8. Holding Together" and "20. Contemplation." I never got them as an answer to my questions and it's just as well because I would have had a devil of a time trying to apply them to the circumstances.

Don't get the idea I rattled the coins every hour to find out what was going to happen next. I treated the I Ching exactly as instructed by Professor Jung - as an honored sage. There are 14 consultations recorded in Moira's log books during the nine-month period.

Here's a quick summary of the Oracle's comments.

#1: 25 October, North Queensland.

Question: "What do you think about the book I'm working on - The Space Creature? "

Answer:"10 Treading changing to 6. Conflict." "While a conflict is beginning the best thing to do is drop the issue. Especially when the adversary is stronger, it is not advisable to risk pushing the conflict to a decision." The Treading image was, "the small and cheerful treads upon the large and strong. For the weak to take a stand against the strong is not dangerous because it happens in good humor, without presumption so the strong is not irritated." I decided this meant the book must be done with decorum and pleasant manners.

The opposition, I reasoned, must be the biological control systems of religion, politics and science. These actively resist revelation and/or discussion of the subject of hominid controls. Better to present the subject in the context of a fable about a whale and whale control systems. A fable done with caution, modesty, and good humor.

#2: I immediately asked the Oracle about doing the story as a Jonathan-Livingston Seagull epoch based on a whale.

Answer: "57. The Gentle changing to 44. Coming to Meet." "Success through what is small." "Penetration by gradual, inconspicuous steps is not an act of violation but an influence that never lapses. There is no surprise attack. To achieve this there must be a well defined goal for only when the penetrating influence works always in the same direction can the object be attained."

The second reply completes the first prediction almost to a word. The Gentle changed to "44. Coming To Meet," and I Ching warned, the book would lead to a dangerous situation when, "the easy going gentle girl seizes power." "The coming together must be free of dishonest ulterior motives, otherwise harm will result."

Based on this, I decided to write about a dolphin freed from an oceanarium. Reunited with Sea, the dolphin discovers its oneness with the living planet. I did not realize The Oracle's "easy going gentle girl" was a very real dolphin who would seize power over my heart by sacrificing her own newborn. Nor could I understand what possible dishonest ulterior motives my book might engender in the coming together with this girl.

#3: October 27, North Queensland.

Question: I asked the Oracle what it thought about the Dolphin story after I had outlined it.

Answer: "10. Treading changing to 47. Oppression." Treading, Again, the same hexagram telling me yes, keep the small and cheerful and modest approach. 9 at the beginning emphasized simplicity. Keep it simple and remain free of obligations of social intercourse. Make no demands on people and the book will work.

Again, the hexagram changed to a warning, "47. Oppression (Exhaustion)." The image is of a joyous lake but the water is drained out, so the lake is empty. This had, in retrospect, a double meaning. The upper trigram belongs to the principle of darkness, the lower to the principle of light. "Superior men are oppressed and held in restraint by inferior men." One meaning is, the book will be a useful receptacle for the ideas but it will be weakened because the water will be drained out of it. This turned out to be accurate.

The other meaning - and I had no way of knowing about this then - was much more direct, and also accurate. The dolphins are held in captivity by the darkness of human ignorance. In one prediction, The Oracle tied the book about the liberation of a dolphin to actual, captured dolphins and said the effort to free them would drain the water from the lake. It also predicted, "When one has something to say, it is not believed." It correctly predicted I would be unable to keep from making demands on people and become involved in a public conflict. The comment about Superior men oppressed and held in restraint by inerior men is perfectly illustrated by the owners of the Lion Park Safari restraining the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

#4: Same day.

Question: I repeated same question.

Answer: "15. Modesty changing to 22. Grace." Modesty is almost exactly the same reply as Treading. "Where no claims are put forward no resistances arise." In Grace, The Oracle warned, "He dare not decide controversial issues in this way." Even if I managed to resist the forthcoming danger of a public conflict, the Dolphin story would not be able to address the more important and serious issues. A more earnest approach was required. In retrospect, I realize this was true, and the Oracle's image of the graceful fire casting its pleasing light for a limited distance is a perfect criticism of the Jonathan Livingston Seagull approach to writing about important issues.

#5: 5 November, North Queensland

Question:" What can you tell me about the success of the trip to Sydney - both the voyage there and the result of my business dealings related to the book?"

Answer: "60. Limitation, changing to 7. The Army." "Often a man who would like to undertake something finds himself confronted by insurmountable limitations. Then he must know when to stop." Again this was all too true, but made no sense to me at the time. I had no inkling I would face an insurmountable problem in Sydney and fail to limit my actions and become involved in a public war.

#6, 20 December, Sydney.

Question: I asked the Oracle its opinion of the finished book.

Answer: "26. The Taming Power of the Great." The Oracle said, "Heaven within the mountain points to hidden treasures. In words and deeds of the past there lies hidden a treasure that men may use to strengthen and elevate their own characters. The way to study the past is not to confine oneself to mere knowledge of history but, through application of this knowledge, to give actuality to the past."

I decided The Oracle was letting me know it wanted to say something of supreme importance, something to enrich my character (Solo, the dolphin) and myself.

#7: Same day.

Question:" What is the hidden treasure?"

Answer: "42, I/Increase changing to 24. The Turning Point."

Here was the key I failed to understand and would hunt for over the next five years. It would have made a real improvement in the dolphin book and in my own character had I managed to understand it then.

What grabbed my mind at the time was, 9 at the top means, "He brings increase to no one. Misfortune. An attitude not permanently in harmony with the demands of the time will necessarily bring misfortune with it." Confucius says, "If a man is brusque in his movements, others will not co-operate. If he is agitated in his words, they awaken no echo in others. If he asks for something without having first established relations, it will not be given to him." How true and relivant that was.

#8: 23 February, Sydney.

Question: "Should I join in the free the dolphins crusade now?"

Answer: "55. Abundance changing to 22.Grace." Six at the top means "a man who because of his arrogance and obstinacy attains the opposite of what he strives for. He wishes at all odds to be master in his house, which so alienates his family that in the end he finds himself completely isolated." This was all too similar to the last prediction. And, in retrospect, all too true.

#9: 29 March, Sydney.

Question: "Am I on the right path; Freeing the dolphins, making a movie about the dolphin/human Sydney connection?"

Answer: "56. The Wanderer changing to 23. Splitting Apart." The second time I asked essentially the same question, the roll of the coins resulted in opening the book of I Ching to the same page (#216) as the last warning. The Wanderer follows the word "isolated," on page 216.

The answer was obviously still, NO, you are not on the right path. But the accurate portrayal of the Wanderer messing around in politics and the repeated slur on my good character was chilling.

#10: 8 April, Sydney.

Question:" Should I attend the meeting at The University of Sydney about the dolphins?"

Answer: "39. Obstruction changing to 31. Influence (Wooing)." No, don't go. Gather Friends to gain influence. Good advice. For once I followed the advice.

#11: Same day.

Question:" Should I go to the Demonstration at the Lion Park?"

Answer: "56. The Wanderer changing to 25. Innocence(The Unexpected)." The Wanderer again! The unexpected came when I gathered friends according to answer 10. They arranged for me to be interviewed on a TV show and the TV show just happened to schedule the interview on the day of Estelle's planned demonstration at the Lion Park. The demonstration was, however, not announced and finally canceled. All very unexpected.

#12: April 14, Sydney.

Question:" What about the dolphin sea side park idea?"

Answer: "58. The Joyous Lake."

And for a more recent example of the prowess of the Oracle check out the dolphin update.

Synchronicity in Action

Keep in mind I rattle the three coins and throw them six times to form a hexagram. What are the odds, for example, I would cast the hexagram 42 changing to 24 immediately after the Oracle told me it wanted to show me a hidden treasure? "A treasure that men may use to strengthen and elevate their own characters." Hexagram 42. Increase, is a treasure all right. It is the key to the I Ching and the key to my entire search for how beings strengthen and elevate themselves through evolution. Of how life has become the complex web of behavior we see around us.

Of "I," the oracle says, "The image is of the gentle wind above the arousing thunder. Giving rise to increase." Now, years later, I realize this is exactly my own image of This Magic Sea (the gentle wind of "space") above the awakening of awareness (Change, the Error of Expectations).

In ancient Polynesian lore, Mana was the key to man's interaction with the World. Polynesian languages use both gentle wind and thunder to illustrate the concept of Mana. The arousing thunder also symbolized Mana in ancient Tibet. But I didn't know that in Sydney.

The Oracle told me, years before I could understand, "This concept also expresses the fundamental idea on which the Book of Changes is based. To rule truly is to serve." Here I was, struggling to discover the key to how the Moirae work, the nature of Fate, the understanding of evolution, and the ancient sage told me. "To rule truly is to serve."

The imagery is a hinged mirror - like the cast of the coins giving me the magical 42 changing to 24 (The Turning Point). This may be the most treasured secret of the I Ching and one of the most important understandings of mankind.

The hinge is the word "truly." The meaning of the sentence changes depending on how you say it; To rule truly...is to serve. To rule....truly is to serve. This secret treasure has all the characteristics of the Moirae, a play on imagery and a play on words. "A sacrifice of the higher element that produces an increase of the lower is called an out-and-out increase; it indicates the spirit that alone has power to help the world."

The Oracle gave me the key to directionality in evolution but I didn't consciously understand it's importance. I say consciously, because the WE-ME experiment I performed immediately following the revelation showed part of me, the larger mind beyond the level of my consciousness, knew exactly what the secret of the I Ching was.

My thoughts recorded in Moira's Log in PNG also gave plenty of clues to the secret. But it was another five years before I was able to put it all together.

The secret treasure is immensely difficult to perceive because it is too obvious. It's hard to believe the secret of life, evolution, destiny, and oracles is so simple. But then, it couldn't be too complicated if a virus, bacterium or yeast can manage it, and of course, they do.

Increase is the essence of life. It is the formation of living systems from the chaos of entropy. How is this odd phenomenon called "life" created and maintained? How is this also the fundamental idea of the Book of Changes?

Well, I couldn't figure it out because there is a very big hole in human logic systems and the secret treasure is hidden by this logical vacuum. The answer is also obscured by the biological process of our perceptive systems, the way hominids perceive the world around them. Increase is, of course, the key element in the process of life. It is learning, growth, evolution. The Neurophysiologist Ralph Gerard called it "The Residue of Change."

Chinese Philosophers, thousands of years ago, realized all of these processes share a common aspect and linked it to the book of changes as an explanation of why and how the Oracle works. Or how life works, for that matter. The meaning of "To Lead Truly is to Serve" is a secret - forbidden territory - for physiological reasons and possibly for metaphysical reasons. We are tempted (and justified) in thinking of the saying as a humble statement about good governance. It is, but it is much more than that. It refers to the feedback processes guiding behavior of information systems.

Take you, for example. You are the combined communication network of some 100 trillion little animals (cells). Your ability to see, process visual information, relate this to memories, and act depends on the activities and communications of your cells. Your consciousness is a feedback system that determines where you will focus your eyes and what you will pay attention to. Although it is made up of the communications of the cells, your consciousness leads them and in doing so, serves their best interests, helping them live long and prosper.

This is the great revelation. It is a secret hidden in plain view. So plain you might not suspect how profound it actually is. However, if you read Log Book III of The Thread of Awareness in Chaos, This Magic Sea. Or, if you head on over to the Moirae's Navigation School, you will discover the meaning of the Thread of Awareness in Chaos and the 4 phase process that creates it. The quantum jumps in becoming, the nested layers of communications, are all examples of the treasure of the I Ching. The experiments in the Thread of Awareness are themselves guides to help consiously and vividly experience the secret of the Book of Changes.

Log Book III is not about oracles. Having played with the I Ching and learned its uses and limitations, I have been content to leave it on the shelf. There are other ways to play with the Three Sisters of Fate ... and the discovery of how to navigate the reefs and shoals of destiny is the mission of the Research Vessel Moira as it leaves Sydney, bound for the islands of the South Pacific Ocean.