I Ching

Discussion in 'Tao' started by Avi, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    The wiki entry on I Ching says it is important for both its philosophy as well as being an oracle. Here is the section on philosophy:

    This section seems to indicate as a philiosophy it is most relevent to metaphysics, ethics and cosmogony, does everyone agree those are its most important philosophical contributions ?
     
  2. DrumR

    DrumR New Member

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    Not being everyone I, of course, disagree, Avi.
    Confucius supposedly started his study of the I Ching at age 50-60 and remarked quite favorably upon it. Such a high recommendation from the man himself, i.e. Confucius, could have endeared this work to this followers. Speculation on my part - perhaps...

    On the very idea that philosophical Taoists venerate the non-useful, this is pure revisionist poppycock.
    The Taoist sees the use in what most would consider as useless.
    The lesson of the empty vessel is one of great import.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
  3. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    :D.....Hi there, DrumR

    I bought the I Ching (Power Press, 2005) without knowing much about it. When I brought it home, I was surprised to find that it is actually a game of chance. Since I consider myself a rationalist, I was at first a bit disappointed with my new purchase. But having made the plunge, I went ahead and began reading, and found that it is much more than a game of chance. It has a very interesting style and format. It seems it can also be read as a book of philosophy. Read in that fashion, it is a series of topics, or ideas with what seems like a gradation (or gradient) of scenarios and responses. I found quickly that many of them are quite applicable to many cases in life and the recommendations given in the text seem quite sensible.

    I had assumed that there would be a thread or even several threads in this forum on the I Ching, but was unable to find any using the search function. If anyone knows of any such threads, please provide the link.

    Any other thoughts on I Ching ?

    It appears, DrumR, that you are up late again, are you drinking some of that nice Asian tea ? :)
     
  4. DrumR

    DrumR New Member

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    Greetings, Avi, and thank you for the favor of a reply.
    The I Ching has long been "popularly" known for its use in divination.
    You are astute in having arrived at this conclusion Avi. Most purchasers of the I Ching are looking for its "fortune telling" aspects, get bored by reading it, and thus it is totally lost on many that the I Ching is indeed a philosophical work.
    As to the later, but of course, Avi.
    As to other thoughts on the I Ching...

    If one should take the time to integrate their examination of the I Ching with the Tao Teh Ching and The Art of War there is the possibility that a different form of perspective might present itself as well as an appreciations of the three when taken together as a whole.

    When these three works, as mentioned above, are looked upon as seperate and distinct pieces, in and of themselves, the whole of the picture is lost. The I Ching is said to be older than the others but was still a persistant backdrop within the culture that had created it. Add to this is that the Art of War is said to be a derivitive of Taoist philosophy and thus should not be seperated from either the Tao teh Ching or the I Ching. It is indeed unfortunate that this "isolationism" is more often the case than not.
     
  5. Qi1

    Qi1 New Member

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    Yes, I Ching is important for metaphysics, ethics and cosmogony and it also has a strong spiritual component related to divination. Read and enjoy !!

    This section on Neo-Confucianism is particularly interesting. Can anyone comment on this area of study ?

    What is meant by the "relation of the individual to the cosmos" ?

     
  6. DrumR

    DrumR New Member

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    Greeting all.
    It has been but short passage in time, less than 36 months long, since I had previously viewed this thread and thought to offer some comment. I do so now in order to bring this important thread concerning the I Ching out of hibernation proving that it is indeed somewhat alive.
     
  7. DrumR

    DrumR New Member

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    Greets Qi1
    I may indeed provide comment concerning Neo-Confucianism, but the question of qualifications to speak with authority on the subject is a different story.:rolleyes:

    From the isolationist perspective of the individual divorced from their surroundings, as may be found to be more prevalent in Western philosophies, this may make some level of sense. Yet this Western approach does not take into consideration the manifold cultural aspects of the "inscrutable Chinese" and other Eastern philosophies<1> where direct involvement in spirituality by the individual is common practice as contrasted with the Western practice of spirituality through the agency of the "bureaucratic representatives" of deity. An example of such differential spiritual practices may most readily be found when examining two of the major schools of Christianity<2>

    The reaction of many people in the West is to view, initially and with a great deal of skepticism, as less than sane those, not of the clergy, who may speak of "personal revelations and conversations with deity.:eek:

    Notes:
    1 - "Eastern philosophies" - includes the Middle East as well.
    2 - "two of the major schools of Christianity" - Catholicism versus the Eastern Orthodoxy.
     
  8. DrumR

    DrumR New Member

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    Greetings, all.
    The Wikipedia article on Neo-Confucianism, presented by Avi, is deserving of further comment and/or clarification. without much further ado I shall plunge in...

    Political influence has and does play a major role in the rise and fall of the acceptance and "popularity" of the various philosophies in China, of the period alluded to, and throughout the history of world's cultures prior to that time as it does today. One may find frequent references <1> of his difficulties in advancing his philosophy and his dependence upon gaining political favor. Yet the great contributions of the changes in political power that brought Confucianism to the fore were not directly referenced.

    One might note that the direction of the above quotation appears to be from the position of the search for a "static" and limited philosophy<2>. For some unstated purpose the above quotation ignores a major impetus of the I Ching, the supposed subject of that article, change. Strange when one considers that the I Ching is also know as "The Book of Changes." Could this be but a mere, minor, oversight?

    Were the reader to examine, by way of a cross reference, the Tao Te Ching <3> perhaps they might be so kind as to point out to this writer where to find the stated "mockery" in the above quotation. For this writer sees no mockery of other philosophies nor the avoidance specified - just an introductory statement of the first principles of a suggested and introspective philosophy.



    To which I had originally replied...
    For to imply that "the taoist veneration of the non-useful" is to miss the mark. It is the exercise itself, of both seeing and obtaining that knowledge of usefulness, which is of great import.

    Notes:
    1> 'frequent references" see the Analects of Confucius.
    2>
    3> "Tao Te Ching -part 1 chapter 1" as found on this forum,
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  9. DrumR

    DrumR New Member

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    Greetings all.
    Here I present a simple addendum to an after thought of a recent insight that was otherwise painfully obvious.:confused:

    I do apologize for progressing so rapidly as it has been a mere 18 months since my last comment here.:D

    A link to the above may be found within the study of mathematics.
    In the introduction to mathematical study of phenomena one begins one's study with the static processes and then advances to the dynamic processes. From arithmetic, through algebra, trigonometry and geometry. Then for a more advanced understanding of the processes of a world in motion, there is The Calculus.

    In the study of the Tao Te Ching first chapter we are advised of the oneness of Tao and cautioned against the introduction of differentiation of its manifold aspects by means of its further definition. It would appear that the error of using Differential Calculus was also mis-applied to the definition of the I Ching.

    So the "oversight," of the original quotation referenced, may be in part due to a lack of familiarity of the application of The Calculus to the study of the I Ching, particularly where the bounds, so commonly observed in Integral Calculus, are so confusing to the eye and are apt to induce headaches and possibly even optical migraines.

    Thus one may also arrive at the conclusion, as I have, that this whole topic calls for more tea, and perhaps a biscuit or three, to contemplate more fully.


    Notes:
    Enclosed references in the quote rare to be found in the original posting.
     

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