Articles

Article 5. How Our New Version of the I Ching Was Written

by Carol K. Anthony and Hanna Moog

   Prior to 1998 it would have seemed preposterous to write a new version of the I Ching. I, Carol, personally felt a deep sense of gratitude to Richard Wilhelm for having brought this wonderful book to the West.* To write another seemed disloyal at the time.

   The thing that made us, Hanna and I, put the question to the oracle, “Are we meant to write a new version of the I Ching?” was the large body of new insights that came out of our use of the rtcm (the Retrospective-Three-Coin-Method) during the first six months that we began working together. We both noticed, on using this method, that the Sage frequently used the opportunity to correct a number of our previous views about what a hexagram could be addressing at a given time. Also, a hexagram could be pointing to one thing now, and an entirely different thing later. The insights, on occasion, completely blew away the meaning conventionally attributed to a hexagram. With these insights accumulating nearly daily, it became the obvious question to ask whether we were meant to write them into a new version. The answer received through the rtcm was an unequivocal “Yes! Yes! Yes!”

   On beginning this project, we were guided to follow a method that gave the Sage the maximum ability to “write” the book from an experiential viewpoint. That is, each day we worked on the hexagrams we received that were relevant to situations in our lives. Once we had developed the hexagram, we asked the Sage, “Do you want us to include in the text anything that was written in… (the Wilhelm, the Legge, the Alfred Huang, the Wu Jing-Nuan, or other well known translations, and even anything written in my Guide to the I Ching). Most often it said “No” to all of these, preferring us to ask what the Sage wanted to include in the hexagram and line texts.

   Once we understood what the Sage wanted (or did not want) to be included in the text, we always asked two questions: “Do we now understand it correctly,” and, “Is this all the Sage wants to say?” Sometimes the Sage corrected only one word that would give the reader a wrong impression. Sometimes whole sentences were to be removed. The Sage was very precise in making the text clear. We found through these questions that some words had too many connotations and were thus too “polluted” to use, or “too vague,” having a potential to mislead. Some words, such as “guilt” were to be recognized as having no Cosmic validity at all, because they were human inventions made to support the hierarchical ordering of society.

   The second question, “Is this all the Sage wants to say,” was asked when we thought that perhaps enough had been said. To our surprise, the answer was often “No.” It was not until after the book was complete that we could see that each hexagram had been given more than one “window of understanding” as to how the text was to be viewed. Being a lover of small books, I often felt resistance to the book’s growing so large, yet in the end I realized not only how wrong it would have been to impress my view upon the book in that way, but that each of these understandings addressed a particular issue that would be of help to the reader.

   One of the most interesting experiences in this process occurred on the day that we received Hexagram 5, Waiting, as the next hexagram we were to work on. Traditionally, this hexagram had counseled the person seeking advice to be patient and wait in the certainty that the help he needed would come. Following our method, we began asking, “Does the Sage want us to include the Wilhelm understanding?” “No.” As we went through all the other versions, we kept receiving, “No.” We then fielded hypotheses that came to mind. Each still received, “No.” When we had exhausted everything we could think of, we sat feeling quite dumb. Then it occurred to us to ask the Sage, “Help!” Almost immediately the question came to mind, “Is this hexagram about the Helpers waiting to be asked to help?” “Yes! Yes! Yes!” was the clear answer. This was to be the entire focus of the hexagram. No other hexagram, in writing this version, received such a complete reversal of its traditional meaning.

   A final point that we found interesting in this process was the fact that we were a year and a half into the project before we received Hexagrams 1 and 2. By that time we were ready to see that Hexagram 1 was speaking of the Cosmic Consciousness as the origin of all things, and Hexagram 2 as “all the things manifested into the forms we see as Nature.” This process, seen from our perspective today, nine years later, still astonishes us to think that such a book as this, with its nearly 700 pages, was written in just two years. There is simply no way we could have done this by relying entirely on our own minds and experiences. It was the product of our collaboration with the Sage that speaks through the I Ching.

   *Before Richard Wilhelm’s translation was published in Germany in 1924, more than five different translations of the I Ching had been made. These versions were little read outside the field of sinology. Even Wilhelm’s now famous translation languished unread until world-famous psychoanalyst, Carl G. Jung, wrote the Foreword to the English edition, calling the I Ching a mirror to the unconscious.

Article 15. When the Sage has retreated. By Hanna Moog

   There are certain situations in which the Sage retreats. The Sage does not retreat from anger, and it does not hold anything against us, nor does it blame us. The only cause for the situation is that the Sage does not give answers to the ego.

   When we suspect that the Sage has retreated, we can ask by using the Retrospective-Three-Coin Method (rtcm): “Sage, have you retreated?” The Sage will give us an answer to this question if we ask it from a place of inner neutrality. To attain neutrality, when we find ourselves steeped in an ego-emotion, we can first ask the Sage to connect our mind with our heart. The Sage responds to any request that comes from sincerity.

How do we notice that the Sage has retreated?

   We notice that the Sage has retreated when we cannot make any sense of the hexagram text we have received to our question. We also notice that the Sage may have retreated when, in using the Retrospective-Three-Coin Method, (rtcm) we have received confusing answers, or a series of “No”-answers. For this reason, it is helpful to keep notes of the questions we have asked, and the answers received.

   In order to be able to make further progress once the Sage has retreated, we first need to follow the steps described below. When we have successfully deprogrammed the cause for the Sage’s retreat, we can go back over our notes and use the rtcm to find out at which point the Sage retreated.

What to do when the Sage has retreated?

Step 1: If you are angry, annoyed, or frustrated about this situation, load your annoyance, anger, or frustration onto the “Big Wagon for Loading”, meaning, turn these ego-emotions over to the Helper of Transformation.

Step 2: Ask the Sage to help you find the cause for its retreat.

The following are possible questions the Sage will answer, to help you find it.)

(a) Have I put something on the Sage? (Examples are phrases such as: “The Sage doesn’t want to help me,” “the Sage is punishing me,” “the Sage didn’t tell me the truth,” “I did what the Sage said, but it didn’t work.”)

(Examples of false images that you may have put on the Sage are: the image of its being a “punishing figure of authority,” the image of its being a “taskmaster/slave driver,” the image of its being the “devil,” or “a trickster.”)

(b) Is the cause for the Sage’s retreat an ego-attitude I have adopted?

(For example: blaming yourself; impatience; ambition; looking for a culprit; feelings of helplessness; knowing better. You need to ask the Cosmic Army and the Helper of Transformation to free you from any of these ego-attitudes.)

(c) Is the cause a fear I have of getting an answer that confirms my fear? (If yes, identify your fear; then, ask the Sage to suspend the fear of getting an answer that confirms your fear. Doing so will open your heart to receive the answer. Receiving the answer with an open heart gives it the quality of relativity that allows your mind to understand the answer from the Cosmic perspective. The Cosmic perspective includes the Helpers.)

(d) Is the cause something I have put on myself?

• You may have adopted a self-image of the following kind: the self-image of the “one who deserves or has the right to be helped”; the self-image of the “one who does not deserve/does not have the right to be helped”; the self-image of the “self-denying person”; the self-image of “one who knows better”; the self-image of “one who never understands things, or is not smart enough to understand things”; the self-image of the “hopeless case”; the self-image of the “sceptic,” or, the self-image of the Sage.

• You may be blaming yourself for having caused the Sage to retreat, or for anything else you have done.

(e) A “frozen attitude” that makes it impossible for the Sage to help:

 “I must not do anything to make the Sage retreat. I must be constantly on the lookout.” (This is a projection, spell, and poison arrow.)

 How to free yourself from the cause of the Sage’s retreat

Say “No, No, No to… (the ego-element you have identified).” Then, ask the Cosmic Army and the Helper of Self-Forgiving to free you from it. (This is a one-time deprogramming procedure.) The Sage will return shortly afterwards.

Article 16. When the Sage’s answer sounds paradoxical. By Hanna Moog

   The lesson described below pertains to our use of the retrospective-three-coin method (rtcm). This method consists in using three coins (or a specially configured die), to put questions to the Sage in order to receive Yes/No answers. The method is described in our books, I Ching, the Oracle of the Cosmic WayHealing Yourself the Cosmic Way, and The Psyche Revealed Through the I Ching.

  The use of the rtcm, especially when exercised without reference to understanding the meaning of a hexagram, can contain certain dangers of which the Sage wants to make us aware. All these dangers have to do with our asking questions that do not come from our inner truth or from our commonsense, but from the ego in us. The Sage, in effect, cannot answer, and so the answer we receive is paradoxical. The Sage can only make us aware through shock — the inappropriateness of both the question and the answer. It wants to make us aware that we need to listen to what our commonsense wants to tell us. Our commonsense reflects our true feelings about the matter at hand. Our commonsense is the consensus of both our inner and outer senses. We have, unfortunately, been trained to only pay attention to our outer senses, and to disregard our inner senses. Therefore, the fact that something about the answer does not feel harmonious does not register in our minds.

   The situation we are referring to here is usually one in which we want the Sage to make a decision for us. We want to do things “right.” Behind this desire is the ego that makes us think in terms of “right/wrong,” and the idea that we need an authority figure to reassure us of its benevolence if we follow what it tells us to do.

   An example is a person who believed he “ought to go on a fast” to prove his spiritual intent. He wanted to make sure that the duration would not be too short in the eyes of the Sage, so he asked, “should it be more than a week?” He received +++. He continued questioning, “more than two weeks?” (+++), and so on, until he had reached the point of doubting the answers. Fortunately, he called us to find out the inner truth of the situation. He then told us, “sometimes, I feel obligated to comply with the answer I get from the Sage so as not to be obstinate or resisting. Then I often just get angry and feel frustrated as if I am being deceived or tricked.”

   Whenever we think that we “ought” to do something, such as follow the Sage to the point of feeling frustrated, it is a clear indication that we are under the influence of a “you should” spell. The feeling of frustration in view of the Sage’s answers is a sign that our will to follow the rule in question has burned out. The Sage by giving us “+++,” helps us get to that point of burnout. Then it is important to understand the lesson: to free ourselves from the “you should” spell through deprogramming it.

   In the above example, the person needed to deprogram the belief (not originating in the I Ching), “If you want to be spiritual, you should regularly go on a fast.” He also needed to deprogram two more things: first, the image of authority he had put onto the Sage, and second, the fear of becoming guilty if he did not follow the Sage’s answers.