Article 2. Suspending Disbelief by Carol and Hanna

© by Carol Anthony and Hanna Moog

   The I Ching, Richard Wilhelm states in the Foreword to his Classic Translation of the I Ching, began as a yes/no system of putting questions to the Cosmos. As centuries went by the original answers became interpreted and edited by the various dynasties. After Carol discovered the “retrospective three coin method”* of asking the I Ching whether we understood it during a consultation, we found ourselves understanding the I Ching in new ways    — new by beginning to understand the original oracle sayings as guided by the Sage that speaks through the oracle. 

   In this manner, we found that the I Ching is not a belief system that tells us what to do and how to think, based on the way it was edited by scholars over the centuries; rather it wants to connect us with our own inner truth. Our inner truth, as we learned, is the largest storage place in the world that contains everything we need to know to live our lives in joy, harmony, and prosperity. For example, it contains:


  • the feeling knowledge that we are part of the harmonious order of the Cosmos
  • the feeling knowledge of the Cosmic Principles of Harmony
  • the feeling knowledge of the help and support available to us from the Cosmic Helpers for all our needs
  • the collected experience of humankind — not the collected myths, but the collected understandings about our true nature
  • the feeling knowledge of our positive symbiotic relationships with the Cosmos and Nature


   The Sage made us aware that the beliefs we hold often contradict the feeling knowledge contained in our inner truth, and it is for this very reason that we usually come to the I Ching: one or more of those beliefs have created the problem for which we are seeking a solution. Obviously, we cannot understand the I Ching’s counsel so long as we remain convinced of those beliefs. The longer we work with the I Ching, the more we realize that the beliefs created by humans have blocked our contact with the feeling knowledge of our inner truth. If we think about it, we realize that the difference between beliefs and our inner truth is that we do not need to “believe” what we know on this deep level to be true, because it feels harmonious and fitting.

   For the same reason, we find that the I Ching does not want us to take on new beliefs, but to learn to listen to what we know deep inside ourselves. Because we have come so far away from this practice, and have been made to doubt that it even exists, the I Ching helps us connect with our inner truth. With practice, we gradually become free of our distrust, and we gradually begin to realize that our feeling knowledge contains everything we need to know; it has only been pushed aside by beliefs that have created disharmony in one or more areas of our lives. This disharmony, of course, is experienced as a lack of joy, prosperity, and good health.

   When we come to the I Ching, we tend to want to hold onto our beliefs because we think they give us a feeling of security. This thinking has made them into powerful habits of mind. However, if we are seeking relief from the problems they have created, we need to be willing to suspend them, at least temporarily. As long as we are captives of those habits of mind, the door to understanding the causes of our problems remains shut. To enable the I Ching to show us those causes, we are not required to give up or even suspend our beliefs; we are only required to temporarily suspend our disbelief in the existence of our inner truth.

   A second prerequisite to being able to learn something new is the temporary suspension of our preconceived ideas. Preconceived ideas equally prevent our mind from learning something that is outside their frames of reference.

For the person who wishes to consult the I Ching, we recommend the following exercise:

   Sit in a quiet place and close your eyes. Now, ask the Sage to temporarily suspend both your disbelief in the existence of your inner truth and your preconceived ideas.

(This exercise does not need to exceed one minute.)

*This method will be introduced in our next article.

Article 3. The New Method to Clarify the I Ching’s Message by Carol and Hanna

©  by Carol Anthony and Hanna Moog


   This “new” method allows us to put questions directly to the Sage, enabling the Sage to clarify the received text. We put ‘new’ in quotes here, because it is new to our contemporary use of the oracle. However, in Richard Wilhelm’s foreword to his classic translation, he states that the I Ching originated from a simpler “yes/no” method of putting questions to the Cosmos.

   Our method is an amplified yes/no system in which we put questions and/or hypotheses to the Sage such as: “Have I understood the message correctly?” – “Is this part of the text referring to me (or to the person I have an issue with)?” We then throw three coins to obtain the answer. The answer comes in four possible ways: 3 heads, 2 heads and 1 tail, 3 tails, and 2 tails and one head. We have chosen heads to mean “Yes” in this system, and tails to mean “No.” When we toss 3 heads, we take it to mean the answer is a full Yes. When we toss 2 heads and 1 tail, we take it to be a relative Yes; a toss of 2 tails and one head is taken as a relative No, while 3 tails is taken as a full No.

   Thanks to this method, in 1998, we were able to come to a completely new understanding of the cause of an illness, its nature as a Fate, and how to successfully relate to it. This new understanding made it possible for Hanna to heal nodules that were found in the back of her lungs within a week. This event and many of the numerous healings that followed are described in our book Healing Yourself the Cosmic Way.

   The I Ching uses a metaphorical language, such as “It furthers to cross the great water,” or, “In the midst of the greatest obstructions friends come,” or, “Shock comes—Oh, Oh! Laughing words—ha, ha!” Because metaphors are multidimensional and can be read on different levels, the use of this yes/no method allows us to find how the metaphors are to be interpreted in each specific reading.

   Metaphors are the language of the oracle precisely because of this multidimensional quality; they combine feelings and images with words. The feelings give them their color, the images evoke a context, and the words express both the color and the images in terms that the rational thinking that characterizes our mind can understand. Metaphors allow the oracle to refer to many different situations that are based on the same Cosmic truth. That is also why in our version of the I Ching, each hexagram presents several “windows” into the theme of the hexagram. These different windows help the user to expand his view of the possibilities contained in each hexagram, while the additional use of the yes/no method, or “rtcm,” helps us determine which “window” applies to us at a particular time. At the same time, the method illuminates the Cosmic perspective of the problem at hand. This Cosmic perspective also contains the correct remedy we seek.

   Finally, it takes practice and patience to learn this method, simple as it actually is. This is because the Sage speaks from a Cosmic perspective that we are not familiar with, since most of us have been trained from childhood not to listen to our feelings when we are examining a problem. When we ask questions from our accustomed non-Cosmic perspective, we tend not to understand the answers. When the question comes from an outright ego-based attitude, the Sage cannot answer at all. We are then only getting answers from the ego, or what the ego in us wants to hear. This is easily remedied, however, if we remember to ask, “Is this answer coming from the ego?”

Article 4. The Purpose of Consulting the I Ching Oracle by Carol and Hanna

©  by Carol K. Anthony and Hanna Moog

   The purpose of consulting the I Ching oracle has traditionally been defined as “bringing oneself as an individual human being into harmony with the order of heaven.” Our new version of the I Ching differs from this definition in that it speaks of bringing oneself into harmony with the order of the Cosmos. The word “Cosmos” comes from the Greek and means “the Universe in its harmonious order.” This is not just a minor difference, but one that determines our relationship with the invisible world, and thereby the way by which we can bring ourselves into harmony with its order.

   The traditional versions of the I Ching speak of the “order of heaven” in terms that create the impression that the entire Cosmic order is synonymous with the human-made feudal social orderthat has traditionally ruled China. This was an order that passed from one conquering warlord to another. This way of one group of people assuming powerover others was passed on for so many centuries that it became viewed as “the way things are.” We do not need to look only at China to see that the feudal mindset was extended worldwide. Historians have upheld such structures to represent the “greatness” of human achievements when they point to the empires of ancient Egypt, Rome, and to others in the West, generally. The more power and grandeur each achieved, the more they have been admired.

   The I Ching makes us aware, through its use over many years, that these hierarchical pretensions are in conflict with the Cosmic principles of harmony; when we follow them as “the way,” we create what the I Ching calls “misfortune.” Thus we find that our striving for power and dominance may succeed for a while, but that ultimately we are deprived of the joy of life. The Cosmos, as we see, wants us to have a joyful life.

   All hierarchical ideas are products of the feudal mindset. Among them is the justification for the use of power, threats, and punishments, and the presumption that one group has the right to dominate another; other ideas are that we must uphold and be faithful to the established system; and that conflict is the natural state of things because ‘the world, visible and invisible, is divided into good and evil.’ All such ideas become “true” when we follow the way of grandiosity.

   The I Ching has similarly made it clear to us that the feudal order described above, in its placing humans as the “centerpiece of creation,” is totally mistaken. We were shown that our conflicts, be they of a strictly personal or collective nature, are the consequences of this human-centered view. We were shown that the I Ching was originally given to humans to help them become free from this human-centered view, but that it became overwritten with edits made relentlessly over the centuries by one dynasty after another, with the intention to legitimate the authority of the feudal system and its right to control others. When writing I Ching, The Oracle of the Cosmic Way, we were guided by the Sage to separate those overlays from the underlying Cosmic Principles of Harmony that supercede all human-made social structures.

   The Sage showed us that the Cosmos is a system of Principles of Harmony whose main principles are the equalityuniqueness, and modesty of all aspects of the Cosmos. Equality refers to the worth and dignity of its every aspect; uniqueness means that no aspect can be compared to any other in terms of “higher” or “lower,” or “more special,” or “less special.”  Modesty, one of the central themes of the I Ching, is the result of understanding and following these first two principles, which are imbedded in our original human nature. For indeed, goodness is our true nature, and following the feelings within ourselves that “feel good” and “feel fitting” is what leads to the expression of our dignity, worth, and happiness. There are many other Cosmic Principles of Harmony the user of the I Ching becomes aware of in our version of the I Ching as he addresses the things that are causing disharmony in his life.

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 6. The Meaning of True Understanding by Hanna Moog

   Several things happened in the last few days that helped me gain a new perspective on the meaning of true understanding:

   The Snowbell (being lifted up through transformations)

   The first thing that happened was that I caught five minutes on a radio program in which a woman who loves her profession in the field of botany explained how snowbells manage to come out of the ground while it is still covered with snow: The answer is that this is possible due to the natural intelligence of the metabolism in their bulbs. Just before the beginning of spring, their metabolism produces a temperature of up to 46 degrees F. The heat melts the snow so that the sprout can easily grow. It even drinks from the water that is set free by the melting of the snow!!

   How can we gain a true understanding of the nature of the Cosmos and its way of functioning

   As I went for a walk in the fields the next day, the Sage added another piece to the mosaic to answer my question of how we can gain a "true understanding."

    I need to mention that I had noticed to my chagrin that my mind had been overly busy. I was longing for my thinking to come to a rest. As I was walking along, the Sage drew my attention to my feet, my ankles, and my Achilles tendon. I was helped to see the connection between the habit of constantly thinking about more things to deprogram - a habit that comes from the ego - and the true meaning of under-standing. I realized that at the root of this problem is the false image of the Cosmos as a "huge mind," i.e., a thinking consciousness. This image, in turn, has given rise to the mistaken belief that "we need to understand the Cosmos from our mind." The truth is that the Cosmos is first and foremost a feeling consciousness (although it can also think) that is directly connected with our heart. When our mind seeks to understand things while it is separated from the true feelings of our heart, it is unable to understand the true nature of the Cosmos.

   I was reminded of the fact that when a question put to the Sage  “misses the point,” i.e., falls too far out of the way of the Cosmos, we are led around in circles without ever finding an answer. What leads us around in circles is the logic of the ego, from which the question originated. This is typical for a situation in which the ego is in charge of our search for understanding, our search for the truth. To use the example of the snowbell, we miss the point when we ask, “How does the snowbell manage to push up through the snow?” The idea of “pushing up” implies effort. The use of this expression reflects a way of thinking that contradicts even the laws of physics. The example of the snowbell illustrates that Nature functions through transformations. Consider, for example, photosynthesis, which is another well-known example of transformation. Transformation is another name for “the easy way.” This is also the meaning of the word “I” in “I Ching”: the I Ching is the book that shows us the easy way through initiating transformations that occur when we begin to see things in Cosmic terms. Whenever we are caught in ‘pushing up with effort’ (in this case, the effort of thinking), it helps to remember the example of the snowbell.

   When we are in that strenuous mode and put questions to the Sage that reflect the ego’s way of thinking, the Sage has to retreat. The Sage does this knowing with certitude that we will get to the point of burnout in our efforts. That burnout brings our mind automatically back in touch with our true feelings: we feel remorse over the separation that has occurred through unfortunate circumstances when we were young. Our deeply felt remorse reconnects us with the Cosmos, and, if not intercepted by the ego, is the first step in freeing our mind from its prison. (This is one of the meanings of Line 1 in Hexagram 40, Freeing.) If, however, our feeling of remorse is intercepted by the ego, it gets turned into self-blame, which only perpetuates the vicious circle.

   As I am writing this down, my understanding of the true nature of the Cosmos and how it functions has become expanded: I was helped to understand that our remorse reconnects us with the Cosmos without any need to make a mental effort, just as the snowbell manages to come out of the ground while it is still covered with snow.