Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Recollections ~ The I Ching or Book of Changes

Books that sit on my shelves have a way of speaking to me, even if I pass them. I had recently consulted The I Ching. Usually when I have a difficult question, I like to see how my subtle mind receives what is in those pages at that moment—to see if there is guidance to be gleamed. I believe it was a couple weeks ago. But what has really brought me back to this book is when Keiko mentioned she was reading the Chinese classics, one being the Analects. It planted a seed, roused an excitement in me to go to my shelf and pull down The I Ching, with it’s slightly weathered cover. I have The Richard Wilhelm Translation with a foreword by C. G. Jung.

The first time I came in contact with this book was in a college philosophy course in the Eastern traditions at least 15 years ago. The instructor had us get into a circle and asked if one of us would like to consult the oracle. He had his book out. He was Hispanic, seemed somewhat young—maybe in his forties. I watched him, as he seemed to pace calmly, talking to us about the book and tossing the coins while someone recorded the marks. There was something about him that seemed still a seeker and wanted so much for us to appreciate the value of this book, but at the same time, something seemed to stir in him. I cannot explain it, but I have always remembered how he seemed unsettled, like he was dealing with something inside of himself, by the pensive, but almost painful expressions I noticed in his face. I never finished the course, but I at least was introduced to The I Ching.

Thus, I’ve begun rereading The I Ching again, but this time I hope to finish it, reading a section each day until I reach the end of the first part of the book. I reread the preface, foreword, translator’s note, and introduction. It was nice to see the passages that I had underlined years ago. I really feel this odd sense of being pulled back to a time—a point in my life that I’m coming back to—but that I never left, but am now picking back up again, if that makes any sense. I guess that’s how life is and that’s what I love about life, sometimes not knowing, and so many possibilities. For me though, I seem to take baby steps and never really reach a point externally—at least not in obvious ways, everything seems more internal and subtle.


keiko amano said...

Hi Rebb,

Please let me know any passage in the book you really like. I don't know if my book by Lao-Tse is the same one you are reading, but I'm making also a baby step.

A phrase I translated for Luciana and you was because the translation I read on the Web seemed not the same way I understood. I'm sure people translate in different ways. So I'm interested in the way you understand. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Rebb said...

Thank you, Keiko. I will definitely let you know if I have questions. I look forward to reading more of your translations of parts that stand out to you.

keiko amano said...


FYI, I created my new blog post.

I hope to converse more about Lao Tse. Today, I ran out of time.

keiko amano said...


On the 14th section of “Lao-Tse,” the translator/author discusses about the way 道. There is no target for attaining道. But when we pass it, 道 becomes our own. Lao-Tse did not say how we were able to reach it, but mentioned only the result. And once道 becomes our own, at that moment, past and present fused into one.

道 means way or road. Now I understand why all the names of Japanese traditional arts have道 such as 茶道 chado(the way of tea)and柔道judo. When artists practice their arts intensely for a long period of time, they come to the moment that they lose themselves into their own arts while creating them. At that time, time is eternal.

I like this section.

About your blog, like mine, I don't see alphabet confirmation thing down below as I'm writing right now. The other day, I was writing to Vincent and I almost published my embarrassing personal email. My cut and paste wasn't working in the way I wanted. I'm concerned about it because I don't know how to delete or edit comments. If anyone knows this, please let me know.

Rebb said...

Keiko, Thanks for posting this. It’s interesting that Lao-Tse does not say how one reaches the way, but that when we become one with it, we will know and that seems to be what matters—that we will become the way, we are the way.

Fascinating about the connection you made with 道

This is a beautiful section. Thanks so much for sharing it. I like seeing the symbols. One day, I would like to learn Japanese, at least a little. I know I would never be able to do anything but scratch the surface the size of a small piece of thread. There is so little time to do everything on my list.

About comments, I don’t think we can edit them. But if you do accidentally post something you didn’t want to, you can delete it by clicking on the trash can icon at the bottom of your post.

keiko amano said...


Even if you don't learn to speak Japanese, I hope I can describe to you some of idiosyncracies of Japanese language. It might click in your mind later and understand the different world exists.

Also, thank you for the tip. I didn't know that there was a trash can below. Thank goodness. Now I don't need to worry as much. But now I have no excuses!

keiko amano said...

By the way, I love all your photos. Is the flower below Daliah? It's gorgeous. Perfect!

Rebb said...

Keiko, I know that something will click later on with the way you describe some of the idiosyncrasies of Japanese language. It will definitely make more aware and curious of the language, and it's great to see into different worlds. I went to Barnes and Noble today to look at Japanese language books, just to see. The characters are so intriguing, complicated, and mind boggling. I didn’t buy one.

Yes, it’s nice to know there is a trash can!

I’m glad you like the photos, Keiko. Yes, that is a Daliah. I saw it on one of my walks and brought a camera the next day. The lighting was perfect.