Roll the bones

What if there is a system, but our experience of it is random? Perhaps Peirce was right to think in terms of synechism (continutiy) and tychism (chance)?

I’ve picked up the I Ching again, and my first thought is why did I ever put it down? I am no expert, but it’s a system in which coins, sticks or dice were cast, each representing one of two possible outcomes, with six total, giving 64 possibilities. Each possibility, or hexagram is then interpreted.

Ch’ien / The Creative

The first combination has six unbroken lines, each representing yang, the male aspect, and in this set, the primal power.

Wilhelm comments,

Here the creative force is still hidden beneath the earth and therefore has no effect. In terms of human affairs, this symbolizes a great man who is still unrecognized. Nonetheless he remains true to himself. He does not allow himself to be influenced by outward success or failure, but confident in his strength, he bides his time. Hence it is wise for the man who consults the oracle and draws this line to wait in the calm strength of patience. The time will fulfill itself. One need not fear lest strong will should not prevail; the main thing is not to expend one’s powers prematurely in an attempt to obtain by force something for which the time is not yet ripe.

Remain true to yourself. I needed to hear this.

And yet, do you not see the beauty? Carl Jung, the great psychoanalyst (and for those who know me, that is quite the admission!), writes:

As to the thousands of questions, doubts, and criticisms that this singular book stirs up—I cannot answer these. The I Ching does not offer itself with proofs and results; it does not vaunt itself, nor is it easy to approach. Like a part of nature, it waits until it is discovered. It offers neither facts nor power, but for lovers of self-knowledge, of wisdom—if there be such—it seems to be the right book.

If there is such a thing as inspiration—in the Barthian sense, this is it.

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