Interpreting multiple lines: the pivot method revisited

The pivot method

When obtaining a multiple lines reading, you can use one line or groupe of lines as a pivot and amend it with the remaining line (or alternatively take one line as pivot and amend it with the remaining line or group of lines). This is what I call the pivot method. Some people read all the lines separately and my opinion is that the lines interact together, to alter the final meaning. When considering two lines transformations the pivot method works very well, with only a few difficulties. The problems arise when trying to interpret three or more changing lines. In this difficult task, we are helped by the comments given by the oracle: since we have the comments for multiple lines done already, it is relatively easy to check whether they make sense when organized that way or not. Finding the right way to interpret multiple lines, not only gives us the opportunity to validate the oracle’s comments and see that they make sense, but also it reveals new insights about the situation.

Previous attempt

When I consulted the oracle about the interpretation of multiple lines, I received 63.3 as answer: One is hard at work to solve a problem, it will be painful. The most able will go first.

Since the fifth line traditionally represents the prince and the first line the subject, I have tried to consider the topmost line first and amend it with the lower line. My experiments are detailed in the previous article:

A promising methodology for interpreting multiple changing lines

However the results are mixed, sometimes satisfying , specially with two lines, and sometimes discouraging, and I considered abandoning the pivot method.  Then by reading comments about a situation, I remembered that the chronological order was from bottom to the top.  So, let us revisit the readings of the previous article and try to interpret them with the bottom first approach:

 

7.1.2

This one does not change, since we still read the first and the second line as before.

7 - The will24 - To return

Situation

7 > 24 – Not being taken immediately

One must show to their relatives that they are ready to respect the choice of others.

The formation

7 – The will

To solve their problems, one will need discipline and continuity.

7.1 – Contradictions show falsity.

7.2 – One does like everybody else, therefore is trusted.

We can refine, the earlier interpretation in the following way: If one contradicts what everybody else does, they won’t be trusted. Consequently one has to respect the choice of others, which is the actual comment of 7.1.2, and probably the basis of democracy.

7.1.2.3

7 - The will36 - Adversity

Situation

One goes further than those who have been afraid to face the unknown.

The formation

7 – The will

To solve their problems, one will need discipline and continuity.

7.1 – Contradictions show falsity.

7.2 – One does like everybody else, therefore is trusted.

7.3 – One gives up on others.

My argument was that:

One gives up on others. (7.3)

One must show to their relatives that they are ready to respect the choice of others. (7.1.2)

makes less sense than:

One warns those who seek to stand out. (7.2.3)

Contradictions show falsity. (7.1)

to obtain the following:

One goes further than those who have been afraid to face the unknown. (7.1.2.3)

Which seems true, at first glance. It is difficult to connect Giving up on others with Showing to their relatives that they are ready to respect the choice of others because they are contradictory.

This is because in the first case I have used 7.3 as the pivot and tried to amend it with 7.1.2. But what if 7.1.2 is the pivot?

One must show to their relatives that they are ready to respect the choice of others. (7.1.2)

One gives up on others. (7.3)

This time we have to connect  respect the choice of others to one gives up on others. The simplest way to interpret this with the pivot method is to take 7.3 as a kind of negation. So the interpretation becomes that One will not show to their relatives that they are ready to respect the choice of others. Thus, One goes further than those who have been afraid to face the unknown.

It makes more sense that way. When using 7.3 as the pivot, we cannot use it as negation.

Another way to interpret these three lines is to consider that the first line is about contradiction:

Contradictions show falsity. (7.1)

What are the contradictions? 7.2 and 7.3:

One does like everybody else, therefore is trusted. (7.2)

One gives up on others. (7.3)

However interpreting like that would not match the comment of 7.1.2.3 that we have received from the oracle.

7.1.2.3.4

This is where things become really interesting in my opinion. In the previous post, I had only considered the topmost lines, so let see what we have here:

7 - The will55 - To manage

Situation

One explains to their opponents that it is necessary to find a compromise.

The pivot would be 7.1.2.3 and we will amend it with 7.4:

One goes further than those who have been afraid to face the unknown. (7.1.2.3)

One prevents others from continuing, until one has restored their concentration. (7.4)

and we should obtain:

One explains to their opponents that it is necessary to find a compromise. (7.1.2.3.4)

One wants to go further but the others won’t let them, thus it becomes necessary to find a compromise. If you compare with my previous post, I had given a very different interpretation with the other method. This is is why it is of the utmost importance to find the right method, so we can interpret these multiple lines correctly. As usual, the main way to validate these comments is to read real situations and their outcome whenever possible.

7.1.2.3.4.5

7 - The will49 - Tidy up

Situation

One joins those who want to highlight the most deserving.

One explains to their opponents that it is necessary to find a compromise. (7.1.2.3.4)

Something useful can be obtained, the most experienced will be able to succeed, another would damage it. (7.5)

One joins those who want to highlight the most deserving. (7.1.2.3.4.5)

The compromise being that the most experienced will be able to succeed.

7.1.2.3.4.5.6

7 - The will13 - Company

Situation

One had expected better conditions than those that really occurred.

One joins those who want to highlight the most deserving. (7.1.2.3.4.5)

It is time to restore order after action, and for that one will need specialists. (7.6)

One had expected better conditions than those that really occurred. (7.1.2.3.4.5.6)

Someone has received less rewards than expected, this is also explained by the transformation 13, that shows a community of people, so one cannot receive all the rewards.

Real example

Recently, I have stumbled upon this thread at onlineclarity.co.uk: Career Readings 42.2.3.4>1 and 49.2>43

The question was about whether someone would be hired, the answer was 42.2.3.4 and this person did not get hired. If you read the three lines separately, the answer is totally positive, but if you use the pivot method you get another story. The comment that I got from the oracle for 42.2.3.4 is also difficult to grasp without a serious thinking about it.

42 - To progress1 - Evolution

Situation

42 > 1 – Staying away from the flame

One is going to be torched if they keep coming closer to the fire.

Actually, this sounds very negative. But, how can we relate to the fire and the flame in this situation? Let see what happens with the pivot method:

One supports their friends so they can be recognised. (42.2.3)

When one needs something else they can admit it. (42.4)

As we can see, the interpretation can only be negative, this person won’t be hired.

One is going to be torched if they keep coming closer to the fire. (42.2.3.4)

For the record, we can check 42.3.4 and amend it with 42.2:

One shows the newcomers everything they need to learn to be able to fulfill their promises.  (42.3.4)

Others offer to one to meet their representative before one decides to associate. (42.2)

This sounds very positive, and by following this method, without reading the comment for 42.2.3.4, I would have interpreted this as the person being hired.

What about the fire? I think it is about passion, commitment, or high activity. After envisioning various possibilities, it could be that the candidate is presented by an agency that is not trusted. They have played with the fire too much and in the end get burned.

Conclusion

While it would be dishonest to claim that this method is crystal clear, it shows interesting tracks that lead to a compatible interpretation. Naturally, since the changing lines turn into a new hexagram, the final interpretation has to take it into account. In the last example 42 transforms into 1, evolution, and another candidate has been hired.

Synchronicity

After publishing this article, I’ve noticed that Hilary Barrett has followed a similar route in her article: Multiple moving lines, revisited

While we have a disagreement about the comments, I totally agree with the interpretation method that she recommends.

A promising methodology for interpreting multiple changing lines

While the interpretation of unchanging hexagrams and single changing line hexagrams, it has always been difficult to interpret multiple lines.

Several methods have been suggested, which all gave mixed results. Sometimes they were encouraging, and sometimes they were discouraging.

As I have been busy working on multiple line comments, by the mean of consulting the oracle, and by following a particular method, I have been unable so far to describe a proper method for interpreting multiple lines.

When consulted, the oracle hinted with 63.3:

63 - Maximum3 - Remedy

Situation

One is hard at work to solve a problem, it will be painful. The most able will go first.

I have interpreted this as the topmost line was the most important, thus should be interpreted first.

This gave me some good results with two changing lines, the topmost line was to be read first, then the bottom line. For example 7.1.2:

 

7 - The will24 - To return

Situation

7 > 24 – Not being taken immediately

One must show to their relatives that they are ready to respect the choice of others.

The formation

7 – The will

To solve their problems, one will need discipline and continuity.

7.1 – Contradictions show falsity.

7.2 – One does like everybody else, therefore is trusted.

You would read the comment for the second line first:

One does like everybody else, therefore is trusted.

then the comment for the first line:

Contradictions show falsity.

Since the first line amends the second, this can be interpreted as “everyone should be allowed to contradict others”, and we have this comment on the situation:

One must show to their relatives that they are ready to respect the choice of others.

This is compatible with the interpretation we have just made.

What about 3 or more changing lines?

My first idea was to use transitional changes, I have written an article about them here.

However, we have just seen that using transitional changes was not necessary for two lines. Would they be useful for three or more changing lines? Actually, I don’t think so.

For example, let’s check the transformations for 7.1.2.3:

7 - The will36 - Adversity

Situation

One goes further than those who have been afraid to face the unknown.

So, my first idea was to read the comment for 7.3, since the oracle commented that the most able should go first. Then I would read the comment for 46.2 since 7.3  > 46 and finally  15.1 since 46.2 > 15. So, roughly:

One gives up making a gesture of staying in place.

This is quite compatible with the comment on the situation. Of course, we can criticize “the gesture of staying in place” as being meaningless.

Alternatively, we could use the comment on 7.1.2 to interpret 7.1.2.3:

One gives up on others. (7.3)

One must show to their relatives that they are ready to respect the choice of others. (7.1.2)

That does not help… Finally we can use the comment on 7.2.3 to interpret 7.1.2.3:

One warns those who seek to stand out. (7.2.3)

Contradictions show falsity. (7.1)

And this makes perfect sense. Someone contradicts those who warn against standing out. In my opinion, the rest of the comment (facing the unknown) can be explained by the resulting hexagram 36.

So, the correct method would be to use the transformation of all lines except the bottom one amended by the bottom line.

We can verify with 7.1.2.3.4:

One explains to their opponents that it is necessary to find a compromise.

The 2 comments to take into consideration being:

One is in a hurry to leave when things have a reached such a level that one can no longer resist. (7.2.3.4)

Contradictions show falsity. (7.1)

So, if one can still resist but also shows signs of fatigue, it may be necessary to find a compromise.

We can also verify 7.1.2.3.4.5:

One joins those who want to highlight the most deserving.

One sends their friends to inform those who are wondering. (7.2.3.4.5)

Contradictions show falsity. (7.1)

While the two first comments have a similar tone, the influence of 7.1 is more difficult to catch. My interpretation is that those who are wondering are not really wondering, so they help highlighting the most deserving (for example with prepared questions).

Finally, we can have a look at 7.1.2.3.4.5.6, since we have all the comments for hexagram 7:

One had expected better conditions than those that really occurred.

One wants to learn the reason why the opponents have eventually agreed. (7.2.3.4.5.6)

Contradictions show falsity. (7.1)

So, if we interpret this as “the opponents did not really agree”, the comments are compatible here.

 

Conclusion

This methodology does not give a straight explanation of the comments on the situation. However it can be completed by the study of the two hexagrams, and also by the nuclear hexagram. Compared to using the transitional sequences, it offers little contradictions or conflicting interpretations (such as 46.2 mixed with 15.1). It is important to find the right methodology to demonstrate the validity of the comments on the situation, and eventually find errors. As we have seen with the difficulty of interpreting 7.1 in 7.1.2.3.4.5, the interpretation can be fragile, and thus questionable. However this method appears to be  the most promising to me, as of today.

Studying the I Ching with Anandamayi – Part 7: the spiral of criticism

8.3 (8 > 39)

8 - Distribution39 - Uncertainty

Situation

One has established relations with unpleasant people.

One of the most dreaded lines of the I Ching is 8.3. In some comments it refers to wrong people (Wilhelm-Baynes), in others to non-people (Hilary Barrett)  or unpleasant (disreputable) people (Taoscopy).

 

Six in the third place means:
You hold together with the wrong people.

Wilhelm-Baynes

What is generally understood is that we are confronted to evil people. It seems like we should be very careful when dealing with these persons and if possible shun them. Richard Wilhelm recommends:

Maintaining sociability without intimacy is the only right attitude toward such people

However, when practicing the I Ching, it can happen that we get this reading for something else than people. For example this thread at onlineclarity is about housing. We could elaborate that a house is non-people, but how can we interpret this? The question was:

“What advice for me re timing to buy a house “

In the background description, we can see that the poster describes difficulties with the landlord. At the end of the thread, the advice came to be wary of buying a house for wrong motives.

So, some can see this advice as an encouragement to leave because the landlord would be this kind of unpleasant people. Others can see it as a warning against leaving for wrong motives. And naturally there are other interpretations, for example that the new house would be unpleasant.

So, what is remarkable in this reading, is much less the interpretation that we can make, but the fact that the comment led us to point at the landlord and label him as unpleasant. Without even knowing more background. Someone in the thread also suggested suspicion against the estate agent, who could possibly be the wrong person. This line is as such a perpetual source of suspicion and embarrassment. Fortunately, Sri Ma Anandamayi can rescue us.

 

 

To listen to discourses on God or Truth is certainly beneficial, provided one does not allow oneself to be moved by a spirit of fault-finding or disparagement, should there be differences of outlook to one’s own. To find fault with others creates obstacles for everyone all around : for him who criticises, for him who is blamed, as well as for those who listen to the criticism. Whereas, what is said in a spirit of appreciation is fruitful to everybody. For only where there is no question of regarding anything as inferior or blameworthy (asat) can one call it Satsang – a play upon words: Sat means True Being, the Good; satsang the company of the good, and also a religious gathering. Asal, the opposite of sat, means non-being, wrong, evil. Therefore to find fault (asat) in a religious meeting (saiang) is a contradiction in terms.)

source, part TWO

What is described here is the spiral of criticism. This is similar to Jesus’ saying:

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Matthew 7:3-5, NIV

Please note that Jesus recommends working on our own flaws first before dealing with others. This is precisely the lesson of the hexagram 39, as taught by Confucius.

To explain the problem in my own words: if you say something bad about someone, then you in turn will be subject to criticism. And the people who will criticize you will also be subject to criticism. This is the never-ending spiral of criticism and what the line 3 of the hexagram 8 is warning us against. Therefore, analyzing the aforementioned thread at onlineclarity led us to be suspicious of the original poster, of the landlord and of the estate agent.  Then we can in turn criticize who has been suspicious, thus offering ourselves to open criticism.

Now, it can be necessary to exert some criticism. For example if one of your good friends is a singer and can’t sing correctly, you’ll want to help your friend by saying the truth. When asked about this the I Ching commented:

2.3 (2 > 15)

2 - Obedience15 - Decency

Situation

One takes only the necessary to carry out their task.

Now, how can we interpret the 8.3 comment from above? Simply put, this poster had no reason to leave this house, other than being critical about the landlord. Who are the unpleasant people? And what if we were leaving this question unanswered?

Update:

After consulting the oracle, the comment has been changed to: One is acquainted with people whose reputation has been tarnished.

Studying the I Ching with Anandamayi – Part 6: the empty basket

54.6 (54 > 38)

54 - Assistance38 - Misunderstanding
 

Before I even started making Taoscopy’s comments, I had some knowledge of the I Ching. Among the lines that I thought I was understanding very well is 54.6.

 

The woman holds the basket, but there are no fruits in it.
The man stabs the sheep, but no blood flows.
Nothing that acts to further.

So, this is about requesting for a service without payment, or asking a question when you already know the answer, things that are arranged beforehand. It’s all about falsity.

As we can see in the classical comments, the basket has no fruits, and the sheep is already dead. This can also be related to Jesus’ withering of the fig tree. What can be more clear than this line? Why should we ponder even more about it?

When I have started writing Taoscopy’s comments, the oracle had a few surprises for me. This is one of them.

Others wait until one has finished to prepare before returning.

How can I explain this comment? Until recently, I couldn’t, or at least not very well. We can say that the comment is not so pessimistic, because of 58.5, it would be dangerous to talk about misfortune here. Also, we can, with difficulty, admit that “one is preparing a lie”, so it would show a situation where someone wants to come back after a dispute and is waiting for an acceptable lie to do so.

Can Sri Ma Anandamayi teach us something about this line? Judge by yourself.

 

 

Sri Ma Anandamayi and her group of devotees were at Tarapeeth, to celebrate a religious ritual for Tara Devi, one of the Hindu goddesses who are a manifestation of Durga.

Here is what Sri Gurupriya Didi writes about this visit (page 14):

In the course of the conversation, Shachi Dada said “Ma, a dead body is arriving today.” Ma said “I have heard that unless a dead body arrives here, Tara Ma cannot have bhoga (enjoyment). In truth, unless what is impermanent and unreal is not finished the true substance cannot be offered to Ma’s bhoga.”

Here, a few explanations are necessary. During the churning of the ocean by the Hindu gods, a deadly poison was produced and Shiva swallowed it. Then the goddess Durga assumed the form of Tara to heal Shiva. So, Tara is the goddess who is curing the poison, and naturally poison is related to death and lies. What is impermanent and unreal is a lie, it’s our body, we think that the material world exists because of Maya, the great illusion.

Thus, we need to understand 54.6 as that the lies need to finish, so that truth can appear. So, truth (one) waits until others have finished to lie (prepare) before returning.

Ma concludes:

She continued, smiling, “How can that which is permanent and true be offered as bhoga? It is only to make a point that such statement is made.”

 

 

 

43.5: Bad herb gone good

The Yi Jing comments have been made by humans, and as such they carry their lot of misunderstandings and mistakes. I have pointed already that mantic formulas like “Fortune” and “Misfortune” contradict the comments of 16.1 and 58.5. But there are also more subtle errors. 43.5 is one of them.

43.5 (43 > 34)

43 - Revelation34 - Concentration

Situation

Others return because one didn’t want to continue.

This comment on the situation has been made by consulting the I Ching. As you can see there is no mention of good or bad here. Thus, it made me ponder whether that 43.5 was always describing a bad herb, or if it could also describe something good returning.

Here is Richard Wilhelm’s comment, translated in English by Cary F. Baynes:

 

In dealing with weeds,
Firm resolution is necessary.
Walking in the middle
Remains free of blame.

Weeds always grow back again and are difficult to exterminate.

What is interesting here, is that weeds are mentioned, so the advice is to exterminate them with a firm resolution. What is even more interesting is that Richard Wilhelm adds:

So too the struggle against an inferior man in a high position demands firm resolution.

The man in in a high position is deemed “inferior”. And thus it seems to be a bad thing that this man always come back to pester us like a weed.

Let’s now examine what James Legge had to say about this line:

The fifth line, undivided, shows (the small men like) a bed of purslain, which ought to be uprooted with the utmost determination.

Purslain? Ha ha. It must be a very bad weed. Out of curiosity, I have googled purslain to discover what it was. Here is an excerpt of the Wikipedia entry:

Although purslane is considered a weed in the United States, it may be eaten as a leaf vegetable.[6] It has a slightly sour and salty taste and is eaten throughout much of Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Mexico.[1][7] The stems, leaves and flower buds are all edible. Purslane may be used fresh as a saladstir-fried, or cooked as spinach is, and because of its mucilaginous quality it also is suitable for soups and stews.

And then, about nutrition:

Purslane contains more omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid in particular[13]) than any other leafy vegetable plant. Studies have found that purslane has 0.01 mg/g of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). It also contains vitamins (mainly vitamin Avitamin Cvitamin E (alpha-tocopherol),[14]vitamin Bcarotenoids), and dietary minerals such as magnesiumcalciumpotassium, and iron.

 

The purslain contains low fat, vitamin C, and omega-3, it is an excellent vegetable food! So, why would you uproot with the utmost determination such a wonderful plant?

 

 

 

Style and Content

I was consulting the oracle about the attitude that consists of considering only the style without looking at the content. Then, after a few readings I didn’t get fully, the oracle answered this:

22.1 (22 > 52)

22 - Reservation52 - Stop

Situation

One is trusted to succeed without help.

It represents a situation when style does not matter. If we ponder about it, we can think of the hexagram 22 as representing style, and the hexagram 52 representing content: the mountain is a pile of content.