Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Art and Science of Yi divination

According to The American Heritage Dictionaries:

Art is a skill that is attained by study, practice or observation.

And Science is the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena etc. which can be tested.

For more definitions of Art and Science, please check online via

Yi aficionados would be very familiar with the art of divination obtainable through the study of the Book of Changes (I Ching / Yijing / the Yi), practising divination by consulting the Oracle and observing the results. They will learn to master this art of Yi divination over the years or decades of study eventually to reach the highest stage ever recorded in ancient books – that is divining like a spirit. (Refer the Doctrine of the Mean)

Yi aficionados can also improve their divination skills by testing their ability in the interpretation of prognostications.

When the Yi speaks, the prognostication is true and if its interpretation is correctly done, the results can be foreseen, thereby making it clear as day. As long as the Yi speaks, a good interpreter of the Oracle could interpret the prognostication correctly whether he or she is next to or oceans apart from the diviner. This means that this theory can be ‘scientifically’ tested many times, and proven.

However, sad to say, many have yet to reach that requisite level and I am still on the lookout for some over the past ten years on the World Wide Web. Not surprising since the Yi has only spoken to a remarkable few diviners who blog their prognostications or posted them on I Ching websites, some of whom I have previously named.

If aficionados do not rise to the occasion, how could they know about the science of Yi divination and test their skills and the theory?

There are several instances of interpretation of other diviners’ prognostications in this blog over the past five years – those whom the Yi spoke to. Their prognostications were true and therefore reliable. The interpretations and the predicted outcomes unfolded – many times to a T.

Take for example, the interpretation of a prognostication on a stock investment given by the Book of Changes to a fellow Malaysian by way of Hexagram 29 Kan / The Abysmal. (Refer February 19, 2008 entry, ‘An interpretation of Kan / The Abysmal’ and the result in December 27, 2008 entry, ‘Few can alter Yi prognostications’)

The stock, Transmile, has recently fallen to its lowest price, 32.5 sen, after it became designated a PN 17 stock because its share capital and reserves had fallen below the threshold due to continual huge losses. (Have earnest Yi aficionados taken note of the continuous unfolding and the time?)

In the entries, I had mentioned that from experiences and observations, Kan is a bad hexagram for investments. The same emphasis on good and bad hexagrams was also made on the March 26, 2007 entry on ‘When the Yi speaks’. This theory of good and bad hexagrams have also been tested.

If some so called Yi experts or scholars still insist there are no good and bad hexagrams in divination, let them be. Just like those modern scholars who claim that Confucius has never read the Yi, or those who believe that real Daoist teachings do not touch on good and evil, they do not know what they are missing or learning.
If we do not improve our own art of Yi divination, it could prove difficult to understand the science of Yi divination. Without a sound knowledge of the art and science of divination, how can we ever hope to divine like a spirit and later to assist the gods?

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