The DMZ, A Path and A New Year

This time 18 years ago I was in Sharm El-Sheikh and getting ready to meet the guides who would drive me to and lead me up Mount Sinai. I had just finished my PADI Advanced Open Water diving qualification and was on my first ever solo holiday. Not long divorced I was treating myself. As it happened, I was buddied with a would be top level female rower who was an athlete with magnificent cardiovascular levels. I guzzled air like an old furnace. In a few hours’ time I would climb Mount Sinai in darkness and wait there for dawn with a bunch of Japanese, some Muslims and some itinerant Southern Hemisphere types. In the darkness I very nearly fell off the mountain. I saw dawn on my birthday and something else happened to me at the same time. I felt my heart open as if it was torn asunder. Something else was going on, something profound. I came down from that mountain a changed man and was in a very strange place perceptually until I got back to London some 36 hours later.

Here is a photo of the dawn taken with a throwaway single use underwater camera.

Here and now, I have very nearly finished building the DMZ around our northern perimeter. The fence is around 100 metres long and the DMZ about 1-2 metres thick. That is a heck of a lot of “jungle” to shift. I am utterly knackered. One more session and I’ll have it done.

It looks like where I have cleared was once a kind of walk through or path down to the pumping shed on the swamp. It seems to be about one shoulder’s width broad. I’ll know for sure when I finish the last section of the DMZ. From the state of the pumps in the pumping shed, I’ll wager that nobody has used this path in two decades.

This morning’s I Ching reminded me of Tarot 10 and Tarot 21. The oracle changes to 64 Wei Chi / Before Completion. There is a notion of a new cycle struggling to commence.

21 years ago, this Patent Application arrived at the Intellectual Property Office in the UK. This might then be an event marker for 21. At the moment I am waiting on the full examination of the application I made in May 2019.

The I Ching said, to paraphrase, stick to your principles, don’t rush else you will regret it. Then take the utmost of care crossing the metaphorical “frozen pond”. Then you might bring things to completion.

The hexagram after 64 is 1, a new cycle. If I can bring things to completion it “unleashes” this.

Overall, the consultation is auspicious. But the mere act of consulting an oracle changes things because you cannot unread what you have read. There is a ghostly shift in the universe.

The new year for me personally, is about to commence. It starts on Tuesday with a minor operation to remove a suspected basal cell carcinoma…

Happy Birthday to you have a bit of lidocaine and a knife.

It is so funny that it will end in stitches…


1. Ch’ien / The Creative


The first hexagram is made up of six unbroken lines. These unbroken lines stand for the primal power, which is light-giving, active, strong, and of the spirit. The hexagram is consistently strong in character, and since it is without weakness, its essence is power or energy. Its image is heaven. Its energy is represented as unrestricted by any fixed conditions in space and is therefore conceived of as motion. Time is regarded as the basis of this motion. Thus the hexagram includes also the power of time and the power of persisting in time, that is, duration. The power represented by the hexagram is to be interpreted in a dual sense in terms of its action on the universe and of its action on the world of men. In relation to the universe, the hexagram expresses the strong, creative action of the Deity. In relation to the human world, it denotes the creative action of the holy man or sage, of the ruler or leader of men, who through his power awakens and develops their higher nature.


THE CREATIVE works sublime success, Furthering through perseverance.

According to the original meaning, the attributes [sublimity, potentiality of success, power to further, perseverance] are paired. When an individual draws this oracle, it means that success will come to him from the primal depths of the universe and that everything depends upon his seeking his happiness and that of others in one way only, that is, by perseverance in what is right. The specific meanings of the four attributes became the subject of speculation at an early date. The Chinese word here rendered by “sublime” means literally “head,” “origin,” “great.” This is why Confucius says in explaining it: “Great indeed is the generating power of the Creative; all beings owe their beginning to it. This power permeates all heaven.” For this attribute inheres in the other three as well. The beginning of all things lies still in the beyond in the form of ideas that have yet to become real. But the Creative furthermore has power to lend form to these archetypes of ideas. This is indicated in the word success, and the process is represented by an image from nature: “The clouds pass and the rain does its work, and all individual beings flow into their forms.” Applies to the human world, these attributes show the great man the way to notable success: “Because he sees with great clarity and cause and effects, he completes the six steps at the right time and mounts toward heaven on them at the right time, as though on six dragons.” The six steps are the six different positions given in the hexagram, which are represented later by the dragon symbol. Here it is shown that the way to success lies in apprehending and giving actuality to the way of the universe [Tao], which, as a law running through end and beginning, brings about all phenomena in time. Thus each step attained forthwith becomes a preparation for the next. Time is no longer a hindrance but the means of making actual what is potential. The act of creation having found expression in the two attributes sublimity and success, the work of conservation is shown to be a continuous actualization and differentiation of form. This is expressed in the two terms “furthering” (literally, “creating that which accords with the nature of a given being”) and “persevering” (literally, “correct and firm”). “The course of the Creative alters and shapes beings until each attains its true, specific nature, then it keeps them in conformity with the Great Harmony. Thus does it show itself to further through perseverance.” In relation to the human sphere, this shows how the great man brings peace and security to the world through his activity in creating order: “He towers high above the multitude of beings, and all lands are united in peace.” Another line of speculation goes still further in separating the words “sublime,” “success,” “furthering,” “perseverance,” and parallels them with the four cardinal virtues in humanity. To sublimity, which, as the fundamental principle, embraces all the other attributes, it links love. To the attribute success are linked the morals, which regulate and organize expressions of love and thereby make them successful. The attribute furthering is correlated with justice, which creates the conditions in which each receives that which accords with his being, that which is due him and which constitutes his happiness. The attribute perseverance is correlated with wisdom, which discerns the immutable laws of all that happens and can therefore bring about enduring conditions. These speculations, already broached in the commentary called Wên Yen , later formed the bridge connecting the philosophy of the “five stages (elements) of change,” as laid down in the Book of History (Shu Ching) with the philosophy of the Book of Changes, which is based solely on the polarity of positive and negative principles. In the course of time this combination of the two systems of thought opened the way for an increasingly intricate number symbolism.


The movement of heaven is full of power.
Thus the superior man makes himself strong and

Since there is only one heaven, the doubling of the trigram Ch’ien, of which heaven is the image, indicates the movement of heaven. One complete revolution of heaven makes a day, and the repetition of the trigram means that each day is followed by another. This creates the idea of time. Since it is the same heaven moving with untiring power, there is also created the idea of duration both in and beyond time, a movement that never stops nor slackens, just as one day follows another in an unending course. This duration in time is the image of the power inherent in the Creative. With this image as a model, the sage learns how best to develop himself so that his influence may endure. He must make himself strong in every way, by consciously casting out all that is inferior and degrading. Thus he attains that tirelessness which depends upon consciously limiting the fields of his activity.

Birthday I Ching Consultation 29-08-21

Please comment on my fifty-eighth year of this incarnation.

S’il vous plait commenter sur la cinquante-huitième année de cette incarnation.

32. Hêng / Duration


The strong trigram Chên is above, the weak trigram Sun below. This hexagram is the inverse of the preceding one. In the latter we have influence, here we have union as an enduring condition. The two images are thunder and wind, which are likewise constantly paired phenomena. The lower trigram indicates gentleness within; the upper, movement without. In the sphere of social relationships, the hexagram represents the institution of marriage as the enduring union of the sexes. During courtship the young man subordinates himself to the girl, but in marriage, which is represented by the coming together of the eldest son and the eldest daughter, the husband is the directing and moving force outside, while the wife, inside, is gentle and submissive.


DURATION. Success. No blame.
Perseverance furthers.
It furthers one to have somewhere to go.

Duration is a state whose movement is not worn down by hindrances. It is not a state of rest, for mere standstill is regression. Duration is rather the self-contained and therefore self-renewing movement of an organized, firmly integrated whole, taking place in accordance with immutable laws and beginning anew at every ending. The end is reached by an inward movement, by inhalation, systole, contraction, and this movement turns into a new beginning, in which the movement is directed outward, in exhalation, diastole, expansion. Heavenly bodies exemplify duration. They move in their fixed orbits, and because of this their light-giving power endures. The seasons of the year follow a fixed law of change and transformation, hence can produce effects that endure. So likewise the dedicated man embodies an enduring meaning in his way of life, and thereby the world is formed. In that which gives things their duration, we can come to understand the nature of all beings in heaven and on earth.


Thunder and wind: the image of DURATION.

Thus the superior man stands firm
And does not change his direction.

Thunder rolls, and the wind blows; both are examples of extreme mobility and so are seemingly the very opposite of duration, but the laws governing their appearance and subsidence, their coming and going, endure. In the same way the independence of the superior man is not based on rigidity and immobility of character. He always keeps abreast of the time and changes with it. What endures is the unswerving directive, the inner law of his being, which determines all his actions.

32 Hong / La Durée
En haut Tchen : L’Éveilleur, le Tonnerre
En bas Souen : Le Doux, le Vent

Le trigramme fort Tchen est au-dessus, le trigramme faible Souen, au-dessous. Cet hexagramme est l’inverse du précédent : là l’influence, ici l’union comme état durable. Les images sont celles du tonnerre et du vent qui sont également des phénomènes associés de façon constante. Le trigramme inférieur indique douceur au-dedans, le trigramme supérieur, mouvement au-dehors.
Si nous appliquons l’hexagramme aux rapports sociaux, nous sommes en présence de l’institution matrimoniale comme union durable des sexes. Lors de la demande en mariage, le jeune homme se tenait placé au-dessous de la jeune fille. Par contre, dans le mariage qui est représenté par la réunion du fils aîné et de la fille aînée, l’homme est à l’extérieur fournissant direction et impulsion, tandis que la femme demeure à l’intérieur, douce et obéissante.

Le Jugement

Succès. Pas de blâme.
La persévérance est avantageuse.
Il est avantageux d’avoir où aller.

La durée est un état dont le mouvement n’est pas annihilé par les obstacles. Ce n’est pas un état de repos, car la pure immobilité est recul. La durée est plutôt un mouvement s’accomplissant suivant des lois déterminées, refermé sur lui-même et, par suite, se renouvelant sans cesse, d’un tout organisé et fortement centré sur lui-même, dans lequel toute fin est suivie d’un nouveau commencement. La fin est atteinte par le mouvement vers l’intérieur, l’inspiration du souffle, la systole, la concentration. Ce mouvement se change en un nouveau début dans lequel il est dirigé vers l’extérieur : c’est l’expiration du souffle, la diastole, l’expansion. C’est de cette manière que les corps célestes accomplissent leur course dans le ciel et peuvent en conséquence briller d’une manière durable. Les saisons se déroulent suivant une loi fixe de changement et de transformation et peuvent par suite œuvrer durablement. Ainsi l’homme qui a entendu l’appel incarne une signification durable dans sa manière de vivre et le monde reçoit par là une forme. A partir de ce en quoi les choses puisent leur durée, il est possible de reconnaître la nature de tous les êtres dans le ciel et sur la terre.


Tonnerre et vent :
Image de la DURÉE.
Ainsi l’homme noble conserve une attitude ferme et ne change pas de direction.

Le tonnerre roule et le vent souffle. L’un et l’autre représentent un phénomène extrêmement mobile, si bien que leur apparence est à l’opposé de la durée. Toutefois leur apparition et leur disparition, leur mouvement d’aller et de retour suivent des lois durables. Ainsi l’autonomie de l’homme noble ne consiste pas en ce qu’il serait rigide et immobile. Il suit toujours le temps et se transforme avec lui. Ce qui dure est la direction ferme, la loi interne de son être qui détermine toutes ses actions.


Nine in the third place means:

He who does not give duration to his character
Meets with disgrace.
Persistent humiliation.

If a man remains at the mercy of moods of hope or fear aroused by the outer world, he loses his inner consistency of character. Such inconsistency invariably leads to distressing experiences. These humiliations often come from an unforeseen quarter. Such experiences are not merely effects produced by the external world, but logical consequences evoked by his own nature.

Six at the top means:

Restlessness as an enduring condition brings misfortune.

There are people who live in a state of perpetual hurry without ever attaining inner composure. Restlessness not only prevents all thoroughness but actually becomes a danger if it is dominant in places of authority.


Neuf à la troisième place signifie :
Celui qui ne procure pas la durée à son caractère rencontre la disgrâce.
Humiliation persistante.

Quand un homme est mû intérieurement par des sentiments provenant du monde extérieur et créés par la crainte et l’espérance, il oublie la logique interne du caractère. Une telle inconséquence intérieure conduit à la longue à des expériences douloureuses. Ces humiliations viennent souvent d’un côté auquel on n’avait pas songé. Ce ne sont pas tant des effets du monde extérieur que des connexions régulières déterminées par notre propre nature.

Six en haut signifie :
La hâte comme état durable apporte l’infortune.

Il y a des êtres qui sont dans un état perpétuel de hâte sans trouver le repos à l’intérieur d’eux-mêmes. Non seulement la hâte empêche toute profondeur morale, mais elle devient bientôt un danger si elle règne à la place directrice.

Changing to:

64. Wei Chi / Before Completion


This hexagram indicates a time when the transition from disorder to order is not yet completed. The change is indeed prepared for, since all the lines in the upper trigram are in relation to those in the lower. However, they are not yet in their places. While the preceding hexagram offers an analogy to autumn, which forms the transition from summer to winter, this hexagram presents a parallel to spring, which leads out of winter’s stagnation into the fruitful time of summer. With this hopeful outlook the Book of Changes come to its close.


But if the little fox, after nearly completing the crossing,
Gets his tail in the water,

There is nothing that would further.

The conditions are difficult. The task is great and full of responsibility. It is nothing less than that of leading the world out of confusion back to order. But it is a task that promises success, because there is a goal that can unite the forces now tending in different directions. At first, however, one must move warily, like an old fox walking over ice. The caution of a fox walking over ice is proverbial in China. His ears are constantly alert to the cracking of the ice, as he carefully and circumspectly searches out the safest spots. A young fox who as yet has not acquired this caution goes ahead boldly, and it may happen that he falls in and gets his tail wet when he is almost across the water. Then of course his effort has been all in vain. Accordingly, in times “before completion,” deliberation and caution are the prerequisites of success.


Fire over water:

The image of the condition before transition.

Thus the superior man is careful
In the differentiation of things,

So that each finds its place.

When fire, which by nature flames upward, is above, and water, which flows downward, is below, their effects take opposite directions and remain unrelated. If we wish to achieve an effect, we must first investigate the nature of the forces in question and ascertain their proper place. If we can bring these forces to bear in the right place, they will have the desired effect and completion will be achieved. But in order to handle external forces properly, we must above all arrive at the correct standpoint ourselves, for only from this vantage can we work correctly.


64 Wei Tsi / Avant l’Accomplissement
En haut Li : Ce qui s’attache, le Feu
En bas K’an : L’Insondable, l’Eau

Cet hexagramme indique un temps où le passage du désordre à l’ordre n’est pas encore accompli. Sans doute le changement est déjà préparé : tous les traits du trigramme supérieur se trouvent en effet en relation avec ceux du trigramme inférieur. Cependant ils ne sont pas encore à leur place. Tandis que l’hexagramme précédent est analogue à l’automne qui constitue la transition de l’été à l’hiver, le présent hexagramme ressemble au printemps qui mène de la stagnation de l’hiver à la fécondité de l’été. C’est sur cette perspective pleine d’espoir que se clôt le Livre des Transformations.

Le Jugement

Mais si le petit renard, lorsqu’il a presque achevé le passage, met la queue dans l’eau, il n’est rien qui soit avantageux.

Les conditions sont difficiles. La tâche est grande et lourde de responsabilités. Il ne s’agit de rien de moins que de ramener le monde de la confusion à l’ordre. C’est pourtant une tâche qui promet le succès, car il existe un but permettant d’unir les forces divergentes. Il faut seulement s’avancer d’abord à pas comptés, comme un vieux renard qui marche sur la glace. En Chine, la prudence du renard qui marche sur la glace est proverbiale. Sans cesse il a l’oreille tendue pour percevoir les craquements et recherche avec soin et circonspection les endroits les plus sûrs. Un jeune renard qui ne connaît pas encore cette prudence va de l’avant hardiment et il peut se faire qu’il tombe dans l’eau alors qu’il a presque fini de traverser, et qu’il se mouille la queue. Naturellement, tout le mal qu’il s’était donné est ainsi devenu vain. De même, aux moments qui précèdent l’accomplissement, la réflexion et la circonspection sont la condition fondamentale du succès.


Le feu est au-dessus de l’eau :
Image de la situation AVANT L’ACCOMPLISSEMENT.

Ainsi l’homme noble est circonspect quand il distingue les choses, afin que chacune trouve sa place.

Quand le feu qui, par nature, s’élance vers le haut est au-dessus, et l’eau, dont le mouvement tend vers le bas est au-dessous, leurs actions vont dans un sens différent et demeurent sans relation entre elles. Si l’on veut parvenir à un résultat, on doit commencer par examiner la nature des forces considérées et la place qui leur convient. Si l’on dispose les forces à leur juste place, elles produisent l’effet désiré et l’accomplissement est réalisé. Mais, pour pouvoir manier comme il faut les forces extérieures, il est avant tout nécessaire d’adopter soi-même le point de vue correct. Ce n’est qu’à partir de ce moment que l’on peut agir correctement.


32. Hong – Die Dauer

oben Li, das Haftende, das Feuer

unten Kan, das Abgründige, das Wasser

Das starke Zeichen Dschen ist oben, das schwache Sun unten. Das Zeichen ist das Gegenstück zum vorigen: dort die Einwirkung, hier die Vereinigung als Dauerzustand. Die Bilder sind Donner und Wind, die ebenfalls dauernd verbundene Erscheinungen sind. Das untere Zeichen deutet auf Sanftheit im Innern, das obere auf Bewegung im Äußeren.
Auf gesellschaftliche Verhältnisse übertragen, haben wir hier die Einrichtung der Ehe als dauernder Verbindung der Geschlechter. Während bei der Werbung der junge Mann sich unter das Mädchen stellt, ist bei der Ehe, die durch das Zusammensein des ältesten Sohnes und der ältesten Tochter repräsentiert wird, der Mann nach außen hin leitend und bewegend, die Frau im Innern sanft und gehorchend.

Das Urteil

Gelingen. Kein Makel.
Fördernd ist Beharrlichkeit.
Fördernd ist, zu haben, wohin man gehe.

Die Dauer ist ein Zustand, dessen Bewegung sich nicht durch Hemmungen aufreibt. Sie ist nicht ein Ruhezustand; denn bloßer Stillstand ist Rückgang. Dauer ist vielmehr eine in sich geschlossene und darum stets sich erneuernde, nach festen Gesetzen sich vollziehende Bewegung eines organisierten, in sich fest geschlossenen Ganzen, bei der auf jedes Ende ein neuer Anfang folgt. Das Ende wird erreicht durch die Bewegung nach innen, das Einatmen, die Systole, die Konzentration. Diese Bewegung geht über in einen neuen Anfang, bei dem die Bewegung nach außen gerichtet ist, das Ausatmen, die Diastole, die Expansion.
So haben die Himmelskörper ihre Bahnen am Himmel und können daher dauernd leuchten. Die Jahreszeiten haben ein festes Gesetz des Wechsels und der Umbildung und können daher dauernd wirken.
Und so hat auch der Berufene einen dauernden Sinn in seinem Weg, und die Welt kommt dadurch zur fertigen Bildung. Aus dem, worin die Dinge ihre Dauer haben, kann man die Natur aller Wesen im Himmel und auf Erden erkennen.

Das Bild

Donner und Wind: das Bild der Dauer.
So steht der Edle fest und wandelt seine Richtung nicht.

Der Donner rollt, und der Wind weht. Beides ist etwas äußerst Bewegliches, so daß es dem Anschein nach das Gegenteil von Dauer ist. Aber ihr Hervortreten und Zurücktreten, ihr Kommen und Gehen folgt dauernden Gesetzen. So beruht die Selbständigkeit des Edlen auch nicht darin, daß er starr und unbeweglich ist. Er geht immer mit der Zeit und wandelt sich mit ihr. Das Dauernde ist die feste Richtung, das innere Gesetz seines Wesens, das alle seine Handlungen bestimmt.

Neun auf drittem Platz bedeutet:

Wer seinem Charakter nicht Dauer gibt,
dem bietet man Schande.
Beharrliche Beschämung.

Wenn man in seinem Wesen umgetrieben wird von Stimmungen, die von der Außenwelt durch Furcht und Hoffnung erregt werden, so verliert man die innere Konsequenz des Charakters. Solche innere Inkonsequenz führt dauernd zu peinlichen Erlebnissen. Diese Beschämungen kommen häufig von einer Seite, an die man nicht gedacht hatte. Sie sind auch nicht sowohl Wirkungen der Außenwelt, als gesetzmäßige Zusammenhänge, die von dem eigenen Wesen ausgelöst werden.

Oben eine Sechs bedeutet :

Rastlosigkeit als dauernder Zustand bringt Unheil.

Es gibt Menschen, die dauernd in hastiger Bewegung sind, ohne innerlich zur Ruhe zu kommen. Die Rastlosigkeit hindert nicht nur alle Gründlichkeit, sondern wird direkt zur Gefahr, wenn sie an maßgebender Stelle herrscht.

64. We Dsi – Vor der Vollendung

oben Li, das Haftende, das Feuer

unten Kan, das Abgründige, das Wasser

Es ist in dem Zeichen die Zeit angedeutet, da der Übergang aus der Unordnung zur Ordnung noch nicht vollendet ist. Der Umschwung ist zwar schon vorbereitet, indem alle Striche des oberen Trigramms zu denen des unteren in Beziehung stehen. Aber sie sind noch nicht auf ihrem Platz. Während das vorige Zeichen dem Herbst gleicht, der den Übergang vom Sommer zum Winter bildet, ist dieses Zeichen wie der Frühling, der aus der Stockungszeit des Winters in die fruchtbare Zeit des Sommers führt. Mit diesem hoffnungsvollen Ausblick schließt das Buch der Wandlungen ab.

Das Urteil

Vor der Vollendung. Gelingen.
Wenn aber der kleine Fuchs,
wenn er beinahe den Übergang vollendet hat,
mit dem Schwanz ins Wasser kommt,
dann ist nichts, das fördernd wäre.

Die Verhältnisse sind schwierig. Die Aufgabe ist groß und verantwortungsvoll. Es handelt sich um nichts Geringeres, als die Welt aus der Verwirrung in die Ordnung zurückzuführen. Dennoch ist es eine Aufgabe, die Erfolg verheißt, da ein Ziel vorhanden ist, das die auseinanderstrebenden Kräfte zu vereinigen vermag. Nur muß man zunächst noch leise und behutsam vorgehen. Man muß vorgehen wie ein alter Fuchs, der übers Eis geht. In China ist die Vorsicht des Fuchses, wenn er über Eis geht, sprichwörtlich. Er horcht stets auf das Krachen und sucht sich sorgfältig und umsichtig die sichersten Stellen aus. Ein junger Fuchs, der diese Vorsicht noch nicht kennt, geht kühnlich drauflos, und da kann es vorkommen, daß er hineinfällt, wenn er beinahe schon über das Wasser ist, und seinen Schwanz naß macht. Dann war natürlich die ganze Mühe vergeblich. Dementsprechend ist in Zeiten vor der Vollendung Überlegung und Vorsicht die Grundbedingung des Erfolges.

Das Bild

Das Feuer ist oberhalb des Wassers:
das Bild des Zustands vor dem Übergang.
So ist der Edle vorsichtig in der Unterscheidung der
Dinge, damit jedes auf seinen Platz kommt.

Wenn das Feuer, das ohnehin nach oben dringt, oben und das Wasser, dessen Bewegung abwärts geht, unten ist, so gehen ihre Wirkungen auseinander und bleiben ohne Beziehung. Will man eine Wirkung erreichen, so muß man erst erforschen, was die Natur der in Betracht kommenden Kräfte und welches der ihnen zukommende Platz ist. Bringt man die Kräfte an der rechten Stelle zum Einsatz, so haben sie die gewünschte Wirkung, und die Vollendung wird erreicht. Um aber die äußeren Kräfte richtig handhaben zu können, ist es vor allem nötig, daß man selbst den richtigen Standpunkt einnimmt. Denn nur von da aus kann man richtig wirken.

Learning Some Weird Vocabulary

As you might have guessed it is raining here a little, I am now just shy of halfway through “Le Chamanisme” by Eliade. Because he is dealing with, inter alia, Siberian shamanism, I am starting to pick up some rather weird vocabulary concerning bones, dead spirits and the prevalent fauna on the Steppes. I can interpolate most of the words from context, but I do have to look things up. Seems to me learning by interpolation is perhaps a more natural way of learning a language than rote. I did not know that the rite of initiation for some Caribbean shamans involved having chillies, scotch bonnet chillies, rubbed in the eyes. We found some of these from French Guyana in the local supermarket and they are super-volcanic-plus-plus. It is a wonder the would-be shamans were not blinded.

This morning I was struck by a sub-heading in the Guardian:

“If I wasn’t autistic, would my encyclopedic knowledge of dinosaurs be a problem?”

{Their spelling}

I commented to the wife that at one stage I knew not only the normal names, but the Latin names, record weights and habits of all the fish of the British Isles both in fresh and salt water. There are other things that I am like dry blotting paper for.

“If I wasn’t autistic, would my encyclopaedic knowledge of molecular spectroscopy be a problem?”

Anything out of the ordinary is seen to be freakish.

“Is my encyclopaedic knowledge of football results and league table positions normal or a tad autistic?”

Who defines what is normal and what is freaky?

I have just ordered from Congo, the new online bookstore, a copy of the I Ching in French. Already I can see some different nuances in the meanings. Maybe next is:

“I Ging. Das Buch der Wandlungen – von Richard Wilhelm”

That should keep me busy till I pop my clogs.

Yi King Consultation 07-07-2021

S’il vous plait, dites-moi si je devrais utiliser Le Yi King, Le Livre de Mutations :


Ta Yéou / Le Grand Avoir
En haut Li : Ce qui s’attache, le Feu.
En bas K’ien : Le Créateur, le Ciel.

Le feu dans le ciel brille au loin, si bien que toutes choses sont éclairées et deviennent manifestes. Le cinquième trait, qui est faible, est à la place d’honneur et tous les traits forts sont en harmonie avec lui. Celui qui, occupant une place élevée, est humble et doux voit toutes choses venir à lui

Le Jugement

LE GRAND AVOIR : sublime réussite.

Les deux trigrammes indiquent que la force et la clarté s’unissent. Le grand avoir est décidé par le destin et correspond à l’époque. Comment peut-il se faire que le trait faible ait le pouvoir de maintenir ensemble et de posséder les éléments forts ? Cela vient de son humilité dépouillée d’égoïsme. L’heure est favorable. Force à l’intérieur, clarté et culture à l’extérieur. La force s’extériorise avec finesse et maîtrise de soi. Cela apporte sublime réussite et richesse.


Le feu haut dans le ciel :

Ainsi l’homme noble réprime le mal et favorise le bien et il obéit de la sorte à la bienveillante volonté du ciel.

Le soleil qui, du haut du ciel, éclaire de ses rayons toutes les choses terrestres est l’image du grand avoir. Mais une telle possession doit être bien administrée. Le soleil amène au jour le bien et le mal. Les hommes doivent combattre et réprimer le mal, favoriser et promouvoir le bien. Ce n’est qu’ainsi que l’on se conforme à la volonté bienveillante de la divinité qui veut seulement le bien et non le mal.

I Ching – New Age Shop – Storm – Dream 06-07-2021

Last night we had some heavy rain and some very strong winds. These rattled the shutters and the plants on the balcony as a result of this I drifted in and out of sleep. In many towns there can be found a New Age or “Hippie” shop. These sell things like incense, crystals, dream catchers and books. Often, they have people resident who do cartomancy, healing and clairvoyance, for money. Anyone organising an event, or a course, might seek to place a poster and flyers there.  Normally the proprietors of the shops are nearly always practitioners of one kind or another. There is one in our local town. We have just swung by it to see if there was an urge to follow up the dream. There wasn’t. The time may not be now. When I has this dream I “knew” it was related to the one I worked up the other day with the Tarot in it, the one about a new cycle.

At the peak of the storm.

I drift off to sleep with the sound of the storm raging all around. I find myself and the wife in the central square of the local town. I am walking towards the door of the New Age shop. I open the door and walk inside. In French the proprietor greets me bonjour to which I respond in kind.

In French I ask him if he has an I Ching in French. He says that he does not. I explain to him that I am British. By now a middle-aged woman has joined us and she asks me about myself in French. The entire conversation is in French. I explain to her that the cycle started for me with the I Ching over twenty years ago and that I have participated in courses on Shamanism. I have given courses on Tarot and the Toltec Teachings. My special interest in in dreams and dreaming. I explain that I have done dream interpretations for others. She is very interested in this and asks if I have met G. I say that I have.

The dream starts to fade.

After this I am aware of various Breton figures with dark hair, mostly women, at the edge of consciousness. Some of them feel a bit “witchy” but not in a threatening way, more welcoming. This kind of thing is “normal” to me.

Later I am in another partial dream lying on a bed. A tall young woman with very short punky unnatural blond hair is near me. She is wearing denim shorts and slightly garish red and black striped tights. She has a fluffy blouson jacket, a piercing in her nose and many in her ears. She says that she has heard that I do dreams and moves to kiss me. I avoid her kiss and give her a “paternal” hug. I say that we do not interact like that but that I am very willing to work with her. She almost purrs. The wife is not overly impressed but knows that my point has been received. In the dream I know that the young woman is a Westerly dreamer and that I will see her again in due course.

Dream ends.

I Ching Consultation 14-06-2021

Please comment on how I can use the remainder of this incarnation.

No changing lines!

35. Chin / Progress



The hexagram represents the sun rising over the earth. It is therefore the symbol of rapid, easy progress, which at the same time means ever widening expansion and clarity.


PROGRESS. The powerful prince

Is honored with horses in large numbers.

In a single day he is granted audience three times.

As an example of progress, this pictures a time when a powerful feudal lord rallies the other lords around the sovereign and pledges fealty and peace. The sovereign rewards him richly and invites him to a closer intimacy.

A twofold idea is set forth here. The actual effect of the progress emanates from a man who is in a dependent position and whom the others regard as their equal and are therefore willing to follow. This leader has enough clarity of vision not to abuse his great influence but to use it rather for the benefit of his ruler. His ruler in turn is free of all jealousy, showers presents on the great man, and invites him continually to his court. An enlightened ruler and an obedient servant–this is the condition on which great progress depends.


The sun rises over the earth:

The image of PROGRESS.

Thus the superior man himself

Brightens his bright virtue.

The light of the sun rises over the earth is by nature clear. The higher the sun rises, the more it emerges from the dark mists, spreading the pristine purity of its rays over an ever widening area. The real nature of man is likewise originally good, but it becomes clouded by contact with earthly things and therefore needs purification before it can shine forth in its native clarity.

This excerpted from “I Ching The Shamanic Oracle of Change” by Palmer, Ramsay and Xiaomin

I Ching Consultation 17-4-21

Please comment on what is causing this “breakthrough” from London…

6. Sung / Conflict


The upper trigram, whose image is heaven, has an upward movement; the lower trigram, water, in accordance with its nature tends downward. Thus the two halves move away from each other, giving rise to the idea of conflict. The attribute of the Creative is strength, that of the Abysmal is danger, guile. Where cunning has force before it, there is conflict. A third indication of conflict, in terms of character, is presented by the combination of deep cunning within and fixed determination outwardly. A person of this character will certainly be quarrelsome.


CONFLICT. You are sincere
And are being obstructed.
A cautious halt halfway brings good fortune.
Going through to the end brings misfortune.
It furthers one to see the great man.
It does not further one to cross the great water.

Conflict develops when one feels himself to be in the right and runs into opposition. If one is not convinced of being in the right, opposition leads to craftiness or high-handed encroachment but not to open conflict. If a man is entangled in a conflict, his only salvation lies in being so clear-headed and inwardly strong that he is always ready to come to terms by meeting the opponent halfway. To carry one the conflict to the bitter end has evil effects even when one is the right, because the enmity is then perpetuated. It is important to see the great man, that is, an impartial man whose authority is great enough to terminate the conflict amicably or assure a just decision. In times of strife, crossing the great water is to be avoided, that is, dangerous enterprises are not to be begun, because in order to be successful they require concerted unity of focus. Conflict within weakens the power to conquer danger without.


Heaven and water go their opposite ways:
The image of CONFLICT.
Thus in all his transactions the superior man
Carefully considers the beginning.

The image indicates that the causes of conflict are latent in the opposing tendencies of the two trigrams. Once these opposing tendencies appear, conflict is inevitable. To avoid it, therefore, everything must be taken carefully into consideration in the very beginning. If rights and duties are exactly defined, or if, in a group, the spiritual trends of the individuals harmonize, the cause of conflict is removed in advance.

Nine at the top means:

Even if by chance a leather belt is bestowed on one,’
By the end of a morning
It will have been snatched away three times.

Here we have someone who has carried a conflict to the bitter end and has triumphed. He is granted a decoration, but his happiness does not last. He is attacked again and again, and the result is conflict without end.

Changing to:

47. K’un / Oppression (Exhaustion)


The lake is above, water below; the lake is empty, dried up. Exhaustion is expressed in yet another way: at the top, a dark line is holding down two light lines; below, a light line is hemmed in between two dark ones. The upper trigram belongs to the principle of darkness, the lower to the principle of light. Thus everywhere superior men are oppressed and held in restraint by inferior men.


OPPRESSION. Success. Perseverance.

The great man brings about good fortune.

No blame.
When one has something to say,
It is not believed.

Times of adversity are the reverse of times of success, but they can lead to success if they; befall the right man. When a strong man meets with adversity, he remains cheerful despite all danger, and this cheerfulness is the source of later successes; it is that stability which is stronger than fate. He who lets his spirit be broken by exhaustion certainly has no success. But if adversity only bends a man, it creates in him a power to react that is bound in time to manifest itself. No inferior man is capable of this. Only the great man brings about good fortune and remain blameless. It is true that for the time being outward influence is denied him, because his words have no effect. Therefore in times of adversity it is important to be strong within and sparing of words.


There is not water in the lake:

The image of EXHAUSTION.

Thus the superior man stakes his life
On following his will.

When the water has flowed out below, the lake must dry up and become exhausted. That is fate. This symbolizes an adverse fate in human life. In such times there is nothing a man can do but acquiesce in his fate and remain true to himself. This concerns the deepest stratum of his being, for this alone is superior to all external fate.

60 in a Billion

The probability of getting 24 Fu four consecutive times in an I Ching consultation is something like 60 parts per billion, which is not very likely.

Last night I was having a conversation about high technology start-ups and venture capital with a friend over skype. This morning I did the I Ching. This afternoon we went to the seaside and this evening we decanted some apple and cranberry home brew wine for our “nut store”. We shall bottle the apricot and the apple during the week to come. I have started doing some chanting on and off, a return. I have been writing about returning to the source like Neo, in some sense.

As per usual the inscrutable I Ching provides much food for thought. 

The sense of Fu is pivot / fulcrum about which the trajectory of a life changes.

I get my cancer clearance arse-camera later this year, I may get my metallic pin removed from my hip. None of these things can be rushed.

The I Ching is being fairly insistent that things are starting to change…

How and in what way remains to be seen, it is a bit of a mystery….

I Ching Consultation 28-03-21

Please comment on what I can do with the remainder of this life…

It returned 24 Fu with three changing line. In my last five I Ching consultations Fu has appeared 4 times!! The I Ching, the oracle, is bringing this hexagram to my attention.

Fu changes to 30 Li

24. Fu / Return (The Turning Point)


The idea of a turning point arises from the fact that after the dark lines have pushed all of the light lines upward and out of the hexagram, another light line enters the hexagram from below. The time of darkness is past. The winter solstice brings the victory of light. This hexagram is linked with the eleventh month, the month of the solstice (December-January).


RETURN. Success.
Going out and coming in without error.
Friends come without blame.
To and fro goes the way.
On the seventh day comes return.
It furthers one to have somewhere to go.

After a time of decay comes the turning point. The powerful light that has been banished returns. There is movement, but it is not brought about by force. The upper trigram K’un is characterized by devotion; thus the movement is natural, arising spontaneously. For this reason the transformation of the old becomes easy. The old is discarded and the new is introduced. Both measures accord with the time; therefore no harm results. Societies of people sharing the same views are formed. But since these groups come together in full public knowledge and are in harmony with the time, all selfish separatist tendencies are excluded, and no mistake is made. The idea of RETURN is based on the course of nature. The movement is cyclic, and the course completes itself. Therefore it is not necessary to hasten anything artificially. Everything comes of itself at the appointed time. This is the meaning of heaven and earth. All movements are accomplished in six stages, and the seventh brings return. Thus the winter solstice, with which the decline of the year begins, comes in the seventh month after the summer solstice; so too sunrise comes in the seventh double hour after sunset. Therefore seven is the number of the young light, and it arises when six, the number of the great darkness, is increased by one. In this way the state of rest gives place to movement.


Thunder within the earth:
Thus the kings of antiquity closed the passes
At the time of solstice.
Merchants and strangers did not go about,
And the ruler
Did not travel through the provinces.

The winter solstice has always been celebrated in China as the resting time of the year–a custom that survives in the time of rest observed at the new year. In winter the life energy, symbolized by thunder, the Arousing, is still underground. Movement is just at its beginning; therefore it must be strengthened by rest so that it will not be dissipated by being used prematurely. This principle, i.e., of allowing energy that is renewing itself to be reinforced by rest, applies to all similar situations. The return of health after illness, the return of understanding after an estrangement: everything must be treated tenderly and with care at the beginning, so that the return may lead to a flowering.

Six in the third place means:

Repeated return. Danger. No blame.

There are people of a certain inner instability who feel a constant urge to reverse themselves. There is danger in continually deserting the good because of uncontrolled desires, then turning back to it again because of a better resolution. However, since this does not lead to habituation in evil, a general inclination to overcome the defect is not wholly excluded/

Six in the fourth place means:

Walking in the midst of others,
One returns alone.

A man is in a society composed of inferior people, but is connected spiritually with a strong and good friend, and this makes him turn back alone. Although nothing is said of reward and punishment, this return is certainly favorable, for such a resolve to choose the good brings its own reward.

Six at the top means:

Missing the return. Misfortune.
Misfortune from within and without.
If armies are set marching in this way,
One will in the end suffer a great defeat,
Disastrous for the ruler of the country.
For ten years
It will not be possible to attack again.

If a man misses the right time for return, he meets with misfortune. The misfortune has its inner cause in a wrong attitude toward the world. The misfortune coming upon him for without results from this wrong attitude. What is pictured here is blind obstinacy and the judgment that is visited upon it.

The four scanned images below are excerpted from I Ching The Shamanic Oracle of Change by Martin Plamer , Jay Ramsay and Zhao Xiaomin.

30. Li / The Clinging, Fire


This hexagram is another double sign. The trigram Li means “to cling to something,” and also “brightness.” A dark line clings to two light lines, one above and one below–the image of an empty space between two strong lines, whereby the two strong lines are made bright. The trigram represents the middle daughter. The Creative has incorporated the central line of the Receptive, and thus Li develops. As an image, it is fire. Fire has no definite form but clings to the burning object and thus is bright. As water pours down from heaven, so fire flames up from the earth. While K’an means the soul shut within the body, Li stands for nature in its radiance.


THE CLINGING. Perseverance furthers.
It brings success.
Care of the cow brings good fortune.

What is dark clings to what is light and so enhances the brightness of the latter. A luminous thing giving out light must have within itself something that perseveres; otherwise it will in time burn itself out. Everything that gives light is dependent on something to which it clings, in order that it may continue to shine. Thus the sun and moon cling to heaven, and grain, grass, and trees cling to the earth. So too the twofold clarity of the dedicated man clings to what is right and thereby can shape the world. Human life on earth is conditioned and unfree, and when man recognizes this limitation and makes himself dependent upon the harmonious and beneficent forces of the cosmos, he achieves success. The cow is the symbol of extreme docility. By cultivating in himself an attitude of compliance and voluntary dependence, man acquires clarity without sharpness and finds his place in the world.


That which is bright rises twice:

The image of FIRE.

Thus the great man, by perpetuating this brightness,
Illumines the four quarters of the world.

Each of the two trigrams represents the sun in the course of a day. The two together represent the repeated movement of the sun, the function of light with respect to time. The great man continues the work of nature in the human world. Through the clarity of his nature he causes the light to spread farther and farther and to penetrate the nature of man ever more deeply.

It is Not Customary For…

someone like me, with my background, to have read so many “occult” books, to dabble with Tarot and use the I Ching.

I think that this is a fair and accurate statement.

The followers of this blog {thank you!} are an eclectic bunch across a number of countries, they have from my brief visits to their blogs, wide and varied interests. They don’t seem to be prejudiced against my science background, which is nice.

It is my opinion, that amongst the purveyors of the natural sciences there are a number of taboos. One of the biggest is called pseudoscience, people hold up their noses at it, they look down on it from on high. Usually without having tried any of it themselves.

If you take a look at my I Ching earlier today it is a tad “spooky” it was generated whilst holding the inquiry in mind and shaking and throwing three coins six times. There are 64 hexagrams and numerous sub variants according to lines changing or not. From here in France there is no way that I can say with six sigma confidence that it is/was accurate. Yet my intuition tells me that there is a good likelihood that some of it is applicable. I trust that the I Ching, if treated with respect, can comment in a helpful manner on a whole number of issues. Emperors had soothsayers. I do not think that it can be 100% highly detailed accurate but the look, the mood and the feel is often spot on. It has a kind of “fuzzy logic”.

Many years ago, a scientist friend of mine who was very sceptical about these things, was pooh-poohing. I did a consultation for him about a particular issue. As I read out the result, he became increasingly agitated.

How come this weird old Chinese book was describing a secret problem / issue he was facing so well?

He has trouble getting his head around it and thought I was playing a trick on him, which I wasn’t.

Anyway, I think he bought one. My I Ching is my oldest possession. I have just checked the dates and it is actually older than my Wok bought in Migros in Berne.

Any way the chainsaw and the log pile are calling, and we can start noisy work again at 3pm. The prefecture forbids work 12-3 on Saturdays…