2010-05-25

If Adam knows I-Ching, he would not have sinned

As I continue in my deeper study and interpretation on the Classic of Chinese Classics, I-Ching, I continued to be amazed by its teachings.See also Chinese Classics and the Bible.

Today I just finished the 40th Hexagram 40解 Freed – Get with Decisive Actions .
Here is a short summary of what it teaches.


Summary of the Teaching of 40 Freed:

I. Freedom is obtained by
  1. quick decisive actions, not impulsive actions, of breaking free from dangers
  2. staying away from danger
  3. seeking the interests of the masses, and
  4. forgiving others.
Freedom is about being freed to do good and righteous things and bringing blessings to all. see From "Freedom From" to "Freedom For" & In

II. The additional teaching from the 6 Stage-Lines are: (This is really studying by precept by precept and line upon line ....!)

  1. Differences are harmonized. No Issue.
  2. Straight wins against the crooked. Righteousness brings good fortune.
  3. Show-off brings regrets.
  4. Stay away from bad companies and have trustworthy true friends.
  5. Wise and objective(prejudices free) thinking keeps the office-politics away.
  6. Get rid of the bad and rebellious influences to stay free. Fire the bad leader.

Of course, Adam could not have benefited from the study of I-Ching for I-Ching was compiled after him. Here are a few teachings that impressed me (It is exactly the same as the teaching of the Bible).

Freedom is not about doing anything that you like. Freedom is about keeping away from dangers and temptations! Adam and Eve should stay away from temptations.

Freedom is also about forgiveness. In the original Chinese text, the pictorial commentary states that "Wise men forgive wrong doing and pardon sins". If we want to be truly free, we must forgive others who have wronged us. Otherwise, we will be in bondage of bitterness and hatred. We could not be free then.

Freedom requires us to rid our mind of prejudices and biased so that we can be objective and think clearly. We will not be fooled by the bad companies, the people that play political games, and the rebellious people.

Freedom is also about taking decisive actions as early as possible to rid the community of such bad influences.


Compare with the Bible:

I.1-2 1Pet 2:16  Live like free people, and do not use your freedom as an excuse for doing evil. Instead, be God's servants.

I.1-2 Gal 5:13  For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

I.3 1Co 9:19  For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.

For more, see Chinese Classics & The Bible

9 comments:

Leon said...

I just want you to know that I appreciate this blog. I'm currently studying the I Ching, and find that it's a blessing to me personally as a Christian, and also a way to understand better the Chinese mind in terms of philosophy, and spirituality.

God bless you.

Anthony V. Cavalo said...

Now this I find interesting. While I do not attend church, I would still consider myself a person with a Christian bent. I, too, study the I Ching and have for about 9 months. I find it very comforting to know that both Eastern and Western views of cosmology do share universal truths. Keep studying. It will enrich your life as it is doing to mine. On a last note, I wish more Christians would read the I Ching with an eye to gaining an understanding of the underlying philosophy and not with a jaded heart by splitting hairs.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm....this is interesting. I must say though, I am a Christian and I was doing I Ching for a bit and found it to hinder my life spiritually and not help it.

The thing about I Ching is you can toss coins and get a hexagram. The thing about God is, sometimes he doesn't answer us the way we want or in the timing we want. But when God does that, he is often doing a greater work in us than the answer we think we need right away.

I found I Ching to hinder me cause it will always give you a hexagram. I was doing readings with it over a situation that I really needed clarity on. I found myself getting really addicted to it and constantly getting caught up in it. And because of that, I was not praying or asking God to help me and guide me. The verse Jonah 2:8 hit home for me: "People who worship useless idols give up their loyalty to you."

When I did the I Ching readings, I was well aware that I was concentrating on a question to ask. I realized one day, "who am I asking this to? I'm not asking god, therefore I'm by-passing him and basically telling him that he is not strong enough and doesn't know all." Essentially my actions were proclaiming that he was not god. I understand "god" to mean he knows all, he created all. So I should have no need to gain guidance from anywhere else. I tried to convince myself that ok, I'm not asking God when I do I Ching, but I'm not asking any other being, cause I only believe in God. Well, then essentially I'm saying that I'm asking some dead thing....at that point lots of verses about how dumb it is to talk to some wooden idol that someone made kept coming up.

I also was getting caught up in a very unhealthy "fast food spirituality" where I had a concern, or relationship or issue on my mind and wanted to know how it would unfold. I would pray, hear nothing, get impatient then ask the I Ching. When God says "wait" there is always a good reason. He is good to us. If we trust that and trust that god is truly god, then we don't need to use divination. Divination can be very gratifying to our egos, we want to know "when will I get that job, will this guy date me, when will I get married" I can only hear jesus say "martha, you are worried and upset about many things. Only one thing is important... (Matthew 10:41). So our spirituality changes from relationship to Santa/kid dynamic where we want we want and want to know when and how it will happen.

My experience with I Ching is that it is vague and doesn't truly feed your soul. There are inklings of it being weirdly akin to your situation. But in my life, I have seen it hurt me as I've relied on it (and who is it?? who is behind "it"?) to tell me about things and make things pan out. Its just so vague. When God speaks, it is so detailed and peace giving. But when I Ching "speaks" it seems to be a fakely magical thing that sort of describes what is happening, but I don't find power in it. God is powerful enough to MAKE things happen. I ching sort of tells you something...but I do'nt find it that accurate, I find there is something darkly addictive and trapping about it.

And I understand that whole thing about the comment above me regarding Chrsitians. In our culture, Christians seem to sort of give cookie cutter answers and are afraid of these conversations. We need to know why we believe what we believe. Most Christians would write off I ching as "bad, not from God" and they may be right, but it's best to really understand why, not just say "cause god says". That's like a little kid who constantly says "cause Mom said so". Yes, we should read, meditate, study, understand, empathize, experience, etc.

Liat Lim said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for you sharing on your experience with i-Ching.

May I point out that you are approaching i-Ching wrongly. You are using I-Ching as a fortune telling book or as a horoscope. Such practices are prohibited in the Bible.

The right way to approach i-Ching is to treat it like Proverbs - A book of wisdom. True I-Ching scholar do not use lot-casting. There is no need to. But the patterns of change are captured and recommended actions are provided. I-Ching wisdom is based on the existence of God and the knowledge of God's working as revealed in the working order and laws of the universe and living environment. It is the science of living, universe, and people. The goal of i-Ching is for achievement of peace and harmony of Heaven, Earth (environment) and People (people with people as well). This is also very biblical. Jesus came to unite all things, things on earth and thing in heaven, to God and to Himself. I-Ching tell us how but does not provide the ability. It is Jesus who rebirth us and give us the grace to enable us to live out the life that we should.

I-Ching uses a lot of pictures and are not easy to understand or may be easy to be misled, and so we should study it carefully. You will find many interpretations from different people that may conflict with each other. (As does some commentaries on certain parts of the Bible. Consider the pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib raptures as an example).

I approach i-Ching with the understanding of the Bible first. i.e. using Bible to interpret I-Ching and don't get into any difficulty at all. Experts who dis-regard the existence of God got into quite some difficulty in interpreting i-Ching. But those are more indepth issue with i-Ching that we don't need to bother.

In the meantime, hope you find my interpretation of i-Ching beneficial to your Christian Life with God as it does to mine.

Jo Shmo said...

Just wanted to say thank you to Liat Lim. I have been a traditional chinese martial artist my whole life practicing taoism and also a long-term christian. I really have seen the power of the two philosophies when intertwined correctly. I was struggling with concepts that anonymous posted and your response really have helped to clarify so much for me. Would you be able to elaborate more on taking the step beyond lot-casting? Thank you again

Richmond Tan said...

I am rather caught in a dilemma as I am a firm believer in the I Ching. Yet I believe in the existence of christ. When I research about thre compatibility of I Ching and Christianity, I am rather disappointed as they seem to 'oppose' each other. I am not yet a Christian unless I am convinced that being a Christian will not interfere in my affair with the I Ching, I will accept Christ. This is so as I do not want a conflict between two beliefs..

Anonymous said...

Hello, you state that the icing is not fortune telling. However, everywhere that I read about the icing it states that it is the oldest form of fortune telling that exists. This would seem to directly go against what the bible states, how would you explain this

Richmond Tan said...

It is not fortune telling. It is an Oracle.It gives you another perspective to a problem and suggest how it can be overcome. At the end of the day, the final decision maker is still you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Richmond