Article #3: The New Method to Clarify the I Ching’s Message by Carol and Hanna
Mar. 22, 2011
© 2011 by Carol Anthony and Hanna Moog
This “new” method allows us to put questions directly to the Sage, enabling the Sage to clarify the received text. We put ‘new’ in quotes here, because it is new to our contemporary use of the oracle. However, in Richard Wilhelm’s foreword to his classic translation, he states that the I Ching originated from a simpler “yes/no” method of putting questions to the Cosmos.
Our method is an amplified yes/no system in which we put questions and/or hypotheses to the Sage such as: “Have I understood the message correctly?” – “Is this part of the text referring to me (or to the person I have an issue with)?” We then throw three coins to obtain the answer. The answer comes in four possible ways: 3 heads, 2 heads and 1 tail, 3 tails, and 2 tails and one head. We have chosen heads to mean “Yes” in this system, and tails to mean “No.” When we toss 3 heads, we take it to mean the answer is a full Yes. When we toss 2 heads and 1 tail, we take it to be a relative Yes; a toss of 2 tails and one head is taken as a relative No, while 3 tails is taken as a full No.
Thanks to this method, in 1998, we were able to come to a completely new understanding of the cause of an illness, its nature as a Fate, and how to successfully relate to it. This new understanding made it possible for Hanna to heal nodules that were found in the back of her lungs within a week. This event and many of the numerous healings that followed are described in our book Healing Yourself the Cosmic Way.
The I Ching uses a metaphorical language, such as “It furthers to cross the great water,” or, “In the midst of the greatest obstructions friends come,” or, “Shock comes—Oh, Oh! Laughing words—ha, ha!” Because metaphors are multidimensional and can be read on different levels, the use of this yes/no method allows us to find how the metaphors are to be interpreted in each specific reading.
Metaphors are the language of the oracle precisely because of this multidimensional quality; they combine feelings and images with words. The feelings give them their color, the images evoke a context, and the words express both the color and the images in terms that the rational thinking that characterizes our mind can understand. Metaphors allow the oracle to refer to many different situations that are based on the same Cosmic truth. That is also why in our version of the I Ching, each hexagram presents several “windows” into the theme of the hexagram. These different windows help the user to expand his view of the possibilities contained in each hexagram, while the additional use of the yes/no method, or “rtcm,” helps us determine which “window” applies to us at a particular time. At the same time, the method illuminates the Cosmic perspective of the problem at hand. This Cosmic perspective also contains the correct remedy we seek.
Finally, it takes practice and patience to learn this method, simple as it actually is. This is because the Sage speaks from a Cosmic perspective that we are not familiar with, since most of us have been trained from childhood not to listen to our feelings when we are examining a problem. When we ask questions from our accustomed non-Cosmic perspective, we tend not to understand the answers. When the question comes from an outright ego-based attitude, the Sage cannot answer at all. We are then only getting answers from the ego, or what the ego in us wants to hear. This is easily remedied, however, if we remember to ask, “Is this answer coming from the ego?”