Deep Penetration: Following the Path of Changes

I was thinking for a long time about the question whether the ideally worded interpretation for any single hexagram exists. I now think: it does not.

The I Ching represents a system of abstract ideas (or: archetypes) – similar to Plato's theory of Forms (also called: theory of Ideas). These Ideas/Forms/archetypes are not sensually perceptible but find concrete expression in perceptible things. In simple terms: in Plato's theory there is the "Idea of the table". The table which I sit at right here is a concrete representation of this Idea. However, my table made of wood and metal is just one possibility of many. If I would claim my table to be the "correct" table, just the one table that perfectly matches Plato's "Idea of the table", I will certainly be wrong. But at least there is one thing I can do with my table: examine it throughly in order to learn what Plato most probably meant with the "Idea of the table".

The situation of the I Ching's hexagrams is somehow similar. They are abstract archetypes, Ideas of the dynamics according to which the world changes. Our personal experiences in the world are concrete representations of these archetypes. We can study these representations - our personal experiences - and learn something about the archetypes.

So, this is why there cannot be any ideally worded interpretation of any hexagram that I could share with you here. But I can invite you to move closer to the Ideas represented by the individual hexagrams. One step into this direction is the individual examination of any hexagram by means of of your personal experiences: using the information provided on the individual hexagram's web page and the worksheet.

I wish you success!
Karin Soika