a name that can be named is not the constant name

It is interesting to see how hypertext has gone from being a grand possibility to a never-finished chore. --Ted Nelson

[the tao/dao that can be told . . .] [tai chi] [book of change] [book of sand] [end of the internet]

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


A Beginner's Guide to the I Ching

I Ching an introduction to the book of changes

by Willard Johnson

As Cocteau writes of opium, so of the I Ching
"One must not take opium too seriously." 

 . . .  The I Ching is not the obscure oracle book that it is commonly thought to be--anyone who uses it for a while knows this well enough. The I Ching is a book of vision and wisdom unique in the world, as it includes an absolutely simple method of consulting it, namely the throwing of three coins six times to 'draw' a hexagram . . .  The hexagram drawn presents an abstract 'image' along with commentaries which help one to understand one's situation of 'change.' As one throws the coins with a question in mind, the hexagram image helps one to investigate and understand all the subtleties of the change situation one is involved in as defined by the question . . .


I Ching Walking Your Path, Creating Your Future by Hilary Barrett

I Ching Walking Your Path, Creating Your Future - Hilary Barrett


Here is what Hilary has to say about her book:

This is a simple, practical I Ching for divination. It contains a translation of the older layers of the text, along with excerpts from the Wings (later commentaries) that I’ve found particularly helpful in interpreting readings. This is not an original, scholarly translation; I’m in no way qualified to write such a thing. Any value it has lies in its practical roots, in a decade or so of working as a diviner and mentor/teacher.

To get into the book, every interpretation and suggestion had to pass a basic ‘usefulness test': in all the situations I know of where someone’s received this particular hexagram and line, would this interpretation have been accurate and helpful? If not, re-evaluate its theoretical basis, rethink, go deeper, find the essence, and rewrite.


Monday, November 10, 2014


More than you want to know about A Swallow Song

RICHARD & MIMI FARINA ~ A Swallow Song ~

Have not yet found written documentation, but the story as I remember it is that Richard wrote this song for his sister-in-law Joan Baez during or after a visit to San Juan Capistrano when the swallows returned (traditionally March 19th).

Mission San Juan Capistrano is named after Saint John of Capistrano -- San Giovanni da Capestrano. Again from Wikipedia: "John was known as the "Scourge of the Jews" for his fanatical anti-semitism. In 1447 he offered the Pope a small fleet on which to load all the Jews of the papal states in order to ship them to some faraway land. Between 1451 and 1453, his fiery sermons against Jews persuaded many southern German regions to expel their entire Jewish population, and at Breslau some were burned at the stake."

 "And will the swallows come again?"
Wikipedia tells us that "In recent years, the swallows have failed to return in large flocks to the [San Juan Capistrano] Mission. Few birds were counted in the 1990s and 2000s. The reduction has been connected to increased development of the area, including many more choices of nesting place and fewer insects to eat."

 ". . . songstress Carolyn Hester learned the Sephardic song, Los Bilbilicos at a song-swapping group in Greenwich Village in the early 1960s. The melody is an extremely well known setting of the Sabbath table song, Tzur Mishelo. Hester recorded it on a 1962 LP that is best known these days for Bob Dylan's harmonica playing on several tracks. Hester's husband at the time, Richard Fariña, heard the song and adapted it into The Swallow Song ♪ which he recorded with his next wife, Mimi, on their second album, Reflections in a Crystal Wind."

 Hester sings these lyrics, which are . . . found in a 1960 songbook by Theodore Bikel called "Folksongs and Footnotes":
Los bibilicos cantan / En los arbos de la flor
Los bibilicos cantan / En los arbos de la flor
Debaxo se asentan / Los que sufren del amor.
Debaxo se asentan / Los que sufren del amor.

Bikel translates it:
The nightbirds are singing
In the flowering trees,
While underneath sit those
That suffer from love.
 Carolyn Hester says she learned Los Bibilicos at at song swap. The person she learned it from might have learned it from the Theodore Bikel songbook. Although the song does not appear on any of his commercial recordings, he was recorded singing it as part of a lecture 'History and Origin of Jewish Music"


Another version of Los Bilbilicos:

Los bilbilicos cantan
Con sospiros de amor
Mi neshama mi ventura
Estan en tu poder

La rosa enflorese
En el mes de mai
Mi neshama s'escurese,
Sufriendo del amor

Mas presto ven palomba
Mas presto ven con mi
Mas presto ven querida,
Corre y salvame

The nightingales sing
With sighs of love
My soul and my fate
Are in your power

The rose blooms
in the month of May
My soul and fate
Suffer from love's pain

Come more quickly, dove
More quickly come with me
More quickly come, beloved
Run and save me

Consuelo Luz - Los Bilbilicos(the Nightingales)

 "The melody [of Los Bilbilicos] is an extremely well known setting of the Sabbath table song, Tzur Mishelo."

צוּר מִשֶּׁלּוֹ אָכַֽלְנוּ בָּרְכוּ אֱמוּנַי,
שָׂבַֽעְנוּ וְהוֹתַֽרְנוּ כִּדְבַר יְיָ.

הַזָּן אֶת עוֹלָמוֹ רוֹעֵֽנוּ אָבִֽינוּ,
אָכַֽלְנוּ אֶת לַחְמוֹ וְיֵינוֹ שָׁתִֽינוּ,
עַל כֵּן נוֹדֶה לִשְׁמוֹ וּנְהַלְּלוֹ בְּפִֽינוּ,
אָמַֽרְנוּ וְעָנִֽינוּ אֵין קָדוֹשׁ כַּייָ.
צוּר מִשֶּׁלּוֹ אָכַֽלְנוּ בָּרְכוּ אֱמוּנַי, שָׂבַֽעְנוּ וְהוֹתַֽרְנוּ כִּדְבַר יְיָ.

בְּשִׁיר וְקוֹל תּוֹדָה נְבָרֵךְ לֵאלֹהֵֽינוּ,
עַל אֶֽרֶץ חֶמְדָּה טוֹבָה שֶׁהִנְחִיל לַאֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ,
מָזוֹן וְצֵדָה הִשְׂבִּֽיעַ לְנַפְשֵֽׁנוּ,
חַסְדּוֹ גָּבַר עָלֵֽינוּ וֶאֱמֶת יְיָ.
צוּר מִשֶּׁלּוֹ אָכַֽלְנוּ בָּרְכוּ אֱמוּנַי, שָׂבַֽעְנוּ וְהוֹתַֽרְנוּ כִּדְבַר יְיָ.

רַחֵם בְּחַסְדֶּֽךָ עַל עַמְּךָ צוּרֵֽנוּ,
עַל צִיּוֹן מִשְׁכַּן כְּבוֹדֶֽךָ זְבוּל בֵּית תִּפְאַרְתֵּֽנוּ,
בֶּן דָּוִד עַבְדֶּֽךָ יָבוֹא וְיִגְאָלֵֽנוּ,
רֽוּחַ אַפֵּֽינוּ מְשִֽׁיחַ יְיָ.
צוּר מִשֶּׁלּוֹ אָכַֽלְנוּ בָּרְכוּ אֱמוּנַי, שָׂבַֽעְנוּ וְהוֹתַֽרְנוּ כִּדְבַר יְיָ.

יִבָּנֶה הַמִּקְדָּשׁ, עִיר צִיּוֹן תְּמַלֵּא,
וְשָׁם נָשִׁיר שִׁיר חָדָשׁ וּבִרְנָנָה נַעֲלֶה,
הָרַחֲמָן הַנִּקְדָּשׁ יִתְבָּרַךְ וְיִתְעַלֶּה,
עַל כּוֹס יַֽיִן מָלֵא כְּבִרְכַּת יְיָ.
צוּר מִשֶּׁלּוֹ אָכַֽלְנוּ בָּרְכוּ אֱמוּנַי, שָׂבַֽעְנוּ וְהוֹתַֽרְנוּ כִּדְבַר יְיָ.

Tzur mishelo akhalnu / barechu emunai
Savanu vehotarnu / kidvar Adonay

Hazan et olamo / ro’enu avinu
Achalnu milachmo / u’miyeno shatinu
Al ken nodeh lishmo / u’nehallelo befinu
Amarnu ve’aninu / en kadosh ka’Adonay

Beshir vekol toda / nevarech le’Eloheinu
Al eretz chemda tova / shehinchil la’avotenu
Umazon vetzeda / hisbi’a lenafshenu
Chasdo gavar alenu / ve’emet Adonay

Rachem bechasdecha / al amcha tzurenu
Al tzion mishkan kvodecha / zevul bet tifartenu
Uven David avdecha / yavo veyigalenu
Ruach apenu / meshiach Adonay

Yibaneh hamikdash / ir tzion temalleh
Vesham nashir shir chadash / u’virnana sham na’alleh
Harachaman hanikdash / yitbarach veyitalleh
Al kos yayin malleh / kevirkat Adonay

The Lord, Our Rock, whose food we have eaten, let us bless Him
We are satiated and there is still food left over, as God has instructed

He nourishes His world, our Shepherd, our Father
We have eaten of His bread and drunk from His wine
Therefore we will thank Him and speak His praise
We said and respond: there is no one holy like our Lord

With song and gratitude we will give praise to our
God For the desirable good land He bequeathed to our fathers
With nourishment and sustenance He has satisfied us
His grace has overwhelmed us as has His truth

Have mercy in Your graciousness on Your nation, Lord, Our Rock
And upon Zion the dwelling place of Your honor, the Temple of our splendor
And the son of David, Your servant, will come and redeem us
The breath of our life, The Messiah of God

The Temple will be rebuilt; the City of Zion will be restored
And there we will sing a new song and journey up
The Merciful and the Sanctified One will be blessed and exalted
Over a full glass of wine, according to God’s blessing


Congregation B'nai Jeshurun

Tzur Mishelo Achalnu (La Rosa Enflorece) - Rosa Wol, soprano

"Tzur Mishelo Achalnu" - Traditional Sabbath Canticle in Hebrew. Its old tune is known also as the Ladino-Sefardic "La Rosa Enflorece" or "Il Bilbilicos", or the Turkish love song "Yastayim".

yoksun,yine varligim surunuyor
sensizligim bilinmiyor
sen gittin gideli ellerim hep titriyor
kalbim bu acıyı saklıyor

yillar sonra bile hic kimseye soyleyemedim
bu sevdayi kalbime gömdum ve sen öldün
simdi eşim dostum beni hastayim saniyor
yastayim hiç kimse bilmiyor

seni son gordugum yerde yillar sonra
o gun geldi yine aklima
bu kez bir elimde kizim icimde firtina
göçüp gittigin o yol da

sen varmissin gibi her gece isigi kapatmadim
gel görki ben hala yokluguna alisamadim

simdi eşim dostum beni hastayim saniyor
yastayim hiç kimse bilmiyor

çok zor o kadar yıl sonra itiraf etmek
bu aşkı bertaraf etmek
bu kez sana söyleyecek ne cok sey vardı
isterdim bak unutmadım demek

bugun doğum günün yanında değilim
bu yüzden hiç iyi değilim
yaşlandım artık bıraktığın gibi değilim
üstelik bir kizim var evliyim

sen varmissin gibi her gece isigi kapatmadim
hastayım hiç kimse bilmiyor


you are not here, but my precsence is still going on
being without you is unknown
ever since you had gone,my hands have been shivering
my heart is hiding this pain

l couldn't said anybody even after years later
l buried this love to my heart and you died
now my wife,friends think that l am ill
i am in mourn,nobody knows

after years,in the last place l has seen you
that day came to my mind again
but in this time l have got a daughter in my one hand and in the other hand is storm
the road where you had gone

l didn't turn off the lights every night as you are in here
come and see me,l still didn't get used to your absence

now my wife,friends think that l am ill
i am in mourn,nobody knows

it is so hard to confess it after lots of years
to get rid of this love
there is lot of things to say to you in at this time
l would have wanted to say ''i didnt forget''

today is your birthday,but l am not near you
l am not fine because of this
l am aged now not like you left me
furthermore l have got a daughter and married

l didn't turn off the lights every night as you are in here
l am in mourn,nobody knows


Ferhat Göçer-Yastayım

Saturday, October 20, 2012




What are Yi-Toons and the I Ching?
The intention of Yi-Toons is to humorously present, perhaps not always successfully, some graphical figments of my imagination based on a combination of I Ching imagery and my present state of mind. As for the I Ching, let’s just say that a few millennia and countless books and essays later, the subject remains inexhaustible. Being that so, please excuse me –or be grateful– for sparing you many particulars.




Heritage of Change – a Background to Chinese Culture and Thinking


The lost work of Wallace Andrew Sherrill

A few years ago Frank Coolen told me he had bought a book by W.A. Sherrill which was quite unknown in the world of Yijing students. Indeed, the book is so rare that isn’t even listed in I Ching – An Annotated Bibliography. Naturally I also wanted to have a copy of this curious book, so with a lot of searching on the internet, and by paying way too much money, I was able to obtain this book.
Sherrill is mostly known by his co-authorship with W.K. Chu. They wrote An Anthology of I Ching, which gives some divination techniques that are (sometimes loosely) associated with the Yijing,  and The Astrology of I Ching, which is their adaptation of Heluo Lishu, a kind of numerological system that calculates birth and life hexagrams. They were both good friends with Nan Huaijin 南懷瑾, a well-known Buddhist teacher.
Sherrill’s book Heritage of Change – a Background to Chinese Culture and Thinking is written as an introduction in the Yijing and Chinese culture and philosophy from a Westerners point of view. I must confess I have never read it thoroughly. The contents does not really appeal to me, I am not interested in philosophical explanations. But I am sure others will find it a joy to read and many might find the book stuffed with a lot of intriguing concepts and information.
That is why I made a scan of the book. It can be downloaded here:
Heritage of Change (571)


The Classic of Changes in Cultural Context: A Textual Archaeology of the Yi jing


The Classic of Changes in Cultural Context: A Textual Archaeology of the Yi jing

 By Scott Davis

*This book is in the Cambria World Sinophone Series
(General editor: Victor H. Mair)

The Classic of Changes (Yi jing) is one of the most ancient texts known to human civilization, always given pride of place in the Chinese classical tradition. This venerable text is difficult for readers; with terse, archaic written statements; a divinatory orientation to the world; and a special formal framework. Focusing narrowly on philology or translation often exacerbates the puzzles it presents. Over millennia of reflection, answering to varying interests in various epochs of Chinese history, a voluminous commentary tradition has grown up, itself posing challenges for modern readers who may not share the unspoken assumptions of the interpreters over the ages. And yet the powerful fascination exerted by the Classic of Changes has preserved the archaic text, widely attracting readers with a continuing interest in trying to understand it as a source of reflection and guide to ordinary circumstances of human life. Its monumental influence over Chinese thought makes the text an indispensable element in any informed approach to Chinese culture.
Accordingly, the book focuses on the archaic core of the Classic of Changes and proposes a structural anthropological analysis for two main reasons.
First, unlike many treatments of the Yi jing, there is a concern to place the text carefully in the context of the ancient culture which created it, allowing a fuller appreciation of its divinatory mission, a unique orientation towards writing and literature. Employing a comparative method honed in analysis of ritual and symbolic practice from a wide range of human groups, structural analysis brings certain strategic advantages to addressing the organization of an archaic cognitive system. The explicit structural approach finds excellent resonance in the conceptualization of the text itself, as a verbal and imagistic field of expression arising from the formal, binary structure of lines, and from the symmetries, dynamically formed and broken, between hexagrams.
Second, the approach differs from traditional exegesis which did not and ultimately could not address problems of textual understanding in a holistic sense. Research on compositional problems leads necessarily from the whole to its parts, discovering distributional patterns in the overall text. Resembling treatments of mythological and ritual symbolism in other cultures, structural analysis proves apt in isolating design modules which articulate the organization of a profoundly unique effort to model the society and worldview of the people who consolidated millennia of ancient thought into an intriguing expression of the circumstances of the tradition. This book is not a translation of the Classic of Changes; it is a careful interpretation, or rather method of exploration, of the connectivities and topography of the text as a whole.
As a result of this deliberate methodological choice of approach to the classic, one is better able to visualize multiple domains of designed modules ingeniously integrated as a comprehensive structural model of an entire cultural universe, including social experience in an archaic culture, or the trajectory of an individual through the age ranks successively traversed in the lifetime of any member. By isolating the social forms of an individual life, against the background of the archaic cosmology, as the structural preconditions for each randomized divination, this analysis succeeds in illuminating dimensions of early Chinese life that would not otherwise be accessed through other historical or archaeological materials. This provides a penetrating anthropological view into the conditions of thought in an archaic society to a degree previously unavailable.
Indeed, the Classic of Changes is a bold and powerful attempt at modeling an ancient culture in a way never before conceived sociologically, a profound auto-ethnography teaching us about the philosophical anthropology of its makers and preparing the way for further understanding of later classical texts. One must acknowledge an astonishing level of sophistication in textual structuring and draw insights from it concerning the ways a divination culture classifies and comes to terms with the fluctuating, omen-bearing historical material of individual human experience.
This book will be of interest to all those engaged in seeking philosophical anthropological understanding of culture and writing, and especially contributes to the study of cultures of antiquity and their modes of thought. Anyone interested in complex, formalized classification systems would want to consider this analysis. It sheds light upon ancient Chinese culture and is important for demonstrating methodologically grounded research on the foundational texts of its classical tradition. The results of this work will appeal to those pursuing better comprehension of the Classic of Changes, as an instance of writing under the paradigm of a divination culture, as an outstanding representative of pre-Qin cultural tradition, and as a guide for living.


Saturday, February 18, 2012


Ground the Drones

Thursday, December 15, 2011


occupy iowa

Friday, September 30, 2011



When I began to study Wu Chen P'ien/Wuzhen pian I was comparing Fabrizio Pregadio's translation (Awakening to Reality) with that of Thomas Cleary (Understanding Reality).
September 17 at 12:13pm ·

   At the end of the fourth poem of the first
sections Pregadio has:

           "The cycling of fire in the spiritual work before the
light of dawn will cause the whole of the Moon to appear in the Deep
Pool" (p 34).

           While Cleary has:

           "The spiritual work operating the firing does not take a
whole day before it brings out the orb of the sun in the deep pool"

           Surely, it must be one or the other, moon or sun, unless
the original term is more general, something like heavenly body or
celestial object.

           My intention was to indicate that Pregadio provides the
original text, but today I am not able to get beyond Poem Two on
Google Books:


           and Amazon seems unable to load the page:


           Cleary's translation is at:

           Awakening to Reality
           Awakening to Reality (Wuzhen pian) is one of the most
important and best-known T...aoist alchemical texts. Written in the
eleventh century, it describes in a poetical form, and in a typically
cryptic and allusive language, several facets of Neidan, or internal
alchemy. The present book presents the fir...See More
           September 17 at 12:14pm · LikeUnlike ·
           Aspen Bai where is the problem?
           September 17 at 12:34pm · LikeUnlike
           Steve Marsden One guy says "Moon" -- the other guy says
"Sun" -- is it one or the other or can it be either/both? When you ask
"where is the problem?" perhaps you are suggesting that it does not
matter whether it is Sun or Moon.

           One (minor) problem is that the first time I looked at the
Pregadio on Google Books I could see Poem Four and today I am not able
to get beyond Poem Two.
           September 17 at 1:18pm · LikeUnlike
           Aspen Bai well, the book your book you are reading is
about making elixir, so I can't interpret it precisely. But here is
what I would do; I would read I Ching which was the fundamental of all
kinds of sects of Chinese culture and which influenced the way we
think. So in general, based on Tai Chi, Ying and Yang present
together, combined the entity of universe. Sun is Yang; Moon is ying.
Simply speaking,if your body is very cold,you will need more yang
which means to expose in sunshine a little bit more; if your body is
very hot, you need to nourish Yin. As you can see, you could find the
right translation by yourselfmbased on the context.
           September 17 at 1:31pm · LikeUnlike
           Aspen Bai the ancient writings are difficult for Chinese
people too. But for thousands of years we have believed in what our
ancesters believed and followed their basic instructions. One could
achieve to decode Chinese philosophy and science if he really knew
about my country and my people
           September 17 at 1:33pm · LikeUnlike
           Aspen Bai don't believe in me too much. I just provieded a
point of view, an option. I'm too young and too ignorant to interpret
my ancestors great wisdom.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Lotus Dragon




December 2005   January 2006   March 2006   May 2006   June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   March 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   September 2007   October 2007   February 2008   March 2008   March 2009   September 2009   January 2010   March 2010   April 2010   May 2010   February 2011   March 2011   April 2011   September 2011   December 2011   February 2012   October 2012   November 2014   May 2015  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?