Monday, November 26, 2007

Another Divination Story (Part II)

Confucius was right - Lu conquered Yue without much resistance.

In one book I read, the author said, "Confucius based on the fact that Lu invaded Yue by boat and not on land. His interpretation was really brilliant."

In another book, the author said, "It was the Yue people who lived by the water. Lu people were not strong in battle in water. The army had still to advance by foot. Probably Confucius just wanted to comfort his own people by saying that they would win the battle despite a disadvantageous hexagram. It was the positive thinking of the people that helped Lu to win the war."

There is no record of Confucius using what we know as Wen Wang Gua. This method of divination using the hexagrams without consulting the hexagram and line texts of the Yijing was supposed to be the invention of Jing Fang in the Han Dynasty, many hundred years after Confucius time. It is not impossible that Confucius had already had the idea of using a more mathematical method to do divination. In my next posting, I will talk about this method.


1 comment: said...

The interpretation of the 2nd author looks really funny to me.

A battle in the water, one army has the use of boats and is experienced in the water.
The other army is on foot, thus probably up to their shoulders in the water..
Yet the second army wins, thanks to "positive thinking"
Then how drunk were these soldiers in the boats?
It's just hilarious.
I would have liked to see that battle.


But people put stock in such stories only because they see the name Confucius mentioned.
If it were two poor beginners doing their divinations that way, we would advise them to chose another profession.