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PROCESS OF DIVINATION.
There are a great many styles of divination offered by different scholars, and no one knows which is the best of all. Those processes which are used by many at present may be divided into three classes, viz;
Orthodox Divination, consisting of sixteen changes, Median Divination, consisting of six changes, and
Abridged Divination, of only three changes. The process of the orthodox divination is fully described in the "Appendix" of the Text, but even this is understood differently by different scholars. an example, the phrase in the Appendix, “Eighteen changes bring forth a diagram," is explained in two ways. Some seem to hold that the word diagram here refers to a trigram or complement, so that a complete hexagram has to be expected through thirty-six changes; and others that a complete diagram of six elements is directly obtained from eighteen changes. In short, it is far beyond the compass of our intellect to decide.
Let it be at any rate. The last named, or the process of the abridged divination seems to be the fittest. As the divination is a means by which we are abled to receive the revelation of the supernatural, through our purity of heart, it is quite indifferent whatever process may be chosen. We, being ordinary-witted being, can not abstract ourselves absolutely from several reflections occuring in mind incessantly, and it is very improbable that we should be able to keep ourselves perfectly pure for so long a time as is involved in the eighteen changes. Should we once happen to divert during the expected time, all the efforts will be spoiled. For this reason it is far safer to resort even to the abridged process in order to keep vurselves solemn, than to run the risk of spoiling it by an attempt at a higher process. I have found out, through an experience of some thirty years, that the process of the abridged divination is the most suitable for us, and rarely have I ever used a higher one. I shall now explain this process.
When you have something to divine, you must, first of all, wash your hands and mouth, clean your body, and sit perfectly aright in a quiet room, and then you may take hold of the "sticks” very reverently. Fifty
. sticks make a complete set, and it must be remembered that they are the holy implements which revelate the will of the Almighty, through their mathematical changes. Take out any single stick and let it stand in the stick-holder, which is to be placed on the centre of the table. This particular one is referred to the “Great Origin.” Hold the lower ends of the remaining fortynine in your left hand, and slightly dovetail the upper ends. Apply your right-hand fingers to the middle of the sticks, the thumb being nearest to you or from inside, and the other fingers to be applied from outside. Lift the whole thing above your forehead. Now turn your sole attention to the affair to be divined, close your eyes, suspend your breaths, make yourself solemn and pure, be sure that you are in interview with the Almighty to receive his order, and further, do not diversify your thoughts to anything else. At the moment when your purity of heart is at its apex, divide the sticks into any two groups with your right-hand thumb.
The division must not be voluntary.
It must be observed here that the moment when the purity of one's heart is at its apex is, in other words, the moment when one communicates with the Almighty. The feeling at the moment of the communication is impossible to describe, being like one which one feels when electric currents flow through his limbs. It is
absolutely necessary that one shall divide his sticks at the very instant when he feels the feeling specified. This point of communication baffles every trial of description, the only way of acquiring the exact idea being through a continued practice and consequent dexterity of the student.
Now, the set of the sticks is in two groups, which correspond to the “ Heaven and Earth" or " Positive and Negative ” in the terms of the “ Eki.” Place the right-hand group on the table, and take out one from
This one is to be held between the lechand the little-man of the left hand; the figure being that of the “Three Figures," namely, “Heaven, Earth, and Mankind.” Count the left-hand group with your right hand : it is to be counted in cycles, each cycle being four times two by two, or eight sticks per cycle. When any number of cycles has been finished, there will remain a number of sticks less than eight, including the one on the little finger. This remainder gives a complement of the destined diagram.
remains, you have “ Ken' (乾 two
“ Da” three
“ Shin" five
« Son” (p)
“ Kan" (tk seven
( eight or naught
“ " Kon” (22)
(坤 These are the eight emblems of " Heaven," “ Pond'
, "Fire" "Thunder," "Wind," "Water," “ Moun“
" tain and “ Earth,” in their order. The trigram corresponding to the present remainder is called the “ Inner Complement," and is to be placed at the bottom of the diagram. The abovestated process is
. now to be repeated, and the trigram corresponding to the second remainder is called the “Outer Comple
ment," and is to be placed at the top of the diagram. Now you are in possession of a complete diagram of six elements. For instance, let the first remainder be one and the second five, then “ Ken' comes below and " Son” above, the diagram of “Shô-chiku” (od 3) being the result. Again, let the remainders be two and six respectively, then we have “Setsu" (); let them be three and seven, then "Hi" (*). Once again, let the first and the second remainder be four and eight (or nothing), then the result is “Fuku” (UD). As the number of the diagrams is eight squared, or sixty-four, there is no fear of obtaining an unknown diagram.
The destined diagram is now before you; the only thing to be done left is to observe the change in the "elements." The method of dealing out the sticks is the same as before, except the mode of counting them. Here each cycle consists of six sticks, so that three times two by two are to be counted per cycle. The remainder thus obtained expresses the element to be chosen. Suppose that your remainder is one, and you have then obtained the first element of the diagram; if two, the second element ; etc. The order of the elements is numbered from below, that is to say, the bottom element is the first, and the top one the sixth. Now then the destination, or a particular element of a particular diagram has been obtained. The annexed diagram shows the order of the elements for the diagram of "Ken."
Positive VI. sixth element.
Positive I. first element.
The general disposition of the affair in question is to be distilled from the sentences to the diagram, the “Exposition," and the "Interpretation"; and the good or evil etc, of the affair or so are to be digested from the sentences to the element. Further information will be understood from a copious number of practical examples contained in the following volume.