The Yijing on world events


I don't often consult the Yijing about world events. One time I can remember very well though is when I asked about the outcome of the Tiananmen Square student occupation in 1989 and got the top line of hexagram 2 a couple of days before the tanks went in: 'Dragons battling in the wilds. Their blood is black and yellow.' Traditionally this line is seen as revolutionaries taking on a much stronger power (a dragon-like challenge to the ruling dragon). The stronger power quashes them but both sides are injured in the process (injury to the ruling dragon was the Chinese government's loss of standing in the world). Of course, in the past a dragon-like challenge to the ruling dragon has sometimes resulted in revolution and change of dynasty, and so roles are reversed, it turns out the ruling dragon was in fact the false dragon, it had lost the mandate of heaven. In the case of Tiananmen, however, all the students had was moral power. Had they had firepower and a strategy it could well have been a different story. The image of the man who stopped the column of tanks is unlikely to be forgotten. Who is the true dragon, ask yourself that when looking at that picture. All it is now is a marginal note in my copy of Wilhelm: 'I received this for Tiananmen Square.'

Following my review of Jack Balkin's The Laws of Change, I discovered he has a blog, Balkinization. Mostly dedicated to law and politics, but I came across a very interesting divination he did with the Yijing on January 18, 2003, in which he asked: 'What will happen if the United States attacks Iraq?' I won't quote what the Yi said, you can read it in his blog entry. I will leave Balkin's assertion that the Yijing can't predict the future hanging, since with the passage of time the oracle he received speaks for itself.