611. The family (XIII)
What is the I Ching? After all, it provides the topics and titles for all the sequential posts on this site. So what is the oracle? The oracle’s full title, as with a venerable Chinee man, is “the Book of Changes”—and yet it could more accurately be called “the Book of the Dragon”. You see, “I” really means “lizard”, “reptile”, or, indeed, “dragon”—and it is, by the way, pronounced “yee”. As it happens, I found this out the other day after I had written about David Icke and his “lizard people”—the lizard elite—who are, in fact, the Scythians; the people of the dragon. So this insight has a certain synchronicity to it.
In the film Excalibur (1981), Merlin tells the young King Arthur that they are surrounded by a creature: “The dragon. A beast of such power that if you were to see it whole and complete in a single glance, it would burn you to cinders…It is everywhere. It is everything. Its scales glisten in the bark of trees. Its roar is heard in the wind. And its forked tongue strikes like...[lightning strikes] Whoa!—like lightning!—yes, that's it.” This dragon that is “everywhere”, yet is particularly visible in nature, in the wind and the trees, constitutes the I Ching. The I Ching is the dragon that eats its own tail—or, to put it another way, it is a chameleon: it is the camouflaged lizard that is difficult to see, for it changes its skin to fit its environment.
Hence “the Book of Changes”—the book of the lizard, the book of the camouflaged chameleon. There is a relation here to PK Dick and his notion that he was surrounded by a camouflaged god-like entity called “Zebra”, an entity that he felt he sometimes almost glanced, from the corner of his eye—really, its inaccessible nature drove him mad. Yet Merlin would immediately recognise the “terrible dragon” that, if seen whole, would destroy you. The terrible dragon is the ouroboros, the snake that eats its own tale; and it is also the Jörmungand, the serpent that encircles the world—encircles the Yggdrasil, the world tree.
The dragon was not always considered terrible; indeed, the Chinese have never considered the dragon to be terrible—the dragon is considered good luck in China. This is because the Chinese remember that the Golden Age was the Age of the Dragon; and Merlin knew this as well—he served Uther Pendragon and his descendants, after all. When the dragons return, the Golden Age will be upon us again—and, indeed, just before I had this insight a girl sent me a little dragon avatar. A sign that I am on the right track.
So the I Ching is completely Chinese, a dragon book for a people that venerates the dragon; and we, in fact, live in the dragon—the dragon, the ouroboros, being Nature herself; she is invisible in her entirety—a fact that frustrated PK Dick and caused Merlin to issue his admonition that to see Nature entirely would be to court disaster. Yet we can access her secrets, her hidden intersections, through the Book of Changes; a work that glistens like a dragon’s scales—and hides its true message as a chameleon hides on a tree.
This magic is quite enough, yet it was Leibniz who studied the I Ching in the 18th century and brought forth binary and calculus—so that our modern world, the cybernetic world, has really sprung from the oracle itself. The oracle can stand alone, being looped, as with Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, as a divinatory tool; it can tell you about yourself, it can tell you about others, it can tell you about the future—it can tell you about…everything and anything. The I Ching is a circle, a hermeneutic circle—a magic circle—from which serendipity springs; it contains infinite novelty; if you cast a few simple yarrow stalks on the ground, you summon the serpent.