Saturday, May 26, 2012

Well the continued trashing of Portland is moving along at a swift pace.

South Waterfront.  I've written about this place before.  It was built on what had been the site of a scrap metal salvage yard.  Connected to the city by a street car and to OHSU by a tram it's a strange place.  It's like a shopping mall without any places to shop.  If it had started out a little less ambitious it might have grown in to something interesting.   I don't think it's ever a good idea to think you can just build a community and wait for it to be populated.  In this case the planning seemed to be that everyone who moved here would be a wealthy professional weirdo like their poster boy Mr. Cycling Psychologist.  Now there would be a Portlandia episode.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Right up until the eclipse was about to start Portland was under a thick cloud cover but just about a 1/2 hour before it reached it's peak the sun was visible through the clouds and much of the time because of the cloud cover visible to the naked eye.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Portland Oregons version of "Smart Growth".
"Seated on his bed, a cup of lukewarm tea beside him, Frink got down his copy of the I Ching.  From their leather tube he took the forty-nine yarrow stalks.  He considered, until he had his thoughts properly controlled and his question worked out...He wrote  the question down on the tablet, then began whipping the yarrow stalks from hand to hand until he had the first line, the beginning.  An eight.  Half the sixty-four hexagrams eliminated already.  He divided the stalks and obtained the second line.  Soon, being so expert, he had all six lines; the hexagram lay before  him, and he did not need to identify it by the chart.  He could recognize it as Hexagram Fifteen.  Ch'ien.  Modesty.  Ah.  The low will be raised up, the high brought down, powerful families humbled;  he did not have to refer to the text-he knew it by heart.  A good omen.  The oracle was giving him favorable council."  The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick.

This was my first introduction to a description of the I Ching and the idea of it interested me.  After that I heard references to "Tossing or Throwing the I Ching" but never really understood exactly what that meant or how one could divine a very specific question by reading yarrow straws. I didn't even know what exactly "Yarrow Straws" were.  Later while reading The Way of Zen by Alan Watts I understood what a Hexagram was and a little about the origins of the I Ching.

 A series of 6 Horizontal lines one above the other, some unbroken some broken.  Here is a picture of the South Korean Flag containing 4 Trigrams (there are a total of 8). These 4 are; Heaven,Water, Earth, and Fire. A combination of any two of the 8 Trigrams creates each of the 64 different Hexagrams.   A month ago as a birthday present for one of my sons I bought him a set of Yarrow Straws and the The I Ching or Book of Changes.  I used this as an opportunity to study it so I could teach my son how to use it if he so desired.
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