While doing some rather casual on-line reading about the I Ching, I came across a brief introduction to the subject that holds the following insights on the nature of divination:
“Methods of divination are as old as Mankind. The purpose of divination is often considered to be foretelling the future, but while simple superstitious fortunetelling may aim at that, the true nature of divination is not that superficial. The purpose of serious divination is spiritual advancement. The I Ching gives advice on the underlying spiritual influences of a given situation and on the best attitudes and actions to take towards that situation to bring about the morally most favorable outcome.”
The same could be said about any legitimate approach to anticipating the future course of circumstances or events; the truth of the matter lies not so much in the outward evidence (which could be considered a “lagging indicator”) but rather in the underlying motivation, which often has spiritual, moral or ethical dimensions in addition to its intellectual and emotional roots. Unfortunately, I’m not able to cite the author’s name since the page doesn’t reveal it, but here is the link:
I’m intrigued by Rupert Sheldrake’s concept of “morphic fields” in this context, which – as far as I can tell without digging deeper – posits that information exists as a thing in itself – independent of the means by which we access and manipulate it. What we typically think of as information merely consists of the mechanics of navigating and dispensing it, not the actual source material, which is more numinous as well as more pervasive and persistent. Destroying the means of conveying information does not expunge it from the repository of universal knowledge, whether one thinks of that in terms of the Collective Unconscious, the Astral Plane, the Akashic record or Plato’s “Soul of the World.” Those of us who practice divination recognize that these fields can be tapped via the more subtle channels existing within the neural computer that is the human brain. I’m fond of saying that what we do is a form of mental physics that we don’t yet have the metrics to scientifically qualify and quantify. But that day is coming.