In the Way of Inquiry • Initial Unpleasantness

Clouds and thunder:
The image of Difficulty at the Beginning.
Thus the superior man
Brings order out of confusion.

I Ching Hexagram 3

Inquiry begins in doubt, a debit of certainty and a drought of information, never a pleasant condition to acknowledge, and one of the primary obstacles to inquiry may be reckoned as owing to the onus one naturally feels on owning up to that debt.  Human nature far prefers to revel in the positive features of whatever scientific knowledge it already possesses and the mind defers as long as possible the revolt it feels arising on facing the uncertainties that still persist, the “nots” and “not yets” it cannot as yet and ought not deny.


  • The I Ching, or Book of Changes, R. Wilhelm and C.F. Baynes (trans.), Foreword by C.G. Jung, Bollingen Series 19, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ.  1st edition 1950, 2nd edition 1961, 3rd edition 1967.

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This entry was posted in Animata, C.S. Peirce, Inquiry, Inquiry Driven Systems, Inquiry Into Inquiry, Intelligent Systems, Semiotics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to In the Way of Inquiry • Initial Unpleasantness

  1. tgollier says:


    I like your metaphor of debt. Doubt is the notice of the payment due on the loan knowledge to us.  Much more work to repay the debt with interest than to spend the cash.


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