Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Persistently Ill

When we read for personal development, and we receive hexagram sixteen line five, we might take a look at which attitudes we are clinging to that are causing us emotional illness in our daily life. The following lines and/or hexagrams that we receive should give us further insight into the negative attitudes we are clinging to. Sometimes, in spite of all we learn from the I Ching there are unconscious habits and attitudes that we unwittingly carry on with in the inner mind. When this hexagram changes we have hexagram forty five which tells us that we are gathering together things or people into our daily lives. Sometimes we understand our readings on one level not realizing there is a much needed deeper layer of meaning that we must take hold of. If we don't we can end up like the youthful person of limited awareness in hexagram four of whom it is said, "Often the teacher, when confronted wkith such entngled folly, has no other course but to leave the fool to himself for a time, not sparing him the humiliation that results. This is frequently the only means of rescue." Ultimately it is experience that counts. That is what really teaches us. Head knowledge is extremely limited. It is also a matter of consistently applying. Hexagram twenty nine counsels us that "in teaching everything depends on consistency. for it is only through repetition that the pupil makes the material his own." And the promise of working in this way, working on what has been spoiled, can be found in hexagram fifty, line three, where the Wilhelm/Baynescommentary says, "But if he will only see to it that he is possessed of something truly spiritual, the time is bound to come, sooner or later, when the difficulties will be resolved and all will go well."

We must, however, take a deep and honest look at ourselves. Hexagram twenty line five says, "Contemplation of my life, the superior man is without blame." It is only when we are willing to look at ourselves, as hexagram sixty one says, "a heart free of prejudice, and therefore open to the truth," that we are able to see ourselves as we truly are without bias or prejudice, with objectivity rather than subjectivity. We must learn to observe ourselves, as if we were outside of ourselves...

1 comment:

Michelle said...

This reminds me of a Daoist or Zen story (which I can't find at the moment, of course!) of a music student whose teacher said he was so awful no one could stand to listen to him. He was banished to a deserted island where there were only birds. The student had nothing to do but practice his music, and he began to reproduce the bird sounds with his musical instrument. In a few years he returned to civilization, an accomplished artist.