Saturday, March 24, 2007

That which endures

Hexagram 32 teaches us that it is that which changes which is that which endures. This is because what changes is what is cyclic in its progression. What has happened will happen again. But within the individual it is an unswerving direction that endures. This is what counts. It goes without saying that that direction should be positive. Different people, however, will have different opinions on what is positive and what is not. Often peoples intentions seem very negative to others but very positive to those who are carrying them out. This is why we need a guide. Hexagram three line four says, "Whoever hunts deer without the forester only loses his way in the forest." To most of us it seems that we come into life without a guide for living. That is not true however, we do have guides. We have the sacred literature. We have the I Ching, the Tao Teh Ching, and the Bible. Often though, we unknowingly trivialize them and do not recognize them for what they are. Even when we recognize the power of the literature, we often think of it as only a trinket, useful for divination, or for some knotty question, but never as a true guide for ourselves. There was some discussion some time back on online clarity about whether there is even such thing as a sage. Mark my words, those who think there is not a sage, do not have a very deep understanding about what spirituality is all about. The sage is there to guide us and to teach us. He is at our disposal, as long as we approach him/her with the proper respect, and dignity. The Sage is the forester, who shows us the way through the wilderness. The Sage is the one who is discussed constantly in the words of the text, and in the judgments and images. The Sage is the one with the keys to the kiingdom. (See hexagram 20 line 4.) The Sage shows us where we are on the ever changing cycle of time. When we are in the peak of a time or energy wave, when we are in a valley, or when we are on an even keel. He/she is the one who sees us through the gloomy valley of hexagram 47, who helps us with our deliverance from karma in hexagram 40, the one who abides in the deep ravine of knowledge and wisdom in hexagram 29. The Sage teaches us when to advance, and when to retreat. (Hexagram 33 and 34) The Sage teaches us to look at the positive potential in times of darkness, (hexagram 12) and the inherent dangers that lurk in times of peace. The Sage teaches us that all things ebb and flow, and we must learn to read the signs of the times. This is what never changes, is that ebb and flow. As Sun Tzu said, "it is not enough to know that when the leaves change color winter is approaching, or to know that when the ice thaws spring approaches, one must read the signs before the obvious signs, and in time will come to not just know, but be reconciled and one with the ebb and flow of all things, and therefore, always prepared. Do we prepare ourselves for what lies ahead, with the right understanding of the signs of the times?

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