Monday, June 27, 2011

Aspects of Hexagram Fifty Four

As I study this hexagram, strangely I become somewhat disturbed in thinking about the depth of this book and how so much of it is passed over, even by me. For readings for divination there may be better books than the Wilhelm/Baynes version. And there are other good books for spiritual understanding and explanations for the lines, for the meanings of the trigrams etc. But for deep spiritual understanding there is nothing better that W/B if you have the willingness to daily put pieces together. I say that because the commentary is very terse, saying much in little. But one does not get the meat on the bone, (hexagram twenty one) until after years of study one starts to notice how different parts of commentary from different hexagrams begin to fit together into a comprehensive whole that teaches us the nature of the cosmos and our relationship to it.

I am disturbed because I know that my ability to pass this knowledge on to others is wholly inadequate. I am disturbed because I know that even I get only a picture of it as through a tinted glass window that allows only part of the light to shine in. And I am disturbed because I know that in order to get something out daily that is useful turns into poorly written material that really does not fully express what I want to express. I do not know what to do to make this better for people on various levels of understanding, and how to make it something that both beginners and highly advanced people can use.

Hexagram fifty four, as well as most hexagrams has various threads running through it that while not being mutually exclusive paint a very different picture from top to bottom. On the one hand, it shows the image of a woman who marries into a less than satisfactory position, but is able to make the best of it. On the other, it shows a situation where one have achieved the final goal of marriage, and therefore the end of life as it has been known. Since marriage is the ultimate goal, undertakings from that point on bring misfortune. The nuclear hexagram is sixty three, which depicts a situation where everything has been put in its proper place, evolution is complete, and the only way anything can move from that point on is through devolution, or things falling out of place.

Marriage is a symbol of a person's spiritual content in which he or she has achieved the final goal of uniting conscious and subconscious mind to the extent that he or she has entered the "kingdom of heaven." And what is beyond that? Therefore the image says, "Thus the superior man (who has integrated conscious and subconscious) Understands the transitory in the light of the eternity of the end.

The lines show us various marital or premarital situations which have certain advantages or disadvantages. In the first line the lady is married but she is in an inferior position and must withdraw modestly into the background. Hopefully we can get more deeply into the meanings of the various lines later. The second line shows a situation where the married maiden is in a situation that disappoints her in some way. This leads to a certain loneliness but she maintains her dignity. The third line shows the married maiden in a situation where she is not free to express herself and is enslaved in some way. The fourth line shows a situation in which one is not able to find her proper place for some time. Much has to be done before the opportunity arises in which she can accomplish her goal. The fifth place shows a marriage of convenience, perhaps someone else's convienience, such as the king, and yet one is able to maintain dignity and grace. The sixth line shows a situation where the marriage is for show or convenience only and there is no real substance to it.

But the hexagram is also an allegory of a person's spiritual path and possible pitfalls along the way. Therefore, in the first line a spiritual aspirant progresses slowly and is in some way hampered in his walk with the sage or the I Ching. It may be due to false beliefs, or any number of things but it slows him or her down without actually stopping him or her. The commentary says the line is able to accomplish something indirectly at least. He is hampered but not totally stopped. We must always find what holds us back and make corrections. He is still able to make progress because he is willing to be in reception to the second and fifth lines of the hexagram the fifth being the ruler.

The second line shows one who has a blind spot in his or her spiritual understanding. He is not totally blind. He is on the spiritual path, but his or her vision is limited. He cannot see far and is somewhat deluded in his approach, and yet still makes some progress. He or she may see things far too literally, and not understand the allegory and symbolism of a given teaching. They see "as though through a glass darkly."

The third line describes a person who dabbles in spiritual teachings but does so only to attain some earthly advantage, not for the purpose of developing the self. There are those who want to follow a spiritual teaching as long as it helps them attract more success into their life, helps them with their relationships, or helps them overcome some hangup, but they do not see "the light of the kingdom." These people can only go so far and are a "slave" to their personal and egoistic desires." They enter any door that can help them with their immediate problems.

The fourth line waits for conditions to change before it enters any kind of spiritual practice. This person temporarily needs this or that in his or her personal life, and is not willing to look at the true spiritual picture until they have met certain needs. They become interested in spirituality after they get married, or after they have children, or after they make their first million, but they do not want it now. It can always wait until after the next life cycle.

The fifth line marries an inferior. These people are content with an orthodox church, one that fits well within their society, one that has doctrines or beliefs that are acceptable to the majority of people in their peer group. One that gives nice little platitudes on Sunday; a little ritual that is in many ways meaningless but gives some comfort to the soul, but they do not want to have any further involvement, do not care to find the real meaning of the ritual, and do not care to look beyond the obvious. They prefer to look at the finger pointing to the moon rather than to the moon itself.

Line six shows someone who merely goes through the motions of a spiritual practice, and cares nothing of the true message. They go through it perhaps because it makes them look good in the eyes of the community, or helps them in some way to interact more happily with their peers, and in the business community. But it really means nothing to them. They just go through the motions for outer appearance, and nothing more. The truth does not interest them. They don't care, they may even think there is nothing to it.

We all have aspects of each one of these lines within ourselves. Even if he have no religion or spirituality and do not believe in such. We can still find these situations within ourselves in some way. Most of the time these habits operate just below the level of awareness. It is only when we marry (align ourselves with the I Ching,) for the purpose of true union, based on affection and love, that we find ourselves truly on the spiritual path, and truly growing in our spiritual walk. The entire purpose of being human is to attain unity with all of humanity and finally with the cosmos itself. When we do we find true happiness, which we can never find when these situations are lurking within us just below the level of consciousness.

No comments: