Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Generalities About Hexagram Fifty Four

There is more I want to say about fifty four, but I must admit for now I am somewhat stumped by some of the symbolism in fifty four. The wild goose finds various resting places on its journey; first on the shore, then on the cliff, then on the plateau, then the tree branch, then the summit, and finally the cloud heights. Using the English translation we can interpret these lines for a reading. But what do each of these resting places symbolize? And this is the key because every noun in the I Ching is a symbol for something else. Quite often it is apparent what that symbol is for, at others it is not; and this would be one place where knowledge of the original language would come in quite handy. The words no doubt have a multitude of meanings that would give us much greater light on the subject.

One thing we can say however, is that a resting place is a symbol for what we believe, and how we rely (rest) on those beliefs. When we reach the shore we have reached our first level of understanding but we are not firmly fixed on that level of understanding. The line says, "The young son is in danger. There is talk, no blame." The young son is in danger because his belief system is only beginning to take shape and form just as land is first sighted at the shore. He must go through many difficulties before a true belief system takes place in his heart, but those difficulties are the very thing that keep us searching for the truth. People do not look for spiritual truth because they happen to like it, they look because their lives are not working and they want to figure out why and how to fix it, so they can be happy. No one comes to help us in our time of need because they do not know what we are going through, and they would not know how to help us anyway. The commentary says, "...his steps are slow and hesitant, and he is surrounded by danger." (Compare hexagram thirty line one which says, "The footprints run crisscross." When we first start out on a spiritual journey, ((and a relationship is a spiritual journey, as is anything we do in life)) we run counter to the way we should often because we have not been taught the proper way, and life itself is the teacher.) When we do not know the way, we stumble often, we crisscross our path until we find the right way. Our belief system is incomplete, and each stage of the journey in hexagram fifty three we are further developing our belief systems until finally they work and "take us to the cloud heights."

The nuclear hexagram for fifty three is hexagram sixty four. (I want to relate all of these things to relationships as well, and hope to do so, but for now remember that all lessons in the I Ching work on all levels in keeping with the old adage, "as above so below." Here I am just going to make a general statement about this connection. The statement from the fifth line of sixty four which says "The light of the superior man is true." The light of the superior man is the I Ching itself. But the I Ching is life and light. The I Ching, (not the printed pages, but the spirit of the book) is alive and it has a consciousness, and that consciousness is one with universal consciousness. When the wild goose of hexagram fifty three reaches the cloud heights it becomes one with the "superior man." In the same way, when we complete our lessons, when we have reached the cloud heights we come to realize that we are one with the universal consciousness, and we have married the yin side of ourselves and the yang side of ourselves (and this marriage has no divorce, as is said of the wild goose, never takes another mate) and we have the "light of the superior man." This is the ultimate goal of the I Ching itself, is to bring us to the "cloud heights," so that we can join in the sacred ceremony, be as the "flying dragon in the heavens" in hexagram one line five, and as the commentary on hexagram sixty four line five says, "The new time has arrived, and with it good fortune." And as the line says, "No remorse." Let there be no remorse, let us let our "light shine among men and glorify the Father in heaven."

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