Monday, June 20, 2011

A Little Bit About Hexagram Three

Hexagram three is the first hexagram in the main body of the book and as such relates to that which comes first. The Beginning. The beginning is a time of questioning, of puzzlement, because it is as if we are thrown suddenly into a situation in which we have no idea which way we should go, and everything is a mystery. Isn't that true about life in general? It is a mystery. When we are first born we are not even significantly consciously aware of where we are, and no idea how we got here. When we grow up, we get into a relationship and have absolutely no idea how to relate properly, how the opposite sex thinks, or how to resolve issues. The commentary says, "When it is a person's fate to undertake such new beginnings, everything is still unformed, dark. Hence he must hold back, because any premature move might bring disaster." (As a side note, hexagram three lays bare the situation, hexagram four explains the means of overcoming it, and three does too to a certain extent.) In spite of all science knows about the universe, the majority of it is still a mystery to science. And some scientists readily admit that every time they come up with a new theory of how it all fits together, the universe throws a curve at them. (One thing mainstream science will not accept is that there must be a consciousness behind it, and that is a good part of the reason they cannot accept the puzzle.) So too, we are in a universe, in a cosmos, in which we are given no owner's manual and fend for ourselves.

The hexagram then goes on to say that in such times we need helpers. When we are faced with a new challenge, it takes a tremendous amount of information in which to chew on and put things in order. For this it is best that a person has a helper. The I Ching offers us this help. The commentary on the image says, " too the superior man has to arrange and organize the inchoate profusion of such times of beginning..." And indeed the influence of the Sage, (I Ching) is great. The I Ching never slackens in its willingness to teach us and make us better persons (see the image of hexagram one). (The I Ching compares itself to a well in hexagram forty eight, in which we all may drink, and the well is never depleted.) Therefore the image says, "Thus the superior man brings order out of confusion." In other words it is important to differentiate between the important things that add value to our life, and those things that are merely entertainment. Hexagram four line one commentary says, "It must be shown the seriousness of life." It is important to have joy in our lives, and be playful, (Hexagram five line five and hexagram fifty eight.) At the same time that joy must not degenerate into wasteful activities. There is a serious side and a playful side that must balance.

But in order to make progress in our spiritual walk we must have helpers, and the I Ching is our primary helper. (Or whichever spiritual quest you happen to work with.) But it is important to differentiate between that which is truly help and that which means well but is not advantageous. There are three yin lines in hexagram three that make the statement, "Horse and wagon part." They are the second, fourth, and sixth lines. All correctly yin lines. The second line speaks of a situation when we are offered help by someone who is not truly capable of helping. In a relationship this may mean a suitor that means well, but is not really the right person. In terms of our daily walk, it infers someone who wants to give us guidance and protection, but is not truly qualified to do so. 'We must be discriminating, "bringing order out of confusion." But line three tells us that we truly need a helper. Line four tells us that we must "Strive for union." In our daily walk with the sage, in our daily attempt to unite conscious and subconscious, we must strive for union between the two parts of ours selves. In our relationships we must "strive for union" with our partner. The commentary says, "However, an opportunity to make connections offers itself. It must be seized." When we know we have found the forester in line three, when we have eliminated the wrong connections in line two and are offered a connection, it is important to make that connection. When we know we have found a partner who suits us, we must take advantage of the opportunity. We by ourselves are too weak. We need a partner, we need our other half. We need the input of the subconscious. We need the wisdom and expertise of the Sage. Finally, line six says, "bloody tears flow." Sometimes we seem so lost that we just give up. Sometimes in life it seems like nothing is going the way we would like. It seems like our relationships are hopeless. It seems we can make no connection with universal consciousness. But this is an eternal quest. Often when it seems nothing is happening, the most is happening in the shadows. It isn't apparent to us yet, but it is there. The attempt must be made daily, (practicing chariot driving as in hexagram twenty six line three). There are times when we have to give up. There are times when it is definitely over, our relationships or whatever. But it is never over with the sage. We must trust him, hear him, and respond to him, (hexagram sixty one) and thereby grow spiritually, taking daily of the water of the well.


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