Friday, June 10, 2011

The Six Stages

The Wilhelm/Baynes version is separated into three parts, each called a book. The first book delineates the divinatory meaning of the lines, the second is the ten wings, which gives information about the meanings of the trigrams and various things. The third gives commentary on the judgments and lines etc in respect to how they relate to each other and how the meanings are derived. So if we go to the commentary on the judgment and image in hexagram one, we derive a great deal of information which to many would seem very unclear, vague, and too "otherworldly." Nevertheless, to those who have eyes to see, there is a great deal to be learned here.

So we start with hexagram one. "...The holy man (person) who understands the mysteries of creation inherent in end (yin) and beginning, (yang) in death (yin) and life, (yang) in dissolution (yin) and growth (yang), and who understands how these polar opposites condition one another, becomes superior to the limitations of the transitory..." In other words, he goes beyond the cycles of times and becomes a permanent fixture in the heavens, or in more immediate terms, he becomes aware of the manifestation of cycles, how they operate, and how to see the signs presenting themselves at any given time to the point on the sine wave of the cycles of heaven. A wise man once said, "The putting together of opposites leads to the fortunate finding of things not looked for," and if our scientists would observe the cycles of time in this light they would have a deeper understanding of the mysteries which are pointed out by their scientific instruments. If we could put together, combine and integrate the polar opposites within ourselves we would "mount upon wings as if we were eagles." We would be as hexagram fifty three line six says, "The wild goose (eagle) draws near the cloud heights. Its feathers can be used for the sacred dance. Good fortune." And the commentary (book one) further states, "Here life, (the cycles of time) comes to its end. A man's work stands completed. The path rises toward heaven..." The superior person has surmounted the "six stages of the timing sequence, (see commentary book three on hexagram one, page 371 in the W/B commentary, "Because the holy man is clear as to the end and the beginning, as to the way in which each of the six stages completes itself in its own time, he mounts on them toward heaven as though on six dragons.") and having completed the stages he becomes as the "Flying dragon in the heavens." (hexagram one line five.)

So how do we come to understand the gateway, the door, the instruction manual to accomplish this "major task"? We do so by observing (hexagram twenty) the way of heaven. When we do so we receive the instruction of the I Ching, of the sage. The commentary says, "...contemplated the people, And gave them instruction." After contemplating the ways of the superior person, (Sage, Holy man, I Ching) we are then able to approach the King, (Holy man, I Ching) (Hexagram nineteen) but before we approach we must let go of the refuse of the old personality, of the ego and our personal baggage. (hexagram eighteen). We cleanse ourselves, then we approach, then we observe and emulate. When we are willing to do the work, to cleanse ourselves, make ourselves pure, we allow the holy man, the sage, the I Ching, to "stir up our disparate inner selves, parts of us, (people) and strengthen our spirit."

More later

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