Saturday, July 09, 2011

Clusters of Hexagrams

First I want to talk a little about hexagram forty five, but one must remember that generally there are clusters of hexagrams that have the same general theme. (One must remember, however, that each hexagram has more than one theme, sometimes several.) For example, in hexagram forty five we have the theme of uniting people, (and in small ways, all hexagrams have a contingent of this same theme, but some hexagrams stand out more in this way). A cluster of hexagrams relating to the theme in hexagram forty five might include, but not be limited to, hexagram thirteen, sixteen, seventeen, forty six, fifty nine, and sixty one. In some of these hexagrams the commentary says something to the effect of, "Where men are to be gathered together, religious forces are needed." It is not to be assumed however, that that means religious forces in the context of what we presently consider religion. The meaning in these hexagrams of religious forces is a "connection" with the universal consciousness (and with the I Ching). Without this connection we come together or drift apart as the times and the occasions might dictate.It is only when a strong bond is created that true progress in the affairs of men can be implemented. If we do not have that bond then we do not work well together. In hexagram thirteen the commentary on the image says, " human society and all things that really belong together must be organically arranged. Fellowship should not be a mere mingling of individuals or of things - that would be chaos, not fellowship." The jist of hexagram thirteen is that there must be that which creates organization. In all human relationships, there is someone spiritually developed enough so that they take over the rings of leadership and guide the people. In hexagram ten the commentary on the image says, "If, on the other hand, external differences in rank correspond with differences in inner worth, and if inner worth forms the criterion of external rank, people acquiesce and order reigns in society, (an indication that leadership must be based on the ability to get things done through seeing the need and tackling the problem, not by force of dictatorship). When people recognize the worthiness of their leaders they acquiesce to them without grumbling. If we have this kind of leadership then we can "approach the temple," as in the judgment in hexagram forty five. The judgment also says, "It furthers one to see the great man." This can only be done if the great man is truly worthy of the position, and is approachable.

But the commentary says, "Where men are to be gathered together religious forces are needed. The ruler becomes the kind of person that people acquiesce to, and accept his or her leadership," when they recognize that the person has at heart the common good of the people. The ruler must know how to seize the hearts of men, and make them joyous in their labor knowing they are accomplishing something of lasting value. The commentary on hexagram sixteen says, "Religious feeling for the Creator of the world was united with the most sacred of human feelings, that of reverence for the ancestors."Here again we have the theme of Religious feeling. That does not necessarily mean going to church, (although, traditionally, whether there is any truth to the teachings of the church or not, it has succeeded in maintaining a thread in society and uniting men and women in a common goal). But the religious feeling that is really meant here, is that of hearts amassing, or "gathering together" around a common goal due to unity of feeling. Unity with others is a common goal of mankind. Even thieves will try to maintain some form of harmony among themselves, and unite together, although they will break that bond as soon as it is expedient for them to do so. But in doing so they destroy a part of themselves as well.

The bond that unites men must be based on a common goal and a willingness to set differences aside and develop that inner feeling of "religious" or better yet, "connectedness" in a common goal, in a shared feeling of inspiration. Hexagram seventeen speaks to us of having need of a "loadstar" in which to follow. When we are inspired by a common goal we work hard in unison to accomplish that goal. As the book of Proverbs says, "Where there is no vision the people parish." If we are not inspired by a leader to accomplish a common goal in which there is depth of feeling for, we do not develop that strong sense of purpose which creates intensity of feeling within.

Hexagram fifty nine tells us that in order to unite, we must remove the blockages to union. Therefore the key here is of dispersion. But the dispersion is only of that which limits us and creates disharmony. The commentary says, "Religious forces are needed to overcome the egotism that divides men... The sacred music and the splendor of the ceremonies aroused a strong tide of emotion that was shared by all hearts in unison. Here, it is not a matter of whether a religion is correct, or is doctrinally sound. That is only the outer husks of religion. The true question is whether the "religion" unites men or divides them. That is what makes it right or wrong. Does it bring mankind together to create greater sacrifice for the common good.

I can see at this point that I have in a sense opened a can of worms here in that this subject will take much longer than I originally theorized. Therefore, I am going to make one final point, and restart the subject in a day or so. The final point is this: that the religious forces on another level refer to our own inner "connection" with our higher self, or the I Ching itself. Are we inspired by its messages? Do we honor it as a uniter of our inner parts as well as our society? Or do we see it as a tool to be manipulated, to simply get good answers to our questions? (See hexagram twenty line four, the commentary of which says, "The I Ching should be honored and allowed to act independently, and should not be used as a tool").

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