Friday, July 29, 2011

A Very Short Discussion on Fifty Lines Four

This discussion relates to hexagram fifty as a hexagram that overtly speaks of itself in its relationship to us. When we use the I Ching we must be aware of who the "speaker" is when we consult it. If we are asking about relationships and get line four, we may have to ask ourselves, who is speaking here? Line four speaks of misuse. If we ourselves are the speaker then we must ask ourselves how we might be being misused by our partner. However,it is possible that our partner is the speaker here, in which case we might ask ourselves how we are misusing our partner. (It is also the case in this instance where things are reversed, and we are the speaker, asking ourselves how we are misusing our partner.) There are many possibilities here. The best use of the I Ching however, is to ask it how we ourselves need to change. The I Ching is best used as a "personal growth seminar," in which by use of it we become the "superior person."

When the I Ching is the speaker, which is the likely case if we are truly interested in personal and spiritual growth, then the line indicates that we might in some way be misusing the I Ching. In such a case it is important to meditate on the lines to see where we are making our mistake. It might also be possible that we have a hidden motive (even from ourselves) regarding our use of the I Ching. We might be using it to gain some advantage over somebody, to have some leverage in our relationships to get someone to change or act in a way more pleasing to us. We might be trying to figure out some way to gain some kind of dominance. These motives are often hidden even from ourselves, but it is also possible, if we do not understand that the I Ching is more than a book, it is a presence, it is aware, that we knowingly are trying to gain some personal advantage over somebody or some thing. If we do this, the I Ching may still give us a good answer, but somehow, taking the advice "bites us" eventually. Hexagram twenty one speaks of biting into dried meat, or finding "poison arrows." When we do this we are inviting a downfall for ourselves, one that could be very damaging in the long run, and we may get hexagram twenty three to reveal this to ourselves. We must heed the warning signs before it is too late, (Hexagram two line one) We must "differentiate between ourselves and our neighbor" which here could be the I Ching itself, (hexagram fourteen line four) and realize that the Sage is of a higher intelligence matrix than we are. If we realize this we accept the hierarchical order of hexagram ten and do not "tread on the tail of the tiger."

These things are serious, and one must, as in hexagram four line one, "be taught the seriousness of life." There is a universal subconsciousness. Not a God as most people believe in him/her, but a consciousness that is by its very nature totally just while at the same time totally loving. If we try to control, if we try to manipulate, if we use the I Ching in a way it is not meant to be used, you can be sure that you are treading on the tail of the tiger, and it will bite you. And all of us do, in most of our readings, unconsciously use the I Ching for personal gain at someone else's expense. In such cases, while there are consequences for doing so, the consequences will not be as severe as they will for one purposely misusing the I Ching. Hexagram forty says that the I Ching "passes over mistakes and unintentional transgressions." The I Ching will not let us get away with it forever though. As such, we must return to the "right path" in hexagram twenty four. The proper way to use the I Ching is such that the consequences are spelled out in hexagram thirty five where it is said, "His ruler (the I Ching) showers presents on the great man (the one asking the quesiton), the presents are readings accurately given, and invites him continually to his court (allows further readings with valuable results).
AS we learn to use the I Ching properly, with reverence, realizing we could be "treading on the tail of the tiger," the I Ching "showers us with the presents" of a greater understanding of the wisdom and symbolism of the I Ching and a closer relationship with it. As such he/she "brightens his/her bright virtue."

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