Monday, September 05, 2011

An Available Man

Well, this post may not be exactly what it sounds like, but there is a connection. A play on words, there, connection, because as I have so often harped on, there is the need for a connection with a "superior man," in other words, with the higher self. Hexagram forty nine line two discusses this a bit. The commentary says, "There must be available a man who has the requisite abilities and who possesses public confidence." In receiving this line we must again determine who the speaker is, and then the subject. If the subject is we ourselves, then we are being described as the person who can bring order out of chaos; the one who "creates the new conditions, forms the revolution." Otherwise we are looking for someone we can follow who will do this for us, whom we can support. We find many hexagrams that describe to us the rules of following and leading. It is a main characteristic of the book.

In relationships we must find our place and how we interact with our partner. Do we want to be a leader? Or do we want to follow our partner's lead? If we are not a leader, will we lose the respect of our partner? Remember as in the last post, that hexagram eight teaches us that people have a natural desire to unite. But we must discover within ourselves whether it is our place to lead or to follow. If we are to follow have we found the right leader? If in our relationships we have a tendency to follow, is it the right person to lead us? All of these questions must be answered and we must discover our place in the whole.

But there is a case here where the higher self is the speaker, and it is speaking to us of itself. The commentary says, "To such a man we may well turn." In the same way, it is well that we turn to the I Ching, which is synonymous with the 'higher self." When we turn to the I Ching we are to get proper guidance. Whether we understand it or not is another thing, and the more we use it, the more we are likely to "properly divide the word." We are going to make mistakes. The I Ching cannot give us a point by point exact description of the actions we need to take. We need to divinely intuit it and work with it. When the I Ching says we must take action, we should take action, but the question is, What action? That we can only learn with experience. The I Ching is not a cure all for the average person. Only the "superior person" is able to consult the I Ching and get valuable, understandable information from it; and to do that we must first have "the proper inner attitude toward the new condition," (from the commentary on forty nine two). The text says, "To such a man we may well turn." To so many, it would never cross their mind to think that the I Ching would ever speak of itself. For them the idea of a real intelligence behind the I Ching is preposterous. Yet in every line, we hear it speaking of itself. And in terms of relationships, the exact same principles apply in a relationship with another as does a relationship with the I Ching itself. But, as the commentary says, "We have to go out and meet it, as it were. Only in this way can it be prepared for." In this way, we practice chariot driving daily.

There are only a few people that read these posts, but those that do, I think, are blessed, not because I am so great, but that they are willing to move up to the next spiritual level. If we can get this spiritual understanding, that there truly is a subconscious intelligence behind the I Ching, and that it is the force of the I Ching, the value, and that we should treat it with respect, then we can gain a wisdom far above those of the everyday crowd. Our lives will be blessed. We can see within its pages, truly the words of the "superior person," and be intrigued by the personalness of the message presented to us, so that we can grow in our daily lives. Most people do not want this, do not see this, or see any need for it, they simply call out for temporary answers in their anguish, never knowing that their anguish comes from an inner emptiness, not an outer unfairness, but my readers know, and are much happier as a consequence of understanding this. As the commentary says, "To such a man, we may well turn."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It might be a mistake to think of the I Ching and the mind behind it as solely a spiritual guide.

It would be more appropriate to think of it as a total information system which, if one is so inclined, would also cover spiritual matters.

There is a way of extracting information through the IC involving an expanded process.

The problem in cases resolved through this expanded process is that the substantial flow of information it provides cannot be understood using a single source IC. One needs at least five to six of the best IC translations/adaptations available spread around on one's desk to resolve such cases.

Amongst the best available in English: the old standby by Richard Wilhelm (no matter what curses C. Javary sends his way!); Wang Bi's IC by Richard Lynn, if it were only because of Lynn's excellent and thoroughly researched footnotes and end of chapter notes; and, yes, even Ritsema and Karcher's big IC, if one manages to control their infuriating abuse of the gerund!...

Unfortunately, some of the best texts are not readily available in English. E.g. the Nineteenth Century translation of the IC by Paul L F Philastre; an adaptation of the IC by J-P Schlumberger; Cyrille Javary's substantial volume; M. Vinogradoff's excellent presentation of the IC; and others, all in French.

One tends to collect IC books on one's way: owning forty to fifty versions of the IC is about par for the course.

However, to sift through the stream of information gleaned, one tends to keep only the few “bests” on top of one's desk and keep the others in the drawer below, just in case.

Using the expanded process and the works mentioned above, it was possible, for instance, in the fall of 1999, to extract information on the events occurring on October 31 in the last few minutes of the ill-fated flight of Egyptair 990.

Lo and behold, a few years later, Wikipedia published the results of the NTSB's investigation into the crash: their description of the crash and of the circumstances surrounding the event corresponded exactly with the description given through the IC.

The IC analysis took roughly two and a half hours; the NTSB's investigation: probably months (years?) and countless dollars.

It is not suggested here that one replace the other.

This illustration is merely given to highlight the fact that the IC, properly used, is indeed an information system...and that it covers the whole range of available information.

Could it be that Ray Kurzweil's much vaunted Singularity has – long ago? - already made its apparition, somewhere, somewhen, in our Universe AND covers it whole, to boot?...Now, THAT would be funny!...

A final note: In the course of the IC investigation into the crash of Egyptair 990, it was in Richard Lynn's excellent notes in his translation of Wang Bi's IC that a note was discovered covering the notion of “religious fanaticism” in action! As one may remember, it was maintained that the co-pilot, in a moment of insanity, was the one who directed the plane towards its crash into the Atlantic Ocean...