Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Time of Transition

The third line of the I Ching is the line that bespeaks a type of transition. In terms of the concepts behind the I Ching, the third line indicates a person who is transitioning from the earthly realm to the higher realm. The fourth line also is a type of transition, but it refers to the completion of the transition rather than the beginning.

Often in life there are two different directions we can go, and we have a hard time deciding which direction we had best take. Line four of hexagram one says, "A place of transition has been reached, and free choice can come in. A twofold possibility is presented to the great man: he can soar to the heights and play an important role in the world, or he can withdraw into solitude and develop himself...There is no general law to say which of the two is the right way. Each one must make a free choice according to the inner law of his being." Here either possibility is a valid one; we can explore the outer world or the inner world. Either direction will help us to explore our soul, and come to a deeper yet understanding that will help us move into higher realms.

Line three of hexagram one though, at the beginning of transition does speak of a certain danger. The danger lies in attempting to make the transition itself, for in order to properly accomplish it we must be the "right person." If we are not the right person the transition will fail us just as the little fox in hexagram gets his tail in the water before his transition "across the great waters" is accomplished, and all is in vain. A great deal of care must be taken at the beginning of any transition. (It is hexagram sixty four, "Before Completion" in which the judgment speaks of the fox getting his tail in the water.) The commentary says, "ambition has destroyed his integrity." We must always look at our motivations and mental state of being before we attempt to "cross the great water." Also we must make sure the "time is right." For if we have not taken into consideration the signs before us, but just egotistically try to force the issue, then "our tail gets in the water." In such a case "The water goes over our head," (hexagram twenty eight line six). This happens because as in hexagram thirty four we have "forgotten to ask what is right." We cannot reach the heavenly realms until we have been "practicing chariot driving daily," and our power is so ample that we can in a sense "storm heaven's gates." But once we do make the transition, we are first like the dragon "waivering in flight over the depths," and later like the "flying dragon in the heavens." We soar into the heights as the wild goose in hexagram fifty three line six. Our task then is accomplished.

This is all conditional on the following. We have "not forgotten to ask what is right," to "wait for the right time," and have the proper virtue. We must not only be able to "feel the force," as Obe Wan Kenobe would say, but also to "be able to control it." The way of the cross (force) leads home, but we must know how to follow it. (Obe Wan Kenobe equals Oh, be one, with the force.)

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