Sunday, September 07, 2014

Common Themes

In consulting the I Ching for a specific question, it seems to me it is best to seek an answer from one specific hexagram rather than multiple readings. When reading for spiritual wisdom or deeper understanding of the I Ching I would submit that it is better to consult from a complex of hexagrams. Carol Anthony, in her books, suggests that six hexagrams seems to give a good answer. I have followed that too. In this way it is possible to get a cluster of hexagrams with a common thread. For example, there are a number of hexagrams that relate to situations where one must retreat. Each hexagram or line that deals with that however, deals with it in a little different manner and a little different way. Therefore, in getting a cluster of hexagrams that relate to retreat, (hexagram thirty three is the most obvious) we can discover that that is a major theme for us to review. But there are other hexagrams and lines that can deal with this very same situation, albeit in a different context. So when we get perhaps, hexagram thirty three, with a number of lines changing, and we get hexagram fifty five, which indicates a situation where things are at their peak, and a change is coming, lets also say we get hexagram seventeen line one, which speaks of a standard that changes, and we get as well hexagram one line four, which speaks of a transition period, in which we can either leave the world behind, (retreat) or not, then we can see that we have a bit of a common thread running throughout. Things are not always so easy. Sometimes a common thread takes a lot of time in meditation to find. Things don't always fit together perfect in a way that we understand. (They do fit together but sometimes we are not mentally and spiritually ready to take the next step, and discover the real message. Then we have to persevere and concentrate until a light comes out of events.)

We can see from this group of hexagrams that a change is coming, and that it may be time to retreat from old friends and find new, or we may need to retreat from a situation that no longer serves us, or we may need to retreat from a position, or even from the world at large. It is often hard though, to comprehend that these timelines are a part of the Tao, or the Way, that we are meant to follow, and occur during times in our life when we are maturing to a point that we need a new environment for further growth. In hexagram fifty three line six, we see a situation that has matured to a point where we soar above the world, and can observe from above the dealings of the world. When we reach this stage, we may or may not still be "in the world," but we are no longer, in may ways, "of the world." A point of maturity has been reached. As the commentary in hexagram fifty two says, "He no longer sees in it (the world) the struggle and tumult of individual beings, and therefore he has that true peace of mind which is needed for understanding the great laws of the universe, and for acting in harmony with them." When we reach this point it can be said as in the commentary on hexagram thirty three line five, that the retreat can be friendly though the time for retreat has come, and in line six, that the retreat can be cheerful and that one can see clearly that it is time to depart, and that there is a clear path ahead which always leads to the good.

Today's discussion will probably not resonate with a lot of people, but for those few who have seen the handwriting on the wall may very well resonate with it, knowing that it is time to retreat, or that it is time to move to a higher level on the path of initiation. As in hexagram twenty six line six, "One attains the way of heaven. Success."

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