Monday, September 01, 2014

Biting through to new levels of understanding

The I Ching is designed to operate on numerous levels. This is possible due to the factor that creates the reality of "as above, so below." So we can be sure that what happens on the microcosmic level happens as well on the microcosmic level. But it behooves us to ensure that we are understanding the I Ching on the highest level possible.

Hexagram twenty one brings this to our attention in a variety of ways. We must understand that to understand the I Ching on the higher levels we have to "bite through the wrappings." Most of us have no need for that as the physical world is all that concerns us. We are concerned about our relationships, about our careers, and about our families, but for the most part we are not concerned about things on a spiritual or metaphysical level. Yet it would be best that we were. We cannot deny the real, physical world, it does affect us, but in a more subtle way, so does the more ethereal, or microcosmic world.

Hexagram twenty one tells us that we must look for deeper meanings. That we should 'take the plunge" (hexagram twenty nine) and discover the message on a deeper level. Often this is initially repellent to us. Line two says that "in biting through, our nose disappears." Something smells rotten, something seems wrong. These deeper levels of meaning seem odious, and violate our sense of the nature of things. We think they do not make sense and cannot accept the deeper message. But we have to let the message sink in. It takes time. At first we are disgusted. This is because the message violates our sense of the nature of reality. But in the long run we find the message to be true.

Of course. "Biting Through" in this way can only occur after we have spent a lot of time in "Contemplation." (hexagram twenty) In contemplation we come to see the world in new terms. Are typical totally materialist point of view begins to dissolve and it confuses us. At first in contemplation we see only "through the crack of the door." (hexagram twenty line two) Then our contemplation confuses us, and violates our sense of reality. (hexagram twenty one line two) Eventually we allow the new message to fester within us such that we gradually (and grudgingly) honor or the Sage, or that wisdom within. As such we "bite through," and in doing so, we "receive yellow gold." We receive a gift not of a physical nature, but of a spiritual nature, and in doing so, we move from the lower levels of the outer mysteries, into the inner levels, the level of the initiate, the level that the initiate does not talk about, because he or she knows that in doing so, they violate the sense of reality of the lower level initiates. (Biting through so that the nose disappears.)

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