Sunday, December 28, 2014

Stimulus from a High Place

The commentary on hexagram nineteen line two tells us that "when the stimulus to approach comes from a high place ... good fortune will ensue." This is a universal law and will always apply in the long run though sometimes it may seem not to in the short run. The key is knowing when it is coming from a high place. There is a hint here that we must receive stimuli from our higher self, and not from selfish desire. Selfish desire will get us into trouble sooner or later.

What stimulus do our actions come from? Are we trying to aggrandize ourselves at the expense of others? Sometimes this may work for us for awhile. Usually it doesn't in the long run however. It is true that some notorious gangsters, brutal as they may be, have died in their bed at a ripe old age. Don't make the mistake of thinking this is the end of the story however. There is a judgment of sorts, one way or another. But if we are striving toward the higher aims of mankind in general, we can be confident of our being and our success if we follow the "natural way," as the Taoists might call it, or the "way of the cross," as the Christians might call it. We empty ourselves of self, and allow the higher power to flow through, always being assured that we are set upon the right course, and our compass is true.

In this way we can be as in hexagram six, "So clear-headed and inwardly strong that we are able to quickly come to terms" with any enemy, in a way that is beneficial for all. Hexagram nine line two however, tells us that we "must be in harmony with the time." How do we know whether we are in harmony with the time? We know because we are acting from the stimulus of the higher self. When we are fully in accord with our Higher Self then "all things work together for good ... those who are called according to His purpose." That is, the purpose of our higher self. When we do we can follow this path good fortune comes.

Hexagram thirty seven line two tells us that "We should not follow our whims, but must attend within to our nurturance and to our Higher Self. We "must always be guided by the will of the master of the house," The house is our inner being, where we find sanctuary, where we receive guidance from the master, where we have that inner knowing that allows us to know what stimuli is the right stimuli to keep us on the path that we were meant to be on. If we do not strive to stay on this spiritual path then sooner or later, our readings of the I Ching will prove to be misinterpreted, and the "Three unexpexted guests" will not come. We will be on our own, and ashamed and embarrassed at our misfortune. Are we in harmony with the Tao, or the "way of the cross," or are we not?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Limitations of Hexagram Sixty

In all my thirty plus, maybe forty years of studying the I Ching, I have very rarely gotten hexagram sixty. But now I am getting it intermittently. Usually this happens when we are ready for a new type of lesson or a lesson on a different level. The thing I find interesting here is that this hexagram tells me a lot of the same things that the other hexagrams do, just in a different way. That is just me however. Others may find completely different things in it as we all have our own areas of expertise and understanding, and all have our own personalities and character traits, and when we consult the I Ching personally, through a random means, such as throwing coins or yarrow stalks, we receive answers that are specific to us. Someone else getting hexagram sixty may see something completely different in it, and that is not wrong. The Spirit behind the I Ching knows our nature, our abilities, and our LIMITATIONS.

Lines one and two show two different scenarios, one in which it is "safe to go out the door," and another where "it is not." The key is that it all depends on the timing, a timing which only the universe, or the Higher Self knows, but our LIMITED self does not. If we become arrogant, and think we control it all, we are not in harmony with the meaning of the hexagram nor are we in harmony with the universe as a whole, and therefore not in harmony with our Higher Selves.

It is requisite that we submit to our Higher Selves, or in other words, the universal powers, and do not try to complete everything by ourselves. If we think we can do it all in our own power, we inevitably fail. Granted, some may make their way very well in the world, but sooner or later, arrogance will catch up with us, and we will be humbled.

Line five tells us that we must apply our limitations to ourselves. There are times when we might have to apply them to employees, (if we own a company) or to our children, etc., but primarily we must apply them to ourselves. To know when to go out the gate and courtyard is not something we are consciously capable of knowing, but when we follow the higher guidance it works for us without our conscious awareness of it.

When these four lines change, the result is hexagram fifteen. Hexagram fifteen indirectly and discreetly indicates to us that we must be modest and recognize a higher power that can guide us. When we are in harmony with this higher power, we can pass through the gate or not at the right time and in accordance with the will of higher powers. In this way we follow what the Taoists call "the natural way," and we make no mistakes.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Union and Misunderstandings

In the last post it was related that a relationship with a significant other is not unsimilar to a relationship with our own Higher Self or the I Ching, and pretty much the Higher Self and the I Ching are the same thing. The I Ching is merely the medium the higher self uses to communicate with us. Pretty much the same principles apply. Therefore, in our approach to the I Ching, we are really approaching a deeper aspect of our own being, and as such are having a relationship with that deeper aspect. Often in our relationships, misunderstandings are created because non of us see the world through the same eyes, or have the same understandings of given things. We become all too often like "the teamhorse that goes astray." If we really care about our relationships however, we attempt to look beyond the misunderstandings and find a common ground for attempting reconciliation. Sometimes differences are irreconcilable of course, at least with a significant other, not with our higher self. Nevertheless, it is often possible to maintain a relationship if things have not become too poisoned. In order for things not to become too poisoned, it is essential that we look at the world through other lenses, and not  just our own. It is imperative that we gain a broader view of the world so that we can see someone else's point of view. We do not want to see the world through "the crack of the door" as it is said in hexagram twenty line two. We must have a broader view. In the same way, it is necessary to gain a broader view of ourselves, and of our relationships with the world. In fact, by "Observing," in hexagram twenty, we come to understand things we would not otherwise understand. And the "commands" (directives) of our higher self and how to relate to it become more clear.

Sometimes it is simply not possible in our present state of development to find a way to reconcile, but our Higher Self can clear up the differences in its own way, if we are "receptive" (hexagram two) to the impulses that can be received from the Higher Self. This situation is depicted in hexagram thirty eight line two. Here it says, "One meets his lord in a narrow street." This meeting may be "accidental" by our standards, but by the standards of the Higher Self it is not. For it is the Higher Self that plans out our "accidental meetings," which refers to a place where we come face to face with a truth in such a way that we cannot deny it or lie to ourselves. We will be forced to look in the mirror to see ourselves the way we really are no longer with self deception. The meeting can be startling. We meet in "a narrow street" where we cannot get away from the truth of the matter. This can be arranged by the "Higher Self" as well for situations which are fated or destined for us, or for relationships that were intended for us. We come face to face with the reality of the situation as unpleasant as that might be, and we cannot get around it because the "street is too narrow" to allow for escape. This may be very uncomfortable but it is not a bad thing, for therein do we learn who we really are. And relationships are often a necessity for us to see a mirror image of oneself, and come to terms with the reality of our condition. Then as in hexagram twenty line five and six we come to contemplate our life and find where we have failed and where we have succeeded, and the reason for each.

Often, as in line six of hexagram thirty eight, we see our companions, (including our Higher Self) "As a pig covered with dirt. As a wagon full of devils." We are ready to fight. But in time, thanks often to the meddling of the Higher Self, to "meeting our Lord in a narrow street." we come to realize that the partner comes with good intentions. We have the same problem in hexagram thirteen line three where we "hide weapons in the thicket." There is always a tendency within ourselves to project onto others the faults that we ourselves are burdened with. However, as in line four of hexagram thirteen, "he climbs up upon the wall, (where he has a better view) and realizes that either "he cannot attack" or that there is no need to attack, and reconciliation draws nearer. It is important that we try our best to reconcile with those we can reconcile with, and infinitely more important that we reconcile with our own Higher Self, and in the same way, with the same meaning, the I Ching.