March 23, 2007

Friday night I Ching

I've been very disappointed lately, and not quite sure how to react to a particular situation. Experience has taught me when to retreat to safety, take the path of least resistance, and do absolutely nothing. Avoid confrontation and lick my wounds. Being rejected is never fun, but always offers an opportunity for introspection and growth for future relationships. So, here it is, Friday night, time for an I Ching to gain a little clarity. I've been doing the I Ching since I was a girl. My dad was very into it. Just picture a stoned old hippie blaring Van Morrison, rolling pennies across the table and writing down the results with a knowing nod of the head. A regular occurance in my household, but I digress.
So, here's what I got:

    I-Ching Hexagram 23 - Po - Splitting Apart

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    the trigram above - KEN - Keeping Still, Mountain
    the trigram below - K’UN - the Receptive, Earth

    From the Wilhelm-Baynes translation of “the I Ching or the Book of Changes”

    The dark lines are about to mount upward and overthrow the last firm, light line by exerting a disintegrating influence on it. The inferior, dark forces overcome what is superior and strong, not by direct mens, but by undermining it gradually and imperceptibly, so that it finally collapses.

    The lines of the hexagrams present the image of a house, the top line being the roof, and because the roof is being shattered the house collapses. The hexagram belongs to the ninth month (October - November). The yin power pushes up ever more powerfully and is about to supplant the yang power altogether.


    SPLITTING APART. It does not further one
    To go anywhere.

    This pictures a time when inferior people are pushing forward and are about to crowd out the few remaining strong and superior men. Under these circumstances, which are due to the time, it is not favorable for the superior man to undertake anything.

    The right behavior in such adverse times is to be deduced from the images and their attributes. The lower trigrams stands for the earth, whose attributes are docility and devotion. The upper trigram stands for the mountain, whose attribute is stillness. This suggests that one should submit to he bad time and remain quiet. For it is a question not of man’s doing but of time conditions, which, according to the laws of heaven, show an alternation of increase and decrease, fullness and emptiness. It is impossible to counteract these conditions of the time. Hence it is not cowardice but wisdom to submit and avoid action.


    The mountain rests on the earth:
    The image of SPLITTING APART.
    Thus those above can ensure their position
    Only by giving generously to those below.

    The mountain rests on the earth. When it is steep and narrow, lacking a broad base, it must topple over. Its position is strong only when it rises out of the earth broad and great, not proud and steep. So likewise those who rule rest on the broad foundation of the people. They too should be generous and benevolent, like the earth that carries all. Then they will make their position as secure as a mountain is in its tranquillity.

    THE LINES -- [I've only included the lines that pertain to my particular hexagram formulation]

    Six in the second place means:
    The bed is split at the edge.
    Those who persevere are destroyed.

    The power of the inferior people is growing. The danger draws close to one’s person; already there are clear indications, and rest is disturbed. Moreover, in this dangerous situation one is as yet without help or friendly advances from above or below. Extreme caution is necessary in this isolation. One must adjust to the time and promptly void the danger. Stubborn perseverance in maintaining one’s standpoint would lead to downfall.

    Six in the fourth place means:
    The bed is split up to the skin.

    Here the disaster affects not only the resting place but even the occupant. No warning or other comment is added. Misfortune has reached its peak: it can no longer be warded off.

    I-Ching Hexagram 64 - Wei Chi - Before Completion

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    the trigram above - LI - the Clinging, Flame
    the trigram below - K’AN - the Abysmal, Water

    From the Wilhelm-Baynes translation of “the I Ching or the Book of Changes”

    This hexagram indicates a time when the transition from disorder to order is not yet completed. The change is indeed prepared for, since all the lines in the upper trigram are in relation to those in the lower. However, they are not yet in their places. While te preceding hexagram offers an analogy to autumn, which forms the transition from summer to winter, this hexagram presents a parallel to spring, which leads out of winter’s stagnation into the fruitful time of summer. With this hopeful outlook the Book of Changes comes to its close.


    But if the little fox, after nearly completing the crossing,
    Gets his tail in the water,
    There is nothing that would further.

    The conditions are difficult. The task is great and full of responsibility. it is nothing less than that of leading the world out of confusion back to order. but it is a task that promises success, because there is a goal that can unite the forces now tending in different directions. At first, however, one must move warily, like an old fox walking over ice. The caution of a fox walking over ice is proverbial in China. His ears are constantly alert to the cracking of the ice, as he carefully and circumspectly searches out the safest spots. A young fox who as yet has not acquired this caution goes ahead boldly, and it may happen that he falls in and gets his tail wet when he is almost across the water. then of course his effort has been all in vain. Accordingly, in times “before completion,” deliberation and caution are the prerequisites of success.


    Fire over water:
    The image of the condition before transition.
    Thus the superior man is careful
    in the differentiation of things,
    So that each finds its place.

    When fire, which by nature flames upward, is above, and water, which flows downward, is below, their effects take opposite directions and remain unrelated. If we wish to achieve an effect, we must first investigate the nature of the forces in question and ascertain their proper place. If we can bring these forces to bear in the right place, they will have the desired effect, and completion will be achieved. But in order to handle external forces properly, we must above all arrive at the correct standpoint ourselves, for only from this vantage can we work correctly.

Well, all I can say is that yes, I am doing absolutely nothing right now, which this reading confirms, is the correct and cautious path. I have found that when I am feeling intense emotions, it is usually better not to act rashly. So, I sequester myself and wait. This too shall pass. But as the changing lines indicate, I will need to formulate a careful plan if I am ever to make the changes that I desire for myself. For now, that plan includes feeling and expressing my emotions in safe and constructive ways, and moving through them until I can reclaim the love that's buried deep. Love is as much a choice as an emotion, an ascent of the spirit and the will. And anger can only be felt toward those that we have loved. Only something as powerful as love could provoke such an equal and opposite reaction. Or, as Chrissie Hynde sings, "it's a thin line, between love and hate."

1 comment:

vegan.mama said...

Remember what Anais Nin said: "Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of withering, of tarnishing."

Remember, though: sometimes the death of romantic love from that weariness and withering paves the way for learning how to love ourselves again, and we emerge better prepared to both give ourselves to someone else and stand up for what we know what we deserve.

I have high hopes; you are too valuable a person to go for much longer without reaping rewards. This is, after all, the year of the hip mama.