Do you remember what it was like before you were born? No? That’s the point. We are forever aborning. Each moment a new incarnation, and in each moment the original conviction is arrived at again. Yet for all our convictions we are still constantly aborning.
In the structure and wisdom of the Book of Changes, no state is seen as impossible for anyone to experience. Peasants can become kings, rich men become beggars, mountains be leveled, etc. So in using the I Ching to explore your life, it doesn’t lock you into any specific course. You can effect change in any situation by changing yourself. If you are having some trouble with a situation that is very yang, you can change it by yourself becoming yin in one or more ways to your approach in that situation.
Find out where I’m hot or cold. Indeed, just like the game.
So remember a hexagram is six lines? Six lines, six degrees of separation between your current state and any other possible state you might get to.
You can use it to map your way? Determine your start and pick your end and learn how to get there? Exactly. Just like human relationships, you determine at which stage you are in harmony with or “friends” with the desired state, and in which stage you are out of synch. The interesting thing is, you don’t have to “befriend” the state you desire to get to on all levels.
Remember my comment about either state being subject to inevitable change? If your balance is enough in harmony with the chosen state, the shifting energy will fill in the rest. This is why people so often report sort of falling into financial success or genius moments of creativity. They didn’t have all of their ducks in a row, as they say. They had just what they needed and nothing more. Reality always provides the more.
Now this doesn’t mean that nothing can endure. That diagram with the dragons on it? That is the symbol of the Tao, and remember I said there are only 8 trigrams but 64 hexagrams, because there are multiple circuits. Something can persist as long as its circuit isn’t broken. As long as you continue to follow its path of renewal, it will last. But as they say, what goes against the Tao cannot stand. Break the circuit and the condition or situation goes away.
So if it seems like you haven’t found the way to achieve something or do something, it isn’t because it’s impossible. It’s because you haven’t found the way of it. It’s only possible in its natural way.
Some people have a sense for the way of cooking, and they cook quite naturally. Other people don’t really have a feel for it, and their cooking suffers if they even try at all. Is this not true of everything?
Those with the way appear to flow when doing whatever it is. Yes. It’s how you know the way of anything. Not really because it’s effortless, nothing is effortless, everything takes doing, but it’s seamless, continuous, flowing and whole, no struggle. In today’s media driven age, it’s really obvious who does and who doesn’t have the way of speaking isn’t it? Those who don’t have the way of speaking are always obvious because they struggle. What that struggle looks like may differ from person to person, but struggle always looks like struggle, no?
So the way would be to stick to what you are good at and let someone else do what you aren’t? Yes and no. You can find a way, and people do. The way to do anything has a sort of center or gravity to it, but the center is always formless. This is why we can’t look at one part of any activity and identify that as the key to it all.
Where things get complicated is if you become obsessed with rut jumping, like a fish trying to jump from one river to another. It’s sometimes possible. Some have even evolved the ability to make short walks across land. But though we can find a way to do anything, our chi or spirit has a certain signature quality to it, also called te, which roughly translates as virtue in English, and trying to find all the rivers will make our own river run dry in time. We are all naturals at something, and we bring our personal virtue to any other way we explore. The artist tends to decorate their cooking. The craftsperson tends to build their food. (I have even heard that exact word used on a few cooking show episodes.) The scientist will generally create more abstract food. If they don’t overanalyze the way of cooking it may still taste good. If they overthink it though, it will likely not taste well at all.
To conclude, and this is true of any form of divination, divination works to the degree that it speaks to your own personal insights into or observations of the world. It’s best to use a system that speaks to you. For those who resonate powerfully with eastern thought, I do strongly suggest exploring the I Ching. But even if it is your go to method, it can’t hurt to try a few more systems as well. It can enrich your understanding of your own preferred system.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.