As yin and yang shift in their natural way, the shift of energies in earth and heaven will in time travel through all 64 states of the I Ching. You will encounter any and all of the 64 life states in the length of your lifetime. It’s sort of like charting the biorhythm of anyone and anything in the rotation of yin and yang states, and just as ancient astrologers came to observe various behaviors and events occurring at different times and in different seasons, the sages behind the Book of Changes observed different outcomes in the various states of balance between yin and yang.
So if we know the sequence, and we know where we are now, we can predict the next one? Yes, exactly. Because yin literally always becomes yang, and yang literally always becomes yin. You may be making great effort right now, which is yang, but you will inevitably tire, which is yin. I might be talking a great deal now, which is yang, but I periodically listen, which is yin. Yin is receptive, yin listens. Yang is active, yang does things.
There is a missing element though. The Book of Changes cannot be read in a void, cannot be understood out of context. In order to use it effectively it requires a measure of skill in observation, being able to see concretely the current state of affairs in your life, yin or yang. Effective use of the oracle requires self-reflection and understanding what brings you to consult it. So part of the commentary behind any hexagram is a description of a state that would lead you to question the oracle, and any hexagram must be read with reference to your intention, to your personal state and what you are seeking. You may cast the hexagram for harvest, and harvest shows up in many different ways does it not?
It does. We harvest from our deeds. Yes.
What exactly the hexagram means to you is the answer to your question. That is the real reading. What the commentary does is provide a context or journal of events that past readers have attributed to that hexagram.
As you read it with your question in mind it will surface relevant ideas? Yes, and it even prescribes a spirit or attitude to approach the situation with. Ever hear what they say… The good leader figures out where people are going and gets in front? That is the basis of the I Ching’s advice. Because you know that in time a yang situation will turn yin, or a yin one yang, you anticipate that and begin making changes and taking actions before the actual event unfolds. Thus in theory, you can always be prepared and nothing will weaken you or break your stride. You see all the curve balls coming. Really, this is the true value of any form of divination, not just the I Ching.
Like seeing the course of the river ahead when riding the rapids. Yes. You have to begin lining yourself up to that flow well before you are actually in it, or you get swamped and dumped, potentially.
There are two broad ways the I Ching has of behaving. You can cast a hexagram and get an unchanging pattern, and thus only one reading, or you can get a hexagram that is in the process of change, and thus get two readings. How things are now and how they are becoming. So the I Ching doesn’t just let you see one step ahead. In theory it can let you see two, and you can be preparing for the third phase even before the first phase of change begins to happen. See? The number three surfaces again.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.