Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | March 16, 2011

The I Ching; Behind the Scenes; Source of Guidance

The I Ching is an excellent tool for meditation and contemplation. I do not think it should be used as a divination tool or as a way to manipulate circumstances and events by trying to get inside information as it were. This would be contrary to its essence. It is, however, a book of keen advice and guidance as we make our way through a life of change. As it says of itself in hexagram 29, K’an, we are advised to go to the well, or two wells for help and guidance, an external well and an internal well. The I Ching, it says, is the purest of external wells. The internal well is our own good character. I cannot stress enough how important keeping the internal well of our own good chatacter pure and clean and unmuddied is, and how important it is that we go to this well of good character in all aspects of our lives. Those of us who are on this path or journey, as catholics, taoists, yogis, and on and on, are called to live our lives in a superior fashion. Superior not in an egotistical sense, but in a more obligated way to act with correct action. The external well teaches us what those aspects of good character are.

Three of these character traits, which were given to me personally by the I Ching in a recent reading, are innocence, purity, and sincerity. Innocence, purity, and sincerity. Living in a secular society, these character traits are attacked from all sides, and as we sit and watch others “succeed” by being the opposite, or see ourselves called naive, we find it hard to cling to the truth. Our emotions play a big role in pulling us off center, making us lose our equanimity, abd wallow a bit in our own sadness or depression or anger or desire. But what rang true for me in my catholic contemplative days rings true in my taoist tai chi days: we are called to approach the life we live with innocence, purity, and sincerity. We need to cultivate these traits so that they become more natural to us. And in the long run, they won’t let us down, or as the I Ching likes to say, good fortune will be ours.

The last point I’d like to make in this post is how the I Ching counsels us to be aware of and understand that there is a Higher Power working behind the scenes, and when we act out of the ego or desire, we just block the Creative from doing His thing. So, we need to accept that there is a whole lot going on behind the scenes that we do not understand and that we are not aware of and we need to develop the virtue of patience and acceptance, and allow the Higher Power to work.

Even on the purely physical level, there are so many times when we just can’t understand why a person is acting a certain way or why a chain of events is unfolding as it is. But there are always these things going on behind the scenes, hidden from us, keeping us from making informed choices and opinions. How much more is hidden in what we might call the metaphysical realm, so much going on behind the scenes.

As the I Ching says, it is not that we should not act, it’s that you should not act out of frustration, anxiety, despair, or a desire to escape a situation(Brian Browne Walker translation of the I Ching). We should act from a foundation of innocence, purity, and sincerity.




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