Welcome to my weekly translation and interpretation of the
I Ching. A brief synopsis of my journey with this ancient text:
The I Ching dates back to 3000 BC, to the reign of the emperor Fu Hsi, who invented the original trigrams. It is an oracle that charts the flow of yin and yang energies, revealing glimpses into the higher order of the universe; it is also a book of Taoist philosophy offering guidance as to proper conduct and procedure as we make our way through this human journey. This translation has been in progress for over thirty years, when I started learning the Chinese language in the course of studying Chinese medicine, acupuncture, and tai chi chuan. My teachers at that time included Professor Wen-Shan Huang, Master Gim Shek Ju, and Master Marshall Ho’o, and they would painstakingly take me through the original Chinese texts of the I Ching, helping me with its translation and application. Each of the I Ching’s sixty-four hexagrams, consisting of two trigrams, possesses a unique meaning. A question is asked; the answer received may at first seem to be obtuse, unrelated to the question, and even confusing. But by delving into what a reading triggers in us at the moment of inquiry, the meaning of the hexagram its relevance to our situation soon becomes apparent.
The sixty-four hexagrams are all possibilities, archetypes, all circulating within our individual and collective being at any given time. By invoking the power of divine wisdom, our awareness is brought to bear on those aspects of ourselves—mental patterns, habits, persistent thought forms—that create a feeling of separation. The timing of the I Ching hexagram holds the key to our liberation from the belief in an inauthentic self and opens our path once again to experiencing our truth: union with the divine, Oneness.
The weekly readings are particularly powerful way to use the I Ching for our own and others’ benefit because by focusing our group awareness on any one hexagram’s energy, we create a field of resonance that allows the meaning to emerge with even greater clarity for all of us—like wind rustling not just one leaf on the tree, but all the leaves. Rupert Sheldrake uses the term morphic resonance to describe this kind of phenomenon, whereby there is a feedback mechanism in which the field—our collective consciousness—and our individual consciousnesses resonate. The greater the vibration, the more we condition the field of unity consciousness and bring our shared values into form.
The moment is the operative term when working with the I Ching.
C. G. Jung used the word synchronicity to describe this meeting of time, intent, and our state of being. This concept of timing, in contrast with the more static, linear concept of time, became most relevant to me in my study of Jungian psychology (which ultimately led to a PhD and certification by the Jung Institute). One of my teachers, Rev. Malcolm Boyd Dana, and I would discuss the I Ching and its application in the therapeutic process. Many times these discussions of the ancient oracle included mythologist and author Joseph Campbell, who was a colleague and friend of Rev. Dana. I must also tip my hat to Dr. Robert Gerard, a groundbreaking psychoanalyst who, along with Fritz Perls and other pioneers of the human potential movement, joined Eastern thought and Western psychology during the early days of Esalen, the humanistic institute founded in Big Sur in the early sixties. Their work has been an inspiration to me in my life and in my practice of the healing arts. When reviewing these weekly texts, please consider the idea of synchronicity and examine how these texts may apply to your life and to the world around you at this time.