So thinking about all this, I decided to ask the I Ching what is going on in the world right now. Specifically, I asked it What is the most important lesson for the world right now? In other words, what should we, the people of this planet, realize is going on so that we can help make it better in some way. It's a tough question, but the I Ching has never failed me in the past; it has always blessed me with truthful insight.
In case you don't know what the I Ching is...it is an old Chinese book said to be written over 4000 years ago. Basically, it's like a book of fortunes. There are 64 hexagrams written in the book, each representing a different aspect of life and often symbolized by natural elements such as water or thunder. You start off by asking a question. I suppose you don't have to ask a question, but generally there is something you want to find out when you are turning towards the book. Next you either use coins or yarrow stalks to determine which of the 64 hexagrams is the answer to your question. If you're curious how that works, Wikipedia explains it pretty nicely. Once you have the Hexagram, you can look up the answer in the book, and then you simply read and interpret what it means and how it applies to your question.
Anyway, what's remarkable about the I Ching is its uncanny ability to foretell events or provide insight to a present or past event. I believe the hexagrams that appear are not random because when I read the answer it gives you, it is always spot-on. As soon as I open the book and find out what it says, I just go, Wow! That makes so much sense. It's tough at first, when you are getting used to the book. It was written thousands of years ago, so the text can be hard to discern, but honestly, it can be very worth it, and I often turn to the I Ching when I feel lost and need guidance. It can illuminate an issue one feels unsure about, and this can save the person from a lot of headache in the long run, assuming they follow the books advice.
Anyway, sorry for the necessary sidetrack, but here's what I found. The answer I found was Hexagram 12, which looks like three solid lines on top and three broken lines on the bottom. It stands for Stagnation, which can be one of the worst things to be in. Life is about change, and things are supposed to be free-moving and given room for growth. When things are stagnant, it's like being trapped in a swamp.
From James Legge's translation of the I Ching, Hexagram 12 also represents a rift between two classes of people. I suppose one can see this in the solid strong lines being on the top, while the three broken lines are on the bottom. What this is supposed to represent, is the strong lines rise upwards, and the broken lines sink downward, signifying a rift between the two. I suppose it's somewhat like how the rich in the world appear to become richer and the poor tend to become poorer, and that could be one way of reading the hexagram.
What comes to my mind, however, is the huge division between people's beliefs on all sorts of issues from Gun Control to Gay Marriage. The I Ching is also saying the major cause to this division is due to a lack of understanding. It doesn't matter how strongly or logically one side can argue, no good can come from it. No matter how hard you can try to get the other to understand you, no change comes about because of this concept of 'stagnation': This resistance to change.
What's unfortunate of these circumstances is that something needs to be done. Things need to be changed. We can't just sit in this swamp for all of eternity; however, right now...the world is stuck in the swamp. To be honest, the I Ching is saying that change currently is not possible, which causes evil things to begin to come out of the swamp.
The next part of the I Ching reading consists of these small little excerpts that say things like "Six at the beginning" or "Nine at the fourth place." It all seems very confusing to those unfamiliar with the I Ching, but basically when you are throwing your coins or dividing your yarrow stalks, you get either a regular line or a changing line. So if the first line changes, you would read the portion of the text that says, "Six at the beginning," and so forth an so on.Anyway, in my reading the first (bottom most), second, fourth, and sixth lines change.
The first line describes the image of pulling up grass, and how when you pull it up, you gather a clump because all the roots are connected. I believe what this is saying is when you're pulling out what is wrong in the world, you can't just pick at the pieces, you have to dig and pull up the whole root of the issue. Only then will what you are trying to get to come out, and in it all the other issues come out with it.
The second line describes how we should behave. In a nutshell, the I Ching is telling us to be patient and obedient, and to conduct ourselves in a way that promotes harmony. This is probably tough to want to do. Dealing with the world can be so frustrating, that it is tough to be patient. We want change now. However, like was said before, due to a lack of understanding between two classes of people, this sort of change is not easy. That is why we must not lose our cool. We must be patient, and by 'obedient' I take that to mean to trust in the Universe, and not lose hope. By simply doing what is right, by conducting ourselves in such a way that promotes harmony, we will see change occur, however slowly that may be.
The fourth line seems to mimic the second line. It tells us that the path we must follow is to harmonize with the Universe. It's telling us we should learn to accept the reality of the Universe. That is how we can find happiness. Instead of fighting with the world, we should simply do what is right, and by doing so we will gather friends, and they will share in our happiness.
The sixth line...Wow! This is truly something quite marvelous. It tells of and I quote, "the overthrow (and removal of) the condition of distress and obstruction. Before this there was that condition. Hereafter there will be joy." I don't know if the I Ching can say it any planer. Provided stronger negative forces don't prevent what is natural from occurring this year is going to see change be made. Almost like magic we will see the root of our suffering remove itself. Perhaps people will open their eyes and hear the Truth. Some sort of awakening will happen in the people. I have a feeling it has to do with the roots, going back to the first line because that's where it starts. Someone is going to pull up at the roots, which reminds me of grassroots campaigns, and it will be their actions that will plant the seeds of peace and progress, which will naturally take root and grow, but only because the world will try to promote peace and harmony. If we don't do that as a planet, the seeds won't grow. It still counts on us to do what is right, and treat others fairly, for change to occur.
What's interesting about the I Ching is that it not only tells us all of this, it gives a final intriguing glimpse into the future. Once we look at all the lines, we can see a new Hexagram. Simply by switching up the solid lines with broken lines, for the special lines in our reading first, second, fourth, and sixth we get the following Hexagram.
Hexagram 60 is the image of water in a lake, and represents the idea of limitation. How water and lake represent limitation seems somewhat strange, but I think the best illustration of this is to think of a glass of water. Water must take the form of whatever container it is in, and it is limited in growth to the size of that container. In other words, there is a limit to the water, and it is limited to the glass. So apply that image to that of a lake, and we receive limitation.
The I Ching is pointing this out, I believe because it's telling the lawmakers of the world that whatever change must be made, that the change be limited in its severity and difficulty. Regulations must be proper and in accordance witht he needs of the people. If the regulations are too strict, they will not last. We want lasting change, so we must go far enough, but not so far that it passes the limits of what is necessary.
Applying this, think of gun safety laws. These laws that are created must be made because obviously something is not right with the current laws of today. However, the laws, in order to go into effect, they must not be so severe that they are overly regulating more than is necessary.
It seems this is more of a side note to our question, but it is still an important illustration of what should be thought upon as we are trying to make our world a better place. All in all, we can all agree that change must be won. Things have been stagnant for way too long, and we're feeling it, and thousands, if not millions are suffering from it. Most importantly however, we must always do what's right, and we must be patient for the time being. These things are more important than arguing with others and trying to change people's political persuasions. Simply do what is good and right for the world, and the change will come on its own accord. I suppose what else is necessary is for us to remain faithful that the Universe will take care of us, and things will change as long as we keep believing that change is possible.
Well, that's it for the night. All in all, I am pretty proud of my question. I think it's an important one to ask, and I like the I Ching's answer personally. Maybe because I'm the one who interpreted it, it makes much sense. Hopefully, however, some of you have something to gain from the reading. Perhaps my writing is one of the seeds that needed to be planted to effect change in the world. I'm not sure how many people read my blog. Not many I'd assume, but if at least a few of you out there read this and gained something for it, I feel satisfaction in that alone. The I Ching really is a blessing, and I'm glad for it. It's nice to know there is something reliable out there, that is wise and all knowing that can help us find our way to the light. There is so much truth in this one book, and I believe that's why so many people turn to it, and it has been passed on for so many thousands of years.
Anyway, I should call it a wrap. This is Xavier signing out. Adieu everybody. :)