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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Before the End

Hexagram 64
In order to gain some insight into the chaotic events of our world, I consulted the I Ching. The I Ching is an ancient Chinese text and divination system which counsels appropriate action in the moment for a given set of circumstances. Each moment has a pattern to it and everything that happens in that moment is interconnected. Based on the synchronicity of the universe and the laws of probability, the I Ching responds to an inquiry in the form of a hexagram. By evaluating the hexagram that describes your current pattern of relationship, you can divine the outcome and act accordingly.

When I consulted the I Ching regarding the state of our world today, I received Hexagram 64: Incompletion (a.k.a. "Before the End" and "Before Completion"). This hexagram represents the time before the climax of a cycle. The present situation is one in which order is arising out of chaos. Everything is changing and seeking equilibrium. The conditions are nothing short of a rebirth. The I Ching counsels that this is not the time to force the completion of a long-standing objective or to rush headlong into a new project, for you are entering uncharted waters. The matter at hand is unlike any that you have experienced.

This hexagram symbolizes fire over water, illustrating how the two principles cannot act in accord. The ascending fire diverges from the descending water, forming a state of dissonance. Dissonance is nature's way of breaking down the patterns of an old cycle in preparation for a new cycle. Divergent polar forces pull apart obsolete patterns, allowing new patterns to form. This represents the turbulent state of affairs around the world. We must learn to deal with this dissonant energy. We cannot make sense of it because it is entirely destructive.

Instead, we must hold steady within ourselves and observe its chaotic behavior from a place of power. Our inner calm and stability will help contain its devastating energy and it will be unable to do as much damage as it would otherwise. Make a conscious choice not to be swept along by unfavorable circumstances or permit your steadfastness to be shaken. See things as they are, in process of change, without fixation on imbalance; see the potential and call it forth.

Chaos brings about disorder but then that disorder leads to order. Perhaps that is why everything always seems to work itself out, whether we choose to fret about it or not. Like most organisms observed in nature, human beings are self-organizing systems. We are constantly trying to make sense out of chaos. We tend to classify what we see in terms of the past and this inclination can lead to a rude awakening.

Learn to Live With Your Heart, Not Your Mind

In a rapidly changing world, we won't be able to figure things out mentally, so it's best to go back to our heart and be there whenever possible. If we are able to get in touch with our hearts, we will be able to connect with the guidance of our own intuitive knowing. Intuition reveals appropriate action in the moment for a given set of circumstances. Take the time to quiet the mind, whether in meditation or prayer, and ask to be taken into your heart's sacred space. While you are there, practice seeing the world from that point of view. The energy that comes in from the Source is directed through our hearts. When we are in sync with the heart, we are in sync with the Cosmos. As we learn to live from the heart we are able to move with the ebb and flow of change with grace and ease.

In this disorganized situation, the I Ching counsels non-attachment. We are being asked to flow the way nature wants us to flow -- without expectations and without the need to classify or think of completion. We must be empty of questions, for questions confine answers. This is a time for introspection. Clarity of mind must precede effort. We must pause and tune into our inner voice to gain a balanced and ordered perspective. Only then can we attain the clarity needed to meet the challenge facing us. Once we gain the correct perspective, we must suspend all disbelief and trust in our ability to meet the challenge presented to us. With steadiness, deliberation and effort, we can clear away the confusion and restore order to the situation. Thus, the cycle of hexagrams ends with a new beginning.

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