Monday, January 18, 2016

The Other Mess

a recent "trying to figure things out" text


Thought: I have to admit that I greatly resent my skill at drawing up Sophie's medicine into a syringe. Do you know that we have never, ever forgotten a dose in all the 21 years she's been taking this mess?




Thought: I also have to admit that I hate the fact that Sophie can swallow any size pill you toss into her mouth without gagging, choking, biting down on it or spitting it out. I hate that she is A Really Good Pill Taker.




Thought: I hate that David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Glen Frey all had to die.






Over the weekend, I had a dark hour before dawn that followed a day fraught with some anxiety about things unbloggable and things of Sophie World, so being the kooky cat I am, I decided to ask the I Ching a question and get some guidance, in lieu of lying in bed in a cold sweat of fear and trembling. Actually, I'm so not kooky in consulting the oracle, as it's guided me through countless conundrums over the past thirty years, and I've learned a lot about myself, my proclivities, my weaknesses and strengths as well as those of other humanoids. So.

In general, I asked the oracle what I should do about a certain situation and how I should proceed. The certain situation is very complex and life-altering/changing. It's all closing in and coming to a head or a point or whatever other cliche you can call life/changing events. I feel overwhelmed with everything, basically, despite many, many good things happening.

I got Hexagram 18 as my answer.  For those of you new to the I Ching, it's an ancient Chinese oracle with 64 possible results/outcomes. It operates under the principle of what Jung calls synchronicity. I studied Chinese in college, and while I remember exactly nothing of the language (except to say hello and thank you), I did keep my Wilhelm/Baynes copy with the forward by C.J. Jung and highly recommend it. I also use R.L. Wing's The I Ching Workbook to help clarify the hexagram. If you're going to do any work with the Book of Changes, you will want that workbook.  I realize it's sort of weird to type out what the I Ching said to me, but it's an exercise, and it'll help me to continue my pondering and mulling.

This is what Hexagram 18 says:



Repair
(decay)

The object of your inquiry is in a state of disrepair. This may be an inherited difficulty or it may have come about because you have been unaware of a need to constantly monitor, analyze, and attend to the details of the situation. You cannot ignore, or discount as unimportant, even the smallest detail of any situation over which you wish to maintain control. All things have built-in weak points, places that decay and eventually collapse. This is especially true in human affairs.

Stop now and think about it. Your problems may seem to be overwhelming; things may appear to be out of hand. Yet the hexagram REPAIR bodes great success. Through work you have the opportunity to totally eliminate the past indifference that has created the present uncomfortable situation. Work hard. You can see the problems clearly. The time is excellent for making amends. Do not be afraid to take assertive action. Outside forces do not influence the situation. Your own past attitude has allowed the damage to occur, making you uniquely equipped to REPAIR it.

Before taking action, it is important to consider the winding path that has led to this state of decay. Only through intelligent deliberation can you be certain that the action you take is correct. Think it over carefully. The original Chinese text recommends three days of consideration before making a move, but you will know when to act by the nature of what you propose to do. The correct actions now are constructive rather than combative and lay the foundation for continued growth toward the good. This is not a time for radical or reactionary reforms. Look, instead, for an avenue of constructive action, an area of positive growth. Be energetic once you've found your path of action. Don't be lulled into inertia by the magnitude of the task. The situation will develop new energy and inspiration once the problems are removed. Also remember that you must keep things in line once the change has been made. Don't slip back into an attitude of complacency. Your problems could easily recur.

This hexagram in its static form points to the necessity of a change in attitude about your environment as a whole. Too many elements of your life have reached a state of neglect, disrepair and inertia. You cannot hope to guide your destiny with any effectiveness when you do not have authority or control over everyday situations. Hope lies in an unrelentingly energetic and conscientious attitude.



Are you actually still here? Wow. I can't tell you how relieved and nearly thrilled I feel with this answer. There've been plenty of times when the hexagram I "get" is not so thrilling or plunges me into worry or makes me wish that I hadn't done the consulting. If you have doubts about this whole shebang, you should try it. It'll surprise you.




17 comments:

  1. Yes. Repair. And just knowing that the possibility is there has to be comforting.

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  2. I love the I Ching, it always feels like the holy man on the mountain top to me. An elevated voice. You seem to feel renewed, it's wonderful to see, it does my heart good.

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  3. I don't know a thing about the I Ching, and this is the first I've ever read from it -- but it seems like it might be useful as a vehicle to remind people to think about things more carefully, and with an eye toward detail. (Of course, I don't know what other possible answers you could have gotten and what they would have said, but I assume they also would have suggested a course of action that would have required some consideration.) Kind of like a horoscope, written broadly enough that it could apply to any situation -- you know? I don't mean that in a devaluing way.

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    1. I think you'd be interested in the I Ching, Steve, as something that works far beyond what we attribute to astrology or horoscope. Jung called it operating under the principle of synchronicity which he defined as "temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events." I have found it uncanny in its "specificity" as opposed to being generally or broadly helpful.

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  4. I used to love the I Ching, still do in a way. But after it repeatedly hinted and told me that the baby I was carrying was most certainly male it lost its charm when my daughter was born. Maybe the wrong question.

    BTW War & Peace is brilliant.

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    1. I'll be sure to catch War and Peace! I rarely use the I Ching to ask direct questions like whether a baby is a boy or a girl. I use it more generally to parse out difficult decisions -- what should I do about ...., or what steps should I take regarding..., or will I be going through this for much longer, and if so how do I stay strong? That kind of thing.

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  5. Unbloggable things are stressful. When I left my husband, and even though it was what I wanted, I was grief stricken. That surprised me. I wondered how I could be grieving something that I had wanted, and yet I was. Lots of anxiety as well. Then things got much worse with my husband and I realized beyond a doubt that I had made the right decision.

    I still struggle with many things, as you well know:) But I am thankful that I left my marriage. It was not good for me.

    Sending hugs because we all need hugs and few of us ever get enough of them I don't think.

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    1. Thank you, lily cedar. All the grief struggles happened for probably a decade, so I'm actually not sad right now (other than for the kids and in a general way for the principle of our family), but I am a tad overwhelmed at my growing responsibilities.

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  6. So you gonna repair or ignore the ancient Chinese? That's the real question. We so often don't listen to the advice given to us by those forces we go to for answers. :)

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    1. I'm gonna repair, Ken, although that doesn't mean what I'm thinking you think it means!

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  7. I never studied Chinese but my mother had a record teaching it that she played for us over and over and all I remember are how to say Hello and Thank you too! I also never did the I Ching but I'm glad you got an answer you can use and now I am curious.

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    1. I encourage you to explore it, Kristin. I find it endlessly fascinating.

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  8. Well, this gave me goosebumps, really. And made me want to consult the I Ching myself. I'm glad this was a thrilling result. It could just as easily have felt exhausting, but since it didnt, I'm sure you're more than equal to the situation. Wishing you love and strength and whimsy. And no more pre dawn wakefulness. xo

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    1. I think you'd really get a lot out of consulting the I Ching. If nothing else, it helps to clarify one's intentions and instinct, I think. Of course, you have to trust your instincts or at least have a history of "good" ones.

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  9. I may have told you this before, but I use tarot cards. I tried out the I Ching and at the time it wasn't speaking to me, but the cards do. I find they get me in touch with what I already know on a sub or unconscious level. We have much in common right now--more than meets the eye.

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