I threw the I Ching today. Mumbo-jumbo to some but not to me. I only consult when I feel absolutely, positively stumped. "The superior person when consulting the oracle formulates her question precisely in words, and regardless of whether it concerns something distant or near, secret or profound, she receives -- as though it were an echo -- the appropriate oracle which enables her to know the future."
Once again, this ancient Chinese oracle threw me for a loop and left me feeling... well, back on the path.
I've included the complete answer because of the beauty of it, the language both cryptic and synchronous, but if you're so inclined, feel free to scroll down and get the more modern interpretation.
Question: What is going on with Sophie and why am I not coping? What to do, what to do?
Kên / Keeping Still, Mountain Above KÊN KEEPING STILL, MOUNTAIN Below KÊN KEEPING STILL, MOUNTAIN
The image of this hexagram is the mountain, the youngest son of heaven and earth. The male principle is at the top, because it strives upward by nature; the female principle is below, since the direction of its movement is downward. Thus there is rest because the movement has come to its normal end.
In its application to man, the hexagram turns upon the problem of achieving a quiet heart. It is very difficult to bring quiet to the heart. While Buddhism strives for rest through an ebbing away of all movement in nirvana, the Book of Changes holds that rest is merely a state of polarity that always posits movement as its complement. Possibly the words of the text embody directions for the practice of yoga.
So that he no longer feels his body.
He goes into his courtyard
And does not see his people.
True quiet means keeping still when the time has come to keep still, and going forward when the time has come to go forward. In this way rest and movement are in agreement with the demands of the time, and thus there is light in life.
The hexagram signifies the end and the beginning of all movement. The back is named because in the back are located all the nerve fibers that mediate movement. If the movement of these spinal nerves is brought to a standstill, the ego, with its restlessness, disappears as it were. When a man has thus become calm, he may turn to the outside world. He no longer sees in it the struggle and tumult of individual beings, and therefore he has that true peace of mind which is needed for understanding the great laws of the universe and for acting in harmony with them. Whoever acts from these deep levels makes no mistakes.
The image of KEEPING STILL.
Thus the superior man
Does not permit his thoughts
To go beyond his situation.
The heart thinks constantly. This cannot be changed, but the movements of the heart–that is, a man's thoughts–should restrict themselves to the immediate situation. All thinking that goes beyond this only makes the heart sore.
Keeping his toes still.
Continued perseverance furthers.
Keeping the toes still means halting before one has even begun to move. The beginning is the time of few mistakes. At that time one is still in harmony with primal innocence. Not yet influenced by obscuring interests and desires, one sees things intuitively as they really are. A man who halts at the beginning, so long as he has not yet abandoned the truth, finds the right way. But persisting firmness is needed to keep one from drifting irresolutely.
Keeping his hips still.
Making his sacrum stiff.
Dangerous. The heart suffocates.
This refers to enforced quiet. The restless heart is to be subdued by forcible means. But fire when it is smothered changes into acrid smoke that suffocates as it spreads.
Therefore, in exercises in meditation and concentration, one ought not to try to force results. Rather, calmness must develop naturally out of a state of inner composure. If one tries to induce calmness by means of artificial rigidity, meditation will lead to very unwholesome results.
Keeping his trunk still.
As has been pointed out above in the comment on the Judgment, keeping the back at rest means forgetting the ego. This is the highest stage of rest. Here this stage has not yet been reached: the individual in this instance, though able to keep the ego, with its thoughts and impulses, in a state of rest, is not yet quite liberated from its dominance. Nonetheless, keeping the heart at rest is an important function, leading in the end to the complete elimination of egotistic drives. Even though at this point one does not yet remain free from all the dangers of doubt and unrest, this frame of mind is not a mistake, as it leads ultimately to that other, higher level.
Keeping his jaws still.
The words have order.
A man in a dangerous situation, especially when he is not adequate to it, is inclined to be very free with talk and presumptuous jokes. But injudicious speech easily leads to situations that subsequently give much cause for regret. However, if a man is reserved in speech, his words take ever more definite form, and every occasion for regret vanishes.
Above CH'IEN THE CREATIVE, HEAVEN
Below CHÊN THE AROUSING, THUNDER
Ch'ien, heaven is above; Chên, movement, is below. The lower trigram Chên is under the influence of the strong line it has received from above, from heaven. When, in accord with this, movement follows the law of heaven, man is innocent and without guile. His mind is natural and true, unshadowed by reflection or ulterior designs. For wherever conscious purpose is to be seen, there the truth and innocence of nature have been lost. Nature that is not directed by the spirit is not true but degenerate nature. Starting out with the idea of the natural, the train of thought in part goes somewhat further and thus the hexagram includes also the idea of the unintentional or unexpected.
If someone is not as he should be,
He has misfortune,
And it does not further him
To undertake anything.
Man has received from heaven a nature innately good, to guide him in all his movements. By devotion to this divine spirit within himself, he attains an unsullied innocence that leads him to do right with instinctive sureness and without any ulterior thought of reward and personal advantage. This instinctive certainty brings about supreme success and "furthers through perseverance". However, not everything instinctive is nature in this higher sense of the word, but only that which is right and in accord with the will of heaven. Without this quality of rightness, an unreflecting, instinctive way of acting brings only misfortune. Confucius says about this: "He who departs from innocence, what does he come to? Heaven's will and blessing do not go with his deeds. "
All things attain the natural state of innocence.
Thus the kings of old,
Rich in virtue, and in harmony with the time,
Fostered and nourished all beings.
In springtime when thunder, life energy, begins to move again under the heavens, everything sprouts and grows, and all beings receive from the creative activity of nature the childlike innocence of their original state. So it is with the good rulers of mankind: drawing on the spiritual wealth at their command, they take care of all forms of life and all forms of culture and do everything to further them, and at the proper time.
Ken reminds you that if your mind is full of clutter it will not be able to hold new thoughts and ideas. Ken appears when you have a need to take a break and withdraw from the world for a moment in order to clear out the old in your mind to make way for the new. Meditation is the key to this process. It is not simply a time for rest. It is not an easy task to free your mind from daily worries, but it is necessary to do so, so that you can see and think more objectively than before. Old thoughts hinder your actions, compelling you to make the same mistakes. Clear them out - don't let them trap you.