In duality, every gift has positive uses as well as opposite and equal abuses. The two-edged consequences of working with the Book of Change are no exception.
So when an ambitious millennial marketer of digitized experience – simulated sex, happiness and good mood “music” – tweeted me that his software products are based on the binary-digital code of the I Ching, I cringed. What?? Not possible. The primary purpose of this discipline is to quiet the emotional mind-body as a necessary first step in listening to conscience and making better decisions.
After a review the business website (I won’t embarrass him by naming it), I tweeted back indignantly. “This is an abomination. No connection. Don’t compare.” He quickly backtracked, replying he only intended personal respect for the book.
Why such an intense response? Let me refer back to the Old Testament, which repeatedly mentions the laws of nature codified in the I Ching in their correct, larger context. Many are familiar with King Solomon’s verses about natural change:
For ever thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.
Here, nature is placed between reason (purpose) on the one hand, and heaven on the other.
But how many recall the prophet Daniel’s vision of nature in necessary relationship to the unchanging Creator. From the King James Version:
2:20 . . Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
2:21. He changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and seteth up kings:
and giveth wisdom unto the wise . . .
The Book of Change can be instrumental in the mindfulness practice of slowing down, regulating and reconnecting an individual’s noisy mind with the intuitive, True Self. Correctly used, it is compatible with timeless Truth. But in the larger scheme of life, it serves as a gatekeeper. Nothing more.
Here’s an illustration worth 1000 words that pictures the valid and necessary place of the natural law codified in the I Ching. It shows both what it is – a two-directional gatekeeper – as well as what it is NOT.
Worshipping nature instead of God is upside-down. Stimulating senses with the effect of obliterating reason and blocking out the voice of conscience is an abomination. It is neither mind-expanding nor “spiritual.”
Daniel the prophet dream-seer interpreted important end-time visions for King Nebuchadnezzar (more on “the feet of clay” another time). He also interpreted the fatefully ominous message of handwriting on the wall for Nebuchadnezzar’s son, King Belshazzar, who indulged in natural sensations to the exclusion of nature’s God. (See wp.me/p46Y5Z-cm.)
It would be well worth the Millennial entrepreneur’s time to revisit the larger context of 2 John 1:11. “For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.”
This is why it’s so important that I take a stand. Indulging the senses out of context is seductive but desperately foolish. It is a choice for the dark side. I cannot silently allow the claim of connection with this precious gift to anyone who abuses it.
Similarly, in larger, holistic context, math-based, computerized sciences are gifts bearing opposite and equal potentials for good or evil, depending on how and why they’re used, and by whom. They can facilitate friendships and connection, educate and spread useful information – OR – lull the sheep into deadly sleep . . . simultaneously facilitating the ends of genocidal murderers who wage wars of mass destruction.
Life, time and attention are all precious gifts. The gift of free will grants each of us the personal choice of whether to squander them or use them wisely.
So, there’s good news and bad news. The choice is up to you. Failing to choose is also a choice.