Category Archives: Change

How To Create a New Future

A new manner of thinking creates the new way of feeling and acting you need to build a better tomorrow. Einstein gave us the way to begin.

The practical applications of his intuited Unified Field Theory transform it into a powerful self-awareness tool for picturing the present, setting intentional goals and then creating a deeply desired future.

Einstein home page

How’s that for a big idea?

be aware

Please stay with me. I’ll unfold the implications one step at a time.

For starters, we need to decide whether self-awareness a desirable goal. For those programmed into the old paradigm of empirical science – a limited and limiting view of reality – it isn’t.

The modified Life Wheel shown below represents the hollow shell of this obsolete world view. Only the outermost level of the Wheel, the things which can be measured and quantified (mass), are accepted. The middle level of emotional intelligence (energy) and inner level of intuitive knowing (light) are both ruled out, functionally relegated to the “unconscious”.

MaterialistAthest

In fact, according to research from the University of Virginia, most people would rather do something external — even hurt themselves — than sit alone with their thoughts. Why?

Because social sanctions impelling self-avoidance are incredibly powerful. If you believe there is nothing more to life than the material surface and to expect that taboos on inner experience will be enforced with ridicule and rejection, then the blessing of quiet time becomes a threat.

This makes life especially painful and difficult for empaths. As Dr. Judith Orloff explains, emotional and intuitive awareness experienced at the inner levels of the Wheel are their functional reality.

For sensitives, restoring a complete and correct paradigm of reality can be a matter of life or death. . . suicide is the logical outcome of a narrow world view which enforces the belief that anyone whose experience draws primarily on the inner levels of the Life Wheel doesn’t – and shouldn’t – exist. (Just ask me. I’ve been there.)

Even for the rest of us, shifting to the more expansive paradigm – one that corresponds with Einstein’s quantum reality – offers multiple benefits across the board. . . improved physical, emotional and mental health, better relationships, and increased abundance, to name a few.

How exactly does all this work?

It looks like this:

Create a New Personal Reality

Open your heart to infinite possibility. Replace fear with fearlessness, resentment with gratitude, and self-doubt with infinite Self-trust. Integrate positive feelings with a clear intention for the future firmly in mind. Embed this vision into the “unconscious” mind with consistent repetition until it becomes a memory strong enough to erase and replace the past. To accomplish this, be patient, persistent, determined, and consistent in your practice of meditation.

That’s the short version.

CHAPEL PERILOUS

Chapel Perilous

Now, I’m not saying the shift is easy. If it were, everyone would be doing it.

But the process of increasing self-awareness isn’t for the faint of heart. Social taboos aren’t the only obstacle. For most, the middle level of the Life Wheel is congested – a frightful mine-field of buried traumas, painful associations and toxic emotions. It effectively clouds the inner level of intuition and blocks enlightenment.

So, if increasing self-awareness and reaping the countless blessing which follow is your goal, the work of releasing stuck, negative energy can’t be avoided. The dangers of Chapel Perilous (dark night of the soul) have to be faced and heroically overcome. The only way out is through.

That’s the bad news.

The good news, however, is that the intelligent, full-hearted practice of meditation as Dr. Joe Dispenza has associated it with quantum physics offers a safe way out of this madness. It isn’t necessary (or even advisable) to reopen wounds or relive partially-remembered old injuries to clear out the swamp.

In the same way that it is possible to delete obsolete computer software files without opening them and replace them with new information, meditative practices can reorganize the energy field without having to agonize over the past.

Phoenix - sized

Moving along, now. Activating a personalized Life Wheel is another, complimentary method for setting and actualizing a positive intention, visualizing how to move from a difficult past into a better future. It starts with creating a “Where I Am Now?” Wheel.

Here’s an example:

How My Life Looks Right Now

This personalized Life Wheel represents an introvert’s immediate experience. She has limited material resources. The outer rim of the Wheel reflects this state, being narrow and undefined. In contrast, the e=energy level of her emotional life is wide — full and rich. She has sectioned her Wheel to show how and where she currently invests her time and attention.

There’s a question mark at the center of the Wheel. She’s chosen this symbol rather than an atheist’s emphatic X, because as an agnostic, she’s open to new possibilities, though also has doubts.

When she’s ready, she can take the next step, creating another Personal Wheel to image her thoughts about what a better future looks like along with the action steps she’s willing to take to alter the old snap-shot in time. She can repeat the process as often as necessary, mapping measurable changes as she progresses.

FRAGMENTATION

The levels of our personal Life Wheels expand and contract over a lifetime. Their relationships and interactions are different for each of us. But often the levels aren’t in synch. Here, the Life Wheel is distorted to represent a fractured, incoherent state of being. When we (and our families, business organizations, government institutions and even the world) get bent out of shape, the fractured, fragmented result looks something like this:

Where is LoveThis modification of the Life Wheel shows levels out of alignment. They intersect only in part, manifesting in negative, destructive ways. Love is eternal. But remains a remote possibility, hovering outside of but detached from direct experience.

The first responsibility of the self-aware self-healer is to bring personal levels back into synch, reestablishing balance and harmonious alignment. Restoring Love to the center of one’s life is always a powerfully effective place to start.

Then, without effort, synchronous “opportunities” to extend healing on increasingly larger scales of magnitude are likely appear.

book header bird

A comment posted to an earlier blog on the Life Wheel concluded, The diagram can be applied in so many ways . . . unfortunately it probably isn’t available on mobile phones!

Any takers?

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Self-Awareness Tools for Empaths

Dr. Judith Orloff has taken the lead in bringing the needs of empaths to our attention. In The Empath’s Survival Guide, she explains the important difference between having empathy and being an empath.

Having empathy means our heart goes out to another person in joy or pain. . . but for empaths it goes much further. We actually feel others’ emotions, energy, and physical symptoms in our own bodies, without the usual defenses that most people have.

In case you’re wondering why you should care, let me add. You’re probably an empath too, even if a latent or undercover one. To the point, in his praise of The Empath’s Survival Guide, the venerable Dr. Joe Dispenza concludes: “Dr. Orloff does a brilliant job of helping us discover the empath in all of us.”

So, let’s get practical.

The Empath’s Survival Guide offers an array of tools to help sensitive people develop healthy coping mechanisms in a high-stress, high-stimulus world, while at the same time optimizing their unique gifts: intuition, compassion, creativity, and spiritual connection. (In the context of the multi-dimensional Life Wheel, this translates as honing the ability to honor and protect awareness of the middle and innermost levels, while simultaneously strengthening the protective, physical layer.)

Meditation is a strategy Dr. Orloff highly recommends. She calls it “Opening to a Higher Power.” (Dr. Joe’s meditations likewise serve this purpose.)

But there’s one powerful tool they do not mention. It’s related to meditation, but in a unique, extraordinary way — namely, the Chinese I Ching, especially in a version free of unnecessary hocus pocus, sexist assumptions and flowery talk, The Common Sense Book of Change.

The text has a long history. In the last century, psychologist Dr. Carl Jung picked up on it. In his introduction to the first genuinely useful English translation, Jung coined the term “synchronicity” to explain its power – precipitating seemingly magical and awesome non-local connections of understanding, insight, and awareness. This affect may be due to the similarity between the opening and closing lines of the 64 hexagrams and the geometric patterns seen by meditators in deep trance. (Dr. Joe is a fan of synchronisities. He tells students, as they grow in their meditative practice, to look for confirming synchronisities to appear in their lives.)

The Book of Change is a meditative tool especially suited to empaths’ needs. Its introspective method is safely accessed in the privacy of one’s own room. It gives those unable to bear the stress of travel much less mixing in crowds of thousands to participate in Dr. Joe’s popular events, another means of cultivating heightened awareness. Its benefits are cost-effective. And it is consistently available on a daily basis . . .  most especially in emergencies . . . for immediate use.

The Introduction to The Common Sense Book of Change makes its direct connection with Dr. Joe’s work strikingly apparent. In meditation CDs, he intones, “Become AWARE. Become Aware that you’re Aware.”

When, following Jung’s example, I asked, “What does the CSBOC have to offer its readers?” its answer was AWARENESS.

Hexagram 20

Personally, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to The Book of Change. In The I Ching and Me, I wrote:

For me, the Book of Change is a gateway to magic. On this side, it has been a close companion, good friend and advisor through the years. On the far side, perhaps remembered from lifetimes past, it speaks to me from a place beyond time and space.

With it, I was never alone, even and especially when I was loneliest in crowded rooms. When the world impelled suicide, it brought me back to a deeper, all-pervasive love of life.

Without it, it’s doubtful I would have survived the challenges and dangers of my “interesting” youth. Which is why, in the spirit of paying it forward, I have gone to considerable lengths to make this book in its essence available, most especially to sensitives.

Because, Yes. I’m an empath too. I clearly remember an incident from early teen years. Mom came at me in a rage, fists flying. For many years, her exact words stuck – indelibly imprinted — in my mind. “Stop being so damn hyper-sensitive and act normal like everyone else.” (Our family physician gave her the term. She used it as a complaint, like a club.)

By now, the pain has been released, the memory transformed into wisdom. When I told OA about the incident, he simply remarked, “Good advice.” (Easier said than done, I thought.) What I’ve learned is that the functional word in her demand was ACT. Act as if normal. The challenge is to honor inner awareness while, at the same time acting within the bounds of social norms.)

The reason this was so hard for me to do this was that I picked up on and responded to the non-verbal messages people broadcast, which are often quite at odds with their verbal statements.

Denial

It confused me terribly. Not to mention that my unwelcome awareness frustrated and angered the verbal message senders. Whether they were unaware of the disconnect or were simply invested in saving face, exposure was perceived as a threat. Embarrassing. Enraging. (Along similar lines, in the context of energy vampires, Dr. Christine Northrup describes the effect of mixed messages as “cognitive dissonance.”)

Especially at times when I felt obliged to keep others’ dark secrets and had no one in the world to turn to, I depended on The Book of Change to validate what I “knew” and advise on the wisest way to act on this information, one situation at a time. For example, consistent with Dr. Orloff’s emphasis on the necessity of establishing clear boundaries, I often received this advice:

IC 60 Limits

At other times, when life became exceptionally chaotic and it seemed as if there was no way out of an impossible situation, I would read this and be comforted:

IC 52 Stillness

When I worked as an Administrative Assistant at the now-dissolved UW-Madison Eating Disorders Clinic, it broke my heart to observe how sadly the treatments and advice inflicted on suffering young women (often empaths at a loss to survive in abusive families) missed the mark. I dearly wished someone would offer the same self-counseling remedy that worked for me. They might, for example, have found this, as I did again recently:

IC 27 Growth

The Book of Change has been instrumental in maintaining my sanity and weaving safely through the uncertainties of an environment dominated by energy vampires – a concept well defined, in case you’re unfamiliar, by Dr. Christian Northrup in Dodging Energy Vampires: An Empath’s Guide to Evading Relationships That Drain You and Restoring Your Health and Power.

Ultimately, the decision may come to this:

IC 21 Breakthrough

Whether this Breakthrough occurs on inward spiritual and mental levels, or on the material plane of physical location, personal relationships and job situation, depends on immediate circumstance. Or, since the levels are interdependent, each influencing the others, the necessary change might eventually span the whole continuum.

book header bird

Since I’ve already given you plenty to absorb already, I’ll save a second, powerful tool for empaths – Personalizing the Life Wheel – for next time.

In the meantime, all best

The Ultimate Gatekeeper

Phoenix - sized

Lately I’ve been fully engaged in absorbing the remarkable work of Dr. Joe Dispenza, including his recent Becoming Supernatural. I have the yoga background to greatly appreciate just how skillfully he has translated and then integrated ancient science (defined as “with knowledge”) with cutting edge modern sciences, including Einstein’s quantum physics.

The Life Wheel I often refer to meshes perfectly with this work, as does its ancient ancestor, the Book of Change. Both of them compliment and have the potential to further enhance Dispenza’s work. For example, an early post, Sages and Scientists Can Agree on This, pictures the layers and levels of Dr. Joe’s message, in particular his instructions to “become aware of what you are doing and why.”

be aware

Dr. Joe systematically precipitates “miraculous” healings, teaching students how to “change” their lives by raising their energy — focusing awareness on the energy centers . . . blessing them, if you will. In Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, he reminds readers: Einstein said that no problem could be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.

Here is an image of the chakras (energy centers) spanning the levels of the Life Wheel. It pictures the levels of awareness residing at the center of the Wheel where access to higher orders of consciousness generates positive new solutions.

Wheel2

Another point of convergence is the concept that meditation can “upgrade” DNA. The 64 changes of the Book of Change have been correlated with the 64 basic strands of DNA. Nor is it coincidence that Chinese ideogram for I Ching bears a marked resemblance to the double helix of DNA.

side by side

The Preface to The Ultimate Gatekeeper which follows opens still further avenues to links and possibilities.

book header bird

The Ultimate Gatekeeper:

Restoring the Book of Change to the World

PREFACE

In the millennial year, 2000, the title of this book was The Ultimate Personal Survival Guide. It came out of a brainstorming session with a business consultant. We were discussing how to market The Common Sense Book of Change. Suzanne was totally unfamiliar with the I Ching.

We went back and forth with questions and answers about its use and value. Finally, she sat back and blinked. “It sounds like the ultimate personal survival guide,” she concluded.

She’d hit the nail right on the head. She got it!

What I learned as she drew me out with her questions was that I had taken my answers to her valid concerns for granted. Surely many others had similar doubts.

So a further step was necessary. A follow-up book was required, one which would lead people to draw the same conclusion that she had. I had to dispel myths and misconceptions which prevent this gravely misunderstood and underrated treasure from getting the international acceptance it so richly deserves.

For this is a book that truly belongs to the world. It transcends, in its essence, the limitations of time and space. Used correctly, as intended, it leads the ordinary mind towards experiences of self-awareness and transformative transcendence.

Over the years, I had grown absolutely certain that the worldwide leadership deficit (and related budget deficits) are explained by an underlying knowledge deficit. For lack of what The Book of Change has to offer, people everywhere remain perplexed as to how and why so much continues to go so horribly wrong, despite the best of intentions.

It seemed urgent to clear the decks. Making this compendium of Natural Law — the premier leadership training and decision-making manual in China for thousands of years — widely accessible now is necessary in order to fill in this fatal knowledge gap.

Mainstreaming this vitally important information is the first, necessary step towards the positive change which many call for, but remain unable to achieve.

Fourteen years later, after completing a trilogy on change, I found myself in the same predicament. How does one shake up the sleeping public? What will it take to make people worldwide aware of how important this information is, and how gravely we’re at risk due to its absence?

The extraordinary value of the I Ching is that it reveals the secrets of dynamic Natural Law. Working with its changes opens up access to the middle level of the Life Wheel, the “e” = energy layer of Einstein’s Unified Theory.

Gatekeeper

This middle level of Natural Law serves as mediating, two-directional gatekeeper between the ever-changing surface rim and the universal, timeless center. You can’t get from here to there and back again, except through the middle “energy” layer which, in Western thinking, is effectively taboo, buried deep within the inaccessible “unconscious.”

To the extent that the Natural Law of energy dynamics remains a blind spot in the prevailing, linear and exclusively empirical paradigm, we are left powerless to move beyond the surface level of experience.

To compound the loss, when stuck on the surface, the realm of light and conscience which rests beyond, on the far side of the dynamic energy level, remains functionally inaccessible.

Only by becoming intelligently competent in managing the subtle energies of the middle level does it become possible to travel further inwards for the direct personal experience of not only Light but even deeper still, its very Source.

Unfortunately, the middle level is too often clogged with painful memories, negative emotions and repressed, socially taboo urges. It becomes a barrier to deeper knowing.

For eight thousand years and counting, the Book of Change has served as an indispensable tool for resolving this dilemma. Used as intended, it can restore the unnecessarily “unconscious” to conscious awareness, reopening the levels of human potential so they can be aligned and unified.

In this context, genuine survivors fit to prevail in today’s increasingly dangerous times aren’t those with the most material wealth, possessions or political power. They’re the ones who’ve successfully navigated the middle realm, reached the far shore of enlightenment and returned to the surface with their new information intact.

Those who succeed in linking the levels of experience are genius-leaders in whatever fields they choose to engage. They’re the fortunate ones who have acquired the inner wealth necessary to both hear the still voice conscience and act effectively on the guidance they receive.

Patricia E. West, Ph.D. 

Wisconsin, U.S.A. 2019

 

Fate or Free-Will?

Our life is such a curious mix of givens and decisions.

St. Francis of Assisi captured the eternal give-and-take dance between what we can and cannot change:

Now. Let’s take these three God-given variables – SERENITY (peace, calm composure), COURAGE and WISDOM – and put them in I Ching perspective.

For it has been my experience that using The Book of Change as a wisdom-fulcrum tips the balance in favor of what can be changed.

I’ll give you a dynamic example from recent experience.

In an unsettled state of mind, I queried the book asking, as I often do, “What should I be aware of NOW?” The result was Hexagram 47 with a changing line in the 4th place.

The description was right on, matching my mood exactly. It was a chicken-and-egg-like situation. Which came first, the economic or mental stress, I do not know.

But reassurance that “the time will pass” was what I needed right then. It gave distance to seemingly endless difficulties. The advice, “use hardship to develop inner strength” reinforced St.  Francis’ SERENITY option.

The critically important insight, however, was embedded in the dynamic changing line:

Line 4: Placing trust in unreliable people puts your goals in danger.

Aha! I was letting difficult people and their on-going circus dramas distract me from my goals. I let them push and pull me down, forgetting my True Self. A host of spiraling problems all stemmed from that single basic mistake. Correcting that fault had the potential to turn many things on many levels back in a positive direction.

The first step was to take this important hint to heart and have the courage to act on it. The key point of interception was to refocus on my values, on whom I love and whom I serve. Put first things first.

Coincidentally,” identifying the root cause of “danger” indicated in Line 4 resulted in Hexagram 29, DANGER, which offers further advice on the right way to proceed.

I was especially impressed by the resonance between the two readings. Both highlight the importance of holding fast to goals and avoiding negative thoughts/emotions.

 The I Ching WISDOM-fulcrum changed emphasis from SERENITY to the COURAGE option of the St. Francis prayer, tipping the balance away from passive acceptance of what cannot be changed towards that which can.

So it is that magical transformations on many levels begin with changing negatives to positives. Again, almost sage-like, espousing the way of spiritual alchemy, St. Frances gave us a key to positive change:

Please. Do take a minute or so of your precious time to think about this. Let it resonate with you. Ask, Where is your focus? Are you able to tip the balances in your life, giving weight to the positive side of the seesaw?

Maybe, just maybe, if you’re not already friends with the I Ching, it would be well worth your while to try something new. Working with The Common Sense Book of Change might just give you a new way to leverage the balance between fate and free-will in a positive direction.

Magic Is in the Eye of the Beholder

eye of the beholder

What we know as science today would have been considered magical in the days before the operations of electricity were discovered and harnessed. Automobiles, airplanes, and computers we take for granted today would have seemed phenomenal in days passed.

Much of science fiction depends on tricks of changing technologies over time. For example, I remember the story of a hero who saved the day by astonishing the natives with a solar eclipse. When the critical moment arrived, with a flamboyant gesture and incantation – “hocus pocus” – he vanquished enemies by the apparent power to make the sun go dark.

Now, it seems, we have magic in reverse. We have so much come to depend on technology, that the inner workings of our potentially powerful psyches and our connection with the forces of nature seem like “magic.”

We are haunted by distant memories of who we once were and could be againthat deeper, truer intangible part of ourselves. Modern “education” rules out our latent, subtle powers and potentials, as if whatever cannot be measured and quantified cannot and should not be.

Yet we are enchanted by fantasy and science fiction which tease and lead us to remember.

hist of magic

The science (meaning “with knowledge”) which explains the magic of synchronicity demystifies this method for reconnecting with our larger mind and its place in the universe.

When people use a term like magic, they give little thought to the full range of possible meanings it might have. It might be a good idea to rethink what we see as magic – all the uses and abuses which have accrued over time.

To that end, I offer the following Essay on Magic.

image - harry potter

ESSAY 37. MAGIC

Magic is the art of manipulating the unseen forces of nature. A white magician is one who is laboring to gain the confidence of the powers that be. A black magician is one who seeks to gain authority over spiritual powers by means of force rather than by merit. The white magician’s motto is: “right is might.” The black magician’s motto is “might is right.” — M.P. Hall, Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics

One must distinguish between ordinary magic and consciousness of the harmonic relationships of nature — the philosophy of magic — which is the right gesture at the right place at the right time. Its applications, often excessive, and falsified by popular greed and ignorance, have given birth to superstitious magic and crude sorcery. — Isha Schwaller de Lubicz, Her-Bak: Egyptian Initiate

Taoists say, “Know magic, shun magic.” They mean that through the cultivation of knowledge, you can know precisely how natural calamity and human enmity can be avoided. You can know all the ways in which you might be affected and be able to meet crisis on the challenger’s own terms. The Taoists do not mean that you should learn the ways of others in order to be like them, only that you should learn the ways of others to avoid being manipulated by them. — Deng Ming-Dao, Scholar Warrior: An Introduction to the Tao in Everyday Life

THE FRONT

Webster’s defines magic is the use of charms, spells and rituals in seeking or pretending to cause or control events, or govern certain natural or supernatural forces. It can refer to anything mysterious and seeming inexplicable, or to an extraordinary power or quality (the magic of love). It refers to producing baffling effects or illusions by sleight of hand or use of concealed apparatus. Used as a verb, it means to cause change, or to make disappear.

Of all dictionary definitions, magic is the most incomplete. Little is known of its pristine meaning. The word occult explains why the public knows so little about true magic. This knowledge is intentionally withheld from the unprepared.

Occult” is defined as hidden, secret, beyond human understanding and therefore mysterious. (Webster’s shows empiricist bias, saying occult designates alleged mystic arts, such as magic, alchemy or astrology.)

In fact, as Hall’s Treatise details, magic is a systematic discipline based on natural law. Practitioners are competent to direct natural energies at will. However, few have the courage and compassion to make the personal sacrifices required to pursue this path of knowledge.

Even fewer attain the wisdom to use such power wisely. Prudent masters therefore keep their traditions as carefully guarded secrets, safely away from unqualified seekers who, as Hitler wanna-be’s, would abuse what they could.

For the general public, it suffices to know that such powers do exist, so that when they are used, the possibility of what’s going on is recognized. An appropriate question to consider is, “What color is the magic?” According to Hall, there’s not only positive white and negative black, but yellow and gray as well. It depends on how intentional and extreme the capacity for either good or evil.

Patanjali’s yoga sutras outline the preliminary stages of magician training. The I Ching, the text of natural change, is the necessary complement of all such self-awareness disciplines. Exercising conscious awareness of and control over one’s own internal energies is the necessary first step in white magic schools.

With time, mastery over nature comes of its own accord as an product of self-knowledge. Because one’s potentials mirror and resonate with those of the entire universe, as one becomes competent to change one’s own internal states at will, one spontaneously begins to have influence over nature and with others.

By his own admission, Aleister Crowley is a black magician. His teachings bear distorted resemblance to occult knowledge. However, his credo, “Do what thou wilt” is the antithesis of the white magician’s prayer, “Thy will be done.”

Witchcraft is incomplete. Practitioners take natural law out of context, seeking occult powers rather than self-mastery, sometimes without social conscience, sometimes in defiance of divine law. Seductive claims aside, being incomplete, no witch practices white magic.

Rarely do white magicians announce their presence. They don’t have to. They quietly think, and, as Lao Tze put it, all is accomplished. Christ was an exception to the rule. He was competent to change water to wine. He also performed the ultimate miracle, resurrecting the dead. Such acts, however, were not self-serving. They were done to serve the Father, to teach and quicken faith.

THE BACK

Miracles are events without natural cause. They are different from magic, which operates within the bounds of natural change. Miracle is defined as an event or action that apparently contradicts known scientific, natural laws, and is therefore attributed to supernatural causes, like an act of God.

Special movie effects, card players’ sleights of hand and illusionists’ feats are accomplished by cleverness, manual dexterity, or computer technology. Though they’re irrelevant to bona fide magical powers, they tease the imagination and stir forgotten knowledge of latent potentials and what is truly possible.

The I Ching Works Like a Cosmic Clock

Among other things, the I Ching works like a cosmic clock, telling us the time.

In the Old Testament, King Solomon expressed the natural, rhythmic alternations of time in poetic form:

To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time build up . . . a time to love and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

The Book of Change puts its users in touch with these pulsating, alternating rhythms of life. It connects us with inner knowing – call it intuition or conscience – that anticipates approaching changes, the better to prepare for what is to come.

It serves as a reminder that our lives change like the seasons of nature. Fall follows summer. Spring follows winter.

It lends perspective to the current times and what is likely to come next.

In I Ching context, faith is akin to trusting a highly refined sense of timing. It is an atunement with the same inner clock which guides migrating birds and informs heroic displays of virtue.

Some people experience this inner knowing as a sense of personal destiny or keen sensitivity to the zeitgeist direction of the times.

Faith guides our feet, not only towards good fortune, but away from danger. An example from the New Testament is Joseph, husband of Mary, protector of Jesus. He accepted Mary and her child on faith.

When a fearful King Herod was intent on killing new born males to thwart the prophecy of his downfall, Joseph “knew” it was time to escape from Jerusalem, thus saving the infant’s life. He also knew when danger had passed, and it was time to return the boy to his homeland.

When a fearful King Herod was intent on killing new born males to thwart the prophecy of his downfall, Joseph “knew” it was time to escape from Jerusalem, thus saving the infant’s life. He also knew when danger had passed, and it was time to return the boy to his homeland.

Using the interactive Common Sense Book of Change (CSBOC) is a powerful way to get in touch with the native common sense we are all born with, but too often forget under the pressures of hectic daily life.

The text maps the natural patterns of change which trigger predictable passages from one stage to another in our lives.

Those who live close to nature are instinctively closer to their own natural rhythms, something city dwellers too often lose touch with. For those who long to remember who they truly are, but have forgotten, working the I Ching is especially rare and precious blessing.

 

Use the CSBOC To Increase Self-Awareness

Did you know that Swiss analyst, Carl Jung, who gave us the concept of archetypes and influenced appreciation of dream analysis, also had great respect for the Chinese I Ching? He used it as as a tool for making the unconscious conscious.

In fact, Jung was instrumental in bringing the first usable English translation to the West. He wrote the introduction to the Wilhelm/Baynes version by giving an example of using it. He queried asking for a comment on the translation. The answer received was, in effect, that a vessel of great value which had fallen into disrepair was being restored.

My small yellow book follows Jung’s example. In the Introduction, I ask, “What does the Common Sense Book of Change (CSBOC)  have to offer its readers?”

Its answer: “Awareness.” A changing line yields the likely future outcome of following through. “Gain.” (I’ll show you how this works below.)

But even before starting, the book emphasizes the importance of practicing a thoughtful process of question- asking:

The quality of results depends on the state of mind in which information is received. It is therefore essential to learn how to approach the Book of Change in the best possible frame of mind.

So quiet yourself. Get past the clutter of chaotic thoughts to focus on forming a worthy question.

. . . There are many techniques for calming the mind and focusing attention. One of these is usually practiced before asking the question.

Bottom line: consulting the Book of Change is not only compatible with yogic and mindfulness practices of introspection, contemplation and meditation. They work synergistically. Settling the mind to ask the right question induces a meditative state. The ability to induce a meditative state enhances the quality of questions asked and value of answers received.

To give you the flavor of working with The Common Sense Book of Change, I’m sharing the example given in the book.

If you initially feel uneasy with this approach to increasing self-awareness, you might find the answers to commonly asked questions reassuring.

If this is new to you, try approaching it with the attitude for approaching the unfamiliar recommended by Samuel Coleridge, a “willing suspension of disbelief.” Or, as I do, at the start, prayerfully invoke protection and guidance according to your beliefs.

 

 

SAMPLE READING

First I collect my materials. I need three pennies, a pad of paper or notebook, a pen or pencil and the Book of Change.

Then I find a quiet place to sit. I take a few minutes to settle down. I clear my mind of other thoughts and silently watch the breath until it becomes slow and even.

Then I think carefully about what is going on, what is troubling me, and the issues I need to know more about. I list the decisions I have to make and consider what consequences are likely to follow from my future actions.

For the example in this book, I have decided to ask, “What does The Common Sense Book of Change have to offer its readers?”

I enter the date and my question in the Diary Section at the back of the book.

Concentrating on my question, I take my three pennies, shake them a few times in my gently closed fist and roll them onto the flat surface in front of me.

The first throw of my three coins comes up three heads. The value of heads is two, so I multiply three times two to get six.

Since this is an even number, I draw a broken line on my pad of paper. It will be the bottom line. Because all three coins were the same, I place an “X” next to this line to show that it is a changing line.

My bottom line looks like this:

Place Throws Values Sum Line

Bottom H H H 2 2 2 6 ___ ___X

Then I take the three coins and throw them again. This time I get two tails and one head. The value of tails is one, so I add one and one to get two. I add this to the two for the heads coin to get four.

Since four is an even number, I place a broken line in the second place over the bottom line. My pad of paper now looks like this:

Place Throws Values Sum Line

Line 2    T T H 1 1 2 4 ___ ___

Bottom H H H 2 2 2 6 ___ ___ X

̀I follow the same procedure four more times. My final hexagram looks like this:

Place Throws Values Sum Line

Top       T H H 1 2 2 5 _______

Line 5   T H H 1 2 2 5 _______

Line 4    T T H 1 1 2 4 ___ ___

Line 3     T T H 1 1 2 4 ___ ___

Line 2     T T H 1 1 2 4 ___ ___

Bottom  H H H 2 2 2 6 ___ ___ X

The next step is to find the number of my reading. I turn to the chart at the back of the book. The bottom three lines of my hexagram are all broken.

I turn to the chart at the back. In the “lower trigram” column of the chart, the picture which matches this figure is “k’un.”

The top three lines of my hexagram are two solid lines over a broken line. In the “upper trigram” row of the chart, the picture which matches this figure is “sun.”

By going to the box which shows the combination of upper and lower trigrams, I find the number 20. I therefore turn to Hexagram 20 for answers to my question.

Hexagram 20 is AWARENESS. So the answer to my question, “What does the Common Sense Book of Change have to offer its readers?” is AWARENESS. It reads:

Seek increased AWARENESS of the patterns which underlie all natural events. Tune yourself to the creative source of natural change. Then harmony becomes a way of life. Secrets of the arts and sciences will be revealed. Human relationships will become smooth. Mistakes of mis-calculation will be prevented. Avoid unnatural leaders.

Because the bottom line is a changing line, I go to the page directly opposite the hexagram, titled “Direction of Change.” I read the sentences for the bottom line. They advise:

Narrow-minded self-interest is not enlightened. Broaden your views. Include others. (42)

The number in parens after the warning represents the hexagram which results when the bottom line changes to its opposite, a firm line.

The new hexagram, GAIN, indicates the change that would result from the AWARENESS this book has to offer its readers. Turning to Hexagram 42, I read:

GAINS can be made after analyzing the situation correctly. When a person’s life goals are kept firmly in mind, no time is wasted. A way can be found to use whatever resources are at hand to serve one’s purpose. Serving others can be compatible with personal gain. Avoid smug self-satisfaction.

I then turn to the back of the book. In the Diary Section, I write the numbers of the hexagram and any changing lines next to my question. Then I decide what future actions I to take.

Finally, I enter a few sentences to describe my thoughts and decisions into the Diary Section. That way, I know I can return to my question, the reading and my decisions later to think more about them.

I hope this helps. Any questions? Comments? Your feedback is welcome.