Category Archives: decision-making

We’re At Critical Mass – IC Reading – Sept. 17, 2020

When I recently queried the Common Sense Book of Change, its answer clearly wasn’t meant just for me.

I wrote the invocation often used, “Beloved Father in Heaven, thank you for using this book to show me what I need to be aware of now.”

The response was CHANGE. It was qualified by two changing lines which, combined, result in CLARITY.

For those unfamiliar with how and why the magic of synchronicity works, there are plenty of explanations elsewhere. (If you want to know more, however, you’re welcome to comment below. I’ll respond.)

But here, I’m keeping it simple and to the point. Hexagram 49 speaks to the state of planet Earth – its people and ecology– right now. We’re at critical mass.

Worldwide, the pandemic has derailed economies, along with familiar social activities and intimate relationships. In the US, political candidates and supporters hurl accusations and vile insults. Agenda-driven media inflames public fear and outrage. Riots, arson, looting and senseless murders plague major cities.

And nature mirrors this maelstrom. The basic elements of earth, air, fire and water are out of whack too, plummeting countless lives into still further chaos, grief and hardship. On the West coast, forest fires fanned by high winds are charring the land and polluting the atmosphere as far off as the East coast. Along the Southern coastline, incoming hurricanes are flooding the land.

During times of polarizing extremes,

we need the stabilizing influence

of The Book of Change

more than ever.

Working with this enduring, time-tested compendium of natural law brings calm reason and measured hope to apparently impossible situations. It shines clarity on current events, restoring perspective during times of painful confusion and self-doubt.

For example, I Ching Hexagram 49 looks like this:

Even here, a ray of eternal hope remains embedded within dire events. “. . . when degeneration reaches critical mass, regeneration follows.”

Now, between last Easter’s blog and today’s post, it seemed right for me to keep still. But, as my beloved teacher said, “Timing is everything.”

Earlier, in response to the COVID outbreak, I queried what the Book of Change had to tell us about the pandemic. The answer suggested that nothing is what it seems; further, the best response is to focus on the opportunities hidden within immediate challenges – the blessings, however well disguised.

In the interim, much of what was hidden has surfaced. But as US elections approach, we’re reaching critical mass.

Now, the Book of Change reminds us again that even during times like this (which prophets over the centuries have consistently foreseen), a kernel of hope always remains buried within change. Likewise, modern astrologers also predicted 2020’s “deconstruction of the old order.” They see 2021, however, as prelude to positive new beginnings.

According to natural law, like fractals, change repeats on every scale of magnitude, smallest to largest. This means that the same dynamic of chaos experienced by each of us, is also happening at the same time to everyone else, everywhere else. It’s going on globally inside families, small businesses, large corporations, governments at every level, industry and agriculture, the professions of education, health, and law. You name it.

As an example, at the microcosmic level, here’s my unique version of critical mass. Beloved teacher suddenly deceased. After years dedicated to looking after his needs day in and out, I was suddenly cast out my home, separated from beloved pets and relocated, friendless, to a another city just in time for pandemic isolation. The streets of what used to be a thriving downtown area are deserted. Empty. Feels spooky, like a ghost town.

What’s your version? Your family’s? Your community’s?

I’m not complaining, mind you. It could be much worse. Thankfully I’m safe. There’s enough to eat. But rest assured, knowing that predicted loss arrived right on schedule (although in unexpected forms) doesn’t make it any less devastating.

Ouch. = (

But, being immersed in I Ching wisdom, I know better than to resist, deny or take change personally. Nor do I despair (or should you!) that this dark night of the soul will last forever. A new day will dawn. Always has. Always will.

So, questions which I put to the I Ching remain. What’s next? Where’s this leading? Which choices will lead to the best of possible futures?

Each of us (including leaders at every level) can take hope in this universal law of nature: “. . . after degeneration reaches critical mass, regeneration follows.”

Glimmers of hope . . of regeneration . . are already emerging. For example, prayer groups have been organizing worldwide meditations where members agree to pray together at the same time for peace and healing. Perhaps not coincidentally, peace accords in the Near East have just been brokered by the sitting US president.

Briefly, changing lines in the third and sixth place of this reading support the option of least resistance, building positive community, and being content with doing one’s best. Intentional communities . . . whether online or on the land. . . seem the most likely hope of building a better future.

In this reading, the result of choosing the recommended path of cooperation is #25 CLARITY. In essence, it consists of holding a clear and prescient overview of what has been, what is, and what might be.

I could easily write an entire book on just this one reading. In fact, one on the drawing board — The Phoenix Response: Dying To Be Reborn in the Same Lifetime – will offer much more.

But the purpose of today’s brief blog is simply encourage you. To the extent we can see it, claim it, and work together to bring it into being, there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel. To this end, as #49 advises: Welcome the new. Avoid short-sighted fear.

Timing being everything — the gift of the I Ching that works like a cosmic clock — this post couldn’t be more perfectly timed.

After deciding to post again after a dry spell, I checked the calendar. Lo! The 17th of September “just happens” to be the date of a super new moon, a time of unusually powerful, fresh new beginnings. It’s in Virgo, the sign of healing and service. If you’re inclined to believe in divine guidance and angelic support, you’ll appreciate Sarah Hall’s inspired description of the potentials now being set in motion.

BTW, because no training in my early years supported a belief in angels, they used what I was familiar with to make contact. Mercifully, they’re not that picky. It was fine for the Book of Change to serve as my initiation into meditation and experience of angelic guidance. No problem. It doesn’t seem to matter to them whether they receive the credit. : ) So the book continues to serve anyone, anywhere who approaches universal wisdom with an open mind and open heart.

Also uncoincidentally, Rosh Hashanah follows close behind on September 19th.. It’s the holiday when the shofar is sounded, calling the faithful to unite and shaking those who sleep into awareness. For those who’d like know more about these dynamics, here’s a link to a website that supplies details.

Bottom line. From now to the end of 2020, as a counterbalance to current chaos, I’ll be posting IC readings every Monday and Thursday.

If you’d like to know more about me or the IC, here are links to satisfy your curiosity:

The I Ching and Me

How the Common Sense Book of Change Came To Be

If you want your very own copy of the CSBOC to work with, to answer your own unique questions at your own convenience, or want extras to give others in need of insight, solace and support, it’s available here. : )

Okay, then. That’s all for now. Talk with you again soon. Take care, all.

Half-Brained is Half-Assed: Put the Yin Back into Your Yang Decisions

In the year 2000, I wrote a dozen Essay Sketches on Positive Action. I’m just now getting back to them. They emphasize the urgent necessity of restoring right-brain balance to left-brain decision-making. Put the other way around, they identify what has gone terribly wrong in the world for lack of this balance.

The first sketch identifies the origins of linear-thinking stereotypes:

ONLY THE TRUTH, PLEASE!

Leading imagination to the single source, the poetry of scriptures describes subtle experience in familiar terms.

Great harm comes from taking metaphors literally. Timeless truths are misconstrued to rationalize bigotry. Nature’s complimentary polarities, masculine and feminine, light and dark have wrongfully been limited to physical characteristics and then attached to moral judgments: “good” and “bad.”

Males are deemed categorically good; females are exclusively bad. Light-skinned people are supposedly good; dark-skinned ones aren’t.

Nothing could be further from scriptural intent. Complements play equally vital parts in the music of life as interdependent aspects of a perfect whole. We are all wired with the same AC/DC (yin and yang) energy circuitry.

What is evil is separations within or without. Liberate scriptures from literal-minded abusers.

The second sketch builds on the first:

HALF-BRAINED IS HALF-ASSED

Indiana Jones blends the best of right and left brain worlds. He and Nazi opponents search out the arc of the covenant, then the grail. The enemy wants the key to world domination; Indy and his beloved father seek “illumination.” They not only study ancient civilizations, but adventure to recover hidden treasures. To become a Jedi knight, Luke SkyWalker trains to attune himself to “the force.”

Intellectuals who contempt practical people and workers who despise the educated are equally half-brained incompetents. Divided we fall prey to the dark side. For positive results, well-educated scholars and street-smart front-liners fighting the war that counts in inner city trenches and rural outposts must join ranks. Patton, the general who stopped Hitler, quoted scriptures like a bishop, knew Shakespeare’s verse by heart.

These sketches explains why, in today’s hectic world. working with the Book of Change has extraordinary value. It is the time-tested method for restoring the balance of calm, quiet, introspective right-brain “knowing” to aggressive, materialistic left-brain analysis.

How have we come to rule out this integral part of existence, the hidden half which completes our whole-brain potentials?

Einstein called it the “fateful fear of metaphysics.” Physics – what is physical and observable — is real. In addition, however, the intangible which rests beyond or within us is equally real. As Einstein was well aware, that which is deeper than physics – meta-physics – complements and completes the tangible.

In early works, I pictured the integral levels of experience in this way:

Flux & Stability

Without this right-brain balance in our decision-making, we are but half of what we could and should be. Often, we function in ignorance of and against the grain of our own best interests.

Here is the picture of a divided world view where the language of poetry, taken literally, results in divisive stereotypes.

II-10 rev

As such, those of us who live in a world designed and dictated by the rules of empirical science are at a terrible loss. We have been programmed (“educated”) rule out every part of experience, however, real, which cannot be seen and touched, measured and quantified.

According to Swiss analyst Carl Jung, this either/or world view places intangibles outside of our conscious reach. Nevertheless, buried, overlooked and forgotten, they still continue to influence us, but from the “unconscious” parts of our mind.

Jung had much to say about this loss:

Our time has committed a fatal error; we believe we can criticize the facts of religion intellectually. . . The gods have become diseases; Zeus no longer rules Olympus but rather the solar plexus, and produces curious specimens for the doctor’s consulting room, or disorders the brains of politicians and journalists who unwittingly let loose psychic epidemics on the world.

Jung understood that restoring health and common sense to our world could be gained by methods which make the unconscious conscious. The Book of Change is a premier method for accomplished this goal. It’s no accident that Jung was instrumental in restoring the first genuinely usable English translation to the West. He actually wrote the introduction to the Wilhelm/Baynes version of the I Ching.

The Common Sense Book of Change continues in this tradition, for the same purpose. It simplifies the scholarly approach, making this treasure accessible to anyone with basic English language reading skills and an open heart, free of irrelevant and unnecessary sexist, elitist language.

So, this is critically important. It’s time to make yourself whole. If you haven’t already, put the yin balance back into your yang decisions.

Tai Chi Tu