Tag Archives: opportunity

Take the Best, Leave the Rest – IC -112320

Unlike any kind of fortune-telling, prophecy, or magic, the I Ching does not tell the future, it can only analyze the present. Its use does not allow one to make forecasts, only diagnoses. If there were a comparison possible with a Western equivalent, it would not be to the crystal ball but to a chess playing computer program that analyzes the current situation in order to choose one of a number of options.

Cyrille Javary’s description of the Book of Change is my favorite. It spells out exactly why, in 2020’s year of challenging choices, the book is so potentially valuable.

Working with it offers a meditative approach to problem-solving. Take a deep breath. Step back from the fray. Be the observer. Instead of getting caught up in one side or another, see how they dance together. Then consciously, carefully choose the best course of action.

That’s far better than getting sucked into conflict, engaging in blame, anger or despair, or being confused to the point of paralysis.

With I Ching wisdom, you won’t be fooled by false either/or choices. You’ll know that in duality, there are two sides to every coin. “Whatever has a front has a back.” Further, “the larger the front, the larger the back.”

Thousands of years experience confirm that nothing is only what it seems. Even more, as a Law of Nature, every extreme changes into its opposite. That’s why sages warn us to avoid extremes; 2020’s year of extremes is painful proof of the Law in action.

In Take the Best, I wrote.

In reading opinion and even “how to” pieces, I recommend the 30/70 principle. With careful attention and a little bit of luck, it’s possible to extract the 30% value from the 70% rubbish in which its embedded.

Ferreting out fact from falsehood takes Sherlock-like attention to detail. It requires conscious discrimination, in the positive sense. It demands active investigation, not passive acceptance of what appears on the front-side of the coin.

So which will it be? Do you want to be a conscious player in the chess-game of life, or simply a pawn moved around the board at the whim of others?

We’re not taught to look to the Book of Change for answers to our deepest questions. That’s why I’ve chosen to bring the book to you. Through the end of 2020, bi-weekly posts are intended make what was once unfamiliar now familiar.

Today’s reading is the most dynamic and perhaps challenging of 2020. GAIN, the original outcome, changes four times – moving through FAMILY, CLARITY, GROWTH, and PROBLEMS — before arriving at its final outcome, PROSPERITY.

At the beginning of Thanksgiving week, the deeply desired return of Prosperity come only after patiently going through the step-by-step process it takes to get from here to there. And at each step along the way, a consistent theme emerges:

GAIN is the initial answer to today’s question, “What should we be aware of NOW?” It reads:

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.

During conflict-filled, end-stage 2020, it’s important to step back and take a deep breath. Analyze what’s going on, define our goals and how best to meet them. Accept that personal gain is inseparably connected with showing respect for others needs.

* * *

The advice of Line 3 represents a flip side of today’s theme. It reads, “Sometimes insincere people can help others without meaning to.”

Often selfish people who don’t respect others “coincidentally” fulfill nature’s plan. Ironically, in this season, power abusers have grown so bold that they’ve shown their hand. Pay attention to reap the unintended benefits. When this advice is taken to heart, the 3rd line changes to:

Inside the FAMILY one learns to play out given roles. This makes later success in roles on the job and in the larger community possible. Clearly defined relationships make communication easy. Respectful cooperation with others earns trust and acceptance from the human family. Avoid roles not suited to your nature.

Respect, trust and acceptance are integral to today’s consistent theme.

As for roles, although I greatly respect Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorke, and am profoundly grateful to President Trump’s legal supporters (Rudy Giuliani and Genna Ellis, as well as the noble Sidney Powell), I’m neither by temperament nor training a street fighter.

As they fulfill their destined roles in the human family’s critical war for truth and justice, I accept a modest, complimentary role. My part is fulfilled by adding a book of wisdom to the mix.

It’s my job to urge humans to remember our common humanity. Don’t continue down the divide-and-conquer path of conflict which serves only the dark-side Evil Emperor. Instead of going at each others throats, we must join forces to cut off the head of the snake that plays us against each other — to our mutual destruction.

Similarly, all of us need to step back and decide how as individuals we’re best qualified and able to contribute.

* * *

Repeating the common theme, advice of Line 4 reads, “Conflict between helping yourself and helping others is not necessary.” This advice being thoughtfully applied to one’s own life, the fourth line changes to Clarity:

Cultivate CLARITY. Listen to the pure and childlike voice of your inner being. Even if this results in new and unexpected experiences, you will benefit. Take joy in being true to your Self. Modified by consideration for others, this will give you creative abilities. Avoid fearful attachment to the familiar.

According to theme, consideration for others tempers personal joy and enhances effectiveness.

* * *

Again on theme, advice of Line 5 reads, “Worthwhile goals and practical purposes can be linked. Be sincere.” It reinforces the wisdom of the original reading, Gain. “Serving others can be compatible with personal gain.”

No either/ors! Here’s the shadow side of our theme: Taking advantage of others is a super bad idea. One way or another, it will backfire, big time. When we internalize this advice, putting it into action, the 5th line changes to Growth.

People seek help according to what they need for their own GROWTH. Unless hunger is fed with the right food, no amount of input will satisfy. To understand others, watch how they nourish themselves. Nature provides for all. Leaders promote those who have the ability to serve many. Avoid greed.

The resonant theme repeats: “Nature provides for all.” For thousands of years, the Book of Change has taught what psychologists now say. Humanity is starved for wisdom. Lacking awareness of our inalienable, inborn okayness, people fall prey to every imaginable disease, addiction and vice. Violence, over-eating, drugs and indiscriminate sex don’t feed the real hunger. Wisdom, self-compassion and human kindness do.

***

Advice of the Top Line reads, “Laziness and greed repel people. Don’t take advantage of others.” It’s part of the theme’s flip side. When taken to heart, the line changes to:

When a new life is struggling to emerge, there will be PROBLEMS in the beginning. Seek help from people whose ideas and methods can help to create inner and outer stability. Take an active part in the growing process. This will help you to define your own identity. Avoid helplessness.

This reading reinforces the need for positive, fulfilling Growth. Like it or not, 2020 has been a watershed year of 2020 and of reset. After enduring extremes of loss and chaos, we need to bring ourselves back to balance, redefine ourselves and make a Fresh Start. Again,

Choose to be

an active chess player,

not a passive pawn.

***

After the changing lines are honored, each in turn, in combination they lead to in a final outcome, Prosperity:

Use the time of PROSPERITY as the opportunity to benefit as many as possible. Hoarding wealth of any kind hastens loss. Nature acts to distribute resources equally. Therefore, the way to prevent poverty is to live modestly in the present. Share wisely, without prejudice. This secures continued well-being. Avoid possessiveness.

Prosperity is the end result of mastering the lessons of family, clear thinking, nurturing the best in ourselves and others, and seeking wisdom when faced with problems. True to the consistent theme, it emphasizes the wisdom of acting like nature. Going forward, benefiting as many as possible without prejudice will be the way to secure good fortune.

For most of us, 2020 has been intense and harsh. But it also brought important lessons – blessings in disguise. From now to mid-December, when we’re slated to see major reversals, the wisest use of down time is to sort out the best of 2020. Leave the rest behind as we prepare to enter 2021 with its promise of a new set of interesting challenges/opportunities.

Collected posts will be published as The Lessons of 2020: Using the Wisdom of CHANGE to Build a Better Future. Look for it on amazon in January of 2021.

If you’d like a copy of the Common Sense Book of Change, or extras to give others, click here.

To order Two Sides of a Coin: Lao Tze’s Common Sense Way of Change, click here.

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

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.