“The I Ching is not magic; it is science that we don’t understand,” said Terence McKenna, who like Jung, was a life-time student of the I Ching. Another life-time student of the I Ching, James DeKorne, whose modern commentaries and interpretations have been a great source for me, sums up the I Ching as follows: “The metaphor used throughout [my study guide] is that of the Great Work of Transformation— a concept which describes the willed alteration of consciousness from a differentiated to a unified state, and which in various traditions has been called Individuation, The Path, The Tao, or simply: The Work.” Of course, in comparison, I am new to the Work. But it amazes me how accurately it depicts my situation—and future situation if I do not heed its words.
In 2015, two oracles, the I Ching and a friend’s dream—not even my own dream, another mystery in itself—mirrored each other in such an unmistakable way that had I not heeded their warnings, I have no doubt I would have been lost.
My sister Maggie, who lived 150 miles from me at the time, texted to say that her father-in-law, Murray, had died. Although I had known him for more than 40 years, our paths had seldomly crossed. And I had just finished my memoir the weekend before and was pumped up. There was still so much to do spiritually and physically to get it ready for publication. Maybe it was the right thing to do, to go to Murray’s funeral but, perhaps selfishly, I didn’t want a three-day trip to slow down my momentum. When my brother Zach, who lives across town, texted me to talk about making arrangements to drive to San Angelo together, I was torn if I should go or not. He would be happy to wait till I got off work Friday evening if I wanted to go, he said later. Otherwise, he and his wife would leave Friday morning.
But before even talking with him, I drove home from work at lunchtime to consult the I Ching, which has so profoundly mirrored my life and advised me as to the potential consequences of my actions is so uncanny that I try my best to consult it before making major—and seemingly minor—decisions. Here is that consult:
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
SITUATION: Please give me guidance about attending Murray’s funeral.
Line 6: HHT — —
Line 5: HHH ——*
Line 4: HHH ——*
Line 3: HHH — —*
Line 2: HHT ——
Line 1: TTT ——*
ANSWER: Hexagram 41, LINES 1, 3, 4, and 5.
The information in the primary hexagram seems key to describing the current situation, and the stressed lines—the asterisks that indicate three heads or three tails—provide the most crucial information available to you in making your best decision. (Keep in mind, the I Ching does not make choices for you. It only provides you with information. Ultimately, you must make your decisions based on your intuition and your ability to interpret the information refected by the I Ching.)
The following entries resonated with me:
Line 1: Blofeld: To hurry away when work is done is not wrong, but first consider whether such a hasty departure will harm the work.
Line 3: Wilhelm/Baynes: When three people journey together, their number decreases by one. Blofeld: If three set forth together now, one will be lost on the way.
Line 4: Blofeld: He reduced the number of ills besetting him and thus hastened the arrival of happiness—no error!
Line 5: Wilhelm/Baynes: Someone does indeed increase him. Ten pairs of tortoises cannot oppose it. Supreme good fortune.
While I imagine that all lines of the I Ching can and should be interpreted on symbolic and