Wednesday, January 26, 2005

casting the i-ching

Fatima had cast the I-Ching for maybe four or so reasons, during four or so periods of her life. And, really, actually, only in two of those was she desperately seeking guidance. Desperately wondering how to proceed and desperately unsure how to begin.

She didn’t really believe in it, after all. But both times—those two desperate times—involved love. And a spiritual teacher.

The first time, the I-Ching was horribly, miserably, painfully accurate (as much as she had tried to fight its answers).

The second time, well, she guessed the days would tell. But, anyway, the answer wasn’t really so bad. It was even kind of good (or at least not nearly so tragic as she had imagined her situation to be).

Plus, she’d cast it twice. A week or so apart with eerily similar conclusions (or non-conclusions, as the case may be).

The first cast, during days of presumed loss and far too much crying, read: “Initial Obstacles—Giving birth to the new has potential for great success, but there are difficulties to be overcome.” And its “Appropriate Action” counseled: “Temporarily sacrifice other interests and focus on the situation at hand. Through careful sorting replace chaos with order. Get help from others and remain determined. Do not act prematurely. . . . Resolve disorder slowly.”

Replace chaos with order. Resolve disorder slowly. Fatima liked that.

But she was doubtful. And kept crying.

The second cast, a week or so later, when the crying had mostly subsided and a hollow, empty, resolved feeling remained, read: “Obstacles—Obstacles can and should be overcome. The highest barriers often conceal the greatest blessings.” And its “Appropriate Action” advised: “Rather than forcing ahead, retreat and let strength and means accumulate. Seek advice from an appropriate source. Seek assistance, and remain determined. Look to your own inner development to see what is actually inhibiting progress. . . . Acting in obedience to a higher authority, one confronts obstacle after obstacle, but there is no blame.”

Retreat. Look to your own development. No blame. Fatima liked that too.

But she still cried a little. And kept feeling sad.

Yet she knew (between the tears) that what was just was.

And, really, that’s all it could (and would) be.

So she’d wait. And go for a walk. And (meanwhile) admire the moon.

1 Comments:

Blogger naxos said...

I had to google I-Ching to find out what that was all about. Very interesting. On a related note, I'm toying with the idea of learning to read tea leaves...or maybe just getting a coffee table book on the subject that I can have handy for when I serve loose leaf tea at home.

January 27, 2005 at 4:10 PM  

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