24. Return (The Turning Point)
Thunder deep within the earth.
The I Ch’ing is a book that I have studied all of my adult life. I discovered John Blofeld’s explication of the I Ch’ing in college, spent about a year absorbing it, tossing coins, making charts, then found my first Wilhelm-Baines. I have gone through several over the years.
The I Ch’ing is about harmony, balance, and it teaches of two people, the superior man, he who rides the wave to his advantage, and the inferior man, he who fallings into the rushing tide.
Reality is, one, whole, complete, distinct. All that we, each and every, all and total, are contained within the one reality that we are part of. Our systems of measurement force us to impose a polarity to existence, a binary opposition that we apply to our apprehension of our experience. Either plus or minus, good or bad, light or dark, right or left.
To survive we measure our experience of reality somewhere between the extremes, we further subdivide, more yes than no, good but not good enough, more light than dark, north east west south, not news to me, quarters, eighths, sixteenths, thirty-seconds, sixty-fourths, one hindred and fifty-sixths, for God’s sake, everything’s so complicated here in the twenty-first century. But the principle, the basic understanding underlying one reality conforms to certain basic understandings, the law of conservation of energy.
The I Ch’ing has been presented as an oracle, a means of telling the future, but I can assure you, it is not, it is an objective way to look at this moment now, the who and where I am. The discipline necessary to follow the I Ch’ing eventually forced me into what I understand as Wittgenstein’s understanding, the thingness of things, the is-ness of now.
Too mystic, I agree, and the I Ch’ing contains it but is far more than that for in the metaphor of the sixty-four is the elemental understanding we share of our physical surroundings, in the eight times eight are more than enough complexity to create a clear and comprehensible understanding of where I am in relation to that which is not, is more, is other.
We still struggle with the Enlightenment ideal, that light that allowed humanity to come out of that Plato’s cave, out of the shadows into the light, that belief that mankind can accept and believe that we are naming creation, as God told Adam to do. It took me a while and I read a lot of Tolstoy waiting looking for it, but eventually I found it, silly attempt at suspense, Tolstoy’s interpretation of the Gospel, the book that helped Wittgenstein survive the trenches of World War One.
27. Providing Nourishment
Thunder within the mountain
I asked the I Ch’ing about this essay, a post-modern turn, please notice it, self-referential, the twenty-first century metaphor because that’s what it is there for, a distraction a refraction, a reminder to look at the remainder when all’s said and done.
This began with a thought, the fruit of a lifetime’s study and contemplation, it hit me quite hard I am here once again, always and forever, a child of God ever striving the be the one that God will have me be to the best of my ability. Earth I am and I am also the awareness within flesh, earth, the thunder that expresses. But we are all, each and every, no respecter of, not I. And we either be or not, accept or reject, live a superior or infernal life.