Background: the beginning of an academic project to investigate the validity and uses of the I Ching.
The first step in such an inquiry is to ask a question. I framed this question to ask what the oracle thought of this project. In asking this question my intent was to begin the journey of discovery that may lead to development of this tool as a predictor and provider of meaning to everyday events. If the oracle provides an answer that makes sense to the question a first step is taken down this road. So, the question I wrote down, on June 17, 1997, was: What of this experiment? What have you to say about it? I Ching, what is your answer?
I then consulted the oracle using the yarrow stalk method of inquiry and received the following hexagram/answer: Hexagram 52 moving to hexagram 7, the Army.
Keeping Still, Mountain is a trigram rooted in the earth. It stands strong and heavy, fixed and determined. It has a masculine gender by virtue of the solid/strong line that has joined with the two broken/weak lines and represents the youngest son of earth whose trigram is made up of three broken lines. In the Judgement of 52, the I Ching seems to be describing me as one seeking a quiet heart. This is right in line with the first of my core values - Inner Peace - stated in my Antioch Learning Vision and I can see the judgment fitting my mission in this project. I am seeking a quiet heart, in fact, I'm beginning to achieve a quiet heart. So perhaps the answer lies in validating this project as another step in my path.
The text of the Image means to act on the here and now, let the future take care of its self. The second piece of the answer. I have images of how this project could be. I've been counseled on what this project should be. The advice of the oracle is to allow the natural process of creation to bring the project to what it will be.
The I Ching text is now consulted on the three changing lines of the initial hexagram Keeping Still. Six in second place means: Keeping his calves still. He cannot rescue him whom he follows. His heart is not glad. Here we see a man serving one stronger than himself. The servant cannot save such a master from wrongdoing.
I wonder if this is Jill Bamburg, my PEP advisor. Jill will determine the fate of my PEP and will decide on its merit or not-merit as deserving of credit toward my degree after expressing skepticism in the method of inquiry. The message is one of caution. If this line does refer to Jill, it will be a challenge. The oracle seems to be predicting a conflict of some sort between the direction I will take in this project and the direction she may wish me to take. This conflict was even hinted at when Jill and I met for the first time to go over our advising relationship. She was very concerned that what resulted from my work might not meet her standards and that I would perceive this as unfair treatment. That the oracle has picked up on this theme is strong evidence for me of the meaning explaining ability of the oracle. In that sense it validates my going forward with the project. If the wrongdoing proclaimed is withholding credit however, this is a very auspicious way to begin such a project. It leads to a paradox where I would succeed in my PEP (for what I seek) while failing to receive credit for that success. The oracle gives no advice on this matter. It simply informs the project with a condition to consider as it is conducted.
Nine in third place means: Keeping his hips still. Making his sacrum stiff. Dangerous. The heart suffocates. Here is a restless heart subdued by forcible means. Results must not be forced, they must come naturally. The oracle now informs me of what I know. The quiet I seek, which I have, in my heart is there by conscious effort. For it to remain it must be natural, unforced, unconscious.
Nine at the top means: * Noblehearted keeping still. Good fortune. The asterisk in this line means that this line is the ruler of the hexagram. It shows a man resigned to life. Peace and good fortune must follow. The first hexagram ends on a positive note. Success must follow. In regards to this project it would seem I have chosen a good next step in the quest of my learning vision. The first message received is one of encouragement that this is a good next step on my life mission as stated in my GMP Learning Objectives. The quest for a quiet heart and letting things be as they will is paramount among those things I hope to take away when I receive my degree. The oracle has observed this and counsels fair sailing in this quest, through this project and beyond.
Continue to second hexagram
This is the second part of an account that begins at Hexagram 7
Finally with all three lines changing, I get hex.52: be yourself, without reckoning with anybody or anything. Stubborn or even arrogant. Or, to put it more elegantly: disengaged from the world, like in meditation. Whatever you wish to call it: just be what you are, nothing else.
(And half an idea from the webmaster :-):
52's judgement seems (to me, anyway) to say that you can't grasp your whole personality just as you can't see your own back, and this is not a problem: you just need to stay still with things, and not to try to escape (back to the Image). Perhaps it's the difference between self-analysis (horribly recursive) and meditation. )