Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This Thing About I-Ching

I-Ching is the mother of all oracle systems in China.

It bore Fengshui (风水), the TCM system, Bazi (八字), Ziwei Doushu (紫薇斗数), Huang Ji Jing (皇极经) etc where each system developed their own formulae and rules.

In my study into I-Ching, I realised that it's a system of philosophy for Life's changes and human behaviour, with nary a tinge of superstition or supernatural.

In this article today, I'll share briefly on how I-Ching works.


Why isn't it about superstition and supernatural if you say it bore the rest of the oracle systems?

I-Ching is a system of causes and effects of how Life and environment changes.  Unlike the Karma belief, it shows the life cycle of human emotions and Life in general.

Like, an average income person got a chance in life to strike it big, the sudden windfall knocked the socks off him/her whom has no experience with financial management in the bigger scale = he/she starts to spend more frivolously and ended up finding the bank account back to where it was before the windfall.

In I-Ching, the above scenario is the cycle of the 55th hexagram, 丰.

In 丰, it means "rewarding reaping", however, with rich rewards, the human psychology is such that one tends to rest on the laurels more and take things for granted with the material abundance and security.

In US, where the lottery system can go up to hundred millions of dollars jackpot, a statistic was done on the winners in the 5 - 10 year period.  Most of the winners go back to where they originally were even with the windfall because of poor financial management.

This is the best example of the 丰 hexagram.

Then how does the superstition and supernatural come about?

We need to acknowledge this thing, there is God and Devil in this world.  With that, there will be their group of messengers who help or destroy.

Now with good tidings blessed upon us, if we do not know how to appreciate the Above for it, our heart starts to take things for granted, get lazy or over-ambitious without laying the solid foundation to grow, then it's time the Devil takes over.

This is where the 7 Sins in Christianity and the 108 Defilement in Buddhism come in.  And this is also where I-Ching teaches us to be wary over.

With I-Ching, in 95% of the cases, the Devil comes from within, from our heart, meaning, we start this negative cycle because we're not strong enough against the negative desires and ambitions where our mind and heart are not clear enough to understand our strengths and weaknesses that allow things to turn bad.

With a clouded mind and heart for every necessary and unnecessary thing, we cannot sense the good energy in people and places, and with that, leads to us living and working with stress and issues with the wrong people and places.  Especially so for the current modern life.

It is a cycle of chained effects.

So the rest of the oracle system developed is to further refine the teachings of I-Ching to help fellow human beings walk onto the right path.

If we radiate positive energy that is strong and consistent, we wouldn't be attracted to the negative, or the "wrong" people and places/jobs.  This is the main gist of The Law of Attraction too, if we read deep enough.

Then how does I-Ching work?

I-Ching is something from the Universe (or the Above, if one may like) to help guide us, so it has a natural frequency bonded to us.  Because it has no religious roots (it doesn't talk about any God or Buddha), it is applicable to one and all without prejudice.

So firstly, we need to understand the meaning of all the 64 hexagrams, then seek its advice for our future direction or next step with a sincere question.

Once the reading is out, we need to mull at how it applies to our question and plan our steps.

If we seek I-Ching predictions, are we working against the Flow of Life?

Good question.

Now lets do some reverse engineering, keeping in mind the issue of most human beings = lack of clarity in our mind and heart.

A company has a project to develop.
2 suppliers submitted their proposal for it, with quotation.
Both don't have a bad name in the industry.
Many meetings have been done to find out more about their expertise etc.
Supplier A was picked in the end.
It messed up the project leading to big losses.

There has to be alot of signs along the way before the supplier is decided, like if we look back at our lives, we tend to realise the various subtle signs that has been pointing to the eventual result.

It's about whether we managed to pick it up, or if our eyes are open wide enough to pick them up for consideration.

Many many things in life can turn out right, if we pick out the signals that helped us make the decision.

Like Supplier A has alot of manpower hiring from a recent high turnover rate, but because the main head in the meeting showed alot of expertise and track record, the company overlooked that and decided on them, without considering that new people hired in Supplier A's company need time to orientate themselves to the workings of the new environment.

Which eventually caused the mess in the project delivery leading to the losses.

In this modern day, our mind is highly distracted with various requirements of each of us.  Then add on to that, is the attractions from the various online and offline media for our attention.

This leaves us with little time to rest our mind and heart, leading to our clouded perception on many things.

And this is where mistakes come easily.  More easily than the past where technology is non-existent or primitive enough not to attract us that much.  We are over-stimulated in so many ways these days that we're almost always tired, or think that time isn't enough.

An overworked human being cannot focus and make good decisions at all.

It still doesn't explain if I-Ching is working against the Flow of Life

If we know to learn I-Ching and let it help us make big decisions while learning its wisdom on the way, many negative untowards things would not have happend, and many of us wouldn't have to live in regret or losses.

You mean we're to depend on I-Ching to run our lives?

On the surface, it seems to be.  But the truth isn't at all.

Because I-Ching is all about positive decisions for different situations, where we modern human beings have little ability for it now, letting it help our decision making process is picking up its wisdom to run our lives on our own all over again.

It's like having a hired helper at home for the mother/wife to do some housework, it doesn't make the woman less of a mother/wife if she knows not to take things for granted.

I-Ching is helping us not to take things for granted.

How?

In the process of letting I-Ching help with major decisions, the hexagrams offer teachings that we can learn from.  From it, we slowly start to re-open our eyes and mind to little grits in our lives that we can do without and then proceed to a clean-up of our lives.

Then as time goes, where we run our lives with the right priorities, what to let go and pick up, how to process our thoughts positively etc etc.......it'd be time for us to slowly put down I-Ching, our helper, and we live as if we are reborn again.

That is, provided we've enough persistence to learn and absorb this valuable art.

Ending notes

Again, I'd like to say that not all human beings are poor decision makers.  No.

But most of us have areas that we're weaker over, like some are good in their career but poor in their love relationship.  Some of us are good with people, but very poor in handling our money. 

The list, combinations and permutations are endless.

And then, there're people who are strong in every aspect but negative towards Life itself when looking at the current world situation.  Learning I-Ching help these understand that not all human beings are made with the same software (i.e our mind), and it's almost often the case that our minds and hearts bring us our downfall.

And then the question, why are some people born suffering in bad countries?  Places of famine, wars and diseases?  God is so unfair!

But alot of us failed to see this -- These countries are poor and in wars because of the people running them, not because God made them to be.

Singapore is a very small country of no natural resources, but it's a safe, peaceful and rich country.  Exactly because the people running it are ok.

Our current world is a global village with good technology and advanced transportation systems, we've resources for almost every knowledge we want to seek in, very unlike the ancient past.  But have our lives got better?

So the most important thing now isn't about technological advances (not saying that we should stop the development and evolution), but seek to enrich ourselves with the right knowledge (and information) and grow our wisdom in Life.

And for ourselves to change for the better. 

Changes isn't always bad, it's just good or bad ones.