An I Ching Meditation for this upcoming historic transit:
* The 27th hexagram of the I Ching is called “Providing Nourishment,” and it shows the picture of an open mouth.
* The instructions of the 27th hexagram involve what we put into our body, what we put into our mind, and what comes out of our body, especially the mouth, as a reflection of what is flowing through the mind.
* Various commentators on the 27th hexagram have mentioned that the actions we take in this world that are not thoughtful, mindful, humble, moderated, and controlled will generally result in consequences that we cannot control.
* Put differently, when we aren’t in a conscious relationship with the forces of our material nature (those thoughts, archetypes, patterns of behavior, desires, and impulses that flow in and out of our mind and body) then we are unconsciously being lived BY them.
* When we are lived by the forces of material nature, then we stand no chance to be in a conscious relationship with the results of our actions. When we aren’t in a conscious relationship with the results of our actions, then we will tend to nourish ourselves only in response or reaction to calamity, or in an almost paranoid defense against unseen disasters.
* For example, when massive amounts of people live in denial of global climate change, in denial of the patterns of action and behavior surrounding global climate change, then the results take us by surprise. We feel, suddenly, like victims of nature, rather than participants in an interconnected and causal chain of events. Rather than taking responsibility, rather than being awakened to the interconnection we share with these “natural” disasters, we feel like some cruel force, larger than us, impersonal, or indifferent, has struck us down. We call it “nature,” and we go on saying that it has nothing to do with us, that it is a force outside of us, completely unrelated to ourselves.
* It turns out this large, impersonal, cruel, and indifferent force is the face of our own unconscious disposition, our denial, our neglect, our “natural” insistence upon marching forward and forward, consuming and consuming, unconsciously.
* The 3rd line of the 27th hexagram says, “You gorge yourself on tempting sweets, devoid of nutritional value. Such heedless compulsiveness carries long lasting consequences.”
* The 3rd line tells us that when we are facing difficulties in life due to a lack of regulated thinking or careful and mindful actions, then when difficulty arises, again and again we will feel like victims of large and impersonal forces, random or chaotic events, and we will then gorge ourselves on sweet things because they will temporarily make us feel better. These powerful, overwhelming difficulties becomes cyclical and repetitive, and so gorging ourselves on insta-fix sweets also becomes cyclical and repetitive. This is why the line says that this pattern of compulsive living creates a long-lasting pattern that is very difficult to break.
* On the other hand, the same pattern can create a pattern of defensiveness or pre-emptive behavior. Terrified of the large and impersonal forces out there, still in denial that they have anything to do with ourselves, or that we’ve participated in their creation, we take up defensive stances. We build the castle walls higher, the media and the social atmosphere feeds on our fear, and we live in a progressively more paranoid state of consciousness. The weather channel names a new mega god snowstorm, coming to get us, coming to get someone, some place, possibly, each and every day. Rather than a wakeup call, we try to move out in front of our denial, our unconscious refusal to participate or recognize our role in the causal chain, and by doing so we skip past the due process, we throw the scales of justice in the trash, and we put a sign up outside of our house, shotguns peeping out from all the windows, “If you ask me to look outside myself, then you’re attacking me, you’re trespassing, and I will shoot you.”
* The first trespass is the archetypal trespass. It is the very idea that there is something worth protecting, defending, hoarding, or closing off. Here we are in material bodies, eternal souls, learning this radical lesson, the impossible love, day in and day out, saying, “but, but, but,” until old age, disease, and death carries us past the sound and fury of our carefully planned, granite encased memorial services, each one of our graves marked with the same words, “This is my space. It wasn’t me. My image is as enduring and strong and solid and perfectly romantic as the longest lasting stones.”
* Of course, it doesn’t have to be like this. We know this in our better moments. And the 27th hexagram changes into hexagram 15, called modesty.
* Hexagram 15 tells us that there are two ways to learn how to nourish ourselves, to learn moderation and the middle path. There are two ways to learn how to live mindfully, to live deep and sincerely, to walk humbly and filled with an indefensible love. We learn it by the long, slow path of our patterns forcing us into a confrontation with the dark and impersonal force of our denial, which will finally make us scream out, honestly, for mercy, for help, for strength, and for love. Or we will choose it now, today, modestly, quietly, by recognizing the monster that lies within, by recognizing our participation in the material realm of cause and effect, and by learning to love and forgive and love more and forgive more, each day, ecstatic to be wrong because it is the real evidence, the real call, the real longing, the real passion, for what is true and what is right.
What is good and what is right is revolutionary when we’re not in touch with it. It isn’t cruel and it isn’t punitive, it is graceful and compassionate and ecstatic because it is love.
This is what is meant by “carefully watch what comes into your mouth and out of your mouth, what comes into your mind and what goes out, how you act and what consequences it creates.”
Jupiter in Libra, the sign of justice and balance, opposite the fire-brand promethean Uranus in the sign of the Ram dares us to consider the truth of our actions, entering a state of wild acceptance and compassionate modesty at once.
Prayer: Shows us the wild acceptance and the compassionate modesty of your everlasting love.