This morning, an I Ching Meditation on the planetary transits:
* The 43rd hexagram of the I Ching is called “eliminating,” or sometimes “breakthrough,” and in my personal opinion, it is one of the more complex and subtle hexagrams of the 64.
* The character associated with this hexagram, called “Guai” meant “to set apart,” or it was a word that referred to the creation of a channel used to eliminate the overflow of a river. It also meant something like, “making a resolution.”
* The hexagram shows five yang lines moving upward to eliminate one yin line at the very top. When increase reaches a maximum we have to eliminate excess or we have to discriminate among or between things, separating the good from the bad.
* The 43rd hexagram is also taught with regard to the elimination of doubt and the establishment of a new resolution or restored faith…because we have reached a place where we can no longer deny or doubt something. So we make a pact, a pledge, we say, “okay, you were right,” or we say, “I have all the clear signs I need to make a decision or to say yes or no to something.”
* The 43rd hexagram says that momentum builds and builds and if we do not channel this momentum, if we do not recognize that energy building up is energy in need of a conduit, then we will be flooded. If nothing is done with an excess of energy, an excess of momentum, then we will be flooded. If truth is stated over and over and over again, but we don’t listen, we choose to close our eyes, stay asleep, or deny and ignore the truth, then it will overwhelm us and someone or something, the Universe itself, will create a situation that forces change. This is why the 43rd hexagram is sometimes called “breakthrough.” This is also why the 43rd hexagram is also a warning or a call to build flood channels. This is why the 43rd hexagram depicts the growing evil or the growing problem finally being announced at the court of the King. Something must be done, and the first step is to make it known, to recognize it, to call it by name, and to then take constructive steps toward channeling its energy, eliminating the excess or build up, or starting to live with a renewed sense of purpose or faith…we’ve learned to listen again.
* In many ancient traditions, demons existed because they cloaked themselves within a person’s mind. A demon couldn’t be eliminated until it was named and called out by its name. If a demon is left unchecked, it grows strong within us over time, until eventually it creates enough chaos that we are forced to call it out in the court of the King, our higher self. Up until that point, it is our doubt, our relationship with doubt, that fosters the growth of the destructive entity. Hexagram 43 is about the elimination of doubt because something has become clear or undeniable.
* In many ancient traditions there is also the story of a great flood. The great flood myth tells us that humans had grown deaf to the signs of the times, to the voice of God, or to the voice of moral guidance. In times like these, the momentum of the times builds until the evil or darkness cannot be denied. Climate change cannot be denied. Racism cannot be denied. Materialism cannot be denied. Our own selfishness cannot be denied. Why? Because we are flooded and floods force us to create channels of the overflow or be washed out. Floods raise our awareness as the waters bring our issues up to eye level, drowning us out if we do not listen.
* The 43rd hexagram also tells us that there is a temptation during times of rising awareness and flooding, to go to war, to try to eliminate that which has risen into our awareness through the use of arms. When momentum gets strong enough we get to a point where we are tempted to go to war in order to avoid being flooded. When the flood pours down, we see an old image of neighbors fighting with neighbors, pushing each other’s heads under water rather than helping one another to higher ground. We see the potential for hyper defensiveness. Demons do not like to go without a fight. They do not like to go quietly. And yet, to eliminate the 43rd hexagram tell us not to use arms, but a simple, strong, but gentle and affectionate resolve. We do not have to make an enemy of others in order to return to goodness.
* The 2nd line of the 43rd hexagram depicts the raising of an alarm and the call to arms, late at night. This line instructs us that during times of increasing tension that we should stay on guard, but it also suggests that we have nothing to fear so long as we pursue the middle path.
* For example, let’s say that you reach a breaking point with your own tendency to consume too much food. You are flooded by the realization that you have a problem because you are developing adult onset diabetes. You eat too much and too much processed and sugary foods, and it’s now becoming undeniable because you are having all kinds of blood-sugar issues and you see as plain as day that it is related to your lifestyle. In this moment, the need for change has become clear. You are now calling a spade a spade. This line tells you that you now have to stay on guard. But it also tells you to avoid developing a militaristic attitude. Having raised the alarm, it warns you to be strong and firm and resolved with your new lifestyle path, but it also warns that there is a temptation to get militaristic about your new diet. The line says, “when you stay firm and gentle, on guard but not paranoid,” then there is nothing to fear going forward.
* The 2nd line teaches us how to make the transition from raising the alarm and seeing the truth to making lasting changes.
* The 2nd line transforms Hexagram 43 to Hexagram 49, revolution. Revolution is the end result of this process. The real revolution doesn’t occur by simply raising an alarm or taking up arms against a sea of troubles. It occurs over time, as we learn to live consciously, firm within but gentle without. When we live this way, we can’t be swallowed up and overwhelmed again…we can’t fall asleep while the flood waters are rising.
* Revolution also tells us that we have to be inventive and completely open to dynamic changes in ourselves and in the world, if we want to avoid being flooded again in the future. Innovation is often the result of recognizing faults and flaws and learning how to build new patterns, new containers, new defenses against old problems. Our inventions do not need to look like a stockpile of newer and better weapons.
Prayer: Teach us to see and speak and trust the truth. Teach us to recognize where the flood waters are rising and where elimination and new resolution is necessary. Teach us to revolutionze our attitudes toward ourselves and toward each other.