An I Ching Meditation:
* Hexagram 47 is sometimes called “Exhausting,” and it depicts two sources of water pouring one on top of the other until the water has run out.
* Hexagram 47 is also related to the idea of confinement.
* So what do we do when we’re deplete, exhausted, out of steam, or reaching an edge? What do we do when someone tries to kill or steal our joy, or when someone’s need to be the expert acts as a force of suppression to whatever they do not approve of or feel threatened by?
* The 47th hexagram talks about the attempts we make to try and contain a sense of happiness or fulfillment amidst the inevitable emptying out of the happiness that we take with things in this world.
* The truth of hexagram 47 is therefore about finding or tapping into a source of happiness that is not dependent upon the draining, depletion, or losses of external resources that we believe are giving us happiness right up until they are gone.
* Hexagram 47 is also about adaptability. Wise is the one who recognizes that what makes us happy today will disappoint us tomorrow. When we learn how to take pleasure in change, and when we learn to take pleasure in what is arising versus what gave us pleasure once but is now draining out, pleasure becomes part of change and therefore it’s easier to flow along with the inevitable highs and lows that occur in this world.
* The Sun and Saturn opposed point to a time just like this. The Sun is bright, happy, and full of light, especially as we head toward the solstice. But Saturn deprives, drains, degenerates, and generally points toward times of loss, containment, austerity, and decline. There is great wisdom in these Saturnine themes, but when pitted against the Sun it’s easy to feel like someone or something is trying to take away our sunshine.
* The truth of hexagram 47 is that sunshine, or happiness, cannot be taken away when we recognize that it is the very means by which we recognize and understand any and every change that occurs. When we understand the Sun as the light of consciousness, and when we practice the daily work of learning to take joy in the very existence of our consciousness, then the Sun never really leaves us, and a Sun/Saturn opposition becomes an opportunity to take joy in a more mature way.
* This of course doesn’t change the fact that often we experience the Sun/Saturn opposition as somewhat depleting or exhausting. Remember, we are here to live a life, and that life includes suffering. But what we bring to that suffering is our liberation…it’s the true meaning of our freedom and happiness.
Prayer: Teach us to find the inexhaustible through each and every up and down of fortune.