Signs of our Time
The signs of our time seem to be unfavourable. Are things, however, as bad as we read and hear?
I’ve been asked what I believe is happening around the world in these turbulent times. There are so many theories and opinions shared left and right it becomes mind-boggling and frustrating, which I find distracts our attention from what we have before us and throws us off balance.
I’d rather not express an opinion about what “could happen”. However, I would like to encourage you to be alert in the face of fear and insecurity about the future. Submitting to these feelings only dis-empower us; they are “false emergencies”, as Dr. Jerry Epstein would say, that place us in a time and place (the future) which doesn’t exist at the moment.
I did consult the I-Ching, known as the Book of Changes. For those who don’t know about the I-Ching, it is an ancient Chinese philosophy. Many people use it as way to predict the future. My position on predictions is that the best future is the one we create now. The I-Ching is essentially a book of wisdom. One can take each hexagram, contemplate and meditate on it to gain insight and intuitive wisdom into the human nature. That is how I use it.
So, I asked the question about our turbulent times around the world, and I got Hexagram 23: PO/Splitting Apart. I found it relevant and interesting.
This hexagram can be read in relation to our external world, and also to our internal world.
In relation to the internal world, my understanding is that we are at a time when our old behavioural patterns have reached a full cycle. They are serving us no more and therefore their effects are destructive. It is a time to expand our focus from our self-serving centre towards the benefit of our fellow people. It is a time to realize that, as we are biologically connected, which we are experiencing the hard way through the contagious effects of the COVID-19, we are also connected on every other level of our being.
In these times, we are called to go inwards and experience solitude, analogous to the instruction that we are to “stay inside”. It is not a time for action. It is a time for inner reflection.
Likewise, in relation to the external world, it is a time when the existing structures in all areas (financial, societal, and educational etc) serve humanity and this planet no more. They have completed a full cycle and they will collapse. The collapse is what we perceive as “destructive”.
However, changes await us. Remember the good old saying: what you resist, persists.
The text of the hexagram clearly says “no blame”. It is not due to us being “bad”. It is just time! Hence, it’s futile pointing fingers around you or even at yourself.
We are called to reflect on our way of life (inner and outer), re-organize ourselves and adjust to the changes. That is when we will be ready to speak up and express our standpoint to those who insist on holding onto the old destructive structures. Then, a “great fruit, which remains uneaten, will sprout from the seed that we have planted“.
The image of the hexagram indicates the above as follows:
The mountain rests on the earth. When it is steep and narrow, lacking a broad base, it must topple over. Its position is strong only when it rises out of the earth broad and great, not proud and steep. So likewise those who rule rest on the broad foundation of the people. They too should be generous and benevolent, like the earth that carries all. Then they will make their position as secure as a mountain is in its tranquility.
We are entering a new cycle! These are exciting times, but also difficult times. These are times when we need to be alert and still.
Below I provide you with the full original text of this hexagram taken from the WILHELM/BAYNES Book of Changes / I-Ching.
Read it, study it, contemplate and meditate on it and reach your own understanding, if you feel inclined to do so. If not, it doesn’t matter. Just remember that it benefits you to remain alert in the present moment, without fear, without “future-talking” and prepared to re-center whenever external events throw you off balance.
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