The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hexagram 10

Treading Carefully

"Threading Carefully is the symbol of deliberate action.  With the trigram heaven positioned over that of water, we have the element of weakness, treading ever so lightly upon that of strength.  The hexagram is named from an old Chinese expression about "treading on the tiger's tail."  This was a way of describing any activity that was considered to be hazardous....It is mostly due to the lightness of his touch that the tiger has agreed not to bite him."

from The Photographic I Ching, a new interpretation by Dhiresha McCarver, Photographs by Gary Woods

The I Ching found its way into my hands when I was a high school student, and though I barely understood its universal natural wisdom and uncanny ability to somehow touch a place in my young psyche, I was addicted to throwing the coins to puzzle it all out.

The Superior Man, an Every Man, an Every Woman, was exhorted through 64 possible combinations of oracle divination, to be upright at every turn of events, to hold the line, to be seamless, like the wide open sky.

Whether retreating or advancing, under pressure or exerting pressure, diminishing or expanding, the energy implied in the Hexagrams was a richly layered tapestry for a 15 year old struggling to define a shape-shifting identity in the late 60's, during a shape-shifting time in American history.  

The concept of an ebb and flow of vital energy I was intrinsically plugged into, became as possible as my face in the mirror--in fact, framed in the mirror, that energy was visible; my eyes lost a certain innocence as the Viet Nam war monster tore human beings to shreds, all televised. My hair got longer, shaggy and unkempt, to keep my mother angry. My teeth slowly straightened, tortured by braces, and my body became lush.

Energy stared back from every window, from every glance, at every foot step, and as my eyes bore into what I couldn't consciously understand, the unconscious remembered "Splitting Apart--the symbol of collapse and dispersion, as in falling or being over thrown."
Or,"Union--the symbol of collaboration."
And on, until 64 possibilities had woven strands through everything I encountered, which was none other than the universe, mirrored back at me.

The Superior Woman takes it all in stride.  
The Superior Woman doesn't use the expression, the Superior Woman.
Recognizing times of great change or little change is something we wisdom-sense; keeping energy clear, un-troubled, always in love. 
Some sort of love, at least.
Even if it's just a watercolor, expressing another hexagram.

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