Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Recollections ~ The I Ching or Book of Changes
Books that sit on my shelves have a way of speaking to me, even if I pass them. I had recently consulted The I Ching. Usually when I have a difficult question, I like to see how my subtle mind receives what is in those pages at that moment—to see if there is guidance to be gleamed. I believe it was a couple weeks ago. But what has really brought me back to this book is when Keiko mentioned she was reading the Chinese classics, one being the Analects. It planted a seed, roused an excitement in me to go to my shelf and pull down The I Ching, with it’s slightly weathered cover. I have The Richard Wilhelm Translation with a foreword by C. G. Jung.
The first time I came in contact with this book was in a college philosophy course in the Eastern traditions at least 15 years ago. The instructor had us get into a circle and asked if one of us would like to consult the oracle. He had his book out. He was Hispanic, seemed somewhat young—maybe in his forties. I watched him, as he seemed to pace calmly, talking to us about the book and tossing the coins while someone recorded the marks. There was something about him that seemed still a seeker and wanted so much for us to appreciate the value of this book, but at the same time, something seemed to stir in him. I cannot explain it, but I have always remembered how he seemed unsettled, like he was dealing with something inside of himself, by the pensive, but almost painful expressions I noticed in his face. I never finished the course, but I at least was introduced to The I Ching.
Thus, I’ve begun rereading The I Ching again, but this time I hope to finish it, reading a section each day until I reach the end of the first part of the book. I reread the preface, foreword, translator’s note, and introduction. It was nice to see the passages that I had underlined years ago. I really feel this odd sense of being pulled back to a time—a point in my life that I’m coming back to—but that I never left, but am now picking back up again, if that makes any sense. I guess that’s how life is and that’s what I love about life, sometimes not knowing, and so many possibilities. For me though, I seem to take baby steps and never really reach a point externally—at least not in obvious ways, everything seems more internal and subtle.