Returning from vacation, I consult the I Ching for a picture of Now.
I receive the image of a house whose walls can no longer carry the weight of the roof, now on the verge of collapse.
In a dream, I’m stuck beneath the streets of New York City in a narrow crawl space. I look around at the thick wooden beams and wonder at the weight of what is above, the buildings, the restaurants, the parties taking place, all the people dancing. How long can those beams support it all?
The country is galvanized around raising the debt “ceiling.” From all sides there is fear of imminent collapse.
The I Ching counsels shoring up the walls of the house to avoid collapse by giving generously to those below. In the context of a nation, this means to take care of the real needs of the masses, the true backbone of the country.
Ironically, the Tea Party Republicans are agents of change here, bringing attention to the fragility of the economic structure. As with the “ceiling” structure of an overburdened roof, continuing to raise the debt “ceiling” will lead to inevitable collapse.
In the recent past, the Republicans had no problem raising that ceiling five times under President Bush and seventeen times under Reagan. Suddenly though, they’ve elevated it to a monumental crisis under President Obama. Despite the hypocrisy and thinly veiled overt ploy to bring down Obama at all costs, even if it means bringing down the nation itself, the bottom line is: the more you raise the ceiling, the greater you weaken the structure. That is, unless you strengthen the supporting walls.
The Republican strategy is to strengthen the walls by stripping the social supports to the masses while greedily filling the coffers of the wealthy. The slogan is: No raised taxes on the wealthy at any cost!
The I Ching clearly states that this strategy will lead to definite collapse. Synchronistically, we see this illustrated by the tumbling Murdoch empire built upon total greed and corruption. Unless the structure of the nation shifts to truly caring for the needs of the common citizen, the nation will collapse as we see reflected all around the world in the revolutions of the Arab spring.
On a personal level, we are challenged to assess the stability of our own psychic structures. Inwardly, the “roof” of our personality is the ego, built upon the supporting walls of our instinctive selves and the deep well of our spirit selves.
Is the roof of our personality, our ego self, giving generously to the needs of our instinctive self, our body, and to our spirit self, the foundational reason for our current life in this world?
Is our ego in alignment with our spiritual purpose? Is our ego properly nourishing our body as well as caring for the physical environment we inhabit in this world? Is our ego insisting on remaining in the wrong relationship out of fear of loss, abandonment, and aloneness? Does our ego control others overtly or covertly to serve its own agenda? Is the ego willing to face the truths of life lived or does it remain in illusion, inflation or deflation, or comfortably numb in addiction?
If our ego is off on its own greedy agenda, accumulating more and more for itself, overburdening the roof while neglecting the supporting walls of the house, that structure is in imminent danger of collapse; collapse of the personality into depression, or even psychosis.
Inwardly, giving generously to those below requires the ego to serve the deepest needs of the self. The ego, in this alignment with the self, is in no danger of collapse. To the contrary, it is likely to find itself in the place of abundance, generously and gratefully supported by the wellspring of life.
Doing masonry work,