The energetic theme this week has been pervasive: a meeting of the opposites of freedom and limitation. Seeking an objective energy reading I turned to the I Ching, only to be presented, synchronistically (DUH!) with the Hexagram of Limitation, #60. The I Ching itself has always struck me as an oracle that reconciles the opposition of freedom and limitation, with its limited 64 Hexagrams encapsulating infinite possibility.
The Hexagram of Limitation derives its meaning from the juxtaposition of water over a lake. Water is an inexhaustible element, however a lake occupies a fixed, limited space. Rain that fills the lake beyond its banks will be lost to the lake; it can only hold so much. A lake could not exist without the limitation of its fixed banks; they create a container for the inexhaustible resource of water. Without the lake life would diminish and the freedom of nature to birth and expand would be deeply compromised. Within this image freedom and limitation reveal their sibling oneness, their mutual dependence—opposite sides of a creative force.
Our human creative expression is the consequence of this same interplay of opposites. To gather the energy for an enterprise we must limit our activity. To gather the resource for a great undertaking we must limit our expenditures. As Jan’s blog this week suggests, gathering together the disparate parts of the self to allow for ultimate freedom in this life requires suffering the limitation and containment by the adult self, as it undergoes transformation through the process of recapitulation.
Without containment there can be no freedom and no transformation. For example, the dancer who dances with such abandon has suffered a lifetime of painful, regulated practice—containment—encountering, living, and releasing all resistance before reaching such a peak of perfect abandon.
The crowning achievement of conjunctio in alchemy, the realization of the opus—Gold—is achieved through a series of chemical operations that require limitation within a sealed container, or retort, where the disparate elements ultimately congeal and transform into a unified whole. Likewise, only with a unified whole self can complete freedom and fulfillment be realized in this life as well.
Of course, the I Ching, in its infinite wisdom, cautions that galling limitation must not be persevered in. We must place limitation even upon limitation. Thus, to deny the needs or feelings of any part of the self would defeat the goal of full self-realization. All parts must be considered and lived, in some way, in order to realize full freedom in this life.
So, in recapitulation, within the adult self as container, a solution is made in which all parts of the self are given full expression, and the end result is freedom—transformation and fulfillment in this lifetime. Conjunctio—Gold—is achieved.