I’m reading Jan’s blog and call her regarding typos. She tells me of energetic oddities: faxes won’t go through, computer glitches and, finally, as we talk, a loud noise, a smell. She discovers the true culprit, a motor that has burnt out. And then, to boot, she opens the door to the motor to be met by a swarm of bees!
These might be typical reactions to these events: What am I doing wrong? Why is this happening to me? Why am I being punished? Notice how immediately the mind—the foreign installation, as the Shamans of Ancient Mexico call it—drops its veil over reality and introduces its self-absorbed interpretation.
For the Shamans of Ancient Mexico this reflexive tendency to insert the self in all interpretations of events is the greatest blockage to seeing things as they really are and to opening to our fullest potential. How can we hope to fulfill ourselves when our vital energy is mired in self-absorbed fixation? This fixation manifests as worry, fear, guilt, blame, and self-doubt. A typical response would likely be a plan to change the self in some way, to improve our, assumed, “negative karma.”
The ancient Chinese sages had a different take on the happenings of natural phenomena. From their perspective, things that occurred together—things that intersected at a particular moment in time—shared some meaning in common. Not that one caused the other, but that each reflected the other. Events that occur together are acausally related, what Jung termed synchronicities. From this perspective, rather than taking events personally, the ancient Chinese sages read the energy of the moment, which became a guide to decision making, cutting out self-absorbed judgment.
Thus, a fax not going through suggests it’s not the right time to communicate something, or that it requires a different method. Or that outside energy was blocking willful intent. Perhaps it signals a time of retreat and patient waiting, not time to force one’s way across the river. These reflections on energetic configurations are beautifully summarized and outlined in the Chinese I Ching or Book of Changes.
Sometimes occurrences are signs showing us that we are approaching things at a time not energetically suited to our intent. If, instead, we read such a sign as a proposal for corrective action—as an opportunity for energetic realignment, such as patient waiting—we spare ourselves the labyrinth of judgment. Remember, it’s not personal. Just read the signs.
Reading the signs,