Greetings! This week’s audio channeling challenges us all to work our way out of where we are so that eventually we end up as a “Riverwalker,” fluidly navigating life, able to enter all worlds and yet mostly residing between them, in our natural earthly state. It’s all about being in Tao.
The following guidance may not satisfy the anxiety, fears, and anger of the moment, but I am obliged to pass on what I received from my trusted guide of 45 years, the I Ching, when I asked the following question: What is the correct attitude in this coming time of darkness?
The reading I received was hexagram #54, The Concubine, Making Do. Please be advised that though the hexagrams of the I Ching are archetypes, that is, configurations of energy that remain unchanging, the manifestations or actual representations of the archetypes change with succeeding generations. Thus, the anachronistic notion of a concubine in today’s world represents an unacceptable condition that one is forced to live with. Advice is offered in how best to survive it and have influence in a time of Making Do.
For better or worse, America married Donald Trump on November 8, 2016. The bride of Obama, the progressive populace, has been displaced and relegated to the lowly status of concubine. We all remain part of the same Union, but she/he, who until now enjoyed dominance in governance, must now come to know and be led by the other side. That other side has attained the legitimacy of the White House, and so it stands.
The I Ching does liken this national predicament to a family that houses both a legitimate wife and a concubine. Though both women live in the same home only one has legitimate power. We are at present a nation completely divided in half, but with only one half legitimately represented and in power. Hatred and blame will only further the divide. The overarching principle that is accentuated in hexagram #54 and is key to weathering through the divide is affection. As the I Ching states: “Affection as the essential principle of relatedness is of the greatest importance in all relationships in the world.” We must not forget this most important advice as we enter a new era where affection seems already greatly lacking.
The first moving line of hexagram #54, nine in the first place, offers special counsel stressing the correct decorum for one relegated to a lowly status while nonetheless finding a safe and meaningful place within the nation. The guidance is clear: withdraw modestly into the background, do not attempt to overstep bounds or usurp power that one is not entitled to.
In a second example offered by the I Ching, a man of lowly influence is friends with a prince and is taken into his confidence. This man remains tactfully in the background behind the ministers of state and though hampered by his status, as if he were lame, he is nonetheless able to accomplish something by quietly working behind the scenes.
The key to the guidance here is the checking of hubris, entitlement, and self-importance. If one can tactfully withdraw attention from oneself, one may indeed exert influence. In the shaman’s world this is the exercise of losing self-importance when under the dominance of a petty tyrant. By dropping self-importance, the ego, one is able to accomplish something that ultimately brings down the tyrant.
Nine in the fourth place of hexagram #54 offers additional special guidance, depicting a maiden who refuses an alternative arrangement to a legitimate marriage. Through her patient, virtuous waiting she is rewarded with a late but most fulfilling marriage. The guidance here is patience and containment. Remain inwardly true to your values and ideals though the tension of the time of waiting and the challenges presented over the next four years will be great. In patient acceptance of where things are, but inwardly remaining true to and keeping alit the true light in the heart, we will indeed be rewarded with a new dawn.
Finally, though the I Ching advises that for the present we must “make do” with a highly virulent and volatile predicament, in patience and containment, it stresses that the light will again be restored and reassert its guiding influence over the darkness that now descends upon us. Eventually, it teaches us, the right light will shine again, for the future of this hexagram is Spring: the return of the light.
The I Ching translates as, The Book of Changes, that is, all things must pass, nothing is forever.
Be careful what you wish for…you might just get it! This phrase has been going around in my thoughts for weeks now. It has been echoed by Mick Jagger’s voice, singing:
“No, you can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime, you just might find
You get what you need”
The other night, I dreamt of flying over the Valley of Death, a dark landscape of half-exposed corpses stuck in a black bog, thousands of them rotting away in the stagnant scene below me. From my perspective I did not perceive the rotting corpses as horrifying or nightmarish, but as a natural consequence of being human. At one time I might have startled awake, shaking in fright, but this time I calmly noted: “Yes, our bodies will become like that, corpses rotting in a bog when we no longer need them. They are carcasses that will one day reside in the black Valley of Death, but our spirits will live on.” Indeed, as I thought this my dreaming spirit heard a voice that said: “Go toward the light, turn always toward the light.”
I know that once the body’s work is done, we must leave it behind and, without attachment, go into new life.
The Buddhists and the Shamans alike suggest that we create our own reality. If we focus only on negativity, in thought alone, we keep ourselves stuck in negativity. Negativity and negative entities will attach to us, as we become feeding grounds where they know they will find sustenance. We actually compound the situation, bringing more on ourselves, one bad event leading to another as we energetically attach to crisis upon crisis. If we constantly bemoan our state of affairs, crying that our lives are terrible, that nothing goes right for us, that only bad comes to us, then that is what we will get.
I have experienced this myself. In fact, I once believed that I had to accept everything that came to me. “I can handle anything, good or bad,” I said to the universe, feeling powerful, “bring it on!” But one day I got fed up. “I’m sick of bad,” I said, “I only want good now!” And with that simple though hard-earned declaration things began to change significantly for the better. My whole outlook on life began to change too as a result of a new, more positive attitude.
As good began to arrive in my life, the negative slunk away. I learned in the process how to accept goodness from the universe, from others, and, most significantly, from myself. I softened and began to learn how to love myself. I learned the lessons of the Buddhists and Shamans: that I am largely responsible for the world I live in, in fact, that I create it.
In asking for good, I also had to confront what that meant. I got what I needed to propel me forward as I reconnected with my spirit and listened to the truths it told me. I had to leave a lot of my old life behind, leave it to rot in the Valley of Death, without regret and resentment. Those were some very challenging times, but they were also the most transformative times of my life as well.
The biggest challenge of that transformative period, during which I did my recapitulation, was learning how to face myself and my life lived without fixating on having been bad. I learned what it meant to be without judgment. I learned that everything that had happened in my life was necessary. I had to get to the point where I could view everything from a different perspective, as I did in my dream the other night, and clearly see how everything fit together, how everything was meaningful and significant and absolutely necessary for me to get where I am now.
As I turned away from the Valley of Death in my dream and looked into the light all around me, I knew that our spirits always seek the light. They seek what lies beyond the negative, nightmarish outlook we tend to attach to with fear. In the light there is no fear.
If we shift our focus, as the Buddhists and Shamans suggest, to focus on the light, the darkness will shrink away from us. If we change our thoughts to thoughts of joy and peace, love and kindness, as we reject the entities that seek to siphon our energy, we will begin to understand the necessity of their presence in the first place. Shifting our perspective begins with closely and honestly looking at our fears. Rather than focus on them as frightening, and on the Valley of Death as a horrible outcome, we must question the meaning of such symbols in our lives. Where are they leading us? What are they showing us? What are they trying to tell us? Eventually, as we face the darkness within ourselves with curiosity rather than fear, the darkness without will sense our disinterest. It will loosen its hold on us, and our attachment to it will diminish as well.
We may not be able to control how our lives unfold, but we can certainly control how we react. We create our world with our thoughts and what we choose to attach to, but there will come a time when our spirit will ask us to shift our perspective and it will be up to us alone to accept responsibility for doing so.
Accepting responsibility for our lives is perhaps one of our biggest challenges. We may spend a lot of time blaming others, blaming our circumstances, the raw deal we got, the universe colluding against us from the moment of birth. But living life that way, steeped in victimhood, gets pretty stale after a while. Eventually, we learn that our life will not change if we do not make a move on our own behalf.
Today, I wish that joy and peace may be yours, that goodness may come your way, that your thoughts may turn positive, that you may turn toward the light, and that self-nurturing healing and transformation may always be yours,