Tag Archives: hexagram 48

Chuck’s Place: Deepening Fulfillment

Go down to the wellspring of life…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

On the eve of the summer solstice, the most enlightened day of the year, President Trump abruptly cancelled a retaliatory strike upon Iran.

The year is cyclical and repetitive, punctuated by seasons that mark life’s beginning to its completion. The summer solstice elongates the light of consciousness at its highest peak, a supreme opportunity to be in alignment with inner truth.

Perhaps under the impact of solstice energy, President Trump was influenced momentarily to be patient and acquiesce to the greater good.

I threw the I Ching this morning, with the question: Where are we now in the cycle of the Tao and how best to promote fulfillment?

The I Ching responded with hexagram #48, The Well, with moving lines in the fifth and sixth places. The model for The Well in nature is the tree, whose wooden roots penetrate the earth to draw up the water that sustains its life. The well, in ancient China, was accessed by a wooden pole that dipped a bucket into the water, which was raised to nourish all.

The I Ching warns that carelessness in raising the bucket can be disastrous, such as, “if for instance the military defense of a state is carried to such excess that it provokes wars by which the power of the state is annihilated, that is a breaking of the jug.”

On an individual level, the I Ching counsels that, “every human being can draw in the course of (their) education from the inexhaustible wellspring of the divine in (human) nature. But here likewise two dangers threaten: a (person) might fail in (their) education to penetrate to the real roots of humanity and remain fixed in convention… or (they) may suddenly collapse and neglect (their) self- development.”

Interestingly, the future work proposed by the I Ching  to solidify the best use of the well is hexagram #18: Work on what has been spoiled. That hexagram has us address the contents of the shadow or personal unconscious that create decay within the personality, as well as the attitude of the ego in a state of avoidance or inertia.

The two moving lines of the hexagram are extremely hopeful. The nine in the fifth place states that the water in the well is exceedingly pure, fed by a spring of living water. Thus, the channel to the living spirit is available in the hearts of everyone. However, what is lacking here is the volitional drawing from this wellspring of wisdom. Though the knowledge and right guidance are available, they must be drawn upon to arrive at right action.

The six at the top takes it to that final step: “One draws from the well without hindrance. It is dependable. Supreme good fortune.” All are empowered to draw from the inexhaustible guidance and nurturance of their inner well, situated in the higher truth of the heart chakra.

Thus, the I Ching highlights in these accentuated lines that the guidance we truly need is readily available within our hearts. We are primed to receive it, since we already have available to us the tools to procure it. The time is right to exercise such actions.

These tools include, reading the synchronistic signs that appear to guide us through our days, as well as the dreams which foreshadow the opportunities for self-development each night. In the calmness of meditation we open directly our channel to spirit.

Specifically, the I Ching asks us to face the source of our guilt. By facing and addressing the issues behind our guilt, the water of our inner well is clarified to nurture our fulfillment. Sometimes we must undergo shocks to our well before we are fully ready to deepen our fulfillment. This is the work of recapitulation that fully frees our energy from the ‘impurities’ of the past.

The time is right for deepening fulfillment through drinking the pure waters that await in the deepest caverns of the heart.



Chuck’s Place: Screens & Screams

What might we experience if we were to turn off our screens? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
What might we experience if we were to turn off our screens?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Brilliantly conceived, chillingly real, Her is a movie that captures the virtual world we are rapidly opting to evolve into. This modern day anthropomorphism of the machine takes us beyond the malevolent antagonists of 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Matrix into the essence of relationship itself, albeit between a human being and a computer operating system.

An astute observer pointed out to me that the evolutionary challenge presented to the central human character by the computer operating system in this movie was identical to the challenge Jeanne posed to me when she left this world: Could I stay connected to a being whose fullness far transcended the confines of our relationship in this world? Was I prepared to let go of familiarity and possession? This challenge indeed cuts to the heart of our evolutionary readiness, however, there are far more basic challenges that must be addressed before we are ready for that giant leap.

Having paid homage to our virtual brinksmanship with screens, we must not ignore the screams of our abandoned primordial selves. Scott Stossel, in his article about his lifelong anxiety in the current issue of The Atlantic, reveals the screams of his own two million-year-old being who, Jung pointed out, resides within each member of the human race. This ancient being has no interest in screens and hardly feels at home in this world of modernity. This ancient being rejects crowds, to say nothing of speaking before them. This being is terrified of the dark, well aware of the dangers that lurk in the night. This being is deeply affected by nature’s moods, be they storms, cold, or absence of sunlight. This being likes to hibernate.

This ancient being is full of passion that seeks expression, but feels imprisoned by reason and shame. This being seeks to establish its true place in the world, based on personal power beyond the dictates of democracy and political correctness. This being seeks physical warmth and closeness with flesh and blood human beings; damn those screens!

This two million-year-old being learned much in the way of transforming primal energies to fit the needs of all stages of the life cycle through rituals and rites of passage. In our insatiable lust for screens we have lost access to the wisdom of our two million-year-old selves, but hardly have we lost our deepest of human needs.

What might we discover if we were to go down into our darkness? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
What might we discover if we were to go down into our darkness?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The I Ching, in hexagram #48, The Well, sagely advises: “We must go down to the very foundations of life. For any merely superficial ordering of life that leaves its deepest needs unsatisfied is as ineffectual as if no attempt at order had ever been made.”

The screams of our deepest needs call us to turn off our screens and face the true needs and true fears of our primordial selves without judgment. We are asked to accept our truths with humility, to not cover poverty with empty pretense. Acceptance with humility of the truths of our most vulnerable selves links us with the support and wisdom of our two million-year-old being, our real operating system.

In true relationship with this rich self, we are sure to be able to let go of our human desire for familiarity and possessiveness—as Jeanne challenged me with—free to take our own journey in infinity, in fulfillment, wherever we land.

From my two million-year-old self,