Tag Archives: making do

Chuck’s Place: Patient Waiting

These days I allow myself but one minute a day to read the world news. It’s all I really need to stay informed. It’s not an act of avoidance; it’s highly pragmatic and necessary to ensure my energetic preservation.

Patient waiting…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

I came to this decision after observing the impact on my energy when I tracked the flow of news throughout the day. Repeated exposure led to spikes of reactive emotional activity that sucked the life out of me.

The Shamans of Ancient Mexico identified this as the impact of entities preying upon human energy. The shamans realized that the way to not feed these entities was to stop getting aggravated by them. When the shamans calmed their own energy the entities could no longer rile them. The entity then had nothing to feed off and moved on. That is what the energetic predicament on the world stage feels like right now and I feel it most imperative to guard my energy very carefully, to preserve the Self, and have the needed energy to act when it feels really right to do so.

Trump appears to emulate such an entity. It’s time to stop being aggravated by him, to stop expecting him to be different. It’s not going to happen. Give him nothing to feed off.  He can only be empowered by the emotional volatility that he incites. Starve him!

For objective guidance I have sought the counsel of the I Ching ever since the U. S. Presidential election was decided. The first reading I received was hexagram #54 Making Do, which I discussed in a previous blog back in November. Here is that blog: Making Do.

Last week I was compelled to consult the I Ching once again, as I felt the stirrings of a more extraverted response, as collective movements began springing up in response to executive orders. The I Ching gave me the exact same reading that I received in November, hexagram #54, Making Do. Once again it accentuated the first line of the hexagram and, in addition, the final line. I quote Richard Wihelm’s commentary on the first line:

“A man may enjoy the personal friendship of a prince and be taken into his confidence. Outwardly this man must keep tactfully in the background behind the official ministers of state, but, although he is hampered by this status, as if he were lame, he can nevertheless accomplish something through the kindliness of his nature.”

I think an apt example of this type of tactful influence is exemplified by an Elon Musk, a CEO chosen for Trump’s advisory council. Musk holds the value of addressing climate change, yet knows how to make money. Trumps respects him. He is one of only two CEOs on Trump’s CEO advisory panel of nineteen who challenged Trump’s order targeting Muslims.

The additional line at the top that I received in this second reading is abundantly clear: A marriage ritual is to be performed but neither the man nor woman is sincere; no real union is possible. The I Ching makes clear that though the outer forms of a democratic union may be observed, they are superficial. A genuine union is not possible. There is no genuine union with Trump.

This hexagram turns, in the future, into hexagram #61, Inner Truth. When the outer truths are overshadowed by fake news and authoritarianism, it is wise to send one’s attention inward and discover the real truth in one’s own heart and gut.

This morning, seeking further counsel, I once again consulted the I Ching for guidance to pass on. I received hexagram #3, Difficulty at the Beginning. This hexagram is about the chaos of birth. In one respect we are facing the chaos of the birth of a radical new world leadership. Additionally, we are at the beginning of the birth of a world movement seeking to respond to actions that many feel to be extremely dangerous to world survival.

The I Ching highlights the second line of this hexagram: a wagon breaks down, the horses run off; it’s a crisis, but someone immediately appears and offers rescue. The I Ching warns about a quick solution that appears to provide rescue. It points instead to patient waiting, that a cycle of time must first be completed which will prepare the foundation for a natural solution to fall into place. Strong guidance to avoid impulsive, precipitous action, however tempting it may be!

The future of this hexagram is #60, Limitation. Here the guidance is to accept the limits of what can be accomplished at this time and to place limits around the growing anxiety and emotional pressure within the self. A lake without borders can only flood, whereas a contained reservoir offers abundant nourishment when the time is right for sweeping action.

Each one of us must check in with our heart and gut and decide what action is right for us to take. Sometimes patiently waiting is the wisest yet most challenging action. That being said, it is the guidance for now.

Patiently waiting,


Chuck’s Place: Making Do

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?

Out of the darkness the light will rise again... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Out of the darkness the light will rise again…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

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.