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Acupuncturist’s meditation on the I Ching 20. Xun/Proceeding Humbly

June 21, 2014 10:06 pm Published by

imageXun: Wind over wind: Proceeding Humbly. The winds of change blow relentlessly. The effect is constant changes, which can occur in two ways: visible changes that are apparent and less visible ones that are subtle. Despite their differences, the essence of change is the same: it occurs at all times, constantly. The Yi Jing (I Ching), or the “Book of Changes” is devoted to observing the variety of discreet patterns of changes that emerge over time. Over time, the myriad observable patterns were distilled into 64 distinct symbols, or Gua, which make up the text. Among these, Xun, more than any other, signifies this very essence of change.
So the changes keep on coming. There is nothing to be done about that. We are all in amidst of changes, practically swimming in the sea of changes. So the question is, how does one proceed?
Well, the Yi Jing proposes that the better able one is in reading the changes, the better able one would be to come out ahead. Because, ultimately, that is what you want to do in this wonderfully chaotic world. There are times when everything seems to be going the right way. And other times, not so much. One can embrace changes, or resist it. The Xun illustrates the need to embrace changes.
Since Yijing is as much a book of moderation as is a book of changes, the kinds of changes that it endorses is the gradual kind, rather than the drastic and dramatic.
The image is inspired from the ancient script for the character Xun. The ideograph depicts two snakes over a radical for “together”. Thus, the image contains both the optics and the conceptual depiction of moving and working together. When snakes move across a field, their movements invoke a sinewy wave like motion. It is a clinic on continuous yielding and adapting to changes. It has a flow, not dissimilar to that of the wave in the ocean. This fluid constant wave like motion was conceived as metaphor for the virtue of humility, which the Yijing reminds the reader over and over again, is the posture that one must adopt in order to flow like water. This is why the Gua, which originally meant “two snakes moving together” has come to be called “Proceeding Humbly”.
It is the wisdom of the gua Xun, to take on the posture of humbly moving forward, harmoniously yielding and riding the wave of changes.

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This post was written by Sanford Lee

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