October 14, 2007

More Philosophical Thinking

I'm beginning to realise the rhythm of my meanderings. I'm filling the blog with things that matter to me and define me as a person: the ramblings; the people; the songs; the seasons and the events. Seasons are the defining events in all our lives in my opinion. We go through mini seasons as well the sweep of tidal ferocity that is Winter, Summer, Autumn and Spring and all the shades in between. Our day-to-day lives are bound up in seasonal drifts and ebbs, whether during the course of a single day or over a matter of days or weeks. We are blown on that tide like dandelion seed and can move through it with the stealth and power of lions.

Endings and beginnings are transient. It is rare for there to be one single moment that can be defined as the beginning or the end of a series of life events. In the physical sense there are those moments, such as death of oneself or of another, but subjectively and emotionally there aren't. At least, that's the way I see it. Does the grieving process for the death of a loved one start before or after death? If they are terminally ill you might start grieving before death. If it is a sudden and unexpected death you might start grieving some time after death. The body sometimes goes into shock and can stave off any feelings of loss and sadness. You may be able to pinpoint the start of the shock but I wonder if you could pinpoint the end of it?

I'm doubting whether any one of us can pinpoint the start or finish of certain emotional reactions, feelings, behaviours and actions in the course of our lives. There is so much contained in the lead up and the exit and on the way we will have acquired subtle new ways of being that are bound up in those endings and beginnings. Thus we never really get rid of anything in our lives. All the parts of our existence are absorbed and woven into the fabric of our beings, just as we weave ourselves into the fabrics of others existences and vice versa.

This is getting deeeep! Think Buddhism, Hinduism, Paganism, Quaantum Physics. Eastern philosophy rather than religion. A way of being and of understanding rather than a dictation of how to be. There are more similarities between the I Ching, the Bible and the Koran, than most people realise.

The Richard Wilhelm translation of the I Ching was a turning point in my life. The more I studied it, the more I understood. Susan first showed it to me and Coddy in her flat in Powers Hall. I didn't look at it again for years but then somehow acquired a copy. It seemed to require thinking like the elements and dimensions around us rather than as a sentient being.

Some people seem to think the I Ching is a prophetic, fortune telling, gimmick where the truth couldn't be much further away. It's a guide. You need to open your mind to it and absorb the meaning. Most people will understand that it won't be telling their fortune if you explain this to them and most people will understand most of what the reading is telling them without prior knowledge or experience of Eastern thinking. The Richard Wilhelm translation is probably the most archaic in it's language (it was translated from Chinese to German to English!) but it makes you think. Approaching the I Ching and reading it is a very meditative exercise.

When I read a book called, "The Tao of Quantum Physics" I wasn't sure whether I was reading the "I Ching" sometimes. When I dipped into the "I Ching" I wasn't sure whether I was reading "The Tao of Quantum Physics"! So to hear that there is a mathematical correlation between the trigrams and hexagrams of the I Ching to the DNA structure does not surprise me. Considering the I Ching was begun 5,000 years ago and has been amended into the modern version a mere 2,000 years ago, this is remarkable stuff indeed. I'd also add that it is akin to quantum physics.

The I Ching is really about cause and effect ... the underlying foundations of change .... and how this is related to the natural world around us - and vice versa. After all, everything is linked in some way isn't it?

The I Ching taught me a lot about change and rythm. And it taught me how to meditate. Studying the Book of Change is a fascinating experience. You need to understand the philosophy behind it. There's that word again .... philosophy. Once you begin to gain a grasp a whole new world opens up.

I haven't dipped into it for some time now and I bought a new copy last year. I'll probably use the old one until it falls apart a bit more and then wear the new one in. I love the feel of the old one. It's comfortable and familiar.