I Ching Diary: oracle failure at Paris CDG

Paris CDG Airport

I blame the oracle for its failure to warn me at Paris CDG that my luggage wouldn’t be accompanying me to Nuremberg. Obviously, it had nothing to do with the gross incompetence, I mean effortless efficiency, of the airport. I still can’t quite decide whether it’s the worst airport I’ve ever had the misfortune of visiting – an accolade that I’ve reserved for Manila for many years.

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I Ching Diary: regulation and waiting

I Ching Water

Water above lake: if there is too much of it, the lake will overflow and flooding will ensue. A system for managing the flow of the rivers and streams into the lake is required. In ancient China, notches cut into a bamboo sticks were used for this very purpose. This is the origin of Hexagon 60 (節/jié) in the I Ching, meaning regulation, articulating, moderation, or limitation.

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I Ching Diary: questions and answers

I Ching Hexagram 31 Resonance

One way to use the I Ching is to ask it a question and look at the hexagram you produce from your coin throw and the related texts for the answer to it. The trick is to make your question as specific as possible. The more ambiguous it is, the more ambiguous the response. “Should I take the new job I’ve just been offered?” will produce a far clearer answer than “should I look for a new job” – not least because the number of variables involved in considering the latter are infinitely more than in pondering the former.

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I Ching Diary: nourishment and fellowship

I Ching Hexagon 27 nourishment

Garbage in, garbage out! This is the message of Hexagram 27 (頤/yí), which refers to nourishment of both the physical and spiritual kind. Combining the lower trigram for quake or thunder (震/zhèn) with the upper trigram for mountain (山/ shān), it represents nourishment, swallowing, and the corners of the mouth. Indeed, with four broken lines in its center, the hexagram even looks like an open mouth.

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I Ching Diary: incomplete

Incomplete

My final consultation of the Chinese New Year Holiday produced the final hexagram in the I Ching. Paradoxically, hexagram 64 doesn’t mark a successful conclusion of a mission or task. Quite the reverse in fact. Featuring the trigram representing fire above the one representing water, it literally means “not yet crossing the ford” (未濟/wèijì) and by extension “incomplete” or “not yet completed”.

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