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.


I Ching Hexagram 60 regulation

Managing your own behavior is based on the same principle as regulating the flow of water. Over-indulging in sweet and fatty foods will make you lumbering and lethargic – but denying yourself even the simplest of treats will make you miserable and scrawny.

Best to stick to a moderate middle way based that can be quickly corrected if you happen to meander away from it rather than go to extremes that are much more difficult to extricate yourself from. Feast is just as dangerous as famine!

I Ching Hexagram 5 waiting

Water above heaven: the aquatic theme continues with transformation to hexagon 5 (需/xū), which signifies waiting, attending, and arriving.

The rain clouds are hovering on the horizon, but you need to wait calmly and patiently for them to arrive and let their precious liquid fall. Worrying about when the rain will descend from up above will not help solve the problems you are facing down below. Indeed, it will only make things worse by diverting your attention away from them.

Focus on what you can control rather than wasting precious energy agonizing over what you can’t. The rain will come in its own good time if you let it. The more you want something, the less likely you are to get it.

Beware the law of unintended consequences!

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