I Ching Diary: the village green and churchyard


It would be an exaggeration to say that I’ve been under confinement (Hexagram 47 – 困/kùn) as a result of the snow and wind that have ravaged Britain over the past few days, but I do have to admit to feeling a certain amount of restlessness as a result of being unable to venture much further than the village green and churchyard for my daily walk because of the icy paths and roads.

I Ching Hexagram 47 Confinement

As the two changing lines in my I Ching reading this morning, number 2 and number 3, advise, the best way to deal with the situation is to count your blessings and rein in in your impatience. There is no point getting worked up about things that you cannot control!

I Ching Hexagram 31 Resonance

I’m hoping that the transformation to resonance (Hexagon 31 – 咸/xián) means that intervention from a higher power will enable me to get to London this afternoon so that I can catch my flight to San Francisco tomorrow morning.

I Ching Hexagram 48 Well

In my I Ching reading yesterday morning, I drew Hexagon 48 representing the well (井/jǐng). The second half of the judgment on the hexagram delivers a prescient warning about the need to maintain vital infrastructure when it says:

If one gets down almost to the water
And the rope does not go all the way,
Or the jug breaks, it is misfortune.

I Ching Hexagram 48 Well

These lines provided ample food for thought on how reliant our civilization has become on extremely complex systems for transportation, healthcare, and other services that, for all their theoretical sophistication, are still prone to breaking down when hit by an unexpected real-world event.

Just as individuals need to build up the strength and flexibility required to deal with the curve balls that life throws at you, so too should the people in charge of the management of critical infrastructure make sure that their systems are resilient enough to cope with challenging conditions.

No doubt there will be plenty of pious pronouncements about “lessons learned” from this crisis once the Beast from the East has departed these islands, but I can’t say I’m too optimistic that the subsequent actions that are taken will live up to the promise of the words.

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