constant change . . .

by mulberryshoots

my miniature maidenhair fern plant on the kitchen counter. . .

my miniature maidenhair fern plant on the kitchen counter. . .

The only predictable thing in life is change. Many of us don’t like it. Some of us welcome it. I’m one of the latter.

Maybe because while observing life’s vicissitudes I see patterns that I didn’t notice before. Or, reading books that offer limited points of view that are either-or, black-and-white or some other bilateral nonsense – such as a) if you don’t like it; b) leave.

Being Asian, a student of Taoist thought and reading the I-Ching, Or Book of Changes,  I’ve been introduced to holistic thinking that isn’t bilateral or even 3-Dimensional. It’s not as simple as Western either-or approaches to everything and I highly recommend it as an alternative way to live one’s life. I know it has profoundly impacted my own for the past twenty-five years.

The other day, I consulted the I-Ching about what outcome there might be regarding a family situation that I’m experiencing and I laughed out loud when the line it gave me was number 5 in the Hexagram #12 called “Standstill.” Here it is:
“Standstill is giving way.  Good fortune for the great (wo)man. ‘What if it should fail, what if it should fail? In this way s(he) ties it to a cluster of mulberry shoots.”

The time undergoes a change. The right man/woman, able to restore order, has arrived. Hence ‘Good fortune.’ But such periods of transition are the very times in which we must fear and tremble. Success is assured only through greatest caution, which asks always, “what if it should fail?” When a mulberry bush is cut down, a number of unusually strong shoots sprout from the roots. Hence the image of tying something to a cluster of mulberry shoots is used to symbolize the way of making success certain. Confucius says about this line:

Danger arises when a (wo)man feels secure in h(er) position. Destruction threatens when a wo(man) seeks to preserve h(er) worldly estate. Confusion develops when a (wo)man does not forget danger in h(er) security, nor ruin when (s)he is well established, nor confusion when h(er) affairs are in order. In this way (s)he gains personal safety and is able to protect the empire.”

I guess that says it all. The Universe is here for us to learn from if only we will pay attention to it before it is too late. This reading from the I-Ching has also relieved my feelings of disappointment and replaced them with a neutrality about what the future might bring. And that, my friends, is a really big deal!