Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mountain Above, Heaven Below

The verse for Ta Ch'u, the 26th hexagram in the I Ching, goes:
If, when you see the stars, you connect them with lines and think of where they lead,
If you can watch the night shift hour by hour until you see the grey east rise
And you breathe in the wind and touch the falling snow,
You have found the secret. 
If you see in your child your spouse's face and yours,
And that beggars and gods, monkeys, serpents, and orbs floating in seawater are also in her face,
You can answer her well the moment that she asks
What will come the next day.
What will I see when I look at her, and how will I answer?

Ta Ch'u is the symbol of restraint and of accumulation.  That which is restrained accumulates in strength and increases in volume.  The hexagram teaches that one who goes about accumulating virtue will be firm and correct, and may then undertake the most difficult enterprise of crossing the great river.  

Ta Ch'u pictures the disciplined person, sitting with as much presence as a mountain and channeling the power of heaven.  If we realize such great restraint, how can we fail to cross to the other side?   

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