Healing (the Christ within)

Gospel of John #31

Today we continue our bible study series with another healing story (John 5:1-16).  (See the text, reproduced below, at the end of this post).

The healing miracles of Jesus are prominent in the Gospel of John. They demonstrate that  the human person is essentially spiritual and always capable of renovation. An encounter with the living God brings one into dynamic harmony, which results in healing.

Notable in this healing story:

*The man at Bethsaida has been waiting for 38 years for someone to push him into the pool, so that he may be healed.

*Jesus comes and simply commands that he get up and walk and he does so. The pool’s mediation is not necessary.

*The message, here, is that the Christ-power, the life-force, is within oneself and can propel wellness and change, once it is activated. This inherent dynamism within the human being regenerates and heals.

As to the actual plot line of this healing story:

In this passage, the healing miracle, which takes place at the pool in Bethsaida, opens the section of the Gospel in which Jesus’s antagonists (the religious authorities) initiate a plot against him. Because Jesus heals on the Sabbath, and the man healed identifies Jesus as the culprit, the leaders begin to pursue and persecute him.

The story stylistically makes a contrasting pair with John 9. While the healed man in John 5 shows little recognition of Jesus’s stature as holy man — after he is healed–the man in John 9, who is cured of blindness, is willing to speak out on behalf of Jesus, proclaiming him to be the Son of Man (a title which indicates Jesus’s status as appointed by God).

Indeed, the healed man in John 5 –consciously or not– ends up betraying Jesus. This man has committed some sin (v. 15) while the man born blind in John 9 is innocent.

The man at the pool has been sick for 38 years — a number symbolic of Israel’s trials in the wilderness. His lassitude and helplessness are on display, when he complains that nobody is willing to give him a small push into the pool so that he may become well.

Jesus bypasses the healing pool. His own authority — as the fountain of life (see John 4) –surpasses all healing pools.

How does this story speak to us? The message is about fidelity and trustworthiness. Let’s say we are healed and we do receive the life for which we have yearned for a long period. Finally, we are released from captivity. If we go along forward, without blessing and thanking the source of our Life, who liberated us, shall cynicism then cause us to fall back again into a similar plight?

The man’s mind-set lacks perfect faith insofar as he resumes his physical life while compromising his moral life. He betrays Jesus, who has given him life. A healing that does not result in a changed consciousness and a moral renovation may offer a physical extension of life but the true life — in terms of one’s attitude and standing before God – can be unchanged.

“Pick up your mat and walk” : where have you been restored to life?

The Healing at the Pool: John 5: 1-15
5 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. [4] 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”

11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”

12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”

13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.

14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.

16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him.

NFL Protests and early Christian Martyrs

Hello All,

Peaceful protest, and the right to dissent, are encoded in our democratic constitution. The NFL controversies (see: NYTimes on NFL ) are sparking new debates about this freedom. Where does peaceful protest, such as the NFL players demonstrate by kneeling rather than standing during patriotic anthems, constitute a healthy freedom? Where do such gestures undermine civic unity and become disloyal or unpatriotic?

From a Christian standpoint, similar democratic rights are enshrined in early Christian accounts. The Roman governor Pliny the Younger (in 112 CE) wrote to the Roman emperor Trajan about disciplinary problems, in his territories, concerning  Christians (see: Pliny’s Letter on Christians ) who confess to being Christian. Pliny wants to know whether the mere name of Christian is sufficient to be deemed a crime or whether it is only crimes (in conjunction with this self-appellation) that may give cause for legal suspicions. The Christians are innocent in their practices (see Pliny’s description of their practices below). What then gave the Romans reason to criminalize Christianity? Such that to belong to this sect (this “superstition”) would constitute a crime?

As the martyrdom accounts show, it was the Christian refusal to offer obeisance and sacrifices to the emperor that incurred civil rebuke. Christians made peaceful protests against what they viewed as monarchic abuses in the Roman imperial regime. They offered worship to God alone not to a human ruler.

The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas, a second century text, exhibits in stock scene the trial of early Christian martyrs who refused to offer obeisance or sacrifices to the emperor. (See excerpt below).

As a country, the USA was founded upon democratic protests against monarchic abuses. Surely, the people ought to exercise these freedoms, while our president could squarely confront rather than punishing such critique. Christianity was founded upon a similar right to critique authoritarian regimes while offering devotion to God alone.

From the Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felictas : Hilarianus the governor, who had received his judicial powers as the successor of the late proconsul Minucius Timinianus, said to me: ‘Have pity on your father’s grey head; have pity on your infant son. Offer the sacrifice for the welfare of the emperors.’ ‘I will not’, I retorted. ‘Are you a Christian?’ said Hilarianus. And I said: ‘Yes, I am.’ When my father persisted in trying to dissuade me, Hilarianus ordered him to be thrown to the ground and beaten with a rod. I felt sorry for father, just as if I myself had been beaten. I felt sorry for his pathetic old age. Then Hilarianus passed sentence on all of us: we were condemned to the beasts, and we returned to prison in high spirits.

From Pliny’s Letter: re Early Christian practices.

That they were wont, on a stated day, to meet together before it was light, and to sing a hymn to Christ, as to a god, alternately; and to oblige themselves by a sacrament [or oath], not to do anything that was ill: but that they would commit no theft, or pilfering, or adultery; that they would not break their promises, or deny what was deposited with them, when it was required back again; after which it was their custom to depart, and to meet again at a common but innocent meal, which they had left off upon that edict which I published at your command, and wherein I had forbidden any such conventicles. These examinations made me think it necessary to inquire by torments what the truth was; which I did of two servant maids, who were called Deaconesses: but still I discovered no more than that they were addicted to a bad and to an extravagant superstition.

 

 

 

 

Miracle/ Healing (and worthiness)

Gospel of John #30 : John 4:49-54

Hello All,

Today we continue our bible study series with a healing story. (See the text, reproduced below, at the end of this post). Here is a brief analysis of why self-worth and worthiness are essential to healing. In fact, what the New Testament calls “faith” can be equated, often, with our notion of worthiness, a worthiness to  stand before God.

The opposite of such faith – or worthiness – is guilt. Guilt involves the expectation of punishment. One projects upon God an image of a wrathful persecutor, who would withhold the gift of life, love, and healing, because of one’s wrong-doing.

Consider somebody you love. It is likely that your love is nourished by an assurance that with this person, you are free to be yourself. If you hold yourself back, because of guilt or shame about who you are, then you will block the love offered to you, inasmuch as you will hold back your own fullest and most natural self-expression.

Worthiness, then, – the conviction that you, indeed, are good enough to reveal who you are and to be loved for who you are – has a great deal to do with one’s capacity for love — both in receiving and giving.

One may glimpse this definition of faith, as a kind of worthiness, in the religious autobiography of Martin Luther, the religious reformer. In his early years, while undergoing grueling spiritual exercises as a Catholic monk (by fasting, prayer, and asceticism), Luther continued to feel hounded by guilt, low self-worth, and by the angry face of God. He commented, “When it is touched by this passing inundation of the eternal, the soul feels and drinks nothing but eternal punishment.” : Martin Luther Article

Later he realized that righteous and good people can never reach God by spiritual exercises on their own. Instead, the faith is a gift from God, available to those of good and righteous intention. He commented, “Here I felt as if I were entirely born again and had entered paradise itself through the gates that had been flung open.”

My purpose is not to advance a Lutheran interpretation of this biblical passage. In our own day, the doctrine of “by faith alone” (sola fides) can sometimes be just as tormenting as a religious exercises and penances had been in an earlier day. People may question themselves, “Am I REALLY full of faith? Do I really believe? Have I made the required confessions?”  Such self-doubt – and quibbles – land us into at least a diluted form of guilt and unworthiness.

Instead, let’s try it this way. Unload anything from your conscience that you need to unload. Make amends. Forgive. Give love. Then reach up to the sky, and declare, “I am worthy of Life! I am worthy of Love. I am willing to receive!”

This receptivity to life, the divine life, heals.

50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went his way.

Question: Where can you open your heart a little more in order to receive and be worthy of all that Life has for you?

John 4:49-54

49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went his way. 51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was living. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to mend, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live”; and he himself believed, and all his household. 54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.

Tarot and Christian Esotericism

TarotChristianHermeticismHi All,

Take a look at this book, Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey into Christian Hermeticism, penned by an Anonymous author (1985, published posthumously). The author is usually identified as Valentin Tomberg, the esotericist.

The book has a following among Catholics and was endorsed by Hans Urs Van Balthasar. Take a look at this article: Tarot Esotericism Ignatian Perspective,which nicely articulates  how the book transmits a so-called hermetic wisdom: “At its orthodox core, the Hermetic wisdom boils down to the doctrine of analogy: ‘As above, so below.'”

Here’s an excerpt, in which the author distinguishes Allegory, Secret, Arcana, and Mystery. The Tarot – in the Major Arcana – he maintains offer us symbols of the hidden things (i.e. Arcana) which catalyze necessary spiritual insights. These insights, in turn, prepare us for Mysteries, like the mystery of the Second Birth, which according to the esoteric traditions Christianity, is likened to a Great Initiation. There must be a proper spiritual receptivity, moreover, for the devotee in order to receive from the Tarot the truths of soul to which they may point.

Here’s a passage from the book:

The Major Arcana of the Tarot are neither allegories nor secrets, because alle- gories are. in fact, only figurative represenrations of abstract notions, and secrets are only facts, procedures, practices, or whatever doctrines that one keeps to oneself for a personal motive, since they are able to be understood and put into practice by others to whom one does not want to reveal them. The Major Arcana of the Tarot are authentic symbols. They conceal and reveal their sense at one and the same time according to the depth of meditation. That which they reveal are not secrets, i.e. things hidden by human will, but are arcana, which is something quite different. An arcanum is that which it is necessary to “know” in order to be fruit- ful in a given domain of spiritual life. It is that which must be actively present in our consciousness —or even in our subconscious —in order to render us capable of making discoveries, engendering new ideas, conceiving of new artistic subjects. In a word, it makes us fertile in our creative pursuits, in whatever domain of spiritual life. An arcanum is a “ferment” or an “enzyme” whose presence stimulates the spiritual and the psychic life of man. And it is symbols which are the bearers of these “ferments” or “enzymes” and which communicate them —if the mentality and morality of the recipient is ready, i.e. if he is “poor in spirit” and does not, suffer from the most serious spiritual malady: self-complacency.

Just as the arcanum is superior to the secret, so is the mystery superior to the arcanum. The mystery is more than a stimulating “ferment”. It is a spiritual event comparable to physical birth or death. It is a change of the entire spiritual and psychic motivation, or a complete change of the plane of consciousness. The seven sacraments of the Church are the prismatic colours of the white light of one sole Mystery or Sacrament, known as that of the Second Birth, which the Master pointed out to Nicodemus in the nocturnal initiation conversation which He had with him. It is this which Christian Hermeticism understands by the Great Initiation.

TarotChristianHermeticism

Our Lady of Guadalupe as a Mirror for Our Selves

 

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Yolanda Lopez, a Chicana artist, produced this tripartite series of portraits (in 1978): The Guadalupe Triptych. The woman, who is depicted as a runner, is the artist herself. The picture is called:Portrait of the Artist as the Virgin of Guadalupe.lopezyolanda6

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“Essentially, she [the Virgin of Guadalupe] is beautiful, serene and passive. She has no emotional life or texture of her own” so Lopez commented…..”Because I feel living, breathing women also deserve respect and love lavished on Guadalupe, I have chosen to transform the image. Taking symbols of her power and virtue I have transferred them to portraits of women I know….As Chicanos we need to become aware of our own imagery and how it functions. We privately agonize and sometimes publicly speak out on the representation of us in the majority culture. But what about the portrayal of ourselves within our own culture? Who are our heroes, our role models?” “Yolanda M. López Works: 1975-1978,” San Diego, 1978.

Amalia Mesa-Bains gives this interpretation of  the series:  “López’s Guadalupes are mobile, hardworking, assertive, working-class images of the abuela [grandmother] as a strong, solid nurturer, mother as a family-supporting seamstress, and daughter as a contemporary artist and powerful runner.”

On Yolanda Lopez and Guadalupe Triptych

See also: The Guadalupe Series

Generosity : the Samaritan Woman

Gospel of John #29

Hello Generous ones,

I continue today our study of the Gospel of John. Please subscribe (on the left via the drop down menu) if you’d like to study along with us. You may also scroll through to read the 28 posts before this one, all about the Gospel of John.

Today, we start on John 4 (see text below), which depicts a meeting between Jesus and a Samaritan woman. Our theme concerns guilt vs compassion, and envy vs good will, in spiritual and religious life — and in practical matters of finance.

[Please note, as we have indicated throughout: the Jewish religious leaders in John are portrayed as the enemies of Jesus and the epitome of religious hypocrisy in this Gospel. However, Jesus himself was a Jew. Let us recognize and critique rather than reproducing ethnic stereotypes, and anti-Semitism, that may be embedded in this sacred text.]

In the opening of the chapter,  Jesus is being hunted down by the religious authorities, who are envious because of news that Jesus has baptized a good quantity of new adherents to his sect. The narrator is quick to confirm that this news is a rumor, since Jesus, in fact, performs no baptisms himself. Because Jesus directly harnesses the divine source (as we shall soon discover), i.e. the fountain of Life, it is not his function to perform ritual signs (i.e. baptisms).

Such religious rivalry plays out, subsequently, in the dialogue of Jesus with the Samaritan woman. The Samaritan woman expects religious or ethnic barriers to be upheld; she notes that as a Jew, Jesus would not be expected to share table fellowship (i.e. a drink) with a Samaritan. The Samaritan woman’s caution about this regulation suggests a worldview motivated by customary ethnic and religious rules.

That the dialogue between Jesus and the Samaritan woman takes place at the well of Jacob, an ancestor sacred to both Jews and Samaritans, symbolizes the universal allegiances, common to different religious sects, both Jew and Samaritan. Rather than fighting over religious property rights — i.e., in a competition over whose cult or ancestors are superior –a more generous approach will be to recognize a common source of vitality behind both religious claims. Both Samaritans and Jews draw from a single source: the fountain of Life itself.

Jesus overturns the competitive worldview, fostered by ethnic segregation.  He counters regulations, which restrict the gifts of God, by offering free and inclusive access to the living source itself of abundance:  v. 10:“If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water;” and: 13 “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Let’s see now how this idea may be applied in our lives. I will sketch the implications of living within a world of abundance (symbolized by the universally flowing water), rather than a world of scarcity (characterizes by guilt and envy).

Money, so economists say, is ruled by laws of scarcity. Yet, in practical reality, generosity and giving may produce greater wealth than holding back.

The author of the Seven Laws of Money (c.1974), Michael Phillips, notes that compassion produces generosity while guilt does not. As a financial expert, the master-mind behind the Whole Earth Catalogue, and a leader of several foundations (including the Glide Foundation in San Francisco), Phillips has a record of tangible financial success. (For the book, see: Book: Seven Laws of Money). Based on his experience in lending money and in soliciting donations, Phillips underscores the priority of right motivations for giving. If one gives money because of coercing or guilt-tripping, how generous will one feel in doing so? How motivated will one be to participate in the ongoing projects to which one donates? A guilty giver may donate once and never again.

The worldview that underlies guilt is constricted. One endorses the limiting notion that people must be pushed to do good things, against their will; people are thus untrustworthy.  Resources are limited.

By contrast, if one is compassionate, then one finds every way to assist another, whether that entails giving money, material resources, or so-called spiritual gifts (like talent, service, wisdom). One’s underlying worldview, based on compassion, is open and unlimited. One trusts the heart to to give freely out of caring.

In the case of guilt, one experiences fear of punishment or negative consequences; in the case of compassion, one experiences faith in benefits and positive outcomes. A contrast between guilt and compassion thus differentiates a world of scarcity (regulated by fear and coercion) from a world of abundance (regulated by faith and freedom).

Give Generously and Freely!

TEXT (NIV) version Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman
4 Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

I Ching and the Bible : An Oracle

Joseph Murphy, a metaphysical author of the early twentieth century, combined the I Ching (aka : The Book of Changes), an ancient Chinese oracle, with the timeless wisdom of the Bible. The I Ching consists of 64 hexagrams. One throws coins or lots in order to derive a hexagram in response to one’s question. Murphy linked a biblical verse or idea with each hexagram.

Here I will dispense with Murphy’s philosophical rationale and simply offer you a sample of his oracular offerings. I asked a question about whether a certain relationship will be restored.51IamP75kGL._SL300_

I received: Hexagram 50 with changing lines 1 and 5.  The relating hexagram, which is derived from the changing lines, is hexagram 1.

I have reproduced, below, the commentary on this Hexagram (with moving lines) as described in the traditional I Ching, translated by R. Wilhelm. I place, alongside this reading, Joseph’s Murphy’s biblical rendition of the same hexagram.

In the traditional I Ching (see Wilhelm text below), hexagram 50 represents a caldron, which is a vessel that was used to cook food as offerings in a Temple, for ancestors, or at banquets.  This hexagram points to the inner changes that need to be nourished in order for something good to be accomplished. The moving lines indicate (1) that something impure (causing stagnation) must be removed from the caldron; one may have to accept an inferior position (i.e. being a concubine) for the sake of a better future or result (i.e. represented by one’s son). In moving line (5), the caldron has jade handles, enabling a person to carry it correctly. This indicates readiness; the things in the caldron are cooked. The person carrying the caldron shows proper respect for the offering being made.

With respect to the question asked, the hexagram suggests that the relationship has led to inner transformation; or inner transformation is necessary for the relationship to go forward. With regard to the moving lines: a) There is some stagnation in the relationship; an obstacle needs to be removed. One must accept the inferior conditions, currently, for the sake of a future benefit. b) Eventually, inner changes, represented by cooked things inside of the caldron, will produce a readiness to move ahead again.  Things will be cooked, prepared, and settled.

It is unclear whether the hexagram is to say that inner changes are the goal, to which the relationship has led, or whether the relationship will, in fact, be restored.

The relating hexagram is hexagram 1.  This hexagram indicates new and vigorous beginnings. The inner changes, produced by hexagram 50, will completely renew the relationship or the person asking the question will be renewed — or both.

Joseph Murphy’s biblical I Ching relates the caldron image to two biblical verses: “Out of his nostrils goeth smoke as out of … a caldron” (Job 41:20) and  “… the caldrons and the candlesticks … ” (Jeremiah 52:19). For Murphy, the caldron represents one’s subconscious mind, which is full of wisdom and intelligence. The smoke represents one’s spirit.

Murphy cites other pertinent biblical verses in explaining the changing lines. The first changing line cites this biblical verse: “This city is the caldron … I will bring you forth out of the midst of it” (Ezekiel 11:7). Here, “the city is your mind (caldron),” from which must be removed  “negative patterns.” The changing line in the fifth place cites this biblical verse:  “And two golden rings shalt thou make …” (Exodus 30:4). Here, the “ring is symbolic of love, peace, and unity with God. A ring, being a circle, is also a symbol of Infinity and of God’s love. In simple, everyday language, all it means is that you are now getting your conscious and subconscious mind to agree on harmony, health, peace, and right action. As you adhere to this procedure, you will, by the law of attraction, get others to aid and assist you in the realization of your heart’s desire.”

Murphy’s biblical I Ching offers a thought-provoking set of images for scriptural meditation. A more thorough analysis of his book would be required, in order to assess whether his biblical glosses correspond, in any substantial way, to the traditional interpretations of this Chinese oracle.

Follow Up: Nov 19, 2017: The relationship has not yet bee restored, but I was inwardly transformed by the separation so that if it does come back, eventually, it will be reestablished on a different foundation. This inner transformation also represents the completion of a cycle of growth — permitting me to move forward (changing hexagram #1) with renewed self-awareness and passion.

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HERE ARE THE TEXTS OF THE TRADITIONAL CHINESE ICHING (WILHELM) AND MURPHY’S BIBLICAL ICHING

50. Ting / The Caldron

above LI THE CLINGING, FIRE
below SUN THE GENTLE, WIND, WOOD

The six lines construct the image of Ting, THE CALDRON; at the bottom are the legs, over them the belly, then come the ears (handles), and at the top the carrying rings. At the same time, the image suggests the idea of nourishment. The ting, cast of bronze, was the vessel that held the cooked viands in the temple of the ancestors and at banquets. The heads of the family served the food from the ting into the bowls of the guests.

THE WELL 48 likewise has the secondary meaning of giving nourishment, but rather more in relation to the people. The ting, as a utensil pertaining to a refined civilization, suggests the fostering and nourishing of able men, which redounded to the benefit of the state. This hexagram and THE WELL are the only two in the Book of Changes that represent concrete, men-made objects. Yet here too the thought has its abstract connotation. Sun, below, is wood and wind; Li, above, is flame. Thus together they stand for the flame kindled by wood and wind, which likewise suggests the idea of preparing food.

THE JUDGMENT

THE CALDRON. Supreme good fortune.

Success.

While THE WELL relates to the social foundation of our life, and this foundation is likened to the water that serves to nourish growing wood, the present hexagram refers to the cultural superstructure of society. Here it is the wood that serves as nourishment for the flame, the spirit. All that is visible must grow beyond itself, extend into the realm of the invisible. Thereby it receives its true consecration and clarity and takes firm root in the cosmic order. Here we see civilization as it reaches its culmination in religion. The ting serves in offering sacrifice to God. The highest earthly values must be sacrificed to the divine. But the truly divine does not manifest itself apart from man. The supreme revelation of God appears in prophets and holy men. To venerate them is true veneration of God. The will of God, as revealed through them, should be accepted in humility; this brings inner enlightenment and true understanding of the world, and this leads to great good fortune and success.

THE IMAGE

Fire over wood:

The image of THE CALDRON.

Thus the superior man consolidates his fate
By making his position correct.

The fate of fire depends on wood; as long as there is wood below, the fire burns above. It is the same in human life; there is in man likewise a fate that lends power to his life. And if he succeeds in assigning the right place to life and to fate, thus bringing the two into harmony, he puts his fate on a firm footing. These words contain hints about fostering of life as handed on by oral tradition in the secret teachings of Chinese yoga.

THE LINES

Six at the beginning means:

A ting with legs upturned.
Furthers removal of stagnating stuff.
One takes a concubine for the sake of her son.

No blame.

If a ting is turned upside down before being used, no harm is done-on the contrary, this clears it of refuse. A concubine’s position is lowly, but because she has a son she comes to be honored. These two metaphors express the idea that in a highly developed civilization, such as that indicated by this hexagram, every person of good will can in some way or other succeed. No matter how lowly he may be, provided he is ready to purify himself, he is accepted. He attains a station in which he can prove himself fruitful in accomplishment, and as a result he gains recognition.

Six in the fifth place means:

The ting has yellow handles, golden carrying rings.
Perseverance furthers.

Here we have, in a ruling position, a man who is approachable and modest in nature. As a result of this attitude he succeeds in finding strong and able helpers who complement and aid him in his work. Having achieved this attitude, which requires constant self-abnegation, it is important for him to hold to it and not to let himself be led astray.

MURPHY

50. TING/THE CALDRON Above: Li, the Clinging, Fire Below: Sun, the Gentle, Wind, Wood

The Judgment “Out of his nostrils goeth smoke as out of … a caldron” (Job 41:20). The caldron is another name for your deeper mind, which is full of wisdom, power, and love. The smoke coming out is your exaltation; the Spirit within you is God. You are inspired from on high and everything you do will prosper. The Image “ … the caldrons and the candlesticks … ” (Jeremiah 52:19).

It is said man is the candle of the Lord, symbolizing the fact that you are to shed your light (intelligence) in all phases of your life. Believe that God is guiding you and that Divine-right action governs you in all ways and the caldron (your subconscious mind) will then respond. From this, you will find harmony and peace in your life.

The Lines

Six at the bottom: “ … This city is the caldron … I will bring you forth out of the midst of it” (Ezekiel 11:7). The city is your mind (caldron), and you must cleanse it regularly and systematically by giving yourself a transfusion of faith, confidence, love, joy, and goodwill. As you fill your mind with these qualities, you neutralize and wipe out all negative patterns in your subconscious mind (the caldron). The lower is always subject to the higher. You are on the way to great accomplishments and achievements.

Six in the fifth place: “And two golden rings shalt thou make …” (Exodus 30:4). Gold means power, purity; a clear sky and fair weather, a clean mental and emotional atmosphere. A ring is symbolic of love, peace, and unity with God. A ring, being a circle, is also a symbol of Infinity and of God’s love. In simple, everyday language, all it means is that you are now getting your conscious and subconscious mind to agree on harmony, health, peace, and right action. As you adhere to this procedure, you will, by the law of attraction, get others to aid and assist you in the realization of your heart’s desire.

Murphy Ph.D. D.D., Joseph. Secrets of the I Ching: Get What You Want in Every Situation Using the Classic Bookof Changes (p. 160). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.