Once again, gob-smacked by the oracle ... and thinking out loud (so to speak)

I'm delving into Hexagram 18, DECAY, and the aspect of this principle that's leaping out right now is the imperative to PAY ATTENTION!

I'm thinking, too, about the many facets that compose one principle. Hexagram 18's core principle (the wisdom-roots out of which we come to understand what a hexagram means) is Decay -- the fact of decay; the presence of corruption, rot, disease, deep injury; being in a broken-down state.

Here, Decay is the theme. A theme's aspects exhibit how the theme acts through its variations, which are the movements of change within the primary principle -- its "shades" or "hues" --> its own particular blend of Yin and Yang.

Another way to consider this is to adapt the concept of figure/ground from Gestalt theory: Decay is the ground (or the field) into which and from which its causes and consequences merge and emerge -- all the possibilities and actualities -- past, present and future -- that make Decay what it is.

What is Decay, then, as both a universal principle and as a particular presence in your life right now?

How do you understand Decay; what does it mean to you?

[... I hope this is making sense to you, Reader ... I am articulating an idea for the first time here ... and I always ask lots of questions while articulating ...]

So in Hexagram 18, if Decay -- corruption, rot, deep injury -- is the ground, its figures include those that have influenced how Decay came into being: long neglect, injury or illness; poisoning; becoming worn out or wounded, etc. In this respect, Decay's "figures" are the conditions of the past and how they have moved into the present -- how they have caused Decay to exist. The "figures" of causation allow us to understand the present context of Decay.

The present context is always being moved into by the past, and is always moving into the future. Causative agents create the principle, whose application and enactment bring about more changes: consequences. How can a principle express itself through time? ... In what ways might we enact a principle, or act upon it? How does it act upon us? ... How might we influence future causes and consequences?

Decay's possibilities -- depending on how we relate with Decay, and how we choose to act with the presence of Decay in our lives -- include convalescence; repairing damage done; addressing neglect; transforming a harmful legacy or habitual behaviour -- known in the classical text as "working on what has been spoiled." How will we address the specific Decay(s) that is/are present in our lives right now?

How will we choose to relate with the principle of Decay?

What are the more likely consequences of relating with Decay in this way or that?

Are we likely to cause more Decay, or less, in a situation?

Basically: will we or won't we pay attention to and act on the principle of Decay -- and how?

[Yikes. This principle is hitting home ... I have been recovering from a long illness, and I know that there are things I might be doing differently ....]

When I start thinking Yikes!, I remind myself that I always have options. The I Ching is always reminding us that we have options. I revere this about the oracle, and about the primary principle of Change itself.

Because everything is changing all the time, we always have options.

What a gift, to realize this ...


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