I’ve started re-reading Bede Griffiths, Return to the Centre, a wonderful book I first attempted to understand when I was 16. This time through, I have help.
I think of hexagram 29, the Repeating Chasm, as a dark place of bottomless depths. Yi talks of ‘holding fast your heart’ here, I think, because there is nothing else to hold onto – nothing solid, no way to orient oneself.
And from the Sequence of hexagrams, I have the understanding that you arrive here by ‘greatly overstepping’, in hexagram 28, all the usual boundaries. The familiar frameworks are buckling with the ridgepole; somehow you have to find a way to go beyond them. At the extreme of the experience, 28.6, it goes beyond ‘making sense’ altogether:
â€˜Stepping over, wading, water covers your head.
Now I come back to Bede Griffiths, and 28.6 makes a new kind of sense:
â€˜So all existence, all thought, loses itself in a void, a darkness, an abyss, where all landmarks fail. No wonder people are afraid of going beyond being, beyond thought – one may lose one’s self entirely. And yet – “he who will lose his life [or â€˜soul’] shall save it.” If we do not make this plunge, we shall never reach the Truth. Every great religious tradition has known this… . Without this basis in the Transcendent, the Inexpressible, all revelations would lose their meaning.’