...life can be translucent

Not embroiled in conflict

Last Monday, at about noon UK time, I cast my reading for the week ahead. I received Hexagram 25, Not Entangled, changing in the first two lines to give Hexagram 6, Arguing.

I’ve found that hexagram 25 is one of those that forms good, strong ‘sentences’ with its second hexagram. Don’t get embroiled in conflict. OK, I thought, what might that be? Arguments at any forums? There weren’t any when I last looked. Inner debates about changes to the site? Maybe.

But then – as suddenly as if someone had flicked a switch – I was aware of a deep disquiet, rapidly growing into something suspiciously like panic. I looked again at my reading, and tried to take on board the advice about not being entangled. This was telling me that these feelings were not mine.

This isn’t quite as bizarre as it sounds, as I often pick up on other people’s feelings, and have yet to learn to recognise where they’re coming from. (A couple of years ago, we were looking after my Mum-in-law while she struggled to come to terms with losing her eyesight. For the first time in my life, I suddenly found I was afraid of the dark.) So I went and checked with the people around me, and found everyone felt fine.

I spent much of the rest of the day trying to ‘disentangle’, trying not to wonder whether I needed Prozac, and resisting a desire to run and hide. Then in the evening I turned on the news and learned what had happened in Virginia. Oh God.

This reading had come within minutes of when I needed it most. Perhaps it was ‘finished’ for the week? Not so – within days, someone close to me was in emotional turmoil. We were walking together in the local woods, and I found that, wonder of wonders, the strength of the growing things gave me the ability to stay without entanglement and in compassion.

Hexagram 25, I realise, isn’t just about knowing what is not mine to research, explore, sort out or generally fix. It’s also about knowing where I am rooted. ‘One who is uncorrected commits blunders,’ says Yi, and to be ‘corrected’ has to do, etymologically, with where you place your feet. It’s not just not getting involved in the wrong things; it’s being freely and wholly involved with ‘the luxuriant growth of the season’ (from the Image). In a bluebell wood in April, this is a tangible gift.

And yesterday – just when you might have thought I would have got the message – things went from the tragic and lyrical to the comic. I found there was a bizarre technical problem with the forum. If you’re signed up as a Friend, you probably got my email about this; you may be one of the 100+ people who wrote back to help me out (thank you).

To cut an inexpressibly boring long technical story short, some people suddenly started getting an error message so they couldn’t see the forum at all, much less log in; some didn’t. Having forgotten all about 25.2, I did all kinds of industrious things trying to track this problem down.

After a few exchanges, the support team for my forum software, Vbulletin, tried to tell me that this was nothing to do with them, and if I could log in as these users (which I could), it must be a problem with their computers. Hm, right, they’ve all suddenly got a problem with their computers that only affects my site? I wasn’t buying this, and I politely told them so, and felt decidedly put-upon when they wouldn’t agree with me. Somehow I had to get them to see reason!

(Does this remind you of any hexagram in particular?)

Cue one email to Friends… and lots of helpful responses…
.. and realising that I’d actually created this problem myself with changes I’d made the night before.

I’ve disentangled myself from my argument with the long-suffering support team with an apologetic email telling them what I’d done. They were very nice about it.

Maybe next week I’ll write my reading on the back of my hand in indelible ink.

One response to Not embroiled in conflict

  1. Hi Hilary

    Thanks so much for persisting in sending me your emails. This morning I read your Not Embroiled in Conflict and found it heartening, encouraging and written like speaking to a friend. And doing a weekly reading seems like a really helpful thing for me to do. As a novice I am slowly getting to grips with how I Ching works and am finding encouraging bits of information along the way.

    Thanks Trish

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