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The Angels of Grace, A Spiritual Take on Hexagram 22 as an expression of grace…

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This is my own take on Hexagram 22- I’m only new to the I-ching but this is what I’ve come up with so far!!

To me grace is something real and very tangible. Grace is the energy of blessings/gifts from the Universe/god/the Earth and of course the angels! I work with angels and other energy beings so grace to me is part of the natural course of life- it is part of the miracle in receiving abundance in to our lives.

Anyone who works with guides/angels nature spirits etc will know what i'm talking about here ;) When you ask the angels of grace to help in a situation or to answer a prayer, beauty and enhancement through miracles is the result!

I often think of grace as blessings, gifts and miracles that we receive without asking for or when we do ask for grace it comes in a form we usually don’t expect! & if the angels are winging their way with grace to you it usually manifests in way unexpected and are often very beautiful.

I’ve been connecting with the angels through the I-ching and I recently received this hexagram in response to if a prayer I asked would be answered. My prayer was answered by a complete miracle with which I didn’t expect- through the power of grace! So I have quite a lovely take on Hexagram 22!

I think in Hexagram 22 its possible to attain success by allowing grace into our lives! Grace can beautify and adorn- enhance every part of our lives. So perhaps when this hexagram is received as a reply or answer to a problem it’s a suggestion that grace as in accepting abundance or true beauty such as love in to the situation could be a real solution.

I love to see hexagram 22 as an expression of the energy of grace! I keep thinking about the fire illuminating the mountain, perhaps Grace is an active or creative force/energy that brings illumination and beautifies the strength and steadiness or groundedness in our physical lives represented by the mountain………
 

Trojina

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I don't know...see the problem here is using the word 'grace' in its religious sense rather than its usual sense of something beautiful, attractive, graceful. I don't know if the original chinese name for the hexagram meant purely grace as in what is beautiful or if it includes other meanings too. I know Lise includes the idea of 'health' in it too. I've never been entirely sure what 'grace' in the spiritual/religious sense means so I just looked it up in the dictionary. Theres grace meaning 'attractive, elegant in proportion or movement' and theres grace meaning 'goodwill or favour' as in '3 days grace' ,and then theres grace meaning 'the unmerited favour of God' as well as a few more meanings..

So what you seem to be saying is you think 22 is not only about the external attractiveness of something, but also favour, unmerited from the 'powers that be' meaning whatever one believes in God/universe/angels..which might also be as you say 'blessings' or what some might call luck. So you think 22 can just be saying to accept/receive you are blessed in the matter in question ? Could be, I can't think where else in the I Ching blessings as such are...except 42 maybe... I guess with 22 theres no depth of perspective, one can't see where things originate from so things might appear as blessings, the pattern of the fire on the mountain
 
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Yup! ;)

So what you seem to be saying is you think 22 is not only about the external attractiveness of something, but also favour, unmerited from the 'powers that be' meaning whatever one believes in God/universe/angels..which might also be as you say 'blessings' or what some might call luck. So you think 22 can just be saying to accept/receive you are blessed in the matter in question ? Could be, I can't think where else in the I Ching blessings as such are...except 42 maybe... I guess with 22 theres no depth of perspective, one can't see where things originate from so things might appear as blessings, the pattern of the fire on the mountain
You got it thats exactly what I was getting at ;) was just an idea about 22. I'm only learning so I confess I haven't read much about 22, haven't got a clear undertstanding on it yet.

"So you think 22 can just be saying to accept/receive you are blessed in the matter in question ?" yes, it could very well be, as it seemed to answer my question this way. Of course this is from my perspective and the background i'm coming from- from a spiritual persective.

Can the I-ching be used like this? I was thinking that everyone is unique in terms of what they think/see and believe, perhaps the I-ching answered me in a way that I understood. I didn't look deeply in to the hexagram but I saw grace and that was my interpretation of grace! This answered my question perfectly! So perhaps the Yi is being very clever! and intellegent in its reply to what I asked!

thanks for you reply! :D
 
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This would be interesting to find out!

I don't know if the original chinese name for the hexagram meant purely grace as in what is beautiful or if it includes other meanings too.
That would be something interesting to find out! I haven't a clue where to start :D of course. Did they believe in grace in this context? hmm my head is spinning with ideas on this now ;)
 
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Last thoughts for now on this...

Theres grace meaning 'attractive, elegant in proportion or movement' and theres grace meaning 'goodwill or favour' as in '3 days grace' ,and then theres grace meaning 'the unmerited favour of God' as well as a few more meanings..
Maybe it could be taken in all contexts of the word "grace"? To me its a combination of all of these.

I'll have to go now or I'll end up glued to this and not get anything done :rofl:
 
M

meng

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angels_goldenrose, the ideas you wrote about sound very good to me.

For me, every hexagram shape-shifts in meaning to a wide degree, and every shape is useful for gaining insight.

22 can literally mean any of the definitions of "grace", including spiritual (or biblical) ones, but it isn't limited to the word "grace", and some don't even call 22 by the name grace. Bradford uses "adornment", LiSe uses "pot of herbs". For my Yi images I chose "beauty". (and, yes, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder :))
 

bradford

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Problem is, Grace is a bad word to use to summarize the hexagram's meaning.
It's more about things that catch the eye in such a way as to prevent the deeper
and longer view. The mountain is lit up by the flame below, and it looks pretty.
But you can see no farther. Closer to the core meaning is nearsightedness,
but more literally, ornamentation or superficiality. The mountain goat needs
to be nearsighted to pick his way up the mountain - he wants each of his steps
to be real, so there is a place for nearsightedness in how graceful his ascent is.

It's a common rookie error to get a single English word stuck in your head to be
the primary representative of a hexagram's meaning. It's also a big mistake to
think of one hexagram as more fortunate than another.
 

bamboo

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I never sensed 22 as imlpying nearsightedness and superficiality, oddly enough..but the opposite ..that taking things too seriously can run the risk of missing the simple beauty of life.

what could be smore simple - and graceful - than to walk on your own two feet (and leave behind the ferrari):);

the plain roll of silk is perfectly acceptable- you are enough as you are
line 4 reminds me of how oftentimes we can fail to recognize moment s of grace/opportunity if we judge 'the horse it rode in on'
and line 6 is the simple essential and pure. somethings need no explanation at all. defenselessness; the flower needs no deeper meaning, it exists for itself -and it is enough.

i surmise as much that 22 is not about deeper, profound expressions of beauty, but it seems to me that the asian culture values sparcity, spaciousness and simplicity, and less is more in that sense because it creates space for essence.

when i think of this hex, I dont think of gaudy shows of adornment that are superficial, but adornments that celebrate the simple beauty. The eyes can be jewels; your simplest gifts, your integrity, a serene countenance so radiant it needs no makeup. a japanese tea garden is entirely sparse and yet is the perfect adornment for the grace and beauty of ceremony
 

rodaki

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not sure if Trish is still around reading these but here it goes . .

I keep re-reading Bamboo's post and I'm all for it but . .
sometimes 22 makes me think of that Springsteen song 'Brilliant Disguise'
you know? something to keep in mind . .
 
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meng

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Nearsightedness. That's an interesting view of 22. As in the example of the mountain goat. It isn't that the goat stares into a mountain pool, admiring his beard all day. His life depends on his nearsightedness, as an actor (in reverse reflection) depends on looking the part he plays. The characterization shows itself. It may show itself superfluously (which may be a key element in the part he plays), but 22 may also show in those impressive looking horns, which he uses to win the right to mate.
 

bradford

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I think the term "glamor" (glamour in English) belongs in this discussion. On the one hand the "finer things" and "niceties" really improve the quality of life. On the other, a "glamour" is a spell that gets cast to keep someone from seeing the truth. Ultimately, the worth of glamor or ornament is situation dependent or is at least a matter of perspective. I suppose even Prada accessories have their place, even though a thousand children an hour die from starvation. As is often the case, the Da Xiang is the clearest text on this:

22.X, Overall Image
At the foot of the mountain is flame
Adornment
The noble young one, accordingly, clarifies numerous policies*
But does not presume to execute justice

That is, he attends to the smaller details, but knows that perspective is limited here -
there is no long view or big picture that important decisions require.
 

rosada

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I look at 22 from it's place in the over all sequence. I see the I Ching as describing the evolution of consciousness from the sense of being a lone separate ego looking for connection in hexagram 3 to the ultimate achievement of universal connectedness, the we-are-all-oneness in 61. Along the path we have the various experiences leading to this unification. At 22 we are in a space where there APPEARS to be a meeting of the minds, but it is not total world unification. If you look at the hexagrams leading up to 22 the story seems to be describing someone who has had some limited experience, perhaps they have figured out how to solve some specific problem, dissolve some superficial barrier, but the benefit only lasts for a short time because the specific problem was not the problem. The problem was that people need to find ways of working together, sharing experiences. One person alone does not have all the answers.

For example, let's take early ideas about illness and healing.
16: You go to this wild party and dance yourself to exhaustion.
17: You go home and get some sleep.
18: In the night you dream of your ancestors healing you.
19: You wake up feeling great and think, "Wow, I've got to teach everyone about my ancestors!"
20: You share your vision.
21: The idea that your ancestors can heal seems to solve a lot of problems.
22: Everyone who hears you thinks this is a beautiful idea.
23: Unfortunately, the idea seems to only work for you and so when everyone else continues to become tired and exhausted the whole solution falls apart.

rosada
 
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M

meng

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I think the term "glamor" (glamour in English) belongs in this discussion. On the one hand the "finer things" and "niceties" really improve the quality of life. On the other, a "glamour" is a spell that gets cast to keep someone from seeing the truth.
Ah, well, from the Dharma perspective, you are completely right.

But let me ask you, are not the other 63 hexagrams just as illusionary?
 

rodaki

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dancers know, it takes years of tough training to bring even the slightest movement of their hair in accordance with the principles of their art . . no easy steps there . . maybe audiences fail to see it, but it's still there -a mountainload of work, also 22
 
M

meng

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http://animals.howstuffworks.com/insects/firefly-info.htm

What Do All Those Flashes Mean?

The male firefly flashes its light for a very important purpose. It wants to find a mate. When it gets dark, the male firefly flies through the night. It flashes its light like a signal. Each kind of firefly has its own signal.

The female firefly has short wings and often can’t fly. It perches itself on a bush or a rock and waits. When a male passes by with a signal the female recognizes, the female flashes back the same signal. The male lands and touches the female’s antennae. This is how fireflies smell each other. If the female smells right to him, the two fireflies will mate. Later the female lays her eggs.
 

heylise

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BÌ (name of 22): bright, decoration, brilliant, bright, luminous, ornate, to honor, adorning. Pronounced ben1: ardent, brave, energetic, strenuous, to forge ahead, to blossom out, zest. Pronounced fen2: great. Pronounced fen4: defeated. Also in an inscription used for a kind of sacrifice.

I was sitting in the backyard with my books and everything, figuring out the meanings of the hexagrams. Next to me was an Azalea-bush which was on the verge of blossoming. The buds were swollen and looked as if they were loaded with energy. I saw the ideogram - and the buds next to me, and they looked exactly the same.

Then I saw what beauty really is: the energy of life showing itself gloriously. It is a lot more than adornment, it is how life looks. Nobody knows exactly what it is, but we all know how it looks.
 
M

meng

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I’m a bit of a guitar gear geek. Recently I received a speaker for an amp. This speaker is known to be clear, true and uncolored (22.6). What you hear is exactly what is played through it. One of my guitars has a lot of color in it’s tone wood, and it sounds beautiful through the neutral and clear speaker. However, my other guitar’s tone wood is more true, less color, and it sounds too neutral and colorless when played through the neutral speaker. It benefits when played through a speaker with more color. Real life seems to want color.
 

rosada

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I think of the expression, "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime." Maybe 22 is the gift, the grace where you get what you need even though you don't yet understand the greater meaning behind it - you may not be able to eat for a lifetime just on what you know now - and so you appeciate the small moment, even though you know it will pass. Maybe by 55 we understand that there will be many moments for appreciation, if you are willing link with others, appreciate others contribution to the moment.
 

bradford

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Ah, well, from the Dharma perspective, you are completely right.

But let me ask you, are not the other 63 hexagrams just as illusionary?
THe image of blocked vision comes directly from the two trigrams -
li, light, blocked by gen, mountain.

When it's Xun below mountain, flowing is stopped and stagnation occurs (18)
With Li below, seeing is stopped.

Within the valley all you can see is the valley.
 
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bamboo

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I have a hard time thinking of 22 in the context of being "down in the valley" ..to me it's more like a beautiful bonfire at the foot of the mountain, distracting us from the enormity of the mountain, but reflecting the moon and making us happy.

but i also like the flower image... the flowering of any pursuit ( 21) can be the 22, the expression in form, reflecting the success of our efforts. It is not the true measure of success, though, that's an internal confidence, like a 52.6........mistaking the 22 for the real deal is what's behind the suicides when the stock market crashes.

actually it seems all of life on earth is a kind of 22 experience. there are so many wonderful reflections. LiSe is right. we know it when we see it, the beauty and grace, even if we dont know exactly what it is.
 

charly

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...
Then I saw what beauty really is: the energy of life showing itself gloriously. It is a lot more than adornment, it is how life looks. Nobody knows exactly what it is, but we all know how it looks.
Lise:

I like too much what you say.

Looking here and there I grasped some other meanings:

For the whole character: RUN SWIFTLY / VALOR IN BATTLE / EXPLODING ENERGY, of course, beauty doesn´t exclude strenght and energy as grace doesn´t exclude modesty.

For the upper part of the character: EXOTIC FLOWERS AND RARE HERBS / VARIOUS KINDS OF GRASS, not mere adornment and bright indeed but rarity and variety, just the opposite of racism and prejudice.

At the lower part, you know (I cann´t resist), the object that you call a POT is maybe not a VASE but a VESSEL or also a COWRY SHELL all things depicting FEMALE PRESENCE, say, I believe, LOVE / APHRODITE.

It´s highly probable that the ENERGY OF LIFE be ability of enjoying the GIFTS OF THE FLESH we have recibed without going too far, without thinking too much...

Of course, I vote GRACE.

Yours,

Charly:bows:

___________________________
P.D.: I will post asap an alternative translation of H.22 I was preparing for Rose.

A little advance:

22.1:

bi4 qi2 zhi3
GRACE´S TOES:
Only a sample of what Grace is,
(Grace shows the toes, to show the ankle was anciently obscene)

she3 che1
STOP the CART
do a halt in the march
abandon arrogance

er2 tu2
AND GO-ON-FOOT
go modestly
better if, barefeet, feeling the ground (♀)

Ch.
 
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M

meng

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THe image of blocked vision comes directly from the two trigrams -
li, light, blocked by gen, mountain.

When it's Xun below mountain, flowing is stopped and stagnation occurs (18)
With Li below, seeing is stopped.

Within the valley all you can see is the valley.
Thanks, Brad. I can see your logic, though it doesn't match with my practical experience of mountains or valleys. I mean, I live in a big valley, surrounded by mountains, where sunrise and sunset are typically beautiful to behold. Even before the sun can be directly seen in the east, it lightens the sky with hope. And after the sun again disappears behind the western mountain, it leaves a colorful glow in its wake.

edit: Another cool thing about sun in the valley is that the rising eastern sun lights the western mountain even before it reaches the valley. A veritable light show of 22.

But I still think "nearsightedness" is an interesting and applicable term, cuz in the big picture, the sun is very near.

(The other two were excommunicated, for watching a Brad Pitt movie.)
 
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bradford

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It might help if I state that my comments about this Gua aren't laden with scornful emotion. Nearsight is simply that we see the nearby things better, at the expense of the longer view. The valleys I have spent most of the last thirty years in are a mile deep and some of the more spectacular places on earth. I have nothing against this beauty. I'm basing these statements on my understanding of the text in Chinese and I'm not launching into eulogies out of love for the word or concept of Grace if this conflicts with my knowledge of what this Gua is about. And I still submit that Grace is a really bad translation of Bi. I have nothing against grace, except as Wilhelm misunderstood this Hexagram. My absolutely incredible 3 year old granddaughter, who has already been skipped two years into kindergarten, is named Grace. She is well-named with this word. The 22nd Hexagram is not.
 

bradford

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It's understood in neuroscience that the primary function of the human mind is to take stimuli from the environment and transform this first into meaning and then into value (plus or minus) for the organism. The mind is quite good at this, even in the absence of what might be called meaningful stimulus. There are websites that list more than a hundred names for different kinds of divination, but broadly speaking these fall into four general categories based on the amount of specific or articulate detail that the divination method provides relative to how much projection that the querent is called upon to supply.
At the lowest level of supplied information and the highest degree of pure projection we have white noise phenomena such as we encounter in a sensory deprivation tank, a whiteout, a Ganzfeld (dimensionless visual field), or gazing into a crystal ball. This uses a phenomenon called Apophenia, the experience of seeing patterns or connections in random or meaningless data.
One step up from this we begin with the vaguest hints of order which are then transformed or molded by the mind into meaningful forms or patterns. Well-known examples of this are rorschach tests, tea leaves, entrails, and the most common kinds of non-lucid dreams. This uses a phenomenon is called Pareidolia wherein a vague stimulus is perceived as significant. It's also great fuel for the paranoid. The ease with which we make meaning out of stuff like this allows allows a lot of people to say "everything happens for a reason."
Next up are what I call the methods of the Hermetic languages, the best known being the Tarot, Yijing, IFA and the Nordic Runes. These methods use orderly systems of symbols to divide the whole of human experience into a finite number of representations, usually less than a hundred. While each of these representations has a fundamental set of meanings, they do each represent a huge territory, range or field of meanings that are built up over many years of practice in the reader's experience. It's ultimately the reader's decision to guard what goes into these built -up sets of associations. The more sloppily and uncritically this is done the less articulate the divination method will be. This isn't always a bad thing and the looseness of thought is better suited to some temperaments and perceptive abilities. But the reader does move back on the scale into Pareidolia. If, for instance, someone is learning the Yijing, and this person builds the bulk of his associations to a particular line text on other people's commentaries or the poetry that this line text has inspired him to write, or the things that please or transport him, without paying a more rigorous attention to the original set of meanings, he isn't really using the Yijing anymore. Eventually he will get inarticulate and be unable to communicate about what the Yijing is really trying to say. He can still be a perfectly good diviner or psychic, but he might as well be using a bible or dictionary.
At the extreme end are the divination methods that provide too much information, The reader enters a virtual or tautological world that provides him with enough specific information to get completely lost forever. He then has to back away and start selecting out the chunks of information he doesn't need. Astrology can easily go this far. So can Yixue Xiangshu - obsessions with the intricacies and permutations of the binary properties and other suggested structural dimensions of he Yijing.
I think I've made my own bias clear - I favor the original Yijing and want to found my practice on the Chinese text first. Those who want to dance off with Grace for 22, or Women's Liberation for 44 are certainly free to do so. But they are leaving the Yijing behind in the process. There is a kind of ambiguity that was deliberately built into the Yijing. Each of the texts needs to be able to stretch its meaning to respond to a wide variety of questions on a broad range of topics. That much vagueness is needed. But when the core meanings of the hexagrams get so blurred and vague from random free associations that they all run together in some mystic nebulousness the book and the system of organization in represents becomes a lot less useful.
 

heylise

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Great post Brad! I agree with all of it.

Nothing wrong with making your own divination book "based on YiJing", but it is not the original YiJing. It is especially finding the real meanings of the hexagrams and the lines which makes it so rich for me. Every time again finding a real gem under the paint with which it has been covered over in later times or in different interpretations. Very often they are not bad at all (sometimes hopelessly awful..) but the real thing underneath is so much wider and more meaningful.

Very often it looks coarse and simple compared to a beautiful interpretation. But it is especially the uncultivated (in modern eyes) quality which gives it so much space. Like a tree is a bigger symbol than the palace which has been built from it, and a stone bigger than the entire pavement of the street.

LiSe
 

bamboo

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Interpreting chinese figures is not a science, and the way it is interpreted can be wide and various. One can see that even in the differences of yours and LiSe's take on the hexagram 22.

i think there is difference between dancing off in free association, vs digging for the under standing of a word/chracter or phrase. that said, i think more than ever that Grace is a perfect term for what is being expressed in 22. I dont think I have ever thought as much about a hex as I have about this one in the last few days, and for that I am grateful to have particpated in the discussion.
and maybe the problem is how one defines the term grace...and what that term really means, even in simple english. there too you can see how words/lnguage always has the potential to have been distorted from original meanings.
 
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rosada

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Thinking of fire below and mountain above as symbolizing a single consciousness being cut off or not connected to others. The fire, clarity, trigram is held in check by the mountain trigram, a boundary. So it's as if the ego does not yet see the others, or is not yet connected, but like a fire casting shadows on a mountain cave, at this point he can only see his own projections.
Interesting how the 22. is only one line away from 30., double fire, twin souls, the two clarities now see each other. Does 22.4 explain how to get from self absorbed fantasy to soul mate?
 
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bradford

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free association, vs digging for the under standing of a word/chracter or phrase. that said, i think more than ever that Grace is a perfect term for what is being expressed in 22.
Well, I guess you'll have to go wherever your faeries tell you to go.
 
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meng

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Brad,

A question I sometimes ask (which usually goes unanswered) when someone negates something as belonging to a particular hexagram: What hexagram does it belong to?

In this case, these alleged misgivings of 22. If Yi includes all there is, then in what hexagram do we find the idea of energy and/or beauty showing, or the various meanings associated with the word “grace”?
 

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