Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tzhui (Unity of Body & Soul) for the Lunar New Year

Hexagram #45 is the character "Tzhui". In the literal sense it means "to bundle or harvest grain". But it's depicted with the character of a soldier that carries the grain on his shoulders, and it can mean "...that a strong one carries his life experiences on his back...harvested in the battle with earthly matter". I threw this one for the Lunar New Year and, also because I just felt at this point in my life it time to go to the Oracle, the I Ching. I asked of it, "Will I be able to find focus this year...find some direction?". Tzhui means Unity and this was a great omen for me and affirming of the progress I have made over the last year.

Nonetheless, I quess I asked this question due to my tendency to be somewhat scattered -- seemingly to have so many opportunities (distractions?) to do things that I love...but, that make it difficult to focus on homeopathic case work as well as to be the parent I want to be, oh, and to write things I want to write and to take up some craft (why not painting or sketching again?)!! You can see that I have a dilemma and, believe you me, that is not the half of it!

"Disease is the cure in progress. It is the mechanism by which the body wisdom asserts itself and communicates its needs. The homeopath understands that disease is never static. It is a dynamic process, always changing from moment to moment...Healing is also a process, never a singular event."
The Tao of Homeopathy by Ian Watson, 2004, p. 7

I have a great I Ching book subtitled "Landscapes of the Soul". It is by one Frits Blok...who was "...born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1947. His long journey into mysticism has led him from the hidden layers of the Hebrew Bible to the refined beauty of the I Ching. Along the way he has raised a child, planted a tree, and built a house". I like this Frits fellow, he seems very earthy and also very innovative and full of insight. Somehow he reminds me of a cross between Louis Klein and Jan Scholten! Yes, it seems odd....I only had this idea when throwing my I Ching this time (only second time that I have used this book as my guide to interpret the hexagrams).

I have had thoughts of late on things from anywhere like:
1) Which homeopaths that I respect are most alike?? (Klein and Mangialavori are the two I have paired so far...more another time on this as not able to focus my thoughts further on this topic;-)
2) What of coincidences in my life and in patients life? When we ascribe meaning to these "coincidences", elevating them to being synchronous events, are they just things that were simultaneous in nature and really are not significant? Like, is it the making of links about that, thus, ascribe meaning to them? That was a round about thought....rhetorical question really (another entry in this Blog perhaps, when I can read fully the chapter on "Diseases as Personalities" in the soon to be released Plant System book by Jan Scholten. Here he discusses "accidents" and outlines what we see in practice all the time: the orgins of disease being in our minds - very Buddhist this, no?).

Well, it goes on in my scattered mind with all kinds of questions and ideas. So, it was great to focus enough to do the I Ching. My Hexagram is interpreted by Frits Blok as "Unity of Body and Soul" - really apropos I thought when I finally finished tossing the coins (nickels - they have beavers on them and I really like these emblems of Canadiana - they brought me luck it seems cause I was and am very pleased with my throw).

The actual two elements that make up #45 are Earth at the bottom and Marsh/Moon as the top one (for some it is Lake, usually the interpretation). According to Blok there are hidden within any of the 64 Hexagrams you can get two more full hexagrams (of the eight possible ones that exist - these being natural elements ). He discovered (or theorizes) that the commentary of the I Ching by Emperor Wen - the definitive interpretation in Chinese history of this oracle from 5000 years ago -  used all four hexagrams to decipher the meaning of the hexagram that one throws. Only Blok, since then, it seems has done the same - in all of the hundreds and hundreds of years since...Wen lived in the 12th Century, so really almost 1000 years ago! Yup, this Blok is inventive with a resemblance in my mind to Klein and Scholten (with shades of Sankaran and Mangialavori - both are of course inventive, but the feel is a combination of the first two for me).

Wen and his son were the first to put in writing some commentary....but since then many Chinese scholars have been studying and discussing the text and the hexagrams and writing their own interpretations (of the interpretations). Lots of Western interpretations abound as well. The definitive one was by German theologian Richard Wilhelm and it was his that brought the I Ching, or what is called "The Book of Changes", to the West. Incidentally, there is a connection with Wilhelm to Carl Jung, who helped with the spread of this Eastern work.

Landscapes of the Soul really takes off from all the rest with elements within the elements. What makes me think that there is something to the I Ching is that it's similar to what is happening in homeopathy: There is a universal truth to it because it is what is seen in nature and then just has to be found....true science. As in Scholten's Element theory and now his Plant System. These, like the I Ching, are based on what is found in nature. So, the Periodic Table of Elements or Taxonomy that are used by him are also used by the "scientific" world (as they did discover them?!). Homeopathically they match - the heavier rows or series have heavier symptoms in humans that are metals/minerals. The further to the right of the PT (stages) are also more destructive and volatile as again in the actual substances.

I did not take advantage of fully interpreting my last throw -- that was when I started this Blog a couple of years ago. I now realize because a) I didn't ask a question (sort of the whole point of doing it for most people - you can see in my Blog "profile" my last throw - when I started with Narayana Publishers and started a Blog to express my gratitude for having a connection with them and excitement on a particular book - The Childs World - and, b) I didn't do a follow-up hexagram - which, now that I read the book's Intro again I see that the initial throw is your current situation and then when you change the lines of your hexagram that are considered "changing lines" you get a description of what is in store for you in the future. And if you look at the meaning of the changing lines you get suggestions as to how to improve your current situation (your initial throw/hexagram).

I do not do this often - every few years really - and now that I am trying to describe the system to you I realize why so seldom. It is like the system of homeopathy and homeopathy covers my needs as far as trying to be fully alive spiritually and to be intellectually stimulated, which homeopathy definitely covers;-) I think these things can give meaning to life which in turn gives one a sense of balance as long as it is done from a place of compassion - not just homeopathy but all aspects of what one does in their life - all of your actions. Interestingly I find, for myself, that I get meaning from my personal work as both a patient of homeopathy and also as practitioner of homeopathy. In fact, I believe that for me to be the best I can be for my patients I need to be on my own journey of healing along with the people that I use homeopathy with to assist them in healing themselves.

The I Ching being called "The Book of Changes" is interesting from a homeopathic perspective because we talk also about change, fluidity...of not being stuck. This is the crux of our definition of health. Disease for us is: being stuck, being rigid, being unable to change really - that is what makes for disease.

"The homeopath accepts things the way they are. She doesn't try to change a situation, or even improve it. This is not her role. Only from a place of loving, unconditional acceptance can true healing take place....
What we resist, persists.
What we accept dissolves."
The Tao of Homeopathy by Ian Watson, 2004, p. 9

I have been reading a book on loan from the wonderful Toronto homeopath Carol Jones called When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress by Gabor Mate, and it really got my scattered mind (also one of his other titles - on ADHD) to thinking in a whirlwind about many things:
Continuing from above's thoughts....3) What of the Miasms in the current autoimmune diseases we are seeing daily in our practices? Louis Klein's Miasms and Nosodes goes a long way but there is more work to be done and maybe not just homeopathically. Taking a book like this, that outlines the personalities, if you will, of our modern ailments maybe we should be finding remedies for the cases in the book. From there perhaps we would have some starting point for addressing conditions outlined in the book to work this medical-model homeopathy? What to do on this? What place do all the ways of practicing have in each case that we are working on? More perhaps on this at a later date.

So, #45, Tzhui or "bundle of harvested grain" which is really my life experiences on my back, etc. goes much deeper. In that if the purpose is to balance the yin and yang of my life then it is about reconciliation for me with the past. So, as with homeopathy, we are aiming for balance - to have proportionate responses that come from a realistic picture of our lives as opposed to a delusional view of our life and the circumstances we find ourselves in - back to synchronistic events: seeing things deeply or with awareness of what we experience to have purpose for us (okay just answered my unfinished thought on the concept of what appears to be coincidences: they are not that but are meant for us to learn from to move forward to healing/balance....)....all in line with Scholten's thoughts. On schedule, check.

Now, you must be thinking as I certainly did this must be the most balanced of the Hexagrams that one could get. I mean what possibly more could one ask for: Unity of Body and Soul?! Especially with hexagrams like Preparation or Tension in the mix. I certainly was thrilled to get this one. It was an accurate reflective of what recently I have been going through in terms of reconciliation with my past. In fact, I had recently addressed in a whirlwind of actions, all in just a matter of days, what had been seemingly a lifetime of unfinished business...all on a remedy that is was new to me and very, very beneficial - as my actions could attest to.

However, as balance/health is always changing or in flux...Guess what? With the I Ching you can't rest on your laurels. I wanted to just stay with this hexagram. But No, there was a darn changing line and that means there is "follow-up hexagram" or another one that morphs out of the present place you are in (Unity) and you get the opportunity to continue on with learning even more! Damn you I Ching.

My "changing line" was Line 2 of the Unity hexagram. Blok's interpretation is that since it's at the foot of the character Mountain that means that I can see the roots of existence. To learn from this situation the suggestion would be " understand that it is key for [me] to know all humans strive to get to the surface and to be in the light...even "enemies" - those that [I] felt before were the cause of [my] pain". How uncanny I thought when I saw this. I had just been coming to this of course, all of us are trying to do this, like what else are we all trying to do?? Funny, it's so simple to see now, but before I was not in a place to have my eyes opened to this....

So, with the flip of a line my sitting at the Foot of a Mountain is shaken up and I progress to my next hexagram...and it is, maybe within a year I can get......get this folks!...Fulfilment!! And I thought Unity was the be all and end all. What can be better than Fulfilment?! The 4 elements of Fulfilment are 3 Heavens and 1 Marsh/Moon (Lake). Being a Yin kind of gal, the moon stays with me (I would be a nocturnal creature if society allowed for this, but alas, the yang world pulls me to a daytime existence....but fortunately I still manage to work on my cases, for instance, in the evenings when my brain is at its best). Kwai (Fulfilment) is represented with a character that has "...a hand holding the right side of a two-sided object, from which the left side of it has disappeared...[so] the character means: to decide, surety or to take up residence somewhere".

Can I ask for more? Not this again, cause it really seems to be the icing on the cake...but, again, one mustn't get too excited. This hexagram has its weight on its top line and that is the top of the Moon/Marsh. Wouldn't you know it. Well, this is what it says: "The full moon is in the heavens and will soon wane.". Yes, it was too good to be with all things, change is inevitable. So, no way could I just say, 'yup, Fulfilment has been had' - especially since I am just over half way thru my life so there will be more things to learn and grow from.

Can't sit in the stagnant pond...rather the Marsh even if it is under a nice full Moon. It is gonna get damp and chilly and so even if I am on top of Heaven and risen a little more from only the earthly plane in terms of what matters most I am going to have to keep on keeping on. I envision Miasmatic vapours as well and those as we know can taint us;-o

The rest of the top line states " as long as you elevate its illusory light (representing material gain and/or myth) to the level of Truth, you will be sadly deceived. Focus on the thought that you want to enjoy the earthly game without losing yourself in illusions".

When I was in the last year of High School many moons ago, I was singled out and asked by the teacher, presumably due to having great grades on essays in my English Literature class, to share with my fellow students what the secret of my success was. Our teacher did bring out the best in nearly all of us, with his tireless efforts at having us strive to be critical thinkers. I recall the teacher's face going blank and then looking shocked when I said it was all based on 'appearance versus reality'. I recall thinking I was going to please him as I was playing on one of the major themes in literature we covered....but was I wrong. Instead he was disappointed. I can still recall being shocked myself as I learned that he committed suicide shortly afterwards. I was extremely troubled knowing that this teacher might have been sent over the edge from such a disappointment from a student he obviously valued and that he got down on himself enough to actually end his life. Mind you, at the time I did actually live that theme practically as my motto and was quiet materialistic in many ways - peer pressure was a driving force for me as I was lost in the illusions of life and had not a strong sense of myself at the time.

I kept alot of my own thoughts to myself, the ones that I believed were not about gaining success in the conventional world...I thought of being a lawyer or politician and contemplated studying marketing and getting a MBA for the future (luckily stumbled onto Philosophy as a concentration in university as not really know that was a discipline that existed...).....I recall not allowing myself to, therefore, dwell on this teacher of mine and to run away from what I must have known in my heart to be a sad reality: this man's existence....having despaired enough to have ended his life.

This theme of Illusion or 'Appearance v.s. Reality' has been with me forever. It is one in North American culture that is prevelant as far as being something that has spawned anything from the Hollywood film industry and Disneyland to books like How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Since I ascribed to wanting to have conventional success....I simply did not allow myself to really explore the life and death of this teacher, this very troubled human being.

Actually the take away for me with this and many other things in my life that do not make me proud is that the Moon/Marsh is a harsh, dark space and a place of shadows...I know now that at some point in the game one's shadows must be confronted so we can be fully alive. So, interestingly with Fulfillment one has to fight the forces of evil all the time. For me, I now realize that to be a better person and a good homeopath I can not linger in self-pity & feel quilt and shame for what I was like in the past but, instead, need to see that the 3 Heavens of Fulfillment are full of "Creative Energy". So, if I "...strive for spiritual development and steadfastly reject all illusion, [I can] translate the universal power-play into an inner balance of offering and receiving. Then [I] can be like the earth and moon, rotating rhythmically and blissfully in the sunlight, and [I] will find [my] fulfillment in whatever they bring forth through the creative energy of the heavens.".

"Everything is interconnected. The homeopath does not attempt to separate body from mind, or the patient from this suffering. She respects the underlying order, even when all she can see is the chaos on the surface...The moon, though ten thousand miles away, pulls the earth's tides as if on a string."

The Tao of Homeopathy by Ian Watson, 2004, p. 34

Bliss - not based on ignorance...but through hard work is what makes for a Fulfilling life. It is just as much about the process as it is about what you can achieve. So, I should roll up my sleeves and get down and dirty. The forth line of Fulfillment has a New Moon appearing but in an illusory Heaven. Frits Blok sums up this with the warning that "....your real thoughts are as dark as ripe fruit found rotten once peeled....and you justify [superfical desires] with the dogmatic assertion that outward display is the true light.". It seems I did dogmatically act in my teens to assert my theme of Illusions - appearance being more important than reality. Truth shall, however, prevail since I have thrown the I Ching and have been forwarned to not stray from my path of healing...not to fall for the Illusory life that many live as I did for many years.

I started already on the hard work with some recent finds in our literature (as well as other related fields such as psychology) that are all helping me understand the suicide of my teacher, the way I was a bully at times or a bystander just as much as I was a victim of a harsh detached world that I tried to connect with albeit falsely. I can see at present that in my way I was always trying to connect with my self, my family and even my teachers, peers included - I, however, did not have the tools to do so effectively. With my life's experiences I can come to a place of understanding and compassion for those that have been on either side of the same coin of human existence - the predator or the prey as it were. N.B. - You might recall from my last post I am on a good deep acting remedy...well, maybe you can quess that it is an Animal...and more specifically, a Mammal - indeed, it is a Lac. So, in my next posting you can look forward to my overview of the Lac books in our literature (with Acids info too). The psychology and related books I have been reading over the last several years on Attachment, Trauma & other related topics will be referenced as these are very helpful in our work.

As well, I go next month to a "Congress" on Mental Health that is hosted by Narayana Publishers in Bad Krozingen, Germany. This is my first time to this part of the world and to a homeopathy seminar that has several presenters on this topic. An issue that is very prevelant and, hence, important - really the end product of a life that is too filled with pain and suffering. Without the hope of a possibility of change the lives of many people in our part of the world (and more and more parts of the world that are losing touch with their cultural traditions) are going to be faced with more depression, panic and anxiety disorders.

Autoimmune diseases are the body's way of saying Stop the Insanity, but, sadly, until the root causes of our diseased societies are viewed with care and compassion we will be much needed. The momentum of my practice picks up daily and it is with people I see my old self reflected in. I aim to practice in a way that can hold their pain without judgement, understand it deeply and fully, and match it with a remedy to energetically assist in the self-healing we all need to move towards a life Fulfilled with peace, love and joy.

Here is the information on the Congress:

I hope to share with you on this seminar once I return.

For now, I will try to bask in the moment of Unity and not worry...get anxious. Well okay, maybe only a little. What's proportionate to the workload that I have to get done before I take off to Germany in the next 2 weeks.

On closing here are a few more lovely quotations from the ever grounding book: The Tao of Homeopathy.

"When we do something fully, one hundred percent, it is finished. A fruit that is fully ripened falls to the ground all by itself.

The best midwife does nothing but catch the baby when the mother's body is ready to release it.

The best homeopath does nothing but create the space within which a person remembers how to heal himself.

Ultimately there is no such thing as cure. There is simply a self-healing process that has completed itself."
Ian Watson, 2004, p. 86

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