By Ron Masa, Ph.D.
My partner and I have used the I Ching to guide (or decide) all our major life questions, career choices and health decisions. But we also use it every single day for more practical and prosaic purposes. Like when Debbie drove the ten miles from Mendocino, California to Fort Bragg to purchase a “two-wheeler” or “mover’s dolly.”
After she arrived home with an excellent, solid-steel model, I realized I had imagined she was going to get a convertible type that allows one to also use it as a four-wheeled cart. I had used a convertible model in the past when showing my stone sculptures at art shows, and loved having that versatility.
We didn’t want to make an extra 20-mile trip if the two-wheeler was really adequate. We didn’t want to settle for the two wheeled “bird in the hand” if the four-wheel cart (“in the bush”) would truly be better in the long run. And, above all, we didn’t want to create relationship friction over the issue without really knowing what was best. So, we turned to our future-predictor, hardware-selector, and relationship-mediator: the ancient oracle, the I Ching.
We asked the I Ching what would be the merit of each model, given all our future uses for it. For the two-wheeler we got Hexagram 59: line 5, turning into Hexagram 4: “Matters are at a standstill. Take the initiative in helping to put things right,” the Sage advised. “A completely new approach is needed.” That made it clear that we should make a change, and that it was not a misguided preference on my part.
Hexagram 4 reminded Debbie that “because you lack experience of the issues involved you feel confused… you need to ask for help,” and that not knowing what to do in a new situation carries no fault or blame! This relieved her of any negative feelings about not having arrived at the “ideal” choice already. She had never even seen a convertible model. We thought it playful of the Sage to add “ideas you cherish may now be turned upside down,” rather like the cart in question.
For the four-wheeler, we got Hexagram 26: line 6, turning into Hexagram 11: “The resources you have steadily accumulated can at last be used. You can now achieve something truly worthwhile” (Dening) and, “In doing this, you walk heaven’s highway (that’s quite a cart that travels such routes!)… Have no doubt about its success” (Karcher).
Hexagram 11, Peace, adds: “Projects will thrive… Lay the foundations of future success… letting people know what you want will bring positive results” (Dening) Which is what we did at the hardware store! They were out of all their convertible models, but found in the catalog a fabulous, convertible two-wheel dolly/four-wheel cart (for only $5 more) that is made of high strength nylon, is rust-proof, and weighs a small fraction of the steel version– with the same carrying capacity. We let them know what we wanted, and found it!
They don’t normally carry this model, but the nice man was so impressed with the catalogue description they may begin stocking it to make it available to all their customers. In which case, the I Ching helped us perform a small public service for many others. We did not bother to mention to the salesman that this cart had come recommended to us by a 3,000-year-old oracle who knows hardware-design as well as it knows relationship-harmony.
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Learn to use the I Ching with Dr. Masa’s Skillshare course “How The I Ching Saved My Life: Meet Carl Jung’s Favorite Oracle To Access Your Own Inner Wisdom,” available at http://skl.sh/1TOB89S.
Ron Masa, Ph.D. taught and used the I Ching extensively in his private practice for 25 years. Dr. Masa and his significant other, Debbie Hart co-lead the University of Yourself, “Helping You Hear the Guide Inside” at http://www.UniversityofYourself.com.