While the ancient practice of consulting the Oracle
is usually done with much ritual and ceremony, I have provided
here an opportunity to get a sense of what the I Ching is about.
Cyberspace does have a way of compressing Time and Space in the
physical world somewhat akin to the way The Oracle compresses
Time and Space in the Metaphysical World. While the ancients needed
to take the time to go into a meditative state to glimpse the
world of the Eternal Now, we can do it on-line.
Science has shown that sitting in front of a Television
or Computer screen puts your brain into an Alpha State - this
is like mild hypnosis. Science has also shown that meditation
has a similar effect on brain wave patterns. Practiced meditators
can go all the way to the Theta frequency of deep sleep, but it
is only necessary to go to the Alpha state for these purposes.
What I am getting to here is that someone who meditates
is opening up to the frequencies of the Universe both from within
and without, while someone in front of a TV or computer screen
is opening up only to what is on that screen. The brain is simply
an information gathering empty sack according to TCM theory. Both
consciously and unconsciously its job is to gather and store data.
Taoists do not have a fear of information. Information is neutral.
It is what one does with the information that is of concern.
A person's real essence is in the heart. The conscious
mind operating through the heart is how the data is interpreted
and put to use in one's life. This is why personal responsibility
is key to Taoist philosophy.
It makes sense then to approach the wisdom of the
Oracle with an open heart. The ancients had confidence in the
Oracle, not out of some blind faith in a mysterious force, but
out of a practical knowing that can only come from experience.
True Taoists did more than just consult the Oracle when they had
a problem. They studied the hexagrams as one would study any philosophical
text deriving universal Truths. Ones actions are seen as particularized
expressions of universal principals. The stories are the same
only the names have been changed.
Below is a picture of a dragon. Embedded in the
picture are links to all 64 hexagrams. To consult the Oracle,
centre the picture on your screen.
Next form the question you wish to ask in your mind.
It is important, but not necessary that the question you ask be
of some importance to you. It is considered bad form to bother
the Oracle with trivial requests. But that doesn't mean you can't.
Since all paths are legitimate there is no 'correct'
path for one to take. There are only consequences to ones actions.
What the Oracle will do is suggest alternate courses of action
and probable consequences of those actions. The final decision
is always left up to the individual.
Next put everything out of your mind except the
question you wish to ask. You may wish to close your eyes for
a bit and really focus on what you wish to know.
Next, slowly begin to move your mouse around on
the Dragon picture. You can keep your eyes closed or you can open
them and watch for the little hand that indicates you are on a
link. Keep moving the mouse around on the picture until you feel
ready to click. If you are on a link it will take you to one of
the 64 hexagrams and your reading. I personally like the idea
of doing this part of the exercise blind. I just keep clicking
until I hit a link. But it is OK to look.
There are several versions of the I Ching that you
can buy. Some have remained faithful to the ancient language while
others have updated the translation into more modern terms. I
prefer the imagery and elegance of the original Chinese, but more
modernized interpretations can be just as powerful. Good luck
and have fun.