Searching for the roots of today’s problems, and for realistic solutions, can be a wild goose chase. It seems almost everyone is pressing an opinion or pushing an agenda, always outwardly, always blaming some group or other for the chaos and suffering in our world, which never lets up. The division and frustration breeds more division and frustration, as we drift ever further from harmonious, peaceful living.
So why does the world keep getting crazier and more confusing? And what can individuals do to best navigate these times in order to live a meaningful and contented life, not getting caught up in the ever-evolving currents of mainstream events?
The wisdom of the I Ching is indispensable in these times, offering a way of identifying the most important and relevant aspect of any particular event or behaviour, and an invaluable insight into the quest for understanding our place in these times. The I Ching does not push a dogma and it is not a doctrine.
It is merely the deep study of nature and life by people who lived in a much simpler time when the patterns of the natural world were more easily recognised. It is a set of “ancient guidelines that were developed before human life became so complicated: not primitive or simplistic methods, but true and appropriate solutions.”
In the preface to The Book of Changes and the Unchanging Truth, a translation of the ancient I Ching, modern Taoist Master Hua Ching Ni offers this prescient insight into the modern condition. The wisdom within is of great benefit to those seeking inner clarity, self-discovery and self-alignment in an age where:
“In this modern age, when mankind is so greatly benefitting from its technological advances, there is also the fearsome threat of potential destruction. Nothing in human life remains untouched by man’s scientific explorations. Nothing remains beyond our challenging probes. Our zealous and often impulsive endeavours have resulted in great confusion, both for society and for the individual, as ever new models of reality replace the old.
The human mind, master of all spheres of life, has become overwhelmed by its own creations. What is needed is a correct way of thinking which can guide all human activities to prosperity and safety, a way which will encourage the full development of individual life as well as the peaceful regulation of families and nations.
When individuals in a society fail to achieve inner development, they can easily become the victims of opportunists who seize the reins of social leadership. By stealing the will of the people through the insidious dissemination of false information and teachings in politics and religion, people of unbridled ambition become tyrannical leaders. Evidence of this can be seen in countries where people bear the burden of subjugation. The present hardships they endure are the direct result of a lack of inner growth over a long period time. It would be a tragedy if people continued to make the same dreadful mistakes again and again.
It is an immutable fact that mind and spirit are the essence of an individual who is, in turn, the essence of society. In this modern age, we must seriously reflect on what is available that can nurture our minds and guide our spirits. We cannot rely on the education that society offers to guide us in the correct way of living. Nor can we rely on general religious education, since it develops only prejudice and alienation based on inaccurate spiritual knowledge.
What is needed now is the discovery of the inner life which enables human beings to see through the confusion of the mind and discover the subtle level wherein the truth of life resides.”
~Master Hua Ching Ni ~
The Book of Changes and the Unchanging Truth