by Emanuel Kuntzelman
The first time I was ever aware of the I Ching was when I was living on the island of Formentera, in Spain. At the time, I was surrounded by quite a few mentors helping me along the spiritual path, but one in particular was very influential in my education in connecting to the Information Field using this technique. It was a friend named Jack who first lent me a copy of the I Ching and taught me how to use and interpret the readings found in its text.
From the first time I consulted the I Ching, I was fascinated by the connection of the state of my mind with the wisdom and insight the book shared. I felt such a close affinity with the I Ching, and seemed to have a natural understanding of the book. That was back in 1973, so the I Ching has been my companion for 39 years and I have consulted it on most of the important cross-roads of my life.
While the I Ching is used more for individual consultations, it is also capable of sensing the collective spirit of a group. Initially, it was used by the rulers of China to obtain advice on social action, and in many ways, military strategies. If you look through the I Ching’s text, you find many of the hexagram interpretations offer advice on leadership and how to manage groups of people. More than an individual oracle, it is very holistic in its advice, because it takes in the total nature of our environment. It gives a detailed study of the flow of change and how to allow it to keep moving freely.
Another aspect of the I Ching that I greatly appreciate was that its creation was a collective effort. It’s possible that in 1600 B.C.E., around 1,000 years before the Axial Age, sages in ancient China were already documenting their work in understanding the universe. It was later organized and updated by King Wen around 1150 B.C.E., and even Confucius and his school of philosophers added valuable commentaries to this book of wisdom.
Throughout history and cultural turmoil and conflicts, the I Ching has remained as a source of information. Confucius waited his whole life to even attempt to make comments on the content of this book. It has continued to evolve since that time, right up to the 20th century. I’m happy to see that the Wilhelm Baynes Translation that I purchased in 1974, can still be found in book stores today. I’m now on my third edition from its constant use.
When consulting the I Ching, you have to approach it as a sacred act. When you respect and acknowledge the years of development, thought and wisdom in one volume of life philosophy, it is without a doubt my preferred means to connecting to the Information Field. To engage in a proper consultation, one should be in a meditative state and with an empty mind. When you ask your question to the I Ching, you should focus solely on this inquiry, detaching yourself from any feelings and expectations.
Getting to this state of mind can be a very profound spiritual practice in itself. I really thank the I Ching for all the helpful wisdom it has given me over the years. I can’t help but think that if the rulers and leaders of the world today consulted the I Ching in determining their social policy and actions, we might be a more peaceful and just world.
To share this important practice, I will be presenting a workshop on the I Ching, July 10, giving a brief history and explanation of how to use this medium to connect with the Field. We’ll put our lesson to practice, July 24, when we perform a consultation on what we have in store in this rebirth of an era in 2012.