Raising the flag at Iwo JimaWe have looked at what America is hiding in this election year, what the Water Dragon would bring to light in unpredictable and explosive ways. What came out was the Calvinist ethic that has shaped American culture, the ethic of the Elect, those whom God gives wealth and power and who are guaranteed eternal salvation and the Preterite or Damned from birth, locked into poverty. These ideas were described by Change as the Ghosts that Haunt Old Tombs from which America must disentangle itself if it is to have a hope of reconnecting to its great mandate for transformation.

Change showed Romney as someone trapped and imprisoned by the beliefs, the duties and privileges of the Elect, completely cut off from the life-water or Well of common humanity. It portrayed him as someone who has been (or should be) been punished for serious crimes – “buttocks flayed with bamboo rods” – whose words “cannot be trusted.”

Change showed Obama as a man caught in the middle, in a balancing act that requires, above all, real integrity. It showed him seeking acceptance in the circle of the Elect by making sacrifice after sacrifice of his ideals in a spirit of compromise that could never work, finally lamenting the missed chances and futile compromises in which he lost so much of his integrity and power to effect change. He seems poised at a critical point where he must choose between focusing on his real ideals again and going forward or continuing to adapt to what his political advisors and his need for celebrity want him to do.

Now it seems time to ask what will happen on Election Day. Now I, like the mythical Confucius, feel that if Change is asked a literal fortune-telling question, it “will be right half of the time.” However, when asked about the hidden drives and realizing power of a situation (de), “it is right all of the time.” From the viewpoint of Change, our destiny is not a fixed thing, but an ongoing dialogue. We are not looking for a literal answer, but for the deep roots of the situation, the possible outcomes and our part in the process.

Change shows the deep process at work on Election Day as:

I Ching Hexagram 03 - Sprouting - Paper Horse image by Stephen Karcher

Sprouting Zhun

Face the difficulties at the start of this new enterprise. Assemble resources, accumulate energy and let all the new possibilities emerge. Do not try to impose your ideas or take control. Install helpers and delegate responsibilities. Stake out the territory, establish bases of operation and assemble the troops. This will bring you profit and insight. The old character shows a deeply rooted sprout pushing its way through the hard crust of earth. The difficulties you confront now prepare deliverance from the sufferings of the past. This is the inner river of strength, thunder in the waters, the spark of life; the World Tree, beginning of a new time. Heart Theme: 23 Stripping away the corruption of the past.

This figure shows us at the difficult beginning of a new time, after the years of the War on Terror that allowed what Eisenhower called the Military Industrial Complex to assume complete control of our lives and drain the resources of the country into the production of ever more costly armaments and security systems. This is truly a crucial moment, a crucial birth with all the consequent birth pains.

The Transforming Line shows us at the threshold of this new birth, and in grave danger of losing our way. It’s worth seeing this line in its entirety.

Step 3 Threshold: This inner re-balancing lets you make your way in life.

Working with Change: Local management, distribution and supply.

Chasing the deer without a guide, you wander alone into the forest center. The Realizing Person almost fails to realize that going on will bring distress. Following the wild birds, the young girls. This means distress and exhaustion. You are losing yourself, following your impulses without a second thought. Stop now.

Guideway (3.3 [63.3 : 64.4] 4.4):

The high ancestor is subduing the demon country now to release the fertilizing thunder. Take this as a warning. Protect the real transformation that is already underway. Do not confine your spirit in the prisons of outmoded desire. Cooperate with the ongoing process of change. Accepting the shock of inner enlightenment now lets you find real directions in life.

So what can we do to accept this great inner shock, protect the transformation already underway and find our real direction again. I’d suggest focusing on the Heart Theme or Inner Drive of the figure that portrays our situation.

23 Stripping Bo

Eliminate habits, ideas and structures that have become outmoded and obsolete. Remove and uncover things. Cut into the problem and strip away the unessential without thought of immediate gain or purpose. This is what will bring renewal. When this is complete, you will see your real direction.

Our Primary Figure 3 Sprouting that describes our situation is part of a Time Cycle, a connection of four hexagrams that use the four seasons to show how this change might play out in time. All of these four hexagrams share the same Heart Theme – 23 Stripping. 3 Sprouting is connected with Spring and rousing new growth. It is both last spring, when this electoral process started, and next Spring, when the results of the electoral process will manifest. What we need to focus on now is the hexagram for Fall, the time of the election, the way we can reap the harvest and gather the insights. This is hexagram 20 Viewing, a time to let everything come into view and discern the deeper meanings.

So what should we be looking at? In my view it is the decades of needless and exploitative war, the gutting of our social systems and the burgeoning security systems that have taken their place, a process that has haunted my entire adult life. This is what must be stripped away to gain a clear view of the history behind this critical moment, a moment when we are in real danger of losing ourselves. The seed of the new, found in Winter through grinding away this old husk, is a complete re-grouping (8 Grouping) of the basic way we think and the way that we find our true kin.

I Ching Hexagram 3 - Sprouting - Paper Horse by Stephen Karcher

Hidden deep in the Twin Peaked Mountain, the antlered Bird of Transformation rises from the grave mound that holds ancestral spirits.

This is the ripening fruit. It can lead to the new sprouting next Spring and the release of a wave of fertile new energy and blessings in Summer (42 Augmenting) that can put an end to this endless cycle of war, repression and corporate greed.