Bearing Questions: Advice on Current Issues

Good fellows, I greet you during the continuance of this great experiment. For the remainder of the quarter, I will attempt to provide you with spiritual and divine guidance, drawn not from the stars, but from the ancient Chinese Oracle, the I-Ching. I undertake this endeavor with the humblest reverence for Fu Hsi, the originator, respect for all the interpreters after him and with sincerest hopes that my labors may be of benefit to you.

If you wish to delve further into the Oracle than I am able to here, there are several good volumes available at Geisel and numerous online resources. Feel free to contact me at [email protected] for guidance, or with any question I can ask of the Oracle for you.

For the eighth week of the UCSD spring quarter, beginning Monday, May 21, I will continue last week’s inquiry and explore one more.

You asked me: Dear Zopyra, every time spring rolls around, I get very nervous about my housing situation. On top of finishing this school year, I have to find a place to live for the next. What can I do?

I asked the Oracle: “”What is the best course of action to secure housing in the San Diego Area for next year?””

In response, I received Hexagram 8, the Kua of Holding Together, with an old broken line in the first and second place, both of which will soon become solid and produce Hexagram 60, the Kua of Setting Limitations.

This immediately identifies the topic of the inquiry as deserving of careful and conscientious attention. Not only has the Oracle provided a detailed response, it has begun with a judgment that strongly urges active self-examination.

Entering into group housing will be highly fortuitous this year for those who do so with great care and caution. Danger comes not from duplicity on the part of potential housemates or landlords, but from within. If you arrange group housing with any devious or hidden motives, great misfortune will befall you.

As ever, the I-Ching Oracle provides guidance for the present moment. As with any book of wisdom, it is filled with excellent life lessons, but the literal meaning of the Chinese title, “”The Book of Changes,”” indicates that the Oracle works by revealing the most vital of its lessons and wisdom for the context of the particular moment in which we inquire of it. In this case, the Oracle paints a picture of a group of people just beginning to gather around a leader and predicts good fortune to come.

If you can gladly join a group in pursuing housing for next year, do so with haste. Make yourself an ally of the group leader in the argumentative process of finding housing by knowing yourself and your limits well. Communicate clearly and then allow the situation and the group to work things out.

This last instruction is drawn from the second half of the judgment, Hexagram 60, or Setting Limitations. The groups that will prevail in the search for good housing in San Diego will be those with leadership. This is not a good year for unbalanced households, for excesses of drinking or studying. A leader who can provide balance and moderation among the group will reap great rewards for herself and all those around her.

You asked me: “”I’m too stressed to figure this out for myself — should I drop this class and take a ‘W’?””

The Oracle cannot tell you what to do, only how a certain thing may be done and what to expect from doing it.

I asked: “”How should students decide whether to drop a class and receive a ‘W’?””

I received another complex response, this time Hexagram 44, Meeting with old solid lines in the second and fifth places, which will both soon become broken, producing Hexagram 56, The Traveler. As you might suspect, the emphasis of this judgment is on logistical details of who and when, much more than why.

The first Hexagram, Meeting, can also be called The Return of The Dark Force, and does not describe a gathering or summit, but rather the arrival of a potentially devastating temptation. This may be the slothful desire to avoid work by dropping a class. Or, if you took on extra classes for pride or other unhealthy motivations, this earlier unbalanced decision may be coming back to haunt you.

Which part of you wants to drop and which part wants to persevere? Have you asked others for advice? Some of these motives and some of these people are strong and some of these are weak. You must decide which is which. It may take strength to finish the course, or strength might be required to admit that you are overburdened. If you follow the path of strength, the Oracle assures me that you will prevail.

The Oracle has also provided clear wisdom for the timing of your decision: It must be soon. The arriving Hexagram 56, The Traveler, points out that whether you drop or persevere, you must move from your current moment of indecision to one of resolve.

If you follow the path of strength, this movement will bring you face to face with difficulty. You are like the judge arranging punishment for the criminal. A prompt decision may be wise or foolish; a firm decision may be harsh or lenient. But delay and facilitating back and forth is always cruel. Do not spend the next few weeks torturing yourself with this decision. Identify the weak or evil inclination; have faith that you are strong enough to contest it and do so.

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