All Thinking That Goes Beyond This Only Makes the Heart Sore

There’s a chance now that we’re going to be forced to move soon. I’m feeling devastated and hopeless; the move here just a year and a half ago exhausted me severely, much worse than I was expecting, physically and financially and spiritually, and the thought of going through all that again so soon fills me with dread. Since learning about this two days ago, I have been agitated and sick to my stomach pretty much constantly, and only getting any sleep at night due to pills.

This morning I threw the coins for the Yijing, as I often do when I’m troubled or trying to work something out in my head. I threw this (using the Wilhelm/Baynes translation and commentary):

Fire on the mountain:
The image of THE WANDERER.
Thus the superior man
Is clear-minded and cautious
In imposing penalties,
And protracts no lawsuits.

When grass on a mountain takes fire, there is bright light. However, the fire does not linger in one place, but travels on to new fuel. It is a phenomenon of short duration. This is what penalties and lawsuits should be like. They should be a quickly passing matter, and must not be dragged out indefinitely. Prisons ought to be places where people are lodged only temporarily, as guests are. They must not become dwelling places.

Fuck. Not what I want you to tell me.

Fourth line moving:

Nine in the fourth place means:
The wanderer rests in a shelter.
He obtains his property and an ax.
My heart is not glad.

This describes a wanderer who knows how to limit his desires outwardly, though he is inwardly strong and aspiring. Therefore he finds at least a place of shelter in which he can stay. He also succeeds in acquiring property, but even with this he is not secure. He must be always on guard, ready to defend himself with arms. Hence he is not at ease. He is persistently conscious of being a stranger in a strange land.

No, no, no, this is way more truth than I am prepared to cope with this morning.

The moving line changes the hexagram to mountain over mountain:

Mountains standing close together:
The image of KEEPING STILL.
Thus the superior man
Does not permit his thoughts
To go beyond his situation.

The heart thinks constantly. This cannot be changed, but the movements of the heart — that is, a man’s thoughts — should restrict themselves to the immediate situation. All thinking that goes beyond this only makes the heart sore.

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