The I-Ching or Yi Jing also known as the Book of Changes is a divination manual that was later transformed into a series of philosophical commentaries known as the “Ten Wings”. The interpretation of “I Ching” has been debated endlessly, but many scholars have used the book symbolically.
In the I-Ching, a broken line represents Yin, and an unbroken line represents Yang. The trigrams combine in pairs to form 64 hexagrams. What makes the I-Ching special is that it is fundamentally made up of two symbols, the Yin which is the feminine, dark and cold, and the Yang which is the masculine, bright and hot. In the word of Alan Watts, “The Yang and the Yin are the explicit differences of an implicit unity.” Together, they constitute the infinite unity: The great Ultimate. One cannot exist without the other. There is always an equilibrium.
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The Universe is in a perfect balance of the Yin Yang energies. By being in the here and now, we evoke things into existence. We perceive things to be hot or cold, bright or dark, or good or bad. But it is only in relation to our own selves. We see the world with our eyes because our eyes perceive light. But without the eyes, the light would not exist. By being here, we evoke light into existence. When we pick up a hard piece of rock from the ground, we evoke the hardness of the rock by having soft skin. The rock just is. What is evoked out of it is merely by our own presence. The rock is hard in relation to our soft skin. In the same way, if living beings did not have ears, there would be no sound. The ears coax sound into existence.
By being in this moment, the here and now, you have birthed this world into existence, one that has colours, textures, tastes, sounds, and weight. You are intricately connected with the workings of the Universe.
But most people still live in denial. They are so engrossed in playing the role of a human and enduring the stress that comes with it that they feel that they’re insignificant. They go about their lives believing that they’re just puny little creatures living on a pale blue dot in an insignificant solar system on the outer fringes of a small galaxy. Instead of putting yourself down, realise that you’re not just a puny little creature. You have the power within you to bend reality with your mind and heart. But more importantly, you evoke the Universe that we know into existence. This is a cosmic play and you’re directing it. You are not an end result of the Big Bang at the outer fringes of the galaxy, but you are still the process of Big Bang itself. It is just that the force of the Universe has manifested as you, a human.
The Universe has brought you into existence in the here and now, and in turn, you have evoked the Universe into existence. In a way, the Universe is becoming conscious of itself through you. So, with this in mind, you realise that you ARE the Universe. You may dismiss that, go about your day, meet the same people, and indulge in the same activities. But no matter what you incarnate as and what role you choose to play, deep down you are the Universe.
When people choose to detach themselves from the Universe, they also separate themselves from every other being. They think in terms of “myself” and “others”. But there are no “others”. A tree has several branches, and even though the branches may be uniquely different they are still the same tree. In the same way, you might see yourself as separate from other beings, but you belong to one source of energy.
When the Wright brothers first invented the airplane, it was violently opposed by the general public. Some even said that it was the work of the devil and if God wanted humans to fly, he would have given us wings. Similar opposition was encountered when the world first learnt that the Earth was not flat and was in fact spherical. We have not moved on much from those times. If you tell someone today that we’re not separate from the Universe, but we’re vibrating with the life force that ticks the world, you will be vehemently opposed. People do not like their illusions to be broken.
It is extremely difficult for many to wrap their minds around this, to understand how our being can so intricately be connected to the Universe. They can’t be talked out of illusions because there is no way to show them something that is intangible and can only be realized. And this realization is coaxed into being with an awakening process.
Awakening is much like waking up to our common sense in this case. We believe in all sorts of ideas that we do not question because it is what we have always known. We become aliens in a society with a rigged system. Life thus becomes an event that you passively witness rather than a cosmic play. But eventually, the Universe will bring you to a point when you start questioning these beliefs. There is no escaping that; and when you finally begin to see the balance of the Yin and Yang that graces everything in the world, you’d realise that it is YOU! You are the Universe and all you have been doing is exploring yourself all this time. Maybe it seems like an alien concept to most people at this time, but in the future, as more people wake up to this, it will become commonly accepted. If humans don’t self-destruct and manage to become space-faring interstellar species, then this knowledge of being continuous with the Universe will not only help us use our technology more ethically but look at other species we may potentially meet with love and gratitude.