Article 1. The Sage as our Cosmic Teacher by Carol and Hanna

© by Carol Anthony and Hanna Moog

   Carol’s experience of the Sage in the 1970’s was of an alive consciousness that wants to communicate with us. This took away for her the understanding that what we read in the written text of the book, is all we have for an oracle. It becomes apparent through its use that the I Ching is a Cosmic gift to humans. Its purpose is show people (1) the nature of the Cosmos as a system of Principles of Harmony, (2) our true human nature, and (3) the way we individually can return to harmony with these Cosmic Principles when we have lost our way. 

   The Sage, as part of this interaction, is a presence within us that uses the oracle to draw up from the depths of our nature, our innate knowledge of Cosmic truth. (This truth is contained in the DNA of every body cell.) The I Ching Hexagram 61, titled “Inner Truth,” refers to this source that is stored in our bodies, not in words, but in the form of feelings of what is harmonious and what is not. Thus, the Sage uses the I Ching to speak through its text, but the text itself is not the oracle.

   The Sage makes it clear, through the method we call the retrospective-three-coin-method, or “rtcm” (which will be described in our next article), that it does not teach us the handed down platitudes that have often been taken as ‘ancient wisdom.’ It rather discourages this kind of memorized mental approach by reaching into our own deepest inner truth to bring forth the answers that are already there. We find, in so doing, that our inner truth has been suppressed in favor of these platitudes and commandments. That is why, on finding the answer we need, we recognize that we “knew that” all along, but did not dare to trust it. Thus, we find that the Sage is all the time connecting us with a part of ourselves that has been repressed through conditioning.

   This process of reaching into the depths is described in Hexagram 48, “The Well,” which calls our inner truth “a clear, cold spring from which one can drink.” Often, we cannot access our inner truth because “there is mud in the well” in the form of fixed, preconceived ideas, fears, old grievances, and memories of wrongs done to us. When we drink from this mud, we are kept stalling. With the help of the I Ching text, the Sage not only wants to make us aware of this fact, it also offers us help to cleanse our inner well. Then we find that our inner truth is a gold mine containing everything we need to know.

   The more we work with the Sage and give it the necessary space in our mind, the more we realize that it wants to speak to us as a friend, not as a godlike figure that expects obeisance and punishes us when we make mistakes. On the contrary, the Sage wants to free us from ideas that are either grandiose, making us see ourselves as the center of the universe, or that inspire us with fear and awe, and make us see ourselves as small and insignificant. The ancient Greeks had an idea of the Sage when they spoke of “a tutelary spirit that accompanies each person lifelong.” They named it “genii,” root of the word “genius.” Writers have long called it “the muse.” For many artists, athletes, and inventors, it is an “elusive thing” that takes over in us when we give up relying on the “brilliance and ability of the thinking mind,” or the pure brawn of our bodies, to provide the success we seek.