Today I was reading what I consider one of the best online journals around and had an epiphany: This world, behind the fluttering banners of “Big Pharm”, is walking right into the gates of hell (albeit with the sound of lulling music…)
It is such a shame that the voices of so many people – the real, internal voices – are being suffocated by dulling medicines. Mind you, most of them ask for it, cry for them – please take away this pain that, ever so intangible, resides in my head. Very few people have the spine, the courage or the vision to make use of such states of mind. Depression, in the hands of the very few, is a tool for artistic brilliance. We are however, bombarded from every side with sobering pitches of impending personal doom by succumbing to such states. Personally, I’d be much more concerned about falling into that river…
When I read or hear about depression, or when I am depressed – something that seems to creep up on me, every so often – I find that reading Hex 18 gives the situation some missing perspective.
The popular Spanish translation for the I Ching (Yi Jing) is Libro de las mutaciones as opposed to the popular English translation of Book of Changes. The key word, of course, is “mutaciones”, which translates into English, in a very straight forward manner, to “mutations”.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary has this entry for change:
1 a : to make different in some particular : ALTER “never bothered to change the will” b : to make radically different : TRANSFORM “can’t change human nature”; c : to give a different position, course, or direction to
2 a : to replace with another “let’s change the subject” b : to make a shift from one to another : SWITCH “always changes sides in an argument” c : to exchange for an equivalent sum or comparable item d : to undergo a modification of “foliage changing color”
However, mutation has the following entry:
1 : a significant and basic alteration
While the word change leaves the door open to many different interpretations mutation is very specific. For me, the nature of mutation is the essence of the Yi. Which brings me back to Hex 18.
Hexagram 18 is perhaps one of the most misunderstood hexagrams in the Yi. Wilhelm/Baynes translates the name of 18 as Work on what has been spoiled (decay). Small wonder then that thanks to the most popular Western translation of the Yi a querent cringes every time this hexagram is obtained in a reading. Another one, Wu Jing-Nuan, translates it as Poison, Destruction. I prefer Richard Rutt though. His translation is Mildew His first line for this hexagram reads:
6 base: Milldew for a deceased male ancestor.
He has a son: thus, for a dead father, NO MISFORTUNE. DANGEROUS; but ultimately AUSPICIOUS
What other hexagram resonates so much with depression as Hex 18? Before popping that pill, toss the coins. Who knows, this may come up…