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There is only one true source of guidance. It is the greatest source possible and the most trustworthy, that knows you and your needs and concerns better than anyone else possibly could, that loves you unconditionally and has only your best interests at heart the whole time, day and night, twenty-four-seven. It is YOU, your highest self, your own deepest and unconscious mind. Some call it the soul.
In ancient times, the unseen energies determining the ups and downs of our lives, and of the natural world, were thought of as gods and demons, ghosts and ancestors and nature spirits. In China these were called ‘shen’ and indeed the first authors of the I Ching described life in these terms. So uncannily accurate was the oracle in describing the transformations brought about by the unseen world that many believed the Book itself to be ‘inhabited’ by spirits. Even today, unfortunately, there are still those who prefer to attribute their negative experiences to malicious or possessive spirits, and to petition guides and angels to bring about the positive. But our lives are only meaningful and purposeful, surely, insofar as we accept our own responsibility for their development. The I Ching has itself developed in the course of history to reflect this.
Its shamanic authors recognised the essential and universal factors at work in human situations, and encoded them in an archetypal symbolism that is as true for us today as it was in ancient times. Thus it doesn’t matter whether we think of those factors as external spirits or inner psychological drivers; what matters is that we actively work with them.
When consulting the I Ching, we open a doorway to the deepest mind, or soul. Somewhere in the unconscious, your mind knows with great clarity what the real issues are in your situation, the underlying forces at work shaping your experiences. It also knows what are the options available to you in dealing with it, as well as how they are likely to turn out.
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