The Changes: People

As I study the I Ching, cultivating a kind of mental “Ecosystem” of thought, I’ve found various changes in my mindset as hoped.  Last column I mentioned that the I Ching, the Book of Changes, helped me think of situations (portrayed as Hexagrams) as “Changes” – situations that arise and transform and depart.  This viewpoint has been informative, useful, and reduced stress since I feel both more empowered and less prone to worry.

But there are more insights I wanted to share, namely that I realized that it’s useful to think of situations, portrayed by Hexagrams, as “Changes,” but so are people.  People are Changes.

People are constantly shifting and changing – that’s kind of what we do.  Who we are right now is the result of various circumstances, we steer ourselves towards certain goals, and change to someone else.  A human is indeed a Change, a constant shifting dialogue with both ourselves and the universe.

When I had this insight, I suddenly saw how I viewed people as static and how wrong that was.  A person can be different between morning and night, hour to hour, or minute to minute.  Yes we may have reasonably solid traits, but those will change and evolve, and even their expression may alter when they’re solid. 

This made me see other people much differently.  I saw how my idea of a person as static meant I was judging them inappropriately and missing how they may grow and develop or just have a bad day.  It also reminded me that interacting with people is navigation, just as one navigates the Changes of the I Ching.

For some reason, seeing people as “more changeable” helped me appreciate them more as people.

But if other people are Changes, then so am I.  I am not solid, I am more a flow like water, shifting and moving, now deep now shallow, changing direction.  I am different day to day and moment to moment.  That also means that, seeing I am a Change, I can choose how I evolve and grow and respond.  I’m not a solid thing, I am far freeer than that.

I even saw this in my Secret of the Golden Flower style meditation, where I just follow a slow even breath.  Every moment of breathing and following is a moment that leads into the other, a constant changing stream.  If I get some distraction I merely flow back, realizing that I am, as noted, a dialogue.

We’re all changes, we’re all not solid.  It’s rather relaxing.

This work at building a mental “Ecosystem” using Taoist thought has helped me lead a richer, deeper, more connected life.  I’m curious to what insights I might have next – we’ll see what arises.