of the Oracle
The Oracle presents itself as a mindful
personality in the same way that we do. It is approachable, friendly
and unpretentious. It has a sense of humour and enjoys our company. My own
experience has led me to interact with it comfortably, as I would with
a close friend, perhaps my own conscience.
Most importantly I have found it to be absolutely
benign, for it has
unwaveringly had my welfare (although not my comfort) at heart. I may
have questioned the value of its advice at times but it has never
deceived me nor led me into situations that have been hurtful. And it
has often opened my eyes to opportunities that I would otherwise have
But the Oracle has an agenda
find quite challenging. In the most direct manner, like that of a child, it
foists its agenda on me. As long as it has a particular intention,
every consultation continues to promote that intention until either
it loses interest or I manage to do something that satisfies it.
This childish insistence is a trait that I
believe characterises a
personality unconcerned with problems of mortality. Our concepts of
personal maturity stem from a recognition of our own frailty. We learn
to bear our frailty more gracefully with age and experience. Similarly,
ethical values such as fairness and justice arise from our recognising
that everyone else is in a similarly fragile position. But a being that
is immortal has no need for these values and I find that while the
Oracle respects our difficulties in this regard, questions of ethics,
survival and convenience have no place in its agenda.
That agenda is nonetheless relevant to us. Its
purpose is to
assist us towards
expressions of Love,
as described in
the Introduction. Following it has led me to a knowledge of
myself, in the sense of realising my connection to a spiritual
foundation. Armed with this knowledge I am able to see the external
world with fewer distractions and without clothing it in the many
unnecessary niceties inflicted on me by social custom. This also
permits me to engage with the external world with a more direct
presence, paying conscious attention to both my own sensations and to
the relevant sympathetic responses from others. Following the agenda
has facilitated a more profound experience of relationship for me. I am
not implying that such benefit cannot be achieved without Oracular
advice, but that the flexibility and determination of the Oracular
agenda has sharpened my awareness of the process well beyond what I was
able to discern on my own, or with the assistance of a fixed
So who speaks through the Oracle? We consciously or
unconsciously project ourselves into the hexagram
texts, which also carry the perspective of their interpreter.
That said, neither we nor the interpreter nor any foreground objects
determine which hexagrams are cast. The
random fall of a hexagram is influenced only by the spiritual background.
The hexagrams reflect the prevailing spiritual influence and we, with the aid of our imaginations and the interpreter's
insight, extract meaning from them.
It would be a mistake to attribute to the
Oracle any sort of
omnipotence, in spite of its spiritual nature. The
that the Oracle represents influences reality but
does not control it. The Oracle is not a master of change - it is a rider of
change much as we are.
When the Oracle promotes its agenda
it is suggesting how we might harmonise our activities with
the universal spirit, but that suggestion has no certain result.
The Oracle may offer us a spiritual perspective of the future
but cannot point the way to
The Oracle is also not all-seeing. I have found that there are many
situations it is
blind to, as if its world does not coincide exactly with our own. Its
preoccupation with Love appears to be out of step with our own
overwhelming experience of material suffering. It does not understand
any of our socially developed institutional structures and imperatives,
in much the same way as a baby does not. It cannot respond to
culturally based humour, or take account of social convention, or
negotiate the intricacies of business and politics. One should be aware
of these limitations when accepting Oracular advice. But, like a baby,
it is very sensitive to direct sensual and emotional engagement.
The fact that there is value for the Oracle in
our following its agenda
implies that it is keen to interact with us and that we need have no
reservations about approaching it. But any expectation of benefit
arising from following its agenda must be limited to a facilitation of
the spiritual purpose; no material benefit or easing of our material
suffering can be presumed.