The “I Ching”: timeless tool for modern soul-work

A presentation by Irene Macfarlane

 

 

Thursday 7 May 2009, 7:30 – 9:30 pm

St Mary’s Parish House, Cn Merviale and Peel Sts,

South Brisbane

Members and concession $5; Non-members $10

 

 

The I Ching, or “Book of Changes” is the historical and philosophical precursor of the Tao Te Ching, and is a non-doctrinal manual of secular spiritual exploration, offering non-egocentric, sound, practical life-guidance that is soul-building.

 

Working with the I Ching, or “The Oracle” as it is often named, is exercising and energising of the soul-spirit for greater wellbeing, accessing and actualising eternal truth principles in the domain of mundane practicalities.

 

The I Ching accesses the cognitive/social/interpersonal and moral domains wherein Qi also drives a force: “The force that through the green fuse drives the flower ...” (Dylan Thomas); that life-force which Qi practitioners (Qi healing, Qigong, Tai Chi) are familiar with as operating in the domain of physical well being. How we use it as a tool for life guidance will be explained, but briefly “Synchronicity”, is how we explain the pertinence and clarity that The Oracle brings to our dilemmas.

The first part of the talk will outline the I Ching’s history, structure and purpose, while the second part will provide an opportunity to explore its validity by way of a simple experiment. Participants are invited to bring a question they would like to pose to the I Ching for guidance.

 

Such questions should be thoughtfully considered, and invite comment on a particular path or choice the questioner currently faces, and should be respectful of the breadth and depth that can be anticipated in the response offered, rather than one that is frivolous or expects an answer “yes” or “no”. The question is to be written down, but need not be revealed to others.

 

I found the I Ching in Hippy-ville in the ‘eigthties and played it like a party game. I now respect and treasure it. It has led in turn to finding my philosophical and spiritual home in the classical texts of Ancient Chinese Taoism. The I Ching is the voice of sanity and comfort of a personal counsellor who seems to know me intimately. Or the vehicle for the voice of the archetypal all-knowing inner sage - “The ear listening to the Inner King” is that which is represented by the Chinese ideogram for “the sage”. Or ....... perhaps the voice of the force that drives the water through the rocks... (and, of course, I do not have to listen). But I would not be without the I Ching’s advice as well as the critical self-reflection it invites in taking on board its wisdom about my life challenges”.

 

Irene studied at the National Art School as a teenager, became a teacher of art then an Innovative Education Counsellor before returning to study in Psychology with majors in Philosophy and Religious Studies.

She has been in private practice for over fifteen years and the treatment of Depression is her area of specialisation. Her approach is holistic and multi-modal and her practice is strongly influenced by Jungian and Taoist spiritual traditions, which became a major influence and motivated her career change. Irene also holds Certificates in Gestalt and Family Therapy. She has recently returned to painting and plans an exhibition in September. Her painting has been commented upon as reflecting Taoist leanings.