Guidance from the I Ching: #51 - Shocking

It’s time for a wake-up call

October 12, 2020

“Shocking brings progress. Shocking comes with a terrible noise. Laughter and shouting with awesome glee, people are frightened for a hundred miles around. Yet, the sacrificial vessel is not lost. Repeated thunder forms the condition for Shocking. Therefore, the enlightened person, when badly frightened, seeks to improve themselves.”

I consult the I Ching (Book Of Changes) for inspiration at the start of every week. This week’s message is all about a big wake up call.

Hexagram 51 represents a time of Shocking. Sometimes translated as Jolt, it’s like when a massive clap of thunder that shakes your house. Dishes rattle, pictures fall off the wall, knick-knacks tumble off shelves and break on the floor, and you are startled into awareness. Shocking times are unexpected, unpredictable, and unsettling. According to the I Ching, Shocking is a time of “unpredictable and cataclysmic occurrences inspired by invisible but irresistible forces.” Does that sound familiar? Shocking times frighten people. Shocking times wake people up from their deep sleep. Shocking times are a sign that things are changing. But will they be changing for the better? 

“Shocking times boost our confidence muscles. Once you have successfully navigated the current landscape, you will know that you can deal with whatever comes next.”

Jose Johnson

According to the I Ching, Shocking is a sign of impending good fortune if “your immediate response is reverence and fear.” Sometimes fear is a good thing. But too often, fear is the result of ignorance. We fear what we don’t know and what we don’t yet understand. Fear is being in the dark, and the sound of thunder in the dead of night frightens most of us. But if you use the time of Shocking as a wake-up call to increase your knowledge, you will be successful. Thunder rattles the house, and the things not firmly in place will be shaken and fall to the ground. Shocking times will reveal those areas of your life that are not stable, but it is your choice as to whether you secure them or not. Shocking calls you to take a hard look at your inner nature. The thunder rattles you while the lightning shines a light on what has been lurking in the dark. By facing your fears and examining your responses, you can learn the best ways to strengthen your character and skillsets.

Change is the only constant in the universe, but sometimes we become stuck in the comfort of what we know, even when the known is precisely the thing that is holding us back. Shocking times remind us that we can only change our results when we are willing to change our actions. Shocking events set things in motion, so this is the time when you may feel moved to let go of old habits that no longer serve you. What worked for us in the past will not work now. The sound of thunder is the result of a sudden, dramatic release of energy, power, and force. Creative energy surrounds you, but will you tap into it, or will you run and hide?

Composure is an essential trait during Shocking times. According to the I Ching, “composure and inner strength are the marks of true leaders, people who can greatly benefit society.” Your willingness to stay focused on your objectives despite difficult circumstances is the true test of your commitment. The person who can maintain a level head when the world seems to be falling apart around them is the one who will realize monumental success. 

Shocking times call us to self-reflection. Unexpected events generate emotional responses that wake us up. As we try to make sense of what is happening around us, we begin to understand that we need first to make sense of what is going on inside us. The I Ching suggests that we should double-check our motives during Shocking times, confront our weak spots, and stick only to the principles representing our higher self. And once we become clear on who we are and what we stand for, we need to apply a critical eye outwards to make sure that our associations and actions align with our core purpose. The I Ching suggests that “if these times inspire you to make innovative changes in your life, in your relationships, and in yourself, you will meet with vitality and success.”

The I Ching reminds us that Shocking times are temporary and that once the event has passed, this change will transform all of the anxiousness that you are experiencing into joy. Shocking times boost our confidence muscles. Once you have successfully navigated the current landscape, you will know that you can deal with whatever comes next. Even though the current situation has you full of fear, you will eventually look back and see that this was exactly what needed to happen to lead you to your next stage of growth. So stay calm; clearer skies are just around the corner.

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