Chronic Flow

Nigel Richmond’s interpretation of the Yi Jing is by far my favorite at this point. And lately I’m focusing on the top line of Hexagram 25. It speaks to my heart, calms me into a slower, deeper settling flow.


Sometimes I think chronic illness is God’s way of keeping me in check. Otherwise, I’d run ahead of flow and wreck things. I asked Yi Jing once why I suffer CFS. I got a response from 34 that indicated my being held in check. That doesn’t jive with the laws of attraction, does it? More and more I think my suitor is unable to comprehend the depths and dances of free will with fate, divinity with “frailty.” But I probably don’t grasp it all.


I’ve haunted a blog for a while now and found the most recent post so healing I have to share it. The expression and art is stellar: A Woman Seeing For Herself. Patricia Bralley sees beautifully and with a perspective deep enough to embrace the soul.


On to 25.6, what do I find from Richmond’s jewels?


“Innocence brings on the unexpected, but to intentionally travel out to meet the unexpected is not innocence, it is a sort of cunning to defeat its unexpectedness. In the whole of this tao the harmonious is uncomplicated by desires and goals, identity is carried by the life force and has problems if it imposes its will


        The Chinese image

                Action amongst innocence

                (or the unexpected) brings injury.


        Any action that we take through our interest in the unexpected flow is bound to be an interference with it. As in the fifth line we are acting out of discomfort and not allowing it to pass through our experience.”


This response (25.6) is sometimes what Yi Jing has to say when I’m freaking out about something I think will happen soon and want to be prepared for. Freaking out is one way to disintegrate any strength to face change. Trying to make it happen faster is the same thing. If you have any psychic tendency, any ability to discern the future, this one grabs you and pulls you back into the flow fast. If you just think you know what might happen and you feel yourself grabbing at activity to greet what you’re certain is likely, this response reminds of the vital importance of simple depth being.


For that matter, so does chronic illness…



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6 thoughts on “Chronic Flow

  1. When I read about your illness, I was very selfish and just thought about how hard that would be to handle, physically. I did not even consider the mental, the emotional. And the justification and explanations that you must have had to (and continue to?) go through. Perhaps thus your ability to look deep inside has flourished. Perhaps some good has come from it? Always, Ruth, always.

  2. Hi Ruth,
    CFS – it not only lays you flat, but for so long it was medically denied, which makes it even harder.
    I am beginning to think that illnesses that don’t “maime the tissue” so that many doctors tell you you’re simply crazy – maybe these are the illnesses where we can most easily access the spiritual precipitating into form.
    The biologist in me would love to understand this physiology.
    The meditator seems more concerned with simply passing through.
    Thanks for the kind words RE my site.

    1. Hey Pat…
      The years of being treated like a hypochondriac certainly forced me to rely on something other than popular opinion. I’ve had much worse flare-ups than my current downtime. Flatten has been the only good word for the worst times. But you get accustomed to diminishing (or I did, anyway) the significance of it just as a matter of survival in a world eager to judge. I forget that not all people are waiting to attack you with ignorant accusations as to the “real” nature of this illness. No matter how deep the desire to climb mountains and sprint up hills (activities I adore personally), the worst phases of debilitation insist on their price. As to maimed tissue, a good point. I think this is true of the wounds of the soul too. So many layers to our humanity…
      Great to hear from you here!

  3. So much food for thought. At times I read your writings and it’s frightening – I remember how much I have not been thinking about, how much I overlook around me, inside me.

    I did not know what CFS was, I had to look it up. I have never had to deal with a major illness, let alone a cronic one. I realize how lucky I am. I suppose this is one of the many challenges and tests you are given? Seems like a hard one, I am sorry, but you must have incredible inner strength.

    1. It’s not so gruesome, the struggle with CFS. Some days are rough. Fever and fatigue and. But I found that pretending it isn’t a part of my life tends to make it worse. So does fixating on it as my “burden.” So, I have to aim for balance. For some reason, I’ve needed to accept it lately through allowing it into my writing, mentioning it as part of my experience. I appreciate your not being afraid to look it up, to know more.
      You don’t overlook…you flow. I often contemplate flow, study what hinders it, what nurtures it. But these practices are not always best. I can think too much. Look at too much. Assess and explore to the point of forgetting to sink my roots in deeply. It can be a substitute for the courage to get on with living. But writing is part of that courage for me. It releases all the observations and leaves me to the do/be of living. Glad for you…jr

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