Toward a Unified Metaphysical Understanding: Wisdom for the Winter Solstice    
 Wisdom for the Winter Solstice
2008-06-20, by John Ringland

Before joining the conversation, please read and accept this Invitation to a Conversation.

I am writing from the southern hemisphere and here we are approaching the winter solstice, so to mark this occasion I will relay some wisdom from the I Ching that talks about the winter solstice. At the time of first publishing my website ( in October 2005, I asked the I Ching for a message of reassurance that will accompany the work as a whole.

Question: What message do you have for the people with which to reassure them, here in this work?

This is the image of Thunder within the Earth, the time of the winter solstice when darkness has forced the light into retreat but now there comes a turning point. The young light of Heaven returns. This is in accord with the Way.

Below I quote relevant passages from two translations of the ancient Chinese oracle.

“Though they [the people] may be deeply trapped and overwhelmed their innate nature is still intact, thus there is no sickness. When a noble person advances all wise people follow, and friends come. Abandon selfish desires and innate goodness emerges. The petty retreat and the sage advances. This is going and returning to the Way. In this way our innate goodness is fully developed and worldly affairs can be handled with ease. This is how the sages lent their strength to bring about the orderly government of ancient rulers. Thus it is favourable to proceed. When the heavenly course prevails there is grace. Indeed Returning is the way where heaven and humanity are united to complete the natural order of things.”

“Returning refers to the time when the climate is at its coldest, yet the water in the wells is still warm... This is the thunder of the winter solstice that is stored within the earth. The power of returning yang energy to the earth is at its highest, yet it only moves in accord with time... young yang must be kept peaceful and calm to allow it's growth, do not act to dissipate it.”

(quoted from “Yi Jing: Book of Change”, Translated by Gia Fu Feng, Sue Bailey and Bink Kun Young, Feng Books, 1986)

“The time of darkness is past, the winter solstice brings the victory of light... After a time of decay comes the turning point. The powerful light that has been banished returns. There is movement but it is not brought about by force... the movement is natural, arising spontaneously. For this reason the transformation of the old becomes easy. The old is discarded and the new is introduced. Both measures accord with the time, therefore no harm results. Societies of people sharing the same views are formed. But since these groups come together in full public knowledge and are in harmony with the time, all selfish separatist tendencies are excluded, and no mistake is made. Return is based on the course of nature ... and the course completes itself. Therefore it is not necessary to hasten anything artificially. Everything comes of itself at the appointed time. This is the meaning of Heaven and Earth.”

“In winter the life energy, symbolised by Thunder, the Arousing, is still underground. Movement is just at its beginning, therefore it must be strengthened by rest so that it will not be dissipated by being used prematurely. This principle, i.e. of allowing energy that is renewing itself to be reinforced by rest applies to all similar situations. The return of health after illness, the return of understanding after an estrangement: everything must be treated tenderly and with care at the beginning, so that the return may lead to a flowering.”

(quoted from “I Ching or Book of Changes”, Translated by Richard Wilhelm (German), Cary F. Baynes (English), Arkana, 1989)

This message refers to the natural processes of which we are a part of and which are playing out in the world around us. There is much fear and confusion on all sides at present but when one comprehends the whole, one sees that everything is exactly as it must be, that the Creator has never abandoned creation and that nothing is by chance. Although times may be hard, this represents a great opportunity for advancement; suffering forces us to let go of our delusions and to return to the Way. This work is one small part of the natural return of cosmic energies into the cycle of our civilisation, it unites with countless other influences and in imperceptible ways, through each of our lives, the light is dawning upon our world and the darkness of ignorance is in retreat.

This message has been delivered to you, through me, by tossing three coins six times, and via the agency of the intelligent universe itself. The I Ching is a synchronistic oracle that draws upon the essence of the intelligent universe and represents itself via a mapping between a six bit binary information space and the space of empirical / human experience. This was revealed by ancient sages and handed down over aeons to guide and inform humanity.

Before joining the conversation, please read and accept this Invitation to a Conversation.

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