I Ching Hexagram 08 – Peace, Advance, Unity, Greatness
The Earth’s natural relationship to space is beneath our feet to support us, feed us, give birth to us and to consume us. From the Earth we received all that we can hold, touch, see, taste and hear. Our senses are full of the Earth and we are drawn to explore it and define ourselves by and through it. Where we live, the food we eat, the shape of our bodies and the cultures we are born into are all derived and defined by the Earth from which they arose.
The Sky’s natural relationship to space is above. It opens the gateway to the sun, the planets and the stars and it provides that path through which the birds soar. Our ideas, our intellect, our desire to seek understanding and to organize our concepts, systems and societies are all drawn from our ability to look up and see the celestial majesty of the universe, breathe the air that fills our lungs and feeds our brains and apply the light and fire from the sun to manifest our plans.
The Sky and Earth cannot exist without each other. They need each other and we are the byproduct of the interactions between them. But in this image of Earth over Sky, however, we see the most powerful and intimate presentation of of this relationship. The Earth, in moving downward towards its natural place beneath our feet, and the Sky,n moving upwards towards its natural place above and around us, are brought together within an embracing and seeking that manifests within the Earth all of life, of which we are a part.
For this reason, Earth over Sky is associated with harmony, love, balance, peace and ultimately greatness. Everything within our human cosmos emanates from this union of Earth and Sky, Yin and Yang, Embracing and Seeking. When we disrupt this harmony between the Earth and Sky we disrupt the very foundation of all the systems that sustain us. It is no wonder that we yearn so profoundly for “peace”, “love” and “harmony”. It is no wonder that we see so much beauty within the Earth and throughout the depths of the Sky.
We know that this balance does not always exist. We know that change will have a significant effect upon us. We know that we, ourselves, as individuals and collectively, are only a temporary presence in the long history and evolution of this relationship between the Earth and Sky and we know that it will continue long after we, as individuals and collectively, are gone. But this shouldn’t be seen as a reason to belittle who we think we are or what we think we can do. Everything within the Earth/Sky cosmos has its role. Everything has its place and its moments of clarity, joy and pleasure. This is natural. And it is this that we all have the ability to experience. Those things we do to confuse, destroy and deprive others run counter to the way the Earth and Sky seek and embrace each other.
Perhaps if we spent more time working to share and yield to the natures of the Earth and Sky we would all experience more “clarity”, “joy” and “pleasure” and see (perceive, understand) that this is our own truly natural state.
James Oliver Smith, Jr.