Freddy, Walter, his daughter Nerissa and I swim across the deep channel of the Daintree River onto a sandy shoal. The early morning haze still hangs over the cool, clear, refreshing North Queensland river.
"If you see a big ripple coming over the bank get out of the water quick. There are some big crocodiles around here from time to time," Walter floats belly down with just his face out of the water, pretending to be a crocodile. I look around warily at the peaceful, misty scene. "Not too frequently, but they do come by on occasion, it pays to keep an eye out."
Freddy and Nerissa paddle around in the shallows, enjoying the cool river water while Walter and I story about PNG. Moira is anchored nearby in the deeper part of the river. We are eight miles inland, the first time Moira has ever been in fresh water. Yesterday, Walter met us at the entrance to the Daintree and guided us up the river, around the shoals and bends, until we reached his land. We bumped the bottom three times getting here.
"It's great having the El Torito in fresh water," Walter looks over at his 65 foot steel research vessel tied up along the shore. "Good for the engines, good for the hull."
Up and down the river I can see overhanging forest trees. Walter owns 160 acres of property along the north bank, mostly low, flat floodbank land. Off to my right I see Walter's hill, covered with dense forest. He plans to build a big house on the hill. "A mile or so upstream the banks have been cleared for sugar cane. The Daintree is one of Nature's trenches in the battle against development." Walter explains. "North of the Daintree there are miles of virgin rainforest. South of the river are endless tracts of sugar cane. Conservationists stop by now and then to talk - trying to solicit my active support in the guerilla war to save the rainforest. I usually let them talk themselves silly. I try to help with some advice."
Walter has never participated in conservation projects. He'll help with ideas but won't join any group. "Generally, they ignore my advice and go ahead and do whatever they were going to do anyway. They are, by and large, unprofessional, unfocused, and ineffective." He finishes, summing up his opinion of all conservation groups everywhere.
"There are some potential threats that might impact us here. Like the proposal to build a bridge over the river down stream. They would not build a proper bridge, of course, but one a boat could not get under - a bridge that would prohibit free movement of the El Torito or Moira. The bridge would also enable massive movement of sugar cane trucks and encourage clearing of the rainforest on this side." He is still floating like a croc, face down, head forward, just his eyes above the water except when he says something and his face emerges.
"If I lived here I suppose I'd be out there in the front lines battling for the rainforest. Not because of the potential blockage of the Moira but because of the rainforest...." I envy Walter his ability to add to, and even supervise, a project while remaining physically uninvolved and almost invisible. Even as he talks about the rainforest problem I realize I have not an inkling of a notion how involved he really is in the project. I suspect nobody but Walter knows. He's like a quenkin - those Aboriginal two dimensional spirit beings you sometimes see out of the corner of your eye. They turn sideways and vanish when you try to see them directly. He's looking at me with his crocodile eyes.
His face emerges from the water, "Come on, I'll show you around the place."
We return to our boats, Freddy and Nerissa following, dry off and dress. The El Torito has a gangplank from her upper deck to the upper edge of the river bank. We walk the plank and enter the compound Walter has built with his friends. There is a boat construction shed with various tools and drums of resin and fiberglass scattered around.
Tony, an ichthyologist, is busy building a 36 foot version of Walter's longboat design. He's covered with fiberglass but looks like he's really enjoying himself. John Lindsey, who was with our group in the Solomons, is helping Tony. John has his own house, built on stilts for when the river rises above its bed and enters the flood plains. There is a general get-together house, also on stilts, with gardening tools underneath. Down a path in the forest we come to the house Tony and his wife Averel built for themselves. It, too is on stilts.
Walter points out the place on the hill top where he will build his big house when he has time. Meanwhile he lives on El Torito in its steel, air conditioned environment with his wife Janice and her twins Lea and Fred. Walter's two daughters from an earlier marriage, Varina and Nerissa, visit from time to time. We walk through their communal garden and around their communal orchard. It is a lovely place. Walter and John show us the various kinds of trees they have planted. At tea time everyone assembles in the common house for a "cuppa."
Freddy and I sit in Moira's cockpit looking at the sunset. The sounds and smells of the rainforest and the river sweep down with the sun and inundate me with memories of my childhood.
Walter had some mail for us. A letter from Eugene Corcoran. It gives the analysis of the samples we sent him after we got so sick in PNG. The samples were from the water tank ashore and from our water system. One of the samples had 301 ppm chrome and 681 ppm lead. It's a wonder we did not die. We had blood tests done in Cairns and are reasonably "clean" now. The doctor was distressed to discover we treated ourselves. In Australia, specialists deal with lead poisoning. Most doctors here can not even buy Penicillamine. We would have spent months in the hospital had we been able to get here. Treatment would have cost a fortune.
After dinner, I go over to the El Torito. Walter and I retire to his special place in the wheelhouse. It is his private place away from the distractions of children, family and the community of friends he has assembled around himself. His place to think and write. As usual, he engulfs me with his presence and I become another part of his special place to think. It is almost as if he hooks me up to his brain and I become an extension of his mind. We think as one creature, become one consciousness, considering the various aspects of the planet of interest to us both.
Afterwards, back aboard Moira, while Freddy sleeps in the aft cabin, I try and remember how it happened, what he said or did to achieve this remarkable effect. But I can't because it was not something he did, it was something we did. Whatever it was, it makes me think of Walter as a necessary, vital part of myself. More than a brother, more than a friend, the relationship is, on some level, one of identity.
One of the topics we talked about was the group mind control system. How does the collective control the individuals making it up? In the odd way our conversations progress, the subject began with what was happening to us in the wheelhouse of the El Torito.
"How often do you talk to another person about anything important?" we said. "Not very often. Most of the time, people talk about trivia - sports events, movies, social fashions, and on and on. In fact, hominids create many of these topics and activities just for making small talk. To keep our minds from thinking about the real world around us. About nature, stars, destiny, beauty, love. And especially about how we, as a collective, think. We use trivia to avoid the control systems.
"Yet when we do talk about science, wonder, mysteries, the unknown, we are at our best - feeling wondrous, mysterious, majestic, giddy, warm, human."
"Then why don't we talk about important matters more often?"
"Because our control systems do not permit such talk."
"Subjects like Science, Love and God belong to specific, regulated, ritualized conditions. They are a part of the integral control system directing massive elements within the psyche of mankind."
"It's OK for a priest to talk about God but not all the time."
"Only when he assumes the proper costume and preaches from a stage to an audience of humans sitting in rows wearing "proper" clothes in special buildings called churches."
"The same applies to a professor talking about science."
"Very ritualistic and regulated. Why? Because like any major biological control system such modes of thinking are not individual prerogatives but part of the collective behavior."
"Specific behavior patterns characterize regulatory control systems. To be effective, controls must maintain standards."
"So education, science, sex, religion, law, politics, war are all highly ritualistic phenomena. Just as biological organization is ritualized within an organism."
"Very strict regulations. Like hormones forcing certain cells to grow to form specific tissues. Or become hyperactive. Or reproductive arousal and associated behavioral patterns."
"Laws and morals, social conventions, and language itself regulate each hominid's role in the greater organism of society. Civilization."
"They push and pull the individuals to conform. Or the non-conforming individuals are put into jail, or are socially outcast, or die."
"So talking to each other has to be tightly controlled, as much as possible, to strengthen the organization. And so, we have our rituals, dances, classes, armies."
"And our dogma on religion, science, politics."
"Watched, as it were, by the consciousness of the Society of Earth."
"Well, it depends...." said Walter.
Walter and I drive into Cairns. We talk all the way into town, up and down hills, around corners, in and out of traffic. We talk all the way around town, through the industrial section, past the red and green lights, around busy intersections.
"Everyone talks to themselves and to others all the time. It is, after all, what "consciousness" is - knowing together. Even if we don't talk out loud to another person - forming a two-person consciousness - we talk to ourselves, the two hemispheres of the brain swapping ideas all day long."
When Walter gets truly involved in talking, his driving deteriorates. He drives in the middle of the road. Goes alternately slow and fast and then stops right in the middle of the street, looking at me and animatedly driving home his point. The windows are rolled up and the air conditioning turned on.
Needless to say, many motorists frown on this sort of erratic behavior and I have been keeping an eye on them. For instance, when Walter stops in mid street in downtown Cairns the car behind us nearly smashes into us. There is a large man at the wheel. I think he may have bounced his head on the windshield. Whatever, he is really mad and begins to get out of his car. Walter, not seeing any of this, finishes his point and shifts his brain into drive and we lurch off down the street.
The enraged man is left standing in the middle of the intersection. He leaps back in his car and races after us. The traffic light at the next corner turns red and Walter stops. Nothing wrong with his reflexes. It's a quick stop. Our outraged buddy in the tailing car nearly rams us again. I glance back and see him screech to a halt inches behind. He begins waving his arms and shouting. He backs up, nearly hitting the car behind him, swerves out into the middle of the road facing the oncoming traffic and pulls up along side Walter. Walter is looking at me and talking thoughtfully about - of all things - male aggression and how ritualized it is.
"Whenever a male is angry or aggressive with another male he always begins with some sexual signal," Says Walter, while directly behind him the face of the huge man is purple with rage and his mouth is screaming words. We can't hear him because Walter has the windows up and air conditioning on. His meaning is clear, however, and supports Walter's thesis. Especially when the man gives Walter the finger. A fine example of Walter's assertion. "It may be a universal human trait," Walter rambles on, "Giving the finger, saying "up yours", or "fuck you", or some variation implying the aggressive male intends to sexually triumph over the adversary..."
Delightfully, as Walter demonstrates with his finger and says "Fuck You," he mirrors and mimes the enraged driver. The guy brightens at Walter's finger in the window, seeing an answering challenge, and begins steadily honking his horn. Walter turns around and looks over at the animated, purple face and the shaking fist and the ritual of the jabbing finger. "He seems to be really upset for some reason," Walter comments mildly and, since the light had been green for awhile, he drives off again. The oncoming traffic, a car turning right, and the line of cars behind us prevents the man from following. I see him make the turn at the intersection and go screeching off at top speed.
Walter parks the car in the next block, on Lake Street. I look around nervously. Just as Walter gets parked, the car with the enraged man appears at the next intersection, turns left in hot pursuit of where he thinks he'll find us, and vanishes.
I get out of the car and go into Walker's Bookshop, relieved the episode did not deteriorate into a street fight. I amble through the door and find myself looking directly at one book amid the thousands from the moment I enter. It is across the store, on a shelf with many others, looking back at me.
It has a black jacket with "I CHING or the book of changes" in red letters and some white, Chinese ideograms. It is the Richard Wilhelm translation with a forward by Carl Jung.
Having read Jung's book "Synchronicity", a study of how coincidences destroy the laws of statistics, I think it most appropriate such an authority would write the forward to this well known and ancient Chinese text of prophecy.
Prophetic statements come true would have to be the best examples of synchronicity. I have never seen a copy of the I Ching before, although I have heard of it. Without further thought, I carry it over to the counter and pay for it.
During the day, and on the drive back, I read through sections of I Ching. Walter and I discuss it as we make the two hour drive through sugar cane fields, sparse coastal forest and finally into the rain forest.
"I see it as a summation of Earth's Philosophy - a kind of natural chance and consequence. I believe the I Ching has some interesting possibilities." I summarize.
Walter clarifies my summary by adding "It was an early application of the control system which became the main force of civilization - writing. The use of a pattern of thrown bones or sticks to summon memories associated with early Chinese pictographs."
"According to Jung's forward, the casting of sticks - or even coins - gives individuals the ability to consult the group consciousness via the forces behind the mystical symbols of the I Ching. I page through Jung's forward. "Jung believed in the collective unconscious and I am trying to investigate it. Does it exist? Are the Moirae a real phenomenon? I know the whole group directs what happens to the individuals belonging to it."
"That's not even in question - it's an obvious fact. It does so by its laws and rituals and its language controls. Fine. But I have reservations the human-generated language control system has the ability to contact a particular individual or really any self-generated abilities at all." Walter says.
"I don't know. I have had some fairly weird visions of the future come true. It certainly seems to me, once and awhile, individuals penetrate into the statistical behavior network and come up with astoundingly accurate guesses at what the future will hold." I watch a Bus approaching from the other direction. Walter has strayed out towards the middle of the road again.
"But was this the collective mind actually in correspondence with an individual mind or was the individual mind penetrating into a statistical future - or even making up a future the way we make all our plans?" Walter suggests, looking and me and straying still further into the path of the oncoming bus. I motion him over to the left and the bus whops by us, the Land Rover vibrating in its whip-stream.
"That's why I bought The I Ching," I go on. "If Jung is correct - hell, if the millions of people who have consulted the oracle are correct - the casting of sticks or coins provide an interesting way to find out if the group mind generated by the language of Man does have some kind of ability to respond to individuals."
"But the individual casts the sticks, or the coins," Walter insisted, "Or maybe a sage casts the sticks and the sage interprets what they say. In either case it is again an individual human doing both the casting and the interpretation. There is no need to haul in a group mind."
"Walter, the group mind IS the individual minds of humans - or rather it is a manifestation of the communication system, the language, of living humans. In the same way our own individual minds are the manifestation of a cellular communication network. Each of us contributes to it, uses it, is guided by it. Even at this moment your behavior is controlled by it within very exact limits....If, that is, you want us to survive this drive. How about moving back into the proscribed limits of your part of the road?"
The car moves back into the left lane and I continue, "I need another term other than group mind or Jung's collective unconscious. Literally translated "collective unconscious" means taking together what we do not know together. It's dumb. And group mind always makes us think the language mind is....well, like some kind of super version of an individual hominid mind. But it isn't. No more than our human consciousness is like the thought-system of a human cell. The language mind is just that - the living and active language of Man,"
I hold up the I Ching, "Books, laws, writing in all its forms - even in computers. But the writing, the actual words on paper or tape, is not a mind any more than the coded genetic memories in DNA is a mind. Mind is awareness in the process of self-generation. Mind is the interaction of perception, memory, response. The language mind becomes an active event as humans perceive. You know, per - through, cept - take. As human observers take through the words of the language, they remember certain behavior patterns associated with these words and respond according to the behavior patterns."
"Let us all pray" Walter says. For a moment I think he has responded like so many others to my observations but then see he means it literally.
"Yes, exactly. Or "I am the president" I agree.
"So, accepting your definition, how does it fit in with I Ching?" Walter gets back to the point.
I was relieved to be able to answer promptly, "I don't know."
Safely back on Moira, late at night, I decide to give the I Ching a shot. According to Jung, one must treat the Oracle with extreme respect - respect accorded an ancient living philosopher.
I dig out three Eisenhower silver dollars. I examine the excellent workmanship of the coins, the details in the eagle landing on the moon. More than mystical, the Eagle lunar landing represents one of the grandest achievements of the collective mind of the planet.
"What shall I ask?" I say to Walter the cat who is asleep. Freddy is also asleep but she is aft, in our bed in the after stateroom. "It must be something serious - a real question bothering me."
The question bothering me for years has been how I should write about the living Stellar system (Sol and Earth). I have slowly been putting together a manuscript oriented towards the stellar system as a "space creature": A biologist's view of the embryology and behavior of this magnificent being. In the book, the development of mind on the surface of the planet becomes a morphogenesis from stellar atoms to carbon-based life to an electronic mind weaving thought around itself and out into space at the speed of light. Just this evening Freddy was cautioning me the approach was not right. She said I pontificated too much.
OK. I gather up the three coins. "What do you think about the book I'm working on - The Space Creature? Assuming you represent a part of the guiding consciousness of the planet, of man, are you pleased with it? Does it present your ideas the way you want it to?"
I throw the coins. 3 Tails (Three Eagles landing on the moon). "What do you think of the book Space Creature?" I ask again and throw the coins. 2 Tails 1 head. I repeat the process again. 2 Heads, one Tail. Again I ask the question and throw; 2 Tails 1 Head. Next throw the same. And for the sixth time I throw and it comes up the same, 2 Tails and One head. So?
Which is yin, and which is yang?
Well, yang is the doer, the light, the time consciousness.
That's an individual.
Yin is the dark, the unseen, the metaphysical side.
The eagle is a symbol for the mass mind reaching the goddess of the night - the moon.
Right, head is yang, so tails is yin.
Each throw of the coins makes one line of the hexagram.
The hexagram builds from the bottom.
The Yin (tails) has a value of 2, Yang has a value of 3.
There are three coins and you add up the yin and yang values.
The hexagrams are made up of four kinds of lines:
|a solid line that changes in the future to a broken line - the old yang|
|a broken line that changes in the future to a solid line - the old yin|
|a solid line that does not change|
|a broken line that does not change|
The changing lines predict how the hexagram will change into a new one.
I have to convert the heads and tails of my throw into lines.
|3 tails = 9|
|2 tails 1 head = 7|
|2 heads 1 tail = 8|
|2 tails 1 head = 7|
|2 tails 1 head = 7|
|2 tails 1 head = 7|
These, using the first throw as the base, build up into two trigrams, one on top of the other.
|above Ch'ien The Creative|
|below Tui The Joyous, Lake|
Together, these form the hexagram, 10, Treading (Conduct).
I consult the oracle and find the throws represent the hexagram "10. Treading. At first, as I read over the meaning of the ideogram it seems the I Ching favors my approach to the book. Heaven, the Father is above and the lake (the youngest daughter) is below. Treading means literally treading upon something. The small and cheerful (Tui) treads upon the large and strong (Ch'ien). For the weak to take a stand against the strong is not dangerous here, because it happens in good humor so the strong is not irritated. The image is "Treading upon the tail of the tiger. It does not bite the man. Success." The lines, with 9 at the beginning, means that if my conduct is simple, if I remain free of obligations of social intercourse, I can quietly follow my predilections - as long as I make no demands on people. And "If he can be content with simplicity, he can make progress without blame."
But then, when the old yang changes into a broken line - in the future - the hexagram changes to:
Hexagram 6. Sung / Conflict. This is not so good. The Judgement, A cautious halt halfway brings good fortune. Going through to the end brings misfortune. In all his transactions, the superior man carefully considers the beginning.
I sit for awhile and consider the reply. I am forced to agree with it and am both pleased and shocked at how the rather involved process of the I Ching has come up with a reasonable answer to my exact question.
Treading. In fact, the creative sitting over an abyss does seem to portray my situation in more ways than one. The planet sitting in the abyss of space. Myself hovering over an abyss of ideas. I Am floating in this Magic Sea. An appropriate image. Very appropriate. I am enjoying this visitation from the ancient oracle.
This all hangs together. Not bad. Interesting, too. I read some of the other possible results that did not come up in the toss of the coins. Like "Nine at the top." It says, "The work is ended. If we want to know whether good fortune will follow, we must look back upon our conduct..." Well, the work is not ended, only beginning. So this would not have made and sense at all.
I thumb through the book and stop at random. 37, Chia Jen/ The Family. I read it over but it says nothing that would have made any sense to my questions, even if I try to squeeze meaning out of it. I try a couple more with the same results. Interesting.
I go back to it's answer and think about what I might do. Freddy and the I Ching don't like my style of writing - come to think of it, the publishers didn't like it either. So I can experiment and fiddle with the concepts to my heart's content but - according to the I Ching - will not succeed with publishing the results of the experiments. At least not now, not with this approach. Perhaps a more polite, modest approach? When confronting the massive social control systems, only the modest, the reserved, the delicate can survive.
What if I was to write it differently. Say I tried to do it like a Jonathan Livingston Seagull kind of book. More symbolic. More of a story. "What do you say, Oracle?" I ask and throw the coins again. This time the I Ching responds with 57. The Gentle with 6 in the 4th place, changing to 44. Coming to Meet.
Hey, amazing. "The dark principle is dissolved by the penetrating light principle""The Gentle - The wind disperses the gathered clouds leaving the sky clear and serene." and "Success through what is small." This is incredible. The first time it answered with Treading changing to Conflict. On the second throw of the coins, the I Ching completes its own last prediction, Act gently and the conflict will be dissolved. Astonishing. "Penetration in gradual, inconspicuous steps is not an act of violation."
"You must have a clearly defined goal, for only when the penetrating influence works only in the same direction can the object be attained." The story must have an overall goal, a plot.
"The goal is one of self realization. To become knowing." That stops me. Of course, it is exactly correct. It is the goal - both my goal and the goal of the living planet. I am really excited by this. It is as if the ancient philosopher is speaking to me about my problem.
I feel a cold chill as I read this. It makes an awful kind of sense to me, as if the ancient oracle is alive, here on Moira with me, seeing with perfect clarity. It supports the idea of writing the book as an action story. Maybe about a small, gentle creature....maybe not a star....maybe...maybe a dolphin. Yes. A dolphin, young, innocent, lovable who learns self awareness. This gives it modesty, a penetrating goal, dolphins are little and not directly harmful to my powerful adversaries.
Let's see....Changes to 44: coming to meet. This is a sign of danger. "The easy going gentle girl seizes power." I don't understand this. Does it mean the form of writing is a trap?
"The coming together to meet must be free of dishonest ulterior motives or otherwise harm will result." This is confusing. What sort of ulterior motives would be involved if I were to write a Richard Bach type story about a dolphin on the path towards the discovery it is part of a living stellar system? The first part of the oracle's reply seems to make no sense at all. It says the gentle girl (the book about the dolphin) somehow will seize power and get involved with ulterior motives. No sense at all.
(Little did I realize how exact this prediction was).
"Why don't you stay here?" Walter asks and I find myself unable to speak for a minute. It is difficult not to do whatever he wants.
"I have to go. I feel like I'm being pulled. Forced to go. I know you think it's crazy. Maybe it is crazy, but I still sense the guiding force, the current..."
I try to find the words but they escape me. I see, in my mind, an eerie image of a great sphere - Earth - its surface sculpted into rivers and tributaries of mind and awareness. It's flowing currents carry all living beings along our respective pathways. And the living being, the whole life system, can and does reach down on occasion and select individuals to do certain errands.
You can't just say something like that, even to someone like Walter.
Walter is looking at me. I know he has seen the network also. "It seems to be saying I should go to Sydney. The Moira will sail on the morning tide tomorrow."
Freddy is aboard Moira, getting her ready for sea. She does not want to stay here. "In a couple of months this place will be a titanic mosquito ranch," she shoves the onions into a basket and lashes them down. "The screens will keep them out but the little no-see-ums will get right through and we'll have to burn those awful mosquito coils all the time."
"And the river is beautiful but making the trip to the open sea is hazardous and so we'd just sit up here for months on end." I know the rest of her reasoning very well. "During the hurricane season, if we get hit, we can expect this river to become a raging torrent, maybe 20 feet higher than it is now, with big trees floating down."
"You got it," she secures her galley stove.
There is another reason. One I don't mention to anyone. Many years ago, in the Florida Keys, there was another young biologist who loved Walter. One day he came to see me in tears. Walter, he said, had cast him out of the fold. Simply told him to get lost. When I asked Walter about it he told me he felt it was necessary because our mutual friend was becoming "too dependant". "He's no longer thinking for himself, finding his own way. He's just following me around and that's not healthy for him." But the way Walter threw him out broke his heart. It is an experience I would not like to have and it covered my admiration for him with a thin veil of mistrust. Plus it showed me what a powerful character Walter is.
At the time we were in our early twenties. He was already maneuvering in zones of awareness other people don't ever perceive. He has an uncanny, natural talent for doing it. If I stay here I know I could become very dependant on him.
Enough of that. We go.
The I Ching is sitting on the Dinette so I pick up the coins and ask it specifically what it thinks about the writing of the story as an adventure of a dolphin.
It replies with Treading. Again! Wow! Right back to the first advice. What are the odds of throwing the same pattern again? "If the conduct is simple and we remain free of obligations of social intercourse we can quietly follow our predilections as long as we are content to make no demands on people." And "I am at an altogether inferior position but if I can be content with simplicity I can make progress." and "I must be simple, accurate, kind, beautiful, giving and modest..." all of this fits very well with a Jonathan Livingston Seagull approach.
Damn! Treading changes to Hexagram 47, Oppression. According to the I Ching, "When one has something to say, It is not believed." I have to admit this fits. For the time being, outward influence is denied the book because its words have no effect. The image is of a lake empty, dried up, exhausted. "Thus everywhere, superior men are oppressed and held in restraint by inferior men."
I consult the Oracle again, asking the same question. Maybe this isn't polite, but what the hell. I Ching says, essentially, the same thing. Modesty changing to Grace. With modesty you may cross the great water. Where no claims are put forward no resistance arises. Beauty of form is necessary but grace is an ornament and must be used sparingly.
And, for the third time, the reply turns negative again. Important and controversial issues are not to be decided in this way. They require greater earnestness.
Each time the reply gives the same basic image. The difficult position of a man fighting a powerful adversary, the need for modesty and restraint. The requirement of focus and patience. And the ultimate defeat of the project.
Maybe ALL of the hexagrams say the same thing! I read a random selection of other hexagrams in the book. They all give completely different images. Somehow the oracle keeps on track with my particular problem. This is impressive. Statistically, there is practically zero possibility of five answers making good sense, giving the same advice, on the same issue. Briefly I try to figure the odds, throwing three coins six times, four lines, 64 hexagrams....
Jung is correct in his forward to the book. The Oracle is an astounding example of synchronicity - the violation of random chance. I'll try another subject.
Walter has some one ounce gold bars and intends to sell some. I've often considered buying gold. Both as an investment and because Freddy could always use it to make Jewelry. Walter says if I buy them from him we can both avoid a dealer's commission. Right now Gold is about $600 an ounce. I rattle the three coins in my hand and ask the oracle, "Should I buy gold from Walter?"
It replies "The Family" changing to "Clings". This has nothing to do with gold but everything to do with my deeper question - should I stay here with Walter and become part of his family. I ask about gold again and the oracle again ignores the gold issue to repeat itself more clearly. "Deliverance. Free yourself of close, seemingly indispensable acquaintances who do not share your inner views." and this changes to "Do not tarry in danger. Flow on." Well, the prophet and I agree on that, at least.
Freddy vanishes down the dark tube, flat on her belly, screaming. A group of people is coming up behind me. This is the worst tube, dropping almost straight down about 10 meters before looping damn near over itself. I arrange the mat and throw myself into the water. Lights from outside strobe through the fiberglass sections as I plummet down the slope riding the thin layer of water. The loop the loop is terrific, what a kick! I emerge going about a thousand miles an hour right behind Freddy and sloosh to a stop.
"Come on. Again!" She hops up, sprints up the steps and round the corner with me trying to keep up. We have 30 minutes for $4.50. When the 30 minutes are up we have to surrender our blue mats. If we don't hand over another $4.50 each, out we go. So Freddy wants to get as many runs down the water slides as possible. We run up the hundred million stairs to the top. "What great exercise," she pants as I pound along heavily behind her.
The night is burning hot. The water slides are about the only cool action going. Cairns has made a whole lot of changes in the year we were gone. New boats, new hotels, and these water slides. Progress, pant, pant, pant. The steps go up forever, Freddy's shapely little bikinied buns bob along at eye-level keeping my interest from flagging.
Today we finally got the new wire terminals and fixed the cracked rigging on the starboard shroud. Tomorrow we set sail for Sydney. We pass a group of exhausted teenagers on the third flight of stairs. Makes me feel great, passing them, although I am probably just as exhausted looking.
I have been making notes for the new book and will try to finish these and have the book ready by the time we get to Sydney. It will be short. The basic story is about a dolphin named Solo, who is born in captivity and then set free. Understanding Man language he has, since birth, had a variety of self-consciousness. He has always been the Star. An individual.
In the sea he becomes one of many dolphins. All the other dolphins, without Mankind's consciousness, see themselves as members of one larger being. They share a kind of dolphin social mind. Solo, the hero, rejects himself from the group when they fail to recognize him as something unique. He tries to return to Man but gets shot at by a hostile humanity.
In terror, Solo flees to the open sea where he comes upon a Cachalot whale who has sensed his condition and come to offer his sage advise. The sperm whale brings Solo to an atoll and leaves him alone to discover the secret of Sea. In his solitude, Solo becomes aware of the unity of life on the coral reef and discovers the principle of nested beings. The Whale returns and brings Solo to a place where whales (and many dolphins) celebrate their unity with Sea and Sun and Air. During the sacred ritual, Solo experiences the force of the united mind of the whales and perceives his own unity with the living planet.
"Which one we gonna do this time?" Freddy huffs as we wheeze and snort on the top platform. I check my watch. It will be our last run.
"Blue," I run towards the blue tube, "Me first!" I dive in.
On the walk back to the wharf, I think about the dolphin book. I don't have the ending yet. But hopefully I'll get it together by the time we get to Sydney and find myself a book publisher.
Back aboard Moira, I get out my three trusty coins and ask the I Ching, "What can you tell me about the success of the trip to Sydney - both the voyage there and the result of my business dealings related to the book?"
It answers with the hexagram "Limitation" changing to "The Army."
The Oracle says, "Often a man who would like to undertake something finds himself confronted by insurmountable limitations. Then he must know where to stop." This sounds familiar. At least the Oracle is consistent.
The changing lines shift Limitation - in the future - to The Army. The I Ching cautions becoming tied up with a power movement. In short, the place to stop is before getting involved with a war. The Oracle keeps reminding me to set limits of modesty, decorum, care..... At least the modesty bit is consistent. And the ancient sage always comes up with conflict at the end. Conflict because of social resistance. Conflict because I will have ulterior motives. Now, conflict because I'm going to join an army or start a war.
No problem there. I'm going to Sydney to publish a book not get involved in a war. Or does it imply the two are the same? Basically, the answer is "Be careful, set limits to my voyage and my business dealings and don't start a war." Right, I won't. I chuckle.