I took this photo on a day when many minor unexpected events kept me from my planned agenda. For example, I went to sleep early, planning to get up early to do some work on the oracle. An unexpected phone call at one o’clock in the morning interrupted my sleep. I interpreted the phone call as a setback and as I allowed frustration and resentment to grow I found I was unable to surrender to sleep. Resisting the unexpected event made it more disruptive and exhausting. After I overcame the insomnia and got up the next morning I allowed other minor unexpected events to bother me. I resented that there wasn’t more time and space in the day to do what I had planned on doing. By evening, as I waited for the start of what proved to be an excellent movie, I realized I was agitated and in a state of nervous tension that was the direct result of my fighting with the unexpected and unwanted events of the day. But while I was feeling frustrated at the planned things that didn’t happen and the unwanted things that did, several unexpected good things happened. As I recognized this, I had several life-changing realizations.
Usually we think of a realization as a new insight. In this case there was no new insight, but a case of well-known principles suddenly becoming much more real to me. A realization is when a truth, often a well-known truth, becomes real for you. This realization may come years, or even decades, after you have grasped the truth intellectually.
I realized that I harmed myself by fighting with the unexpected, unwanted things that the day had brought. Resisting these divergences, I made them more harmful than they would have been had I accepted them and worked with them more gracefully. But even my resistance was part of the harvest of the day. The resistance and its consequences led to my realizations, and led to the creation of this card. Perceiving the harm that my resistances had created, certain I Ching principles became more real to me — that it is better to be path-oriented rather than goal-oriented, that one should not take gain or loss to heart, and that fear and doubt are where harm enters.
As the sun was setting, I was able to look back on the day with something like end-of-life wisdom. I saw that amongst the frustrations and unwanted events several beautiful, creative and loving things had happened as well, and I was able to reap the unexpected harvest.