Archetype 31: Joyful Receptivity
Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Mary sits at Jesus’s feet. She is fully absorbed in the wonder of his being. She doesn’t speak or respond to her sister’s complaints. It isn’t that she is ignoring her sister. It is that Mary has found a place of profound stillness, a place in which there is room for nothing but the experience of being with Jesus. In that place of serenity, the boundaries between her and Jesus dissolve.
The upper trigram is Wonder, whose attribute is Joy. The lower trigram is Stillness, whose attribute is Resting. Thus we have a Joy that is in a peaceful, rested state. This is the joy of one who is alive in God. From a social perspective, the upper trigram represents a youngest daughter, and the lower trigram a youngest son. There is a natural attraction between these two, with the potential for young love and courtship.
There is a time...
- To hold oneself in stillness, and in that stillness, experience joy from without.
- To not allow joy to distract from the stillness or the stillness to snuff out the joy.
- To participate in the natural rituals of courtship and enjoy the depth time adds to the relationship.
- To understand the difference between courtship, in which the strong becomes subservient to the weak, and seduction, in which the strong dominates the weak.
- To appreciate the universal law of attraction: that two synergistic parts will be naturally and even joyfully attracted to each other.
- To keep the mind humble and free, and thus receptive to the voice of Wisdom.
Now is that time.
A moving line in the bottom position indicates an influence that is present but not yet apparent. Since the influence is not visible in the world, it is mere potential.
A moving line in the second position indicates one whose movement is not controlled from within. This is an undesirable situation. The wise one remains in silence until compelled into action by events.
A moving line in the third position warns against giving in to emotions. Three suggestions are made by this line:
- The wise one does not prematurely try to influence others.
- The wise one does not give in to the whims of those being served.
- The wise one knows when the best action is no action.
A moving line in the fourth position points to the soul of the individual. Actions that are guided by the soul have the greatest vitality, but it is most important that the soul be guided by Wisdom. Actions that arise from a soul guided by Wisdom produce results that are in accord with God’s will. The wise one is subtle in influencing others. Efforts to manipulate, rather than influence others, are limited in their effect and produce resistance that will be exhausting.
A moving line in the fifth position suggests that the will is to remain firm. The wise one is not likely to succumb to confusion, and actions guided by inner spirit are not likely to lead to remorse. The actions must be guided by observations of the flows occurring in the outside world. Thus there is a unification of inner Wisdom and outside observation.
A moving line in the top position teaches of the pointlessness of idle talk that leads to nothing of significance.
Other interpretations of Archetype 31:
- Tom Christensen's interpretation [click here]
- Cafe Au Soul's interpretation [click here]
- LiSe's interpretation [click here]
- Richard Wilhelm's interpretation [click here]
- Return to the Hexagram Index Table [click here].
- Return to Consulting the Christian I Ching [click here].
- Purchase a printed copy of Wisdom's Way; The Christian I Ching [click here].
- Learn about our Online Christian I Ching Workshop [click here].
- Find out about personal consultations [click here].
Reproduced with permission from Wisdom's Way; The Christian I Ching copyright (c) 2015 Roger Sessions.