Archetype 58: Wonder
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
The shepherds were the country bumpkins of the ancient world. They had no education and little understanding of religious niceties. Perhaps that is why God chose them to reveal this “good news of great joy,” the birth of the Messiah. They weren’t about to start endless debates about whether or not this accorded with Jewish prophesy. They did what any ordinary person would do upon hearing about something wonderful: they went to see it. And, after seeing the baby, they shared their wonder and joy with any who would listen.
This hexagram is a doubling of the Wonder trigram. With Wonder above and Wonder below, Wonder reinforces itself.
There is a time...
- To understand that wonder is different from frivolity; frivolity is superficial and fleeting, whereas wonder has strength and depth and leaves the wonderer a changed person.
- To know that wonder cannot be forced on anybody through intimidation; it must be an inner response.
- To experience wonder through faith, because without faith, wonder is experienced as bewilderment or confusion.
- To resist Ego’s attempts to transform wonder into something self-serving and ugly.
- To transmit wonder from person to person, and by doing so, grow wonder into a gentle force that can drive change.
- To find Wisdom’s way in discussions and interactions with close friends.
Now is that time.
A moving line in the bottom position describes a quiet, self-contained wonder that desires nothing and is content to simply be. This kind of wonder drives a special kind of joy: joy in the complete trust of God’s love.
A moving line in the second position warns that wonder can be tarnished by consorting with those who seek trivial frivolity. This is the time to stay true to course and not be distracted by disreputable characters and inappropriate pleasures.
A moving line in the third position warns that spiritual emptiness attracts only that which has no value. No wonder will be found in a spiritual desert. Wonder springs from inside; it cannot be sought.
A moving line in the fourth position describes one who is torn between worldly pleasures. This can only cause suffering. The cure for this is to know that desire eventually turns to disappointment. Only spiritual joy brings ultimate satisfaction.
A moving line in the fifth position warns that dangerous elements threaten even the best of people. These elements act slowly but surely to degrade those who do not take steps to guard themselves. The best protection is understanding the nature of the danger.
A moving line in the top position brings a strong warning that one who is controlled by Ego is easily diverted by frivolous pleasures, and these pleasures can quickly become addictive. Once this happens, there is little hope of salvation.
Other interpretations of Archetype 58:
- 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.