Archetype 61: Inner Truth
You desire truth in the inward being;
therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.
These words were written by King David. Although David had a reputation as a great warrior, his ability to access inner truth at first left much to be desired. While his army was off fighting and dying in distant wars, he spent his nights skulking on the palace rooftop, where he could spy on women undressing and bathing.
One in particular caught his fancy: Bathsheba. David had Bathsheba taken to his bedroom, where he raped her. When she became pregnant, David panicked. Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, was a soldier in David’s army, away at battle. David knew that raping a soldier’s wife would not look good, especially one who at that time was off fighting in one of David’s wars. So David tried to arrange things so that it would appear that Uriah had gotten Bathsheba pregnant. When Uriah wouldn’t cooperate, David had Uriah murdered. He then took Bathsheba as one of his many wives.
God was not amused by David’s shenanigans, and so he sent the prophet Nathan to read David the riot act. When Bathsheba’s baby was born, it was sickly and soon died. Nathan told David that this was God’s punishment for his sins. David then went through a period of intense introspection, which led to his deep repentance and acquisition of great inner wisdom. It was the much wiser David who wrote these words in Psalm 51.
This hexagram consists of the upper trigram Spirit and the lower trigram Wonder. Placed together, we see two strong lines at the top and bottom and two open lines in the center. The openness at the center of the hexagram signifies the openness of a heart to inner truth.
There is a time...
- To cultivate a heart free of prejudice and malice and to find one’s inner truth.
- To be open and adaptable in how one works with others, allowing one’s inner truth to reach out to the others and draw them in.
- To understand that inner truth is not intimacy; inner truth is substantial, whereas intimacy is temporary.
- To recognize that a life grounded in divinely inspired inner truth has great power to make change.
- To call on the clarity that comes from Wisdom when judging the mistakes of others.
- To recognize that sometimes a pardon is the highest form of justice.
Now is that time.
A moving line in the bottom position tells us of the need to cultivate the inner stability and alertness that lead to inner truth. The line warns not to cultivate secret alliances that will result in dependencies. These dependencies will not stand up over time and will rob one of clarity.
A moving line in the second position describes how inner truth is able to impact others in a mysterious way. Inner truth gives one’s voice a special clarity and one’s deeds a charisma that others find irresistible. The sphere of influence starts small, reaching those in near proximity. But it gradually grows in influence until even those at a great distance are drawn in.
A moving line in the third position describes one whose strength does not come from inside, but from one’s relationship to others. In such a situation, one has little control over one’s own happiness.
A moving line in the fourth position recommends that the seeker turn to a wiser one for help in cultivating inner truth. The line also reminds the seeker that such a relationship requires humility and dedication.
A moving line in the fifth position describes the need for a unifying presence of strength and leadership. The strength described here is inner strength, not outer, and of character, not power. Such a ruler can unite the many into a cohesive whole. Without this unifying force, the line warns us that the cohesion will fail at the critical moment.
A moving line in the top position warns us not to depend on mere words to influence people. Although words alone may occasionally suffice, they can’t be counted upon when times are critical.
Other interpretations of Archetype 61:
- 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.