Description: I Ching: The Book of Change translated by Thomas Cleary. Paperback, 152 pages, 4.25” by 6.75”. The Ching (Book of Change) is considered the oldest of the Chinese classics and has, throughout Chinese history, commanded unsurpassed prestige and popularity. Containing several lawyers of text and given numerous levels of interpretation, the I Ching has been venerated for more than three thousand years as an oracle of fortune, a guide to success, and a source of wisdom. The underlying themes o the text is change, and how this fundamental force influences all aspects of life – from business and politics to personal relationships. This translation of the I Ching draws on ancient Confucian commentary, which emphasizes applying practical wisdom in everyday affairs.
Story: In many ways, mental illness is experienced as a condition of contemplation. The very essence of the mental illness can be a distortion in how we experience and contemplate our reality. It can be a scary and stark reality that we see through this lens of mental illness. My own bipolar disorder forced me to contemplate both the future and the past. Perhaps it was avoiding the present that prolonged the worst of my illness. I contemplated a new reality before me which diverged from the path set by my former self. If I contemplated the past events that led to my break, then I left myself vulnerable to those memories triggering a new episode or frustrating my recovery. It was only when I accepted the present and found hope in contemplating a healthy and productive future that I could move towards recovery. This recovery journey has largely been one of reconciling my future self with my past to experience the present more and more fully.
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