Indebted to Change

Indebted to Change

The Beggar Poet’s I Ching

Stephen Falconer


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The date, the time, the place are obscure, but of what we can be certain is that the Beggar Poet is in no position to call himself a "noble person" or a "superior man." He lives his life as would a mendicant writer or a solitary seeker--one who has tasted love, joy, and the depths of human despair. Like most of us, really. In fashioning his life to the changes of the I Ching, each of the sixty-four hexagrams, he is faced with challenges and riddles, thresholds to broach, subtle variations of insight from which, by living through them sincerely and with an unrelenting gaze, he can be said to be living an evolving revelation of consciousness. Anyone who has taken time to turn the pages of the I Ching will realize that as well as discovering uplifting and spiritually profound moments, there are those we truly fear and spend our lives trying to avoid. Instead of trying to maintain constantly a higher spiritual eminence--a perfect sense of proportion--we come to know by experience, if Heaven wills and for only brief interludes in an otherwise fulfilling life, its opposite, making our luminous spiritual flights all the more poignant and precious.


Stephen Falconer:
Years have passed since Stephen Falconer first glanced at the pages of the I Ching. The readings were prophetic. He was not to concern himself with wealth and outward symbols of success, but to concentrate on the book itself, and to follow where it led—to a love for Santoka Taneda, Basho, and Tang dynasty poetry, yet at the back of it all a respect for the Changes and the fruits it would engender.