a reliable source of spiritual nourishment

the well


No community can survive without a dependable source of pure water. In a similar way, human beings cannot survive without a reliable source of spiritual nourishment. In fact, we need two wells: an external source of guidance, such as the I Ching, and an internal source of guidance, which must be our own good character. This hexagram comes to encourage you to concentrate on developing, purifying, and utilizing your two “wells.”

Notice the name of this hexagram: “Ching/The Well.” The I Ching has survived in countless civilizations for thousands of years for a simple reason: it is an inexhaustible source of spiritual nourishment. It provides us with the fundamental building blocks of a successful life. If you approach it sincerely, without mistrust or frivolity, it will guide you through every difficult hour with unimpeachable wisdom. If you muddy the well, however, by doubting the I Ching or by placing your ego desires above the counsel it gives you, you impede your own progress.

The purest of external wells, the I Ching is also an invaluable aid in developing and cleansing the internal well of your own good character. It will, if you are sincere, reveal to you the fundamental issues of your life, and it will instill in you the values necessary to successfully negotiate those issues.

The hexagram Ching comes to encourage you not to muddy the well of your good character in any way now. In relating to others, look beyond any external faults of “muddiness” and acknowledge the clear well that exists somewhere inside them. No person is without this, and by speaking to it you strengthen it. If you will follow these counsels, you will meet with a true and lasting success in life.


fifth changing line:


One must not only

draw the water from the well

but also drink it. Wisdom that is not

put to practical use is



from The I Ching, or Book of Changes

Hexagram 48, Ching / The Well


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