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42 The Maze

hexagram-42-maze‘WHEN THE FIELD Marshal pulled down all the city’s minarets to confuse the occupying
army, memory was promoted to the level of valour.’

Which came first, maze or sheepfold? Unarmed, listening intently, head
full of shadowy myths, you step undaunted into destiny. Turning a corner
you almost bump into a man who resembles your father, with shears in
his hand. Is there blood on the blades? Later you notice how flat the cliffs
of green are, how bright the cuts on leftover leafy sprigs at your feet.

1st – The Maze in the Temple Tiles
Curtains ripple in the breeze, soldiers watch with folded arms. Why not
walk straight to the bull’s-eye, insist on your due? Because whisperers
dislike straight lines, that’s what shouts are for, from stone to stone across
a lake: there has to be time for you to be ashamed of your imperfections.

2nd – The One-way Maze
The hand is removed from the hedge when the sum of your turns reaches
zero – with a compass you can find the exit. Imagine the inside of a G,
touring anticlockwise, veering rightwards at the top of the downstroke.
In reverse the algorithm fails, and you’re lost if the heart feels like home.

3rd – The Treacherous Maze
The paradigm is the brain’s convolutions, weighing attainment of the seed
pearl against relief at getting out unmolested. The first challenge for those
with a plan is a simple question: is this line a wall or a pathway?  Somewhere
brutish nostrils are twitching.  A fatal fog confuses every turn.

4th – The Maize Maze
Choose your artificer wisely: a lost farm boy may be tempted to carve
illicit arches with his cutter. Delayed cutting keeps the foliage greener
longer, reducing the fire risk. Hallowe’en night shows, however, are ill
advised: customers are likely to unshroud any threat with their lighters.

5th – The Imperial Maze
Copper radiance, blazing omnipotence – full baroque revelation. Cascades
of spray are like a time-lapse with galloping weather. Hearing the fountain
from an adjacent alley, humbly you withdraw and return: the protocol.
Destination sun: nowhere to go but outwards, back into the shadows.

6th – The Most Serene Maze
The address system rivals Tokyo’s. Where else can you see the despair
of visitors who are not lost? They struggle to escape the ubiquitous Per
San Marco signs. Somewhere there must be a chink in a wall! Beyond the
sector of second homes: the periphery, where the purest dialect is spoken.

All six – The Moral Maze
Yuck! This is the place to turn back, the final retching post. Call your dog
to heel and wipe off its slobber. Never mind what promises you made to
thugs and thieves: return to the straight and narrow. The path runs along
the tops of tall hedges! On either side are terrifying bottomless chasms.


Introduction to Six-Way Mirror | The Index of Hexagrams and Cantos

 

 

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