Can The I-Ching Solve Your Life Problems? An Interview With Sergey Poberezhny
Sergey Poberezhny is no stranger to the I-Ching, a book older than The Bible. Growing up in New York City, Poberezhny was exposed to every imaginable culture and religion, but remained firmly agnostic (at one point even claiming to be an atheist). While attending Penn State University, Poberezhny discovered the I-Ching. He claims it has changed his life and is offering an informational seminar online about the I-Ching (click here to learn more). He claims to be a student of the I-Ching, rather than expert. And if you’re hoping the I-Ching is some mystical oracle or will give you the daily lotto numbers, you might want to move on… Here’s a quick look in to how and why the I-Ching became an important spiritual tool for the former atheist.
When did you discover the I-Ching?
It was sometime in college, about six months after I joined the Paranormal Research Society. I was reading about Carl Jung and there was a story that really peaked my curiosity, where he would sit under a tree and have conversations with the I-Ching. After that, I became curious.
I discovered that Jung was fascinated with the paranormal, the occult, mysticism, and psychics. From what I understand, someone had given him a translation of the I-Ching and Jung decided to try it. He’d ask a question and then he’d get an answer, and then he’d have a follow-up question to ask and then he’d seek out a follow-up answer. Essentially, he was having a deep conversation with himself and the universe.
Do you remember the first time you tried the I-Ching?
Yeah. After hearing about Jung doing it, I went over to the bookstore and I grabbed one of the I-Ching books and asked a question. The hexagram (the designated answer to your question; there are 64) I got was “Nourishment,” which, being in college, I chose to take literally. I changed my diet and tried to eat better. Nowadays, I see the hexagram for Nourishment as being more for the soul.
How has the I-Ching become an important part of your life?
It’s a tool I can use to reflect on day-to-day occurrences. It allows me to stop and think a little bit about my actions, as opposed to running in without considering my actions. It has guided me through some tough moments in life. It has advised me to be patient, to wait and endure during trying times.
One of the ways I use it is asking a question in the morning. I ask the I-Ching what I should reflect on before starting my day. And then there are days when, like everyone else, I’ve been struck with emotional or stressful times, and I’d use the I-Ching for counsel. The beautiful thing, at least on my end, is it allows me to try to get a hold of those emotions and to slow down. It teaches me to not overreact. The book always gives you something to reflect on that is very useful in your moment of need.
What is the I-Ching?
The I-Ching dates back to 2000 BC. Some speculate it goes back even further. It’s essentially a philosophy of life. You can use it in any way. Yes, you can look at it as a fortune teller or an oracle, but I like to see it as a path to spiritual growth. It recognizes that there’s good and bad in the world, but what I like about it is that it doesn’t say by default you have to run away from the bad. It doesn’t judge you if you do bad things or good things. It’s just a tool.
A tool for what?
I want to say self-reflection. And by all means, I’m not saying it has to be this way for everyone. Everyone interprets the I-Ching differently. Through their own filters. Someone else can read their hexagram and get a different interpretation of what it means. For me, I see it as a tool to look inward, because the answers are already within you.
Do you believe it has mystical, supernatural properties?
I do, but I’m afraid to state that. I don’t want people believing this is some magic genie. It won’t give you lottery numbers. It isn’t something to depend on or lean on. For me, to fully depend on this kind of takes the magic away. The story with Jung is that he’d sit under a tree for hours and converse with this book, and that seems so enlightening. That he can get intelligent responses. At some point I’d love to be at that level and understand what that may feel like. For me, I don’t claim to be an expert with the I-Ching. You could say I’m a student, cause I am studying it more and more each month. I am very analytical, so I have struggled to understand the I-Ching.
What are you hoping to discover or give from your course?
I’m hoping that they will learn something about themselves through the guidance of the I-Ching. I’m not teaching them anything about themselves. I’m just showing them how to use this tool. The rest is up to them.
For more information on how to sign-up for Sergey’s I-Ching webinar (which starts November 26th), go to: http://iching-prs.eventbrite.com