I've been increasingly interested in the power of the unconscious, especially with regards to creativity and insight. Creativity and self-knowledge seem to come from nowhere, and I can understand how people of all ages have felt like they had a divine connection or received inspiration from a muse. Certainly, I cannot create well with the cerebral part of my brain - it seems to flow from somewhere deeper and mostly inaccessible.
I've occasionally used the I Ching, an ancient Chinese divination manual, as a tool for both getting unstuck and gaining deeper insight into my thoughts on a question. The book can act as a mirror you hold up to yourself, enabling you to see your situation in a different light.
For the next month, I'll be exploring my unconscious by consulting the I Ching every day. Perhaps having a trigger can help us access the deeper parts of our being, the parts so often inaccessible to us. What might be revealed to me that I'm not paying attention to? What might be revealed to me by simply asking myself (or "the universe") to share some insight?
Many poo-poo the act of consulting an oracle, because the answers are vague and can apply to many situations. Certainly generating a random number, associating it with a reading in a book, and applying it to your situation is not "rational". I am not seeking a rational method for self-knowledge I have my doubts that even the most "rational" thinkers can truly escape the irrational aspects of their own nature. Anyone who claims to be rational is ignoring the power that cognitive and emotional biases have over our minds - there is no escaping them.
The answers from the I Ching serve as a useful tool for analyzing our own minds and getting unstuck. No matter the situation, taking a different view is invaluable. And who can disregard the use of such a text by wise and capable men throughout history, including Confucius, Carl Jung, and Mao Zedong?