This was an experiment using the I Ching symbols to predict the fate of an object. My goal was to see if it was at all possible, and how effective or useless it would be. While at work, I looked around and noticed a brand new electric pencil sharpener our school had just ordered, sitting on a desk. A fresh item, I assumed it would have a long life, and actually was hoping to get a symbol that reflected a long life or newness. Something that reflected an optimistic outlook, but that could be predicted nonetheless in years.
Deciding on the method was what required the first step of intuition, and what occurred to me was to add the serial number together with the current date, in steps. This yielded the hexagram 23, Falling Away. This symbolizes something that is already in its death phase. Yet, in addition to that, the top line was the changing line, which mean that the end was already near for the brand new pencil sharpener! I could not believe it, yet my gut was convinced that I was on the right path with this, so I took a small post-it and drew the symbol and prediction on it, adhering it to the bottom of the sharpener where no one else would see it.
Not two weeks later, it all came to pass quite literally. As the title of Hexagram 23 states “Falling Away” – our dear pencil sharpener was suddenly relocated to a high shelf and knocked unceremoniously to the ground by a careless student and hit the floor with a loud bang. It never worked afterwards.
As fun as the story is, many pencil sharpeners last at least through the school year, if not beyond. So out of all 64 I Ching symbols, how did the method lead to a symbol that so accurately illustrated the end of this object? I was quite impressed with this, and think it could be used on further objects.