Friday, November 03, 2006

A fear of loss, or a loss of fear

Big difference between the two concepts you know. As a Tai Chi master, Chen Man-Ching used to tell his students, you must invest in loss. What did he mean by that? Tai Chi is based on Taoist and I Ching principles, and in the Tao Teh Ching, it says, nothing is softer than water, yet nothing can stand in its way. In the art of push hands, which is a tai fixed foot two person practice, a person must learn to allow himself to be pushed. The ego doesn't want to do that, it wants to push back, it wants to be stronger, When two people push, the stronger is going to win, hands down, every time. In most forms, especially western, of fighting, the stronger, bigger man usually wins. But in Tai Chi we invest in loss. We allow them to push us and push us and push us, until finally, they push, and we suddenly aren't there. There is more to it than this, of course, after learning to yield, and that is a lot harder than anyone thinks it is, takes years, one must learn how to neutralize the incoming force, and then counterattack, but one always takes care of one's problem first, before there is any counter. This may seem nonsensical to someone who has no interest in martial arts. They may think, what do I care about a bunch of people who want to be tough. But that is not what it is all about. It is about becoming one with one's attacker, and one with every thing. Jesus taught the same thing. He taught the principle of nonresistance in "The sermon on the mount." That is a principle that Christians give lip service to, but generally ignore it, because they really don't know what it means. How can we use nonresistance in our daily lives? It behooves us to look for examples, and opportunities. It is a much more powerful concept than one can initially imagine.

But what about loss? What does it really mean? The I Ching teaches us something about what our attitude toward loss should be. I won't go through every example but a couple or three ought to suffice. In hexagram 26 line four, the Wilhelm Baynes commentary says, "We cannot lose what really belongs to us." How many of us read that and really take it to heart? Or do we ignore it because we really don't understand it, or do we pass it by because it really doesn't make sense in terms of the divination we are trying to carry out? The text goes on to say, "even if we throw it away. Therefore we need have no anxiety." We cannot lose what really belongs to us! Can we take the words to heart?

Hexagram 51 line two adds to this theme. "It says "A hundred thousand times you lose your treasures...After seven days you will get them back." Why is this so? Because we need to stop looking at an outside world that is contrary to our inside world and is opposed to us, and we must control it. It is only when we give up control, when we let go, that we find an inner power that is greater than our outward circumstances. By fearing loss, we bring about what we deeply fear. When we let go, we create the mindset that brings to us good things. In the Star Wars Series, revenge of the Sith, Yoda tells Anakim Skywalker, "You must train your mind to let go of everything that you fear to lose."

What is it that we fear. Often our fears are deeply buried, and we are not honest enough with ourselves to admit to inner fears. We fear our fear. Can we delve deep down inside, and bring to surface those fears that secretly control our lives? If so, you may find your life begins to change.

2 comments:

Michelle said...

Hi Gene,

Great post. Here in the West we are taught to suppress and deny fear, so it is with us always. A person can't let go of something unless they admit they have it to begin with. The more a person denies the fear, the greater hold it has upon them....and usually they don't even know it. The subconscious and the unconscious are subtle playgrounds, but like the playgrounds of childhood, they offer many opportunities for learning and growth.

gener202 said...

Hi Michelle, and that at least partly is the reason, and meaning of my following posts, on hexagram 20. I have a little bit to go with this hexagram, and I will get back to the lines of hexagrams one and two.