Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hexagram fifty three and keeping still

In several ways we are taught in the book of changes that gradual progress is based on "keeping still," or on meditation. One way is that hexagram fifty three comes immediately after hexagram fifty two which is "keeping still." Another way is that the lower trigram in "gradual progress" is k'en, or keeping still, (the mountain). A third way is that when line five, the ruler of the hexagram changes we have hexagram fifty two, keeping still.

This is the basis for everything. Without times in meditation, quietness, and keeping still we can never get in touch with our deeper, or our higher self, and therefore never really know ourselves. Many people today, especially young people, have the attitude that silence is oppressive. That is because through silence they are forced to come to terms with themselves which they do NOT want to do, at all costs. It is too frightening.

And speak of frightening, look at hexagram fifty one. This hexagram is the very opposite of keeping still, it refers to shocking movement. Yet it says that, "The shock terrifies for a hundred miles, And he does not let fall the sacrificial spoon and chalice. In otherwords, he or she is so accomplished in meditation and keeping still that even the greatest shock, the greatest unexpected event of epic proportions, does not cause him or her to lose their inner peace of mind. We would all like to have that inner tranquility, yet we do everything in our power to keep from having it. We must set aside time each day to go within. Without that time our electromagnetic field degenerates faster and we die at an earlier date, or manifest disease which was not meant for us in our life times. Without that we become unstable, and unable to deal with the perplexities of life. And we are unable to gradually develop into better and more accomplished people in our lives.

At the same time we must not let stillness become such a mainstay in our lives that we forget to do our work. If we become lazy, if we become indulgent, and do not apply ourselves, then things tend to spoil, and the opposite of development is experienced. When lines two and five change, the upper trigram becomes the lower, and the lower becomes the higher, which results in hexagram eighteen, which implies decay. Then we must take action. Lao T'zu said, "The way to overcome coldness, is through movement, and the way to overcome heat, is through stillness." There must be a moderation in all things. When we are heated, or when we are angry, we must maintain stillness. Stillness will overcome the anger. When we are cold, or when we are inactive, lazy, we must produce activity within ourselves. Activity will overcome depression. Activity will overcome laziness. We just get out and do it. If we try to accomplish too much all at once, we become like line four in hexagram thirty. We "flame up, die down, and get thrown away," We must progress just a little bit each day, with a consistency that never slackens. Then we achieve our goals, and our achievement makes us happy.


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