Sunday, May 29, 2011

A little bit about hexagram two, the yin force

Before we get into the meaning of the lines, or even deeper into the mysteries of yin and yang, space and time, force and receptivity, we need to hone a little bit our understanding of pure yin energy. It is in every way the opposite of yang, and therefore would seem to be contradictory and in opposition to yang. In its state of falsehood, it is, yet in its true state of receptivity, it does not combat yang energy. When yin and yang oppose each other, and struggle against each other, the result is that which is depicted in the sixth line of each hexagram. It is not a pretty picture, for these two energies are eternal, indestructible, and uncontrollable, yet when they fight, they create destruction on an unprecedented scale in the constructs of space and time. Line six of hexagram one says, "Arrogant dragon will have cause to repent." If yang thinks it can act and accomplish without the use of yin energy, or if it thinks to overcome and suppress yin energy, it will find it cannot accomplish anything. Yang provides the energy, but yin provides the space. Yang creates, but yin is the receptacle in which yang creates. Without that receptive power, nothing can be created. In the same way, If yin energy competes with yang, or tries to diminish it, the result, as depicted in line six, "dragons fight in the meadow; their blood is black and blue." A fight between the two energies is unthinkable because they are both equal, and cannot diminish each other. Therefore they don't destroy each other but create havoc with each other. This can go on perpetually since both are equal, indestructible, and neither side can be in any way victorious.

Therefore it is wise for them to cooperate, and not compete. Yet we will see soon that proper forms of competition are also forms of cooperation. But lets look at the two forms of energy for a moment. Considering the nature of the two forms of energy we see that competition is primarily an attribute of yang energy, while cooperativeness is primarily a form of yin energy. In the world of humans, males tend naturally to compete, (and now days women do to to a large extent, but not as much,) and women tend to cooperate. There is a great deal of addage to the concept that "men are from Mars and women from Venus." For mars is the ruler of the first sign of the zodiac, Aries, which tends to put self first. Venus is the ruler of Libra which tends to think in terms of relationships. The weakest aspect of men is that they tend to think of themselves first, and will often sacrifice a relationship for their own needs, while the weakest aspect of women is that they often tend to sacrifice themselves, their dignity, and their pride, for the sake of the relationship. It is two opposite ways of being. The key is to remember that neither side is totally right or totally wrong. It is just a different type of energy. Once we become aware of this, we can integrate the two forces, and become more cooperative, or more unwilling to sacrifice our own dignity for the sake of relationships. The key in all things is to have balance, which is why the central line of each trigram is usually the ruler of that trigram. We must integrate both sides into a unified whole, and be consciously aware of the choices we make, rather than just having random tendencies never realizing that others do not react in exactly the same way. We tend to react unconsciously, inadvertently, and without awareness. We are what we are. It never occurs to us that there is another way to act, unless a master of life brings it to our attention.

We have to realize that competition when properly used really is a form of cooperation, because we are cooperating with our competitor in order to get better. If we cooperate without really realizing what we are doing, we lose the incentive to find ways to get better, and we tend to stagnate. However, we must be aware of the cooperative aspect of it. We must want to win, but not just for ourselves, but because, when we get better, so does our competition. We figure out a way to win, then they figure out a better way to be winners also, and in the end we are all winners. This is how competition becomes cooperation.

Cooperation can also be a form of competition however, if we are doing it to serve the greater good. Sometimes cooperation can become a matter of manipulation, making ourselves look better, showing how useful and how needed we are, and how competent we are. Cooperation nevertheless teaches us to work together, to try to solve a problem for our group, our neighborhood or societal unit that needs to be solved. This does in some ways the same thing as competition in that it makes us work together as a team to figure out a way to do it better, not by competing but by cooperating. When a baseball team plays another team it is trying to win, and in doing so becomes better not only as the winning team, but helps the other team get used to superior hitting and fielding and pitching in order to learn to handle better hitting and fielding and get better themselves. But at the same time that they are competing with the opposing team they are also cooperating with the other players on their own team to figure out ways to get better, to steal an extra base or two, or to get the ball to the right player to make a surprise out. It is all a team effort, and competing and cooperating are generally two sides to the same coin. We need both. The coin is not complete without the other side. In the same way, yin is not complete without yang and vice versa.

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