Friday, June 24, 2011

The Freedom of Forgivenss

Hexagram forty teaches us about forgiveness. This is probably the hardest lesson to learn of all spiritual lessons, as it is thought by many that to forgive would be disrespectful to self. But even if we do wish to forgive, it is one thing to think forgiveness, it is another to feel it. The ego does not want to let go, and it wants justice. Well, we do have laws, and it is perfectly proper and just to expect those laws to be enforced against those who have harmed us; but this should not be an emotional consideration. It should be a matter of simply letting justice take its course. We do not hang on to it beyond that point.

Why is it that it is not an outrage against self to allow ourselves to forgive? The main reason is that the universe is a self adjusting, regulating system, and that vengeance belongs to the universe, which knows all, far beyond our limited perception. We have our own karma, which we are not aware of, and the universe is working that karma out. Also, the perpetrator has his or her own karma. But this all goes back to the law of one. If we understand that the universe is a conscious, breathing entity, and that everything and everyone is a part of that, we understand that both perpetrator and victim are all made up of the same essence, and that for each of us, perpetrator or victim, we are of that same substance. There is no separation between us. So in effect, what happens to us, is of our own making, although we don't consciously understand it. Therefore, the image in hexagram forty says, "Thus the superior man pardons mistakes And forgives misdeeds." Naturally, a serious attack on us is going to leave us shaken, but we must retain our composure as quickly as possible, striving to be like the superior man in hexagram fifty one who is so composed that in spite of the most terrifying situation "does not let fall the sacrificial chalice." He is totally composed. And the image says, "Thus the superior man sets his life in order." He brings back his composure.

So; when we are hurt, when we have been victimized, when our emotions kick in and we are full of anger, seeking retribution, we remember to set our lives in order, and be totally composed, so composed that we become like the superior man in hexagram fifty two who "Keeps his back so still that he no longer sees his feels his body." Nothing can move him or shake him.

Most of us cannot so quickly and immediately let go of the feelings that we have when we are victimized. Therefore, hexagram forty tells us in the commentary that if we are not able to maintain such composure we still must return to the regular order of life as soon as possible. The commentary says, "if there are residual matters that must be attended to, (feelings that need to be processed) do it as quickly as possible, so that no retardations occur."If we are completely free of anger, then there is no longer "anywhere we have to go, (nothing to be released) and we experience the freedom of forgiveness.

When we hold onto anger we attract more of the same situations back into our life. Our emotions and our anger become a magnet that draws the same experience back to us. Therefore, the commentary on hexagram forty says, " that a clean sweep is made," lest there be any return to the original situation and we re-experience the same sorrow.

Line one tells us that in accomplishing the task of forgiveness, the hindrance is past, (the origin of the problem that created the victimization) deliverance comes. In this case "one recuperates in peace." Anger, and the desire for retribution keep us trapped in a state of anxiety, of stress, disabling us from functioning from a higher purpose, and creates a disconnect from the universal source.

Line two tells us that we must capture the "three cunning foxes." The three foxes are various aspects of ourselves that keep us from our highest good. They trap us in our sorrow, the wallow in pity, and keep us angry. Only by capturing them and eliminating them can we function as normal human beings. All anger is ultimately directed at the universe, the source, the fount of all creation, and at ourselves for creating such a situation in our lives. We must not let the "three cunning foxes" control us.

Line three says, "If a man carry a burden on his back...he thereby encourages robbers to draw near." Our anger, our rage, and our fear is a burden. It weighs us down, it "robs" us of our joy, and ultimately is of no use to us, and does not create vengeful justice but just keeps us weighed down. The commentary says, "if he continue this way, in anger and malice, in desire for retribution, "he is sure to bring disgrace upon himself."


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