Thursday, July 07, 2011

The Perspective of Good and Evil

For the past few weeks we have loosely discussed the complementary and the oppositional aspects of yin and yang, and in hexagram forty seven line three and four we see another aspect of this. In book three of the Wilhelm/Baynes version the commentary on line two says, "Since it accords with the time, going to the prince who is kindred in spirit is in itself is not a mistake, but it cannot be done, because the six in the third place obstructs the way and makes it dangerous." One might conclude from this that yin, the third line is a six, is synonymous with evil, and indeed, in many cases the text hints that this might be true, but it is only evil when it does not act in harmony with its own nature and in complementary aspect to its polar opposite. Look at what the commentary says on the third line. "The oppression that afflicts this line is due to the hard line below it and to the hard line above, which is like a stone over it. Thus it can neither progress nor retreat." So the yin line feels it is being oppressed by the yang. So they both are evil!? Only from a certain perspective. Remember hexagram thirty eight line six where it is said, "First one draws a bow against him, Then one lays the bow aside." Remember what Chancellor Palpetine says to Anakim Skywalker in the Star Wars series when we is trying to seduce him to the dark side. "Evil is a point of view Anakim." It is ironic how such men can say things that are true and yet use them to subvert truth. Evil really is a point of view. But when does it become true evil, and when it is not? It becomes evil when it does not form the perfect complement to its polar opposite. Line two and three are both yang and yin respectively, but they are in positions where they cannot integrate with each other. The second line forms the correspondence of "like kind" with the fifth line. The third does the same with the sixth. But they do not relate to each other. They are out of place, and thus cannot complement each other. In respect to that, they oppose each other and each becomes a block to the effectiveness of the other. Each sees the other as "a pig covered with dirt, As a wagon full of devils." Evil is a matter of perspective, it depends on our own conscious relationship with the subject at hand. We see evil as that which hurts us, or obstructs us, as the third line here obstructs the second. Evil becomes that which blocks us from achieving our goals as the second line obstructs the third. What is needed is a comprehensive whole and the understanding that we are all one. That there is no separation between us and others. That which blocks us is simply there. It is neither good nor evil in its own self except as we perceive it from our own perspective. That does not mean evil does not exist. It simply means it is perceived as evil from the perspective of our own goals and desires.

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