Wednesday, August 31, 2011

An End to their Confusion

The commentary on hexagram twelve line two says, "They would endure the superior man if he put an end to their confusion." In the same way, we pursue an answer from the I Ching in order to "put an end to our confusion." We do not bother with it beyond that. We do not understand that our confusion is due to a lack of understanding of true spiritual principles. We consult the I Ching in our time of need and of frustration, but when things are going well, we do not bother with it. We do not recognize the need for the "superior person" in our lives except when things are going poorly. For this reason then third line of hexagram forty eight says, "The well is cleaned, but no one drinks from it. This is my heart's sorrow, For one might drink from it." We only drink from the well when we feel a need in our lives.

Often that need is felt when we find ourselves in "untenable relationships." Untenable relationships develop when we do not accept proper protocol and tend to supplant the authority of those in charge of us. In relationships we can develop an untenable situation when we do not accept our proper role and place within the relationship. The same can be said in our relationship with the "Superior person," or the Sage. Just as we have relationships in our personal and physical lives we also have a relationship with our higher self. But we do not recognize the higher self in our lives unless something happens that creates havoc in our lives which then causes us to look for answers. As soon as the answer is resolved, we forget all about the Sage who answered our question until we find it cycling back around in our lives on a higher level. Then we "bear and endure" the superior man once again until once again the problem is temporarily solved.

When we begin to understand the proper role of the Sage in our lives, when we start to honor him, and "not treat him as a tool, (hexagram twenty line four) we realize in hexagram twelve line three that we "bear shame." This is good, for it brings us to our senses. It makes us realize that as described in hexagram fifty six, we are wonderers and strangers on this planet. We have no fixed abode. Our home is the road, that is to say, our home is the spiritual path which we follow. When we start to see ourselves as pilgrims on a spiritual journey, we realize that we must take life seriously and not just play with it (hexagram four line one). We begin to honor the Sage and give him a place in our hearts. We realize that our own, limited conscious mind is not enough to see us through the pitfalls us life. And only when we realize that there is a higher power that we can align with (hexagram fifteen) then we can start to make real progress. We must understand however, that we can only align with the mind of the cosmos; we cannot expect it to align with us. We do not bend it to our will, we bend to its will, but in doing so become aligned with it, and find a great power in our lives.

When we find that great power and align with it, not vice versa, we find we are accepted (hexagram twenty two line five) by the universe. Though are gifts are small, our hearts are now in the right place. We must give up our concept of the I Ching as an unemotional, unfeeling tool that we can just use to get answers to our questions, but we can find out what it is within us that causes us to have those questions in the first place. As such we have "penetration under the bed" (hexagram fifty seven line two). The bed is a symbol for the things that we rest upon in our lives, and by extension, our beliefs, our thoughts,our emotions, and our subconscious complexes. Our subconscious complexes are the very thing that keeps us where we are, that create the problems that we find in our lives. It comes from within, and so does the Sage, who answers those problems.

Hexagram twelve line two tells us in the commentary that "the great man bears the consequences of the standstill." This is because the great man knows that the "standstill" is caused by something within himself. But he bears the circumstances calmly because he knows that "all things work together for good." And though we cannot see the good in the situation presently, by calmly enduring, we recreate circumstances in such a way that they actually work for our benefit. So often, we ask questions of the I Ching because we think life is not being fair to us. We think it somehow should be different, whereas the great man simply accepts his fate, and by doing so puts himself on a firm footing for the future. The very fact that when we understand this and "bear shame," (line three) we by this very attitude "mark a turn for the better. "Through thorny ways, leads to a joyous end."

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