Friday, September 16, 2011

The Quiet Force of Character

Many lines of the I Ching are based on explaining the "natural way" of attracting, and how it must be truly natural, not forced. Hexagram twenty five especially depicts the power of the natural way. Conscious effort is limited, and sometimes destructive if not combined with the power of the heart. As the Japanese would say, "Pen and sword in accord," so we might say, "Head and heart in accord." Both must be present and utilized, but it is the trust in that deeper aspect of ourselves that keeps us free of hubris, humble, and free from the wrath of the universe.

Therefore, the commentary on hexagram thirty one line four says, "Here the place of the heart is reached. The impulse that springs from this source is the most important of all." In our relationships it is the heart that matters. We cannot logically induce a relationship to be effective. It must be a matter of feeling. But that feeling cannot be simply consciously induced. It must spring from a deeper source. If it does not come from that deeper source it is an act of lust and not love. The commentary goes on to say, "When the quiet power of a man's own character is at work, the effects produced are right." That quiet power comes from following the "natural way" (hexagram twenty five). It cannot be merely a conscious effort. Woman intuitively understand this. It is just their nature. Men are more inclined to be cerebral and consciously act. But when we follow the "natural way" the universe produces the right effects for us at the right time. We can trust this "natural selection." For it corresponds to a higher truth spoken of in hexagram sixty one. "Its young answer it." In other words, there is an inner affinity which the conscious mind knows nothing about, but the heart strings are pulled and there is an inner knowing beyond the consciousness that makes us realize that this relationship is natural and approved by heaven itself. Then we understand the truth of hexagram forty five line two where the commentary says, " There are secret forces at work, leading those together who belong together. We must yield to this attraction, then we make no mistakes." We do not try to force things. We let them flow of their own nature. We must follow the inner promptings without conditions spelled out by the conscious mind.

The use of force leads us to conditions spelled out in hexagram thirty four, where the commentary says, "But its strength has already passed beyond the median line." The median line is the balance between our conscious and subconscious minds. When we go beyond that point, we start to try forcing things to fulfill our personal desires. The commentary says, "Hence there is danger that one may rely totally on one's own power (soley on the conscious mind) and forget to ask what is right" (forget the power of the universe and its willingness to guide our lives, hexagram two) The conscious mind knows nothing of the "secret forces that are at work." It sees only its own needs and the conscious way of forcing the issue. The conscious mind does not know about the timing of the universe, and therefore, by not asking, "being intent on movement, (fulfilling our desires) we may not wait for the right time." We cannot force an issue. it just doesn't work, because it goes against the flow and the timing of the universe, and disrupts the "secret forces at work that bring together those who belong together." Hexagram thirty one and forty five have a similarity of message in this respect. The commentary on line four says, "All those who are receptive to the vibrations of such a spirit will then be influenced." They are influenced because of the nature of the universe to complete all matters in the time frame prescribed by the inner workings of the universe, not our conscious efforts to manipulate.

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