Thursday, September 29, 2011

Relationship Between High and Low

In the I Ching there is always considered to be existing a relationship between that which is above, and that which is below: between heaven and earth, and between male and female. Each person in a relationship of any kind must determine his or her proper role for him or her self, and the proper role in relationship to the other. There is also throughout the I Ching incorporated the concept of service. But who is serving who? It is always assumed that the servant serves the master, and so it is, but that is only part the story, because any relationship voluntarily formed between two people or a group of people is formed with the understanding that it is to be mutually beneficial. Therefore, while the servant serves the master, the master also in a different way, serves the servant. It is the duty of the master to only allow the servant to do only as much for the master as he can without diminishing the servant. As well it is the duty of the servant to serve only so far that it does not diminish self. Hexagram forty one line one's commentary says, "But the man in a superior position who is thus aided must weigh carefully how much he can accept without doing the helpful servant or friend any real harm."

As such in all our voluntary relationships, of any type, we must understand that there is a mutual reception within the relationship, making it a delicate issue that there be a relatively fair give and take. This should not be done by counting the tally and fretting or becoming enraged when it does not equal. Rather it should be a recognition within ourselves whether we are giving too little or too much. We do not need to focus on the other person, we need to focus on ourselves and how we ourselves are interacting.

In the same way, a relationship is formed between our lower selves and our higher selves. The higher self is not indentured to us in such a way that he/she gives us everything thing we need. We do the work we need to do, but the outcome is the gift of the higher self. Only it sees the greater picture and knows perfectly the path we are meant to take. We simply do the work. We work in the service of the higher self, but at the same time we work in service of ourselves. We do what must be done, without "counting on the harvest while plowing." We leave that to the higher self. When we are obedient to our ruler, here speaking of the higher self, which is enlightened, then as the commentary on hexagram thirty five says, "An enlightened ruler and an obedient servant -- this is the condition on which great progress depends."

In every relationship, we must understand our own role, and complete it. Sometimes we may fall into relationships, at least temporarily, where more is demanded from us than is given, but when we are in relationship with our higher selves, there is no possibility of being deceived or treated unfairly. We know that as we complete the tasks given to us, and when our questions are answered, that we will be rewarded, and given to fully. The way of the superior man is the way of recognizing and following the true higher self. We must recognize the higher self for what it is, and not be deceived by imposters, (parts of our own self that lead us astray, wishing as the ego does to be in control and run our lives for us, though it does not have adequate overall perception to do so.

When we choose our teachers, when we choose our gurus, our masters, who have gone before us on the spiritual path, we do so because we can see clearly that they have true capabilities that we do not have. Otherwise there is no point in accepting them into our lives or qualifying them as masters. They are only a master if they have truly mastered something, and that is something that can be demonstrable. We choose a master to follow because we know the master knows the way, and can help us improve. But the highest master of all, is that which is inside of us, waiting to come out and reveal him and her self to us, so that we can be "obedient servants," and like the dragon in hexagram one, "he completes the six steps at the right time, as though on six dragons." The higher self will never demand to much of us. it will teach us fairly, as we follow its lead, and become obedient to the enlightened master. But it does expect us to do our part, which is to follow its lead.


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