Thursday, October 27, 2011

Developing the Personality

The commentary on the image of hexagram fifty three says, " is necessary for the personality to acquire influence and weight." In other words, before a person can become really effective in the world, and make his or her mark upon the world, there must be a "gradual development" of character and integrity. We develop ourselves by "practicing chariot driving daily" (hexagram twenty six). The difficulty comes through the natural sequences of life that there are always actualities in our sphere of influence which would tend to make us get off the path. There are things thrown in our direction which make it difficult to maintain our direction and intention over long periods of time. Sometimes very short diversions might be unavoidable, but the commentary on hexagram twenty four line one says, "Slight digressions from the good cannot be avoided, but one must turn back in time, before going too far." If we let these diversions take hold, we find ourselves never getting back to, and even forgetting our own original purpose and intention. We start off on a project and never finish it, then we start off on another and never finish it, and we find at the end of our lives that nothing of an enduring nature was ever accomplished. We must stay true to our original intention. The commentary on line three of twenty four says, "There are people of a certain inner instability who feel a constant urge to reverse themselves. There is danger of continually deserting the good, (our true purpose and intention) because of uncontrolled desires, (things that catch our attention and divert us from our true purpose due to temporary desire) then turning back to it again because of a better resolution." If we keep returning to our true purpose that is good, but best not to let uncontrolled desires rule us at any time. Even if we are effective in the world, we are not as effective as we truly could be if we did not constantly get off the path.

it is the nature of the beast to be able to attain our true intention and purpose in this world, providing we keep working at it, and providing it truly is the purpose we came into this life to accomplish. But we must continue practicing chariot driving daily. We must have a purpose. We must remain true to the path on which our purpose lies, and not deviate from the path. Lao Tzu said he only had one fear. That fear was leaving the path that was meant for him to follow, his own personal tao. As long as we are on the path, he says that those who follow the tao can "walk safely among the animals. When they go into battle they remain unharmed. The animals find no place to attack them, and the weapons are unable to harm them. Why? because they can find no place for death to enter." As long as we are true to our own personal tao, to the purpose for which we were born, there is no place for death to enter. But we must remain true to our own person, to our own personal tao.

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