Saturday, October 01, 2011

Influencing (or Wooing) and Being Influenced

In the commentary on line five of hexagram thirty one it says, "It is true that if we cannot be influenced ourselves, we cannot influence the outside world." If we are so cold hearted as to not allow anyone into our lives, we too, will be rejected when we try to influence others. But that is because for a cold hearted person the attempt to influence is based on the desires of the conscious mind and not on "that which is called forth from the unconscious."

Taoists might call the information upwelling from the unconscious the mind of the Tao. It comes from the deeper levels of the universe. See, they knew about the unconscious millenia before we discovered it in the west. But they had a deeper understanding of it as well, deeper than we understand even yet. They weren't hung up on religious dogma, or blind materialism, they just recognized the world and the cosmos for what it was, and is. The mind of Tao. When we follow this deeper mind, we are also following what the taoists would call "the natural way."

This is described a little bit differently in line four, where it is said, "If a man is agitated in mind, And his thoughts go hither and thither, Only those friends On whom he fixes his conscious thoughts will follow." This is a very esoteric way of saying, "if you are agitated, you will attract to you the things that occupy your predominate mind set, and not the things you want. What you think about over and over again begin to take root and hold in your daily life. The key is to let agitation go. As Mariko said in the novel, Shogun, "you must be able to drink tea out of an empty cup." In otherwords, nothing disturbs you. When nothing disturbs you, and you do not let your thoughts wonder, then you enter the "mind of tao" and all things proceed as they should. Then one can "go out and resolutely meet one's fate." The commentary on the fifth line also says, "What takes place in the depths of one's being, in the unconscious, can neither be called forth nor prevented by the conscious mind." That is why it is so important not to be arrogant, (the Greek gods hated arrogance) and humbly recognized there is a bigger I than the little I of the conscious mind, and that it is really in control over all things. When we recognize this, and enter into the "mind of tao," things unfold naturally as they should, and the "secret forces bring together those who belong together." But we worry and we fret, and we try to control everything in our lives, and those around us, but find out we cannot do it, that the ship sets a course we did not intend. Then we become even more agitated in mind. When we try to force issues in our lives, control our partners, control our relationships, make them work the way we want them to, we are acting against the advice in line three which says that when we are not in the mind of tao, we hold to that (agitation) which follows us, and to continue is humiliating. We must let go. We must enter the 'mind of tao." Lao Tzu said in effect that the way to victory, or gain, is through loss. Every day, little by little, we let go of our conscious mental striving, and enter a little bit more the mind of tao. By practicing daily, we are "practicing chariot driving" as in hexagram twenty six.

The commentary on line four tells us, "the impulse that springs from this source is the most important of all." The impulse that springs from the mind of tao and not from the conscious mind so full of desires and cravings, is the most important, and it is utterly essential that we recognize this impulse and that it is the true impulse from the mind of tao. Then "there will be no cause for remorse."

Our relationships must follow these same principles. When we try to get our partner to act the way we want them to, we lose the mind of tao. When we think they should change, we are not responding from our higher selves. When we nag, cajole, give the cold shoulder, act in any unbecoming way, we are not entering "the mind of tao." The mind of tao is only peace (hexagram eleven). It is only through the way of peace that we can enter the tao. It is only when we give up the struggle, and utilize what Lao Tzu calls "nonaction," that we can enter the mind of tao. When line two and five change in hexagram thirty one, the result is hexagram thirty two. The way of the tao is eternal, nothing else is.

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