Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Fortified Heart

The commentary on hexagram fifty eight one speaks of the "quiet security of a heart fortified within itself." But make no mistake about it, a heart cannot be secure unless it believes in something bigger than the little ego. As much as the ego likes to maintain control, maintain control over the environment, maintain control of others, and all things, the more it tries, the more it finds it cannot. The ego does this for one reason and one reason only. It is full of fear. It fears if it does not control everything and everybody it will not be able to get what it wants, and may lose everything. The ego can never, ever, create a "quiet heart." And for this reason, no matter what we do, no matter how hard we try, as long as we are coming from ego, we can never have a "contented joyousness." The commentary says, "A quiet, self contained joy, DESIRING NOTHING FROM WITHOUT and resting content with everything, remains free of all egoistic likes and dislikes." It is only when we recognize a power greater than our little I, a power from the "greater I, that we can have any freedom or peace of mind. The big question that Einstein asked and attempted to answer was, "is the universe benevolent, or malevolent?" As long as we believe the universe is anything but benevolent, we find it to be anything but benevolent. When we understand that the consciousness of the universe, (and realize it is conscious) is love and only love, we come to realize that the universe truly is benevolent, and we can give up our egoistic fear, and just let go and let God. (See hexagram twenty five.) It is only when we recognize that greater power that we can have a heart fortified within itself.

The same is true in our relationships or any aspect of life. When we gjve up trying to control our partner, control the relationship, control how it goes, quit trying to change our partner, quit trying to manipulate the situation, that we find true peace and contentment within that relationship. We must, as the Beetles sang in the sixties and seventies, "Let it be, let it be, there will be an answer, let it be." But we cannot find that answer unless our hearts, our minds, are at peace, calm, quietly fortified within.

When we come to the place in our lives where it seems nothing is working for us, when it seems no one knows us or respects our work, when we seem to be laboring in vain, we can take comfort in the words of hexagram fifty line three. The commentary says, "If only he will see to it that he is possessed of something truly spiritual, the time is bound to come, sooner or later, when the difficulties will be resolved, and all will go well." But we must recognize this principle, and let life be. There will be an answer.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Over

Well, I have been a little remiss over the thanksgiving holidays; not just because of the holidays and the hyped up college football games, but also because of a lot of distractions. Right now I am watching for the vote on senate bill 1867 which will if passed, effectively end "habeas corpus in the United States. In other words, our constitutional rights will be gone. The military will have the right to arrest anyone as a potential terrorist, (yes, military, not police) and you will have no right to a lawyer, to a trial, or to be released at any time from prison. This marks the end of freedom in America. Also, many websites will be shut down, any which the Federal Government does not like or is critical of the government. There will be a vote on this bill this week. The following website will give a very brief description of the situation:


You can also do a search on sb1867 and get more information.

As such, with all that is going on in the world, I have not had time, or at least taken time to prepare another article, but I will get started again right away.

By the way, new documents by the Mayans have been found in the last few days that discuss the 2012 scenario. The future will prove to be very interesting. I am also studying the astrological effects of the Uranus - Pluto square on the U.S. and the world. The exact square is not yet, not for a while, but it is coming, and the first exact square I think will be in around six months, although I am going to have to check that out for sure. But the demonstrations, and civil disobedience the world over is very much related to the energies of these two planets. Watch for things to get much deeper into civil disobedience both in the U.S. and elsewhere as we start to see the culmination of these squares, and similar astrological scenarios. We also have a full moon eclipse on about Dec 3rd, I think, and I think this will be significant as well.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

One thing I wish to make very clear here, as we study the I Ching, is that the I Ching is a living entity and not just words on a page. As such, it has an intelligence, it has a personality, and it is associated with each of you. Why? Because, the thing that comes most clear in the study of the I Ching is that there is a conscious mind, then there is a subconscious mind that is universal. On the deepest level our subconscious mind is universal, it does not belong to just one individual. Therefore, on the deepest strata or level of intelligence everyone, everywhere, knows everything, absolutely everything about every one else, and this is no possibility of in any way hiding our actions, or disguising ourselves. We can only do this consciously. The subconscious, on the deepest level is not fooled and is never fooled by anyone else's actions. If we understood this, and understood the relationship this reality has with karma, we would never knowingly hurt anyone else, or try to deceive anyone, because we are doing it to ourselves, and our actions are recorded. And they are known.

As such we see in each line, in each hexagram of the I Ching a message about the way the I Ching relates to us, and a reflection of ourselves in every page. There is no escape from this. In order to know the I Ching, we must come to know ourselves. And in order to help ourselves understand ourselves, we must come to understand the I Ching. This is a hard and fast rule, and will remain so eternally. The universe is alive. Yang is spirit and yin is matter, and they are one and the same thing. They are just a mirror reflection of each other. Matter is infused with spirit, and spirit is the essence behind the form. Spirit is the real form, the form is just the illusion.

Therefore, we see certain principles in the I Ching that are always true, not just true when we receive the line for a particular reading. As an example - in hexagram fifty one line three it is stated, "A hundred thousand times you lose your treasures and must climb the nine hills. Do not go in pursuit of them. After seven days you will get them back." When we do a reading, this would indicate that in this instance we do not have to worry, we will receive what is due us. However, in a spiritual pursuit of the true meaning of the I Ching we find this is a principle that is always true, providing we have the mind set that is taught us in the I Ching. The commentary says, "He must accept his loss of property without worrying too much about it." So we see that as the commentary on line four of hexagram twenty five says, "We cannot lose what really belongs to us, even if we throw it away. Therefore we need have no anxiety." Well, we have all lost things that were never returned to us, so it might be said, this is not true. But there is a key here, which if we follow makes it true. In hexagram fifty one it says, "He must accept... WITHOUT WORRYING too much about it." And in hexagram twenty five it says, "Therefore...NO ANXIETY." The key is we have to trust the universe. We must be perfectly calm and relaxed for it to work. If we are not, we interfere with and block the energy. There is one more key too, though, in twenty five it says, "WHAT REALLY BELONGS TO US." If it does not belong to us we don't need it anyway. And we should allow that property to go to its rightful owner. But the key is TRUST. Without trust, all is lost. If we try to force the issue, (hexagram thirty four) we are coming from a place of lack of trust...

A slight diversion here, but it is very much related. In the Book of Enoch, which for some mysterious reason, (actually not so mysterious if you know the truth about the orthodox church) was left out of the official canon, and never became a biblical book, a story is related about the judgment of the fallen angels. (The fallen angels are the fathers of the elite which exist on earth today, and are attempting to create a world wide government of complete control) Anyway, the story says the the Lord God, or the highest God, told the angels that as judgment they would reincarnate as men and would not remember who they are. The fallen angels said, "The judgment is not fair." But from God's perspective it is fair. Now, since we are all, as a corrupted race, at least partially related to the fallen angels, as offspring, we are all somewhere, on some level of our being, saying, the judgment isn't fair. When we lose something or someone, when things don't work out the way we want them too, when we hurt, our relationships are tearing apart, we lose our money, whatever it is, we are saying to God, "the judgment is not fair." It is only when we completely surrender, give up conscious control. It is only we give up, and allow the universe, the tao, to flow through us, and admit that the "judgment is fair," that we have any success in life. We must give up conscious control. We must allow, and trust. When we trust, we submit to fate, and only by submitting to fate do we have any ultimate success. When we submit to fate, we are accepting the judgment, and realizing that it is really a good thing, not a bad, though it appears very bad. In such a way our true treasures, those that belong to us, are restored. And this is a universal principle, not one that only works when we get these lines. Things that seem unfair really have a positive side to them, and all things are to our benefit, though it doesn't seem so to our conscious minds. "All things work together for good for those that...." We must be like hexagram two and yield, being receptive to the flow of spirit. Then we find that "Behold, fate is favorable."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Court Ladies

Hexagram twenty three line five says, "A shoal of fishes. Favor comes through the court ladies." I am sure there is far more to this than meets the eye, and someone very familiar with the Chinese would see a lot more into this. One thing I might point out here as a diversion, though I don't know the Chinese language, is that most ancient languages, especially ones in which sacred scriptures were written, are highly metaphorical langauges, and that being the case, many scholars are cast upon the rocks of doubt as to the most proper use of a word. In ancient languages, often the word has multiple meanings, all of which are meant to convey something in the meaning of the line. Therefore, many interpretations are possible. All of them being valid. Therefore, languages used in the art of interpreting oracles have a multidimensionality that allows for interpretation in a huge number of possible situations. But there is an even bigger issue, that of symbolism or allegory. And there we end the digression and get back to the point.

What is the real meaning of the court ladies? I at present am not sure of the symbolic meaning of this text. But the commentary itself does give a hint as to the meaning of the line as a whole. By the law of correspondence, the third and the fifth line both have a relationship with the yang sixth line. Therefore, the interpretation of these two lines is not in general as negative as the interpretation of the other yin lines. (Negative being a relative term.) The commentary on hexagram two gives us a hint as to the meaning of this. The commentary says of yin, "It is the perfect complement of THE CREATIVE - the complement, not its opposite, for the receptive does not combat the Creative, but completes it." It is only when yin is in improper relationship with yang that it becomes evil so to speak. None of the yin lines of hexagram twenty three are in proper relationship with the yang line in the sixth, except the third and the fifth. The fifth line especially, being close to yang, and supported by it, as the commetary says, "Inasmuch as the lower element thus voluntarily places itself under the higher, it attains happiness and the higher also receives its due. Therefore all goes well."

There is a certain relationship here with hexagram sixty four in which all the yin lines and all the yang lines are not in relationship to each other. However, the nuclear hexagram which equals hexagram sixty three, shows all the lines in their proper places, which indicates there is a possibility of perfection. There is an eternal principle here that shows that whatever is not perfect can become so, and whatever is perfect is in danger of degenerating into imperfection. This happens when yin and yang lose their proper relationship with each other. Therefore, hexagram sixty four indicates a time in which things are "unsettled." (See the "Taoist I Ching" book for more explanation) It is incumbent upon mankind to find a way to settle things back down when they have been stirred up, to calm the mind when it is unsettled (hexagram fifty two) and thereby allow the universe, the Tao, to complete its mission through us in which case "fate is favorable." Hexagram fifty one line two's commentary says, "He must accept his loss of property without worrying too much about it. When the time of shock and upheaval that have robbed him of his possessions, he will get them back again without going in pursuit of them. By not worrying, we follow the mind of "Tao," and we find that by doing so, "fate is favorable." In the same way "Favor comes through the court ladies." When yin lines up in proper relationship with yang, when stillness and calmness compliment activity and shock, all goes well. When negative things happen we must not resist, but simply look for the good in the negative occurrence. When we do, we find that the "time of shock and upheaval" comes to an end, and our possessions are returned to us. (Confer the story of Job) the Biblical literature. All "unsettled" conditions hold within them the possibility of returning to settled conditions.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Little Bit Slow

I have been a little bit slow about posting lately, please bear with me, I have had a number of shocking events occurring in my life lately that must be dealt with. I am into my new place now and enjoying it but there are still a lot of start up costs, and other unexpected events to be dealt with.

No matter how well we know the I Ching, and none of us know it well enough, nobody does, there are things that happen that are unexpected and unprepared for. We have to deal with those things as it is our karma. It is not that we have not brought them on ourselves. It is our karma. All of us, at some place in our lives play the part of the victim, not consciously, but by projection outside, we place the blame on other people or events, and think life is unfair, when in reality we orchestrate our own fate and our own karma on the inside. The I Ching is not a cure all, and it works only for the "superior person," and the more we refine ourselves and become more spiritually mature, the more it works for us, be we are all underlings, (remember the Shakespearean play where it is said, "It is not in the stars dear Brutus, but in ourselves, that we are underlings."? We do not see all or know all, actually very little, that is why we must allow the universe, the Tao to flow through us. Nevertheless, while we have a karma to fulfill, we must bear it calmly, and not allow ourselves to play the role of victim, but to accept that karma that comes to us, then "fate is favorable."

Monday, November 14, 2011

The King Approaches his Temple

The judgment on hexagram forty five says, "The king approaches his temple. It furthers one to see the great man. This brings success." On a spiritual level the "king who approaches his temple" is the superior person who goes within to that deepest part of himself in order to seek answers from that divine part of us, or from the I Ching, or from the Tao. It is only when we correctly approach, with the proper decorum delineated in hexagram four and elsewhere, and reach the deepest strata within, that we find the true answers to life's questions. And only when we have reached that deepest strata, and found the true answers do we bring success.

We also approach the temple when we find that which matters to us most, and act in propriety and dignity to maintain the relationship supposed in a given situation. We approach the temple when we seek for answers about our relationships, and are willing to do whatever work is required to maintain them, and please our partners. We approach the temple when we go to a supervisor at work to get honest feedback, or information not readily available, or do whatever is necessary to maintain good communications within the company. We may also have a complaint, which needs a hearing, or a need to communicate some information of value to the company.

The judgment continues in saying, "To bring great offerings creates good fortune." When we present ourselves to our higher selves for review, and for wisdom, we must in most cases to be willing to give up something of our lower natures. We must be willing to sacrifice things that we are accustomed to and crave but are not part of our overall plan for spiritual unfoldment. We must "set aside every weight, and the sin that so easily besets us," because attachment to these things only brings suffering, and they interfere with our purpose and function on the higher levels.

In the same way, in order to make a relationship work we may have to give up the time used hanging out with our buddies, having a few drinks after work, or bowling night with our pals. Not necessarily everything, but anything that takes away prime time with the family, and is hurting members of the family. We may have to give up certain habits, spend more time talking and communicating with our spouses. We may have to give our partner more space, or less space, depending on the circumstances. At work we may have to give up a pet project, or get to bed a little earlier to be primed and ready to go the next morning. We may have to give up that late night extra drink, or a late night out. In order to make the primary matters of our life work, we often have to give up something that we like, but does not project us forward on our goal. When the king approaches his temple he realizes that "The place whereupon he standeth is holy ground." On holy ground we have to give up the profane. We have to be willing to follow the Tao, the way, consistently, daily, and permanently. That will almost certainly force us to give up some things. To offer the baser thing up for the finer. As Jesus said, "If any man would follow me, let him take up his cross daily." In other words, day by day we offer things up that are not conducive to our path. We die to the lower person, we renew our fellowship with the higher person. In this way, in approaching the temple, we see the great man.

Finally the judgment says, "It furthers one to undertake something." When we approach the temple, there is a requirement that we do something that leads to deeper spiritual involvement. We "take up our cross," or as the Tao Teh Ching says, we must invest in loss. Everyday, Lao Tzu says, he loses something. He gives us the things that are not useful, and takes up the things that are. "To bring great offerings creates good fortune." Our fortune arises because we give up something, something that is not beneficial to us anyway.

Often we must give up our activities, things we like to do, because they are not conducive to our spiritual growth. Excessive activity can lead to a mind that is very confused, and going ten thousand miles an hour. The lower trigram of hexagram forty five tells us that to have true happiness, we must learn to still the mind, to be calm within. Without that stillness, we cannot approach the temple, we cannot see the great man. When we calm the mind, when we let go of excessive activity, and limit ourselves (Hexagram sixty) to only those things that moves us along on the pathway, then "a light develops out of events that shows us the way." But we have to give up our desire to control. We have to give up our desire to be ceaselessly active in attempting to consciously create our world the way we want it. The key is to imagine the world as we would like it, then let it flow. A constant flow of activity from the conscious mind only will only lead to trouble and disaster in the long run. Stillness, and a willingness to let go of excessive activity is the only key to "seeing the great man, approaching the temple." And finally, it is necessary that as hexagram forty five, line five, the ruler, says, "If we are not yet sincerely in the work, Sublime and enduring perseverance is needed." We cannot accomplish everything all in one day. It is a matter of daily taking up our cross, dying to our lower selfish nature. We must follow the Tao daily as if "Practicing chariot driving," giving up, or bringing offerings to the higher self, in that way we "approach the temple."

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Upright in Character

Hexagram forty six line two tells us that "even though we are brusque and pay too little attention to form, (we are unsophisticated and unaware of the true nature of reality, of the spirit) but since we are upright in character, we are accepted." The key here really is the heart. As it is said Biblically, "For man looketh upon the outward appearance but God looketh upon the heart." It is really the heart the matters in all our interactions, for non of us are totally polished, non of us are "highly" sophisticated, and non of us know proper procedure in every instance in life.

It is the same in our relationships. Being highly sophisticated is not necessarily going to attract the person we want because attraction is a matter of the heart, and logic will not change anything. We cannot be attracted to someone because it is logical to be so. If it were, we would all be in trouble because logic without the heart is only half the equation. But the heart accepts the person when they show a certain humility, in the right way, and when they are upright and fair with us, as long as all other aspects are right as well.

It is the same with the Sage, the I Ching, the higher universal subconscious, or what have you. It accepts us when we are upright in character. We are all unpolished, but we become polished when we daily consult the I Ching, and in this way practice chariot driving, and follow its guidance and direction. We become polished by following the Tao daily, by integrating the conscious mind with the subconscious in such a way that we grow spiritually and in maturity. (For spiritual growth and maturity are in essence one and the same thing.) But if we had to wait until we were polished to be accepted, we could never be accepted because we would have no way to learn how to improve ourselves.

It is the same with an employer employee relationship. When we apply for the job we need to be as sophisticated as we can, as able to do the job as possible, but it is only by working the job we gain real sophistication in correctly doing the job. An employer expects us to be capable, but knows that the real experience and sophistication will only come once we do the job.

Once we are accepted we begin the journey. After beginning the journey we may find that things progress with remarkable ease, at least at first. But we cannot count on things always being that way. The lessons we learn intellectually will sooner or later be placed on us in such a way that we will have to learn experientially as well. Line three however, tells us that we must not give into those misgivings but simply do the work now, the test will come when it is time. In the same way, in our relationships, we learn day by day, but when things go well, we still fortify ourselves for upcoming events, for no relationship is without difficulties and we must fortify ourselves for the future. (See hexagram five line five.) Nevertheless, we must not have misgivings about the future, but simply enjoy the day for the day, while at the same time practicing following the Tao daily. (Once again, chariot driving) If we want to be successful in relationships, we must work daily on that relationship. If we want to be successful career wise we must practice our career daily, never ceasing in attempting to improve and get better. If we wish to be successful in our spiritual life we must never forget to "seek what is right." (Hexagram thirty four, the commentary)

Finally, hexagram forty five line five tells us that "there are some who are not yet sincerely in the work." We are not sincerely in the work when we do not "push upward into an empty city, but let things slide. The key to not letting things slide is to be dedicated to set aside time daily for whatever spiritual work you wish to do. Life will throw obstacles in the path, as life goes on our daily tasks impinge on us to the extent that we forget the spiritual work that is to be done, or the work on our relationships or careers, and "fall back into the moat" (hexagram eleven line six) of doing no more than what we need to do in the moment. It is what some Christians call backsliding. We get used to a rut and literally forget to get out of it. That is what hexagram sixty four teaches us. That we are not there yet. If you think you have arrived you haven't. If you think you've finished all the steps you haven't. If you think your classes are completed, you are sadly mistaken, for even if we are "upright in character," we still lack the polish that only life experiences and the teaching of the Sage, of the I Ching can give us. And we would not complete our lessons in ten thousand life times.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

That Which Supports Us

Hexagram fifty nine line two says, "He hurries to that which supports him." Everyone is like a ship that needs a home port. We need to find that which gives us refuge in the time of storm, and we need to feel a certain safety and security. As children we found this in our home, as babies, in our mother's arms, and as young people, in our social group. These things can only help so far though. When in times of trouble, we really need a reassurance that goes deeper and is more fathomable than that which a family or friends can give us. Ultimately, that security comes in the form of following the Tao, or the Buddha, or the Christ Child, or whatever you would like to call it. As the gospels story goes, while Jesus was asleep in the boat, the storm came, and the disciples became afraid. So they woke Jesus up to tell them of their predicament. Jesus chastises them a little bit, and then calms the storm. Jesus is a symbol or allegory, in this case, of the higher self, or the Christ Child within each of us that we can go into, become one with, and calm the storm. When we "wake up Jesus" we are entering that place of deep repose within the mind, and our fears are defeated. In this way we are "hurrying to that which supports us." The key is the mind itself. Jesus told his disciples not to look for the kingdom as far away, but it is to be found within, in the here and now. If we find the kingdom, we are in essence, in heaven, in the here and now, not after we die, because within the kingdom the Christ Child calms the storm. We are at peace, no matter what the outward conditions. The predicament we are in somehow miraculously fades away because we have "hurried to that which supports us.

Jesus said, "suffer the little children to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." The little children realize they are protected by their parents, and just act innocently, and as such more readily follow the Tao. They do not worry about their food, or where there clothing comes from, they just trust that those things will be provided. There is innocence in their eyes, and as such they are enjoying the kingdom of heaven right here and now, not in some far off place after they die. The children just naturally "hurry to that which supports them." Their nature isn't fear, but trust. They just trust, and do not try to control their surroundings fearing that they must control in order to take care of themselves. They just trust. This is the key to following the tao, is to just trust, allow, and let that support be there for them. No fear. They are in the kingdom.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Disciplining the Devil's Country

Hexagram sixty four, as every hexagram, and every line, speaks of overcoming our lower self, our ego, and attaining a higher level of consciousness. In hexagram sixty three line three it says, "The Illustrious Ancestor Disciplines the Devil's country. On a personal level this can indicate to us that we need to take control of ourselves in a given situation. It means that though the battle by and large has been won, there are still "sweeping up" operations that need to be done. In relationships we may need to maintain the same efforts that won the other person even after it seems like they belong to us. In business we have to continue with "sweep up" operations even after we have won the contract. It is the same in our spiritual life. After making connections with the Tao, after gaining access to our inner Buddha, Inner Christ, the universal subconscious mind, what have you, we must on a daily basis maintain that connection. The ego always wants control and to control; and time and time again we will catch ourselves reverting back to our old egoistic self, and employing the "inferior people" which should not be employed. The inferior people are our old habits, attitudes, and thought patterns that created the victimization consciousness we have felt consistently in our lives due to limiting beliefs and incorrect observations of the world leaving us to believe the world is a cold materialistic place and we have no control over it, except in personal little ways. We believe the world is outside of us, and therefore works against us unless we control it. The ego will always revert to a control mechanism, and we must be constantly on the lookout for its resurgence, which disconnects us from the Tao. By always being on the lookout for a return to old behaviors, and old attitudes that make us a victim in some way in our lives, we are, once again, this keeps coming up, practicing "chariot driving" as in hexagram twenty six line three.

Hexagram fifty nine speaks of dispersion but we must look at the context in order to see what exactly it is that is being dispersed. Is it something that we need to do without, or is it something that we need to maintain in our lives? When we receive line two we see that the situation is the beginnings of alienation in our lives. Something is being dispersed that should not be dispersed. We must, of course, be careful to discern whether this is something or someone that we should let go, or is it something that truly belongs to us. If it is the latter then we can safely and "quietly go about the removal of resistances." If it is not then we must allow it or them to go its or their own way.

When it comes to our personal lives, we must always be on the lookout for the signs of resurgence of the ego, and the beginnings of disconnection from the tao. If we search diligently, we are like line one of hexagram twenty four which says in effect, in this context, that "we return from a short distance." In other words, if we are always on guard, if we are always aware of the possibility of a breaking away from our true source, or our significant other, or from our interrelationships on the job or wherever, ultimately from the tao, we catch it immediately and immediately begin to "return from a short distance." We do not want to fall asleep, and allow the situation to get so bad that like line six of twenty four, We "miss the return" and the opportunity is gone. Then the possibility of return becomes much more difficult, although with our own higher self, the tao, the connection is never totally lost. We might lose a loved one, a job, a personal connection, but we never totally lose our connection with the tao, it may be difficult to retrieve it, but not impossible.

Finally, line five of hexagram forty five reminds us that "If there are some who are not yet sincerely in the work, Sublime and enduring perseverance is needed." It is only through continual work and conscientious activity that we recognition the path to return to the "Source," the Tao, and redevelop ourselves, bringing our ego once again into check, renewing our basis for a good relationship, for a good connection with employees and employers, and reestablish what once was established, learning to improve that connection with the source, being able to just let go and trust, and watch the source, the tao, do its work for us, and find that fate is favorable.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Excessive Force and Setting Limits

With hexagram sixty and hexagram thirty four in combination we see that we must limit how far we advance until the time is right. The commentary on sixty says, "In relationship to the moral sphere it means the fixed limits that the superior man sets upon his actions. Line one of sixty tells us that "we must know when to stop." It goes on to say, "...he accumulates an energy that enables him, WHEN THE PROPER TIME COMES, to act with great force." And this is key and is enunciated time and time again in the I Ching, that we must act in accordance with the time. And how do we do this? We must attach our conscious minds to the mind of tao, or learn to follow the natural way, which is beyond any conscious control. We do not control, we allow, and in doing so, follow the tao. We follow the natural way as delineated in hexagram twenty five.

Often we are tempted, once we see the first sign of an opportunity, to immediately loosen the reigns, and allow our conscious mind to start to control once again. This is a mistake that is clearly expounded against in hexagram thirty four line two. The commentary says, "Resistance gives way and we forge ahead. This is the point at which, all too easily, we become the prey of exuberant self confidence. We see the first sign and think it is time to move. Then we find out all too quickly that we have misjudged, and the time still is not appropriate. In developing relationships too, when we think the signs are there for a sudden advancement, and to carry the relationship to the next level, we suddenly realize we have fallen victim to exuberant self confidence. The same can be true in a job interview, or any significant thing we do in life.

Hexagram sixty one sheds another light on this theme. The commentary says, "The light - giving power must work to quicken it from outside, but there must be a germ of life within, if life is to be awakened..." We cannot assume that anything is ready before its time, As is said in hexagram forty nine, line three, (the commentary) "Not every demand for change in the existing order should be heeded. On the other hand, repeated and well founded complaints should not fail of a hearing. When talk of change has come to one's ears three times..." In other words, we should not jump at the first sign, but like the wary old fox in hexagram sixty three and sixty four does, we constantly keep our ears open to the sounds of the cracking of the ice. We listen for the well founded complaints, then it comes time to act, but we must be still and go within, for the conscious mind is not well disposed to the recognition of proper timing. We follow the tao, and it works for us. The universe is favorable. As the I Ching says, "He goes out to meet his fate, and his fate is favorable," because he has followed the way of the tao, the natural way, not the way of control.

Excessive Force

There are at least two hexagrams in the I Ching which I have almost never gotten in my personal readings until lately, and lately I have gotten them regularly. The first is hexagram thirty four, about excessive force, and limiting ourselves. The second is hexagram sixty, which is about limiting oneself.

Both hexagrams relate to limits, but the former to limits of force, and the latter to limiting ourselves to doing only those things that are pertinent to our duty, and completing tasks without getting sidetracked.

The key, or at least one key, to hexagram thirty four is that one should not just use force whenever one feels like it because it leads to resistance. Even if one has the power to overcome, there are repercussions to using that power. In one respect, as hexagram six line four would tell us, "in contrast to the situation of the nine in the second place, he is dealing with a weaker opponent and might therefore succeed. But he cannot carry on the fight, because, since right is not on his side, he cannot justify the conflict to his consciousness." In this case the person does not use force because he/she realizes that right is not on his/her side. There are times when we have to look at the consequences of a win, even if we can win. As such hexagram thirty four tells us in the commentary, "For that is truly great power which does not degenerate into mere force, but remains inwardly united the fundamental principles of right and of justice." We must take into account the consequences of our actions, even if we can win.

Once again, the use of mere force automatically and naturally results in the feelings of resentment against those who are controlling. Hence the commentary on line three says, "If a man goes on quietly and perseveringly working on the removal of resistances, success comes in the end." The way to conquer another without creating resistance is to change his or her mind. And by conquer I do not mean in the cruelest way, I mean in a way that shows leadership. One shows leadership when he changes someone's mind in a way that helps the other person as well, not just for manipulation and control, and leads to a better life for everyone concerned. In this way we do not really control, but more show the way. In the age that is coming, control will be a thing of the past, at least for the most part. Control will no longer work. We must learn to "go about quietly working on the removal of resistances. We must find a common goal for which all can strive, and act as a leader showing the way.

We get a form of this as well in hexagram sixty. Line five tells us that "if we seek to impose restrictions on others only, while evading them ourselves, these restrictions will always be resented and will provoke resistance. If, however, a man in a leading position applies the limitations first to himself, demanding little from those associated with him, and with modest means manages to achieve something, good fortune is the result."

In relationships, as well as in supervisory positions, it is important that we do not try to control another, but rather, show him or her the way, not just in words, but in actions as well. If we try to control our partner, we only create resistance, and eventually the breakup of the relationship. Using coercion a boss might get good results from employees for a while, but ultimately employees will rebel in as far as they are able to without losing their jobs, and good employees may even go elsewhere. Control is demeaning to a partner. It gives them no space to breathe, and no allowance for them to express their own personality, and is ultimately doomed to failure.

When the I Ching teaches us, it does so only through example, and does not try to force us to fit into a pattern. It simply offers the waters of wisdom, (hexagram forty eight) but all are free to go to the well or not, as they are disposed to do. In this way too, hexagram four teaches us that the I Ching does not come to us to teach us, but allows us to come or not come as we might see fit. The water (wisdom) simply remains in the ground, it does not come to us. The only way we can partake of it is to draw it out. It will not attempt to force us to accept its wisdom. In the same way, we cannot afford to attempt to force anything on anyone else, for while it may work for a while, eventually there will be a backlash.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

False Appearances

Hexagram forty one's commentary says, "There is no need of presenting false appearances to God." After all, if it is truly God, then He/She must see our heart as it is. As the Bible says, "Man looketh upon the outer appearance, but God looketh upon the heart." As such there is no way to fool this "higher being." We attempt to do so at our own peril.

But we don't always perceive ourselves the way we really are, and since that is true, it can be said that we present false appearances of ourselves to ourselves, (and since all is one, and therefore we are all part of the same being, we are in essence, presenting false appearances to God). We need to recognize when we are doing this. We need to learn to see ourselves as God sees us. Once we understand that we are one, and that by loving you neighbor as yourself, since we are all part of the one eternal being, that by loving our neighbor we love God as well as ourselves as well as our neighbor because there is no distinction between any person.

As such it is impossible to truly lie to another person, for though you may trick the other person, on some level, that person knows that it is a lie. They may not recognize it consciously, but somewhere inside, they will recognize it. Often a lie is successful because we want to believe that lie. There is some payoff for doing so, in such a way we cheat ourselves more than having anyone else cheat us. In this way too, we are "presenting false appearances to God."

But we also present false appearances before God when we lie to ourselves. We may rationalize our actions, or we may want something to be a certain way so badly that in our own mind we make it that way whether we recognize it or not. In relationships we lie to ourselves, and make something think it will work when it won't. Or that something will not work when it will. We convince ourselves some one is cheating on us, or we refuse to believe it when they do. In this way we "present false appearances to God."

It is impossible to be honest with others until we are honest with ourselves, and it is impossible to be honest with ourselves until we are honest with others. Often we have a hidden motive, that we are not even aware of. And that hidden motive clouds our judgment, and causes us to lie to ourselves about ourselves, or about our relationships. We often tend to not trust, because of experiences we have had in the past, we become like the person in line three of hexagram thirteen, who "hides weapons in the thicket, who climbs the high hill" to spy on his neighbor. Since he/she cannot trust himself/herself, he/she cannot trust his or neighbor either, thinking they are planning the same tricks as they are.

We must learn first to trust ourselves, then be honest with ourselves, and know our own motives, to know our own inner person, then we can be free to trust even the untrustworthy for we will know their own psychology, and can accept that person as they are, without becoming entangled with their deviousness. We must be like the person in hexagram fifty seven line two who "penetrates under the bed." In otherwords we penetrate to our deepest secrets and desires, our hidden subconscious complexes, our inner beliefs, find those that conflict, and those that are based on a lie, then we employ the "magicians" to sweep them out of our inner closet, to close the gap between our conflicting beliefs, to remove the lies and the cheating from our heart. Then and only then can we no longer "present false appearances before God."

Friday, November 04, 2011

The Deeper I Ching

I Just moved into my new place, and am a little bit out of synch and rythm here and don't know what to say, but I will take this time to say that I want everyone to understand well, that there is an esoteric side to all sacred literature, east or west, and it has a deeper meaning than what the conventional church or teacher will give you. As we look at the chapter and verses of the I Ching, hopefully it becomes clear from the posts I am making that there is a deeper message, and that message can only be found by looking for it in deep contemplation. We go on comparing verse to verse, line to line, looking for that deeper meaning. For the mysteries of life are not for the weak or the unsteady, nor for the immoral, or inferior person. Only the "superior person" can benefit from the deeper teachings of the I Ching, or from the Bible, or from the Tao Te Ching. They are written in such a way that the true message is far from obvious. We often have things staring us right in the eye but we totally overlook it because we are looking for a simple answer to a simple problem. As such we "use the I Ching as a tool and do not give it its proper respect and due (hexagram twenty line four) We receive counsel of the I Ching, but even the "KIng is not clearminded." The I Ching states in hexagram forty eight line three that "this is its hearts sorrow, for the well is cleaned, but no one drinks from it. If even the king were clear minded, good fortune might be enjoyed in common." But we are like a bunch of drunken sailors, home from the sea, who see nothing clearly at all, not even what is right in front of them. So we understand no symbolism, we understand no sleight of hand or blind that hides the real meaning. We look only for surface meanings, and what can help us in our immediate circumstances.

So, we often have to be left alone for a while to our own devices in order to be "taught the seriousness of life." Even when we use the I Ching, and get a good answer to a specific problem, we find that we are only confronted with more and more problems. This is because we don't take the time to find the underlying meanings which can help us in our daily lives, and become a more whole and fulfilled person, eventually becoming what the I Ching calls "The superior man." We must give up our superficial way of viewing things. We use the I Ching like the person who contemplates through the "crack of the door," (hexagram twenty line two) and does not see the broader picture that leads to a fuller and more abundant life. We are not able to contemplate well enough to "decide the choice between advance and retreat" (hexagram twenty line three) and we are not able to contemplate our lives to the point where "the superior man is without blame" (line four).

I honor and value the use of the I Ching as a tool to find out about problems in relationships, and career related choices, but it is difficult to find out we are not going beyond that point to the real heart of the I Ching. We are not "biting through," to the meat on the bone. to the point where we "receive yellow gold," (hexagram twenty one line five). We must search deeper, and look for the allegorical meanings of the words, and listen to what the sage has to say to us personally, not just our circumstances.