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.

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