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."

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