Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bearing with the Uncultured

The world's elite tends to look down on the common man because he or she has not been able to generate the wealth that the elite have, and because they think of them as an inferior species. Truth be known, they do have a SLIGHTLY different genetic makeup than most of us have. And the wealth they have accumulated often was not by them themselves but an accumulation of accomplishments by their ancestors that they were simply born into. Being born into wealth and privilege, they look down on those who are "lesser beings." Now, to make this clear, this is not true of all of the elite. Some of them are highly moral beings with a great deal of passion. This is not an assault on people of wealth. It is only the recognition that some of the world's wealthiest people have a great disdain for the rest of the population. In the past this has been much more apparent than it is today, but in those days the elite did not have as much technology as they do today, and they truly had a use for the common man. He or she was good for labor, usually with pay but not always, and for other such things. We can see the actuality of this in many cultures. For example in ancient India there was a cast system where some were untouchables, and could be easily done away with at the slightest whim of those born into higher status. In Japan we had the Samurai, which for the most part were very highly moral people in many ways, but still looked upon the common people, the "eta" as inferior beings and could kill them instantly if there was any reason to believe they were not adequately subservient. In Europe you had the knights and the noblemen as well as the serfs, on peons, often little more than slaves. Ironically, it seems there is a natural born tendency within the human race to divide ourselves into classes, and the lower class as well as the higher class wish it to be so. The lower class tends to look upon the higher class with admiration, wishing to attain such status itself, while the upper classes wish to alienate any such intruders into the upper class, derisively calling it, "new money." We all seem to be comfortable with this system even if it means being stuck in a class that is looked down upon and has no real opportunity.

But hexagram eleven in a sense disparages this arrogance against the lower classes, (in some ways - the I Ching definitely discriminates between high and low) speaking of how to attain "peace on earth." The second line says, "bearing with the uncultured in gentleness." As such, the proper attitude toward the lower classes is not one of disdain, but one of understanding, and being willing to teach the lower classes a better way to live. As such the nation prospers and peace is attained upon earth.

Here the context is that in the lower trigram, all the yang lines are below, and the yin lines are above. Therefore, the stronger and "superior" people support those that are less dignified and not as highly cultured. Hierarchy is still taken into account, (see hexagram ten) and as hexagram ten teaches, there are appropriate ways to approach those above. The same is true to a certain extent in hexagrams nineteen and twenty where the inferior in nineteen approach the superior, and in twenty where the superior approach the inferior. The superior allow the approach in nineteen for the purpose of teaching them and giving them instructions, and in nineteen, the inferior readily and willingly receive those instructions, such that the superior and inferior meet in the proper manner without breaking any form of protocol. In doing so the inferior improve their lot and eventually become part of the superior, then as in hexagram fifty one, they are so enraptured by the superior beings who are willing to teach them and give them instruction, that they are in total concentration when the superior man speaks, so much so that "They do not let the sacrificial spoon fall," and are not fazed when the thunder sounds and the lightning strikes. There is a difference between high and low, that is inevitable, but the proper means of interacting is through a teacher who is wiling to teach, and a student who has the proper receptivity. (See hexagram four.) To look down disparagingly on the lower classes is a breach of propriety as much as the lower classes thinking of themselves more highly than they are.

The second line in hexagram eleven has a relationship, according to the law of correspondences, with the fifth line. The fifth line however, is yin, and therefore "weaker" than the lower second line. Although they relate, neither one is in its proper place. Nevertheless, the lower yang line, being below the upper yin, does support it. While the upper yin is higher in rank, it still subordinates itself to the stronger yang line. And since the yang line is receptive, there is "peace on earth." This hexagram, along with many others, well teaches the proper relationship between high and low. The lower classes, although being lower, and not as educated or cultured, are far more numerous than the upper classes. Therefore, if they are willing to work together, they are well able to overthrow the existing upper echelon. But if there is a proper union between high and low, if they support one another, there is peace on earth.

The taoists knew the secret of interpreting yin and yang within the body and how yin and yang interacted to create health within the body. Here to, yang must support yin and yin must defer and be receptive to yang. Yet the actual mechanics of this are known only to the most proficient and most knowledgeable of the Taoist monks, and therefore we cannot deal with it directly, or know the secrets the Taoists are unwilling to give us. However, everything that is true in the confucian model has a corresponding relationship in the taoist model, and the more we know about the confucian model, the more we can surmise about the taoist model. Nevertheless, it is not an easy task, but I challenge all who read this to contemplate and meditate upon the confucian meanings to see if the subconscious will in time give up the secrets of the taoist model. We must be like the receptive ones who approach in hexagram nineteen, and so inspired we become like the leader in hexagram fifty one who "does not let the ceremonial spoon fall."

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