Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Unswerving Inner Purpose

Hexagram thirty nine tells the reader about the proper method for dealing with a dangerous situation, and how to overcome it. But one thing is often missed in dealing with this hexagram. The danger comes from within. It only appears to be outside of us.

The image for the hexagram says, "Thus the superior man turns his attention to himself And molds his character." The commentary says, "While the inferior person seeks to put the blame on other persons, bewailing his or her fate, the superior man seeks the error within himself, and through this introspection the external obstacle becomes for him an occasion for inner enrichment and education." We must come to understand from this that things do not just happen to us. It is not a matter of us having to "control" all outside forces in order to get our way in life, but rather when things go wrong, find the "inner" attitude that has brought about these "dangerous" situations. The commentary in book three points out this principle to an even greater extent. The commentary on the image says, " The way of overcoming obstacles lies in turning inward and raising one's own being to a higher level."

This is true in our relationships as well. When things do not go the way we want them to we often resort to forms of manipulation to get our partner to act in a way that pleases us. We fuss and fume over slights and hurts and things gone awry in a relationship. We try to "change" our partner. We become frustrated when things do not change. But the problem really does not lie in our partner, but in our perception of our partner. In otherwords, the problem lies within our "own being."

The real key to success is to have an "unswerving inner purpose" while outwardly we are tractable and yielding. The key is what lies within ourselves. The key is the inner directive that never yields, though it appears to on the outside. Because it is only what we focus our attention on continuously that comes to bear. Hexagram thirty one line four says, "If a man is agitated in mind, his thoughts go hither and thither, and only those thoughts that are fixed will produce results." It is said, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." We cannot escape the fact that any problem is ultimately "our" responsibility. We cannot control or manipulate anyone else, and even if we can, the other will ultimately develop resentment and anger toward us. When there is a problem, we must "seek the solution within ourselves."

No comments: