Thursday, January 19, 2012

Freed From Inner Pressure

Hexagram forty one teaches us "to control our anger and restrain our instincts." But it goes much deeper than that. A major message of the I Ching is that we must give up personal will and allow things to happen. The problem is we are often not even aware of personal will and do not know that as such we are putting a lot of pressure on our friends and in our relationships. The other person may not even consciously feel it, but it is there, under the surface. Often we are "angry" at our partner because he or she does not act the way we think they should. When we have preconceived notions about how another should act we are acting from an inner anger and raging instincts that we are not totally consciously aware of. The commentary on hexagram forty one line one says in effect that we must not give with the expectation of return. Often we give and give and give, and we think that something should be returned, but when we give with the expectation of return we are creating an inner pressure in our partners. It is only when there is "delicacy of feeling that we can give ourselves freely and without hesitation."

Line four is the proper correlate of line one. And line four carries this theme even further. The commentary says, "A man's faults often prevent even well-disposed people from coming closer to him. His faults are sometimes reinforced by the environment in which he lives. But if in humlity he can bring himself to the point of giving them up, he frees his well-disposed friends from an 'inner pressure' and causes them to approach more quickly, and there is mutual joy." Our faults can be construed as a symbol for our inner "wanting" for things to be a certain way. Often men chase women who are backing away from them because they think that to be successful they must pursue their desires. But this desire leaves an inner pressure on the woman who even if well-disposed, cannot tolerate the appearance of desperation. (Women can do this too, once they have fully accepted a man and feel chemistry.) It is only when it no longer matters how a person responds, and we feel an inner letting go, and acceptance of the other person regardless, without the inner rancor or frustration at their behavior, that we free them from this "inner pressure." When we let go and no longer care, in a possessive sense, that we allow people to choose to come to us.

Hexagram eight line five teaches this same message somewhat, albeit in a different way. The analogy is the king who hunts the animals, but only the ones who have chosen, so to speak, to come into his domain, and in essence are "offering themselves" as a sacrifice to the hunter. In the same way, we can only choose those who willingly come to us of their own free accord, those who willingly sacrifice of themselves to be our friend, mentor, and/or lover. When we do this, when we allow this "acceptance" to happen, we in effect, brace the ridgepole in hexagram twenty eight, so that it no longer sags, and our relationship returns to one of harmony and love. And as the commentary on line four says, "A responsible man becomes master of the situation." "But if he uses his connections for personal would lead to humiliation." We must let the relationship have its own life, and demand nothing from it for personal aggrandizement at the sake of the relationship itself. We must allow people to be who they are, without any personal motivations, but only motivations of love and harmony.

More on this later

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