Friday, January 06, 2012

A Place of Transition

As we learned in studying hexagrams one and two, the third line has elements of "a place of transition." The subject discussed in the reading has reached the top of the lower trigram, and is ready to climb higher to the upper, or heavenly, trigram. This introduces the concept of "danger" in the third line because to enter the heavenly realm before the time is right can be disastrous. To properly analyze the situation, often it is necessary to recognize whether the line is "correct," a yang line in the third is normally correct, or if not correct, is it a situation where the softness of the line tempers an undue hardness of a yang place. It is also necessary to notice the neighbors and the corresponding sixth line to come to a correct determination. Finally, it is necessary to examine the overall intent of the hexagram.

In hexagram twenty line three the commentary says plainly, "The point of transition has been reached." (Here a yin line tempers the hardness of the position, so that there is some safety for the line. It also has a proper correspondence with the nine in the sixth place.) The commentary goes on to say, "We no longer look outward to receive pictures that are more or less limited and confused, but direct our contemplation upon ourselves in order to find a guideline for our decision." When a person reaches the stage where he or she is ready to take a larger view of life, (not the limited view of line two) they take a look within because it is there that they can find the truth out about at one and the same time, themselves and how they themselves are creating their own reality. The commentary goes on to say, "This self-contemplation means the overcoming of naive egotism in the person who sees everything solely from his own standpoint. He begins to reflect and in this way acquire objectivity." Almost always, people look to spiritual sources for answers only when their life is truly not working, and they are looking for answers. At first they look outside of themselves, but find only more troubles. Eventually, as they "reach the place of transition," they begin to go inside. This is because it is not until we truly understand that our problems come from within, that we have any sort of basis for making sense of life. As such, Lao Tzu spoke of "daily investing in loss." The loss that he speaks of refers to loss of ego, so that spirit may take hold. Jesus was effectively saying the same thing when he said, "If any man would be my disciple, he must take up his cross daily, and follow me." By taking up the cross, we die daily to the outside life and learn to "follow" the heart, or the messages of spirit. It is only when we let go of ego that we "begin to see things objectively, because before that everything is connected back to ourselves and how we need to "control" others and our own circumstances."

Much of eastern spirituality relates to the ability of the true masters to look at themselves from outside themselves. In other words, observe themselves as if they were not related to themselves, while at the same time observing everything else. Each day through practice, (practicing chariot driving,) we learn to do this more. In that way we are "investing in loss," and "taking up our cross daily." By observing from outside ourselves does not contradict going within. It is only by going within that we find that deeper part of ourselves that can see ourselves more objectively. But none of this can be done until "The place of transition has been reached."

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