Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Well is Being Lined

Hexagram forty eight line four tells us that "the well is being lined." Often in our lives when we have studied a little, or even a lot, and have gained some valuable information, and some personal capabilities, we think we are ready to teach others, and maybe we are to a certain extent, at least beginners. But we really have not made efficient use of the total teachings available to us. This often happens because as hexagram four line four teaches us, "we have a blind spot in our thinking." We do not realize the depths of the teaching still available to us, and see only as the subject in hexagram twenty line four "as through a crack in the door." As Luke Skywalker says to Yoda in *The Empire Strikes back," "But I AM ready, Ben tell him I am ready. But I have learned so much." Still he could not see himself as he really was, because as Yoda said, "All your life you have looked away, into the future, wherever, never knowing who you are or paying attention to what you were doing." Luke thought he was ready, but he was not. That did not mean he could not learn, only that he was not as adept as he thought he was.

We see this same attitude prevalent in the martial arts teachings in the west, where students studied for a while from the master, then thought they knew it all and went out and created their own style, never knowing how much they were lacking, and the west is just full of inefficient and incomplete martial arts classes, so much so that a beginning student would never know the difference between a true teacher and one who was less proficient.

When we get the line saying "The well is being lined, we may be being told that we need to practice, or train much more ourselves before we can take the teaching to the outer world. At most, we may be able to train beginners only, while we ourselves are still being trained by the master. The commentary says, "In life also there are times when a man must put himself in order. During such a time he can do nothing for others, but his work is nontheless valuable, because by enhancing his powers and abilities through inner development, he can accomplish all the more later on." If we break off and attempt to be the teacher before we are ready, we become isolated, with no one to teach us as hexagram four line four tells us. Our blind spot remains. Luke Skywalker had a 'blind spot." Luke feels danger within the cave. (In our own darkness.) He takes his weapons. Yoda tells him, "your weapons, you will not need them" Luke takes them anyway, (he has not yet come to fully trust the master) and goes into the cave. He is confronted by a Darth Vader figure, and pulls his weapon. The dark figure does the same. Luke strikes, and finds that the dark figure is himself. He was blind to his own darkness. He did not need his weapon, he only needed to confront himself, and learn about his dark side. He failed in the cave because of a "blind spot" in his thinking.

We all fail in the cave. We all fail in our darkness, because we have not yet allowed the light to shine in all parts of our own cave. We are underlings, and do not recognize it. In our ego we think we are mighty, indispensable, highly educated, smart, and cannot see our own darkness. It is only when we have done the work ourselves that we can teach others. If we think we have "arrived" we haven't. If we think we are ready, we probably aren't. If we think we understand, we probably don't. We must continue carrying on the work on our inner selves, before we can teach others. We must trust our master, if truly he or she is a master (and we must learn the difference). We think we are prepared, but we are not. Finally, the commentary on hexagram forty three line two says, "If a man develops his character, people submit to him of their own accord." You will know you are ready to be a teacher by when the students appear. The old adage is true. When the student is ready the master will appear, but it is also true, when the master is ready, the student will appear.

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