Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Not for the Inferior Man

The utilization of the I Ching works only for the superior man and not the inferior. Therefore it behooves us to know where we stand. If we are not capable of understanding the advice of the I Ching there is no use in requesting it. In the same way, if we do not act in accord with the Tao, or that is, with the way of sacrifice; if we do not recognize a heavenly guidance in our life, or we do not walk a spiritual path, then the wisdom and guidance of the I Ching will not work for you.

For example, let us say we receive hexagram five line four, and we look at the guidance. The hexagram and line speak of a situation in which we are cut off and ordinarily there would be no hope for us. However, there is hope when we compose ourselves and allow guidance to come through. When there is no hope we let fate take its course. When fate takes its course, then suddenly, a way out shows itself. We have this same motif in line six of the same hexagram. After one falls into the pit, three uninvited guests arrive. The uninvited guests are spiritual powers that save us from the situation that we are in. Those spiritual powers will not arrive however, for the average person. It is only when we have turned ourselves over to the Tao, to the spiritual way, to the way of sacrifice, or the way of the cross, that we have any hope of having "three uninvited guests arrive." If we are not at one (atonement) with the spiritual powers, with the universe, the guests will not arrive. This is not to be considered totally a bad thing, it is just the nature of the laws of the universe. We cannot overcome the laws of the universe in any way. The only way we can have this hope is by being one with the tao, one with the natural way.

We see this concept in many places in the I Ching. In the image in hexagram forty seven it says, "Thus the superior man stakes his life on following his will." The commentary on the image says, "This (hexagram) symbolizes an adverse fate in human life." Therefore it is essential that we understand that it is essential that the will we follow is not that of our lower self, but the will of the higher self, which is the will of heaven. Without that, nothing of permanence can be accomplished." Acting from our lower self can be of benefit for a time, but does not have the permanence of the will of the higher self. We cannot escape our fate, but we can consolidate it in a good way by following the way. This the inferior man cannot do, only the superior man can accomplish the will of heaven. Therefore, only the superior man will find help from unseen forces when adverse fate befalls us.

Hexagram fifty also speaks of fate. The image says, "Thus the superior man consolidates his fate by making his position correct."  The commentary says, "There is likewise in man a fate that lends power to his life. And if he succeeds in assigning the right place to life and to fate, thus bringing the two into harmony, he puts his fate of a firm footing." Therefore, in many ways, the superior man creates his own fate, though he or she is not necessarily conscious of having done so. It happens in the spiritual realm, beyond the comprehension of the conscious mind. Those powers are nevertheless real, whether we recognize them or not.

Finally, we see this argument expressed in hexagram twenty three, line six. The line says, "The superior man receives a carriage, the house of the inferior man is split apart." Why? The superior man follows the will of heaven. The inferior man follows his own will, arrogantly. When we follow the Tao, or the way of heaven, we create a fate, or a karma, or a destiny that "saves us" at the last minute. The 'uninvited guests arrive." When we create negativity, when we create discord, and disharmony, when are creating the conditions where our house, (the place we shelter ourselves, where we think we have safety and protection), is "split apart."

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