Monday, November 21, 2016

Confucianism or Daoism

Often there is talk of how people wish that we could get more Taoism in our translations of the I Ching and less of the Confucianism. They base this on the apparent morality signature of the Confucian model. This is a misunderstanding. Taoism and Confucianism are based on exactly the same principle, so that when we read the commentary on a given portion of the I Ching we are getting both the Taoist and the Confucianist model.

Now, that being said, it is my contention that Taoism goes much deeper, in a sense anyway. But that still does not take away the value of the Confucian model. The Wilhelm/Baynes interpretation of the I Ching has been accepted generally as a Confucianist model of interpretation, yet the W/B version is very, very, esoteric.

One way of looking at it is that within each chapter and each line, there are multiple levels of interpretation. This is more true in the original language, but is also true to a certain extent in English. For example, the third line of hexagram thirty two, a yang line, states that, 'He who does not give duration to his character meets with disgrace." Well, since most of us are totally into the divination aspect of the I Ching, the meaning of this line makes us scratch our head and wonder, "How can this possibly apply to my question?" Well, if you received that answer, it most likely does, but how? Often we are subject to moods and mood swings, which brings us up to another topic to be discussed later, about emotions, and the importance of them and the role they play in our lives. The viewpoint on the meaning and importance of emotions varies greatly between men and women, and causes a great deal of confusion and anxiety between partners of the two sexes. There is a reason for this and it relates to our view of reality, which is different. In the case of a divination, mood swings may be affecting our capacity to see the truth and the reality of the situation. Our mental attitude becomes different and that in itself changes the reality which we experience.

But if we want to look beyond the simple explanation in relation to our question presented to the I Ching, we begin to see the reading in a new context. The new context is not just specific to the question asked, but is specific to how we best live our lives in the present world. Therefore, the answer, in a sense, becomes more "taoist" in nature, and we perceive it as guidance for our lives as a whole, not just an answer to a specific question. The commentary says, "Inconsistency invariably leads to distressing experiences." But why? And this is key, absolutely key, if you want to understand the I Ching. Many will balk at this, and discount it, but the reason it consistently works that way because there are certain laws in the universe that are universal, and they always apply. It is our attitude that is getting us into trouble. Let go of the attitude, and the reality that we experience actually changes. This is hard to understand, it is hard to accept, but it is real, and many have proven in their own lives the veracity of these statements. And the rest of the commentary establishes this fact well, It says, "Such experiences are not merely effects produced by the external world, but logical consequences evoked BY HIS OWN NATURE!" (Capitals mine)

Think about this. This is crucial. This is of utmost crucial importance. We create our own reality!!! If that is true, then how should we live? If we get this line, or any line, in the I Ching, we must stop and think not only how the I Ching is replying in regards to the nature of our future, but how it is replying in relationship to our own thoughts, our own attitudes, and our own moral rectitude. This is reality. This is the ultimate reality. So to  ask simply to find out what our future is is simplistic. We must ask in order to find out how we are contributing to that future. If we are subject to moods, we are subject to whatever the universe brings us, which will BE in accordance with our moods.

And finally, let me ask, which is more correct here? The Confucian model or the Taoist? I would submit we do not know one from the other, because we have no framework for deciding? A moralistic viewpoint might be, it is wrong to do such and such. A Confucian and Taoist viewpoint might be, reality flows where attention goes. Are they two different things? Or in reality are they one and the same?

Thursday, November 17, 2016


It is only natural for humans to be anxiety stricken. At least at times. It is not so terrible for us to be that way, but it does work against us. When we become anxiety stricken we actually limit the work that the subconscious mind can do to produce the results we want. Hexagram five gives us some insights into the way the universe works. Of course, if you believe that we are here by a random accident, then nothing that is said henceforth will have any real meaning for you. But if you think otherwise, then the following message may make sense to you.

Hexagram five gives us some interesting feedback on how the universe works, and some of the metaphysical laws that apply. The hexagram carries the connotation both of 'waiting,' and 'nourishing.' But nourishing is something we do while we wait. And waiting is something we do while we nourish. Other hexagrams explain to us the importance of nourishing ourselves until we are ready to complete a project. Here we nourish ourselves while waiting to complete a project.

 But there is something novel here. There is something that is a key to how we handle our own destiny, and how we compose ourselves while we re waiting for our destiny to be revealed. Perhaps the simplest way of expressing that key is 'confidence.' But confidence has to be built on something. It cannot be just there without anything to back it up, otherwise we delude ourselves.

So where does this confidence come from? It comes from a plain and simple understanding of the nature and the laws of the universe and how they work. It is not a simple matter of blind confidence, but an inner knowing that we are in alignment with universal principles, and law. We know that we receive that which we greatly desire as long as it is in alignment with our destiny. The universe bends its will to ours when we bend our will to it. And when we do bend our will to the will of the universe, and follow the T'ao, so to speak, we find that "fate is favorable." When we are in alignment with the will of the universe we cannot be stopped, not because we are so great, but because the universe itself is. The T'ao is favorable. All great religions have taught this, but the idea has been glossed over and lost sight of through the centuries. The text says, "If we are sincere, we have light and success." Do we really believe this? /It also says we have "the inner certainty of reaching the goal." If this is true then we can be calm and relaxed regardless of our outer conditions. For we know that although the sea seems mighty rough at the moment, things are exactly as they need to be, and nothing can stop us from reaching the ultimate goal.

Hopefully more on this later.

Monday, November 14, 2016

In Keeping With the Theme...

In keeping with the theme of hexagram twenty one, we have talked about the hexagram as a description of punishment as well as keeping unity, but there is more to be said about this. In Carol Anthony's book she talks about being careful to not engage with those who have wronged us. I may disagree with this, depending on how well I have understood her. Because whenever we read someone else's words, we always interpret them according to the understanding that we have. And words and language are to a certain extent, inappropriate. At the very least they cannot communicate specifics but are always prone to be misinterpreted.

While Carol Anthony's statement is probably meant as just a way to protect ourselves, and to stay non committed, if taken in the wrong way, it could be interpreted as saying, "that as long as someone has wronged us, we have to punish them until the situation is corrected." No. And even Carol Anthony herself says that punishment should be left up to the Cosmos. My take on it is it is perfectly okay to engage with someone who has wronged us, as long as we do not become in anyway attached. The engagement in discussion can be neutral and in no way intended to hurt or to strike back at the other individual. Nor is it a way to strike back at others. It is only a means of allowing the universe and karma to guide the nature of the interaction and the relationship. For one of the first principles of life is that, "everything is okay just the way it is." We have been hurt and wronged, but that is okay just the way it is. And while that might seem like a trite and a belittling way of looking at things, it actually, if one looks deeply, becomes a very profound statement. And if everything is just the way it should be, why is there any need for 'hurt feelings" or any feeling of 'being maligned.' Here is where the power of detachment comes into play, We are not only detached from the person we have had the interaction with, (not in a negative way though) but we are also detached from any judgments that we might make from our experience. As Coronal Kurtz says in "Apocalypse now," It is our judgments that get us into trouble. We should not judge the situation we are in anymore than judging the person that put us in that situation. (Although, that in itself is a judgment.) If we judge a situation, or if we judge a person, we are not accepting things just the way they are. And guess what, when we take this attitude, not only does our own hurt go away, but we are able to interact with the other with detachment, (and yet love at the same time) and as such help them as well to no longer judge the situation and accept it for what it is. We do not indulge in or encourage others bad behavior, but at the same time we do not react to it with injured retort. That is what I think Carol Anthony is really trying to say as well, although in some statements it might appear otherwise. But then we all see through rose colored glasses, and we tend to 'judge' situations according to our own perceptions. When we judge, we are setting up ourselves as the highest authority, and are acting out of ego and pain, rather than "accepting things just the way they are."

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Seeing with Rose Colored Glasses

Having received hexagram twenty one a few times lately, I thought I would spend a little more time getting familiar with the inner meaning. For as those who have followed this blog know, I am not so much into doing "readings" as I am finding out the esoteric and more spiritual meanings of the hexagrams, and how they relate to my life, and how they can teach me.

I find that in Carol Anthony's books she has put together a very nice detailing of some meanings of hexagram twenty one. Therefore I cannot say too much because it would appear I were copying her work. The only thing about Carol Anthony's work is that I think she puts a little too much emphasis on "our inferiors," and yet not really. I would just describe it a little differently.

Here is the thing about hexagram twenty one. It talks about laws and punishments, but who is punishing who and why, and how much? For what? Well, one thing Carol Anthony says is, "it is not our job to punish, that is a job for the Cosmos." But often, many people, many immature, surmise that the meaning is that there is a God up there who strikes us down out of anger when we doing something He doesn't like. This is a misunderstanding. Punishment fits the crime, and it is not dished out by anyone, but the laws of the universe, (just like the laws of gravity) are inclined towards a "what goes around comes around" nature.

But why laws? Isn't the universe just the result of a big bang, by accident, and people just the result of an accidental coming together of chemicals which create consciousness? Well, that is what a lot of people believe. But they are wrong. And I say that as matter of factly as I can. They are wrong. Period. End of discussion. It isn't one belief versus another, it is truth versus fiction. I can't stress that enough.

So the universe has natural laws associated with it, no different than the law of gravity. But gravity has a purpose. In the same way the laws of karma have a purpose. These laws are long term and often involve multiple lifetimes so it seems to us in our finite wisdom to not operate. But it does. And there is one goal for the laws of karma. And that is to bring about unity, love, and compassion for all creatures. Now that being said, some people do not belong together. That does not mean however, that there cannot be harmony among them, they just don't interact.

Why are we separated? One reason is we don't have the same perception of reality that our neighbors do. So we have conflict, with each person thinking they are in the right. So which one is in the right? All we have is our perceptions, but often our perceptions are faulty. So we think the other is to blame, and they think we are. Who is right and who is wrong? It appears it would be best to let the Cosmos decide. None of us have a claim on ultimate maturity. We see with rose colored glasses. As the ancient saying goes, "Now we see as in a glass darkly, but then we shall see the full light."

It is our nature, as we perceive ourselves to be in the right, to try to punish the other person. But that just comes from our ego. And it may be ourselves who are really blind to the light. So in hexagram twenty one line one, we receive a mild punishment, not to "get" us, but the punishment is simply to put us on the right path. But we will not get on that path if we do not have the ability to see our own culpability in the situation, or at the least, allow the Cosmos to inform us as to who is right or wrong. Or does it even matter? In this was, we can detach ourselves from the situation that is causing grief, and allow it to be worked out the way it is supposed to work out, and thus, finally achieving ultimate unity, or at least a "just and valid view of our fellow man." Hatred and fear are dissipated, (see hexagram fifty nine) and we achieve that which we had hoped for, or at least diminish the prospects of the situation getting worse.

There is a lot that can be said about hexagram twenty one, and hopefully more can be said soon.