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Archive for the ‘applied philosophy to live by’ Category

Manufactured Need

A spirit teacher shares His understanding of timeless wisdom
contained within I Ching 43 – Removal.

Lake is over Heaven. Lake is Yin and Heaven is Yang.

Yin, in this instance, is as a butterfly on a rock. What
interaction or common ground can the two possibly share;
frail over solid?

A rock is not easily crushed nor moved, but neither can it
move itself; while a butterfly is easily crushed, but it has
power to move itself out of the way of danger – lightness
and mobility over weight and immobility.

Removal follows Increase (42) and develops into Meeting (44).

That’s a curious sequential order.

How so?

I can understand that increase can become clutter and requiring
downsizing, or removal of whatever no longer serves us well, but
how does this lead to Meeting?

Meeting is coming together.

With whom or what?

Awareness.

Of what?

Of whatever is necessary or desirable and useful, and what
is manufactured need.

How can need be manufactured?

Unethical advertising.

Cause or Effect – Chicken or Egg

A spirit teacher shares His understanding of timeless wisdom contained within
the symbolic structure of the 64 I Ching hexagrams, which expresses an endless
series of events and situations that each of us will necessarily experience
during our human lifetimes, until we have learned to become aware of our own
self-directed role in creating the illusion of permanence and of our seeming
resistance to accept what is, and to respond without unproductive emotional
or intellectual analysis. When milk is spilled, by whatever cause, we mop it up.

How does cause and effect or chicken and egg fit into such a philosophy of life?

I Ching hexagram 50 – The Cauldron, answers that question.

Then, please explain.

Fire is over Wind. Each are yin and each is receptive to the other, at least
in this situation.

The separate energies of Fire and Wind, in their extremes, can create destruction.
Together, they could bring about disaster. Mental energies are no different than
those of nature, in this respect.

But, a gentle fire and a controlled movement of air can create warmth, boil
water, or heat food.

Enter the Cauldron?

Yes. A cauldron was a large kettle hung over an open fire, before it was
replaced with modern appliances and more controllable sources of heat.

However, the timeless realities exist even within a so-called modern
world. The transfer of energy still requires movement and interaction
between cause and effect.

What is the message that this discussion of fire and wind say to me?

It dares to ask a question concerning our relationship, which you seem
to hesitate to face.

And, that is …?

Who is what?

Fire or Wind?

No.

Cause or effect?

Yes.

Perhaps we each, depending upon the situation, can and do play
either role.

Yes.

We Choose the Rules

A spirit teacher shares His understanding of timeless wisdom
concealed within the I Ching hexagram 7 – The Army.

The Army necessarily develops out of Contention (6) and then
establishes a foundation for Closeness (8). Earth is above
and water is below.

Why is Water yang when Lake is yin?

Is feminism rising?

Perhaps, but it is curious, since in essence they each are
water.

Lake is usually more submissive and receptive than is the
free-flowing water of rivers. Now, can we return to discussing
The Army?

Please do.

As today follows yesterday into the past, so The Army follows
Contention; and as today reaches toward tomorrow, so does
The Army reach toward Closeness.

I can understand The Army and Contention acting on each other,
but what possible relationship can The Army have with Closeness?

When reason alone fails to solve contention, then power is a
necessary organizing force. It serves a good purpose if it can
bring together contentious groups of people. Then it contributes
to a sense of closeness.

Okay, I can accept that, but how does it relate to me?

Who is contentious?

Perhaps I justifiably am, at times.

Who is The Army?

I don’t know.

Is The Army as a referee in this instance?

That’s possible, but not all referees play by the same rules.

What rules do I play by?

You seem to play by rules of your own choosing.

Yes, and so do you.

Rainbows Appear After Storms

A spirit teacher shares His understanding of timeless wisdom
contained within the I Ching Hexagram 12 – Obstruction.

Heaven is the most powerful yang trigram and is above Earth,
which is the most powerful yin trigram.

Obstruction usually suggests something blocking the way, and
yet the way is usually forward; not up or down.

The way up or down also makes sense.

But, in speaking of enlightenment, surely up and ahead sounds
more like progress than would down or back.

That would depend upon how one defined progress.

I’ve distracted you from the reading.

No; only yourself.

Then, please explain what situation or experience Obstruction refers to.

It can refer to someone interrupting me.

Other than that, and in the context of I Ching.

Obstruction emerges out of the peaceful relationship expressed
by Tranquility (11) and necessarily contributes to Association
with Others (13).

There can be no obstruction unless there is someone or something blocking our way?

Yes.

So, where does a rainbow come into the picture?

What picture?

The scenario that you seem to be presenting about a calm before
a storm, and then a gathering, or celebration.

When do rainbows appear?

After a storm, if they appear at all.

Yes.

What does that mean?

It means we can sit around and do nothing or we can struggle
toward a desired future that may never come.

But, our desired future is much less likely to come without
struggle?

Yes.

Tomorrow Will Come

A spirit teacher shares His understanding of timeless wisdom
expressed within the I Ching hexagram 51 – Thunder. Thunder
is over Thunder, expressing a form of yang that has double
its normal potential of active energy.

Thunder develops out of the situation expressed by The Cauldron
(50) and, in turn prepares the foundation for the experience
referred to as Mountain (52).

Every situation we experience today can help to prepare us for
whatever tomorrow will bring to us. We develop skills and
increased awareness of what skills will best serve us in
whatever particular situation.

Tomorrow will come, whether or not we prepare for it.
Yesterday helped us, more or less, to prepare for today’s
challenges and, as life is an endless series of situations
and experiences, how we live today will determine, at least
to some extent, how well we’ll cope with whatever tomorrow
brings our way.

Life is a Master Teacher, and provides us with experiences
that offer incentives to master personal skills and coping
strategies. How we cope with whatever challenges that
tomorrow brings will depend very much on how we live today.

Wow! I’m glad that message applies to people younger than me.

It applies to everyone, always.

We Each Contribute to Life

A spirit teacher shares His understanding of the timeless wisdom
contained within the I Ching hexagram 31- Sensing.

Lake is over Mountain. Lake is yin and Mountain is yang.
The trigram Lake is composed of one yin line above two yang.
The trigram Mountain shows one yang line above two yin.
Every yang and yin line of this hexagram has a complement.

Sensing develops from Fire (30_ in which no line enjoys
a complement, and forms a foundation for Constancy (32).
Constancy is as Sensing, with harmony between yin and yang.

Sensing requires more than receiving information from, or
through, our five physical sensory organs. Sensing suggests
a certain level of understanding of the meaning of the
message that we are receiving.

The yin and yang principles must work together?

Yes, but never equally, or they would negate each other.
There must always be a dynamic blending of their unique
energies. They each contribute what they alone can;
intuitive awareness and intellectual capacity for making
sense of this awareness.

What personal message does this reading offer?

We each contribute what we alone can, if we
care to contribute at all.

To whom or what do we contribute?

To Life. It would be different than it is without
you, or Me.

Life Never Promises Easy

A Spirit teacher shares His understanding
of timeless wisdom planted deep within
the I Ching hexagram 3 – Difficulty.

Water is over Thunder.
Both trigrams express yang energies.

Difficulty follows The Receptive (3)
the most powerful yin hexagram.

The receptive expresses a state of mind
that is open to wisdom, whatever its source.

But, what to do with that wisdom?

In nature it would be shared, as nutrients
in the soil are made available to all
plants having their roots in that soil.

The difficulty arises in how to distribute
intellectual, emotional, and spiritual
nutrients among people possessing different
capacities to absorb, and different degrees
of awareness and appreciation of their value.

A personal message?

Yes.

Waiting for an Answer

A spirit teacher shares His understanding of timeless wisdom
contained within the I Ching Hexagram 5 – Waiting.

Water is over Heaven. Both express yang energies; Heaven as
ultimate power, and Water as flowing downward to reach its
own comfort zone; its own level.

What is Heaven?

Heaven is Life.

But, there are many forms of life.

Heaven is beyond form.

Is it potential form?

It is potential.

Then, it can become …

What?

Whatever it might have the power to become?

It has the power of potential itself.

What does that mean?

Are you waiting?

Yes.

For what?

For an answer.

Yes.

Immaturity Gets Bad Press

A spirit teacher shares His understanding of timeless wisdom
expressed within the I Ching Hexagram 4- Immaturity.

Mountain is over Water. Both express Yang energy; Mountain
with firmness; Water with restless seeking.

Immaturity develops out of Difficulty (3) and develops into
Waiting (5).

A seed contains the essence of restless life, and protects
that essence by restricting its development until it is
mature enough to safely emerge from within its shell.
Parents and teachers also serve that purpose for children.

Immaturity in thought is expressed with feelings of
Uncertainty. To be uncertain as to how to proceed in any
particular situation expresses developing maturity. To be
aware that we don’t know absolutely requires intelligence,
for we can never know, absolutely. Uncertainty enjoys a
valued place in Universal Law.

Then, why do I seem to need to develop maturity?

Maturity of what?

I seem to need to understand my life, in particular, and
all life in general, and to know why it is as it seems to be.

How does it all seem to be?

Immature.

How immature?

How can I know?

Exactly.

What does that mean?

It means that immaturity is a necessary and never-ending
reality of life, and is a blessing to us all in that it
provides for and expects future development, and there will
always be future development.

Then, immaturity gets bad press?

Yes.

The Greatest Pleasure

Spirit shares His understanding of timeless wisdom
expressed within the I Ching Hexagram 16 – Pleasure.

The call to “do what you love and love what you do”
has been used as an advertisement to enroll young
people in classes that claim to lead to a successful
career earning a rewarding income working at something
that brings them pleasure.

A call to pleasurable work also expresses the thought
that we’ll do best what we choose to do for self-
satisfaction and not for its dollar value, alone, nor
for social status.

That sounds great, but …

You do not agree?

I do agree.

And yet?

It isn’t always possible.

Why?

We must choose.

That’s what it’s all about.

What’s all about choosing?

Life.

Life may be about choosing …

Not may be. It is.

But, sometimes we choose whatever, not for
the most pleasure, but for the least pain.

Is there a difference?

Perhaps not in the final choice, but …

So, we sometimes sacrifice pleasure?

At least short term.

For delayed or postponed satisfaction?

Yes.

Why?

You’re testing me.

Yes.

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