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Archive for November, 2014

The Slippery Slope Of Small Excess

Spirit shares I Ching wisdom.

The experience we now focus on is represented by
the sixty-first Hexagram – Sincerity, expressing
self-awareness. This is not simplicity.

Awareness of oneself can only develop in harmony
with awareness of others, and to expect everything
and nothing of everyone other than self, but,
to expect from self the best that we have; that
we are.

And so, it makes sense that Sincerity follows
Discipline. Self-discipline is a necessary
prerequisite to a satisfied mind.

But, why does Sincerity lead to Small Excess
(Hexagram 62)?

What is small excess?

Brown sugar on my porridge.

Why is it so?

It’s not a nutritional necessity.

Then why do you do it?

A teaspoon of brown sugar seems to give
my cereal a more appealing taste.

Yes.

Then, simple personal pleasures are acceptable
forms of small excess?

Yes, until they become more than just a simple
pleasure.

Wouldn’t simple pleasures be different things
to different people?

How is that possible?

If I am used to a simple lifestyle, then
a small excess of whatever would not greatly
change my simple life.

But if I already enjoyed …

Would you enjoy more?

Who wouldn’t?

I wouldn’t.

Why?

Enough is enough.

And more than enough is excess?

Yes.

But, many never seem to get enough.

Yes, and some never seem satisfied with
however much of whatever they get.

Perhaps it’s in human nature to always
want a little more than we have of
whatever we seem to need.

To have?

Or to do or be.

Yes, our energy moves our mind in
whatever direction our mind desires to go.

You slipped in the word, desire.

Yes.

Why?

Anything we desire for our own pleasure
is excess; small or large, or somewhere
in between.

Then, small excess is as a direction –
as in going down the wrong road?

Or as a slippery slope.

Just a teaspoon of sugar can do that?

Yes, quantity is only a variable of
the addiction.

Addiction?

Yes. Anything unnecessary to life
can become an addiction.

Pleasure?

Even pleasure.

I’ll accept the risk.

And also accept responsibility for
any and all consequences?

Yes.

There Are No Cycles To Our Life

Spirit shares I Ching wisdom.

Today’s focus is on I Ching 1 – The Creative.
Heaven is over Heaven. Each alone represents
the sum total, and the source, of all power.
Together they can each be no more, or less.

The essence of all life expresses itself
in countless forms and non-forms. All energy
is creative, and energy is the essence of
all forms of life.

Aspects of creativity include origination,
development, perfection, and consummation.

Consummation refers to the creative act of
dissolving whatever has been created. A cycle
has been completed and now the energy or essence
of whatever was created will be used for some
other purpose. A new cycle begins. We move on.
We move on, but not necessarily forward.

What does that say to me, now that I have
left a stressful chapter in my life?
Where do I go from here?

You turn the page. A new chapter will begin.
It has begun.

But, it hasn’t been created, yet.

Perhaps not, but the outline has been. All
that you now are has been developed throughout
earlier chapters of your life. The next chapter
is not, nor can it be, completely separated from
earlier chapters. This would result in
discontinuity.

And that would suggest completion of a cycle
of life?

There are no cycles to our life, only to the
situations within it. Life, itself, is forever.

We Each Need to Learn To Be Self-Directed

Spirit shares I Ching wisdom.

The situation that we now must cope with on our
journey through life is represented by
Hexagram 19 – Overseeing.

Overseeing follows Degeneration and moves into
Observation. This may seem to suggest
a more-or-less orderly sequence of situations
through the sixty-four hexagrams, but life
was never designed to move seamlessly, or
smoothly for long periods of time.
Seasons progress in a predetermined order
but each Spring is in some way unique, as
is each of the yearly seasons.

And so it is with our individual lives.
We may encounter a regular progression of
situations but we must be alert to their
potential for uniqueness.

Since nothing can happen without preconditions
for its happening, nature always provides us with
early warning signs of imminent danger, if we
would listen. But, we grow complacent when life
is moving smoothly, forgetting that nothing
is without limits, or potential limits.

Why does Overseeing follow Degeneration?

If we are aware that a particular situation,
such as crops approaching their ideal stage
of growth for harvesting, then we can move
to harvest them before they degenerate.

It is the same with material possessions
and public utilities, such as roads, power,
and water resources, to name a few. If
our leaders are aware of weaknesses that
require repair or replacement, and act
on that awareness, then degeneration to
the point of collapse, can be prevented.

A stitch in time?

Yes. Some situations develop as a direct or
indirect consequence of human carelessness,
or lack of sufficient foresight. It is
then that overseeing would follow
degeneration. There is not always an
absolute order of events throughout life.

Could degeneration also refer to attitudes
as well as to diminished quality of work
or structural degeneration?

Specific situations do not necessarily
develop from any single cause. Life is
too complex to allow for such a
simplistic explanation.

How could potentially destructive
situations be prevented if specific
causes could not be identified?

History teaches Wise leaders to observe
what is happening and to be aware of what
potential dangers might be prevented.

How does this situation relate to
daily living?

It’s the same.

In what way?

Preparing meals requires paying attention
to what is happening to the food you are
preparing. Overseeing does not necessarily
refer to one person observing what another
is doing. We each need to learn to become
self-directed.

And, that’s the lesson?

Yes.

Power Comes From Within

Spirit shares I Ching Wisdom.

Today, the situation that we encounter
along our journey through Life is
expressed by Hexagram 33- Withdrawal.

Withdrawal follows Constancy, and
moves toward or into Great Power.

How can withdrawal lead to any power,
let alone great power?

What does it mean to withdraw and,
from what?

Constancy suggests steadiness;
not easily moved.

It can also suggest patience; waiting
until opportunity presents itself.

Then, opportunity comes from without?

Yes.

But, awareness of it comes from within.

Yes. WE can plan and prepare to execute
our plans, even during times unfavorable
to acting on them.

A farmer plans what he will plant before
the season of planting arrives. Then,
weather conditions being favorable,
he puts into action plans that needed
only an opportunity to carry through.

Where does Great Power enter into
the picture?

The power comes from within; self-control,
patience, planning, and the courage
to follow through on our plans when
circumstances are favorable for doing so.

Our plans?

Our plans.

Is this speaking specifically and personally,
or generally?

Yes.

A Bodhisattva is a Guide and Companion

Spirit shares I Ching wisdom.

Today’s experience through our journey of human existence
is described by hexagram 28 – Great Surpassing.

A Bodhisattva vows to walk the path of enlightenment
again and again, to serve as a guide and companion
to those who would, and could, with a little help,
follow the middle way through life.

Why is this experience called Great Surpassing?

Great rivers can be crossed without great effort
if one is aware, patient and willing to proceed,
one step at a time, when circumstances are
favorable for doing so.

There are seasons when rivers rise, and other seasons
when rivers flow more slowly and the channel narrows.
Also, there are times of calm between storms,
when travel is easier and the journey more pleasant.

Then, Great Surpassing can refer to a stress-free way
to walk The Path of Enlightenment?

Yes. There is no reward for speed. In fact, it is
never advised. So much is lost.

Such as?

Depth of awareness and understanding of the missed
opportunities to share compassion.

How can compassion be shared?

Compassion is always shared or it is not compassion.

But, if I feel compassionate toward someone
in distress, how can this person express compassion
for me? Surely, she or he would be too involved
with personal pain to be able to provide such an
emotion as compassion for anyone.

But you are not, or are you?

Am I what?

Too intent or concerned for the distressed soul
that you forget to care for yourself.

What care would I need?

Compassion.

Why? and from Whom?

Because we are one, the other’s distress
is our own distress, and as such requires
the same compassion toward oneself as
we would feel for others.

So, in feeling compassion for anyone,
I also, at the same time feel compassion
for myself, as that other?

Yes. We share Life with all; pleasure and pain.

Whether we are aware of that or not?

Yes.

.

Life Is What It Is

Spirit shares I Ching wisdom.

Today’s experience along the way is expressed by
Hexagram 50 – The Cauldron. Fire is above Wind.

Wind would certainly agitate Fire. But, why is
the situation referred to as a cauldron?

The sixth or top line is yang, and is as a lid,
while the first, or bottom line is yin, and is
as a pair of legs that form the base of the body
of the pot.

So yang keeps a lid on yin?

Yes. Intellect must rule over emotion.

Another Universal Law?

Yes.

But, it doesn’t make sense.

In what way?

How could yang do anything without yin?

It cannot.

Then, why must intellect rule emotion?

Intellect rules emotion only in the sense
that …

It has more sense?

That, too.

So, if intellect rules and yet can do nothing
of value …

It can do nothing, period, without yin;
of value or otherwise.

So, we need both intellect and emotion?

Yes.

How do they relate to each other?

As husband and wife.

Or as man and woman?

That isn’t the same.

In what way is it not, if men are superior?

Men are not superior.

Then, please explain.

Husband and wife is a relationship between
two people.

Go on.

Are you ready?

I think so.

Then, here it is. Every team or group requires
a leader to direct it, if that team, group, society,
or married couple share a common goal. We each
contribute what we are best able to contribute,
depending upon our natural attributes, knowledge,
skills, and potentials.

And women are designed to keep the home fires burning?

Yes.

A lot of women, myself included, would call you
a male chauvinist.

Names do not change reality. Life is what it is.

Until it changes?

It never changes from being Life.

Going Nowhere is an Illusion

Spirit shares I Ching wisdom.

Today’s message relates to Travel, hexagram 57.
Life experiences develop out of previous life
experiences and lead to future life experiences,
within an endless loop that expands.

We never return to an earlier experience,
even when we do, if we do. Something has
changed and so have we.

Our understanding of ourselves grows, as does
our understanding of the world we live in,
and everyone and everything within that world,
within our world.

The problem arises or, rather, problems arise
when we resist our own awareness of the changes
in our relationship to the changing world
we call our way of life.

We stumble when we fail to notice detour signs.
Things are never as they never were.

We see with an inner eye, while safe travel
requires looking ahead with an outer focus
of attention.

Illusion is created, self-created. It does not
exist in itself in any form.

Like the song, “A man sees what he wants to see
and disregards the rest?”

Yes, but the rest is still there, whether we
focus on it or not.

You’re getting close to home.

Yes. Perhaps our travels in the physical world
are or can be used as a diversion; an excuse
to avoid inner challenges to inward travel.

Wow! And the message?

Travel is a necessity of life, whether we go
anywhere, and we cannot go nowhere. That is
an illusion.

Even to imagine that we are or might be going
nowhere is an illusion?

Yes.

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