Friday, November 14, 2008

Wise and generous mother earth

Perfect indeed is the sublimity of the Receptive. All beings owe their birth to it, because it receives the heavenly with devotion.

The Receptive in its riches carries all things. Its nature is in harmony with the boundless. It embraces everything in its breath and illumines everything in its greatness. Through it, all individual beings attain success.

A mare belongs to the creatures of the earth; she roams the earth without bound. Yielding, devoted, furthering through perseverance; thus the superior man has a direction for his way of life.

Taking the lead brings confusion because one loses his way. Following with devotion – thus does one attain his permanent place.

In the west and south one finds friends, so that he proceeds with people of his own kind. In the east and north one must do without friends, so that he finally attains good fortune.

The good fortune of rest and perseverance depends on our being in accord with the boundless nature of the earth. [W/B]

In writing the commentaries to the decision or judgment on Hexagram Kun, the wise depict their understanding of the wisdoms contained in the Book of Changes for posterity. Like mother earth, being broad and generous, they do not have preference if their thoughts are read by Confucians, Daoists, Buddhists or any other doctrines. All are welcome.

They left behind the words for all Yi aficionados including those who had attempted to read the Book of Changes. If students cannot find the meanings or wisdoms then nothing else can be done, since the Yi is not meant for everyone on earth. Only the earnest and sincere can find the true meanings in what is written in the Book of Changes.

That remains the truth for the past few millennia.

Here is my simple take:

There are times to be creative and times to be receptive. By following and being receptive to Heaven, the governor of time, the Junzi know what to do and what not to do.

3 comments:

Luis Andrade said...

Hi Allan,

I have an interesting quote I read recently. It was written by Gao Panlong (1561-1626) in the Ming Dyn:

"There are mind under Heaven that defy the Yi, but there is no Yi that defies the mind. This is why learning is important. Through learning, one comes to know that to defy the Yi is to defy the mind and that to defy the mind is to defy the Yi. Following the Yi will bring good fortune and defying the Yi will cause misfortune, remorse, and regret."

Allan said...

Hi Luis!

Thanks for the quote. When the Chinese talked about Xin, they could mean both heart and mind.

Gao probably understood what Yi students and aficionados were doing wrong during his time. If we ‘survey the land’ around us, it still happens.

If we know, what is good for us, we try our best to get it. Whenever we put our heart and mind to our studies, we can excel. Therefore the earnest (in mind) and sincere (at heart) can succeed while others fail or drop out, even if they had wanted to follow the Yi.

The ancients said that with the most complete sincerity, using the tortoise or the milfoil (yarrow stalks); we can divine like a spirit (shen). How many Yi students have actually reached that level of excellence, before climbing on to the peak?

Therefore, like Gao, can we not say that many fellow students do not put their heart and mind in their Yi studies? There are also instances where they defy the Yi (the teacher) by not following the prognostications on what to do or what not to do. That we know is not the proper conduct of a Junzi.

Cheerio!

Luis Andrade said...

Hi Allan,

You said:

"Therefore, like Gao, can we not say that many fellow students do not put their heart and mind in their Yi studies? There are also instances where they defy the Yi (the teacher) by not following the prognostications on what to do or what not to do. That we know is not the proper conduct of a Junzi."

LOL! So funny. Before you posted your comment, I wrote this in Clarity in a thread about "the reluctance to do a reading" (more like compulsive reading, actually) and regarding the Yi as an anthropomorphic "friend":

"I used to believe the same about the friend part. Now I think of the Yi as the Daren, who is the teacher we listen to. No sentimentality but pure honesty, pragmatism, and detachment with his pupils. You will not hurt its feelings by stubbing your big toe after he told you there was a protrusion in front of you. You'll most likely get a laugh for your troubles or a switch for not listening."

Best

L