Why do Laozi, Confucius, and the Buddha keep on learning till their final days?
Probably like most of those reading here, they remained earnest and sincere students even after they had become sages. Reading from the ancient books and classics, we get to know that the Junzi and the Da Ren are called that because they still have more to learn and cultivate before they can become sages (Sheng Ren).
How do students progress through the various stages of study and practice (or cultivate) to reach the level of a Junzi? And how do Daoists reach the level of Wu Wei?
They simply have to be earnest and sincere in their studies and practice.
If they want to be a good artist (like Michelangelo), an excellent butcher (like Cook Ting), a renowned martial artist (like Zhang Sanfeng), a Court Yi diviner (like a Wu), a neidan master (like a Shi), for example, they need to continually put in the extra mile in their studies and practice.
So what did Laozi and the Buddha learn and cultivate?
They practiced meditation and cultivated virtues. So did Confucius, except that his meditation practice probably was that of contemplation. And Confucius can be said to have put in more effort in emphasizing the cardinal virtues for posterity.
Yet the later and some modern Daoists argue that Laozi did not like virtues because his so called student, Zhuangzi was dead against cultivating Confucian virtues. To the Daoists in the East, such arguments are laughable. Since how could someone become a Junzi or a right person for Tao without cultivating the cardinal virtues?
Are the cardinal virtues not taught in the Zhouyi? Is the Zhouyi not written before the times of Laozi, Confucius, and the Buddha? What have some Yi aficionados been reading all these years?
Have I not mentioned in a much earlier entry that the cultivation of these virtues can bring about the magic of Tao? Do I sound like pulling your legs?
It has been an uphill struggle, about five years ago, to tell Taijiquan practitioners in the West that Zhang Sanfeng founded the particular form of martial arts, and not some one else who happened to live in the Wudang mountain. Now most agree that it is the case since more and more students from the East are interacting in Daoist forums.
It is also an uphill battle to inform Daoists in the West that cultivating virtues forms part of the dual cultivation. They thought and some still thinks that dual cultivation means the ‘angelic’ dual cultivation that has something to do with sex as promoted in the Hua Hu Ching purportedly written by Laozi – I have already indicated with supporting reasons why that spurious claim cannot hold water.
What can be revealed in this blog should be more than sufficient for readers. Yet some think they deserve better by asking for my secrets. Have I no rights to keep some of my own studies and hard earned experiences, secret?
Even if I were to write a book today on how to obtain Heaven’s secrets with the Yi and/or how to get the specific dates, readers would still not be able to do that.
For without the earnest sincere study and practice, and without the continual cultivation of the cardinal virtues, it will prove difficult for Yi aficionados to obtain Heaven’s secrets. And without spiritual clarity or wisdom (refer to Zhang Sanfeng’s commentary on the hundred character stele) even if the Yi informs you what is really going to happen, you may not be able to correctly interpret or decipher the prognostication.
If you do not believe me, try interpreting the various heaven secrets or omens, past or present, in my blog.
If they prove too difficult, try the ones given to Professor Sam Crane and interpreted here. If you still cannot understand them, try the five or six hexagrams given by the Yi a few years ago to the American lady using the handle, Val, in the I Ching Community. These are the prognostications where the Yi actually spoke. If you can interpret them all, then you may have reached the level of Wu Wei and do not really need to read my thoughts on the Yi, anymore.
Meanwhile I am learning to please myself. Since if I claim to know more than others, readers may say that I am arrogant. And if I claim that I do not know, the trolls would imply that I am selfish and/or arrogant.
When are you learning to please yourself?
Perhaps you can do so when you have learned how to rectify your heart/mind (Xin). How to rectify the heart/mind has been blogged before but you may have not noticed!