Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Understand what you read

In any studies, the student would be provided a suggested book list to read either by teachers, schools, or peers. Even if students happen to read the same book or classic, we may each come away with a complete different understanding especially on profound subjects like the Tao and the Zhouyi, as is often seen in the World Wide Web.

Some differences in understanding these two ancient Chinese studies have been covered in previous entries. It seems pointless to go through them again which is in line with Heaven and Earth, and the sage.

While the Yi can be treated like a parent, whether we use the ancient classic as a Book of Oracles and/or a Book of Wisdom, we could have completely ignored its guidance(s) if we do not understand what we read. Unable to understand what we read, we may bend with the wind instead of getting the clouds and the wind to follow us.

If we understand what we read, it is easy to discern spurious claims of which there are many. And we would not sway whichever way the wind blows since our knowledge or roots have deepened.

In line with the times, and as a continuation of the previous entry on ‘Fei Ren in the seventh month’, I append some of the in-depth thoughts of the ancients taken from the Ten Wings for aficionados who have a minimum of ten years of Yi studies under their belt, since the commentary deal with Tao and the Cosmos:


Standstill. Evil people do not further.
The perseverance of the superior man.
The great departs; the small approaches.

Commentary on the Judgment:

Thus heaven and earth do not unite, and all beings fail to achieve union.

Upper and lower do not unite, and in the world, states go down to ruin.

The shadowy is within, the light without; weakness is within, firmness without; the inferior is within, the superior without. The way of the inferior is waxing; the way of the superior is waning.

Confucius says about the (fifth) line (of Standstill):

Danger arises when a man feels secure in his position. Destruction threatens when a man seeks to preserve his worldly estate. Confusion develops when a man has put everything in order. Therefore the superior man does not forget danger in his security, nor ruin when he is well established, nor confusion when his affairs are in order. In this way he gains personal safety and is able to protect the empire.
[W/B Books I & III]

There are several layers of thoughts depicted here, some over our heads as usual.

Test your Yi knowledge on these ancient thoughts and see if you can really understand why so many warnings had been given?


Anonymous said...

Greetings Allan,

Perhaps these warnings are to remind us of our nature.

in peace,

The Crow said...

Danger is everywhere, as it should be. One must remember to use care.
Attempts to keep what is yours, shows you did not understand it was never yours to begin with.
Cleverness is no substitute for wisdom.
Close to perfect, is as close as a wise man will aim.

The sage is careful.
The sage needs nothing.
The sage exerts only enough control, and no more.

A sage is not always a sage.