Thursday, October 31, 2019

Who is the Inferior Person?

In the I Ching, we are presented with a division between two levels of the self: the self as the "inferior person", and the self as the "Superior Individual". One of the most fundamental teachings of the I Ching is that in every moment, we are constantly facing a choice between embodying the inferior person, or embodying the Superior Individual.
But if the Superior Individual is our true nature, our consciousness applied to totality, when we are 100% engaged and united to reality... then what is the inferior person? What are you when you are being the inferior person?  And what is the real 'problem' of the inferior person?

First, the inferior person is who you usually imagine yourself to be. In fact, it is a groundless mishmash of transitory influences, from influences of our childhood and past, of our environment, of the influences people and ideas and media have made over our notions of reality and who we are, until we wear it all like a false patchwork skin.Wearing this skin gives us a false sense of security and significance, where we "know who we are" and "what we want", and yet ironically it is the real source of our most crippling insecurities and insignificance.

Yourself as the inferior person is really nothing at all; it's a tiny little man, in a very restricted world.

You make yourself small by shutting yourself into your limiting perspective.

You make yourself a world that's small, by only referring to reality through your own centered lens.

And when you're that small, that you affect only your own little controlled world, then what you do doesn't really matter.

It is fleeting, because it is so limited.

It creates a momentary effect, that all too often crashes against a larger reality it tries to defy, and sooner or later your efforts, that you imagined to be so very great, come to nothing.

So the problem of the inferior person is that they are a 'shut-in'. Instead of showing up, letting themselves be part of reality as it is, they are locked into their tiny fantasy universe, seeing only glimpses of heavily-altered reality through that lens of all their desires and fears and programmed beliefs. This means that they are not able to be effective in the world.

Whereas when you don't insist on being only in the center, when you act in Union and accordance with the whole force of the universe, even very small efforts can move along that flow of reality to make huge changes to yourself and to the world.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Don't Over-Complicate Practice, Surrender Into It!

Qi Gong Practitioners often develop problems in their practice due to a predictable pattern of behavior. The root of this is placing very high expectations on your experience of practice.

High expectations tend to develop in one of two ways: the first is where you begin with a simple practice that has some powerful experiences and real results, and so want to maintain that intensity and try to do so by doing more: making more advanced practices, longer exercises, adding little details, etc. until you have overburdened your practice.

The second is where you are doing a practice and feel that it is not working well, so you decide to modify or add to it. This produces a positive result, which was really caused by making a change, but which you might interpret as having been due to adding complexity or greater effort. So you continue to add more complexity and detail in your practice to try to keep increasing your experience.

This focus on excessive complexity can lead to creating a false illusion of effectiveness, that only seems to be creating results for you as long as you keep trying to build it up and innovate in your practice. It is doomed to lead to a collapse.

So it's important not to over-complicate things, not to worry about meeting some kind of ever-growing quota of expectations.

This is often a sign you are in a cycle of creating a false reality (maybe of your success, or even of struggle), when you need to create ever increasing complexities to the work you're doing or to the results you expect; this is actually you trying to dedicate more and more of your own Qi to create a bubble of fictional reality around yourself. It's because there was something that you found useful, so you clung to it.

But in so doing, you lose what's actually useful (and often, good and enjoyable) about it.

So when you realize that this is what you're doing, you have to let the bubble deflate (before it outright pops), and return to the moment, and return to figuring out how to show up in the Active Consciousness to this moment, to this simple practice, to this pass-time, to this job, etc.

The key isn't about complexity, it's about being able to relax in your practice.

It's always about relaxing into it. So for a lot of people, relaxing feels like a really profound surrender because they're so resistant to the letting-go of control that relaxation entails.
Remember to breathe.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Video: Truth Seekers are (Mostly) Bunk!

Most people who emphasize on 'seeking' for truth (rather than finding and working on it) are actually dedicated to avoiding the truth before their very eyes at all cost.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Greatest Changes You Make are the Ones You'll Never See

One of the things that the I Ching teaches you, when you get really deep into it, is to see certain things in really big scales of time.

This also brings with it the realization that all the truly big things, the really meaningful things you can do with your life, are things you will never live to see the end results of.

The key to making intentional change in something, according to the I Ching, is to do it before it starts.

To have a vision of the future, to know how to make change in something before it even starts, requires that you must be able to very clearly observe the present.

So if the future is really Incipiencies existing as 'seeds' in the present, changing the future is all about planting the right seeds. 

Thursday, August 22, 2019

What Story is the I Ching Telling You?

There's really only one story that actually matters: the story of the journey of transformation.  All good stories are variations on it.

All hexagrams of the I Ching have within them a story of transformation. Each one tells its own little story. And when you combine them with other hexagrams in permutations, it's telling another story.
And when doing a casting its doing a very specific little story of transformation with regard to the one question you might have at this time.  While the whole King Wen sequence tells one great big story.

There were two schools in the period after the School of Yin and Yang, after Confucius, up to the Han Dynasty. These schools were rivals, I've spoken of them before. From that school of inner alchemy, there was a division into two forms of interpretation: Image and Number, and Meaning and Principle.

Image and Number focused on the line structures, trigrams, positions of things, mathematics of the I Ching, the elements, the cosmology. All of that was the focus of the School of Image and Number.
The school of Meaning and Principle looked at it a different way, saying that what mattered was the spiritual/philosophical teaching in the I Ching and that this was found by considering and interpreting the text, rather than the image or the mathematics/cosmology.

I've commented on the imperfection of both of those schools before.

Regardless, the value of what came out of the school of Meaning and Principle was a different approach to looking at groups of hexes, not based on their structure of lines and trigrams, but in terms of the text and grouping various hexagrams based on their common themes.  In other words, to look at the stories they tell.

If you do this in combination with the structural elements of the hexagrams, this is the best way to apply your studies in I Ching structure and cosmology to a more grounded and human element of connecting to that personal story of what one must do on a journey of transformation.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

The I Ching, Cosmology and Gender

In my latest video, I talk about the nature of gender according to the I Ching and its cosmology. I know this is a contentious issue, and the answer the I Ching's cosmology provides probably won't quite satisfy anyone.