Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Three Powers

In Chinese metaphysics, born in the I Ching, there are the three powers (the "sancai"). These are "The power(Tao) of the World", the "Power of Man", and the "Power of Heaven".

It is the reason why the level of the elements, the Trigrams (which are the building blocks of all reality) are expressed as three-line symbols.
In each trigram, the lower line can be understood as representing the power of the World, the middle line represents the power of Man, and the upper line represents the power of Heaven.

So the world is outside, that which is below, the common, the natural, people and things, society, the law, the default way of things, that which manifests in a concrete manner, etc.

The power of Heaven is beyond, that which is above, that which is uncommon, the supra-natural, the extraordinary, that which manifests in the abstract, unconcerned with the affairs of society, unbound by law.

The power of the Human is the link; it's what between the two, it is what is within, it can touch in either direction, it connects the Heavenly with the Worldly, it is Consciousness, it is the freedom to choose.

The human being is the BRIDGE between the World (nature) and Heaven (the spiritual realm).
Of all the creatures in creation, only humans are capable of making that connection between what is below and what is above, and uniting the two.

Animals can be powerful, spirits can be powerful, but only human beings can become the Sage, united to the Taiji (the "all", the 'ridge-pole' that unites all things).

It should be noted that this cosmology does not suggest that the Sage is one who leaves behind the animal, or the human, to go up somewhere else and "ascend" into heaven.  The Sage, the Enlightened one, is not the Sage because he has left humanity behind.  He is the Sage because he has fulfilled that role as the "bridge".

The I Ching guidance to the Superior Individual is a guidance to how to form that 'bridge' in any given circumstance; how to act in such a way, at any time and situation, so as to unite the 'big picture' to the 'little picture'.

No comments:

Post a Comment