An Analysis of Regimes and Resistance
A Consultation with the Great Sage
This essay relies and builds upon the metaphysical world view discussed elsewhere and it is closely related to the essays:
The First Cambrian Explosion or the Global
Cellular Meta-System Transition,
The Second Cambrian Explosion or the Global Human Meta-System Transition,
Systemic Health, the nature of dis-ease and the way toward holistic well-being,
Global Awakening the future of consciousness,
Approaches to the Problem of Civilisation,
Descent into Chaos an allegory for modern times,
Comments on my Experiences Regarding Authoritarianism
Whilst writing the discussion on systemic health, authoritarianism and resistance I encountered a guerilla war or schizmogenic cycle of recriminations between myself and a cow (at the start of the story there is a very brief summary of the events). I was the 'authoritarian' trying to protect my vegetable garden 'regime' and the cow was the 'transgressor'. I consulted the I Ching in regards to this phenomenon of regime building leading to conflict with innocent forces that become embittered due to authoritarian attitudes, thus leading to entrenched struggle that undermines the very foundation of the regime. The response of the great sage is profound and generally relevant to the current world climate on all levels; from individual egos facing revolt from their bodies in the form of disease, through to nationalist and corporate regimes facing revolt and resistance from human populations. It suggests that the authoritarian attitude is inherently destructive to any process of regime building and inevitably leads to the destruction of the regime. In order to create in harmonious and lasting ways one must employ other less mechanistic approaches, which are discussed below. This is intimately related to the other discussions on systemic health and the continued growth and evolution of any complex dynamical 'living' system.
This is very apt, it's about the obstruction of creative force by a force of innocence for the greater good. It speaks about the issues of rulership, of creating a regime and of instinctive or innocent resistance to and struggle against a regime.
This answer applies to all regimes that are being held back by inner resistance and which seek to push ahead in the implementation and enforcement of their regime. There are many of these in the world at present, such as political, economic or religious regimes being imposed upon populations of people. Or lifestyle regimes being promulgated for economic gain, or egoic regimes being imposed upon bodies (populations of cells), or gardening regimes being imposed upon populations of cows in my own case. In each case there is internal resistance amongst the population and force and coercive manipulation are being applied which is leading to breakdown of cohesion, loss of holistic system health and chronic dis-ease. Hence I will analyse this answer from the Sage in some detail.
This first component of the answer explores the overall problem space from a general perspective. This is then later contextualised via the lines to provide an answer to the particular question, which then leads on through the lines into another hexagram that describes an outcome or final state if the issues indicated by the lines are properly dealt with.
“Great Cultivation” is also known as “The Taming Power of the Great”, it is “Keeping Still” over “The Creative”. I will quote from and paraphrase both Feng (F) and Wilhelm (W) translations of the I Ching and comment on them. Each translation provides subtleties that complement the other so both are included for a fuller analysis.
(“Yi Jing: Book of Change”, Translated by Gia Fu Feng, Sue Bailey and Bink Kun Young, Feng Books, 1986)
(“I Ching or Book of Changes”, Translated by Richard Wilhelm (German), Cary F. Baynes (English), Arkana, 1989)
“The Creative is tamed by Keeping Still. This produces great power, .. here four strong lines are restrained by two weak lines... The hexagram has a threefold meaning, expressing different aspects of the concept “holding firm”; .. in the sense of [one] holding together or keeping still and collecting oneself, ... [two] holding back or holding fast and keeping still and ... [three] caring for and nourishing or holding fast and nourishing.” (W)
To maintain balance and health all systems require feedback and constraint, these are not destructive forces but are guidance from the world. We are at times held back for the sake of ourselves, for the sake of the cohesion of the creative process and for the sake of all creatures that are under our power. Unrestrained power requires infinite wisdom otherwise truth and delusion come into conflict. For all earthly creatures or systems within the world, constraint is required.
“When innocence is present, it is possible to tame... Holding fast to heavenly virtue [reverence for Truth and not engaging in egoic delusion] is the prerequisite for innocence [dwelling in reality]. On the other hand, innocence is the indispensable condition for being able to hold fast to pristine heavenly virtue” (W)
Only the innocent may provide genuine wise restraint. If the system is held back by a competing egoic delusion then this is interference and it must be overcome, however if the system is held back by innocent resistance, then this is a genuine response of the creative process and should not be overcome. For to do so is to ignore the vital messages from ones body or ones people and to force ones way toward dysfunction and disease.
The innocent are not beguiled by word games and propaganda, they do not see the illusions that others weave and believe. They dwell in reality, and they see and feel things that the deluded cannot see or feel. When a delusion is coming into conflict with reality it is the innocent who see this as plain as the light of day, whilst others remain trapped within the fog of their ignorance. It is then the innocent, for the love of Truth and the love of the creative process, who are then driven into action at great risk to themselves. But in this they have no choice since they are not the doers, the cosmos itself stirs them into action and they are thrown into the path of the lumbering juggernaut that is approaching the edge of the cliff. If they can help to deflect it and avert the looming catastrophe, then they have succeeded and the creative process may proceed.
Furthermore, any creative process requires, to some degree, the weaving of fictions atop a foundation of underlying truth; if these fictions are in accord with the greater context they will persist over time and ultimately become a new level of truth in the world. This is the process of creation. However “innocence is the indispensable condition for being able to hold fast to pristine heavenly virtue”, thus even when one weaves fictions or glamour within the world, one must be firmly centered in reality, otherwise ones fictions are corrupted by egoic delusion and only lead to further delusions that ultimately come into conflict with the wider context and are thereby destroyed. In such a case one's creations only create destruction and they cannot become a lasting foundation for future creation.
The strong line at the top represents the sage, who is the ruler of this hexagram, the next two weak lines are the minister and the prince who hold down the creative force that is straining to rise.
“To hold firmly to great creative powers and store them up, there is need of a strong, clearheaded man who is honoured by the ruler. The [lower trigram] points to strong creative power and the [upper trigram] points to firmness and truth. Both point to light and clarity and to the daily renewal of character. Only through such daily self-renewal can a man continue at the height of his powers. Force of habit helps to keep order in quiet times; but in periods when there is a great storing up of energy, everything depends upon the power of the personality.” (W)
To engage in the creative development of a complex dynamical system such as creating a regime in the world is a delicate balancing act, requiring the creation of a power nexus that the people may relate to and that is in intuitive contact with the higher goals (it is honoured by the ruler, the sage). In the context of society this may be a charismatic leader, a particular group of dedicated people or a loosely defined interest group such as an activist movement with a fluid but dedicated group of participants. In the context of an individual life this is a meme complex or a cognitive attitude. For example, a meme complex with the agenda of instigating a regime of smoking fifty cigarettes a day will incite resistance from the body, but a meme complex that seeks to engage one in holistic positive relationships with other individuals in one's world will most likely meet with great acceptance from the body.
The power nexus must respond appropriately in every context. Simple formulas and rules are too crude to be able to navigate these changing times and if one attempts to blindly apply such things one will blindly become enmeshed in strife. One requires clarity, honour, presence of mind, firmness and reverence for the underlying truth upon which one seeks to build. One cannot just set one's mind in stone and then push ahead blindly and one cannot create in spite of one's foundation but only in harmony with one's foundation. Constant self-renewal is required at every step, constant reappraisal of and realignment with ones goals, with ones foundation and with the intricate ripples that spread out from each step of the creative process. One must be aware and responsive at all times, else the delicate creative process will come into conflict with the wider context and it will encounter resistance.
Creating is an intricate and participative endeavour, one cannot force the people without being held back. Just as one cannot force the body without it resisting; for example, in the practice known as Tibetan Pulsing one may traverse countless passages and pathways within the body, where seemingly there are none. For example, one may open a passage through the roof of one's mouth and pass one's finger up into one's nasal passage and beyond. If one is gentle and seeks the body's cooperation it invites one in, but if there is any force or haste the body closes up and one cannot enter without force and trauma.
One of the judgement phrases seems outwardly pertinent to my particular situation of no longer having a garden, “Not eating at home brings good fortune”, but this has other meanings in the I Ching.
”... since the worthy are honoured, as in the case of the strong personality entrusted with leadership by the ruler, it is an advantage not to eat at home but rather to earn one's bread by entering upon public office. Such a man is in harmony with heaven [the greater creative process]; therefore even great and difficult undertakings, such as crossing the great water [massive paradigm shift], succeed.” (W)
If the power nexus is in accord with the wider context and in harmony with the greater goals, and the leaders are strong in knowing themselves and projecting themselves so that others may know them, then it is favourable for them to engage in creative processes through the formal structure (social institutions or higher level mechanisms of control) and these undertakings will be in accord with the countless intricate creative processes that are occurring throughout the informal structure (the people or the body). In such a case there is no internal resistance from the people, the regime is not held back, and great and difficult undertakings are possible because all are in harmony with the creative process.
“To cultivate greatness in people, intelligence is necessary and also skill. Above all be compassionate to make them yield. Thus it is favourable to devote. Be firmly rested in propriety without wavering, then people will follow wholeheartedly and can rest in peace and be nourished. Receive them with ceremony and reward them with glory, then people no longer eat at home but at your court, they are merry in their ways, and there is good fortune. When people are nourished cultivate their talent to serve the country, then the talent is extended to all people and you can rejoice in gaining people, then the people rejoice in the flourishing of the heavenly pattern [creative regime] without being aware of ever being stopped. This is the blessing of Great Cultivation.” (F)
The creation of a flourishing regime cannot be undertaken by puppets or minions, they must be great leaders, with intelligence, personality and skill. They must be in touch with their intuition and with the people, they must be compassionate, impeccably grounded in right conduct (i.e. they must abhor corruption) and they must be humble and they must be devoted to the people and to the goals of the overall creative process. Then the people open up to them and yield to them with their hearts. Then all doubts and resistance may be overcome, all inner tensions may be eased. As the inner struggle ceases, great energies are liberated that may be channelled for productive purposes which nourish the people and the creative process as a whole. There is no trade off where one side must lose for the other to gain, all may gain and grow with prosperity in unity.
If the regime and the leaders honour the people and receive them openly and warmly, dispensing that which pleases the people and raises their spirits, and strengthens their virtue then the people flock to the regime and it grows in number, in power, in virtue and in abundance. As people flock to the regime, this is not for the benefit of the regime, but for the greater benefit of the people and the entire collective organism (i.e. a nation or civilisation or an individual life). The collective becomes strong and harmonious, this draws out the virtue of the people (or cells), and cultivates their talents. This adds to the greatness of the collective, and this resonates into higher and higher states of harmony, abundance, peace, joy and prosperity on all levels. In this way the people are turned and drawn into the regime but there is no coercion, the flow is natural, willing and on all levels it is in accord with the Way of heaven and earth. The creative flourishing is natural and effortless, there is no coercion, seduction or subversion thus the people are unaware of having been drawn and turned from their previous ways.
For example, like when one tries to quit smoking but one is bound within a frustrating and psychically toxic lifestyle, it is a constant struggle to quit and one inevitably caves in, but say you fall in love or you encounter the loving embrace of Truth, and the new lifestyle is incompatible with smoking, there is light, wonder, joy and freedom, then the transition is effortless. At some point one looks back and marvels that one has come so far with so little effort.
This image of Great Cultivation describes both the goal of the creative process and the means of traversing the path toward that goal.
“Heaven within the Mountain points to hidden treasures. In the words and deeds of the past there lies hidden a treasure that men may use to strengthen and elevate their own characters. The way to study the past is not to confine oneself to mere knowledge of history but, through application of this knowledge, to give actuality to the past.” (W)
“All energy is gathered in heaven [the transcendent realm that underlies and permeates the phenomenal world], so ... there is no place without energy, and the heavenly spirit permeates everywhere. When thunder and rain descend on the mountain, clouds ascend to heaven. This is the image of heaven within the mountain. Indeed heaven is great, and the mountain rests within the emptiness cultivating in serenity” (F)
All things play their part, nothing may be overlooked, we never leave the space of creative formlessness that underlies all forms, although our delusions lead us to see separation, blindness, weakness and perhaps opportunity for opportunism, nothing goes unobserved by heaven, nothing goes astray in the intricate accounting of the transcendent realm, it cannot be cheated. Thus propriety is not a nicety but is the essence of successful existence in the world. Furthermore, nothing is insignificant; one may find great powers of assistance or resistance in the most unlikely places since “the heavenly spirit permeates everywhere”.
Rain is the bounty of heavenly virtue that nourishes and sustains all creatures. Thunder is the arousing, that stirs all things into motion and drives them toward their completion. The mountain is firmness in the way of heaven and earth, it is the youngest son of heaven and earth, it is firmness in sacred knowledge of the Self. That is the ancient knowledge that is referred to (as we will see in the analysis of the next hexagram into which this one transforms, and this is also related to a quote from the Bhagavad Gita). To know that one is not the doer, to dwell in egolessness, is to know ones True Self, but just knowing this intellectually makes little difference, one must come to Be this, only then does one truly Know.
As one is firm in the sacred knowledge of mountain and one is nourished by the heavenly bounty of rain and one is stirred into motion by the arousal of thunder, then clouds ascend to heaven. This is the storing up of virtue in heaven. The acquiring not of empirical knowledge or power, but of transcendent vision within the subtler realm. This is the transformation of one's being, the purification of one's perceptions and understanding, the coming into the Light of reality and awakening from the slumber of ignorance and the turbulent dreams of egoic delusion. The meaning of 'virtue' is discussed at length here. This is clouds ascending to heaven; this is the image of heaven within the mountain and the meaning of holding together or standing still and collecting oneself. As one lives and acts in the world but not through ones ego, not through delusions and fears and attachments and aversions, as one dwells in ones transcendent state then one “rests within the emptiness cultivating in serenity”
“The traces of ancient sayings and past deeds are as solid as the mountain, whilst the substance of virtue is silent and deep, as empty as heaven.” (F)
“The traces of ancient sayings and past deeds” are firmly grounded in sacred Truth and knowledge of the Self, thus they are a reliable source of inspiration and guidance, many other sources are based upon a false and misguided foundation. And “the substance of virtue is silent and deep” because it cannot be known in empirical ways, it is transcendent and operates beyond the world illusion. What is referred to here by 'virtue' is not something in the world, it is something beyond the world that underlies the world, therefore it may liberate one from the world and it may also transform the entire world. It is “as empty as heaven” because it accommodates all things no matter how great or small, it is the medium through which creation takes place.
“Deeply study the ancient sayings and see their meanings. Silently observe past deeds and perceive their courses. Seek within cultivation.” (F)
One should “Silently observe past deeds and perceive their courses” to know the ramifications of ignorance (sin) and know the saving grace of truth (virtue). And one should “Seek within cultivation.” because to look without is to look through the senses into the world illusion where there is only degeneration and to look within is to look into the essence of reality, only here may one cultivate that which has real value and lasting power.
“Nothing lies outside the ancient sayings and past deeds, just as heaven lies within the mountain.” (F)
Because they are low level and truly general, they apply to all things, they guide each creature and the world as a whole through the process of re-collecting its Self.
“To study all things with an open heart, to seek the truth from all sides with a vigorous mind, therein lies true compassion in the cultivation of virtue.” (F)
Do not seek knowledge to further an agenda but sacrifice all agendas to the fire of Truth, only then can one align with reality and build upon a firm foundation, only then will virtue accumulate in abundance and all will be in accord with the Way.
This image of Great Cultivation describes both the goal of the creative process and the means of traversing the path toward that goal. The goal is to dwell in reality, to comprehend reality, to live to our fullest potential within the cosmos and to be creators of the great creation. The means of attaining that goal is to be humble and reverent to Truth, to still weave one's illusions but not become enmeshed in delusions that rest on a false foundation. To create in ways that honour our foundation, which is ourselves, our planet, life itself and the cosmos as a whole. To not create in ways that stir up resistance, that lead us into destruction and that delay or jeopardise the wider creative process.
If one sees oneself through ones ego as separate and isolated and seeks only the benefit of that separated ego, that is to build upon a false foundation, it is to fragment and impede the creative process and it is to set a course toward strife, suffering and destruction. However, to Know ourselves and to Be as we are in reality is to comprehend the unity of all things and to build upon a firm foundation; it is to become a conduit for the creative will of the cosmos and through us it builds a structure that extends that foundation into higher levels of creative beauty and wonder, and this will become a lasting foundation for future creation.
One can observe in individuals and nations the formation of a strong ego, with a rigid egoic lifestyle or regime, that leads them into conflict with their world and conflict with their inner being, thus creating strife and disease. For a nation that is caught within an egoic delusion, that is throwing its weight about the world, seeking only its own benefit and using under-handed tactics that in its delusion it thinks it can get away with, such a nation is preparing a bloodbath for itself and countless others. The way toward health and growing harmony is to look upon this ego, to see it for what it is, to see through the egoic illusion and into the reality of the nation, past the turbulent lines of mass communication with their narrow vested interests, past the corrupt discourse of propaganda and the concepts of law and order and fiscal policy and so on that blinds it to its Self. And into the lives of its people, the spread of its landscape and its natural ecology, the holistic functioning of its various parts, the self-organisation and integration of these into a complex and cohesive whole, the formation of its collective being, the miracle of its collective life and the vast wonder of its potential and its true creative purpose within the cosmos. It is like a child that is an angel of light but it knows not what it is, it is deluded by an ego that is trapped in misery and craving and it feels mostly fear and pain, these are all an illusion, its true reality is joy and wonder, vitality and life. All these are at risk because of the illusion of egoic separation that blinds it to the majestic wonder of its true Self. Rather than be a great and magnificent part of the world, it is fearful and distrusting, it seeks to dominate and destroy, and through its ignorance it wanders onto the dark paths of delusion that lead it far from health, happiness and security. By opening its mind and its heart, by realigning with truth, the truth will set it free and the love that flows in abundance throughout the cosmos and animates and sustains all things will no longer need to restrain it but will nourish and propel it to ever greater heights. The same applies to individual people in such situations, they must come to recognise the wonder of their own being.
The above is an analysis of the overall problem space of creation within the world. The following discussion applies specifically to the particular question that was posed to the Sage and which finds its answer within the above context. The issue was regarding schizmogenesis and the phenomenon of a regime becoming bogged down in resistance. Resistance from sources that it cannot comprehend and that seem weak and obstructionist; from the innocents, from the people, from the body or from a particular cow (in my own case). The regime experiences resistance that it seeks to overpower and thereby persist in enforcing its regime, but in doing so it becomes enmeshed in strife and its very regime seems to come under threat. The regime believes itself to be in the right and to be justified, but the world seems to be set against it. The regime cannot simply give up, but if it persists there is likely to be conflict and serious strife.
“Nine at the beginning means; Danger is at hand. It furthers one to desist... A man wishes to make vigorous advance, but circumstances present an obstacle. He sees himself held back firmly. If he should attempt to force an advance it would lead him into misfortune. Therefore it is better for him to compose himself and to wait until an outlet is offered for release of his stored up energies.” (W)
“First Nine: Hardship. Favourable to pause... If this line forsakes the Way it goes astray, but if it keeps on the path there is conflict, for advancing onwards will surely bring hardship. It is better to pause rather than advance, then yourself as well as the heavenly pattern can be preserved, and this is favourable.” (F)
“Nine in the second place means; The axeltrees are taken from the wagon... Here advance is checked... the restraining force is absolutely superior; hence no struggles take place ... one submits and contents himself with waiting. In this way energy accumulates for a vigorous advance later on.” (W)
“Second Nine: The chariot loses an axle... This is to stop and not advance. It is better to wait with patience than to advance impetuously. This is the right way to proceed” (F)
In each case, each of these lines is a strong creative force that seeks to advance but it has encountered opposition from weaker lines that hold a higher ground. The weaker lines are in communion with the sage, the top line, and are thus guided by intuitive wisdom and act for the benefit of the whole. This does not mean that the overall creative process is in error, it is perhaps the timing or the method of advance that is in error, thus creating resistance. But the overall creative endeavour is not to be abandoned for that is to forsake the Way and to go astray. However one cannot advance either else there will be conflict that will disturb the overall creative process.
For example, we cannot just give up on the process of civilisation and return to barbarism just because there is resistance to certain advances, but if we persist blindly in forcing ahead in the midst of a massive ground swell of opposition we risk inciting conflict that could undermine the whole process and drive us back into barbarism. The ground swell of resistance is not something to be blocked out and overcome, it is a natural guiding force within the overall process. Another example is someone who develops intense pain that arises only when they are at their workplace, they shouldn't just take painkillers everyday in order to keep working there, they should heed the message of their body and find a different way of earning a living, otherwise the next message will be a crippling disease of some kind that forces them to stop that work.
In the case of the first line the situation could be forced since the lower line has the greater strength, but such forcing of the situation would lead to misfortune. It would upset the balance of the whole creative process and may lead to ones demise and even the disintegration of the entire creative process. The potential gains from forcing the situation are not great and the likely cost is enormous if not total. To push ahead is to succumb to haste and impetuousness, whereas to wait is to acquire greater energy and virtue, with which one may later advance, it is to allow the situation and oneself to evolve so that both are able to advance. Indeed, like crossing a wide and busy road, one must choose ones timing well and even then one must remain alert and responsive and be prepared to pause mid way if required, or else disaster may ensue.
In the case of the second line the restraining force is overwhelming, there is no struggle, and one is forced to wait. If one proceeds one is dragging a chariot without an axle and such an advance is futile. Like a person who leads a lifestyle of abuse with continuous drug consumption, junk food and night-clubbing, but their body undergoes a nervous breakdown, they might drag themselves out to nightclubs still, but they cannot participate, since their axle is broken and the wisest course of action is to rest, to recuperate and to contemplate their approach toward their future. Or perhaps a government that has been reaching for some idealistic dream of world domination in spite of its population's misgivings, and the people come to distrust and fear their own government, and they cannot be made to submit regardless of how much deception and coercion is applied, the axle is broken, it cannot engage in large scale conflicts because it lacks the support of its own people. It should regroup, reconsider, reconnect with its people and begin rebuilding trust and rapport. Only then can it advance once more, but this time guided by the wisdom of the people and in harmony with the greater creative process that is unfolding amongst the people, within and through the government, amongst the peoples and governments of the world and throughout this living planet and living cosmos on all levels.
Or perhaps one is a hermit with a garden that has been decimated by a cow bearing a grudge. I could persist in patching up the fence and harassing that cow, but there is nothing left in the garden; thus to persist with my authoritarian harassment of that cow is futile, the axle of my garden is broken. I should regroup, save up for an electric fence, try and rebuild my rapport with the cows and when I can erect a proper fence then I should replant and rebuild my garden regime, until then it is mostly muesli, nuts, rice, lentils, parsley, and some native raspberries that grow up the gulley, which are particularly abundant and juicy this year. Indeed nettles too make a good source of greens, I will survive quite well; Milarepa survived for over a decade on little more than nettles, in which time he developed a green hue but also attained enlightenment.
When the creative process waits in the presence of natural constraint, accumulating energy and virtue, and then advances when the time and conditions are right, then all is in accord with the Way and nothing can stop the flowering of the union of heaven and earth; that is the deepening of the complexity and harmony of the complex dynamical system that we call life on Earth. This is the greater goal of the creative process. This should not be risked out of impetuousness. The body should not be thrust into disease, decay and death, and civilisation should not be thrust into strife, revolt and disintegration. By waiting when waiting is wise, and advancing when advancing is wise, then the creative energies flow on all levels without obstruction and there arises an effortless flourishing, like the growth of a child's body into maturity; this should be nurtured but it should not be forced and if it is, there is pain, disfigurement and crippling dis-ease.
That is the analysis of the first hexagram. It described the overall context of the general problem of rulership and the creation of regimes or systems of “living within the world” and it then focussed in on two particular aspects of the problem in regards to instinctive internal resistance to the advance of the creative regime. These two aspects, if heeded, allow one to successfully navigate the problem and this ultimately leads us to a final outcome represented by the next hexagram which is Mountain or mountain over mountain, which I shall analyse next.
“The [creative] principle is at the top, because it strives upward by nature ; the [receptive] principle is below, since the direction of its movement is downward. Thus there is rest because the movement has come to its normal end.” (W)
Thus if one does not force the situation and one moves with the rhythm of the wider creative process then over time the creative drive leads toward higher levels and the idiom within which the creation takes place settles into concrete manifestation and forms a new solid foundation. This results in Mountain or a system that is firmly established in its own essence and is solid and permanent. Since all forces are properly balanced there is no agitation, hence Keeping Still.
The process of creation or meta system transition has come to completion. Individuation is complete, the transitory stage of egoic delusion has been overcome and wholeness, wisdom and peace are attained.
“In its application to man, the hexagram turns upon the problem of achieving a quiet heart.” (W)
Or peace and clarity of transcendent vision, since it is through the heart that one prays or communes with the cosmos, it is within the heart that the Atman or eternal Self dwells, it is from the heart that we relate with the world. When the heart is at peace there is no ego delusion destroying our peace, one dwells in the heart and one is at one with ones Self.
“Rest is a state of polarity that posits movement as its complement... true quiet means keeping still when the time has come for keeping still, and going forward when the time has come for going forward. In this way rest and movement are in agreement with the demands of the time, thus there is light in life... This hexagram signifies the end and the beginning of all movement.” (W)
“The meaning of stopping is containing movement in stillness... Moving without movement, being still without stillness, there is no blame in preferring movement or stillness. This is the highest merit of the wholistic approach and actual practice of Mountain.” (F)
These speak of the subtle nature of action in the world and the nature of renunciation, to cease being the doer. To act but not act, to not act but still act. To not seize control of ones Self and use it as a vehicle or puppet in the world, but to Be ones Self and be transparent to the will of ones Self, which is the cosmos. Therefore to act in the world without creating strife and whilst maintaining ones serenity one must be transparent to the will of God, then “there is light in life”, for God is the doer behind all actions and we are patterns of energy that form and dance and dissipate. This is discussed in detail throughout the Bhagavad Gita and is indeed its main focus.
“The human body likes to move, but the back does not because it contains the movements of the body. Thus the back is like a mountain” (F)
“If the movement of the spinal nerves is brought to a stand still, the ego, with its restlessness, disappears as it were.” (W)
The 'back' refers to the spine, the column of psychic energy channels. When the ego takes control and the mind or the vrittis (modifications of the thinking principle) become turbulent then the back is said to be in motion since our psychic energies are turbulent. The mind is like a lens through which the inner Self the Seer may look outward into the world of phenomena but when the mind is turbulent the view is distorted. When the vrittis have become still and the ego subsides the seer can then see without the egoic disturbances and we see reality rather than delusion, thus we come to dwell in reality rather than delusion.
In the context of a nation the spine is the collective consciousness and the vrittis or disturbances are the mass media, government, corporations, propaganda, sensationalism, countless competing agendas and meme complexes, each trying to sway and dominate the mind of the nation. These disrupt the discourse and pervert the flow of information throughout the nation, fears arise, prejudices arise, neuroses and obsessions arise and all are fuelled for the benefit of different vested interests, whether to suppress a minority or to make money or to get certain laws passed or to incite certain conflicts or to muster support for certain actions, and so on, the list is endless. These disturb the mind of the nation and they distort the lens through which the seer is looking, it ceases to perceive or dwell in reality and comes to dwell in a world constructed out of cultural delusions.
Only when the collective mind becomes still (as in balanced and not agitated) and is in harmony with Truth and the long term goals and holistic well being of the nation, and it is brought into line with the true will of the nation as a whole, the will of the people, only then may information flow throughout the nation without becoming distorted and corrupted. Only then can all parts of the nation perceive reality and not spiral into confusion, agitation and inappropriate action.
When all parts of the nation act from an underlying stillness, they act not out of selfish manipulation but out of holistic understanding and harmonious participation. Then the nation's ego has been overcome and the whole nation becomes a transparent conduit for the creative will of the cosmos, rather than the fears and desires of particular delusional vested interests. Only then can it act appropriately in the world toward others and toward itself, and only then can it act in ways that lead not to destruction but to ever renewing and everlasting existence. For more on the issue of the ego and inappropriate actions leading to decay, and overcoming the ego and appropriate actions leading to holistic health and constant self renewal see the essay on The Akashic Field and Systemic Health.
“When a man has thus become calm, he may turn to the outside world. He no longer sees in it the struggle and tumult of individual beings, and therefore he has that true peace of mind which is needed for understanding the great laws of the universe and for acting in harmony with them. Whoever acts from these deep levels makes no mistakes.” (W)
“People tend to be selfish, so there is separation between self and others and propriety is lost. Yet when the back is still like a mountain your body is transcended and there is no selfishness. When walking in the courtyard you see only the stillness and not the people, so there is no separation between self and others and you are open and in accord with all things.” (F)
From this position one may act or not act, it is the cosmos that decides, not the ego. Then all motion is contained within the transcendent stillness and no disturbance arises since all actions are harmoniously coordinated by the cosmos or the Akashic field rather than by separate agitated egos.
When one is firmly established in ones transcendent vision, one does not interpret the world through ones ego and one does not see a world full of isolated separate egos all engaged in struggle. One sees the cosmic dance, the harmonious fluctuating patterns of energy that is the true body of the cosmos. One then sees, comprehends and dwells amidst reality. One can see the intricate flow and flux of energy and one can observe the myriad creatures as they are swept along by the creative will of the cosmos. One does not fall into the illusion of separate struggle, and move amongst the people as a struggling ego. Hence there is no selfishness within ones actions since ones Self is the cosmos. All actions taken from this perspective are holistically appropriate and aligned with Truth and with the Way of Heaven and Earth. Only once one is firm in ones Self may one “turn to the outside world” and “make no mistakes”.
“One mountain after another mountain... They join in an endless chain of mountains. They may be high or low, great or small, although all unequal they peacefully rest in their own places. This is the image of Mountain.” (F)
“Mountains standing close together: The image of Keeping Still” (W)
When each being is its Self and is not ruled by some confused delusional ego that seeks to dominate and force itself on others, then there is peace. All things come together in harmony, guided by the creative will of the cosmos, through the agency of the Akashic field. There is no debilitating strife and struggle, one need not plug up loop holes because there are no opportunistic egos seeking to cheat and scam and dominate each other. There is still great activity but this arises in stillness, like the activity of a jungle, where each being exists according to its nature and there is a holistic balance that prevails. But when human ego's enter that jungle they see vast opportunity for their own gain and they tear down the trees and dig up the ground and destroy the entire fabric of the ecosystem. This has taken millions of years to form and will take thousand or millions of years to heal depending on the damage, but these ego's spend their money on transitory pleasure and think to themselves “I'll be dead in a few decades so what do I care?”. This destroys the peace of creation, one mountain cannot rest peacefully amidst other mountains in such a scenario. All become opportunistic and are forced to become distrustful and isolationist, it becomes an egoic arms race, of who can be the most selfish and brutal and domineering, and the cohesion of the world breaks down.
A manifestation of this type of dysfunction is where, in modern societies we are each objectified as units of production and consumption and we are placed upon an economic game board in which we are then required to play the game. There are no other ways of living that are recognised, everyone is objectified within the same game and most come to see the game as the foundation of their reality. We are thereby forced to objectify ourselves, our bodies, our minds, our talents, our souls and the entire world around us in pursuit of narrow economic gain. The only thing that prevents this attitude from causing such a world to instantly devolve into opportunistic chaos is fear of the punishments if one gets caught breaking the rules of the game. The game is not without merit in its own context, but it is a purely mechanistic conceptualisation of life as a system of economic exchange, if kept within its own bounds it can be useful on that mechanistic level of existence but it fails to recognise that there are other levels, thus it attempts to keep everyone on its mechanistic economic level.
Any who refuse to objectify themselves in this manner and to play the game, or are unable to do so because they dwell beyond that delusion, they are still effectively trapped upon the game board through being objectified by the other players. They are perceived and treated by other egos as vacant land that is ripe for exploitation. If someone won't develop their own ego in order to exploit themselves then some other ego will try and step in instead, and make productive use of that natural capital that they think is otherwise going to waste. Thus people cannot live their lives in peace and they cannot grow and evolve in diverse ways without the risk of being enslaved within other people's worldly schemes. Thus many beings who would, in other societies be recognised as treading a path to greatness and be assisted in this, are in modern society thrust into despair, deprivation and degeneration; their best hope is that others will see them as insane and thereby of no use. It is extremely difficult to walk in the Light in a modern western society, thus so few ever try, and of those who try, so few ever succeed.
Only when each may be that which it is, without threat of ruthless opportunistic exploitation and extinction, only then may mountains form into an endless chain of mountains. There are still differences and conflicts but these arise within the context of a greater balance and harmony. This is the difference between predator / prey and ecological destruction, or between competing agendas leading to vigorous disputes and all out total war leading to nuclear annihilation. Each former case is the struggle of creation as it weaves its intricate fabric of newer and higher realities, but in each later case the very fabric of creation is torn and the only result is destruction.
“The sage does not allow the thought to go beyond the position.” (F)
“Thus the superior man does not permit his thoughts to go beyond his situation.” (W)
“The sage considers how thoughts can change ten thousand times, which can only be limited by where you stand. The centre of the human heart is serene, without distraction. This is the source of all thoughts, which see heaven and earth and the ten thousand things as one. Use your intelligence and exhaust your thoughts in order to clarify rules and regulations to put the government in order. Then your thoughts do not go beyond your position. This does not mean being narrow minded. Just hold onto your inner self as your position and do not go beyond.” (F)
Ones thoughts and perceptions are always bound by a single perspective and there is no true and correct perspective, all are unique and genuine views upon the world, but they do not represent the truth, which is beyond all empirical perspectives, hence opinion is constantly changing and never truly correct. Only the discernment of truth can ever be a solid foundation upon which to construct ones thoughts and ones world, otherwise one is building upon shifting sands.
Thought is a powerful tool, but uncontrolled thought is a great danger. For one whose thoughts slip into unrealistic and irrelevant fears and worries, they lose the potential of the moment and they dwell in imaginary possibilities that will mostly likely never eventuate. By keeping the light of ones intelligence eternally lit one can guard against these thoughts running away with ones mind. Only when all the fluctuations of perception and opinion have been finally brought to a stand still, only then does the truth remain and only then can general rules of governance be discerned. But these are not to be applied naively and forced onto every context without knowing whether it is appropriate. In all ways one must act wisely otherwise misfortune arises.
It was the Buddha who said “with our thoughts we make the world”, with our thoughts we bring energies into our path by focussing on them, thus fear tends to manifest catastrophe, and love tends to manifest grow and vitality. But in all ways we cannot truly control the world beyond our inner selves, we may send out signals but what the world does with those is beyond our control. By focussing upon our own virtue, health and propriety we become one who is able to be the focus of a sane and coherent world, thus such a world tends to form around such a person.
Only when ones perspective is firmly grounded in the Self can one look outward without delusion and discern the reality of things, only then does one see the Self in the other and one acts with compassion and propriety. One does not act from ones ego and try and force ones egoic delusion on the other. Only then does peace arise and harmony and balance become the norm.
The overall gist of the answer is that although such situations are characterised outwardly by resistance to creative advancement, authoritarian oppression, cycles of recrimination, misunderstanding, conflict, coercion, deception, subversion, disobedience, frustration, inner tension, confusion and so on. They are not necessarily negative or overtly destructive situations if they are handled correctly, but can indeed be opportunities for growth, transformation and great advancement. However if not handled correctly they are points at which crippling disease and death can occur for individuals, or entire regimes. Whole nations or civilisations can crumble into dust and oblivion.
Thus they are critical points. They force us to awaken from the slumber of habit and complacency and to become vitally alive; they draw out our latent potential and test our worthiness for continued existence. They must be handled with care, sensitivity, awareness and wisdom; brute force is impotent in these situations and leads only to certain destruction. At these times self restraint and self awareness are of critical importance, indeed these times force such restraint and awareness upon us and therein lies the potential for great advancement. Our delusions reach a crisis point, the juggernaut lumbers toward the cliff and the cosmos drives the innocents into its path in an attempt to deflect it. If the collective has within it a strong love of life, and the inner resources to see beyond its narrow delusions and to reconnect with the wider Truth and with the greater Life of the cosmos then it will live and grow thereby into higher states of being.
But in such times we cannot continue to ignore the needs of others nor can we persist blindly in the illusion of separation, otherwise we spiral into conflict with ourselves and destroy ourselves. Neither can one act in dishonourable or opportunistic ways when one is walking a razors edge, and in these critical times heaven is watching and each will receive their just rewards. The way to cross a razors edge is to still all disturbance in ones mind, do not look down and do not fear, but turn within and hold firm to ones Self, therein lies balance and only through balance does one cross without harm. But do not fear and do not cling to hopes but let all such things go, and hold firm to ones Self as the non-doer, and let the cosmos walk with ones legs across the razors edge, for only by ones inner genius can one survive. If the ego or the chattering consciousness intrudes at such a time, any athlete of acrobat can tell you, concentration is lost, awareness is lost, oneness with the moment is lost and balance and harmony become impossible.
In regards to the global chasm across which we are traversing we have come this far and crossed countless such chasms, this is a critical time but the living cosmos itself is our ever present guide and it will not let us fall so long as we remain open to its compassion and heavenly virtue. If we close our minds and fight it out as isolated egos in a mechanistic world we are but dust returning to dust, but if we open our hearts and minds and flow with the creative will of creation we are gods ascending into a heaven of unlimited potential. Things may seem dark to many but the wise see the pattern of the heavenly process; in that there is much cause for rejoicing. In this context I refer you to a previous message from the Great Sage, which is a message of hope and reassurance for all in such times, I asked for a message of reassurance from the Sage, that I was to convey to the people along with this work and that was the answer.
The First Cambrian Explosion or the Global Cellular Meta-System Transition,
The Second Cambrian Explosion or the Global Human Meta-System Transition,
Systemic Health, the nature of dis-ease and the way toward holistic well-being,
Global Awakening the future of consciousness,
Approaches to the Problem of Civilisation,
Descent into Chaos an allegory for modern times,
Comments on my Experiences Regarding Authoritarianism,