Soap Opera Redux

I can’t put that kind of dramatic blog post up and then leave people hanging. So here’s the aftermath.

This emotional stuff is a lot of work. [More than doing union negotiations all night.]

Sleepless night for some.

Confrontations. But no more shouting.
Getting it all out on the table.
Crying involved.
Radical honesty. [That’s how trust works. Even in the midst of the sensation of betrayal. Sometimes you have to dig hard to reach it.]
Fear. Anger. Apologies. Regrets. Guilt.
All the emotions.
Displayed like fireworks.
Then to pick up the debris.

Mend that which has been rent apart.

When someone has been your friend for 20 years it’s necessary.

Discussions. Compromises. Agreement.

Each accepting.

The burden of change.

No other choice.

Like on a long journey through the mountains.

We have to carry on.

Together.

Or we’ll all die on the mountainside.

Alone.

……

I do wax poetic under the strain of a lot of emotions. In any case the night has been an exercise in harm minimization. For everyone, larger context included. Someone’s heart is not to be broken. Everyone would have preferred this all fell out in a different way. But that was not the reality of it so we all have to deal with what’s there not with preferences.

The easiest thing to do in these scenarios is to run away. Drop the situation. The knee jerk like I said.

But in that there’s “no benefit” as the I Ching says. That’s the I Ching as philosophy not as some prognostication device. I Ching…Book of Changes. Full of useful change related philosophy.

The point of “no blame” is most useful to work with in conflict. That’s often the biggest thing to deal with. It’s where most people seem to get stuck.

I mention the I Ching. Trying to fathom the meaning of the circumstances. Bringing the emotional, psychological, intellectual and material into relationship and alignment—that’s what meaning does. A work in progress—that’s what life is. Continuous painting and scraping of the canvas.

Here’s a little piece on the philosophical nature of the I Ching. From this PDF document

Four Primary Virtues
• Four primary virtues are attributed to the hexagrams, but not all
hexagrams have all four
• Virtues: yuan (create), heng (nourish), li (benefit), zhen (rectify)
• The four virtues are manifest in nature and are the roots of
human morality
• Humans should strive to emulate the virtues of Heaven and Earth

Create, Nourish, Benefit, Rectify. Four virtues that are useful to keep in mind in any kind of relationship especially when there’s problems.

So after going over a cliff one picks themselves up, dusts themselves off and tends to the bruises, their own and others, as best they can.

Here’s two trigrams that express the situation. Yesterday and today. One has to work through all the parts of a situation which is why I like the idea of these trigrams. Nothing is a simple thing, isolated. Everything is a combination of many things interacting continually with many other things. (The dharmas, with a small d)

I don’t prognosticate so we’ll just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings. [Text is from the Wilhelm-Baynes translation.]

200px-Iching-hexagram-39.svg39.
The trigram above – K’AN – the Abysmal, Water
The trigram below – KEN – Keeping Still, Mountain
200px-Iching-hexagram-27.svg27.The trigram above – KEN – Keeping Still, Mountain
The trigram below – CHEN – The Arousing, Thunder
Called Obstruction Called The Corners of the Mouth [Providing Nourishment]
The hexagram pictures a dangerous abyss lying before us and a steep, inaccessible mountain rising behind us. We are surrounded by obstacles; at the same time, since the mountain has the attribute of keeping still, there is implicit a hint as to how we can extricate ourselves. The hexagram represents obstructions that appear in the course of time but that can and should be overcome. Therefore all the instruction given is directed to overcoming them.

THE JUDGMENT

OBSTRUCTION. The southwest furthers.
The northeast does not further.
It furthers one to see the great man.
Perseverance brings good fortune.

The southwest is the region of retreat, the northeast that of advance. Here an individual is confronted by obstacles that cannot be overcome directly. In such a situation it s wise to pause in view of the danger and to retreat. However, this is merely a preparation for overcoming the obstructions. One must join forces with friends of like mind and put himself under the leadership of a man equal to the situation: then one will succeed in removing the obstacles. This requires the will to persevere just when one apparently must do something that leads away from his goal. This unswerving inner purpose brings good fortune in the end. An obstruction that lasts only for a time is useful for self-development. This is the value of adversity.

THE IMAGE

Water on the mountain:
The image of OBSTRUCTION.
Thus the superior man turns his attention to himself
And molds his character.

Difficulties and obstructions throw a man back upon himself. While the inferior ma seeks to put the blame on other persons, bewailing his fate, the superior man seeks the error within himself, and through this introspection the external obstacle becomes for him an occasion for inner enrichment and education.

THE LINES

Six at the beginning means:
Going leads to obstructions,
Coming meets with praise.

When one encounters an obstruction, the important thing is to reflect on how best to deal with it. When threatened with danger, one should not strive blindly to go ahead, for this only leads to complications. The correct thing is, on the contrary, to retreat for the time being, not in order to give up the struggle but to await the right moment for action.

Six in the second place means:
The king’s servant is beset by obstruction upon obstruction,
But it is not his own fault.

Ordinarily it s best to go around an obstacle and try to overcome it along the line of least resistance. But there is one instance in which a man must go out to meet the trouble, even though difficulty piles upon difficulty: this is when the path of duty leads directly to it – in other words, when he cannot act of his own volition but is duty bound to go and seek out danger in the service of a higher cause. Then he may do it without compunction, because it is not through any fault of his that he is putting himself in this difficult situation.

Nine in the third place means:
Going leads to obstructions;
Hence he comes back.

While the preceding line shows the official compelled by duty to follow the way of danger, this line shows the man who must act as father of a family or as head of his kin. If he were to plunge recklessly into danger, it would be a useless act, because those entrusted to his care cannot get along by themselves. But if he withdraws and turns back to his own, they welcome him with great joy.

Six in the fourth place means:
Going leads to obstructions,
Coming leads to union.

This too describes a situation that cannot be managed single-handed. In such a case the direct way is not the shortest. If a person were to forge ahead on his own strength and without the necessary preparations, he would not find the support he needs and would realize too late that he has been mistaken in his calculations, inasmuch as the conditions on which he hoped he could rely would prove to be inadequate. In this case it is better, therefore, to hold back for the time being and to gather together trustworthy companions who can be counted upon for help in overcoming the obstructions.

Nine in the fifth place means:
In the midst of the great obstructions,
Friends come.

Here we see a man who is called to help in an emergency. He should not seek to evade the obstructions, no matter how dangerously they pile up before him. But because he is really called to the task, the power of his spirit is strong enough to attract helpers whom he can effectively organize, also that through the well-directed co-operation of all participants the obstruction is overcome.

Six at the top means:
Going leads to obstructions,
Coming leads to great good fortune.
It furthers one to see the great man.

This refers to a man who has already left the world and its tumult behind him. When the time of obstructions arrives, it might seem that the simplest thing for him to do would be to turn his back upon the world and take refuge in the beyond. But this road is barred to him. He must not seek his own salvation and abandon the world to its adversity> Duty calls him back once more into the turmoil of life. Precisely because of his experience and inner freedom, he is able to create something both great and complete that brings good fortune. And it is favorable to see the great man in alliance with whom one can achieve the work of rescue.

This hexagram is a picture of an open mouth; above and below are the firm lines of the lips, and between them the opening. Starting with the mouth, through which we take food for nourishment, the thought leads to nourishment itself. Nourishment of oneself, specifically of the body, is represented in the three lower lines, while the three upper lines represent nourishment and care of others, in a higher, spiritual sense.

THE JUDGMENT

THE CORNERS OF THE MOUTH.
Perseverance brings good fortune.
Pay heed to the providing of nourishment
And to what a man seeks
To fill his own mouth with.

In bestowing care and nourishment, it is important that the right people should be taken care of and that we should attend to our own nourishment in the right way. If we wish to know what anyone is like, we have only to observe on whom he bestows his care and what sides of his own nature he cultivates and nourishes. Nature nourishes all creatures. The great man fosters and takes care of superior men, in order to take care of all men through them. Mencius says about this:

If we wish to know whether anyone is superior or not, we need only observe what part of his being he regards as especially important. The body has superior and inferior, important and unimportant, nor must we injure the superior parts for the sake of the inferior. He who cultivates the inferior parts of his nature is an inferior man. He who cultivates the superior parts of his nature is a superior man.

THE IMAGE

At the foot of the mountain, thunder:
The image of PROVIDING NOURISHMENT,
Thus the superior man is careful of his words
And temperate in eating and drinking.

“God comes forth in the sign of the Arousing”: when in the spring the life forces stir again, all things come into being anew. “He brings to perfection in the sign of Keeping Still”: thus in the early springs, when the seeds fall to earth, all things are made ready. This is an image of providing nourishment and cultivation of his character. Words are a movement going from within outward. Eating and drinking are movements from without inward. Both kinds of movement can be modified by tranquility. For tranquility keeps the words that come out of the mouth from exceeding proper measure, and keeps the food that goes into the mouth from exceeding its proper measure. Thus character is cultivated.

THE LINES

Nine at the beginning means:
You let your magic tortoise go,
And look at me with the corners of your mouth drooping.
Misfortune.

The magic tortoise is a creature possessed of such supernatural powers that it lives on air and needs no earthly nourishment. The image means that a man fitted by nature and position to live freely and independently renounces this self-reliance and instead looks with envy and discontent at others who are outwardly in better circumstances. But such base envy only arouses derision and contempt in those others. This has bad results.

Six in the second place means:
Turning to the summit for nourishment,
Deviating from the path
To seek nourishment from the hill.
Continuing to do this brings misfortune.

Normally a person either provides his own means of nourishment or is supported in a proper way by those whose duty and privilege it is to provide for him. If, owing to weakness of spirit, a man cannot support himself, a feeling of uneasiness comes over him; this is because in shirking the proper way of obtaining a living, he accepts support as a favor from those in higher place. This is unworthy, for he is deviating from his true nature. Kept up indefinitely, this course leads to misfortune.

Six in the third place means;
Turning away from nourishment.
Perseverance brings misfortune.
Do not act thus for ten years.
Nothing serves to further.

He who seeks nourishment that does not nourish reels from desire to gratification and in gratification craves desire. Mad pursuit of pleasure for the satisfaction of the senses never brings one to the goal. One should never (ten years is a complete cycle of time) follow this path, for nothing good can come of it.

Six in the fourth place means:
Turning to the summit
For provision of nourishment
Brings good fortune.
Spying about with sharp eyes
Like a tiger with insatiable craving.
No blame.

In contrast to the six in the second place, which refers to a man bent exclusively on his own advantage, this line refers to one occupying a high position and striving to let his light shine forth. To do this he needs helpers, because he cannot attain his lofty aim alone. With the greed of a hungry tiger he is on the lookout for the right people. Since he is not working for himself but for the good of all, there is no wrong in such zeal.

Six in the fifth place means:
Turning away from the path.
To remain persevering brings good fortune.
One should not cross the great water.

A man may be conscious of a deficiency in himself. He should be undertaking the nourishment of the people, but he has not the strength to do it. Thus he must turn from his accustomed path and beg counsel and help from a man who is spiritually his superior but undistinguished outwardly. If he maintains this attitude of mind perseveringly, success and good fortune are his. But he must remain aware of his dependence. He must not put his own person forward nor attempt great labors, such as crossing the great water.

Nine at the top means:
The source of nourishment.
Awareness of danger brings good fortune.
It furthers one to cross the great water.

This describes a sage of the highest order, from whom emanate all influences that provide nourishment for others. Such a position brings with it heavy responsibility. If he remains conscious of this fact, he has good fortune and may confidently undertake even great and difficult labors, such as crossing the great water. These undertakings bring general happiness for him and for all others.

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