Yi: Core Principles of Good Society Today 61-6 > 60 < 27

61 Profound Sincerity > 60 Discipline < 27 Nourishing Virtue Query in relation to MoA Comment

Gua Hexagram 61 Innermost Sincerity

The name of the gua is made up of two Chinese characters. The ideograph of the first character, zhong, is a picture of an arrow that hits the center and passes through a target. The rectangle represents the target and the vertical stroke, the arrow. Only an arrow passing through the target in the center can strike a balance, without pushing the target to the left or right. The second character, fu, is a picture of a hen hatching her little ones. At the top of the ideograph is a hen’s claw, representing a hen. The lower part is a picture of a little one with arms stretching upward. An image of a hen hatching a chick was created to express sincerity and trustworthiness. In hatching chicks, the hen must be faithful to her obligation.

From the comment:

The specter of “Evil Communism” lives on in your mind like an evicted tenant in a shanty squatting not paying rent.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Apr 16 2023 5:52 utc | 120

“Part of the problem is that ‘communism’ was wrapped up in a bankster-led worldwide conspiracy to take over everything. So there was quite a gap between the theory and what actually happened. Another problem is that pretty much by definition communism involves excessive centralization which is the most efficient way of governing but also highly prone to corrupt capture, the prize dangled before their gaze so tantalizing as to engender multi-generational organizations to effect such capture, organizations which over time develop far greater depth and skill than the official organs in place by whatever system, in this case ‘communism’ which is in many ways easier to capture than more messy ‘democratic’ systems. That said, they are all capturable. And once captured, the terrain becomes extremely confusing both to see and to discuss because of course one of the sine qua non techniques of such capture is deception both in word and deed. Gradually everything becomes both opaque and confusing.

When all is said and done, all systems depend upon mutual good will between rulers and ruled, government and people. If too much evil intent enters the mix, it is very hard to spot, contain, reveal or expel. This is why how a society is structured culturally is as important as how it is structured systemically/administratively. This is where old methods like royalty, church, aristocracy came in. Having been largely expunged in most modern polities, they don’t come in much any more. So the challenge Russia and China (and others) are meeting these days is how to fashion societies where good will is a bedrock value permeating all levels of their society without those old institutions which seem no longer suitable for the much larger populations we enjoy today.

In Chinese philosophical terms, everything boils down to Heaven, Earth and Man, an experience-based trinity principle far older than the one proposed in the New Testament but essentially similar. Heaven is the over-arching context, Earth is the terrain complementing it, the relative elements we navigate through under the sky of Heaven, and Man is the navigation process, how good or bad a job we do, what sort of individual and collective world we make in the process of making our way through the journey of life. In a successful, good society, the Heaven aspect includes some sort of basic reverence for the fundamental goodness of life, including all creatures and terrains where life manifests, both visible and invisible. If the society as a whole generally enjoys a shared sense of such reverence, or respect if you prefer, than all the human elements in that society will generally row in the same direction, which will foster goodness and good life journeys for all involved.”

Additional Remarks

The Yi Cast offered up surprisingly apropos hexagrams in response very much along the lines of what I had expressed in the Comment, some of which of course comes from having studied the Yi approach for decades now. That said, although learning to navigate through the fathomlessly intricate hexagrams, trigrams, shamanic and confucian commentary and underlying theory may be a tad difficult – and indeed I regard myself as little more than an advanced beginner at this stage especially given that only of late have I started to study it more seriously – the underlying principles are simple enough that most children can readily understand them, including Heaven Earth and Man. The old Chinese – and most inter-related Asian societies – incorporated such things into their gene structure, basically, so even modern Chinese who may never have studied such things – as I learned years ago on some English-speaking Chinese forums – still understand them well for they are part of how they perceive reality. Just as most Westerners (and indeed most modern people nowadays including in Asia) have incorporated the materialist view so much so that they are entirely unaware not only that they hold it, but also that it is both optional as well as profoundly flawed.

The latter, although it can facilitate truly ghastly outcomes, is not a big deal. Human beings exist not only between Heaven and Earth, but also heaven and hell, and our life journey involves cultivating the good and eschewing the bad (Hexagram 27, Mouth-Nourishment-Cultivation). One way of doing this is holding to the Middle which is both a Confucian and a Buddhist approach. Indeed, the Buddha called his approach ‘The Middle Way’ not Buddhism. The middle avoids extremes. Hexagram 27 ䷚ with solid lines and top and bottom kind of indicates this. Life – the four yin lines – takes place in the middle where we avoid extremes of Heaven and Hell. Indeed, the Nuclear of 27 is #2 with all six lines being Yin. This represents Earth, the Mother, Mother Nature, material and relative reality. It is why the little poem I composed after the Judgment in the document above begins with over-arching Idea and ends with enjoying a good meal at the family kitchen table. Such basic, ordinary pleasures are what high civilizations cherish and promote. A little like Tolkein’s Shire, perhaps, with humble hobbits being those who save the world more than all the Wise and Great were able to do. Civilizations without humility and true inner sincerity founder. Always. Every time. The West is now foundering, as it should. The people will have to find a way back to ordinary common sense and basic decency. Asia-Eurasia is rising, after a difficult couple of centuries. As they rise and their growth slows, they too will have to deal with increasing corruption which always starts to infiltrate and spread, and they too will need to ensure that their people, their society, is rooted in bedrock virtues and values lest they too, like the West, go astray.

Which is a roundabout way of explaining why being mired in the mud of materialist fallacy is not the end of the world. Because if it isn’t materialist mud it’s something else – religious fanaticism, political extremism, banditry, sexual excess, demonic possession, chronic misery and wretchedness, blood sacrifice cults… whatever. Always something extreme pulling us towards excess of pleasure or excess of pain, aka heaven or hell.

In any case, the West was never as perfect as many of its cheerleaders like to portray. But it wasn’t all bad either. You just have to walk into one of the great cathedrals to appreciate this instantly. At the same time, if you sit quietly, you can feel that most of the gods who used to muster there are now absent; there is a dark, slightly haunted feeling along with evident beauty, majesty and depth. They are a little sad, their nearby graveyards a tad too gloomy. The vivid brightness of the Renaissance during which many latter-day churches were built, filled with light, seems more like a memory than a lived reality.

In our experience, the present moment is always vivid and fresh. When everyone is working hard and things are going forward day by day it is not hard to feel energy and momentum and for all to pull in the same direction – even the thieves prosper in such times after all! But once things have stabilized and the momentum period is over, then it’s not so easy. Many individuals in their forties start to experience the chickens of their youth coming home to roost in middle age, and it doesn’t always make for happy family dynamics! Then in maturity and old age we experience the harvest of our earlier years, the degree to which we followed bedrock virtues and values, and the degree to which we strayed.

Civilizations ultimately are not about Empire building, conquest, wars and subjugation. They are about creating good containers for good human life journeys. Such things require an appreciation for the small, the ordinary. Hexagram 61 is about inner truth or sincerity. Hexagram 62, the last process hexagram before the final Completion pair 63 & 64, is about ‘the preponderance of the small’ four yin lines surrounding two yang lines, the graphic opposite of 61 (and why they are paired together). This is where the commentary describes how the flying bird (the body represented by the two central yang lines, the wings being the twin pairs of yin lines above and below) always has to come down to Earth at the end, no matter how high it has flown. Towers built by Sauron always fall in the end.

In the Buddhist and other yogic lineages, masters of meditation go through years of training and extraordinary experiences, plumbing the depths, soaring to heights in endless inner worlds that all of us contain within. Some develop seemingly magical powers, can cure all illness, read others’ minds, learn things in lucid dreams beyond normal ken, influence future rebirths and so forth. But in the end they come back to what the Tibetan Kagyü tradition called thamel gyi shepa, translated as ‘ordinary mind.’ Ordinariness is the highest attainment, experience without extras, add-ons, embellishments, enhancements, ideologies, propaganda, regulations, restrictions, aspirations, second thoughts – even first thoughts. Just direct, ordinary ever-present awareness. High cultures engender this so that we don’t all have to live in caves for decades to achieve this most ordinary of qualities. Cultures which throw up sane and beautiful architecture, delicious and healthy cuisine, artful and practical forms of dress and speech, all grounded in awareness of things as they are, not things as we might imagine, desire or demand them to be, things which ideologues promise (and never deliver) and tyrants or totalitarian regimes mandate. Cultures that do not engender bedrock virtues are not high, no matter how much they believe and proclaim otherwise.

Man lives between Heaven and Earth in what is basically a primordially good setup. All we have to do is work hard at keeping it simple, keeping it real. That’s the upper trigram Water in #60’s Discipline / Limits. Water is the trigram of Work, of flowing around but also gradually wearing down obstacles, creating rivers running through canyons; water finds its own level, its destiny; and water is essential to life, to blood, to movement. Work takes as long as it takes; and for Man, as Adam was informed, work is continuous and ever-present, is a life long 24/7 affair.

In this Cast, the heady speech of lofty goals in the top line turns us to Discipline #60, the one that came before #61. So any time we start to get excited by ideas, we return to bedrock discipline, to the basic work of the Middle Ordinary Way which, interestingly, is based on Lake Below, the youngest daughter, the pleasure and joy principle. Life is not fundamentally drab and drear. It is fundamentally beautiful. But this has to be tempered with Wind and Water, with patient Gentleness and steady, smooth flowing Work.

And so it goes….

Published by The Baron

Retired non-profit administrator.

One thought on “Yi: Core Principles of Good Society Today 61-6 > 60 < 27

  1. Thanks for your addition to your comments on MOA. I enjoy the more in depth discussions and comments between all the usual superficial rhetoric. Most people have an innate tendency to oversimplify things and stick to a more black and white view of reality. While most things are way more nuanced.


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