During today’s quiet morning time, the idea for this post clicked into mind. It started with remembering Patrick Byrne’s vision of merging the values of East and West. It moved to looking forward, thinking about how to make it happen.
I revisited my recurring dream of organizing a School Without Walls. Basically, it would serve to link self-responsible students with a qualified mentor. Together, they would design a unique degree program around a personal goal. This would give the next generation what I found missing from my own education.
In You Are Already Enough, I described my personal solution:
As a young adult, my Life Wheel was centered around the goal of becoming a worthy musician. I organized every sector of my life around this single purpose.
Never once did I consider earning a living as a violin teacher. The ones I worked with were way too narrow. They knew about fingering the notes written on sheet music, but the heart and soul of sound wasn’t their department.
I had to design my own course of learning. I chose Oberlin College because it allowed me to balance a top-notch liberal arts program with a world-class music school. I studied violin privately as an “amateur” (a music lover), but majored in world literature and intellectual history.
I wanted to understand the ideas that drove great composers and their patrons. I had to delve into scriptures to feel the devotion that inspired Bach and Mozart.
I needed to know about the physics of sound vibration. I haunted the workshop of a local violin maker to watch how he built and maintained his instruments.
To me, the physical body was a resonant instrument. Tuning it was essential to my calling. Yogic breathing, exercise and personal self-maintenance were integral to my overall vision.
The musicians I performed with in ensembles and orchestras were my friends and family in spirit. We went to concerts together and socialized afterwards at local pubs.
On a related topic, I revisited my intended doctoral dissertation on the Origins and Future of the University. In the repeating cycles of history, I foresaw a looming choice ahead between either a renaissance or another dark ages. In my early morning state, I even dared hope to collaborate with Patrick, an acknowledged renaissance man, to tip the balance in favor of renaissance.
We’re not taught to look to the Book of Change for answers to our deepest questions. That’s why I’m bringing the book to you.
Today’s reading comes in two parts. First I asked, “What role does education have to play in the path of reconciliation?” PROMOTION was the unchanging answer. It reads:
Promotion will come from steady, positive improvement over time. Rising to meet new challenges results in emotional maturity. Advancing on the job puts one in the position to serve those who are in need. Quiet, persistent self-discipline wins the confidence of others. Make the most of opportunities. Avoid hesitation.
My first take was confusion. This didn’t answer my real question. Then I realized I’d asked it in a wrong way. I wasn’t looking for the end result, but rather the process through which the goal is achieved. I got a static answer because I asked a static question about education’s role.
Improvement, emotional maturity, and service all speak to outcomes, not the process. I needed to frame a better question asking for advice on how we get from here to there.
So I asked, “How could education evolve to serve the goal of reconciliation going forward?” This answer was dynamic (again reconfiguring dynamics familiar from 2020 readings). It started with STANDSTILL, which reads:
When opposing forces draw apart, activity comes to a STANDSTILL. Lack of understanding results in mistrust and refusal to cooperate. When weak leaders prevent necessary cooperation, it is best to withdraw from the situation and wait for the times to change. Direct your attention toward inward growth.
This original answer represents the immediate situation in need of remedy. Other names for this hexagram include Negative, Withdrawing, Stagnation or Separation.
* * *
Advice of the second line reads, “Don’t compromise your principles. Protect yourself calmly. Struggle won’t help.” Advice heeded, the line changes changes to Conflict, which further defines Standstill. It reads in part:
CONFLICT develops when one refuses to see the view-point of others. The way out is to be open to others and willing to meet them half-way. Pushing a disagreement to open conflict would result in separation.
* * *
Advice of the fifth line reads, “Paralysis is cured by joining elements meant to work together.” Paralysis – Standstill — is overcome by merging the best of apparently opposite energies. These include the values of social responsibility versus personal freedom; protective (classically male) versus nurturing (classical female) qualities, as well as an outgoing, practical/intellectual approach to life versus an inward/intuitive, contemplative approach to experience.
When advice is heeded, the line changes to Improvement, which reads:
IMPROVEMENT is now possible if you are willing to follow the example of worthy teachers. If you have absorbed negative suggestions in the past which prevent you from expressing your higher self freely, use this time to break away from bad habits. Seek the inspiration of positive influences.
* * *
When the entire process is honored, the combined final outcome is Finish, which reads:
When the FINISH is near, think about the future. Since nothing ends without a new beginning, prepare for what comes next. Order your life so that you are free to move on. Success in the next cycle will depend on the inner wealth you have stored. Avoid fear of change.
Right now, humanity is entering the beginning of a new series of cycles. The new year, 2021, begins a twenty-year astrological cycle of Jupiter/Saturn conjunctions in air rather than earth signs. It’s embedded within a 200 year cycle, within a 2,000 year cycle that roughly corresponds with the beginnings of the Christian era. (That’s just an interesting side note, FYI. This isn’t the time/place to elaborate, but you can take my word for it.)
Here, inner wealth includes the sum of life lessons learned, and/or wisdom traditions actualized/assimilated through practice.
And fear of change is primarily a function of programmed ignorance. Means for overcoming fear include not only native courage, but also faith and wisdom. To this end, mastering Natural Law encoded in the Book of Change is the beginning of white magic. Then, with I Ching insight, “everything serves to further.”
P.S. In the the Cycles of History, I mention The Great Reconciliation. Because that information was posted elsewhere, I’m now republishing it to this site. It’s especially relevant now and well-worth your thoughtful attention.
Collected posts will be published as The Lessons of 2020: Using the Wisdom of CHANGE to Build a Better Future. Look for it on amazon at the end of January, 2021.
If you’d like a copy of the Common Sense Book of Change, or extras to give others, click here.
To order Two Sides of a Coin: Lao Tze’s Common Sense Way of Change, click here.
Okay, then. That’s all for now. Talk with you again soon. Take care, all.