Category Archives: Common Sense Book of Change

Resist Not Evil. Persist in the Good. – IC – 112620

As a Law of Nature, resistance within ourselves (tension and denial) is mirrored in the what we get back from others. It’s counterproductive, inside and out.

What’s the solution? Think of a Chinese finger trap.

This elegantly simple tube is woven from bamboo. Put one finger from each hand inside. It becomes a trap. The natural instinct is to struggle to get out. But the more you resist, the stucker you get.

The way out is to relax. By eliminating tension, the bamboo eases. You easily slip free.

Resist not evil. Persist in the good. is a great motto. It honors the law, Whatever you focus on, you magnify. That’s why the Bible instructs, Whatsoever is true, honest, just, pure, lovely and good report, think on these things. (The flip side: Give zero attention/energy to what you don’t want in your world.) It’s another way of saying, Take the best, leave the rest.

This dynamic is perfectly captured in the Star Wars clash between Luke Skywalker and the Evil Emperor. When the young Jedi comes full force at his enemy in rage, his dark energy feeds the dark lord. “Good, good.” Luke gets free of the emotional trap by relaxing, sheathing the red saber, and escaping.

Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel published Resistance (At All Costs): How Trump Haters are Breaking America in the last month of 2019, just in time to set the stage for 2020. Seen through the prophetic lens of Resistance, widespread election fraud and Constitutional crisis look inevitable.

Strassel argues that in its obstruction of President Trump at any cost, all-out Resistance has become dangerously reckless.In their frenzy to oppose the president, Trump haters are undermining our foundations:

From the FBI’s unlawful counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign, to bureaucratic sabotage, to media partisanship, to the character assassination of Trump nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the president’s foes have thrown aside norms, due process and the rule of law.

Book reviews are less neutral:

  • It ties together all the attacks on Trump since before he was even elected. Aided and abetted by a compliant, complicit, lazy media. And bureaucrats and politicians willing to ignore or overturn every rule there is. All with the aim of reversing a valid election by the American people.
  • It’s a book about why we should stop destroying American democracy to achieve partisan revenge.
  • Strassel debunks the junk that the Resistance and the media shouted at us,buzz phrases, blatant lies, attacks on persons,misdirections, etc. all of these that were used in their attempt to unseat D. J. Trump from his legally elected position as president of the U. S. A.
  • The histrionics have been mind blowing. The endless rage unfathomable. Particularly from a party that defines itself as “tolerant” and “inclusive”.
  • Petty party differences and personal animosities toward Trump are moves by short game players. If the DEMS gain power, the stakes are higher than petty dislike of Trump. . . . the RESISTANCE (the alternative to Trump) is worse than if Trump were actually guilty of all DEMS toss at him.
  • Regardless of whether you are a Democrat or Republican, you should be terrified with what’s going on under the cloak of night. It is destroying our nation and our republic.

Resistance ends with a call to action, “the only action that is left to us” – the 2020 election, and all elections after that. It’s a slow process, it will take years, or decades but in the end that’s the only means we have to affect a change for the better.

CAVEAT: Strassel’s olive branch of hope is based on a big IF. If future elections were free of rampant deception, censorship, and vote tampering. . . there would be hope of change for the better.

Fortunately, her view that there’s no other hope is only half-true. On the flip side, whatever the political outcomes on the surface of the Life Wheel, first and foremost, each of us has the option and responsibility to change 1) our beliefs and attitudes, 2) our actions and 3) the quality of our personal relationships. Change happens from the inside out, and one person at a time.

We’re not taught to look to the Book of Change for answers to our deepest questions. That’s why I’ve chosen to bring the book to you. Through the end of 2020, these bi-weekly posts are intended make what was once unfamiliar now familiar.

COMPLETION is the initial answer to the question, “What should we be aware of NOW?” The CSBOC version reads:

Perfected actions reach COMPLETION. From this balance, however, new elements spring forth which create future imbalance. In this way, the cycles of nature are continued. This is not cause for sadness. Perfection lies in the whole life process, not in the beauty of a single peak moment. Avoid rigid attachment.

We are at end-stage not only of 2020, but of the cycle of American history that began with ratification of the Constitution. Thanksgiving day gives us cause to pause and reflect. Hardships we face at this time of unraveling and reset, though very different from those the pilgrims faced, are just as intense. Yet they found reasons to celebrate and be grateful then. So should we now. As one Strassel reviewer reminds us, Instead of letting hatred define our times, we should thank God we can call America our home.

Yes, everything familiar has fallen away. We have so many losses to grieve. Freedoms. Fortunes. Confidence in leaders. Family. Friends. The American dream is dying if not already dead. Yet resistance, clinging to what is gone, would leave us stuck in the past. Wisdom calls us to focus on opportunities ahead. The future is ours to create.

* * *

In his version, Jack Balkin, a Constitutional Law Professor, lists key words describing Completion: Maintaining equilibrium / Nipping problems in the bud / Preventing deterioration / Watching carefully.

* * *

Advice of the Bottom Line reads, “ Don’t become lax when things go right. Remain constantly aware.”

We arrived at a Constitutional crisis by taking freedom, prosperity and community for granted. We fell asleep at the switch (or maybe were hypnotized).

It’s taking a train wreck to wake us up. The challenge now is to stop blindly taking the extraordinary blessings of life in America for granted. Instead, be profoundly thankful for the protections against fraud and corruption which the Founders, in their wisdom, built into the Constitution. Commit to preserving them at all costs.

* * *

When the warning is heeded, the line changes to Resistance, the subject of Strassel’s book. It reads:

Look within yourself for the cause of RESISTANCE from others. If you are closed, they will not cooperate. The situation will open up when your mind becomes open. Seek the company of people who can help you overcome mental blocks. Do not blame others for your problems. Avoid untimely actions.

Resistance is a consequence of refusing to recognize 2020 as an end-cycle year of completion.

Here, I Ching wisdom points to the quantum reality that all experience is generated from the inside out, and from smallest to largest. To understand political resistance, understand that it starts within the minds of individuals programmed to a fractured paradigm. They’ve been educated into a false reality that rules out the inner levels where emotional intelligence, compassion and conscience reside.

Here’s an added irony for you. Resisting the resistance doubles troubles which are best solved by a meditative approach to problem-solving.

* * *

In Balkin’s book, Resistance is called Obstruction. Key descriptors include: Trouble / Hardship / Looking inward / Self-reflection / Surmounting the obstacles within.

He observes:

When faced with obstacles, we should not lose courage, but remain calm, redirect our attention to our spiritual development, and wait for conditions to improve.

Not coincidentally, in the margin next to this advice I noted: “Resist not evil. Persist in the good.

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 in January of 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.

To Think Like a Genius, Link the Levels – IC – 111920

Q. Why the interest in genius at this time of chaos and confusion?

A. America’s divisive state is testimony to the crying need for creative problem-solvers.

We need to educate ourselves and then bring up a next generation able to SEE what’s gone so terribly wrong, and what to do about it.

So what is genius? Is creative brilliance a rare gift granted only to a special few?

Or is genius, as I believe, an inborn, God-given potential equally available to everyone. Every-one, that is, willing to do the work and make the sacrifices needed to fulfill their innate potentials.

Q. Okay. If I’m a potential genius, how do I get from here to there?

A. Yogis have long known the way. Breathing is the simple answer.

Breath is the vehicle of the soul, the psyche. It animates us at birth. It’s the single constant always with us right up to our last minute on earth. We can breathe unconsciously. Automatically. Or we can do it consciously, and in the process link the levels of the Life Wheel — mind, body and spirit. Breath unifies the quantum field.

Yoga in a nutshell.

Einstein’s New Way of Thinking explains:

The secret to thinking like a genius has been known for thousands of years. Yogis call it Raja Yoga . . .

Modern medical researchers correlate ancient teachings with brain science. Breath control balances, harmonizes and stimulates both hemispheres of the brain. It unites artistic with mathematical abilities.

Now Einstein was a “natural.”

On rare occasions, it’s possible to get the same results naturally, without needing to understand the dynamics that explain genius. Both sides of Einstein’s brain . . worked together.

He was an accomplished violinist and philosopher as well as a physicist. Pipe smoking probably gave him some of the benefits of deep breathing, though to the best of our knowledge (at least in this lifetime), he never took yoga classes.

Two recent books explain yoga’s magic in the familiar language of science. One is Patrick McKeown’s The Oxygen Advantage: Simple, Scientifically Proven Breathing Techniques. Even better is James Nestor’s 2020 bestseller, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art.

Thinking like a genius, “journalist James Nestor traveled the world to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.” He says:

There is nothing more essential to our health and well-being than breathing: take air in, let it out, repeat twenty-five thousand times a day. Yet, as a species, humans have lost the ability to breathe correctly, with grave consequences.

Drawing on thousands of years of medical texts and recent cutting-edge studies in pulmonology, psychology, biochemistry, and human physiology, Breath turns the conventional wisdom of what we thought we knew about our most basic biological function on its head.

Disturbed breathing and the image of a fragmented Life Wheel go hand-in-glove. Cognitive dissonance, the narcissist’s signature, is the frequent mark of public figures. Their words and actions don’t match. Not even close.

Here’s a basic test of whom to trust. Who is consistent, word and deed? Who is not? I’ll have more to say about this in future posts. Look for Half-Brained Is Half-Assed.

We’re not trained to look to the Book of Change for answers to our deepest questions. That’s why I’ve chosen to bring the book to you. Through the end of 2020, bi-weekly blogs are intended to serve as an introduction, to make what was once unfamiliar now familiar.

INSPIRATION is the initial answer to today’s question, “What should we be aware of now?” The Common Sense Book of Change version reads:

When minds are moved by INSPIRATION, nothing is impossible. Misunderstandings can be cleared up, problems solved and hardships overcome. Inspired speakers can move others to acts of heroism by well-chosen words. Reminding people of their common goals and deepest desires gives them the courage to continue. Avoid unkindness.

In-spire means to breathe in. When we’re tense and hold the breath, we cut ourselves off from Source. Relaxing and taking a deep breath reconnects us with the Force.

Inspiration is the signature of genius – the crying need — the critically missing piece — in today’s public arena. All sides seem stimulated by conflict. “Game on!”

While engaging in battle for a just cause is vitally important, in equal measure — to keep ourselves and the Union together – we also need to honor the opposite of side of the coin. Take time to pause, reflect and be grateful for the blessings we too often take for granted, which everyone on all sides are risk at risk of losing forever.

***

Constitutional Law Professor Jack Balkin’s version of the I Ching calls Hexagram 58 Joy. These are its key attributes: Giving and receiving / Communication / Integrity/ Inner stability / Inner Peace.

He comments:

When people take joy in each other’s company, they are willing to make sacrifices for each other. Difficulties seem to melt away. Troubles seem smaller and less threatening. When people feel supported and encouraged, they are willing to take on even the most difficult tasks. Thus, joy has enormous power. It brings people together, moves them to do great things and bestows success on their efforts.

***

In the CSBOC, advice of the bottom line reads: “Maintain an attitude of joyful self-confidence. This will attract success.” When the advice is heeded, the line changes to Depression:

At times when it seems as if one’s resources are exhausted, care must be taken to soften the harmful effects of DEPRESSION. Whether the cause of depression is mental, emotional or economic, do not despair. The time will pass. Use hardship to develop inner strength and calm. Avoid negative thoughts.

Stress, fear, and anger disrupt natural breathing, making us sick. And basic breathing practices — in-spiration — are known to heal (drug free) countless diseases, including depression. This relief alone makes economic hardships more tolerable and creative solutions easier to find.

***

Balkin’s version calls Hexagram 47 Oppression. Its key attributes include: Exhaustion / Being restricted / Hardship / Adversity / Inner affliction / Dried up / Impasse.

He comments:

Kun is indeed a difficult hexagram, but the law of change is always in operation. Periods of oppression and exhaustion contain the seeds of regeneration and renewal. At the very darkest moment the light is almost ready to shine again. Even so, it is not easy for people who are in the midst of oppression to understand and believe in this enduring truth. Dealing with oppression is a great test of a person’s character.

It’s almost as if presumptive leaders assume us deplorable Hobbits exist to be oppressed and drained, are so stupid that we’re fooled by the lies they spin, and so weak that we’ll cave under intimidation. But we’re neither stupid nor weak. And by Natural Law, they’ll inevitably reap the ugly consequences of their presumptions.

In sum, at end-stage 2020, those who would survive looming oppression must draw upon the inner resources of latent genius. By intentionally linking the levels of the Life Wheel, we’ll prevail by restoring the common sense which is everyone’s birthright.

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 in January of 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.

Don’t Be Fooled! – IC – 110920

In duality, every coin has two sides. If you haven’t learned how to harness this dynamic, it can get you into deep, dark trouble. Today’s I Ching reading shows how to change the conflict of this uncertain time into an opportunity.

As a Law of Nature, Whatever has a front has a back. An axiom of the Law is, The larger the front, the larger the back.

The scary tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde captures this simple fact. In duality, rarely if ever is anything on the surface actually what it seems to be.

This is why sages recommend the middle path of balance and moderation. This isn’t milk-toast timidity. It’s wisdom dressed up as street-smarts. They know that every extreme changes into its opposite – an unwelcome outcome best anticipated and avoided.

The two-sides rule explains how con artists get away with deception. Anyone who can’t see through appearances is easy prey. In fact, I recently heard a commentator say politicians depend on P.T. Barnum’s law: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

That’s why I’ve made it my life work to mainstream wisdom tools which help people think more clearly, see more deeply into the nature of things. We need to raise a generation that can’t be fooled. Human survival may well depend on it.

Proof is in the consequences of today’s wisdom-deficit. In 2020’s year of extremes, waves of backlash have swollen to tsunami proportions. When opposing factions are at each other’s throats, each undoing whatever the other proposes, it’s nearly impossible to steer a steady course.

The yo-yo effect of extremes is the stuff of Greek tragedy, where the hero’s greatest strength is the cause of his downfall. Flash forward. In 2020, President Trump’s outspoken, confident personality has a predictable downside.

It’s hard for folks like my friend Alice to identify with a winner’s outlook. She’s been trained by both church and state to be passive, polite, and (frankly) hypocritical. She’s been taught that wearing a mask (now, ironically, literally) is what it takes to be “good.” She’s been rewarded for owning the mask of conformity.

So, how dare anyone break the unspoken rules by being candid and upfront? Truthful. It’s “bad.” That makes the President a bad person.

Fortunately, many see deeper than surface appearances. President’s Trump’s faith in God and in himself strikes a resonant cord with “we the people.” We sense and return the towering, lion-hearted love which energizes and empowers him.

Deeper than economic policies and peace initiatives, what moves us is his unashamed devotion to purpose. In his presence, we feel energized and encouraged. Hopeful. He supports us in our love of God and country.

Here’s the secret sauce of his success. He’s speaks to the hunger Marisa Peer has so brilliant diagnosed. This world-famous therapist of the rich and famous has put her finger on (and quickly heals) the root of every addiction and ailment.

Every dysfunction starts with the painful feeling of being “not enough.” Church and state have hammered the lie of not-enoughness into our psyches. It keeps us in our place, submissive and easily controlled. (David Icke has a bit to say on the subject!)

The President has picked up that gauntlet and thrown it in the face of the ruling elite that would enslave us. He’s telling downtrodden deplorables we are OKAY. We are enough. In fact, we can and should be GREAT.

We love that message. And we love him for being its messenger.

On the flip side, how can the public possibly relate to a decrepit, deeply corrupted candidate? Do they, like Alice, feel sorry for him? Do they sympathize with having to live behind a mask? Do they identify with his resentment against “smart guys,” feel the pain of being the slowest – but nicest — kid in the class?

Revenge also plays a part. Remember the Eddie Murphy movie, Trading Places? It’s being playing out in politics. Those who choose to see themselves as disenfranchised salivate at the opportunity to symbolically own a failing, old white guy. Use him as a front for their agenda before replacing him entirely? It’s a BLM wet dream.

In this scenario, there’s no compassion. No forgiveness or unity. The oppressed are simply grasping at the opportunity to revere roles, become the oppressors.

N.B. For those who believe it’s too late, the game’s over, nothing and no one can change – that a drab, dark future lies ahead, cast in stone — think again. Here’s what Lao Tze has to say about pessimism:

All that being said, the following I Ching reading offers a way out of madness.

We’re not trained to come to the Book of Change for answers to our deepest questions. That’s why I’ve chosen to bring the book to you. Through the end of 2020, these bi-weekly blogs are intended to make what was unfamiliar now familiar.

CONFLICT was the initial answer to October 9th’s question, “What do we need to be aware of NOW?” It reads:

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. This would bring unfortunate results.

In the extreme, there’s potential for civil war. It’s not the wise option.

Advice of the bottom line reads, “Don’t let misunderstandings continue. Make peace with your friends quickly.”

It is a grave mistake for Americans who share much in common to divide as a result of closed-mindedness fueled by incendiary media hype. Better is to remember the love, return to what’s basic.

This advice being heeded, the line changes to:

In stressful situations, your CONDUCT will determine the outcome of your efforts. Do not let negative or unpleasant people affect your own balance. Respond to the demands of others according to the quality of their motives rather than acting impulsively. Play by the rules of the game. Avoid becoming emotional.

Look and think deep. Be part of the solution. Don’t act in ways that make the problem worse.

Advice of the second line reads, “Retreat and regroup. Your opponent is too strong for you.”

At this point, resolution of post-election conflict rests in the hands of political professionals, their lawyers, the courts and just maybe, a handful of honest journalists. In the short-term, it’s best for the rest of us to conserve our energy, preserve our sanity, and pray for the best.

This advice heeded, the second line changes to Standstill:

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.

When confusion and misunderstandings prevail, don’t react emotionally. Bide your time. Keep your powder dry.

Combining the changing lines results in this final outcome:

Cultivate CLARITY. Listen to the pure and childlike voice of your inner being. Even if this results in new and unexpected experiences, you will benefit. Take joy in being true to your Self. Modified by consideration for others, this will give you creative abilities. Avoid fearful attachment to the familiar.

This says in another way what I concluded in Listen To Your Heart:

The year 2020 has been harsh. Tough. Painful. No doubt. The possibility of emerging stronger and more peaceful than before is its hidden gift.

Add inspired creativity to the list of 2020’s hidden blessings.

Also include the clarity of knowing you are already, inherently enough. You were born that way. Never, ever allow anyone to fool you into believing otherwise.

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 in January of 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.

To order You Are Already ENOUGH! How Would Your Life CHANGE If You Really Believed It?, click here.

Okay, then. That’s all for now. Talk with you again soon. Take care, all.

Family, Community & Organization

Today’s bonus blog supports Back to What’s Basic, where the final outcome is FAMILY. The subject is both timely and vitally important.

According to The Common Sense Book of Change:

Inside the FAMILY one learns to play out given roles. This makes later success in roles on the job and in the larger community possible. Clearly defined relationships make communication easy. Respectful cooperation with others earns trust and acceptance from the human family. Avoid roles not suited to your nature.

Family is the fundamental unit of society – the building block of community. It’s key to success at every larger level, lacking which entire civilizations crumble.

To restore today’s decaying foundations, however, Sages tell us to first look within. Thus, the Basic blog concludes:

The end goal is harmonious relationship with the entire human family. This reading is so value-rich that, to do it justice, I had to publish a self-standing bonus blog, Family, Community and Organization.

Bottom line: There’s intense pressure – coming from all levels – to destroy core unity. It starts with internal consciousness and extend outwards to breakdown the family unit and then social organization. What’s the consequence of this breakdown? Who wants it?

Do you? If not, what are you willing to do about it? When?

To help in rethinking what we take for granted at great risk, here are three supporting essays. Though originally written in the year 2000, they’re key to overcoming 2020 madness.

There’s a lot here. But it deserves your careful attention. What could be more basic to building a better future?

ESSAY 13. FAMILY

One who wishes to have a well-organized family should first cultivate his personality. / One who wishes to cultivate his personality should first regulate his mind. / One who wishes to regulate his mind should first be honest with his consciousness. One who wishes to be honest with his consciousness should first attain true knowledge. — Confucius, Great Commentary

In the family we learn love, patience, respect, nurturing, affirmation, and health. The family also teaches us about competition, domination, selfishness, and deceit. The family is thus a relatively efficient learning system for the development of mind, spirit, and body. It involves the whole self. — Tom Chappell, The Soul of a Business

For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. Jesus Christ, St. Matthew 12:50

THE FRONT

The Latin root of family means household establishment. An obsolete usage refers to all the people living in the same house, including servants and slaves. A later definition refers to all the relatives living in the same house, including extended family. Only recently has it come to mean a nuclear unit, the traditional set of parents (one husband, one wife) and their off-spring.

A family can mean a group of people related by ancestry or marriage, including relatives. It can be all those claiming descent from a common ancestor, tribe, or clan — a lineage. A crime syndicate under a single leader is also called a family.

Ideally, children learn the basics within the family. If we trained ourselves and our children in I Ching ways, there’d be no need for each generation to reinvent the wheel over by repeating the same mistakes. Sheltering them from the “real world” isn’t a kindness. A better way to protect them is to provide the wisdom tools to give them the practical edge, help them meet the challenges of adult life with intelligence and self-confidence.

As Chappell indicates, within the nuclear family as in the human family, everything, both positive and negative is possible. As we learn to articulate what we see and respond wisely to experiences in the family environment, we become increasingly able to apply these skills in school, business and extended political situations.

But as Confucius teaches, the goal of improving and sustaining family relationships isn’t achieved by extending ever outwards. It requires looking inward:

  • Efforts to improve personality lead to the need to know one’s mind.
  • This leads to exploring inner awareness.
  • Then, in due time, inward movement cycles outwards, incorporating benefits of the inward journey into personal and practical everyday life.

Within families of every size, whether communities, religions, corporations or governments, some live by the law. Others don’t.

Christ taught that those who love and choose truth are all members of his extended family.

Those who love life, who seek truth and understanding and do their best to help others as they can, have more in common with each other than with evildoers within their own groups.

THE BACK

Opposites of family include strangers in our community whom we’ve never gotten to know, foreigners raised abroad who speak languages and practice customs we don’t understand, as well as others we’ve been taught to mistrust and dislike.

The antithesis of family is foe, including competitive opponents and military enemies. Whereas families are ideally founded on common beliefs, goals and mutual support, those who threaten or sabotage others undermine healthy relationships. Gratitude and hope build communities. Mistrust, hostility and abuse break them down.

ESSAY 14. COMMUNITY

We can create communities and relationships based on love and intimacy rather than fear and hatred. We can learn from the suffering of others. Awareness is the first stage in healing. . . Dean Ornish, Love and Survival

As we accept the smallness of the world, the density of the population, and the myriad influences on individuals and families, someday we may recognize the community and even the whole society as the patient. Imagine, then, what a “doctor of society” might do, what kinds of diseases he or she might treat! — Patch Adams, Gesundheit!

Each celestial body, in fact each and every atom, produces a particular sound on account of its movement, its rhythm or vibration. All these sounds and vibrations form a universal harmony in which each element, while having its own function and character, contributes to the whole. – Pythagoras, quoted in The Healing Power of Sound

THE FRONT

Community stems from a root word meaning fellowship. In English, the word refers to all the people living in a particular district or city. It can also mean a group of people living together as a smaller social unity within a larger one, and having interests or work in common, such as a college community.

Alternatively, it can refer to a group of nations loosely or closely associated because of common traditions or for political and economic advantage. It also covers similarity of tastes and preferences. The last definition Webster’s gives is the condition of living with others in friendly association and fellowship. The last definition comes full circle back to the original meaning.

Communities are founded on a common cause. It can be as practical as survival or as idealistic as freedom. Often, community cohesion is artificially stimulated by fear and hatred of a common enemy.

For example, Hitler inflamed passions against Jews and foreign bankers to mobilize his war-weary country into a second world war more devastating than the first. Then Americans rallied behind the common goal of defeating enemies of democracy on two fronts, Asia and Europe.

In Common Sense, Thomas Paine wrote about the relationship of divine, natural and human law in a way that inspired readers at the time of the American Revolution to fight for freedom from tyranny.

Winning that war did not, however, automatically secure freedom for all times. Democracy isn’t a static achievement that can be passed on unchanged from one generation to the next. It must renewed and earned again, one individual at a time, each generation at a time, continuously redefined in the context of immediate circumstances.

The music of life that moves every organization, smallest to largest, is the basis of harmonious fellowship. Approaching natural law and social organizations from the deeper understanding of the ancients could inspire a new, more humane and effective approach to international relations now, one based on energy dynamics which the human community share in common.

Sages say that freedom from tyranny begins with dispelling ignorance and overcoming negative emotions. True freedom and stable communities begin with the self-awareness and self-mastery which can be gained by diligent use of wisdom tools like the Book of Change. First remembering the core of compassion and caring within, we can then extend and expand this good-will into healing society as well.

Put another way, it’s useless to fight for a democratic world before first cleaning out the inner swamp of negative emotions. Inner life conditions attract corresponding external experience. Fighting in anger and hatred reaps results in kind.

Working to establish positive community relationships before personal attitudes of good-will and willing self-discipline are established is futile. As Covey reminds us, first things must come first.

THE BACK

Street gangs, terrorist groups, religious cults and secret societies are subgroups within the larger community. To the extent that their goals oppose and even endanger the community at large, these organizations are antithetical to the general good.

Pariahs, nomads and outcasts are individuals excluded from society, either voluntarily or by edict. Whether justified or not, their attitudes and behavior are out of harmony with accepted norms. If enough of them find common cause to band together, they form alternative groups which become the foundation of new communities.

ESSAY 59. ORGANIZATION

Because it is a structure of structures, the design of the I Ching can generate analytic systems of potentially infinite complexity and variety, and can be applied to any conceivable realm or situation. . .The I Ching analyzes the interplay of relations as functions of qualities, roles, and relative standing. It can be applied internally to any system of human organization, regardless of scale or configuration. — Cheng Yi, The Tao of Organization: The I Ching for Group Dynamics

THE FRONT

Roots of organization start with organ, originally referring to a tool or implement in the context of music, such as a church organ.

Organic means made up of systematically interrelated parts. Organize means to provide with an organic structure, or to arrange in an orderly way.

There are two basic approaches to social organization:

  • One builds from the smallest unit, organizing from the nucleus and extending outwards.
  • The other starts from the outside peripheral rim, incorporating smaller units, often swallowing them up by force.

I Ching thinkers focus on the smallest unit, making self-mastery their primary goal. World-domination seekers, from Alexander the Great to Napoleon and Hitler, represent the opposite extreme.

Natural Law reveals bad-faith motives of would-be conquerors. Pay attention to the rule, “The larger the front, the larger the back.” Those with the most to hide are exactly the ones most eager to seduce with promises of peace and acts of extravagant generosity.

Hitler, for example, didn’t bring war-weary Germans into WWII by announcing war plans. He promised just what his people wanted to hear — peace and prosperity, but then delivered a holocaust. For this reason the UN, for all its rhetoric, is suspect. Its “peace keeping” powers mask ominous potential for another push to world-domination.

An I Ching martial arts precept observes, “To push a man right, first push him left.” Chaos of natural disasters, famine and economic collapse play into the hands of empire builders. In extremes of social disorder, desperate people impulsively accept any strong man who promises to impose “order,” no matter how drastic the form, ruthless the “how” or self-serving the “why.”

After the immediate crisis passes, however, they wake up to find they’ve been maneuvered into a state of martial law where human rights no longer receive even token gestures of respect.

I Ching thinkers understand that unity and peace refer primarily to states of internal awareness and experience. When leaders use such words in the context of imposing organizational control, especially on an international scale, it’s time to proceed with great caution.

THE BACK

Disorganization is the opposite of organization. Since roots of the word imply natural order and coherent structure, the opposite implies a departure from the natural order. Disorganized lives reflect a lack of rhythm and harmony in outlook and lifestyle.

Perversions of organization include routinization and mindless, mechanical consistency. When attention isn’t focused on the immediate situation, there’s no appropriate adjustment to accommodate changing circumstances. An inflexible approach is likely to be wrong as often as right.

Invitation to Gregg Braden

Dear Gregg,

Repeatedly, I find myself astonished at how closely our wisdom quests have run parallel. It is as if we were spiritual twins, the same but, at the same time, compliments. That is to say, just as you have traveled to places I haven’t been, my work fills in blanks where yours has left you with unanswered questions.

I addressed one of your questions in an earlier post:

Physicists throughout the world are struggling to build a new story of you, me, our creation and the beginning of our universe, because the old story is no longer working. Science has been struggling to come up with a Unified Field Theory.

You continued:

They cannot find that unified field because their thinking  . . is incomplete. The piece they’ve left out is consciousness. (37:20) Traditionally, scientists have been reluctant or resistant to include consciousness in the Unified Theory.

I’ve supplied that missing piece, placing the variables of Einstein’s theory within the concentric circles of the Life Wheel which has appeared in sacred art throughout the world for thousands of years. The result is the Unified Field Theory Einstein already had, but missed. It is consistent with Yoga Sutras and the Old Testament as well as with quantum physics. It embodies the timeless secret of creation.

Unified Field Theory

Even more exciting, this model can be activated and personalized in countless ways to picture the fractures and distortions we bring to our personal and organizational lives. Creating new Life Wheels becomes a means for designing intentional futures, ones aligned with original wholeness.

The second, related question you posed was this:

If I came to this world from another world and I could ask one question . . . I would ask, What is the one thing that we have in this world that would wake us up and remind us that we’re a family, that we are more than the differences that have separated us in the past and that we are too precious to kill ourselves in war? What is the one thing that could be awakened in this lifetime and shared with every human on the face of the earth that will remind them of that truth?

Your question resonates with the ancient one posed in the Manduka Upanishad, “What is that, knowing which, all else is known?”

Here, in the form of a picture worth a thousand words, is my response. It speaks to yet another, similar question from Joseph Campbell (popular student of comparative world religions):

We don’t have a mythology for people recognizing the humanity of a person on the other side of the hemisphere. I’ve often wondered if some of the notions coming out of quantum physics, quantum interconnectedness, don’t express that.

This picture modifies the concentric circles of Albert Einstein’s Unified Field Theory, placing his beloved compass (seed of compass-ion) at the heart of the Life Wheel, honoring his well-known warning:

A human being is part of the whole called by us ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest . . . This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.

Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. . We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive. [emphasis added]

circle compass of compassion

Now, Gregg, what we share in common is a profound, even urgent sense that at this time in history, the mosaic pieces scattered throughout various wisdom traditions must be recovered and integrated, the better to survive and prevail through the testing times that lie before us.

A major contribution I make to your work is my enduring respect for the Chinese I Ching, the Book of Change . . . a subject aptly suited to this time of rapidly accelerating change. It is the ancient of ancients, predating even the Sanskrit Vedas. It informed the understandings which resulted in my Life Wheel work, which Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras serve to confirm.

As written:

This is a book that truly belongs to the world. It transcends, in its essence, the limitations of time and space. Used correctly, as intended, it leads the ordinary mind towards experiences of self-awareness and transformative transcendence.

Further:

The Book of Change combines the best of many worlds. On the one hand, it is pure logic and math. Its binary-digital code long predates both Leibniz’s calculus and computer science.

On the other hand, it leads inwards, serving to link the material world of physical experience (empirical science) with its ultimate source (the realm of con-science).

Working with it, one starts in immediate, practical experience, with the option to travel to the opposite end of the reality scale, merging with the mystical. This interactive book, regarded by some as magical, depends on the phenomena of synchronicity to link person, time and events in the decision-making process.

In The Ultimate Gatekeeper, I supplied preliminary hints.

The extraordinary value of the I Ching is that it reveals the secrets of dynamic Natural Law. Working with its changes opens access to the middle level of the Life Wheel, the “e = energy” layer of Einstein’s Unified Field Theory.

Further:

Unfortunately, the middle level is too often clogged with painful memories, negative emotions and repressed, socially taboo urges. It becomes a barrier to deeper knowing . . . .

For eight thousand years and counting, the Book of Change has served as an indispensable tool for resolving this dilemma. Used as intended, it can restore the unnecessarily “unconscious” to conscious awareness, opening levels of potential so they can be aligned and unified. . . .

To the extent that the Natural Law of energy dynamics remains a blind spot in the prevailing, linear and exclusively empirical paradigm, we are left powerless to move beyond the surface level of experience.. . .

Making this compendium of Natural Law — the premier leadership training and decision-making manual in China for thousands of years — widely accessible now is necessary in order to fill in this fatal knowledge gap.

It also suggests how and why meditative practices can “upgrade” DNA:

The 64 changes of the Book of Change have been correlated with the 64 basic strands of DNA. Nor is it coincidence that Chinese ideogram for I Ching bears a striking resemblance to the double helix of DNA.

side by side

In Stay Alert to Cosmic Patterns, I described benefits of working with the Book of Change:

For ordinary mortals (like me), who aren’t always present and clear, the discipline of settling down the physical body and quieting the mind is a great help. Then, the practice of carefully defining the immediate situation leads to the formulation of coherent questions. In this higher, open and receptive frequency of mind, magic can happen. You bridge the gap between now and the future. It’s experienced as a synchronous connection between yourself and timeless wisdom – call it intuition or angelic guidance, as you will.

In Self-Awareness Tools for Empaths, I offered this perspective:

The text has a long history. In the last century, psychologist Carl Jung picked up on it. In his introduction to the first genuinely useful English translation, Jung coined the term “synchronicity” to explain its power – precipitating seemingly magical and awesome non-local connections of understanding, insight, and awareness.

This affect may be due to the similarity between the opening and closing lines of the 64 hexagrams and the geometric patterns seen by meditators in deep trance. (Dr. Joe Dispenza is a fan of synchronisities. He tells students, as they grow in their meditative practice, to look for confirming synchronisities to appear in their lives.)

Tai Chi Tu

Now, I have followed your work for many years. Why have I chosen to contact you only now? . . . .  the date September 28, 2019 is a pivotal one. I quote at length to explain.

Right now we are experiencing significant energy shifts. Many of us are integrating significant energy changes at every level of being. A major contributing factor is the Schumann resonance. It represents the frequency of the Earth’s electromagnetic field, usually measured at around 7.83 Hertz.

It has had very few major variations since the 1950s. However, since June of 2014 [not coincidentally the year I published the RethinkingSurvival website] there have been many changes in the Schumann resonance. The vibration of what is essentially the Earth’s heartbeat has been accelerating. Just this past week, the frequency reached up to 99 Hertz. That’s a huge leap.

As human beings we have our own frequencies relative to our own electromagnetic fields and naturally attune our frequency to that of the Earth’s heartbeat.

The Earth’s frequency has a significant impact on how we feel, particularly physically affecting our brain waves and nervous systems. And we know that what changes in the body changes also in the mind and the spirit.

The Earth is undergoing a major change and human spiritual collective consciousness is changing right along with it. This vibration, this cosmic music, is working to heal us as a collective, in part by flushing out stored emotional memories, most especially traumatic thinking and behavioral patterning.

Once we have cleared out the past negative patterns, our consciousness, as well as our bodies and souls, will naturally be able to follow and match the cosmic metronome in a harmonious, unified manner.

The higher purpose and meaning of this is UNITY. We are growing into greater awareness of our unity with all.

Phoenix - sized

 

Stay Alert To Cosmic Patterns

Ripples in Time

Be here and now.” This is the yogi’s mantra.

Be still and know I Am God.” This is the Bible’s instruction.

In the Secret Universal Mind Meditation, Kelley Howell intones, “I am one with God. I am one with God’s plan.”

What do seers attuned to the Universal Mind tell us about that plan for the future?

Dr. Joe Dispenza and Gregg Braden describe this as a time of extremes. Dr. Joe understands that there’s some chaos coming. Gregg goes further. He says, not only do world teachings concur in predicting an end to the world as we know it. But further, the world leaders he speaks with consistently express surprise at how quickly this change is coming upon us.

The spiritual brothers agree that cultivating inner wholeness and resilience is the best possible way to prepare for future challenges.

Both are intentionally building an international community of like-minded souls, people committed to overcoming their personal pasts and the “old” paradigm of separation and competition. In so doing, one person at a time, their students are beginning to manifest at home and at work the “new” paradigm of unity and cooperation.

Now, that’s all well and good. It’s very important. As far as it goes.

But they’re leap-frogging over the chaos part.

Once we achieve that inner wholeness, see beyond the veil, as Dr. Joe puts it, how can each of know where we are in time, what to do NOW, and how to prepare for the “unknown” bearing down upon us?

Those who are called to serve operate on a finely tuned sense of timing, as if they have an inner radar attuned to the future. As earlier written:

Some people experience this inner knowing as a sense of personal destiny or keen sensitivity to the zeitgeist direction of the times.

Faith guides our feet, not only towards good fortune, but away from danger. For example. in the New Testament, Joseph, husband of Mary and protector of Jesus, accepted the mother and her child on faith.

And when King Herod, intent on killing new born males to thwart the prophecy of his downfall, Joseph “knew” it was time to escape from Jerusalem to save the infant’s life. He also knew when danger had passed, and it was time to return the boy to his homeland.

When you want to know what time it is now, and what to do, working with a wisdom tool like the Book of Change is an invaluable help. For, Among other things, the I Ching works like a cosmic clock, telling us the time.

mechanical clock

For ordinary mortals (like me), who aren’t always fully present and clear, the discipline of settling down the physical body and quieting the mind is a great help. Then, the practice of carefully defining the immediate situation leads to the formulation of coherent questions. In this higher, open and receptive state of mind, magic can happen. You bridge the gap between now and the future. It’s experienced as a synchronous connection between yourself and timeless wisdom – call it intuition or angelic guidance, as you will.

The Book of Change puts its users in touch with the patterned, pulsating, alternating rhythms of life. It connects them with inner knowing that anticipates approaching changes, the better to prepare for what is to come.

One reading repeatedly received underscores the importance of cultivating inner wholeness and resilience:

51 Shock
This advice is consistent with examples from scripture. In the Old Testament, Noah was called to build an arc. Joseph in Egypt explained the deeper meaning of Pharoah’s prophetic dreams. He warned that years of plenty should be used to store grain to survive through future years of famine.

In essence, that’s what today’s preppers are doing in advance of foreseen chaos coming down the pike at an alarming rate.

OA had a lot to say about this. Specifically, he advocated building intentional communities of like-minded souls as a bulwark against future chaos. Not just internet networks of like-minded souls, but physical, propertied, nitty gritty communities of committed, organized co-workers like the ones Pastor Joe Fox and James Wesley Rawles support.

For this isn’t the first time in repeating cycles of history we’ve arrived at this point. And in the past, under similar circumstances, survivors were those prepared to prevail during tough times.

For example, in The Age of Heretics, Charles Krone observed that in the dark ages, when chaos enveloped the civilized European world, monasteries appeared as islands of purposeful community — centers of learning, healing, hospitality and mutual protection. Similarly, monasteries of refuge from barbarism (think Shaolin) appeared in Asian lands during harsh historical times.

Now, then. Even more fundamentally, leaders equipped to oversee a safe transition though chaotic times will operate on a complete and correct paradigm. Understanding the multidimensional fabric of reality embodied in the Life Wheel, they will well understand how and why wisdom traditions including the Book of Change are instrumental to making future plans.

As it stands, current world leaders who operate from incomplete, extreme and dysfunctional paradigms continue to make decisions that endanger humanity. And as Einstein warned us, the stakes could not be higher. We’re at a crossroads of civilization. Human survival can no longer be taken for granted. We either change the way we think or go extinct.

Einstein home page

The way out of current madness must begin with restoring a complete and correct paradigm, one that is consistent with both the world’s great religions and with modern physics. That is, in effect, what Joe Dispenza, Gregg Braden, and in my own humble way, I have been deliberately working to do.

But the clock is ticking. Time is precious, and not to be wasted with petty conflicts and misunderstandings. Which side are you on? Which future do you choose?

And, if you agree, please share.

11th hour

Half-Brained is Half-Assed: Put the Yin Back into Your Yang Decisions

In the year 2000, I wrote a dozen Essay Sketches on Positive Action. I’m just now getting back to them. They emphasize the urgent necessity of restoring right-brain balance to left-brain decision-making. Put the other way around, they identify what has gone terribly wrong in the world for lack of this balance.

The first sketch identifies the origins of linear-thinking stereotypes:

ONLY THE TRUTH, PLEASE!

Leading imagination to the single source, the poetry of scriptures describes subtle experience in familiar terms.

Great harm comes from taking metaphors literally. Timeless truths are misconstrued to rationalize bigotry. Nature’s complimentary polarities, masculine and feminine, light and dark have wrongfully been limited to physical characteristics and then attached to moral judgments: “good” and “bad.”

Males are deemed categorically good; females are exclusively bad. Light-skinned people are supposedly good; dark-skinned ones aren’t.

Nothing could be further from scriptural intent. Complements play equally vital parts in the music of life as interdependent aspects of a perfect whole. We are all wired with the same AC/DC (yin and yang) energy circuitry.

What is evil is separations within or without. Liberate scriptures from literal-minded abusers.

The second sketch builds on the first:

HALF-BRAINED IS HALF-ASSED

Indiana Jones blends the best of right and left brain worlds. He and Nazi opponents search out the arc of the covenant, then the grail. The enemy wants the key to world domination; Indy and his beloved father seek “illumination.” They not only study ancient civilizations, but adventure to recover hidden treasures. To become a Jedi knight, Luke SkyWalker trains to attune himself to “the force.”

Intellectuals who contempt practical people and workers who despise the educated are equally half-brained incompetents. Divided we fall prey to the dark side. For positive results, well-educated scholars and street-smart front-liners fighting the war that counts in inner city trenches and rural outposts must join ranks. Patton, the general who stopped Hitler, quoted scriptures like a bishop, knew Shakespeare’s verse by heart.

These sketches explains why, in today’s hectic world. working with the Book of Change has extraordinary value. It is the time-tested method for restoring the balance of calm, quiet, introspective right-brain “knowing” to aggressive, materialistic left-brain analysis.

How have we come to rule out this integral part of existence, the hidden half which completes our whole-brain potentials?

Einstein called it the “fateful fear of metaphysics.” Physics – what is physical and observable — is real. In addition, however, the intangible which rests beyond or within us is equally real. As Einstein was well aware, that which is deeper than physics – meta-physics – complements and completes the tangible.

In early works, I pictured the integral levels of experience in this way:

Flux & Stability

Without this right-brain balance in our decision-making, we are but half of what we could and should be. Often, we function in ignorance of and against the grain of our own best interests.

Here is the picture of a divided world view where the language of poetry, taken literally, results in divisive stereotypes.

II-10 rev

As such, those of us who live in a world designed and dictated by the rules of empirical science are at a terrible loss. We have been programmed (“educated”) rule out every part of experience, however, real, which cannot be seen and touched, measured and quantified.

According to Swiss analyst Carl Jung, this either/or world view places intangibles outside of our conscious reach. Nevertheless, buried, overlooked and forgotten, they still continue to influence us, but from the “unconscious” parts of our mind.

Jung had much to say about this loss:

Our time has committed a fatal error; we believe we can criticize the facts of religion intellectually. . . The gods have become diseases; Zeus no longer rules Olympus but rather the solar plexus, and produces curious specimens for the doctor’s consulting room, or disorders the brains of politicians and journalists who unwittingly let loose psychic epidemics on the world.

Jung understood that restoring health and common sense to our world could be gained by methods which make the unconscious conscious. The Book of Change is a premier method for accomplished this goal. It’s no accident that Jung was instrumental in restoring the first genuinely usable English translation to the West. He actually wrote the introduction to the Wilhelm/Baynes version of the I Ching.

The Common Sense Book of Change continues in this tradition, for the same purpose. It simplifies the scholarly approach, making this treasure accessible to anyone with basic English language reading skills and an open heart, free of irrelevant and unnecessary sexist, elitist language.

So, this is critically important. It’s time to make yourself whole. If you haven’t already, put the yin balance back into your yang decisions.

Tai Chi Tu

 

Lao Tze & the I Ching Go Hand in Glove

The Tao Te Ching and I Ching compliment each other like the right and left hands of a pair of gloves. Working with either book illumines the other.

I’ll give you an example that compares and contrasts these two treasures.

SunriseSunrise

 

Starting at the beginning, here’s a Book of Change description of the Creative Source.

01 Creative Power

Now, look at the first passage the Tao Te Ching to see how Lao Tze expands on the same concept.

01

Receptive Openness, the compliment of Creative Power’s complete yang, is complete yin. The Common Sense Book of Change expresses it thus:

Passage 4 of Two Sides of a Coin: Lao Tze’s Common Sense Book of Change expresses the same vision this way:

04

Chinese landscape

The difference between these complimentary approaches is in their use. Work inter-actively with the I Ching to trigger inner knowing, making the unconscious conscious. Sit quietly with Lao Tze’s aphorisms, allowing them to serve as passages to higher levels of consciousness.

 

Fate or Free-Will?

Our life is such a curious mix of givens and decisions.

St. Francis of Assisi captured the eternal give-and-take dance between what we can and cannot change:

Now. Let’s take these three God-given variables – SERENITY (peace, calm composure), COURAGE and WISDOM – and put them in I Ching perspective.

For it has been my experience that using The Book of Change as a wisdom-fulcrum tips the balance in favor of what can be changed.

I’ll give you a dynamic example from recent experience.

In an unsettled state of mind, I queried the book asking, as I often do, “What should I be aware of NOW?” The result was Hexagram 47 with a changing line in the 4th place.

The description was right on, matching my mood exactly. It was a chicken-and-egg-like situation. Which came first, the economic or mental stress, I do not know.

But reassurance that “the time will pass” was what I needed right then. It gave distance to seemingly endless difficulties. The advice, “use hardship to develop inner strength” reinforced St.  Francis’ SERENITY option.

The critically important insight, however, was embedded in the dynamic changing line:

Line 4: Placing trust in unreliable people puts your goals in danger.

Aha! I was letting difficult people and their on-going circus dramas distract me from my goals. I let them push and pull me down, forgetting my True Self. A host of spiraling problems all stemmed from that single basic mistake. Correcting that fault had the potential to turn many things on many levels back in a positive direction.

The first step was to take this important hint to heart and have the courage to act on it. The key point of interception was to refocus on my values, on whom I love and whom I serve. Put first things first.

Coincidentally,” identifying the root cause of “danger” indicated in Line 4 resulted in Hexagram 29, DANGER, which offers further advice on the right way to proceed.

I was especially impressed by the resonance between the two readings. Both highlight the importance of holding fast to goals and avoiding negative thoughts/emotions.

 The I Ching WISDOM-fulcrum changed emphasis from SERENITY to the COURAGE option of the St. Francis prayer, tipping the balance away from passive acceptance of what cannot be changed towards that which can.

So it is that magical transformations on many levels begin with changing negatives to positives. Again, almost sage-like, espousing the way of spiritual alchemy, St. Frances gave us a key to positive change:

Please. Do take a minute or so of your precious time to think about this. Let it resonate with you. Ask, Where is your focus? Are you able to tip the balances in your life, giving weight to the positive side of the seesaw?

Maybe, just maybe, if you’re not already friends with the I Ching, it would be well worth your while to try something new. Working with The Common Sense Book of Change might just give you a new way to leverage the balance between fate and free-will in a positive direction.

The I Ching Works Like a Cosmic Clock

Among other things, the I Ching works like a cosmic clock, telling us the time.

In the Old Testament, King Solomon expressed the natural, rhythmic alternations of time in poetic form:

To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time build up . . . a time to love and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

The Book of Change puts its users in touch with these pulsating, alternating rhythms of life. It connects us with inner knowing – call it intuition or conscience – that anticipates approaching changes, the better to prepare for what is to come.

It serves as a reminder that our lives change like the seasons of nature. Fall follows summer. Spring follows winter.

It lends perspective to the current times and what is likely to come next.

In I Ching context, faith is akin to trusting a highly refined sense of timing. It is an atunement with the same inner clock which guides migrating birds and informs heroic displays of virtue.

Some people experience this inner knowing as a sense of personal destiny or keen sensitivity to the zeitgeist direction of the times.

Faith guides our feet, not only towards good fortune, but away from danger. An example from the New Testament is Joseph, husband of Mary, protector of Jesus. He accepted Mary and her child on faith.

When a fearful King Herod was intent on killing new born males to thwart the prophecy of his downfall, Joseph “knew” it was time to escape from Jerusalem, thus saving the infant’s life. He also knew when danger had passed, and it was time to return the boy to his homeland.

Using the interactive Common Sense Book of Change (CSBOC) is a powerful way to get in touch with the native common sense we are all born with, but too often forget under the pressures of hectic daily life.

The text maps the natural patterns of change which trigger predictable passages from one stage to another in our lives.

Those who live close to nature are instinctively closer to their own natural rhythms, something city dwellers too often lose touch with. For those who long to remember who they truly are, but have forgotten, working the I Ching is especially rare and precious blessing.

 

Use the CSBOC To Increase Self-Awareness

Did you know that Swiss analyst, Carl Jung, who gave us the concept of archetypes and influenced appreciation of dream analysis, also had great respect for the Chinese I Ching? He used it as as a tool for making the unconscious conscious.

In fact, Jung was instrumental in bringing the first usable English translation to the West. He wrote the introduction to the Wilhelm/Baynes version by giving an example of using it. He queried asking for a comment on the translation. The answer received was, in effect, that a vessel of great value which had fallen into disrepair was being restored.

My small yellow book follows Jung’s example. In the Introduction, I ask, “What does the Common Sense Book of Change (CSBOC)  have to offer its readers?”

Its answer: “Awareness.” A changing line yields the likely future outcome of following through. “Gain.” (I’ll show you how this works below.)

But even before starting, the book emphasizes the importance of practicing a thoughtful process of question- asking:

The quality of results depends on the state of mind in which information is received. It is therefore essential to learn how to approach the Book of Change in the best possible frame of mind.

So quiet yourself. Get past the clutter of chaotic thoughts to focus on forming a worthy question.

. . . There are many techniques for calming the mind and focusing attention. One of these is usually practiced before asking the question.

Bottom line: consulting the Book of Change is not only compatible with yogic and mindfulness practices of introspection, contemplation and meditation. They work synergistically. Settling the mind to ask the right question induces a meditative state. The ability to induce a meditative state enhances the quality of questions asked and value of answers received.

To give you the flavor of working with The Common Sense Book of Change, I’m sharing the example given in the book.

If you initially feel uneasy with this approach to increasing self-awareness, you might find the answers to commonly asked questions reassuring.

If this is new to you, try approaching it with the attitude for approaching the unfamiliar recommended by Samuel Coleridge, a “willing suspension of disbelief.” Or, as I do, at the start, prayerfully invoke protection and guidance according to your beliefs.

 

 

SAMPLE READING

First I collect my materials. I need three pennies, a pad of paper or notebook, a pen or pencil and the Book of Change.

Then I find a quiet place to sit. I take a few minutes to settle down. I clear my mind of other thoughts and silently watch the breath until it becomes slow and even.

Then I think carefully about what is going on, what is troubling me, and the issues I need to know more about. I list the decisions I have to make and consider what consequences are likely to follow from my future actions.

For the example in this book, I have decided to ask, “What does The Common Sense Book of Change have to offer its readers?”

I enter the date and my question in the Diary Section at the back of the book.

Concentrating on my question, I take my three pennies, shake them a few times in my gently closed fist and roll them onto the flat surface in front of me.

The first throw of my three coins comes up three heads. The value of heads is two, so I multiply three times two to get six.

Since this is an even number, I draw a broken line on my pad of paper. It will be the bottom line. Because all three coins were the same, I place an “X” next to this line to show that it is a changing line.

My bottom line looks like this:

Place Throws Values Sum Line

Bottom H H H 2 2 2 6 ___ ___X

Then I take the three coins and throw them again. This time I get two tails and one head. The value of tails is one, so I add one and one to get two. I add this to the two for the heads coin to get four.

Since four is an even number, I place a broken line in the second place over the bottom line. My pad of paper now looks like this:

Place Throws Values Sum Line

Line 2    T T H 1 1 2 4 ___ ___

Bottom H H H 2 2 2 6 ___ ___ X

̀I follow the same procedure four more times. My final hexagram looks like this:

Place Throws Values Sum Line

Top       T H H 1 2 2 5 _______

Line 5   T H H 1 2 2 5 _______

Line 4    T T H 1 1 2 4 ___ ___

Line 3     T T H 1 1 2 4 ___ ___

Line 2     T T H 1 1 2 4 ___ ___

Bottom  H H H 2 2 2 6 ___ ___ X

The next step is to find the number of my reading. I turn to the chart at the back of the book. The bottom three lines of my hexagram are all broken.

I turn to the chart at the back. In the “lower trigram” column of the chart, the picture which matches this figure is “k’un.”

The top three lines of my hexagram are two solid lines over a broken line. In the “upper trigram” row of the chart, the picture which matches this figure is “sun.”

By going to the box which shows the combination of upper and lower trigrams, I find the number 20. I therefore turn to Hexagram 20 for answers to my question.

Hexagram 20 is AWARENESS. So the answer to my question, “What does the Common Sense Book of Change have to offer its readers?” is AWARENESS. It reads:

Seek increased AWARENESS of the patterns which underlie all natural events. Tune yourself to the creative source of natural change. Then harmony becomes a way of life. Secrets of the arts and sciences will be revealed. Human relationships will become smooth. Mistakes of mis-calculation will be prevented. Avoid unnatural leaders.

Because the bottom line is a changing line, I go to the page directly opposite the hexagram, titled “Direction of Change.” I read the sentences for the bottom line. They advise:

Narrow-minded self-interest is not enlightened. Broaden your views. Include others. (42)

The number in parens after the warning represents the hexagram which results when the bottom line changes to its opposite, a firm line.

The new hexagram, GAIN, indicates the change that would result from the AWARENESS this book has to offer its readers. Turning to Hexagram 42, I read:

GAINS can be made after analyzing the situation correctly. When a person’s life goals are kept firmly in mind, no time is wasted. A way can be found to use whatever resources are at hand to serve one’s purpose. Serving others can be compatible with personal gain. Avoid smug self-satisfaction.

I then turn to the back of the book. In the Diary Section, I write the numbers of the hexagram and any changing lines next to my question. Then I decide what future actions I to take.

Finally, I enter a few sentences to describe my thoughts and decisions into the Diary Section. That way, I know I can return to my question, the reading and my decisions later to think more about them.

I hope this helps. Any questions? Comments? Your feedback is welcome.

How the CSBOC Came To Be

For those who wondered, I’ve already answered eight of your most often asked questions, including“What makes the Book of Change so unique and important? Why is it especially relevant worldwide?”

wondering face

Here, I’m answering another question: “Why is this particular version, the Common Sense Book of Change (CSBOC), an excellent choice for me to work with right now?”

As strange as it appears at first glance, there are actually several good reasons. So let me tell you more.

Discourse sized

First, I should let you know that today, publishing is a just hobby for me. The world will go its own way. I no longer think can any book change the world.

But it certainly changed me. It’s no exaggeration to say the I Ching saved my life. More than once.

So, for me, if the Common Sense Book of Change helps even one of you, that is enough. I would be satisfied. As it has been written, “To save one life is to save the world entire.”

I also recognized that the I Ching is not the only book with life-saving potential. The most powerful is the Bible. In my case, however, early in life, poor examples confused and repelled me. I do believe that in their infinite mercy, good angels guide and protect truth seekers through any medium available. Angels are not limited by the restrictions of human religion. : )

So long before I was ready for the New Testament, the I Ching was there to get me through some rough transitions.

Angel Calling

Now, then. How did I come to create this little book? I am American, not Chinese. Nor am I a scholar with advanced degrees in Chinese language and literature. I’ve described my personal journey in several places. For example, in The I Ching & Me, I wrote:

For me, the Book of Change is a gateway to magic. On this side, it has been a close companion, good friend and advisor through the years. On the far side, perhaps remembered from lifetimes past, it speaks to me from a place beyond time and space.

With it, I was never alone, even and especially when I was loneliest in crowded rooms. When the world impelled suicide, it brought me back to a deeper, all-pervasive love of life.

So I will share a few sections from Rethinking Survival about how I met the book, and how it has grown on me.

ICgraph

I wrote about the origins of CSBOC in Rethinking Survival:

. . . I’d had a hunch about [the I Ching] for a very long time. Ellsworth Carlson, who lived in Shansi, China during WWII, was a classmate of my parents at Oberlin College. When I was nursery school age, he bounced me on his knees at Harvard.

As Freshman student, I took Dr. Carlson’s course in Asian History at Oberlin. What stuck with me how vast an influence the I Ching had on China for 8,000 years and counting.

So, when I left the U.S., all I took with me was my violin and one small suitcase. Of that, half contained clothes. The other half held sheet music and one small book: the Legge translation of the I Ching.

It made no sense to me. I could barely get through a page or two before giving up. But I kept coming back to it. It led to something important I had to know more about.

When I happened upon the Wilhelm/Baynes edition in Düsseldorf’s International Bookshop on Konigs Allee — Finally! — I had a version I could relate to. It literally became my teacher. It gave me a whole new concept of how the world really works.

Not just this family or that institution or the other county. Not arbitrary and capricious, fluctuating fashions, but the constant anchor over time.

From it, I could deduce the fundamental energy dynamics of action and reaction which drive behavior, internally at a psychological level, and externally in relationships and day-to-day events.

It was an extension of the logic my English teacher Miss Elson impressed on my high school brain. But more. It gave me a map of logical consequences, as inevitable as computer language. “If this, then that.”

For example, If you kick people, they kick back (if they can) or otherwise resist. If you are kind, you inspire love and trust in others. If you violate natural law, nature bites back — your mental health suffers; relationships deteriorate; your behavior becomes erratic and social/physical survival is imperiled.

Asian cultures call this “the law of karma.” Its operation is also described in biblical terms: “As ye reap, so shall ye sow,” and “to everything there is a season.”

In sum, its 64 permutations map a progression of repetitive, cyclical change.

Tai Chi Tu

I’ve also explained why I felt compelled to write a simpler, accessible version, free of unnecessary jargon, sexism and cultural baggage:

There was, as in all things, a downside to the Wilhelm/Baynes version. It was unnecessarily difficult, sexist and elitist. A confusing overlay of cultural baggage obscured its meaning. After working for ten years with every version I could find, I wrote an easy-to-use version called The Common Sense Book of Change, intending to make this treasure available to anyone with an open open heart and basic reading skills.

I fantasized on the possibility of teasing the Chinese people into reclaiming their heritage, self-publishing it as small yellow book (the traditional Chinese color of wisdom) in a pocket-sized form to replace Mao’s little blood-red book. No matter how many new versions have come out since then, it still works for me.

seated crosslegged
Here is the story of how the CSBOC came to be:

More “neatsies” surround my small version of the I Ching, the Chinese Book of Change. I wrote it in 1975 during the window of time after I moved back from Spring Green to Madison, but before I had a job. As a leap of faith, I concentrated on the writing, putting off a job search until the book was done. This was a bit scary. Money was going to run out very soon.

I sat cross-legged on the bare wood floor of a living room furnished with cardboard boxes. I spread every version I owned in a half-circle around me. They included the Wilhelm/Baynes translation brought back from Germany, of course. There was a battered second-hand paperback by Joseph Murphy, a research fellow in Andrha, India, as I recall, who quoted the Old Testament in the judgments. Others included the spiral-bound Workbook by R. L. Wing, a hardbound version which presented the I Ching as a form of astrology and a hippie-like paperback.

I trusted that the Platonic-like ideas of the I Ching are timeless, the common heritage of all humanity. They’re not the exclusive property of a particular culture or class. Each of these authors was drawing on the same source for inspiration, expressing universal experience from different viewpoints. So I opened my mind, asking for the deeper meaning these versions shared in common.

I was certain that the most powerful ideas are the most simple. They deserve to be expressed in the clearest language with fewest words possible, free of flowery poetry, scholarly hocus pocus, sexist assumptions (the so-called “superior man”) or other distortions. I intended to make my version easy to read – accessible to anyone with basic reading skills and an open heart.

The format just “came” to me. It worked fine. Fifty words, no more or less, for each hexagram. Ten words, no more, no less for each changing line. The images came easily. I worked systematically from start to finish, no looking back. With the exception of “Sacrifice,” which I revisited fifteen years later, I’ve made no revisions.

Eventually, I called this version The Common Sense Book of Change. I like the word “common.” To me, it doesn’t signify “ordinary” or even “vulgar,” as some use the term, but rather “universal.” “Common” is the root of both “communication” and “community.” And the allusion to Tom Paine’s Common Sense isn’t accidental.

But there’s more to this story:

Upon its completion, the kaleidoscope turned instantly.

Results of the civil service test for Typist III positions came in the mail, along with a list of job openings.

My first interview was at the UW-Madison Department of French and Italian. The Chairman not only gave me the job on the spot. He decided from my resume that I had administrative potential and made me an offer. The Department’s Administrative Secretary III had given notice. She was moving out of town soon. There was no replacement. If I was willing to do her job for Typist III pay, and if I took the pending Ad Sec civil service exam, and if I got one of the five highest scores to qualify for an interview, I could have the job. . . .

I agreed, did administrative work for typist pay, took the exam, qualified for an interview, and within a few months took a leap up the career ladder that secretaries usually took years to accomplish. I was suddenly earning more than ever before. . .

I concluded:

The reward for this leap of faith was immediate. I took it as confirmation from the powers that be that I’d made the right choice to put the book first.

listen with the heart