Category Archives: President Trump

Born For Such A Time As This – IC – 122420

It is said we each choose the time of our birth. We come here for a purpose with a mission to fulfill. In the Bible, for example, Queen Esther’s courageous defense of her people, risking her life to rescue them from destruction, was inspired by sage advice. “. . . who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

A brilliant commentary on this passage expands on her uncle’s words, making them relevant to each one of us, here and now:

So why did you choose to be here for 2020’s challenges? What is your mission at Christmas time’s blessed reminder of hope, overshadowed by a crisis that threatens everything George Washington and his soldiers fought for as they crossed the Delaware River in the shadow of night on Christmas Eve.

Why am I still here? In Be An Instrument of Light, I offered the answer that works for me. It started with choosing to spend every last cent in my pocket to purchase a small lamp that seemed meant for me:

I liked the guitar motif, but didn’t get the hidden message for quite a while. Then, Click! I should have known. Being a string player, it was tailor-meant for me.

During my musician-yoga years, I’d actually outlined a book, The Body as Instrument: How To Tune It. Did you know that string instruments are modeled on human anatomy? They vibrate the same way we do, which explains our resonance with music. . .

In essence, my guitar lamp was an answer to unspoken doubts about writing, confirming the call to “be an instrument of light.”

Now, let’s look further. Why do you suppose Donald J. Trump, our duly elected President, is in place right now? In a recent interview, the honorable Lin Wood describes the immediate constitutional crisis in exactly the words I’ve used to describe 2020. The nation is fragmented. We’re being “torn apart.” We’re at a crossroads. Wood believes our President is the God-appointed leader qualified to meet the challenge, born for such a time as this.

Putting things in perspective, in the repeating cycles of time, this is not the first time around the historical clock. In the introduction to Two Sides of a Coin: Lao Tze’s Common Sense Way of Change, I wrote:

In Passage 18, Lao Tze echoes the Bhagavad Gita’s premise, confirming the widely-held belief that from time to time, at the nadir of historical cycles, God incarnates in varying places and in different forms, for the instruction and deliverance of troubled truth seekers:

On a smaller scale, closer to home, each of us has the potential to be a hero in some respect, if only by becoming victorious over one’s own negative emotions, overcoming one’s doubts and finding the courage to do what is right.

In accord with timeless wisdom traditions, our President is demonstrating the courage to choose moderation over civil war. He’s shown the wisdom to forgive unjustly harassed citizens at this blessed time of year. Lao Tze had words for such leadership:

On Christmas Eve 2020, the night celebrated as the birth of humanity’s renewed hope, let’s draw the lines clearly. In the US, it’s not about Democrats versus Republicans, nor is it about Americans versus Chinese, Russians, or any of their allies. It’s between freedom and slavery, between lovers of Truth versus treacherous slaves of the dark side. It’s between the Republic and what it stands for versus global communism and all it represents.

President Trump, who honors and serves Christ, is behaving like an epic Taoist master. Walking the tense tightrope of moderation, he’s doing what’s right to both preserve the Republic and avert the bloody, self-destructive civil war our enemies would salivate to oversee.

Wayne Allyn Root has just published a book of praise called Trump Rules: Learn the Trump Rules and Tools of Mega Success and Wealth From the Greatest Warrior and Winner in History! It’s an excellent idea — as far as it goes. But our President’s greatness goes far deeper.

For example, celebrated constitutional scholar John Yoo argues persuasively that the President, with the insight of an historian, is the Constitution’s Defender in Chief.

Yes, he’s fighting to win, but with the fewest physical casualties possible. He’s steering a steady course with the hope of preserving peace and unity, not grasping for personal power. He’s a genius, allowing true patriots come forward and take a stand, while giving sell-out cowards time to show their hands.

FORGIVENESS is the original answer to the question, “What should we be aware of on Christmas Eve of 2020?” It reads:

Through FORGIVENESS, old debts are canceled and harmony is restored. Free yourself from outgrown habits. Don’t be afraid to let go of the past. Releasing tensions will produce health. Mental blocks will be resolved. New clarity of vision will lead to important decisions. Peace of mind will follow. Avoid anxiousness.

Each sentence of this reading is a gem, worthy of a self-standing blog. It applies perfectly to the Christmas message, to 2020’s crisis as an opportunity release past mistakes, and to our hope for a better New Year.

* * *

Advice of Line 5 reads, “Respect from others must be earned. Right actions give self-confidence.”

Neither a bully nor a victim be. Others respect us when we demonstrate the self-respect to stand our ground. This applies equally to personal and political situations. However intimidating terrorist threats may be, acting in spite of fear and choosing to do what is right is the ultimate confidence builder.

When our actions demonstrate that we honor this advice, the line changes to:

ADVERSITY is a test of fortitude. When it cannot be prevented, the wisest response is acceptance. Use times of hardship as opportunities to strengthen character and focus on inner resources. Misunderstandings are likely to occur. Remain calm, take care of yourself and support those who depend on you. Avoid despair.

Again, each line is worthy of careful attention. In sum, the darkest depths of winter is a time of reversals. “Sages know that when critical mass is reached, regeneration is possible.” A light in the night sky appears.

But redemption is not instant. Christ was born when the priesthood of the temple was deeply corrupted. We are again at such a point in time. The potential of restoration has appeared. Perhaps we have been born in such a time as this to fulfill its promise.

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.

Can You Hear Me? – IC – 110520

“Holy crap!” (Excuse my language.) Puzzle pieces were coming together with rapid fire speed!

Early November 30th, the blue moon already in full affect, I sat up knowing I should check out Jack Balkin’s version of SACRIFICE, the final outcome of today’s reading.

When I wrote the Common Sense Book of Change, all the readings came easily. All except one. SACRIFICE. I rethought it for the second edition, and revised it again for the third.

And I’m not the only one who’s had trouble getting it right.

That’s why, when a media celebrity dared psychoanalyze the Bible, I questioned his skewed view of Abraham’s call to sacrifice. In Rethinking Sacrifice, I responded with a more comprehensive, Life Wheel understanding:

[Sacrifice] is the essence of the challenge offered in Exodus. “Return unto me and I return unto you.” It emphasizes travel on the inward path from surface to center of the Life Wheel, releasing attachments to ephemeral possessions, limited opinions/identities, and outgrown lifestyles.

I pointed out that definitions of sacrifice, like virtually every value word in the English language, span the continuum, black to white and everything in-between. The language has been adulterated. I’ve called it The Tower of Babel Effect. The following quote could not be more timely, given current events:

. . . even people with the best of intentions use the same words to mean very different things. They miss each other coming and going, only vaguely aware of the disconnect. . . Instead of being used as a means for unifying human beings, language is often degraded into chaotic paralyzing noise – a weapon for stirring up animosities, division and confusion.

(NB. I’ve expanded on the limitations of good intentions elsewhere. Bottom line: lacking the underpinnings of a complete and accurate paradigm, they easily slide down the slippery slope that leads to the dark side. It’s worth your time to consider.)

To the point here: inverted definitions are used to excuse slave trafficking, pedophilia and worse:

Pagan sacrifice of children and animals is irrelevant to the meaning of Abraham’s test. At issue is the difference between transcending pain for the sake of higher love versus selfishly destroying life (whether with physical, verbal and/or psychological violence) to get what one wants here on earth.

Anyway. As I was saying. It was very early. . . 1:30 a.m. My brain synapses were firing at triple speed. I was remembering that at the time he published The Laws of Change, Jack Balkin was Knight Professor of Constitutional Law at Yale Law School.

Balkin’s hefty, scholarly work is a wonderful resource, one which complements my small, easy-to-read version. No doubt his appreciation of Natural Law profoundly enriches his applications of the Constitution to current events.

In any case, my mind was busy connecting the dots that link Common Sense advocates over time – from Tom Paine’s book, Rudy Giuliani’s website and the Taoist approach to the Book of Change. In short time, I published a bonus blog, What Happened to Common Sense?

On a different note, President Trump spoke in Wisconsin (my home state) on November 2nd. An event within the event resonated with my post, What Happened to Unity, where I wrote:

God and the good angels are broadcasting loud and clear. But it’s hard to get through. The message is being jammed, the signal blocked.

What happened in Kenosha? The podium mike failed. People couldn’t hear. Trump improvised. He joked, turning it into a game. As technicians struggled to get the sound system working, the President shouted to the crowd. “Can you hear me?” “Can you hear me now?” They bantered back and forth til the problem was solved.

The following morning a Mike and the Mechanics tune Silent Running popped into mind. Great song. Prescient. I looked it up on Youtube and found I’m not the only one who thinks so. One comment asked, “Does anyone else feel this song has significance right now?” It got 407 likes and 55 replies. It’s worth a listen and a watch. Here are the lyrics:

Balkin’s perspective is Confucian, meaning he’s primarily interested in human behavior and social order as it manifests on the surface of the Life Wheel. In contrast, a very different version, The Taoist I Ching translated by Thomas Cleary, focuses on yogic practices associated with the middle, e=energy level.

So, for today, I though you’d find it interesting see three versions – just a taste — set side-by-side. With U.S. election results up for grabs, this is the reading for October 5, 2020.

TRAVEL is the initial answer to the question, “What should we be aware of NOW?” It appeared last time as a changing component of the November 2nd reading. In part, the CSBOC version reads:

In dealing with strangers exercise careful self-control. Talk little. Listen much. Learn from everyone who has information to share. Avoid dangerous exposure.

(Before sacrificing much of today’s original content, I initially had a paragraph here about the the famous saying, “Keep your powder dry.”)

In the Balkin version, TRAVEL is called The Wanderer. He comments:

You are in a period of transition. Things are not yet certain, and it is not yet clear how you fit into them or what your identity is supposed to be. The text compares your situation to that of a wanderer who is traveling through a strange land.

Cleary says of Travel:

You should not remain attached to the realm you pass through. If you are concerned with externals, you forget the inward; by pursuing ramifications you abandon the root.

The changing line in the second place advises, “Moderate careful behavior will win the respect of your leaders.” When advice is heeded, it changes to a second outcome, which in the CSBOC reads:

A balanced relationship between the individual and the whole is achieved through service in the spirit of SACRIFICE. Changing selfishness to compassion and acts of kindness builds bridges of mutual trust. Unselfish giving benefits everyone involved, helping the community to overcome obstacles and dangers. Avoid twin dangers: selfishness and self-denial.

The Balkin version calls it The Caldron, or Ding. Descriptive terms include:

He comments:

A Ding is a sacred vessel, normally made of bronze, in which ritual foods were prepared and cooked during religious ceremonies.. . Through this ritual, people purified themselves and rededicated themselves to spiritual ends.. . Ding teaches that you can transform yourself and your world IF you do so not for selfish ends but in pursuit of something valuable.

The Cleary version calls it The Cauldron:

The comment:

Producing illumination through following an initiatory process, the mind becomes daily more humble while illumination increases. . . When empty and illumined, that enlightenment illumines all, and the mind cannot be moved by the vagaries of wealth and status.

The classic Wilhelm/Baynes translation uses the word Ting. It hints of secret teachings:

There is in man likewise a fate that lends power to his life. And if he succeeds in assigning the right place to life and to fate, thus bringing the two into harmony, he puts his fate on a firm footing.These words contain hints about fostering of life as handed on by oral tradition in the secret teachings of Chinese yoga.

This image, suggestive of the “initiatory process,” supports hints of yogic meaning. It associates the material cooking vessel with the lower energetic center (dan tien), the place where basic materials are combined, transformed and then circulated throughout the system. Markings, front and back are changing I Ching hexagrams.

In sum, today seems to be a time of transition, best used to digest, assimilate and transform raw elements to a higher purpose.

Let this be food for thought to those with ears to hear.