Tag Archives: evil

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

 

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Be Careful What You Hope For

Danger on multiple fronts. But on Friday, September 8, 2017, during a calm at storm’s center, an extraordinary conversation took place.

Here I’ll tell you the context, the content, and implications for what follows next.

On that day, Hurricane Harvey, a devastatingly destructive storm, was winding down in Texas. Hurricane Irma, an unprecedented Category 5, was wreaking havoc in the Caribbean, headed towards Florida. At the same time, Mexico experienced a 8.1 earthquake. Given other news, that one received relatively little attention in the States.

Another potentially deadly event got zero media attention. Careful research on the part of science savvy folks here had us on high alert: solar flares are emitting coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Were one headed towards Earth to strike close to home, electronics would be fried. Computers, TVs, radios, kitchen conveniences – all toast.

So the morning before, the ordinary list of tasks and errands were instantly scrapped. Shift into crisis mode.

Make the rounds, turning off and unplugging major electronics.

Bring a large metal trash can in from the garage. Empty and bring up two smaller ones from the basement. Get out the bubble wrap and a box of heavy-duty aluminum foil. These are the makings of low-cost, home-made Faraday cages designed to insulate radios, computer tablets and medical equipment from radiation.

Despite a recorded history of CME events, little predictive science is available. Apparently it’s not known how to calculate their rate of speed and therefore exact arrival time. Nor can the path from sun to Earth be accurately traced. So where impact will occur is, at best, uncertain.

On the one hand, it could be a false alarm. On the other, it could be ruinous. So – better to be safe than s***-out-of-luck. We hunkered down to out-wait danger.

Even for this rural setting, the house was unusually quiet. No humming computer fans. No beeping microwaves. Ah.

With nothing else to do, I took out my sewing kit and began altering a $3 pair of resale pants. The one we respectfully call “Old Avatar” busied himself with a black ink pen, working to solve one of the mind-boggling math puzzles in his Second Degree Black Belt Kakuro book.

The circumstances offered an unusual opportunity for conversation.

Most times, OA is busy “Other-where.” Though physically here, he’s preoccupied, mentally computing and warrioring on multiple dimensions, far beyond my comprehension. The times when he’s fully HERE are rare and precious.

So I tested. “May I ask you a question?”

What is it?” he asked.

I said, I am increasingly concerned by the direction Jordan Peterson seems to be taking. Is he correct that the foundations of Western culture are essentially valid? Perhaps more to the point, can a viable future be built on that foundation?

I pointed to the cascading events that had just shut our computers down. How can careful thinkers persist in hoping their work will reverse the tide of irrational events? Sometimes it seems as if nature and humans are racing to see which of them will destroy us first.

He nodded. We’re just getting started. What’s going on today is only Act One. This time has been predicted in the foundational scriptures of which Dr. Peterson speaks for thousands of years. The war is already going on – it has been for a very long time. Christ described it, as do the prophecies he came to fulfill, as a battle for hearts and souls. Read Ezekiel again. And Isaiah.

Yes, I nodded. I think often of Ephesians. The battle going on is not only against flesh and blood, but against rulers of darkness – against evil in high places. The realms of the fearsome battle OA has waged his entire life, at terrible cost to himself, are invisible to humans. But their affect on human lives is very real indeed.

I wanted to know, What will come after the shit hits the fan, when we start to rebuild after the collapse of the world as we know it? Will there still be Bibles? Will people still be able to read?

Yes. You have a Bible, don’t you?

Of course. The same one I’ve been working with for thirty years or more, though we have yet to purchase a waterproof box for its safekeeping.

So the foundation IS valid? Yes. It will prevail? Yes.

But this doesn’t mean the familiar past we’re attached to will remain. The problem, OA said, is that people have been taught never to give up hope.

But people urgently need to rethink and define their hopes. What is your Motive, Purpose, and Intent? What is your WHY? What motivates your hope? Is it intuition or laziness? Love or fear? What is your HOW? What are your action plans for fulfilling your hopes? And WHAT precisely do you intend to achieve as the results of your actions?

Certainly, hoping it is possible to prevent conflict is a false hope. Refusing to take sides, refusing to take a stand and fully engage in the war we’re already in the midst of, is a choice for the wrong side. That’s the problem with people of peace. And those who have been led into believing Christ was a man of peace are gravely mistaken.

To the contrary, Christ stated plainly, I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against mother, and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. It is a matter of having to make basic choices. Which side of the war between good and evil are you on? Even those closest and most dear to you make wrong choices. The choice to serve truth requires leaving those who oppose it behind.

Now, Christ commended peacemakers, OA continued. That’s different. They are his children. But someone has to have their backs. That’s why there are righteous warriors. Think of Archangel Michael . . . protector of innocents.

People forget.” And here OA’s voice trembled with emotion, as if remembering a painfully personal loss. When they arrested him, to be taken away and killed, Christ instructed disciples without swords to sell their cloaks and use the money to buy a sword.

Then OA took a different tack. He described the necessary role of a “righteous warrior,” one who has the back of true peace makers. A farmer plows his field, plants and harvests his crops. He teaches his children, loves his family, and mends his fences. Day in and out, he does whatever it takes to support those he loves. And when an enemy approaches his gate, he defends them with his life. It’s all woven into the single fabric of life.

Yes, I nodded. “A time and place for every purpose under heaven.” No stick-figure either/or stereotypes.

I remembered an earlier conversation we had about false hopes generated by “people of peace.” What’s needed now, he told me, isn’t pacifists. Trying to reason with an evil enemy is like pissing on a forest fire. What we need now is a generation of warrior monks. Though they serve wisely, with peace in their hearts, at the same time they’re ever alert – competent to protect against intruders, whatever the level.

OA continued, People misconstrue the words, “He who lives by the sword dies by the sword.” No fault or prohibition is implied. A soldier who fights for a living hopes to retire and die in bed. A righteous warrior, however, fights the good fight right up to his last breath. It isn’t a reproach to say he’ll die by the sword. Standing firm in his truth even to the very end earns him an honorable and worthy death.

Here, I flashed on another unanswered question. But we were interrupted by a pair of thirsty, winded dogs let in after a walk. We took a brief break. Getting a snack of red wine and cheese curds from the kitchen, I gathering my thoughts for the second part of our conversation.

When we settled in again, I brought up the article just finished for Prabuddha Bharata, a premier yoga journal, one in existence for over a century, dating back to the introduction of yoga to the United States in the 1800s. The Editor’s suggested topic: “It would be nice if you could address the issue of increasing polarisation across the world.” The time frame: “as early as possible!”

Writing it was intense, I told OA. I felt inspired . . . as if it were writing me. I watched as it flowed through me. Wow.

Part of the Wow was that it flashed on me how this article meshed with Jordan Peterson’s work. In essence, my approach offers a yin compliment to his yang presentation. Put another way, Dr. Peterson is necessarily – skillfully – treading across a very narrow tightrope. He is a professor teaching inside an traditional institution – the University of Toronto. As a practicing clinical psychologist, he’s a member of a socially accepted, highly valued profession. Devoted to his wife and children, he’s a complete insider. As such, he’s obliged to be exceedingly careful as to how he presents himself, especially in controversial matters. Accepting certain roles in society requires acting within their boundaries. His effectiveness depends, at least in part, on being acutely careful not to exceed them.

I have no such constraints. Though I earned a Ph.D., the system could not contain me. I can’t say the sacrifices were optional on my part. Character, as they say, is fate. But they did leave me free to explore and develop along lines that can’t be contained within the limiting boundaries of empirical science-based institutions and professions.

When I first started following Dr. Peterson’s work, I kept adding posts to this website, rethinkingsurvival.com. No matter what his topic, the conceptual model I work with – the meta-map of reality maps – confirms his ideas, at the same time adding strength, clarity, depth and perspective to them. This article, on the other hand, was an opportunity to go beyond that which he has developed. It completes what he has started. The yoga tradition has no problem with subtle energy sciences or with metaphysics. For this reason, Editor Swami Narasimhananda welcomed my article. He understands quite well where I’m coming from.

OA was skeptical, of course. He holds me to a very high standard. “We’ll see,” was his only response. I reminded him of an earlier post (one of the few he’s taken time off from his Other-where sojourning to read). Also invited, it’s called “How Bad People Become Leaders.”

His comment on that one: “Not bad for a human.” That’s an okay recommendation, coming from an exceedingly ancient Old Avatar.

So, I told OA, Here is what flashed on me. I should complete and compile these blogs into a book. Because of sacrifices I’ve made, I’ve been free to go places Dr. Peterson hasn’t. As a result, I am able to supply missing puzzle pieces in support of the valid tradition he defends. As as outsider, I am free to say things that need to be said, things he understands which are outside his boundaries.

Maybe he’d even write an introduction. Perhaps promote it on his Patreon website. That would be an outstanding win-win for everyone.

Again. We’ll see.

So, obviously the computers are back up here. The CME did hit. According to the single article I found, a coronal mass ejection aimed toward Earth had been projected to cause auroras in the U.S. as far south as Ohio and Indiana. As it turns out, the biggest solar flare in a decade did cause radio blackouts – but in Brittan.

So I’m left asking, Where do we go from here? We dodged the bullet for now. So I’ll continue to write as remaining time permits. But without false hopes for the future. I’m reminded, after all, that hope is one part of a triad. It’s best balanced by equal parts of faith and charity. That is to say, continue to hope for the best (whatever that may be), but prepare as we did, for the worst, with complete faith in the will of a loving God who has his children’s backs, no matter what is to come.

book header bird

What’s Your Answer to Hamlet’s Existential Question?

The last post, How Do You Define GOOD, opened with a basic law of nature: in duality, every coin has two sides. “Whatever has a front, has back. The larger the front, the larger the back.” It  explains why surface appearances are often deceiving.

I bring the Two Sides Law up here again in answer to comments from a recent LinkedIn post, To Be or Not To Be PC? There, political correctness was defended:

PC is often viewed incorrectly, fundamentally it is a collective societal attempt to correct social inequity – the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.

I responded:

Understood . . . As an Ed Admin grad student, I wrote a paper for a law seminar on Affirmative Action. I observed that, however worthy the goals, the legislation missed the point. Not only was it unenforceable. It would trigger backlash. Which in time proved to be a correct assessment. I recommended Positive Action as a viable alternative for achieving the legislation’s worthy goals then — and still do. The surface definition of PC is, of course, impeccable. But applications and abuses have drifted so far afield from the verbal window dressing and original intent as to be unrecognizable. “Good intentions . . . “

These days, when promises seem too good to be true, I instinctively know they’re a ruse — a cover for something opposite and equally awful. A Shakespearian observation captures the gist. “Methinks he doth protest too much.”

“Change we can believe in?” “Social equity?” Methinks such slogans are market-tested veneer, engineered by behind-the-scenes puppet-masters to tap into and exploit our deepest desires and highest aspirations. They mask political agendas that have nothing whatsoever to do with seductive but empty wrappers. When politicians protest too much, you can depend on their front being a cynical cover for unacceptable, unspeakable motives.

To Be or Not To Be PC

Remember Daniel-san and Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid? After Daniel wins the tournament, John Kreese, abusive Sensei of Cobra Kai, corners Miyagi in the parking lot and swings at him twice.

Miyagi simply ducks. Kreese misses, smashing first one fist and then the other through a parked car window, shattering the glass and lacerating both hands.

In Karate Kid III, Kreese calls on a Vietnam war buddy to act as the agent of his revenge. Treacherous but slick, Terry Silver, wealthy owner of a toxic waste disposal corporation, confuses Daniel to the point of self-destruction. Daniel mistakes his best friend for his enemy, and vice versa.

“Have no mercy,” was Kreese’s creed.

Silver gives Daniel three rules for winning an unfair fight. First, “If a man can’t stand, he can’t fight. So break his knees.”

Second, “If a man can’t breathe, he can’t fight. So break his nose.”

Third, “If a man can’t see, he can’t fight. So gouge out his eyes.”

That brings us back to the theme of an earlier post, “Change the Rules of the Knowledge Game.” The progressive/atheist Rules of the Politically Correct Game prevent believers (along with those they try to control) from being able to see and take a positive stand against evil.

PC advocates confuse the public, presenting true friends of the people as enemies, and vice versa. Even the existence evil is cast into doubt. It’s quibbled away in double-talk speculations, relegated to the fringes of speculative theory – outside the “accepted” rules of what can be known.

By PC standards, the concept of evil is demeaned, presumed to be a moralistic, judgmental, prejudiced fiction. This is a Yes and No. But denying the existence of evil by an exclusively materialistic standard prevents believers from being able to see grave danger, name it and protect from it – much less fight intelligently and successfully against it.

Is there method to this madness? Take a moment to think about it. Who stands to benefit from this blindness? Who stands to lose?

This picture of the PC problem may help:

Can't See.sized

Here’s how the Motive/Purpose/Intent (MPI) standard – the Why/How/What – applies to Daniel’s situation. He sees the surface What of Mr. Miyagi’s refusing to train him for another karate event. He compares it to Silver’s sly What – an all-too-eager willingness to act has his trainer.

What Daniel doesn’t know because he can’t see them are the underlying intangibles. Mr. Miyagi doesn’t support the fight because there’s no worthy Purpose. His Motive is to protect Daniel’s best interests. In contrast, Silver has set Daniel up to fight, even pressured him into entering the contest. But his ulterior Motive (the Why) is to exact revenge. His Purpose (the How) is to defeat and humiliate Daniel as painfully as Kreese was beaten, breaking Miyagi’s heart in the process.

Details. But important ones. For lack of inner awareness, Daniel was steered into a world of hurt. As are we all in similar circumstances.

Here’s another example of confusions resulting from operating on limited and limiting PC rules taken taken directly from an ongoing LinkedIn discussion in the New Philosophy Network. The thread is called HOW DO YOU DEFINE EVIL?

I entered the discussion, thinking my viewpoint would be interesting, perhaps even helpful, by offering this comment:

I’ve written to this subject, so let me sum up a few basics from my perspective. First, morality is technically an ephemeral social construct at the surface of the Life Wheel, whereas virtues (compassion, including kindness, gentleness, courage, etc.) are inherent potentials residing at the middle level of the Wheel. Evil in Positive Paradigm context is defined as destructive acts or intentions which violate the integrity of the whole, the aim of destroying the life pattern itself. If there’s further interest, pictures and explanations are available online. Pls. see http://wp.me/p46Y5Z-9B (“How Bad People Become Leaders”).

There were two responses. One dismissed the definition as a bit obtuse. The other seemed like a back-handed compliment – condescending, perhaps flirtatious. Thanks Patricia, nice and simple for a simple mind like me to understand. I would love to read some of your books 🙂

Not sure what to make of this, I reviewed many of the 523 comments posted over the past 24 days. They were sickening, both literally and figuratively.

The opening statement, made by medical doctor and research scientist, is this:

Christians condem anyone who does not follow their beliefs to live forever in Hell ( the bosom of all evil) , Fundamentalist followers of Islam believe everyone who does not follow their beliefs are evil and condem them to death via evil attrocities, Other religions have gods to protect them against evil, and gods to explain evil. Society explains evil through Freudian concepts of psycopathy and sociopathy. It would seem that evil is perpetuated by intolerance of other peoples beliefs?
And is this not the basis of human conflict throughout all history? What are your philosophical views on this concept?

(Turns out, it’s the platform for promoting a forthcoming book.)

But a wide range of contributors — atheists, agnostics and theists – chime in. The first comment reads, Evil is just anything contrary to the norms of the one judging and no more. The concept rests on inauthentic or authoritarian thinking.

A “top contributor” takes it upon himself to moderate the discussion, repeating the same mantra, straight out of the PC progressive handbook – evil is what effectively undoes or blocks any progress to greater purposeful complexity and abundance.

Suffice it to say, the level of discourse quickly degenerates into a testosterone-saturated, contentious and extraordinary disrespectful exchange. “Childish” comes to mind. The troll word is thrown back and forth. On the defensive, one commenter states:

I would prefer your responses were less transparently hostile (and as abusive of metaphor as you have accused me of being, I suspect to win the point). : ) I am not a member of any sort of ‘guys’ and my pants are on.

One remark criticizes the self-nominated moderator: Your sarcasm is showing; you should at least try a little to be more balanced, your post is so one-sided and shows such negative bias you should be embarrassed at the lack of balance. It’s so unbalanced it reminds me of the Titanic after it hit the iceberg. . . .

To some extent, I empathize with the deep, underlying frustration. They’re struggling inside the box of dysfunctional paradigms. Trapped as if in a Japanese wicker-woven finger-prison, the harder they struggle to get out, the stucker they get. They sense that somewhere, somehow, something is terribly wrong – but without a comprehensive paradigm, they have no way to identify the heart of the problem much less find positive solutions.

I’ll speak further to important issues from this heated discussion in the next post, “The Great Reconciliation.” But here, the subject remains defining evil.

In “How Bad People Become Leaders,”I offered another picture, defining “evil” as anti-life: intentionally shattering and fragmenting the creative pattern. In Positive Paradigm context, the intentions and actions of any person (or group) that destroys its own and/or threatens to annihilate enemy groups, devoid of respect for the inherent sanctity of life, are defined as evil.

In metaphysical circles, by the way, in addition to extremes of black and white magic, there are shades of gray and yellow, depending on the extent of harm done and degree of intentionality.

In Karate Kid III, the central villain runs a toxic waste disposal business – an apt metaphor for abusive defenders of toxic PC ideas and attitudes! Why do I take such exception to PC “ideologies?” Because misleading, dysfunctional paradigms are life-threatening, a danger even to human survival itself.

In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the procrastinating prince debates the suicide option: To be or not to be, that was his question. He waivers and philosophies right up the the 11th hour. As a consequence, in the final act, the stage is littered with bodies – not only his, but also others whom he might have saved.

If rules of the knowledge game prohibit the general population from seeing genuine evil clearly for what it is and if they inhibit us from standing firm against it, they effectively prevent us from protecting ourselves and those we love from it’s toxic, destructive effects. In the name of tolerance, PC progressives pretend to be the best friends of minorities and women. In practice, they function as worst enemies. As a first step, would-be survivors must restore a full-spectrum reality map that allows them to recognize who’s who, and what’s what.

To be or not to be, asked Hamlet. That is the question. Today, to be or not to be PC is the burning issue. Whether to commit national, even global suicide through ignorance, or to WAKE UP to existing dangers of Titanic proportion and take a positive stand – while there’s still precious time left.

What’s Your Definition of GOOD?

In duality, there are two sides to every coin. It’s a basic law of nature. “Whatever has a front, has back.” Further, “The larger the front, the larger the back.” This explains why surface appearances are often so deceiving.

I mention the Two Sides Law here because I’ve been following a LinkedIn discussion group called The New Philosophy Network. The subject of the particular “thread” is HOW DO YOU DEFINE EVIL?

Not to worry. You haven’t missed much. Philosophy isn’t what it used to be. If there was any “love of wisdom” (the definition of philosophy), it got lost in the one-upsmanship jousting of an extraordinarily uncivil ego contest.

But it got me to thinking about the opposite, shadow side of evil. Did the negative approach influence the quality of conversation? Has anyone asked lately, HOW DO YOU DEFINE GOOD?

Come to think of it, I did awhile ago. So here, for the sake of balance, is the three-part Essay on GOOD from Conscience: Your Ultimate Personal Survival Guide.

globe

Essay 30. GOOD

“The true genius of living is to carry the spirit of the child into old age. And what is the spirit of the child, but that of wide-eyed open wonder, excitement and zest, the optimistic attitude that nothing is too good to be true, that the world is literally a wonderful place?” — Norman Vincent Peale, Enthusiasm Makes the Difference

“We all want the good things in life; we all desire to be surrounded by friends; but we have no right to expect to attract any of these things except when our own lives have earned us the right to be honored, respected, and admired. . . .” — M.P. Hall, Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics

“It’s the one characteristic that connects all the defendants: a genuine incapacity to feel with their fellow man. Evil, I think, is the absence of empathy.” — Medical Officer, Nuremberg

THE FRONT

The roots of good mean to unite, be associated, or suitable. The term goes through seventeen permutations in Webster’s Dictionary alone.

The first definition is a general term of approval or commendation. Good means suitable to a purpose or effect. It means efficient, producing favorable or beneficial results. It can mean fresh, unspoiled, uncontaminated. It can mean valid, genuine, or real, as in good money or a good excuse.

Good means healthy, strong or vigorous, as in good eyesight. The word is used to mean financially safe or sound. It means honorable, worthy, or respectable. It is used to mean enjoyable, desirable, pleasant or happy, as in the good life. Good can mean dependable, reliable or correct, as in good advice. It can mean thorough or complete, as in a good job of cleaning.

Good can mean excellent of its kind, as in a good novel or considered the best, as in her good china. It can mean morally sound or excellent, virtuous, honest, just, pious, devout, kind, benevolent, generous, sympathetic or well-behaved and dutiful.

It can mean proper, becoming, correct (good manners) and therefore socially acceptable (a good family). It can mean able, skilled, or expert, as in a good swimmer.

It can mean loyal or conforming, as in a good Democrat. In law, it means an effectual or valid title.

The Ten Commandments that Moses gave to the people of Israel, enumerated in the fifth chapter of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament, are a generally accepted code of right conduct. They prescribe what we should and should not do to live a good life. Though the cultural context is different, in principle they are consistent with I Ching philosophy.

Revisiting them from an I Ching point of view enriches their meaning. For example, the seventh commandment has become the focus of special public attention, taking on political overtones. “Neither shalt thou commit adultery.” This one-sentence commandment has depths of meaning which span the energy continuum.

For example, at first chakra level, it includes refraining from contaminating air, water and food with pollutants. At the second, it includes not violating marital or parental responsibilities.

At the third, it includes not tampering with legislation for antisocial purposes. At the fourth, it includes not mixing compassion with sentimentality or greed.

At the fifth, it includes not misconstruing scriptures to suit political agendas. At the sixth, it includes not adulterating conscience with the ego impulses.

In addition, each level’s “shalt not” implies a positive shadow: “thou shalt.” At the first chakra level, this includes taking active responsibility for cleansing air, water and food of pollutants.

At the second chakra level, it includes fulfilling family commitments. At the third, it includes adjusting corporate and government practices to serve the common good.

At the fourth, it includes quietly serving those in need without public fanfare. At the fifth, it includes aligning personal and political goals with natural and scriptural law.

At the sixth, it includes practicing self-awareness methods to purify ego.

THE BACK

In I Ching context, evil violates divine and natural law. It is antithetical to the life process, tearing the pattern apart. Good and evil cannot be equated with yin and yang. Good is inclusive of the harmonious whole, both yin and yang, attainable by males and females of every race without limitation.

In moralist context, violating codes of generally accepted social or sexual conduct is regarded as bad, the opposite of good. Sages, however, define correct or incorrect behavior in terms of context and results. Right or wrong action is defined in terms of the immediate situation and the actor’s deepest, underlying motives.