Tag Archives: Jack Balkin

What Should We Be Aware of in the Year 2021? IC – 010421

I thought I was done with I Ching blogs. But the muse calls, so here I am, still yet.

I should have known. Sage astrologers with an overview of heavenly timing agree that, though very different from 2020, this new year promises to be its logical extension.

My query to the Book of Change confirms this view. I asked, “What should we be aware of in the year 2021?” Though placements are different, the readings are all familiar from 2020.

January looks to be an intensely volatile month. As I cautioned in the final post of 2020:

The year 2021 promises to be rough, though different from 2020. The process of exposing the corruption of the old order will continue. But the clash between paradigms will intensify, imposing new hardships. Positive change doesn’t come easy. As Kuhn wrote in his classic work on paradigm shifts, entrenched power-holders with vested interests in obsolete ways will fight change however they can.

In particular, January of 2021 promises to be fraught with geographical and political events of explosive intensity. A heads up: astrological markings of January 20th, inauguration day, are strikingly similar to the date of the catastrophic 1916 San Francisco earthquake.

In sum, the year-of-our-Lord 2021 promises to be a roller-coaster ride. So buckle up. There’s no turning back. The only way out is through.

As the American constitutional crisis intensifies, the contrast between opposing paradigms is becoming increasingly clear, deepening into the most basic of all conflicts: the war between good and evil. At the beginning of this “Waterloo week” in American history, Steve Bannon and Archbishop Vigano have spelled out for the world the ultimate choice of 2021. What’s at stake is the outcome of the war between children of light versus children of darkness.

Have you chosen sides yet? (Remember. Failing to choose is also a choice.)

Before continuing to today’s I Ching reading, let me first answer Steve Bannon’s reminder of Martin Luther King’s words: “Courage is the first of all the virtues, because it supports the all others.”

Sounds good.

But when I sat down with my notebook just now, this came through. “TRUST is the root and support of all the other virtues. With Faith, all things follow – courage included.”

I will confess, what I wrote in my notes was a warning. “Use it or lose it.” Don’t ignore the voice of conscience. Forget the powerful hunches and calls to action for too long, and adversity follows. The angelic hosts will lose interest in you. They’ll quit calling, stop guiding. Their protection will cease.

From ignorance and fear – compounded by lack of trust in Self and faith in the Creator – far too many of us earth-dwellers are forfeiting inborn Divine Connection. Which is why, when in doubt, working with the Book of Change is a life-saver.

Though subject to change, at the moment I have no schedule for posting future blogs. It was my intention to shift focus. I’m planning to complete and then publish The Lessons of 2020. Following that, The Phoenix Response and How To Create Positive Change are waiting in line.

Nevertheless, reinforcing the benefits of working with the Book of Change in meeting 2021’s challenges is my central contribution to the “interesting” year ahead.

In 2020, you saw each of today’s Common Sense Book of Change readings. So, as the constitutional crisis peaks, I once again to defer to The Laws of Change published by Jack Balkin, a Yale University Professor of Constitutional Law. His comments are powerful and wise, as well as extraordinarily prescient.

ORIGIN is the original answer to the immediate question, “What Should we be aware of in the Year 2021?” Keep in mind. The answer works as advice for the immediate moment on a personal level. At the same time, it also serves as an overview for the entire year. It works for each of us individually, but collectively as well.

Balkin calls ORIGIN The Well. Keywords include: Human potential; Human resources; Replenishing; Renewal; Nourishing others; and The unchanging.

He comments:

The well is an inexhaustible source of nourishment . . . Jing teaches that people replenish themselves through replenishing others. They grow strong and happy not by trying to keep everything for themselves, but through helping each other and growing together. The human need for love and mutual support is as basic as the drive for self-preservation.

* * *

Advice of Line 3 reads, “Let others know what you can do. Opportunities will develop.”

On a personal level, I’m being advised to let you know about future publications. Similarly, each of us is being advised to contribute what we can to serve the whole. Balkin suggests, “If you find a way to make a contribution, everyone would benefit.”

When this advice is taken to heart and acted upon, the line changes to DANGER. Balkin calls it The Abyss. Keywords include: Water; Darkness; Danger; Despair; Courage and devotion; Maintaining faith; and Getting through to the other side.

He comments:

The world is testing you. Maintain your patience and your devotion. Take things one day at a time. Just make sure that you keep going and do not lose heart.

The enemy you confront is more than a set of forces in the outside world. The enemy is pessimism and lack of faith in yourself. This is the abyss that is the subject of the hexagram. It is not a physical abyss but a spiritual one. To give up and give in is the worst possible thing you could do.

Keep the faith.

* * *

Advice of the fourth line reads, “Withdraw from activities long enough to rest and re-energize yourself.” Balkin comments:

It is time to take stock and put your life in order. Rethink your strategies and reevaluate your priorities and pay attention to your self-development.

When this advice is heeded, the line changes to INNER STRENGTH. Balkin calls it Greatness in Excess. Keywords include: Too much; Overload; Critical mass; Taking a stand; setting priorities; and Making choices.

He comments:

The hexagram symbolizes a condition that cannot last. Something must be done, or else misfortune is likely to result.

One you have decided what the problem is, you must act quickly but with gentleness and composure. The time calls for extraordinary measures, but the transition to a new situation must be peaceful and nonviolent.

Recognize the need for change. Carry it out gently and swiftly, without fear or anxiety.

* * *

The composite final outcome is ADVERSITY. Balkin calls it Oppression. Keywords include: Exhaustion; Being restricted; Hardship; Adversity; Inner affliction; Dried up; and 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.

If you maintain your equanimity and your patience, you will endure, and become a stronger, better person in the process.

To defeat [negativity] maintain your faith, your emotional balance, and your self-confidence. If you can win this inner victory, no outside foe can stand against you.

The challenges of 2021 promise to be enormous. The rewards of overcoming them have the potential to be great in equal measure.

Look for The Lessons of 2020: Using the Wisdom of CHANGE to Build a Better Future 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.

The Pinnacle of Peace – IC – 122820

In the wake of Christmas 2020, approaching a New Year, with civil war brewing in the midst of an unprecedented constitutional crisis, I listened for a second time to the second part of Jan Jekielek’s Epoch Times interview with Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. It’s called Will the American Republic Survive?

I urge you to listen to and carefully ponder General Flynn’s comments on the future of this country. He’s a truly honorable man of wisdom, uncommon good sense, and integrity. Here’s a direct quote, transcribed from the beginning:

What we have to understand in this country is, that this country is an experiment. Empires come and go. Nation-states fail. Are we still growing as the beacon of hope for the rest of the world? I still believe that in my heart.

But I know that there is a dimension of our experiment that is sort of in our face right now. . . We the people — the American public — have to decide what is it that they want. Because we will not last forever.

General Flynn elaborated on the degeneration of the three branches of government that each treated him with “brutal” injustice. Here, I couldn’t resist typing in a comment:

Keep perspective, Gen. Flynn. Remember the work of Kuhn on Paradigm Shifts. The dying order sees you [along with our President] — the voices of the future — as an existential threat to their survival. Temporary “power holders” with vested interest in the past historically resist change with all their might. The extent of their brutality towards you is exactly in proportion to the greatness of your light shining to expose their darkness.

Now, why is it called a paradigm shift? Technically it’s not a shift to something new. Actually, it’s a return to the perennial philosophy which wisdom traditions East and West share in common.

The honorable General is in synch with that wisdom. As he says, having read enough history, he recognizes that there are repeating cycles of history. He also recognizes the existence of levels of law and the importance of their being in alignment. The shift he represents is a return from out-of-alignment, secular fragmentation back to one of Unity. It looks like this:

General Flynn also speaks of the danger to the Republic when “so-called leaders” act as if they were above human law. He anticipates a higher accounting for those who aren’t held accountable in human law courts. Lawless officials, driven by ambition and selfish self-interests rather than being motivated by service, act as if the pinnacle of achievement were a matter of ephemeral control and dominance on the surface of the Life Wheel.

Here’s a picture worth of a book of words to show you what I mean:

For lack of space, I offer you a few bullet points. Each qualifies General Flynn’s observations:

  • Asked what might steer us in the direction of preserving the Republic, he emphasizes the importance of upgrading education, especially in civics and history. I would add, of paradigms. I would also restore the pristine definition of education, which means to lead from darkness to light.
  • Across the centuries, limited leaders repeatedly fall into the same mistake: a false paradigm which assumes that the pinnacle of power resides in a human hierarchy with a few leaders at the top, the majority beneath them at the bottom base. To correct this mistake, we need a complete and accurate paradigm, common to all, not reserved exclusively to hermits living in monastaries, caves or mountain tops.
  • The General speaks of the Bible as being foundational to the Constitution and written into America’s very DNA. I would add that 8,000 plus years of I Ching wisdom is written into the DNA of China’s culture. Just as some would rip ancestral wisdom out of America’s DNA, some have sought to rip the wisdom out of China’s DNA. It needs similar restoration. Were each culture to restore its own traditions and honor the underlying, universal truth shared in common, everyone worldwide would benefit.
  • General Flynn says All this town [DC] has done is get us and keep us in wars. He asks, What’s the aberration. Is peace the aberration or is war the aberration? In response, here are two suggestive paragraphs from Rethinking Peace:

In I Ching context, peace is an inward state of calm that manifests as outward poise. External conditions will always be in flux. Therefore, looking for peace in the world is an exercise in futility. Internal states, however, are subject to self-governance. . . .

The sage takes responsibility for attaining inner peace. Inner quiet begets the attitude of confidence, which in turn generates acts of compassion, courage and generosity. World organizations which would impose military peace upon warring nations comprised of individuals each at war internally have no hope of success.

Respecting the constitutional crisis at hand, I defer to The Laws of Change published by Jack Balkin, a Yale professor of constitutional law. Striking relevance to immediate concerns will be self-evident.

BREAKTHROUGH is the initial answer to the question, “What should we be aware of today at the current stage of the ongoing constitutional crisis?”

Balkin calls the hexagram Biting Through. Keywords he lists include: Reform, Acting decisively, Administering punishments, and Doing justice. He comments:

The obstruction represents an obstruction to harmony or unity, and a corresponding need for justice or reform. Faced with obstruction, we must proceed with energy and clarity to remedy the problem immediately.

He continues:

This is not a time to be meek and pliant. Attack the problem with energy and determination. If you do not act quickly and decisively, the problems will not go away, and it may only become worse. Nevertheless, this does not mean that you should be reckless. Prompt and efficient action is necessary, but your action should be based on clear thinking rather than emotion. And it should be the result of careful planning rather than blind instinct. The best approach now is one that is firm but reasonable, fair but resolute.

* * *

After evolving through permutations of the third and fourth lines, the final outcome is SHADOW. Balkin calls this hexagram Darkening of the Light. Key words include Eclipse, Brilliance injured, Censorship, Keeping a low profile, and Hiding your feelings. He comments:

Here an inferior person is in control. An upright minister must keep in the background and hide his brilliance during a time of darkness and adversity.

He continues:

Hostile circumstances require you to accept the situation outwardly for the time being. But you must never surrender. Hold fast to your enduring values and to your ultimate goals. Remember who you are and what you stand for. . .

When the sun descends below the horizon, is does not disappear forever. It merely goes into hiding for a time. Anyone who thinks that the sun will never rise again has lost touch with reality. The same is true in your situation. Things will eventually improve.

Deceptive, censoring, complicit corporate media giants notwithstanding, it’s not over.

Keep to the Core to Keep It Together – IC – 111620

My relationship with DANGER, today’s unchanging I Ching reading, goes way back. It’s close and familiar.

Here’s one example. Whenever I asked for advice about a former roommate (cruel “Kas”), the book was strangely consistent. Whatever the immediate situation, the lines changed to produce the same outcome: DANGER.

Yes. However physically attractive, she was, beyond a doubt, damaged, self-serving and deeply dangerous.

In Kas, life gifted me with a powerful teacher. To keep my sanity, I was forced to find words for the unspeakably crazy things she did. I had to admit that her cruelty got to me and find out why. In the process, I discovered how to protect myself, both inside and out.

An early article I found listed ways to recognize a narcissist. It said, If your person demonstrates eight or more of twelve listed behaviors, you’re in deep trouble. Kas demonstrated all twelve. Danger!

Making matters worse, her cohorts were narcissists too. One was overt – the abrasive, vulgar and bold-faced type. The other was covert — the sneaky, snake-in-the-grass, two-faced kind.

In combination, I learned from direct experience how energy vampires operate to paralyze and drain their intended victims.

But I also found out I’m not alone. In fact, a psychiatrist who specializes in this disorder warns that the plague of narcissism has grown to pandemic proportions. (An interesting parallel, don’t you think?)

Here’s what I learned about their communication style. The signature of rampant narcissism is COGNITIVE DISSONANCE. Narcissists present a false front to the world. But their Life Wheels are fractured. They’re frauds, and self-deceived ones at that.

Inside, they’re sniveling. insecure cowards driven by demon-spawned negative emotions: fear, anger, hatred, greed, and lust. The Bible-quoting jerks who made my life miserable operated absent any hint of connection with conscience.

From first-hand experience, I can tell you this:

And here are the survival lessons they taught me. At root, these decisions are simply common sense.

Now, why is it important for me to share this with you?

Because the dynamic of DANGER isn’t just about me.

It’s about you, as well as the rest of us.

As a Law of Nature, what I learned up close and personal, the painfully hard way, translates true to form on every increasingly larger scale of magnitude. Because I recognize the dynamics of danger operating on the micro level, I easily recognize them writ large on today’s political canvas.

The reason for detailing the dangers of narcissism is that the same remedies and protections that worked for me at the personal level will work, not only for anyone else in similar trouble, but also for business organizations, government agencies and even whole nations plagued by the worldwide pandemic of narcissism.

Put plain and simple, the solution is this. Let each one of us hold fast to the unifying central core of the Life Wheel, whether you choose to call it God, Source, Conscience, the Creator, Allah, or Nothing at all. It keeps all levels of the Unified Field together – the Light of intuition, Energy of action, and Mass of tangible, measurable results.

The slang advice, “Keep it together” sums the solution up perfectly. When things seem to be falling apart, it’s exactly the time when we most urgently need to keep it together.

  • When dark, painful emotions tear us apart, it’s the time to take a deep breath, stand back, and keep calm distance.
  • When friendships, families and organizations seem to be unraveling, it’s time to demonstrate the wisdom to keep them together.
  • When liars, cheaters and thugs seem to be tearing nations apart, let those with cool heads keep their states together by focusing on the core values humanity share in common, the ones which which transcend time, space. . . and even politics.

NB: For the record, narcissists of every stripe have tried to diminish President Trump by projecting onto him all their own faults. Again, the MAGA-millions who sense and return his love aren’t fooled. The rest of us shouldn’t be either. Though some find his style abrasive, he keeps his promises. His words and actions match. He’s consistent across the board. He’s not the one with a problem. It’s the feeble-minded, fork-tongued, zombie-like pretender along with his handlers and those they’ve fooled who are in deep dark trouble.

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 in this series of blogs. Through the end of 2020, they serve as an introduction, to make what was once unfamiliar now familiar.

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

DANGER is the true test of character. Be as careful of negative emotions which cloud inner clarity as you are of external dangers. Face all challenges with fearless grace. Hold fast to the goals and ideas which guide you. Act according to what you know to be right. Avoid cowardice.

It took me a while to recognize that the greatest danger is the risk of giving in to negative emotions. In the end, it doesn’t matter if other people’s negativity is infectious. Or if economic losses and/or political events are upsetting. Of if. . . you name it.

Ultimately, as Viktor Frankl demonstrated, even in a halocaust world, the option to respond wisely and responsibly remains open. Holding fast to core values — love of life and faith in God — is the enduring anchor which keeps us as individuals and as nations together.

Because the U.S. is in the constitutional crisis of its lifetime, I look to the version of the I Ching published by a Yale Professor of Constitutional Law. Jack Balkin lists these descriptors of DANGER.

He observes:

When faced with danger from without, one can escape unharmed if one maintains an attitude of devotion. To survive through a period of danger, one must preserve faith in one’s self and in the possibility that one will get through.

The Book of Change teaches that even in the times of greatest distress one must never lose hope the one can still turn circumstances to one’s advantage. One must have faith of ultimate success. It is only through having such faith the one can have a chance at ultimate success.

To despair is to fall into the abyss. . . . one must follow one’s heart to ride out a time of danger. To lose heart during such a time means that one does not hold one’s self together. This leads to danger.

In sum, Balkin’s advice confirms mine: Right now we must keep to core to keep it together.

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.

What IS Your Calling

Angel Calling

A timely message from Charles Caro, a senior LinkedIn expert who was most generous with his knowledge when I was a social media newbee, sparked this post. He wrote:

Patricia, You are on my list of the top people I want to contact related to my new book titled “Job Seeker’s Faithful Guide” . . . The book is targeted to job seekers wanting a resource to sustain themselves mentally and spiritually during their job search journey.

I was hoping you would share information on my new book with your connections either by message or simply sharing my posted Pulse article.

I immediately emailed back congratulating him: You’ve found an important blind spot in the job-seeking canon, and trust you’ve filled it admirably.

And forthwith posted this update:

I highly recommend Charles Caro’s work. I owe him a debt of gratitude which I’m very glad to repay in any small way possible. Please see https://lnkd.in/bX–TjH.

After further thought, I added:

You’ve got me thinking. These are times that test us all, serving to separate the wheat from chaff — those who will hear and survive, from those who have hardened themselves and will thus fall by the wayside. Perhaps I will write a post to rethinkingsurvival.com to this end that mentions your book as its trigger. Your words could well make a positive difference to those who choose to “endure to the end.”

Now where was the perfect timing – the synchronicity – in this exchange? His job-search approach touched on a burning question of my own, a follow-up to my last post confirming the personal decision to endure, Choose LIFE II.

Although the basic decision was made, I was finding it not sufficient. I was filled with grave doubts about the future. As the vitally urgent next step, I had just journaled my burning question as an I Ching query. “Why am I still Here? What is My Calling?”

A review of past LinkedIn correspondence underscored my discouragement. In a professional environment where carving niches is the norm, resonance with my boundary-spanner idea was sparse to nil.

In our earliest exchanges, what I asked Charles was how to connect with like-minded thinkers. By this I meant interdisciplinary innovators who span and link professional disciplines (sciences, religions, and philosophies) by recognizing the universal source that underlies and sustains all life, on every corner of the globe. This was the thought behind illustrating Einstein’s quote in Rethinking Survival.

circle compass of compassion

As good fortune would have it, Charles himself is a boundary-spanner, demonstrated by his ability to recognize the relevance of Chinese wisdom to his Christian worldview. As a practicing Christian, his connections support his approach. For example, he wrote:

Timothy Tobin, who is one of my 1st level connections, lives in Peoria, Illinois where Caterpillar has cut 30,000 employees of the past couple years. Tim has predicted I will sell a million copies in a year. He has let his wife know she can stock the book in their Church bookstore.

In turn, the Life Wheel which is equally compatible with ancient yogic scriptures and modern physics is also compatible with a profound reverence for Christ.

Although coming from very different traditions, what we share in common is a recognition of basic human concerns. For example, my published work focuses on creating awareness of the natural laws of change as well as their relationship to their unchanging source. In describing his new book, Charles choses to call change “transition.”

The “Job Seeker’s Faithful Guide” targets everybody involved in a career transition regardless whether they are unemployed, underemployed, seeking a new opportunity or launching a new business on their own. 

So later I added this observation:

I find repeatedly when researching that two out of three levels of experience are covered — the mental and physical (“think” as in strategize and action/behavior), but the central, driving core — which depends on hearing (“knowing,” trusting, believing in the creative source) is overlooked.

Now, as to the answer to my query, the main text I consulted to examine the implications of my answer was the Jack Balkin version of the I Ching (Book of Change).

Balkin is another, formidable boundary-spanner. As underscored by his title choice, The Laws of Change, Balkin is Knight Professor of Constitutional LAW and the First Amendment at Yale Law School. (As an aside, I urged him to write on a question that fascinates me: the relevance of the Book of Change to Constitutional Law. Sadly, he responded that other work is prohibitive – for the time being.)

Like every other version, being the product of a human mind, this version is limited by the constraints of duality. Yet it is a brilliant contribution to the field and clearly a labor of love. While some might complain that he lacks the traditional linguistic and/or yogic background which Asian translators bring to the subject, in an intuitive way (perhaps exactly for that reason), his understanding rings true.

Be that as it may, to repeat, I asked, “What is My Calling?” In my case, the I Ching Answer was Hexagram 30, Li (double Fire), with no changing lines. Balkin translates Li as RADIANCE, and lists these Key Words:

The Clinging; Interdependence; Synergy; Understanding connections and interdependencies; Fire; Brilliance; Clarity; Shedding Light on Things; Enlightenment

Ah. I instantly recognized the relevance to my boundary-spanner quest.

The text explains:

The two great themes of Li are enlightenment and interdependence. Fire sheds light on everything as its radiance extends outward; but it burns brightly only as long as it has fuel to draw on. As long as the fuel lasts, the fire lasts. Whatever gives light, clarifies, and enlightens depends on something else to which it clings, something whose persistence and perseverance allows the light to shine.

My intuitive response clicked on the image of the burning bush of Exodus, from which the voice of God called out to Moses.

Burning Bush image

Balkin continues, applying these themes to relationships:

So it is with human life. The life of human beings is not free and independent. It is conditioned on circumstances, and, in particular, other human beings. If you wish to gain clarity in your life, you must understand who and what you depend on, and who and what depends on you.

Balkin advises:

Enlightenment means accepting the world for what it is, recognizing one’s connection to others, and taking care of what needs to be taken care of. This is the path to clarity and peace. Acceptance does not mean pessimistic resignation. It means facing up to the facts. Only when we can accept the world can we begin to work with it to improve it and our situation within it.

Relevant to job seekers attached to past successes (or failures), he admonishes:

Do not cling to the past, for it is gone and it will not return. Accept change. Be open-minded and adaptable. Don’t bemoan your fate. Consider how you can change things for the better, given the situation you now face. Nurture others and you will nurture yourself.

His summary states:

Fire is an apt symbol of enlightenment because the power of truth is increased when it spreads to other minds. One candle lights another, and the amount of illumination is doubled without anyone’s light being diminished. For this reason, superior people do not hoard their knowledge or their wisdom, but share it with others who are willing to accept it. In this way enlightenment eventually can reach “to the four corners of the world.”

Food for thought indeed. What do you make of it?

And, as I continue with my own reflections, I encourage you to ask your Self, what is YOUR calling?

Rethinking DISCRIMINATION

Saturday morning, May 17th, while browsing on Twitter, I happened upon the question, “Is Affirmative Action still necessary?” I tweeted straight back, “It was NEVER necessary. The goals are still valid; the legislation missed the point, triggering backlash without valid solutions.” On second thought, I tweeted “AA my thesis subject; response not made lightly; see  http://wp.me/p46Y5Z-7h. All best!”

Then, out of curiosity, I looked up the folks who asked. It’s a suspiciously faceless group using the same familiar but empty buzz words that attract all, but satisfy none. “Change is Coming. Engage. Unite. Inspire.”

It’s my ongoing work to take back and revitalize the language. Change is my subject. The Unified Theory inherent in Einstein’s famous formula is the message. Reinventing democracy by inspiring careful thinkers to Positive Action is my intended result.

Hence, today’s blog is dedicated to the history behind my answer. Take time to balance the overlooked neutral and positive meanings of “discrimination” with the overworked negative ones. It’s important.

An earlier blog posted on January 5, 2014, I spoke to a comment about discrimination made on “Off the Record” by Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. She said racism exists and it’s terrible. But using the race card wrongfully is just as bad. Public figures who stir up the pot are dividing the nation, not healing it. They’re doing a real disservice to those with valid grievances. She called for “Real Solutions to Solve Real Racism.” I agreed whole-heartedly.

I continued, “Bottom line: exploitation is an energy dynamic, a symptom of self-destructive imbalance. To the extent that individuals operate on incomplete, inaccurate and false paradigms, they remain insecure, unconscious and functionally disconnected from their higher potentials. Out of that pain and suffering, like Kissinger, like Soros in the extreme, they will continue to feel justified in dominating, controlling and exploiting whomever they can, however they can — playing out power addictions with hypocritical talk of philanthropy.

“Affirmative Action legislation has not changed these dynamics — nor, as discussed earlier, could it. Looking in the wrong places doesn’t help. Tacking Affirmative Action legislation as an overlay on the surface level, while failing to address a deeper, divisive worldview, couldn’t help, and most likely would make matters worse.

“Blaming outside enemies as an excuse to avoid self-examination and correction is a futile waste of precious time and energy. Although venting frustration in politically motivated social movements — even terrorism and outright war — may temporarily feel good, it doesn’t address the underlying paradigm deficiency that drives hatred, violence and injustice. It therefore can’t put an end to catastrophic outcomes.”

Here then, is the supporting Essay from Conscience: Your Ultimate Personal Survival Guide.*

globe

 

19. DISCRIMINATION

“Relying more on the social scientists than on legal precedents . . the Court insisted on equality of the mind and heart rather than on equal school facilities. . . . Brown symbolizes the Good America, rather than the country that slaughtered Native Americans, subordinated women, and enslaved blacks. — Jack M. Balkin, What “Brown v. Board of Education” Should Have Said

Dealing exclusively on a rational level with an issue like discrimination which is deeply emotion-laden (sub-rational) on the one hand, and highly value-laden (super-rational) on the other, fails to acknowledge and draw on the levels where problems begin and where solutions can be found. — Patricia West, “Positive Action: The Next Generation”

Seeing and hearing are like food and drink; you need them every day, but you also need to digest and eliminate them every day. If they are not digested and eliminated thoroughly, they remain in the gut, eventually producing illness. — Taoist Meditation, trans. Thomas Cleary.

THE FRONT

Three levels of definition attribute opposite, contradictory meanings to the single word discrimination. In the last century, failure to recognize and sort out this confusion resulted in muddled perceptions of purpose, inconsistent implementation and half-hearted compliance with Affirmative Action legislation.

The Oxford English Dictionary’s rational definition of discrimination posits a neutral function of mind. To discriminate is to distinguish with the mind or intellect; to perceive, observe, or note the difference in or between. As an analytical tool, discrimination is the neutral function of mind used to dissect a situation’s parts and deduce cause/effect relationships amongst them. As a tool, effects of its use, whether creative or destructive, depend on the motives and competence of the user.

The last given definition adds a preposition: against. To discriminate against is to make an adverse distinction in regard to, to distinguish unfavorably from others. This negative definition is the sub-rational use. It describes abuse of the critical faculty of mind to separate, distance and subordinate others, and to rationalize exploitation. Discrimination as a function of biased, negative emotions such as fear, hate, envy, arrogance or greed is the polar opposite of objective analysis.

Still further from the rational meaning of discrimination is its super-rational definition. It is not included in The Oxford English Dictionary. However, in Eastern scriptures, the highest function of mind is called buddhi (hence the name Buddha), translated into English as the power of discrimination.

This usage alludes to the ability to see through deceptive illusions, to recognize the eternal in the midst of change, to be aware of all-pervading spirit operating within gross material forms. While rational discrimination is neutral and sub-rational discrimination has separatist results, the super-rational function of discrimination is unifying in effect.

Depending on the user’s mind-set, the I Ching can be used to serve rational, sub- or super-rational motives. Ideally, it’s used to facilitate the process of mental metabolism. When the senses are overloaded with impressions, the Book of Change can be approached as a discipline for settling down and organizing one’s thoughts sufficiently to define the immediate situation and ask questions about it.

As negative emotions surface, they’re named and released, not unlike the process of separating toxins from useful nutrients, eliminating them as waste. Rational thoughts are then simplified, prioritizing essentials and aligning them to basic purpose. Then, when emotions and rational mind are harmonized and stilled, the higher mind is invoked.

It is in this state of tranquil revere that one pierces the veil of ordinary thought, allowing the transcendent awareness attributed to genius to come forward. Einstein, for example, acknowledged that his famous e = mc2 formula came in a flash of inspired contemplation. He faulted his peers for what he called the “fateful fear of metaphysics,” a pernicious prejudice that’s easily as dangerous as racism or sexism.

THE BACK

Mercy and compassion ameliorate the effects of negative discrimination. Introspective activities like self-analysis and use of the I Ching promote the positive capacity to discriminate, make correct decisions, and act wisely. In human law, the opposite of discrimination is justice and equity. In an equitable society, wisdom is promoted as the foundation of harmony and order.

The discipline of positive discrimination is neglected in an unjust world. Ruthless extortionists in positions of political power will kill to prevent discriminating thinkers from recognizing and opposing their abuses. Tyrants promote negative discrimination. They exploit hatred, weakening the people by turning them against each other, conquering by dividing them.

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What “Brown v. Board of Education” Should Have Said. Ed. Jack M. Balkin. (New York

University Press: New York, 2001.) pp. 4-5.

Patricia West, Positive Action: The Next Generation of Affirmative Action. Unpublished paper. (Madison, WI, 1976).

Taoist Meditation: Methods for Cultivating a Healthy Mind and Body, trans. Thomas Cleary. (Shambhala: Boston, MA, 2000.) P. 57.

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* See the Conscience Page for illustrations, description of the structure-within-structure format of the Sixty-Four Essays, an overview of CONSCIENCE: Your Ultimate Personal Survival Guide, and an alphabetical list of the Essays.