In my last post, Rethinking Nature in an Unnatural World, I began by saying that the essential Chinese I Ching, the Book of Change, reveals a priceless treasure, “akin to the biblical pearl without price.”
Overnight, it came to me that I owe you a further explanation of what I mean. I’ve written about Natural Law and the Book of Change from many different angles. So today I revisited past blogs and made excerpts to offer you a more in-depth view of my meaning.
Before I delve into that, however, let me first mention why the subject is extraordinarily timely. Astrologically, the United States is experiencing its Pluto return. It’s a big deal. Many astrologers are giving it attention. Because it affects not only the U.S. but the world, British astrologer Pam Gregory dedicated an entire video to the subject.
This return means that, as a nation, Americans are being obliged to rethink who we are, what we truly value, and what we want our next cycle of history to look like. Upsetting political events are obliging citizens to revisit the Constitution and decide whether it’s worth upholding – not just giving it lip-service, but actually enforcing it – going forward.
It’s time to revisit and welcome the “opportunity” to upgrade the beliefs of the founders. In the Common Sense Book of Change, I wrote:
THREE LEVELS OF LAW
America’s Declaration of Independence names three kinds of law: the laws of man, of nature and nature’s God. The Book of Change is based on the laws of natural change. They emanate from and depend on divine law and serve as the rightful foundation of civil law.
Clearly, laws legislated in ignorance of or in opposition to natural and divine law are not likely to work out well. Policy makers at all levels would do well to give this point careful thought.
In Common Sense, Thomas Paine wrote about the relationship of divine, natural and human law in a way that inspired readers at the time of the American Revolution to fight for freedom from tyranny. Approaching natural law from the deeper understanding of the ancients could inspire a reinvention of democracy now.
Sages say that freedom from tyranny begins with dispelling ignorance and overcoming toxic, negative emotions. Inalienable freedom starts with the self-awareness and self-mastery which can be gained by diligent use of the I Ching.
Restoring common awareness of and effectiveness in harnessing/expressing the e=energy level of human potential would give a whole new meaning to the slogan “Power to the People.”
With that in mind, here are excerpts which explain the importance I place on the ancient understanding of Natural Law within the context of the quantum Life Wheel. Included is a more detailed description of the e=energy level that’s correlated with Natural Law.
It’s worth your careful attention.
. . . . [The Book of Change] is a book that truly belongs to the world. It transcends, in its essence, the limitations of time and space. Used correctly, as intended, it leads the ordinary mind towards experiences of self-awareness and transformative transcendence.
Over the years, I’ve grown absolutely certain that the worldwide leadership deficit (and related budget deficits) is explained by an underlying knowledge deficit. For lack of what The Book of Change has to offer, people everywhere remain perplexed as to how and why so much continues to go so horribly wrong, despite the best of intentions.
Making this compendium of Natural Law — the premier leadership training and decision-making manual in China for thousands of years — widely accessible now is necessary in order to fill in this fatal knowledge gap.
Mainstreaming this vitally important information is the first, necessary step towards the positive change which many call for, but remain unable to achieve.
The extraordinary value of the I Ching is that it reveals the secrets of dynamic Natural Law. Working with its changes opens up personal access to the middle level of the Life Wheel, the “e = energy” layer of Einstein’s Unified Field Theory.
This middle level of Natural Law serves as mediating, two-directional gatekeeper between the ever-changing surface rim and the universal, timeless center.
You can’t get from here to there and back again, except through the middle “energy” layer which, in Western thinking, is effectively taboo, buried deep within the inaccessible “unconscious.”
To the extent that the Natural Law of energy dynamics remains a blind spot in the prevailing, linear and exclusively empirical paradigm, we are left powerless to move beyond the surface level of experience.
To compound the loss, when stuck on the surface, the realm of light and conscience which rests beyond, on the far side of the dynamic energy level, remains functionally inaccessible.
Only by becoming intelligently competent in managing the subtle energies of the middle level does it become possible for one to travel further inwards for the direct personal experience of not only Light but, even deeper still, its very Source.
Unfortunately, the middle level is too often clogged with painful memories, negative emotions and repressed, socially taboo urges. It becomes a barrier to deeper knowing.
For eight thousand years and counting, the Book of Change has served as an indispensable tool for resolving this dilemma. Used as intended, it can restore the unnecessarily “unconscious” to conscious awareness, reopening the levels of human potential so they can be aligned and unified.
In this context, genuine survivors fit to prevail in today’s increasingly dangerous times aren’t those with the most material wealth, possessions or political power. They’re the ones who’ve successfully navigated the middle realm, reached the far shore of enlightenment and returned to the surface with their new information intact.
Those who succeed in linking the levels of experience are genius-leaders in whatever fields they choose to engage. They’re the fortunate ones who have acquired the inner wealth necessary to both hear the still voice of conscience and act effectively on the guidance they receive.
The middle level is the realm of less tangible but still measurable states of energy, including electricity. More subtly, it is the chi, ki or prana described by Chinese, Japanese and Indian traditions as the life force which animates all living beings. In Greek and Christian traditions it’s known as breath, the psyche.
These subtle energies influence internal psychological states. As emotions, they drive external human behavior, which in turn affects social/political relationships. Knowledge of these dynamics is essential to personal survival.
Effective leadership and the quality of life within organizations hinges on the quality of awareness brought to dynamics at this level. Some leaders understand energy dynamics at a gut level as a matter of common sense. However, systematic education would significantly improve results of the decision-making process.
When sufficiently purified and mastered, disciplined and intelligently harnessed to positive goals, the middle level fuels what Anthony Robbins calls “unlimited power.”
These subtle energies explain the possibility of seemingly impossible feats, including the miracles attributed to Moses and Jesus.
In Life Wheel context, the “subtle” energy realm exists between the outer, surface level of matter and the deepest center of unchanging stillness.
As the functional link between extremes, both on the out-going and the in-going paths, it serves as the gatekeeper and mediator between the two.
“You can’t get from here to there,” except through this middle level of experience. Cluttering or denying access to it make connection with the Center difficult, at best.
Historically, Asian cultures are more comfortable with this middle level. Asian healing practices including chi kung, tai chi and hatha yoga use exercise to intentionally circulate, balance, harness and direct subtle energies through the physical body.
The middle level is also the repository of karmic information, where the history of past actions is kept, along with a record of debts to be repaid. It’s the repository of short and long-term memories. The composite of emotions — fears, desires and repressed tendencies — are stored here in what Western psychologies call the “unconscious.” It is the stuff of dreams — inspired visions, nightmares and everything in-between.
The bardo, where (according to The Tibetan Book of the Dead) recently departed souls travel, is located within this level. Spirits, ghosts, leprechauns, demons or jinn acknowledged by various mystic traditions also reside there. From here, unseen hands from the “dark side of the force” reach out to derange the minds of power-hungry rulers and undermine political affairs. (It’s for this reason that disciplines for “cleaning out the swamp” precede introduction to advanced yogic practices.)
So long as invisible energetic influences remain unaccounted for, the failings and depravities of human leaders remain mystifying. Conspiracy theorists can track the complicated networks of human crime on the surface. But to trace world domination plots back to their lair, one must look deeper. St. Paul described it in his letter to the Ephesians:
6:12. We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
When cluttered and undisciplined, the middle energy level is like a swamp full of alligators.
Once the swamp is cleared out and the alligators are tamed, however, energetic potentials can be harnessed to worthy goals. They’re like the gas that fuels the car engine, or the pair of black and white horses that pulled Plato’s heaven-bound chariot.
But easier said than done. The Quantum Paradigm validates experiences which report a dark side to the subtle realm, which the life traveler must be prepared to encounter and survive. Some describe it as “Chapel Perilous” or “the Hero’s Journey.”
Religionists, moralists and even poets like Edgar Alan Poe warn against exploring the middle realm, portraying it as dangerous, fearful or unclean. However, inhibiting awareness of the energy level cripples efforts to attain self-knowledge. In effect, it slams the lid on libido, the motivating life force.
Doing so doesn’t avoid dangers. It just banishes this level from conscious awareness. Relegated to the “unconscious” and rendered inaccessible, this part of inner experience festers, more dangerous than ever. Taboos on energy awareness backfires, resulting in mental illness, socially aberrant behavior, addictions and personal tragedy.
Here are important questions to ponder. Why ban access to the levels of energy and light? Who stands to benefit? Who stands to lose?
Jung’s observation bears repeating:
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.
Chinese sages, who trod lightly but surely in that middle realm, used the I Ching as their instruction manual. Recently, it’s been correctly called a “spiritual GPS.” Jung understood the potential good that could come from introducing this wisdom to the Western world, where it could be used as an instrument for making the unconscious again conscious, restoring intelligent competence at this level.
Jordan B. Peterson has said, “The most important work that can be done is establishing the relationship between belief systems and the outcomes they generate.”
It’s useless to tell people to follow their dreams, to be the best they can be, or that nothing is impossible when, in fact, they live in society that enforces a false, limiting paradigm. It’s like paddling upstream without oars in a leaky canoe.
The only way out of this madness is to restore a complete and accurate paradigm, one that acknowledges the multi-dimensional quality of life – the inherent pattern of perfection – which is everyone’s inalienable birthright.
People who live in the poverty of a flattened, empirical science belief system are being told by their parents, educators and political leaders, in effect, that they don’t (and shouldn’t) fully exist. That only their physical appearance, social status and material possessions matter.
Wonder why suicide rates are so high? Or that marriages so often end in divorce, that respect for authority is at an all-time low, that government corruption is rampant, or that crime rates are through the roof? (Surely you can add to the list.)
The biblical King David exemplifies acting from a complete and accurate paradigm. He acted fearlessly in trust that “God is with me.” With a single shot to the giant’s forehead (not coincidentally seat of the third eye), he brought the monster down.
David “knew” exactly where to aim. His vision was clearly focused on his target (light). He had the vigor (energy) and physical strength (mass) as well as coordination (unity) to overcome the fearsome obstacle that threatened to annihilate him and enslave his people.
Other biblical figures at critical points in their hero’s journey are helpful role models. Noah anticipated the flood. Joseph foresaw and prepared for a time of famine. Moses protected the homes of the faithful when the Angel of Death swept over the Land of Egypt.
Job is the example of steadfast faith, enduring to the end and being restored, even better than before. Here’s the secret to be gleaned from his story, illumined by the infinity symbol that links the levels of the Life Wheel.
Job says, “The Lord giventh.” This is the outward, materializing movement from Center to surface of the Wheel.
“And The Lord taketh away.” This is the receding path of return to Center.
In all, “Blessed be the NAME of the Lord.” The Logos.
Resolving conflict necessarily occurs one person at a time, and from the inside out. For this reason, however complex and overwhelming world problems may seem, we each have the option and responsibility to improve that which is closest to home: ourselves. By reducing internal conflict within, each of us has the potential, if only in modest ways, to reduce the conflict without. . . .
Patricia West is author of The Common Sense Book of Change and Two Sides of a Coin: Lao Tze’s Common Sense Way of Change. She’s currently working on The Phoenix Response: Dying To Be Reborn – in the Same Lifetime.