Tag Archives: preppers

Prepare Now for Inevitable Shocks

Why would Millennials (or anyone else, for that matter) want to consult an ancient book that’s outside the familiar boundaries of what’s currently accepted for answers to survival questions? The answer is contained in the question. Expanding beyond limiting boundaries is essential to future survival.

Prevailing paradigms have brought the world to the brink of an NELC (Near Extinction Level Crisis). A better paradigm is urgently necessary. To repeat Einstein’s warning yet again, “It will require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.”

Rethinking Survival: Getting to the Positive Paradigm of Change introduces that qualitatively different manner of thinking. Four contrasting thought paradigms are pictured in an earlier blog. (See wp.me/p46Y5Z-a4.) Another, the Positive Paradigm of Change, translates the old-new I Ching world view into the yoga-compatible Unified Theory. It answers Einstein’s challenge in terms of his own work. It contains within it a seed of hope for generations to come.

Returning to the ongoing discussion, however, How will Millennials benefit from working with the Book of Change (or for that matter, The Positive Paradigm Handbook)? I hinted at the answer in “When the Lights Go Out, Who Will Millennials Call?” There, the question is asked and answered: “On the day when the lights go out, what would happen to wiz kids dependent on their electronic toys? What use would their extreme investment in computer skills be then? The logical answer: None. Zip.” (See wp.me/p46Y5Z-cm.)

Millennials are reputed to depend exclusively on their peers for validation and support. Yet, like any other strength, when taken to extremes, this dependence has the potential to become their greatest weakness. If the noise generated by peer content blocks out inner guidance and prevents individuation, they’ll be in big trouble if/when immanent dangers oblige them to think for and depend upon themselves.

Here’s the larger context, a picture of connections on many levels, joined in an infinite loop. The unique value of the I Ching is that serves to give access to the neglected, innermost sphere which we’ll all eventually need to draw upon for inner strength. Here’s where working with the Book of Change can make all the difference. It gives uninitiated users the direct experience of that neglected, inner connection.

Connections

In answer to my query, the book’s benefit to Millennials is Hexagram 58, INSPIRATION, with changing lines in the third and fifth places. It reads:

When minds are moved by INSPIRATION, nothing is impossible.

Misunderstandings can be cleared up,

problems solved and hardships overcome.

Inspired speakers can move others

to acts of heroism by well-chosen words.

Reminding people of their common goals

and deepest desires

gives them the courage to continue.

Two changing lines modify and transform the initial answer. The third line reads, “Sharpen mental discrimination. Refuse temptations that lead to destructive consequences.” I’m understanding that even inspiration cannot be depended upon exclusively. It requires the balancing faculty of reason to ground intuition and keep priorities in perspective.

The intermediate change that results from the warning is Hexagram 43, DETERMINATION. It advises “If you approach the situation with DETERMINATION, you can now overcome problems that have held you back in the past.” It also stipulates, “Avoid solving problems by force.”

The changing line in the fifth place warns, “Be careful in whom you place your trust. Avoid sorrow.” It changes to Hexagram 54, SUPPORT.

The outcome of the two combined changing lines is Hexagram 51:

SHOCK

Violent movement creates SHOCK.

To prepare yourself to face external disasters calmly,

face your personal fears first. Then nothing can shake you.

Sudden changes will become challenges which test your strength.

Carry on with your daily life but expect major shifts.

Develop the will to endure.

In sum, the sequence leads me to this conclusion. Openness to Inspiration will increase awareness of the need to prepare for shocking, external disasters. Even while carrying on with daily life, it’s important to anticipate major shifts. This resonates with the earlier blog on Change, which also emphasizes prepping. “The unprepared see change as a threat, but the well-prepared face the unknown calmly.”

So, what specifically does the Common Sense Book of Change have to offer the Millennial generation? For starters, the Inspiration to anticipate shocking changes and the determination to meet external disasters calmly.

Naturally, there’s much more. But it will have to wait for next time.

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When the Lights Go Out, Who Will Millennials Call?

Whenever I hear how addicted Millennials are to their iPods, social media friends and electronic war games, I cringe. It reminds me of the biblical story about handwriting on the wall. As I recall, in ancient times, a mysterious message magically appeared on a decadent palace wall, writ large by an invisible hand in a script unknown to King Belshazzar or his corrupt cronies. To those able to decipher such warnings, however, it predicted the ruler’s extinction.

Millennials are touted as the golden children of progress. “They’re the last best hope for our future,” I hear you say. That’s the rumor, anyway.

But there’s another rumor. Ever hear the maxim, “Whatever has a front has a back?” It continues, “The larger the front, the larger the back.” It’s another way of saying, “Every coin has two sides.”

In this case, let’s ask, “On the day when the lights go out, what would happen to wiz kids dependent on their electronic toys? What use would their extreme investment in computer skills be then?” The logical answer: None. Zip. They’d be helpless and useless.

Nor is this scenario as unlikely as most would hope. Look at the decrepit condition of overworked national grid systems. Consider the frequently threatened possibility of hostile cyber attacks.

I have a powerful memory of the night the lights went out in New York City. It lasted only a span of a few days. I don’t recall the exact date or duration. Only the horror of that early warning remains clear.

Thousands were trapped in high rise apartment buildings. Their windows didn’t open to fresh air. Phones were down. Radios and TV didn’t work. They couldn’t communicate with loved ones or connect with the outside world for help.

Kitchen and bathroom gadgets were useless. Food and water supplies ran dangerously short. What little food remained in freezers started to spoil. Without central air, slow suffocation was a real possibility. Without lighting, folks could barely fumble their way down long flights of stairs. Those who managed to get outside faced a nightmare war scene of muggings, looting, widespread panic and riots.

After that, if I’d lived in any large city, I’d have relocated as quickly as possible. Some said it was a wake-up call. But, surprisingly, people still continue to go quickly back to sleep, even after a long string of similar wake-up calls. Life appears to get back to “normal” (whatever that may be). Most just shrug and revert back to their old dependencies.

In my last blog, “Early Adapters Are Most Likely To Survive,” I hinted at my best hope for Millennials. [See wp.me/p46Y5Z-c8.] I held that once Millennials start connecting the dots and seeing the larger picture of how the Book of Change resonates with their own computer and game addictions — as well as the enormous implications — there’s a genuine, valid basis for future hope.

This hope is the up-side to the same maxim, “The larger the front, the larger the back.” Name, the same computer technologies turned outward to connect with peers and dazzle (or alienate) their elders have biological and metaphysical equivalents. When turned inward, they have the potential to empower Millennials in a way that changes the dark side of dependency on technology to an opposite and equal survival advantage — even and especially in the face of a (God forbid) technology-poor future.

Here’s the key. There are powerful correspondences between technology and human anatomy. Inventors have always depended on self-awareness to create extensions. For example, the violin’s resonant music depends on the same science of sound vibrations that powers the alternating pulsations of the breath and the lub-dub rhythm of the human heart. It’s no accident that the musical instrument’s parts have human anatomy names — neck, belly and spine. Other examples are legion. Think of the horse-drawn chariot, steam engine, train and automobile, to name a few.

Those who practice the I Ching-related discipline of yoga intentionally tune their bodies as instruments. By regulating the breath and slowing their heart rates, they heighten awareness and increase lifespan.

IF (dare I say when) Millennials connect the dots and recognize the powerful correlations between computer technologies and the human brain — how it’s wired, stores information, etc., —  they can, with appropriate disciplines, change themselves into instruments of higher consciousness. Because, just as violins don’t have souls — it takes musicians to fashion them and then activate their potentials — so also, computers don’t have souls. Their inventors and those who choose to use them wisely do.**

Lumosity computerized games are tapping into the vast potential for good. But so far, based on the limited and limiting research methods of empirical science, they’ve just scratched the surface (quite literally so). To go deeper and actualize the unrecognized potential for expanding human consciousness latent in computer technologies, it’s necessary to look to the tried and tested science developed over eight-thousand years and counting that’s hiding in plain sight. Yes, I’m referring to the Chinese I Ching.

Here’s a picture of how it fits into the larger scheme of things as an essential puzzle piece of the larger, atom-like structure of Einstein’s intuited Unified Theory.

Fits in the Picture

There’s powerful magic latent in the timeless Book of Change, albeit written in a language not all understand. Like the ancients who were able to read, heed and survive the handwriting on the wall, those of every generation who attune themselves to the wisdom of this interactive book will have the edge on future survival. By this I mean not just clinging to the bare minimum of animal existence, but a hopeful new beginning.

And no, this isn’t new age hocus pocus. Although it resonates in musical ways that seem magical to the uninitiated, the modern sciences of atomic physics, computer binary digital code, and DNA structure/function now give intriguing explanations as to how/why it works on a cellular or even atomic level. To repeat, once Millennials start connecting the dots and seeing the larger picture of how the Book of Change resonates with their own computer and game addictions — as well as the enormous implications — there’s a valid basis for genuine future hope.

How can this be? How does this all work? Here’s another pair of maxims, rarely understood, even less often applied: “As within, so without” and “As without, so within.”

In any case, on the day when the physical lights go out, those who depend on inner light for guidance will be the ultimate survivors. In the interim, intelligent use of the interactive Book of Change can serve to reconnect sincere preppers (early adapters) with their deepest core. It gives those with an open mind the wisdom needed to navigate successfully through dangerous times.

Electricity and the many kinds of vehicles it powers are ephemeral mirrors of the inner source upon which they depend, the eternal light which sustains those open to receive it. To repeat what was earlier written for a Millennial who challenged me with a leadership question, “Dangerous Times Call for True Radicals.” [See wp.me/p46Y5Z-aA.]

When preparing for danger — the eventuality, for any host of reasons, that the physical lights go out — the best answer to the movie question “Who you gonna call?” isn’t “Ghost Busters.” But close. Call on the myth busters who dispel dysfunctional paradigms like the limiting exclusively empirical science paradigm which has gotten us into our current mess. Call on the radical truth-and-light-bearers of all times.

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** [Atheists may argue the point. There’s no time left for such nonsense. Besides of which, this has already been addressed at length elsewhere.  See Atheism Answered.]

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Early Adapters Are Most Likely To Survive

With one exception, responses to recent blogs have been gratifying.

In response to “Therapists as Agents of Positive Change,” Brent Nichols, M.A., C.S.W., a Jungian Psychoanalyst located near Berlin, Germany, wrote, “Very nice piece. . . I very much appreciate your lovely thoughts about the Jungian therapeutic process.”

John Romig Johnson, Ph.D., NCPsyA., a Jungian Analyst at Body and Soul International near Charleston, South Carolina, wrote “Marvelous blog. I want to read them all when I get a chance.”

Candace Kleven, PhD., a Psychotherapist in the Jungian Tradition wrote from Redondo Beach, California, “Thank you Pat! I am looking forward to reading your blog and staying connected with your much needed work.”

In response to “Savvy Leaders Go with the Flow,” from Toronto, Canada, Frank Feather at StratEDGYInc. wrote “That is a wonderful and very sage article, Pat. . . . I fear for America. The paradoxes in its political and socio-economic way of life are astonishing and self-destructive. The so-called dream is in danger of becoming a nightmare. . . . Please keep writing, and thanks again for connecting. You are extremely wise.”

But, in balance, lest I get overly-impressed with myself, Brian Chernett, Founder and Chief Executive at ELLAFORUMS CIC in Harrow, U.K. responded, “Its interesting but a little Academic for me.”

Ouch. But, okay. This is an important turning point for me. It’s time find a new, more effective way to communicate. So this is for Brian.

I checked out ELLAFORUMS and learned that it’s a “leadership development programme specifically designed to inspire and develop the leaders of Social Enterprises and Charities.” I listened as Brian explained that ELLA stands for Experiential Leadership Learning Academy. Ah. His direct, interactive approach to leadership training explains, at least in part, his objection to a one-sided monologue.

But to be honest, there’s more. I read “Savvy Leaders” again, thinking how it must look from Brian’s view point. Sure enough. Though I swim like a golden fish in the lore of world scriptures, taking joy in linking the patterned echoes of truth that repeat throughout, to a reader without the background of my chosen path, allusions to Plato and the Old Testament, not to mention Lao Tze, are a stretch. [Understatement.]

So I’m challenging myself here to get straight to the point of “Savvy Leaders” without depending on the authority of unnecessary outside sources. The timing of this decision is critical because I’ve chosen from now on to focus my work towards Millennials (as well as the parents and grandparents who dearly wish them well).

Twenty-somethings swim like golden fish in computer technologies which I find as challenging as my academic waters are to them and their practical hands-on mentors. It’s my responsibility a boundary- spanner to reach out and bridge whatever gaps interfere with effective communication, be they professional or generational.

So here’s my point, straight up. History repeats itself in intricate but predictable cyclical patterns. To stay ahead of the curve, successful leaders depend for survival on timeless wisdom — both innate and educated.

The basic point of Rethinking Survival is that human survival will depend upon decisions based on a simple, complete and correct paradigm. Currently, world leaders operating on the basis of incomplete, extreme and dysfunctional paradigms are making decisions that endanger us all.

The way out of current madness must begin with restoring a complete and correct paradigm, one that is consistent with both the world’s great religions and with modern physics. I’ve presented it as the Positive Paradigm of Change and published two books, one an autobiographical and personal approach, the other a bare bones, practical user’s manual.

I’m advocating a Positive Paradigm shift, regarding it as urgent to rethink priorities and retrain our minds. Historically, power holders with a vested interest in the status quo met calls for change with fierce resistance. It takes a new generation, one for whom old solutions to challenging situations no longer work, to take up the banner of a more functional, hopeful paradigm.

This is why I dedicated Two Sides of a Coin to the Millennial Generation. Seemingly disinherited by their elders, they have little vested interest in protecting the dysfunctional paradigms that have brought us to the current mess we’re in. The Positive Paradigm of Change, a descendant of the Book of Change that remains true to the original, gives them the means to actualize the opportunity hidden in adversity. Namely, survivors must, albeit of necessity, fortify inner strengths and restore forgotten wisdom.

In 1975, I wrote an easy-to-read version of the timeless Chinese I Ching called The Common Sense Book of Change. In fact, it was written exactly to rescue the timeless essence from unnecessary baggage in a non-sexist, non-flowery form that readers of every age with basic language skills and an open heart could relate to.

I cannot speak highly enough of this treasure. This interactive book serves to connect sincere users with their deepest core. When I was dealing with issues which couldn’t be spoken, it was the best friend that got me through tough times. It was the therapist I couldn’t afford, but in some respects better.

It resonates in ways that seem almost magical, though the modern sciences of atomic physics, computer binary digital code, and DNA now give intriguing explanations as to why it works on a cellular or even atomic level. (Hint: It’s no accident that the universal Positive Paradigm model is reminiscent of the rings surrounding the atom’s nucleus as well as the planets revolving around our solar system’s sun.)

Once Millennials start connecting the dots and seeing the larger picture of how the Book of Change resonates with their own computer and game addictions — as well as the enormous implications — there’s a hope for the future. (To those of Christian background who resist its wisdom as if there were a conflict, let me assure you: There is none. Christ told us he existed before the world and will continue after. He presence permeates the field. The wisdom of all human times necessarily partakes of that essence.)

Jesus foresaw the times we’re now enduring. The Book of Change confirms what he foretold and gives those with an open mind the wisdom needed to navigate successfully through dangerous times. Regardless of naysayers who wish to believe otherwise, the world is currently at a nadir point in its history. We are already in the midst of what Old Avatar calls a Near Extinction Level Crisis (N.E.L.C). Recent events in the Near East, North Korea, and the former U.S.S.R, not to mention those closer to home on the U.S. Southern border are merely the visible tip of a vast iceberg.

Historically, at the critical mass of decline and chaos, visionary leaders equal to the times have come forward. They will surely arise from the amongst the Millennial Generation’s ranks as well. They may not have the material advantages earlier available to me. But there’s a trade off.

I’ve had the instructional blessings of international travel and a good education, as well as the luxury of a lifetime to turn knowledge and experience into wisdom. This is my legacy, handed over across the bridge of the generation gap. Millennials are the children and grandchildren I never had. The Positive Paradigm of Change is the sum of all I’ve learned, an inheritance now entrusted to their use, to pass on to their children in turn, if and when that time comes.

Bottom line: history is not a straight line. Those who live as if it were are in deep trouble. Those of vision, while living in today’s world, are quietly preparing for inevitable shocks waiting around the bend. They’re savvy enough to avoid calamity whenever possible, and when the inevitable must be faced, they’re ready meet it, adapt and survive as best they can.

The self-aware who sense and respond to the changes “blowing in the wind” are called “early adapters.” They, along with those who heed and follow them, are the most likely to survive whatever challenges may come.

All Best!

Savvy Leaders Go with the Flow

We’ve all familiar with the phrase, “Go with the flow.” It’s another way of saying, “Timing is everything.” But how does it apply to the leader selection process? That’s the final, forth factor Mike Lehr of Omega Z Advisors invited me to comment on. Earlier, he wrote:

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When I look at events, I see four major forces: circumstances, flow, people and leader. From my perspective, you wrote about the last two. [See “Scientists and Sages Can Agree on This,” wp.me/p46Y5Z-8W and “How Bad People Become Leaders,” wp.me/p46Y5Z-9B.] I’m asking about the first two.

The third factor has already been covered in a responsive blog. [See “Do Circumstances Influence Leader Selection?” wp.me/p46Y5Z-be.] That leaves the fourth major force influencing leader selection – flow.

Though I often describe flow as timing, my view is more from the I Ching on this. So, my question to you is this: Would being at different points in the I Ching cycle produce different leaders?

To summarize, I often ask people this question: If everyone suddenly awoke not knowing who they were and not remembering how they came to be where they are (if we could reset life), would the same leaders arise that we have now?

In fact, the Book of Change was traditionally consulted as a method of telling time. According to Conscience: Your Ultimate Personal Survival Guide:

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. . . the I Ching works like a cosmic clock, telling us the time. In the Old Testament, King Solomon expressed the natural, rhythmic alternations of time in poetic form: “To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.”

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

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The Common Sense Book of Change explains it this way:

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This text is called the Book of Change because its readings sum up the natural laws of change. They reflect stages through which daily events evolve in predictable cyclical patterns.

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These patterns can be drawn on any scale from smallest to largest. For example, they might express the seconds which add up to a minute, or the minutes which complete an hour on the face of the clock.

compass clock

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What most leaders fail to take into account, however, is that the different hands of this cosmic clock return to the twelve o’clock alpha-omega compass point of True North at different rates of speed. By analogy, successful leaders have an overview of the complex point in time where their organizations currently stand, as well as the ultimate direction in which they’re headed.

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Unfortunately, short-sighted leaders see only the second- or, at best, the minute-hand of the clock, mistakenly assuming they see the whole picture. They remain sadly unaware of the larger context, oblivious to the long-term hour.

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For example, the fast-moving second-hand of the cosmic clock may point due North towards the zenith point of twelve o’clock and the intermediate-speed minute-hand point to 12:15. All the while, unobserved, the slowest-moving hour-hand may point towards the nadir, due South at six o’clock.

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Short-sighted leaders miscalculate. Their timing is dangerously off. For example, when they act as if prosperity is never-ending (or else just around the corner) when in fact a depression of unprecedented proportions is looming ahead like an “unforeseen” iceberg, they’re unwittingly leading unprepared followers into a disaster of Titanic proportion.

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To continue with Plato’s earlier “leader as charioteer” image, successful executives must be capable of harnessing the opposite forces of expansion and contraction, the yin-yang pair of white and black horses. If these energies are not reined in and balanced, they can tear whole nations apart, steering them off-course into self-destruction, either consumed by the sun or else smashed to smithereens below. [See “Know When to Mistrust Inner Voices,” wp.me/p46Y5Z-aR.]

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Those versed in the dynamics of I Ching yin-yang opposites know that each extreme generates its polar opposite. For example, extreme inflation inevitably triggers an opposite and equal extreme of deflation. Extremes of extravagant waste on the part of a few predictably lead to wide-spread deprivation and misery for the many.

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But how do the basics of flow apply to leader selection today? As discussed earlier, it depends on who the selectors are. For example, in biblical times, when the Egyptian Pharaoh had disturbing warning dreams which he couldn’t fathom, he had the humility (prudence) to seek out those wiser in such matters. He took the advice of a cup-bearer, formerly a prisoner, whose release and good fortune was foretold by an unjustly incarcerated fellow prisoner named Joseph.

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Joseph not only recognized the meaning of the Pharaoh’s warning dreams, but proved to be a skillful administrator. During the sunny cyclical time of prosperity, he advised on how best to meet the approaching shadow cycle of downturn with its specter of drought, famine and starvation. Given the responsibility to oversee collection of grain during times of plenty, he steered his people towards survival. (Joseph was what in modern parlance is called a “prepper.”)

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Unfortunately, most leader selectors have less humility. When they have bad dreams, they’re less likely to seek out the modern day equivalent of a Joseph to reap the benefits of inner signals. [See “Therapists as Agents of Positive Change,” wp.me/p46Y5Z-bA.]

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Disregarding disturbing signals coming from every direction, they’re more likely to listen to feel-good gurus who get rich by telling them whatever they want to hear. “Everything will be okay. Be Happy. Don’t Worry.”

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Unfortunately, repeating positive mantras can’t alter the patterned flow of events. As irresponsible leaders across the globe continue to lead their followers into war, playing political chess from their plush, comfortable offices, eating, drinking and making merry at others’ expense, the Titanic ship of Planet Earth continues on its fateful collision course towards disaster.

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In fact, as Old Avatar warns, at this late date in the flow of time, we’re not only approaching a Near Extinction Level Crisis (NELC). We’re already in its midst. The extreme outcome will surpass even the dangers foreseen by Plato or dreamed of by Pharaoh — more along the lines of the four-horsed apocalypse of biblical prophecy.

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Today’s savvy and responsible leaders — those with the prudent humility of a Pharaoh to recognize that they aren’t equipped to analyze warnings and prepare to survive approaching dangers — would do well to seek out and select those wiser than themselves and heed their prepper advice. The survival of their beloved children and grandchildren (which, as Einstein warned us, can no longer be taken for granted) hangs in the balance.

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Mike asked, hypothetically, If we could reset the clock to the zero hour and make a clean start, would the same leaders emerge? The ones he’s hoping might arise are already there, allbeit waiting in the wings. I’ve been hinting as much in recent tweets. “The presence of true masters is only suspected. Lao Tze 17.”

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The introduction of Two Sides of a Coin: Lao Tze’s Common Sense Way of Change quotes Passage 18, which echoes the Bhagavad Gita’s premise that at the nadir of historical cycles, true leaders come forward for the instruction and deliverance of troubled truth seekers:

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When countries degenerate into strife, / anarchy sets in.

When danger peaks, however, / heroes emerge / and come forward.

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In this context, the more realistic question is, Would a better leader selection process produce better results? That’s the immediate challenge facing today’s leader selectors.

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As for how timing influences leader selection, Lao Tze gives this answer:

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78.

Nothing under heaven is as soft,

receptive or pliant as water;

but when amassed,

nothing withstands

its tidal wave impact.

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As water penetrates

and dissolves the hard,

erodes and absorbs the rigid,

those who yield and encompass their foes

prevail long after evil doers

have disappeared.

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Like water,

the sage takes the world’s suffering

to heart,

endures its hardships,

and responsive to the times,

becomes the catalyst

of collective action.

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So it is that the low and high trade places,

and the forceful lose their influence;

this is known by many,

but practiced by few.