Tag Archives: relationships

Family, Community & Organization

Today’s bonus blog supports Back to What’s Basic, where the final outcome is FAMILY. The subject is both timely and vitally important.

According to The Common Sense Book of Change:

Inside the FAMILY one learns to play out given roles. This makes later success in roles on the job and in the larger community possible. Clearly defined relationships make communication easy. Respectful cooperation with others earns trust and acceptance from the human family. Avoid roles not suited to your nature.

Family is the fundamental unit of society – the building block of community. It’s key to success at every larger level, lacking which entire civilizations crumble.

To restore today’s decaying foundations, however, Sages tell us to first look within. Thus, the Basic blog concludes:

The end goal is harmonious relationship with the entire human family. This reading is so value-rich that, to do it justice, I had to publish a self-standing bonus blog, Family, Community and Organization.

Bottom line: There’s intense pressure – coming from all levels – to destroy core unity. It starts with internal consciousness and extend outwards to breakdown the family unit and then social organization. What’s the consequence of this breakdown? Who wants it?

Do you? If not, what are you willing to do about it? When?

To help in rethinking what we take for granted at great risk, here are three supporting essays. Though originally written in the year 2000, they’re key to overcoming 2020 madness.

There’s a lot here. But it deserves your careful attention. What could be more basic to building a better future?

ESSAY 13. FAMILY

One who wishes to have a well-organized family should first cultivate his personality. / One who wishes to cultivate his personality should first regulate his mind. / One who wishes to regulate his mind should first be honest with his consciousness. One who wishes to be honest with his consciousness should first attain true knowledge. — Confucius, Great Commentary

In the family we learn love, patience, respect, nurturing, affirmation, and health. The family also teaches us about competition, domination, selfishness, and deceit. The family is thus a relatively efficient learning system for the development of mind, spirit, and body. It involves the whole self. — Tom Chappell, The Soul of a Business

For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. Jesus Christ, St. Matthew 12:50

THE FRONT

The Latin root of family means household establishment. An obsolete usage refers to all the people living in the same house, including servants and slaves. A later definition refers to all the relatives living in the same house, including extended family. Only recently has it come to mean a nuclear unit, the traditional set of parents (one husband, one wife) and their off-spring.

A family can mean a group of people related by ancestry or marriage, including relatives. It can be all those claiming descent from a common ancestor, tribe, or clan — a lineage. A crime syndicate under a single leader is also called a family.

Ideally, children learn the basics within the family. If we trained ourselves and our children in I Ching ways, there’d be no need for each generation to reinvent the wheel over by repeating the same mistakes. Sheltering them from the “real world” isn’t a kindness. A better way to protect them is to provide the wisdom tools to give them the practical edge, help them meet the challenges of adult life with intelligence and self-confidence.

As Chappell indicates, within the nuclear family as in the human family, everything, both positive and negative is possible. As we learn to articulate what we see and respond wisely to experiences in the family environment, we become increasingly able to apply these skills in school, business and extended political situations.

But as Confucius teaches, the goal of improving and sustaining family relationships isn’t achieved by extending ever outwards. It requires looking inward:

  • Efforts to improve personality lead to the need to know one’s mind.
  • This leads to exploring inner awareness.
  • Then, in due time, inward movement cycles outwards, incorporating benefits of the inward journey into personal and practical everyday life.

Within families of every size, whether communities, religions, corporations or governments, some live by the law. Others don’t.

Christ taught that those who love and choose truth are all members of his extended family.

Those who love life, who seek truth and understanding and do their best to help others as they can, have more in common with each other than with evildoers within their own groups.

THE BACK

Opposites of family include strangers in our community whom we’ve never gotten to know, foreigners raised abroad who speak languages and practice customs we don’t understand, as well as others we’ve been taught to mistrust and dislike.

The antithesis of family is foe, including competitive opponents and military enemies. Whereas families are ideally founded on common beliefs, goals and mutual support, those who threaten or sabotage others undermine healthy relationships. Gratitude and hope build communities. Mistrust, hostility and abuse break them down.

ESSAY 14. COMMUNITY

We can create communities and relationships based on love and intimacy rather than fear and hatred. We can learn from the suffering of others. Awareness is the first stage in healing. . . Dean Ornish, Love and Survival

As we accept the smallness of the world, the density of the population, and the myriad influences on individuals and families, someday we may recognize the community and even the whole society as the patient. Imagine, then, what a “doctor of society” might do, what kinds of diseases he or she might treat! — Patch Adams, Gesundheit!

Each celestial body, in fact each and every atom, produces a particular sound on account of its movement, its rhythm or vibration. All these sounds and vibrations form a universal harmony in which each element, while having its own function and character, contributes to the whole. – Pythagoras, quoted in The Healing Power of Sound

THE FRONT

Community stems from a root word meaning fellowship. In English, the word refers to all the people living in a particular district or city. It can also mean a group of people living together as a smaller social unity within a larger one, and having interests or work in common, such as a college community.

Alternatively, it can refer to a group of nations loosely or closely associated because of common traditions or for political and economic advantage. It also covers similarity of tastes and preferences. The last definition Webster’s gives is the condition of living with others in friendly association and fellowship. The last definition comes full circle back to the original meaning.

Communities are founded on a common cause. It can be as practical as survival or as idealistic as freedom. Often, community cohesion is artificially stimulated by fear and hatred of a common enemy.

For example, Hitler inflamed passions against Jews and foreign bankers to mobilize his war-weary country into a second world war more devastating than the first. Then Americans rallied behind the common goal of defeating enemies of democracy on two fronts, Asia and Europe.

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.

Winning that war did not, however, automatically secure freedom for all times. Democracy isn’t a static achievement that can be passed on unchanged from one generation to the next. It must renewed and earned again, one individual at a time, each generation at a time, continuously redefined in the context of immediate circumstances.

The music of life that moves every organization, smallest to largest, is the basis of harmonious fellowship. Approaching natural law and social organizations from the deeper understanding of the ancients could inspire a new, more humane and effective approach to international relations now, one based on energy dynamics which the human community share in common.

Sages say that freedom from tyranny begins with dispelling ignorance and overcoming negative emotions. True freedom and stable communities begin with the self-awareness and self-mastery which can be gained by diligent use of wisdom tools like the Book of Change. First remembering the core of compassion and caring within, we can then extend and expand this good-will into healing society as well.

Put another way, it’s useless to fight for a democratic world before first cleaning out the inner swamp of negative emotions. Inner life conditions attract corresponding external experience. Fighting in anger and hatred reaps results in kind.

Working to establish positive community relationships before personal attitudes of good-will and willing self-discipline are established is futile. As Covey reminds us, first things must come first.

THE BACK

Street gangs, terrorist groups, religious cults and secret societies are subgroups within the larger community. To the extent that their goals oppose and even endanger the community at large, these organizations are antithetical to the general good.

Pariahs, nomads and outcasts are individuals excluded from society, either voluntarily or by edict. Whether justified or not, their attitudes and behavior are out of harmony with accepted norms. If enough of them find common cause to band together, they form alternative groups which become the foundation of new communities.

ESSAY 59. ORGANIZATION

Because it is a structure of structures, the design of the I Ching can generate analytic systems of potentially infinite complexity and variety, and can be applied to any conceivable realm or situation. . .The I Ching analyzes the interplay of relations as functions of qualities, roles, and relative standing. It can be applied internally to any system of human organization, regardless of scale or configuration. — Cheng Yi, The Tao of Organization: The I Ching for Group Dynamics

THE FRONT

Roots of organization start with organ, originally referring to a tool or implement in the context of music, such as a church organ.

Organic means made up of systematically interrelated parts. Organize means to provide with an organic structure, or to arrange in an orderly way.

There are two basic approaches to social organization:

  • One builds from the smallest unit, organizing from the nucleus and extending outwards.
  • The other starts from the outside peripheral rim, incorporating smaller units, often swallowing them up by force.

I Ching thinkers focus on the smallest unit, making self-mastery their primary goal. World-domination seekers, from Alexander the Great to Napoleon and Hitler, represent the opposite extreme.

Natural Law reveals bad-faith motives of would-be conquerors. Pay attention to the rule, “The larger the front, the larger the back.” Those with the most to hide are exactly the ones most eager to seduce with promises of peace and acts of extravagant generosity.

Hitler, for example, didn’t bring war-weary Germans into WWII by announcing war plans. He promised just what his people wanted to hear — peace and prosperity, but then delivered a holocaust. For this reason the UN, for all its rhetoric, is suspect. Its “peace keeping” powers mask ominous potential for another push to world-domination.

An I Ching martial arts precept observes, “To push a man right, first push him left.” Chaos of natural disasters, famine and economic collapse play into the hands of empire builders. In extremes of social disorder, desperate people impulsively accept any strong man who promises to impose “order,” no matter how drastic the form, ruthless the “how” or self-serving the “why.”

After the immediate crisis passes, however, they wake up to find they’ve been maneuvered into a state of martial law where human rights no longer receive even token gestures of respect.

I Ching thinkers understand that unity and peace refer primarily to states of internal awareness and experience. When leaders use such words in the context of imposing organizational control, especially on an international scale, it’s time to proceed with great caution.

THE BACK

Disorganization is the opposite of organization. Since roots of the word imply natural order and coherent structure, the opposite implies a departure from the natural order. Disorganized lives reflect a lack of rhythm and harmony in outlook and lifestyle.

Perversions of organization include routinization and mindless, mechanical consistency. When attention isn’t focused on the immediate situation, there’s no appropriate adjustment to accommodate changing circumstances. An inflexible approach is likely to be wrong as often as right.

We Share This in Common – IC – 101520

Today, we’re already under the influence of a super New Moon that perfects tomorrow in Libra – the sign that rules relationships. This includes legal justice as well as relationships with ourselves, family, friends, community, and Source.

FYI, it’s called “super” because closeness to Earth intensifies its affect.

Be warned, we’re in for another rocky ride. One astrologer foresees “a lot of butting heads.”

Another sees it as a day to “Expand your life!!” Yet another focuses on the higher octave, recommending in the midst of chaos and breakdown, to “BE OPEN To A Higher Love”

Then, of course, there’s Pam Gregory. Followers find her insights immensely helpful. “You are getting me through 2020, Pam. You are my #1 ‘news’ source and I’m infinitely grateful to you.”

She sees two major themes this month. First is “deconstruction of the old order,” establishment clashing with strident demands for equality. Second comes shocking, seismic events: earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or political scandals.

Coinciding with this Libra New Moon, the U.S. Senate’s Supreme Court hearings have attracted unusual interest.

Now, I know some object. Astrology is pagan. It’s morally and/or scientifically wrong to pay attention to New Moons.

My answer: “It depends.” Natural Law is an integral (often overlooked) piece of the larger puzzle. Taken out of context, worshiped to the exclusion (or in defiance) of Source, Agreed. Not wise.

However, it’s useful to know about astral energy information for several reasons.

First, over thousands of years, sages have looked to the stars (not just planets) for information. Certainly, they were on to something important. They couldn’t all be wrong.

Second, whether consciously or unconsciously, no matter how immune we like to believe we are, planetary energies have a powerful affect on moods and behavior. It’s a primal thing we share in common, but have woefully forgotten. (Personally, I prefer be forewarned of “disturbances in the force,” the better to adjust and respond compassionately.)

Third, many follow astrology. Predictions shape expectations. Even when they’re silly, many believe them. So be aware of what people are thinking.

Fourth, again, knowledge of the middle, e=energy level of the Life Wheel is neutral. Its value, positive or negative, depends on the motives and skill of the user. Folks with Hitler-like motives are exploiting 2020’s dynamics to further their ends. They count on programmed, head-in-the-sand attitudes to get away with their schemes.

It behooves the spiritual warriors among us to be more skillful than they are, able to redirect and unify fragmented energies.

The I CHING READING

We’re not trained to come to the Book of Change for answers to our deepest questions. That’s why I’ve chosen to bring the book to you. Through the end of 2020, these bi-weekly blogs are intended to make what was unfamiliar now familiar.

ORIGIN is the first answer to today’s question, “What should we be aware of now?” It picks up where the last post, Where Do We Come From, left off and carries forward the theme of discovering inner worlds:

All people thirst to know the roots of their ORIGIN. At one level, learning about family and cultural traditions fills this need. At another level, this quest is satisfied by seeking for deeper knowledge. The vitality of all races flows from a single source which never runs dry. Avoid narrow-mindedness.

Family and tradition represent the outer rim of daily experience; vitality is the middle, energy level of the Life Wheel which links surface with Center.

In 2020, the chief complaint of “not-enoughness” comes from a powerful thirst for deeper knowledge. Relationship conflicts at every level reflect a programmed, socialized disconnect from Source.

For those who avoid narrow thinking, ORIGIN changes twice. On a hopeful note, line three advises, “Let others know what you can do. Opportunities will develop.”

When the advice is followed, the line changes to DANGER:

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.

The Book of Change has warned me of Danger many, many times. I’ll have more to say about this a month from now, when it reappears as a stand-alone. Here, the key is to protect against negative emotions.

The advice of the 4th line supports the 3rd. It hints at the way to explore new worlds. “Withdraw from activities long enough to rest and re-energize yourself.” Meditation, however it’s practiced, is an important counterbalance to 2020 conflict.

Heeded, the 4th line changes to INNER STRENGTH:

When difficult situations come to a head, rely on INNER STRENGTH to endure. If it becomes necessary to retreat, do so with courage and self-confidence. Make sure your inner and outer resources are secure. If you must begin a new life, you will have to depend on them. Avoid helplessness.

This confirms what many of us sense. In 2020’s year of critical mass, situations are coming to a head.

Resources on the surface include family, friends and community. Deeper, they include emotional maturity, mental clarity and steadfast faith in Source.

NOW. When heeded, the changing lines combine to form a familiar outcome. Arrived at in a different way, it’s the same as last time: DEPRESSION:

At times when it seems as if one’s resources are exhausted, care must be taken to soften the harmful effects of DEPRESSION. Whether the cause of depression is mental, emotional or economic, do not despair. The time will pass. Use hardship to develop inner strength and calm. Avoid negative thoughts.

Here there are two keys. First is Inner Strength, which repeats and reinforces the 4th changing line. Second is avoiding negative thoughts, the way to overcome Danger.

Depression too occurs on all levels of the Life Wheel. On the outer rim, it takes economic forms. In the middle, e=energy realm, it manifests as negative emotions. Deeper still, it registers as attachment to false beliefs.

Today’s take-away: rest assured, Depression will pass. In the meantime, benefit from its hidden blessings by exploring inner worlds, the better to return stronger, wiser and prepared to meet whatever may come next.

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.

The Tower of Babel Dilemma

tower-of-babel

There was quite a while when I didn’t speak with people, other than to exchange empty greetings and conduct routine business. I was so disillusioned, attempts to communicate about anything of substance seemed futile.

During this time, working with the Book of Change kept me in touch with the deeper, better side of myself and the universe. As this work led me to reestablish meaningful connection with others, my aspirations turned towards seeking ways to share this life-saving gift with others.

If the best I had to offer humanity was the same book which had served to keep me whole, how could I persuade others of its value? Whether intentionally or not, what I have come to call “The Tower of Babel Dilemma” – the degeneration and fragmentation of the English language – is a formidable obstacle to effective communication. Glib labels and false assumptions associated with the book led to out-of-hand rejection. “Foreign.” “Ancient.” “Unscientific.” “Unchristian.” “Pagan.” “Superstitious.” “Difficult.”

It seems to me that language has devolved into quite the opposite of the English I’d learned to love and respect in high school. There, we were taught to regard language as the premier tool of logic. When used with Sherlock-like diligence, applied the powers of keen observation and heightened awareness, it could solve mysteries — not only to detect the crimes of evil-doers and the nefarious plots of national enemies, but to unravel the mysteries of life and the universe.

Turned inwards, used with self-honesty, language is essential to cultivating self-awareness. For the truth-seeker, language is a necessary vehicle of information both on the inward quest and on the return journey outwards to share results.

But even people with the best of intentions use the same words to mean very different things. They miss each other coming and going, only vaguely aware of the disconnect.

Tracking the meanings of words, I was fascinated to find that their devolution is systematic. In some cases, the same word actually means not only one thing, but its exact opposite as well.The “positive” word is an important example. Webster’s dictionary lists seventeen (!) contradictory uses.

Instead of being used as a means for unifying human beings, language is often degraded into chaotic paralyzing noise – a weapon for stirring up animosities, division and confusion.

So I set about to build the all-important groundwork for communicating about The Book of Change. I needed to rescue the language – restore it from its debased status as a smoke screen spun to camouflage self-serving intent. To this end, I outlined chapters for The Yoga Dictionary: Answering the Tower of Babel Dilemma.

As a reminder, the biblical story describes defiant humanity’s fall from unity into confusion and separation:

In Genesis, a united humanity speaking a single language and migrating eastward, came to the land of Shinar שנער‎‎. There they wanted to build a city and a tower “tall enough to reach heaven;” God, however, disapproved of such behavior as disrespectful, scrambled their speech so they could no longer understand each other and scattered them throughout the world.

The Sixty-Four Essays found in Part Two of Conscience are an off-shoot of this project. They’re meant to be used, as is the Book of Change itself, to cultivate mindfulness. They bring attention to the complexity of basic words we too often take take for granted and the critical importance of establishing a shared common ground of understanding.

Three-Part Format

Like the 64 images of the I Ching, each of the 64 Essays in Conscience: Your Ultimate Personal Survival Guide is self-contained – a miniature world complete. Each invites the reader to slow down and think carefully, taking the time to examine current beliefs and apply timeless wisdom to immediate personal experience.

There’s a method to the order of the Essays. Originally they were placed in a logical progression that seemed to tell a story. However, there’s no need to read them in sequential order. Using the Alphabetical Table of Contents is another option. If a particular subject stands out as immediately relevant or interesting, choose that one.

A three-part format gives each Essay structure-within-structure:

Part One. Though the Book of Change is dismissed as inaccessible and rarely taught in public schools, the number of influential thinkers whose ideas intuitively resonate with its timeless wisdom aren’t limited by either time or place. Quotes from the work of well-known figures serve as a springboard and bridge linking the familiar with the new.

Contrasting voices speaking to the same universal concerns highlight the yin-yang, old-new, East-West dynamic which everyone everywhere, deeper than deep, share in common.

Quotes from Chinese philosophers inspired by working directly with the I Ching include Confucius, Lao Tzu (The Tao Te Ching) and Sun Tzu (The Art of War).

Quotes from the Old and New Testament which resonate with I Ching wisdom include the Psalms of the musician/poet/ healer/warrior King David and the words of his direct descendant, Jesus Christ.

The Muslim tradition is represented, as are modern day medical practitioners, healers and teachers. Countless martial arts disciplines are based on I Ching science and philosophy, as are Tai Chi Chuan and Qigong. Bruce Lee‘s Jeet Kune Do is one well-known example.

Also included are voices of Westerners in synch with I Ching wisdom, from Plato and Christopher Columbus to William Shakespeare and Albert Einstein; from Abraham Lincoln and Sir Winston Churchill to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela; from Norman Vincent Peale to Peter Drucker, Scott Peck, Steven Covey, Jim Loehr, Norman Cousins, and Tony Robbins.

Voices of creative women in harmony with I Ching wisdom include those of Emily Dickinson and Virginia Woolf, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, Naomi Judd and Oprah Winfrey.

Part Two. “The Front” examines a specific word’s meaning in depth, giving examples with emphasis on its use in I Ching context, elaborating on implications of the quotes. Quite often changes in meaning correlate with the evolutionary path of the chakra system, reflecting an increasing level of maturity and self-awareness.

Part Three. Just as the coins sometimes used to derive I Ching readings have two sides, every idea has its shadow, opposite side. Accordingly, a brief section called “The Back” balances The Front side of each Essay to round out the picture. It briefly describes each universal idea’s mirror opposite, as well as inversions and perversions.

angel-sized

Revisiting these concepts at this particularly dangerous window of time would be a particularly helpful investment of energy and attention, as the gap between an historical election and projected inauguration stands in the balance.

Let those with an ear to hear and heart to understand take heed.

Unity & Diversity Are Necessary Compliments

AXIOM THREE of the Positive Paradigm of Change is now “Unity and Diversity are Necessary Compliments.” Although the idea isn’t necessarily fun or sexy, understanding this essential relationship will significantly improve the quality of both your personal and professional life.

Taken out of context, the second axiom is subject to distortions and misunderstandings. Resulting confusion can generate conflict in family relationships and on, all the way up the life chain to conflict amongst nations. That’s why Axiom Three is an such important extension of the second.

According to Axiom Two, “We are Each a World Complete, Containing the Potentials of the Universe.” This inherent inner similarity is the realistic foundation of common understanding. However, the fact that we each have the same inner structure does not mean that everyone is identical and that we should act as if we’re all the same.

Like snowflakes, humans are identical in their basic structure. Each, however, is a unique expression of the universal pattern. Personal abilities and needs are the result of an infinitely complex set of variables.

And just as an integrated balance of energy centers is necessary to the overall health of an individual, a balance of complimentary abilities and interests promotes the general health of society at large.

We share the potential for perfection in common. However, in balance, innate potentials are filtered by cultural conditioning. Each of us has an overlay of education and personal experience which tends to distort and even mask that common core.

Each of us has a long history of decisions, not all of them good. We live with the consequences of past actions as well as our hopes for the future.

Further, while our inherent structure is identical, within the evolutionary chakra scale, at any given time and place, most individuals are narrowly focused on only one or a small combination of the seven centers and their specific issues. The roles which meet our immediate learning needs and simultaneously best serve the whole are the outcome of these combined influences.

Bottom line: diversity on the surface is an inevitable, necessary and beneficial compliment to unity at the center. So long as the levels of the perfect pattern are understood and correctly prioritized, there is no conflict between unity and diversity.

0 Axiom 3

When the levels are not prioritized, problems follow. Unity at the surface — meaning regimentation, uniformity and coerced one-size-fits-all thinking — is antithetical to life, just as diversity is at the center is impossible.

So it’s essential to prioritize the levels correctly. Be clear and correct about what is absolute and unchanging. Conversely, worldly success depends on accepting what is ephemeral, non-essential, subject to change and short-lived for what it is . . . and is not. Recognizing the difference is critically important to maintaining both personal and institutional stability.

For example, when alliances are formed on the basis of surface appearances — whether it be immediate self-interest, perceived attractiveness, race, gender, age or other biological markers — the connection is weak and likely to be short-lived.

In contrast, relationships remain stable when they’re based on a personal connection with the unchanging, universal center – that which everyone shares in common and upon which everyone depends. They withstand the tests of time and prove to be mutually beneficial.

For eight-thousand years and counting, Chinese sages operated on an understanding of how the world really works based on The Book of Change. This explains the longevity of dynasties which were steered in alignment with the fundamental axioms of change.

To the extent that ancient societies understood and were governed in accordance with the universal pattern, their leadership choices mirrored this organization. At the family level, the leadership role of the biological father was regarded as a natural reflection of the divine pattern.

In increasingly larger levels of organization, in each case the greatest among the group was designated as its natural leader, seated at its center, and entrusted with the grave responsibility of maintaining stability and balance in the best interests of the whole.

Although rarely honored and only imperfectly implemented, the universal pattern pictured in the Positive Paradigm Wheel remains the organizational model which best accords with reality, and has the most likely chance of generating beneficial results.

Just as we dearly need to depend on the center of our personal lives for inspiration, wisdom and stability, we need to be able to look to the leaders in our lives – families, schools, business, and governments – as stewards of our trust.

When leaders at every level, worldwide cannot be trusted to maintain stability or protect the common good, the times grow exceedingly dangerous. In such times, personal balance and ultimately survival depends ever more greatly upon an unshakable connection with the unchanging center within.

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Corollary A: The levels of the Positive Paradigm Wheel are interrelated and interdependent. But they are qualitatively different and should be prioritized accordingly.

The surface is transient. Hurt it, and it can heal. Have a bad day, and there’s always tomorrow. This is “the small stuff.” The center, however is absolute and absolutely necessary. “With God, all is possible.” But without a conscious connection to the center, nothing of enduring value can be accomplished. Violate this connection with impunity long enough, and eventually there will not be another tomorrow.

Corollary B: Looking for completion and stability on the surface, where none exist, is a sure formula for disappointment. Creating false expectations and failing to teach realistic attitudes towards inevitable changes on the surface of the life wheel (as well as where to turn for wisdom and solace in the face of life’s disappointments) is bad for mental health and long-term relationships.

Corollary C: Unrealistic, dysfunctional paradigms are the root cause of addictions. When people are cut off from their center or deny their emotional/physical needs, they feel starved. Not knowing why, they turn to substitutes which don’t truly satisfy. When mental escapes aren’t an option, self-destructive alternatives present themselves.

Corollary D: Bigotry, discrimination and violence of every stripe are a function of ignorance in regard to Axiom Three. We are different on the outside, but eternally the same on the inside. Look past appearances which are often deceptive for the foundation of enduring relationships of value.

Corollary E: Reason is necessary but not sufficient. When used to link the material surface with the middle and inner levels of the Wheel, it is a powerful tool. When turned against the life force, elevating itself as if it were the exclusive way of knowing, it presumes to judge what is beyond it. This is hubris, the catalyst of tragedy. Rationality in the extreme changes into its opposite, producing desperately irrational results.

Corollary F: Forgetting (or denying) the existence of a nucleus at the center of our personal atomic structure along with fighting over the illusion of superiority and possession of ephemeral assets is a sure recipe for personal suffering, relationship problems and professional failure. On an international level, it leads to atrocities and genocidal wars.

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Rethinking SEX & TANTRA

Today is a tongue in cheek test of the SEO factor, to find out who is visiting this blog and why. Visitors, are you there? What do you think? Your comments are welcome!

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9. SEX

“Sexual union is physical enactment of the virtue/power, the te of Taoism. It is the resolution of the physical dichotomy of male and female, of self and not-self. Man enters woman while woman receives man. Two bodies become one. Physical separateness is transcended. Each is the completion of the other.” — Ray Grigg, The Tao of Relationships

“Everybody affected by feelings of guilt and shame will have negative feelings about their sexuality. These feelings block the flow of primal life force through-out the entire body. Equally, at a physical level, any negativity toward your sexuality or parts of your body leads to chronic tension in muscles throughout the body. This means that your energy can no longer flow between your Tan T’iens, or centres of Divine Energy. ” — Russell & Kolb, The Tao of Sexual Massage

“If we want to reach our boys and help them develop mature and responsible attitudes towards sex, we need to understand their motivations. As a culture we are much more aware of and sympathetic to the pressures around sexuality girls feel. The confusion boys feel is hidden, hidden under their own masks of macho posturing and under the weight of our misconceptions of toxicity about boys.” — William Pollack, Real Boys

THE FRONT

Roots of sex, discrimination and science all mean to divide. Webster’s definition of sex includes either of the two divisions, male or female, into which persons, animals or plants are separated, with reference to their reproductive functions. Sex refers to the character of being male or female, all the attributes by which males and females are distinguished. It can refer to anything connected with sexual gratification or reproduction, or the attraction of those of one sex for those of the other. It can also refer to sexual intercourse.

The dictionary does not differentiate between sex and gender stereotypes. While the biological differences between human males and females remain constant, their roles and prescribed behavior varies from culture to culture, and within cultures over time.

For example, Margaret Mead, a pioneering anthropologist, challenged the stereotypes of her day both in the moral conduct of her personal life and in the conclusions of her published research. In Coming of Age in Samoa, she reported that the many different ways boy and girl children can be raised will shape their attitudes and relationships into very different patterns.

She described one tribe that taught their children easy-going, accepting attitudes towards sex and raised contented, peaceable adults. In contrast, a cannibal tribe raised fierce warriors by systematically frustrating their infants, hanging them on tree branches to swing unattended, withholding basic touch and caring. Current civilizations resemble the cannibals more often than the peaceable, contented tribe, both in training and results.

Tantric yoga is a discipline which trains students to change sexual impulses from a culturally conditioned detriment to intentional accelerator of personal growth. Its premise is that forbidding people to think about sex has the opposite of intended effect. For centuries it’s been know that if you tell people not to think of white elephants, they’ll think of nothing else.

Slamming the lid on libido drives it into the inaccessible “unconscious.”

While publicly feigning compliance, people thus repressed indulge compulsive sexuality in extreme. Perhaps intentionally, perhaps not, sexual deviance has been systematically programmed into the world’s highly educated elite for centuries, making them vulnerable to blackmail and/or public humiliation for their inevitable discretions, placing them at the mercy of puppet masters who wield secret powers behind the scenes.

To prevent such personal/political undoing, energy science trains students to be wise, skillful and practical in sexual matters, fulfilling intimate needs without tearing the fabric of their emotional, family and professional lives apart.

As with communication, power and peace, the purpose and expression of sex evolves as awareness grows. For humans, the sex act begins and ends in the mind, the body’s most erogenous zone. Depending on attitude, it can be experienced as debasing or pure bliss. Sex can be a mating for the purpose of reproduction. It can be a one-sided expression of lust or will to dominate, motivated by insecurity, cruelty or even revenge. It can also be a source of healing, an expression of compassionate love. Comprehensive sex is practiced with reverent understanding that the individual act mirrors the sacred union of opposites.

THE BACK

An inversion of sexuality is frigidity or impotence, the lack of attraction to the opposite sex or incapacity to reproduce. It implies rejection of the creative, reproductive process. Negative role models, unfortunate experiences, inhibiting education or poor health are possible contributing factors.

In mythology, an androgynous person balances male and female aspects from within. If used as an excuse to shun the challenge of relationships, aspiring to this perfect state forfeits the learning opportunities associated with being human. There’s time enough in the hereafter for the even harder lessons reserved for angels.

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Ray Grigg, The Tao of Relationships: A Balancing of Man and Woman. (Humanics New Age: Atlanta, GA, 1988.) p. xiii.

Russels & Kolb, The Tao of Sexual Massage. (Fireside Books: New York, 1992.) p. 55.

William Pollack, Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood. (Random House: New York, 1998.) p. 151.