Tag Archives: Respect

Take the Best, Leave the Rest – IC -112320

Unlike any kind of fortune-telling, prophecy, or magic, the I Ching does not tell the future, it can only analyze the present. Its use does not allow one to make forecasts, only diagnoses. If there were a comparison possible with a Western equivalent, it would not be to the crystal ball but to a chess playing computer program that analyzes the current situation in order to choose one of a number of options.

Cyrille Javary’s description of the Book of Change is my favorite. It spells out exactly why, in 2020’s year of challenging choices, the book is so potentially valuable.

Working with it offers a meditative approach to problem-solving. Take a deep breath. Step back from the fray. Be the observer. Instead of getting caught up in one side or another, see how they dance together. Then consciously, carefully choose the best course of action.

That’s far better than getting sucked into conflict, engaging in blame, anger or despair, or being confused to the point of paralysis.

With I Ching wisdom, you won’t be fooled by false either/or choices. You’ll know that in duality, there are two sides to every coin. “Whatever has a front has a back.” Further, “the larger the front, the larger the back.”

Thousands of years experience confirm that nothing is only what it seems. Even more, as a Law of Nature, every extreme changes into its opposite. That’s why sages warn us to avoid extremes; 2020’s year of extremes is painful proof of the Law in action.

In Take the Best, I wrote.

In reading opinion and even “how to” pieces, I recommend the 30/70 principle. With careful attention and a little bit of luck, it’s possible to extract the 30% value from the 70% rubbish in which its embedded.

Ferreting out fact from falsehood takes Sherlock-like attention to detail. It requires conscious discrimination, in the positive sense. It demands active investigation, not passive acceptance of what appears on the front-side of the coin.

So which will it be? Do you want to be a conscious player in the chess-game of life, or simply a pawn moved around the board at the whim of others?

We’re not taught 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. Through the end of 2020, bi-weekly posts are intended make what was once unfamiliar now familiar.

Today’s reading is the most dynamic and perhaps challenging of 2020. GAIN, the original outcome, changes four times – moving through FAMILY, CLARITY, GROWTH, and PROBLEMS — before arriving at its final outcome, PROSPERITY.

At the beginning of Thanksgiving week, the deeply desired return of Prosperity come only after patiently going through the step-by-step process it takes to get from here to there. And at each step along the way, a consistent theme emerges:

GAIN is the initial answer to today’s question, “What should we be aware of NOW?” It reads:

GAINS can be made after analyzing the situation correctly. When a person’s life goals are kept firmly in mind, no time is wasted. A way can be found to use whatever resources are at hand to serve one’s purpose. Serving others can be compatible with personal gain. Avoid smug self-satisfaction.

During conflict-filled, end-stage 2020, it’s important to step back and take a deep breath. Analyze what’s going on, define our goals and how best to meet them. Accept that personal gain is inseparably connected with showing respect for others needs.

* * *

The advice of Line 3 represents a flip side of today’s theme. It reads, “Sometimes insincere people can help others without meaning to.”

Often selfish people who don’t respect others “coincidentally” fulfill nature’s plan. Ironically, in this season, power abusers have grown so bold that they’ve shown their hand. Pay attention to reap the unintended benefits. When this advice is taken to heart, the 3rd line changes to:

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.

Respect, trust and acceptance are integral to today’s consistent theme.

As for roles, although I greatly respect Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorke, and am profoundly grateful to President Trump’s legal supporters (Rudy Giuliani and Genna Ellis, as well as the noble Sidney Powell), I’m neither by temperament nor training a street fighter.

As they fulfill their destined roles in the human family’s critical war for truth and justice, I accept a modest, complimentary role. My part is fulfilled by adding a book of wisdom to the mix.

It’s my job to urge humans to remember our common humanity. Don’t continue down the divide-and-conquer path of conflict which serves only the dark-side Evil Emperor. Instead of going at each others throats, we must join forces to cut off the head of the snake that plays us against each other — to our mutual destruction.

Similarly, all of us need to step back and decide how as individuals we’re best qualified and able to contribute.

* * *

Repeating the common theme, advice of Line 4 reads, “Conflict between helping yourself and helping others is not necessary.” This advice being thoughtfully applied to one’s own life, the fourth line changes to Clarity:

Cultivate CLARITY. Listen to the pure and childlike voice of your inner being. Even if this results in new and unexpected experiences, you will benefit. Take joy in being true to your Self. Modified by consideration for others, this will give you creative abilities. Avoid fearful attachment to the familiar.

According to theme, consideration for others tempers personal joy and enhances effectiveness.

* * *

Again on theme, advice of Line 5 reads, “Worthwhile goals and practical purposes can be linked. Be sincere.” It reinforces the wisdom of the original reading, Gain. “Serving others can be compatible with personal gain.”

No either/ors! Here’s the shadow side of our theme: Taking advantage of others is a super bad idea. One way or another, it will backfire, big time. When we internalize this advice, putting it into action, the 5th line changes to Growth.

People seek help according to what they need for their own GROWTH. Unless hunger is fed with the right food, no amount of input will satisfy. To understand others, watch how they nourish themselves. Nature provides for all. Leaders promote those who have the ability to serve many. Avoid greed.

The resonant theme repeats: “Nature provides for all.” For thousands of years, the Book of Change has taught what psychologists now say. Humanity is starved for wisdom. Lacking awareness of our inalienable, inborn okayness, people fall prey to every imaginable disease, addiction and vice. Violence, over-eating, drugs and indiscriminate sex don’t feed the real hunger. Wisdom, self-compassion and human kindness do.

***

Advice of the Top Line reads, “Laziness and greed repel people. Don’t take advantage of others.” It’s part of the theme’s flip side. When taken to heart, the line changes to:

When a new life is struggling to emerge, there will be PROBLEMS in the beginning. Seek help from people whose ideas and methods can help to create inner and outer stability. Take an active part in the growing process. This will help you to define your own identity. Avoid helplessness.

This reading reinforces the need for positive, fulfilling Growth. Like it or not, 2020 has been a watershed year of 2020 and of reset. After enduring extremes of loss and chaos, we need to bring ourselves back to balance, redefine ourselves and make a Fresh Start. Again,

Choose to be

an active chess player,

not a passive pawn.

***

After the changing lines are honored, each in turn, in combination they lead to in a final outcome, Prosperity:

Use the time of PROSPERITY as the opportunity to benefit as many as possible. Hoarding wealth of any kind hastens loss. Nature acts to distribute resources equally. Therefore, the way to prevent poverty is to live modestly in the present. Share wisely, without prejudice. This secures continued well-being. Avoid possessiveness.

Prosperity is the end result of mastering the lessons of family, clear thinking, nurturing the best in ourselves and others, and seeking wisdom when faced with problems. True to the consistent theme, it emphasizes the wisdom of acting like nature. Going forward, benefiting as many as possible without prejudice will be the way to secure good fortune.

For most of us, 2020 has been intense and harsh. But it also brought important lessons – blessings in disguise. From now to mid-December, when we’re slated to see major reversals, the wisest use of down time is to sort out the best of 2020. Leave the rest behind as we prepare to enter 2021 with its promise of a new set of interesting challenges/opportunities.

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.

We are Team Humanity

I was challenged tonight to think deeply about promoting my books. Is it just to make money? In marketing efforts, have I gone sideways, forgetting larger, fundamental purpose and goals?

How can I express how deeply the conviction goes, “To save one life is to save the world entire?”

As a young girl, in a world where adults failed me entirely, books kept me alive. Years later, I wrote intending to put on the shelves that for which I earlier searched but could not find. I wrote to help confused, bewildered young people like the young woman I once was survive.

It is to pay forward what authors ancient and modern gave of themselves to me . . . solace, hope and faith. That is why I write. And that is why I will to fight to cut through the clamor of competition to be heard.

Along these lines, I remembered an article written in December of 2014. It says the same thing in a different, maybe better, way. Then, I had given up the fight and left. But kind words and second thoughts led me back into the fray . . on my terms.

Discourse sized

Richard Lipscombe hinted I would have second thoughts about leaving WB. He also said exactly what (he probably knew) would tempt me back:

Patricia, thanks for your intellectual efforts in your posts – you made me think about stuff that I otherwise would not have ever really contemplated. Good teachers make us think, they make us challenge the essence of who we are in the process, they are gift bearers, they are rare, and most of all they are not out for themselves but for us the students.

In writing what follows, it became clear to me that you guys are my teachers too. The process of writing Fresh Start II made me really think, for which I thank you all. Richard. Tony. François. SEF. TerryAM.

I was quite the poker fan for a while. Take-aways include the maxim, “Don’t explain. Don’t complain.” That is pretty much how I operate. But this time, I need to make an exception. To prevent future misunderstandings, I will (without complaining), explain why I decided the effort to make a Fresh Start is worth it.

For starters, I was trained as a musician. My social metaphors are harmony and cooperation. An orchestra comprised of talented soloists playing inspired music under the direction of a single conductor is my ideal community.

I swim like a golden fish in music, scriptures and things metaphysical. Competition is not only foreign to me. It is anathema.

In duality, there are two sides to every coin. Granted, without a doubt, there are some benefits to competition. But in today’s political/corporate world, the law of diminishing returns has pushed the pendulum to the opposite extreme. In an either/or world that pits winners against losers, losers are continuously scrambling to beat out the winners. Winners can never relax. They’re obliged to be constantly looking over their shoulders, wary of losers scheming to overtake them.

Is that really necessary? Are we nothing more than Darwinian animals, surviving at others’ expense? What about Survival of the Wisest, Jonas Salk’s alternative approach?

For example, look at American sport through the eyes of an uninitiated foreigner. The story goes that in the early 1960’s, a Jewish immigrant recently arrived in New York City attended his first football game. But the spectacle of grown men racing up and down the field, butting heads, competing to take possession of a ball seemed ridiculous. He shrugged, “How much cost a ball?”

Keeping our eye on the ball — the life-fulling goals everyone everywhere share in common – is what’s too often forgotten in the heat of ego competition. That’s why it seemed time for me to part ways with WB. Competing for ratings is not conducive to building a community of like-minded, purposeful writers. The pressure to comment for its own sake too-easily leads to empty ego-assertion – one-upsmanship — rather than contributing to the substance and purpose of each particular post.

I’m sure many guys have fond memories of participating in team sports. Politics, I suppose is the real world application of rivalries harnessed to social ends.

But my memories aren’t fond at all. Years spent in the UW Department of Educational Administration were an eye-opener as to what has gone so terribly wrong in education. Former football coaches and military vets were in charge of dictating how schools are run. Professors’ attitudes were saturated in violence and competition.

Where I defined “administration” in terms of its root, “ministry” (meaning service), the prevailing definition was “the allocation of scarce resources.”

The difference goes far deeper than gender or cultural preferences. It is a matter of human survival. The competitive attitude is a primary cause of world conflict, the reason we’re in such a terrible mess. Nor (as Einstein observed) are solutions are to be found in the same mode that has generated the problem.

In other words, it is exactly because my musician, yogic perspective is so different from the “norm” that I have a lot to offer to the WB community.

For the record, be assured I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Life hasn’t been any easier for me than for anyone else. Nor do I think I’m better than others. Metaphysically, that’s not possible. Students and teachers are warp and woof of the same fabric, giving and receiving in an infinite loop through the generations. We’re in it together.

In my world view, reverence for life is fundamental. Non-negotiable. This is why I recently took such exception to a comment made in the personal attack mode, with name-calling and overt disrespect. Again, it was symptomatic of all that has gone wrong in this world.

If I sometimes seem harsh (as one LI connection accused), the impatience has to do with my sense of urgency. The stakes are too high. Time is too short.

Also, although I sometimes speak in philosophical terms and use scriptural references, it is not to show off (as another LinkedIn detractor charged). It’s my reality. It’s simply who I am. I don’t write to impress or intimidate. It’s a calling. It’s my life work and heartfelt desire to put what I’ve learned (often the hard way) and who I am (for better or worse) at the service of those willing/able to benefit.

So, please, rather than faulting an imperfect messenger, focus on the message. We are Team Humanity. The ball worth fighting for is human survival, which, as Einstein has warned us, can no longer be taken for granted.

Namaste2

Respect vs OPOs

Namaste1

Without a complete and accurate paradigm, one centered around the universal essence of existence which everyone everywhere shares in common, how can one respect oneself, much less others?

In Life Wheel context, essential respect rests at the center of the Wheel, ever the same, despite the fact that it is ruled out in dangerously incomplete and inaccurate belief systems.

Sadly, we train our young people to base their self-respect on other people’s opinions. Ah. The dreaded OPOs.

Why? Does your survival depend on them? Sometimes, yes. Most times, no. Do you let your self-respect go up and down with them? If so, life’s a rocky ride indeed. For OPOs are as fickle as any Hollywood fad.

Dependence on OPOs leads to this: mobs protesting in the streets, demanding respect while showing none for others. It’s oxy-moronic. A stupid contraction in terms. Look it up. Moron, meaning stupid, is actually part of the word’s Greek root.

Respect on what level, and for what? People unaware of their eternal soul define themselves in terms of their looks, or belongings, or social status. Or their feelings. But these are in continuous flux. They’re as changeable as the daily weather.

As for other people’s opinions. Most often they are a hodge-podge of assumptions, media-influenced “facts,” and mindlessly absorbed cultural conditioning. For the most part, they are myopically self-serving.

But the eternal soul? Ah. That’s something of substance one can depend on, in all weather, that never goes out of fashion.

Here’s a picture worth a thousand words:

Respect in the Center

It suggests that perhaps self-respect might well be based on achievement of consciously chosen goals, ones consistent with the welfare of all. Or living true to conscience, no matter what.

Respect for others on the surface level of results would depend on the same standard held for oneself – ability to choose and work consistently towards the achievement worthy goals.

The Book of Change describes the Self-Possession demonstrated by true leaders.

Great leaders demonstrate the SELF-POSSESSION to remain true to what they know is right despite all hardships. They act gently but fairly with others. Because they are consciously in harmony with the source of creative power, they express ideas brilliantly.

And another picture worth many words:

Namaste2

Essay 53 from Conscience weighs the balance in favor of inward-based and mutual respect:

Essay 53. RESPECT

Through the text runs a moral thread, which foreshadows the most noble ideals of Confucianism: A respect for the Natural Order, an esteem for self-cultivation, and a sense of social justice. — Kerson and Rosemary Huang, The I Ching

As long as companies think of employees as costs rather than assets, they will always be tempted to reduce the costs rather than invest further in the assets by providing safety nets for health care, retirement, and all the things that help people to get through their lives with dignity. — Autry & Mitchell, Real Power: Business Lessons from the Tao Te Ching

Our respect for ourselves determines (a) the amount of respect we crave from others and (b) our need to push for control and dominance. . . when you are in a situation when you feel disrespected, it causes a negative response [as if] the outside world, through your ego, is your only source of psychological support or nourishment. — David J. Lieberman, Make Peace with Anyone

THE FRONT

Roots of “respect” mean to look at, or look back on. Webster’s first definition is to feel or show honor or esteem for, to hold in high regard, or to treat with deference. It also means to show consideration for, to avoid intruding upon or interfering with, as to respect others’ privacy. It can mean a deference or dutiful regard, as in respect for the law. Respect is used to indicate courteous regard, as in respect for others’ feelings.

In the context of Affirmative Action objectives, respect refers to acceptance of diversity in public life, honoring each individual’s dignity and value, regardless of national origin, age, gender or personal beliefs. This implies more than an obligation to pay token lip service to legislation or an attitude of condescending tolerance. It supports the welcoming, embracing view that everyone has something of unique value to offer; that the whole is completed and enriched by contributions from every possible point of view.

In Native American, Buddhist and Hindu traditions alike, children are taught a reverence for all of life, extending not only to humans but nature as well. This includes creatures of the animal and insect kingdoms, as well as rivers and oceans, forests, mountains, deserts, jungles and even the air we breathe. Together they weave the fabric of life on earth, and evoke a commitment to maintaining the delicate balance of life-sustaining elements.

In corporate context, unfortunately, respect takes on the qualities of intimidation, fear of retribution, and enforced loyalty. In the context of inner city gang cultures, respect takes on intense meaning. The slang word “dis” means to disrespect. News stories tell of youth so outraged when strangers show disrespect that they kill for revenge. Their extreme desire for external show of personal respect changes to its extreme opposite, the ultimate show of disrespect for life.

Sages teach enduring respect for the timeless essence of all traditions, but do not hold onto particular forms of its expression after their usefulness has been outgrown. In Chinese history, the life span of successful dynasties was extended not by resisting change, but by embracing it.

When barbarians hordes assailed the empire’s gates, royal advisors, knowing that resistance was futile, recommended that the newcomers’ vitality be respectfully assimilated by mutually beneficial intermarriage of races and ideas.

When paradigms are in flux as new approaches are sought to answer new questions and meet new needs, messengers of change are often shot as if traitors by short-sighted, self-serving gatekeepers of the passing order.

This may impede progress, but cannot turn back the clock.

When the times are dangerous and the need for growth imperative, attempting to inhibit urgently necessary change is as dangerous to the civilization as is attempting to stop a mother’s labor pains once the birthing process has begun.

If, through our examples, we taught our children self-respect, self-awareness and a fearless respect for life, they’d experience no need to demand respect from others. Then disrespectful behavior would trigger not rage, but rather compassion and a commitment to uplift the ignorant and less fortunate.

THE BACK

Disrespect is the opposite of respect. Often it’s a product of sheer laziness and inattention. It can manifest as careless word choice or manner of dress. It’s reflected in failure to maintain one’s health, relationships, tools or property. This attitude is passed down through the generations and perpetuated by imitating bad examples.

The word respect is perverted when used in the context of Mafia-like extortion. It becomes a euphemism for submission due to extreme fear, the illusion of powerlessness and paralysis. Corrupt governments and organized crime rings which depend on passive acquiescence to stay in power are not respecters of life, nor do they receive of authentic respect.

Rethinking RESPECT

“The wisdom of the ancients can inspire a reinvention of democracy now.” In this context, RESPECT is the necessary balance to the earlier blogs on FREEDOM and POWER.

 globe

53. RESPECT

Through the text runs a moral thread, which foreshadows the most noble ideals of Confucianism: A respect for the Natural Order, an esteem for self-cultivation, and a sense of social justice.  — Kerson and Rosemary Huang, The I Ching

.

As long as companies think of employees as costs rather than assets, they will always be tempted to reduce the costs rather than invest further in the assets by providing safety nets for health care, retirement, and all the things that help people to get through their lives with dignity.  — Autry & Mitchell, Real Power: Business Lessons from the Tao Te Ching

.

Our respect for ourselves determines (a) the amount of respect we crave from others and (b) our need to push for control and dominance. . . when you are in a situation when you feel disrespected, it causes a negative response [as if] the outside world, through your ego, is your only source of psychological support or nourishment.  — David J. Lieberman, Make Peace with Anyone

THE FRONT

.

Roots of respect mean to look at, or look back on. Webster’s first definition is to feel or show honor or esteem for, to hold in high regard, or to treat with deference. It also means to show consideration for, to avoid intruding upon or interfering with, as to respect others’ privacy. It can mean a deference or dutiful regard, as in respect for the law. Respect is used to indicate courteous regard, as in respect for others’ feelings.

.

In the context of Affirmative Action objectives, respect refers to acceptance of diversity in public life, honoring each individual’s dignity and value, regardless of national origin, age, gender or personal beliefs. This implies more than an obligation to pay token lip service to legislation or an attitude of condescending tolerance. It supports the welcoming, embracing view that everyone has something of unique value to offer; that the whole is completed and enriched by contributions from every possible point of view.

.

In Native American, Buddhist and Hindu traditions alike, children are taught a reverence for all of life, extending not only to humans, but nature as well. This includes creatures of the animal and insect kingdoms, as well as rivers and oceans, forests, mountains, deserts, jungles and even the air we breathe. Together they weave the fabric of life on earth, and evoke a commitment to maintaining the delicate balance of life-sustaining elements.

.

In corporate context, unfortunately, respect takes on the qualities of intimidation, fear of retribution, and enforced loyalty. In the context of inner city gang cultures, respect takes on intense meaning. The slang word “dis” means to disrespect. News stories tell of youth so outraged when strangers show disrespect that they kill for revenge. Their extreme desire for external show of personal respect changes to its extreme opposite, the ultimate show of disrespect for life.

.

Sages teach enduring respect for the timeless essence of all traditions, but do not hold onto particular forms of its expression after their usefulness has been outgrown. In Chinese history, the life span of successful dynasties was extended not by resisting change, but by embracing it.

.

When barbarians hordes assailed the empire’s gates, royal advisors, knowing that resistance was futile, recommended that the newcomers’ vitality be respectfully assimilated by mutually beneficial intermarriage of races and ideas.

.

When paradigms are in flux as new approaches are sought to answer new questions and meet new needs, messengers of change are often shot as if traitors by short-sighted, self-serving gatekeepers of the passing order. This may impede progress, but cannot turn back the clock.

.

When the times are dangerous and the need for growth imperative, attempting to inhibit urgently necessary change is as dangerous to the civilization as is attempting to stop a mother’s labor pains once the birthing process has begun.

.

If, through our examples, we taught our children self-respect, self-awareness and a fearless respect for life, they’d experience no need to demand respect from others. Then disrespectful behavior would trigger not rage, but rather compassion and a commitment to uplift the ignorant and less fortunate.

.

THE BACK

Disrespect is the opposite of respect. Often it’s a product of sheer laziness and inattention. It can manifest as careless word choice or manner of dress. It’s reflected in failure to maintain one’s health, relationships, tools or property. This attitude is passed down through the generations and perpetuated by imitating bad examples.

.

The word respect is perverted when used in the context of Mafia-like extortion. It becomes a euphemism for submission due to extreme fear and the illusion of powerlessness. Corrupt governments and organized crime rings which depend on passive acquiescence to stay in power are not respecters of life, nor do they receive of authentic respect.

—————

Kerson and Rosemary Huang, The I Ching. (Workman Publishing Co.: New York. 1985.)  Preface.

James A. Autry & Stephen Mitchell, Real Power: Business Lessons from the Tao Te Ching. (Riverhead Books: New York, 1998.) p. 186.

David J. Lieberman, Make Peace with Anyone: Breakthrough Strategies to Quickly End Any Conflict, Feud, or Estrangement. (St. Martin’s Press: New York, 2002.) p. 15.

—————

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