Tag Archives: Tao Te Ching

The Tao Is Indifferent, But I Am Not — 010621

Early this morning, on the day historians are calling the Warterloo moment of the United States, I queried the I Ching three times.

I asked, “What should we know about Biden, radical dems and the CCP?” Next, “What should we know about President Trump?” Finally, I asked for myself, “What should I be aware of NOW?”

In sum, from its universal perspective, the Book of Change doesn’t seem to care which leader prevails. It endures, either way. Its ends will be accomplished, no matter how far humans stray from the law. The Tao is all-inclusive. It encompasses and (in the end) brings us all home.

HOWEVER, from my mortal perspective, I care deeply. I woke up today feeling heartsick and afraid, overwhelmed by the magnitude of events. To me, the gravity of immanent danger in combination with the corruption and/or cowardice of entrenched upper classes is beyond appalling.

The danger is very real to me. During WW II, my maternal grandmother’s Viennese relatives were exterminated in German death camps. As relatives who died in Stalin’s concentration camps or Mao’s equivalent all know: fated to fail as they always are, in the short-term, lustful fantasies of world domination come at a tragically high price.

First I’ll share relevant passages from the Tao Te Ching which express a sage-like overview on today’s events. Then, in the reading section, thinking it may resonate with you as well, I’ll share the answer to my personal question.

In poetic versions of Lao Tze’s Tao Te Ching, the fifth passage begins, “Heaven and Earth are heartless / treating creatures like straw dogs”.

Here, heartless doesn’t necessarily mean cruel so much as detached or indifferent. “Straw dogs” were ceremonial dolls usually discarded after their use.

Here’s how the meaning came through for me:

The first two verses of the following Passage are also to the point:

Yet, though the Tao is impartial, you can take heart from this (and have a caution):

FAMILY is the original answer to today’s personal question, “What should I be aware of NOW?” it reads”

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.

In my case, within the human family, I don’t have a lot to contribute to today’s DC confrontation. As much as I wish participants well, I dread crowds. I’m not suited by nature to be either an event organizer, a politician, attorney or news commentator.

So I contribute as I can, doing what I love to do . . . writing. In the long-term, there’s an underlying false paradigm driving today’s event. My eventual contribution – when folks calm down enough to wean themselves off of stimulating conflicts – may be to advocate adoption and dissemination of the correct, compete and accurate Quantum Paradigm which will correct the mistakes driving today’s chaos and eventually create a better future.

What are you suited by nature and skills to contribute? Are you actually doing it? If not, why?

* * *

Advice of the 4th Line reads, “Any attempt to serve will benefit leaders and followers equally.”

This line confirms not only that my efforts will benefit others, but that in the long-term, it’s a blessing, not a drain, for me to keep writing.

Advice heeded, the line changes to Community:

Commitment to COMMUNITY is a necessary part of individual growth. Choose leaders who can express common goals with clarity. They will know how to assign work according to ability so that all prosper. In the harmonious community, Creative Power expresses through the skillful work of individuals. Avoid all selfishness.

Community is built on the foundation of Family. Again, the issue of roles arises. And, again, I invoke Creative Power to suffuse my work with wisdom in a way others will find beneficial.

* * *

Advice of the 6th, Top Line reads: “Rise above worldly concerns. Create good work of lasting value.” This gets my personal YES!! Financial compensation would be nice, but it doesn’t motivate me. God always, miraculously, if not a moment too soon, provides. I will somehow continue to get by.

What really floats my boat is the hope that the creative work which flows through me will be found valuable in the long-term. Ever since 1977, when a School Board Association mentor made the comment, I’ve been told I’m ahead of the times. So be it. In the meantime, it’s my job to be sure what’s needed is ready and available for when the times are finally ready for me.

Advice heeded, the line changes to Completion:

Perfected actions reach COMPLETION. From this balance, however, new elements spring forth which create future imbalance. In this way, the cycles of nature are continued. This is not cause for sadness. Perfection lies in the whole life process, not in the beauty of a single peak moment. Avoid rigid attachment.

Who knows? Cycles large and small are nested, wheels-within-wheels. Certainly 2020 saw the end of a major cycle. The year 2021 marks the beginning of a new one. Will I survive to see its completion? so long as the work endures, it doesn’t matter.

Do you plan on surviving? If so, how and why?

* * *

Advice heeded, the composite of changing lines results in the final outcome of Change.

Day and night replace each other in endless cycles of CHANGE. The same natural law generates flux in human events. The unprepared see change as a threat, but the well-prepared face the unknown calmly. They know that after degeneration reaches critical mass, regeneration follows. Welcome the new. Avoid short-sighted fear.

This hexagram is the outcome of the first post, We’re At Critical Mass, in The Lessons of 2020. The year 2020 saw a culture building to a constitutional crisis. The Waterloo moment of January 6, 2021 marks its culmination.

Whatever the outcome of the election controversy, it is best to Avoid short-sighted fear.

Welcoming Change doesn’t necessarily mean liking it. It’s enough to remain open, rather than resisting whatever may come. Accepting the future brings, giving it space to evolve, leaves me open to recognize and make the best of new opportunities.

I hope you choose to remain courageously, confidently open to the opportunities in your future. May 2021 be kind to you all.

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

Born For Such A Time As This – IC – 122420

It is said we each choose the time of our birth. We come here for a purpose with a mission to fulfill. In the Bible, for example, Queen Esther’s courageous defense of her people, risking her life to rescue them from destruction, was inspired by sage advice. “. . . who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

A brilliant commentary on this passage expands on her uncle’s words, making them relevant to each one of us, here and now:

So why did you choose to be here for 2020’s challenges? What is your mission at Christmas time’s blessed reminder of hope, overshadowed by a crisis that threatens everything George Washington and his soldiers fought for as they crossed the Delaware River in the shadow of night on Christmas Eve.

Why am I still here? In Be An Instrument of Light, I offered the answer that works for me. It started with choosing to spend every last cent in my pocket to purchase a small lamp that seemed meant for me:

I liked the guitar motif, but didn’t get the hidden message for quite a while. Then, Click! I should have known. Being a string player, it was tailor-meant for me.

During my musician-yoga years, I’d actually outlined a book, The Body as Instrument: How To Tune It. Did you know that string instruments are modeled on human anatomy? They vibrate the same way we do, which explains our resonance with music. . .

In essence, my guitar lamp was an answer to unspoken doubts about writing, confirming the call to “be an instrument of light.”

Now, let’s look further. Why do you suppose Donald J. Trump, our duly elected President, is in place right now? In a recent interview, the honorable Lin Wood describes the immediate constitutional crisis in exactly the words I’ve used to describe 2020. The nation is fragmented. We’re being “torn apart.” We’re at a crossroads. Wood believes our President is the God-appointed leader qualified to meet the challenge, born for such a time as this.

Putting things in perspective, in the repeating cycles of time, this is not the first time around the historical clock. In the introduction to Two Sides of a Coin: Lao Tze’s Common Sense Way of Change, I wrote:

In Passage 18, Lao Tze echoes the Bhagavad Gita’s premise, confirming the widely-held belief that from time to time, at the nadir of historical cycles, God incarnates in varying places and in different forms, for the instruction and deliverance of troubled truth seekers:

On a smaller scale, closer to home, each of us has the potential to be a hero in some respect, if only by becoming victorious over one’s own negative emotions, overcoming one’s doubts and finding the courage to do what is right.

In accord with timeless wisdom traditions, our President is demonstrating the courage to choose moderation over civil war. He’s shown the wisdom to forgive unjustly harassed citizens at this blessed time of year. Lao Tze had words for such leadership:

On Christmas Eve 2020, the night celebrated as the birth of humanity’s renewed hope, let’s draw the lines clearly. In the US, it’s not about Democrats versus Republicans, nor is it about Americans versus Chinese, Russians, or any of their allies. It’s between freedom and slavery, between lovers of Truth versus treacherous slaves of the dark side. It’s between the Republic and what it stands for versus global communism and all it represents.

President Trump, who honors and serves Christ, is behaving like an epic Taoist master. Walking the tense tightrope of moderation, he’s doing what’s right to both preserve the Republic and avert the bloody, self-destructive civil war our enemies would salivate to oversee.

Wayne Allyn Root has just published a book of praise called Trump Rules: Learn the Trump Rules and Tools of Mega Success and Wealth From the Greatest Warrior and Winner in History! It’s an excellent idea — as far as it goes. But our President’s greatness goes far deeper.

For example, celebrated constitutional scholar John Yoo argues persuasively that the President, with the insight of an historian, is the Constitution’s Defender in Chief.

Yes, he’s fighting to win, but with the fewest physical casualties possible. He’s steering a steady course with the hope of preserving peace and unity, not grasping for personal power. He’s a genius, allowing true patriots come forward and take a stand, while giving sell-out cowards time to show their hands.

FORGIVENESS is the original answer to the question, “What should we be aware of on Christmas Eve of 2020?” It reads:

Through FORGIVENESS, old debts are canceled and harmony is restored. Free yourself from outgrown habits. Don’t be afraid to let go of the past. Releasing tensions will produce health. Mental blocks will be resolved. New clarity of vision will lead to important decisions. Peace of mind will follow. Avoid anxiousness.

Each sentence of this reading is a gem, worthy of a self-standing blog. It applies perfectly to the Christmas message, to 2020’s crisis as an opportunity release past mistakes, and to our hope for a better New Year.

* * *

Advice of Line 5 reads, “Respect from others must be earned. Right actions give self-confidence.”

Neither a bully nor a victim be. Others respect us when we demonstrate the self-respect to stand our ground. This applies equally to personal and political situations. However intimidating terrorist threats may be, acting in spite of fear and choosing to do what is right is the ultimate confidence builder.

When our actions demonstrate that we honor this advice, the line changes to:

ADVERSITY is a test of fortitude. When it cannot be prevented, the wisest response is acceptance. Use times of hardship as opportunities to strengthen character and focus on inner resources. Misunderstandings are likely to occur. Remain calm, take care of yourself and support those who depend on you. Avoid despair.

Again, each line is worthy of careful attention. In sum, the darkest depths of winter is a time of reversals. “Sages know that when critical mass is reached, regeneration is possible.” A light in the night sky appears.

But redemption is not instant. Christ was born when the priesthood of the temple was deeply corrupted. We are again at such a point in time. The potential of restoration has appeared. Perhaps we have been born in such a time as this to fulfill its promise.

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 Great Reset Starts Today – IC – 122120

Can it be coincidence that, hosting the Student Action Summit – Turning Point USA, Charlie Kirk speaks of a Reset? Is he aware that, according to astrologers, today’s winter solstice marks the long-heralded Cosmic Reset of the Ages as Jupiter and Capricorn simultaneously join and together exit heavy-handed Capricorn to enter into the radically different, enlightened sign of Aquarius?

Does it matter? Either way, Charlie, his generation and those who support them are perfectly in synch with the incoming wave of a positive, better future.

Often, I don’t know until “day of” what the content of a post will be. Lessons of 2020 is writing itself, one day at a time. I’m just an observer, a humble instrument, waiting for messages to come through. Saturday the 19th was no exception.

I “just happened” to randomly click on the the event just in time to hear Charlie’s opening comments. As I listened to presenters, I took notes to quote them here. They voiced exactly the same messages that China’s Lao Tze gave the world centuries ago during an earlier Fourth Turning. As coincidence would have it, Passage 54 was the pre-planned content scheduled as commentary on today’s I Ching reading.

Here are a few samples, spoken as if taken directly from my earlier posts.

  • Sara Carter: We are at a crossroads, a turning point. We have a choice.
  • Kristi Noem: America is not about fear. It is about hope for the future.
  • Tucker Carlson: Never betray your conscience. Be true God, yourself and the ones you love. You are still in charge of what is going on in your head and with the people you love. . . Corporate overlords are fundamentally at war with nature. This system has run its course.
  • Jeff Meyers: Universities are misleading students with three counterfeit maps of reality: Marxism, secularism, and post-modernism. The first blames wealth, the second religions, and the third truth seekers.
  • Mike Lindell:Learn from your mistakes. It will get you where you need to go.
  • Dinesh D’Souza: Ally wisdom with courage and deep faith and we become invincible.

Speakers spanning several generations all honored Charlie’s audience as custodians of the future, recognizing challenges to be overcome. I’ve long agreed. For example, because it speaks volumes, I quote the dedication to Two Sides: Lao Tze’s Common Sense Way of Change:

DEDICATION

The 2014 edition of Two Sides is dedicated to the Millennial Generation. Though it may seem as if they’ve been economically disenfranchised by their elders, material misfortune on the surface of the Life Wheel contains within it the hidden seeds of humanity’s long-term survival.

Ours isn’t the first time in the repeating cycles of history that leaders have squandered national resources. But in the context of Lao Tze’s larger reality, material resources aren’t that significant when compared to the intelligence, inner strength and inexhaustible vitality available to those whom circumstances oblige to return to the less tangible but very real levels of inner experience.

Millennials are the ones for whom the results of the materialistic, conflict-paradigm are so catastrophic that they have no vested interests to protect. They’re the ones prepared to move forward once again into the past, recovering the timeless treasure of the Quantum Paradigm buried deep within the Tao Te Ching’s wisdom.

They’ve been given the greater opportunity to dig deep, rediscover their inalienable inner resources and become the truly radical agents of substantive, positive change.

Also, because it speaks volumes, I offer one of the 81 passages for your careful, thoughtful attention.

We’re not taught to look to the Book of Change for answers to our deepest questions. That’s why I’m bringing the book to you. Through the end of 2020, bi-weekly posts are intended make what was once unfamiliar now familiar.

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

Peace within and harmony without come from STILLNESS. When immediate answers to important questions cannot be found, sometimes keeping still is the best way out. Burning desires produce chaotic thinking. This only clouds the issue and makes life painful. Meditation is a valuable method for finding stillness. Avoid useless activity.

While SAS celebrates the potential of millennial leaders, the outside world remains in chaos. At the lowest-ebb of 2020, it’s important restore the balance of inner quiet.

Advice of the 2nd line reads, “If you have acted out of turn, unhappiness will follow.”

“Out of turn?” I hear you ask. “How so?”

On many levels. In the world, prematurely certifying blatantly, defiantly corrupted election results would end in widespread misery. Whether the U.S. Republic stands or falls depends on our combined wisdom, courage and faith to right egregious theft before it’s too late.

On a deeper level, people persist in seeking peace in the wrong place, in the wrong ways. Looking for it on the ever-changing surface of the Life Wheel is futile. As Lao Tze told us thousands of years ago, lasting peace starts only from within, and one person at a time. It radiates outwards with a ripple effect, first influencing close relationships, then communities, spreading to countries and then the world.

Only when one operates from a complete, accurate reality map that shows where peace begins and how it radiates from Center to the surface does the line change, making a Fresh Start leading to a better future possible:

Even when it seems that all has been spoiled, it is possible to make a FRESH START. Be willing to face your faults. Find out how to correct them. The situation will gradually improve if you are sincere and work hard. Be sure you know what you want. Avoid delay.

It’s now or never. Our endangered Republic will be rescued, redeemed, healed and restored NOW or not at all. AVOID DELAY.

Whatever comes to pass, a better future begins with committing on a personal level to achieving self-mastery. It’s the first, necessary step we can take today as the best, in fact only insurance we can have for prevailing in the face the unknowns which lie ahead.

WHAT IF, God forbid, the grid went down? WHAT IF there were no connection with endless information streaming over toxic 5G? WHAT IF you couldn’t hear the encouraging words of SAS speakers each in their own way confirming what Lao Tze taught at an earlier Fourth Turning, or what the text he worked with, the Book of Change, advises?

I know what I would choose to have close by. It would be the Book of Change itself, serving to reconnect me with angelic realms and Source, confirming the wisdom of my True Self, linking the eternal with the immediate circumstances I face, day in and out. Amen.

If this resonates, please like, share and magnify the benefit of the Reset message.

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.

Don’t Be Fooled! – IC – 110920

In duality, every coin has two sides. If you haven’t learned how to harness this dynamic, it can get you into deep, dark trouble. Today’s I Ching reading shows how to change the conflict of this uncertain time into an opportunity.

As a Law of Nature, Whatever has a front has a back. An axiom of the Law is, The larger the front, the larger the back.

The scary tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde captures this simple fact. In duality, rarely if ever is anything on the surface actually what it seems to be.

This is why sages recommend the middle path of balance and moderation. This isn’t milk-toast timidity. It’s wisdom dressed up as street-smarts. They know that every extreme changes into its opposite – an unwelcome outcome best anticipated and avoided.

The two-sides rule explains how con artists get away with deception. Anyone who can’t see through appearances is easy prey. In fact, I recently heard a commentator say politicians depend on P.T. Barnum’s law: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

That’s why I’ve made it my life work to mainstream wisdom tools which help people think more clearly, see more deeply into the nature of things. We need to raise a generation that can’t be fooled. Human survival may well depend on it.

Proof is in the consequences of today’s wisdom-deficit. In 2020’s year of extremes, waves of backlash have swollen to tsunami proportions. When opposing factions are at each other’s throats, each undoing whatever the other proposes, it’s nearly impossible to steer a steady course.

The yo-yo effect of extremes is the stuff of Greek tragedy, where the hero’s greatest strength is the cause of his downfall. Flash forward. In 2020, President Trump’s outspoken, confident personality has a predictable downside.

It’s hard for folks like my friend Alice to identify with a winner’s outlook. She’s been trained by both church and state to be passive, polite, and (frankly) hypocritical. She’s been taught that wearing a mask (now, ironically, literally) is what it takes to be “good.” She’s been rewarded for owning the mask of conformity.

So, how dare anyone break the unspoken rules by being candid and upfront? Truthful. It’s “bad.” That makes the President a bad person.

Fortunately, many see deeper than surface appearances. President’s Trump’s faith in God and in himself strikes a resonant cord with “we the people.” We sense and return the towering, lion-hearted love which energizes and empowers him.

Deeper than economic policies and peace initiatives, what moves us is his unashamed devotion to purpose. In his presence, we feel energized and encouraged. Hopeful. He supports us in our love of God and country.

Here’s the secret sauce of his success. He’s speaks to the hunger Marisa Peer has so brilliant diagnosed. This world-famous therapist of the rich and famous has put her finger on (and quickly heals) the root of every addiction and ailment.

Every dysfunction starts with the painful feeling of being “not enough.” Church and state have hammered the lie of not-enoughness into our psyches. It keeps us in our place, submissive and easily controlled. (David Icke has a bit to say on the subject!)

The President has picked up that gauntlet and thrown it in the face of the ruling elite that would enslave us. He’s telling downtrodden deplorables we are OKAY. We are enough. In fact, we can and should be GREAT.

We love that message. And we love him for being its messenger.

On the flip side, how can the public possibly relate to a decrepit, deeply corrupted candidate? Do they, like Alice, feel sorry for him? Do they sympathize with having to live behind a mask? Do they identify with his resentment against “smart guys,” feel the pain of being the slowest – but nicest — kid in the class?

Revenge also plays a part. Remember the Eddie Murphy movie, Trading Places? It’s being playing out in politics. Those who choose to see themselves as disenfranchised salivate at the opportunity to symbolically own a failing, old white guy. Use him as a front for their agenda before replacing him entirely? It’s a BLM wet dream.

In this scenario, there’s no compassion. No forgiveness or unity. The oppressed are simply grasping at the opportunity to revere roles, become the oppressors.

N.B. For those who believe it’s too late, the game’s over, nothing and no one can change – that a drab, dark future lies ahead, cast in stone — think again. Here’s what Lao Tze has to say about pessimism:

All that being said, the following I Ching reading offers a way out of madness.

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.

CONFLICT was the initial answer to October 9th’s question, “What do we need to be aware of NOW?” It reads:

CONFLICT develops when one refuses to see the view-point of others. The way out is to be open to others and willing to meet them half-way. Pushing a disagreement to open conflict would result in separation. This would bring unfortunate results.

In the extreme, there’s potential for civil war. It’s not the wise option.

Advice of the bottom line reads, “Don’t let misunderstandings continue. Make peace with your friends quickly.”

It is a grave mistake for Americans who share much in common to divide as a result of closed-mindedness fueled by incendiary media hype. Better is to remember the love, return to what’s basic.

This advice being heeded, the line changes to:

In stressful situations, your CONDUCT will determine the outcome of your efforts. Do not let negative or unpleasant people affect your own balance. Respond to the demands of others according to the quality of their motives rather than acting impulsively. Play by the rules of the game. Avoid becoming emotional.

Look and think deep. Be part of the solution. Don’t act in ways that make the problem worse.

Advice of the second line reads, “Retreat and regroup. Your opponent is too strong for you.”

At this point, resolution of post-election conflict rests in the hands of political professionals, their lawyers, the courts and just maybe, a handful of honest journalists. In the short-term, it’s best for the rest of us to conserve our energy, preserve our sanity, and pray for the best.

This advice heeded, the second line changes to Standstill:

When opposing forces draw apart, activity comes to a STANDSTILL. Lack of understanding results in mistrust and refusal to cooperate. When weak leaders prevent necessary cooperation, it is best to withdraw from the situation and wait for the times to change. Direct your attention toward inward growth.

When confusion and misunderstandings prevail, don’t react emotionally. Bide your time. Keep your powder dry.

Combining the changing lines results in this final outcome:

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.

This says in another way what I concluded in Listen To Your Heart:

The year 2020 has been harsh. Tough. Painful. No doubt. The possibility of emerging stronger and more peaceful than before is its hidden gift.

Add inspired creativity to the list of 2020’s hidden blessings.

Also include the clarity of knowing you are already, inherently enough. You were born that way. Never, ever allow anyone to fool you into believing otherwise.

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.

To order You Are Already ENOUGH! How Would Your Life CHANGE If You Really Believed It?, click here.

Okay, then. That’s all for now. Talk with you again soon. Take care, all.

Once in a Blue Moon OPPORTUNITY

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “Once in a blue moon.” Technically, when a second full moon happens inside of one month, it’s called a blue moon. Usually, when people use the phrase, they mean “a special, rare event.”

As if Halloween on the Saturday before U.S. elections doesn’t add enough chaos to this crazy month, October 31st is also a blue moon. And NOT just any, ordinary blue moon.

Astrologers are raving about the 31st’s once-in-64-years connection of a hyper-emotional moon (said to represent the people) with rebel Uranus. Worse are eruptive asteroid energies, not to mention challenging squares of Mars and Mercury to the Capricorn trio which has plagued 2020.

They foresee family strife, neighbors at each others throats, and street riots. That’s why I decided to publish early. Days before the actual date, this explosive energy is already in affect. And it will be felt days afterwards.

So be forewarned. “Step back.” Don’t get sucked into the astral maelstrom. It will pass.

I know most disregard astrology. This works to the advantage of those who use it to manipulate us towards self-destruction.

This morning, I woke up with a follow-up to the DM sent to Steve Bannon:

STEVE: Pay attention. Harris & Biden are expendables; must ask “Who is using them, to what long-term end?” A multi-level chess game is in play. To succeed, look deeper, see whole picture.

This one went to Sebastian Gorka, a long-time co-worker:

Dr. G. Right/Left being played against each other, all expendable. Sun Tze manipulators operate on multi-level chess board. UN 2030 plans are advanced by Left/BLM exploding against Trump, obliging martial law.

When I watch Dr. G videos, I smile at the Sun Tze license plate behind him. I don’t know whether he knows, but The Art of War is a spin-off of the I Ching. So is Lao Tze’s Tao Te Ching. In my last post, I recommended balancing yang, disruptor energy with yin love for family. Today, I urge balancing Art of War strategy with Tao Te Ching wisdom.

Passage 60 sums up the longer response to today’s I Ching question, ““How can leaders successfully counter Left and Right factions being played against each other?”

Now, in the dark-side scheme of things, anyone you see on the news is small fry. This includes politicians, fake news and social media giants, as well as BLM.. They’re the ones whom Lao Tze would forgive. They’re puppets who know not what they do, blinded-sided as are the rest of us, by a false paradigm that rules out two-thirds of life.

To the higher ups who hide, invisible, inside the Life Wheel, it doesn’t matter a fig who wins the election. They win either way. They welcome political discord and violence in the streets. It leads to what they want: martial law and, eventually, world domination.

Why, then, do I call this blue moon an opportunity?

Because it offers a fork in the road, We have a choice. The low-level 3D option — intense drama — serves the dark lords. Shocking news. Secrets being revealed. Confusing claims and counter-claims. Anger and rebellion.

The 5D road, however, leads to transformation. Where lower-octave of Uranus is disruptive, in the higher octave, Uranus is linked with Truth. It’s the piercing sword of clarity. Dark strategies are being exposed to the light of day, where the people now can see them clearly.

We are being offered a higher road: the Phoenix response. We have the option to rise out of the ashes of a world in disarray to be reborn, better than before.

For reasons astrologers explain in detail, the gift of this blue moon is a rare opportunity to shift gears, entering a higher level of awareness, one of WISDOM with its many facets: love, joy, mercy, compassion, gratitude, and above all, forgiveness.

I would LOVE to give dark-side schemers a huge Halloween surprise. Instead giving them what they expect — returning violence with even worse of the same — let leaders opt for the wisdom strategy. Let them act wisely, with moderation and restraint, to bring all sides into balance, restoring Unity to the United States.

It’s a long shot, I know. But the reading below suggests it’s possible.

The I CHING READING

Today, for the most part, I’m letting the message stand on its own, leaving you to understand its meaning.

BALANCE, often translated as Moderation, is the initial answer to today’s question, ““How can leaders successfully counter Left and Right factions being played against each other?”

Life flows to establish BALANCE among the basic elements of nature. Opposites clash and find a middle ground. Any imbalance in life will attract the opposite which restores balance. Waste creates want. Selfishness brings bad luck. Therefore, to stay in harmony with nature, remain moderate in all ways. Avoid extremes.

This is an unusually dynamic reading with changing lines in the first, second, third and fifth places. In sum, I’m understanding that tit-for-tat, reactive exchanges of anger would make things worse and fuel dark-side goals.

Commitment to a long-term process wins in the end. Each changing line reinforces the call for moderation: restricting use of force to bare minimum. Avoid extremes. Over-kill would be disastrous.

The bottom line advises, “Go about your work quietly. Modest action accomplishes much.” It changes to Shadow:

Like the sun covered over by clouds, your hopes may fall under a SHADOW for awhile. You may feel cut off from others, who will not show sympathy for what you have to say. Even when it is best to remain silent, do not give up your ideals. Avoid anger.

Keeping a low profile when misunderstood is the lesser of many evils. Avoid anger. Quietly stay the course.

Advice of line two reads, “Moderate, persistent activity is required for a successful outcome now.” It changes to:

PROMOTION will come from steady, positive improvement over time. Rising to meet new challenges results in emotional maturity. Advancing on the job puts one in the position to serve those who are in need. Quiet, persistent self-discipline wins the confidence of others. Make the most of opportunities. Avoid hesitation.

Again, when political opponents rage, throwing tantrums, don’t waiver. Earn public respect by holding fast to the high ground.

Advice of line three reads, “Finishing what has been started wins the respect of others.” This may include protecting the Constitution, keeping to the Founders’ vision. Again, this earns public respect. Heeded, line three changes to:

OPENNESS completes Creative Power. Just as the mother gives birth to the child of the father’s seed, remaining open makes it possible to create new forms from pure idea. Remain in harmony with nature. In this frame of mind, much can be accomplished easily. Avoid holding on to rigid beliefs.

Keep a clear mind in the midst of 3D chaos. Open minds to all levels of the quantum paradigm. Replace the false paradigm which rules out two-thirds of experience.

Advice of line five reads, “Do not confuse humility with weakness. Act decisively when necessary.”

No wimps allowed. Decisiveness is also required to earn respect. However:

The 5th line changes to:

Look within yourself for the cause of RESISTANCE from others. If you are closed, they will not cooperate. The situation will open up when your mind becomes open. Seek the company of people who can help you overcome mental blocks. Do not blame others for your problems. Avoid untimely actions

People’s minds are closed because the limited, limiting paradigm of empirical science rules out two-thirds of experience. Overcoming mental blocks [OPENNESS] starts with restoring a complete and accurate paradigm.

The final outcome is the reading that results from four changing lines:

To get work done, put LIMITS on the way time and energy are used. To find peace within, reduce desires. To get along with others, do not make unrealistic demands. Pruning plants helps them to grow. In the same way, defining boundaries creates needed order in life. Avoid frustrating restrictions.

Again, there’s practical wisdom as well as compassion in forgiving those who know not what they do. Save your wrath for those who intentionally undermine humanity. And leave judgment, inevitable and sure, to the Creator from whom no one can hide.

Unfortunately, this has been hastily written, the sooner to get it out to you. Let it serve to trigger wisdom within. May it protect you from the worst of possible outcomes during yet another peak crescendo in the dark music of 2020 chaos.

Light at the End of the 2020 Tunnel – IC – 101920

In late October, 2020’s cosmic symphony is building to a mighty crescendo. Whack! Crash! Bang!

Strident brass and pounding percussion sound off against wailing strings. Mars in martial Aires opposes Sun, then squares Pluto. Windy Mercury opposes moody Uranus, then turns retrograde.

But . . . Let your heart not be troubled. By year’s end, the noise settles down. Dissonance eases back into harmony. There’s a light at the end of 2020’s dark tunnel.

That’s how classic astrologers read the musical score in the sky. So does today’s I Ching reading.

Not that we can take returning peace and prosperity for granted. But it is a possibility IF we have the common sense and courage to admit past mistakes and correct them.

Getting ahead of the story, SHADOW represents the current situation. The sun of our hopes is covered over by clouds. But then . . . dynamic lines change first to PEACE and then PROSPERITY. They combine, however, to issue a challenge.

SUPPORT, the final outcome, warns of hidden risks inherent in abundance. Abuse. Were we to carry forward false, fragmenting beliefs, we would recreate the same old selfish patterns of prejudice and hatred. Repeating inequitable distribution of resources — discrimination along the lines of race, religion, age, gender or whatever – would cause another downward spiral of alienation, separation and conflict.

At end-stage 2020, we face a choice. We can decide to use abundance wisely, with gratitude. Or we can forget 2020’s lessons and squander future hope. To unify or fragment, that is the question. Will we survive or perish from the face of the earth?

What will make the difference? Einstein had the key to the new way of thinking. It was under his nose. For lack of yoga training, he missed it. But now we’ve got the Unified Field Theory. It’s embodied in the Life Wheel, consciousness factor included. Today, we can choose whether to use his formula to build bombs of destruction OR . . shift gears to the quantum paradigm of wholeness.

Hard as it may seem right now, the return of PEACE and PROSPERITY could be lie ahead — with an all-important qualifier.

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 in this series of bi-weekly blogs. Through the end of 2020, they’re intended to serve as an introduction, to make what was unfamiliar now familiar.

SHADOW is the initial answer to today’s question, “What should we be aware of today?”

Like the sun covered over by clouds, your hopes may fall under a SHADOW for awhile. You may feel cut off from others,who will not show sympathy for what you have to say. Even when it is best to remain silent, do not give up your ideals. Avoid anger.

A meditative attitude of Stillness, calmly keeping the faith, begins the process of positive change.

Then, line 2 advises: “Turn misfortunes to advantage. Outgrow obstacles that block your path.”

When this is done, the outcome is PEACE, a dynamic we saw earlier on the holy day of Atonement. We’ll see again in December:

When the forces of nature unite in profound harmony, heavenly PEACE fills the earth. Lives blossom. Prosperity increases. Easy communication makes it possible to understand one another. This leads to cooperative efforts that will be fruitful. Tranquility follows fulfillment of life goals. Accept life’s blessings gratefully. Avoid disorder.

For those who say, “I don’t know how to cultivate inner peace,” or argue, “I have too much on my plate. Maybe later, after . . . ,” I recommend watching Eckhart Tolle’s YouTube video Finding Inner Peace During Stressful Times.

Though of different in national origin, gender, and temperament, he speaks in the same terms as do I. The Life Wheel is implicit in his teachings. Tolle contrasts living an incomplete, unhappy life on the surface with the fulfillment of going deep. The goal of his teaching is to heighten AWARENESS and awaken us to the eternal, True Self.

Next, changing line #4 advises, “If you understand your situation clearly, mishaps can be avoided.”

With more clarity, mistakes can be overcome. As Peace promises, the end result is an increase of abundance:

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.

Rather than holding tight to possessions, our ability to sustain prosperity depends on using it wisely. Don’t hoard, knowing that unjust abuses of wealth change to opposite and equal poverty. We’re living with the proof of this right now. Let’s not go back to the past, make the future a repeat of past mistakes.

How do we prevent past mistakes? Make it a practice to work with AWARENESS tools so we make better choices in the future. Continue to work with the I Ching, which one astrologer rightly calls a “spiritual GPS.”

There’s also enduring wisdom in the Tao Te Ching. This familiar, world-loved book sets principles of the relatively unfamiliar Book of Change (its foundation) into motion.

It wasn’t easy to choose among relevant examples. Here, just one must stand for the rest. Other (highly recommended) passages offer ways out of madness. Passage 53 speaks to the price paid in 2020 for past mistakes:

Sound familiar?

So. Throughout repeating cycles of history, humanity has been at low-ebb many times before. The bad news is, we forget and repeat the same the same mistakes, over and over. The good news is, there’s a track-record kept by sages who know and can show us the way out of madness.

Deep into 2020’s dark tunnel, we would do well return to this priceless resource of Wisdom. Respect those whose purpose was, is and always will be to lead us into the LIGHT.

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 CSBOC, or extras to give others, click here.

To orderTwo 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.

. . . Tell Them How the World Works

teach-sized

In writing this post, I surprised myself and took a different direction. I intended to pick up where the last left off, completing Dr. Phil’s sentence: “If you love your children, tell them how the world works.”

There, I quoted an exchange between Dr. Jordan B. Peterson and a radical student on the subject of identity.

Student: My question isn’t about [the article], but more about identity. . . . Maybe nature lends itself to creation of arbitrary structures within society. But then people self-identify with these categories. . . . How do people reckon with the parts of their identity that may or may not contribute to environments where people feel more estranged, more alone?

JBP: That’s why you educate . . to separate the wheat from the chaff. Because you’re a historical creature. And it’s outside of you and inside of you.

Well. He’s right . . . but only partially so. For we are more than mere “historical creatures.”

What I would add to the mix is a deeper, more comprehensive component of identity. For that, I rely on the gravely misunderstood and underrated I Ching, the Chinese Book of Change, along with its more accessible and familiar spin-offs: Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching and Sun Tzu’s classic Art of War. Together, they represent a blind spot in Western thinking, a glaring deficit in our knowledge banks responsible for dangerous deficits in every aspect of today’s civilization.

The I Ching and both spin-offs detail how the world works. They are especially useful when dealing with conflict.This is the gift of love I’ve labored long to restore to common knowledge.

To the extent we applied this knowledge to questions of identity and social structure, we’d have a hope of restoring common sense and sanity to our lives.

Earlier, I spend hours putting together pictures of shallow circumstance and the biblical answer to suffering. However, instead, what I decided to do here is share three related essays. Each applies ancient wisdom to current confusions.

Essay 15 on Roles offers a broader view of gender and social identity. Essay 13 addresses how roles are learned in the Family. This in turn builds into rethinking the structure of Community, Essay 14. This is a lot to take in, I know. But please stay with me. It’s well worth taking the time to give these tried and tested truths your careful consideration.They could well make your New Year go much better.

Also, by the way . . . Dr. Peterson repeatedly states his respect for Taoist philosophy. Everything below is in harmony with and supports his view of how the world works.

Namaste2

Essay 52. ROLES

Traditional business concepts of organizational structure and management technique often condition managers to classify and measure everything and everyone they are responsible for. Organizational charts assign names to little boxes in hierarchal order. . . Not that there is no value in all these charts and systems; on the contrary, they offer a worthwhile way of understanding the fundamental structure. But the structure should serve, as chords do in jazz, as a basis for innovation and improvisation. — Autry & Mitchell, Real Power: Business Lessons from the Tao Te Ching

Leaders must be people who will not fight change but who will anticipate it, and can be challenged enough by it to enjoy it. . . We need a new kind of human being who can divorce himself from his past, who feels strong and courageous and trusting enough to trust himself in the present situation. — Abraham H. Maslow, The Farther Reaches of Human Nature

THE FRONT

“Role” refers to a part or character that an actor plays in a performance. By extension, it refers to a function or office assumed by someone for limited duration to fulfill a particular purpose. We wear roles like clothing put on by day, shed by night.

Success in the world depends on the ability to choose a suitable part and play it with sincerity and skill, aware of how that role fits into the larger pattern of family and business organization. When studied, practiced and performed to perfection, a well-defined role provides a structure from which to relate to others and serve a useful function within the whole.

Knowing one’s particular place in the universe at any given time, in specific contexts, is an important part of self-knowledge. It’s possible to wear an array of “hats,” suitable to many complimentary roles, even during the course of a day.

In Shakespeare’s tragedy, MacBeth laments, “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.”

When we live unconsciously, we identify not with our essential true selves, but only the roles arbitrarily assigned by accidents of birth and later, by chance.

Though there are exceptions to the rule, and many variations on the theme, gender is a primary dictator of roles. In the West, girl children are traditionally dressed in pink and trained for reproductive and housekeeper roles with no preparation for transition to a productive middle or old age. Boys are dressed in blue and expected to participate in contact sports, fight wars, earn a living and support a family, also with little thought for what else life may have in store.

For the most part, one’s wealth, business and social opportunities are largely determined by whom one’s parents happen to be. Likewise, religious beliefs and nationality traits are mind-sets usually fixed by place and time of birth. In The Taoist I Ching, the sum of these factors is called cultural conditioning.

A life thus lived on automatic pilot, running on programming that has never been examined, is barely human. One cannot say such a life measures up to God’s gift of free will. There’s no conscious choice involved in the way it’s lived.

The goal of I Ching-based, Taoist training is to release us from bondage to arbitrary, unnatural conditioning, so that the mind is freed to return to its universal, pristine nature.

The purpose of overcoming cultural conditioning is not to withdraw from life, but rather to live it consciously and intentionally, to the full. Those who truly know how to act, do so with heart and soul. Rather than merely going through the mechanical gestures of scripted parts spoken without understanding, they play out a changing succession of roles over a lifetime with full awareness and conviction.

Taking on and letting go of roles is either growth-productive or traumatic, depending on one’s philosophy of life. In I Ching context, ephemeral change is natural, not subject to moral judgment as good or bad.

But, to the extent we live unconsciously, we’re but tragic shadows of our true potential. We’re poor players because we know not what we do. The more we become conscious, the more we are able to bring vitality, depth and meaning to the roles we choose, and the more radiant our lives become.

Those in leadership roles with I Ching awareness carefully prepare followers for change, equipping them to meet challenges and survive adversity. People who depend on leaders stuck in the past, unwilling or unable to change, are in deep trouble. Their survival depends on listening to the warnings of conscience in combination with gut instincts, finding positive ways to work around and overcome the dangerous consequences of mismanagement.

THE BACK

The opposite of roles is to be without a part to play. Jobless and/or homeless people are excluded from the give and take of productive daily life, as are incarcerated criminals and those institutionalized with mental or physical health problems. So are slum dwellers whose extreme poverty results in lack of education, skills and access to the work world.

The value of roles is perverted when they’re frozen into masks and performed without authentic involvement. When people identify with roles (or hide behind them) to such an extreme that they forget their true identity, they become disconnected from life. People who think of others only in terms of their roles stereotype them, disrespecting their essential humanity.

11th hour

Essay 13. FAMILY

Confucius

The nature of the chakra cords that you build in your first family will be repeated in all the following relationships that you create later. . . As an adult, you will most likely grow dependent child/mother cords between you and your mate. As you move through life and mature, you gradually transform the child/mother cords into adult/adult ones. Barbara Ann Brennan, Hands of Light

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.

The extended Kennedy clan is a shining example of family cohesiveness. Yet, in an interview with Larry King, Maria Shriver described lessons her family never taught her. The “real world” lessons in her book, intended to spare others from learning the hard way, are strikingly similar to I Ching basics. For example, she observes, “Behavior has consequences.” This, of course, is the Law of Karma.

Ideally, children should learn the basics within the family. If we trained ourselves and our children in I Ching ways, there would 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 Brennan indicates, first family bonds are instinctual. As we extend outwards, we unconsciously tend to replicate parent/child dynamics in later relationships. However, if we succeed in maturing and evolving over time, we can put childish ways behind and succeed in forming adult relationships based on conscious choice and commitment.

As Chappell indicates, within the nuclear family as in the family of man, 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.

In I Ching context, however, as Confucius indicates, 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 necessity to know one’s mind. This in turn leads still deeper into exploring one’s innermost awareness. Then, in due time, inward movement cycles outwards once again, incorporating the benefits of inward journey into one’s personal and practical everyday life.

Within families of every size, whether communities, religions, corporations and governments, some live the law while others do not. As Christ taught, those who love and choose truth form the nucleus of his ultimate extended family.

Those who love life, who seek truth and understanding and do their best to help others as they can wherever they may be, have more in common with each other than with evil-doers 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.

book header bird

Essay 14. COMMUNITY

We can create communities and relationships that are 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. . . Likewise, we can create a new model of medicine as we move into the next century that is more competent and cost-effective as well as being more caring and compassionate. — 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 has come full circle back to 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.

Hitler inflamed passions against Jews and foreign bankers to mobilize his war-weary country into a second world war even 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.

Nor can the structures of American-style democracy be imposed by force, whole, from the outside, on peoples whose beliefs are shaped by vastly different cultural influences. It is the common respect of life and liberty, not external forms, which is universally translatable.

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 gained by diligent use of wisdom tools like the I Ching. 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. Since 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.

Put the other way around, the more individuals free themselves from personal problems, the more they become open to the calling of conscience. They then become increasingly fit to participate as members of a viable community, able to fulfill their part in the harmony of the natural whole.

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.

Angel Calling

Be Harmless, NOT Defenseless

Jordan Peterson is drawing predictable backlash upon himself.

Though a clinical psychologist, he seems irrationally intent on attracting danger, while at the same time, logically, persuasively but incorrectly protesting that retreating from conflict when you shouldn’t “will cause self-annihilation.”

The qualifier is “when you shouldn’t.” Sun Tzu, reputed author of The Art of War, is keen on the importance of knowing when to make strategic retreats. There is, after all, a time and place for every purpose under heaven.

Second, what does he mean by “self-annihilation?” As righteous warriors grounded in Old Testament faith know full well, the true Self is indestructible. So also, savvy martial artists who are seeped in I Ching wisdom trust that true identity is neither enhanced nor diminished by the dance of advance and retreat.

So what’s really at stake in pressing forward against the tide, against the grain, against the laws of nature? Why vent rage, disgust and contempt at despicable, treacherous, venomous opponents? If he exposes and humiliates them, however much deserved, they will mirror his negativity back – in spades. It’s called backlash. Every action generates an opposite and equal reaction. It’s a natural law of psychological physics.

There are other, wiser ways to shift gears — address valid grievances on higher ground without attracting inevitable vengeful retaliation.

Persisting in upping the ante, provoking human snakes, smells like pride to me. Hubris, to be precise. The stuff of tragedy in the making.

I am afraid for this highly articulate but unin-formed professor.

Here’s an example of the inevitable retaliation and escalating conflict he has drawn not only into his own personal life, but also into his neighborhood — not to mention the media.

On October 26th, 2017, he posted on Twitter: Those who consider themselves my enemies have been posting these all around my home neighbourhood.

Here’s the poster:

jbp

I tweeted back, “What else would you expect?” Afterwards, I realized that without this explanation, the remark wouldn’t make sense. Hence, this blog of explanation.

Phoenix - sized

Please understand. I do not write to humiliate or diminish Dr. Peterson. Quite the opposite. He has become to the current generation of young people what John F. Kennedy was to mine. A symbol of nobility. Of hope.

I remember as painfully as if it were yesterday what it felt like to me and my friends when we heard the news that his brains had been splattered by an assassin’s bullet.

I dearly want that NOT to happen again.

I’m writing to warn Dr. Peterson. To suggest ways to protect himself, not only for his own sake and for his family’s, but for those to whom he has become a hero – who would be shattered were he to come to harm.

To plead with him to rethink the limited psychology which allows him to rationalize such intensely emotional, dangerous risk-taking.

I’m writing to urge him to add to his armory of psychologies the survival wisdom of Lao Tze and the foundational attitudes prescribed in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Their teachings have guided the lives of truth seekers of thousands years. There must be something of value to recommend them, having withstood this test of time.

For example, Dr. Peterson knows not whereof he speaks when he says, “Don’t be harmless.

Is he intentionally rejecting ancient wisdom by this word choice, or is he unaware of the significance of this virtue in ancient lore?

Lao Tze, in fact, uses harmlessness as his defense. It’s a time-honored strategy.

Here is a famous drawing of Lao Tze riding his ox. He is credited with writing The Tao Te Ching, which next to the Bible is the world’s most often translated scripture. It shows the enlightened sage as so intricately merged with the beast which carries him that they appear inseparable. This image represents the higher mind which has tamed and harnessed the energy of emotions. He uses them to carry him towards his destination.

Lao Tze on Ox

I will give you a hint of this survival approach to dealing with snakes excerpted from Two Sides of a Coin: Lao Tze’s Common Sense Way of Change.

snake

Passage 50 reads, in part:

Those who live by the law are protected by it.

They travel the world without being injured.

In the midst of hostilities, no one knows where to attack.

Wild beasts sense no openings to penetrate.

Enemies find no weaknesses to exploit.

Armies can’t locate a fortress to assault.

This accords with the following section about harmlessness used as defense strategy.

Non-Violence

Taoists abhor selfish meddling and gratuitous violence as equally destructive to individuals, society and the environment.

In this, their thinking is in accord with the most fundamental tenet of the yoga. Non-violence is the virtue listed first among the commitments which constitute the fundamental basis of yoga disciplines. The attitude of harmlessness, or non-violence, is the prerequisite upon which all more advanced spiritual practices depend.

In Sutra 35 of Book II, Patanjali informs us that:

When non-violence in speech, thought and action is established, one’s aggressive nature is relinquished and others abandon hostility in one’s presence.

Similarly, in Passage 55 Lao Tze describes sages as being accomplished in the ways of the ancient yoga masters:

Sages who master the infant’s harmlessness:

don’t startle wasps or snakes, and therefore don’t get stung;

don’t threaten angry beasts, and therefore are left in peace;

don’t bother birds of prey and therefore aren’t carried off.

Lao Tze describes non-violence as the cornerstone of social stability. In Passage 68 he tells us:

The best leaders act with subtle dignity.

Successful warriors move with alert caution.

Enduring winners shun prideful vengeance.

Good employers quietly support their workers.

The way of non-violence is the supreme treasure of communities

founded in the eternal Tao.

book header bird

Again, let me emphasize that I wish Dr. Peterson all the best. May he live long and prosper. Let him put on the full armor of God for protection. Give him the wisdom to tame his righteous indignation with the discipline of a seasoned sage. Let him survive as a shining inspiration to those who have come to treasure his innate nobility.

As yet, for whatever reasons, he remains unresponsive. The Catch 22 seems to be that since I’m not a well-known public figure, he assumes he has no grounds for communication. In Don’t throw pearls before swine, he says, “You cannot talk to people who will not engage in a discussion.”

So be it. He says he had no desire to engage in the legislative issue that catapulted him to fame, but felt compelled to do so. In exactly the same way, I had no desire whatsoever to write these blogs, but felt deeply compelled to do so. Unfathomable but somehow irresistible.

Whatever the outcome, at least I’ve done my best. And having done so, leave the future in trust to God’s will.

Angel Calling

It’s Hard

I identify with Jack Kornfield‘s stories about the hard work between leaving everything behind and coming to a bit of self-knowledge and calm. In the 1960s, walking away from an unhappy childhood in a troubled American society, he sought out Asian teachers via the Peace Corps and apprenticed himself to Buddhist masters.

However, a warning maxim sums up what he quickly learned: “Wherever you go, there you are.”

When Kornfield – a senior founder of the mindfulness movement – sat in a far away jungle monastery practicing meditation, he didn’t experience bliss. Instead, what came forward was a powerful mix of painful emotions – buried disappointment, fear, rage, and hatred – triggered by memories of an abusive father which he’d failed to heal earlier.

His experience confirms another cautionary maxim. As I was warned early on, best not expect quick results from introspection. “It’s hard to remember you’re here to clean out the swamp when you’re up to your ass in alligators.”

alligators

I wrote about my own personal challenges in Rethinking Survival:

Rethinking Survival is a hybrid. It’s part memoir. But far deeper, it’s the stuff of a paradigm shift. It voices the aspirations which everyone shares in common. But it also fingers the false assumptions that too often tie us in paralyzing knots. 

Inevitably, shadow issues to face were embedded within the wonderful opportunities I’ve been granted.

Each opportunity that presented itself contained within it an opposite and equal challenge to divest myself of limiting myths and misconceptions. Yogis compare the process to peeling away the layers of an onion. The Taoist I Ching scholar translated by Thomas Cleary described it as stripping away artificial veneers of cultural conditioning to restore the original True Self. Another source likens the process to the Herculean task of cleaning out the Aegean horse stables.

Further:

The same friend who told me about neatsies also reminded me about R.D. Laing’s Knots.2 Undetected assumptions wrapped in twisted logic can tie people in knots. They act like a life-draining cancer. False beliefs can drive people crazy, even to acts of criminal violence. We agreed about the dangers of living a lie, as if there were no options. This is how individuals (then dysfunctional families and nations) self-destruct.

One benefit of respecting the wisdom to be found in ancient cultures is this: Those who lived simply, close to nature, remind us of timeless truths which we as complicated urban dwellers have forgotten. Asians seeped for thousands of years in the I Ching understood much that harried moderns dearly need to recover.

For example, Confucius understood the primary importance of personal responsibility:

Confucius

Though stated in reverse order in the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tze also held that the world is necessarily changed one person at a time, and from the inside out:

18

With this in mind, I had mixed emotions about the recent American election. In Clarion Call I wrote:

Perhaps deeper than the President-Elect consciously knows (or even needs to), his words ring true across the full continuum of the Life Wheel. BUT: here is the danger . . .

Many people, due to a host of unfortunate circumstances, live primarily on the shallow surface of the Life Wheel. They haven’t the depth to recognize or respect what,  for whatever reason, they’ve forgotten. Worse, some, unintentionally or otherwise, live at odds with inner truth. They will continue to spin, distort and attempt to delegitimize DJT’s victory . . .

They will definitely stir up unnecessary conflict to destabilize the world, as if to prevent his best intentions from coming True.

Today, looking back with the advantage of hindsight, I shake my head. What a noble but sadly mistaken approach, to focus on ending corruption on a national scale, while individual hearts, families, communities and states are, for the most part, alligator-infested swamps.

Current events reinforce earlier my conclusion:

Changing the world, especially in dangerous times, is an overwhelming prospect. It’s also unnecessary. No matter how much is going wrong “out there,” the manageable unit that’s one’s first responsibility to change is the one closest to home: oneself.

Our best hope is, still yet, to think small. Begin with one’s self.

Yes, taming one’s inner alligators is hard work. Very hard. But it’s infinitely worth it.

climbing alligator

 

 

 

Hidden Giants

According to the world-loved Tao Te Ching, when the times reach critical mass, leaders arise in response to the deep-felt heart-cries of the suffering masses for deliverance.

This assurance is repeated twice, first in Passage 18. “When countries degenerate into strife, anarchy sets in. / When danger peaks, however, heroes emerge and come forward.”

It appears again in Passage 78. “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.

This is the underlying thought in the following rethinking of the David and Goliath scenario. The upcoming anthology, The BEST of WEST will include this excerpt from Rethinking Survival. It’s taken from the section called “We’re Never Alone: Gladwell’s Misfits and Giants in Perspective.”

globe

When Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath came out in October of 2013, I had to read it. The subject promised to be a perfect fit with the vision of Rethinking. After all, King David is my ideal: musician, psalmist, warrior and king in one.

It turns out this book is a perfect example of how sorely the Positive Paradigm of Change is needed. “We need a better guide for facing giants,” Gladwell wrote. I agree. Here it is.

As far as it goes, the book is a good read. What’s lacking is the Positive Paradigm to put David and Goliath in context. From this viewpoint, Goliath was stuck on the surface. Despite his physical size, he was ultimately powerless. David, on the other hand, was connected to center. That gave him the advantage.

Using this Einstein-inspired model of concentric circles linked in an infinite, two-directional loop, we can place the source of David’s strength as well as his strategies and his deadly slingshot.

Resting in the innermost hub of the Life Wheel associated with light was the source of little David’s confidence — the timeless God of Israel.

His strategies, however, belonged to the middle, dynamic level associated with energy.

His prowess as a straight-shooter depended on physical strength, visual acuity and years of experience. Those have their place on the outermost material surface associated with mass.

In other words, the levels of David’s life were coordinated. They were in synch. Unified.

If David had drawn a blank on any one of the three levels, he wouldn’t have succeed then. Nor can anyone succeed today. Vision that’s not backed by a good plan and technical competence is incomplete. Cunning strategies lacking equal competence to execute them are lop-sided. Without a direct connection with the creative center, all the physical resources in the world aren’t enough.

There are several reasons, however, why the story of David and Goliath isn’t the best model for coping with adversity today. For one, we’re at a very different point in history. This is end stage. Civilization was relatively young back then. Different times call for different responses.

Further, confronting a single foe face-to-face was one matter. The tangled mess of corporate-faced, alien-driven evil which little guys are up against now is a much different threat. Different dangers call for different protections.

Another point: Gladwell’s subtitle refers to underdogs and misfits. It’s not a good idea to romanticize misfits. Not all are creative geniuses. Timothy McVey and Charles Manson were also misfits. They too didn’t fit in with mainstream society, but with good cause.

It’s the telescoping mistake. Extremes on both sides of the bell-shaped median are lumped together and written off as “deviant.” But spiritual geniuses and murderous psychopaths don’t belong in the same category.

Further, not all giants are enemies of the people. There are corporate CEOs who treat their workers decently and genuinely serve the public. When I searched my memory banks for a good example, I thought back to Glenn Beck’s billionaire philanthropist friend. What was his name?!

It took me a couple days to find it. Strangely, he doesn’t get much media attention. (Why not is an interesting question!)

But Jon Huntsman, Sr. is living proof. A corporate giant can be as much a part of the solution as the underdogs. Sometimes even more.

A web search comes up with several sides to his story. He gained his wealth by climbing the corporate ladder of success. In 1974, Huntsman Container Corporation created the “clamshell” container for the McDonald’s Big Mac. It developed other popular products, including the first plastic plates and bowls. This led to the 1994 founding of the multi-billion dollar Huntsman Corporation. He continues to expand into new business ventures.

As a philanthropist, Huntsman has given away more than $1.2 billion to both domestic and international charities. His humanitarian aid includes help to the homeless, ill and under-privileged. He holds that the very rich should give not half, as Gates and Buffet say, but a full 80 percent of their wealth to worthy causes. It should be through voluntary choice, however. Not taxation. In this, he agrees with Thomas Paine’s Common Sense.

His goal is to give away everything before he dies. But this isn’t an easy task. He keeps making too much money.

On the personal side, Huntsman not only lost parents to cancer, but is himself a four-time cancer survivor. His response has been to turn adversity into opposite and equal good. The Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City accelerates the work of curing cancer through human genetics. It also focuses on providing humane care to cancer patients.

Huntsman has been married to his wife Karen for over fifty years. He’s the father of nine children. The eldest son, Jon Jr. is a public servant. He was the governor of Utah, and later an ambassador to China. (Small world.) The second son is a corporate executive who carries on his father’s business.

Come to find out, Jon Huntsman. Sr. is also an author. One of his books is Winners Never Cheat – Even in Difficult Times. Amazon’s editorial review calls him “one of the finest human beings, industrial leaders and philanthropists on the planet.” His book drills down on “ten timeless, universal values” for business and life. The review concludes that Huntsman’s work edifies, inspires and motivates all of us to model his common sense lessons.

Timeless? Universal? Common sense? I like it!

Moving on, Gladwell also says little guys need to redefine power. I’ve done that too. In Positive Paradigm context, true power comes from within. Goliath, who drew strength primarily from the physical plane, was puny compared to the force behind David’s sling.

Gladwell notes that a single smooth stone to center of Goliath’s head probably destroyed the pituitary gland. He quotes researchers who theorize that the giant had a glandular disorder which explains his huge size. This same pituitary disease would have caused eye problems. That’s probably why a slave had to lead him into battle. Presumably his vision was failing.

But from a holistic perspective, the same story has a deeper meaning. David’s single shot went straight to the third eye, the ajna center located in the center of the forehead. It correlates with the pineal gland, a close neighbor of the pituitary. In yoga anatomy, this center is associated with spiritual vision.

David’s projectile put out the giant’s lights. It was poetic justice for an enemy who was closed to inner truth. That was the giant’s weakness. It remains the weakness of bad guys today as well. A single shot is all it takes, when you know where to aim.

Here’s yet another point. David and Goliath has one take on the giants of the world. But there’s also another way to think about giants. The reverse, shadow side – the opposite side of the coin. Early on, for example, I was inspired by Awaken the Giant Within. I founded the +A Positive Action Press in response to Tony Robbins’ book. From a Positive Paradigm perspective, his words take on new meaning:

If we want to discover the unlimited possibilities within us, we must find a goal big enough and grand enough to challenge us to push beyond our limits and discover our true potential. . . The answer to our current energy challenges will lie in the imagination and resourcefulness of today’s physicists and engineers. And the resolution to our social crises, like the alarming spread of racial hate groups, homelessness, and hunger, can only be addressed with the inventiveness and compassion of dedicated individuals like you and me.

The threat of evil giants in the world serves to awaken the true giant that resides deep within each of us. That’s the blessing hidden in adversity. It’s the opportunity latent in Titanic Times. The Greek Titans, the giants sired by Kronos, survived his murderous envy and returned to claim their heritage.

Similarly, as Lao Tze assures us, there are surely sleeping giants are among us now.

It’s time for them to WAKE UP!

Are you a sleeping giant? Do you work or live with one? What will it take for you (or them) to wake up?

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.

Dangerous Times Call for True Radicals

At 7:07 a.m. on Tuesday, July 2nd, a tweet from RhinoforDinner popped into my email inbox. “Thanks for the follow! I’m Page! What leadership quality do you think is most important for young leaders to learn?”

I tweeted back, “Great Q, Page! I’d say Confidence, meaning “with faith” in their True Selves: having the courage to hear & follow inner voice of Conscience.” I double-checked Page’s avatar – a seriously disgruntled cartoon rhino.

Here’s the description: “What is real leadership? A rhino in a restaurant is no doubt powerful… But he has no authority! Helping leaders lead with authority!” So I followed up, “Conscience is the connection with ultimate inner authority.” Then, on second thought, an hour later, “Con-science = with science, the true meaning of which is ‘with knowledge.’”

I have enormous compassion for Millennials . . . as well as great hope, which is why the 2014 edition of Two Sides of a Coin: Lao Tze’s Common Sense Way of Change is dedicated to them:

Though it may seem as if they’ve been economically disenfranchised by their elders, material misfortune on the surface of the Positive Paradigm Wheel contains within it the hidden seeds of humanity’s long-term survival.

Ours isn’t the first time in the repeating cycles of history that leaders have squandered national resources. But in the context of Lao Tze’s larger reality, material resources aren’t that significant when compared with the intelligence, inner strength and inexhaustible vitality available to those whom circumstances oblige to return to the less tangible but very real levels of inner experience.

Millennials are the ones for whom the results of the materialistic, conflict-paradigm are so catastrophic that they have no vested interests to protect. They’re the ones prepared to move forward once again into the past, recovering the timeless treasure of the Positive Paradigm buried deep within the Tao Te Ching‘s wisdom.

  They’ve been given the greater opportunity to dig deep,

rediscover their inalienable inner resources, and

become the truly radical agents of substantive, positive change.

In the repeating cycles of generational pendulum swings, their 1960’s grandparents (indiscriminately) embraced all things change – on the surface. Religious, sexual and cultural norms went by the board. Hippie flower children dropped out of “the system” and tuned in to drugs, hard rock and doing their own thing.

Working with less-than-perfect translations of the I Ching, they popularized the misunderstood Chinese Book of Change to rationalize (predictable) rebellion against security-obsessed elders, who (as survivors of the great depression and World War II), had reacted in opposite and equally extreme ways to the extremes of the generation before them. (And so on, and so forth, round and round again.)

My best hope for Millennials is that they’ll benefit from the lessons of history and NOT mindlessly perpetuate the pattern of yo-yo swings between opposite and equally dysfunctional extremes on the surface, disconnected from the timeless center.

We now recognize that different visions of timeless truth are, necessarily, inherently the same. Looking back in time, the Tao Te Ching (along with the I Ching worldview it expresses) is remarkably compatible with Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Looking forward, it is equally compatible with the teachings of Christ. Most recently, the correlation has been made with the three variables of Einstein’s famous formula. He had the Unified Theory, though lacking familiarity with ancient teachings, didn’t know it.

Now, as in the time when Christ walked the Earth, true fundamentalists and radicals (both words mean the same thing) aren’t conflicting extremist groups that meddle with events on the material surface of life’s wheel, but single individuals with the courage and vision to change themselves from the inside out.

Millennials, along with the parents and grandparents who dearly wish them well, can benefit from a hard-earned, deeper understanding of change. They’re becoming aware that times of adversity and extreme danger offer opportunities for self-transcendence. They can anticipate hidden blessings (however well-disguised) and prepare according to The Common Sense Book of Change view of CHANGE:

49. CHANGE

Day and night replace each other

in endless cycles of CHANGE.

The same natural law generates flux

in human events.

The unprepared see change

as a threat,

but the well-prepared

face the unknown calmly.

They know that after degeneration

reaches critical mass,

regeneration follows.

Welcome the new.

Avoid short-sighted fear.

 

This, in turn, however, leads to a whole new subject.

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globe

Seven Axioms of Positive Change

As promised, here is an abbreviated list of the seven basic axioms of viable, positive change as they’re listed in The Positive Paradigm Handbook: Make Yourself Whole Using the Wheel of Change. They all refer to the basic model of concentric circles linked in a continuous, infinite loop:

 

PositiveParadigmWheel

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  • AXIOM ONE: A complete and correct paradigm is the key to personal well-being and success.

In the Positive Paradigm worldview, the physical world of experience has its origin and end at the creative center of the Wheel. The unseen drives the seen. The invisible precedes the visible. Inspiration precedes actions which in turn produce results.

Therefore, the quality of daily life depends on the quality of belief systems. If the paradigm held is complete and accurate, it leads to consistent action that yields successful, beneficial results. When paradigms are incomplete and inaccurate, however, they generate inconsistent actions that lead to failure, pain and suffering.

By definition, a universal paradigm can be applied to every and any aspect of life. A rethinking of personal lives, bringing them into alignment with the Positive worldview, will enhance well-being on all levels. A similar rethinking of organizational structures on increasingly larger scales of magnitude will have equally beneficial consequences.

A deep understanding of the Positive Paradigm illumines whatever field of endeavor upon which it is focused. This includes all the arts as well as the physical and social sciences — economics, politics and government.

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  • AXIOM TWO: We are each a world complete, containing the potentials of the universe.

Sadly, this is the least known but most important fact of life we never learned in school – but should have. In large part, the Handbook is written as the book I searched for on the library shelves, but couldn’t find. It should have been there, and now will be for others who also sense that there’s something really important missing from what we were taught which must be restored. It’s the basis of a fundamental respect for self as well as for all others.

The place to look in this information starts with ancient medical traditions. The traditional sciences of both India and China map the subtle inner energy patterns which Huston Smith called the “invisible geometry” which shapes all humanity to a “single truth.”

In these worldviews, energy emanates from and returns to an eternal source. It is the stuff from which the physical world is generated. It is the substructure which frames the physical human body, upon which mental and physical health depend. When this energy is abundant, its circulation free flowing, and its distribution balanced, we experience health. When energy is depleted, stagnant or unbalanced, the result is disease on every level.

The functional term “health” in the context of these traditions means “whole.” The health of subtle energetic and related biological systems depends on the integrated balance of the interrelated parts. Each part depends on and completes the whole. The concept of “holism” expresses this worldview. . . .

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  • AXIOM THREE: Unity and Diversity Are Necessary Compliments

The third axiom is almost as neglected as the second. In addition, it is subject to distortions and misunderstandings that make matters worse. This confusion is the unfortunate cause of conflict in family relationships, and all the way up the life chain to conflict between nations.

Inherent, inner similarity is the realistic foundation of common understanding. However, the fact that all people have the same inner structure does not mean that all are identical, or should be treated the same. Quite the contrary, within the evolutionary chakra scale, at any given time, most individuals are focused on only one or a small combination of centers and their related issues.

Like snowflakes, humans are identical in their basic structure. Each, however, is unique expression of the universal pattern. Personal abilities and needs are the result of an infinitely complex set of variables. And just as the balance of energy centers promotes the health of the individual, a balance of complimentary aptitudes and interests promotes the general health of society at large.

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  • AXIOM FOUR: The consequences of action are inevitable; those who respect the law of karma succeed.

Axiom Four is the practical foundation of ethics. In a materialist, linear worldview, it may seem possible to hide selfish motives and evil deeds behind a mask of false appearances and escape the logical consequences of one’s actions. This false premise and its horrific outcome, however, is exposed in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.

In the circular and richly textured fabric of the Positive Paradigm reality, attempts at evasion and deception are ultimately futile. The Old Testament describes the karmic law of return in agricultural terms. “As ye reap, so shall ye sow,” and “For everything there is a season. . . “

In modern parlance, the saying that underscores the circular dynamic of “poetic justice” is, “What goes around comes around.”

In the New Testament, Jesus stated the Law of Karma as practical advice: “Do unto others as ye would have them do unto you.” This observation holds true as axiomatic. It has been observed for a very long time that in fact — even if not immediately, or directly — what is done does, for better or worse, return in kind.

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  • AXIOM FIVE: History is neither linear or progressive, nor can human survival be taken for granted.

Some things change. Others never do. Knowing the difference between absolutes and ephemerals is matter of life or death. The center of the Wheel is changeless. Those in the know depend on this. But the Wheel’s rim spins in endless circles of repeating, patterned change. Therefore, survivors anticipate the predictable, cyclical changes of nature.

They know far better than to take immediate appearances at face value. They’re not fooled by wishful thinking into the false belief that what can be seen is permanent.

Lao Tze, who wrote the world-loved Tao Te Ching, or The Way and Its Power, knew this and tried to warn the world. Sun Tzu, Chinese author of The Art of War — a manual used by successful military leaders for hundreds of years — taught savvy strategists how to exploit the knowledge of human dynamics to win their battles. Today’s international business leaders have adapted this wisdom, as well as spin-offs like the 36 Stratagems, to capture markets, maximize profits and beat out the competition.

All these texts draw on the wisdom encoded in the I Ching, the venerable Book of Change, to steer them in the decision-making process. They rely on the law of subtle change and the personal understandings derived from working with it to stay ahead of the curve. Knowing that surface appearances are deceptive can be used as a protective, self-defense measure, or exploited with endlessly ingenious variations that take advantage of the uninformed. . .

In the dark ages, Europeans were taught to believe that the world was flat. That the globe of spinning Planet Earth is in fact round was received as life-changing information that dramatically changed the way people thought and lived.

Similarly, some today still continue to think of history as a flat, straight line. In this they are as sadly mistaken as were the navigators who guided their ships on the assumption that the world was flat. In fact, the dynamics of human history resemble a multi-layered clock whose second, minute and hour hands continuously return to the same starting point at different rates of speed. Rethinking the paradigm of history to align with known facts would give future leaders an edge on survival.

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  • AXIOM SIX: Used as a linguistic tool, the Positive Paradigm Wheel of Change promotes clear, accurate and effective communication.

Like humanity itself, the English language is also becoming an endangered species. Clear and effective communication can no more be taken for granted than any other aspect of the civilization.

In tracking the meanings of words, their devolution is found to be systematic. In some cases, the same word means not only one thing, but its exact opposite as well. The inherent danger is that people often talk at cross-purposes, thinking they understand each other when in fact they’re missing each other coming and going, only vaguely aware of the disconnect.

It’s worth the time to pay attention to what’s meant by specific words in common use. Working with the Positive Paradigm Wheel explains the dynamics of shifting definitions. The same word takes on different meanings on different levels of the Wheel.

One example is the word “positive.” Webster’s Dictionary lists seventeen (!) different uses. They span the continuum from center to surface, with many gradations along the route. At the core, “positive” refers to that which is absolute, unqualified, and independent of circumstances; that which has real existence in itself.

At the middle, energy level, the term is used describe an electrical valence. As an attitude, positive can mean either confident or dogmatic. At the surface, positive may mean showing forward progress or increase, making a constructive contribution.

  • AXIOM SEVEN: With a correct paradigm, practical methods and useful tools, you can make yourself whole.

As stated in the Preface caveat, according to the Positive Paradigm, everyone is already intrinsically whole. Put another way, “God don’t make no junk.” This is the wisdom behind the biblical admonition, “Ye must be perfect like your father.” However, just as Einstein had the Unified Field Theory, but didn’t know it, each and every one of us on the planet is perfect in potential: made in God’s image. But we’ve forgotten.

Worse, many have been deceived into believing they’re inherently not-okay. The Handbook confirms inherent wholeness. Its structure provides the practical foundation for actualizing in-born potential and initiating the ongoing process of making and keeping ourselves FUNCTIONALLY whole, over and over again.

The subtitle Make Yourself Whole Using the Wheel of Change isn’t intended to suggest that this or any other book can magically or literally make anyone whole, or that once through the book, you’re done. It requires not only initial work, but ongoing follow-through. It’s personal intention and consistent effort that produce results. This is just a really useful tool.

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To be continued. Each of the basic axioms generates numerous related corollaries. Future blogs will list the most important of them.

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.

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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* 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.

Rethinking POWER

Because democracy is defined as “power to the people,” the Essay on POWER follows FREEDOM. With the stage set, the third blog – Rethinking Democracy – will summarize personal observations made in Rethinking Survival.

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ESSAY 57. POWER

 

 Nothing under heaven is as soft, receptive and yielding as water.

Its gentleness dissolves the hard, erodes and absorbs the rigid.

Thus, those who bend endure long after the unbending have snapped.

So it is that the low and high trade places, and the forceful loose their influence.

Like water, sages embrace humility to endure,

remaining flexible and responsive to the needs of the time.

This is known by many, but practiced by few.

— Patricia West, Two Sides of a Coin: Lao Tze’s Common Sense Way of Change

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“The principle aim . . . is to unfold a Tao of economics; it has always seemed to me appropriate to establish and re-establish a truer alignment of political and economic forces with the natural processes and, through the ancient Chinese I Ching, such an endeavour is possible.” — Guy Damian-Knight, The I Ching on Business and Decision Making

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“Part of what goes into acting decisively in any life situation, along with aggressiveness, clarity of thinking, the awareness of one’s own death, is training. The warrior energy is concerned with skill, power, and accuracy, with control, both inner and outer, psychological and physical. . . He has developed skill with the “weapons” he uses to implement his decisions.” — Moore & Gillette, The Warrior in His Fullness

THE FRONT

The root of power means to be able, potent. Webster’s first definition is the ability to do, act or produce. It refers to a specific ability or faculty, like the power to hear. It refers to a great ability to act or affect strongly using vigor, force, or strength. Power is used to describe the ability to control others, or the authority to influence, such as legal authority.

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Power refers to the source of physical energy or mechanical force that can be put to work, like water power. It points to a person or thing having great influence. It can mean a nation which dominates other nations. Power also refers to spirit or divinity. An archaic use implies an armed force: army, navy, or military strength, like air power. In optics, power refers to the degree of magnification of a lens, microscope or telescope.

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R.L. Wing elaborates on the adage, “Knowledge is power,” pointing out the unique advantage gained from focusing the I Ching magnifying lens on daily life. “The power and astuteness that we gain from this universal perspective,” she writes, “can be applied to any of life’s situations.” In addition, “We recognize situations that hold no promise because they are structured in a way that will cause their own downfall.” In other words, knowledge gives us insight to recognize where various choices are likely to lead, resulting is better decisions.

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In Taoist thinking, laws of nature explain why power over time reverts to the people. While drops of water are insignificant, they add up. The momentum driving a tidal wave is formidable. Divided by fear, ignorance, and narrow materialistic beliefs, individuals remain insignificant. Unified in wisdom by common purpose, people become powerful indeed. Leaders, whether a Stalin or a Mandela, ride the waves of time like energy surfers, directing their followers either towards slaughter or towards freedom.

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Great temporal power of itself implies no value. Its effect, whether positive or negative, depends on the context within which it’s used, either consciously or unconsciously, skillfully or incompetently, for good or evil. The results of a warrior’s prowess, military arsenal and self-control depend on how, when, where and why they’re applied.

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For example, in the last century Germany produced both a Hitler and an Einstein. Hitler was obsessed with the occult. He wanted to harness unseen forces to further his goal of world domination. Einstein, on the other hand, searched for the subtle laws of physics. He hoped thereby to discover a Unified  Field Theory which perfectly describes the operations of nature. Had he prevailed, he would have re-invented the I Ching and its off-spring, the Positive Paradigm of Change.

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THE BACK

The opposite of power is powerlessness. Though energy is inherent in every life form, and every individual has the potential to express a unique variation of power, through any combination of external circumstances and personal choices, it can remain latent and dormant, an opportunity lost.

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A perversion of power is malicious aggression. Using force to harm others, even destroying life to steal material possessions or gain political power, violates natural law. In time, harm returns to the abuser in equal proportion to damage done. Herein is practical proof of biblical wisdom, “Justice is mine, sayeth the Lord.”