Tag Archives: Yoga

To Think Like a Genius, Link the Levels – IC – 111920

Q. Why the interest in genius at this time of chaos and confusion?

A. America’s divisive state is testimony to the crying need for creative problem-solvers.

We need to educate ourselves and then bring up a next generation able to SEE what’s gone so terribly wrong, and what to do about it.

So what is genius? Is creative brilliance a rare gift granted only to a special few?

Or is genius, as I believe, an inborn, God-given potential equally available to everyone. Every-one, that is, willing to do the work and make the sacrifices needed to fulfill their innate potentials.

Q. Okay. If I’m a potential genius, how do I get from here to there?

A. Yogis have long known the way. Breathing is the simple answer.

Breath is the vehicle of the soul, the psyche. It animates us at birth. It’s the single constant always with us right up to our last minute on earth. We can breathe unconsciously. Automatically. Or we can do it consciously, and in the process link the levels of the Life Wheel — mind, body and spirit. Breath unifies the quantum field.

Yoga in a nutshell.

Einstein’s New Way of Thinking explains:

The secret to thinking like a genius has been known for thousands of years. Yogis call it Raja Yoga . . .

Modern medical researchers correlate ancient teachings with brain science. Breath control balances, harmonizes and stimulates both hemispheres of the brain. It unites artistic with mathematical abilities.

Now Einstein was a “natural.”

On rare occasions, it’s possible to get the same results naturally, without needing to understand the dynamics that explain genius. Both sides of Einstein’s brain . . worked together.

He was an accomplished violinist and philosopher as well as a physicist. Pipe smoking probably gave him some of the benefits of deep breathing, though to the best of our knowledge (at least in this lifetime), he never took yoga classes.

Two recent books explain yoga’s magic in the familiar language of science. One is Patrick McKeown’s The Oxygen Advantage: Simple, Scientifically Proven Breathing Techniques. Even better is James Nestor’s 2020 bestseller, Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art.

Thinking like a genius, “journalist James Nestor traveled the world to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.” He says:

There is nothing more essential to our health and well-being than breathing: take air in, let it out, repeat twenty-five thousand times a day. Yet, as a species, humans have lost the ability to breathe correctly, with grave consequences.

Drawing on thousands of years of medical texts and recent cutting-edge studies in pulmonology, psychology, biochemistry, and human physiology, Breath turns the conventional wisdom of what we thought we knew about our most basic biological function on its head.

Disturbed breathing and the image of a fragmented Life Wheel go hand-in-glove. Cognitive dissonance, the narcissist’s signature, is the frequent mark of public figures. Their words and actions don’t match. Not even close.

Here’s a basic test of whom to trust. Who is consistent, word and deed? Who is not? I’ll have more to say about this in future posts. Look for Half-Brained Is Half-Assed.

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

INSPIRATION is the initial answer to today’s question, “What should we be aware of now?” The Common Sense Book of Change version reads:

When minds are moved by INSPIRATION, nothing is impossible. Misunderstandings can be cleared up, problems solved and hardships overcome. Inspired speakers can move others to acts of heroism by well-chosen words. Reminding people of their common goals and deepest desires gives them the courage to continue. Avoid unkindness.

In-spire means to breathe in. When we’re tense and hold the breath, we cut ourselves off from Source. Relaxing and taking a deep breath reconnects us with the Force.

Inspiration is the signature of genius – the crying need — the critically missing piece — in today’s public arena. All sides seem stimulated by conflict. “Game on!”

While engaging in battle for a just cause is vitally important, in equal measure — to keep ourselves and the Union together – we also need to honor the opposite of side of the coin. Take time to pause, reflect and be grateful for the blessings we too often take for granted, which everyone on all sides are risk at risk of losing forever.

***

Constitutional Law Professor Jack Balkin’s version of the I Ching calls Hexagram 58 Joy. These are its key attributes: Giving and receiving / Communication / Integrity/ Inner stability / Inner Peace.

He comments:

When people take joy in each other’s company, they are willing to make sacrifices for each other. Difficulties seem to melt away. Troubles seem smaller and less threatening. When people feel supported and encouraged, they are willing to take on even the most difficult tasks. Thus, joy has enormous power. It brings people together, moves them to do great things and bestows success on their efforts.

***

In the CSBOC, advice of the bottom line reads: “Maintain an attitude of joyful self-confidence. This will attract success.” When the advice is heeded, the line changes to Depression:

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

Stress, fear, and anger disrupt natural breathing, making us sick. And basic breathing practices — in-spiration — are known to heal (drug free) countless diseases, including depression. This relief alone makes economic hardships more tolerable and creative solutions easier to find.

***

Balkin’s version calls Hexagram 47 Oppression. Its key attributes include: Exhaustion / Being restricted / Hardship / Adversity / Inner affliction / Dried up / Impasse.

He comments:

Kun is indeed a difficult hexagram, but the law of change is always in operation. Periods of oppression and exhaustion contain the seeds of regeneration and renewal. At the very darkest moment the light is almost ready to shine again. Even so, it is not easy for people who are in the midst of oppression to understand and believe in this enduring truth. Dealing with oppression is a great test of a person’s character.

It’s almost as if presumptive leaders assume us deplorable Hobbits exist to be oppressed and drained, are so stupid that we’re fooled by the lies they spin, and so weak that we’ll cave under intimidation. But we’re neither stupid nor weak. And by Natural Law, they’ll inevitably reap the ugly consequences of their presumptions.

In sum, at end-stage 2020, those who would survive looming oppression must draw upon the inner resources of latent genius. By intentionally linking the levels of the Life Wheel, we’ll prevail by restoring the common sense which is everyone’s birthright.

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.

Can You Hear Me? – IC – 110520

“Holy crap!” (Excuse my language.) Puzzle pieces were coming together with rapid fire speed!

Early November 30th, the blue moon already in full affect, I sat up knowing I should check out Jack Balkin’s version of SACRIFICE, the final outcome of today’s reading.

When I wrote the Common Sense Book of Change, all the readings came easily. All except one. SACRIFICE. I rethought it for the second edition, and revised it again for the third.

And I’m not the only one who’s had trouble getting it right.

That’s why, when a media celebrity dared psychoanalyze the Bible, I questioned his skewed view of Abraham’s call to sacrifice. In Rethinking Sacrifice, I responded with a more comprehensive, Life Wheel understanding:

[Sacrifice] is the essence of the challenge offered in Exodus. “Return unto me and I return unto you.” It emphasizes travel on the inward path from surface to center of the Life Wheel, releasing attachments to ephemeral possessions, limited opinions/identities, and outgrown lifestyles.

I pointed out that definitions of sacrifice, like virtually every value word in the English language, span the continuum, black to white and everything in-between. The language has been adulterated. I’ve called it The Tower of Babel Effect. The following quote could not be more timely, given current events:

. . . even people with the best of intentions use the same words to mean very different things. They miss each other coming and going, only vaguely aware of the disconnect. . . Instead of being used as a means for unifying human beings, language is often degraded into chaotic paralyzing noise – a weapon for stirring up animosities, division and confusion.

(NB. I’ve expanded on the limitations of good intentions elsewhere. Bottom line: lacking the underpinnings of a complete and accurate paradigm, they easily slide down the slippery slope that leads to the dark side. It’s worth your time to consider.)

To the point here: inverted definitions are used to excuse slave trafficking, pedophilia and worse:

Pagan sacrifice of children and animals is irrelevant to the meaning of Abraham’s test. At issue is the difference between transcending pain for the sake of higher love versus selfishly destroying life (whether with physical, verbal and/or psychological violence) to get what one wants here on earth.

Anyway. As I was saying. It was very early. . . 1:30 a.m. My brain synapses were firing at triple speed. I was remembering that at the time he published The Laws of Change, Jack Balkin was Knight Professor of Constitutional Law at Yale Law School.

Balkin’s hefty, scholarly work is a wonderful resource, one which complements my small, easy-to-read version. No doubt his appreciation of Natural Law profoundly enriches his applications of the Constitution to current events.

In any case, my mind was busy connecting the dots that link Common Sense advocates over time – from Tom Paine’s book, Rudy Giuliani’s website and the Taoist approach to the Book of Change. In short time, I published a bonus blog, What Happened to Common Sense?

On a different note, President Trump spoke in Wisconsin (my home state) on November 2nd. An event within the event resonated with my post, What Happened to Unity, where I wrote:

God and the good angels are broadcasting loud and clear. But it’s hard to through. The message is being jammed, the signal blocked.

What happened in Kenosha? The podium mike failed. People couldn’t hear. Trump improvised. He joked, turning it into a game. As technicians struggled to get the sound system working, the President shouted to the crowd. “Can you hear me?” “Can you hear me now?” They bantered back and forth til the problem was solved.

The following morning a Mike and the Mechanics tune Silent Running popped into mind. Great song. Prescient. I looked it up on Youtube and found I’m not the only one who thinks so. One comment asked, “Does anyone else feel this song has significance right now?” It got 407 likes and 55 replies. It’s worth a listen and a watch. Here are the lyrics:

Balkin’s perspective is Confucian, meaning he’s primarily interested in human behavior and social order as it manifests on the hub of the Life Wheel. In contrast, a very different version, The Taoist I Ching translated by Thomas Cleary, focuses on yogic practices associated with the middle, e=energy level.

So, for today, I though you’d find it interesting see three versions – just a taste — set side-by-side. With U.S. election results up for grabs, this is the reading for October 5, 2020.

TRAVEL is the initial answer to the question, “What should we be aware of NOW?” It appeared last time as a changing component of the November 2nd reading. In part, the CSBOC version reads:

In dealing with strangers exercise careful self-control. Talk little. Listen much. Learn from everyone who has information to share. Avoid dangerous exposure.

(Before sacrificing much of today’s original content, I initially had a paragraph here about the the famous saying, “Keep your powder dry.”)

In the Balkin version, TRAVEL is called The Wanderer. He comments:

You are in a period of transition. Things are not yet certain, and it is not yet clear how you fit into them or what your identity is supposed to be. The text compares your situation to that of a wanderer who is traveling through a strange land.

Cleary says of Travel:

You should not remain attached to the realm you pass through. If you are concerned with externals, you forget the inward; by pursuing ramifications you abandon the root.

The changing line in the second place advises, “Moderate careful behavior will win the respect of your leaders.” When advice is heeded, it changes to a second outcome, which in the CSBOC reads:

A balanced relationship between the individual and the whole is achieved through service in the spirit of SACRIFICE. Changing selfishness to compassion and acts of kindness builds bridges of mutual trust. Unselfish giving benefits everyone involved, helping the community to overcome obstacles and dangers. Avoid twin dangers: selfishness and self-denial.

The Balkin version calls it The Caldron, or Ding. Descriptive terms include:

He comments:

A Ding is a sacred vessel, normally made of bronze, in which ritual foods were prepared and cooked during religious ceremonies.. . Through this ritual, people purified themselves and rededicated themselves to spiritual ends.. . Ding teaches that you can transform yourself and your world IF you do so not for selfish ends but in pursuit of something valuable.

The Cleary version calls it The Cauldron:

The comment:

Producing illumination through following an initiatory process, the mind becomes daily more humble while illumination increases. . . When empty and illumined, that enlightenment illumines all, and the mind cannot be moved by the vagaries of wealth and status.

The classic Wilhelm/Baynes translation uses the word Ting. It hints of secret teachings:

There is in man likewise a fate that lends power to his life. And if he succeeds in assigning the right place to life and to fate, thus bringing the two into harmony, he puts his fate on a firm footing.These words contain hints about fostering of life as handed on by oral tradition in the secret teachings of Chinese yoga.

This image, suggestive of the “initiatory process,” supports hints of yogic meaning. It associates the material cooking vessel with the lower energetic center (dan tien), the place where basic materials are combined, transformed and then circulated throughout the system. Markings, front and back are changing I Ching hexagrams.

In sum, today seems to be a time of transition, best used to digest, assimilate and transform raw elements to a higher purpose.

Let this be food for thought to those with ears to hear.

Disturbance in the Force – IC – 102220

Where do we draw the line between fact and fiction? Who’s to say?

With the rise of empirical science, much of what we intuitively experienced as fact had to be disguised. The only way to sneak them under the radar of cultural censorship was to pretend inner energy and light levels of the Life Wheel were fantasy. “Science fiction.”

That’s why Star Wars and Harry Potter films were so hugely popular. When the ongoing war between good and evil had to be relegated to storyland — long, long ago and far, far away — so-called fantasy fed a gaping, hungry hole in the collective psyche.

We could have our cake and eat it too — satisfy inner cravings while denying what we’ve been forbidden to know. “This doesn’t really have anything to do with us today. Not here. Not right now. No way.”

But quantum physics together with stunning research findings is lifting the veil. They’re revealing that what was dismissed as impossible fiction is not only highly possible but very, very close to home. In Becoming Supernatural, for example, Dr. Joe Dispenza documents the way “common people” are being trained to do the “uncommon.”

Chinese sages spoke of the Tao. Biblical prophets deferred to God. For modern day skeptics who write off the ancients, universal wisdom was updated. Star Wars heroes like Yoda, Obe-Wan Kenobe and Luke Skywalker revered the Force.

No difference. They all speak to the same all-powerful, central Source from which energy flows and life emerges.

Yoda tells Luke:

Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? You should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.

Petty villains and charlatans, of course, deny its existence. Early on, Han Solo tells Luke:

Kid, I’ve flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe there’s one all-powerful Force controlling everything. There’s no mystical energy field that controls my destiny.

Since he hasn’t “seen” them, the Center of the Life Wheel and middle, e=energy level couldn’t exist.

In contrast, when evil agents intentionally mess with the Force, destroying an entire planet, sensitives are instantly aware. In the original Star Wars movie, Obi-Wan describes a horrible premonition of disaster:

I felt a great disturbance in the Force…as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.

Science fiction serves to keep imagination alive, reminding the world of what the archetypal Life Wheel tells us simple and direct. There are levels to life, deeper than most feel free to acknowledge.

Being kept ignorance of Natural Law and operations of energy puts individuals at great disadvantage, the civilization at terrible risk. It’s too much to include here. So I’ve published a bonus blog on The E=Energy Level of the Life Wheel which all of us should have learned about in school.

Bottom line: in 2020, we urgently need to train and equip a generation of spiritual warriors – a small but effective army of Jedi knights, of Arjunas – to prevent an impending disturbance in the force . . . the disappearance of Planet Earth from among the heavens.

Do you not feel it? Politics are but the surface tip of the iceberg. It wouldn’t be the first time in our solar system. Look for the empty space between remaining planets for your proof.

The I CHING READING

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

My comments on Star Wars were triggered by ENERGY, the stand-alone answer to today’s question, “What should we be aware of NOW?” It reads:

By harmonizing the different aspects of one’s internal life, family relationships and job responsibilities, one can make the best use of intrinsic ENERGY. Organizing various inner energies makes it possible to act creatively and dynamically in the external world. Harness energy to worthy goals and projects. Avoid conflict and waste.

The entire quantum paradigm is built into this single reading. If you’re just skimming, it’s all too easy to miss. But it’s vitally important to recognize that the entire outer level of relationships and responsibilities is driven by intrinsic inner energies. If we want to be effective, even successful in life, we must know how (like Jedi knights) to master, harmonize and then harness our energies to serve worthy goals. This, in turn, depends upon underlying allegiance to Source. The Force. CREATIVE POWER.

One caveat here. Energy healers often repeat, “Energy is everything.” On the surface, this may appear to be so. Yes, every THING is spun from energy. BUT this does not mean energy is all there IS. Energy emanates from the deeper level of Light and, deeper still, from the Source of Light.

Nikola Tesla is often quoted to support their misleading claim: “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.

However, this famous quote is listed as 27th among 47 found here. Taken in larger context, you’ll find that Tesla believed in God and recognized energy’s middle place within the larger Life Wheel pattern.

Compare Einstein with Tesla. You’ll find they’re on the same page. Albert said:

A human being is part of the whole called “‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest . . .

This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.

Nikola said:

What we now want is closer contact and better understanding between individuals and communities all over the earth, and the elimination of egoism and pride which is always prone to plunge the world into primeval barbarism and strife…

Tesla puts the limited and limiting empirical science paradigm in perspective within the larger context of reemerging Natural Law and the quantum paradigm. He wrote:

The history of science shows that theories are perishable. With every new truth that is revealed we get a better understanding of Nature and our conceptions and views are modified.

In other words, it’s not enough to scan the Book of Change for answers to personal questions. To survive 2020 challenges the better for having endured them, it’s essential to restore awareness of energy dynamics. Further, we have to recognize the place of Energy within the larger context of the quantum paradigm’s Life Wheel pattern.

Honor universal wisdom deeper than scientific fact still alive and well in Star Wars fiction.

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.

Links to 2020 Harvest Full Moon Videos

Research on the Aires harvest full moon took on a life of its own. Reporting at length in the October 1st blog would have missed the mark. So, for those wanting to know more about astrological implications of this crossroads full moon, I’m publishing a separate spin-off listing notable videos on the subject.

This sample of astrologers represents a wide variety of ages, locations, and personal histories. Each offers a unique approach. Even the video titles tell you as much.

British astrologist Pam Gregory is my personal favorite. She balances vast intellect with dignified sincerity, a sparkle of sweetness and deep love of nature. She applies detailed analysis of planetary and asteroid aspects to historical and political events.

A huge Joe Dispenza fan, she urges followers to use astrology as a tool for increasing self-awareness. At this crossroads of an exceptionally turbulent year, she advises listeners not to get caught up in the intense drama. Instead, focus on the better future now in the painful process of being born.

Pam recognizes 2020 as the long-foreseen “deconstruction of the old order.” Patterns repeating in the sky haven’t been seen since times of similar upheavals in Europe during the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance.

Year-long patterns are being intensified by the presence of transiting Mars challenging slower moving planets in a status quo location. At this turbulent time, we have two options. We can get caught up in the drama and repeat old mistakes — which would perpetuate the past. OR, we can shift to a higher level of consciousness, learn from ways we missed the mark, and create a better future.

She chooses a video title that’s simple and to the point: Full Moon in Aries 1st October 2020.

My next choice is an astrologer who supports ten years of professional practice with a broad background. Acyuta-bhava Dasa is the initiate name of this Bakti Yoga teacher. He was raised in the Midwest as a pastor’s son, though also refers to lessons learned during ayahuasca ceremonies performed in South America. Hhe’s married to a nutritionist and is father of two young girls.

He describes Mars transits in October as the most “monumental” time of a turbulent year.

His approach uses astrology to support yoga practice. Video content combines tech-savvy computer demos with quotes from scriptures both biblical and yogic. There’s even an occasionally mention of the I Ching. (Not my version. ☺)

Here, depth of spiritual conviction is balanced with a keen sense of humor. An impressive breadth of scholarship is off-set by devotion to family and compassion towards students.

 

The rest follow in no particular order.

Angel reader Melanie Beckler calls her reading 5 Things You Need to Know About The FULL MOON October 1st!

Melanie describes the full moon energy as a continuation of dynamics set in motion at the fall equinox of September 22nd. (Traditionally, the first full moon following the change from summer to autumn is called the “harvest” full moon.)

She focuses on the theme of balance, also the subject of my equinox blog, Bringing Balance. Using terms that evoke the Life Wheel structure, her comment reads, “The October 1st Full Moon in Aries energetically offers a key point of coming into balance and alignment with your Core Truth and highest self.”

Sarah Hall offers a Full Harvest Moon Angel Reading from October 1-15, 2020. In the comment section, she summarizes : “This full harvest moon will be ushering in an intense month of heated energy shifts. But, with the right approach, big healing and opportunity is possible!”

American astrologist Kelley Rosano describes the Aries Full Moon on October 1st as The GREAT RESET.

Mexican astrologist Nadiya Shah titles her video THE MOST IMPORTANT WEEK OF THE YEAR + Aries Full Moon Sept 27- Oct 3 2020.

British astrologer and tarot card reader Gregory Scott titles his approach Take control of your life! Full Moon in Aries 1 October 2020.

The header of Molly McCord’s YouTube reading is Oct 1 ♈ Aries Full Moon ~ New Light Codes Support Higher Healing Potentials.

Here’s an excerpt from her comment section:

October begins with a dynamic Aries Full Moon at 9 degrees that brings in new light and awareness to Chiron’s journey in your chart. The Moon is conjunct Chiron [retrograde] in Aries and providing an opening into what you’ve been healing, developing, and understanding about yourself this year.

. . . Mars [retrograde] in Aries is the ruler of this Full Moon, and he is frustrated by his ongoing squares to all three planets in Capricorn – Jupiter, Pluto, and Saturn. . . . . The push-pull between what you want and where you have to ‘stay the course’ is real – but new concepts around Self-Leadership are emerging . . .

FYI, in Greek mythology, Chiron was a centaur – half man- half horse, half human-half god. (His father disguised himself as a horse at the time of conception). Apollo, the Sun god, fostered Chiron and taught him about music, lyre, archery, medicine and prophecy. He became a great healer of others.

Ironically, in the end, wounded by Hercules, he was unable to heal himself.

In astrology, Chiron’s name and symbolism is associated with a comet/asteroid discovered in 1977 by Charles Kowal. The symbol for Chiron looks like a key. It’s made up an “O” and a “K”, which stands for “Object Kowal,” the original name assigned to his discovery. It looks like this:

On October 1st, Chiron and the moon will occupy the same position in the sky. In astrology lingo, they’re conjunct. As both Pam Gregory and Molly McCord explain, the blending of these two energies — issues of Chiron and the moon — explain in part the intensity (and opportunities) of this day.

If you want to know more, most of these astrologers offer extensive newsletters, on-line classes, and/or personal readings.

Love IS . . .

Dr. Jordan Peterson says, “Love is the desire to see unnecessary suffering ameliorated.”

I say, “Yes . . and much, much more.”

Here’s what I mean:

Essay 38. LOVE

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Moses, Deuteronomy 6:4-5

As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you. . .This is my commandment. That ye love one another, as I have loved you.  — Jesus Christ in St. John, The New Testament

In Taoism, we say the heart is the seat of love, compassion, joy and happiness. This is what people are looking for. But they are looking outside. We don’t know that joy and happiness is seated INSIDE our heart. We’re running around the whole world. Going to the amusement park, night club, theaters, all kinds of places in search of happiness, peace, joy. But the peace, joy and happiness are within us. – — Mantak Chia, The Inner Smile

THE FRONT

Roots of love mean to be fond, or to desire. Webster’s first definition is a deep and tender feeling of affection for, or attachment to. It can be an expression of one’s affection. It can mean a feeling of brotherhood and good will towards other people.

It can be strong liking for or interest in something (a love of music). It’s a strong, usually passionate affection, partly based on sexual attraction. In theology, love refers to God’s tender regard for mankind, or mankind’s desire for God as the supreme good. Love is the ultimate mystery. It sparks and keeps the life process going, more to be accepted and honored than psychoanalyzed.

Plato described seven stages of love. Each is a rung on an evolutionary ladder which leads from a child’s love for parents, to erotic love, to friendship, and eventually the pinnacle of divine connection. These seven steps correlate exactly with the hierarchal seven energy centers of yoga anatomy.

Plato traces the attraction between males and females to jealous gods who split a complete, content person in half at the navel. Ever since, each part has chased after the other, longing to become whole again – another yogic priority.

Tai Chi Tu - sized

Unfortunately, rather than seeking to integrate male and female energies internally, most Westerners persist in externalizing this desire for re-union. In contrast, I Ching-related healing arts provide methods for restoring inner wholeness, attaining the ultimate level of Platonic love.

The new law Christ taught fulfills the law of Moses. Further, the Old Testament command to unify the three levels of soul, heart and might into a single-minded love of One God resonates with I Ching-related practices which coordinate upper, middle and lower energy centers.

Practical methods give people of every faith practical ways to actualizing their religious ideals. Put another way, only by integrating and harmonizing the levels of mind, body and emotions can love of God be complete or the universal law fulfilled.

Healing gender, race and religious splits calls for fluency in the complete spectrum of love. Even in grimmest times, love is the omnipresent, underlying bedrock. In Rocky IV, for example, Sylvester Stallione scripted an East-West reconciliation of opposite cultures.

A nature-trained David not only defeats a technology-mutant Goliath with love and relentless grit. He wins the hearts of a hostile crowd. His victory message to international TV viewers: “If I can change, and you can change, we all can change.”

Those who turn love into a commodity exploit what people out of touch with their true selves crave most. There’s a push-pull between those greedy to get what they’ve been fooled into thinking they lack and those who profit from this illusion.

False prophets profit from persuading followers that they’re incomplete and not-okay. Further, there’s a life-changing product that can fix them. If they buy it, do whatever they’re told, turn over their power and money, they’ll be transformed and made okay. Sages grounded in reality, however, know better.

The question then arises, what happens when one is focused and centered. Does all interest in the external world and motive to accomplish cease?

Actually, it’s the opposite. As one becomes more secure from within, fear-built barriers come down. New, more authentic motives arise to replace artificial desires. As one pares away the illusion of need, the native impulse to serve with generous compassion arises.

THE BACK

In duality, hate is the opposite of love. While love grows upwards from childish attachment through degrees of maturity to altruism, hate descends to the depths of destruction. It obliterates connections, shatters hope, and in the end destroys those it consumes.

Fear-based insecurities generate a host of love perversions. Possessiveness, envy, jealousy and rivalry are variations on the theme of illusory insufficiency. In all cases, it’s the result of looking on the outside for what can neither be bought nor stolen, for the completion of Higher Love is the timeless, abiding state of one’s innermost life.

Phoenix - sized

In this context, I say to the definition of Love as “the desire to see unnecessary suffering ameliorated” . . YES. With this modifier: Love is an absolute. In duality it manifests in a multitude of ephemeral desires, altruism being one of the highest.

Angel Calling

The Gate Keeper

Responding to a conversation between Jordan Peterson and Stefan Molyneux, Sorting Yourself Out, I wrote:

Practical tools I’ve acquired and developed could well serve to fortify your intellectual arsenals in the ongoing media battle for the hearts and minds of the general public.

. . . my work identifies an overlooked but fatal blind-spot in Western thinking. (I will elaborate on this at length in a post to be called “The Gate Keeper.”) Suffice it to say here that unless/until we restore a complete and correct paradigm to common understanding, the downward spiral of history will continue on its course unchecked.

This, then is The Gate Keeper post.

Phoenix - sized

The middle level of the Life Wheel is the missing piece of the knowledge puzzle, lacking which one cannot get from here (daily experience) to there (inner peace and truth).

Here is the description of the e = energy level of the Life Wheel from The Handbook:

e  =  Energy

Much ignorance, misinformation and confusion surrounds the energy level of the Positive Paradigm. The state of chaos into which the world has degenerated attests to this deficiency, as well as the urgent need to correct it. Only the basics are described here, suggestive of further exploration.

The middle level is the domain of Natural Law, whose dynamics are mapped in the Chinese I Ching, the Book of Change. This body of knowledge has evolved over eight-thousand years as sages continue to observe the operations of energy and document the repetitive patterns of change.

Natural Law maps the energetic underpinnings of the dynamic, physical world. It is experienced as the patterned recurring cycles of seasonal change, and is equally applicable to humans and their cyclical life changes: birth, growth, decay and death.

The middle layer is the realm of less tangible but still measurable states of energy, including electricity. More subtly, it is the chi, ki or prana described by Chinese, Japanese and Indian traditions as the life force which animates all living beings. In Greek and Christian contexts it correlates with the breath, the psyche.

These subtle energies influence internal psychological states and drive external human behavior, which in turn affects social relationships. Knowledge of these dynamics is essential to personal survival.

Effective leadership and the quality of life within organizations hinge on the quality of awareness brought to dynamics at this level. While some leaders understand the dynamics of change at a gut level as a matter of common sense, systematic logic and deliberate understanding would significantly improve the results of the decision-making process.

Those denied access to material and social resources are often forced inside. Of necessity, turning inward, they develop and depend for survival upon strengths drawn from the middle and center of the Life Wheel.

At times, material deprivation and hardships yield the opposite and equal blessings of in-sight and emotional fortitude. At other times, however, excessive investment at the middle level results in delusions, latent with the potential for erupting into violence.

In any case, making a virtue of necessity by rejecting the material world prevents completion of the pattern. It can’t correctly be equated with spirituality.

Cultures which enforce an exclusively materialistic worldview and deny the experience of everything not tangible and measurable place severe hardships on those whose inner lives are especially active. The Handbook gives ample opportunities to diagnose such imbalances, the better to remedy them.

Societies which deny their citizens practical outlets for articulating and harnessing inner energies creatively can literally drive people crazy, to murder and suicide, or at best, underground. Many “sensitives” survive by channeling socially banned, unacceptable awareness and longing for self-fulfilling adventure into the arts: music and literature, including romance, murder mysteries and science fiction. (Substance abuse and food addictions are also turned to for escape, as are violent video games.)

This is a great loss to society. The world would be better off if high-energy, creative individuals were identified as potential leaders, trained and given employment options accordingly.

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Awareness of the middle energy level equated with emotions has recently been brought back into fashion in the guise of “emotional intelligence.” But why has the middle, Gate Keeper level for so long been relegated to the realms of the taboo and banned from conscious awareness?

Certainly laziness is one problem. Cleaning out one’s personal emotional swamp can be very hard work.

Furthermore, untamed and unharnessed, it can be very dangerous. When polluted, the middle energy level  houses the inner demons of terrifying, repressed memories. It is the storehouse of our socially unacceptable worst fears and imaginings.

This leads to a fateful fear of self-awareness. For there are times when one shouldn’t believe or follow one’s inner voices. Disciplined, discriminating thinkers (in the pristine meaning of the word) know that not all of them emanate from the Source of truth and light:

. . . the Positive Paradigm also accounts for the actions of destructive and evil people throughout history which give Page pause. Despite claims to the contrary, such actions are not the result listening to the inner voice of conscience. Evil actions are the mark of unbalanced extremists who have been misled into following the seductive voices lodged within the middle, sub-rational level of the Wheel.

Destructive leaders are heeding not the innermost voice of Conscience, but the clamor of the Seven Deadly Sin-Demons — starting with Pride, followed by (and often in combination with) Anger, Avarice, Gluttony, Lust, Envy and Sloth. Modern day demon off-spring include Separatism, Exclusiveness, Arrogance, and Self-Serving Competition.

What’s dangerously missing from the prevailing, exclusively materialistic paradigm of empirical science — a glaring gap which the Positive Paradigm of Change fills — is a universally acceptable reality map which includes the sub-rational middle level with all its dangers, but in its complete and correct context: contained by the super-rational level of intuition on one side and by the rational level of practical experience on the other.

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An important reason why the middle level has gotten such a bad rep and is rejected by religionists is that, taken out of context, it becomes the stuff of nature worship, paganism and worse. As guest of an extended family of Frank Lloyd Wright apprentices in Spring Green, I heard their stories of how romanticizing nature while rejecting its Source can end in murder, mayhem and untold miseries.

This is why in The Handbook, Axiom One emphasizes the importance of living according to a complete and accurate paradigm. The shadow side, the caveat, warns of the risks which follow from distorting that paradigm:

AXIOM ONE

A complete and correct paradigm is the key to personal well-being and success.

The empirical, measurable physical world of tangible objects and daily experience has its origin and end at the creative center of the Life 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 which lead to failure, pain and suffering.

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ADDENDUM

The Life Wheel model formulated as the Positive Paradigm of Change is NOT an arbitrary mental confabulation, as are the highly toxic, relatively modern ideological -isms: Marxism, Communism, Socialism and the like. The consequences of fractured, dissociated ideologies begin with personal fragmentation but have the potential to escalate into genocide. The fractured Life Wheel looks something like this:

World gone mad

Significantly, the root of the word “sin” comes from an archery term meaning “to miss the mark.” If the center of the Life Wheel represents the ultimate goal of enlightenment, than any belief system which rules out that center, or attempts to subordinate its power to personal agendas, misses the mark indeed.

The complete and accurate paradigm (belief system) embodied in the target-like concentric circles of the Life Wheel is simply a fact of life, known and taught by the ancients for thousands of years. (Violate it at your own risk.)

It’s no coincidence that yogis describe inner experience in images that evoke the Life Wheel. They speak of increasingly deeper layers as “sheathes” and the process of getting to the core as “peeling away the layers of an onion.” Nor is it coincidental that the word “yoga,” which means union, refers to linking and prioritizing the levels of the Life Wheel so that all are present, balanced and operate harmoniously.

But, of course, arrogant academics will ask, “Where is the proof?”

The yogi’s answer: “In direct experience!”

This is the accomplished meditator’s answer to the skeptical agnostic and antagonistic atheist’s challenge: “The bad news is, it’s like trying to explain what colors look like to a blind person, or how chocolate tastes to someone who’s never had any.

The good news, however, is that inner truth can be known by direct experience. And there are means and methods for getting from here to there.”

Were you to ask a Zen master how to achieve enlightenment, the simple answer you’d probably get is: “SHUT UP!”

In gentler form, the Yoga Sutras of Patajani offers the same solution.

The yogic process involves going step-by-systematic-step deeper into the Life Wheel. The preliminary stage is to heal and strengthen the physical body which correlates with the material surface of the Wheel. This is called Hatha Yoga. Here, the object of physical exercise is not to make oneself attractive to potential mates, but rather to stabilize the physical body so that distractions of pain and disease are eliminated and the body is sufficiently stable to sit somewhat comfortably for prolonged durations of time in meditation.

The next two steps, called the five yamas and five niyamas, (sometimes compared to the Ten Commandments) are disciplines of social behavior. The point is that one’s character must be sufficiently developed in relationship to others to assure that the knowledge and subtle powers which accrue in advanced states of development will be used constructively, in harmony with the greater good.

Significantly, Pranayama, exercises for regulating the breath (prana) are then introduced to link the surface with the middle energy level of the Life Wheel. Breath control practices relax the body, calm the emotions and quiet the mind. [Building on this tradition, mindfulness therapists instruct stressed clients to take a deep breath.]

Only then are the next steps of contemplation and introspection prescribed. (It is at this point of inner development that querying the I Ching for the purpose of increasing self-awareness becomes an especially helpful discipline.) Finally, meditation is prescribed.

It is important to note that the deeper one delves into the Life Wheel experience, the quieter the mind becomes. Thoughts become less fragmented and noisy. Brain waves become harmonized and increasingly slower until the mind achieves the rest of complete stillness. Hence, by the disciplined practice of intentional, systematic methods, one achieves the inward state of grace which scriptures prescribe: “Be still and know that I AM God.”

So western sciences serve to confirm what yogis have taught from direct experience. The following illustration shows how the science of brain waves experienced by meditators (and musicians!!) can be plugged into the Life Wheel. The increasingly deeper states of awareness which sutras describe are the waking and dream states which then slow and relax into the REM state of dreamless sleep. These correlate with bio-feedback measurements of increasingly slower vibrational patterns: the beta, alpha, theta and delta states.

 

brain waves

As an aside – here’s a topic that bears investigation by Western psychologists, particularly those with a Jungian bent. This geometrical construct is consistent with, and may even explain, the fact that careful observers of human experience, especially who aspire to self-knowledge and self-actualization, are persuaded of the significance (sometimes helpfulness) of dreams.

Freud, for example, held that daily events are nested within an encompassing dream state – a field rich in information beyond ordinary access. Small wonder. For, as shown here, the dream state is foundational to the material world. Located within the middle Gate Keeper layer of the Life Wheel, it resides at a deeper level, therefore closer to the experience of light and illumination than the waking state which is invested in primarily tangible, measurable experience.

Be that as it may, the accomplished yogi, one who experiences what is described as “Christ consciousness,” links the levels into a single continuum of awareness called “turyia,” living both here and there. Awareness of the silent core is consciously present while fully awake. One’s daily reality is clear and consistent with one’s dreams as well as with deepest knowing.

Now, although a few come into this world already blessed in a state of Christ consciousness, most of us achieve it through choice and determined, dedicated, disciplined work — the product of consistent positive attitudes, right choices and good deeds. Surely faith and trust enter in. Also in the mix, however, knowledge makes a difference. As stated at the start, it is important to have a clear, correct and complete paradigm – an accurate road map – to steer by. “Every little bit helps.”

 

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On a personal note, as someone who grew up saturated in classical music, I experienced an easier time than most in relating to yoga sciences. String music served as my particular bridge to inner realms of experience.

The following is a description (my emphasis added) of a book that speaks to how this might be so, another example of applying western brain sciences to confirm ancient wisdom: Don Campbell’s The Mozart Effect: Tapping the Power of Music to Heal the Body, Strengthen the Mind, and Unlock the Creative Spirit:

Anyone who has ever seen a two-year-old start bouncing to a beat knows that music speaks to us on a very deep level. But it took celebrated teacher and music visionary Don Campbell to show us just how deep, with his landmark book The Mozart Effect.

. . . The Mozart Effect has a simple but life-changing message: music is medicine for the body, the mind, and the soul. Campbell shows how modern science has begun to confirm this ancient wisdom, finding evidence that listening to certain types of music can improve the quality of life in almost every respect. Here are dramatic accounts of how music is used to deal with everything from anxiety to cancer, high blood pressure, chronic pain, dyslexia, and even mental illness.

. . . Campbell asserts that the kind of noise to which one is exposed can have important effects on mental and bodily health. As a trial, try protecting your hearing for a few days from the continuous barrage of noise in a typical urban environment; it really does seem to improve one’s attitude and fatigue levels.

Where Campbell’s ideas become more provocative is in the realm of music. Supported by much anecdotal evidence, he proposes that Classical music with a big “C” (the music of Mozart’s period) can reach out to those who are mentally isolated from their fellows, like the autistic, and can help infants react and think better. In addition, the music of Mozart contributes to the improved functioning of the higher cerebellar functions, including the ability to deal with logical and mathematical concepts, while contemporary rock actually decreases mental acuity.

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Rethinking HOPE

hope

Paradoxically, the following Essay on Hope compliments the one on Death shared in The Phoenix Response. Tellingly, it reflects beliefs significantly different from those held by my grandparents, Ellie and Hubble West. It might explain, at least in part, their experience of old age.

Nor is the subject merely academic. As I currently face unanticipated health challenges, like many baby-boomers of my generation, I’m being challenged to face and rethink my personal survival expectations.

I’ll explain all this at length later. But for now, here are my earlier thoughts on Hope, for your thoughtful consideration.

Essay 63. HOPE

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, may give unto you wisdom the spirit of and revelation in the knowledge of him:

The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power. . .

— St. Paul, Ephesians

Here the people could stand it no longer and complained of the long voyage; but the Admiral cheered them as best he could, holding out the good hope of the advantages they would have. He added that it was useless to complain, he had come [to go] to the Indies, and so had to continue it until he found them, with the help of Our Lord.  — Christopher Columbus, Journal of the First Voyage

We live at a particularly perilous moment, one in which self-deception is a subject of increasing urgency. The planet itself faces a threat unknown in other times: its utter destruction. . . The splitting of the atom, said Einstein, has changed everything, save how we think. And thus, he observed, “we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.” — Daniel Goleman, Vital Lies, Simple Truths

We are seeing a health care system in pain, people in pain, and a world in pain. I believe that something can be done to make it better. — Patch Adams, Gesundheit!

THE FRONT

Webster’s defines hope as a feeling that what is wanted will happen. It’s a desire accompanied by expectation. It can mean that which one has a hope for. It can mean a reason for hope. A meaning listed as archaic is to trust or rely.

In I Ching context, hope transcends short-sighted wishing and emotional wanting. It is a trust that one has the wherewithal to respond appropriately to every change of fortune. It is not total self-sufficiency, but awareness that one’s efforts are met half way. When one does the best one can, the rest is supplied in the right way, at the right time.

Daniel Goleman emphasizes the direct relationship between honest self-awareness and survival. Like Einstein and like Strauss and Howe (authors of The Fourth Turning), Goleman is a messenger of awareness we’re often trained to block out.

His vision accords with The Book of Change philosophy in this: ignoring dangers, deceiving ourselves that all is well when it isn’t, doesn’t make problems go away. It only renders us powerless to recognize early warning signals in time to prepare and ameliorate the worst that might come.

In The Fourth Turning, Strauss and Howe emphasize that declining resources will necessitate major changes in healthcare delivery. Anticipating that the cost of health-care will continue to rise and become increasingly unaffordable, they recommend that cost-effective, affordable alternatives along the lines of Adams’ work be put in place now.

Forward-looking health practitioners are therefore now turning to inexpensive, preventive self-maintenance practices like Tai Chi, Qigong and yoga.

There are hidden benefits to timely austerities. Though it is unfortunate that people see fit to return back to self-responsible methods only as a last resort, if the prospect of hard times returns people back to their more simple and beneficial roots, it is a (however well disguised) blessing.

In his epistle to the Corinthians, St. Paul wrote of hope in the context of faith and charity. His hope isn’t Webster’s hope of wanting and expecting. Like I Ching hope, it is trust that human events which make no sense in the short-term fit into the larger pattern of life, and that God’s will inevitably in the long-term prevails.

THE BACK

The opposite of hope is despair. Seeing one’s situation as hopeless is a self-fulfilling prophecy. So long as one places hope in externals, one feeds the illusion of powerlessness. Turning the focus of hope inwards makes all the difference.

Self-deception is a perversion of hope. Lacking a concept of cyclical change, linear thinkers hope to control time. They defy the aging process or pretend change can’t or hasn’t happened rather than adjusting and benefiting from new opportunities that arise to replace the ones which pass away.

Stillness and Peace

Sometimes words fail me. Keeping quiet seems the better way. To share my immediate preference for silence, I’m offering two earlier approaches to Stillness. The simplest comes from the Common Sense Book of Change. The second elaborates on the first, and as a compliment may prove helpful.

Hexagram 52. STILLNESS

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.

Essay 47 from Conscience offers alternative perspectives on the meditative tradition, practiced throughout the ages around the globe.

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Essay 47. STILLNESS

Knowing where and how to settle the mind, one will become calm.

Having attained calmness, one will be undisturbed.

Having attained an undisturbed mind, one will have peace.

Having attained peace, one’s mind will respond correctly to all situations.

One who responds correctly to all situations will find the way.

— Confucius, Great Commentary. [emphasis added]

I suggest you begin with such a primary procedure as simply the practice of keeping physically still. . . In developing a calm control it is necessary to think calmness, for the body responds sensitively to the type of thoughts that pass through the mind. It is also true that the mind can be quieted by first making the body quiet. That is to say, a physical attitude can induce desired mental attitudes.” — Norman Vincent Peale, The Power of Positive Thinking

Taoism advises us to try neither to win nor lose, to seek neither resolution nor impasse, but to study the rising and falling of the way as it moves through the field of our conflict. . . At all times, we search for the center, the fulcrum that creates balance. We stay within the eye of the hurricane. We look for the center, for that is where truth is to be found.” — Brian Muldoon, The Heart of Conflict

THE FRONT

The root of “still” means immobile. By extension, the quality of stillness means being without sound; quiet, silent. It means not moving, stationary, at rest, motionless. It is characterized by little or no commotion or agitation, being tranquil, calm, and serene, like the still water of a lake.

The “where” Confucius refers to in the Great Commentary is the point of focus, called the ajna center, known as the third eye – Muldoon’s “eye of the hurricane.”

The “how” refers to meditative breathing and exercise practices which direct the flow of energy (chi). The intent is to circulate chi freely throughout the subtle nervous system and energy centers, thus linking and harmonizing the interrelated functions of mind and body.

Peace” refers to inner equilibrium, regardless of whether the external world is in harmony or conflict. “Correctly” refers to behavior in accord with natural and divine law. “The way” refers to the unfathomable Tao, the undivided source of creation.

In the Bible, we’re told, “Be still and know that I am God.” Similarly, in Asian traditions, meditators cultivate a quiet heart through physical stillness to experience the supreme ultimate, Tai Chi.

The practical methods outlined in Patanjali‘s Yoga Sutras are helpful in this regard. This classic lists sequential stages of development, as well as obstacles to be avoided. When the beginner first starts the process of calming and disciplining the mind, temptations arise.

One, for example, is the quicksand of astral experience. Others include “siddhis,” or “powers” – sometimes offered by the “dark side of the force.” The beginner is warned to recognize the important difference between between the multitude of seductive astral voices and the quiet, still voice of conscience.

During initial stages of training, distracting voices are silenced. Discrimination is cultivated. helping meditators recognize the difference between fantasies, old mental impressions and genuine intuition. The goal is to penetrate the clouds of the middle astral/energy level of the Life Wheel in order to access the still, timeless center.

THE BACK

Information overload is the opposite of stillness. Visual and audio clutter pull attention in thousands of fragmenting directions, diminishing personal integration and mental cohesion. In extreme situations, the mind and nervous system shut down in self-defense, going catatonic to close out mind-shattering external influences.

Rigid tension, blocking out whatever was seems threatening or inconvenient, obstructs the relaxed, receptive attitude of genuine stillness. Those who ignore the still voice of inner calling and the good advice of true friends can’t receive help. Impervious minds, deaf ears and hard hearts are perversions of stillness.

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It Is Possible to Make A FRESH START

I started “A Fresh Start is Urgently Necessary” by saying two coincidental things happened that day. I described the first, the internet being down. (Turns out a heedless farmer severed a fiber optic cable.) The second had to wait until today. Namely, I connected the dots between an overnight YouTube music search and the challenges inherent in presenting the  timeless I Ching to the Millennial generation in a way they can identify with and own.

For starters, here’s the Common Sense Book of Change version of Hexagram 18.

hex 18

FRESH START

Even when it seems that all has been spoiled,

it is possibleto 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.

The unfamiliar graph is called a hexagram. It’s an ancient short-hand method for expressing countless generations of experiential wisdom about the correspondence between chi (energy) flow in the human mind/body (the microcosm) and in the universe (the macrocosm). In yogic philosophy, these six lines correlate with six basic chakras (wheels, or subtle energy centers) located at intersections along the human spine. Each of the centers is associated with specific developmental stages. A primary purpose of yogic practices is to awaken, balance and integrate these levels of experience.

The straight and broken lines of the hexagram are a binary-digital way of expressing alternating, expanding and contracting life rhythms. In the Book of Change, any or all of the six lines can change into its opposite. This results in 64 possible permutations. It’s not coincidence that the ancient I Ching and modern DNA patterns are exact correlates. This is one explanation for the healing effects of medical sciences based on the I Ching hexagrams.

Admittedly, the specifics are beyond my comprehension, for the most part because I trust from experience in the practical results. Just as I use my computer without a deep understanding of how it operates, I have benefited greatly from working with the I Ching and its off-shots. Both sciences, modern and ancient, for many of the same reasons, simply work.

To carry forward the question — When the Lights Go Out, Who Will Millennials Call? (see wp.me/p46Y5Z-cm) — consider this. If/when today’s hospitals are rendered inoperable by grid failures, and/or healthcare as we know it is made unavailable due to social-political malfunctions (like Obama un-care, for example), where can we turn for practical health sciences that maintain health and heal dis-eases? Modern medicine as a profession and a social-political corporate conglomerate has become, for many people, for many reasons, a nightmare. We especially need a Fresh Start in this important area of our lives.

My short answer: long after grid-dependent lights go out, the same basics that work seeming magic with the I Ching will still be available to those familiar with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) methods — including Chi Kung and Tai Chi. The sooner people become fluent in the self-healing arts, the better off — for countless reasons — most of us will be.

I’ve been emphatically told by the one I most trust that “The mind will play any tune you ask it to.” When he speaks, I unpack every word. (He doesn’t waste them.) There is more meaning to this key than simply “Mind over matter” or “Beliefs generate results,” though in terms of self-healing these are included. Training the mind as a musical instrument to skillfully, deliberately apply the I Ching‘s 64-permutations of dynamic “if-then” consequences (analogous to existing computer-driven chess games) would greatly enhance one’s ability to recognize prevailing self-defeating tunes. Further, one could discover better tunes, decide which to play when, and learn how to “ask the mind” to play them.

Advanced meditators describe hearing a celestial “music of the spheres.” Just imagine, if you will, what wondrous music is available to those with “ears to hear.”

Much of I Ching-based philosophy focuses on understanding how fluctuating energy patterns affect human behavior, as well as how they can be used to create harmonious relationships and orchestrate viable institutions of governance. Much has been spoiled by lack of awareness of these patterns (tunes) and ignorance as to how to steer institutions effectively. By reintroducing this vital information, correcting what I have repeatedly described as a “fatal information deficit,” the damage resulting from such ignorance could be repaired and a Fresh Start initiated.

Unfortunately, much of this tradition has a very bad “rep.” It’s been spoiled by a complex mix of misunderstanding, misapplication, and misrepresentation. For example, when I went on YouTube looking for music (the second coincidence I mentioned earlier — see wp.me/p46Y5Z-cJ), what I had in mind was chakra/DNA healing ragas. What I found instead was a commercialized, psychedelic offering of “feel good” audio engineering. Comments likened listening to taking psychotropic drugs that induce the illusion of mind-altering experience. They raved about hallucinations experienced while tripping and listening at the same time.

My Aha: So much of what has been spoiled and cries out for a Fresh Start is the I Ching itself. Today it needs to be approached from the modern science of mind-exploration. It needs to be repackaged as a delightful, game-oriented Lumosity experience, but founded on a profoundly motivating purpose: human survival. Not unlike the Christian tradition, which has suffered greatly in the wrong hands for centuries, the timeless wisdoms must be “reinvented” and approached as if new: First time, every time.

compass clock

It’s the 11th hour, for sure. But, as it has been written, With God all things are possible –including, even, at this late hour, a Fresh Start. But the clock is ticking. God — the Tao — is infinite. Time is not.

Influencers Cut Through the Noise

To change the world for the good, the multiple authors of Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change recommend a three-stage process. As author of multiple books on change, I was eager read about the new science whereof they speak.

However, their content confirms what a Jungian analyst reminded me of in response to a recent blog on Therapists as Positive Change Agents. Namely, there’s nothing new on leadership under the sun – just infinite variations on a few important themes.

In fact, with the exception of a single random remark debunking the role of intuition in the decision-making process, their worldview is remarkably compatible with the Positive Paradigm of Change. Here’s how it translates into the Bible-, Yoga- and Einstein-compatible Unified Theory Wheel:

————————————————————————————————–

Influencers cut thru the noise

———————————————————————————————-

Authors Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler speak to our common challenge. “How can the leader as alarm sounder cut through the noise to effectively wake the unaware up from their slumbers?”

Their solution, like the Positive Paradigm of Change, recognizes a necessary relationship between motivation and action (ability). However, I see the two as residing on qualitatively different, interior levels of a two-directional life wheel. They posit three paired levels of influence – personal, social and organizational. This yields a total of six areas which can either impede or accelerate positive change. The key is to harness all six and focus them like a laser on a finely tuned purpose.

In Positive Paradigm context, the universal atom-like structure repeats on every scale of magnitude. The individual is a complete unit. By extension, so is the family. The ongoing units of business and government organization are all multi-level organisms, each with its unique motives and action abilities.

But rather than side-track deep into academese, I’ll focus instead on applying the concept of Influence (focused, effective leadership) to my ongoing discussion of survival and Millennials. As the generation apparently disinherited by their elders, Millennials have little ego-investment in the dysfunctional paradigms that have gotten the world into its current political-economic mess. So they’re the most likely to welcome and champion a Positive Paradigm shift.

Here’s the premise: While marketers are correct in selling Millennials as the best hope for the future, as of yet, the hope is only potential. In “When the Lights Go Out, Who Will Millennials Call?” the very real danger – along with its hidden opportunity – is explored. Millennials are fluent to a fault in all things digital. But there’s an inherent risk in lopsided over-investment. What would happen if, overnight, their iPads ceased to work and they were cut off from their social networks? They might suddenly become as helpless as fish out of water.

The hidden upside to their imbalanced addictions to things digital and social remains to be realized. To actualize this potential, the correlations between the ancient science of change and modern binary digital computer language must be drawn. To repeat, when they recognize that they contain in their innermost DNA the very same potentials that drive computers, that their brain functions are limitless beyond even the most powerful digital instruments, then there’s real hope.

In response to the blog When the Lights Go Out, D.R. Baker wrote a complimentary comment, calling it my best, most relevant work yet. He complained about relatives whose addiction to their gadgets seemed mindless and asked for suggestions as to how he could control the situation.

My response was that, in general, it’s better to focus on self-control rather than controlling others. Since D.R. is familiar with the Book of Change, I suggested that he query the book for insight into his specific situation.

His question, however, got me thinking. I should do the same with my compassionate concern for Millennials. It’s not enough to tell them they have marvelous, latent potential but are at risk, or to suggest wherein the positive future lies. I’ve written books on change and survival. I’ve repeatedly tweeted Einstein’s warning, “It will take a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.” But that’s apparently not the alarm that suffices to wake sleepers up.

I would have thought Einstein’s wake-up call was powerful and sufficient motivation. But that’s my point of view. What’s theirs? In a future blog I’ll present the results of asking, “What benefit does the Book of Change offer the Millennial generation?” In addition, I’ll ask, “How should this answer be presented? What’s the right, most influential approach for me to take?”

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Am I Still Ahead of My Times? Not Really.

A book reviewer (Lisa says she holds my work in highest regard) reluctantly agreed with a former School Board Association mentor. I am ahead of my times. But that was 1977.

In light of current events, is this snippet from Rethinking Survival: Getting to the Positive Paradigm of Change really ahead of the times? Sadly, methinks the times have caught up with me — and then some.

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ALIEN INVADERS

In the 1980s, when the Affirmative Action legislation described in Part One was a subject of hot debate, one commentator made an astute observation. If foreign enemies had wanted to undermine the United States, they would have designed exactly this legislation. Valid goals — the window dressing — were buried in burdensome regulations and punitive economic sanctions. Rather than bringing people together, it was alienating, causing an opposite and equal backlash across the board.

Alien invaders infiltrating Planet Earth, weakening humans to eventually take over and enslave them, is a familiar theme in science fiction. For example, in his various incarnations, Dr. Who — television’s beloved two-hearted time traveler — continuously detects nefarious alien plots and rescues heedless humans from annihilation.

Current events indicate there’s considerable truth cloaked in that science “fiction.” Starting with the premise that hidden alien enemies are covertly scheming to undermine humanity, ask, “How would they set about to destroy us?” Logically, they’d create chaos, setting everyone at each others’ throats. They’d trick humans into mutual self-destruction by stirring up dissension and fragmenting their governments.

As discussed in Part Two, the Old Testament and yogic scriptures both maintain that we’re made in the image of God. Each individual mind is a complete miniature of the Universal Mind. When open, receptive, and aligned, everyone everywhere mirrors the wisdom and potential power of the Creator.

Therefore, it’s an absolute priority for evil aliens to attack the mind. Their agents will do whatever it takes to pollute your mind. They confuse it with false paradigms. They clutter and distract it with the noise of an ongoing media circus. Every doubt planted in your mind causing you to forget who you are, to disbelieve in your ultimate origins and creative potentials, is a victory for the dark side.

To totally undermine humanity, atheism is a must. The unifying beliefs which hold families and nations together and fortify them in times of adversity must be destroyed at all costs. Again, how would this be accomplished?

For one thing, language which makes communication and community-building possible would have to be polluted beyond repair. In Part Two, this ongoing process is described as the Tower of Babel factor. In the English language, for example, every value word has devolved to mean both one thing and its opposite. So people often talk at cross purposes, unaware that they’re missing each other coming and going.

. . . Next, by every means available, alien agents would strive to pollute the idea pool. Make access to the law impossible and simple truth seem complicated. Because ideas have consequences, introduce false beliefs with predictably disastrous results.

Then evil aliens would systematically destroy trust, the cement of human relationships, at every level of organization. How? Make deceit the political norm. Convince people that no one’s motives can be trusted. Demonstrate that no one’s words can be believed. Make it “common knowledge” that no one’s actions, however apparently innocent and well intentioned, can be taken at face value.

Diversions would be a must. Rile the public with non-issues to distract them from very real dangers. Using lame-stream media shills, manipulate the masses with the weapons of psychological warfare. Insult them with the lie that they’re not okay. Sell them on the belief that they’re helpless “victims” of oppressors who must depend on tough guys to rescue them (and pay the heavy price of obligation at the voting polls).

. . . in the first chapter [of Rules for Radicals], Alinsky [chief agent of the evil aliens] stated his exact purpose, namely to coach those who “want to change the world” from what it is “to what they believe it should be.” In I Ching context, this assumption-packed premise is an extraordinary feat of tragedy-fraught hubris. Building on this false premise, Alinsky then fueled the undermining alien arsenal with a full battery of destructive tactics. In essence, political radicals should feel “free” to violate the ten commandments. The ends (getting what you want) justify any means.

His version of social change is engineered by stirring up conflict. Use fabricated information to bear false witness against inconvenient neighbors. (Herman Cain’s character assassination is one of countless examples.) Alinsky advocates scapegoating, not unlike the dynamic which propelled Nazis to power. Create the illusion of an outside enemy as the way to unify your base. (How is that for the ultimate double-speak? Conflict is the opposite of unity.)

Divide and conquer. Pit each group against the others. I can almost see alien puppeteers behind the scenes clapping their hands in glee over Alinsky’s contribution to escalating worldwide conflict. It matters not to them which side wins. Let Sharia law advocates, members of Putin’s Eurasian Union and American exceptionalists squander their precious resources duking it out. If they destroy each other and no one’s left, so much the better.

. . . Alien invaders delight in cheating. They stack the deck, gumming up the works with false information driven by dysfunctional paradigms. If you accept the game and its rules as alien agents define them and proceed to rebel against uncivil authorities, mindlessly hating and resisting, YOU LOSE. (Alien invaders win.)

If you give all your attention to what other guys are doing wrong, playing the role of contrarian, YOU LOSE. (Alien invaders win.)

If you quit on humanity and live only for yourself, leading a life of self-centered indulgence, YOU LOSE. (Alien invaders win.)

If you persist in thinking narrowly in terms of political interests and institutions, not human survival, YOU LOSE. (Alien invaders win big time.)

The only chance of winning — ultimately, surviving — is to demand a new, clean, unmarked deck, one with all the cards. In other words, make a fresh start . . .

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[to be continued.]

Therapists as Positive Change Agents

During a critical transition point in my life, books by Swiss analyst Carl Jung had a magically powerful, formative influence. After leaving the United States to tour in Italy and Austria with a Brazilian chamber orchestra, I auditioned to join the master violin class taught by Sandor Vegh at the Robert Schumann Konservatorium in Düsseldorf, Germany.

The following year spanning 1970-71 was one of self-discovery and reinvention. [See Discovering the Missing Link, His autobiography Memories, Dreams and Reflections provided the clues I needed to reexamine my relationships and purpose in life. In conjunction, his introduction to the Wilhelm/Baynes translation of the Chinese I Ching initiated a life-long relationship with the text that continues to validate intuition and in-form important life decisions.

The Book of Change has been applied to countless disciplines for every imaginable purpose for over eight-thousand years. Leaders have respected the fundamentals of human dynamics to guide their businesses and nations. Military strategists have avoided no-win conflicts and won necessary battles based on the same principles. Healing sciences based on this wisdom, notably Traditional Chinese Medicine, balance extreme emotions to alleviate symptoms of physical disease.

 

Jung explored the universal experience of the dynamic inner-life which influences human behavior. These intangibles lie outside the parameters of empirical science, which deals exclusively with tangible, measurable experience. So he looked elsewhere for clues, including not only dreams, but ancient scriptures which can explain formerly taboo subjects. For example, both ancient Egyptians and Tibetans recognized the existence of the “bardo,” an intermediate level of existence to which departed souls travel. In each case, a Book of the Dead gives instructions on how to facilitate the process of “crossing over.”

More “A-ha” moments followed during the decade spent making acquaintance with the scriptures associated with yoga practice. I began to see the intimate connection between the Book of Change and yoga philosophy/science. Each informs the other. Conversely, each without the other is insufficient. It seemed that, throughout history, mosaic pieces of universal truth have been placed in different cultures, waiting to be reassembled into a larger picture.

 

Yoga scriptures included not only Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita, but also the Upanashads. Yoga anatomy, including an evolutionary scale of subtle energy centers, is an invaluable concept for psychologists and healers. Whereas Chinese medicine focuses on internal organs and three energy centers — the lower, middle, and upper Tan Tiens — yoga anatomy names seven basic centers located at intersection points along the human spine. Their correlation with the repeated number “7” in the Old Testament is not coincidental.

 

But it was the premise posed as a question in the Manduka Upanishad that haunted me for years. “What is that, knowing which, all else is known?” I repeatedly asked myself that question, and applied it to everything I learned.

 

When I recognized the correlation between Einstein’s famous formula, e = mc2 and ancient teachings from around the world, I used the Positive Paradigm of Change to picture their common understanding. Then came another Aha! This Unified Wheel is fact That, Knowing Which, All Else is Known. It puts the mosaic pictures together in a way that is larger than the sum of its parts.

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Why then, I continue to ask, if this information is readily available, do people balk at the marvelous possibilities inherent in the Positive Paradigm of Change, refusing to go through the doorway it opens for those with the courage to enter? I addressed this briefly in The Fateful Fear of Self-Awareness, This blog contrasts the hollow shell of the prevailing empirical science paradigm with the universal, complete paradigm of diversity on the surface with timeless unity at the center. Bottom line: incomplete, inaccurate paradigms generate resistance to the unfamiliar.

But there’s more. Additional blogs expand on that fateful fear: “The Only Way Out is Through and Know When to Mistrust Inner Voices, The Chapel Perilous journey through the middle level of the Wheel takes soul seekers on what comparative religion legend Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. Not everyone is equipped to face and survive that dark night of the soul alone.

 

Here’s where feedback from others more experienced and wise than ourselves can be invaluable. Those whose understanding encompasses a complete and correct reality map (Jungian therapists and self-aware Christians who adhere to the Bible, for example) serve as the agents of positive change, one person at a time.

 

With the combined tools of reason, empathy and intuition, they are the most qualified to help those willing to face their fears. Understanding discrimination in the full meaning of the term, they can skillfully steer us safely through the danger-fraught middle level of irrational prejudice, fears and delusions, to attain fuller Self-Awareness. They can lead us on the road to recovering the infinite store of treasures available on the far shore of life, ever present and waiting for us in the innermost center of the life wheel.

Here’s the picture of full-spectrum discrimination in Positive Paradigm context. It includes not only the rational and sub-rational definitions, but also the super-rational. In the Buddhist tradition, discrimination (buddhi) is defined as the ability to see through illusions and recognize the eternal at the center of change.

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In the past, those in psychological pain, suffering from self-doubt and looking for a better way to live, would have turned to sages or kings for guidance. At this stage in history, however, therapists as healers (meaning “to make whole”) are often the best secular refuge.

The Fateful Fear of Self-Awareness

According to new research from the University of Virginia, most people would rather do something external — even hurt themselves in some cases — than sit alone with their thoughts. Why is this?

How do people of all ages get so stuck on the material surface of the Wheel that they’re unwilling (afraid!) to look inside? The researchers guessed that maybe people were born this way. But I doubt it. Powerful indeed are the social incentives for Self-avoidance, even self-harm — which is pretty much the same thing.

Here’s the picture of the exclusively empirical science world view which rules out the middle and center levels of human experience. If you’ve been taught to believe there’s nothing more to life than the material surface and have come to expect that taboos on inner experience will be enforced with punitive ridicule and rejection, then the blessing of quiet time becomes a threat.

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Contrast this with the timeless Unified Theory which is equally compatible with ancient yoga, biblical tradition and Einstein’s vision. This picture shows levels and layers of inner experience available to pioneer spirits with the courage to explore as yet unknown territories and reap the reward of their riches.

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Scientists & Sages Can Agree on This

Today’s effort started with a most excellent blog tweeted out by Mike Lehr of Omega Z Advisors: “The essence of #leadership in a single word blog.omegazadvisors.com/?p=2696.

It looked interesting, so I clicked on the link.

Yup. The major puzzle pieces are there. Vision. Strategy. Idea. Inspiration. Speaking directly to my subject, he states, “Leadership is about change.”

So I tweeted back, “I totally agree about inspiration and change, Mike. But then, how do we train such leaders?? I have a few suggestions. All best.”

Within a day, Mike tweeted back,“Post them somewhere, Pat . . .”

So here’s my short version of how to train leaders who are equally inspired and effective — a picture worth a thousand words.

The BEST LEADERS ARE SELF-AWARE

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BE AWARE of

What You’re Doing and Why

The Life Wheel (also described as the Positive Paradigm of Change) is a modern day descendant of the time-tested but gravely misunderstood, underrated Book of Change which leaders in every walk of life have consulted to cultivate self-awareness, make better decisions and get better results for over eight-thousand years.

It places the three variables of Einstein’s famous formula, e = mc2 mass, energy and light, on increasingly deeper levels within the Wheel. The result is the Unified Theory which Einstein already had — consciousness factor included — though, sadly, lacking yoga background, didn’t recognize. This archetypal wheels-within-wheels model is equally compatible with modern physics, yoga philosophy and the world’s great religions. It is a reality map upon which scientists and sages can agree. It images the in-depth experience of the quantum spacious NOW, abiding beneath the surface waves of rational thinking and everyday sensory experience described by Eckhart Tolle.

  • The intuition Mike describes fits within the WHY level of the Wheel. This innermost level of Light is associated with spiritual guidance and flashes of genius. Unless integrated with the ability to strategize and implement, however, vision and insights fail to manifest as practical results.
  • Emotions (including empathy) and strategy belong to the middle HOW level. The Energy layer is associated with street smarts and Emotional Intelligence. Magnetism and charisma emanate from this level, but unfortunately aren’t always integrated with integrity, intelligence and practical organizational skills.
  • Purpose and outcomes belong to the surface WHAT level associated with tangible, measurable results. The Mass layer is the realm of quantifiable IQ as well as biological family and social/political connections. Persona (mask) and personality are surface appearances. They don’t necessarily reflect actual motives and feelings. (This is why merely imitating the words and actions of great leaders doesn’t have the same affect).

The three outer levels are interrelated and interdependent. Each is necessary but not sufficient. Their existence depends on the unchanging hub of the Life Wheel. The true SELF — also called Conscience, the Tao or God — holds the spokes together as events on the Wheel’s surface rim change continuously. Creation in the form of primal consciousness emanates from and returns to this silent alpha-omega center.

Inspired leaders are Self-aware. Positive leaders link inner vision with compassion to generate practical results. They serve as organizational catalysts, bringing out the best in others by example. Like stringed instruments, we resonate when true leaders strike a universal chord, set in motion by a deeper music.

This paradigm of completion is “positive” because all the levels of experience are included and correctly prioritized. None are excluded. None are out of place. The levels are harmoniously linked in an infinite, two-way continuum of creative balance. (This is the holistic picture of unity or “yoga.”) Mindful of Einstein’s warning that problems cannot be solved at the same level they are created, it pictures the deeper levels where we can first get unstuck, and then travel deeper to where the genuine solutions we dearly need and seek can be found.

Prophetically, Einstein warned about the dangers of inverted priorities: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” Today, more than ever, the world urgently needs leaders who remember their gifts and use reason correctly.

An important first step in training better leaders is to convince educators/executives/politicians and their students/employees/supporters of the grave dangers inherent in prevailing, incomplete and inaccurate paradigms. Then, it requires rousing sufficient courage to make a paradigm shift.

What could be more powerful motivation than the pending threat to human survival?! For today’s un-in-formed leaders are undeniably steering planet Earth towards a catastrophic disaster that dwarfs the Titanic’s collision. Einstein wasn’t exaggerating when he observed, “We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.”

Decision-makers and leaders in every walk of life can make themselves whole by using the method outlined in The Positive Paradigm Handbook — currently under revision. In addition, it gives a practical standard for assessing leadership potentials, training better leaders, and choosing which ones to follow.

All best!

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Discovering the Missing Link

This afternoon, as an after-thought, my author-journalist LinkedIn connection emailed me, “On another note, your years living in Europe and your other international travel sound interesting. Must be a good story there. Would love to hear more when time permits.”

As a matter of fact, a section in Rethinking Survival describes the highlights of living in Europe. So I’ll share some of them here.

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EUROPE: Discovering the Missing Link

“If you love your children, tell them how the world works.” — Dr. Phil

According to the people who raised me, the way the world worked was this. If you “pleased” them, then they would take care of you: feed you, house you, pay the bills for your clothes . . . let you live. If you didn’t, they’d disown you, cut you off, write you out of their will. The end. Survival depended exclusively on being very good at pleasing those who controlled the money and the material resources which come from it.

In my case, this was a problem. What pleased one adult didn’t please the next. And what pleased me didn’t necessarily please any of them. It was, at best, a con. Bottom line: I had no idea of how the world really works, only that mine at the time didn’t work for me. When conflicting survival demands came to a head, I had to split. “Get out of town, Tonto. Pronto.”

The year Nixon was elected president, a poster hanging in my dorm hallway said it all. It showed him wearing Uncle Sam’s pin-stripe suit and top hat, finger pointing to recruit. The question posed:  “Would you buy a used car from this man?” My answer was, “No way!” I wasn’t in a position to change the country, so I changed my location. At the invitation to join up with a touring Brazilian chamber orchestra, I left for foreign lands.

Living abroad began the process of divesting the cultural conditioning I’d taken for granted. Being the only English speaker in the group made me rethink communication, getting down to the basics. When it took an effort to find the words, it was amazing how little really needed to be said. Accompanied with suggestive body language and facial expressions. a few words went a long way.

However, I found that change of scene, of language and cultural settings, changed nothing of substance. “Wherever you go, there you are.” In Sandor Vegh’s violin master class, students from around the world agonized over the same dilemmas I thought I’d left behind. They too thought they could escape problems just by walking away – but nothing is so easy.

Nao, a darkly mournful Japanese violist, described the shock of discovering her older brother’s dead body hanging limp in his clothes closet. Chiao, a bright shining extrovert, grieved over love lost. When she beat him to take first place in a violin competition, Alberto chose a less threatening lover as his companion.

My German hosts, who’d survived WWII, however, had much to teach. They didn’t take survival, as I had up to that point, for granted. A cellist friend with whom I stayed in St. Georgen, located in the Black Forest of South Germany, told me her mother’s story. To save her starving children’s lives during the Russian occupation of Berlin after the war, Frau Hass changed from oppressed housewife to heroic protector. In contrast, Herr Petersen, a 75-year-old portrait painter – my Düsseldorf landlord – recalled war time as “the best years.” It was only then– albeit of extreme necessity– that formal, inhibited Germans came out of their shells and actually talked with one another.

For me, the highlight of studies at the Robert Schumann Konservatorium wasn’t the music teachers, but a modest, insightful kinesiology instructor. Frau Lehru wasn’t a musician herself. But vocal and instrumental teachers alike sent students beyond their help to her.

The pianist whose lessons were scheduled the hour before mine told me her story. Herr Dreschel had given up on her as either lazy or untalented. But Frau Lehru diagnosed the real problem — pinched spinal nerves. Recommended visits to a chiropractor worked “miracles.” Elated, she was a “new person.”

I went to her studio and asked Frau Lehru to coach me. Her lessons were wonderful. She saw timidity in my posture and tension in the way I held my violin. She gave me exercises to correct not only my posture, but the underlying attitudes which bent me out of shape.

“Platz machen,” she encouraged me. “Make room! Don’t crowd me!” And, “Auf wiederstand waschen.” Figuratively, Grow upwards. Stand tall under the pressure of resistance and adversity.

In retrospect, it was if she’d reinvented the yogic disciplines which sitar and tabla students are taught in India, where music technique is balanced with breathing and physical exercises. Her gift inspired a change in my career goals. Rather than teach technique, I could help many more musicians by becoming an exercise-and-therapy coach in one, like her. She was much too busy to consider writing about her methods and results. I would do this for her with a book called The Body as Instrument: How to Tune It. (Still later, ratcheting up another notch, I aspired to build schools to facilitate a whole generation of coaches like Frau Lehru.)

Even more influential than people, however, were two books I discovered in Düsseldorf’s International Book Market on Königs Allee. In combination, they substantially broadened my life’s horizons. One was the Wilhelm/Baynes English translation of the Chinese I Ching, the Book of Change. The other was Carl Jung’s autobiography, Memories Dreams and Reflections. This Swiss analyst also wrote the introduction to the Wilhelm/Baynes translation.

I’m now aware of much that’s been written about Jung’s darker side. But in 1970, I resonated with his descriptions of self-discovery. In particular, I related to the story about his quickest cure. A young woman, the daughter of wealthy, stylishly atheistic parents was instantly healed of her neurosis upon learning of her heritage. Her grandfather had been a Talmudic scholar. Though an embarrassment to her parents, he was regarded by peers as a saint. This knowledge gave her permission to know what she “knew,” and released her psychological suffering instantly.

As it happened, I’d just been contacting my grandparents, asking them to write me about their history. I did so because Herr Oswald Peterson, my portrait painter landlord, insisted I was not American. “Who are you?” he wanted to know.

I’d already known that in her youth, my father’s mother, Grandma Ellie West, had a gorgeous soprano voice. What I learned from her letters was that she’d auditioned for John Philip Sousa’s world tour and was invited to join his band as a soloist. But she decided to stay home instead to marry my grandfather, Hub. She heartily approved of my European music jaunt. “Good for you!”

I was fascinated to learn from Grandpa Dave, my mother’s father, that his father came from Russia. He was a “very good” tailor by profession and a Talmudic scholar as well. A-ha. Who would have guessed? It opened a door of new possibilities in my mind.

Because Jung experienced dreams as the winged messengers of key insights, I began paying attention to mine. The dream I remember best was of climbing the third-story stairs of Herr Peterson’s building. He’d never repaired the roof after the WWII, so the top flight led to rubble and open air.

In my dream, however, I discovered a new floor that hadn’t been there before. It was dimly lit and full of draped furniture, covered with cobwebs. As I brushed away the dust, details of this new room began to emerge. It was as if I were entering into a new level of personal awareness.

As for the I Ching, I’d had a hunch about it for a very long time. Dr. Ellsworth Carlson, who lived in Shansi, China during WWII, was an Oberlin College classmate of my parents. When I was nursery school age, he’d bounced me on his knees at Harvard. As Freshman student, I took his course in Asian History at Oberlin. What stuck with me how vast an influence the I Ching had on Chinese thinking for 8,000 years and counting.

In fact, when I left for Europe, I carried only my violin and one small suitcase. Of that, half was filled with clothes and personal items. The other half contained sheet music and one small book: the Legge translation of the I Ching. It made no sense to me. I could barely get through a page or two before giving up. But I kept coming back to it. There was something important there that I had to know more about.

Finally, with the Wilhelm/Baynes edition, I had a version I could relate to. It literally became my teacher. It gave me a whole new concept of how the world really works. Not just this family or that institution or the other county. Not arbitrary and capricious, fluctuating fashions, but the constant anchor over time. From it, I could deduce the fundamental energy dynamics of action and reaction which drive relationships, internally at a psychological level, and externally in terms of practical, day-to-day events and their long-term consequences.

It was an extension of the logic my English teacher Miss Elson impressed on my high school brain. But more. It gave me a map of logical consequences, as inevitable as computer language. “If this, then that.”

For example, If you kick people, they kick back (if they can) or otherwise resist. If you are kind, you inspire love and trust in others. If you violate natural law, nature bites back (your mental health suffers; relationships deteriorate; your behavior becomes erratic and social/physical survival is imperiled). Asian cultures call this “the law of karma.” Its operation is also described in biblical terms: “As ye reap, so shall ye sow,” and “to everything there is a season.”

In sum, its 64 permutations map a progression of the AC-DC energy changes which constitute the natural law of repetitive, cyclical change. From my point of view, this ancient, timeless science fills a critical blind-spot in Western thinking, lacking which, all efforts are partial and incomplete. Put another way, the glaring absence of this information explains why so much goes so wrong, despite even the best of intentions on the part of politicians, priests, coaches and leaders of every ilk.

. . .  [an understanding of natural law], the practical, middle (energy) level of three-part experience, is essential to the whole. It’s a sorely missed link in our functional knowledge base. Without wisdom and skill at this middle level of experience, spiritual aspirations cannot be realized nor can political policies be effectively implemented. Ongoing sex scandals which plague high-level military leaders, politicians and Christian clergy give a hint of what’s missing from their training, causing them to fail miserably at great expense to those they should be serving.