a truly good person


 

A truly

good person doesn’t

dwell on her goodness.

Thus she can be good.

A person of false goodness

never forgets her goodness.

Thus her goodness is

always false.

 

A truly

good person does nothing,

yet nothing remains undone.

A person of false goodness is forever

doing, yet everything remains

forever undone.

 

Those who

are interested in service

act without motive. Those who are

interested in righteousness act with

motives of all sorts. Those who are

interested in propriety act, and

receiving no response, they

roll up their sleeves

and use force.

 

When

Tao is lost,

goodness appears.

When goodness is lost,

philanthropy appears.

When philanthropy is lost,

justice appears.

When justice is lost,

only etiquette

is left.

 

Etiquette

is the faintest husk

of real loyalty and faith,

and it is the beginning of confusion.

Knowledge of the future is only

a blossom of Tao; to become

preoccupied with it

is folly.

 

Thus the

sage sets her sights

on the substance and not the

surface, on the fruit and not the

flower. Leaving the one,

she gains the

other.

 

from The Tao te Ching of Lao Tzu,

Chapter 38

 

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release and let go and flow

smilin’ steph gilmore

 

Forget the body.

Let go of sensations

and obsessions and objects.

Do non-doing to the point that thoughts

cease to arise. Releasing mental constructs and

emotional entanglements, you’ll begin

to flow as a sage. Then let go

of that notion on top

of everything

else.

 

Wei wu Wei Ching, Chapter 15

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facing trials and challenges

 

In times of war it is desirable 

to be led by a cautious

and humane

general.

 

The hexagram Shih is a guide to proper conduct in the face of adversity. It is inevitable that we sometimes face trials and challenges in life. How we prepare ourselves, by whom we are led, and how we conduct ourselves during these “wars” determines whether we are victorious or not. The I Ching counsels us to follow the example of a first-rate army.

A truly powerful army always consists of a number of devoted soldiers who discipline themselves under the leadership of a superior general. If he has achieved his position through force, the general will not last for long and he will lose the support of his army when he needs it most. If on the other hand he has become a leader through superior conduct and even-handed treatment of this fellow soldiers, then his power is well consolidated and it endures.

So it is with us. Only by conducting ourselves humanely and with persevering balance can we have a genuine influence in trying times. There is always the temptation to be led into battle by our egos, but we are guaranteed a humiliating defeat if we turn our inferiors loose in this way. A superior person achieves victory in the same fashion as a superior army: by putting his inferior emotions under the guidance of his superior emotions, and by proceeding cautiously, modestly, and with the continual goal of achieving peace and detachment.

You are advised to prepare for a trial now. Your chances of success will be determined by how you conduct yourself within and without. If you remain alert, modest, just, and independent, all will go well. If you are gentle and humane, you will have the allegiance of those around you. Advance cautiously when the time is right, and when it is not, do not allow your ego to stand in the way of retreat and disengagement.

Remember that the ultimate victory in any battle comes when we regain our inner independence, our neutrality, and our equanimity. These can only be won by placing our inferiors under the leadership of our superiors. Do this now, and success will be yours.

 

The I Ching, or Book of Changes

Hexagram 7, Shih / The Army

 

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how can it be taken by force?

one robe, one bowl

 
Having left the Fifth Ancestral Teacher’s place, Hui Neng traveled south for two months, and had reached the Ta Yu Range. He was pursued by the monk Hui Ming, who was originally a general, accompanied by several hundred men, who wanted to seize the robe and bowl (emblematic of succession to the ancestral teachers).

Ming was the first to overtake him. The Sixth Ancestral Teacher threw down the robe and bowl on a rock and said, “This robe signifies faith: how can it be taken by force?” Ming tried to pick up the robe and bowl, but was unable to move them. At that point he said, “I have come for the Dharma, not for the robe.”

The Ancestral Teacher said, “Since you’ve come for the Dharma, you should put to rest all your motivations, and don’t give rise to a single thought, and I will explain for you.” After a silence, he said, “Without thinking of good, and without thinking of evil, at just such a time, which is your original face?”

At these words, Hui Ming was greatly enlightened. He also asked, “Besides the intimate words and meaning that struck home a moment ago, is there any further intimate message?”

The ancestral teacher said, “If it were said to you, it wouldn’t be intimate. If you turn around and reflect, what’s intimate is in you.”

 

Dahui

i don’t know

🪷

 

a time for disengagement and retreat

just be still

 

This is a time for

disengagement and retreat.

In stillness you are out

of the reach of

danger.

 

It is inherent in the design of life that forces of darkness and disruption come into prominence from time to time. This hexagram indicates that this is such a time and advises you to respond by quietly retreating. To struggle or resist in anger now is to add fuel to the fire of negativity which threatens to consume you.

The superior person accepts that there is a natural ebb and flow between the forces of light and dark in the world. Wisdom lies not in resisting these movements but in responding to them appropriately. Just as a plant which sprouts in the dead of winter is doomed, and one which sprouts in spring flourishes, so it is with us. Success and prosperity accrue to those who advance in times of light and retreat in times of darkness. To retreat now is to benefit, in the end, from the changing tides.

Retreat is not the same thing as surrender, capitulation, or abandonment, which are desperate and unsatisfying measures. Neither is it characterized by a hardening into angry or punitive emotions. It is instead an acceptance and a choice: we calmly accept that the energies of the moment are against us, and we wisely choose to withdraw into the safety of stillness. In this dignified and balanced manner we protect ourselves from negative influences and arrive rested in a more beneficial hour.
 

from The I Ching, or Book of Changes

Hexagram 33, Tun / Retreat

 

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