Sunday, January 2, 2011

Righteousness, Humanity and Change: 'Waiting while Going'

One of the innovations and changes for this new year here at 'Ethics and Spirituality' will be the inclusion of posts that are more contextualized. Much of the content will be quite similar to that of last year but there will be an addition of posts that move from the theoretical to the practical and tone that moves from the professorial to the more personal.
The starting point and exemplar of theory in practice for Ethics and Spirituality today is, of course, the superior person of Confucianism. The superior person practices humanity and righteousness to deal with any situation. To contextualize this we will examine some very concrete scenarios of change and see the principle the superior person puts into practice in each. Generally, the superior person, simply uses a variation of two methods to deal with change, emphasizing harmonizing the situation. One method is active, bright, moving, strong, yang energy; sincerity. The other is humble, dark, indirect, soft, resting, yin energy; humility. Let's take a look at one example:

The fifth of 64 scenarios of change, as laid out in the I Ching, is 'Hsu' 'waiting while going.'

Clouds rising up to Heaven:
‘Waiting (while Going)’
Thus the superior people (through Hsu) eat and drink,
Are joyous and of good cheer.

Clouds rising up to Heaven eventually turn into the needed rain. Waiting for this rain to materialize, farmers cultivate their fields. In the same way, through this, ‘Hsu’, waiting for what they need, preparing for it for the proper time, the superior people nourish themselves. Instead of preparing for rain they prepare in order to be ready for their Heaven’s destiny, the mandate Heaven provides. Eating and drinking in joy and good cheer is a symbol of waiting without complaining about, or deviating from the proper way, avoiding becoming unprepared for what Heaven has in store.

Superior people wait for the proper time to receive what they need by ‘preparing the field’, clearing away the weeds for receiving rain, practicing humility, emptying the mind for receiving a mandate from heaven. Whether for rain or for destiny, superior people in this situation wait and prepare for the clouds to become full, for the time to become complete.

This is an excellent practice, 'waiting while going', in preparing for a new baby, or a new career, getting ready to receive that which heaven has in store.

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