How DO we keep it simple? All things grow well in the absence of clutter and complexity. When things seem out of control, and we feel uncertain as to direction and path, the I Ching indicates the direction of simplicity and reminds us of the benefits of self reliance. What this means is living simple clean lives without a lot of extravagance. This can be true for our minds as well, not just our outer external lives and environment.
For this week’s reading given the question and contemplation, the I Ching is:
Earth over Fire; 36 as Original hexagram
Wind over Earth; 20 as the Expansion
Water over Fire; 63 as the Kernel, BY WAY OF Thunder over Water; 40
As people, we are all a head of affairs in some regard to our lives, whether it be as a parent, boss, manager, leader or all of the above. We all, even young people, have some charge of affairs in our lives. Maybe it is at school, or home, work, business, religious practice, or relationships; we experience the stress, rewards and twists of these affairs. Most of us experience what the I Ching would refer to as “a wounding” within the context of these affairs. Further, it is the “wise” one “who has able helpers, and in company with them makes progress.” What does that mean? It means that those of us who understand and perceive ourselves as head of affairs will need to go through the twists and turns of our journeys and will best be served, and be of service to other by understanding the benefit of teamwork.
We must not be swayed or swept by unfavorable circumstances, rather remain steadfast on our Path and not be shaken. Keeping life clean and simple, without a lot of complexity allows us to remain focused on our Path, and steadfast in the face of difficult situations. A humble and simple life allows for the spaciousness needed to conquer adversity. This philosophy and perspective offers room for the inner true nature of ourselves to shine bright, “remaining outwardly yielding and tractable.”
Maintaining this position expands into a wide view and perspective, offering observation of landmarks, and cultivating a deeper understanding of one’s life landscape. It is wise to contemplate the laws of nature, and the laws of people. Contemplating is important, and being seen is as well~ to be an example. Another interesting fact that the I Ching points out is that if the goodness we aspire to offer to the world is true and sincere, and expressive of real faith, the contemplation alone of it has a transformative and awe inspiring effect on those who see it and/or experience it. What the text is implying is that when we remain humble, keeping our lives simple, we invite the benefits of contemplation, which then in turn offers the space for wisdom to appear.
The twists and turns of our journeys will not come without obstacle and difficult times and circumstances. These are empowering moments, and there will come a time of deliverance. There are a few key points to remember:
a. do not overdo triumph
b. do not push on farther than is necessary
c. return to the regular rhythm of life once deliverance is achieved
d. deal with residual matters that need attention as soon as possible
These actions are a way to clear the air, like a good thunderstorm, making way for the new to enter and the old to exit.
Go forth folks maintaining a good attitude of getting rid of what is not needed, making way for the seeds of potential to cultivate and grow. Remember simplicity is the way to go, and not extravagance or complexity. Keeping a simple and clean environment, helps maintain a spacious and humble mind.