Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | July 19, 2010

Rolling Shocks and Universal Lessons

When I had my tai chi studio, I introduced my students to the I Ching, and when we did some readings together, there was always a collective groan if somebody hit hexagram 51: Chen/the arousing(shock). I hadn’t gotten that one myself at all yet, and the initial reaction to the hexagram is that so much shit is going on in one’s life, or was about to because an immediate correction was needed and the higher power was going to get you there one way or another.

One of my favorite sayings was that God would get me there, even if he had to drag me kicking and screaming.

Perhaps the most enlightening thing in this is that life is like the rising and setting of the sun; life is change, things change and it doesn’t make sense to try to stop the sun from rising and setting.

So, I consulted the I Ching this morning as to why there seems to be such a confluence of negative in my life right now, money worries, car didn’t pass inspection, imposed difficulties at work, my staff being difficult, and even a person who is on the periphery of my circle, I don’t even know this person, but she is the embodiment of all the negative and she’s been popping up every week! When I see her walk in, I immediately know the universe is definitely trying to teach me a lesson!

“The shock of unsettling events brings fear and trembling…our tendency is to rely on strategies of the ego: desiring, plotting, striving…this hexagram indicates an immediate need for self examination and self correction…what is happening has come to teach you a specific and necessary lesson…where are you resisting the will of the higher power?…return to innocence and acceptance…the only remedy for doubt and fear is a reconnection with higher truth…you are mired in resistance to events…quiet yor ego, open your heart to learn what you need to learn.” (Brian Browne Walker edition of I Ching).

The changing line brought me to hexagram 24, fu/return: good news in that I’m on the cusp of change for the better, but I must relinquish the expressions of the ego: pride, impatience, anger, and desire.

Act only when you can move gently and innocently.
Act only when you can move gently and innocently.

This is the essence of taoism, of tai chi, of the tai chi way of life. It is the essence of tai chi chuan kung fu for martial purposes.

It’s eye opening to watch how the world does just the opposite. Corporations are the embodiment of the opposite, always trying to change the rising and setting of the sun, always working from the ego, always trying to control and manipulate, always being impatient and manic and intervening.

When one has a job in this setting, it’s real tough to employ taoist peinciples. The people above you don’t get it. They want to see you taking action. And for a tai chi person, the push and pull can be relentless. It takes great training and practice to “manage” up as well as down.

While I would want to write the book on how to run a corporation the taoist way(I’m sure it’s been written), the idea smacks of inauthenticity because people would be looking for some magic formula to be successful and make money and yet again, find the taoist way to control the rising and setting of the sun. But the real point would be, I guess, to make a great product, offer it, and make a living doing it. Good for you, good for the community, good for the world and the earth…and creating a workforce that is productive, happy, with high morale, and authentic, and is treated with dignity and respect…

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