Thousands of years ago, Fu Hsi a Taoist sage, revealed the I Ching to the world. He was able to do so because he practiced presence. His spirit was free from worry and anxiety. He knew how to see what is real from what we think to be real. He understand that presence, to borrow a phrase from our times, is the power of the Force.
Presence demonstrates how interconnected everything in our world truly is.
What was relevant for Fu Hsi is as relevant to us today. Unless we grasp the purpose of life, we loose the plot and get entangled in the weeds. Our problem is that we refuse to see something which the human eyes cannot physical behold. And yet, the Force is not a concept. It is real and flows in and around all things. The Taoist masters understood this. So have many others. To come to grips with mindfulness, you must let go of your thoughts. Presence is not about words or concepts; It just is.
This is why some practitioners learn to master positive psychology and emotional intelligence.
Their modern minds do not like arcane spiritual concepts or mystical expressions. They prefer concrete, verifiable scientific facts. Presence you will find is so much more. It is presence itself that gave birth to the ideas which let human beings even construct the language and paradigms that these two fields are articulated.
In physics, we learn: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. You can’t get any more presence than this.
As your mind chews on this thought, it begins to resonate. You recognize that there is nowhere to hide and nobody to deceive. You can never con yourself. The Self can never be fooled because it is always awake even when you sleep in a state of presence. Now how’s that for positive psychology.
Legend has it, Fu Hsi saw I Ching markings on the coat of a great horse.
In a flash of inspiration, he noticed all that was good in this world. The markings were nothing more than positive psychology grounded in presence. So why is the I Ching so important?
The I Ching conveys emotional intelligence rooted in both animate and inanimate objects. When harnessed, it has the power to let us lead fuller and more meaningful lives in tune with our true nature. “If knowledge is the key to freedom“, then it contains solutions to the riddle we call life experience. It gives meaning and purpose to our lives showing us our Why. Too many people deny their own presence and prefer to be mired in darkness. Open a newspaper. Any newspaper will do and you will see this is so.
Positive psychologists and the principles of emotional intelligence provide us with a more modern framework to suss out our presence.
They do not change anything except the words the mind has dreamt up to convey presence beyond language. Even scientists with their descriptions of quantum mechanics cannot surpass the mechanisms employed by the I Ching. Presence it appears, take many shapes.
Knowledge as we know it has many forms. For example, if we know how to earn a living, we are free from poverty; if we know how to keep ourselves healthy, we are free from illness. If we know how to walk the path, we are free from failure, suffering, and misfortune. Controlling our destiny is something every human being has attempted from the beginning. The problem is that many have forgotten how to do this. Is it any wonder that happiness has alluded them?
Upon discovering the I Ching, Confucius himself said, “If years ago I knew its tenants, I would have given 50 years to its study thus avoiding all the stupid mistakes I made in my youth“. Powerful words coming from another mastermind on navigating the intricacies of presence.
Every culture has understood that universal laws cannot be violated. The Rishis of India would call this concept karma. Fu Hsi comprehended how volatile concepts were because they could be misconstrued or worse manipulated to achieve less than noble goals. As one pundit cited, one definition of the term volatile means to have the power to fly.
The Tibetans refer to the presence principle as having the ability to ride wind horse. Wind horse is released when the kundalini within the body is unleashed. This internal energy is invisible and yet lies coiled up at the base of the spine until it mysteriously is opened. It can be opened by practicing Tai Chi or Yoga. A living master who understands its secrets can also do so on behalf of one who is a sincere seeker.
Wind horse clearly shapes and alters us with every breath we take. It’s function is to guide is into balance and harmony with nature so that we resonate with authenticity. Authenticity is merely another name for truth. Know the truth and the truth will set you free. Sound familiar?
To strengthen our character, life provides us with what one of my colleagues refers to as workout scenarios. Milarepa, a Tibetan master, totally grasped this concept although he did not have to work off his stress at the gym. He called it the manure of life situations, we would prefer to ignore. However, you can not go through this journey and ignore manure. As he cliche states, Shit happens. No wonder the word merde is used so much in France.
What Milarepa taught his disciples was that everything in life is a teaching if we choose to see it as such. To paraphrase the Tibetan, the deeper the doo doo, the more the benefits. The free lunch crowd will not like this precept. Simply put the FLC people believe in entitlement, they do not pay their dues nor do they obey the rules of the road. They believe as JP Sartre claimed, rules are for other people.
Let’s look at another example. Take the case of Bobby Kennedy. His story continues to fascinate. Chris Matthews from Hardball on MSNBC lovingly retells his story in his latest book. His journey during 1968 is one of compassion and empathy. Unfortunately, it ended in tragedy. Bobby would have understood wind horse perhaps not as a Tibetan concept but because he lived the words he spoke. This is key. Bobby spoke to everyone in the same manner. He stood for our higher ideals. During that fateful year, he rode the wings of dragons and realized his true nature.
“To know without knowing, to do without doing“, Lao Tse puts us on notice. He’s telling us that consciousness lies inside our hearts. You cannot go to Walmart and buy this in aisle five. Since every new idea which percolates is a key, when we arrive at our source, we can learn to channel these ideas to better mankind as a whole. However to draw from this treasure chest demands complete emptiness and surrender to being.
Presence demands nothing form us. There are no preconditions. It’s like be there or be square.
Will the I Ching work for you? Yes, but only if your heart is pure and sincere. The divine cannot be duped with any versions of three card monty. Since diversification in our universe is total, it remains valid because you must follow your own path. Nobody can walk this path for you. Quick or slow is a choice you will make in accordance with your own awareness. This is way the sages always said that knowing the truth is the only game in town. Accepting this or not is strictly up to you. Just remember that the universe could not exist at all unless it was in harmony with itself. Grasp this secret and you are home free.
One word of caution, do not allow yourself to be led astray by a leader. It’s as if Fu Hsi has been speaking to us through the ether. The universe is stimulated by you. In all circumstances, what you believe determines your actions. Your actions determine your future. Om Sai Ram. May the force be with you.
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About The Author
Andrew Scharf is a speaker, coach, and author. He is also a marketing strategist in career transformation at CAREO, a division of Whitefield Consulting Worldwide. If you would like to learn how to balance your professional objectives with your personal aspirations, contact Whitefield Consulting Worldwide for further counsel.
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