When chaos reigns a warrior remains steady, taking what is happening outside as a signal to practice the warrior’s way, to work with the chaos within the self, treating it as if it were death itself seeking to attach, working through every inner fear and every moment of chill reality alike as if for the last time. A warrior knows that this too is a path with heart, that this too must be faced with the same loving kindness and compassion as a day of joy, that attention must be focused on a positive outcome. An impeccable warrior’s weapon of choice remains love, no matter the circumstance.
Own your choices. Embrace your decisions. But make sure you know and fully acknowledge who you are binding yourself to and why, whom you are making contracts with and for what reason. Admit to the details of your inner truths, desires, and the little tricks you play on yourself to get what you want. At the same time, strive to be impeccable while fully aware that you are imperfect. It’s the intent that counts. No one is perfect. Everyone has their flaws, but knowing the truth of one’s self is the first step in upholding a certain standard of impeccability. A warrior seeks impeccability while simultaneously knowing full well the weaknesses, faults, and little tricks that come up regularly to thwart the warrior’s way. With good humor a warrior acknowledges everything—and indulges or not, depending on the situation—but always a warrior steps right back onto the path with heart that has always been the warrior’s first choice, continuing on the way with hardly a look back. That is the warrior’s way.
A warrior prepares for the inevitable. At the same time a warrior is light of heart, bright of humor, aware of the beauty of every moment, for a warrior knows that the only thing that matters is now. A warrior keeps attention on what is happening in the present but remains always aware that the present can shift at any moment, that things can change in an instant. And so, a warrior learns how to be fluid, to go with the flow and yet remain always the impeccable warrior, seemingly without fear though fear may be present, seemingly without need though needs may be great, seemingly without attachment though attachments may exist. For a warrior is always impeccably focused on what comes next, that inevitable something. Go with the flow and wear a warrior’s glow; love in your heart, light in your eyes, and brightness in your mind!
I actually started four blogs this week, none of which feels right at this moment. Finally, my ego turned to a higher power, the I Ching, and asked: “Guidance for the World, NOW?”
The result: Hexagram 29, The Abysmal or Danger. Moving lines in the 2nd, 4th and 6th places.
The future: Hexagram 12, Standstill.
Interpretation: A) The context of The Abysmal; B) The activated lines of The Abysmal; C) The future of Standstill.
A) The Abysmal is formed by the doubling of the trigram of water. The image is one of being caught in the rising water of a ravine, a dangerous, yet extraordinary position.
This week, I was standing in a dry ravine. Even in the absence of actual water its energetic current took me off balance, causing a fall into a bush that tore my face. Rather than interpret such an encounter as carelessness, I accepted it as a design of power. I clung not to victimhood nor self-pity, relegating it to a known world, but as an experience to be relished. I am open to life.
The current situation too begs objectivity, from all of us. It is not the consequence of a subjective attitude or foolishness. Do not blame the self. Do not tantrum with reason. The danger is real. And yet the danger is an encounter with power, a most educative experience. To survive and learn from the encounter one must get quiet and remain calm and observant. Be like water that fills the space thoroughly and then moves on. This is impeccability, the right attitude to escape destruction in an encounter with infinity.
B) Specifically, in line 2, instruction is given to not fight the dark forces. Don’t engage in direct conflict; it’s a trap and energy drain. Remain steady, be fully present and observant, in silence. Adapt until the right moment for movement arrives.
Line 4: The challenge is complex. Have great patience, study and wait. Be accepting of gradual change. Avoid impulsive action or attachment. Recognize that this is a learning situation of great consequence; view it from all angles. Water is thorough; it fills every nook and cranny before it moves on, and you can be safely carried on.
Line 6: Beware of getting caught in the prison of illusion. A master conjurer can ensnare one’s full attention, steal one’s energy and manipulate an outcome. Always stare down that conjurer within the self first. Sometimes the prison sentence of illusion is a lifetime. The greatest conjurer of all is the ego itself, who knows everything.
C) The future is Standstill. Do not devalue any moment in time; they are all equal. Treat standstill with reverence. In Standstill, Heaven above moves further away from Earth below. Their energies do not unite but further alienate from each other. Creative union is not possible in a time of stagnation.
Richard Wilhelm writes, in the Judgment of Standstill, “But the superior people do not allow themselves to be turned from their principles. If the possibility of exerting influence is closed to them, they nevertheless remain faithful to their principles and withdraw into seclusion.”
Here, ego and mystery separate. Rather than crown ego victorious or inadequate, recognize a time of lull as a necessary preparation for the next true encounter. Focus attention on doing the best you can, in all situations, to prepare for power’s next test.
Follow the path of heart inward, to the place of worth. Avoid being drawn into the egoic opportunism of the moment that seeks one-sided victory. Save the energy for when it counts, then act, decisively.
What is intent? To a warrior intent is real and tangible, something to be honed, polished, protected and guarded, something to be brought to perfection by hard work and dedication. It is a core virtue of warriorhood, that which declares one’s purpose, one’s directions, one’s outlook on life; that which commands one’s undivided attention. Intent lies in the warrior’s heart, the power behind every action, the main thought that permeated a warrior’s thinking. A warrior uses intent every day, in everything undertaken, seeking impeccability, for a warrior is aware that to reach impeccability is the ultimate intent of intent. And yet a warrior is always intent upon living life to the fullest in the world, for the world is intent’s stage; nothing happens without the world’s participation. Intent and impeccability can only be honed by interacting in the world. Each day and in each encounter and experience, in every challenge and task, intent takes precedence. A warrior imbues everything with intent. That’s the warrior’s way. Intent!