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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Breakthrough (Resoluteness)




From the Wilhelm-Baynes translation of the I Ching, or Book of Changes:

Even if only one inferior man is occupying a ruling position in a city, he is able to oppress superior men. Even a single passion still lurking in the heart has power to obscure reason. Passion and reason cannot exist side by side -- therefore fight without quarter is necessary if the good is to prevail.

In a resolute struggle of the good against evil, there are, however, definite rules that must not be disregarded, if it is to succeed.

First, resolution must be based on a union of strength and friendliness.

Second, a compromise with evil is not possible; evil must under all circumstances be openly discredited. Nor must our own passions and shortcomings be glossed over.

Third, the struggle must not be carried on by force. If evil is branded, it thinks of weapons, and if we do it the favor of fighting against it blow for blow, we lose in the end because thus we ourselves get entangled in hatred and passion.

Therefore it is important to begin at home, to be on guard in our own persons against the faults we have branded. In this way, finding no opponent, the sharp edges of the weapons of evil become dulled. For the same reasons we should not combat our own faults directly. As long as we wrestle with them, they continue victorious. Finally, the best way to fight evil is to make energetic progress in the good.

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