There is much talk of love in our conversations. It’s one of central themes that are in our songs, books, movies, tv shows, ads, etc. But the stories of love are varied and deep. It can move us to tears of joy, cries of pain, and also rage of jealousy. This range is rather dramatic, for love can arouse the passions which can give way to the irrational and unpredictable. Perhaps this is why in so many cultures around the world, love is not necessarily desired. It can be disruptive. Indeed, revolutionary.
In traditional Eastern thinking, love, Ai (爱), is central to our existence. It is the energetic center of our being, the “ground of our being”, as the theologian Paul Tillich once stated. I mention Tillich, because the experience of love can mirror a religious experience. The overarching purpose of this love is to become at one with the other, the beloved. It is a phenomenon that can blur the boundary of the self identity and dissolve the concept of the self. In this dissolution of one’s sense of self, a greater Self identity can emerge. This uppercase Self breaks open the individual, selfish self in order to encompass the greater community/unity. Indeed, when one experiences love, sacrificing one’s own comfort for the sake of the beloved seems not unselfish at all. In fact, it may be the most selfish thing to do.
In my meditation on love, I cast the Yi (易) and received (19) Lin/Approaching. It is a symbol (Gua) of a potential leader in the process of ascending. The image portrays a protagonist in amidst of ascension, who has not yet arrived at the destination. The outcome of the struggle is not yet known; thus, there is a level of uncertainty and perhaps anxiety. The image of Lin is of 2 solid (yang) lines under the weight of 4 broken (yin) lines. The 2 yang lines on the bottom appear buried and overwhelmed.
Yet, with love all is possible: it gives strength to the weak, power to downtrodden and hope to the beleaguered. Implied in this Gua is great faith in those 2 yang lines, that they will persevere and prevail, and eventually arrive at the leadership position. Perhaps for this reason, Lin is considered one of the most auspicious Gua in the entire Yi Jing (Book of Change). It is one of few symbols that contains all of the 4 virtues that the Yi most values: initiative, nurturing, maturing and declining with grace.
So, on this Valentine’s Day, may we celebrate the Love that resides in our center, that provides the “ground of our being”. I invite you all to trust in this force to give you the strength to persevere and prevail. And consider the greater community that your Self encompasses.
Peace and blessings, Sanford
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This post was written by Sanford LeeLeave your thoughts