10 February 2014

6 Types of Prisons and the Story of Great Men that Fall - Wisdom of I-Ching #47 困 Boxed-In

I-Ching gives us 6 types of prisons that also reflect the life story of those great men and women that started with almost nothing, achieve great success, and ended with a great fall. Heed the wisdom of I-Ching to get success and sustain it.
It is commonly acknowledged that the greatest sin is Pride. Pride is the downfall of many greats, including even Satan, the chief of the devils, according to the Bible. Then there is the saying of 3G temptations that bring down many greats too. The 3G stands for Glory, Gold and Girls(or Guys). Glory is related to Pride. Gold is related to riches and wealth. Girls/Guys is related to sexual lust. In I-Ching, there is a hexagram #47 困 Boxed-In or trapped that give us 6 types of prisons. They are:

  1. Prison of Darkness - Lack of knowledge or wisdom.
    The solution is obvious - learn and acquire to wisdom to gain the light and see the way out of the prison.
  2. Prison of Pleasures - Loosing oneself in drinking, dinning and wild partying
    The advice from I-Ching is to save the money on partying and give them to charities instead. Giving may bring the true happiness of inner joy rather than from external simulation of food and wine. The Bible book Ecclesiastes 7:2-6 says that it is better to be in the house of mourning than of feasting because in mourning one can learn and be wise and all the feasting and laughter will only make fool out of us!
  3. Prison of Hardships and Oppositions.
    Going forward is met by stone and yet staying put is like resting on thorns. To break free, one has to consult Hexagram 40 解 Freed – Get with Decisive Actions. 
  4. Prison of Riches.
    Riches and wealth have much power. But somehow with human, we then to get proud and use them wrongly either wasting them on our own luxurious livings or bullying others. 
  5. Prison of Power.
    We can easily recall the popular statement, "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely".
  6. Prison of Anxiety.
    As the world becomes even more uncertain, people worry more and more and suffer from depressions. 
The 3 Prisons that We may have Igorned

Compared with the 3G(Glory=Power, Gold=Riches, Girls=Pleasures) mentioned earlier, the three new prisons introduced by I-Ching are Darkness, Hardship/Oppositions and Anxiety.

The Life Story of Those Great Men/Women that Fall
There is also a progressive relationship among the 6 types of prisons (this is a principle teaching of I-Ching). The beginning prison of darkness is the lack of knowledge. When we get smarter and richer, we may be trapped in pleasures. However, if we get smart and break free from it by continue to work hard and expand, we then encounter the next stage of more and more opposition. Overcoming obstacles and hardships brings forth riches and riches bring forth power. Now that we have riches and power, we may begin to worry about loosing them. Is not this the life history of many great men and women that started with nothing? If only they study and heed the wisdom of I-Ching, they may be able to maintain their success and progress to a greater height instead of the big down fall.

For more on I-Ching, see Making I-Ching Come Alive! The Key Principles & Applications
and even more with Ancient Chinese Wisdom

Lim Liat (c) 10 Feb 2014
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