21 December 2011

All About Danger from i-Ching #29 坎 The Pit

Life is full of danger and temptations to lure us into them. With better technology and a globally connected world. the scams can come from any where in the world. We may get a call on our hand-phone congratulating us that we have won big cash prizes in some far away country and we need to tele-transfer some small money to certain account to pay for the taxes, legal and other related fees so that the big cash can be transferred to our account. We read on newspapers that quite a number of people fell for such schemes and lost quite a lot of money. While technology may change, the principles for luring and trapping us have been the same. The wisdom of Ancient Chinese in the "Book of Change - i-Ching", remains applicable to us in this modern or post-modern world.

The teaching on "Danger", or more specifically, "falling into the pit", is covered in i-Ching hexagram #29 坎 The Pit. It talks about prevention, getting out and staying out of danger. For the details, see 29 坎 The Pit – Danger –Be Watchful & Righteous (registration is required). The summary is posted here with my additional comments.

Summary of #29 坎 The Pit – Danger:
  • Always be on the alert and watch out for impeding danger.
    A famous Chinese saying is “居安思危”, meaning in peaceful time, one should consider the potential danger.  One should live life circumspectly
  • The safest and surest way is to hold on to integrity and honesty.
    Our greed for making lot of money quickly and easily has caused us to fall into many traps. Even a simple thing like gambling is very tempting and addictive. Wishfully thinking that we may not be caught and hence taking short cuts that by-pass the laws or cheating our customers will eventually catch up with us and put us into prison.
    A win-loose relationship never lasts. For long term success, we must go for win-win and never betray our commitment to them, Integrity build lasting relationship.
  • Instead of being afraid of danger, we can use the dangerous obstacles for our protection. Convert any threat to opportunity.
    This a key principle of i-Ching.  Fortune or disaster depends on the timing and situation. Danger that stops our progress can become our protection to stop our enemy from attacking us. See the opportunity in any threats. The macro political, social or economic events happen to all, even our competitors. Hence, we just need to know how to differentiate ourselves.
  • We should teach others to be righteous and alert too.
    Sharing makes for a better world.

Wisdom from the stage-lines teaches you how to act in time of danger:

1. Stay away from Dangers / Temptation else you will fall into them.
Don't think you can be the hero - others will fall but not me. It is best steer clear from danger and temptations. Many are those that fell thinking that they won't or don't.

2. Probe and move cautiously if you fall into it.
Not taking heed to stage 1 warning and fall into the pit. It is time to wake up and carefully probe and study the situation. There are options but you need to spend effort to find them.

3. Dangers everywhere, just stay at rest. Wait for help.
Sometime over doing bring forth more troubles. To cover a lie, we tell a bigger lie! Don't fall into this. It may be best to face up with the consequence, pay it and quit. Putting in a last big bet to recover all the loss is unlikely to happen as wished. The best policy may be just to stay still and wait for others to come to help.

4. True friendship is seen in times of troubles. They come to help.
In times of troubles, it is easy to see who are your true friends. In your good days, please remember to make good and true friends and by helping them when they are in troubles. They come to help you when you are in trouble.

5. Core integrity strength not fully developed yet got out of danger due to external help. Take heed to develop internal strength.
Remember that this time it was the external factors and your friends that help you out of troubles when you are still weak. Please take this opportunity to build up your inner strengths.

6. Stay righteous – the sure way to prevent and keep out of danger else back to stage 1 of imprisonment.
I-Ching author warn us again and again. Stay in the path of righteousness. That is the only way to stay out of danger. But sadly, men does not learn from history. This stage line 6, the highest stage, tells us the sad ending of committing a crime and be imprisoned for 3 years.

Please break out of the addiction or vicious circle of poverty or crimes or disappoints. Build up the inner character and strengths.

Lim Liat (c) 21 Dec 2011

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